10 • Lesson 12 Word List

aftermath

(n) A consequence or result, often a negative one.
Thousands of people were left without shelter in the aftermath of the earthquake.

aphorism

(n) A short statement of truth or principle; an adage.
My mother often warned me to slow down, citing the aphorism, “Haste makes waste.”

compete
catharsis

(n) A releasing of the emotions, often through the arts, that brings about spiritual renewal or a relieving of tension.
By drawing pictures reflecting their traumatic experiences, children often experience catharsis.

cathartic (adj)
Rina found talking to the guidance counselor a cathartic experience.

cohort

(n) 1. A group that is moving or working together.
The president was followed by a cohort of media people.

2. One who assists another, especially in a dubious or criminal activity; an accomplice.
He denied being a cohort of the crime boss.

compete
culpable

(adj) Deserving blame or censure.
Because of his negligence, the driver of the car that crashed was found culpable.

culpability (n)
Her culpability was publicized in the newspapers, but she persistently maintained her innocence.

compete
diabolical

(adj) Devilish; wicked or evil.
The diabolical plot to steal the crown jewels was discovered before it could be implemented.

compete
enormity*

(n) 1. The state or quality of being monstrous or outrageous.
After the dictator was toppled from power, the enormity of his crimes was revealed.

2. The state or quality of being huge, immense.
Some people are skeptical of Japan’s plan to erect a mile-high skyscraper because of the enormity of the project.

gibe

(v) To utter taunting, sarcastic words.
The fans gibed at the referee for ignoring the deliberate foul.

(n) A taunting, scornful remark.
Abdullah’s gibe about Liza’s new glasses really hurt her feelings.

innocuous

(adj) Harmless; unlikely to offend.
The reporter’s question seemed innocuous, yet I was chary of giving out any information.

necessitate

(v) To require; to make necessary.
This new situation necessitates a different approach to the problem.

compete
odyssey

(n) 1. A long, adventurous journey.
My South American odyssey took me through half a dozen countries and lasted almost six months.

2. An intellectual or spiritual quest.
His political odyssey took him from socialism in his youth to arch-conservatism in old age.

partisan

(n) 1. A strong supporter or advocate.
The young volunteers were partisans of the newest candidate for mayor.

2. An armed fighter opposed to an occupying army.
Marshal Tito’s band of partisans harassed the German army that occupied Yugoslavia.

(adj) Strongly biased in favor of a particular party, cause, or position.
Because of her partisan politics, Tina votes Green in every election.

posterity

(n) A person’s descendants; future generations.
Is it quixotic to want to make the world a better place for posterity?

premeditated

(adj) Fully planned beforehand; deliberate.
The lawyer argued that the defendant’s action was impulsive and not premeditated.

scurrilous

(adj) Vulgar; coarsely abusive.
These scurrilous rumors were perpetrated by someone trying to denigrate your character.

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