7 • Lesson 10 Word List


(adj) 1. Growing or living in or on water.
Water lilies are aquatic plants.

2. Done in or upon water.
Swimming is an aquatic sport.


(v) To say firmly; to declare.
Charlie asserted that the money entrusted to him was in a safe place.

assertion (n) A firm statement or declaration.
No one challenged her assertion that Tuckerman’s Ravine was too dangerous to hike.

assertive (adj) Self-assured; bold and confident.
Because of his assertive manner, he was able to obtain an interview for the summer job.


(v) 1. To turn away.
I averted my eyes from the scary scenes in the movie.

2. To keep from happening.
The driver averted an accident by hitting the brake.


(adj) 1. Without much hope.
The family’s future looked bleak when both parents lost their jobs.

2. Cold and dreary; exposed to cold winds and bad weather.
Penguins seem to flourish in Antarctica’s bleak climate.


(adj) 1. Cheerful; carefree.
The children’s blithe mood is contagious.

2. Not showing proper care; heedless.
The driver showed a blithe indifference for the safety of others on the highway.

blithely (adv) In a carefree manner.
I knew she was happy when she walked blithely out the door.


(adj) Well behaved; easy to handle.
Because it was my first attempt at riding, I was given the most docile horse in the stable.


(v) To continue becoming less; to grow smaller in number or amount.
My hopes of winning the arm-wrestling match dwindled when I saw the size of my opponent’s muscles.


(adj) Causing, or capable of causing, death.
A rattlesnake’s bite can be lethal.


(v) To watch closely and frequently; to observe and make note.
Some cities monitor the amount of pollution in the air.

(n) A video screen used to display information.
The librarian checked the monitor to see if the book was checked out.


(v) To hurt or damage by cutting into, cutting off, or cutting out.
Bakari had to mutilate the old book to use it as a base for his diorama.


(adj) 1. Able to move quickly and easily.
Trinity’s nimble fingers plucked the harp strings with amazing speed.

2. Showing quickness of thinking; clever.
It takes a nimble mind to solve such a difficult problem.


(n) A difficult or dangerous condition or situation.
The plight of homeless people was the principal subject of tonight’s evening news.


(adj) Heavy and slow moving.
The elephant made its way with ponderous steps through the water.


(n) An edge, border, or brink.
After being on the verge of extinction, the bald eagle made a remarkable comeback in the 1980s.

(v) To come close to the edge or border of.
The story is not merely silly; it verges on the ridiculous.


(adj) Watchful; ready for danger.
Health authorities remain vigilant for any signs of the epidemic’s return.


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