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Unit Two Vocabulary. fractcis tompunct. FRACT – Latin FRANGERE, FRACTUM – to break. fractious – adj. tending to argue or cause discord. His fractious behaviors kept him from making friends at school, which worried his parents and teachers.

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Unit Two Vocabulary

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Unit two vocabulary

Unit Two Vocabulary



Fract latin frangere fractum to break

FRACT – Latin FRANGERE, FRACTUM – to break

  • fractious – adj. tending to argue or cause discord

His fractious behaviors kept him from making friends at school, which worried his parents and teachers.

His infraction resulted in a fine and fifty hours of community service

His infraction resulted in a fine and fifty hours of community service.

  • infraction – n. minor violation of rule or law

Unit two vocabulary

  • infringe – v. to intrude, trespass

When employees heard they were forbidden to gather outside work to talk, they knew their boss was guilty of infringing on their right to free speech and assembly.

Cis latin cisum to cut

CIS – Latin CISUM – to cut

  • excise – v. to cut out of; remove

They had to excise the bullet after he was wounded in a hunting accident.

Unit two vocabulary

  • incisive – adj. sharply cutting; direct and powerful

The speaker’s incisive words were exactly what the audience wanted to hear. They were looking for a confident and decisive leader.

Unit two vocabulary

  • concise – adj. brief and straightforward

When writing for a newspaper, it is very important to be concise and write on a level that can be read and understood by the average reader.

Tom greek temnein to cut

TOM – Greek TEMNEIN – to cut

  • tome – n. a large, serious book

The professor chose a tome for his first-year students in hopes that he would drive away those who weren’t serious scholars.

Unit two vocabulary

  • epitome – n. the best example

One can travel to Holland to find the epitome of a tulip, as the gardens there are said to be the world’s most beautiful.

Unit two vocabulary

  • dichotomy – n. two opposite parts of one whole

Thought and action comprise a dichotomy most people can understand. One cannot exist without the other, but all too often, people act impulsively or allow good ideas to waste away.

Unit two vocabulary

  • anatomy – n. the structure of parts, taken as a whole

The students found it fascinating to study anatomy using the life-size skeleton.

Punct latin pungere punctum to sting pierce

PUNCT – Latin PUNGERE, PUNCTUM – to sting, pierce

  • compunction – n. feeling of regret, remorse

She showed compunction only when it served her own interests; she was never really sorry for her actions.

Unit two vocabulary

  • punctilious – adj. paying strict attention to detail; extremely careful

Martha was often running late for work because she was so punctilious when it came to choosing her wardrobe and accessories.

Unit two vocabulary

  • pungent – adj. stinging or biting, especially in taste or smell

My father suggested washing the dog in tomato juice to reduce the pungent odor of the skunk.

Stealing someone s thunder

Stealing Someone’s Thunder

In the 17th century, playwright John Dennis invented the sound effect of thunder for plays by rattling a sheet of tin. While his play wasn’t liked, many playwrights widely copied his sound effect. Frustrated, Dennis stated that his rivals would not accept his play but were happy to “steal his thunder.”

Unit two vocabulary

So . . .

To “steal someone’s thunder” is either to take credit for the idea of another, or to lessen the effect of another’s idea by suggesting the same idea first.


After Jeffrey proposed his money-saving idea to his boss, he was astonished that the boss stole his thunder and presented the idea to the board as if it were his own.

Witch hunt

Witch Hunt

In 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, hysteria about supposed witches led to the arrests of many people and the execution of twenty. Often, the accused were simply social outcasts and were convicted on flimsy evidence that could be neither proved nor disproved.

Unit two vocabulary

So . . .

A “witch hunt” refers to a campaign against a particular group of people, often those holding unorthodox opinions or behaving in an unconventional manner.


The McCarthy hearings during the 1950s are often described as a witch hunt because a national hysteria arose about people’s supposed associations with the Communist Party, and much of the evidence accepted as truth was really hearsay.

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