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pugnacity
Detail    speak
n. combativeness; inclination or readiness to fight; quarrelsomeness
'Put up your dukes!' he cried, making a fist to show his pugnacity.
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puissant
Detail    speak
a. powerful; mighty; strong; vigorous; forcible
His memoir was full of descriptions of puissant military heroics, but most were exaggerations or outright lies.
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pulchritude
Detail    speak
n. 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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pulverize
Detail    speak
v. pound, crush, or grind to powder or dust
Before sprinkling the dried herbs into the stew, they first pulverize them into a fine powder.
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punctilious
Detail    speak
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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pundit
Detail    speak
n. authority on a subject; learned person; expert
The author who writes about SAT I as if he is a pundit actually knows very little about the test.
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purloin
Detail    speak
v. steal, often in violation of trust; put away; remove
The amateur detective Dupin saw him purloin the letter for which the police had search in vain.
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purport
Detail    speak
n. design or tendency; meaning; import; disguise; covering
The purport of what he said is that he is right.
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pusillanimous
Detail    speak
a. cowardly; lacking strength and firmness of mind
You should be ashamed of your pusillanimous conduct during this dispute.
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pyromania
Detail    speak
n. person with insane desire to set things on fire
The detectives searched the area for the pyromania who had set these costly fires.
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quaff
Detail    speak
v. drink with relish; swallow hurriedly or greedily
As we quaff our ale, we listen to the lively songs of the students in the tavern.
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qualm
Detail    speak
n. a sudden feeling of sickness or faintness; sudden attack of illness
My main qualm is the lack of consistency and logical plotting.
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querulous
Detail    speak
a. habitually complaining; expressing complaint or grievance
Even the most agreeable toddlers can begin to act querulous if they miss their naps.
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quiescent
Detail    speak
a. at rest; dormant; temporarily inactive
After the great eruption, Mount Etna's fear was great; people did not return to cultivate its rich hillside lands until the volcano had been quiescent for a full two years.
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quintessence
Detail    speak
n. pure, highly concentrated essence of a thing
It would perhaps be interesting to go deeper into the ways of those who seem to know how 'to cut a centime in four' and extract the quintessence from a bone.
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quixotic
Detail    speak
a. idealistic without regard to practicality
Constantly coming up with quixotic, unworkable schemes to save the world, Simon has his heart in the right place but his head somewhere in the clouds.
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quizzical
Detail    speak
a. suggesting puzzlement; mocking; curious
When the skinny teenager tripped over his own feet, stepping into the bullpen, Coach raised one quizzical eyebrow, shook his head, and said, 'Okay, kid.'
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raconteur
Detail    speak
n. storyteller; one who tells stories and anecdotes with skill and wit
My father was a gifted raconteur with an unlimited supply of anecdotes.
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radiate
Detail    speak
v. spread out; effuse; issue or emerge in rays or waves
You can fell heat is going to radiate from the metal box.
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rafter
Detail    speak
n. raftsman; originally, any rough and somewhat heavy piece of timber
The big rafter is visible in this room.
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