6 • Lesson 5 Word List


(n) (usually plural) A playful or funny act.
The antics of the clown made the crowd roar with laughter.


(n) Clothes, especially fine and expensive clothes.
One often needs special attire to be in a wedding party.

(v) To dress up or be dressed up.
The designer attired the models in shirts and trousers for the fashion show.


(v) To please greatly; to win over by special charm.
The cast’s superb acting captivated the audience.


(adj) Quick and sure; skillful at handling.
A deft juggler can keep five or more objects in the air at one time.


(adj) Working with great care and effort.
Diligent students succeed in reaching their goals.


(n) The total or partial hiding of one heavenly body by another.
An eclipse of the sun occurs when the moon passes directly in front of it.

(v) To do or be better than; to outshine.
Her latest novel eclipses all her previous work.


(v) To develop and change gradually over time.
Scientists think that modern birds may have evolved from dinosaurs.

evolution (n) The changes that take place as something evolves.
The evolution of aircraft from the Wright brothers’ flimsy plane to the modern jet airplane occurred over an incredibly short time.


(adj) Having from birth; occurring naturally rather than being learned.
The singer’s innate musical ability showed itself at a very early age.


(v) To write, print, or etch into as a permanent record.
Most of the gravestones were simply inscribed with the person’s name, date of birth, and date of death.

inscription (n) The act of inscribing or what is inscribed.
Coins of the United States bear the inscription E Pluribus Unum, a Latin phrase that means “Out of many, one.”


(n) The way one holds one’s body; a pose or position.
You can improve your posture by throwing your shoulders back.

(v) To assume a particular position, especially a pretended one.
They postured as my friends while secretly talking behind my back.


(n) 1. Something that covers or hides from view.
A shroud of mystery surrounds the couple’s disappearance.

2. Cloth used to wrap a dead body before burial.
It used to be the custom to make a shroud from a long linen sheet dipped in melted wax.

(v) To block from sight.
Dense fog on the river shrouded the tugboats.


(v) 1. To cut off the air from; to smother.
Thick smoke stifled those who sat around the campfire.

2. To hold back; to check.
The spectators tried to stifle their yawns during the lengthy ceremony.


(adj) Not fully worked out or final; hesitating or uncertain.
The deadline is tentative and may be extended.


(adj) Calm; peaceful.
The sea was tranquil with no hint of the approaching storm.

tranquility (n) The state of being tranquil.
Many authors prefer writing during the tranquility of early morning before anyone else is up.


(adj) Able to do many different things or to be used in many different ways.
She is a versatile musician who can play eight instruments.

versatility (n) The state or condition of being versatile.
The tomato’s versatility and distinct flavor make it a favorite of many cooks.

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