Unit One Set One1. admonish (verb) to caution or advise against something; to scold mildly; to remind of a dutyThe librarian had to admonish the noisy students several times before they finally settled down.synonyms: warn, call on the carpetantonyms: praise, pat on the back2. breach (noun) an opening, gap, rupture, rift; a violation or infraction; (verb) to create an opening, break throughBecause of a serious breach of the rules, two players were ejected from the game. (noun)Our troops were unable to breach the enemy's lines during the battle. (verb)antonyms: close, seal3. brigand (noun) a bandit, robber, outlaw, highwaymanAncient caravans passing through desolate areas were sometimes attacked by brigands.4. circumspect (adjective) careful, cautiousIt is important for a diplomat to behave in a manner that is both discreet and circumspect.synonyms: wary, prudent, guardedantonyms: incautious, rash, reckless, heedless5. commandeer (verb) to seize for military or official useUnder certain circumstances the U.S. government has the right to commandeer private property.synonyms: take over, requisition, expropriate6. cumbersome (adjective) clumsy, hard to handle; slow-movingThe bus was filled to capacity with holiday shoppers carrying large and cumbersome packages.synonyms: unwieldy, ponderousantonyms: manageable, easy to handle7. deadlock (noun) a standstill resulting from the opposition of two equal forces or factions; (verb) to bring to such a standstillAfter fifteen innings, the score remained a frustrating 3-to-3 deadlock. (noun)The refusal of labor and management to modify their demands deadlocked the contract negotiations. (verb)synonyms: (noun) standoff, stalemate, impasseantonyms: (noun) agreement, accord, breakthrough8. debris (noun) scattered fragments, wreckageAfter the storm, the beach was littered with driftwood and other debris.synonyms: rubble, detritus, flotsam and jetsam9. diffuse (verb) to spread or scatter freely or widely; (adjective) wordy, long-winded, or unfocused; scattered or widely spreadThe scent of lilacs slowly diffused through the open window. (verb)The speech was so long and diffused that most members of the audience were thoroughly confused by it.synonyms: (verb) disperse; (adjective) rambling, verbose, prolixantonyms: (verb) concentrate; (adjective) brief, concise, succinct10. dilemma (noun) a difficult or perplexing situationDuring the crisis the President found himself caught in a painful dilemma.synonyms: predicament, quandary, pickle, bindantonyms: cinchUnit One Set Two1. efface (verb) to wipe out; to keep oneself from being noticedTime had effaced almost all signs of the struggle that took place on the famous battlefield.synonyms: blot out, erase, obliterate, expunge2. muddle (verb) to spread or scatter freely or widely; (adjective) wordy, long-winded, or unfocused; scattered or widely spreadThe scent of lilacs slowly diffused through the open window. (verb)The speech was so long and diffused that most members of the audience were thoroughly confused by it.synonyms: (verb) disperse; (adjective) rambling, verbose, prolixantonyms: (verb) concentrate; (adjective) brief, concise, succinct3. opinionated (adjective) stubborn and often unreasonable in holding to one's own ideas, having a closed mindMy boss is not too opinionated to listen to a reasonable proposal.synonyms: obstinate, pigheaded, inflexibleantonyms: open-minded, reasonable4. perennial (adjective) lasting for a long time, persistent; (noun) a plant that lives for many yearsPizza is a perennial favorite of young and old alike in the United States. (adjective)A garden of perennials is relatively easy to maintain. (noun)synonyms: (adjective) enduring, recurringantonyms: (adjective) brief, short-lived, fleeting, ephemeral5. predispose (verb) to incline to beforehandMy genetic makeup seems to predispose me to colds and sore throats.synonyms: make susceptible toantonyms: immunize against, shield from6. relinquish (verb) to let go, give upSevere illness forced me to relinquish my role in the school play.synonyms: surrender, abandonantonyms: hold on, keep, retain, cling to7. salvage (verb) to save from fire or shipwreck (noun) property thus savedFortunately, we were able to salvage a few things from the fire. (verb)Salvage from sunken ships can be of great value to archaeologists and historians. (noun)synonyms: (verb) rescue, recover, retrieve, reclaimantonyms: (verb) abandon, scrap, junk8. spasmodic (adjective) sudden and violent but brief; fitful; intermittentSpasmodic flashes of lightening and booming thunderclaps were accompanied by torrential rain.synonyms: irregular, occasionalantonyms: steady, continuous, chronic9. spurious (adjective) not genuine, not true, not validManufacturers who make spurious claims for their products may face fines or lawsuits.synonyms: false, counterfeit, fraudulent, bogusantonyms: genuine, authentic, bona fide, valid10. unbridled (adjective) uncontrolled, lacking in restraintSometimes the unbridled enthusiasm of sports fans can get a little out of hand.synonyms: unrestrained, uncheckedantonyms: restrained, held in check, mutedUnit Two Set 11. adjourn (verb) to stop proceedings temporarily; move to another placeThe judge adjourned the hearing until ten o'clock the following morning.synonyms: postpone, suspend, discontinueantonyms: open, call to order2. alien (noun) a citizen of a foreign country; (adjective) foreign, strangeMovies about aliens from outer space have been popular for decades. (noun)An alien species of plant or animal can upset the balance of an ecosystem. (adjective)synonyms: exotic, unfamiliar (adjective)antonyms: native, endemic, familiar (adjective)3. comely (adjective) having a pleasing appearanceThe proud parents and their comely children pose4d for a family portrait.synonyms: good-looking, attractive, bonnyantonyms: plain, homely, ugly, repulsive4. compensate (verb) to make up for; to repay for servicesThe manufacturer was ordered to compensate customers injured by the defective product.synonyms: pay back, reimburse, recompenseantonyms: fail to reward, stiff5. dissolute (adjective) loose in one's morals or behaviorThe mad Roman emperor Caligula led an extravagant and dissolute life.synonyms: dissipated, debauched, immoral, corruptantonyms: virtuous, chaste, moral, seemly, proper6. erratic (adjective) not regular or consistent; different from what is ordinarily expected; undependableStudents who have an erratic attendance record may find themselves disciplined by the principal.synonyms: irregular, inconsistent, unpredictableantonyms: steady, consistent, dependable7. expulsion (noun) the process of driving or forcing outThe story of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden is told in Genesis.synonyms: ejection, ouster, evictionantonyms: admittance, admission8. feint (noun) a deliberately deceptive movement; a pretense; (verb) to make a deceptive movement; to make a pretenseThe chess master's opening feint gave her an immediate advantage. (noun)His uncanny ability to feint and counterpunch made the champ unbeatable. (adjective)synonyms: trick, ruse, subterfuge, dodgem, bluff (noun)9. fodder (noun) food for horses or cattle; raw material for a designated purposeEvery experience in life is fodder for a novelist's imagination.synonyms: feed, provender10. fortify (verb) to strengthen, build upThe soldiers fortified the garrison against the expected attack.synonyms: reinforce, shore upantonyms: weaken, undermine, sap, impairUnit Two Set Two1. illegible (adjective) difficult or impossible to readThe effects of air pollution have rendered the inscriptions on many old gravestones illegible.synonyms: unreadable, indecipherable, scribbledantonyms: readable, decipherable, distinct, clear2. jeer (verb) to make fun of rudely or unkindly (noun) a rude remark of derisionTo jeer at someone with a disability is absolutely inexcusable. (verb)Umpires and referees quickly become immune to the jeers of angry fans. (noun)synonyms: laugh at, mock, taunt (verb)antonyms: applause, plaudits, accolades (noun)3. lucrative (adjective) bringing in money; profitableMany people find that they can turn a favorite hobby into a highly lucrative business.synonyms: gainful, moneymakingantonyms: unprofitable, losing, in the red4. mediocre (adjective) average, ordinary, undistinguishedThe team's number-one draft pick turned out to be a rather mediocre player, not a star who could lead them to the championship.synonyms: run-of-the-millantonyms: exceptional, outstanding, distinguished5. proliferate (verb) to reproduce, increase, or spread rapidlyBecause malignant cells proliferate, early detection of cancer is absolutely crucial to successful treatment.synonyms: multiply, mushroom, burgeonantonyms: decrease, diminish, dwindle, slack off6. subjugate (verb) to conquer by force, bring under complete control"We must act quickly," the general said, "in order to subjugate the rebel forces."synonyms: subdue, vanquish, masterantonyms: be conquered, submit, surrender7. sully (verb) to soil, stain, tarnish, defile, besmirchThe Watergate scandal sullied the image of politicians in the minds of many voters.synonyms: pollute, taint, smearantonyms: cleanse, purify, decontaminate8. tantalize (verb) to tease, torment by teasingWhen I am on a diet, the treats in bakery windows seem to have been put there to tantalize me.synonyms: tempt, lead on, make one's mouth waterantonyms: satisfy, fulfill, gratify9. terse (adjective) brief and to the pointThe manuscript for my short story was returned to me with a terse letter of rejection.synonyms: concise, succinct, crisp, short and sweetantonyms: verbose, wordy, diffuse, prolix10. unflinching (adjective) firm, showing no signs of fear, not drawing backEveryone admires the unflinching courage with which firefighters and other rescue workers carry out the dangerous jobs.synonyms: resolute, steadfast, unwaveringantonyms: irresolute, wavering, vacillatingUnit Three Set 11. abridge (verb) to make shorterTravel by air abridges the time needed to reach far-distant places.synonyms: shorten, condense, abbreviateantonyms: expand, enlarge, augment2. adherent (noun) a follower, supporterThe senator's loyal adherent campaigned long and hard for her reelection.synonyms: discipleantonyms: opposite, adversary, critic, detractor3. altercation (noun) an angry argumentA noisy altercation in the next apartment kept me awake for hours.synonyms: quarrel, dispute, squabbleantonyms: agreement, accord4. cherubic (adjective) resembling an angel portrayed as a little child with a beautiful, round, or chubby face; sweet and innocentHow well those photographs of the month-old twins capture the cherubic expressions on their faces!synonyms: angelic, seraphic, beatificantonyms: impish, devilish, diabolic, fiendish5. condone (verb) to pardon or overlookOur parents have always made it crystal clear to us that they do not condone rude behavior.synonyms: ignore, wink at, turn a blind eye toantonyms: censure, condemn, disapprove, deprecate6. dissent (verb) to disagreeJustices have an option to dissent from a ruling issued by a majority of the Supreme Court.synonyms: differ, disputeantonyms: agree, concur7. eminent (adjective) famous, outstanding, distinguished, projectingA group of eminent scientists met to discuss long-term changes in Earth's climate.synonyms: illustrious, renownedantonyms: obscure, nameless, unsung, lowly, humble8. exorcise (verb) to drive out by magic; to dispose of something troublesome, menacing, or oppressiveWe must do all we can to exorcise the evils of hatred and prejudice from our society.synonyms: expel, dispel9. fabricate (verb) to make, manufacture; to make up, inventThreads from the cocoons of caterpillars called silkworms are used to fabricate silk.synonyms: put together, devise, contrive, concoctantonyms: take apart, undo, destroy, demolish10. irate (adjective) angryLong delays caused by bad weather are likely to make even the most unflappable traveler irate.synonyms: incensed, infuriated, enraged, lividantonyms: calm, composed, cool, unruffledUnit Three Set Two1. marauder (noun) a raider, plundererEdgar Allan Poe's story "The Gold Bug" concerns treasure buried by the marauder Captain Kidd.synonyms: looter, pirate, freebooter2. obesity (noun) excessive fatnessSooner or later, obesity leads to all sorts of health problems.synonyms: serious overweight, extreme corpulenceantonyms: emaciation, gauntness, scrawniness3. pauper (noun) an extremely poor personDuring the Great Depression, many people were reduced to leading the desperate lives of paupers.synonyms: destitute personantonyms: millionaire, tycoon4. pilfer (verb) to steal in small quantitiesAn employee who pilfers from the petty cash box will get caught sooner or later.synonyms: filch, rob, swipe, purloin5. rift (noun) a split, break, breachFailure to repay a loan can be the cause of an angry rift between longtime friends.synonyms: crack, fissure, gap, cleftantonyms: reconciliation6. semblance (noun) a likeness; an outward appearance; an apparitionDespite a strange case of stage fright, I tried to maintain a semblance of calm as I sang my solo.synonyms: appearance, air, aura, veneer, façadeantonyms: dissimilarity, contrast, total lack7. surmount (verb) to overcome, rise aboveWilma Rudolph surmounted childhood illness and physical disabilities to win three Olympic gold medals.synonyms: conquer, triumph overantonyms: be vanquished, be defeated, succumb to8. terminate (verb) to bring to an endIf you fail to perform your job satisfactorily, your boss may terminate your employment.synonyms: conclude, finish, discontinueantonyms: begin, commence, initiate9. trite (adjective) commonplace; overused, staleWhen you write an esay or a story, be especially careful to avoid using trite expressions.synonyms: banal, hackneyed, cornyantonyms: original, novel, fresh, innovative10. usurp (verb) to seize and hold a position by force or without rightThe general who led the coup usurped the office of the duly elected president.synonyms: seize illegally, commandeer, supplantUnit Four Set One1. abscond (verb) to run off and hideThe thieves who absconded with several of the museum's most valuable paintings have never been found.synonyms: bolt, make off, skip town2. access (noun) approach or admittance to places, persons, things; an increaseAccess to information on a seemingly unlimited number of topics is available over the internet.synonyms: entry, admittance, entréeantonyms: total exclusion3. anarchy (noun) lack of government and law; confusionIn the final days of a war, civilians may find themselves living in anarchy.synonyms: chaos, disorder, turmoil, pandemoniumantonyms: law and order, peace and quiet4. arduous (adjective) hard to do, requiring much effortNo matter hopw carefully you plan for it, moving to a new home is an ardous chore.synonyms: hard, difficult, laborious, fatiguingantonyms: easy, simple, effortless5. auspicious (adjective) favorable; fortunateMy parents describe the day that they first met as a most auspicious occasion.synonyms: promising, encouraging, propitiousantonyms: ill-omened, ominous, sinister6. biased (adjective) favoring one side unduly; prejudicedAthletes in certain sports may complain that judges are biased toward particular competitors.synonyms: unfair, partial, bigotedantonyms: fair, impartial, unprejudiced, just7. daunt (verb) to overcome with fear, intimidate; to dishearten, discourageDespite all its inherent dangers, space flight did not daunt the Mercury program astronauts.synonyms: dismay, cowantonyms: encourage, embolden, reassure8. disentangle (verb) to free from tangles or complicationsRescuers worked for hours to disentangle a whale from the fishing new wrapped around its jaws.synonyms: unravel, unwind, unscramble, unsnarlantonyms: tangle up, ensnarl, snag9. fated (adjective) determined in advance by destiny or fortuneThe tragic outcome of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is fated from the play's very first scene.synonyms: destined, preordained, doomedantonyms: accidental, fortuitous, chance, random10. hoodwink (verb) to mislead by a trick, deceiveMany sweepstakes offers hoodwink people into thinking they have already won big prizes.synonyms: dupe, put one over onantonyms: undeceive, disabuse, clue inUnit Four Set Two1. inanimate (adjective) not having life; without energy or spiritAlthough fossils are inanimate, they hold many clues to life on Earth millions of years ago.synonyms: lifeless, dead, inert, spiritlessantonyms: living, alive, energetic, lively, sprightly2. incinerate (verb) to burn to ashesBecause of environmental concerns, many cities and towns no longer incinerate their garbage.synonyms: burn up, cremate, reduce to ashes3. intrepid (adjective) brave, fearless, unshakableIntrepid Polynesians sailors in outrigger canoes were the first humans to reach the Hawaiian islands.synonyms: valiant, courageous, audacious, daringantonyms: timid, cowardly, craven, pusillanimous4. larceny (noun) theftSomeone who steals property that is worth thousands of dollars commits grand larceny.synonyms: stealing, robbery, burglary5. pliant (adjective) bending easily; easily influencedThe pliant branches of the sapling sagged but did not break under the weight of the heavy snow.synonyms: supple, flexible, elastic, plasticantonyms: rigid, stiff, inflexible, set in stone6. pompous (adjective) overly self-important in speech and manner; excessively stately or ceremoniousPolitical cartoonists like nothing better than to mock pompous public officials.synonyms: pretentious, highfalutin, bombasticantonyms: unpretentious, unaffected, plain7. precipice (noun) a very steep cliff; the brink or edge of disasterDuring the Cuban Missile Crisis, the world hovered on the precipice of nuclear war.synonyms: cliff, crag, bluff, promontory, ledgeantonyms: abyss, chasm, gorge8. rectify (verb) to make right, correctThe senators debated a series of measures designed to rectify the nation's trade imbalance.synonyms: remedy, set rightantonyms: mess up, botch, bungle9. reprieve (noun) a temporary relief or delayA vacation is a kind of reprieve from the cares and responsibilities of everyday life.synonyms: stay, respite10. revile (verb) to attack with words, call bad namesThe enraged King Lear reviled the daughters who have cast him out into a fierce storm.synonyms: inveigh against, malign, vilify, denounceantonyms: praise, acclaim, revere, idolizeUnit Five Set One1. accomplice (noun) a person who takes part in a crimeThe driver of the getaway car was arrested and tried as an accomplice in the daring bank robbery.synonyms: partner in crime, confederate2. annihilate (verb) to destroy completelyThroughout history, nations that are bitter enemies have sought to annihilate each other.synonyms: obliterate, decimate, demolishantonyms: foster, promote, encourage, nurture3. arbitrary (adjective) unreasonable; based on one's wishes or whims without regard for reason or fairnessA judge may be criticized for rulings that appear to be arbitrary and without legal precedent.synonyms: capricious, high-handed, autocraticantonyms: reasoned, rational, objective, equitable4. brazen (adjective) shameless, impudent; made of brassBehavior considered brazen in one era may be deemed perfectly acceptable in another.synonyms: saucy, boldantonyms: deferential, respectful, self-effacing5. catalyst (noun) a substance that causes or hastens a chemical reaction; any agent that causes changeEnzymes are catalysts that aid in the digestion of food.synonyms: stimulus, spur, instigator6. exodus (noun) a large-scale departure or flightThe exodus of African Americans to the indistrialized northern states is known as the Great Migration.synonyms: emigration, escape, hegiraantonyms: immigration, influx, arrival, entrance7. facilitate (verb) to make easier; to assistThe Federal Reserve Board may lower interest rates in order to facilitate economic growth.synonyms: ease, smooth the way, simplifyantonyms: hamper, hinder, obstruct, impede8. incorrigible (adjective) not able to be corrected; beyond controlCriminals deemed incorrigible can expect to receive maximum sentences for their offenses against society.synonyms: unruly, intractable, incurable, inveterateantonyms: tractable, docile, curable, reparable9. latent (adjective) hidden, present but not realizedDon't you think it's sad that many people use only a small fraction of their latent abilities?synonyms: dormant, inactive, undevelopedantonyms: exposed,l manifest, evident10. militant (adjective) given to fighting; active and aggressive in support of a causeIn the struggle for civil rights, Martin Luther King, Jr., advocated peaceful rather than militant protest.synonyms: truculentantonyms: unassertive, peaceable, passiveUnit Five Set Two1. morose (adjective) having a gloomy or sullen manner; not friendly or sociableHeathcliff is the morose and vengeful protagonist in Emily Bronte's novel Wuthering Heights.synonyms: morbid, dolefulantonyms: cheerful, blithe, jaunty, buoyant2. opaque (adjective) not letting light through; not clear or lucid; dense, stupidI have read that book twice, but I still find the author's meaning completely opaque.synonyms: hazy, cloudy, foggy, murky, dull, obtuseantonyms: transparent, clear, bright, perceptive3. paramount (adjective) chief in importance, above all othersVoters should insist that candidates for high office address the paramount issues facing our society.synonyms: supreme, foremost, primary, dominantantonyms: secondary, subordinate, ancillary4. prattle (verb) to talk in an aimless, foolish, or simple way; to babbleSome people can prattle away on the phone for hours on end.synonyms: chatter5. rebut (verb) to offer arguments or evidence that contradicts an assertion; to refuteIt is a defense lawyer's job to rebut the charges made by the prosecutor.synonyms: disprove, confute, shoot holes inantonyms: confirm, corroborate, substantiate6. reprimand (verb) to scold; find fault withA judge may need to reprimand a lawyer for repeatedly harassing a witness.synonyms: reprove, reproachantonyms: praise, pat on the back7. servitude (noun) slavery, forced laborIn Les Miserables, Jean Valjean is sentenced to many years of servitude for stealing a loaf of bread.synonyms: captivity, bondage, thralldomantonyms: freedom, liberty8. slapdash (adjective) careless and hastyLandlords who routinely make slapdash repairs should be considered negligent.synonyms: cursory, perfunctory, sloppy, slipshodantonyms: painstaking, meticulous, thorough, in-depth9. stagnant (adjective) not running or flowing; foul from standing still; inactive, sluggish, dullIt is dangerous for hikers to drink water from any source that appears to be stagnant.synonyms: still, motionless, inert, fetidantonyms: flowing, running, fresh, sweet10. succumb (verb) to give way to superior force, yieldMost dieters occasionally succumb to the lure of a high-calorie dessertsynonyms: submit, die, expireantonyms: overcome, master, conquerUnit Six Set One1. atone (verb) to make up forAt one time or another, everyone has done something he or she needs to atone for.synonyms: expiate, make amends for2. bondage (noun) slavery; any state of being bound or held downMany people escaped the cruel bondage of slavery with the help of the Underground Railroad.synonyms: servitude, captivity, subjection, dependenceantonyms: freedom, liberty, independence3. credible (adjective) believableDo you have a credible explanation for not completing your assignment on time?synonyms: plausible, acceptable, likelyantonyms: unbelievable, implausible, improbable4. defray (verb) to pay forCorporate sponsors helped to defray the cost of the charity's annual telethon.synonyms: settle, bear the cost, foot the bill5. diligent (adjective) hardworking, industrious, not lazyDiligent employees are likely to be well rewarded for their dedication and hard work.synonyms: assiduous, sedulousantonyms: lazy, indolent, cursory, perfunctory6. doleful (adjective) sad; drearyOne look at the players' doleful faces told me that the team had lost the championship game.synonyms: sorrowful, mournful, melancholy, dolorousantonyms: cheerful, blithe, jaunty, buoyant7. ghastly (adjective) frightful, horrible; deathly paleSome people are almost afraid to go to sleep because they suffer from ghastly recurring nightmares.synonyms: dreadful, appaling, gruesome, grislyantonyms: pleasant, agreeable, attractive, delightful8. hamper (verb) to hold backPoor grades will hamper you in your effort to get a college education.synonyms: hinder, obstruct, impede, inhibitantonyms: facilitate, ease, smooth the way9. hew (verb) to shape or cut down with an ax; to hold toEven in a crisis, we must hew to this nation's principles of liberty, equality, and justice.synonyms: chop, hack, fell, adhere, conform10. impoverished (adjective) poor; in a state of poverty; depletedAfter World War II, impoverished European countriesd received U.S. aid under the Marshall Plan.synonyms: poverty-stricken, destitute, indigentantonyms: rich, wealthy, affluent, prosperousUnit Six Set Two1. incessant (adjective) never stopping; going on all the timeThe loud and incessant chatter of the people at the next table made it hard for us to hear each other.synonyms: ceaseless, constant, uninterruptedantonyms: occasional, sporadic, intermittent2. intricate (adjective) complicated; difficult to understandOur teacher took us through the intricate solution to the equation step by step.synonyms: complex, convolutedantonyms: simple, uninvolved, uncomplicated3. lucid (adjective) easy to understand, clear; rational, saneThe ability to speak in a lucid and persuasive fashion is a great asset for a politician.synonyms: limpid, intelligibleantonyms: murky, muddy, obscure, unintelligible4. posthumous (adjective) occurring or published after deathMany artists and writers have been ignored during their lifetimes only to achieve posthumous fame.synonyms: postmortemantonyms: prenatal5. prim (adjective) overly neat, precise, proper, or formal; prudishHow is it that such a prim and tidy person and such a messy one can be such good friends?synonyms: fussy, fastidious, squeamishantonyms: dowdy, frumpy, sloppy, untidy, loose, lax6. sardonic (adjective) grimly or scornfully mocking, bitterly sarcasticGreat satirists save their most sardonic wit for the greedy, the corrupt, and the hypocritical.synonyms: caustic, mordant, acerbic, wryantonyms: bland, mild, saccharine, good-natured7. superfluous (adjective) exceeding what is sufficient or required, excessNeat and well-organized people know how to eliminate all superfluous clutter.synonyms: surplus, supererogatoryantonyms: necessary, essential, vital, indispensable8. supplant (verb) to take the place or, supersedeComputers rapidly supplanted typewriters in the workplace, just as photocopiers replaced carbon paper.synonyms: replace, displace, oust9. taunt (verb) to jeer at, mockIt is not at all unusual for brothers and sisters to tease and taunt one another good-naturedly.synonyms: ridicule, derideantonyms: cheer, applaud, acclaim10. tenacious (adjective) holding fast; holding together firmly; persistentAthletes must be tenacious in the pursuit of excellence if they hope to become Olympic champions.synonyms: obstinate, stubborn, doggedantonyms: yielding, weak, gentle, lax, slackUnit Seven Set One1. adieu (noun) a farewellWhen the hour grew late, the last of the dinner guests made their adieu to their gracious hosts.synonyms: good-byeantonyms: greeting2. advent (noun) an arrival; a coming into place or viewThe advent of spring is particularly welcome after a long, harsh winter.synonyms: approachantonyms: departure, going away, exodus3. apex (noun) the highest point, tipIf you want to reach the apex of the Washington Monument, you can take the stairs or the elevator.synonyms: peak, summit, acme, crowning pointantonyms: bottom, nadir4. assimilate (verb) to absorb fully or make one's own; to adopt as one's own; to adapt fullyA well-read person assimilates knowledge of a wide range of subjects.synonyms: digest, incorporate, blend in5. bogus (adjective) false, counterfeitCashiers receive special training so that they will be able to identify bogus currency.synonyms: phony, fake, spuriousantonyms: genuine, authentic6. exorbitant (adjective) unreasonably high; excessiveManagement rejected the union's demands for higher wages and better benefits as exorbitant.synonyms: extreme, inordinate, overpricedantonyms: inexpensive, affordable, reasonable7. interim (adjective) temporary, coming between two points in timeThe team played well under an interim coach for the final three months of the season.synonyms:provisional, stopgap8. inundate (verb) to flood, overflow; to overwhelm by numbers or sizeTorrential rains and high tides inundated the streets of the picturesque seaside community.synonyms: submerge, deluge, swamp9. malign (verb) to speak evil of, slanderIn every office, there are gossips who are only too willing to malign their coworkers.synonyms: defame, vilify, badmouthantonyms: praise, commend10. meander (verb) to wander about, wind aboutWhen I travel, I like to meander through unfamiliar towns and cities.synonyms: ramble, roam, zigzag, twistUnit Seven Set Two1. metropolis (noun) a large city; the chief city of an areaArchaeologists have learned much about the Mayans from the ruins of the metropolis Palenque.synonyms: large urban centerantonyms: hamlet, village2. momentous (adjective) very importantA momentous decision by the Supreme Court in 1954 declared public school segregation unconstitutional.synonyms: consequential, weighty, portentousantonyms: inconsequential, trivial, slight, unimportant3. obstreperous (adjective) noisy; unruly, disorderlyOur teacher will not tolerate obstreperous behavior in the classroom.synonyms: wild, rowdy, uncontrolled, riotousantonyms: quiet, well-behaved, docile4. pensive (adjective) thoughtful; melancholyWe admired the skill with which the artist captured the child's pensive expression.synonyms: dreamy, reflective, contemplative, wistful5. perilous (adjective) dangerousEpisodes of old-time movie serials usually ended with the hero or heroine in perilous circumstances.synonyms: risky, chancy, hazardous, unsafeantonyms: safe, secure, harmless6. shoddy (adjective) of poor quality; characterized by inferior workmanshipThat designer watch I bought from a street vendor turned out to be a shoddy knockoff.synonyms: flimsy, cheap, tacky, imitativeantonyms: well-made, solid, durable, superior7. sprightly (adjective) lively, full of life; spicy, flavorfulThough Grandmother is well into her eighties, she is still as sprightly as a teenager.synonyms: frisky, peppy, spirited, animated, buoyantantonyms: sullen, spiritless, dull, morose, sluggish8. surly (adjective) angry and bad-tempered; rudePassengers stranded in an airport because their flight is canceled may become quite surly.synonyms: gruff, sullen, cranky, grouchy, hostileantonyms: polite, gracious, civil, friendly, genial9. tirade (noun) a long, angry speech, usually very criticalThe dictator's televised tirade against his opponents lasted for four hours.synonyms: harangue, diatribe, tongue-lashing10. vagrant (noun) an idle wanderer, trampDuring the Great Depression, many people lost everything and were forced to live as vagrants.synonyms: drifter, vagabond, hobo, nomadantonyms: stay-at-home, homebody, residentUnit Eight Set One1. assurance (noun) a pledge; freedom from doubt, self-confidenceThe airport was built with the assurance that all the people displaced by its construction would be fairly compensated.synonyms: promise, sureness, poise, self-possessionantonyms: uncertainty, doubt, insecurity2. asylum (noun) an institution for the care of children, elderly people, etc.; a place of safetySome refuges are political fugitives who have fled their homeland to seek asylum in another country.synonyms: sanatorium, sanctuary, refuge3. console (verb) to comfortA neighbor tried to console the sobbing child whose cat had wandered away.synonyms: soothe, solace, alleviateantonyms: distress, aggravate, bother, vex, torment4. dilate (verb) to make larger or wider; to expand uponThe opthalmologist said she would dilate the pupil before examining the injured eye.synonyms: enlarge, expand, swell, prolong5. dross (noun) refuse, waste productsThe dross from the manufacturing process turned out to be highly toxic.synonyms: rubbish, trash, detritus, dregs, scum6. dwindle (verb) to lessen, diminishDuring the coldest weeks of winter, the pile of firewood slowly dwindled until there were no logs left.synonyms: decrease, shrink, fade, peter outantonyms: increase, enlarge, swell, proliferate7. flippant (adjective) lacking in seriousness; disrespectful, saucyParents and other adults are often upset by a teenager's flippant responses.synonyms: frivolous, impudent, impertinent, insolentantonyms: serious, respectful, deferential, obsequious8. immunity (noun) resistance to disease; freedom from some charge or obligationMost babies are vaccinated so that they develop an immunity to measles.synonyms: exemption, impunityantonyms: vulnerability, susceptibility, exposure9. institute (noun) an organization for the promotion of learningAfter graduating from high school, I plan to attend an accredited institute of technology.synonyms: academy10. liability (noun) a debt; something disadvantageousA limited attention span is his biggest liability as a student.synonyms: handicap, difficulty, impediment, drawbackantonyms: advantage, assetUnit Eight Set Two1. preposterous (adjective) ridiculous, senselessThe theory that Stonehenge was constructed by alien life-forms is utterly preposterous.synonyms: nonsensical, absurd, incredibleantonyms: sensible, reasonable, realistic, plausible2. pugnacious (adjective) quarrelsome, fond of fightingThe fox terrier is a particularly pugnacious breed of dog known for its aggressive behavior.synonyms: argumentative, combatitive, belligerentantonyms: peace-loving, friendly, amicable, congenial3. rabid (adjective) furious, violently intense, unreasonably extreme; mad; infected with rabiesPolice arrived in force to quell the riot set off by rabid soccer fans.synonyms: fanatical, zealous, raving, infuriated, berserkantonyms: moderate, restrained, blase, indifferent4. realm (noun) a kingdom; a region or field of studyWhile astronomy falls within the realm of science, astrology does not.synonyms: domain, duchy, baliwick, jurisdiction5. rejuvanate (verb) to make young again; to make like newA few minutes of conversation with my best friend helped to rejuvenate my flagging spirits.synonyms: revitalize, renewantonyms: wear out, exhaust, enervate, debilatate6. remunerate (verb) to reward, pay, reimburseThe couple promised to remunerate the artist handsomely for a portrait of their child.synonyms: compensate, satisfy, profit, benefit7. sparse (adjective) meager, scant; scatteredUnlike its neighboring metropolis, the area has quite a sparse population.synonyms: thin, scanty, few and far betweenantonyms: plentiful, abundant, profuse, teeming8. sterling (adjective) genuine, excellent; made of silver of standard finenessThe reviewer noted the young actor's sterling performance in A Midsummer Night's Dream.synonyms: first-rate, outstanding, worthy, pureantonyms: mediocre, shoddy, second-rate, sham9. venture (noun) a risky or daring undertaking; (verb) to expose to danger; to dareAn overseas voyage was a daunting venture during the age of exploration. (noun)It takes courage to venture out into unknown territory. (verb)synonyms: (noun) gamble; (verb) try, chance, undertakeantonyms: (verb) withdraw, retre, shrink from, shy away10. warp (verb) to twist out of shape (noun) an abnormalityThe carpenter explained that humidity caused the kitchen door to warp. (verb)Criminal behavior often shows a striking lack of judgment or a warp in thinking. (noun)synonyms: (verb) bend, distort, misshape; (noun) irregularityantonyms: (verb) straighten, unbend, rectifyUnit Nine Set One1. auxillary (adjective) giving assistance or support; (noun) a helper, aidIf the main motor fails, the instructions say to turn on the auxillary motor. (adjective)Someone second in command is an auxillary to the person in charge. (noun)synonyms: (adjective) additional, back-up; (noun) reserve, accessoryantonyms: (adjective) main, primary, principal2. candid (adjective) frank, sincere; impartial. unposedIt is safe to be candid about our faults with friends and loved ones.synonyms: forthright, plainspoken, unbiasedantonyms: insincere, evasive, misleading, artful3. cubicle (noun) a small room or compartmentThe tiniest compartment is usually assigned to the newest employee.synonyms: enclosure, hole-in-the-wallantonyms: vast hall. auditorium4. drudgery (noun) work that is hard and tiresomeTrade unions lobby to relieve the endless drudgery of factory workers.synonyms: toil, labor, grindantonyms: play, frolic, amusement, recreation, fun5. envoy (noun) a representative or messenger (as of a government)On more than one occasion, a former President has been asked to act as a special envoy to the United Nations.synonyms: agent, ambassador, emissary, minister6. escalate (verb) to elevate; to increase in intensityA small dispute can escalate into a major conflict unless the opposing parties sit down and talk.synonyms: climb, raise, ascend, mountantonyms: decrease, lessen, descend, defuse7. expedient (noun) a means to an end; (adjective) advantageous, usefulAs an expedient, we chose to use a rock as a makeshift hammer. (noun)An opportunist is someone who is always ready to do whatever is most expedient. (adjective)synonyms: (noun) contrivance, device; (adjective) serviceableantonyms: (adjective) inconvient, untimely, disadvantageous8. feign (verb) to pretendChildren sometimes feign illness to avoid going to school.synonyms: fake, sham, affect, simulate9. flair (noun) a natural talent, quality, or skill; a distinctive styleAn opera singer needs a flair for the dramatic as well as a good voice.synonyms: aptitude, bent, knack, gift, style, panacheantonyms: inability, incapacity10. grievous (adjective) causing sorrow or pain; seriousReporters should take careful notes when interviewing to avoid making grievous errors.synonyms: painful, heartrending, onerous, flagrantantonyms: joyful, uplifting, cheery, upbeat, comfortingUnit Nine Set Two1. heterogeneous (adjective) composed of different kinds, diversesynonyms: miscellananeous, mixed, variegatedantonyms: uniform, homogeneous, of a piece2. horde (noun) a vast number (as of people); a throngWhen the doors opened, a horde of shoppers headed towards the sales racks.synonyms: crowd, mass, multitude, host, swarmantonyms: few, handful3. impel (verb) to force, drive forwardHunger often impels people to leave their homes in search of food.synonyms: urge, push, spur, propel, inciteantonyms: discourage, check, restrain, curb4. incredulous (adjective) disbelieving, skepticalWhen the testimony of a witness contradicts the evidence, you can expect incredulous stares from the jury.synonyms: dubious, mistrustful, doubtingantonyms: believing, trustful, gullible5. inscribe (verb) to write or engrave; to enter a name on a listThe young man asked the jeweler to inscribe the locket with his fiancee's name.synonyms: imprint, enroll, enlistantonyms: erase, rub out, delete, efface, obliterate6. monologue (noun) a speech by one actior; a long talk by one personBy means of a monologue, a playwright shares a character's private thoughts with the audience.synonyms: soliloquy, recitationantonyms: dialogue, conversation, colloquy7. prognosis (noun) a forecast of the probable course and outcome of a disease or situationsynonyms: (noun) contrivance, device; (adjective) serviceableantonyms: (adjective) inconvient, untimely, disadvantageous8. rasping (adjective) with a harsh, grating sound; (noun) a harsh soundChronic bronchitis can lead to a rasping cough that is difficult to cure. (adjective)The rasping of metal against metal sets my teeth on edge. (noun)synonyms: (adjective) scratchy, scraping, abrasive, gravellyantonyms: (adjective) sonorous, smooth, satiny, silky, mellow9. repugnant (adjective) offensive, disagreeable, distastefulDespite their repugnant lack of cleanliness, pigs are endearing to many people.synonyms: hateful, odious, revolting, repulsiveantonyms: pleasing, attractive, tempting, wholesome10. scuttle (verb) to sink a ship by cutting holes in it; to get rid of something in a decisive way; to run hastily, scurry; (noun) a pailPirates would not wish to scuttle a captured galleon before looting its cargo. (verb)Years ago, it was possible to buy a scuttle of coal at the corner grocery store.synonyms: (verb) abandon, discard, scrap, ditch, dumpantonyms: (verb) keep afloat, salvage, rescue, preserveUnit Ten Set One1. adept (adjective) thoroughly skilled; (noun) an expertNot only is the soloist an accomplished singer, but he is also adept at playing the saxophone. (adjective)An adept at chess, she hopes to compete in tournaments against top-rated players. (noun)synonyms: (adjective) masterful, accomplished, proficientantonyms: (adjective) clumsy, unskilled, maladroit; (noun) novice2. aspire (verb) to have ambitious hopes or plans, strive toward a higher goal, desire earnestly; to ascendAn early fascination with ants led the young naturalist to aspire to a career as an entomologist.synonyms: seek, yearn, aim for, soar3. bleak (adjective) abare, dreary, dismalUrban renewal can turn a run-down city with bleak economic prospects into a flourishing metropolis.synonyms: grim, cheerless, gloomy, desolate, barrenantonyms: rosy, cheerful, sunny, promising, encouraging4. chide (verb) to blame; scoldThe teacher chided the student for truancy and tardiness.synonyms: upbraid, reprimand, rebuke, chastiseantonyms: approve, praise, compliment, pat on the back5. despicable (adjective) worthy of scorn, contemptibleWhatever the provocation, there is no justification for such despicable behavior.synonyms: low, vile, cheap, sordid, detestableantonyms: praiseworthy, comendable, meritorious6. diminutive (adjective) small, smaller than most others of the same typeThe diminutive lapdog was so small that it actually fit in its owner's purse.synonyms: undersized, miniature, tiny, compactantonyms: oversized, gigantic, huge, enormous7. emancipate (verb) to free from slavery; to release or liberateScientific knowledge can liberate humanity from blind superstition.synonyms: set loose, unchain, unshackle, unfetterantonyms: enslave, snare, chain, shackle8. erroneous (adjective) incorrect, containing mistakesAn erroneous first impression is not easily corrected.synonyms: mistaken, fallacious, all wrongantonyms: accurate, correct, exact, unerring9. exploit (verb) to make use of, develop; to make improper use of for personal profit; (noun) a feat, deedA good debater knows how to exploit weaknesses in an opponent's argument. (verb)The exploits of Robin Hood and his Merry Men are so well known that they have become a part of Western culture. (noun)synonyms: (verb) utilize, turn to advantage, misuse10. extemporaneous (adjective) made or delivered on the spur of the momentThe stand-up comedian's outrageous act included about twenty minutes of completely extemporaneous banter.synonyms: spontaneous, impromptu, off-the-cuffantonyms: planned, rehearsed, preparedUnit Ten Set Two1. impair (verb) to make imperfect, damage, harmsynonyms: injure, mar, disable, cripple, enervateantonyms: improve, strengthen, promote, advance2. invincible (adjective) not able to be defeated, unbeatableNapolean I, emporer of France, was invincible until he launched a disasterous invasion of Russia.synonyms: unconquerable, indomitable, insuperableantonyms: vulnerable, conquerable, surmountable3. languid (adjective) drooping; without energy, sluggishA big lunch makes me feel languid for the rest of the day.synonyms: lazy, sluggih, listless, slack, lethargicantonyms: lively, energetic, vigorous, enliveningCongress will never ratify that bill mired in controversy. (verb)synonyms: (noun) marsh, swamp, bog, slough5. obtrusive (adjective) forward; undesirably prominent; thrust outI don't blame you for being put off by his obtrusive attempt to dominate the conversation.synonyms: brash, impudent, conspicuous, protrudingantonyms: meek, reserved, deferential, recessed6. preamble (noun) an introduction to a speech or piece of writingThe preamble to the Constitution describes the purpose of our national government.synonyms: opening, preface, prologue, preliminaryantonyms: conclusion, ending, closing, epilogue7. render (verb) to cause to become; to perform; to deliver officially; to process, extractThe freelance writer presented the managing editor with a bill for services rendered.
synonyms: present, furnish, submit, make, effect8. rugged (adjective) rough, irregular; severe, stern; strong, stormySettlers had a rough time crossing the rugged Appalachian Mountains.synonyms: rocky, craggy, blunt, harsh, hardy, toughantonyms: smooth, flat, soft, mild, tender, delicate9. skeptical (adjective) inclined to doubt; slow to accept something as trueI am skeptical of promises made by politicians when they are running for office.synonyms: dubious, suspicious, incredulousantonyms: believing, credulous, gullible, ingenuous10. slipshod (adjective) untidy in dress, personal habit, etc.; careless, sloppyThe commission attributed the unfortunate collapse of the apartment building to its slipshod construction.synonyms: messy, untidy, slovenly, slapdash, cursoryantonyms: tidy, neat, orderly, careful, painstaking