to punish or critizes
EX: many Americans are amazed at how harshly the authorities in Singapore CASTIGATE perpetrators of what would be considered minor crimes in the US.
something that brings about a change in something else
EX: the imposition of harsh taxes was the CATALYST that finally brought on the revolution.
biting in wit
EX: Dorothy parker gained her reputation for caustic wit from her cutting, yet clever, insults
great disorder or confusion
EX: In many religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from CHAOS.
someone prejudiced in favor of a group to which he or she belongs
EX: The attitude that men are inherently superior to women and therefore must be obeyed is common among male CHAUVINISTS.
deception by menas of craft or guile
EX: Dishonest used car sales people often use CHICANERY to sell their beat-up old cars.
convincing and well reasoned
EX: Swayed by the COGENT argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendant
to overlook, pardon, or disregard
EX: Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as CONDONING an air of lawlessness.
intricate and complicated
EX: Although many people brought A Brief History of TIme, few could follow its CONVOLUTED ideas and theories
EX: Although some four-year-olds believe in the EASTER bunny, only the most CREDULOUS nine-year-olds also believe in him
steadily increasing colume or force
EX: The CRESCENDO of tension became unbearable as Evel Knievel prepared to jump his motorcycle over the school buses.
appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety
EX: The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the DECORUM appropriate for a visit to the palace.
EX: the respectful young law clerk treated the Supreme Court justice with the utmost DEFERENCE.
to speak of or treat with contempt; to mock
EX: The awkward child was often DERIDED by his "cooler" peers.
jumping from one thing to another; disconnected
EX: Diane had a DESULORY academic record; she had changes majors 12 times in the three years
an abusive, condemnatory speech
EX: The trucker bellowed a DIATRIBE at the driver who had cut him off.
EX: Steve's DIFFIDENT manner during the job interview stemmed from his nervous nature and lack if experience in the field
to make larger; to expand
EX: When you enter a darkened ils of your eyes DILATE to let in more light
intended to delay
EX: the congressman used DILATORY measures to delay the passing of the bill
someone with an amatuerish and superficial interest in a topic
EX: Jerry's friends were such DILETTANTES that they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week.
a funeral hymn or mournful speech
EX: Melville wrote the poem "A DIRGE for James McPherson" for the funeral Union general who was killed in 1864.
to perceive; to recognize
EX: Galileo's observations DISABUSED scholars of the notions that the sun revolved around the earth.
to perceive; to recognize
EX: It is easy to DISCERN the difference between butter and butter-flavored toppings.
fundamentally different; entirely unlike
EX: Although the twins appear to be identical physically, their personalities are DISPARATE.
to present a false appearance; to disguise one's real intentions or charater
EX: The villian could DISSEMBLE to the police no longer-- he admitted the deed and tore up the floor to reveal the body of the old man.