11 • Lesson 20 Word List


(adj) Able to use both hands with equal skill.
Ambidextrous batters in baseball are called switch hitters.


(n) A consistent aversion or dislike.
Despite her antipathy to modern art, Deonna is a staunch supporter of the museum.


(adj) Hurtful; injurious.
A diet high in fats has a deleterious effect on one’s health.


(v) To criticize severely; to berate.
Incensed storeowners excoriated the mayor for the town’s perfunctory snow-clearing efforts.


(v) To estimate or infer by projecting from or expanding upon known information.
From a small sample one can extrapolate the total number of viewers of a television program.


(adj) Horrible to contemplate or look upon; grim and ghastly.
Rescue workers had the grisly task of looking for bodies following the conflagration that destroyed the house.


(n) A peculiar characteristic, habit, or manner that distinguishes a person.
Wearing a pink cashmere sweater was one of movie director Ed Wood’s idiosyncrasies.

idiosyncratic (adj)
Glenn Gould’s idiosyncratic piano playing was unique and highly personal, and inspired both admiration and animosity from critics.


(v) To assign blame or credit; to attribute or ascribe.
The children imputed to their car a mind and personality of its own.


(adj) Lacking judgment or skill; bungling or clumsy.
The attorney’s cross-examination of the witnesses was so maladroit and ineffective that he was taken off the case.


(v) 1. To deny or refute the existence or truth of.
By pretending all was well, I negated my true feelings.

2. To make ineffective or invalid.
The surprising results of the new study negated previous assumptions about heart disease.


(adj) No longer in fashion; outmoded.
Nowadays, dressing in formal clothes for dinner is considered passé even in the most patrician circles.


(n) A teacher of children or youth; sometimes one who is dogmatic or overly formal.
After teaching all day at school, Ms. Levendusky also played the pedagogue at home, helping her children learn to read.

pedagogical (adj) Of or relating to the science or art of teaching.
Teachers are required by law to regularly update their pedagogical skills.


(n) The greater part; superiority in size, importance, or strength.
The preponderance of cars on the road today are foreign imports; one sees very few domestic models.


(v) To put forward for consideration; to propose.
Einstein propounded the startling idea that time is elastic and can expand and contract.


(n) 1. The way a person stands; the position of a person’s feet.
The proper stance for this exercise is feet apart with knees slightly bent.

2. A position regarding politics or ideas; point of view.
The candidate modified her stance on welfare after studying the issue more closely.


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