200 Difficult Words - Group 2

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perfunctory
Detail    speak

/pə'fʌŋktərɪ/ a. Syn. superficial
done routinely and with little interest or care; acting with indifference; showing little interest or care
I introduced myself, and at my name his perfunctory manner changed; I knew he heard me before.
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pernicious
Detail    speak

/pə'nɪʃəs/ a. Syn. deadly
very destructive; tending to cause death or serious injury; deadly
Crack cocaine has had a pernicious effect on urban society: it has destroyed families, turned children into drug dealers, and increased the spread of violent crimes.
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pertinacious
Detail    speak

/pɜrtɪ'neɪʃəs/;/-tn'eɪʃəs/ a. Syn. stubborn; persistent
stubbornly or perversely persistent; unyielding; obstinate
He is bound to succeed because his pertinacious nature will not permit him to quit.
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pithy
Detail    speak

/'pɪθɪ/ a. Syn. concise
precisely meaningful; forceful and brief
While other girls might have gone on and on about how un-cool Elton was, Liz summed it up in one pithy remark: "He's bogus!"
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platitude
Detail    speak

/'plætɪtju:d/;/-tu:d/ n.
dullness; insipidity of thought; commonplace statement; lack of originality
In giving advice to his son, old Polonius expressed himself only in same platitude; every word out of his mouth was a commonplace.
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plethora
Detail    speak

/'plɛθərə/ n. Syn. excess; overabundance
excess; over-fullness in any respect; superabundance
She offered a plethora of excuses for her shortcomings.
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portent
Detail    speak

/'pɔ:tɛnt/ n. Syn. sign; omen; forewarning
omen; forewarning; something that portends an event about to occur, especially unfortunate or evil event
He regarded the black cloud as a portent of evil.
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precocious
Detail    speak

/prɪ'koʊʃəs/ a.
advanced in development; appearing or developing early
Listening to the grown-up way the child discussed serious topics, we couldn't help remarking how precocious she was.
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primeval
Detail    speak

/praɪ'mi:v(ə)l/ a. Syn. ancient; primitive
ancient; primitive; belonging to the first or earliest age; original or ancient
The archaeologist claimed that the skeleton was primeval origin, though in fact it was the remains of a modern day monkey.
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proclivity
Detail    speak

/prə'klɪvɪtɪ/ n. Syn. inclination
inclination; natural tendency; readiness; facility of learning
Watching the two-year-old boy voluntarily put away his toys, I was amazed by his proclivity for neatness.
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promulgate
Detail    speak

/'prɒməlgeɪt/ v. Syn. announce
proclaim doctrine or law; make known by official publication
During an interview with ABC News, Barack Obama said Republican attempted to promulgate, falsely, his Muslim connections.
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propensity
Detail    speak

/prə'pɛnsɪtɪ/ n. Syn. tendency; predilection
natural inclination; tendency or preference; predilection
Convinced of his own talent, Sol has an unfortunate propensity to belittle the talents of others.
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propitious
Detail    speak

/prə'pɪʃəs/ a. Syn. favorable; fortunate; advantageous
presenting favorable circumstances; fortunate; advantageous
Chloe consulted her horoscope to see whether Tuesday would be a propitious day to dump her boyfriend.
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prosaic
Detail    speak

/proʊ'zeiɪk/ a. Syn. factual
dull and unimaginative; matter-of-fact; factual
Though the ad writers came up with an original way to publicize the product, the head office rejected it for a more prosaic, ordinary slogan.
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proscribe
Detail    speak

/proʊ'skraɪb/;/proʊ-/ v. Syn. banish; outlaw
command against; banish; outlaw
Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus united to proscribe all those who had conspired against Julius Caesar.
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protean
Detail    speak

/'proʊtɪɛn, 'proʊti:n/ a. Syn. versatile
versatile; able to take on many shapes; readily taking on varied shapes
A remarkably protean actor, Alec Guinness could take on any role.
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prurient
Detail    speak

/'prʊərɪənt/ a.
having or causing lustful thoughts and desires; having eager desire for something
Aroused by his prurient impulses, the dirty old man leered at the sweet young thing and offered to give her a sample of his "prowess.".
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puerile
Detail    speak

/'pjʊəraɪl/;/-rəl/ a. Syn. childish
childish; belonging to childhood; immature
His puerile pranks sometimes offended his more mature friends.
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pulchritude
Detail    speak

/'pʌlkrɪtju:d/ n. Syn. beauty; comeliness
great physical beauty and appeal; attractive moral excellence; moral beauty
I do not envy the judges who have to select this year's Miss America from this collection of female pulchritude.
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punctilious
Detail    speak

/pʌŋk'tɪlɪəs/ a.
marked by precise accordance with details
Percy is punctilious about observing the rules of etiquette whenever Miss Manners invites him to stay.
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