pusillanimous
lacking courage”The pusillanimous lion was not much help to the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Dorothy.”
malady
disorder or disease of the body”The singer’s malady caused her to give up her recording career.”
reparation
making of amends for a wrongdoing”Some people believe reparations should be made to the ancestors of slaves.”
taunt
to challenge in a sarcastic or insulting way”A bully will often taunt another student to get the victim to attack first.”
exasperate
annoy; bother”The fly exasperated the diners by flying around their food.”
buttress
architectural support arch”The Cathedral at Notre Dame has many flying buttresses.”
acrimony
bitterness; harshness”The couple’s acrimonious relationship ended in divorce.”
admonish
to gently warn”The teacher admonished the texters to pay attention to the lesson.”
assiduous
hard-working; attentive to detail”Assiduous planning made for an exceptionally impressive project.”
felicity
the state of being happy”The winner’s felicity was obvious by the smile on her face.”
maudlin
tearfully emotional”The mother became maudlin upon hearing of her child’s deadly disease.”
nascent
emerging”The singer’s nascent talent was evident in her first album.”
ignominious
shameful”Her ignominious actions embarrassed the whole country.”
guile
trickery”Winning a war sometimes takes clever guile and surprise attacks.”
placate
soothe”We will try to placate your fear of the unknown.”
altruism
unselfish giving”The altruism of the Red Cross is well-known.”
sobriquet
nickname”What is the sobriquet you call your best friend?”
denigrate
defame”Political ads often denigrate the opponent’s record.”
brusque
blunt, often rudely to the point”Arnold gave a brusque reply to my request for him to stop smoking.”
itinerant
traveling”The itinerant salesman put hundreds of miles on his car every day.”
laudatory
praising”The teacher wrote laudatory comments on all of the papers that exceeded the standards.”
obdurate
stubborn”The obdurate animal was hard to work with on the set.”
pernicious
very harmful”The pernicious disease almost wiped out the entire population of France.”
natatorium
enclosed aquatic building”The Olympic-size pool was the centerpiece of the natatorium.”
truculent
vicious”The mother began a truculent attack on the intruders, killing three of the hyenas.”
vis-a-vis
face to face”We sat vis-a-vis during the competition.”
reticent
quiet”In hospital zones, drivers are asked to be as reticent as possible.”
arid
dry”The Sahara Desert is one of the most arid regions on Earth.”
helve
handle”Derrick attached the helve to the shaft.”
flatulence
excessive gas”Flatulence in the classroom is often met with abhorrence.”
expeditious
efficient”The expeditious handling of the delivery allowed us extra time to plan the meeting.”
laconic
concise”The laconic speaker took only a few minutes of our time.”
laconic
concise”The laconic speaker took only a few minutes of our time.”
serendipity
accidental fortune”By serendipity, she located the treasure with no map or compass.”
culminate
reach the highest point”The long round of talks culminated with an agreement not to strike.”
hierarchy
organizational structure”It is sometimes hard to rise up in the hierarchy of an established corporation.”
minutiae
tiny details”Please, just cover the main points and avoid the minutiae.”
rhetoric
persuasive use of “At first we thought he meant what he said, but it turns out it was only rhetoric.”
incontrovertible
indisputable”The video was incontrovertible proof that the police used brutality during the arrest.”
torpor
laziness”The hot and humid weather brought torpor to the crowd.”
disparity
difference”The disparity in their ages caused people to wonder why they loved each other.”
ebullience
enthusiasm”The crowd’s ebullience intensified with every goal scored.”
egregious
conspicuously “Not sterilizing surgical equipment would be an egregious error before an operation.”
mollify
calm”A kind word will often mollify an upset child.”
spurious.
false”Claiming the team was undefeated, when actually they had lost the first game of the season, was a spurious remark.”
clandestine
secretive”Clandestine maneuvers can be spoiled by an information leak.”
disingenuous
not straightforward”It was hard to trust Michelle because most of her answers were disingenuous.”
surreptitiously
secretly”Matt drank the cough syrup surreptitiously; he did not want anyone to know he was sick.”
wily
clever”The wily coyote devised all sorts of elaborate traps to catch the roadrunner.”
solvent
able to pay the bills”After years of losing money, the restaurant finally solved its financial problems and became solvent.”
venerated
highly respected”Once venerated, Jefferson’s reputation was tarnished by recent revelations.”
copious
plentiful”She had taken copious notes during class, using up five large notebooks.”
conflagration
widespread fire”It took three hours and a million gallons of water to extinguish the conflagration.”
pervasive
widespread”In this part of town, graffiti is pervasive – it’s everywhere!”
prodigious
enormous”The shattered vase required a prodigious amount of glue to repair.”
replete
filled”After two hours of trick-or-treating, Dee’s bag was replete with Halloween candy.”
candor
sincerity”It is refreshing to hear Candice’s candor.”
subjugate
subdue, control”They tried to subjugate the belligerent child, but she broke free and bit the principal.”
tortuous
twisting, winding “The Audi roadster handled the tortuous road as if it were nothing.”
unassailable
not open to doubt”By finding his cheat sheet, we now have unassailable proof that he did not pass the test on his own.”
diffident
hesitant”She began the climb diffidently, but by the time she reached the first plateau she grew comfortable and quickened her pace.”
contrite
sorrowful”We do not feel contrite about ridding our attic of squirrels and messy birds.”
burgeoned
grew quickly”The population of large cities in the South burgeoned when hurricane refugees moved in.”
atrophy
decrease in size and strength”When you don’t exercise, your muscles atrophy.”
stringent
strict, and not open to be relaxed”They say teachers shouldn’t smile until Christmas, meaning that they should start off with stringent rules and relax them later.”
cacophony
displeasing and harsh”What is sweet euphony to us is often cacophony to our parents.”
levity
humor”Sometimes a bad situation can be mitigated with a little levity to lighten things up.”
resolute
firmly determined”Dexter was resolute in his actions.”
subjective
opinionated”In a trial, your spouse is not required to testify because subjective responses are expected.”
rancor
bitterness”Margaret had a feeling of rancor when she found out her lover had been lying to her.”
tawdry
showy, but cheap”The star’s look was tawdry.”
whet
excited”Film previews/trailers are meant to whet your feelings to see the whole movie.”
evanescent
fleeting”The flash from a camera is evanescent, although the effects on your eyes may linger.”
abeyance
a state of temporary”Although the disease was in abeyance, we feared it would soon devastate his weak body.”
canons
rules”It was the church’s canons that no minister could marry.”
supplant
replace”Someone will sooner or later supplant our president.”
ostracize
exclude from favor”In socially primitive cultures, people are often ostracized for their race, creed, or beliefs.”
nocturnal
pertaining to the night”The nocturnal actions of the owl necessitate extremely keen vision.”
veracious
truthful “Veracious people are likely to be more trusted than those who deceive.”
voracious
greedy”The voracious king wanted everything he touched to turn to gold.”
pauper
extremely poor person”The paupers of Europe had no money, no influence, and no hope.”
vitriolic
chemically or verbally burning”Her vitriolic comments made the children cry.”
blithe
cheerful”The blithe clown made everyone happy at the party.”
zenith
high point”The zenith of Michael Jackson’s career was the period following the album Thriller.”
enervate
physically wear out”After the grueling test, the majority of the students were enervated and needed a break.”
apocryphal
fictitious”The Last Samurai is a great apocryphal film, yet it also involved realistic principles of the samurai.”
didactic
instructive”Because the game was didactic, it helped us to learn the lesson.”
fickle
changeable”One sex is always accusing the other of being fickle.”
quixotic
extremely idealistic”Pretending you’re a knight is one thing, but attacking windmills that you call dragons is a bit quixotic.”
insipid
uninteresting “Once a recording artist puts out an insipid album, it’s hard to get his or her audience back.”
laud
praise”Titus chose to laud his newborn baby boy by bragging about him to his friends.”
ambivalent
uncertain “His brother is ambivalent about going to college.”
omnipotent
all-powerful “Many Greek Gods are omnipotent.”
temerity
reckless behavior”When driving a car, one should avoid temerity.”
rue
regret “People usually rue the day they drop out of school.”
prerogative
privilege”The prerogative of the citizens is to chose their leaders.”
fallacies
incorrect ideas “His website introduced too many fallacies.”
auspicious
favorable “Our team got off to an auspicious start by scoring seven runs in the first inning.”
gullible
easily fooled “The gullible man bought a used nail for ten dollars.”
parochial
narrow”The four year old had a parochial grasp on how the world works.”
defer
yield”It is probably wise to defer to the principal if it obvious she is not going to change her mind.”
disseminate
spread”I hope my idea disseminates to everyone at Central High.”