11 • Lesson 5 Word List

abstruse

(adj) Difficult to understand.
The professor’s circuitous explanation of how to solve the problem was so abstruse that we had trouble following it.

accrue

(v) 1. To arise or increase as a natural result or growth. (Usually used with to or from.)
Edwin Hubble’s prodigious knowledge of astronomy accrued from years of studying the heavens.

2. To come as a regular addition.
Interest on the savings account accrues monthly.

acquiesce

(v) To accept as inevitable; to comply passively.
Mikaela felt obliged to acquiesce when her supervisor suggested that she work late.

acquiescence (n)
The strikers demanded from management immediate acquiescence to their requests.

besmirch

(v) To stain or tarnish; to make dirty.
“The sole reason for the existence of tabloids,” Amelia asserted, “is to besmirch the reputation of famous people.”

explicit*

(adj) Fully and clearly expressed, leaving nothing merely implied.
The explicit directions made assembling the grill a simple task.

histrionic

(adj) Purposely affected; theatrical.
Minh’s histrionic moans failed to convince the school nurse to send her home.

histrionics (n, pl) Exaggerated displays of emotion, intended to produce an effect or response.
In an astonishing display of histrionics, Tyreese actually knelt and begged Huma to accompany him to dinner.

impropriety

(n) 1. The quality or state of being improper or unsuitable.
Dilshad saw no impropriety in hiring her qualified friend for the job.

2. Something that is improper.
The senator was mortified when he was reprimanded for mishandling campaign contributions and for various other improprieties.

compete
inveigle

(v) 1. To lure or trick into doing something.
By posing as a reporter, the agent inveigled the guard into letting her enter the complex.

2. To obtain by flattery or trickery.
By saying he had to pick up a friend, Montell inveigled the keys to Daniel’s car.

penitent

(adj) Sorry for having done wrong.
Agatha was in a penitent state of mind after realizing that she had chastised her daughter unfairly.

penitence (n)
As the student returned with the stolen books, his penitence seemed genuine.

compete
probity

(n) Honesty; trustworthiness; adherence to virtue.
A high level of probity is expected from workers who handle cash.

purport

(v) To give or present the often false impression of being someone or intending something.
The woman purports to be a surviving member of the Russian royal family.

repercussion

(n) An unforeseen or indirect result or effect of an event.
Last fall’s flooding of California farmland will have economic repercussions throughout the country.

revelation*

(n) Something that is made known or revealed, often coming as a surprise.
Ms. Curran’s knowledge of arcane points of property law was a revelation to me.

surfeit

(n) An overabundant supply; an excess.
The surfeit of evidence left the jury little room for doubt as to the suspect’s guilt.

compete
unsavory

(adj) 1. Having an unpleasant look, taste, or smell.
The week-old milk had an unsavory aroma.

2. Morally offensive.
More details of the unsavory scandal became known after the mayor fired his business partner.

compete

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