10 • Lesson 14 Word List

aberration

(n) 1. A departure from the norm or what is considered right, natural, or normal; a flaw or defect.
The mid-April snowstorm was an aberration that is unlikely to recur next year.

2. The failure of a mirror or lens to reproduce an image in focus.
The flaw in the microscope’s lens caused an aberration, so the botanist could not get a clear view of the specimen.

antiquated

(adj) Grown old; out-of-date.
Kirsten tends to dismiss her parents’ views as hopelessly antiquated.

compete
celestial

(adj) 1. Of or relating to the skies or heavens.
The appearance of a comet is a dramatic celestial occurrence.

2. Heavenly, divine; of the finest or highest kind.
A look of celestial joy lit up the children’s faces when they saw snow for the first time.

compete
certitude*

(n) The state of being certain of the truth or rightness of something.
I can say with certitude that the stock market will continue to be unpredictable.

disburse

(v) To distribute something or pay out money, especially from a public or other fund.
At Midtown Auto, paychecks are disbursed every Friday.

galaxy

(n) 1. A vast cluster of stars and other matter, billions of which make up the known universe.
Our galaxy is known as the Milky Way.

2. A group of brilliant or notable people or things.
A galaxy of celebrities gathered at Hollywood’s Academy Awards.

intractable

(adj) Hard to manage, tame, or control; stubborn; not easily cured.
That horse is too intractable to be ridden by a beginner.

compete
juncture

(n) 1. A joining or coming together; the place where such a connection occurs.
There is a traffic light at the juncture of 55th Street and Hyde Park Boulevard.

2. A point in time made critical by the timing of the circumstances.
Negotiations between baseball owners and the players reached a critical juncture right before spring training.

compete
juxtapose*

(v) To place side by side.
The original sketch and the finished portrait were juxtaposed to show the artist’s technique.

juxtaposition (n)
The juxtaposition of his “before” and “after” pictures showed just how short his hair had been cut.

maelstrom

(n) 1. A large and violent whirlpool or something resembling a whirlpool.
It is believed that the solar system was formed over five billion years ago out of a great maelstrom of whirling dust.

2. A place or state of great turmoil or confusion.
By 1940, most of Europe had been swept into the maelstrom of war.

compete
optimum

(adj) Best or most favorable.
Clear skies at night provided optimum conditions for viewing Mars through the telescope.

pillory

(v) To expose to public scorn or contempt.
The press pilloried the movie star for taking part in important policy matters.

proliferate

(v) To grow, expand, or multiply at a rapid rate.
College courses on women’s studies have proliferated since the 1980s.

proliferation (n)
Due to the proliferation of applicants this year, competition to get into law school greatly increased.

remiss

(adj) Negligent; careless; lax.
A late notice reminded me that I was remiss in paying my electric bill.

titanic

(adj) Marked by great strength, size, or influence.
The titanic winds of the tornado hurled the car through the air.

titan (n)
J. P. Morgan was a titan of the banking industry.

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