7 • Lesson 15 Word List

complement*

(n) 1. Something that completes or makes perfect.
Candles will be the perfect complement for an elegant dinner.

2. The number or amount that makes up a whole.
The shelf has a full complement of books.

(v) To bring to completion or perfection.
These traditional Mexican folk songs will complement my collection of music from around the world.

component*

(n) Any of the more important parts of a whole.
The circuit board is the main component of a cell phone.

(adj) Contributing to form a whole.
Hydrogen and oxygen are component parts of a water molecule.

compete
conjure

(v) 1. To call forth by magic, or as if by magic.
My interesting cousin claims that he can conjure spirits.

2. Used with "up." To bring to mind; to recall or evoke.
The aroma of baking bread conjures up memories of my childhood.

compete
emphasize*

(v) To give special attention to; to stress.
The teacher emphasized that homework must be turned in on time.

emphasis (n) Special attention directed at something to give it importance.
The course puts a special emphasis on the causes of the Civil War.

emphatic (adj) Said or done with force.
Because of my sister’s allergies, my parents were emphatic that we would never have a dog.

homage

(n) Honor or respect shown publicly.
On Veterans Day, we pay homage to those who served their country.

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impromptu

(adj) Unplanned.
She gave a charming impromptu speech when called upon by the host.

(adv) Without preparation.
This speech course teaches students to speak impromptu.

lush

(adj) Marked by richness of growth, especially of vegetation.
Arid volcanic terrain contrasts sharply with lush mountains on the island’s opposite side.

compete
medley

(n) 1. A mixture of often unrelated things.
On the yard sale’s bargain table was a medley of objects priced at under a dollar.

2. A selection of music from various sources, played as one piece.
The concert ended with a medley of patriotic tunes.

oblige

(v) 1. To require someone to do something for legal, social, or moral reasons.
Joining the book club obliges you to buy four selections over the year.

2. To earn the gratitude of.
You will oblige me by saying no more about this matter.

3. To do a favor for.
We begged the singer to oblige us with one final song.

pretentious

(adj) Drawing undeserved or inappropriate attention to oneself; showy.
Was it pretentious of John Hancock to sign his name so conspicuously to the Declaration of Independence?

prowess

(n) Great skill or ability.
The political prowess of President Franklin D. Roosevelt made him an outstanding world leader.

rustic

(adj) 1. Of or relating to country life or people.
The pictures of grazing cows gave a certain rustic charm to the room.

2. Lacking elegance or polish.
A rustic cabin of rough-hewn logs was our home for the summer.

(n) A country person, especially one thought of as simple or crude.
Shakespeare’s rustics provide much of the humor in his comedies.

subtle

(adj) 1. So slight as to be not easily seen or understood.
Jeff’s subtle hints that he wanted a skateboard for his birthday went unnoticed by his parents.

2. Able to understand fine shades of meaning.
Carolina’s subtle mind immediately saw a way to make the plan work.

subtlety (n) Something so slight that only a clever or well-educated person can see it; the quality of being subtle.
The professor pointed out the subtlety of the poet’s message in her later works.

vocation

(n) A person’s employment; occupation.
Carpentry started out as a hobby but soon became my grandmother’s vocation.

vocational (adj) Having to do with a person’s career.
I plan to study physical therapy at the county vocational school.

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warble

(v) To sing in a melodious manner.
Somewhere in the gathering darkness, a nightingale began to warble.

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