10 • Lesson 3 Word List

curtail

(v) To cut short or reduce.
The performance was curtailed when a small fire broke out in the theater.

discriminate*

(v) 1. To make or recognize clear distinctions.
During hunting season, it’s prudent for hikers to wear orange so that hunters can easily discriminate between people and animals.

2. To treat in a less or more favorable way.
Some employers still discriminate against women by paying them less than their male counterparts.

discrimination (n) 1. The recognizing of clear distinctions.
It’s helpful to make a discrimination between what you think you want and what you really need.

2. The act of making a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing on the basis of the group or category rather than according to actual merit.
Federal law prohibits discrimination based on race or creed.

3. The act of making fine distinctions; good or refined taste.
Your penchant for garish attire shows a lack of discrimination.

espionage

(n) The act of spying, especially a government spy obtaining secrets of another government.
Counterintelligence specialists use their knowledge of high-tech spying equipment to thwart acts of espionage.

compete
inalienable

(adj) Not able to be taken or given away.
United States citizens are promised certain inalienable rights that are spelled out in the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

incarcerate

(v) To confine or to put in prison.
Maximum-security prisoners were incarcerated on Alcatraz, an island in San Francisco Bay, until 1963.

incarceration (n)
His incarceration lasted five years, after which he was a free man.

compete
indignity

(n) An insult to one’s pride; offensive or humiliating treatment.
His mother waited until they got home to reprimand her son, in order to spare him the indignity of being criticized in front of his friends.

compete
indiscriminate

(adj) Not marked by careful distinctions; haphazard.
She was an indiscriminate reader and devoured everything from comics to history books.

infamous

(adj) 1. Having a very bad reputation; notorious.
The CIA’s infamous agent, Aldrich Ames, sold compromising information to the Soviets that cost the lives of many CIA secret agents.

2. Disgraceful; vicious.
The defendant was charged with an infamous crime.

infamy (n)
The assassination of Abraham Lincoln was an act of infamy.

intercede*

(v) To act or plead on another’s behalf; to try to smooth the differences between two parties.
Instead of interceding, my parents encouraged my brother and me to resolve our differences on our own.

compete
malign

(v) To say negative and unfair things about; slander.
The proprietor thought maligning his competitor’s products would boost his own sales.

(adj) Evil; showing ill will.
The malign look he gave me expressed his anger.

perpetrate

(v) To commit, as a crime or other antisocial act.
The con artist was guilty of perpetrating a minor scam.

perpetrator (n)
I couldn’t figure out who the perpetrator was until the end of the movie.

rampant

(adj) Threateningly wild, without restraint or control; widespread.
The rampant vines covered the slope and began to climb the surrounding trees.

rancor

(n) A deep, long-held feeling of hatred or bitterness.
Her rancor for the group turned her into its implacable foe.

reparation

(n) 1. A mending or repair.
The building needed major reparation after the tornado.

2. A making up or payment for a wrong or damage done, especially in the case of an international war.
Many Americans believe that the descendants of enslaved Africans deserve reparations.

compete
smattering

(n) 1. Superficial, scattered knowledge.
He picked up a smattering of Spanish while in Mexico.

2. A small amount.
She wrote thousands of letters, of which only a smattering have been published.

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