To deny; to oppose
After I easily won the Pac-man tournament, my competitors could no longer gainsay my video-game dominance
To skip about playfully
After months in the winter den, the polar bear cubs finally emerged and gamboled in the snow
To gather and save; to store-up
The talented actor continued to garner accolades despite his brushes with the law.
Pointlessly talkative; talking too much
I just wanted the garrulous waiter to stop rambling and take my order
Crude, awkward, tasteless
In some cultures it is considered gauche to belch loudly at the end of dinner; in others it is the height of courtesy.
Relevant to the subject at hand; appropriate in subject matter.
Greg could have cut out several sentences that were not germane to his thesis statement
Marked by ease or informality; nonchalant; lacking in depth
Your glib response to my questions lets me know that you don't take me seriously.
Delicate; insubstantial or tenuous
Light filtered in through the gossamer curtains
- Pompous speech or expression
- The nominee ended up losing votes because his grandiloquence annoyed his audience at every campaign speech
Artfulness; trickery; duplicity
Pulling off slight-of-hand tricks successfully requires dexterity and guile
Sociable; outgoing; enjoying the company of other people.
Greg Brown was very gregarious and tended to get along well with everyone.
Unnecessary; uncalled for
Constructive comments will help me improve, but gratuitous criticism just makes me defensive.
To complain or grumble
Ferdinand's constant grousing about my violin playing has finally convinced me I might need lessons
A rope or cord attatched to something as a brace or guide
We were all nervous that the guy for the pulley would give way, but the platform stayed intact, so it must have been fine
Rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage.
"You win some, you lose some" is an example of a hackneyed saying.
Calm and peaceful
I'm looking forward to a halcyon vacation on a secluded beach.
Strawberry Fields in Central Park is hallowed ground for fans of John Lennon.
To deliver a pompous speech or tirade
Sonny harangued his brother for returning the car with no gas.
To distress, create stress or torment
The sadistic professor loved to harrow his students with harrowing tales of the upcoming final exam that no student in the school's history had ever passed
Devotion to pleasurable pursuits, especially to the pleasures of the senses.
Monks lead a quiet, ascetic life devoid of hedonism
S: debauchery, indulgence
The consistent dominance of one state or ideology over others.
At its height, the Roman Empire exercised hegemony over the entire Mediterranean area
S: predominance, leadership
Dissenting from established dogma
Some might find it heretical to put celery in a grilled-cheese sandwich, but I recommend trying it before passing judgment.
When you buy a bottle of medicine, check the hermetic seal to make sure it is not broken
The heterodox dessert combined bits of bacon and chocolate
My hirsute dog sheds life-size replicas of himself and still has more hair left over.
A sermon or morally instructive lecture, a platitude
The subject of the minister's homilies ranged from the importance of compassion to the virtues of brushing one's teeth three times a day.
Arrogant presumption or pride
The governor's hubris was in appointing his son to lead the commission.
Something that signals what is to come
The Grim Reaper, with his cloak and scythe is a harbinger of death
One who attacks or undermines traditional conventions or institutions
Socrates was put on trial and accused of being an iconoclast on matters of politics and religion'
S: radical, rebel
Attacking cherished beliefs
The controversial artist's iconoclastic work both stunned and impressed critics.
Given to intense or excessive devotion to something
Jim's family realized his love of football was truly idolatrous when the discovered the Raiders shrine in his closet
A carefree, lighthearted pastoral or romantic episode
Often while riding the subway to her monotonous job, she daydreamed of a tropical idyll
S: carefree scene
The senator's corruption scandal cast an ignominious shadow over his career
Difficult or embarrassing situation
Clare tried to extricate herself from the imbroglio she started at the party by sneaking out the back door
S: entanglement, disagreement
About to happen
The police have identified a suspect and an arrest is imminent
Revealing no emotion
The defendant looked surprisingly impassive after the judge sentenced him to life in prison
S: apathetic, imperturbable
Lacking funds; without money
The impecunious author survived on the generosity of her friends until she sold her first manuscript
Commanding; arrogant; haughty
Writers and photographers feared the editor-in-cheif because of her imperious attitude.
Marked by extreme calm, impassivity, and steadiness
After an hour of meditation, Ivan is imperturbable and nothing will faze him.
Hastily or rashly energetic; impulsive and vehement
Teenagers often make impetuous decisions that they later regret.
Not capable of being appeased or significantly changed
Sadly, Irina is an implacable pessimist and will never see the brighter side of any situation.
To ask incessantly; to beg; to nag
The actor importuned the director to give him a bigger part in the play
Shamelessly bold; insolent; impertinent
John's impudent personality on stage enthralled his fans; unfortunately, is also alienated his fellow band members
Attack or assail verbally, censure, execrate, deny
The candidate impugned his opponent's flawless record in office
S: discredit, challenge, call into question
Immunity from punishment or penalty
I was granted impunity for my repeated absences from work due to serious medical problems.
To attribute to a cause or source, ascribe, assign as a characteristic
The mechanic imputed my car's failure to start to the absence of any gasoline in the tank
Not capable of change
Gravity is an immutable law of nature
Cannot be transferred.
We have certain inalienable rights as americans.
Beginning to come into being or to become apparent.
Fortunately, the doctor detected the patient's incipient tumor during a routine check-up
- S: developing
The shark's indefatigable pursuit of the seal was eventually rewarded.
Having no interest or concern; showing no bias or prejudice.
Some buyers are indifferent to shipping costs and will order items online with no regard for the extra charges.
The fat, indolent cat didn't even stir when the mouse skittered across the kitchen
George refused to accept the ineluctable reality of death, so he planned to have himself frozen.
Unmoving; lethargic; sluggish
The overweight dog is inert and refuses to go for a walk.
Artless; frank and candid; lacking in sophistication; naive
Her fears about childbirth seemed ingenuous to the women at the baby shower.
S: guileless, innocent, trusting
Ingrained within one's nature
Even though lumpectomies are common, there are still dangers inherent to any surgery
Damaging, harmful, or injurious; hostile, adverse, or unfriendly
It has been proven that asbestos has inimical effects on respiratory health
One of a kind, peerless
His inimitable fears of daring on the trapeze were so audacious that no one else even tried to imitate them.
Gross injustice; wickedness
The iniquity of the government bailouts angers me; large corporations are being saved, while public schools are struggling for funding
To supply with nerves, energize
Innervated by our coach's pep talk, we wer filled with energy for the upcoming game
Harmless; causing no damage
The movie is innocuous entertainment suitable for all ages.
She tried to shake the insensible prince back to his senses.
The boxer dropped his defenses just long enough for his opponent to land a right hook that left him insensible on the canvas for few minutes.
Without taste or flavor; lacking in spirit
Without any seasoning or sauce, chicken can often be insipid and dry.
Unconcerned; carefree; heedless
The insouciant cyclist sang along with his headphones as he wove in and out of the busy downtown traffic.
The board was so insular in its thinking that its members were shocked to hear criticism of its policies from stockholders.
Prohibit, forbid, ban, halt
Although Prohibition attempted to interdict the sale of alcohol, it was never entirely successful
To imply, suggest or insinuate
The governor intimated that he might run for Congress, but coyly refused to commit one way or the other
Not easily managed or directed
The financial crisis has created intractable problems for the new government in power
S: stubborn, obstinate
Refusing to compromise
Otto's intransigent stance made an out-of-court settlement unlikely
Steadfast and courageous
The intrepid eater will try any regional dish wherever she travels
To cover or overwhelm, to flood
Because the village sits in a basin, it is easily inundated when river levels rise and there is no escape route for the water.
Accustomed to accepting something undesirable
The explorer was inured to the cold wind she no longer noticed her chapped skin
S: numbed, habituated, hardened
To attack verbally, denounce, deprecate
The students inveighed bitterly against the new dress code, complaining that the orange shirts and red pants not only limited their freedom of expression but were also ugly
To obtain by deception or flattery
The salesperson inveigled the woman to buy the outlandish and expensive hat.
Deep rooted, ingrained, habitual.
Tim was such a inveterate liar that he lied even when he thought he was telling the truth
Tending to arouse envy or ill will in others
The promotion was important to Sven's career; however, it meant that for a while, he was in the invidious position of supervising his former coworkers.
Easily angered; prone to temperamental outbursts.
The hot-headed coach frequently shouted irascible comments at the referees.
S: touchy, testy, irritable
Traveling from place to place
Long before newspapers, telephones, and the internet, itinerate salesmen were one valuable sources of news.
An uncomfortable silence fell over the dinner table after one of the guests made an infelicitous comment to the hostess.
S: malapropos, ill-chosen
Incapable of being discovered or understood.
The secrets of the inscrutable Sphinx are likely to remain undiscovered forever.
The ineptitude of the new assistant was maddening; he forgot to take meeting minutes and misplaced the packages he was supposed to send out
In an initial stage; not fully formed
The more experienced engineers sent his original, inchoate proposal back for revision.
S: rudimentary, amorphous
Vapid; uninteresting; immature
Critics slammed the author's first novel for being jejune; hopefully her second will be more mature
To agree; to be in accord
Despite our very different backgrounds, Richard's political view jibe rather closely with my own
To throw overboard
The CEO of the failing company jettisoned the entire product development department and hired a new team
His jocular attitude and hilarious take on things made him a pleasure to work with
Characterized by motion
The kinetic choreography had audience members gasping during the performance
Readily open to change, unstable
He was so emotionally labile that he could be crying one minute and laughing the next
Causing tears, tearful, showing sorrow
His lachrymose apology didn't move me; he was going to have to do a lot more than shed a few tears before I was ready to forgive him
Using few words
The exhausted babysitter's laconic response was simply, "no"
Listless, languor, weariness
Those two push-ups I attempted filled me with lassitude for the rest of the day
To praise highly
The sea-weary crew lauded the captain's decision to stay in port for an extra day.
S: acclaim, extol
No expense was spared in giving the astronauts a lavish homecoming, complete with welcome feasts and a parade down fifth avenue, after their arduous mission
Characterized by lethargy or sluggishness
Though Ryan loves to run through 18 holes of disc golf in 100-degree weather, I am left too lethargic to so much as pick up my bag
Someone unrestrained by morality or convention or leading a dissolute life
We discovered that she was quite the libertine when it was revealed that she was having affairs on three different continents at the same time
To draw; to outline in detail
The artist limned the Parisian market scene to perfectly that I could imagine myself in the painting
Transparent, serene, clear and simple in style, untroubled
The once-limpiid pond had become a nasty soup of algae, beer cans, and a random tennis shoe or two.
To tilt or lean to one side
The ship listed to one side after running aground on a rock and filling partially with water
My aunt is annoyingly loquacious; she speaks at great length about minor occurrences in her life
Intelligible, sound, clear
The lucid water in the tide pool allowed us to see the bottom clearly
To move heavily and clumsily or with a rumbling sound
The truck lumbered about like a drunken dinosaur
Characterized by brightness and the emission of light
Sirius is considered the most luminous star in the northern sky
S; brilliant, radiant
The ballerina's lissome form does not come easily; she spends hours practicing every day
To excoriate; to berate
The coach lambasted his players at halftime for their bad attitude, bad decisions, and exceptionally bad performance.
Lewd; wanton; slippery
The lubricious stare from that strange man in the park left me disgusted.
Marked with spots or blotches; impure
After he unruly holiday feats, we all laughed over the maculate tablecloth.
Generous and noble in mind and heart, especially in forgiving.
Giving the employees Fridays off during the summer was a magnanimous gesture.
S: altruistic, beneficent, high-minded
Having or showing often vicious ill will, spite or hatred
Once the intruder revealed his gun, it was clear that he had malevolent intentions
Capable of being shaped or formed, easily influenced.
Mabel kneaded the malleable clay into a work of art.
S: pliable, tractable
To feign illness to avoid work
She malingered so often that when she actually fell ill, she had used up all of her sick days.
Associated with war and the armed forces
During the riots, the National Guard was called in to enforce martial laws.
S: military, soldierly
A rigid disciplinarian
Sister Paul Marie is a sweet and generous person, but she is a martinet when it comes to teaching grammar, and few people passed her class on the first try.
To talk or move aimlessly, mutter, ramble
After we maundered about for over three hours I started to suspect that our guide didn't have the slightest idea where he was going
An independent individual who does not go along with a group or party
The candidate was once considered a maverick, but now most people agree that he just follows the party line.
Sweetly flowing, often used to describe a voice
The grandmother's mellifluous voice soothed the crying child.
The condition of being untruthful
When his lies became public, Will lost many friends because of his mendacity
The humble mendicant spent his days collecting money to help others.
Characterized by rapid and unpredictable change in mood.
Christian Grey is often described as mercurial.
The meretricious stretch limousine looked out of place in the church parking lot
Characterized by extreme care and precision; attentive to detail
Maury is a meticulous editor who will find every last typo and mistake
Strength of spirit; courage
The weeks of physical competition tested his mettle in unforeseen ways.
To have weight or bearing on, to argue (against)
The president's advisors warned him that the volatility of the situation militated against any rash action
To exploit, to squeeze every last ounce of
I milked my sprained ankle for as much sympathy as I could; pretty soon I had people cooking me dinner and cleaning my house
The territorial dog gave a minatory look at the mail carrier
Pronounce or speak affectedly or too carefully, euphemize, take tiny steps, tiptoe
Don't mince words with me; just come right out and tell me exactly what you think
One who hates all other humans
The movie is about an adorable young child who wins the heart of a misanthrope
One who hates women
Sometimes I wonder if my boss is a misogynist because none of the female employees get promotions
To make or become less severe or intense; to moderate.
Aspirin can mitigate pain
To calm or soothe; to reduce in emotional intensity
Marlena tried to mollify her angry neighbor by offering to pay for the broken window.
Alan's morose attitude made him an unpopular dinner guest.
Having many aspects
It seemed at first to be an open-and-shut robbery case, but soon detectives uncovered so many twists and turns that it seems as multifaceted as a dodecahedron
Varied, motley, greatly diversified.
The objects of his multifarious crushes ranged from Katherine Hepburn to the cashier at the grocery store
Of the world; typical of or concerned with the ordinary
You might think that an office is too mundane a setting for comedy, but popular TV shows prove otherwise.
S: commonplace, everyday, banal
I respect Bill Gates for his munificence; he has funded much of the research to combat malaria in developing countries.