Annihilate (verb) • The Black Death, a plague carried by rodent fleas, annihilated millions of Europeans in the fourteenth century. More than one third of the population of Europe died of this disease. • To destroy completely, to vanquish, to make ineffectual or unimportant, to kill • The plan is to annihilate all mosquitoes.
Concession (noun) • Although no immediate medical improvements were made during the Middle Ages, many people grant that modern medicine began at that time. They are wiling to make this concession because of the interest in curing diseases that rose as a result of the Black Death. • An act of granting or yielding, something granted or yielded, a privilege granted for a specific purpose. • The teacher made a concession to the students’ stress levels and allowed them to turn in their papers a week later.
Decimate (verb) • Knowledge of medical cures advanced slowly, but plagues no longer decimated or destroyed large segments of the population. • To destroy or kill a large part of something • The snowstorm decimated many trees in the forest.
Diversion (noun) • Patients often found that medical treatment offered little more than a temporary diversion, or distraction, from their health problems. Often, they only got worse after treatment. • A turning aside, a game or pastime, a recreation • Watching the Olympics was a great diversion from the work I had to do.
Flagrant (adjective) • Hospitals existed only to isolate patients, not to cure them. Staff members were flagrant in their disregard of the patients’ well-being. In addition to the glaringly bad treatment, there was no regard for sanitation. • Glaringly bad, notorious, outrageous • The flagrant foul made the crowd go wild.
Insolence (noun) • The insolence of the some of the hospital workers caused many patients to abandon treatment. Indirectly, this rude behavior may have eventually forced hospitals to begin caring for patients. • Quality or instance of being disrespectful and insulting, impudence • The insolence of some teenagers often gives all teenagers a bad name.
Purge (verb/noun) • Apothecaries, or druggists, were also a part of the medical world. They filled prescriptions from physicians and also prescribed drugs themselves, usually herbal mixtures designed to purge or eliminate disease from a patient. • To remove undesirable elements from, to rid, to remove by cleansing; the removal of members by a higher authority • Many people try to purge toxins from their body by drinking a lot of water and going on purges.
Sadistic (adjective) • All in all, medical treatment bordered on being sadistic, not because the practitioners were cruel, but because so little was known of the cause and treatment of disease and injury. Sometimes the “cure” was worse than the disease! • Having an unnatural love of cruelty; extremely cruel • Some people take a sadistic pleasure in squishing bugs.
Caustic (adjective) • Our teacher tends to be rather caustic, so between his sarcasm and Nathan’s comments, I often feel as if I were in a war zone. • Corrosive, marked by sharp and biting wit, sarcastic • The chemical was caustic and burned a hole in the wood. • Your attitude is caustic, and I don’t want you to negatively influence everyone around you.
Incendiary (noun, adjective) • We took chemistry together, too. Now, Nathan isn’t an incendiary who sets fire to property, but it seems as if every time he gets into a chemistry lab, something bursts into flames. • Capable of causing fire, stirring up discord or rebellion; a person who sets fire to property, a person who stirs up discord or rebellion • His comments were incendiary, and there was almost a fight.