12 • Lesson 4 Word List


(n) An expression of approval; praise.
The company’s flexible-hours policy won the employees’ approbation.


(adj) Existing in a state of moral, cultural, or intellectual darkness; unenlightened.
To insist that males and females perform only stereotypical, gender-based roles is benighted.


(n) The middle class or a member of the middle class.
Because his family didn’t have a lot of money, Chris’s bourgeois spending habits were a source of frustration.

(adj) 1. Very concerned with middle-class values, such as respectability and material well being, with an inclination toward mediocrity.
Was it really imperative to wear a suit to this event, Shree wondered, or was it just one more bourgeois demand for which he had no patience?

2. Reflecting mediocrity.
Morgan considered her neighbor’s taste in home decorating to be bourgeois.


(n) A strongly held belief; a guide to one’s action.
The credo of the Three Musketeers was “All for one, and one for all.”


(adj) Based on experience or observation as opposed to theory; capable of being confirmed by observation.
Modern science began with insistence upon empirical data as opposed to unsubstantiated ideas of philosophers of the ancient world.


(v) To stay away from; to shun, especially on practical or moral grounds.
Not a strict vegetarian, Rebekah eschews meat, although she will eat a few kinds of fish.


(Usually used with on or upon.) (v) To speak or write about in great detail; to elaborate.
The senator expatiated upon the need to preserve our dwindling wetlands.


(n) One who attacks established beliefs, customs, or institutions.
Iconoclast Betty Friedan rejected the notion that “biology is destiny” in her 1963 revolutionary work The Feminine Mystique.

iconoclastic (adj)


(n) An extreme level of poverty.
Many families reduced to indigence by the Great Depression of the 1930s traveled to California looking for work.

indigent (adj) Without means of support.

(n) A person who is indigent.


(adj) Praiseworthy.
The parents’ efforts to save the publicly funded nursery school from being closed were laudable but marked by conflicts from the start.


(n) A clear command or instruction.
The “Brexit” vote of 2016 gave a clear mandate for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

(v) To require or order.
The Constitution mandates the right of an accused to a fair trial.


(adj) Only seemingly so; apparent.
His ostensible reason for stopping at the café was to socialize, but he was really trailing someone in his role as a private detective.

ostensibly (adv)


(adj) Unwilling to accept another’s authority; stubbornly defiant.
In spite of Denzel’s efforts to bring the recalcitrant horse into the trailer, it continued to pull back as soon as they reached the ramp.

recalcitrance (n)


(v) 1. To expel (partially digested food) from the stomach.
Some birds feed their young by regurgitating food into their offspring’s beaks.

2. To repeat mindlessly what one has learned.
Students need to develop critical-thinking skills rather than merely regurgitate what they hear in a lecture.


(adj) Provoking or causing laughter.
The actor declaimed King Lear’s speeches in so pompous a manner that the effect was risible rather than moving.


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