12 • Lesson 5 Word List

archaic

(adj) Related or belonging to an earlier time.
The wearing of wigs by British courtroom lawyers seems archaic to Americans.

compete
carouse

(v) To take part in wild, noisy merrymaking.
Some visitors to New Orleans during Mardi Gras carouse until the early hours of the morning.

chicanery

(n) Clever deception through the use of misleading or confusing words or acts.
Suspect some kind of chicanery if the offer seems too good to be true.

contentious

(adj) Causing or marked by argument or conflict.
Politics is a contentious subject in our house because my stepfather is a Democrat and my mother is a Republican.

compete
dissemble

(v) To conceal with an intent to deceive.
When a witness clearly begins to dissemble, the jury can draw the appropriate conclusion.

egregious

(adj) Conspicuously bad; flagrant.
Although I believe that dissent is a right, I find egregious interruptions of a speaker unacceptable.

execrate

(v) To utterly abhor; to denounce as detestable.
History can provide examples of countries once execrated as enemies who are later accepted as allies.

execration (n)

fealty

(n) Faithfulness; allegiance.
The knights of the Round Table pledged fealty to King Arthur.

compete
microcosm

(n) A small system that operates or develops like a larger system; a miniature world.
College life is hardly a microcosm of the larger world.

compete
paroxysm

(n) A sudden, violent, and uncontrollable action or occurrence.
Although subject to frequent paroxysms of coughing, Laura obdurately refused to stay home from work.

pecuniary

(adj) Having to do with money.
The interests of the founders of the food co-op are more idealistic than pecuniary.

compete
rectitude

(n) High moral character.
The umpire’s faulty judgment is not a reflection of his usual rectitude.

stratagem*

(n) A clever scheme for gaining an end.
You can accomplish anything you want with the right stratagem.

stultify

(v) To render useless or ineffectual; to weaken.
Some policies in managed health-care systems stultify a physician’s ability to provide timely, needed treatment for patients.

vendetta

(n) A blood feud; a prolonged and bitter feud.
It took the deaths of Juliet and Romeo to end the vendetta between the Montagues and the Capulets.

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