7 • Lesson 2 Word List

astute

(adj) Wise in a clever or practical way.
An astute shopper compares prices carefully before making a purchase.

authentic*

(adj) Genuine; true.
An authority on old maps declared that the sixteenth-century chart of the Florida Keys is authentic.

authenticity (n) The condition of being genuine.
Lawyers questioned the authenticity of the signature on the agreement.

authenticate (v) To prove that something is genuine.
Only an art expert can authenticate the painting as one by Rubens.

delicacy

(n) 1. A choice item of food.
Smoked salmon is a delicacy.

2. Great consideration for the feelings of others.
Discussing her mistake will embarrass her unless you handle the matter with delicacy.

compete
derogatory

(adj) Expressing a low opinion; intended to hurt the reputation of a person or thing.
His habit of making derogatory comments about other students made him unpopular.

devour

(v) 1. To eat up hungrily.
We were so hungry after school, we devoured all the fruit in the refrigerator.

2. To take in eagerly with the eyes or ears.
We devoured the graphic novels the librarian gave us.

compete
figment

(n) Something that is made up in the mind but that has no connection with reality.
The monster in the closet is a figment of the child’s imagination.

mythical

(adj) Imaginary; not real.
Unicorns are mythical creatures.

plumage

(n) A bird’s feathers.
Parrots have brightly colored plumage.

predatory

(adj) 1. Living by killing and eating other animals.
Crocodiles are predatory reptiles.

2. Living by using, controlling, or hurting others.
Predatory bands of pirates once sailed the Mediterranean seeking victims.

predator (n) 1. A creature that lives by killing.
A sea eagle is a predator that dives for fish.

2. A person who looks for others to use, control, or hurt them in some way.
The Vikings were predators who terrified coastal towns.

compete
prior*

(adj) 1. Coming earlier in time.
I was unable to see you this morning because I had a prior appointment.

2. Coming before in order or importance.
The court ruled that the Native Americans had a prior claim to the land.

scavenge

(v) To search through or pick over, looking for something usable.
People with metal detectors scavenge the beach looking for coins.

scavenger (n) 1. Someone who scavenges.
After the fire, scavengers looked through the debris, hoping to find something of value.

2. An animal that feeds on dead or decaying matter.
Vultures, hyenas, and other scavengers are an important part of nature’s clean-up crew.

compete
slaughter

(v) 1. To kill in order to obtain meat.
The hogs are rounded up before they are slaughtered.

2. To kill people or animals in large numbers or in a cruel way.
For centuries, whales have been slaughtered for their oil and other valuable products.

(n) 1. The killing of an animal for food.
The slaughter of beef cattle should be carried out as swiftly and painlessly as possible.

2. The act of killing on a large scale or in a cruel way.
Those who drink and drive contribute to the slaughter on the nation’s highways.

solitude

(n) The condition of being alone or at some distance from people.
We enjoyed the solitude of a walk on the deserted beach.

ungainly

(adj) Moving in a clumsy or awkward way.
Walruses, graceful in the water, are ungainly creatures on land.

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vulnerable

(adj) Open to attack; easily injured physically or emotionally.
Elderly people are more vulnerable to disease than younger people.

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