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THE WORD LOVER'S DELIGHTAwesome Adjectives, Nifty Nouns, and Vibrant Verbs to Make Your Vocabulary Sizzle
CITADEL PRESSCopyright © 2009 Captivate Network, a Division of Gannett Satellite Information Network
All right reserved.
(n.) uh-BEY-zhuh-unable to walk because muscle coordination is impaired
The governor was seen by the public only in a wheelchair due to abasia.
(n.) a-BLEY-shuhn-surgical removal of a part of the body
The fifty-nine-year-old smoker had radio-frequency ablation of her lung cancer tumors.
(adv.) uh-BOR-ning-while being born
The young company almost died aborning because of poor management.
(v.) AB-roh-gayt-to do away with
The nation's leader threatened to abrogate the border agreement with the neighboring country.
(n.) ab-SIZH-un-the cutting off of something
The barber performed an abscission on Jim's unsightly ponytail.
(v.) ab-SQUAT-u-late-to leave quickly
The thunderstorm spooked the horse to break the fence and absquatulate.
(adj.) ab-STEE-mi-ous-eating in moderation or with restraint
Jane's abstemious diet at a lunchmeeting annoyed her co-workers.
(adj.) ab-STROOS-hard to comprehend
He was confounded by the abstruse tax documents.
(n.) uh-BOO-lee-uh-inability to make decisions
The first symptom of the CEO's mental breakdown was his abulia at the workplace.
The accumbent flowers overflowed from the pot while taking in the sun.
(adj.) ah-SUR-bik-harsh in tone
Alan's acerbic comments made Corrin cry.
(n.) ah-kroh-muh-TOP-see-uh-color blindness
People with achromatopsia can only perceive black, white, and shades of gray.
(n.) ah-KOO-az-uhm-ringing in the ears
Art had severe acouasm the day after the concert.
(v.) AD-l-to confuse, befuddle
Too much eggnog addled her thinking.
(n.) ah-DOKS-O-gruh-fee-good writing about a trivial topic
Adam, a master of adoxography, writes in his blog on a daily basis.
(adj.) ad-si-TISH-uhs-not inherent; coming from an outside source
After studying abroad for a year, Alan brought home new, adscititious behaviors.
(v.) a-DUHM-breyt-to vaguely foreshadow
The entire future of the company was adumbrated in the report.
(n.) ah-FLAY-tuhs-divine inspiration; supernatural suggestion
The writer said the idea for his latest novel was one that originated from spiritual afflatus.
(n.) AJ-uh-last-a person who doesn't laugh
Her boss was such an agelast that trying to joke with him was a lost cause.
(n.) ah-GYOO-zee-uh-inability to taste
Cigarette smoking may cause ageusia.
(n.) AG-lit-plastic on the end of a lace
The cracked aglet made the shoelace useless.
The farmer's agrestic behavior did not mesh well with that of his sophisticated in-laws.
(n.) EY-gyoo-a chill
The mound of blankets did nothing to relieve Mabel's ague.
(n.) eye-LOOR-oh-fyle-a cat lover
The ailurophile had a picture of her cat, Cleo, on her desk.
(adj.) ah-KIM-boh-set in a bent position
In the high winds, Miss America's hair was blown akimbo.
(adj.) al-BES-unt-turning white
Ellen's albescent face resulted from her learning about the bad news.
(n.) al-BYOO-muhn-egg white
Greg doesn't like yolks, so he orders his omelet with just the albumens.
(adj.) AY-lee-ah-tor-ee-reliant on luck
Harold took part in the aleatory game because he enjoyed taking risks.
The algid man's skin looked to be very clammy.
(n.) ah-man-yoo-en-sis-someone who takes dictation
Chrissy was the CEO's indispensable amanuensis.
(adj.) AM-uh-tiv-relating to love
Her amative suggestions were not always welcome in the office.
(n.) AM-bit-range of influence
The ambit of the U.S. Federal Reserve extends far beyond the United States.
(adj.) am-BROH-zhul-having a sweet scent or taste
Walter loved to walk in the park and smell the ambrosial flowers.
(n.) ah-MYOO-zee-uh-the inability to detect musical tones
For most amusia sufferers, listening to music is pointless and even unpleasant.
(v.) ah-NATH-uh-mah-tahyz-to curse
Hester Prynne, in The Scarlet Letter, was anathematized by society because of her adultery.
(adj.) AN-uh-tyn-relating to ducks
The anatine entourage scurried along the shore to join the lone duck in the water.
(adj.) an-FRAK-tchoo-us-snaky; full of twists
The car handled well on the anfractuous mountain road.
(n.) an-ih-mad-VUR-zhun-harsh criticism
Patrick was the type of guy that would cry from any sort of animadversion from his boss.
(n.) AN-oh-mee-isolation due to a lack of social control
Sam, who suffers from extreme anomie, never leaves his house.
(n.) an-OZ-mee-uh-inability to smell
Dave developed a temporary anosmia as a result of his stuffy nose.
My co-worker's style is so out-of-date her outfits seem to be antediluvian.
(n.) ah-nup-ta-FOH-bee-ah-fear of being alone
His anuptaphobia drove him to sign up for the online dating service.
aphotic (adj.) ah-FO-tik-dark
The diver's dream was to reach the aphotic depths of the sea.
(n.) EY-pee-er-ee-where bees are housed
Beverly donned a protective bee suit before she entered the apiary.
Most singers on American Idol perform with the aplomb of a seasoned veteran.
(n.) AP-oh-jee-the culmination
At its apogee, the Mayan civilization made discoveries in agriculture, astronomy, and writing technologies.
(adj.) ap-uh-PLEK-tik-very angry
He was so apoplectic his face was purple with rage.
(n.) ar-KEY-nuhm-a secret
The linguist could not get through the arcanum of computer programming languages.
(n.) ah-REERZ-late in fulfilling payment or promise
Rod's account was in arrears with the mafia, so the mobster was forced to send his men to collect.
(n.) ah-ree-VEEST-one who recently acquired high position but not respect.
The arriviste tried fruitlessly to be accepted into society.
(v.) AR-uh-geyt-to claim without right
My dog arrogates my bed every night before I go to bed.
I try to ignore aspersions cast upon politicians and celebrities.
(n.) as-ih-DOO-ih-tee-diligent effort
The employees performed their duties with the same assiduity as their managers.
(n.) at-uh-RAK-see-uh-peace of mind
Abby left her BlackBerry at home so that she could achieve absolute ataraxia on vacation.
The garage served as the painter's atelier.
(adj.) at-ruh-BIL-yuhs-morbid, gloomy
The atrabilious man was in no mood for jokes.
(n.) AT-ahr-a perfumed oil derived from flowers
The rare attar sold for hundreds of dollars.
(n.) oh-BAHD-a song greeting the dawn
As Elaine watched the sunrise, she heard the birds singing their aubade.
The broken alarm clock and burnt coffee did not augur well for Marvin's first day of work.
(adj.) aw-GUHST-awe inspiring
The august words of Helen's professor led her to pursue a career in education.
(adj.) AW-strul-of or coming from the southern hemisphere
Greg was an austral man through and through, from his taste in food to his accent.
Hank felt like an outcast when he moved to Africa and was surrounded by autochthonous people.
(n.) aw-toh-DAHY-dakt-a person who is self-taught
An autodidact by nature, Amy taught herself German before her trip to Vienna.
(adj.) ah-VUHNG-kyuh-ler-friendly, like an uncle
Tom's older co-worker showed an avuncular concern for his well-being.
Zoe invited friends over for an evening of badinage over a bottle-or two-of pinot.
(n.) BAY-lih-wik-a person's talent
The professor's bailiwick is mathematics.
(n.) BAK-sheesh-a tip for service
The foreigner paid baksheesh to the customs official.
(adj.) buh-NAW-zik-dull, routine
After years of banausic assembly-line work, Shawn found an exciting job at a media company.
Once meticulously clean-shaven, he was now barbate.
(n.) BAR-uh-tree-groundless, persistent lawsuits
Attorneys involved in barratry may be suspended from the practice of law or disbarred.
(n.) be-AT-i-tud-extreme joy
Henry woke up in a state of beatitude on Friday.
(v.) bi-KAHM-to deprive of wind
The schooner was becalmed in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by the setting sun.
(v.) bih-DY-zuhn-to dress gaudily
The gem-bedizened woman was sparkling from head to toe.
(adj.) BEL-ih-kohss-favoring battle
The country had a history of bellicose tendencies.
(v.) bee-MAYUHR-cover with mud
The soldiers bemired themselves as a camouflage.
(n.) BIB-lee-uh-feyj-a bookworm
Barry the bibliophage likes to spend his Friday nights at the library.
(adj.) BIB-yu-luhs-fond of drinking alcohol
The harsh daylight was unkind to the old man's grizzled, bibulous face.
The biddable assistant never once argued with his boss.
(n.) BIL-it-a job
Debbie decided to take a billet that she did not necessarily enjoy but that paid well.
(n.) BIL-ingz-gayt-vulgar language
Kathy's never-ending stream of billingsgate made everyone at the dinner party cringe.
(adj.) by-SEKS-tayl-leap year
George was born in a bissextile year and has a birthday only every four years.
She ignored the salesperson's blandishments.
(n.) BLATH-er-skayt-a babbling fool
The meeting ran long and nothing got accomplished because it was run by a blatherskite.
(adj.) BLIM-pish-pompous, windbaglike
The waiter was fed up with the restaurant's blimpish clientele.
(v.) BLOH-vee-eyht-to communicate in a pompous way
At his high school reunion, the Yale graduate bloviated about his academic standing.
(v.) BOM-buh-neyt-to buzz
The computers bombinate if they are left on for too long.
(n.) BOOD-l-a bribe
The woman gave her secretary a boodle to destroy the files.
(n.) bawr-buh-RIG-mahy-rumbling sounds made by the digestive tract
Her borborygmi were embarrassingly loud; she needed breakfast now.
(n.) BOS-kij-a bunch of trees or bushes
Bill spent the afternoon trying to tame the massive boscage in his backyard.
(n.) bool-VAIR-suh-MAWN-an overtaking
Digital downloads have caused a bouleversement of music-buying trends.
(v.) BRAB-uhl-to argue over something petty
The couple brabbled over which movie to see.
(n.) brah-VYOOR-ah-a showy display
The figure skater's bravura made his routine a real crowd-pleaser.
(n.) BRIK-uh-brak-sentimental trinkets
The garage sale featured books, toys, and other bric-a-brac.
(n.) BRINK-man-ship-pushing a dangerous situation to the limit
South Korea accused North Korea of brinkmanship.
(n.) BREE-oh-liveliness; spirit
The Shakespearean actor was acclaimed for performing each role with brio.
(adj.) BRIS-lee-easily irritable
The bristly exchange between the defendant and the judge did not bode well for his case.
The Brobdingnagian couple was destined to have colossal kids.
(adj.) broh-MID-ik-stale, clichéd
My wife's bromidic TV shows are easy to sleep through.
(adj.) BROO-mal-related to winter
With the brumal weather finally gone, they enjoyed a drink on the patio.
(n.) BROOM-mist; fog
Unable to see clearly, Barbara drove slowly through the early morning brume.
(n.) BROO-tal-ist-plain, sturdy architecture
The dreary skyline was dominated by brutalist structures.
(adj.) BUMP-shuhs-crudely self-confident
Unable to listen to Tom's bumptious conversation, Kia ended the date early.
(n.) BUNG-kum-insincere talk
Tony's argument was quickly dismissed as bunkum.
(n.) BUSK-ur-a street entertainer
Tracy Chapman was a busker in Boston before she was signed to a record deal.
(n.) kah-BAL-a small group plotting against a leader
The cabal of jaded cabinet members conspired to kill the president.
(n.) kah-KEK-see-uh-sick emaciation
Cachexia is often seen in cancer and AIDS patients.
(v.) KAK-uh-neyt-to laugh loudly
Carrie cachinnated until her sides were sore.
I have a hard time ignoring the cacodaemon within me that tempts me with treats and sweets.
(n.) kak-oh-EE-theez-undeniable urge
Chris developed a cacoëthes for eggnog during Christmas.
(n.) kak-OG-ruh-fee-bad penmanship
The computer was the best thing that happened to Jacqui's cacography.
(n.) kak-OF-uh-nee-harsh dissonant sound
The Iowa native was not accustomed to New York City's cacophony of sounds.
(v.) KAJ-to beg
Dennis cadged his parents for money after he graduated from college.
On his fiftieth birthday, he developed a fear of caducity.
(n.) KAY-tif-a rotten person
The rival politicians tried to portray each other as caitiffs.
(n.) kah-le-BOOS-a prison
Christine was sentenced to two weeks in the calaboose for stealing office supplies.
(adj.) kah-LIJ-uh-nus-dark, gloomy
Beth fell into a caliginous state when she was fired from her job.
(n.) KAL-uh-thump-a loud, rowdy parade
The neighborhood kids would bang pans together whenever they put on their springtime callithump.
My co-worker likes to calumniate anyone who isn't within earshot.
My calvous father always burns his head in the summer.
(n.) kam-uh-RIL-uh-a secret group of advisers
Whispering in the president's ear, the camarilla had access to power without bearing responsibility for the effects of their advice.
(n.) kah-NAHRD-false story or rumor
The journalists focused upon the politician's canard during the press conference.
(adj.) kah-NOR-us-mellifluous, musical
The birds' canorous sounds herald the arrival of spring.
(adj.) kah-PAY-shuhs-spacious; roomy
Her capacious purse weighed ten pounds, and she could never find a thing in it.
(n.) kah-PREES-an abrupt, unpredictable thought or action
A momentary caprice compelled Ryan to propose to Rochelle during a trip to Paris.
(adj.) KAP-shuhs-given to finding faults
The captious critic rarely gave a film more than two stars out of five.
carapace (n.) KAIR-uh-pace-the thick shell on turtles and crabs
The lobster's carapace turns red in boiling water.
No cream could clear the worry lines off of Joy's careworn face.
Excerpted from THE WORD LOVER'S DELIGHT Copyright © 2009 by Captivate Network, a Division of Gannett Satellite Information Network. Excerpted by permission.
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