12 • Lesson 11 Word List

cacophony*

(n) Harsh or jarring sound.
A cacophony of sirens heralded the approach of the fire engines.

cacophonous (adj)

compete
confrere

(n) Comrade; colleague.
After her class in computer graphics, Tyra gathered with her confreres to refine their plans for the required group project.

compete
convoke

(v) To summon or call together for a meeting.
On December 10, 1948, the member states of the United Nations, who had been convoked to consider the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, voted overwhelmingly to adopt this document.

convocation (n)

filial

(adj) Of, relating to, or befitting a son or daughter.
In some cultures, adult children take care of their elders as part of their filial responsibility.

compete
fractious

(adj) Tending to be troublesome; irritable.
What may appear to be simply fractious behavior in a child may actually be a symptom of illness.

fulminate

(v) To express with denunciation, often in an explosive way.
“This is not fair to my workers!” the angry foreman fulminated.

fulmination (n)

jocular

(adj) Given to or characterized by joking; playful; jolly.
The children laughed with delight at the appearance of the clown, with his jocular “Ha, ha, ha!”

jocularity (n)

compete
nugatory

(adj) Having no force or effect.
The treaty is nugatory because it lacks any enforcement provisions.

obloquy

(n) 1. An utterance of denunciation.
In 1961 the building of the Berlin Wall, which partitioned the city and imprisoned East German citizens within its boundaries, provoked public obloquy.

2. The condition of one who is held in contempt for a shameful action.
Having been seduced by false values, the antihero of the play becomes the victim of his own obloquy.

palpable

(adj) 1. Easy to touch or feel.
The small but palpable lump on her arm was diagnosed as a cyst.

2. Easy to see, hear, or recognize; obvious.
There was a palpable tension in the room as the students waited to receive their exam scores.

compete
parity

(n) Equality of rank or value.
The strengthening United States dollar eventually reached parity with the British pound.

peruse

(v) To read through something, either casually or closely.
Before they signed the agreements, the partners perused them carefully.

polemic*

(n) 1. An argument to refute a position or opinion.
The protestor delivered a fiery polemic against the company’s hiring practices, which she viewed as sexist.

2. One who aggressively advocates a position.
Anyone debating such an accomplished polemic would need keen rhetorical skills.

polemical (adj)

polemicist (n)

supplicate

(v) To ask for humbly; to plead or beg.
The defendant supplicated the jury for compassion.

supplicant (n) One who pleads.

supplication (n) A plea.

temporize

(v) To act evasively to achieve a compromise or to gain time.
Unwilling to vote the measure up or down, Congress temporized.

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