12 • Lesson 2 Word List

absolve

(v) To clear guilt, or to free from a promise or a responsibility.
The court-ordered DNA test absolved the suspect of the charges.

adumbrate

(v) 1. To foreshadow in an indirect way.
The League of Nations adumbrated the United Nations.

2. To outline in a sketchy way; to partially disclose.
The architect Norman Foster adumbrated his idea for Bilbao’s subway entrances, saving the details until later.

apothegm

(n) A short, instructive saying.
What do you think of the apothegm “Easy come; easy go”?

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aspersion

(n) A defamatory expression; slander.
Casting aspersions on another’s good character is a despicable act.

coadjutor

(n) One who works with another, usually in a subordinate position; an assistant.
The film director’s coadjutor arranged the schedule so the production ran smoothly.

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congenital

(adj) Existing at or dating from birth; being an essential characteristic.
Surgeons can now make dramatic improvements on congenital physical abnormalities.

élan

(n) A lively spirit with a distinctive style.
The band played with such élan that it was invited to lead the parade.

germane

(adj) Pertinent and fitting.
During her press conference, the governor refused to answer questions that weren’t germane to her proposed budget.

hiatus

(n) An interruption or gap in space, continuity, or time.
The sculptor expressed frustration at the hiatus in his productivity in recent years.

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immure

(v) To confine within or as if within walls; to imprison.
Rapunzel let down her long hair to escape from the high tower in which she was immured.

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ineluctable

(adj) Not to be avoided or changed; inevitable.
The ineluctable involvement of the United States in European affairs began in 1917.

internecine

(adj) 1. Marked by slaughter; mutually destructive.
The internecine fighting among apes distressed the zookeepers.

2. Relating to conflict within a group.
Word leaked to the outside world of the internecine struggle among the country’s ruling elite.

invoke*

(v) 1. To appeal to earnestly.
The petitioners invoked the support of their Congressional representatives to continue public television funding.

2. To cite in justification.
The witness refused to testify by invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

prototype

(n) A person or thing that serves as an example of its kind; an original.
The prototype of the automobile actually did look like a horseless carriage.

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quadrennial

(adj) 1. Occurring every four years.
Presidential elections are a quadrennial event in the United States.

2. Lasting four years.
The governor’s quadrennial term of office ends next January.

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