11 • Lesson 4 Word List

autonomy*

(n) The quality or state of being self-governing; independence.
Quebec’s separatist movement seeks autonomy for the province.

autonomous (adj)
Even though the think tank was located in the corporation’s headquarters, it was an autonomous entity.

circumspect

(adj) Cautious and prudent; heedful of consequences.
A circumspect investor researches carefully before buying shares of any stock.

compete
composure

(n) Calmness of mind or bearing; self-control.
Savanna maintained her composure, despite the prosecutor’s repeated verbal attacks.

edifice

(n) 1. A large, imposing structure or building.
The edifice with the grand staircase is the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

2. A complex structure or system built up over time, as if it were a real building.
Successive generations of scholars have added to the edifice of science.

compete
ensconce

(v) To settle or place securely or snugly.
Grandfather ensconced himself in the armchair by the fire and promptly fell asleep.

environs

(n) The area adjoining or surrounding a place.
The combined population of Dayton, Ohio, and its environs exceeds two hundred thousand.

hapless

(adj) Marked by the absence of good luck; unfortunate.
Malcolm’s failed lawn-care service was merely the latest of his hapless ventures.

heinous

(adj) Shockingly evil or wicked.
The execution of innocent civilians is a heinous act, even in times of war.

incognito

(adj) or (adv) With one’s identity concealed; unrecognized.
The princess traveled incognito so that people would not recognize her.

compete
indoctrinate

(v) 1. To teach or train in the fundamentals.
The Americorps volunteers were indoctrinated for several weeks before receiving an assignment.

2. To instill or teach from a partisan point of view.
The sergeant indoctrinated new recruits into the army’s way of doing things.

indoctrination (n)
The first-year law students received a thorough indoctrination into the rudiments of jurisprudence.

interim

(n) An interval of time between events.
I start my full-time job in May, but I’m looking for part-time work in the interim.

(adj) Belonging to or taking place between events; temporary.
The interim peace treaty will be in force until a final agreement is negotiated.

mausoleum

(n) A large and impressive tomb.
The marble mausoleum holds the remains of Ulysses S. Grant.

compete
pillage

(v) To rob and plunder.
After the army retreated, enemy troops pillaged the town, looting house after house.

reverie

(n) 1. The condition of being lost in thought.
With his work lying untouched before him, Carlos found himself in a reverie about his upcoming vacation.

2. A daydream.
My reveries took me back to my mother’s kitchen and the tantalizing smell of her turkey soup.

compete
thrall

(n) A loss of one’s ability to act freely; a state over which one appears to have no control.
Persons in thrall to computer games find it difficult to break the addiction.

thralldom (n) Slavery or bondage.
During the nineteenth century, the thralldom of Russian serfs kept them bound in service to the great landowners.

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