Gargantuan Vocabulary List Part IV

outmoded Made unfashionable or obsolete

outsider A person who does not belong to a particular group

ovation Enthusiastic recognition (especially one accompanied by loud


overcome To win a victory over; to defeat

overdue Delayed beyond the proper time of arrival or payment

overestimate To appraise too highly (a person, ability, cost, etc.)

overflow To flow or run over (a limit or brim)

overhaul To make repairs or adjustments to; to modernize

overlooked Not taken into account

overnight Lasting through or extending over the whole night

overrun To invade and occupy or ravage

oversight Omission resulting from failure to notice something

overthrow To cause the downfall of

overwhelm To overcome by superior force or numbers

overwhelming Tending to overpower in thought or feeling

pains Troubles or efforts taken to accomplish something

pale Very light colored; highly diluted with white

palette A flat surface on which artists mix paints and the range of colors


palliative Covering by excuses and apologies

pallid Abnormally deficient in color as suggesting physical or emotional

distress; pale

pander To provide gratification for others’ desires

pant To breathe quickly, spasmodically, or in a labored manner

pantomime A performance using gestures and body movements without


parallel Similar, analogous, or interdependent in tendency or development

paramount Having superior power and influence

paranoid Suffering from irrational fear, distrust, suspicion, or delusions of


paraphrase Rewording for the purpose of clarification

parasite An animal or plant that lives in or on another and from which it

obtains nourishment

parched Dried out by heat or excessive exposure to sunlight

pardoned Forgiven; absolved; excused; overlooked; acquitted

pariah A person who is rejected (from society or home)

parody Humorous or satirical mimicry

partial Being or affecting only a part; not total

parting The act of dividing; the state of being parted; division; separation

partisan Affiliated with one party or faction

passengers People traveling in a vehicle (a boat, bus, car, plane, train, etc.)

who are not operating it

passion Extreme feeling or emotion; an irrational but irresistible motive

for a belief or action

passive Not active, but acted upon

pastime A subject or pursuit that occupies one’s time and thoughts

(usually pleasantly)

pasture A field covered with grass or herbage and suitable for grazing by


pathetic Deserving or inciting pity; pitiful; wretched; inspiring mixed

contempt and pity

pathfinder Someone who can find paths through unexplored territory

pathology The science of bodily diseases

patience Calm endurance of hardship, provocation, pain, delay, etc.

patient A person who requires medical care

patron A regular customer

patronizing Treating in a condescending manner

pattern A customary way of operation or behavior

peaceable Inclined or disposed to peace

peacemaking Reconciling parties that are at variance

pedantic Marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning, especially its

trivial aspects

peerless Having no equal

peer A person who is of equal standing with another in a group

peevishness An irritable, petulant feeling

pellucid Transparent; able to be seen through with clarity

penalize To inflict a penalty or punishment on

penetrating Having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine

distinctions; discriminating; keen

penitent Feeling or expressing remorse for misdeeds

penurious Not having enough money to pay for necessities; excessively

unwilling to spend

perceive To attain awareness or understanding of; to become aware of

through the senses

perceptive Having the ability to understand; keen in discernment

perfectionist A person who is displeased by anything that does not meet very

high standards

perfidious Tending to betray

performance The execution of an action

perfunctory As a formality only

peril Exposure to the risk of being injured, destroyed, or lost

perilously Hazardously; dangerously

periodically In a sporadic manner

peripheral On or near an edge or constituting an outer boundary

permanence The property of being able to exist for an indefinite duration

permanent Continuing or enduring without fundamental or marked change;


permeated Spread or distributed throughout

permissible What is allowed

perpetrator Someone who commits or enacts wrongdoing

perpetuate To cause to last indefinitely

perplex To puzzle, bewilder, or mystify

perplexing Complicated, intricate, confusing

perplexity The state of being confused

perquisite A privilege, gain, or profit incidental to regular salary or wages

persecuted Wrongfully subjugated and oppressed

persevere To be persistent; to refuse to stop

persist To continue firmly or obstinately, esp. despite obstacles,

remonstrance, etc.

persistent Existing for a long or longer than usual time, or continuous

persnickety Fussy about small details

personify To be the embodiment

perspicacity Intelligence manifested by being astute; the capacity to draw

sound conclusions

persuade To cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of


persuasion An opinion held with complete assurance

persuasive Having the power to induce action or belief

pertinent Having a clear, decisive relevance to the matter at hand

perusal The act of carefully viewing or examining

pervasive Spread throughout

perverse Turned away from what is right or good; corrupt

pessimist One who emphasizes adverse aspects, conditions, and


pest A persistently annoying person, or that which is troublesome,

noxious, mischievous, or destructive

pesticide An agent used to destroy pests such as insects and rodents

pestilence Something that is destructive or pernicious

petal One of the modified, often brightly colored leaves of the corolla of

a flower

petroleum Rock oil, mineral oil, or natural oil; a dark brown or greenish

inflammable liquid

petty Having secondary rank or importance

pharmacist A person licensed to engage in the profession of preparing and

dispensing medical drugs

phenomenon An observable fact or event

philanthropic Generous in assistance to the poor

philosophies The most general beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual

or group

phlegmatic Showing little emotion

photography The act of taking and printing photographs

physician A person skilled in the art of healing

physics The physical processes and phenomena of a particular system

pick A small thin device (of metal, plastic, or ivory) used to pluck a

stringed instrument

pictorial Of or expressed in a picture or pictures

pierce To penetrate or cut through with a sharp instrument

pillagers Persons who take spoils or plunder

pinioned Bound fast, especially having the arms restrained

pioneer One the first colonists or settlers in a new territory

pitch The property of sound that changes with variation in the

frequency of vibration

pitiful Eliciting compassion

pity To feel pity or compassion for; to have sympathy with

placate To soothe or mollify especially by concessions

plagiarism The act of passing off as one’s own the ideas or writings of


plague n: A disease with a high death rate; v: to cause worry or distress


plateau A flat surface, especially a broad, level, elevated area of land; a


platoon A military unit that is a subdivision of a company

plausible Apparently reasonable and valid; within the realm of credibility

playwright A person who writes plays

plea An earnest entreaty

pleading Arguing for or against a claim

pleated Folded

pledge A binding commitment to do or give or refrain from something

plentiful Existing in great number or quantity; an abundant supply

plight An unfortunate, difficult, or precarious situation

plotted Planned in advance

plow v: To break and turn over earth; n: a farm tool used to break the


ploy An opening remark intended to secure an advantage for the

speaker; a

maneuver in a game or conversation

pluck To strip of feathers

pluralism The doctrine that reality consists of several basic substances or


policy Management or procedure based primarily on material interest

pompous Puffed up with vanity; ostentatious, showy, pretentious

ponderous Extremely dull

portended Foretold; predicted

portfolio A portable case for holding loose papers, prints, drawings, etc.

portrait A pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face

portray To assume or act the character of (“She portrays Lady Macbeth”)

portrayal The process of representing by or as if by a picture

pose To present for attention or consideration

possession The act of having or taking into control

posterity The offspring of one progenitor to the furthest generation

postpone To hold back to a later time

postscript Textual matter that is added onto a publication, usually at the


postulate To assume or claim as true, existent, or necessary

potentate Someone who rules unconstrained by law

potential Existing in possibility; capable of development into actuality

potter One that makes earthenware

practical Capable of being put to use or account

practice Rehearsal before an actual performance or application

practitioners Those engaged in the actual use or exercise of any art or


pragmatist A person who takes a practical approach to problems

pranks Mischievous tricks

preach To advocate earnestly

preamble A preliminary introduction to a statute or constitution

precedence The fact of preceding in time; priority of importance

precedent An earlier occurrence of something similar

precinct A district of a city or town marked out for administrative


precious Highly esteemed or cherished

precisely In a manner or measure or to a degree or number that strictly

conforms to a fact or condition

precocious Exhibiting mature qualities at an unusually early age

preconception An opinion formed without adequate evidence

predator Any animal that lives by preying on other animals; one that preys,

destroys, or devours

predatory Characterized by plundering or pillaging or marauding; living by

preying on other animals

predecessor One who precedes in time

predict To declare or indicate in advance

predictable Possible to foretell

prediction A declaration or indication in advance

predilection An established preference for something

predominant Most frequent or common

prefigure To show, suggest, or announce by an antecedent type, image, or


preliminary Coming before and usually forming a necessary prelude to

something else; introductory or preparatory

premature Too soon or too hasty

preparation The action or process of making something ready

prepossessing Creating a favorable impression

prescribed Set down as a rule or guide; fixed or established especially by

order or command

prescription A written direction for the preparation and use of a medicine

preservative A chemical compound that is added to protect against decay or


preserve To keep or maintain in unaltered condition; to cause to remain or


pressurize To confine the contents of something under a pressure greater

than that of the outside atmosphere

prestigious Having an illustrious reputation

presumptuous Excessively forward

pretentious Expressive of affected, unwarranted, or exaggerated importance,

worth, or stature

pretext A purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order

to cloak the real intention

prevent To deprive of power or hope of acting or succeeding; to keep from

happening or existing

prey Animal hunted or caught for food

primarily For the most part

primary Of first rank, importance, or value

primate Any of an order of mammals including humans, apes, monkeys,

and related forms

primitivism Belief in the superiority of a simple way of life close to nature

principal Most important, consequential, or influential

principle A basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be

used as a basis for reasoning or conduct

procedure A particular way of accomplishing something or of acting

processed Subjected to a special process or treatment

proclaim To declare publicly, esp. insistently, proudly, or defiantly

procrastinate To postpone doing what one should be doing

procurement The act of getting possession of something

prodigious Of the nature of a prodigy; marvelous; wonderful; portentous

productive Having the quality or power of producing, especially in abundance

productivity Rate of production, especially of food

profane Grossly irreverent toward what is held to be sacred

professionalism The expertness and behavior characteristic of a professional


proficiency The quality of having great facility and competence

profound Having intellectual depth and insight

progress A forward or onward movement

prohibition Decree that prohibits something

prohibitive Tending to discourage; preventive; hindering

prohibit To forbid by authority

proliferate To grow rapidly (“Pizza parlors proliferate in this area”)

prolific Marked by abundant inventiveness or productivity

prominence The quality, state, or fact of being conspicuous

promulgate To make known by open declaration; to proclaim

pronouncement A usually formal declaration of opinion

propaganda Ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s

cause or to damage an opposing cause

propagate To transmit characteristics from one generation to the next; to

reproduce; to extend

propel To drive forward; to urge or press onward by force; to move or

cause to move

prophet An authoritative person who divines the future

proponents People who plead for a cause or idea

proprietor One who has the legal right or exclusive title to something

propriety Appropriateness of behavior or morals

prosaic Lacking wit or imagination

prose Ordinary writing as distinguished from verse

prosperity An economic state of growth with rising profits and full


protagonist The principal character in a work of fiction

protégé A person whose career is furthered by, and who receives support

and protection from, an influential patron

protein The total nitrogenous material in plant or animal substances

protracted Drawn out or lengthened in time or (rarely) in space; continued;


province An administrative district or division of a country

provocative Serving or tending to provoke, excite, or stimulate

provoke To incite to anger

proximity The property of being close together

prudent Careful and sensible; marked by sound judgment

psychiatrist A scientist who studies the branch of medicine dealing with

mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders

psychological Of or relating to the branch of medicine that deals with mental,

emotional, or behavioral disorders

publicize To bring to the attention of the people at large

pugnacious Tough and callous by virtue of experience

pun The humorous use of a word to suggest different meanings, or of

words of the same sound and different meanings

punctiliousness Strict attention to minute details; meticulousness

punctual Acting, arriving or performing exactly at the time appointed

pundits Learned experts or teachers

punitive Inflicting punishment

purging An act of removing by cleansing; ridding of sediment or other

undesired elements

purpose Something set up as an object or end to be attained

purposefulness The quality of having a definite purpose or


pursuit The act of following in order to overtake

putrid Decomposed; rotten

quagmire Soft, miry land that shakes or yields under the foot

quaint Attractively old-fashioned (“houses with quaint thatched roofs”)

qualities Peculiar and essential characteristics

quandary A state of perplexity or doubt

quarantine A state of enforced isolation

quarrel A usually verbal conflict between antagonists

quarrelsome Exhibiting a tendency to dispute

quell To be subdued or abated; to yield; to abate

querulous Habitually complaining (“a querulous child”)

query A question in the mind

quest An act or instance of seeking

quiescence A state of quiet

quill A stiff, hollow, protective spine on a porcupine or hedgehog

radiant Giving off or as if giving off light; beaming; effulgent (“a radiant


radiation 1: The physical phenomenon of radiating energy in the form of

waves or particles; 2: the act of radiating

radical Tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views

radically In an extreme manner

rakish Dashingly or carelessly unconventional

rally A mass meeting intended to arouse group enthusiasm

rancor Bitter, deep-seated ill will

rancorous Showing deep-seated resentment

range To change or be different within limits

ranger An official who is responsible for managing and protecting an area

of forest

rank Degree of dignity, eminence, or excellence; position in civil or

social life; station; degree; grade

rant To talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner

rare Seldom done, found, or occurring; uncommon

rarely Not often

rascal A deceitful and unreliable scoundrel

rash Requiring sudden action; pressing; urgent

raspy Unpleasantly harsh or grating in sound

rational Consistent with, based on, or using reason

rationalize To bring into accord with reason, or cause something to seem


raucous Unpleasantly loud and harsh

ravage To affect destructively

ravenous Very eager or greedy for food, satisfaction, or gratification

raw In the natural unprocessed condition; having the surface exposed

and painful (“a raw wound”)

razing The event of a structure being completely demolished and leveled

reaction The act or process or an instance of responding; a response

reactionary Extremely conservative

realism Fidelity in art and literature to nature or to real life

reality A real event, entity, or state of affairs

reasonable Not extreme or excessive

rebate A refund of some fraction of the amount paid

rebellion Refusal to accept some authority, code, or convention

rebellious Resisting treatment or management

rebels Participants in a rebellion

rebuff To reject or criticize sharply; to snub

rebuke To criticize sharply; to reprimand

recalling Bringing back to mind

recipient One that receives

reciprocate To act, feel, or give in return

reciprocity A mutual exchange of privileges

reclamation The conversion of waste land into land suitable for habitation or


reclusive Withdrawn from society; seeking solitude

recognize To acknowledge formally

reconcile To bring into consonance or accord; to make peace

reconciliation The action of restoring to friendship or harmony

reconstructing Establishing or assembling again

reconstruction The act of establishing or reassembling

recovery The act, process, or an instance of regaining, reclaiming, or


recrimination Retaliatory accusation

recuperate To get over an illness or shock

recursive Of, relating to, or constituting a procedure that can repeat itself

indefinitely or until a specified condition is met

redoubtable Formidable; inspiring fear

redundancy Superfluous repetition

redundant Exceeding what is normal or necessary

reef A submerged ridge of rock or coral near the surface of the water

refinement A highly developed state

reflect To express a thought or opinion resulting from reflection

reflection 1: The return of light or sound waves from a surface; 2: a

thought, idea, or opinion formed as a result of meditation

reform A removal or correction of an abuse, a wrong, or an error

reformer One that works for or urges change for the better

refrain A recurring phrase or number of lines, esp. at the ends of stanzas

refurbish To restore and redecorate; to brighten up

refute To prove wrong by argument or evidence; to show to be false or


regale Provide with sumptuous or abundant food or drink; to entertain


regard To consider and appraise, usually from a particular point of view

regeneration Renewal or restoration of a body or bodily part after injury or as a

normal process

region An administrative area, division, or district

regret Sorrow aroused by circumstances beyond one’s control or power

to repair

regulation A principle or condition that customarily governs behavior

rehabilitate To help to restore to a former state (e.g., of health or good repute)

rehearse To recite or repeat in private for experiment and improvement

prior to public performance

reign The time during which a king, queen, or emperor possesses the

supreme authority

reintegrate To restore; to bring again together into a whole

reject To throw away; to discard; to refuse to accept or consider

relative Not absolute or independent; comparative

relevance The relation of something to the matter at hand

relief Removal or lightening of something oppressive

relieve To free from a burden; to give aid or help to

relishing Appreciating with taste and discernment

reluctance The quality of feeling or showing aversion, hesitation, or


reluctant Feeling or showing aversion, hesitation, or unwillingness

remarkable Worthy of being or likely to be noticed, especially as being

uncommon or extraordinary

remedial Tending or intended to rectify or improve

remedy That which corrects or counteracts an evil of any kind, e.g., a

cure for a disease

remorseful Motivated by a sense of guilt for past wrongs

remote Located far away

remuneration The act of paying for goods or services; recompense for losses

render To cause to be; to become

renounce To refuse to follow, obey, or recognize any further

renowned Widely known and esteemed

renunciation The rejection of something or someone as invalid

repeal To recall; to call back

repel To cause aversion in; to repulse

repetition A doing or saying again

replenish To fill or build up again

replica A copy exact in all details

replicate To make, do, or perform again

reprehensible Bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure

representation An artistic likeness or image

reprieve A temporary relief from harm or discomfort

reprimand A severe or formal reproof

reprisal The regaining of something (as by recapture)

reprise To repeat the performance of

repudiated Disowned; disavowed; rejected; denied

repulsive Cold; forbidding; offensive (“he has repulsive manners”)

reputable Having a good reputation; held in esteem

reputation Overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general

requested Asked for

resentful Full of or inclined to feel indignant or ill will

resentment Strong displeasure; anger; hostility provoked by a wrong or injury


resigned Having come to accept

resilient Recovering readily from adversity or depression

resistance An opposing or retarding force

resisted Withstood the force or effect of

resolute Firm in purpose or belief; characterized by firmness and


resolution A formal expression of opinion, will, or intent, agreed to by a vote

respectability The quality of being decent or correct in character or behavior

resplendent Having great beauty and splendor

restitution A sum of money paid in compensation for loss or injury

restive Being in a tense state; marked by restlessness

restoration A bringing back to a former position or condition

restrain To prevent from doing, exhibiting, or expressing something

restrict To confine within bounds

resuscitation Revival from apparent death or from unconsciousness

retain To keep in mind or memory; to keep in possession or use

retaliation Action taken in return for an injury or offense

retention The act of keeping in one’s possession

retiree Someone who has concluded or withdrawn from one’s working or

professional career

retract To draw back or in

retreat To move back or away

retribution The dispensing or receiving of punishment or reward

retroactive Made effective as of a date prior to enactment

revel To celebrate noisily; to engage in wild festivities

revelation An act of revealing to view or making known

revere To regard with profound respect and affection, mingled with awe

or fear

reverence Profound respect and esteem mingled with fear and affection, as

for a holy being or place

revile To subject to verbal abuse

revise To look over again in order to correct or improve

revision The act of rewriting or altering something

revolt To renounce allegiance or subjection

revolution The overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the

substitution of another by the governed

revolutionary Markedly new or introducing radical change

revolutionize To fundamentally change the way of thinking about or visualizing


rhapsodize To say with great enthusiasm

rhythm An ordered, recurrent alternation of strong and weak elements in

the flow of sound and silence in speech

ridicule To subject to laughter

rigid Incapable of or resistant to bending

rigorously Strictly; harshly; precisely

ritual The established form for a ceremony

rival One who is in pursuit of or striving for the same object or goal as

another; a competitor

rivals Those striving for competitive advantage

role A part played by an actor, singer, or dancer

romantic Marked by expressions of love or affection

rooted Fixed or implanted by or as if by roots

route A traveled way

rural Of or relating to the country, country people or life, or agriculture

ruse A crafty trick

sadden To make or become unhappy

sagacious Acutely insightful and wise

salutation A word or phrase of greeting used to begin a letter

salve Anything that remedies, heals, or soothes

salvo A spirited verbal attack

sanctimonious Affecting piousness; hypocritically devout

sanction A formal decree

sanctioned Given official authorization or approval to

sanguine Marked by sturdiness, high color, and cheerfulness

sarcasm Witty language used to convey insults or scorn

satirize To censure or ridicule by means of sarcasm; to humorously

expose and discredit vice or folly

savory Pleasing to the organs of taste or smell

scandal Loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent

violation of morality or propriety

scapegoat Someone punished for the errors of others

scarcest Least plentiful or abundant

scathing Marked by harshly abusive criticism

scenery A picturesque view or landscape

scheme To make a scheme of; to plan; to design; to project; to plot

scholarship A grant-in-aid to a student

scorch To burn so as to affect color or taste

script The written text of a stage play, screenplay, or broadcast

scrumptious Extremely pleasing to the sense of taste

scrupulous Careful to avoid doing wrong

scrutinize To examine closely; to inspect or observe with critical attention; to

regard narrowly

scurry To move about or proceed hurriedly

seance A meeting of spiritualists (“The seance was held in the medium’s


secondhand Acquired after being used by another; not new

secrete To generate and separate from cells or bodily fluids

security Freedom from danger

sedative A drug that reduces excitability and induces calm

sedentary Not migratory; settled

seedling Young plant or tree grown from a seed

segment A separate piece of something

seldom In few instances; rarely

semaphore An apparatus for visual signaling with lights or mechanically

moving arms

sense A particular sensation or kind or quality of sensation

sensitive Receptive to sense impressions; understanding of the feelings of


sentiment 1: Personal belief that is not founded on proof or certainty; 2: an

attitude, thought, or judgment prompted by feeling

sequential In regular succession without gaps

serenade A complimentary vocal or instrumental performance, esp. a

romantically inspired one given outdoors at night for a woman

serendipity The faculty of making fortunate discoveries of things you were not

looking for

serene Calm; peaceful

serenity The quality or state of being serene; clearness and calmness;

quietness; stillness; peace

serpentine Coiling; meandering; writhing

serviceable Fit for use

servile Submissive or fawning in attitude or behavior

setback A step backward; cessation of progress

severity Rigorous restraint, punishment, or requirement

shallow Lacking physical depth; having little spatial extension; lacking in

depth of knowledge or feeling

sharecropper A tenant farmer especially in the southern U.S.

sharpshooter A good marksman

shed To eject (as seed or spores) from a natural receptacle

sheer Complete and without restriction or qualification; pure,

unadulterated; thin or transparent

shift To change the place, position, or direction of

shoddiness Hastily or poorly done

shortsighted Lacking the ability to look forward

shroud That which clothes, covers, conceals, or protects

shun To avoid and stay away from deliberately; to stay clear of

significant Having meaning

silhouette The outline of a body viewed as circumscribing a mass

simulate To give or assume the appearance or effect of, often with the

intent to deceive

sincerity Honesty of mind

single-minded Having one driving purpose or resolve

siren A warning signal that is a loud wailing sound

sketch A rough drawing representing the chief features of an object or

scene and often made as a preliminary study

sleekness A smooth, well-groomed look; elegance; stylishness

slight Small of its kind or in amount

sluggard An habitually lazy person

smudge A blurry spot or streak

snivel To speak or act in a whining, sniffling, tearful, or weakly

emotional manner

sociologist A scientist who studies society, social institutions, and social


solemnize To observe or perform with dignity or gravity

soliciting Approaching with a request or plea

solicitous Showing interest or concern

solidarity Unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on

communal interests

solidify To make solid or compact

soluble Capable of being dissolved in some solvent (usually water)

solution A homogeneous mixture of two or more substances


somber So shaded as to be dark and gloomy

soothing Having a sedative effect

sought Tried to acquire or gain

sound Based on thorough knowledge and experience

sour To cause or permit to become harsh or unkindly

source 1: A point of origin or procurement; 2: a firsthand document or

primary reference work

spatial Pertaining to, involving, or having the nature of space

species A class of individuals having common attributes and designated

by a common name

specimen An example regarded as typical of its class

speculate To believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds

speculative Marked by questioning curiosity

spirited Full of energy, animation, or courage

sponsor One who assumes responsibility for some other person or thing

spontaneity Arising from a momentary impulse

spontaneously In a manner proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency

without external constraint

sprawling Causing to spread out carelessly or awkwardly

spur A goad to action; stimulus

spurious Not genuine; false

squander To spend (money, time, etc.) wastefully; to dissipate (a fortune,

etc.) wastefully

squelch To suppress or crush completely (“Squelch any sign of dissent”)

stability The strength to stand or endure

stagnation A state of inactivity

staid Characterized by dignity and propriety

stalk The stem or main axis of a plant

stamina The ability to sustain a prolonged, stressful effort or activity

stance Intellectual or emotional attitude

standards Things set up and established by authority as a rule for the

measure of quantity, weight, value, or quality

staple A commodity for which the demand is constant

stature Height or size of the body

statute An act passed by a legislative body

stealth The act of avoiding detection by proceeding furtively, secretly, or


stereotype A person or thing that conforms to an unjustifiably fixed, usually


mental picture

sterilized Made incapable of germination

stevedore A laborer who loads and unloads vessels in a port

stifle To smother, muffle, cut off, or repress

stimulus Something that rouses or incites to activity

stoic Not affected by or showing passion or feeling

strain To exert to the utmost

strains Groups of presumed common ancestry with clear-cut

physiological distinctions

strategies Careful plans or methods

strenuous Marked by or calling for energy or stamina

stretches Unbroken periods of time

stride A long step

strive To exert much effort or energy

struggle To make strenuous or violent efforts against opposition

stub To strike against an object, as of one’s toe or foot

stump To cause to be perplexed or confounded

sturdy Having rugged physical strength; inured to fatigue or hardships

style Mode of expressing thought in language, whether oral or written

subdued Restrained in style or quality

subjective Taking place within the mind and modified by individual bias

submerge To put under water

submissiveness The trait of being willing to yield to the will of another person or a

superior force

submit To yield to governance or authority

subsequently In a successive manner

subsidize To furnish with a subsidy; to purchase the assistance of by the

payment of a subsidy; to aid or promote

substantially To a degree largely but not wholly that which is specified

substantiated Supported with proof or evidence; verified

substantive Considerable in amount or numbers

substitution The act of putting one person or thing in the place of another

subtitle Translation of foreign dialogue usually displayed at the bottom of

the screen or stage

subtle Delicately constituted or constructed; nice; fine; delicate;

tenuous; finely woven

subversive Characterized by a systematic attempt to overthrow or undermine

a government or political system

subvert To overturn or overthrow from the foundation

successor A person or thing that succeeds another; a person who inherits

some title or office

sue To seek justice or right from, by legal process

suffice To be adequate, either in quality or quantity

sufficient Enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end

suggest To mention or imply as a possibility

suggestive Having a covert or special meaning

sullen Showing a brooding ill humor

sully To place under suspicion or cast doubt upon (“sully someone’s


summarize To tell in or reduce to a succinct covering of the main points

superficial Presenting only an appearance; without substance or significance

superficiality Lack of depth of knowledge, thought, or feeling

superfluity Extreme excess

superfluous Extra; unnecessary

superiority The quality or state of being above another in rank, station, or


supernatural Not existing in nature, or not subject to explanation according to

natural laws; not physical or material

superstitious Full of beliefs or practices that result from ignorance, fear of the

unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of


supervisor One who supervises or has charge and direction of

supplanted Removed or displaced by stratagem; displaced and taken the

place of; superseded

supplication The act of making a humble entreaty; humble and earnest prayer,

as in worship

supportive Furnishing support or assistance

suppressed Put down by force

suppression The act of putting down by authority or force

supreme Highest in rank or authority

surfeit The quality of being overabundant; an excess

surpass To transcend the reach, capacity, or powers of

surrender To give up completely or agree to forgo; to yield

surreptitious Marked by quiet, caution, secrecy, or stealth; taking pains to

avoid being observed

surrogates People appointed to act in place of others; substitutes

survey To take a poll; to measure the size of a piece of land

surveyor One who views and examines for the purpose of ascertaining the

condition, quantity, or quality of anything

suspicion An impression that something might be the case

sustaining Bearing; upholding; supporting

swagger To walk with a lofty, proud gait, often in an attempt to impress


swarm To appear or collect in a crowd; to throng together

swerve The act of turning aside suddenly

swiftly With great speed

swindle To cheat or defraud grossly

syllabus A summary outline of a discourse, treatise, course of study, or

examination requirements

symbiosis The relation between two different kinds of organisms that are

interdependent (each gains benefits from the other)

symbolize To represent, express, or identify by a symbol (an image or


symmetry Correspondence in size, shape, and relative position of parts on

opposite sides of an axis or dividing line

sympathize To share in suffering or grief

symphony A large orchestra

symptom Subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance

synopsis A condensed statement or outline

syntax The part of grammar dealing with the construction of sentences

synthetic Of, relating to, or produced by chemical or biochemical synthesis

tactful Having or showing a sense of what is fitting and considerate in

dealing with others

tactile Perceptible by touch; of or relating to the sense of touch

tagged Supplied with an identifying marker

taint To contaminate morally; to touch or affect slightly with something


tale An account describing incidents or events

talented Showing a natural aptitude for something

talisman A trinket or piece of jewelry thought to be a protection against evil

tangential Of superficial relevance

tanned Converted into leather

tattoo A design made on the skin by pricking and staining

taunting Aggravating by deriding, mocking, or criticizing

taut Pulled or drawn tight

technology The practical application of science to commerce or industry

tedious Tiresome because of length or dullness

tedium Boredom; the state of being tiresomely long or wearisome

temerity Audacity

temperament One’s characteristic mood

temperance Habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural

appetites and passions

temple An edifice for the worship of a deity

temptation A cause or occasion of enticement

tenaciously With obstinate determination

tenacity Persistent adherence to a belief or a point of view; fortitude

tenant Someone who pays rent to use land or a building owned by

someone else

tendency A proneness to a particular kind of thought or action

tension Extreme strain of mind or excitement of feeling; intense effort

tentacles Elongated, flexible, limb-like extensions used by an animal for

feeling, grasping, or locomotion

tentative Under terms not final or fully worked out or agreed upon

tenuous Having little substance or significance

tepid Lacking in passion, force, or zest

term A word or expression that has a precise meaning peculiar to its


terminate To bring to an end

terrestrial Of, relating to, or inhabiting the land as opposed to the sea or air

testable Capable of being or liable to be subjected to judgment or test

testimony A solemn statement made under oath

text The main body of a written work

textile A woven or knit cloth

theme A unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic


theology The study of religious faith or practice

theoretical Confined to speculation, often in contrast to practical applications

theories Analyses of a set of facts in their relation to one another

theory A concept that is not yet verified, but that if true would explain

certain facts or phenomena

therapeutic Tending to cure or restore to health

thermal Of, relating to, or caused by heat

thesis A proposition to be proved or one advanced without proof

thicket A wood or a collection of closely set trees, shrubs, etc.

threat Something that is a source of danger

threshold The point at which a physiological or psychological effect begins

to be produced

throne The chair of state of a sovereign or high dignitary

throng A large gathering of people

thwarted Disappointingly unsuccessful; frustrated

tidal Of, relating to, or caused by tides

time-honored Honored because of age or long usage

timeless Unaffected by time 85

timepiece An instrument or device for keeping time

timid Lacking in courage or self-confidence

timing Selection of, or the ability to select for maximum effect, the

precise moment for beginning or doing something

timorous Timid by nature or revealing timidity

toady A person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal


tolerance Capacity to endure pain or hardship; endurance

tolerate To put up with

tome A volume forming part of a larger work; a large, scholarly book

topography 1: The physical or natural features of an object or entity and their

structural relationships; 2: the art of mapmaking

torment To cause severe, usually persistent or recurring distress of body

or mind

torpor Apathy or dullness; a state of inactivity with partial or total

insensibility; numbness

tourniquet A device that stops the flow of blood from an artery by applying


tout To praise or publicize loudly or extravagantly

toxic Relating to or caused by a toxin or poison

trace A barely detectable amount of a substance

tract A pamphlet or leaflet of political or religious propaganda

tradition An inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought,

action, or behavior

tragic Mournful; expressive of tragedy, the loss of life, or sorrow

trail A track made by passage, especially through a wilderness

trait A distinguishing or marked feature; a peculiarity (“a trait of


traitor One who violates allegiance

tram A vehicle on rails used primarily for transporting passengers and

typically operating on city streets

tranquility A state of being free from stress or emotion; peacefulness

tranquilizer A drug used to reduce stress, tension, or mental disturbance

transformed Changed in composition or structure

transgress To act in disregard of laws and rules

transience An impermanence that suggests the inevitability of ending or

dying; the attribute of being brief or fleeting

transient Passing especially quickly into and out of existence

transitory Short-lived or temporary

translation A rendering from one language into another; the product of such

a rendering

translucent Almost transparent; allowing light to pass through diffusely

transmit To cause to pass over or through

transmute To change from one nature, form, or substance into another; to


transparent Transmitting light; able to be seen through with clarity

trap A device in which something can be caught

traveler A person who changes location

traverse To travel or extend across

treachery Violation of allegiance or of faith and confidence

treason The betrayal of a trust

treatise A systematic exposition or argument in writing

tremendous Extraordinarily large in size, extent, amount, power or degree

tremor A trembling or shaking, usually from physical weakness,

emotional stress, or disease

tremulous Quivering as from weakness or fear

trepidation Uncertain agitation

trespass A violation of moral or social ethics

tribe A social group comprising numerous families, clans, or


triggering Setting in motion some course of events

trinkets Cheap showy jewelry or ornaments

trite Unoriginal; overused

triumph The joy or exultation of victory or success

trivial Ordinary; commonplace; of little worth or importance

trophy Any evidence or memorial of victory or conquest

troubadour A lyric poet-musician in medieval France and Italy whose job was

to entertain through the singing and telling of tales (often dealing

with courtly love)

troupe A group of theatrical performers

truculent Defiantly aggressive

trumpet A wind instrument consisting of a conical or cylindrical (usually)

metal tube and a cup-shaped mouthpiece

truncated Cut short in duration

trust To place confidence in; to rely on; to confide or repose faith in

tumultuous Characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination

tunnel A passageway through or under an obstruction

turbulent Causing unrest, violence, or disturbance

turmoil A state or condition of extreme confusion, agitation, or commotion

tweed A rough woolen fabric made usually in twill weaves and used

especially for suits and coats

tyrannical Of, relating to, associated with or resembling a dictatorship

tyranny A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator

tyrant A monarch, or other ruler or master, who uses power to oppress

his subjects

ultimately In the end

unalterable Not capable of being changed or altered (“unalterable resolve”)

unanimously With the agreement and consent of all

unattainable Unreachable as an end

unattractive Lacking power to arouse interest

uncanny Seemingly supernatural; mysterious

uncensored Not subject to censorship

uncertain Not firm or secure

undeniable Unquestionably excellent or genuine; plainly true; incontestable

underdog A predicted loser in a struggle or contest

undermine To weaken or ruin by degrees

underprivileged Deprived through social or economic condition of some of the

fundamental rights of a civilized society

underscore To give extra weight to (a communication)

undesirable Not worthy of being chosen

unexampled Having no example or parallel

unfathomable Impossible to comprehend

unfetter To loose from restraint; to unchain; to unshackle; to liberate (“to

unfetter the mind”)

unfit Not adapted to a purpose

unflagging Unceasing; unfailing (“unflagging loyalty”; “unflagging good

spirits”; “unflagging courtesy”)

unforeseen Not anticipated

ungainly Lacking in smoothness or dexterity

unheralded Without warning or announcement

uniformity A condition in which everything is regular and unvarying

uninspiring Not having an animating or exalting effect

unintended Not having in mind a specific purpose or goal

union A confederation of independent individuals (as nations or

persons) for some common purpose

unique Distinctively characteristic

uniqueness The quality of being one of a kind

united Joined together; combined

unity An unreduced or unbroken completeness or totality

unjustifiable Incapable of being justified or explained

unleashed Let loose

unorthodox Breaking with convention or tradition

unpalatable Not pleasing to the taste

unparalleled Radically distinctive and without equal

unproductive Not producing desired results

unscrupulously Without motivation deriving logically from ethical or moral


unsettling Having the effect of upsetting, disturbing, or discomposing

unstable Lacking stability, fixity, or firmness

untamed Wild and uncontrolled

untenable Incapable of being defended or justified

untimely Done or happening at an unusual, improper or inopportune time

unvaried Not diversified

unwavering Marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable

unyielding Persistent; not giving way

uphold To give support to

urban Of, relating to, characteristic of, or constituting a city

usurpers Those who take or make use of without right

utilitarian Having a useful function

utilize To turn to practical use or account

utopia An imaginary place considered to be perfect or ideal

utterance Vocal expression

vacant 1: Void of thought or knowledge (“a vacant mind”); 2: without an

occupant or incumbent

vaccine A preparation used to procure immunity from one or several


vaguely In an unclear manner

vain Having or showing undue or excessive pride in one’s appearance

or achievements

vainglorious Boastful

valid Well grounded in logic or truth or having legal force

validate To declare or make legally valid; to grant official sanction to by


validity The well-grounded or justifiable nature of an instance or thing

vandalism Willful, wanton, and malicious destruction of the property of


vapid Lacking liveliness, tang, briskness, or force

vaporize To turn into gas; to convert or be converted into vapor

varied Differing from one another

variegated Having marks or patches of different colors (e.g., variegated leaves

or flowers)

variety The quality or state of having different forms or types

varnished Covered or concealed with something that gives a fair appearance

vast Very great in size, amount, degree, or intensity

vastness Unusual largeness in size or extent

veiled Having a concealing cover; muted, unclear; disguised

venal Open to corrupt influence and especially bribery

vendor Someone who exchanges goods or services for money

veneer To overlay or plate with a thin layer of wood or other material for

outer finish or decoration

venerable Impressive by reason of age

venerate To regard with reverential respect

venerated Worthy of adoration or reverence

vengeance Punishment inflicted in return for an injury or an offense

vengeful Disposed to seek revenge or intended for revenge

venom The poisonous matter which certain animals communicate by

biting or stinging

verdant Covered with growing plants or grass

verge To move or extend in some direction or toward some condition

verified Supported or established by evidence or proof

verse Stanza of a poem or song with or without refrain

vestige A trace; a sign; a clue that something has been present

vex To cause annoyance in; to disturb, esp. by minor irritations

vicarious Experienced in the imagination through another person

vicious Dangerously aggressive

victor One that defeats an enemy or opponent

victorious Having won a victory

victory Achievement of mastery or success in any struggle or competition

vigilant Carefully observant or attentive; on the lookout for possible


vignette A short, descriptive essay or character sketch

vigorous Full of physical or mental strength or active force

vile Morally reprehensible

vilify To utter slanderous and abusive statements against

villainous Extremely wicked

vindictive Disposed to seek revenge or intended for revenge

vine A plant whose stem requires support and which climbs by

tendrils or twining or creeps along the ground

violation An infringement of the rules

virtue The quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong

virtuoso A person who has great skill at some endeavor


visionary One whose ideas or projects are impractical (dreamer)

vision That which is seen; an object of sight

visual Attained or maintained by sight

vital Urgently needed; absolutely necessary

vitality Lively and animated character

vivacious Lively in temper, conduct, or spirit

vivid Exhibiting the appearance of life or freshness; animated; spirited;

bright; strong; intense

vocalist A person who sings

vocation The particular occupation for which one is trained

vociferously In a loud, clamorous, or noisy manner

volatile Evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures; easily

aroused; tending to erupt in violence

vulgar Lacking refinement, cultivation, or taste

vulnerable Open to attack or damage

wan Having a pale or sickly hue; languid of look; pale; pallid

waning Gradually decreasing in magnitude or extent

warring Engaged in war

wary Marked by keen caution and watchful prudence

waste Any material unused and rejected as worthless or unwanted

wave Something that swells and dies away

welfare The state of doing well, especially in respect to good fortune

whim A capricious or eccentric and often sudden idea or turn of the


whimsical Determined by chance, impulse or fancy rather than by necessity

or reason

whine To utter a high-pitched plaintive or distressed cry

widespread Widely circulated or diffused

wily Cunning

withheld Held back from action

witticism A cleverly witty and often biting or ironic remark

witty Combining clever conception and facetious expression

woods A dense growth of trees, usually greater in extent than a grove

and smaller than a forest

woodwork The craft of a carpenter; things made out of wood

worship To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission

wrath Intense anger (usually on an epic scale); belligerence aroused by a

real or supposed wrong

wrongdoing Activity that transgresses moral or civil law

wryly Cleverly and often with ironic or grim humor

yearn To desire strongly or persistently; to have a yen for

yield To relinquish one’s possession of

yielding Giving in return for labor expended; producing

yields Amounts or quantities produced or returned

yolk Nutritive material of an ovum, esp. the yellow mass of a bird or

reptile egg

zealous Passionate; extremely interested in pursuing something