10th Grade: AICE English Language 1 (AS Level)
Read the first two selections and then either Ender’s Game or Hiroshima.
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- Hiroshima by John Hersey (the edition you read must include Chapter 5 – The Aftermath)
* Note: Hiroshima is a non-fiction account of six individuals who survived the atomic bomb dropped on
Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 at the close of WWII. If you are not into history, then the book’s 152 pages may seem
like 324. Ender’s Game is a science fiction novel of 324 pages; if you like sci-fi stories, then it will likely seem
like 152 pages.
10th Grade AICE English Language Summer Vocabulary – Mr. Jordan
Yes, there are 339 words on this list. However, you likely will find that you know or are familiar with many of them. Please do not be intimidated by this list; trust me, you can handle it. You will eventually need to make flashcards for all of the words, so you can begin doing that over the summer if you choose. On one side of the index card write the word and the part of speech, and on the other side write the complete definition. This will likely prove to be a good study aid throughout the year. During the first few months of school we will discuss these words, and you will be tested on them during the first two quarters.
Below are the eight Parts of Speech. I know you learned them in elementary school, but you will need to have an intimate knowledge of them in my class – so please know them well.
- Noun a person, place, thing or idea
- Pronoun takes the place of nouns or other pronouns
- Adjective describes nouns and pronouns
- Verb shows action or state of being
- Adverb modifies verbs, adjectives and other adverbs
- Conjunction joins words, groups of words and sentences together
- Interjection shows excitement or emotion
- Preposition shows how a noun or pronoun relates to other words in the sentence
- commence (v) – to begin or start… We have goofed around long enough; it’s probably time to commence class.
- pauper (n) -- a very poor person … Since Lonnie squandered all of his earnings, he lived out his retirement
years as a pauper.
- indigent -- (adj/noun) – poor; needy … Johnnie was so determined to remove himself from his indigent lifestyle
that he worked three jobs for several years.
affluent (adj/noun) -- wealthy (n) -- a tributary stream … Johnnie’s hard work eventually paid off, and he became
one of the more affluent individuals in the neighborhood.
- predicament (n) -- a difficult or trying situation; a quandary (similar to conundrum) … Frankie’s predicament
led to many sleepless nights until he finally decided to do the right thing.
- disconsolate (adj) – hopelessly sad and unhappy; miserable and unable to be cheered up; inconsolable;
despondent… After FSU lost for the fifth straight year to the mighty Florida Gators, Ba-la-kay Hartwell
was so disconsolate that he sobbed like a little schoolgirl who had her money stolen on snow cone day.
- succinct (adj) -- brief and clear in expression; concise You goals as a writer should be to be clear, concise, and
- irk (v) – to irritate or agitate (adj – irked) … If you continue to irk Pahana, then he conceivably could start
crying and ask for his mommy and teddy bear.
- perturb (v) – ditto (adj – perturbed) … Pahana is rather perturbed and eventually may decide to go
crying to his mommy. (The aforementioned sentence is courtesy of Lauren Lynn Veternik.)
- ditto (n) – the same as stated above or before
- irate & livid (adj) -- extremely angry; enraged … If you continue harassing Pahana, then he likely will become irate and may decide to go upside your jaw and send your teeth flying.
- indignant (adj) -- angry due to something unjust… Frankie, the only FSU fan in the class, became indignant
when the teacher let everyone else make up the test but him. (noun – indignation) … Lonnie’s indignation
grew until he finally decided to protest the governor’s decision.
Pregunta: What happens when you add a prefix to a word?
Pregunta: What happens when you add a suffix to a word?
- righteous (adj) – behaving according to a religious or moral code; free from guilt or sin
- righteous indignation – This is a reactive emotion of anger over perceived mistreatment, insult, or
malice. Anger and contempt combined with a feeling that it is one's right to feel that way; anger
- feasible (adj) -- capable of being done or carried out; possible… It is simply not feasible to drive from Ocala to
Atlanta in less than four hours.
plausible (adj) -- seemingly true or believable … If you’re going to make up an excuse for running the stop
sign, at least make it a plausible one.
- verbatim (adj or adv) – word for word … I want you to repeat verbatim what the teacher said.
- erratic (adj) -- not even or regular in pattern or movement; unpredictable…. Because Billy’s decision
making is so erratic, he is bound to get himself into some serious trouble.
- profound (adj) – 1.) having intellectual depth and insight; 2.) far-reaching or deep (n – profundity) … The
teacher led a profound discussion about the meaning of life. … The book had a profound impact on how I
live my life.
- save (prep) – except for; excluding … Everyone save Billy passed the exam… Save Billy, everyone passed.
sans (prep) – without … We were able to win the game sans our best player.
- assuage (v) -- to ease or make less severe; to soothe or relieve; to mollify; alleviate… Just last week, my
mother was finally able to assuage my fears of sleeping without the bathroom light on… Perhaps a
massage would assuage your back pain.
- reconcile (v) -- to reestablish a close relationship; to settle or resolve… After a year of not talking to each
other, the two classmates decided it was best to reconcile. (reconciliation – noun)
- wont (adj) – accustomed to or used to doing something…He is wont to cheat when he doesn’t know an answer.
- macabre (adj) -- suggesting the horror of death and decay; gruesome; ghastly … Edgar Allan Poe is known for
his macabre short stories that could potentially give nightmares to younger readers.
- solace (n) -- relief from emotional distress; a source of comfort in a time of sadness, grief, or
disappointment… Even though FSU loses to Florida in everything, they can take solace in
knowing that they have a top-notch clown program.
- trivial (adj) – unimportant or insignificant… If you continue to get worked up over such trivial matters, you
are only going to make yourself miserable in life.
- frivolous (adj) -- not as serious as the occasion requires; so trivial as to be considered absurd; (frivolity – noun) …
Even though I generally watch every Gator game, football became kind of frivolous during the three months
that my grandmother was extremely ill… A kid’s life is full of frivolities that adults simply don’t have time for,
such as Facebragging and ChapSnatting and Twittering and Instant-gramming.
- credible (adj) -- able to be believed; convincing… Since Billy is a well-known liar, very few people found his story credible.
- reluctant (adj) -- not inclined to do something; hesitant (noun – reluctance) … Paige and Brooke Insco’s
reluctance to comply with the teacher’s request eventually landed them in the principal’s office.
- curt (adj) -- rudely abrupt or brief; brusque; short in language; (curtly –adverb) … Since Lauren Lynn
Veternik refused to be polite and respectful, she was sent to the office for her curt responses to the
teacher’s questions. … Billy responded curtly to the officer’s questions and ended up being arrested.
- subside (v) – to diminish in intensity or become less… The pain in Johnny’s leg has yet to subside and will likely continue to hurt for quite some time.
- ambiguous (adj) – something whose meaning is unclear or open to more than one interpretation… Even
though every group was supposed to be doing the same thing, they were all doing something different, so
perhaps the teacher’s directions were a little ambiguous. (ambiguity – noun)
- rash (adj) -- acting too quickly and without thinking; hasty (haste – noun… Haste makes waste.)
Billy’s rash decisions inevitably lead to him getting suspended every year. In the future, he needs to think before he acts.
- solemn (adj) – without joy or humor; dismal, gloomy or somber; sullen … The day Grain Vault disbanded was
perhaps the most solemn day of my life. It was so devastating that I’m not quite sure when my misery will subside. (noun – solemnity)
- benign (adj) – 1.) having a kind and gentle disposition or appearance; 2.) neutral or harmless;
3.) not malignant … Since Johnny is one of the most benign students I have ever taught, I cannot believe
he got a referral for insubordination… Fortunately, my grandmammy’s tumor was benign.
- incessant (adj) – continuous or non-stop … Billy was sent to the office for his incessant talking.
(incessantly -- adverb)… Make sure you understand the difference between incessant and perpetual
perpetual (adj) -- continuing forever; everlasting… The world is in perpetual motion… Suzy is perpetually
leaving the milk out on the counter after using it. (perpetual is a stronger or more exaggerated word than
incessant) … (perpetually – adverb) (perpetuity – noun)
- du jour – a French phrase which literally means “of the day.” In English, it can mean either an item served
in a restaurant on a particular day (What is the soup du jour?) or something that is happening or
popular at the current time, month or year (The term “Lit” apparently is the word du jour.)
- lethargy (n) -- a state of sluggishness, inactivity or apathy (lethargic – adj.)… All you do is lay on the couch all
day. Get up and do something with your life because your lethargy is driving me crazy.
- apathy (n) -- a lack of interest or concern, especially in important matters (apathetic – adj)… Your apathy is
concerning because you are more than capable of doing the work yet you have D’s and F’s in all subjects.
- indolent (adj) -- not inclined to work; lazy (indolence – noun) … Johnny is quite capable of getting good
grades, but his indolence is forever getting in the way of his success.
- divert (v) – 1.) to change the route or path taken by something; 2.) to take somebody’s mind
off something and draw attention to something else (diversion – noun) … Traffic was diverted due to
the flooding of 17th St. … The students did their best to divert the teacher’s attention until the bell rang. …
The criminals created a diversion in order to rob the jiffy store.
- trudge (v) – to walk or march with slow, heavy, weary steps … After playing for three hours in the grueling
summer heat, the players trudged off the field and headed to the locker room.
- rectify (v) – to correct or fix; to set straight; to remedy … If you want to bring up your grade, I will allow you
to take home your essay and rectify all of your mistakes. (remedy as a noun – We are still searching for a
remedy to this problem.)
- beckon (v) – 1.) to make a gesture with the hand, arm, or head to encourage someone to come nearer or follow;
to summon … The assistant principal beckoned me to her office yesterday at lunch. … The man finally
received his summons to appear in court.
- proponent (n) – a supporter or advocate of an idea, program, initiative, etc. … Johnny is perhaps the biggest
proponent of the new plan as he has spent countless hours handing out pamphlets and raising funds.
(advocate can also be used as a verb – I will always advocate for my students until they betray me.)
- via (prep) -- by way of … I will stay in contact with you via e-mail… We travelled to Boston via train.
vie (v) -- to strive for superiority; to contend or compete for … Three teams are vying for the championship.
- exorbitant (adj) – much too high in price or amount … Mr. Jordan does his best to provide his students a
quality and challenging education without giving an exorbitant amount of homework. … That new car is
within my price range, but I’m just not sure I can afford the exorbitant insurance and maintenance fees.
- concur (v) – to agree (with) Parts of what you just said are accurate, but I’m not sure I can completely
concur with your entire assessment. … Yes, I concur.
- adversary (n) – an enemy or opponent … Even though Lonnie was once my best friend, I now consider him to
be my adversary as he stole my car and girlfriend. … The softball team did their best to prepare for its
most hated adversary: Forest.
- elaborate (v) – to explain further; to give more information; expound (noun – elaboration)
(adj) – complex or rich in detail … Since Billy did not elaborate on his essay, the teacher was forced to
deduct points for lack of support and evidence. … (elaborate as an adjective – That was one of the
more elaborate responses you’ve ever given; I’m quite impressed with your improvement.
- prolong (v) -- to lengthen in duration … Students will often ask irrelevant questions in an attempt to prolong
the discussion, so they can avoid taking the quiz at the end of class. … Timeouts and commercials prolong
many sporting events.
- detrimental (adj) -- damaging or harmful… Not turning in homework is detrimental to your grade… Smoking
of any kind is detrimental to your health.
- significant (adj) – 1) important; major… This test will be a significant part of your first nine weeks grade.
2) a lot… There are a significant number of mistakes in your essay. (significance – noun)
- inevitable (adj) – certain to occur or bound to happen… If you continue to text and drive, it is inevitable that
you will be involved in some sort of traffic accident… Inevitably, we all will face heartache at some point
in our lives.
imminent (adj) -- near; approaching; about to happen (don’t confuse with eminent (adj) -- prominent; famous;
distinguished) … With the hurricane bearing down on the east coast, we are in imminent danger… You
have had three months to study for the exam; now, the test is imminent.
- digress (v) -- to stray, especially from the main subject in writing or speaking (digression – noun)
Politicians have a tendency to digress when asked a controversial question they would prefer not to
- imply (v) -- to express indirectly noun -- implication … The theme of most stories in literature is implied and
you must read carefully in order to figure it out. … If you are implying that I stole Billy’s lunch money,
then you are sorely mistaken.
infer (v) -- to make a logical assumption (often based on prior knowledge)
(noun) – inference … The theme of most short stories is implied; as a result, the reader must infer what
the theme is. … The scientist made an incorrect inference and was forced to start his experiment from scratch.
implicit (adj) -- implied but not plainly expressed … Even though my directions were implicit, it was quite
obvious I didn’t want you writing on the desks.
explicit (adj) -- stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt … The teacher’s
instructions were so explicit that the only way you could have botched the assignment was if you
simply were not listening.
- corroborate (v) – to confirm or give support to (a statement, theory, or finding)… If the police want to
arrest Billy for doing the crack rock, then they will to get a reliable witness to corroborate the boy's
account of the crime." (corroboration – noun)
- transform (v)- to change noticeably in appearance, form or condition (generally for the better)
(noun – transformation) … Billy has undergone quite a transformation since the days when he cheated and
lied and stole on a daily basis.
- protocol (n) -- a code of correct conduct … What is the protocol in this class for making up work?
- diligent (adj) – careful and hardworking (diligence – noun) … Suzy’s diligence likely will result in good
grades in this class.
- negligent (adj) – careless or neglectful (negligence – noun) … Lonnie’s recent negligence has caused his
grades to slide precipitously.
- potable (adj.) – safe to drink; drinkable … I’m not sure if that water from that stream is potable, so unless
you’re dying you should wait until we get home.
- wanderlust (n) – an urge to wander or travel… Billy’s wanderlust led him to travel the world after graduation.
- futile (adj) -- having no useful result; in vain (futility – noun) … All of Mr. Jordan’s attempts to get a date for
the dance were futile – that is, until his grandmother said YES. … Lonnie made 53 futile attempts at making
a 3-point shot. … All of his requests were in vain.
vain (adj) -- 1. not successful; futile (His attempts were in vain.) 2. excessively proud of one’s appearance
or accomplishments; conceited; narcissistic (noun – vanity) … Lonnie is so vain that he spends nearly
half his life looking at himself in the mirror. … Frankie’s vanity is increasing as he is forever talking about his accomplishments. … a vanity can also be a bathroom cabinet containing a sink and usually having a countertop; or a small desk that has a mirror where makeup is applied… a vanity mirror is a small, compact mirror used for applying makeup
- implement (v) – to put into effect… Since this is not working, it’s probably time to implement a new plan.
(noun – implementation)
- pummel (v) – to pound; to beat repeatedly with the fist … I’m quite certain Florida will pummel FSU once
again this season.
- intervene (v) – to come between as if to separate (intervention – noun) … The deans intervened before the
dispute in the lunchroom got out of hand.
- adhere (v) -- to follow or stick to…You must adhere to the rules or face expulsion. (noun- adhesive/adherence)
Tape is an adhesive. We need there to be complete adherence to the rules if this plan has a chance to succeed.
comply (v) – to obey… You must comply with the rules or face expulsion. (compliance – noun)
We need there to be complete compliance with the rules if this plan has a chance to succeed.
- antithesis (n) -- the direct opposite … Billy is a hard worker, but his brother is the antithesis and just lays
around on the couch all weekend.
- scrutinize (v) – to examine closely (noun – scrutiny) … All of this scrutiny is putting tremendous stress on me.
- reiterate (v) – to restate something for emphasis or clarity (noun – reiteration) … The boss reiterated the
instructions so that everyone understood what to do.
- salvage (v) – to save from total loss or destruction… You can still salvage your grade if you work hard.
… a junkyard is also often known as a salvage yard
- resilient (adj) -- characterized by the ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune or change… Johnny is one
of the more resilient individuals I’ve ever met. Regardless of how many times he has failed the test, he
never gives up. (noun – resilience)
- subtle (adj) -- so slight as to be difficult to detect; not obvious… The school’s changes to the gym were so subtle
that few students even noticed them.
- loathe (v) -- to dislike greatly; to really hate (despise, detest, abhor, disdain) … If you are smart, then you
should loathe the colors garnet and gold.
loath (adj) unwilling or reluctant… Billy Francois is loath to tell the truth when backed into a corner.
Instead, he tends to tell falsehoods that inevitably lead to more falsehoods.
- assertive (adj) -- characterized by boldness or confidence… Suzy needs to be a little more assertive;
otherwise, people will continue to take advantage of her… It is possible to be assertive without
being rude, even when discussing matters with a teacher or a boss. assert (v); assertion (n)
- cease (v) -- to bring or come to an end; to stop (don’t confuse with the verb “seize” … Unless you want to get
sent to the office, it would be wise to cease that inappropriate behavior.
- emigration (n) - the act of leaving a country or region to live elsewhere (antonym of immigration)
- imperative (adj) – necessary or mandatory (generally because it’s important – but imperative doesn’t
mean “important” … If you want to read and write well, then it is imperative that you have a strong vocabulary.
- deviate (v) -- to stray or move away from an established course, way, or prescribed mode of behavior
(n) -deviation … If this plan is going to be successful, it is imperative that no one deviate from your
- aberration (n) -- a deviation from the normal or the typical; an anomaly … Suzy has always done well in
school, so I don’t think I would get too worried about one poor grade on an assignment. That probably was
just an aberration, and she will recover just fine.
- arduous (adj) - difficult or hard to do; laborious; strenuous… If you actually apply yourself, this class won’t be too arduous.
- reprieve (n) – a cancellation or postponement of a punishment … The test has been postponed until Tuesday,
so hopefully everyone will take advantage of this reprieve. … Under the new law, all prisoners accused of
that crime will be given a reprieve and will be re-tried next month.
- RSVP (French) – is derived from the French phrase répondez s'il vous plait meaning "please respond" … It is
helpful if you RSVP to the wedding before the date on the invitation so that the hosts know how many people they need to feed.
bon appetit (French) -- a salutation to a person about to eat; literally means “good appetite” but is used to
mean “enjoy your meal” … Some waitresses at nice restaurants will say “bon appetit” when they deliver your chow to the table.
- arbitrary (adj) – 1.) chosen or determined at random without rhyme, reason, or logic 2.) based solely on
personal wishes, feelings, or perceptions rather than on objective facts, reasons or principles … The boss
often seems to give raises to anyone wearing orange on Tuesdays, which is a rather arbitrary way to
reward his employees.
- supplement (v) -- to make or become greater in size, extent or quantity; to increase; to augment … Billy
worked odd jobs on the weekend in order to supplement his income… Since certain supplements are
banned, athletes must be careful what they put into their system.
- ad nauseam (adv) -- to a disgusting or absurd degree… We have discussed that topic ad nauseam, so let’s move
on…. The issue of Donald Trump’s tax returns was covered ad nauseam by the press.
- bewilder (v) – to confuse; baffle; confound; perplex; befuddle I am confounded as to why Billy would
cheat on the test when he could have easily done the work himself. (adj – bewildering, baffling,
confounding, perplexing, befuddling) That is one of the more perplexing questions of today’s society.
- sophomoric (adj) -- of or like a sophomore; exhibiting immaturity and lack of judgment… Students’
sophomoric decisions and behavior will inevitably get them in trouble... Johnny’s sophomoric writing style
needs significant improvement.
- omnipotent (adj) -- having unlimited power, authority or force … Even though the president is the leader of
our country, he is not completely omnipotent as many decisions must be cleared by members of Congress.
- omniscient (adj) -- having total knowledge; knowing everything … Sometimes I wonder if my mother is
omniscient as she seems to know just about everything that happens at school.
- omnipresent (adj) -- being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time; ubiquitous … Everywhere I go at
school it seems as if I see Suzy. It’s almost as if she’s ubiquitous. … You can’t drive very far on the
interstate without seeing the ubiquitous advertisement billboards.
- critique (n) - a critical analysis or evaluation… You need to write a critique of the speech.
- stoic (adj) – unemotional; stolid … Johnny remained stoic despite receiving such devastating news.
- 93. litany (n) – a long, often repetitious list… Johnny had a litany of complaints about his boss… There were a
litany of grammar mistakes in your last essay.
- placate (v) -- to appease or pacify, especially by making concessions… Since Johnny wanted to sit on the couch all day and watch college football, he had no desire to attend the dance recital. He, nonetheless, chose to go anyway as he knew the importance of placating his wife. A happy wife equals a happy life.
- epitome (n) -- a typical or perfect example of its kind … Suzy is the epitome of what a student-athlete should
be: dedicated, hard-working, polite, and respectful…. epitomize – verb … Suzy epitomizes what a student
athlete should be: dedicated, hard-working, polite, and respectful.
- expedite (v) -- to speed up the process of; to make quicker & usually easier … Years ago, gas stations placed
credit card machines at the pumps in order to expedite the pumping and paying for fuel. (think of the
- ostracize (v) -- to banish or exclude from a group; to alienate … Ever since Billy started doing drugs, his
friends slowly but surely ostracized him for his inappropriate and illegal behavior.
- sinister (adj) – evil or suggesting evil … He has one of the most sinister laughs I’ve ever heard.
- prolific (adj) -- producing something in great abundance… Ernest Hemingway was a prolific writer of short stories and novels.
- succumb (v) -- to give in … Please do not succumb to the pressures of doing crack rock.
- venerable- (adj) commanding respect as a result of age, dignity, character, or position … Since Duke
University in North Carolina is one of the more venerable institutions in the country, it is extremely
difficult to be accepted there.
- eradicate (v) – to remove or destroy completely (eradication – noun) … The exterminator is doing
everything he can to eradicate the roach infestation in the basement.
- exacerbate (v) -- to make a situation worse; to increase the severity of … If you continue to argue with your teacher, you will just exacerbate an already bad situation. … Suzy insisted on running the race with an
sprained ankle despite her coach repeatedly explaining how it would exacerbate the injury.
- feign (v) - to pretend, fake or give a false impression … He was feigning interest throughout the boring lecture…
Johnnie will often feign illness to avoid doing his chores… a noun generally follows the word feign … feign
injury… feign surprise… feign excitement.... feign appreciation… feign disappointment.... an opossum will feign death.
- fickle (adj) -- erratic or changeable, especially in affections; inconstant; capricious … Many sports fans are
known for being fickle: As soon as their team starts losing, they jump off of the bandwagon.
- haggard (adj) -- having a tired or worn-out look (generally refers to a person) …
- indispensable (adj) - absolutely necessary or required (opposite of dispensable)
- pungent (adj) – having a sharp taste or smell (often not pleasant)
- nebulous (adj) – unclear, vague … That event happened so long ago that my memory of it is rather nebulous.
- palpable (adj) -- seemingly capable of being felt or touched … the excitement was palpable… the tension
was palpable… a palpable sense of loss… The excitement before the first game was palpable.
tangible – literally capable of being touched … Before we can arrest Billy and Johnny, we need some tangible
evidence that would indicate they committed the crime.
- peruse (v) – to read or examine (often in detail)
- precarious (adj) – dangerously lacking in stability; unsteady (adverb – precariously)
- preposterous (adj) – contrary to reason or common sense; absurd; ludicrous
- fabricate (v) – 1.) to create or invent; 2.) to construct … There is simply no way I can believe your story. It is
so far-fetched that I can only guess you fabricated it on the way to my classroom.
- redundant (adj) -- using more words than necessary; repetitive; superfluous – extra; surplus
Ex. -- The winless team did not win a game… The frigid air was extremely cold… Will you please
meet me at 6 a.m. in the morning? … I don’t believe you; that sounds like a fabricated lie.
- prudent (adj) – wise in practical matters; marked by wisdom (prudence – noun)
- procure (v) – to get or obtain through hard work or special effort
- pundit (n) - a learned person; an authority; an expert … None of the pundits expected Trump to win the nomination.
- kowtow (v) – 1.) to behave in an extremely submissive way in order to please somebody in a
position of authority; to kiss-up to someone or to suck-up to someone 2.) formerly, in China, to kneel and
touch the forehead to the ground in order to show respect, awe, or submission
- contrite (adj) -- sorrowful or remorseful for some wrongdoing; deeply repentant… Frankie’s apology was so
contrite that the coach felt compelled to only suspend the player for a week instead of dismissing him from
the team as originally planned. (contrition – noun) … Lonnie showed absolutely no contrition yesterday,
so everyone had a difficult time believing that he was actually sorry.
- oppressed (adj) – kept down by unjust use or force of authority (noun – oppression) … In the 1900’s and
even today, workers in factories often endure oppressive working conditions. As a result, they often fell
oppressed. and this oppression can often have unrelated consequences.
- remnants (n) - what is left over; remainders… After my brother invaded the kitchen, there were just remnants of the fried chicken.
- rendezvous (n/v) – meeting of two or more people
- ruse (n) – a trick (not to be used as a verb)
- confer (v) – to come together to discuss or talk about; to consult with others (conference – noun)
- tact (n) -- sensitivity in dealing with others (tactful – adjective)
- obstinate (adj) -- stubborn; clinging to an attitude or opinion in spite of reason
- adamant (adj) -- deeply or strongly felt; intensely, emotionally or passionately felt
vehement (adj – extremely adamant
Johnny vehemently denied he had anything to do with the disappearance of Grain Vault’s frontman.
- refute (v)- to prove to be false or erroneous (refutation – noun)
- neophyte (n)- a beginner or novice Pregunta: What does the prefix “neo” mean?
Billy is a neophyte when it comes to playing chess, so let’s not make fun of him quite yet.
- tirade (n) -- a long, passionate speech, especially one that is critical; rant; diatribe (diatribe is probably a
little stronger term than tirade or rant)
- complacent (adj) -- self-satisfied, usually without being aware of possible dangers; (over confident or
- plethora (adj) -- an abundance of; an excess of; myriad; innumerable – both myriad and innumerable mean
“many” or “countless” – Frankie had myriad chances to make up the test, but he chose not to do so.
Frankie had innumerable chances to make up the test, but he chose not to do so.
BUT… Johnny had a plethora of chances to make up the test, but he chose not to do so.
- vindictive (adj) -- revengeful; spiteful; intended to cause anguish or hurt
- vindicate (v) -- to clear from criticism, blame, guilt, suspicion (noun – vindication)
- accost (v) -- to approach and speak to in an aggressive or hostile manner
- loquacious (adj) -- very talkative; garrulous
- composure (n) – calm and steady control over the emotions … If you are smart, then you will learn how to
maintain your composure…. Failure to keep your composure will likely lead to arguments and fights.
(adjective – composed) Franklin is one of the more composed individuals I have ever met.
- distraught (adj) – extremely upset and distressed; despondent
- facetious (adj) -- not meant seriously; playful or humorous (adverb – facetiously)
- retort (v) – to make a reply, often sharply, angrily or wittily (the noun is also retort)
- vex (v) -- to confuse to the point of being annoying or bothered (vexation – noun, vexing – adjective)
-- don’t confuse “vex” with bewilder, perplex, baffle, confound, and befuddle OR with irk & perturb
- former (n) -- the first of two persons or things mentioned
latter (n) -- the second of two persons or things mentioned
- etymology (n) -- the origin of a word and the historical development of its meaning
-- don’t confuse “etymology” with “entomology” which is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects
- awry (adv or adj) -- wrong; amiss … Our plans went awry when my brother came home early.
- forte (n) -- something in which a person excels; a strong point; a specialty Sewing is one of Billy’s many
fortes, so he would be happy to mend your torn sweater.
Pregunta: What is the opposite of forte? See me for a potentially surprising answer.
- ominous (adj) – being or showing a sign of evil or misfortune to come
- je ne sais quoi – a French term that means a pleasant quality that cannot be described or named easily; an
indefinable, elusive quality, especially a pleasing one
- plunder (v) – to loot or rob of property, often by force; to pillage (or pilfer) Pirates were notorious for their
pillaging of the areas they invaded.
- scorn (n/v) – contempt or disdain; derision
scornful (adj) – full of contempt or disdain (hatred/anger); derisive
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
derision (n) – an expression of ridicule or contempt (verb – deride)
contemptuous (adj) – feeling, expressing, or demonstrating a strong dislike or utter lack of respect for
somebody or something
contempt (n) – 1.) disparaging or haughty disdain; scorn … “Familiarity breeds contempt” is a well-known
2.) open disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law … If people in a courtroom
don’t behave, the judge will be forced to “hold them in contempt,” often resulting in that individual
- clandestine (adj) – concealed for the purpose of deception; secretive; covert
- stealthy (adj) -- moving, proceeding, or acting in a covert way; quiet and sneaky; furtive
- usurp (v) – to seize and hold by force without legal authority; to confiscate; to commandeer
- confide (v) -- to tell (something) in confidence confidant (n) - a person with whom one shares a secret or
private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others
- implore (v) -- to beg or beseech; to ask earnestly or beg somebody to do something; to plead
- antebellum (adj) – belonging or relating to the time before the Civil War (or any war)
Pregunta: What does the prefix “ante” mean? -- “anti” is an entirely different prefix
- double entendre (n) -- a word or phrase having a double meaning, especially when one meaning is risqué
- risqué (adj) -- slightly indecent or liable to shock, especially by being sexually suggestive; racy … That
novel includes material that is too risqué (or racy) to be read by middle schoolers.
- refrain (v) -- to keep from doing or indulging in … Unless you want to live your life somewhere in a gutter,
you should refrain from doing crack rock. … In music, the refrain is the chorus of a song
- enthrall (v) – to hold spell-bound or to fascinate; to captivate or mesmerize (enthralling – adj)
- touche (interj) -- used to acknowledge a successful criticism in an argument (or a “hit” in fencing)
- patronize (v) -- 1.) to treat in a condescending manner
2.) to go to as a customer, especially on a regular basis (patron – noun)
condescending (adj) -- behaving toward other people in a belittling way that shows you consider
yourself socially or intelligently superior to them
- faux (adj) – fake or false; made in imitation; artificial; not genuine… Her faux pearls made her look more
affluent than she actually was.
- faux pas (n) – a social blunder … Picking your nose in public is a faux pas I would rather not commit.
- cynical (adj) – critical and distrustful of human nature and motives (cynic (n) – a person who is cynical)
(cynicism (n) – the act of being cynical)
- defiant (adj.) – deliberately and openly disobedient; tending to confront and challenge
(noun – defiance; verb – defy)
- quid pro quo (n) – something given or done in exchange for something else
- segue (n/v) -- a smooth transition from one situation or element to another … That is a good question you
asked and will serve as a perfect segue (noun) into our next topic… That question will allow us to segue
(verb) into the next subject.
- jettison (v) – to discard or abandon something; to throw something from a ship, aircraft, or vehicle
Perhaps we should jettison our backpacks, so we can run even faster.
- inclement (adj) – stormy… Due to inclement weather, the game will be postponed.
- scapegoat (n) -- a person who bears the blame for others (occasionally for something they
are not responsible for) Pregunta: What is the history of the word “scapegoat”?
- catnap – a short, light nap (from a cat’s habit of sleeping lightly during the day)
- queue (n) -- a line of waiting people or vehicles (v) -- to get in line
query (n) – a question or inquiry (inquiry is the noun for the verb inquire)
-- these two words are very British terms that are, nonetheless, still used in America, especially query
- persona non grata (n) -- somebody who is not accepted or welcome (as a diplomat to the authorities of a
country to which he or she is sent) … Ever since Billy stole money from my mother’s purse, he has been
considered persona non grata at our house.
- tranquil (adj) -- calm; serene; placid; peaceful free from disturbance (tranquility & serenity – nouns)
- fortnight (n) -- a period of 14 days; two weeks … The Wimbledon tennis tournament lasts a fortnight.
- pedestrian (adj) -- dull; ordinary; mediocre; prosaic … That meal wasn’t the worst, but it was rather pedestrian.
-- prosaic is not really used that much, but you will likely encounter it in writing at least seven times in
your life, so would it kill you to learn it? I think not. Remember: “p” for pedestrian & “p” for prosaic.
- prostrate (adj) – lying flat on the ground, generally face down -- not to be confused with prostate
- repercussion (n) -- an effect of an event or action; a consequence; a ramification … When you make poor choices, such as skipping my class, please know that there will be repercussions for your foolish actions.
-- Remember: “r” for repercussion and “r” for ramification
- raze (v) -- to level to the ground; to tear down completely; to demolish (a structure) … Instead of razing the old Forest High School, the decision was made to refurbish the buildings and turn it into MTI.
-- raze is the opposite of raise; think of a “razor”
- indifferent (adj) -- having no choice or preference (noun – indifference)
Your complete indifference will get you nowhere in life.
- nonchalant (adj) -- seeming to be unconcerned or indifferent, often regarding matters that should be
considered important; having an overly confident and easy manner… His nonchalance was evident from the outset and perhaps cost us the game.
- liberate (v) -- to set free (liberation – noun)
- outstanding (adj) -- not settled; not resolved… We still have some outstanding business that needs to be
resolved before you leave for the weekend…. You have outstanding debt that needs to be repaid before you
- collaborate (v) -- to work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort (collaboration – noun)
conspire (v) -- to work together secretly to commit an illegal act (conspiracy – noun)
- rapport (n) -- a relationship, especially one of mutual trust or affinity
affinity (n) – 1.) a natural attraction to someone or something; 2.) a relationship by marriage
- novel (adj) -- strikingly new, unusual or different (novelty – noun)
If what you are doing in life is not working, perhaps you should take a novel approach.
novella (n) -- a short novel
- hinder & impede (v) – to be or get in the way of; to obstruct the progress of or delay
(nouns – hindrance & impediment)
- epiphany (n) -- an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and
striking; a revelation
- cope (v) – to deal with … We all need to learn how to cope with our problems.
- intriguing (adj)- extremely interesting; fascinating; captivating (noun – intrigue)
- compensate (v) -- 1.) to make up for; 2.) to pay somebody for work done or for something lost
(compensation – noun)
- thespian (n) -- an actor or actress … Since Mikayla is so dramatic about everything, it would make sense for
her to join the thespian club.
- soiree & shindig (n) -- an evening party or social gathering
- parched (adj) -- hot and thirsty; dried up… Those plants are parched and are in dire need of some agua.
- score (n) – 1.) a group of twenty; 2.) a written form of a musical composition
Four score and seven years ago…
There were several fatalities and scores of injuries in the train wreck.
- perhaps (adv) – maybe … Perhaps we will change our plans and attend the game.
- long (v) -- to have a strong desire or craving for someone or something; yearn or crave
- objective (adj) -- uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices; fair & unbiased (noun – objectivity)
(n) – something worked toward or striven for; a goal
- subjective (adj) -- based somewhat on opinions or feelings rather than on facts or evidence; open to
interpretation (noun -- subjectivity)
- prominent (adj)- 1.) readily noticeable or standing out; 2) widely and popularly known (prominently- adv) …
Suzy has a prominent stain on her dress and should have it removed prior to wearing it to the wedding…
Nobody can see the sign where you hung it, so please move it to a more prominent location.
- repertoire (n) -- the range of skills or abilities of a person or group
- formidable (adj) -- arousing fear, dread or awe; difficult to overcome or conquer
- fortitude (n) -- strength of mind that allows one to endure pain or adversity with courage
- thrive (v) – to do extremely well; to prosper; to flourish
- squander (v) -- to spend or use unwisely; to waste … Billy squandered all of his money and all of his chances.
- linger (v) -- to be slow in leaving; to remain or stay around for a period of time
- hearth (n) – 1.) the floor of a fireplace, usually extending into a room 2.) family life; the home
- sympathy (n) -- a feeling or expression of pity or sorrow for the distress of another (verb – sympathize)
empathy (n) -- identification with and understanding of another’s situation or feelings (often indicates the
person has experienced something similar or otherwise has a deep understanding of the situation) (v-empathize)
- utilize (v) -- to put to use… In order to be successful, we need to utilize all of the skills in our repertoire.
(noun – utilization)
- skeptical (adj) -- not easily persuaded or convinced; doubting (nouns – skeptic & skepticism)
- fret (v) -- to worry … Don’t fret; we will have plenty of fun in here.
- galore (adj) -- in great numbers; in abundance … generally you use a noun and then galore.
There were Butterfingers galore at the party. In your essay, you made mistakes galore.
- genuine (adj) -- real; sincere, authentic (a genuine apology); not counterfeit; actually possessing the
alleged or apparent attribute or character (genuine leather)
- gist (n) -- the main idea, the point … I missed the meeting, so please tell me the gist of what was said.
- tedious (adj) -- tiresomely long or dull; boring (generally describes something specific – a tedious chore,
monotonous (adj) – uninteresting or boring as a result of being repetitive and unvaried monotony
(usually describes something in more general terms – His job is so monotonous… The monotony of his job…
- finale (n) – an event that is the last or climactic event in a series… the grand finale, the season finale
- irrelevant (adj)-- not relevant or not related to the subject; not to the point; not pertinent; not germane
- inexplicable (adj) -- impossible to explain or account for (inexplicably – adverb)
- infallible (adj) -- incapable of making a mistake; incapable of failing (noun – infallibility)
- regress (v) -- to return to a previous or worse state or condition; the opposite of progress (noun – regression)
- melee (n) – a rough & noisy fight involving a large number of people; a brawl
- compel (v) -- to force or feel forced; to cause to do something
- avaricious (adj) -- greedy; marked by an insatiable desire for wealth; (avarice – noun)
- dishearten (v) - to deprive of courage and hope
- rescind (v) -- to repeal or annul; to take back, remove or cancel… If you continue to take advantage of me, I
will forced to rescind your class’ privileges. … Johnnie rescinded his offer, so you will have to look for
other employment opportunities.
- renege (v) to go back on a promise, undertaking, or contract … The Donald reneged on the Iran nuclear deal,
causing much consternation from the international community. … The teacher likely will renege his offer of
credit extra if we don’t start paying attention in class.
- diminutive (adj) -- extremely small; tiny (generally refers to the size of a person/animal/thing & not an amount)
- distraught (adj) – extremely upset and distressed
- eavesdrop (v) -- to listen secretly to a private conversation
- endure (v) -- to continue on despite hardships; to suffer through something
- enhance (v) -- to make something better by adding to it or improving it
- epitaph (n) -- a written inscription on a tombstone
eulogy (n) -- a written or spoken tribute praising someone who has died (verb – eulogize)
- vulnerable (adj) – open or susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm… If we are smart we will
attack the enemy’s fort where they are most vulnerable.
- ignorant (adj)- lacking in education or knowledge; unaware or uninformed (doesn’t mean stupid)
Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “Ignorance is bliss.”
- buffoon (n) -- a clown; someone who amuses with tricks and jokes (generally has a negative connotation)
- callous (adj) -- insensitive; showing no concern or sympathy for others; harsh, rough (think of a callus on
your hands being rough) … I know Jimmy acts like the most callous boss we have ever had, but he actually
cares deeply about all of his employees.
- ponder (v) -- to think intently about; to mull … In the coming weeks, we will mull over that plan.
contemplate (v) – 1.) to think intently about; 2.) to consider (noun – contemplation)
- nepotism (n) -- favoritism (often unjust) to relatives
- in lieu of (prep) -- in place of; instead of … Let’s play a game in lieu of failing this test.
- asinine (adj) -- stupid; downright absurd; resembling a horse’s behind
- transparent (adj) -- clear or see through (can be literal or metaphorical) (noun – transparency)
Most company policies call for complete transparency by allowing the media full access to company files.
You will be suspended if you wear transparent clothing to school.
Joe’s motives were so transparent that everyone in the class knew he was simply sucking-up to the teacher.
- notorious (adj) – known widely and usually unfavorably; infamous
(noun -- notoriety – while notorious (and infamous) almost exclusively have a negative
connotation, notoriety can be used for something good or bad. (Good – That band gained their
notoriety with the release of the second album in 2014.)
infamous (adj) – having a reputation of the worst kind; causing or bringing infamy or disgrace
- apropos (adj) – appropriate in a particular situation; fitting … Since Suzy has been tardy so many times this
year, it will be apropos for her to be late for the final exam.
- relinquish (v) – to surrender or let go of… The Gators took the lead against FSU and never relinquished it.
- ambivalent (adj) – having mixed, uncertain, or conflicted feelings about something or someone
(noun – ambivalence) … Your ambivalence toward this important topic is driving crazy: One second you
act like it’s a terrible idea and the next it appears as if you love it.
- condone (v) -- to overlook, forgive or disregard (an offense), especially to treat as if trivial, harmless or
of no importance… Some teachers may condone the use of texting machines in class, but he does not.
- fiancé (n) -- a man who is engaged
fiancée (n) -- a woman who is engaged
- revere (v) -- to regard with deep respect and devotion (adj – reverent… the reverend is quite reverent)
reverie (n) -- a state of abstracted musing; a daydream
- albeit (conj) – although… He was making progress, albeit rather slowly…. He did turn in the
assignment, albeit three weeks late.
- coup (n) -- a brilliant, sudden and usually a highly successful act, maneuver, or strategy; also short for
coup d’etat … It would be a coup if we could somehow encourage Billy Franklin to take a teaching job at
our school. … (don’t confuse coup with coupe, which is a two-door vehicle)
coup d’etat (n) -- a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics, especially the violent overthrow or
alteration of an existing government by a small group The dictator sensed a coup d’etat in progress, so he
quickly retaliated against anyone he deemed remotely threatening.
coup de grace (n) -- a decisive finishing blow, act or event; the “last straw” Johnny endured his girlfriend’s
evil ways for months, but the coup de grace was when she lied to his face so he decided to break up with her.
- crucible (n) – a container or vessel made of a substance that can withstand extreme heat; a severe trial or test
- modus operandi (n) -- a particular way of doing things; a method of operating or functioning (Latin for
mode or method of operating. This term is often shortened to the letters M.O.)
- incognito (adv & adj) -- 1. one whose identity is disguised or concealed
- (n) -- the condition of having a disguised or concealed identity
- a la (prep)-- in the style or manner of Ex: write a poem a la Robert Frost; dunk a la Lebron James
- --esque (suffix) -- in the manner of; resembling Ex: picturesque, a Robert Frost-esque poem; a Lebron
- --ette (suffix) –1.) small, diminutive... kitchenette, cigarette, statuette
2.) female… majorette, bachelorette, suffragette
- carte blanche (n) – unrestricted authority or freedom to do whatever you choose
- swan song (n) – 1.) a final appearance, performance, or work as a farewell to a career or profession
2.) a song of legendary beauty said to be sung only once by a swan during its lifetime, when it is dying
- en route (adv & adj) – on the way or along the way … We are en route and will be there in 15 minutes.
- pro bono (adv) – done for the public good without any payment or compensation
- posthumous (adj) -- occurring or continuing after one’s death; published after the writer’s death Ernest
Hemingway won several posthumous awards in the 1960’s. … (adverb – posthumously) A few of his
novels were posthumously published.
- flora (n) – plants (or flowers), especially of a particular region or time (think “fl” for flower and “fl” for flora)
fauna (n) -- animals, especially of a particular region or time (think “fawn” for fauna; a fawn is a young deer)
- mea culpa (n) – a formal apology or acknowledgment of responsibility or guilt
- catharsis (n) -- a purging of the emotions; an experience or feeling of spiritual release and purification
brought about by an intense emotional experience adj.—cathartic
- façade (n) - 1) the face of a building, usually given special architectural treatment; 2) a false, superficial or
artificial appearance Ex: His over-the-top displays of bravado are just a façade for his true feelings of inferiority.
- galvanize (v) – 1.) to arouse or spur to action or awareness; to spark or ignite in a figurative manner
The football squad has lost three consecutive games, but the coach is hoping that the quarterback’s return
from injury will galvanize the team and stop their losing streak.
2.) to stimulate or shock with an electric current 3.) to coat w/ a protective layer of zinc
- hark (v) -- to listen attentively (old-fashioned term, often used in Britain)… Hark! The herald angels sing…
- lackey (n) – an obedient follower; somebody excessively willing to obey another’s orders; a minion … Billy
basically has turned into the teacher’s lackey in an attempt to gain favor.
- pang (n) -- a sudden, sharp twinge of pain or distress (a hunger pang)
- opine (v) – to hold and state as one's opinion; opine is the verb form of the noun opinion … The governor
opined for thirty minutes on the progress of his administration. … Because some doctors opine red wine is
good for the heart, my grandmother enjoys several glasses of wine each day.
- expletive (n) – a swear word, obscenity, or profanity… Johnny was expelled for shouting expletives at his teacher.
- abdicate (v) – to relinquish (power or responsibility) formally… The king abdicated the throne in 1936.
(noun – abdication)
- escalate (v) -- to increase or intensify… Johnny was calm at first, but the situation escalated rather quickly,
and eventually he was arrested for his unruly behavior… (Remember: escalators go up)
- reservation (n) -- a doubt; … While many students voiced reservations about the new schedule, the teachers
unanimously support it.
- poignant (adj) -- profoundly moving; touching… That was such a poignant anecdote that virtually
everyone in the room was teary eyed.
- emulate (v) – to imitate the style of, generally with the purpose of doing something equally well or even
better than the original … If you are not happy with yourself, then perhaps try emulating someone you
admire. … For Paper 1 on the AICE English Language exam, you must learn how to emulate the style and language of a writer.
- liberal (adj) – 1. open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values… They
have more liberal views toward marriage and divorce than some people.
- (of education) concerned mainly with broadening a person's general knowledge and
experience, rather than with technical or professional training… a liberal arts degree
- exempt (adj) – to be freed or released from some requirement to which others are subject… Since
he was absent last week due to the death of Chewy, Johnny is exempt from this week’s exam.
(noun – exemption)
- comprehensive (adj) -- including everything so as to be complete; covering many things or a wide area
The semester exam in that class will be comprehensive, meaning it will include everything covered in class
from week one until December.
- vet (v) -- to appraise, verify, or check for accuracy, authenticity, validity… It is essential that companies
thoroughly vet their employees before hiring them.
- superficial (adj) -- shallow; of or relating to the surface (superficial does not mean artificial)… Since it was
such a superficial wound, Frankie didn’t even need stitches… Most people’s conversations don’t
have much substance and are rather superficial.
- acquiesce (v) -- to consent or comply without protest… Billy didn’t want to anger his mother further, so he
eventually acquiesced and did his chores.
- bigot (n) -- a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions... Don’t let a few small-minded bigots
destroy the good image of our country. (noun – bigotry)
- irreparable (of an injury or loss) impossible to rectify or repair; irreversible; irrevocable… My grandmother
stopped taking certain medication last month because it was doing irreparable damage to her heart and
lungs… Sometimes bad choices can be rectified; other times the consequences are irreparable.
- stagnant (adj) -- not moving or flowing… Grain Vault hasn’t produced any new music in more than a
year, so I guess you could say their career is stagnant.
- stamina (n) -- the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort; endurance… Since soccer players
run virtually the entire game, it is imperative that they build up their stamina if they are going to be
effective late in the game… Most AICE exams are two hours long, so you need to have enough stamina to
write effectively and legibly for that length of time.
- net (adj) – [usually used before noun]-- anet amount of money is the amount that remains when nothing
more is to be taken away, such as taxes or expenses…. After expenses, we made a net profit of
$525. … Net can also be used as a verb -- I only netted $123 after taxes were taken out.
- gross (adj) – the total amount of money earned (before taxes or expenses are deducted) His gross
income is at an all-time high… Can also be used a verb – The restaurant grossed $4,100 last night.
- placebo (n) -- a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological
benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect… His aunt Suzy had been kept
alive on sympathy and placebos for thirty years.
- revert (v) -- to return to a previous or worse state, condition, or practice… If Johnny is not careful with
whom he hangs around, then he likely will revert to his previous lifestyle. (noun -- reversion)
- trepidation (n) -- a feeling of fear or agitation about something that may happen; apprehension or
hesitation… After much trepidation, we finally decided to enter the cave.
- gait (n) -- a manner or rate of movement on foot; a sequence of foot movements (often used to refer to a
horse’s gait)… I can tell that Billy’s foot still hurts because his gait continues to look a little awkward.
- versatile (adj) -- able to adapt to many different functions, tasks or activities… Kurt Vonnegut is a
versatile author, as he has written in a wide-range of genres… Mr. Jordan played virtually all positions on
his high school baseball squad; as a result, he won the award for the “Most Versatile Player” on the team.
(noun – versatility)
- conventional (adj) – normal; standard; traditional… Even though his teaching style is a little
unconventional, he cares deeply about all of the students.
- sobriquet (n) -- a person’s nickname… Baseball player Ty Cobb was also known by thesobriquet “The
- cognizant (adj) -- having conscious knowledge of or an awareness of … When driving, Billy needs to be
more cognizant of his surroundings; otherwise, he will undoubtedly get in an accident soon.
- boondoggle (n) -- work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value…
Typically when I go to Chicago for my job, I actually have to work, but this time it’s essentially a
boondoggle. We get to play golf every day and only have to attend meetings for two hours a day.
- compulsory (adj) – required by law or a rule; obligatory; mandatory… Essay question number one is
compulsory for all candidates, but they have the choice of doing either number two or three…. The usage is
slightly different with the word “imperative” (see word #73)
- transpire (v) – to happen or occur… Before we ground Billy, we should do our best to ascertain exactly
what transpired yesterday afternoon. We don’t want to assume anything.
- ascertain (v) -- to learn or discover with certainty … See example above
- frank (adj) -- open and sincere in expression; straightforward; candid
If you want me to be completely frank (or candid), your work is terrible, and I’m on the verge of firing you.
… candid can also refer to a photograph of a person taken informally, often without the subject's knowledge
- exodus (n) -- a departure involving large numbers of people … The nasty smell in the kitchen led to a mass
exodus of the employees.
genesis (adj) – the beginning or origin of something … Your inappropriate actions last year in 5th period
were the genesis of your problems in school.
- obscure (adj) – something or someone that is not very well-known (an obscure fact; an obscure writer);
esoteric … Trivia games often include such obscure (esoteric) information that very few people know the
(v) – to block the vision of or get in the way of … Please remove the plant on the counter as it’s obscuring
my view of the swimming pool.
- recluse (n) – somebody who lives alone and deliberately keeps away from other people (adj – reclusive) …
Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, lived much of her life as a recluse. … Frankie Franklin’s
reclusive lifestyle meant there weren’t many people who knew him well.
- fathom 1.) (v) -- to comprehend; 2) a unit of length equivalent to six feet, used principally in the
measurement of marine depths … It is difficult for me to fathom how someone could fail this class if they
are just somewhat organized, focused, and dedicated.
- crestfallen (adj.) – disappointed or devastated, especially after being enthusiastic or confident … Billy was
certain he would be offered the job and became crestfallen when the position was given to someone else.
- propensity (n) – a tendency or natural inclination… Billy has a propensity to cheat on his vocabulary tests.
- voila -- there it is; there you are… “Voila!” she said, producing a pair of stylish white sandals.
- synthesize – 1) to gather information from different sources and use it to reach a new conclusion
2) to combine materials in order to create something, such as a product
- caveat (n) -- a warning or caution; a condition attached to an agreement … That deal sounds pretty good, but
just be careful because there are often caveats in situations like that. … Yes, you may attend the concert,
but there are a few caveats we must discuss prior to your departure.
- innate (adj) – 1.) relating to qualities that a person or animal is born with 2.) forming an
integral part of something 3.) coming directly from the mind rather than being acquired by
experience or from external sources
- excerpt (n) -- a short extract (section) from a film, broadcast, or piece of music or writing
- lexicon (n) -- the vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge
- shoddy (adj) -- poorly made or done
- conform (v) – to comply with rules, standards, or laws; to behave according to socially acceptable
conventions or standards… The kitchen does not conform to hygiene regulations. … Even if you don’t want
to do so, it probably is a good idea to conform to the majority of society’s rules and expectations.
- conventions (n) – 1) a way in which something is usually done, especially within a particular area or activity
… She is the woman who overturned so many conventions of children's literature.
2) behavior that is considered acceptable or polite to most members of a society
- vanguard (n) -- a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas; the foremost or leading
position in a trend or movement… Their innovative ideas are in the vanguard of technical development.
- providence (n) -- the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power… They found their trust in
divine providence to be a source of comfort.
- reputable (adj) – having a good reputation… That company is more reputable than the one you are using, so
it’s probably worth spending the extra money because they are more likely to get the job done correctly.
- mire (v) – to cause to become stuck (literally or figuratively); to be bogged down or overwhelmed … literal
mire -- Johnny’s mule-drawn carriage got mired in the muddy field. … figurative mire – About a decade
ago, the country was mired in its longest recession since the 1940’s. mire (n) – a swampy or boggy ground
- contentious (adj) – causing or likely to cause a heated argument because of its controversial nature … The
teacher did his best to direct the discussion away from that point because he knew how contentious it might
- discrepancy (n) -- a lack of compatibility or similarity between two or more facts; an inconsistency …
There's a discrepancy between your account and his, so we will have to investigate this matter further.
- disparity (n) – a great difference; a lack of similarity or equality … There is a tremendous disparity between
the salaries of men and women’s professional tennis players.
- prevalent (adj) – widespread in a particular area at a particular time. … Cheating has become so prevalent
that many students now see it as no big deal.
- retaliate (v) – to respond or get back at someone for something that they did … Suzy’s comments stung, so
Billy retaliated immediately.
- miff (v) – to annoy or offend … She was slightly miffed at not being invited to the soiree, especially since she
is such good friends with the host.
- negligible (adj) – so small or unimportant as to be not worth considering; insignificant. … Since the price
difference between the generic item and the brand item was negligible, Lonnie chose to purchase the brand
product. … Because Frankie lost only a negligible amount of weight, he sent the product back for a refund.
… While it appeared we were stuck in travel for hours, the time was negligible and only delayed our
arrival by fifteen minutes.
- eloquent (adj) -- marked by fluent expression; vividly or movingly expressive… That was truly one of the
more eloquent speeches I have ever heard. … The valedictorian’s eloquent words brought the audience to
its feet. … an eloquent response.
- liaison (n) – someone or something that facilitates a close working relationship between people or
organizations. … Johnny Johnson serves as the liaison for the U.S. embassy in China. … Suzy Smith acts
as a liaison between the police department and city schools.
- enigma (n) -- a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to explain … Billy’s recent behavior
has made him more of an enigma than ever before: One day he is a kind, generous individual, and the next
day he is robbing jiffy stores and stealing from the elderly. (adjective – enigmatic … Billy is more
enigmatic than anyone I’ve ever met.)
- inordinate (adj) -- unusually or disproportionately large… This is a case that has taken up an inordinate
amount of time. … Your essay had an inordinate number of mistakes that easily could have been remedied
had you simply edited your work. … (verb – purport)
- purported (adj) – alleged; saidby some peopleto be real or true, but not proved to be real or true … We
saw no evidence of his purported wealth. … The guides took gullible tourists to purported ancient
sites. (adverb – purportedly … Billy purportedly was involved in a drug ring for more than 20 years before becoming a pastor.
- disparage (v) -- to speak of in a slighting, harshly critical, or disrespectful manner … It is probably not a
good idea to publicly disparage your teacher or boss. (disparaging – adj.)
derogatory (adj.) -- showing a critical or disrespectful attitude; disparaging … It is probably not a good idea
to publicly make derogatory comments about your teacher or boss. (derogate – verb… this is not used
often; use the verb disparage)
- shan’t – old-fashioned contraction for shall not; sometimes is written without the apostrophe … I apologize
for being tardy to the meeting; I shan’t be late again. (Do not use shan’t in your writing, but it is mighty
fun to say in conversation. Go ahead, try it.)
- penultimate (adj) -- next to last… This is the penultimate word on the list.
- crème de la crème (n) – the very best of a group of people or things; the “cream of the crop”… If you have
read this far and have actually studied all of these words, then you are crème de la crème.