11 • Lesson 8 Word List

betrothed

(adj) Engaged to be married.
The betrothed couple exchanged gifts to mark their engagement.

(n) A person to whom one is engaged to be married.
Keenan gave his betrothed an emerald engagement ring.

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blasphemy

(n) An act or statement that shows disrespect or irreverence toward something considered sacred.
Michele did not observe the holy days and was thus accused of blasphemy.

cadence

(n) 1. A rhythm marked by a regular beat.
The crowd thrilled to the cadence of marching feet as the parade passed by.

2. The rising and falling of the voice in human speech.
I could tell by the cadence of the stranger’s speech that he was extremely agitated.

canon

(n) 1. A rule or principle that provides the norm for judgment.
Those who would not conform to the canons of polite society became social outcasts.

2. The works of a writer accepted as authentic.
The recent discovery of an unpublished short story adds to the Eudora Welty canon.

denouement

(n) 1. The outcome of a series of events.
The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union provided an unexpected denouement to the Cold War.

2. The final resolution following the climax of the plot of a work of drama or fiction.
The death of the king provides a fitting denouementto Shakespeare’s Richard III.

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edict

(n) A statement or command having the force of law.
The czar’s edict banning public demonstrations was ignored by the Russian people.

enamor

(Usually used with of or with.) (v) To inspire with love; to captivate.
The art student was especially enamored of a fine bronze statue by Cellini.

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insensate

(adj) 1. Lacking sensation or awareness.
When the rescue team reached the skier trapped in the snow, they found her alive, but insensate, with no awareness of her surroundings.

2. Lacking sense or ability to reason.
The artist captures the insensate fury of a storm at sea.

3. Brutal; lacking feeling.
Because he had no empathy for the feelings of other people, he wrote insensate insults about his family online.

renegade

(n) 1. A person who deserts one group or cause for another; a traitor.
Winston Churchill was regarded as a renegade for deserting the Conservative party to join the Liberals.

2. A person who rejects lawful behavior.
Some people considered Lucy Stone a renegade because she kept her maiden name after she was married in 1855, when such action was deemed inappropriate.

soliloquy*

(n) A speech in which a character’s thoughts are given verbal expression.
Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy begins, “To be or not to be.”

stricture

(n, usually plural) 1. A strong criticism.
The president, unable to ignore the strictures of the press, was forced to issue an apology for his remarks.

2. Anything that restricts or limits.
The treaty removes many of the strictures hampering free trade between the two countries.

triumvirate

(n) A group of three, especially one possessing great power or eminence.
After displacing the other two members of the triumvirate, the general ruled the country as a dictator.

usurp

(v) To seize and hold power or authority in an illegal or unjust manner.
When the wealthy landowners tried to usurp power from the queen, she outmaneuvered them.

vestment

(n, often plural) An outer garment, especially one indicating a role, rank, or office.
The exquisite vestments worn by an eighteenth-century empress are on display in the museum.

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votary

(n) A person who is devoted to a cause or organization, especially one of a religious nature.
The votaries of Demeter gathered at Eleusis for special ceremonies honoring the goddess.

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