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  1. bowdlerize
    • DEFINITION: to remove or delete parts of a book, song, or other work that are considered offensive
    • SENTENCE: Diane Ravitch argues that American students are compelled to read bland texts that have been bowdlerized by publishers who cut controversial material.
    • SYNONYMS: censor, bleep out, cleanse
  2. galvanize
    • DEFINITION: to stir into action as if with an electric shock; to startle into sudden activity
    • SENTENCE: Rosa Park's simple but powerful act of protest galvanized the Montgomery Bus Boycott, helping to raise further awareness of and participation in the Civil Rights Movement.
    • SYNONYMS: invigorate, jolt, energize
    • ANTONYMS: depress, deter, discourage
  3. Picayune
    • DEFINITION: something of small value or importance; a trifling or trivial thing
    • SENTENCE: Tim can spend hours over a theoretical math picayune, but has trouble focusing on and caring about larger, more abstract subjects or ideas.
    • SYNONYMS: frivolous, inconsequential, insignificant
    • ANTONYMS: important, valuable, substantial
  4. Gerrymander
    • DEFINITION: to divide a geographic area into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party
    • SENTENCE: California gerrymandered two pockets of Republican strength in LA into one gerrymandered district by connecting them with a thin strip of coastline.
    • SYNONYMS: manipulate, redistrict
  5. Maverick
    • DEFINITION: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party; a nonconformist
    • SENTENCE: Lt. Peter Mitchel received the nickname "Mav", short for maverick, because he was a nonconformist who did not always follow the rules.
    • SYNONYMS: dissenter, radical, nonconformist
    • ANTONYMS: conformist, conventionalist, follower
  6. Juggernaut
    • DEFINITION: something (such as a force, campaign, or movement) that is extremely large and powerful and cannot be stopped; an irresistible force that crushes everything in its path
    • SENTENCE: The D-Day assault forces formed a juggernaut that crushed the German defenses.
    • SYNONYMS: movement, blitz, crusade
  7. Serendipity
    • DEFINITION: luck in the form of finding valuable or pleasant things without looking for them; an accidental but fortunate discovery
    • SENTENCE: Fleming's discovery of penicillin was serendipitous - he was away on vacation when the mold that would show him how to fight disease grew on his bacteria cultures.
    • SYNONYMS: kismet, blessing, luck
    • ANTONYMS: misfortune
  8. Zenith
    • DEFINITION: the highest point in an arc; the highest point reached in the sky by the sun, moon, etc; the strongest or most successful period of time
    • SENTENCE: Before the sun had reached its zenith, Edith had gone for a run, done her taxes, and eaten a healthy breakfast.
    • SYNONYMS: acme, pinnacle, culmination
    • ANTONYMS: nadir, bottom, valley
  9. Nadir
    • DEFINITION: the worst or lowest point; the moment of least hope and least achievement
    • SENTENCE: Harper knew that she was at her nadir when no one would talk to her because she had worked so hard at being a good worker that she had ignored her friends.
    • SYNONYMS: valley, bottom, floor
    • ANTONYMS: zenith, peak, apex
  10. Expunge
    • DEFINITION: to rub out or remove information from a piece of writing; to cause to be forgotten; to remove completely or destroy
    • SENTENCE: The judge finally agreed to expunge the mark for disturbing the peace from Adam's record, after months of arguing that it was his neighbor who had played the music so loud and late.
    • SYNONYMS: erase, eradicate, abolish
    • ANTONYMS: construct, create, build
  11. Expurgate
    • DEFINITION: to change (a written work) by removing parts that offend people; to purge or cleanse of moral offensiveness
    • SENTENCE: Martin wanted to use a Dr. Dre song as his theme song for senior year, but all of his attempts to expurgate the song of profanity failed, so he chose a Coldplay song instead.
  12. Excise
    • DEFINITION: to remove by or as if by cutting; to cut out, as a piece of text from a literary work or a tumor from the body
    • SENTENCE: The school board banned Vonnegut's book because they could find no way to excise the offensive passages from it without ruining the work entirely.
  13. Eccentric
    • DEFINITION: literally out of the center, departing from a recognized conventional or established norm; an odd, unconventional person or behavior
    • SENTENCE: Most of the people in Hill Valley regarded Doc Brown as a strange and eccentric "mad scientist."
    • SYNONYMS: bizarre, idiosyncratic, quirky
    • ANTONYMS: normal, ordinary, conventional
  14. Extricate
    • DEFINITION: to remove, release , or free someone or something from a difficult condition or situation; to free or remove from an entanglement or difficulty; to distinguish from a related thing
    • SENTENCE: Emergency workers have a number of tools specially designed to help extricate injured people from car wrecks and other small spaces.
    • SYNONYMS: extract, remove, disentangle
    • ANTONYMS: entangle, involve, intertwine
  15. Exemplary
    • DEFINITION: serving as an example of something; extremely good and deserving to be admired and copied
    • SENTENCE: The Nobel Prize is designed to reward scientists, peace workers, and writers for their exemplary work.
    • SYNONYMS: admirable, laudable, meritorious
    • ANTONYMS: unideal, ordinary, average
  16. Enumerate
    • DEFINITION: to name separately and specifically, as though counting important things in a list; to specify one after another
    • SENTENCE: In a poem she read to her literature class, Kat enumerated the reasons that she hated overseas travel, which all turned out to be related to her fear of flying.
    • SYNONYMS: tally, total, list
  17. Elusive
    • DEFINITION: out of reach and therefore difficult to catch, define, or describe; hard to find or capture; difficult to understand, define, or remember
    • SENTENCE: The solution to problems between Democrats and Republicans that prevents progress from being made with the approval of both political parties remains elusive and undiscovered.
    • SYNONYMS: secretive, evasive, mysterious
    • ANTONYMS: obvious, explicit, exposed
  18. Exorbitant
    • DEFINITION: exceeding the bounds of custom, propriety, or reason, especially in amount or extent; literally "out of orbit," and therefore highly excessive
    • SENTENCE: Football teams are being sued for charging "exorbitant" amounts of money to park in the lots adjacent to the stadium.
    • SYNONYMS: excessive, inordinate, wasteful
    • ANTONYMS: reasonable, sensible, moderate
  19. Repudiate
    • DEFINITION: to refuse to accept or obey something or someone; to reject as having no authority or binding force; to cast off or disown
    • SENTENCE: Luther's courageous refusal to renounce his beliefs helped spark the Protestant Revolution.
    • SYNONYMS: deny, forsake, spurn
    • ANTONYMS: allow, approve, condone
  20. Renounce
    • DEFINITION: to say publicly that you no longer own, support, believe in, or have a connection with something; to give up or put aside voluntarily, especially in a public way
    • SENTENCE: Helena could not take back her actions, but she could renounce them for the entire world to hear so that everyone would know that she regretted what she had done.
    • SYNONYMS: reject, forsake, deny
  21. Recant
    • DEFINITION: to withdraw or disavow (a statement, opinion, etc.), especially formally; to make a public statement of error, esp. about words said
    • SENTENCE: Jamie tried, but he couldn't recant his statement that made him seem both stupid and prejudiced.
    • SYNONYMS: deny, change, reject
  22. Redundancy
    • DEFINITION: superfluous repetition or overlapping, esp. of words; the duplication or repetition of elements to provide a backup in case the primary systems fail
    • SENTENCE: Some people argue in favor of redundancy, saying that there can never be enough information stored in enough different places, but seeing the amount of paper and bandwidth that this demand might make them change their minds.
    • SYNONYMS: repetition, verbosity, wordiness
  23. Relinquish
    • DEFINITION: to give something up, such as responsibility or claim; to renounce, surrender, or give back a possession, right, or privilege
    • SENTENCE: When news of the Watergate scandal became common knowledge, Richard Nixon was forced to relinquish the powers of the presidency instead of being voted out of office.
    • SYNONYMS: abandon, sacrifice, give up
    • ANTONYMS: keep, take, hold
  24. Resilient
    • DEFINITION: able to improve quickly after being hurt or ill; able to come back from adversity or misfortune; able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc
    • SENTENCE: People joke about cockroaches living until the end of time because they are so resilient, capable of living through everything that humanity can think to throw at them.
    • SYNONYMS: persistent, hardy, strong
    • ANTONYMS: weak, frail, powerless
  25. Reaffirm
    • DEFINITION: to state something as true again, or to state your support for something again; to assert a second or repeated time
    • SENTENCE: For their fiftieth wedding anniversary, Minnie and Gareth decided to renew their vows and reaffirm the importance of the marriage that had held them together for half a century.
    • SYNONYMS: declare, assert, proclaim,
    • ANTONYMS: disavow, deny, retract
  26. Reticent
    • DEFINITION: unwilling to speak about one's thoughts, feelings, and personal affairs; reserved and disposed to be silent frequently
    • SENTENCE: Shant was reticent at first in the presence of the police, but she finally began to speak because she wanted the man who stole her purse to be caught.
    • SYNONYMS: reserved, silent, taciturn
    • ANTONYMS: outgoing, talkative, chatty
  27. Rebuff
    • DEFINITION: to refuse to accept a suggestion, a request for help, or an offer to help, often in an unfriendly way; to bluntly reject, repel, or drive back
    • SENTENCE: Dina had to rebuff Marco four times when he asked her out on a date even though she had a boyfriend.
    • SYNONYMS: deny, refuse, spurn
    • ANTONYMS: welcome, include, accept
  28. renovate
    • DEFINITION: restore (to a house, building, room, etc.) by repairing and remodeling; to make new again
    • SENTENCE: Business and community leaders in New Orleans and Biloxi vowed to undertake extensive renovation projects that would restore damaged neighborhoods.
    • SYNONYMS: overhaul, refurbish, remodel
    • ANTONYMS: demolish, destroy, ruin
  29. Rejuvenate
    • DEFINITION: to make young again, to restore youthful vigor and appearance
    • SENTENCE: The sorceress hoped to rejuvenate her old, tired body by sacrificing the plump young children to her spirits.
    • SYNONYMS: exhilarate, refresh, revitalize
    • ANTONYMS: destroy, kill, ruin
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