11 • Lesson 14 Word List

abeyance

(n) A state of (usually temporary) inactivity or suspension.
Construction of the new city hall was in abeyance while the city council sought additional funds.

buttress

(n) 1. A projecting structure that supports a wall or building.
The wall would have collapsed without the stone buttresses protruding from it.

2. Anything that supports or protects.
Freedom of the press is a buttress against tyranny.

(v) To support or strengthen.
Mr. Orantes buttressed his lawsuit with photographs of the accident.

compete
commensurate

(adj) Corresponding in size, degree, or amount; proportionate; of equal value.
The students were put in groups commensurate with their reading abilities.

dilatory

(adj) Slow to act or respond; delaying, tardy.
The phone company discontinues service to customers who are dilatory in paying their bills.

ecumenical

(adj) Universal; inclusive, especially concerning religious matters.
The ecumenical council promotes cooperation among multifarious groups of churches.

facade

(also, façade) (n) 1. The front or face of a building.
The building was shingled except for its brick facade, which faced the street.

2. A superficial appearance; an illusion.
Lara’s pleasant demeanor was a facade for the anger she felt.

compete
gargoyle

(n) A grotesque stone figure used as a decorative feature on a building or as an ornament; a spout projecting.
The stone faces of gargoyles projecting beyond the roofline acted as rain spouts.

compete
moot*

(v) To debate, suggest, or discuss.
The issue of changing the dress code is often mooted but never resolved.

(adj) Deprived of significance; irrelevant.
We’re moving at the end of the month, so the possibility of a rent increase is moot.

pinnacle

(n) 1. A tall, slender, pointed top; peak.
The icicles hung from the roof like inverted pinnacles.

2. The highest point of achievement.
The pinnacle of Wilma Rudolph’s sports career was competing in the Olympics.

compete
requiem

(n) A funeral mass or service; a musical composition honoring the dead.
The requiem for the late president was shown live on television.

sacrosanct

(adj) Highly sacred or holy; not to be violated.
The concepts of yin and yang are sacrosanct to Taoist believers.

sensuous

(adj) 1. Coming from or acting on the senses.
The sensuous curves of the new museum’s exterior are a delight to the eye.

2. Producing an agreeable effect on the senses.
The cat stretched out in front of the fire in sensuous contentment.

tenet*

(n) A principle or belief held to be true, especially by members of an organization.
One of the academy’s traditional tenets was that behavioral standards would be maintained through an honor code.

transcend*

(v) To go above the limits of; to exceed or surpass.
The need for emergency aid to the refugees allowed Congress to transcend partisan disagreement.

venue

(n) The scene or locale of any action or event; the place of an alleged crime.
The venue for the jazz festival has yet to be determined, but several sites are under consideration.

compete

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