Advanced Vocabulary List
(noun) a short, interesting story
At the party Charles told some humorous anecdotes about his days in the military
(verb) turn aside, or away; as, to avert the eyes from an object; to ward off, or prevent, the occurrence or effects of
We did everything we could to avert the disaster, but it was not enough.
(adjective) straightforward, open and sincere, honest
I had a very candid discussion with Max about his drinking problem.
(noun) conversation between 2 or more people.
The action in the movie was very exciting, but the dialogue was incredibly bad.
(adjective) extreme, severe
The doctor had to take drastic measures to save the patient's life
(adjective) irregular, unsteady, random; prone to unexpected changes
The man's erratic behavior made everybody on the flight nervous.
The government intended to fortify the levees surrounding New Orleans.
(verb) set apart or cut off from others, separate
The hospital isolated the patients with bird flu to help prevent an outbreak.
(verb) shine light on something, light up something
The new street lights were not powerful enough to illuminate the street sufficiently.
(adjective) related to or located in the city
People from urban areas have very different political views from people in rural areas.
(adjective) showing too much self-importance or self-worth; overbearing pride
Many political and business leaders are very arrogant.
(verb) to hope or dream; especially to hope or work towards a profession or occupation
Pinocchio aspired to become a real boy.
(verb) force, constrain or coerce; sway
The soldiers were compelled to fight in the war.
(adjective) short, brief, not verbose; clear and succinct
Please write a concise essay on the meaning of life.
(noun) a false impression, something that seems to be something that it is not
The magician seems to saw his assistant in half, but it is just an illusion.
(verb) establish or apply by authority; force something on someone; selfishly bother
The government imposes taxes on the poor to pay for social programs for the rich.
(adjective)easygoing, lax, tolerant of deviation, permissive, not strict
The teacher accused Bobby's parents of being too lenient with Bobby.
(noun) a possible threat or danger
Leaders with too much power can become a menace to the world.
(noun) a person new to an activity, a beginner
You are pretty good for a novice.
(adjective) open and observable; not secret or concealed
The politician's disregard for the law was quite overt.
(adjective) able to be heard, hearable
The child spoke so softly her voice was barely audible.
(verb) compel by unethical means, force
Max was coerced into making a donation to the Senator's campaign fund.
(noun) the state of spirit of a person or group
The soldier's morale is extremely low.
(verb) win; overcome; gain advantage
We may be losing now, but in the end we will prevail.
(adjective) careful and wise
It would not be very prudent to spend your entire paycheck on lottery tickets.
retort(noun) a sharp reply, answer
Jack came back with a witty retort to the reporter's question.
(noun) someone to blame; someone to take the blame for others
Every office needs a scapegoat. In our office Max is the scapegoat. He's blamed for everything.
(adjective) calm; composed
The crowd at the funeral was quiet and sedate.
(noun) An irrational belief which ignores the laws of nature.
Getting seven years of bad luck for breaking a mirror is a common superstition.
(verb) add to; provide a supplement to
Max got a second job to supplement his income.
(noun) someone or something that belongs in another place in time
Everything seemed normal except for the anachronism of the man riding a horse down the street. One country colonizing another country is an anachronism in today's global environment.
(noun) something that precedes another thing, especially the cause of the second thing
Pronouns usually refer to antecedents.
(noun) a terrible failure
By most accounts, the war in Iraq has been a tremendous debacle.
(verb) to absolve from blame, to prove innocent
I am confident that I will be fully exonerated if I'm given a fair trial.
(adjective) clear, clear headed
I am the most lucid right after a cup of coffee. His style of writing was very clear and lucid.
(adjective) harmful, deadly
The current concentration of ownership of media has had a pernicious effect on democracy in the US.
(adjective) sly, clever, cunning (usually deceitfully).
Many politicians employ teams of wily advisors to help them skirt the law.
(adjective) changing frequently
Kids are sometimes very fickle and may have a new favorite food every week.
(adjective) producing a great deal of profit
Max told me that ESL was a very lucrative field, and I believed him.
(adjective) subject to debate, unsettled.
Whether the tooth fairy is male or female is a moot point. No one knows.
(noun) wealth and luxury
Nina would not marry Charlie, for he had no money, and she was not willing to settle for anything less than a life of opulence.
(adjective) active; lively
Max was amazingly spry for an old man.
(adjective) not certain or fixed
Our summer plans are still tentative. I think we are going to go camping in the mountains.
(adjective) cautious; leery
The children were very wary of the stranger and would not let him into the house.
(noun) a state of inequality, a great difference
Every year economic disparities in the world grow larger and larger.
(verb) to make easier
The teachers put some of their course materials on the Internet to facilitate resource sharing.
(adjective) dishonest, deceptive
Richie Rich received his wealth through fraudulent means.
The politician's attempts to cover up his crimes were ludicrous.
(noun) a person who pursues and exploits any kind of opportunity without being guided by principles, plans or any ethical considerations
Most politicians are opportunists who will jump at any advantage without any ethical considerations.
(verb) avoid, ignore or neglect responsibility
Many politicians' sole purpose is to shirk their duties and make as much money as possible.
(noun) a desire to hurt, annoy, vengeance
Shortly after Max and Mary broke up, Mary scratched Max's car out of spite.
(noun) a lack of interest or enthusiasm.
Voter turnout is quite low because of widespread apathy among the voters.
(adjective) conscientiously hard-working.
As a result of their diligent research, the scientists were able to find a cure for the disease.
(adjective) empty and pointless.
Mary could not stand Max's inane questions any longer, so she left.
(verb) to charge with a crime.
Many politicians have been indicted recently, and many more will probably be indicted soon.
(adjective) unimportant or trivial.
Max was convicted of petty theft.
(adjective) inactive; spending much time seated
Fast-food and sedentary lifestyles are major factors in the obesity problem in the US.
(adjective) in a joking manner; treating serious matters with deliberately inappropriate humor
When I said that I agreed with the President's policies, I was just being facetious.
(noun) disagreement or conflict
There was a tremendous amount of discord among the PTA officers.
(verb) to exclude from a group
As a child, Max was ostracized by the other kids in his school because he wore different clothes.
(adjective) deep in thought or reflection.
Max must be in a very pensive mood today. He hasn't said anything all day.
(adjective) tranquil, peaceful, calm
My dog has a very placid temperament. She does not get upset easily.
(adjective) Most noticeable, important, prominent, or conspicuous
The most salient feature of Mary's appearance is her Purple hair.
(adjective) understood or implied but not specifically expressed.
When Max and Mary moved in together as roommates, they had a tacit agreement that they would share expenses.
(noun) passion, or enthusiasm (usually in pursuit of a cause or objective)
Because of her zeal for chocolate, Mary got a job at the chocolate factory as a chocolate taster.
(adjective) mysterious, secret, or obscure in meaning
Mary's comments were so cryptic that I had no idea what she was saying.
(noun) a division into two groups or parts or two opposing viewpoints
There is a sharp dichotomy of opinion on Max's ability to lead the government.
Max has nothing but disdain for people like Mary.
(verb) criticize; dispute the truth; call into question
The politician was very upset as she felt that her character had been impugned.
(noun) the desire to hurt others
Max has a great amount of malice towards the government.
(adjective) strong, loyal and committed in attitude
Mary is one of Max's staunchest supporters.
verb) to write or speak badly or abusively about
Max was vilified in all of the newspapers.
(noun) a confusing problem or question
For some hot dog aficionados, why there are many different varieties of mustard but relatively few varieties of ketchup is a conundrum to ponder.
(verb) to make use of, take advantage of (unfairly profit from)
The policy of some corporations is to hire employees right out of school in order to exploit their eagerness and enthusiasm.
(adjective) easily persuaded to believe something
Max is so gullible. He believed me when I told him that I was running for president of the US.
(adjective) perfect, flawless
Max is a person of impeccable character.
(noun) a strong habitual fondness for something
Max has a penchant for coffee and doughnuts.
(adjective) believable, possible
It doesn't seem plausible that your dog actually ate your homework.
(verb) to look over or inspect closely
When you sign the mortgage papers, be sure to scrutinize the fine print.
(verb) to make by combining different ingredients, create or devise
The story that Max concocted as an excuse for not doing his homework was preposterous but entertaining.
(noun) belief that or acceptance that something is true
I don't give much credence to Max's stories.
(adjective) to plan or invent
John devised a plan for a sure victory.
(verb) to detach or separate from something
Many people are pushing for the country to disengage its military from foreign lands.
(verb) to express sstrong criticism or disapproval of (someone)
Mary rebuked her children for not cleaning their bedrooms.
(noun) an opinion
I agree with your sentiment regarding global warming.
(adjective) performed by a single person, group or country (an action or decision)
There is little support globally for a particular country taking unilateral action against another country.
(verb) to make something happen sooner (usually an action or process)
Max called the cable company to see if they could expedite the installation process.
(adjective) outrageous or conspicuously offensive
Many politicians are in flagrant violation of the law. The basketball player committed a flagrant foul.
(adjective) thrifty, economical
If I had been more frugal, I could have saved enough money to buy a new car.
(adjective) sociable, outgoing
Max is a very gregarious person. He likes to be around people.
(noun) a person who dislikes people and avoids people
Mary is a misanthrope. She hates being around people.
(noun) a person who does not believe in war or violence.
Max got out of serving in the military by claiming that he was a pacifist.
(verb) to reject as false
Many of the staunchest supporters of neoconservatism have now repudiated neoconservatism as a complete failure. They claim that neoconservatism is dead.
(adjective) shrewd, or having the ability to accurately assess situations or people for one's own advantage.
Max is a very astute businessman. He has a very keen mind for making business deals.
(noun) the quality of openness and honesty in attitude and expression
In all candor, I think that Max is a complete nincompoop.
(adjective) plentiful, abundant in supply
We drank copious amounts of coffee in order to stay awake during class.
(adjective) feminine, unmanly
Because Max is so effeminate, he was often picked on in school. The other kids called him a sissy.
(verb) to get something through manipulation or dishonest means
Max finagled his way into the sold out Britney Spears concert. I don't know how he did it (or why).
(adjective) very productive
Noam Chomsky is a very prolific author. He's written many books and articles.
(adjective) touchable, perceptible by touch
Max will probably escape punishment for his crimes because there is no tangible evidence to make a case against him.
(verb) to speak or perform without preparing previously, improvise
The teacher lost all of his teaching notes on the way to class and was forced to ad lib the lesson.
(noun) strong hostility, hatred
For some reason, Max feels a lot of animosity toward Mary.
(adjective) serious and sincere
Max made an earnest attempt to study for the exam, but it was too difficult for him.
(noun) a perfect example
Some people feel that George Bush is the epitome of arrogance.
(noun) a category or kind (usually of art, literature, or music)
Max's favorite film genres are action and comedy.
(verb) to spread throughout (usually odor)
The stench of the rotten food permeated the entire building.
(adjective) reserved, saying little
Max seems to be unusually taciturn today. Something must be bothering him.
(adjective) insensitive and unfeeling toward others
The teacher was particularly callous in her treatment of the children.
(verb) to imitate or model yourself after
Children often emulate adults that they look up to.
In a world of finite resources, if some people have more, other people must have less.
(verb) to praise
The school's principal lauded the teacher for her ability to discipline her class.
(adjective) active at night
Mountain lions are primarily nocturnal and do almost all of their hunting at night.
(adjective) harmful or unpleasant
Be careful applying pesticides. Their fumes are often quite noxious to humans.
(verb) to take back what one has said; to say that one no longer holds a belief or opinion
Max recanted every bad thing he said about Mary.
(noun) intense suffering and pain
Max cried in agony when he broke his leg.
(verb) assert or claim wrongdoing by someone (typically without proof)
The teacher alleged that Max cheated on the exam.
(noun) a picture or description of a person or thing with comically exaggerated characteristics
Max drew a caricature of his teacher.
(verb) cause to go in different directions
The crowd dispersed as soon as the concert was over.
(verb) to stir up or encourage (violent or unlawful behavior)
Max incited the other students to rebel against the teacher.
(verb) to divide or cause to divide into two sharply contrasting groups
The issue polarized the public.
(verb) to cause to happen suddenly or sooner than expected
Extremely high gas prices precipitated the demise of the SUV.
(noun) official authorization, approval or ratification of a law
Max received the official sanction of the Federal Darts Association to hold a tournament in the school.
(verb) to remember and show respect (in a ceremony)
Veterans' Day is a day to commemorate soldiers who have honorably served their country.
(verb) to ruin or destroy
The city was devastated by the bombs.
(noun) the reduction of military or weapons
The protestors called for a complete disarmament.
(adjective) very agitated and upset from mental conflict
Mary became distraught when she found out that her son was being sent into war.
(verb) to start, begin
Max embarked on a career as a plumber.
(verb) to imagine as a future possibility
Max never envisioned being a plumber.
(noun) an extract (from film, writing, music, or other type of work)
The excerpts of the story published in the newspaper were very interesting.
(verb) to abandon
The town was forsaken by its former inhabitants because the nearby volcano threatened to erupt.
(noun) abstinence from drinking alcohol
Max has become an advocate of complete temperance.
(verb) to solemnly promise
Max vowed to never drink another drop of alcohol again.