A, B, C
a·base [verb, -based, -bas·es, -bas·ing]
1. To belittle or degrade.
2. To lower in rank or office.
ab·hor [verb, -horred, -hor·ring, -hors]
1. To regard with horror or loathing.
2. To reject vehemently; shun.
1. Out of one's own country; in a foreign country or countries.
2. Away from one's home.
3. In circulation; at large.
4. Covering a large area; widely.
5. Not on target; in error.
1. Occurring suddenly or unexpectedly.
2. Curtly or brusquely in speech or manner.
3. Inclining steeply.
ab·scond [verb, -scond·ed, -scond·ing, -sconds]
1. To leave secretly and quickly and hide oneself, especially to avoid arrest or prosecution.
ac·qui·esce [verb, -esced, -esc·es, -esc·ing]
1. To consent or comply passively or without protest.
ad·age [noun, -ages]
1. A short maxim or proverb.
1. Close to; lying near.
2. Next to; adjoining.
ag·gra·vate [verb, -vat·ed, -vates, -vat·ing]
1. To make worse or more troublesome; make more of a burden.
2. To annoy or exasperate; provoke; irritate; vex.
a·gi·tate [verb, -tat·ed, -tates, -tat·ing]
1. To move with violence or sudden forcefulness; excite physically.
2. To upset; disturb.
3. To arouse interest in by the written or spoken word; debate.
4. To ponder over; plan.
1. The special or distinctive atmosphere surrounding a person, place or thing.
a·me·lio·rate [verb, -rat·ed, -rates, -rat·ing]
1. To make or become better, more bearable or more satisfactory; to improve.
1. An agonizing physical or mental pain; torment.
an·tag·o·nist [noun, -nists]
1. One who opposes and actively competes with another; adversary.
2. In anatomy, a muscle that opposes another muscle.
3. A drug that counteracts or neutralizes another drug.
1. So old as to be no longer useful or suitable; obsolete.
2. Very old; aged.
ap·pa·ri·tion [noun, -tions]
1. A ghostly figure; specter.
2. A sudden or unusual sight.
3. The act of appearing; appearance.
ap·prise [verb, -prised, -pris·es, -pris·ing]
1. To give notice to; inform.
a·rouse [verb, -roused, -rous·es, -rous·ing]
1. To awaken from sleep, or as if from sleep.
2. To stir up; excite.
ar·ti·fice [noun, -fic·es]
1. An artful device or stratagem; a crafty expedient.
2. Subtle but base deception; trickery.
3. Ingenuity; cleverness; skill.
1. Of or pertaining to astronomy.
2. Inconceivably large; immense.
1. Extremely evil or cruel; monstrous.
2. Exceptionally bad; abominable.
1. Level with or washed by waves.
3. Floating on waves.
ban·ter [verb, -tered, -ter·ing, -ters]
1. To speak to in a playful or teasing way.
2. To exchange mildly teasing remarks.
batch [noun, batch·es]
1. An amount produced at one baking.
2. The quantity produced as a result of one operation.
3. The quantity of material needed for one operation.
4. A group of persons or things.
5. In computer science, a set of data or jobs to be processed in a single run.
bat·ten [verb, -tened, -ten·ing, -tens]
1. To become fat.
2. To thrive and prosper, especially at another's expense.
3. To furnish with battens.
4. To fasten or make secure with battens.
beau [noun, beaus]
1. The sweetheart of a woman or girl.
2. A man who is excessively interested in fine clothes and social etiquette; dandy.
be·fud·dle [verb, -dled, -dles, -dling]
1. To confuse; perplex.
2. To stupefy with or as with alcoholic drink.
1. Inclined or eager to fight; hostile or aggressive.
2. Of, pertaining to or engaged in warfare.
1. Of a kind disposition.
2. Manifesting gentleness and kindness.
3. Tending to promote wellbeing; beneficial.
4. Not malignant.
be·smirch [verb, -smirched, -smirch·es, -smirch·ing]
1. To bring shame or disgrace on somebody's reputation; sully.
2. To make something dirty.
be·stow [verb, -stowed, -stow·ing, -stows]
1. To present as a gift or honor; confer.
2. To apply; use.
3. To store or house.
birth [noun, births]
1. The act or process of bearing young; parturition.
2. The set of characteristics or circumstances received from one's ancestors; inheritance.
3. Origin; extraction.
4. A beginning or commencement.
bloom [verb, bloomed, bloom·ing, blooms]
1. To bear flowers.
2. To shine with health and vigor; glow.
3. To grow or flourish.
4. To cause to flower or flourish.
blun·der [noun, -ders]
1. A stupid and serious mistake usually caused by ignorance or confusion.
bob·ble [verb, -bled -bles, -bling]
1. To bob up and down.
2. To fumble an object, especially a ball.
bod·kin [noun, -kins]
1. A small, sharply pointed instrument for making holes in fabric or leather.
2. A blunt needle for pulling tape or ribbon through a series of loops or a hem.
3. A long hairpin, usually with an ornamental head.
4. In printing, an awl or pick for extracting letters from set type.
5. A dagger or stiletto.
bounc·y [adjective, -i·er, -i·est]
1. Tending to bounce.
2. Springy; elastic.
3. Lively; energetic.
brag·ga·do·ci·o [noun, -os]
1. A braggart.
2. Empty or pretentious bragging.
3. Swaggering manner; cockiness.
bran·dish [verb, -dished, -dish·es, -dish·ing]
1. To wave or flourish menacingly, as a weapon.
2. To display ostentatiously.
1. Firmly and inflexibly established; rigid.
brev·i·ty [noun, -ties]
1. Briefness of duration.
2. Concise expression; terseness.
brute [noun, brutes]
1. An animal other than man; a beast.
2. A brutal person.
bug·a·boo [noun, -boos]
1. A bugbear.
2. A steady source of concern.
bul·wark [noun, -warks]
1. A solid structure raised for defense; a wall or rampart.
2. A breakwater; a seawall.
3. The side of a ship above the upper deck (usually plural).
1. Capable of floating or keeping things afloat.
2. Animated; sprightly.
1. Being or imposing a burden.
2. Onerous or oppressive; arduous.
ca·lam·i·ty [noun, -ties]
1. An extraordinarily serious event marked by terrible loss, lasting distress and affliction.
2. A state of dire distress or misfortune.
ca·rouse [verb, -roused, -rous·es, -rous·ing]
1. To drink alcohol excessively.
2. To go on a drinking spree.
car·rack [noun, -racks]
1. A large galleon used in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.
cas·ti·gate [verb, -gat·ed, -gates, -gat·ing]
1. To punish or chastise.
2. To criticize severely.
1. Of the nature of a catastrophe or disastrous event; calamitous.
ca·thar·sis [noun, -ses]
1. In medical terms, purgation, especially for the digestive system.
2. A purifying or figurative cleansing or release of emotions or tension, especially through art.
3. In psychoanalysis, a technique used to relieve tension and anxiety by bringing repressed material to consciousness.
4. The result of this process; abreaction. .
cav·al·cade [noun, -cades]
1. A ceremonial procession, especially one including horsemen or horse-drawn carriages.
2. A colorful procession or display.
1. A power or ability to inspire devotion in large numbers of people.
2. A special quality of personal magnetism or charm.
3. In theology, a divinely inspired gift or power, such as the ability to perform miracles.
chi·can·er·y [noun, -ies]
1. Deception by trickery or sophistry.
cir·cum·vent [verb, -vent·ed, -vent·ing, -vents]
1. To surround and entrap by craft.
2. To overcome by artful maneuvering.
3. To avoid by passing around.
1. Of, relating to or constituting a climax.
2. Exciting and thrilling and representing the climax of an action, event or scene.
clum·sy [adjective, -si·er, -si·est]
1. Lacking physical coordination, skill or grace; awkward.
2. Awkwardly made; unwieldy.
3. Gauche; inept.
coarse [adjective, coars·er, coars·est]
1. Of common or inferior quality.
2. Lacking refinement; harsh.
3. Consisting of large particles; not fine in texture.
coax [verb, coaxed, coax·es, coax·ing]
1. To persuade or try to persuade by pleading or flattery; cajole or wheedle.
2. To obtain by persistent persuasion.
3. To caress or fondle.
4. To use persuasion or inducement.
1. Characteristic of or appropriate to the spoken language or to writing that seeks the effect of speech; informal.
2. Relating to conversation; conversational.
con·found [verb, -found·ed, -found·ing, -founds]
1. To cause confusion or bewilderment.
2. To fail to distinguish; mix up.
3. To cause to be ashamed; abash.
4. To damn.
5. To defeat; overthrow.
con·script [verb, -script·ed, -script·ing, -scripts]
1. To enroll compulsorily into service; draft.
1. Completely satisfactory; fine.
crave [verb, craved, craves, crav·ing]
1. To have an intense desire for.
2. To need urgently; require.
3. To beg earnestly for; implore.
cred·u·lous [adjective, -ously]
1. Disposed to believe too readily; gullible.
2. Characterized by credulity.
cres·cen·do [noun, -dos]
1. A gradual increase, especially in the volume or intensity of sound in a musical passage.
2. A musical passage played in a crescendo.
cryp·tic [adjective, -tic·al]
1. Having an ambiguous or hidden meeting; enigmatic.
2. Of a secret or hidden nature; mystifying.
3. Tending to conceal or camouflage.
cull [verb, culled, -cull·ing, culls]
1. To pick out from others; select.
2. To gather; collect.
D, E, F
1. A process, condition or period of decline, especially in morals or art; decay.
de·duce [verb, -duced, -duc·es, -duc·ing]
1. To reach (a conclusion) by reasoning.
2. To infer from a general principle; reason deductively.
3. To trace the origin or derivation of.
1. With dexterity; in a dexterous manner.
2. In a deft manner; quickly and skillfully.
del·uge [noun, -uges]
1. A great flood.
2. A heavy downpour.
3. Something that overwhelms, as if by a great flood.
1. Reserved or modest; shy.
2. Something that lends a reserved or modest appearance, especially clothing.
1. Worthy of severe reproach.
2. Lamentable; grievous.
3. Wretched; bad.
des·tine [verb, -tined, -tines, -tin·ing]
1. To determine beforehand; preordain.
2. To assign for a specific end, use or purpose.
3. To direct toward a given destination.
1. Darned; confounded.
dick·er [verb, -ered, -er·ing, -ers]
1. To bargain; barter.
2. To trade or exchange.
ding·bat [noun, -bats]
1. A small object, such as a stone, suitable for hurling.
2. A silly or foolish person.
3. An unspecified typographical ornament.
dis·com·bob·u·late [verb, -la·ted, -lates, -la·ting]
1. To throw into a state of confusion.
dis·course [noun, -cours·es]
1. Verbal expression in speech or writing.
2. A verbal exchange; conversation.
3. A formal and lengthy discussion of a subject, either written or spoken.
4. The process or power of reasoning.
1. Acting in a discreet manner; respecting privacy or secrecy.
2. Quietly or diplomatically.
1. Distinct in kind; unlike.
2. Having variety in form; diversified.
1. Easily taught; teachable.
2. Submissive to training or management; tractable.
doo·fus [noun, -fus·es]
1. An incompetent, foolish or stupid person.
1. Of or designating a law or code of extreme severity.
2. Exceedingly harsh; rigorous.
dra·goon [verb, -gooned, -goon·ing, -goons]
1. To persecute by the use of troops.
2. To coerce by violent measures; harass.
droll [adjective, -er, -est]
1. Amusingly odd or whimsically comical.
dud [noun, duds]
1. A bomb, shell or explosive round that fails to detonate.
2. One that is disappointingly ineffective or unsuccessful.
dupe [noun, dupes]
1. A person who is easily deceived.
2. A person who is the tool of another person or a power.
dwell [verb, dwelled, dwell·ing, dwells]
1. To live as a resident; reside.
2. To exist in a given place or state.
3. To fasten one's attention.
4. To treat at length; expatiate.
dwin·dle [verb, -dled, -dles, -dl·ing]
1. To become gradually less until little remains; diminish.
2. To make continuously smaller or less.
1. Springing from or born on the earth.
2. Human; mortal.
3. Of, relating to or connected with earthly life.
ebb [noun, ebbs]
1. The period of a tide between high water and a succeeding low water.
2. A period of decline.
1. Unrestrained or excessive in emotional expression; gushy.
eke [verb, eked, ekes, ek·ing]
1. To supplement with great effort.
2. To acquire with great effort or strain.
3. To make last by practicing strict economy.
e·lic·it [verb, -it·ed, -it·ing, -its]
1. To bring out; evoke.
2. To call forth an answer, reaction or fact.
em·u·late [verb, -lat·ed, -lates, -lat·ing]
1. To strive to equal or excel, especially through imitation.
2. To compete with or rival successfully.
3. In computer science, to imitate one system with another so that both receive the same data, execute the same programs and achieve the same results.
en·a·ble [verb, -bled, bles, -bling]
1. To supply with the means, knowledge or opportunity to be or do something.
2. To make feasible or possible.
3. To give legal power, capacity or sanction to.
1. Inspiring affection or warm sympathy.
1. Listlessness and dissatisfaction; boredom.
en·ter·prise [noun, -pris·es]
1. An undertaking of some scope, complication and risk.
2. A business organization.
3. Industrious or systematic activity.
4. Readiness to venture; initiative.
1. A surrounding area, especially used of a city.
2. Surroundings; environment.
e·quate [verb, -qua·ted, -quates, -quat·ing]
1. To make equal or equivalent.
2. To reduce to a standard or average; equivalize.
3. To consider or treat as equal or equivalent.
1. Capable of two or more interpretations and often intended to mislead.
2. Of uncertain significance.
3. Of a doubtful or uncertain nature.
e·rode [verb, -rod·ed, -rodes, -rod·ing]
1. To wear something away, by or as if by abrasion.
2. To eat into or corrode.
3. To make or form by wearing away.
4. To become eroded or worn.
1. Intended for or understood by only a particular group.
2. Known by or confined to a small group.
3. Not publicly disclosed; confidential.
ex·cerpt [noun, -cerpts]
1. A passage or scene, as from a speech or book.
ex·cru·ci·at·ing [adjective, -ing·ly]
1. Intensely painful; agonizing.
2. Marked by great intensity.
ex·ert [verb, -ert·ed, -ert·ing, -erts]
1. To put forth (strength, for example).
2. To bring to bear; exercise.
3. To put (oneself) to a strenuous effort.
4. To make use of; employ.
1. Requiring immediate attention or remedy; urgent.
2. Requiring or demanding a great deal.
ex·pe·di·ent [noun, -ents]
1. A means to an end.
2. A contrivance adopted to meet an urgent need.
1. Performed with a high degree of skill or knowledge; professionally.
ex·punge [verb, -punged, -pung·es, -pung·ing]
1. To erase or strike out.
2. To obliterate completely; annihilate.
ex·tro·vert [noun, -verts]
1. An individual interested in others or in the environment as opposed to or to the exclusion of self.
1. Produced artificially, rather than by a natural process.
2. Lacking authenticity or genuineness; sham.
farce [noun, farc·es]
1. A theatrical composition using broad improbabilities of plot and characterization to humorous effect.
2. A ludicrous show; mockery.
3. A seasoned suffering.
fas·tid·i·ous [adjective, -ously]
1. Possessing or displaying meticulous attention to detail.
2. Difficult to please; exacting.
3. Excessively scrupulous or sensitive.
4. Having complicated nutritional requirements.
fawn [verb, fawned, fawn·ing, fawns]
1. To exhibit affection, as in the manner of a dog wagging its tail and whining.
2. To seek favor or attention by flattery and obsequious behavior.
1. Of, pertaining to or characterized by fever; feverish.
1. Lacking purpose or vitality; ineffective.
2. Careless; irresponsible.
1. Capable of producing offspring or vegetation; fruitful.
2. Marked by intellectual productivity.
fief·dom [noun, -doms]
1. The estate or domain of a feudal lord.
2. Something over which one dominant person or group exercises control.
flab·ber·gast [verb, -gas·ted, -gas·ting, -gasts]
1. To overwhelm with astonishment.
flap·doo·dle [noun, -dles]
1. Foolish talk; nonsense.
flay [verb, -ay·ed, -ay·ing, -ays]
1. To strip off the skin; decorticate.
2. To strip of money or goods; plunder.
3. To assail with stinging criticism.
flex [verb, flexed, flex·es, flex·ing]
1. To bend repeatedly.
2. To bend a joint repeatedly.
3. To bend a body part, such as a hand, repeatedly.
4. To contract a muscle.
flight·y [adjective, -i·er, -i·est]
1. Given to capricious or unstable behavior.
2. Marked by irresponsible or silly behavior.
3. Easily excited; skittish.
flim·sy [adjective, -si·er, -si·est]
1. Light, thin and insubstantial.
2. Lacking solidity or strength.
3. Lacking plausibility; unconvincing.
flint·y [adjective, -ier, -i·est]
1. Contaning or composed of flint.
2. Unyielding; stern.
1. Marked by disrespectful levity or indifference.
2. Talkative; voluble.
flum·mox [verb, -moxed, -mox·es, -mox·ing]
1. To confuse; perplex.
fore·go [verb, -goes, -go·ing, -went]
1. To go before; preceed, as in time or place.
for·sake [verb, -sakes, -sak·ing, -sook]
1. To give up; renounce.
2. To leave altogether; abandon.
1. Having a pleasant odor.
fret [verb, frets, fret·ted, fret·ting]
1. To feel or express worry, annoyance or discontent.
2. To cause corrosion; eat away.
3. To make a way or path by corrosion or gnawing.
4. To become eaten, worn or corroded.
5. To move in agitation or commotion, as water.
frib·ble [verb, -bled, -bles, -bling]
1. To waste, especially time; fritter away.
2. To trifle.
frows·ty [adjective, -i·er, -i·est]
1. Having a stale smell; musty.
fu·el [noun, fu·els]
1. Something consumed to produce energy, especially wood, coal, gas or oil.
2. Nutritive material metabolized by a living organism; food.
3. Something that maintains or stimulates an activity or emotion.
G, H, I
gal·van·ize [verb, -ized, -iz·es, -iz·ing]
1. To stimulate or shock with an electric current.
2. To rouse to awareness or action; spur.
3. To coat iron or steel with rust-resistant zinc.
gan·gly [adjective, -gli·er, -gli·est]
1. Tall, thin and awkward; lanky.
gaunt [adjective, -aunt·er, -aunt·est]
1. Thin and bony.
2. Emaciated; haggard.
3. Bleak and desolate; barren.
gawk [verb, gawked, gawk·ing, gawks]
1. To stare wonderingly.
2. To gape stupidly.
gen·u·flect [verb, -flec·ted, -flec·ting, -flects]
1. To bend the knee in a kneeling or half-kneeling position, as in worship.
2. To exhibit a deferential or obsequious attitude or manner.
1. Possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality or origin; authentic.
2. Free from pretense, affection or hypocrisy; sincere.
3. Descended from the original stock; purebred.
1. Having a significant bearing upon a point at hand; pertinent.
ghast·ly [adjective, -li·er, -li·est]
1. Causing or arousing terror or dread; frightening or repellent.
2. Suggestive of ghosts or death.
3. Extremely unpleasant or bad.
4. Very serious or great.
ghoul [noun, ghouls]
1. An evil spirit or demon in Muslim folklore believed to plunder graves and feed on corpses.
2. A grave robber.
3. One who delights in the revolting or loathsome.
gird [verb, gird·ed, gird·ing, girds]
1. To encircle, fasten or secure with a belt or band.
2. To surround.
3. To equip or endow.
4. To prepare oneself for action.
glib [adjective, -ber, -best]
1. Performed with a natural ease.
2. Showing little thought, preparation or concern.
3. Marked by a quickness or fluidity that suggests or stems from insecurity or deception.
glitch [noun, glitch·es]
1. A minor malfunction, mishap or technical problem.
2. A false or spurious electronic signal caused by a brief, unwanted surge of electric power.
3. A suddenc change in the period of rotation in a neutron star.
goon [noun, goons]
1. A thug hired to intimidate or harm opponents.
2. A stupid or oafish person.
gorge [verb, gorged, gorg·es, gorg·ing]
1. To stuff; glut.
2. To devour greedily.
3. To eat gluttonously.
1. Characterized by greatness of scope or intent; grand.
2. Characterized by feigned or affected grandeur; pompous.
1. The state of being grateful; thankfulness.
gra·tu·i·tous [gr?-too-?-t?s] adjective
1. Given or granted without return or recompense; unearned.
2. Given or received without cost or obligation; free.
3. Unnecessary or unwarranted; unjustified.
1. Tending to move in or form a group with others of the same kind, as a herd or flock.
2. Seeking and enjoying the company of others; sociable.
grem·lin [noun, -lins]
1. An imaginary gnomelike creature to whom mechanical problems in aircraft are often attributed.
2. A mischief-maker.
grift·er [noun, -ers]
1. A practitioner of confidence tricks.
2. A person who makes money dishonestly; swindler.
1. Grayish or flecked with gray.
1. Wretched; miserable.
1. Foolish talk.
hag·gle [verb, -gled, -gles, -gling]
1. To bargain, as over price; dicker.
2. To argue in an attempt to come to terms.
3. To cut (something) in a crude, unskilled manner; hack.
4. To harass or worry by wrangling.
ham·string [verb, -string·ing, -strings, -strung]
1. To cut the hamstring of, and thereby cripple, an animal or person.
2. To destroy or hinder the efficiency of; frustrate.
1. Shamefaced or guilty.
2. Downcast; intimidated.
has·ten [verb, -tened, -ten·ing, -tens]
1. To move or act swiftly; hurry.
2. To speed the progress of; expedite.
haugh·ty [adjective, -i·er, -i·est]
1. Proud and vain to the point of arrogance.
head·y [adjective, -i·er, -i·est]
1. Tending to make dizzy; intoxicating.
2. Headstrong; obstinate.
3. Marked by or showing good judgment; shrewd.
4. Intellectually demanding.
heart·ache [noun, -aches]
1. Emotional anguish; sorrow.
heck·le [verb, -led, -les, -ling]
1. To try to embarrass and annoy by questions, gibes and objections; badger.
2. To comb flax or hemp with a hatchel.
1. Very great, bad or overwhelming.
2. Distasteful and repellant.
3. Remarkable; astonishing.
hew [verb, -hewed, hewing]
1. To make or shape with an ax.
2. To strike, cut or cleave, especially with an ax.
3. To adhere or conform strictly; to hold firm.
1. Repulsive, especially to the sight; revoltingly ugly.
2. Repugnant to the moral sense; despicable.
hoax [noun, hoax·es]
1. An act intended to deceive or trick.
2. Something that has been established or accepted by fraudulent means.
hodge·podge [noun, -podg·es]
1. A mixture of dissimilar ingredients; jumble.
hoist [verb, hoist·ed, hoist·ing, hoists]
1. To raise or haul up with or as if with the help of a mechanical apparatus.
1. Something that seems impressive but is untrue or insincere; nonsense.
2. A stock technique for eliciting a desired response.
hon·ey·moon [noun, -moons]
1. A holiday or trip taken by a newly married couple.
2. The early harmonious period of a relationship.
1. Alcohol, especially inferior or bootleg liquor; moonshine.
3. A simple dwelling, especially a thatched hut.
hood·wink [verb, -wink·ed, -wink·ing, -winks]
1. To deceive; trick.
2. To blindfold.
3. To conceal.
1. Boisterous, jovial commotion or excitement.
2. Talk intended to mislead or confuse.
hotch [verb, hotched, hotch·es, hotch·ing]
1. To wiggle or fidget.
2. To swarm.
hub·bub [noun, -bubs]
1. A confused babble of loud sounds and voices; uproar.
2. Confusion; tumult.
1. Excessive pride; arrogance.
huff [verb, huffed, huff·ing, huffs]
1. To puff; blow.
2. To speak or act with noisy, empty threats; bluster.
3. To act or react indignantly; take offense.
4. To puff up; inflate.
5. To treat with insolence; bully.
6. To anger; annoy.
ig·no·ra·mus [noun, -mus·es]
1. An ignorant person; simpleton.
1. A type or kind.
2. Not affected or responsive.
3. Having immunity.
im·pale [verb, -paled, -pales, -pal·ing]
1. To pierce with a sharp point.
2. To torture or kill by impaling.
3. To render helpless, as if by impaling.
im·ply [verb, -plied, -plies, -ply·ing]
1. To involve or suggest by logical necessity; entail.
2. To say or express indirectly.
3. To entangle.
im·por·tune [verb, -tuned, -tunes. -tun·ing]
1. To beset with repeated and insistent requests.
2. To annoy; vex.
1. Incapable of being captured or entered by force.
2. Unable to be shaken or criticized, as a conviction.
3. Capable of being impregnated.
im·pro·vise [verb, -vised, -vis·es, -vis·ing]
1. To invent, compose, recite or execute without preparation.
2. To make or provide from available materials.
im·pugn [verb, -pugned, -pugn·ing, -pugns]
1. To oppose or attack as false.
2. To criticize or refute through argumentation.
1. Morally, socially or legally obligated to another; beholden.
1. Not decisive; inconclusive.
2. Prone to or characterized by indecision; irresolute.
3. Not clearly defined; indefinite.
in·dig·na·tion [noun. -tions]
1. Anger aroused by something unjust, mean or unworthy.
1. Too apparent to be questioned; undoubtably.
1. Of or relating to a lower world of the dead.
2. Of or relating to hell.
3. Fiendish; devilish.
4. Abominable; damnable.
1. Extremely annoying, frustrating or irritating.
1. A naive and artless girl or young woman.
2. The role of an ingénue in a dramatic production.
3. An actress playing an ingénue.
1. Lacking taste or savor; tasteless.
2. Lacking in qualities that interest, stimulate or challenge; dull.
1. Having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate.
2. Solvable or comprehensible only with painstaking effort.
1. Contemplation of one's own thoughts, feelings and sensations; self-examination.
in·un·date [verb, -dat·ed, -dates, -dat·ing]
1. To cover with water, especially flood water; overflow.
2. To overwhelm as if with a flood; swamp.
in·veigh [verb, -veighed, -veigh·ing, -veighs]
1. To give vent to angry disapproval; protest vehemently.
in·voke [verb, -voked, -vokes, -vok·ing]
1. To call upon for assistance, support or inspiration.
2. To appeal to or cite in support or justification.
3. To call for earnestly; solicit.
4. To summon with incantations; conjure.
5. To resort to; use or apply.
i·o·ta [noun, -tas]
1. The ninth letter of the Greek alphabet.
2. A very small amount; bit.
irk [verb, irked, irk·ing, irks]
1. To irritate, vex or annoy.
J, K, L
jack·al [noun, -als]
1. Any of several doglike carnivorous mammals of the genus Canis, found in Africa and Asia.
2. An accomplice or lackey who performs disreputable or menial tasks.
1. Wearied with fatigue; worn-out.
2. Rendered dull or insensitive by excess or overindulgence.
3. Cynically or pretentiously callous.
jan·gle [verb, -gled, -gles, -gl·ing]
1. To make a harsh metallic sound.
2. To cause to make a harsh metallic sound.
3. To grate on or jar (the nerves).
1. Nonsensical, incoherent or meaningless talk.
2. A hybrid language or dialect; pidgin.
3. The specialized or technical language of a trade, profession or similar group.
jaunt [noun, jaunts]
1. A short trip or excursion, usually for pleasure.
1. Lacking in nutrition; insubstantial.
2. Not interesting; dull.
3. Lacking maturity; puerile.
jest [verb, jest·ed, jest·ing, jests]
1. To act or speak playfully.
2. To make witty or amusing remarks.
3. To utter scoffs; gibe.
4. To make fun of; ridicule.
1. An indeterminately short period of time.
jig·gle [verb, -gled, -gles, -gling]
1. To move or rock lightly up and down or to and fro in an unsteady, jerky manner.
2. To cause to jiggle.
1. Extreme nationalism or chauvinism, characterized especially by a belligerent foriegn policy.
jink [verb, jinked, jink·ing, jinks]
1. To make a quick, evasive turn.
1. Characterized by joking.
2. Meant in jest; facetious.
jolt [verb, jolt·ed, jolt·ing, jolts]
1. To cause to move with a sudden jerking motion.
2. To jar with a quick, sudden blow.
3. To disturb the composure of; shock.
joust [verb, joust·ed, joust·ing, jousts]
1. To engage in combat on horseback, especially with lances.
2. To engage in personal combat or competition.
1. Exultingly joyful.
2. Expressing joy.
jug·ger·naut [noun, -nauts]
1. Something, as a belief or institution, that elicits blind and destructive devotion, or to which people are ruthlessly sacrified.
2. An overwhelming and irresistible force or movement.
juic·y [adjective, -i·er, -i·est]
1. Full of juice; succulent.
2. Richly interesting, especially in a racy or titilating fashion.
3. Yielding wealth; lucrative.
junc·ture [noun, -tures]
1. The act of joining or the condition of being joined.
2. The line or point where two things are joined; joint; hinge.
3. A point or interval in time, especially a crisis or similar turning point.
4. A transition or mode of transition from one sound to another in speech.
ju·ris·pru·dence [noun, -dences]
1. The philosophy or the formal science of law.
2. A division or department of law.
1. With honesty and fairness; lawfully.
2. In accordance with moral or social standards.
jux·ta·pose [verb, -posed, pos·es, -pos·ing]
1. To place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
1. The total effect of a person's lifelong conduct, regarded as influencing destiny (in Hinduism and Buddhism).
2. Fate; destiny.
3. A distinctive aura, atmosphere or feeling.
keen [adjective, keen·er, keen·est]
1. Having a fine or sharp cutting edge or point.
2. Intellectually acute.
3. Acutely sensitive.
4. Sharp, vivid or strong.
5. Pungent; acrid.
6. Ardent; enthusiastic.
1. Tidy; trim.
ker·nel [noun, -nels]
1. A grain or seed enclosed in a husk.
2. The inner, usually edible part of a nut or fruit.
3. The most material or central part; core.
key·note [noun, -notes]
1. The tonic of a musical key.
2. A prime underlying element or theme.
1. In architecture, the central wedge-shaped stone of an arch that locks its parts together.
2. Something that is the central supporting element of a whole.
khan [noun, khans]
1. A ruler or important person in India and some central Asian countries.
2. A medieval ruler of a Mongol, Tatar or Turkish tribe.
3. In certain Asian countries, an inn built around a large court for accommodating caravans.
kib·itz [verb, -itzed, -itz·es, -itz·ing]
1. To look on and offer unwanted and usually meddlesome advice to others.
2. To chat; converse.
1. One's relatives or family members.
2. Kindred persons; kinfolk.
1. Of the same ancestry or family.
2. Having a similar or related origin, nature or character.
1. Of, relating to or produced by motion.
kink [noun, kinks]
1. A tight curl or sharp twist in a wirelike material.
2. A painful muscle spasm, as in the neck or back; crick.
3. A slight difficulty or flaw, as in a plan or system.
4. A physical or mental quirk.
5. A clever idea for doing something.
kip [noun, kips]
1. A rooming house.
2. A room or bed in a rooming house.
3. A bed.
1. Fate; fortune.
2. A predetermined course of events; destiny.
klutz [noun, klutz·es]
1. A clumsy, dull-witted person.
2. A bungler.
knack [noun, knacks]
1. A clever, expedient and efficient way of doing something.
2. A specific talent for doing something.
3. A cleverly designed device.
knave [noun, knaves]
1. An unprincipled, crafty person.
2. A male servant.
3. The jack in card games.
knell [verb, knelled, knell·ing, knells]
1. To sound a bell, especially for a funeral; toll.
2. To sound mournfully or ominously.
3. To signal, summon or proclaim by tolling.
knot·ty [adjective, -ti·er, -ti·est]
1. Tied or snarled in knots.
2. Covered with knots or knobs; gnarled.
3. Hard to understand or solve; puzzling.
1. In a way that displays shrewd knowledge.
2. Displaying knowledge of secret or privileged information.
kow·tow [verb, -towed, -tow·ing, tows]
1. To perform a kowtow.
2. To show servile deference; fawn.
1. Acclaim or prestige as a result of achievement or position.
kvetch [noun, kvetch·es]
1. A chronic and annoying complainer.
1. Requiring or marked by long, hard work; labored.
2. Hard-working; industrious.
lab·y·rinth [noun, -rinths]
1. An intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to find one's way; maze.
2. Something highly intricate or convoluted in character, composition or structure.
3. A group of communicating anatomical cavities.
4. The canals, cochlea and vestibules of the inner ear.
lac·er·ate [verb, -at·ed, -ates, -at·ing]
1. To rip, cut or tear.
2. To cause deep emotional pain to; distress.
1. Weeping or inclined to weep; tearful.
2. Causing or tending to cause tears; sorrowful.
1. Lacking spirit, liveliness or interest; languid.
lam·baste [verb, -bast-ed, -bastes, -bast-ing]
1. To give a thrashing to; beat.
2. To scold sharply; berate.
1. Flickering lightly over or on a surface.
2. Characterized by effortless brilliance or lightness.
3. Having a gentle glow; luminous.
la·ment [verb, -men·ted, -men·ting, -ments]
1. To express grief for or about; mourn.
2. To regret deeply; deplore.
3. To wail; complain.
1. Liberality in giving, especially when accompanied by condescension.
2. Money or gifts bestowed.
3. Generosity of spirit or attitude.
lax [adjective, -er, -est]
1. Lacking in rigor, strictness or firmness; slack.
2. Loose and not easily controlled, especially with bowel movements.
3. Pronounced with jaw and tongue muscles partially relaxed.
leer [verb, leered, leer·ing, leers]
1. To look at obliquely or suggestively, as with malicious intent or insidious triumph.
leg·a·cy [noun, -cies]
1. Money or property bequeathed to someone by will.
2. Something handed down from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.
lex·i·con [noun, -cons]
1. A dictionary.
2. A stock of terms used in a particular profession, subject or style; vocabulary.
3. The morphemes of a language.
lib·er·ate [verb, -rat·ed, -rates, -rat·ing]
1. To set free, as from oppression, confinement or foreign control.
2. In chemistry, to release from a combination, as a gas.
3. To obtain by illegal means, such as looting.
linch·pin [noun, -pins]
1. A locking pin inserted in the end of a shaft, such as an axle, to prevent a wheel from slipping off.
2. A central and cohesive element.
1. Extraordinarily courageous.
1. Able to read and write.
2. Knowledgeable; educated.
3. Familiar with literature; literary.
4. Well-written; polished.
1. Readily bent; supple.
2. Marked by effortless grace.
1. Discolored, as from a bruise; black-and-blue.
2. Ashen or pallid, as from anger.
3. Extremely angry; furious.
lo·cu·tion [noun, -tions]
1. A particular word, phrase or expression considered from the point of view of style.
2. Style of speaking; phraseology.
lub·ber [noun, -bers]
1. A clumsy fellow.
2. An inexperienced sailor.
1. Easily understood; intelligible.
2. Mentally sound; sane.
lu·lu [noun, -lus]
1. An object, action or idea that is remarkable.
M, N, O
1. Of or pertaining to a literary composition containing a mixture of vernacular words with Latin words.
2. Of or pertaining to a mixture of two or more languages.
mael·strom [noun, -stroms]
1. A whirlpool of extraordinary size or violence.
2. A situation that resembles a whirlpool in violence or turbulence.
main·stay [noun, -stays]
1. A chief support or vital component.
2. A strong rope used to steady the mainmast of a sailing vessel.
mar·vel [verb, -veled, -vel·ing, -vels]
1. To become filled with wonder or astonishment.
2. To wonder at or about.
ma·tron [noun, -trons]
1. A married woman, especially one marked by dignity or social distinction.
2. A mother of mature age.
3. A woman who supervises a public institution, such as a school or hospital.
me·an·der [verb, -dered, -der·ing, -ders]
1. To follow a winding and turning course.
2. To wander aimlessly and idly without fixed direction.
1. Inclined to meddle or interfere.
2. Intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner.
meg·a·there [noun, -theres]
1. A member of the extinct family Megatheriidae, composed of large ground sloths of the Miocene and Pleistocene epochs.
me·lange [noun, -langes]
1. A mixture, often of incongruous elements.
1. Confused hand-to-hand fighting in a pitched value.
2. A violent free-for-all.
3. A confused and tumultuous mingling, as of a crowd.
1. Changeable; volatile; flighty.
2. Animated; quick-witted.
3. Pertaining to, containing or caused by the metal mercury.
1. Pertaining to or resembling a prostitute.
2. Attracting attention in a vulgar way.
3. Lacking sincerity.
1. Of medium size, position or quality.
1. Bearing or manner; expression.
2. An appearance or aspect.
min·ion [noun, -ions]
1. One who is esteemed or favored.
2. An obsequious follower or dependent.
3. A subordinate official.
mis·giv·ing [noun, -ings]
1. A feeling of uncertainty or apprehension.
mock [verb, mocked, mock·ing, mocks]
1. To treat with ridicule or contempt; deride.
2. To mimic, as in sport or derision.
3. To imitate; counterfeit.
4. To frustrate the hopes of.
5. To express scorn or ridicule.
mol·li·fy [verb, -fied, -fies, -fy·ing]
1. To allay the anger of; placate.
2. To lessen in intensity; temper.
3. To reduce the rigidity of; soften.
1. Of utmost importance or outstanding significance.
mon·tage [noun, -tag·es]
1. A single pictorial composition made by juxtaposing or superimposing many pictures or designs.
2. The art or process of making such a composition.
3. A relatively rapid succession of shots in a movie.
4. A composition of closely juxtaposed elements.
1. Sullenly melancholy in nature or disposition.
2. Characterized by or displaying gloom.
mourn·ful [adjective, -ful·ly]
1. Feeling or expressing grief.
2. Arousing or suggesting grief.
1. Unable to see distant objects clearly; nearsighted.
2. Lacking foresight or scope; short-sighted.
3. Unimaginitive; narrow-minded.
1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself.
2. An arresting of development at, or a regression to, the infantile stage in which one's own body is the object of erotic interest.
nar·ra·tive [noun, -tives]
1. A narrated account; story.
2. The art, technique or process of narrating.
3. In computer science, programming information used by a programmer to identify and correct machine functions.
nat·ty [adjective, -i·er, -i·est]
1. Neat, trim and smart; dapper.
1. Extremely wicked or infamous; evil.
ne·glect [verb, -glect·ed, -glect·ing, -glects]
1. To ignore or pay no attention to; disregard.
2. To fail to care for or give proper attention to.
3. To fail to do or carry out, as through carelessness or oversight.
nem·e·sis [noun, -e·ses]
1. One that inflicts retribution or vengeance.
2. An unbeatable rival.
3. Retributive justice in its execution or outcome.
4. A source of injury or destruction.
nerd [noun, nerds]
1. A socially inept, foolish or ineffectual person.
net·tle [verb, -tled, -tles, -tl·ing]
1. To sting with or as if with a prickly plant.
2. To irritate; vex.
nex·us [noun, -us·es]
1. A means of connection; link or tie.
2. A connected series or group.
nigh [adverb, -er, -est]
1. Near in time, place or relationship.
2. Nearly; almost.
1. Quickly, lightly or agilely.
no·mad [noun, -mads]
1. A member of a group of people with no fixed home who roam in search of food, water and grazing land.
2. A person who moves from place to place; wanderer.
no·men·cla·ture [noun, -tures]
1. A system of names used in an art or science.
no·tion [noun, -tions]
1. A belief or opinion.
2. A mental image or representation; idea.
3. A fanciful impulse; whim.
No·vo·cain [proper noun]
1. A trademark for the anesthetic procaine hydrochloride.
nu·ance [noun, -anc·es]
1. A subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response, etc.
2. A very slight difference or variation in color or tone.
1. Ready for marriage; of a marriageable age or condition.
2. Sexually mature (used of young women).
nudge [verb, nudged, nudg·es, nudg·ing]
1. To annoy or pester someone persistently.
2. To complain or carp persistently.
1. Having no legal force; invalid.
2. Of no consequence, effect or value; insignificant.
3. Amounting to nothing; absent.
4. In mathematics, of or pertaining to zero magnitude or to a set having no members.
1. Of or pertaining to a numen; supernatural.
2. Spiritually elevated.
3. Incapable of being described or understood; mysterious.
1. Of or pertaining to coins or currency.
2. Of or pertaining to the study or collection of money, coins or medals.
nur·ture [verb, -tured, -tures, -tur·ing]
1. To nourish; feed.
2. To educate; train.
3. To help grow or develop; cultivate.
nymph [noun, nymphs]
1. A female spirit inhabiting and representing features of nature, such as woodlands and water.
2. A girl, especially a beautiful one.
3. One of the young of any insect that undergoes an incomplete metamorphosis.
ob·fus·cate [verb, -cat·ed, -cates, -cat·ing]
1. To render obscure.
2. To darken.
3. To confuse.
ob·jec·tive [noun, -tives]
1. Something toward which effort is directed; goal.
2. A strategic position or purpose to be attained or achieved by military action.
3. A lens or series of lenses that forms an image of an object.
1. Morally or legally constraining; binding.
2. Imposing or recording an obligation.
3. Of the nature of an obligation; compulsory.
ob·lit·er·ate [verb, -a·ted, -ates, -a·ting]
1. Destroy utterly.
2. Cause to become invisible or indistinct.
ob·scure [adjective, -scur·er, -scur·est]
1. Deficient in light; dark.
2. Lacking clear delineation; indistinct.
3. Indistinctly heard; faint.
4. Far from human population centers.
5. Of undistinguished or humble station or reputation.
6. Not easily understood or expressed; ambiguous.
1. Stubbornly adhering to an attitude, opinion or course of action.
2. Difficult to manage, control or subdue.
3. Difficult to alleviate or cure.
ode [noun, odes]
1. In classic literature, a poem intended to be sung by a chorus at a festival or as part of a drama.
2. A lengthy and exalted lyrical poem, often addressed to a praised person, object or quality.
1. Exciting hatred or repugnance; abhorrent.
od·ys·sey [noun, -seys]
1. An extended adventurous wandering.
2. An intellectual or spiritual quest.
1. A rule or code that prevents speaking or divulging information about certain activities, especially those of a criminal organization.
1. Portending evil or harm.
2. Having the significance of an omen.
on·a·ger [noun, -gers]
1. A wild ass of central Asia.
2. An ancient and medieval stone-propelling siege engine.
1. Troublesome or oppressive; burdensome.
2. In legal terms, entailing obligations that exceed any advantage.
1. Something that is burdensome, especially a disagreeable responsibility.
2. A stigma; blame.
1. Irrepressible enthusiasm; spirited vigor.
2. Sex appeal.
opt [verb, opt·ed, opt·ing, opts]
1. To make a choice; choose.
2. To decide in favor of something.
o·pus [noun, o·per·a]
1. A creative work, especially a musical composition numbered to designate the order of the composer's works.
or·deal [noun, -deals]
1. A difficult or painful experience, especially one that severely tests character or endurance.
2. A method of determining guilt or innocence by subjecting the accused to physically painful or dangerous tests, so as to determine divine judgment.
1. Of, pertaining to or serving as an ornament; decorative.
1. Elaborately and heavily ornamented; excessively decorated.
2. Flashy, showy or florid in syle or manner; flowery.
or·ner·y [adjective, -i·er, -i·est]
1. Of a stubborn and mean-spirited nature.
os·si·fy [verb, -fied, -fies, -fy·ing]
1. To change into bone; become bony.
2. To mold into or become set in a rigidly conventional pattern.
1. Representing or appearing as such.
2. Professed to be; seemingly.
os·ten·ta·tion [noun, -tions]
1. Pretentious display meant to impress others; boastful showiness.
2. An act of showing; presentation.
P, Q, R
pae·an [noun, -ans]
1. A song of joyful praise or exultation.
2. A fervent expression of joy or praise.
3. An ancient Greek hymn of thanksgiving to a god, especially to Apollo.
1. Of or suitable for a palace.
2. Of the nature of a palace; spacious and ornate.
pam·per [verb, -pered, -per·ing, -pers]
1. To treat with excessive indulgence; coddle.
2. To indulge with rich food; glut.
pan·a·ce·a [noun, -ce·as]
1. A remedy for all diseases, evils or difficulties; cure-all.
2. An elixer believed to cure all ills.
par·a·gon [noun, -gons]
1. A model or pattern of excellence or perfection.
2. A flawless diamond weighing at least 100 carats.
3. A very large spherical pearl.
4. In printing, a type size of 20 points.
pau·ci·ty [noun, -cit·ies]
1. Smallness of number; fewness.
2. Smallness of quantity; scarcity or dearth.
1. Next to last.
2. Of or pertaining to the next to last syllable in a word.
1. Fastidious; exacting.
2. Requiring strict attention to detail.
pe·ruse [verb, -rused, -rus·es, -rus·ing]
1. To read or examine, especially with great care.
pet·ty [adjective, -ti·er, -ti·est]
1. Small, trivial or insignificant in quality or quantity.
2. Of contemptibly narrow mind or view.
3. Spiteful; mean.
4. Of subordinate or inferior rank.
1. A fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever.
2. Fantastic imagery as represented in art.
1. Accomplished or made piece by piece.
2. In pieces; apart.
pla·cate [verb, -ca·ted, -cates, -ca·ting]
1. To soothe, especially by concessions; mollify.
2. To appease.
pla·teau [noun, -teaus]
1. An elevated and comparatively level expanse of land; tableland.
2. A relatively stable and quiescent period or state.
1. Dawdling; slow.
2. Frumpish; shabby.
3. Small and cramped.
por·tend [verb, -tend·ed, -tend·ing, -tends]
1. To serve as a warning or omen of; presage.
2. To indicate or suggest.
1. Being the first or the earliest of the kind in existence, especially in an early stage of the world.
2. Early in the history of the world or of humankind.
3. Characteristic of early ages or of an early state of human development.
4. Of or pertaining to a preliterate or tribal people; no longer in technical use.
5. Unaffected or little affected by civilizing influences; uncivilized or savage.
pro·cliv·i·ty [noun, -ties]
1. A natural propensity or inclination; predisposition.
pro·cure [verb, -cured, -cures, -cu·ring]
1. To obtain; acquire.
2. To bring about; effect.
3. To obtain as a prostitute for someone else.
pro·fan·i·ty [noun, -ties]
1. Abusive, vulgar or irreverent language.
2. The use of such language.
3. The condition or quality of being profane.
prog·e·ny [noun, -nies]
1. Children or descendants; offspring.
2. The result of a creative effort; product.
pu·ny [adjective, -ni-er, -ni-est]
1. Of inferior size, strength or significance; weak.
pup·pet·ry [noun, -ries]
1. The art of making puppets and presenting puppet shows.
2. The actions of puppets.
3. Stilted or artificial dramatic performance.
1. The art of manufacturing or setting off fireworks.
2. A fireworks display.
3. A brilliant display of rhetoric or wit, or of virtuosity in the performing arts.
quack [noun, quacks]
1. An untrained person who pretends to have medical knowledge.
2. A charlatan; mounteback.
quaff [verb, quaffed, quaff·ing, quaffs]
1. To drink heartily.
2. To drink something heartily.
quag·mire [noun, -mires]
1. Soft, muddy land.
2. A difficult situation; predicament.
quan·da·ry [noun, -ries]
1. A state of uncertainty or perplexity; dilemma.
quan·tum [noun, -ta]
1. A quantity or amount of something.
2. A specified portion of something.
3. Something that may be counted or measured.
4. In physics, an indivisible unit of energy.
5. In physics, the particle mediating a specific type of fundamental reaction.
quar·rel [noun, -rels]
1. An angry dispute; argument.
2. A cause for a dispute or argument.
3. A bolt for a crossbow.
4. A tool with a squared head, as a stonemason's chisel.
5. A small square or diamond-shaped glass pane in a latticed window.
quash [verb, quashed, quash·es, quash·ing]
1. To set aside or annul, especially by judicial action.
2. To put down or suppress forcibly and completely.
queue [noun, queues]
1. A line of people or vehicles.
2. A braid of hair worn hanging down the back of the neck; ponytail.
3. A sequence of computer data or programs awaiting processing.
quid·di·ty [noun, -ties]
1. The real nature of a thing; essence.
2. A hairsplitting distinction; quibble.
quid·nunc [noun, -nuncs]
1. A nosy person; busybody.
2. Someone eager to know the latest news or gossip.
1. A form of Christian mysticism enjoining passive contemplation and the beatific annihilation of the will.
2. A state of quietness and passivity.
1. Something that serves to suppress, check or eliminate.
2. Release from life; death.
3. A final discharge, as of duty or debt.
quip [noun, quips]
1. A brief, witty remark delivered offhand.
2. A cleverly sarcastic remark.
3. A quibble; an irrelevant objection.
4. Something curious or odd.
quirk [noun, quirks]
1. A sudden sharp turn or twist.
2. A peculiarity of behavior; idiosyncrasy.
3. An unpredictable or unaccountable act or event; vagary.
4. An equivocation; quibble.
5. A lengthwise groove on a molding between the convex upper part and the soffit.
quiv·er [verb, -vered, -ver·ing, -vers]
1. To shake with a rapid, slight motion; tremble.
1. Idealistic without regard to practicality.
2. Capricious; impulsive.
1. Suggesting puzzlement.
2. Teasing; mocking.
3. Eccentric; odd.
1. A theological or philosophical issue presented for formal argument or disputation.
2. The disputation itself.
3. A usually humorous musical medley.
1. That once was; former.
quo·rum [noun, -rums]
1. The minimum number of officers and members of an organization, usually a majority, who must be present for the valid transaction of business.
2. A select group.
1. Recurring daily.
2. Everyday; commonplace.
ram·ble [verb, -bled, -bles,- bling]
1. To walk or wander aimlessly.
2. To follow an irregularly winding course of motion or growth.
3. To speak or write at length and with many digressions.
rant [verb, rant·ed, ran·ting, rants]
1. To speak in a noisy, excited or declamatory manner.
2. To scold vehemently.
3. To utter in a bombastic fashion.
1. A relationship, especially one based on trust or mutual affinity.
1. Rough-sounding and harsh.
2. Boisterous; disorderly.
rec·on·cile [verb, -ciled, -ciles , -cil·ing]
1. To re-establish friendship between.
2. To settle or resolve, as a dispute.
3. To bring (oneself) to accept.
4. To make compatible or consistent.
1. Occurring or appearing again or repeatedly.
2. In anatomy, arteries or nerves running in a reverse direction.
1. Arousing fear or awe; formidable.
2. Worthy of respect or honor.
reek [verb, reeked, -ing, reeks]
1. To smoke, steam or fume.
2. To be pervaded by something unpleasant.
3. To give off or become permeated with a strong and unpleasant odor.
1. Of or pertaining to a king; royal.
2. Befitting or belonging to a king.
3. Of great magnificence; splendid.
1. Reigning; ruling.
3. Widespread; prevalent.
rem·i·nisce [verb, -nisced, -nisc·es, -nisc·ing]
1. To recollect and tell of past experiences or events.
1. Lax in attending to duty; negligent.
2. Exhibiting carelessness or slackness.
1. Required; essential.
res·pite [noun, -pites]
1. A short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant.
2. A short delay permitted before an unpleasant obligation is met or a punishment is carried out.
re·sus·ci·tate [verb, -tat·ed, -tates, -tat·ing]
1. To restore consciousness, vigor or life to; revive.
re·tort [verb, -tor·ted, -tor·ting, -torts]
1. To return in kind; pay back.
2. To present a counterargument.
re·vert [verb, -vert·ed, -vert·ing, -verts]
1. To return to a former condition, practice, subject or belief.
2. In matters of law, to return property to the former owner or his heirs.
3. To return to a former ancestral type.
re·viv·i·fy [verb, -fied, -fies, -fy·ing]
1. To impart new life, energy or spirit to.
1. The study of the elemental structure and style of writing and speaking.
2. The art of effective expression and the persuasive use of language.
3. Affected or pretentious language.
4. Verbal communication; discourse.
1. Confused, rambling or incoherent discourse; nonsense.
2. A complicated and petty set of procedures.
1. Full of health and strength; vigorous.
2. Powerfully built; sturdy.
3. Requiring or suited to physical strength or endurance.
4. Boisterous; rough.
5. Marked by richness or fullness; full-bodied.
rois·ter [verb, -terred, -ter·ring, -ters]
1. To engage in boisterous merrymaking; revel noisily.
2. To behave in a blustering manner; swagger.
1. Of, pertaining to or typical of country life.
2. Simple and unsophisticated.
3. Made of rough tree branches.
S, T, U, V
1. Projecting or jutting beyond a line or surface; protruding.
2. Strikingly conspicuous; prominent.
3. Springing; jumping.
1. Appetizing to the taste or smell.
2. Pungent or salty to the taste; not sweet.
3. Morally respectable; inoffensive.
schtick [noun, schticks]
1. A characteristic attribute, talent or trait.
2. A striking portion or detail.
3. The method of doing something.
4. An entertainment routine.
scorch·er [noun, -chers]
1. One that scorches.
2. An extremely hot day.
scuf·fle [verb, -fled, -fles, -fl·ing]
1. To fight or struggle confusedly at close quarters.
2. To scoot with shuffling steps; to shuffle.
1. Not often; infrequently.
1. Tarnished, frayed, faded or otherwise defective from being on display in a store.
2. Stale because of overuse or familiarity; clichéd.
skew [verb, skewed, skew·ing, skews]
1. To take an oblique course or direction.
2. To turn or place at an angle.
3. To look obliquely or sideways.
1. Having the habits or appearance of a sloven.
2. Untidy; messy.
3. Careless; slipshod.
1. Marked by foolish or unreasoning fondness; infatuated or beguiled.
2. Afflicted or struck by; plagued.
snipe [verb, sniped, snipes, -i·ping]
1. To shoot at individuals from a concealed place.
2. To shoot snipe.
3. To make malicious, underhanded remarks.
soi·ree [noun, -rees]
1. An evening party or reception.
so·lic·it [verb, -it·ed, -it·ing, -its]
1. To seek to obtain by persuasion, entreaty or formal application.
2. To petition persistently; importune.
3. To entice or incite to evil or illegal action.
4. To approach or accost with an offer of illegal services.
1. Punk, touchwood or other tinder.
2. Spirit; pluck.
1. Lacking authenticity or validity; false.
2. Constituting a forgery or interpolation.
3. Illegitimate; bastard.
4. Similar in appearance but unlike in structure or function.
1. Firm or unyielding.
2. Grave or severe.
3. Inexorable or relentless.
stig·ma·tize [verb, -tized, -tiz·es, -tiz·ing]
1. To characterize or brand as disgraceful or ignominious.
2. To mark with stigmata.
3. To cause stigmata to appear on.
stout [adjective, -ter, -test]
1. Bulky in figure; corpulent.
2. Bold, brave or dauntless.
3. Strong in substance or body, as a beverage.
4. Strong or heavy in construction, as a structure.
1. Elevated or lofty in thought, language, appearance, etc.
2. Inspiring awe or veneration.
3. Complete; absolute; utter.
su·per·a·bound [verb, -bound·ed, -bound·ing, -bounds]
1. To be unusually or excessively abundant; to be in surplus.
svelte [adjective, svelt·er, svelt·est]
1. Slender or graceful in figure or outline; slim.
swift [adjective, -er, -est]
1. Moving or capable of moving with great speed.
2. Coming, occurring or accomplished quickly.
3. Quick to act or react; prompt.
tail·spin [noun, -spins]
1. The descent of an aircraft in a spin, characterized by a rapid spiral movement of the tail section.
2. An emotional collapse.
tan·ta·lize [verb, -lized, -liz·es, -liz·ing]
1. To excite (another) by exposing something desirable while keeping it out of reach.
tar·dy [adjective, -di·er, -di·est]
1. Occurring, arriving or acting later than expected or scheduled; delayed.
2. Moving slowly; sluggish.
tar·ry [verb, -ried, -ries, -ry·ing]
1. To delay or be late in coming or going; linger.
2. To wait.
3. To remain or stay temporarily, as in place; sojourn.
4. To await.
1. Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy.
2. An instance of such repetition.
3. A statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it true, whether the simpler statements are true or false.
tem·pest [noun, -pests]
1. A violent windstorm, frequently accompanied by rain, snow or hail.
2. A furious agitation, commotion or tumult; uproar.
ter·cen·ten·a·ry [noun, -ries]
1. A three-hundreth anniversary or its celebration.
1. Of, pertaining to or contained in a text.
2. Based on or conforming to a text.
3. Word for word; literal.
1. The art of the theater.
2. Theatrical effects or mannerisms; histrionics.
thing·a·ma·jig [noun, -jigs]
1. Something difficult to classify or whose name has been forgotten or is not known.
thrash [verb, -ashed, -ash·es, -ash·ing]
1. To beat with a whip or stick.
2. To flail upon.
3. To defeat utterly; vanquish.
thug [noun, thugs]
1. A cutthroat or ruffian; hoodlum.
2. One of a band of professional assassins formerly active in northern India.
thwart [verb, thwart·ed, thwart·ing, thwarts]
1. To prevent from taking place; frustrate.
2. To challenge, oppose or offend; antagonize.
tiff [noun, tiffs]
1. A fit of irritation.
2. A petty quarrel.
tim·bre [noun, -bres]
1. The quality of sound that distinguishes it from other sounds of the same pitch and volume.
2. The distinctive tone of a musical instrument, voice or voiced sound.
tim·id [adjective, -id·er, -id·est]
1. Lacking in self-assurance, courage or bravery; shy.
2. Characterized by or indicating fear; easily alarmed.
tom·fool·er·y [noun, -ies]
1. Foolish behavior.
2. Something trivial or foolish; nonsense.
tout [verb, tout·ed, tout·ing, touts]
1. To solicit customers, votes or patronage, especially in a brazen way.
2. To obtain and deal in horeseracing information.
3. To publicize as being of great worth.
1. Of or pertaining to a toxin.
2. Harmful, destructive or deadly.
tra·jec·tor·y [noun, -ries]
1. The path of a moving particle or body, especially such a path in three dimensions.
2. In mathematics, a curve that cuts all of a family of curves or surfaces at the same angle.
trans·gres·sion [noun, -sions]
1. The violation of law, command or duty.
2. The exceeding of due bounds or limits.
1. Lightly and easily; fluently.
1. Characterized by tumult; noisy and disorderly.
2. Tending to cause tumult.
3. Confusedly or violently agitated.
1. Being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time; omnipresent.
1. Lying beyond or outside the immediate area of interest.
2. Lying beyond what is evident or avowed, especially concealed intentionally so as to deceive.
3. Occurring later; subsequent.
um·bra [noun, -brae]
1. A dark area, especially the blackest part of a shadow from which all light is cut off.
2. In astronomy, the shadow area over an area of the earth where a solar eclipse is total.
3. In astronomy, the darkest region of a sunspot.
um·brage [noun, -brag·es]
1. Offense; resentment.
2. Something that affords shade.
3. A vague or indistinct indication; hint.
1. By surprise; unexpectedly.
2. Without forethought or plan.
un·can·ny [adjective, -ni·er, -ni·est]
1. Having or seeming to have a supernatural or inexplicable basis; extraordinary.
2. So keen and perceptive as to seem preternatural.
1. Crude; unrefined.
2. Awkward or clumsy.
3. Foreign; unfamiliar.
1. Having the quality or characteristics of oil or ointment; greasy.
2. Containing or composed of oil or fat.
3. Abundant in organic materials.
4. Characterized by affected, exaggerated or insincere earnestness.
1. Not in accord with grammar.
1. Of, on, affecting or pertaining to only one side.
2. Obligating only one or two or more parties, nations or persons, as a contract or agreement.
3. Emphasizing or recognizing only side of a subject.
4. Having only one side.
5. Tracing the lineage of one parent only.
1. Devoid of scruples; contemptuous of what is right and honorable.
2. Having or showing no moral principles; dishonest.
1. Not frugal.
2. Unmerciful; severe.
1. Not sung.
2. Not honored or praised; uncelebrated.
up·end [verb, -end·ed, end·ing, -ends]
1. To stand, set or turn on one end.
2. To overturn or overthrow.
up·heav·al [noun, -vals]
1. A process or an instance of being heaved upward.
2. A sudden and violent disruption or upset.
3. In geology, a lifting up of the earth's crust by the movement of stratified or other rocks.
up·keep [noun, -keeps]
1. Maintenance in proper operation, condition and repair.
2. The cost of upkeep.
1. Snobbish or arrogant; uppish.
1. Of or relating to the heavens; celestial.
2. Pertaining to or derived from uranium.
u·surp [verb, -surped, -sur·ping, -surps]
1. To forcefully and illegally seize and hold another's power, position or rights.
2. To physically take over and occupy another's territory or possessions.
u·til·ize [verb, -ized, -iz·es, -iz·ing]
1. To put to use for a certain purpose.
1. Being or situated at the farthest limit or point; most extreme.
2. Of the highest degree, amount or intensity.
1. Of, pertaining to or having the characteristics of Utopia.
2. Excellent or ideal, but existing only in visionary or impractical thought or theory.
va·cil·late [verb, -la·ted, -lates, -la·ting]
1. To sway from one side to the other.
2. To swing indecisively from one course of action or opinion to another; waver.
1. Possessing or displaying valor; courageous.
2. Marked by or done with valor.
va·moose [verb, -moosed, -moos·es, -moos·ing]
1. To leave hurriedly.
vamp [noun, vamps]
1. An unscrupulous woman who seduces or exploits men with her charms.
2. The part of a boot or shoe covering the instep and sometimes extending over the toe.
3. An improvised musical accompaniment.
1. Lacking liveliness, zest or interest; flat.
1. Suggestive of or resembling vapor.
2. Given to spells of hysteria or low spirits.
var·i·a·ble [noun, -bles]
1. Something that varies or is prone to variation.
2. In astronomy, a variable star.
3. In mathematics, a quantity capable of assuming any of a set of variables; a symbol representing such a quantity.
var·mint [noun, -mints]
1. A bird or animal that is considered undesirable or troublesome.
2. An obnoxious or contemptible person.
veer [verb, veered, veer·ing, veers]
1. To turn aside from a course, direction or purpose; swerve.
2. To shift in direction by a clockwise motion, used of the wind.
3. In nautical terms, to change the direction of a ship by turning away from the direction of the wind.
ve·nal·i·ty [noun, -ties]
1. The quality of being open to bribery or corruption.
2. The use of a position of trust for dishonest gain.
ven·er·ate [verb, -a·ted, -ates, -at·ing]
1. To regard with reverential respect or deference.
2. To honor with an act of devotion, as a ritual.
1. Easily excused or forgiven; pardonable.
2. According to the Roman Catholic Church, minor in nature and warranting only temporal punishment.
ven·om [noun, -oms]
1. A poisonous secretion of an animal, such as a snake or spider, usually transmitted by a bite or sting.
2. A poison.
3. Malice; spite.
1. Words in excess of those needed for clarity or precision; wordiness.
2. The manner in which one expresses oneself in words; diction.
1. Unquestionable; true.
verve [noun, verves]
1. Energy and enthusiasm in the expression of ideas and especially in artistic performance or composition.
2. Vitality; liveliness.
3. Aptitude; talent.
ves·tige [noun, -tig·es]
1. A visible trace, evidence or sign of something that once existed but exists or appears no more.
2. A small, degenerate or rudimentary organ or part of an organ existing in an organism as a usually nonfunctioning remnant of an organ or part of an organ that was fully developed and functional in a preceding generation or earlier developmental stage.
vex [verb, vexed, vex·es, vex·ing]
1. To irritate or annoy; bother.
2. To bring physical discomfort to.
3. To baffle; puzzle.
4. To talk about or debate at length.
5. To toss about or shake up.
1. Being the winner in a contest or struggle.
2. Characteristic of or expressing a sense of victory or fulfillment.
vir·tu·o·so [noun, -sos]
1. A musician with masterly ability, technique or style.
2. A person with masterly skill or technique in the arts.
3. A person who experiments in or investigates the arts and sciences; savant.
1. Food supplies or provisions.
2. Food or provisions specifically for human beings.
W, X, Y, Z
wan [adjective, wan·ner, wan·nest]
1. Unnaturally pale, as from physical or emotional distress.
2. Suggestive of or indicating weariness, illness or unhappiness; melancholy.
1. Immoral or unchaste; lewd.
2. Maliciously cruel; merciless or unjust.
3. Freely extravagant; excessive.
4. Luxuriant; overabundant.
5. Frolicsome; playful.
6. Rebellious; refractory.
wealth·y [adjective, -i·er, -i-est]
1. Having wealth; affluent.
2. Richly supplied; abundant.
wean [verb, weaned, wea·ning, weans]
1. To substitute other nourishment for mother's milk.
2. To cause to give up a habit or interest.
wee [adjective, we·er, we·est]
1. Very small; tiny.
2. Very early.
weight·y [adjective, -i·er, -iest]
1. Heavy; ponderous.
2. Burdensome; oppressive.
3. Of great consequence; momentous.
4. Carrying weight; efficacious.
5. Solemn; serious.
wham·my [noun, -mies]
1. A supernatural spell capable of subduing an adversary; hex.
1. From whatever place or source.
whim [noun, whims]
1. A sudden or capricious idea; a passing fancy.
2. Arbitrary thought or impulse.
3. A vertical horse-powered drum used as a hoist in a mine.
whisk [verb, whisked, whisk·ing, whisks]
1. To move or cause to move with quick, light sweeping motions.
2. To move lightly, nimbly and rapidly.
3. To whip (eggs and cream).
whit·tle [verb, -t·led, -t·les, -tl·ing]
1. To cut small bits or pare shavings, esp. from a piece of wood.
2. To reduce or eliminate gradually, as if by whittling with a knife.
whop·per [noun, -pers]
1. Something exceptionally big or remarkable.
2. A gross untruth.
wield [verb, wield·ed, wield·ing, wields]
1. To handle, especially a weapon.
2. To exercise or exert power or influence.
1. Attractive or appealing in appearance or character.
2. Winning; charming.
witch·er·y [noun, -ies]
1. Sorcery; witchcraft.
2. Power to charm or fascinate.
woo [verb, wooed, woo·ing, woos]
1. To seek the affection of with intent to marry.
2. To seek to achieve; try to gain.
3. To tempt or invite.
4. To entreat, solicit or importune.
wooz·y [adjective, -i·er, -i·est]
1. Dazed; stunned; confused.
2. Dizzy or queasy.
wran·gle [verb, -gled, -gles, -gling]
1. To dispute noisily or angrily; bicker.
2. To herd, especially horses or other livestock.
3. To win or obtain by argument.
wreak [verb, wreaked, wreak·ing, wreaks]
1. To inflict vengeance or punishment upon another.
2. To express or gratify anger, malevolence or resentment; vent.
3. To take vengeance for; avenge.
wriggle [verb, wrig·gled, wrig·gles, wrig·gling]
1. To turn or twist the body with sinuous writhing motions; squirm.
2. To proceed with writhing motions.
3. To insinuate or extricate oneself by sly or subtle means.
writhe [verb, writhed, writhes, writh·ing]
1. To twist or squirm, as in pain or embarrassment.
2. To move with twisting or contorted motions.
3. To suffer acutely.
wry [adjective, wry·er, wry·est]
1. Abnormally twisted or bent to one side; crooked.
2. Temporarily twisted in an expression of distaste or displeasure.
3. At variance with what is right or proper.
4. Drily humorous, often with a touch of irony.
xen·o·phobe [noun, -phobes]
1. A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of strangers or foreigners.
1. Abnormal dryness, especially of the skin or mucous membranes.
2. The normal evolutionary sclerosis of aging tissue.
ya·hoo [noun, -hoos]
1. A crude or brutish person.
yam·mer [verb, -ered, -er·ing, -ers]
1. To complain peevishly or whimperingly; whine.
2. To talk volubly and loudly.
yap [verb, -ap·ped, -ap·ping, -aps]
1. To bark sharply or shrilly; to yelp.
2. To talk noisily or stupidly; to jabber.
yarn [noun, yarns]
1. A continuous strand of twisted threads of natural or synthetic material, used in weaving and knitting.
2. A long, complicated story.
3. A tale of real or fictitious adventures, often elaborated upon by the teller during the telling.
yaw [verb, yawed, yaw·ing, yaws]
1. In nautical terms, to deviate from the intended course.
2. To move unsteadily; weave.
3. In aeronautical terms, to turn about the vertical axis.
1. Gaping open; cavernous.
yearn [verb, yearned, yearn·ing, yearns]
1. To have a strong or deep desire; to be filled with longing.
3. To feel deep pity, sympathy or tenderness.
yield [verb, yield·ed, yield·ing, yields]
1. To give forth by or as if by natural process.
2. To furnish or give in return; produce.
3. To surrender something in deference or defeat; relinquish.
4. To grant or concede.
5. To submit to pressure, force or persuasion; be overcome.
1. Used to express surprise, fear or dismay.
yoke·fel·low [noun, -lows]
1. A work companion; comrade.
2. A close companion; mate.
1. That one or those yonder.
yowl [verb, yowled, yowl·ing, yowls]
1. To utter a loud, long, mournful cry; wail.
2. To say or utter with a yowl.
zany [adjective, -anier, -aniest]
1. Ludicrously comical.
2. Comical because of incongruity or strangeness; bizarre.
1. The taste and outlook characteristics of a period or generation.
2. The cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual and/or political climate of a nation or group.
1. The point in the celestial sphere that is directly above the observer.
2. The upper region of the sky.
3. The highest point above the observer's horizon attained by a celestial body.
4. The highest or culminating point; peak.
zeph·yr [noun, -yrs]
1. The west wind.
2. A gentle breeze.
3. Any of various light and soft fabrics, yarns or garments.
4. Something that is airy, insubstantial or passing.
zest [noun, zest·ful·ness]
1. A piece or shaving of the peel of a citrus fruit.
2. An enjoyably exciting quality.
3. Keen enjoyment.
zig·zag [noun, -zags]
1. A line or course comprising sharp turns in alternating directions.
2. One of a series of sharp turns.
3. Something, such as a road or design, that exhibits one or a series of sharp turns.
zing·y [adjective, -i·er, -i·est]
1. Pleasantly stimulating.
2. Exceptionally attractive or appealing.
zip·py [adjective, -pi·er, -pi·est]
1. Full of energy; lively.
zonk [verb, zonked, zonk·ing, zonks]
1. To stupefy; stun.
2. To intoxicate with drugs or alcohol.
1. Used to express anger, surprise or indignation.
1. Any of various tropical American weevils of the genus Zyzzyva, often destructive to plants.