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AMERICAN LITERATURE 11-1DAILY VOCABULARY The editors of the American Heritagedictionaries have compiled a list of 100 words they recommend every high school graduate should know, in order to have “a superior command of the language.” Most of those words are below, with a few added or replaced.
ABERRATION • His outburst in court seems an aberration, considering his usually calm demeanor. • Noun– a deviation from what is normal, expected, or usual; a departure from morality or truth.
ABHOR • While I absolutely abhor his prejudiced speeches, under our laws, he has a right to freedom of speech. • Verb– to regard with extreme repugnance or aversion; detest utterly; loathe.
ABROGATE • During the settlement of the West, the U.S. government continued to abrogate earlier treaties made with the Native American tribes in order to attain more land. • Verb– to abolish by formal or official means; repeal.
ABSTEMIOUS • The athlete’s abstemious diet did not provide enough nutrients to sustain his strenuous activity. • Adjective– sparing or moderate in eating or drinking.
ACUMEN • It was through his unending determination and acumen that he was able to solve the decade’s old mystery. • Noun– keen insight; shrewdness.
AUSPICIOUS • After reading her horoscope in the newspaper, Mary decided it was an auspicious time to buy a lottery ticket. • Adjective– promising success; favorable; opportune.
BEHEMOTH • The army’s new tank is a behemoth; it can take out an entire city block. • Noun– any creature or thing of monstrous size or power.
BELIE • His trembling hands belied his calm voice. • Verb– to show to be false; contradict; misrepresent.
BELLICOSE • Even though he never won any of the fights he started, his bellicose attitude persisted. • Adjective– inclined or eager to fight; aggressively hostile; belligerent.
CALLOUS • Regina has a callous attitude toward the sufferings of others; she is unmoved by the deepest of sadness. • Adjective– insensitive; indifferent; unsympathetic.
CHICANERY • He resorted to the worst kinds of flattery and chicanery to win the job, fudging his resume and taking the boss out to expensive dinners. • Noun—trickery or deception by quibbling or subterfuge.
CHIDE • The mother chided the children for their thoughtless pranks. • Verb– to express disproval of; scold; reproach.
CHURLISH • Ms. Chaga went home with a headache after many of her normally lovely students exhibited churlish behaviors.
CIRCUMLOCUTION • Although it would be easier to be frank, many politicians use circumlocution in order to avoid admitting wrongdoing or ignorance. • Noun—a roundabout or indirect way of speaking; the use of more words than necessary to express an idea.
DAUNTING • While the amount of work left to be done seems daunting, I know we will be able to meet our deadline. • Adjective– seeming difficult to deal with in anticipation; intimidating.
DEARTH • According to some students, there is a dearth of interesting and exciting reading material in the English curriculum. • Noun– an inadequate supply; scarcity; lack.
DELETERIOUS • It has been proven that too much television has a deleterious influence on the development of children’s brains. • Adjective– harmful; injurious.
DENIGRATE • The coach of the Cardinals denigrated the umpire’s reputation when he said there were different strike zones. • Verb– to speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner.
DIFFIDENT • The diffident toddler hid behind her mother’s legs when strangers visited. • Adjective– lacking in confidence; timid; shy.
ENERVATE • Prolonged exposure to the sun and dehydration enervated the shipwrecked crew, leaving them unable to signal the passing ship. • Verb– to deprive of force or strength; to weaken or destroy the vigor of.
EGREGIOUS • Egregious violations of the student code of conduct will result in expulsion or criminal prosecution. • Adjective– extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant.
EPIPHANY • When Bob realized that there was a job where he would be able to both have fun and make a difference, he experienced a life-changing epiphany. • Noun– a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something.
ENMITY • Because of the enmity that exists between my cousin Emily and my cousin Greg, I had them seated at different tables at my wedding. • Noun– a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity.
EVANESCENT • As Helen aged, her memories took on an evanescent quality; one moment she could almost reach out and touch them and the next they were gone. • Adjective– vanishing; fading away; fleeting.
EXPURGATE • Most children read an expurgated version of Grimms’ fairy tales because the originals are much more adult in their themes. • Verb– to amend by removing words, passages, etc. deemed offensive or objectionable.
FACETIOUS • After the couple were overheard talking about installing a GPS chip in their baby’s heel they were reported to child services; however, they were obviously only being facetious. • Adjective– not meant to be taken seriously or literally.
FATUOUS • In the animated movie, “Beauty and the Beast,” Gaston is a fatuous character who brags incessantly about his meaningless exploits and falsely assumes he is superior to everyone. • Adjective– smugly, complacently, and unconsciously foolish and inane; displaying clear lack of intelligence.
FECKLESS • After several feckless attempts to repair the plumbing, my father gave up and allowed the water to create a pool in the basement. • Adjective– ineffective; incompetent; futile.
FIDUCIARY • Congress has not done a very good job of exercising its fiduciary responsibilities to taxpayers. • Adjective-- Involving trust, esp. with regard to the relationship between a trust and a beneficiary. OR Noun—A trustee; confidant.
FILIBUSTER • The senator who was opposed to the plan threatened to filibuster a measure that would permit drilling in Alaska. • Verb– act in an obstructive manner in a legislature, esp. by speaking at inordinate length. OR Noun– an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly.
GAUCHE • Their exquisite manners always make me feel gauche. • Adjective– lacking social grace, sensitivity, or acuteness; awkward; crude; tactless.
GERRYMANDER • Gerrymander the boundaries to try to help the conservatives. • Verb: to divide the constituencies of (a voting area) so as to give one party an unfair advantage
GRIEVOUS • The scientist’s tests found enough indication that the substance could do grievous harm, not only to humans, but also to the entire ecosystem. • Adjective– causing great pain or suffering; atrocious.
HARANGUE • Under the scathing criticism of the his opponent during the debate, the speaker vented his pent-up fury by responding with a particularly fiery harangue. • Noun– a long or intense verbal attack; diatribe or a sermonizing lecture or discourse. • Verb (with object)– to address in a harangue.
HAUGHTY • When I walked into the boutique looking like a slob, the haughty salesclerk wouldn’t even look at me (much less help me.) • Adjective – pretentious; disdainfully proud; arrogant
HEGEMONY • Cardinal Richelieu probably didn't have culinary hegemony in mind when he helped invent the modern dinner knife in 1637. • Noun - leadership or predominant influence exercised by one nation or ruler over others.
HOMOGENEOUS • Our class is a pretty homogeneous crew; no one really stands out as being different from the rest. Adjective -corresponding in structure because of a common origin; similar; same
HUBRIS • Already some media outlets are blasting the director, whom they say has fallen prey to hubris. • Noun – extreme pride or self confidence; arrogance
IDIOSYNCRATIC • We all have our own idiosyncratic gestures, laughs, and facial expressions. • Adjective– peculiar to the individual; characteristic of a particular individual or group.
INCOGNITO • When Ms. Chaga goes to the movies on a Saturday evening, she wears shades and a big hat to remain incognito. Adjective -having one's identity concealed, as under an assumed name, especially to avoid notice or formal attention.
INCONTROVERTIBLE • Casey Anthony swore she was telling the absolute and incontrovertible truth on the stand. • Adjective - not open to question or dispute; indisputable
INCULCATE Socrates inculcated his pupils with the love of truth. Verb - to implant by repeated statement or admonition; teach persistently and earnestly
INFRASTRUCTURE • During construction, the building’s intricate infrastructure put a damper on its completion time. • Noun - the basic, underlying framework or features of a system or organization.
IMPEACH • My conservative grandmother signed a petition to impeach President Obama. • Verb - to accuse (a public official) of misconduct in office.
IRONY • I didn’t appreciate the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend. Noun - the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of their literal meaning.