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If you think words here are too difficult, or if you think these words aren't matched with your current level, following difficult word lists you may be interested, which also have example sentences from mainstream media and/or literature.

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 Group 2 - Words of the GroupPrevious  
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Difficult Words with Meaning and Sentence 2

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obdurate
obfuscate
oblique
obsequious
obstreperous
obtuse
odious
officious
ostensible
palliate
pallid
panacea
paragon
pariah
parsimony
pathos
paucity
pejorative
pellucid
perfidious
perfunctory
pernicious
pertinacious
pithy
platitude
plethora
portent
precocious
primeval
proclivity
promulgate
propensity
propitious
prosaic
proscribe
protean
prurient
puerile
pulchritude
punctilious
quagmire
querulous
quixotic
rancor
rebuke
recalcitrant
rectitude
replete
reprobate
reprove
repudiate
rescind
restive
ribald
rife
ruse
sacrosanct
sagacity
salient
sanctimonious
sanguine
scurrilous
serendipity
servile
solicitous
somnolent
spurious
staid
stolid
stupefy
surfeit
surmise
surreptitious
sycophant
tacit
taciturn
tantamount
temerity
tenuous
timorous
torpid
tractable
transient
transmute
trenchant
truculent
turgid
turpitude
ubiquitous
unctuous
upbraid
usurp
vacillate
vacuous
vapid
variegated
venerate
veracity
verdant
vex
vicarious
vicissitude
vilify
viscous
vitriolic
wanton
winsome
wistful
zenith
zephyr

obdurate: Read
/'ɒbdjʊrɪt/;/'ɑbdərɪt/ a. Syn. stubborn; inflexible
hardened in wrongdoing or wickedness; not giving in to persuasion
He was obdurate in his refusal to listen to our complaints.
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obfuscate: Read
/'ɒbfʌskeɪt/ v. Syn. confuse; muddle
confuse; muddle; cause confusion; make needlessly complex
Was the president's spokesman trying to clarify the Whitewater mystery, or was he trying to obfuscate the issue so the voters would never figure out what went on?.

oblique: Read
/ə'bli:k/ a. Syn. inclined
having slanting or sloping direction, course, or position; inclined
Casting a quick, oblique glance at the reviewing stand, the sergeant ordered the company to march.
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obsequious: Read
/əb'si:kwɪəs/ a.
slavishly attentive; attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
Helen liked to be served by people who behaved as if they respected themselves; nothing irritated her more than an excessively obsequious waiter or a fawning salesclerk.
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obstreperous: Read
/əb'strɛpərəs/ a.
noisily aggressive; making great noise or outcry
What do you do when an obstreperous horde of drunken policemen goes carousing through your hotel, crashing into potted plants and singing vulgar songs?.
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obtuse: Read
/əb'tju:s/;/əb'tu:s/ a. Syn. stupid
lacking in insight or discernment; stupid
What can you do with somebody who's so obtuse that he can't even tell that you're insulting him?.
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odious: Read
/'oʊdɪəs/ a. Syn. hateful; vile
hateful; arousing strong dislike, aversion, or intense displeasure
Cinderella's ugly stepsisters had the odious habit of popping their zits in public.
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officious: Read
/ə'fɪʃəs/ a.
marked by excessive eagerness in offering unwanted services or advice to others
Judy wanted to look over the new computer models on her own, but the officious salesman kept on butting in with "helpful" advice until she was ready to walk out of the store.
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ostensible: Read
/ɒ'stɛnsɪb(ə)l/ a. Syn. apparent
put forth or held out as real, actual, or intended; proper or intended to be shown
Although the ostensible purpose of this expedition is to discover new lands, we are really interested in finding new markets for our products.
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palliate: Read
/'pælɪeɪt/ v.
lessen violence of disease; moderate intensity; gloss over with excuses
Not content merely to palliate the patient's sores and cankers, the researcher sought a means of wiping out the disease.
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pallid: Read
/'pælɪd/ a. Syn. pale; wan
abnormally pale; lacking intensity of color or luminousness
Because his job required that he work at night and sleep during the day, he had an exceptionally pallid complexion.
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panacea: Read
/pænə'sɪə/ n.
remedy for all diseases, evils, or difficulties; a cure-all
The rich youth cynically declared that the panacea for all speeding tickets was a big enough bribe.
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paragon: Read
/'pærəgən/;/'pærəgɒn/ n. Syn. model
model of excellence or perfection; peerless example
Mr. Brumby's paragon is shocked at the other's inaptitude for examination.

pariah: Read
/'pærɪə/ n. Syn. untouchable
social outcast; person who is rejected from society or home
Shortly Tom came upon the juvenile pariah of the village, Huckleberry Finn, son of the town drunkard.
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parsimony: Read
/'pɑrsɪmənɪ/;/-moʊnɪ/ n.
extreme care in spending money; reluctance to spend money unnecessarily
Because her father wouldn't let her buy a new iPhone, Annie accused him of parsimony.
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pathos: Read
/'peɪθɒs/ n. Syn. pity
tender sorrow; pity; quality in art or literature that produces these feelings
The quiet tone of pathos that ran through the novel never degenerated into the maudlin or the overly sentimental.
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paucity: Read
/'pɔ:sɪtɪ/ n. Syn. scarcity
scarcity; smallness of number; fewness
They closed the restaurant because the paucity of customers made it uneconomical to operate.
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pejorative: Read
/pɪ'dʒɒrətɪv/ a.
tending to make or become worse; disparaging or belittling
Instead of criticizing Clinton's policies, the Republicans made pejorative remarks about his character.

pellucid: Read
/pɪ'lju:sɪd/ a. Syn. transparent; limpid
transparent; limpid; easy to understand
After reading these stodgy philosophers, I find Bertrand Russell's pellucid style very enjoyable.
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perfidious: Read
/pə'fɪdɪəs/ a. Syn. treacherous; disloyal
tending to betray; disloyal; faithless
When Caesar realized that Brutus had betrayed him, he reproached his perfidious friend.
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perfunctory: Read
/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: Read
/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: Read
/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: Read
/'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: Read
/'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.

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

portent: Read
/'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: Read
/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: Read
/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: Read
/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.

promulgate: Read
/'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: Read
/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: Read
/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: Read
/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: Read
/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: Read
/'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.

prurient: Read
/'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.".

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

punctilious: Read
/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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quagmire: Read
/'kwɒgmaɪə(r)/ n.
soft wet boggy land; complex or dangerous situation from which it is difficult to free oneself
Up to her knees in mud, Myra wondered how on earth she was going to extricate herself from this quagmire.
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querulous: Read
/'kwɛrʊləs/ a. Syn. fretful; whining
habitually complaining; expressing complaint or grievance
Even the most agreeable toddlers can begin to act querulous if they miss their nap.
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quixotic: Read
/kwɪk'sɒtɪk/ 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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rancor: Read
/'ræŋkə(r)/ n. Syn. enmity; hatred
bitter, long-lasting resentment; deep-seated ill will; hatred
Thirty years after the war, she could not let go of the past but was still consumed with rancor against the foe.
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rebuke: Read
/rɪ'bju:k/ v. Syn. admonish; scold
scold harshly; criticize severely
No matter how sharply I rebuke Huck for his misconduct, he never talks back but just stand there like a stump.
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recalcitrant: Read
/rɪ'kælsɪtrənt/ a.
obstinately stubborn; determined to resist authority
Which animal do you think is more recalcitrant, a pig or a mule?.
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rectitude: Read
/'rɛktɪtju:d/;/-tu:d/ n. Syn. uprightness
uprightness; moral virtue; correctness of judgment
The Eagle Scout was a model of rectitude.

replete: Read
/rɪ'pli:t/ a.
filled to brim or to point of being stuffed; abundantly supplied
The movie star's memoir was replete with juicy details about the love life of half of Hollywood.
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reprobate: Read
/'rɛproʊbeɪt/ n.
person hardened in sin; person without moral scruples
I cannot understand why he has so many admirers if he is the reprobate you say he is.
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reprove: Read
/rɪ'pru:v/ v. Syn. censure; rebuke
voice or convey disapproval of; rebuke; find fault with
The principal would severely reprove the students whenever they talked in the halls.
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repudiate: Read
/rɪ'pju:dɪeɪt/ v. Syn. disown
disown; refuse to acknowledge; reject validity or authority of
On separating from Tony, Tina announced that she would repudiate all debts incurred by her soon-to-be ex-husband.
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rescind: Read
/rɪ'sɪnd/ v. Syn. cancel; annul; repeal
cancel; make void; repeal or annul
To change or rescind is justified only when re-estimate of all of the available facts.

restive: Read
/'rɛstɪv/ a.
impatient under restraint or opposition; resisting control; difficult to control
Waiting impatiently in line to see Santa Claus, even the best-behaved children grow restive and start to fidget.
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ribald: Read
/'rɪbəld/ a. Syn. wanton; tasteless
coarse or indecent; humorously vulgar or offensive
He sang a ribald song that offended many of the more prudish listeners.
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rife: Read
/raɪf/ a. Syn. current
excessively abundant or numerous; in widespread existence, practice, or use
In the face of the many rumors of scandal, which are rife at the moment, it is best to remain silent.
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ruse: Read
/ru:z/ n. Syn. trick; stratagem
trick; use of artifice or trickery; deceptive maneuver, especially to avoid capture
Police believe the ruse is attractive to criminal gangs because the profits are similar to those made by trafficking drugs, but with less punitive penalties.
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sacrosanct: Read
/'sækroʊsæŋkt/ a. Syn. inviolable
regarded as sacred and inviolable
The brash insurance salesman invaded the sacrosanct privacy of the office of the president of the company.

sagacity: Read
/sə'gæsətɪ/ n.
quality of being sagacious; quickness or acuteness of sense perceptions; keenness of discernment; shrewdness
She was half sorry her sagacity had miscarried, and half glad that Tom had stumbled into obedient conduct for once.
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salient: Read
/'seɪlɪənt/ a. Syn. prominent
prominent or protruding; projecting outwardly; moving by leaps or springs
One of the salient features of that newspaper is its excellent editorial page.
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sanctimonious: Read
/sæŋktɪ'moʊnɪəs/ a. Syn. hypocritical
excessively or hypocritically pious; possessing sanctity; sacred; holy; saintly; religious
What we need to do is not fool ourselves and remain sanctimonious about the issue of doping in baseball.
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sanguine: Read
/'sæŋgwɪn/ a. Syn. cheerful; hopeful; ruddy
cheerfully confident; optimistic; of healthy reddish color; ruddy
Let us not be too sanguine about the outcome; something could go wrong.
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scurrilous: Read
/'skʌrɪləs/ n. Syn. obscene; indecent
obscene; indecent; expressing offensive reproach
Your scurrilous remarks are especially offensive because they are untrue.

serendipity: Read
/sɛrən'dɪpɪtɪ/ n.
gift for finding valuable or desirable things by accident; accidental good fortune or luck
Many scientific discoveries are a matter of serendipity.

servile: Read
/'sɜrvaɪl/;/'sɛrvl/ a. Syn. slavish; cringing
slavish; suitable to slave or servant; relating to servitude or forced labor
Constantly fawning on his employer, humble Uriah Heap was a servile creature.
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solicitous: Read
/sə'lɪsɪtəs/ a. Syn. worried; concerned
worried or concerned; full of desire; expressing care or concern
The employer was very solicitous about the health of her employees as replacements were difficult to get.
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somnolent: Read
/'sɒmnələnt/ a.
half asleep; inclined to drowsiness; tending to induce sleep
The heavy meal and the overheated room made us all somnolent and indifferent to the speaker.
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spurious: Read
/'spjʊərɪəs/ a. Syn. false; counterfeit; forged; illogical
false; counterfeit; forged; illogical
Natasha's claim to be the lost heir of the Romanoffs was spurious: the only thing Russian about her was the vodka she drank!.
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staid: Read
/steɪd/ a. Syn. serious; sedate
sober; serious, organized, and professional; characterized by dignity and propriety
Her conduct during the funeral ceremony was staid and solemn.
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stolid: Read
/'stɒlɪd/ a. Syn. dull; impassive
dull; impassive; having or revealing little emotion or sensibility
The earthquake shattered Stuart's usual stolid demeanor; trembling, he crouched on the no longer stable ground.
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stupefy: Read
/'stju:pɪfaɪ/;/'stu:-/ v.
make senseless or dizzy; be mystery or bewildering to
Disapproving of drugs in general, Laura refused to take sleeping pills or any other medicine that might stupefy her.
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surfeit: Read
/'sɜrfɪt/ v.
eat until excessively full; be more than full; feed someone to excess
Every Thanksgiving we surfeit with an overabundance of holiday treats.
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surmise: Read
/sə'maɪz/ v. Syn. guess
guess; infer something without sufficiently conclusive evidence
I surmise that he will be late for this meeting because of the traffic issue.
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surreptitious: Read
/sʌrəp'tɪʃəs/ a. Syn. secret; furtive; sneaky; hidden
secret; done or made by stealth, or without proper authority; made or introduced fraudulently
Hoping to discover where his mom had hidden the Christmas presents, Timmy took a surreptitious peek into the master bedroom closet.
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sycophant: Read
/'sɪkəfænt/ n. Syn. bootlicker; flatterer
one who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people; bootlicker; yes man
Fed up with the toadies and flunkies who made up his entourage, the star cried, "Get out, all of you! I'm sick of sycophant!"

tacit: Read
/'tæsɪt/ a.
indicated or understood without expressed directly; not speaking; silent
We have a tacit agreement based on only a handshake.
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taciturn: Read
/'tæsɪtə:n/ a. Syn. silent
silent or reserved in speech; saying little; not inclined to speak or converse
The stereotypical cowboy is a taciturn soul, answering lengthy questions with a "Yep" or "Nope.".
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tantamount: Read
/'tæntəmaʊnt/ a.
equivalent in effect or value
Though Rudy claimed his wife was off visiting friends, his shriek of horror when she walked into the room was tantamount to a confession that he believed she was dead.
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temerity: Read
/tɪ'mɛrɪtɪ/ n. Syn. boldness; rashness
boldness; rashness; foolhardy disregard of danger
Do you have the temerity to argue with me?.
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tenuous: Read
/'tɛnjʊəs/ a. Syn. thin; rare; slim
long and thin; slender; having little substance
The allegiance of our allies is held by rather tenuous ties; we all should see it's in dangerous.
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timorous: Read
/'tɪmərəs/ a. Syn. fearful
fearful; demonstrating fear; weakly hesitant
His timorous manner betrayed the fear he felt at the moment.
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torpid: Read
/'tɔ:pɪd/ a.
having lost motion, or the power of exertion and feeling; numb; benumbed
The two ships becalmed on a torpid sea, I believed to be marine phantoms.
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tractable: Read
/'træktəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. docile
easily managed or controlled; governable; easily handled or worked; docile
Although Susan seemed a tractable young woman, she had a stubborn streak of independence.
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transient: Read
/'trænsɪənt, 'trɑr-/;/trænʃnt/ a. Syn. momentary; temporary; transitory
momentary; temporary; staying for short time
Lexy's joy at finding the perfect Christmas gift for Phil was transient, she still had to find presents for the cousins and Uncle Bob.
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transmute: Read
/træns'mju:t, trɑr-/ v. Syn. convert; transform
change from one form, nature, substance, or state into another; transform
He was unable to transmute his dreams into actualities.
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trenchant: Read
/'trɛntʃənt/ a. Syn. incisive; keen
forceful, effective, and vigorous; sharp or keen
I am afraid of his trenchant wit for it is so often sarcastic.
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truculent: Read
/'trukjələnt, 'trʌkjʊlənt/ a. Syn. belligerent
disposed to fight; belligerent; aggressively hostile
The bully was initially truculent but eventually stopped picking fights at the least provocation.
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turgid: Read
/'tɜrdʒɪd/ a. Syn. swollen; distended
swollen; distended; excessively ornate or complex in style or language
The turgid river threatened to overflow the levees and flood the countryside.
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turpitude: Read
/'tɜrpɪtju:d/;/-tu:d/ n. Syn. depravity
depravity; corrupt, depraved, or degenerate act
A visitor may be denied admittance to this country if she has been guilty of moral turpitude.
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ubiquitous: Read
/ju:'bɪkwɪtəs/ a. Syn. omnipresent
being or existing everywhere; omnipresent
That Christmas "The Little Drummer Boy" seemed ubiquitous; we heard the tune everywhere.
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unctuous: Read
/'ʌŋktjʊəs/ a. Syn. oily; bland
oily; composed of oil or fat; characterized by affected, exaggerated, or insincere earnestness
Uriah Heep disguised his nefarious actions by unctuous protestations of his "humility.".
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upbraid: Read
/ʌp'breɪd/ v. Syn. reprimand; criticize; scold
severely criticize; reprimand; reprove sharply
Not only did Miss Minchin upbraid Ermengarde for her disobedience, but she hung her up by her braids from a coat rack in the classroom.
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usurp: Read
/'jʊzəp/ v. Syn. appropriate
seize and hold power or rights of another by force or without legal authority
The revolution ended when the victorious rebel general succeeded in his attempt to usurp the throne.
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vacillate: Read
/'væsɪleɪt/ v. Syn. waver; fluctuate
sway unsteadily from one side to the other; oscillate
The big boss likes his people to be decisive: when he asks you for your opinion, whatever you do, don't vacillate.
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vacuous: Read
/'vækjʊəs/ a. Syn. empty; inane
empty; showing lack of thought or intelligence; vacant
The vacuous remarks of the politician annoyed the audience, who had hoped to hear more than empty platitudes.
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vapid: Read
/'væpɪd/ a. Syn. dull
dull and unimaginative; lacking taste or flavor
"Boring!" said Jessica, as she suffered through yet another vapid lecture about Dead White Male Poets.

variegated: Read
/'vɛərɪgeɪtɪd/ a.
streaked, spotted, or marked with a variety of color; very colorful
Without her glasses, Gretchen saw the fields of tulips as a variegated blur.
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venerate: Read
/'vɛnəreɪt/ v.
treat with great respect and deference; consider hallowed or be in awe of
In Tibet today, the common people still venerate their traditional spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
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veracity: Read
/və'ræsɪti/ n. Syn. truthfulness
truthfulness; unwillingness to tell lies
Asserting his veracity, young George Washington proclaimed, "Father, I cannot tell a lie!"
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verdant: Read
/'vɜrdənt/ a.
green; full of juice in vegetation
Monet's paintings of the verdant meadows were symphonies in green.
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vex: Read
/vɛks/ v. Syn. annoy; distress
annoy; disturb, especially by minor irritations; be a mystery or bewildering to
Please try not to vex your mother; she is doing the best she can.

vicarious: Read
/vɪ'kɛərɪəs/ a.
acting as substitute; done by deputy; experienced at secondhand
Many people get a vicarious thrill at the movies by imagining they are the characters on the screen.
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vicissitude: Read
/vɪ'sɪsɪtud/ n.
change, especially in one's life or fortunes; regular change or succession of one thing to another; alternation
Humbled by life's vicissitude, the last emperor of China worked as a lowly gardener in the palace over which he had once ruled.
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vilify: Read
/'vɪlɪfaɪ/ v. Syn. slander
debase; degrade; spread negative information about
Waging a highly negative campaign, the candidate attempted to vilify his opponent's reputation.

viscous: Read
/'vɪskəs/ a. Syn. sticky; gluey
sticky; gluey; having high resistance to flow
Melted tar is a viscous substance.
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vitriolic: Read
/vɪtrɪ'ɒlɪk/ a. Syn. corrosive; sarcastic
harsh or corrosive in tone; sarcastic; bitterly scathing
Any time that a simple request for evidence results in vitriolic personal attacks, or an attempt to censor, with no attempt to address the issue.
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wanton: Read
/'wɒnt(ə)n/;/wɔ:ntən/ a. Syn. unrestrained; unchaste
unrestrained; willfully malicious; immoral or unchaste
Pointing to the stack of bills, Sheldon criticized Sarah for her wanton expenditures.
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winsome: Read
/'wɪnsəm/ a. Syn. agreeable; gracious; engaging
agreeable; gracious; charming, often in childlike or naive way
By her winsome manner, she made herself liked by everyone who met her.
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wistful: Read
/'wɪstfəl/ a.
full of wishful yearning or longing; sadly thoughtful
With a last wistful glance at the happy couples dancing in the hall, Sue headed back to her room to study for her exam.
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zenith: Read
/'zɛnɪθ/ n. Syn. summit
point directly overhead in sky; summit
When the sun was at its zenith, the glare was not as strong as at sunrise and sunset.
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zephyr: Read
/'zɛfə(r)/ n.
gentle breeze; west wind; any of various soft light fabrics, yarns, or garments
A blessing on a hot day in zephyr form, something to lift birds and kites and make sailboats cut beautifully through the water.
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