8 • Lesson 9 Word List

abet

(v) To encourage or assist in some activity, especially a questionable one.
Randy abetted his friend in stealing pumpkins by helping him lug them home.

agile

(adj) 1. Able to move quickly and easily; nimble.
Alexandra’s agile steps followed Wilfredo’s as the band played a tango.

2. Able to think quickly.
In the final round of the chess tournament, Gary’s agile mind enabled him to think five moves ahead.

agility (n) Quickness of mind or body.
Our karate instructor carefully developed our agility through repeated practice of the basic movements.

allot

(v) To assign or distribute as a portion or share.
Ms. Kaplan usually allotted fifteen minutes at the beginning of each French class for conversation practice.

balmy

(adj) Soothing, mild.
Instead of the balmy spring weather we were expecting, the skies turned gray, and a light snow fell.

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congregate

(v) To come together in a group; to assemble.
The principal instructed us to congregate in the parking lot while the firefighters checked the building.

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divert

(v) 1. To turn aside.
By sandbagging the shore, we can divert some of the floodwaters.

2. To entertain or amuse.
A juggler diverted the audience during the intermission.

diversion (n) 1. The act of turning from a course or concern.
Seeing a beautiful rainbow was a diversion from the long, boring drive.

2. Something that amuses or entertains.
Collecting shells of so many colors and sizes was a diversion our whole family enjoyed on our visit to the beach.

humdrum

(adj) Lacking excitement; boring or monotonous.
Bagging groceries is a humdrum job, but the flexible hours allow me to finish all my homework.

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influx

(n) A flowing or pouring in; arrival in massive numbers.
Local restaurant owners are hiring extra help because of the expected influx of visitors during the holidays.

intricate

(adj) Complicated; having many related details or parts.
Chen builds intricate sculptures using metal pieces she finds at junkyards.

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memento

(n) Something kept as a reminder of a past event; a souvenir.
Madelaine kept the sand dollar as a memento of her day at the New Jersey shore.

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query*

(n) A question.
Raise your hand if you have a query to ask the teacher.

(v) To ask or ask about.
Mustafa queried his great-aunt about what life was like when she was young.

sporadic

(adj) Happening occasionally; not regularly.
Last summer, between sporadic acting jobs, we worked as lifeguards.

staple

(n) 1. A basic food that is used frequently and in large amounts.
Rice and beans are staples in many households.

2. A U-shaped fastener with sharp ends.
Remove the staples before you put those papers through the copy machine.

(v) To attach with staples.
After the students finished writing their reports, they stapled the pages together.

(adj) Most important, principal.
Wheat and corn are staple crops of Canada.

tumult

(n) Noisy excitement; an uproar or disturbance.
Entering the house through the chimney, the squirrel caused a tumult until my sister finally caught it and released it in the backyard.

tumultuous (adj) Marked by uproar or excitement, turbulent.
A tumultuous crowd waited at the airport to greet the triumphant Mexican soccer team.

unseemly

(adj) Not suitable; inappropriate or improper.
The two fathers had an unseemly argument at the monthly PTA meeting.

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