12 • Lesson 17 Word List

abnegate

(v) 1. To give up as a right or claim.
In 1947, Britain was obliged to abnegate its mandate to govern Palestine.

2. To deny or renounce.
When she abnegated her former position on the issue, some described her as a traitor to her party.

ancillary

(adj) Subordinate; less important.
Degas was primarily a painter, and sculpture was never more than an ancillary activity for him.

badinage

(n) Light, playful conversation; banter.
When the badinage between the two news anchors grew tiresome, I changed the channel.

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bedizen

(v) To dress or decorate in a showy or gaudy fashion.
The little girls, bedizened with beads and feathered hats, tottered about the room in their mother’s high heels.

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celerity

(n) Speed or promptness in acting or responding; rapidity of motion.
When the doorbell rang, he leaped off the sofa with unaccustomed celerity.

cynosure

(n) The center of attention.
At the Academy Awards, the young actress was the cynosure of reporters and fans alike.

itinerary

(n) 1. The course or the planned route of a journey.
My itinerary was to travel by bus from Boston to New York to Washington, D.C.

2. A travel diary.
Rereading my itinerary, I was filled with nostalgia for the great open spaces of the Midwest.

3. A traveler’s guide.
Our Mexican itinerary suggested Guanajuato as a place seldom visited by tourists.

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lissome

(adj) Moving or bending easily; supple.
My goal is to exercise enough to become as lissome as my aerobics instructor.

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milieu

(n) A particular social or cultural environment in which events occur.
The author shows a remarkable familiarity with the milieu of Louis XIV’s court.

obstreperous

(adj) Aggressively noisy or rude.
When the guest on the television talk show became obstreperous, she was quickly whisked off.

paragon

(n) A model of perfection.
Mother Teresa, who worked among the indigents of Calcutta, was considered a paragon of saintliness.

perquisite

(n) An extra benefit in addition to one’s regular earnings.
Free travel is a perquisite of being a travel agent.

staid

(adj) Lacking flamboyance; sedate; restrained.
The staid tunes of the 1940s suddenly seemed antediluvian when rock music burst onto the scene.

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symbiotic*

(adj) Mutually cooperative and beneficial.
Given the symbiotic relationship between fashion reporters and designers, one does not expect to find trenchant criticism of the industry in fashion magazines.

symbiosis (n) Two unlike organisms living together in a close and mutually beneficial way.

tyro

(n) A beginner in any field.
A former classmate of the Olympic medalist recalls her as a young tyro practicing in the city pool.

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