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abase
Detail    speak
v. humiliate; lower or depress in rank or esteem
Defeated, Queen Zenobia was forced to abase herself before the conquering Romans, who made her march in chains before the emperor in the procession celebrating his triumph.
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abash
Detail    speak
v. embarrass; make ashamed or uneasy; disconcert
Her open admiration should not abash him at all.
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abdicate
Detail    speak
v. give up, renounce, abandon, lay down, or withdraw from, as a right or claim
When Edward VIII did abdicate the British throne to marry the woman he loved, he surprised the entire world.
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abet
Detail    speak
v. aid, usually in doing something wrong; encourage
She was unwilling to abet him in the swindle he had planned.
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abjure
Detail    speak
v. renounce upon oath; abandon forever
He will abjure his allegiance to the king.
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ablution
Detail    speak
n. washing or cleansing of the body, especially as part of religious rite
His ablution was accompanied by loud noises that he humorously labeled 'Opera in the Bath.'
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abnegate
Detail    speak
v. give up or surrender; deny something to oneself
After his retirement, the former police commissioner found it difficult to abnegate authority.
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abnegation
Detail    speak
n. repudiation; self-sacrifice; renouncing your own interests in favor of interests of others
No act of abnegation was more pronounced than his refusal of any rewards for his discovery.
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abrade
Detail    speak
v. wear away by friction; scrape; erode
The sharp rocks did abrade the skin on her legs, so she put iodine on her abrasions.
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abridge
Detail    speak
v. condense; shorten; reduce length of written text
Because the publishers felt the public wanted a shorter version of War and Peace, they proceeded to abridge the novel.
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abrogate
Detail    speak
a. abolish, do away with, or annul, especially by authority
He intended to abrogate the decree issued by his predecessor.
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abscond
Detail    speak
v. leave quickly and secretly and hide oneself, often to avoid arrest or prosecution
The teller who did abscond with the bonds went un-captured until someone recognized him from his photograph on America's Most Wanted.
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abstemious
Detail    speak
a. sparing or moderation in eating and drinking; temperate
Concerned whether her vegetarian son's abstemious diet provided him with sufficient protein, the worried mother pressed food on him.
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acclimate
Detail    speak
v. accustom or become accustomed to a new environment or situation; adapt
One of the difficulties of our present air age is the need of travelers to acclimate themselves to their new and often strange environments.
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acclivity
Detail    speak
n. upward slope, as of hill
The car would not go up the acclivity in high gear.
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accolade
Detail    speak
n. award of merit; expression of approval; praise
In Hollywood, an 'Oscar' is the highest accolade.
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accost
Detail    speak
v. approach and speak to boldly or aggressively, as with demand or request
When the two young men wanted to accost me, I was frightened because I thought they would attack me.
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accouter
Detail    speak
v. equip; provide with military equipment
We will accouter the fisherman with the best that the sporting goods store could supply.
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accretion
Detail    speak
n. growth or increase in size by gradual external addition, fusion, or inclusion
The accretion of wealth marked the family's rise in power.
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acerbity
Detail    speak
n. the bitterness of speech and temper; sourness or acidness of taste, character, or tone
The meeting of the United Nations General Assembly was marked with such acerbity that informed sources held out little hope of reaching any useful settlement of the problem.
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