View Full Version : Top 100 words < A-F >

02-20-2003, 10:38 AM
ab·jure tr.v. -jured, -jur·ing, -jures 1. To renounce under oath; forswear. 2. To recant solemnly; repudiate: abjure one's beliefs. 3. To give up (an action or practice, for example); abstain from. —ab ju·ra tion n. —ab·jur er n.

ab·ro·gate tr.v. -gat·ed, -gat·ing, -gates To abolish, do away with, or annul. —ab ro·ga tion n.

ab·ste·mi·ous adj. 1. Eating and drinking in moderation. 2a. Sparingly used or consumed. b. Restricted to bare necessities. —ab·ste mi·ous·ly adv. —ab·ste mi·ous·ness n.

ac·u·menn. Quickness and keenness of judgment or insight.

an·te·bel·lum adj. Belonging to the period before a war, esp. the American Civil War.

aus·pi·cious adj. 1. Attended by favorable circumstances; propitious. See Syns at favorable. 2. Successful; prosperous. —aus·pi cious·ly adv. —aus·pi cious·ness n.

be·lie tr.v. -lied, -ly·ing, -lies 1. To picture falsely; misrepresent: "He spoke roughly in order to belie his air of gentility" (James Joyce) 2. To show to be false: His smile belied his ire. 3. To be counter to; contradict. —be·li er n.

bel·li·cose adj. Warlike in manner or temperament; pugnacious. —bel li·cose ly adv. —bel li·cos i·ty (-k s -t ) n.

bowd·ler·ize tr.v. -ized, -iz·ing, -iz·es 1. To expurgate (a book, for example) prudishly. 2. To modify, as by shortening or simplifying or by skewing content. n. —bowd ler·iz er n.

chi·can·er·y n., pl. -ies 1. Deception by trickery or sophistry. 2. A trick; a subterfuge.

chro·mo·some n. 1. A threadlike linear strand of DNA and associated proteins in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells that carries the genes and functions in the transmission of hereditary information. 2. A circular strand of DNA in bacteria that contains the hereditary information necessary for cell life. —chro mo·so mal (-s m l), chro mo·so mic (-s m k) adj. <—chro mo·so mal·ly adv.

churl·ish adj. 1. Of, like, or befitting a churl; boorish or vulgar. 2. Having a bad disposition; surly. 3. Difficult to work with, such as soil; intractable. —churl ish·ly adv. —churl ish·ness n.

cir·cum·lo·cu·tion n. 1. The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language. 2. Evasion in speech or writing. 3. A roundabout expression. —cir cum·loc u·to ri·ly (-l k y -tôr -l , -t r -) adv. —cir cum·loc u·to ry (-tôr , -t r ) adj.

cir·cum·nav·i·gate tr.v. -gat·ed, -gat·ing, -gates 1. To proceed completely around: circumnavigating the earth. 2. To go around; circumvent. —cir cum·nav i·ga tion n. —cir cum·nav i·ga tor n.

de·cid·u·ous adj. 1. Falling off or shed at a specific season or stage of growth: deciduous antlers. 2. Shedding or losing foliage at the end of the growing season: deciduous trees. 3. Not lasting; ephemeral. —de·cid u·ous·ly adv. —de·cid u·ous·ness n.

del·e·te·ri·ous adj. Having a harmful effect; injurious. —del e·te ri·ous·ly adv. —del e·te ri·ous·ness n.

dif·fi·dent adj. 1. Lacking or marked by a lack of self-confidence; shy and timid. See Syns at shy 1. 2. Reserved in manner. —dif fi·dent·ly adv.

en·er·vate tr.v. -vat·ed, -vat·ing, -vates 1. To weaken or destroy the strength or vitality of. See Syns at deplete. 2. Medicine To remove a nerve or part of a nerve.§ adj. ( -nûr v t) Deprived of strength; debilitated. —en er·va tion n. —en er·va tive adj. —en er·va tor n.

en·fran·chise tr.v. -chised, -chis·ing, -chis·es 1. To bestow a franchise on. 2. To endow with the rights of citizenship, esp. the right to vote. 3. To free, as from bondage. —en·fran chise ment n.

e·piph·a·ny n., pl. -nies 1. Epiphany A Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi, traditionally observed on January 6. 2. A revelatory manifestation of a divine being. 3a. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something. b. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization. —ep i·phan ic ( p -f n k) adj.

e·qui·nox n. 1. Either of two points on the celestial sphere at which the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator. 2. Either of the two times during a year when the sun crosses the celestial equator and when day and night are of approximately equal length.

eu·ro or Eu·ro n., pl. -ros or -ro's The basic unit of currency among members of the European Monetary Union. [After Europe.]

ev·a·nes·cent adj. Vanishing or likely to vanish like vapor. —ev a·nes cent·ly adv.

ex·pur·gate tr.v. -gat·ed, -gat·ing, -gates To remove erroneous, vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable material from (a book, for example) before publication. —ex pur·ga tion n. —ex pur·ga tor n.

fa·ce·tious adj. Playfully jocular; humorous. —fa·ce tious·ly adv. —fa·ce tious·ness n.

fat·u·ous adj. 1. Vacuously, smugly, and unconsciously foolish. 2. Delusive; unreal. —fat u·ous·ly adv. —fat u·ous·ness n.

feck·less adj. 1. Feeble or ineffective. 2. Careless and irresponsible. —feck less·ly adv. —feck less·ness n.

fi·du·ci·ar·y adj. 1a. Of or relating to a holding of something in trust for another. b. Of or being a trustee or trusteeship. c. Held in trust. 2. Of or consisting of fiat money. 3. Of, relating to, or being a system of marking in the field of view of an optical instrument that is used as a reference point or measuring scale.§ n., pl. -ies One, such as a company director, that has a special relation of trust or responsibility in certain obligations to others.

fil·i·bus·ter n. 1a. The use of obstructionist tactics, esp. prolonged speechmaking, in order to delay legislative action. b. An instance of the use of this delaying tactic. 2. An adventurer who engages in a private military action in a foreign country.§ v. -tered, -ter·ing, -ters — intr. 1. To use obstructionist tactics in a legislative body. 2. To take part in a private military action in a foreign country. — tr. To use a filibuster against (a legislative measure, for example). —fil i·bus ter·er n.

Source: The American Heritage College Dictionary