• Lesson One
    1. divulge (verb)  to tell; to reveal a secret
    The reporter was fired when she divulged information from a classified document.
    synonyms: unveil; disclose
    antonyms: conceal 
    2. abet (verb)  to assist or encourage, especially in wrongdoing
    Jim refused to abet the criminal by hiding him in the basement.
    synonyms: promote; incite
    antonyms: impede; dissuade
    3. dogmatic (adjective)  arrogant and stubborn abut one's (often unproven) beliefs
    Because of the professor's dogmatic approach, the students were afraid to ask questions.
    synonyms: dictatorial
    antonyms: open-minded
    4. insipid (adjective)  lacking flavor; dull; not at all stimulating
    My mom wanted me to be an accountant, but I found the classes boring and insipid.
    synonyms: flat; lifeless
    antonyms: challenging
    5. extraneous (adjective)  inessential; not constituting a vital part
    The professor felt that the extraneous paragraph in the essay detracted from the more important information.
    synonyms: irrelevant
    antonyms: essential
    6. coerce (verb)  to force by using pressure, intimidation, or threats
    Jerry preferred basketball, but his father coerced him into playing football.
    synonyms: compel
    7. jaundiced (adjective)  prejudiced; hostile
    Gabe had a jaundiced view of Iraq after losing his wife in the Gulf War.
    synonyms: skeptical; cynical
    antonyms: believing; trusting
    8. meticulous (adjective)  extremely, sometimes excessively, careful about small details; precise
    With meticulous care, he crafted a miniature dollhouse for his daughter.
    synonyms: fastidious
    antonyms: sloppy
    9. temerity (noun)  recklessness; a foolish disregard of danger
    I couldn't believe that Bret had the temerity to bungee jump over a lake full of alligators.
    synonyms: audacity
    antonyms: prudence
    10. gregarious (adjective)  sociable; fond of the company of others
    Just before he was diagnosed with clinical depression, Raji went from being gregarious to being antisocial.
    synonyms: genial; friendly
    antonyms: reclusive
    Lesson Two
    1. heresy (noun) the crime of holding a belief that goes against established doctrine
    During the Inquisition, those found guilty of heresy were sometimes burned at the stake.
    antonyms: orthodoxy
    2. docile (adjective) easy to teach or manage
    The poodle, usually docile, went mad and attacked its owner.
    synonyms: submissive; compliant
    antonyms: unmanageable; willful
    3. libation (noun) a drink, especially an alcoholic one
    When we visited the vineyard, we were offered a small libation at the end of our tour.
    synonyms: intoxicant
    4. anathema (noun) 1. a hated, repellent person or thing; 2. a formal curse
    1. Cannibalism is anathema to almost every society on the planet.
    2. The prisoner spouted anathemas at the guards as they dragged him to the gallows. 
    1. synonyms: abhorration; detestation
    1. antonyms: beloved
    2. synonyms: condemnation
    2. antonyms: blessing; praise
    5. banter (noun) teasing; playful conversation
    At the reunion, Ruth enjopyed listening to the banter of her husband and his old college roommate.
    synonyms: joshing; badinage; railery
    antonyms: vituperation
    6. castigate (verb) to criticize or punish severely
    The parson castigated the boy for noisily chewing gum in church.
    synonyms: reprimand; chastise; scold
    antonyms: praise
    7. gauche (adjective) lacking social graces; tactless
    Some people use a fork to eat pizza because they think it is gauche to use their fingers.
    synonyms: awkward
    antonyms: graceful
    8. ignominy (noun) public shame, disgrace, or dishonor
    The mayor fell from acclaim to ignominy in a week when her illegal activities were discovered.
    synonyms: disgrace; infamy
    antonyms: renown; eminence; repute
    9. motley (adjective) made up of dissimilar parts; being of many colors
    The international clown convention was a motley sight in the otherwise dull exhibition center.
    synonyms: varied
    antonyms: uniform; homogeneous; similar
    10. emaciated (adjective)extremely thin; wasted away
    Dead from starvation, the emaciated prisoner was buried in the cemetery.
    synonyms: withered
    antonyms: plump; fattened
    Lesson Three
    1. avarice (noun) greed; desire for wealth
    He became a doctor, not to save lives but to appease his avarice.
    synonyms: acquisitiveness
    antonyms: largesse 
    2. furtive (adjective) stealthy; secretive
    Not wanting to be rude, Jean cast a furtive glance at the man's prominent scar.
    synonyms: surreptitious; sneaky
    antonyms: overt
    3. bacchanalian (adjective) wild and drunken
    Adam paid for his bacchanalian weekend when he flunked the exam on Monday.
    antonyms: restrained
    4. extradite (verb)
    to turn over or deliver to the legal jurisdiction of another government or authority
    After two months of incarceration in Sacramento, the suspect was extradited to Florida. 
    synonyms: deport
    5. copious (adjective) numerous; large in quantity
    It is good to drink a copious amount of water before and after working out.
    synonyms: profuse
    antonyms: sparse
    6. irascible (adjective) easily angered
    We walk on eggshells around Marty because he is so irascible.
    synonyms: irritable; ill-tempered
    antonyms: easygoing
    7. mercenary (noun) a professional soldier hired by a foreign government
    Though American by birth, the mercenary fought for France.
    antonyms: volunteer
    8. bastion (noun) a strong defense or fort (or one likened to it)
    The United States has been called the bastion of democracy.
    synonyms: stronghold
    9. jettison (verb)
    to cast overboard; to discard
    The passengers quickly jettisoned the heavy cargo from the damaged plane.
    synonyms: deploy; throw away
    antonyms: retain
    10. ostracize (verb)
    to banish; to shut out from a group or society by common consent
    The strict religious community ostracized Eli when he married a woman of another faith. 
    synonyms: exile
    antonyms: accept
    Lesson Four
    1. bigot (noun) one who is intolerant of differences in others
    The bigot refused to share his cab with anyone of a different race.
    synonyms: racist; extremist
    2. expunge (verb) to
    erase or eliminate
    If Moni can stay out of trouble for one year, her criminal record will be expunged.
    synonyms: obliterate
    antonyms: add
    3. candid (adjective) outspoken; blunt 
    He gave a candid speech about the time he had spent in prison.
    synonyms: frank; direct
    antonyms: evasive
    4. argot (noun) special words or phrases used by a specific group of people
    Don't agree to "a trip to the East River" proposed by anyone speaking Mafia argot.
    synonyms: jargon
    5. negligence (noun) careless neglect, often resulting in injury
    Sara's negligence allowed her toddler to fall from the hotel balcony 
    synonyms: carelessness
    antonyms: care; attention
    6. appease (verb) to calm; to make satisfied (often only temporarily)
    The small snack before dinner did nothing to appease Shane's appetite.
    synonyms: mollify
    antonyms: aggravate
    7. strident (adjective) harsh sounding; grating
    Lisa's strident voice gave us all headaches.
    synonyms: shrill
    antonyms: soothing
    8. chaos (noun) complete disorder
    The new teacher was expected to end the chaos and restore order in the classroom.
    synonyms: confusion; jumble
    antonyms: order; harmony
    9. augment (verb) to enlarge; to increase in amount or intensity
    I had to take a second job to augment my income after buying the new SUV.
    synonyms: expand; supplement
    antonyms: narrow; reduce
    10. jingoism (noun) extreme, chauvinistic patriotism, often favoring an aggressive, warlike foreign policy
    Because of his jingoism, the candidate lost the support of voters. 
    Lesson Five
    1. rancor (noun) extreme hatred or ill will
    Whelan's double dealing had Jack seething; he had never before felt so much rancor toward a lawyer.
    synonyms: animosity; enmity
    antonyms: amity; sympathy
    2. inexorable (adjective) unrelenting; unavoidable
    Decades of harsh weather caused the inexorable erosion of the tombstone.
    synonyms: relentless; certain
    antonyms: avoidable; preventable
    3. extol (verb) to praise highly
    Emily extolled the virtues of her personal hero and mentor.
    synonyms: exalt; laud
    antonyms: chastise
    4. clement (adjective) merciful; lenient
    Despite the abhorrent nature of the crime, the judge handed down a surprisingly clement sentence.
    synonyms: forbearing; benign
    antonyms: malevolent; harsh
    5. cliche (noun) a worn-out idea or overused expression
    The candidate promised new ideas, but spouted the same old cliches after her election.
    synonyms: platitude; banality
    6. adamant (adjective) unyielding; firm in opinion
    Despite the protests of the entire city council, the mayor remained adamant.
    synonyms: stubborn
    antonyms: amenable; flexible
    7. diffident (adjective) lacking in self-confidence; shy
    The diffident student hated to speak in front of the class.
    synonyms: timid
    antonyms: outgoing
    8. opus (noun) a creative work, especially a numbered composition ("opus 3" would be a composer's third composition; plural: opera)
    My favorite composition by Antonin Dvorak is Opus 96. 
    9. ostensible (adjective)
    The ostensible reason for inviting her up to his room was to show her his bottle cap collection.
    synonyms: supposed
    antonyms: actual
    10. disparity (noun) inequality; difference
    My wife is twelve years older than I am, but we get along well despite the disparity in our ages.
    synonyms: gap
    antonyms: similarity 
    Lesson Six
    1. condone (verb) to forgive or overlook an offense
    After hearing about the man's starving family, most found it easy to condone his theft of the food.
    synonyms: pardon; excuse
    antonyms: condemn
    2. nuance (noun) a slight or subtle degree of difference
    The sharpest listeners detected a nuance in the speaker's tone that revealed her opinion.
    synonyms: gradation; shade
    3. connoisseur (noun) an expert in matters of culture, food, or wine
    The chef watched nervously as the connoisseur tasted the soup.
    antonyms: tyro; novice; neophyte 
    4. enigma (noun) a mystery; something seemingly inexplicable
    Mona Lisa's smile is an enigma because no one knows the thoughts behind her inscrutable expression.
    synonyms: riddle; puzzle
    5. apathy (noun) lack of interest; state of not caring
    The fund drive to raise money for a new gym failed because of student apathy.
    synonyms: indifference
    antonyms: interest; eagerness 
     6. officious (adjective) excessively eager to deliver unasked-for or unwanted help
    I wish my officious sister would stop telling me how to run my life.
    synonyms: meddlesome; interfering
    7. credence (noun) belief or trust
    Surprisingly, Shayna's teacher gave credence to her story about how she lost her homework.
    synonyms: faith; confidence
    antonyms: disbelief
    8.  jaunty (adjective) having a buoyant, self-confident air; brisk and crisp
    My three-year-old always walks in a jaunty manner when I put him in that sailor suit.
    synonyms: confident; poised 
    9. dilettante (noun) one who merely dabbles in an art or science
    The dilettante felt that his superficial knowledge of art qualified him to judge the artist's work.
    synonyms: amateur; trifler
    antonyms: expert; professional
    10. cult (noun) an organized group of people with an obsessive devotion to a person ro set of principles
    To join the cult, recruits had to shave their heads and walk over burning coals.
    synonyms: sect 
    Lesson Seven
    1. cynical (adjective) doubtful or distrustful of the goodness or sincerity of human motives 
    Keith made the cynical observation that Jamie's new girlfriend was probably just interested in his money.
    synonyms: skeptical
    antonyms: idealistic; optimistic
    2. ambivalent (adjective) having opposing attitudes or feelings toward a person, thing, or idea; unable to decide
    Doug felt ambivalent about his job; although he hated the pressure, he loved the challenge.
    synonyms: uncertain; wavering
    antonyms: certain; resolute
    3. demagogue (noun) a leader who appeals to citizens' emotions to obtain power
    The demagogue evoked the sympathy of the public to justify his crimes in office.
    synonyms: rabble-rouser
    4. demure (adjective) quiet and modest; reserved
    Her demure behavior was really a ruse to cover up her criminal nature.
    synonyms: prim
    antonyms: indiscreet
    5. intrepid (adjective) without fear; brave
    The intrepid warrior did not even flinch when the tiger leapt from the tree.
    synonyms: bold; fearless
    antonyms: cowardly
    6. destitute (adjective) extremely poor; lacking necessities like food and shelter
    Because they had no insurance, they were left destitute when their house burned down.
    synonyms: impoverished; penniless
    antonyms: affluent
    7. erudite (adjective) scholarly; learned
    Not much of a scholar, Justin was intimidated by his erudite girlfriend.
    synonyms: educated
    antonyms: unlettered; illiterate
    8. dilemma (noun) a choice between two unpleasant or difficult options
    Whether to repair my old car or purchase a new one was a real dilemma.
    9. culmination (noun) the highest point of attainment; the end or climax
    Winning the state tournament was the culmination of a great basketball season.
    synonyms: apex
    antonyms: nadir
    10. concur (verb) to be of the same opinion; to agree with
    concur that we should keep this meeting short.
    synonyms: support; agree
    antonyms: dispute; differ
    Lesson Eight
    1. abate (verb) to lessen in violence or intensity
    When the winds abated, the helicopter was able to land.
    synonyms: subside; decrease
    antonyms: intensify; increase
    2. decorum (noun) conformity to accepted standards of conduct; proper behavior
    The usually restless toddler surprised everyone with his decorum during the ceremony.
    synonyms: propriety
    antonyms: inappropriateness
    3. abhor (verb) to detest; to hate strongly
    abhor doing my laundry, so I have it professionally cleaned.
    synonyms: despise; loathe
    antonyms: love; adore
    4. dole (verb) to distribute; to give out sparingly
    At the crowded Red Cross shelter, food was doled out carefully to the earthquake victims.
    antonyms: hoard
    5. gamut (noun) the whole range or extent
    Carmela's gamut of friends includes both overzealous socialists and greedy capitalists.
    6. extrovert (noun) one who is outgoing; one who is energized rather than drained by interactions with others
    As an extrovert, Liz loved parties and preferred entertaining to spending a quiet night alone.
    antonyms: introvert
    7. droll (adjective) amusing in an odd or whimsical way
    Xander had a droll manner of telling stories that kept everyone entertained.
    synonyms: quaint 
    8. duplicity (noun) intentional deceit in speech or conduct
    His duplicity became obvious when he absent-mindedly arranged to meet both his wife and his mistress at the same restaurant.
    synonyms: deception
    antonyms: straightforwardness
    9. effigy (noun) a crude dummy or image representing a hated person or group
    The repressed people burned an effigy of their tyrannous dictator.
    10. austere (adjective) stern; severe; plain
    The judge was as austere in her courtroom manner as she was in her lifestyle and dress.
    synonyms: strict; unadorned
    antonyms: luxurious; indulgent 
    Lesson Nine
    1. emulate (verb) to strive to be equal to; to imitate
    Jonas emulated his older brother by pursuing a career in the same business.
    synonyms: copy
    2. sere (adjective) dry and withered
    After two weeks without water, the sere plant broke at the stem.
    synonyms: desiccated; arid
    antonyms: lush
    3. enhance (verb) to increase the value or beauty of something
    The soft, shimmering moonlight enhanced the beauty of the sparkling lake.
    synonyms: improve; heighten
    antonyms: diminish; decrease
    4. contrite (adjective) feeling regret for having committed some wrongdoing
    The contrite child wished she had never thought of playing baseball near the greenhouse.
    synonyms: repentant; remorseful
    antonyms: shameless; unrepentant 
    5. magnanimous (adjective) noble; generous in forgiving; free from petty feelings or acts
    Allowing the man who had just insulted him to stay for dinner was a magnanimous gesture on Robert's part.
    synonyms: generous
    antonyms: petty; mean
    6. enunciate (verb) to state clearly and distinctly; to pronounce
    The speech teacher constantly reminded her students to enunciate their words carefully.
    synonyms: articulate
    7. collaborate (verb) to work with another toward a goal
    The lyricist and composer collaborated on the stage musical.
    synonyms: quaint 
    8. impound (verb) to confine; to retain in legal custody
    The police impounded Dave's car after they found traces of cocaine on the upholstery.
    synonyms: confiscate
    antonyms: release 
    9. impeccable (adjective) faultless; without sin or blemish
    Keith's appearance was impeccable, from his handsome shoes to his neatly combed hair.
    synonyms: immaculate; faultless; irreproachable
    antonyms: fallible; blameworthy 
    10. evoke (verb) to summon forth
    The comedian was unable to evoke much of a response from the crowd.
    synonyms: conjure up; elicit
    11. inane (adjective) without sense or meaning; silly
    Still dazed from the head injury, Catherine made only inane comments.
    synonyms: foolish; insipid
    antonyms: significant; meaningful
    12. unctuous (adjective) exaggeratedly or insincerely polite
    The salesman kept calling me "ma'am" in such an unctuous tone that I did not trust him for a minute.
    synonyms: oily
    antonyms: genuine; sincere
    13. expatriate (noun) someone who chooses to live outside of, or renounce, his or her native country
    Although T.S. Elliot was born in America, he was an expatriate for most of his life and is often considered British.
    14. frowzy (adjective) unkempt
    The lady's frowzy hair was so tangled that it looked like Spanish moss.
    synonyms: slovenly
    antonyms: tidy
    15. heinous (adjective) hatefully or shockingly evil
    The jury was shocked by the young woman's heinous crimes.
    synonyms: abhorrent; horrid
    Lesson Ten
    1. expound (verb) to explain in detail; to clarify
    Closing the Bible, the minister expounded the passage he had just read.
    synonyms: elaborate
    antonyms: muddle; confuse 
    2. cajole (verb) to persuade with false promises and flattery
    Despite her best efforts, the mayor could not cajole Madame Harris into donating the land to the city.
    synonyms: coax; wheedle
    antonyms: dissuade; deter
    3. inscrutable (adjective) not easily understood; hard to fathom
    The crazed stalker left an inscrutable message on my answering machine.
    synonyms: enigmatic
    antonyms: obvious; evident
    4. balk (verb) to refuse stubbornly or abruptly; to stop short and refuse to go on
    Although Paul desperately needed the money, he balked at the idea of working for less than minimum wage.
    synonyms: hesitate; object
    antonyms: agree; continue
    5. acrimony (noun) ill-natured, bitter hostility
    Because of his acrimony, the old man found himself lonely and friendless.
    synonyms: animosity
    antonyms: friendliness
    6. dour (adjective) stern and ill-humored
    The librarian's dour expression and stereotypical bifocals contradicted her tattoos and noisy motorcycle.
    synonyms: forbidding
    antonyms: pleasant
    7. exult (verb) to rejoice; to feel triumphant
    When the results were announced, the town wildly exulted in its team's victory.
    synonyms: celebrate
    8. omniscient (adjective) having unlimited knowledge; all-knowing
    Dad described Santa Claus as an omniscient old man who knew whether we had been bad or good this year.
    9. feasible (adjective) reasonable; capable of being carried out
    Though he is still young, Jeff has a feasible plan to participate in the Olympic games.
    synonyms: possible; doable
    antonyms: unworkable
    10. fiasco (noun) a complete, ridiculous failure
    Our first date was a fiasco: I lost a contact lens, we got mugged, and a child threw up on Amber's shoes in the subway.
    synonyms: disaster
    antonyms: success
    11. metier (noun) the work one is especially suited for; one's specialty; an occupation
    Justin is a decent singer, but dancing is his real metier.
    synonyms: forte
    antonyms: weakness
    12. fluctuate (verb) to rise and fall; to vary regularly
    The stock market fluctuates so much that it seems silly to get upset when the stock goes down; it will probably go back up tomorrow.
    synonyms: waver, vacillate
    antonyms: stabilize
    13. harry (verb) to annoy or harass
    The baby's constant crying began to harry the other passengers on the train.
    synonyms: bother; pester
    antonyms: soothe
    14. incognito (adjective) disguised; pretending not to be oneself
    To avoid clamoring fans, the actor donned a disguise and traveled incognito.
    15. lethargy (noun) lack of energy; sluggishness
    The heat and humidity made me sink into the couch, too overwhelmed with lethargy to move.
    synonyms: torpor; lassitude
    antonyms: vigor; vitality
    Lesson Eleven
    1. epistle (noun) a letter or literary composition in letter form
    Brian spent years writing lengthy, unsent epistles to his old girlfriend.
    2. avid (adjective) enthusiastic; extremely interested
    Dori was such an avid reader that I had a hard time recommending a title she had not yet read.
    synonyms: voracious; eager
    antonyms: apathetic 
    3. gadfly (noun) an irritating and persistent person
    I tried to lose Judy, an obnoxious gadfly, in the crowd, but she stuck to me with unbearable closeness.
    synonyms: nuisance; pest
    4. humility (noun) absence of vanity; humbleness
    Even though Jo is a celebrated author, she's the picture of humility and never brags.
    synonyms: modesty
    antonyms: vanity; arrogance
    5. dolorous (adjective) exhibiting sorrow or pain
    The song was so dolorous that Dolores found it difficult not to cry.
    synonyms: mournful
    antonyms: joyous
    6. gargantuan (adjective) of huge or extraordinary size and power
    Milltown's players were gargantuan compared with the small guys on our team.
    synonyms: gigantic; huge
    antonyms: tiny
    7. arduous (adjective) difficult; requiring much effort
    Refinishing the old bookcase proved an arduous task, but the results were well worth it.
    synonyms: strenuous; laborious
    antonyms: easy; unchallenging
    8. affable (adjective) friendly; agreeable; easy to talk to
    The affable old man never lacked for visitors.
    synonyms: amiable; good-natured
    antonyms: disagreeable; irascible
    9. grandiloquent (adjective) pompous or high-flown in speech
    Marcus gets grandiloquent when speaking of the theatre, assuming no one knows as much or has as refined a taste as he.
    synonyms: pretentious
    antonyms: plain-spoken
    10. agrarian (adjective) concerning farms, farmers, or the use of land
    The economy of the agrarian nation depending on good crop yields.
    synonyms: agricultural
    antonyms: urban; industrial
    11. grimace (noun) a facial expression of fear, disapproval, or pain
    Amanda gave a grimace when Mrs. Hind assigned nine pages of algebra homework.
    synonyms: scowl
    antonyms: smile
    12. harangue (noun) a long, strongly expressed speech or lecture
    My wife delivered a lengthy harangue this morning in an effort to get me to quit smoking.
    synonyms: tirade
    13. formidable (adjective) arousing fear or awe
    When the hulking, 250-lb man stepped into the ring, Oscar knew that he had to face a formidable opponent.
    synonyms: intimidating
    14. sycophant (noun) a flatterer; one who fawns on others in order to gain favor
    Teri was such a sycophant that she laughed loudly at her supervisor's awful jokes.
    synonyms: toady
    antonyms: contrarian
    15. explicit (adjective) clearly and openly stated; leaving nothing to the imagination
    Mom's instructions were explicit: Do not leave the house for any reason.
    synonyms: exact; precise
    antonyms: ambiguous; vague
    Lesson Twelve
    1. altercation (noun) a heated argument
    The mounting tension finally spawned an altercation between the police and the residents.
    synonyms: quarrel; dispute
    antonyms: agreement; harmony 
    2. lexicon (noun) a dictionary; a specialized vocabulary used in a particular field or place
    Having grown up in the inner city, Shawn was familiar with the lexicon of the streets
    synonyms: jargon; argot; cant 
    3. hue (noun) a particular shade of a given color
    Dad was going to paint the shutters magenta, but Mom hates that hue and nixed the idea.
    4. galvanize (verb) to startle into sudden activity 
    A slight motion of the guard's rifle galvanized the lazy work crew into action.
    synonyms: stimulate
    antonyms: enervate 
    5. sanction (noun) permission; support
    The teacher gave sanction to the student's odd but harmless habit of doing his homework in crayon. 
    6. hyperbole (noun) extreme exaggeration for effect and not meant to be taken literally
    When Susan told her son she was going to kill him, it was only hyperbole
    antonyms: understatement
    7. ominous (adjective) threatening; foreboding evil
    We went on our picnic despite the ominous rain clouds.
    synonyms: sinister
    antonyms: comforting
    8. audacity (noun) rude boldness; nerve
    Kate's father was enraged when she had the audacity to talk back to him.
    synonyms: insolence; impudence
    antonyms: decorum
    9. evince (verb) to demonstrate clearly; to prove
    If you evince your theory, the university will fund your further studies.
    synonyms: manifest
    10. implacable (adjective) unable to be appeased or pacified
    Her implacable suspicions were finally put to rest when a private investigator assured her that her husband was faithful.
    synonyms: inflexible; relentless
    antonyms: pacified; assuaged
    11. exhort (verb) to urge on with stirring words
    During halftime, the coach exhorted his team to "win one for the Gipper."
    synonyms: encourage
    12. incarcerate (verb) to put into prison; to confine
    We were shocked when the police incarcerated Rafael for something as minor as stealing hubcaps.
    synonyms: imprison; constrain
    antonyms: liberate; free
    13. incisive (adjective) sharp; keen; cutting straight to the heart of the matter
    I had thought the meeting would run for hours, but Sharon made a few incisive comments that settled matters without wasting time or words.
    synonyms: piercing; acute
    antonyms: superficial; dull
    14. expedient (adjective) practical; providing an immediate advantage (especially when serving one's self-interest)
    Lying, while not admirable, did prove to be the most expedient way to obtain the information.
    synonyms: effective
    antonyms: feckless
    15. pertinent (adjective) having to do with the subject at hand; relevant
    The lecturer took questions as long as they were pertinent and enriched the discussion.
    antonyms: unrelated; extraneous
    Lesson Thirteen
    1. inert (adjective) unable to act or move; inactive; sluggish
    All dangerous components have been removed from the inert missile on display at the science center.
    synonyms: dormant; passive
    antonyms: dynamic; active
    2. circumvent (verb) to get around; to bypass
    Though she did not lie, the defendant circumvented the question by claiming she could not remember she she was at the time.
    synonyms: avoid
    3. clandestine (adjective) secret
    Romeo and Juliet were forced to hold clandestine meetings because of their parents' feuding.
    synonyms: covert; furtive
    antonyms: open; aboveboard
    4. acquit (verb) to find not guilty of a fault or crime
    The jury acquitted the man, and he was free to go.
    synonyms: absolve
    antonyms: convict
    5. deprecate (verb) to express strong disapproval of
    Doug stopped offering new ideas after the other workers deprecated his first suggestion.
    synonyms: deplore
    antonyms: approve; praise
    6. barrister (noun) lawyer (British)
    The barrister questioned the witness as to his familiarity with a certain London pub.
    7. adulation (noun) excessive praise or adoration
    Kim despised the adulation headed on rock stars by young fans.
    synonyms: flattery; adoration
    antonyms: derision
    8. culinary (adjective) having to do with the kitchen or cooking
    The famous chef had been a life-long student of the culinary arts.
    9. bawdy (adjective) indecent; humorously obscene
    When some called the new sitcom bawdy, the toy company quickly withdrew its sponsorship.
    synonyms: risque; lewd
    antonyms: innocent' clean
    10. chastise (verb) to punish severely
    Brother Jacques chastised Archie for skipping Latin by grounding him for the semester.
    synonyms: discipline
    11. jocose (adjective) joking; humorous
    Gary's jocose manner often led people to say he should become a stand-up comedian.
    synonyms: witty; funny; playful; jocund
    antonyms: serious
    12. myriad (adjective) too numerous to be counted
    The biologist spent her entire career categorizing the myriad plant species of the rain forest.
    synonyms: countless; innumerable
    antonyms: few; limited
    13. latent (adjective) present, but not active; hidden
    After retiring, Nat took up painting and found that he had had latent artistic talents all along.
    synonyms: dormant
    antonyms: manifest
    14. pernicious (adjective) destructive; deadly
    The pernicious plague wiped out half the country's population.
    synonyms: malignant; harmful
    antonyms: benign
    15. frugal (adjective) thrifty; economical in money matters
    My frugal father buys only day-old bread and marked-down fruit.
    synonyms: economic
    antonyms: wasteful; profligate
    Lesson Fourteen
    1. levity (noun) lightness of disposition; lack of seriousness
    Kent brought an air of levity to the otherwise somber proceedings by cracking a few jokes.
    synonyms: frivolity
    antonyms: sobriety; somberness
    2. hoax (noun) a practical joke; a trick
     The sighting of Elvis at the Bowl-O-Rama turned out to be a hoax.
    synonyms: fraud; fake
    3. amicable (adjective) friendly; peaceable
    Commerce will suffer until the two nations establish amicable relations
    synonyms: agreeable; amiable
    antonyms: quarrelsome; warlike
    4. obstreperous (adjective) aggressively boisterous; stubborn and defiant
    The obstreperous mob of looters was finally subdued by an icy blast from the fire hose.
    antonyms: meek; tractable
    5. enraptured (adjective) delighted beyond measure
    Sasha was enraptured by the performance of the visiting ballet troupe.
    synonyms: ecstatic
    6. marital (adjective) having to do with marriage
    Marital problems can sometimes be solved by a session with a marriage counselor.
    synonyms: wedded
    antonyms: single
    7. bask (verb) to expose oneself to pleasant warmth
    During the Florida vacation, all she did was bask in the sun.
    8. genial (adjective) friendly; amiable
    Our new neighbors were so genial that we felt we had known them for years
    synonyms: cordial
    antonyms: unfriendly
    9. charlatan (noun) one who pretends to have knowledge in order to swindle others
    The supposed doctor endorsing the fat-burning "miracle drug" was actually a charlatan.
    synonyms: quack; fraud
    antonyms: professional
    10. mundane (adjective) commonplace; earthly and not spiritual
    Virginia thought herself too good an artist to be expected to deal with mundane things like earning a living.
    synonyms: boring
    antonyms: unique
    11. fickle (adjective) likely to change on a whim or without apparent reason
    Because she never kept one boyfriend for long, her friends said Keisha was fickle.
    synonyms: vacillating; capricious
    antonyms: steadfast
    12. juggernaut (noun) a terrible destructive or irresistible force
    The Nazi juggernaut swept through Belgium and into France.
    13. naïve (adjective) simple in outlook; not affected or worldly; especially innocent
    Old movies usually portray country girls in the city as naïve and vulnerable.
    synonyms: unsophisticated; unsuspecting
    antonyms: sophisticated; cunning
    14. nocturnal (adjective) having to do with the night; occurring at night
    Owls are nocturnal creatures; they sleep during the day.
    antonyms: diurnal
    15. novice (noun) a beginner; one who is inexperienced
    The older lawyer took the novice under her wing and showed him the ropes.
    synonyms: apprentice; tyro
    antonyms: master
    Lesson Fifteen
    1. noxious (adjective) harmful to the health
    We opened a window to remove the noxious fumes of the paint thinner.
    synonyms: injurious
    antonyms: harmless
    2. connive (verb) to cooperate secretly in wrongdoing
    The corrupt judge connived with crooked politicians in order to make himself rich.
    synonyms: conspire
    3. chutzpah (noun) nerve; audacity
    I cannot believe Michael had the chutzpah to claim that no one could sing that song as well as he could.
    synonyms: brazenness; effrontery
    antonyms: timidity
    4. liege (noun) a lord, master, or sovereign
    While the servants pledged their loyalty to the liege, they did not always like or respect him.
    synonyms: king
    antonyms: commoner; servant
    5. odium (noun) hatred
    The rebels had only odium for the ruling party.
    synonyms: abhorrence
    antonyms: love; adoration
    6. crass (adjective) coarse; tasteless
    Ben made a crass comment about the length of the waitress's skirt.
    synonyms: crude
    antonyms: refined
    7. hypercritical (adjective) overcritical; too severe in judgment
    In his inspection of the barracks, the sergeant was so hypercritical that no one passed.
    synonyms: faultfinding
    antonyms: lax
    8. fallacy (noun) a mistaken notion; a misconception
    My grandmother still clings to the fallacy that the world is flat.
    antonyms: truth
    9. complacent (adjective) self-satisfied; smug
    The former heavyweight champion became complacent after easily defeating several amateur boxers. 
    synonyms: assured; confident
    antonyms: humble
    10. befuddle (verb) to confuse; to perplex
    Street maps always befuddle me, so my girlfriend navigates when we take road trips.
    synonyms: bewilder; fluster
    antonyms: clarify; elucidate
    11. pandemonium (noun) a wild disorder, noise, or confusion
    Feeding time at the zoo could be pandemonium if not done slowly and carefully.
    synonyms: chaos; tumult; din
    antonyms: order; calm
    12. parsimonious (adjective) excessively thrifty; stingy
    Ebenezer Scrooge was a parsimonious old man.
    synonyms: cheap; frugal
    antonyms: extravagant
    13. verbose (adjective) using more words than are needed; wordy
    Some find Charles Dickens so verbose that they swear he must have been paid by the word.
    synonyms: prolix
    antonyms: terse; concise; succinct
    14. laudable (adjective) worthy of praise; commendable
    The city has made laudable efforts to reduce crime by introducing after-school programs.
    synonyms: admirable
    antonyms: execrable
    15. indiscreet (adjective) not wise or judicious; imprudent, as in speech or action
    Ron was fired shortly after his indiscreet actions at the office party.
    synonyms: flagrant
    antonyms: prudent
    Lesson Sixteen
    1. pique (verb) to cause resentment; to provoke
    The old gentleman was piqued because he was not given a seat at the head table.
    synonyms: irritate
    antonyms: assuage
    2. linguistics (noun) the scientific study of the structure, sounds, and meaning of language
    The professor of linguistics explained how English evolved from a number of other languages.
    3. plebian (noun )a commoner; one from the lower class
    Seniors treated the freshman as though they were plebian.
    synonyms: peon; peasant
    antonyms: liege
    4. precocious (adjective) showing early development, especially mental
    Anthony was such a precocious three-year-old that he could already play the violin well.
    synonyms: advanced
    5. predatory (adjective) inclined to prey on others
    The buzzard is a scavenger, but the hawk is a predatory animal.
    synonyms: pillaging; despoiling
    antonyms: nurturing
    6. prowess (noun) superior skill or ability
    Ty's physical prowess was matched by his superior mental; ability.
    synonyms: strength; dominance; power
    antonyms: weakness
    7. pugnacious (adjective) eager and ready to fight; quarrelsome
    Because he was so pugnacious, he had few friends.
    synonyms: combative; belligerent
    antonyms: placid; pacific
    8. purloin (verb) to steal
    They had not planned to purloin the jewels,but the temptation was too great.
    synonyms: burglarize
    9. pusillanimous (adjective) cowardly; fearful
    The Wizard of Oz granted the pusillanimous lion his wish to have courage.
    synonyms: fainthearted; timid
    antonyms: brave; bold
    10. quell (verb) to put an end to; to allay or quiet
    The police were called in to quell the riot.
    synonyms: calm
    antonyms: foment; incite
    11. quixotic (adjective) very idealistic; impractical; caught up in romantic notions
    As a young man, he had the quixotic notion that he could single-handedly end poverty in the country.
    antonyms: realistic; practical
    12. rabble (noun) a disorderly crowd, a mob
    The guards had to protect the president from the rabble in the streets.
    synonyms: riffraff
    13. rabid (adjective) raging; fanatical
    After working out, Chrissy had a rabid thirst and drank two gallons of water.
    synonyms: uncontrollable; fervid
    antonyms: placid
    14. raconteur (noun) a person skilled at telling stories
    An exceptional raconteur, Lorna held the whole audience spellbound with her stories.
    15. vindictive (adjective) seeking revenge; bearing a grudge
    Out of some vindictive urge, Steve slashed his ex-girlfriend's tires.
    synonyms: vengeful
    antonyms: forgiving
    Lesson Seventeen
    1. circumspect (adjective) careful; heedful; attentive to all points
    Although I tried to be circumspect when packing for camp, I never guessed that I should have packed an extra clock.
    synonyms: judicious; prudent
    antonyms: rash; foolhardy
    2. zephyr (noun) a gentle breeze (sometimes specifically the West Wind)
    A sweet-smelling zephyr ruffled the laundry on the line.
    antonyms: gale
    3. renegade (noun) one who deserts one side in favor of another; traitor; outlaw
    The members of the old party called him a renegade; the members of his new party called him a patriot.
    synonyms: turncoat; defector
    antonyms: loyalist
    4. retribution (noun) something justly deserved, especially a punishment
    The boys had to spend the weekend picking up litter in retribution for having spray-painted graffiti on the bus.
    synonyms: reprisal
    antonyms: reward
    5. hurtle (verb) to move or to swing swiftly and with great force
    The big fullback hurtled his way through the defensive line and scored the winning touchdown.
    synonyms: hurl
    6. scourge (noun) a person or thing that causes great trouble or misfortune
    Cancer remains one of the worst scourges of mankind.
    synonyms: torment; bane; curse
    antonyms: boon; blessing
    7. caustic (adjective) biting; stingingly sharp or sarcastic
    Because of his caustic comments, his wife finally left him.
    synonyms: acidic; harsh
    antonyms: mild; pleasant
    8. taciturn (adjective) not fond of talking; usually silent
    We were amazed when the taciturn young man signed up for public speaking.
    synonyms: reticent; reserved
    antonyms: garrulous; loquacious; talkative
    9. agnostic (noun) one who believes that the existence of God can neither be proved nor disproved
    Although he did not officially believe in God, the agnostic sometimes prayed "just in case."
    synonyms: skeptic
    antonyms: believer
    10. terse (adjective) brief and to the point
    Julia didn't give me any details about her break-up, just a terse "it's over."
    synonyms: abbreviated; curt
    antonyms: verbose; rambling
    11. uncanny (adjective) weird; strange; so keen or acute as to seem bizarre
    Tess had an uncanny memory for details; she knew exactly what she had worn on any given day in the past eleven years.
    synonyms: eerie
    12. exodus (noun) a mass departure or emigration
    The many defeated tribes made a speedy exodus from the war-torn valley.
    antonyms: return
    13. penitent (adjective) remorseful; sorry for having done wrong
    Seeing the boy's penitent expression, the judge was easier on him than he might otherwise have been.
    synonyms: apologetic
    antonyms: unrepentant
    14. vindicate (verb) to clear of suspicion or accusations
    Darren sued for libel in order to vindicate his reputation. 
    synonyms: exonerate; acquit
    antonyms: besmirch; implicate
    15. raillery (noun) good-humored ridicule or teasing
    James much prefers Carson's raillery to the cynical slurs of other comedians.
    synonyms: banter
    Lesson Eighteen
    1. impregnable (adjective) not able to be conquered; impenetrable
    The Greek warriors were unable to conquer the impregnable Trojan fortress. 
    synonyms: unbeatable
    antonyms: vulnerable
    2. xenophobia (noun) an intense dislike or fear of strangers or foreigners
    Tim's xenophobia gave him an unwarranted hatred for immigrants coming to America. 
    3. inherent (adjective) essential
    Exhaust and air-pollution are inherent features and drawbacks of the automobile.
    synonyms: intrinsic
    antonyms: extrinsic; extraneous
    4. irreverent (adjective) disrespectful
    John's irreverent attitude toward his pastor embarrassed and angered his mother.
    synonyms: insubordinate
    antonyms: worshipful
    5. subjugate (verb) to dominate, conquer, or bring under control
    Plantation owners subjugated their slaves and forced them to do manual labor.
    antonyms: free
    6. expedite (verb) to increase the rate of progress
    More construction workers were brought on to the project to help expedite the construction of the new bridge.
    synonyms: hurry; hasten; streamline
    antonyms: retard; hinder
    7. filibuster (verb) to attempt to block a bill from becoming law by speaking at length against it
    The Senator from Mississippi gave an eight-hour speech to filibuster the new tax bill.
    synonyms: derail
    8. pristine (adjective) pure; completely clean and uncontaminated
    The vast, pristine wilderness of northern Alaska is too cold and remote for most people to inhabit.
    synonyms: pure
    antonyms: defiled; spoiled; sullied
    9. pithy (adjective) full of meaning; concise
    The pithy statements in greeting cards are often short and sweet.
    synonyms: succinct
    antonyms: verbose
    10. invective (noun) an insult or abuse in speech
    Scott's invective, aimed at his teacher, resulted in an immediate trip to the principal's office.
    synonyms: reproach
    antonyms: praise
    11. prodigal (adjective) reckless, wasteful, and extravagant
    The prodigal actor was notorious for his lavish, excessive, and unruly lifestyle.
    synonyms: wastrel; libertine
    antonyms: prudent
    12. pliable (adjective) easily bent or flexible
    NASA had to devise a new, more pliable spacesuit for the astronauts working on the space station.
    antonyms: rigid
    13. torpid (adjective) losing motion, feeling, or power; lacking in energy
    The sleeping gas caused the hero's mind to become torpid.
    synonyms: apathetic; lethargic
    antonyms: energetic
    14. tenuous (adjective) not dense or thick; having little substance
    Even though it was published, the dissertation put forth a very tenuous theory on intelligence.
    synonyms: thin; unconvincing; fragile
    antonyms: strong; cogent
    15. discordant (adjective) being in disagreement
    The angry and discordant voices echoed throughout the conference room.
    synonyms: conflicting
    antonyms: harmonious
    Lesson Nineteen
    1. mellifluous (adjective) having a rich, smoothly flowing sound
    The singer's mellifluous voice contributed to the relaxed atmosphere of the lounge.
    synonyms: harmonious
    antonyms: strident; discordant
    2. epicurean (adjective) taking pleasure in food and drink
    The epicurean chef taught his students not only how to cook food, but also how to enjoy it.
    synonyms: hedonistic; gourmet
    3. oeuvre (noun) the complete work of an artist, composer, or writer
    Shakespeare's oeuvre is one of the most respected groups of literary works ever written.
    synonyms: canon
    4. arbiter (noun) a person with the ability to resolve a disagreement; a judge
    The principal ended the conflict by acting as an arbiter between the two angry students.
    5. verdant (adjective) fresh and green, referring to plant life
    The verdant landscape reminded the O'Connells of their native Ireland so much that they decided to build a home there.
    synonyms: lush
    antonyms:   arid; sere
    6. vagary (noun) unpredictable action or behavior
    Kristin's vagaries prevented her from holding a job as an air traffic controller.
    synonyms: whim; caprice
    7. vacuous (adjective) lacking intelligence
    The student's vacuous expression revealed his failure to study for the test.
    synonyms: empty-headed
    antonyms: brilliant; shrewd
    8. attrition (noun) a wearing down over time
    The company faced a severe attrition of its stock prices because of bad publicity.
    synonyms: erosion
    antonyms: buildup; accretion
    9. archetype (noun) a prototype or original model
    The archetype for the first airplane was only a toy model, but it had led to jets and supersonic fighter planes.
    synonyms: model
    antonyms: product
    10. approbation (noun) formal approval of an act
    The president gave his approbation for the rescue of ten citizens who were being held hostage at a foreign embassy.
    synonyms: authorization
    antonyms: disapproval; opprobrium
    11. burgeon (verb) to grow, expand, or bloom
    Increased colonization caused the island city to burgeon.
    synonyms: swell
    antonyms: shrink; diminish
    12. commensurate (adjective) ab equal measure; corresponding in size and measurement
    Though Margie and Liz attended different universities, they received commensurate educations.
    synonyms: equivalent; comparable
    antonyms: unequal
    13. confluence (noun) a meeting or gathering together
    The United Nations General Assembly is a confluence of world thought.
    synonyms: convergence; concourse
    antonyms: divergence
    14. coup (noun) a surprising, brilliant, and usually successful act
    The rebels planned a coup to overthrow the current Prime Minister and install a new leader.
    synonyms: plot
    15. secular (adjective) not spiritual or religious; worldly
    Many religions warn of the dangers of the secular world because they believe it is full of sin.
    synonyms: earthly
    antonyms: religious
    Lesson Twenty
    1. insouciant (adjective) not concerned; free from care
    Jenna's insouciant attitude made her easy to befriend
    synonyms: nonchalant'
    antonyms: worried
    2. static (adjective)  without force or movement; stationary
    The old truck remained static in the front yard because it was out of gasoline.
    synonyms: immobile; inert
    antonyms: dynamic
    3. stipulate (verb) to specify a required part of an agreement
    The developer stipulated that before construction could begin, the homeowners must first provide a down payment.
    synonyms: require
    4. zeitgeist (noun) the general spirit of the time
    Some consider the zeitgeist of the 1960s to be one of moral decay, while others see it as a time of reform.
    5. proliferate (verb) to grow or reproduce rapidly
    The plant food enabled Bob's irises to proliferate through the flower bed. 
    synonyms: multiply
    antonyms: diminish
    6. tenet (noun) a belief or principle held to be true
    Belief in the Holy Trinity is one of the main tenets of Christianity.
    synonyms: cornerstone; creed
    7. ruminate (verb) to think deeply or repeatedly
    The great philosopher could often be found ruminating over the questions of humanity.
    synonyms: ponder; reflect
    8. vigilant (adjective) alert at all times; watchful
    The family's watchdog remained vigilant during the day, but he fell into a deep sleep at night.
    synonyms: alert
    antonyms: oblivious
    9. dissident (noun) someone who disagrees
    The dissidents of the proposed welfare bill staged a protest.
    synonyms: renegade
    antonyms: supporter
    10. petulant (adjective) rude in speech or behavior; peevish
    Mike's petulant remarks toward his boss earned him a demotion and a cut in pay.
    synonyms: contempuous
    antonyms: original
    11. derivative (noun) not the original; coming from another source
    The modern English word "engine" is a derivative of the Latin word "ingenium."
    synonyms: offspring; branch
    12. accolade (noun) an award or honor
    The reporter received accolades for her newest article that uncovered a serious money-laundering scandal.
    synonyms: kudos; recognition
    antonyms: opprobrium
    13. demur (verb) to disapprove or to take exception
    Martin demurred when Sandy suggested that they spend Friday evening at the ballet.
    synonyms: object; disagree
    antonyms: agree; acquiesce
    14. limpid (adjective) transparent; clear
    The warm, limpid waters of the Aegean Sea provide excellent snorkeling opportunities.
    antonyms: murky
    15. invidious (adjective) tending to cause discontent, harm, or resentment; offensively unfair
    The invidious book caused a huge controversy over implications that a leading presidential candidate committed a crime. 
    synonyms: malicious
    antonyms: conciliatory