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Vocabulary Unit #5. amnesty. N.—a general pardon for an offense against a government in general, any act of forgiveness or absolution Synonym—reprieve Many political prisoners were freed under the amnesty granted by the new regime. autonomy.

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amnesty
amnesty

N.—a general pardon for an offense against a

government

in general, any act of forgiveness or

absolution

Synonym—reprieve

Many political prisoners were freed under the amnesty granted by the new regime.

autonomy
autonomy

n.—self-government, political control

Synonym—home rule

After the colonies gained autonomy from England, many Americans still clung to English traditions.

axiomatic
axiomatic

Adj.—self-evident, expressing a universally accepted principle

Synonym—taken for granted

One should not accept the idea that the camera never lies as an axiomatic truth.

blazon
blazon

v.—to adorn or embellish; to display conspicuously; to publish or proclaim widely

Synonym—broadcast

They will blazon the results of the election across the Internet and every television set in the land.

caveat
caveat

n.—a warning or caution to prevent misunderstanding or discourage behavior

Synonym—admonition

The well-known Latin phrase “caveat emptor” means, “Let the buyer beware.”

equitable
equitable

Adj.—fair, just, embodying principles of justice

Synonym—right; reasonable

He did more work, so a sixty-forty split of the profits seemed an equitable arrangement.

extricate
extricate

v.—to free from entanglements or difficulties; to remove with effort

Synonym—disentangle; extract

The ring must have slid off my finger as I was trying to extricate the fish from the net.

filch
filch

v.—to steal, especially in a sneaky way and in petty amounts

Synonym—pilfer; swipe

If you filch pennies from the cash drawer, you will be tempted to steal larger amounts one day.

flout
flout

v.—to mock, treat with contempt

Synonym—sneer at; snicker at

She chose to ignore my advice, not because she wanted to flout my beliefs, but because she had strong opinions of her own.

fractious
fractious

Adj.—tending to be troublesome; unruly; quarrelsome, contrary; unpredictable

Synonym—peevish; recalcitrant

It seems as if even the smoothest-running organizations contain one or two fractious elements.

precept
precept

n.—a rule of conduct or action

Synonym—principle; maxim

Many philosophies follow the precept that it is important to treat others as you would like to be treated.

salutary
salutary

Adj.—beneficial, helpful; healthful, wholesome

Synonym—helpful

The cute new puppy had a salutary effect on her health.

scathing
scathing

Adj.—bitterly severe, withering; causing great harm

Synonym—harsh; savage

Sometimes a reasoned discussion does more to change people’s minds than a scathing attack.

scourge
scourge

v.—to whip, punish severely

n.—a cause of affliction or suffering; a source of

severe punishment or criticism

Synonym—flog, beat

Reverend Dimmesdale used a scourge to punish himself for his sins.

s epulchral
sepulchral

Adj.—funereal; typical of the tomb; extremely gloomy or dismal

Synonym—mortuary

In a severe and sepulchral tone of voice, my sister announced that we were out of cookies.

soporific
soporific

Adj.—tending to cause sleep, relating to sleepiness or lethargy

N.—something that induces sleep

He claimed that the musical was soporific and that he had slept through the entire second act.

straitlaced
straitlaced

Adj.—extremely strict in regard to moral standards and conduct; prudish; puritanical

Synonym—overly strict; stuffy

Travelers may find people overseas straitlaced in some ways but surprisingly free in others.

transient
transient

Adj.—lasting only a short time, fleeting

N.—one who stays only a short time

Synonym—evanescent

His bad mood was transient, and by the time he’d finished his breakfast, he was smiling.

unwieldy
unwieldy

Adj.—not easily carried, handled, or managed because of size or complexity

Synonym—bulky; clumsy

We loaded the truck with the chairs and the coffee table, but the grand piano was too unwieldy.

vapid
vapid

Adj.—dull, uninteresting, tiresome; lacking in sharpness, flavor, liveliness, or force

Synonym—lifeless; colorless

While critics called the movie vapid, I thought the performers were very compelling.