(n) [an uh NIM uh tee] condition of being nameless or unknown. After twenty years of anonymity, Ellis decided to put his real name on his new novel.
(v) [CHAS tiyz] to criticize severely. The editorial writers in the local newspaper frequently chastise the mayor and the city council for their insensitive and poorly conceived plans.
(adj.) [KRON ik] lasting a long time; constant. When Dad’s cough became chronic, we insisted he get a chest X-ray.
(n) [DURTH] shortage. There is currently a dearth of graduate mathematicians in the United States.
(adj.) [FOR mi duh bul] hard to overcome; to be dreaded. Seemingly a mild-mannered reporter, Clark Kent was actually the formidable Superman.
(adj.) [im PLAH zi bul] not having the appearance of truth or reason. The excuse Dan gave for missing the concert was so implausible that we refused to believe him without more evidence.
(n) [LIM bo] a region or condition of oblivion or neglect (from the Latin on the border of Hell). Half-adult, half-child, and yet neither, the adolescent occupies a special human limbo. (from The New Republic)
(n) [men DA si tee] lying or stalling the truth. Caught up by his own web of lies, the Congressman shrieked that his accusers were just as guilty of mendacity as he was.
(adj.) [meh fis sto FI lee en] usually capitalized; devilish or crafty (from the Devil in Goethe’s version of the Faust legend, in which the scholar Faust sells his soul to the Devil). With his dark and ominous behavior, the boy appeared Mephistophelean, yet she fell in love with him.
(adj.) [mer KYOOR ee ul] changeable or unstable. Lawrence’s mercurial temperament was accepted by his friends who could tolerate his swift mood changes and volatile temper.
(adj.) [OR thuh doks] adhering to the accepted or traditional and established faith (especially in religion). Bishop Pike attracted a number of loyal followers, even though his unconventional and radical ideas challenged many of the orthodox teachings of the Church.
(adj.) [par si MO nee us] too thrifty; stingy. Dickens’ character Scrooge, known for his tightfistedness, is regarded as an extreme example of the parsimonious man.
(n) [REH kloos] a person who lives alone, away from others. The town had its recluse who kept to himself about whom mysterious secrets were whispered.
(n) [TAL en] the claw of a bird of prey; any object suggestive of a claw. The hawk’s talons closed on its prey, locking it in a vise-like grip.
(v) [WAYV] to relinquish voluntarily; to dispense with; to postpone. The defense attorney decided to waive his right to cross-examine the witness.