11 • Lesson 13 Word List

altruism

(n) The putting of others’ well-being ahead of one’s own; unselfishness.
The Salvation Army’s altruism is often expressed at holiday times through gifts of food for those who have little.

altruistic (adj)
As children mature, they become more altruistic and less self-centered.

concurrent*

(adj) Taking place at the same time; simultaneous.
Moving from table to table as the games progressed, the chess grand master played sixteen concurrent games and won them all.

context*

(n) 1. The circumstances in which something exists or occurs.
We can better understand Dale’s inflammatory statements if we consider the context in which they were made.

2. The surroundings of a word or phrase in a spoken or written passage.
The meaning of words like draw can often be determined only by examining the context in which they occur.

crass

(adj) Lacking delicacy or sensitivity; gross.
It would be crass for us to crash the party even though we weren’t invited.

cuisine

(n) Style of cooking.
Indian cuisine uses a savory array of spices.

compete
debase

(v) To lower the quality, character, or status of; to devalue.
The Watergate conspiracy did much to debase the American presidency.

enjoin

(v) 1. To direct or command.
The judge enjoined the jury to refrain from discussing the controversial case.

2. To forbid or prohibit.
The rules enjoin smoking on school property.

extemporaneous

(adj) Composed or performed on the spur of the moment, with little or no planning.
Public figures need to master the art of extemporaneous speaking because they often need to improvise before an audience.

genesis

(n) An origin, creation, or beginning.
Naomi’s visit to Kuwait was the genesis of her interest in Islam.

libation

(n) A liquid, especially when poured as an offering or drunk as part of a ceremony.
The celebrants poured out their cups as a libation to the harvest god.

compete
malaise

(n) A vague feeling of uneasiness or unwellness.
My headache and general malaise turned out to be incipient flu symptoms.

compete
platitude

(n) A thought or remark that is dull or trite.
It was refreshing to hear the candidate for governor offer fresh ideas instead of platitudes.

reconcile

(v) 1. To reestablish an amicable relationship.
Family members tried to reconcile the feuding brothers.

2. To bring to quiet submission.
I reconciled myself to the inevitability of not getting a summer job.

3. To bring into harmony or agreement.
It’s difficult for us to reconcile your account of the graduation party with events as we experienced them.

compete
sunder

(v) To break or force apart; to sever.
A bolt of lightning sundered the rock neatly down the middle.

compete
travail

(n) 1. Activity that is arduous and burdensome; toil.
The difficult expedition to reach the source of the Irrawaddy was a six-month travail.

2. Suffering or anguish.
The travail inflicted by the Civil War left the nation eager to heal its divisions.

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