11 • Lesson 11 Word List

attenuate*

(v) 1. To make or become thin.
By twisting and pulling, the spinner can attenuate the mass of wool fibers into a long slender thread.

2. To lessen the amount, force, or value of.
That stone wall attenuates the impact of high storm tides on the harbor.

compete
behemoth

(n) Something or someone of enormous size or power.
The Warriors’ new linebacker is a three hundred-pound behemoth whose size alone intimidates his opponents.

disinter

(v) To remove from a grave or tomb; to dig up.
The remains of the Russian royal family were disinterred from their unmarked grave and given a proper burial.

impinge

(Used with on.) (v) 1. To go beyond desirable or established limits; to encroach.
The proposed law would impinge on citizens’ freedom to choose their own health-care provider.

2. To come into contact with, especially forcefully.
A blinding flash impinged on my field of vision.

multifarious

(adj) Having many forms; varied, versatile.
The multifarious sounds of the city created a discordant noise.

oxymoron

(n) A combination of words that seem to be contradictory.
“Make haste slowly” is a bit of advice that is an oxymoron.

plentitude

(n) An ample amount; an abundance.
Our successful radio appeal yielded a plenitude of volunteers for the beach cleanup.

postulate*

(v) To assume as a fact based on the best available evidence.
Following the discovery of several ancient skeletons in Africa, archaeologists postulated that Homo sapiens is descended from African ancestors.

(n) Something assumed to be self-evident; a fundamental principle.
It is a postulate of diplomacy that nations are motivated by self-interest.

prevail

(v) 1. To prove superior in power or strength.
Good usually prevails over evil in the movies.

2. To remain in effect or use; to be current or widespread.
Low gasoline prices have prevailed for the past few years due to the cheapness of crude oil.

putrefy

(v) To become rotten or decayed, giving off a foul odor.
The carcasses putrefied and attracted scavengers.

compete
salubrious

(adj) Beneficial to health or well-being.
The salubrious mountain air renewed the hikers’ vigor.

compete
succulent

(adj) Fresh and juicy.
Juice from the succulent peach dribbled down my chin.

compete
tundra

(n) Flat, treeless plains of the arctic regions.
The main vegetation of the cold tundra consists of mosses, lichens, and small flowering plants.

compete
unequivocal

(adj) Leaving no room for misunderstanding; unambiguous.
When I asked to borrow their new car, my parents replied with an unequivocal no.

vicissitudes

(n, pl) Fluctuations in conditions; changes of fortune.
The vicissitudes of Lincoln’s life are fully explored in this new biography.

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