- abaft Dictionary lookup
(adv.) on or toward the rear of a ship
The passengers moved abaft of the ship so as to escape the fire in the front of the ship.
- abandon Dictionary lookup
(v.; n) to leave behind; to give something up; freedom; enthusiasm; impetuosity
After failing for several years, he abandoned his dream of starting a grocery business.
Lucy embarked on her new adventure with abandon.
- abbreviate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to shorten; compress; diminish
His vacation to Japan was abbreviated when he acquired an illness treatable only in the United States.
- abdicate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to reject, renounce, or abandon
Due to his poor payment record, it may be necessary to abdicate our relationship with the client.
- aberrant Dictionary lookup
(adj.) abnormal; straying from the normal or usual path
The aberrant flight pattern of the airplane alarmed the air traffic controllers.
His aberrant behavior led his friends to worry the divorce had taken its toll.
- abeyance Dictionary lookup
(n.) a state of temporary suspension or inactivity
Since the power failure, the town has been in abeyance.
- abhor Dictionary lookup
(v.) to hate
By the way her jaw tensed when he walked in, it is easy to see that she abhors him.
The dog abhorred cats, chasing and growling at them whenever he had the opportunity.
- abject Dictionary lookup
(adj.) of the worst or lowest degree
The Haldemans lived in abject poverty, with barely a roof over their heads.
- abjure Dictionary lookup
(v.) to give up
The losing team may abjure to the team that is winning.
- abominate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to loathe; to hate
Randall abominated all the traffic he encountered on every morning commute.
Please do not abominate the guilty person until you hear the complete explanation.
- abridge Dictionary lookup
(v.) to shorten; to limit
The editor abridged the story to make the book easier to digest.
- abrogate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to cancel by authority
The judge would not abrogate the law.
- abrupt Dictionary lookup
(adj.) happening or ending unexpectedly
The abrupt end to their marriage was a shock to everyone.
- abscond Dictionary lookup
(v.) to go away hastily or secretly; to hide
The newly wed couple will abscond from the reception to leave on the honeymoon.
- absolve Dictionary lookup
(v.) to forgive; to acquit
The judge will absolve the person of all charges.
After feuding for many years, the brothers absolved each other for the many arguments they had.
- abstemious Dictionary lookup
(adj.) sparing in use of food or drinks
If we become stranded in the snow storm, we will have to be abstemious with our food supply.
In many abstemious cultures the people are so thin due to the belief that too much taken into the body leads to contamination of the soul.
- abstinence Dictionary lookup
(n.) the act or process of voluntarily refraining from any action or practice; self-control; chastity
In preparation for the Olympic games, the athletes practiced abstinence from red meat and junk food, adhering instead to a menu of pasta and produce.
- abstruse Dictionary lookup
(adj.) hard to understand; deep; recondite
The topic was so abstruse the student was forced to stop reading.
The concept was too abstruse for the average student to grasp.
- abysmal Dictionary lookup
(adj.) very deep
The abysmal waters contained little plant life.
- accede Dictionary lookup
(v.) to comply with; to consent to
With defeat imminent, the rebel army acceded to hash out a peace treaty.
- accolade Dictionary lookup
(n.) approving or praising mention; a sign of approval or respect
Rich accolades were bestowed on the returning hero.
Accolades flowed into her dressing room following the opening-night triumph.
- accretion Dictionary lookup
(n.)growth by addition; a growing together by parts
With the accretion of the new members, the club doubled its original size.
The addition of the new departments accounts for the accretion of the company.
- accrue Dictionary lookup
(v.) a natural growth; a periodic increase
Over the course of her college career, she managed to accrue a great deal of knowledge.
The savings were able to accrue a sizable amount of interest each year.
During his many years of collecting stamps, he was able to accrue a large collection of valuable items.
- acquiesce Dictionary lookup
(v.) to agree without protest
The group acquiesced to the new regulations even though they were opposed to them.
After a hard-fought battle, the retailers finally acquiesced to the draft regulations.
- acrid Dictionary lookup
(adj.) sharp; bitter; foul smelling
Although the soup is a healthy food choice, it is so acrid not many people choose to eat it.
The fire at the plastics factory caused an acrid odor to be emitted throughout the surrounding neighborhood.
- acrimony Dictionary lookup
(n.) sharpness or bitterness in language or manner.
The acrimony of her response was shocking.
- adage Dictionary lookup
(n.) an old saying now accepted as being truthful
The adage "do unto others as you wish them to do unto you" is still widely practiced.
- addled Dictionary lookup
The egg will become addled if it is left unrefrigerated.
- adept Dictionary lookup
(adj.) skilled; practiced
The skilled craftsman was quite adept at creating beautiful vases and candleholders.
- adjure Dictionary lookup
(v.) solemnly ordered
The jurors were adjured by the judge to make a fair decision.
- adulation Dictionary lookup
(n.) praise in excess
The adulation was in response to the heroic feat.
The adulation given to the movie star was sickening.
- adulterate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to corrupt, debase, or make impure
The dumping of chemicals will adulterate the pureness of the lake.
- adversary Dictionary lookup
(n.) an enemy; foe
The peace treaty united two countries that were historically great adversaries.
- advocate Dictionary lookup
(v.; n.) to plead in favor of; supporter; defender
Amnesty International advocates the cause for human rights.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great advocate of civil rights.
- aesthetic Dictionary lookup
(adj.) of beauty; pertaining to taste in art and beauty
She found that her aesthetic sense and that of the artist were at odds.
His review made one wonder what kind of aesthetic taste the critic had.
- affable Dictionary lookup
(adj.) friendly; amiable; good-natured
Her affable puppy loved to play with children.
- affiliate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to connect or associate with; to accept as a member
The hiking club affiliated with the bird-watching club.
- affinity Dictionary lookup
(n.) a connection; similarity of structure
There is a strong emotional affinity between the two siblings.
It turns out that the elements bear a strong affinity to each other.
- aggrandize Dictionary lookup
(v.) to make more powerful
The king wanted to aggrandize himself and his kingdom.
- agrarian Dictionary lookup
(adj.) of the land
Many agrarian people are poor.
- alchemy Dictionary lookup
(n.) any mysterious change of substance or nature
The magician used alchemy to change the powder into a liquid
- allegory Dictionary lookup
(n.) a symbolic description
The book contained many allegories on Russian history.
- aloof Dictionary lookup
(adj.) distant in interest; reserved; cool
Even though the new coworker was aloof, we attempted to be friendly.
The calm defendant remained aloof when he was wrongly accused of fabricating his story.
- altercation Dictionary lookup
(n.) controversy; dispute
A serious altercation caused the marriage to end in a bitter divorce.
- altruism Dictionary lookup
(n.) unselfish devotion to the welfare of others
After the organization aided the catastrophe victims, it was given an award for altruism.
She displayed such altruism by giving up all of her belongings and joining a peace corps in Africa.
- amalgam Dictionary lookup
(n.) a mixture or combination (often of metals)
The art display was an amalgam of modern and traditional pieces.
That ring is made from an amalgam of minerals; if it were pure gold it would never hold its shape.
- amalgamate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to mix, merge, combine
If the economy does not grow, the business may need to amalgamate with a rival company.
The three presidents decided to amalgamate their businesses to build one strong company.
- amass Dictionary lookup
(v.) to collect together; accumulate
Over the years the sailor has amassed many replicas of boats.
The women amassed a huge collection of priceless diamonds and pearls.
- ambiguous Dictionary lookup
(adj.) not clear; uncertain; vague
The ambiguous law did not make a clear distinction between the new and old land boundary.
- ambivalent Dictionary lookup
The ambivalent jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.
- ameliorate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to improve or make better
A consistent routine of exercise has shown to ameliorate health.
We can ameliorate the flooding problem by changing the grading.
- amendment Dictionary lookup
(n.) a positive change
The amendment in his ways showed there was still reason for hope.
- amiable Dictionary lookup
The newcomer picked the most amiable person to sit next to during the meeting.
- amiss Dictionary lookup
(adj.; adv.) wrong; awry; wrongly; in a defective manner
Seeing that his anorak was gone, he knew something was amiss .
Its new muffler aside, the car was behaving amiss.
- amity Dictionary lookup
(n.) friendly relations
The amity between the two bordering nations put the populations at ease.
- amorphous Dictionary lookup
(adj.) with no shape; unorganized; having no determinate form
The amorphous gel seeped through the cracks.
The amorphous group quickly got lost.
The scientist could not determine the sex of the amorphous organism.
- amortize Dictionary lookup
(v.) to put money into a fund at fixed intervals
The couple was able to amortize their mortgage sooner than they thought.
- anachronism Dictionary lookup
(n.) something out of place in time (e.g., an airplane in 1492)
The editor recognized an anachronism in the manuscript where the character from the 1500s boarded an airplane.
He realized that the film about cavemen contained an anachronism when he saw a jet cut across the horizon during a hunting scene.
- analogy Dictionary lookup
(n.) similarity; correlation; parallelism
The teacher used an analogy to describe the similarities between the two books.
Comparing the newly discovered virus with one found long ago, the scientist made an analogy between the two organisms.
- anarchist Dictionary lookup
(n.) one who believes that a formal government is unnecessary
The yell from the crowd came from the anarchist protesting the government.
The anarchist attempted to overthrow the established democratic government of the new nation and reinstate chaos and disarray.
- anchorage Dictionary lookup
(n.) something that can be relied on
Knowing the neighbors were right next door was an anchorage for the elderly woman.
- anecdote Dictionary lookup
(n.) a short account of happenings
The speaker told an anecdote about how he lost his shoes when he was young.
- animosity Dictionary lookup
(n.) a feeling of hatred or ill will
Animosity grew between the two feuding families.
- anoint Dictionary lookup
(v.) to crown; ordain;
A member of the monarchy was anointed by the king.
- anomaly Dictionary lookup
(n.) an oddity, inconsistency; a deviation from the norm
An anomaly existed when the report listed one statistic, and the spokeswoman reported another.
In a parking lot full of Buicks, Chevys, and Plymouths, the Jaguar was an anomaly.
- anonymous Dictionary lookup
(adj.) nameless; unidentified
Not wishing to be identified by the police, he remained anonymous by returning the money he had stolen by sending it through the mail.
- antagonism Dictionary lookup
(n.) hostility; opposition
The antagonism was created by a misunderstanding.
The rebellious clan captured a hostage to display antagonism to the new peace treaty.
- antipathy Dictionary lookup
(n.) a strong dislike or repugnance
Her antipathy for large crowds convinced her to decline the invitation to the city.
The vegetarian had an antipathy toward meat.
- apathy Dictionary lookup
(n.) lack of emotion or interest
He showed apathy when his relative was injured.
The disheartened peasants expressed apathy toward the new law which promised new hope and prosperity for all.
- apocalyptic Dictionary lookup
(adj.) pertaining to a discovery or new revelation
Science-fiction movies seem to relish apocalyptic visions.
- apocryphal Dictionary lookup
(adj.) counterfeit; of doubtful authorship or authenticity
The man who said he was a doctor was truly apocryphal.
- appease Dictionary lookup
(v.) to satisfy; to calm
A milk bottle usually appeases a crying baby.
- apposite Dictionary lookup
(adj.) suitable; apt; relevant
Discussion of poverty was apposite to the curriculum, so the professor allowed it.
Without reenacting the entire scenario, the situation can be understood if apposite information is given.
- apprehensive Dictionary lookup
(adj.) fearful; aware; conscious
The nervous child was apprehensive about beginning a new school year.
- approbatory Dictionary lookup
(adj.) approving or sanctioning
The judge showed his acceptance in his approbatory remark.
- arable Dictionary lookup
(adj.) suitable (as land) for plowing
When the land was deemed arable the farmer decided to plow.
- arbiter Dictionary lookup
(n.) one who is authorized to judge or decide
The decision of who would represent the people was made by the arbiter.
- archetype Dictionary lookup
(n.) original pattern or model; prototype
This man was the archetype for scores of fictional characters.
The scientist was careful with the archetype of her invention so that once manufacturing began, it would be easy to reproduce it.
- arduous Dictionary lookup
(adj.) laborious, difficult; strenuous
Completing the plans for the new building proved to be an arduous affair.
Building a house is arduous work, but the result is well worth the labor.
- arid Dictionary lookup
(adj.) extremely dry, parched; barren, unimaginative
The terrain was so arid that not one species of plant could survive.
Their thirst became worse due to the arid condition of the desert.
- arrogant Dictionary lookup
(adj.) acting superior to others; conceited
After purchasing his new, expensive sports car, the arrogant doctor refused to allow anyone to ride with him to the country club.
- artifice Dictionary lookup
(n.) skill in a craft
The artifice of glass-making takes many years of practice.
- ascetic Dictionary lookup
(n.; adj.) one who leads a simple life of self-denial; rigorously abstinent
The monastery is filled with ascetics who have devoted their lives to religion.
The nuns lead an ascetic life devoted to the Lord.
- aseptic Dictionary lookup
(adj.) germ free
It is necessary for an operating room to be aseptic.
- askance Dictionary lookup
(adv.) a sideways glance of disapproval
The look askance proved the guard suspected some wrongdoing.
- asperity Dictionary lookup
The man used asperity to frighten the girl out of going.
The asperity of the winter had most everybody yearning for spring.
- aspersion Dictionary lookup
(n.) slanderous statement; a damaging or derogatory criticism
The aspersion damaged the credibility of the organization.
He blamed the loss of his job on an aspersion stated by his co-worker to his superior.
- aspirant Dictionary lookup
(n.) a person who goes after high goals
The aspirant would not settle for assistant director--only the top job was good enough.
- assay Dictionary lookup
(n.) to determine the quality of a substance.
Have the soil assayed.
- assess Dictionary lookup
(v.) to estimate the value of
She assessed the possible rewards to see if the project was worth her time and effort.
- assiduous Dictionary lookup
(adj.) carefully attentive; industrious
It is necessary to be assiduous if a person wishes to make the most of his time at work.
He enjoys having assiduous employees because he can explain a procedure once and have it performed correctly every time.
- assuage Dictionary lookup
(v.) to relieve; ease; make less severe
Medication should assuage the pain.
The medication helped assuage the pain of the wound.
- astringent Dictionary lookup
(n.; adj.) a substance that contracts bodily tissues; causing contraction; tightening; stern, austere
After the operation an astringent was used on his skin so that the stretched area would return to normal.
The downturn in sales caused the CEO to impose astringent measures.
Her astringent remarks at the podium would not soon be forgotten.
- atrophy Dictionary lookup
(v.; n.) to waste away, as from lack of use; to wither; failure to grow
A few months after he lost his ability to walk, his legs began to atrophy.
The atrophy of the muscles was due to the injury.
- attenuate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to thin out; to weaken
Water is commonly used to attenuate strong chemicals.
The chemist attenuated the solution by adding water.
- atypical Dictionary lookup
(adj.) something that is abnormal
The atypical behavior of the wild animal alarmed the hunters.
- audacious Dictionary lookup
(adj.) fearless; bold
The audacious soldier went into battle without a shield.
- augment Dictionary lookup
(v.) to increase or add to; to make larger
They needed more soup so they augmented the recipe.
They were able to augment their savings over a period of time.
- august Dictionary lookup
(adj.) to be imposing or magnificent
The palace was august in gold and crystal.
- auspicious Dictionary lookup
(adj.) being of a good omen; successful
It was auspicious that the sun shone on the first day of the trip.
The campaign had an auspicious start, foreshadowing the future.
- austere Dictionary lookup
(adj.) having a stern look; having strict self-discipline
The old woman always has an austere look about her.
The austere teacher assigned five pages of homework each day.
- authentic Dictionary lookup
(adj.) real; genuine; trustworthy
An authentic diamond will cut glass.
- authoritarian Dictionary lookup
(n.; adj.) acting as a dictator; demanding obedience
The authoritarian made all of the rules but did none of the work.
Fidel Castro is reluctant to give up his authoritarian rule.
- autocracy Dictionary lookup
(n.) an absolute monarchy; government where one person holds power
The autocracy was headed by a demanding man.
She was extremely power-hungry and therefore wanted her government to be an autocracy.
- autocrat Dictionary lookup
(n.) an absolute ruler
The autocrat in charge of the government was a man of power and prestige.
The autocrat made every decision and divided the tasks among his subordinates.
- aver Dictionary lookup
(v.) to affirm as true
The witness was able to aver the identity of the defendant.
- awry Dictionary lookup
(adj; adv.) crooked(ly); uneven(ly); wrong; askew
Hearing the explosion in the laboratory, the scientist realized the experiment had gone awry.
- azure Dictionary lookup
(adj.) the clear blue color of the sky
The azure sky made the picnic day perfect.