Word Wizard 2019

Basic Word List

(word, part of speech, related words or phrases, example sentence)

free css templates

1. abscond 

to run away with something
related words: go off with, make away with, make off with, run off with
*Harold absconded with Nancy’s new cell phone. 

2. arbitrate 

to help to reach a settlement to a dispute by considering all the facts
related words: mediate, intercede
*Sally was asked to arbitrate a disagreement between her two best friends. 

3. attenuate 

to weaken the effects, strength, or size of something
related words: reduce in strength, decrease in strength or size
*My doctor suggested I take aspirin to attenuate my fever.

4. bifurcate

to split or divide into two parts or branches that go in separate directions
related words: branch, diverge
*The road bifurcates into two directions one mile ahead. 

5. bucolic 

relating to the countryside or the pleasant aspects of country life
related words: pastoral, provincial , rustic
*Veronica grew up in a bucolic little town filled with valleys and hills. 

6. capricious

impulsive and quickly changeable; acting on a whim, sudden changes in behavior
related words: impulsive
*Jeff’s teacher told him to settle down and stop being so capricious.

7. chicanery 

the use of tricks to deceive someone (usually to get their money)
related words: shenanigans, trickery
*Some politicians use chicanery to help them win elections. 

8. credulous 

too trusting, too willing to believe something without evidence
related words: naive, too trustful, unquestioning, gullible, unwary

*Credulous individuals will believe anything they are told. 

9. diatribe 

a strong or forceful verbal attack against someone or something; abusive speech
related words: harangue, (verbal) attack, tirade
*The politician’s diatribe against global warming contained no credible evidence. 

10. dissemble 

to pretend or conceal one’s feelings in order to deceive
related words: feign, pretend, fake, masquerade
*Mary chose to dissemble her political beliefs to avoid an argument with Tom. 

11. draconian 

very harsh, cruel, or strict
related words: harsh; severe, strict, tough, extreme, drastic, stringent
*Too often, draconian measures are taken to win wars. 

12. endemic

native to or constantly present in a particular location or geographic area
related words: constantly present
*Malaria is endemic to many tropical countries. 

13. ethos 

the distinctive spirit or principles of a culture or era in history
related words: atmosphere

*Many adventurous people live by the ethos of "YOLO” (you only live once). 

14. exacerbate 

to make something worse or increase in severity
related words: aggravate, worsen

*Yelling exacerbates a heated conversation by increasing the hostility. 

15. explicit 

stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for doubt
related words: clear, plain, straightforward
*Most recipes give explicit instructions. 

16. florid 

elaborately or excessively intricate or complicated; flowery
related words: fancy, embellished, extravagant, flamboyant
*The teacher advised using simpler, less florid language when writing. 

17. fractious 

irritable and quarrelsome; hard to manage or control
related words: cranky, irritable, petulant, testy
*When the police arrived at the demonstration, the crowd became fractious

18. frugal 

careful with spending money, avoiding waste
related words: careful, prudent, restraint
*Alex was frugal with his money, but when it came to his family, he was very generous 

19. gestation

the period of development of an embryo, idea or plan
related words: development, incubation, formation
*The baby was born prematurely at 28 weeks gestation

20. guile 

a sly or cunning intelligence; the ability to skillfully deceive
related words: cunning, craft, wiliness, deviousness
*Her grandfather was a simple, honest man, totally lacking in guile

21. hegemony

the dominance  of one country or social group over another
related words:  authority, control, supremacy, sovereignty
*The president of the company has hegemony over her employees. 

22. hubris 

excessive pride
related words: arrogance, pride, haughtiness

*His hubris would be his downfall. 

23. impetuous 

impulsive; acting or done quickly and without thought or care.
related words: impulsive, hot-headed, overhasty, heedless

*It is easy to be impetuous when you want something really badly. 

24. impugn 

to attack as false or wrong; to dispute the truth, validity, or honesty of something
related words: challenge, call into question, question
*The mayor leaked news of his opponent’s arrest to the media to impugn his character. 

25. ingratiate 

to gain favor with someone by using flattery or trying to please them
related words: manipulate, exploit
*I am not willing to ingratiate myself by telling a bunch of lies. 

26. insurrection 

a revolt or rebellion; an uprising against an authoritative body
related words: revolt, rebellion, uprising, mutiny, revolution
*During their insurrection, several convicts held the prison doctor hostage. 

27. judicious 

exercising good judgment or common sense in practical matters
related words: wise, sensible, prudent
*The students needed judicious planning to complete their science projects on time. 

28. kinetic 

associated with, relating to, or resulting from motion
related words: active, animated, energetic
*Every moving object contains kinetic energy.

29. lampoon 

to make fun of; criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm
related words: mock, parody, satirize
*His cartoons mercilessly lampoon politicians. 

30. lassitude 

a weakness or lack of energy
related words: lethargy, listlessness, sluggishness
*After the long race, Jack experienced a feeling of lassitude

31. levity 

humor or frivolity; treating of a serious matter with humor or lack of respect
related words: vivacity, gaiety, jocularity, hilarity, frivolity, mirth, joviality
*My English teacher always uses levity in her lessons to make the class less formal. 

32. machination

a plot or scheme to get one’s way
related words: intrigue, plot
*The burglars needed to devise a clever machination or else they would be caught. 

33. malinger 

to pretend to be ill to avoid duties and responsibilities
related words: pretend, feign, fake
*Children will sometimes malinger in order to stay home from school. 

34. mendacious 

lying, untruthful, deceitful
related words: lying, untruthful, deceitful, false, dissembling, duplicitous, perjured
*A mendacious politician will say anything to get your vote. 

35. misanthrope 

a person who dislikes people
related words: hater
*My aunt is a misanthrope who will not even talk to the members of her own family. 

36. mitigate

to make less severe or harsh
related words: alleviate, diminish, lessen, weaken, lighten, ease, assuage, palliate, relieve 
*The United Nations will try to mitigate a crisis between two countries. 

37. neophyte

someone who is new at something; a newcomer
related words: beginner, novice, newcomer; initiate, fledgling
*I am a neophyte when it comes to working with most software programs. 

38. obsequious

overly obedient or excessively submissive; too willing to please
related words: servile, ingratiating, sycophantic, fawning
*The salesman was obsequious and I did not feel comfortable buying a car from him. 

39. ostensible 

apparent but not certain
related words: apparent, outward, superficial, professed, supposed, alleged, purported
*His ostensible function was as an interpreter but he was really a spy. 

40. palliate 

to mitigate or lessen; make less severe
related words: alleviate, ease, relieve, soothe, assuage, diminish, decrease, blunt, deaden
*This cream should palliate the itching caused by your contact with poison oak. 

41. pariah 

a person who is rejected; an outcast
related words: outcast, persona non grata, leper, undesirable, informal: black sheep
*Jason’s bad temper makes him a pariah with other students. 

42. pejorative 

expressing contempt or disapproval
related words: disparaging, derogatory, denigrating, deprecatory, defamatory
*A pejorative remark usually brings about an angry response from the listener. 

43. permeate

to diffuse or spread throughout
related words: pervade, spread through, fill, diffuse through, penetrate, pass through, suffuse
*Cigarette smoke permeated everywhere and made the entire house smell bad. 

44. polemic

a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something
related words: diatribe, invective, rant, tirade, broadside, attack, harangue, condemnation
*The candidate wrote a polemic that mocked his rival’s lack of ethics. 

45. prevaricate 

to be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
related words: be evasive, beat around the bush, hedge, sidestep (the issue), equivocate, waffle
*When you prevaricate, you make a complicated situation worse than it already is. 

46. purloin 

to take something that does not belong to you; to steal something
related words: steal, thieve, rob, take, snatch, pilfer, loot, appropriate
*Natalie’s best friend tried to purloin her favorite necklace. 

47. quixotic 

exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical
related words: idealistic, impractical, romantic, starry-eyed, unrealistic, unworldly
*Henry knew running for class president was a quixotic idea. 

48. recalcitrant

resistant; stubbornly resistant to authority or control
related words: uncooperative, intractable, insubordinate, defiant, rebellious, headstrong
*The soldiers became recalcitrant and refused to follow orders. 

49. rejoinder 

a quick witty or critical reply to a question or remark
related words: answer, reply, response, retort, riposte, counter; informal: comeback
*The rapper made a rude rejoinder to the music critics 

50. repudiate 

to reject as untrue, unfounded, or unjust; to refuse to support
related words: deny, contradict, controvert, rebut, dispute, dismiss, brush aside
*The company repudiated any claims of negligence despite the facts. 

51. salient 

the most important or prominent
related words: important, main, principal, major, chief, primary
*The price of the car was the most salient factor in her decision not to buy it. 

52. sublime 

related words: exalted, elevated, lofty, glorious, superb, wonderful, marvelous, splendid
*After the sublime meal, we gave the chef our compliments. 

53. syncopation 

a musical rhythm (accenting a normally weak beat)
related words: accented rhythm
*Syncopation is a characteristic of jazz. 

54. tangential

hardly touching a matter; peripheral; beside the point
related words: off the point, miss the mark, barely related
*My history teacher frequently rambles off onto a tangential topic. 

55. tirade

a long, angry speech of criticism or accusation
related words: diatribe, harangue, rant, denunciation, broadside, criticism, tongue-lashing
*The police arrested Jack after he refused to end his tirade outside the courthouse. 

56. upbraid 

to find fault with (someone); scold; criticize
related words: reprimand, rebuke, admonish, chastise, chide, scold, berate, take to task
*Jim will often upbraid his brother for spending too much time playing video games. 

57. vituperate 

to blame or insult (someone) in strong or violent language
related words: scold, revile, upbraid, criticize
*To vituperate someone can be as bad as assaulting them physically. 

58. vitriolic 

filled with bitter criticism or malice
related words: acrimonious, rancorous, bitter, caustic, spiteful, savage
*The students exchanged vitriolic words before the fight broke out. 

59. wanton 

a cruel or violent action done without concern for the rights, feelings, or safety of others
related words: deliberate, willful, malicious, spiteful, wicked, cruel 
*Jessie was accused of wanton cruelty toward his neighbor’s dog. 

60. xenophobia 

a fear of foreigners or strangers from other places
related words: racism, racialism, racial hatred, ethnocentrism, ethnocentricity
*My dog’s xenophobia causes him to bark at everyone he does not know.