11 • Lesson 1 Word List


(adj) Of dubious authenticity or origin; spurious.
Although we hear numerous stories of Daniel Boone’s exploits, many of them are apocryphal.


(adj) Understood by only a few; mysterious.
To most people, the science of quantum physics is an arcane subject that is beyond their grasp.


(v) 1. To summon or cause to assemble.
The president has convened a meeting of his economic advisors for this Thursday.

2. To gather or assemble; to meet formally.
Student Council members convene on the first Monday of the month.


(adj) 1. Useful for some purpose; convenient.
Telephoning was the most expedient method of alerting Sara to our change of plan.

2. Concerned primarily or exclusively with serving one’s own interests.
Given a choice, Raoul does what is expedient rather than what is right.

(n) A means employed to bring about a certain result.
A hot bath is a useful expedient for ameliorating sore muscles.


(v) 1. To flow out slowly; to ooze or emit.
The pine branch exuded golden pitch after it was cut.

2. To give forth; to exhibit in abundance.
A good lawyer exudes confidence no matter how her case is going.


(v) To motion energetically with the body or limbs.
The traffic cop gesticulated to the waiting cars to proceed.

gesticulation (n)
We were puzzled by Will’s frantic gesticulations until we noticed the bee buzzing around his head.


(adj) Calm and assured.
Picking up the phone to call the plumber, my mother remained imperturbable.


(n) An increase, addition, or gain, often by regular, consecutive amounts.
Even small increments to a savings account add up to a substantial sum over time.

incremental (adj)
Incremental changes to the dosage of Sunil’s medication were necessary to maintain its effectiveness.


(n) Excessive frivolity; a lack of seriousness; joking.
The atmosphere at the party was one of levity with much joking, laughter, and general silliness.


(v) To embarrass or humiliate.
Jae Lee’s fall to the ice just as he was ready to fire the puck past the goalie mortified him for days.


(n) The area around the edges; the outermost part.
Hesitant to enter the walled garden, Josefina made her way instead along the periphery.

peripheral (adj) Relating to, involving, or forming an outer edge or boundary; not central.
Bill Bradley’s extraordinary peripheral vision allowed him to see more of the basketball court than his opponents could see.


(n) One who tells stories with skill and wit.
Aunt Clara knew so many stories and was such a superb raconteur that she could entertain us for hours.


(v) To say or do over again; to repeat.
The signs posted at fifty-foot intervals reiterate the warning against hunting.


(n) A deceptive scheme or strategy.
Friar Laurence’s subterfuge to bring Romeo and Juliet together not only deceived their families, but also came to a terrible end.


(v) 1. To move back and forth from lack of balance; waver.
The needle vacillated between 5 and 6 before registering 5.4 on the Richter scale.

2. To alternate indecisively between opinions or courses of action.
Keya’s summer plans are still not set, because she is vacillating between a cross-country bike ride and an internship with the science museum.

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