7 • Lesson 13 Word List

arduous

(adj) Requiring much effort; very difficult.
Frequent sandstorms made the arduous trek across the Sahara Desert even more difficult.

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canny

(adj) Shrewd and careful; watchful of one’s own interests.
A canny student knows what to study for a test.

climax

(n) The highest point; the greatest moment or event.
Roberto Clemente’s winning home run in the World Series was a terrific climax to the season.

endorse

(v) 1. To sign the back of a check before cashing or depositing it.
The bank teller wouldn’t cash my dad’s check until he had endorsed it.

2. To approve of; to support.
Newspapers often endorse candidates for public office.

3. To be favorably associated with a product in return for payment.
Some well-known athletes are paid millions of dollars to endorse products on television.

exuberant

(adj) Happy and excited; bubbling over with enthusiasm.
Our friends gave us an exuberant welcome when we arrived.

exuberance (n) The quality of being exuberant.
The steady rain could not dampen the exuberance of fans gathered for the rock festival.

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intrepid

(adj) Feeling or showing no fear; brave; courageous.
The intrepid astronauts brought their crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft safely back to Earth.

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kindle

(v) 1. To start burning.
A spark from the woodstove kindled some oily rags and started the fire.

2. To cause to become excited or stirred up.
The museum’s exhibition of Navajo pottery kindled my interest in Native American culture.

kindling (n) Sticks used to start a fire.
There were plenty of dry twigs to provide kindling for the campfire.

lucrative

(adj) Producing wealth or profit.
Our project team believes that a dog-walking service could be a lucrative business.

mentor

(n) A wise and loyal friend and adviser.
As president of the college she founded, Mary McLeod Bethune was a mentor to many young African American women.

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obsession

(n) An interest, idea, or feeling that fills one’s mind and leaves little room for anything else.
Finishing her second novel has become an obsession and leaves her little time for other activities.

personable

(adj) Pleasing in manner and appearance.
The restaurant’s personable staff made our meal a pleasant one.

proficient*

(adj) Able to do something very well; skillful.
All the mechanics in this garage are proficient in car repairing.

proficiency (n) The quality of being proficient.
My cousin’s proficiency in Japanese enabled her to make many friends in Tokyo.

scanty

(adj) Not enough or just barely enough; small in size or amount.
After a scanty meal of bread and an apple, we continued our journey.

strait

(n) A narrow body of water connecting two larger ones.
The Strait of Gibraltar connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

straits (n) Trouble or need.
When both parents lost their jobs, the family was in desperate straits.

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zest

(n) Great enjoyment; excitement.
Learning to cook meals from many cultures has added zest to our dinners.

zestful (adj) Full of zest.
During the second week of my new exercise program, I awoke each day feeling zestful and ready for a five-mile run.

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