8 • Lesson 10 Word List

abject

(adj) 1. Most miserable; wretched.
The stray dog lived in abject conditions until the neighbor children began to care for her.

advocate*

(v) To plead in favor of; to defend.
This organization advocates the release of all people imprisoned for their beliefs.

(n) One who argues for or defends a person, group, or idea.
The senator has been a lifelong advocate for preschool education for all children.

atrocity

(n) An act of great cruelty and wickedness.
It is important to talk about and try to prevent the atrocities we see every day on the news.

atrocious (adj) 1. Very brutal, wicked, or cruel.
The principal says that bullying is atrocious and that the school staff is committed to eliminating it.

2. Appallingly bad; outrageous.
The owners of the kennel were prosecuted after reporters revealed that the animals lived under atrocious conditions.

commemorate

(v) To serve as a memorial to; to remember in a solemn manner.
The tablet on the front of the house commemorates its importance as a station on the Underground Railroad.

compete
dialect

(n) A form of a language spoken in a certain geographical region that has its own grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary.
A Spanish-speaking person from Madrid might not completely understand a dialect spoken in Cuba.

dire

(adj) Having terrible consequences; urgent or desperate.
The murder of an Austrian crown prince in 1914 had extremely dire consequences.

elite

(n) A group that enjoys superior status to others.
People in the social elite of New York City use private cars so they do not have to ride the subways.

(adj) Considered superior to others.
The eight Ivy League institutions are considered elite compared to other universities, though the quality of instruction is often the same.

enhance*

(v) To make greater or better.
The large window in our new kitchen enhances the room’s light, airy feeling.

compete
flagrant

(adj) Clearly offensive or bad; conspicuously acting against what is right.
Leaving school grounds early is a flagrant violation of school rules.

languish

(v) To lose hope, strength, or vitality because of neglect or bad conditions.
We languished on the porch as the rain soaked the picnic blanket and all the food we had laid out.

compete
mute

(v) To soften or tone down the sound of.
The state legislature has agreed to build walls at the airport to mute the roar of the jet engines for nearby residents.

(adj) Not speaking or not able to speak; silent.
The little boy remained mute when his new preschool teacher asked his name.

compete
raze

(v) To level to the ground; to destroy completely.
Just as the row of seventeenth-century buildings was about to be razed, the preservation society requested a delay.

reprisal

(n) A retaliation for an injury.
We decided there would be no reprisals for the high school students who painted graffiti on the walls.

turmoil

(n) A state of confusion or agitation; tumult.
With flood waters rising and an order to evacuate our home in an hour, my family was in a turmoil, trying to decide what to do first.

wreak

(v) 1. To bring about or inflict.
The tornado wreaked destruction along the path it followed through the center of town.

2. To express or vent.
Sahil wreaked his anger by pounding on the hood of the car.

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