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Vocabulary


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In English
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persnickety
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Persnickety is a lively, fancy word for “fussy.” If you've sent your salad back to the kitchen three times, you might be a persnickety eater.

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🇬🇧🇬🇧
Unflinching
Resolute
Ordnance
Ordnance is another word for military supplies, like guns, rockets, or armor. When a country is at war, it needs a lot of ordnance.
Bellwether
Use the word bellwether to indicate someone or something that takes the lead in a group or movement.
Persnickety
Persnickety is a lively, fancy word for “fussy.” If you've sent your salad back to the kitchen three times, you might be a persnickety eater.
Hock
Pawn
Unprepossessing
If you find someone to be unprepossessing, you find them unattractive. Not that they're ugly, mind you! Just unprepossessing.
Devolve
You've probably heard that organisms evolve over time. Well, life is complicated, and sometimes things devolve instead — to devolve is to get worse instead of better.
Moiety
A moiety is one of two equal parts. If you cut a sandwich in half, you can have one moiety for lunch and give the other moiety to a pigeon.
Peremptory
Peremptory comments are like orders. If you say something in a peremptory manner, you want people to stop what they’re doing and do what you say. Peremptory comments put an end to a discussion, and that’s final!
Sentience
The ability to feel and perceive is sentience.
Avowal
Avowal An avowal is an affirmation of the truth of what you believe.
Conflagration
Uncontrolled fire
Virtuous
Moral excellence
Contend
Struggle, claim
Opprobrium
Disgrace arising from exceedingly shameful conduct; ignominy.
Phenotype
Whereas the "genotype" is the genetic makeup of an organism, the phenotype is how genetic and environmental influences come together to create an organism’s physical appearance and behavior.
Asperity
Harshness
Scrounge
Looking for food, forage for something
Trundled
Move slowly or heavily
Abiotic
In science, anything abiotic is not alive. Abiotic factors in an ecosystem are things like temperature, ocean currents, and humidity.
Sophomoric
Anything sophomoric is foolish and immature.
Gibbet
Pillory, gallows, for hanging
Keenly
Keenly is used to describe things that are intense or deeply perceptive. If you're keenly aware that your sister is grouchy in the morning, you'll steer clear of her until lunch time.
Crenellated
To fortify a wall with battlements (holes or notches used for shooting at an approaching enemy) is to crenellate it. If you crenellate the cardboard towers, your model of a medieval castle will look more realistic.
Archness
Archness is a quality of being cheeky or playful in a way that's almost rude. If your philosophy professor cracks a lot of jokes during her lecture on ethics, you might comment on her archness.
Renaissance
A resurgence of excitement or interest in something is a renaissance. My sister is hoping for a renaissance of disco — she's been practicing her dance moves!
Scrawny
Bony, skinny
Gibbet
Gallows
Propitiate
If you forgot flowers on your Mom's birthday, you can still propitiate her by sending a bouquet the next day. Propitiate means to appease someone or make them happy by doing a particular thing. Handy strategy for lovers, too
Agitprop
Agitprop appears to be art but is actually political propaganda. A movie that embraces an extreme political position could be called agitprop.
Guttered
Flickered, wavered
Apoplectic
Someone who is apoplectic is not just mad — they're so filled with rage, they can barely communicate. If your mother is apoplectic, you'd better hope it isn't over something you did.
Avarice
Greed
Commensurate
The word commensurate has to do with things that are similar in size and therefore appropriate. Many people think the death penalty is a commensurate punishment for murder. In other words, the penalty fits the crime.
Exhort
Thoroughly encourage
Omniscient
Knowing everything.
Solute
Solute is just a few letters short of solution, a substance that is dissolved in liquid. In science classes, a solute might be part of your experiment.
Abbot
An abbot is the head of a monastery
Rubric
A rubric is a heading or a category in a chart, or a rule of conduct. A teacher's grading rubrics may include participation, homework completion, tests, quizzes, and papers.
Imposition
Imposition means you force something
Squalid
Neglected
Inexorable
Inflexible
Divot
A piece of turf torn up by a golf club in striking a ball
Innocuous
Harmless
Dissimulate
Hide from other people
Expiate
Expiate means to make amends or atone for a wrong you or someone else has committed.
Alfresco
Fresh air
Probative
Furnishing evidence or proof
Pellucid
A sentence that teaches a new vocabulary word should always be pellucid, that is, its style and meaning should be easily understandable so that you can derive the definition from the sentence.
Compilicity
Complicity is involvement in a wrongful act — like when you drove your newly-turned-vegetarian friend to a fast food joint so that she could scarf down a hamburger.
Bedizen
Bedizen means to decorate yourself or something else to the max — in an over-the-top flashy style. Picture big jewels and gold bling.
Dissipated
If your Great Aunt Maude tells you you've become a dissipated bum, she means you don't think of anything but how much fun you're having. If you got a summer job and stopped playing arcade games all day, she might change her tune.
Malefactor
Someone who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime.
Dissever
To dissever is to separate or divide something. If you spend too much time staring at screens, you might want to dissever yourself from technology and go camping this weekend.
Vivacious
A vivacious person is lively and spirited: a vivacious dancer might do a back-flip off the wall and then jump into the arms of her partner.
Grungy
Dirty
Betide
Befall
Wheedle
To wheedle is to sweet talk, or flatter someone in the hopes of getting something in return. You might try to wheedle a meter maid into not giving you a parking ticket. Good luck with that.
Probative
The legal term probative describes something that tends to demonstrate or prove something.
Anachronism
An anachronism is something that doesn't fit its time period, like if you say you'll "dial" your smartphone.
Savagery
Savagery is fierce or brutal violence.
Dour
Dour describes something sullen, gloomy, or persistent.
Ingenue
Young female character in literature or film who is wholesome and innocent.
Doyenne
Are you a phenomenal baker, famous for your delicious homemade treats? Then you can call yourself the doyenne of cupcakes. A doyenne is an undisputed expert at something.
Arabesque
Classical position in ballet
Alcove
Secluded structure
Beeline
Direct
Exalt
Praise
Affliction
Distress
Fiend
Satan
Arraign
Indictment
Valediction
Address made at or as a farewell.
Vellum
Paper made of skin
Vermicorm
Resembling worm
Virago
A domineering, violent, or bad-tempered woman.
Vitrify
Convert (something) into glass or a glasslike substance, typically by exposure to heat.
Veld
Open, uncultivated country or grassland in southern Africa.
Veridical
Truthful
Versification
Making of verses
Virtuosity
Great skill
Volubly
Chatterbox
Promulgated
To make known to the public;
Reposed
The act of resting or the state of being at rest.
Repudiate
Renounce
Intransigence
Uncompromising
Empyrean
Abode of gods
Escapade
An adventurous, unconventional act or undertaking.
Jaunty
Stylish
Firmament
Expanse of heavens
Bulwark
A wall or embankment raised as a defensive fortification;
Venial
Not seriously wrong
Precepts
A rule or principle prescribing a particular course of action or conduct.
Reprobation
Disapproval,
Rota
List
Garish
Tastelessly showy
Steerage
Cheapest accommodations in a ship