12 • Lesson 20 Word List


(v) To strip of belongings or worth.
Unrestricted dumping of toxic chemicals had despoiled the area and made it uninhabitable.

despoliation (n)


(v) To conclude from given facts; to work out through reasoning.
From accumulated data, scientists will attempt to educe where the hurricane will strike land.


(adj) 1. Not varying; steady.
The Gulf Stream off the Florida coast maintains an equable temperature of 80°F.

2. Not easily disturbed; serene.
Carolina’s manner remains equable despite the pressures of family, relationships, and corporate life.


(n) A circumstance due to chance.
Just by happenstance, we found a gold ring in the sand.


(adj) 1. Relating to an island or island people.
Many residents of Tokyo are cosmopolitan in attitude despite Japan’s insular geography.

2. Resistant to new or different ideas.
The Amish are an independent and insular people who exist amid a diversified, larger world.


(n) Deliberate and willful infliction of violent injury or destruction; chaos.
In 1987, armored government troops created mayhem when they confronted prodemocracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.


(adj) Fraught with uncertainty, risk, or danger.
Ireland had been through parlous times in the past, most notably the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s.


(adj) 1. Extremely clear; transparent.
The ocean floor eighty feet below was clearly visible through the pellucid waters off the Jamaican coast.

2. Expressed simply; easily understood.
The valedictorian’s pellucid speech made his meaning impossible to misconstrue.


(v) To make impossible; to prevent.
In some U.S. states, a felony conviction precludes offenders from voting in federal elections.


(n) A closeness in position.
The propinquity of the twin oak trees in the garden made suspending the hammock a simple task.


(adj) Taking without restraint; greedy or grasping.
Rapacious looting followed the riots.


(n) A division in a group due to discord.
A schism among Republicans led to the formation of the Bull Moose Party in the 1912 presidential election.


(v) To redirect one’s impulses or instincts to a more socially acceptable expression.
Although justifiably angry, she sublimated her urge to scream by going for a run.


(n) An object believed to have magical powers.
This engraved stone from the South Pacific is a talisman, which is supposed to ward off sickness.

talismanic (adj)


(adj) 1. Relating to Earth or its inhabitants.
Observers of the strange object in the sky were obdurate in their belief that it was not of terrestrial origin.

2. Of or relating to land, as opposed to water.
The railroad is a terrestrial form of transportation.

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