Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vocabulary test

Inspired by Sherri, who is getting ready for the GRE, I decided to test myself with her vocabulary list. Original words are in bold, my guesses are italicized, definitions are plain text, and the ones I've gotten wrong are bolded and italicized. All definitions are from Onelook.

exigent
urgent
adjective: demanding attention

fulminate
Complain strongly
verb: criticize severely

neologism
??
noun: the act of inventing a word or phrase

nugatory
Something which negates
adjective: of no real value

obviate
To make disappear, make irrelevant
verb: do away with

precipitate (alternative definitions here)
Too hurried
adjective: done with very great haste and without due deliberation

ameliorate
Make better, especially after harm has been done.
verb: to make better

cogent
Logical
adjective: having the power to influence or convince

demur
Decline
noun: (law) a formal objection to an opponent's pleadings
verb: take exception to

didactic
Strongly lecturing, bossy
adjective: instructive (especially excessively)

intransigent
Stubborn
adjective: not capable of being swayed or diverted from a course; unsusceptible to persuasion

penurious
Miserly
adjective: excessively unwilling to spend

endemic
Constantly present
noun: a disease that is constantly present to a greater or lesser degree in people of a certain class or in people living in a particular location

evanescent (no, not the rock group!)
Transitory
adjective: tending to vanish like vapor

hegemony
A cohesive group
noun: the domination of one state over its allies

inchoate
Defying description
adjective: only partly in existence; imperfectly formed

occlude
Block
verb: block passage through

pedagogy
Teaching
noun: the profession of a teacher

penury
Miserably poor
noun: a state of extreme poverty or destitution

polemical
Strongly biased
adjective: of or involving dispute or controversy

laconic
Not speaking much
adjective: brief and to the point; effectively cut short

probity
Honesty
noun: complete and confirmed integrity

recondite
Complicated, hard to understand
adjective: difficult to penetrate; incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge

refulgent
Glowing brightly
adjective: radiating or as if radiating light

sedulous
??
adjective: marked by care and persistent effort

trenchant
Deeply held
adjective: having keenness and forcefulness and penetration in thought, expression, or intellect
adjective: characterized by or full of force and vigor
adjective: clearly or sharply defined to the mind


vituperative
Viciously critical
adjective: marked by harshly abusive criticism

fell (alternative definition)
Dark and evil
adjective: (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering

guy (alternative definition)
UK slang: a fool
verb: subject to laughter or ridicule

obtain (alternative definition)
Get (don't know an alternate definition)
verb: come into possession of

occult (alternative definition)
Spiritual, magical, specifically non-religious (don't know an alternate definition)
verb: hide from view

scurvy (alternative definition)
A disease caused by malnutrition or Low, contemptible
noun: a condition caused by deficiency of ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
adjective: of the most contemptible kind

abjure
To give up, refrain from using
verb: formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure

adumbrate
??
verb: give to understand
verb: describe roughly or briefly or give the main points or summary of


apostate
Heretical
noun: a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
adjective: not faithful to religion or party or cause


asseverate
Declaim, aver
verb: state categorically

calumniate
To say untrue, bad things about
verb: charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone

captious
Flighty
adjective: tending to find and call attention to faults

celerity
Quickness
noun: a rate that is rapid

contumacious
Argumentative, pugnacious
adjective: wilfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient

descry
See, pick out
verb: catch sight of

desuetude
??
noun: a state of inactivity or disuse

encomium
Praise
noun: a formal expression of praise

exegesis
SWAG: has its beginnings outside the body
noun: an explanation or critical interpretation (especially of the Bible)

expiate
To make up for, make amends, repair
verb: make amends for

extirpate
Completely destroy
verb: surgically remove (an organ)
verb: pull up by or as if by the roots
verb: destroy completely, as if down to the roots

heterodox
The opposite of orthodox?
adjective: characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards

lubricious
Lewd or oily or sometimes both
adjective: characterized by lust
adjective: having a smooth or slippery quality

meretricious
False, untruthful
adjective: like or relating to a prostitute
adjective: based on pretense; deceptively pleasing
adjective: tastelessly showy

minatory
Warning
adjective: threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments

peroration
A long, boring lecture or speech
noun: (rhetoric) the concluding section of an oration
noun: a flowery and highly rhetorical oration

plangent
Directly to the point
adjective: loud and resounding

pusillanimous
Cowardly
adjective: lacking in courage and manly strength and resolution; contemptibly fearful

sententious
Preachy
adjective: abounding in or given to pompous or aphoristic moralizing

tendentious
??
adjective: having or marked by a strong tendency especially a controversial one

tyro
Newbie
noun: someone new to a field or activity

vitiate
To make weak
verb: take away the legal force of or render ineffective
verb: make imperfect
verb: corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality

Not bad results. I learned a few words, learned the right meaning of some others, and learned that I know a lot of words!

11 comments:

Sherri said...

I knew some of them until I started studying the math parts. Now I don't remember any words OR any math.

Stacey said...

Well thanks a lot, now I feel stupid.

Romantic Heretic said...

Very cool.

I read your words and thought of their meanings before going to the descriptions.

Didn't miss many.

I love words. Good thing too since I'm a writer. ;)

Jammies said...

Sherri, math is teh ebil!

Stacey, who's smarter? The person who uses a simpler word and expresses exactly what she means, or the person who uses the wrong fancy word? Given the number of words I got wrong on this test, I have a damn good chance of making you look smart as hell. :)

Rob, yes, it is a good thing. And fun, too!

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