9 • Lesson 2 Word List

alacrity

(n) 1. Promptness in responding.
The seller of the classic car accepted my dad’s first offer with such alacrity that he wished he had offered less.

2. Eagerness.
At the beginning of recess, the children ran to the playground with alacrity.

array

(n) 1. A large group of people or things.
The ship’s cabin contained an array of charts and maps.

2. An orderly arrangement or display.
The array of delectable sweets on the dessert tray tempted the diners.

(v) 1. To place in order.
The marching band was arrayed at the entrance to the stadium for the Thanksgiving game.

2. To dress up.
The guests had arrayed themselves in elaborate attire for the elegant ball.

compete
deduce*

(v) To draw a conclusion from given facts.
That you’re carrying an umbrella leads me to deduce that you expect it to rain.

encumber

(v) 1. To weigh down or burden.
I stumbled through the door, encumbered by my two heavy suitcases.

2. To impede the action of.
Ice floes—large sheets of floating ice—encumbered the ships of early explorers in Antarctica.

encumbrance (n)
Credit-card debt was an encumbrance to the young couple as they struggled to save money for their first house.

compete
fraught

(adj) Full of or accompanied by (usually followed by with).
We abandoned our idea of traveling up the Amazon River when we learned that such a trip would be fraught with danger.

haphazard

(adj) Marked by lack of plan, order, or direction.
He described in humorous detail his haphazard travels around Europe.

incontrovertible

(adj) Impossible to dispute; unquestionable.
His statement that carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing is incontrovertible.

inexplicable

(adj) Hard to explain or impossible to understand.
The disappearance of many ships and planes within the Atlantic Ocean’s Bermuda Triangle is inexplicable to me.

ingenious

(adj) Marked by imagination, resourcefulness, or cleverness.
Disposing of garbage by converting it into energy is an ingenious idea.

ingenuity (n)
When she brought in her science project, the child’s ingenuity was immediately apparent to her teachers.

laggard

(n) One who falls behind others because of moving slowly or loitering; a straggler.
The laggards crossed the finish line long after the winner had broken the tape.

(adj)
We have been laggard in getting the roof repaired.

sustenance

(n) Something that provides nourishment; food needed to live.
Roots and berries provided sustenance for the sailors when the storm forced them to abandon ship and take refuge on the island.

compete
torrid

(adj) 1. Intensely hot and dry.
It was impossible to walk barefoot on the torrid desert sand.

2. Burning with passion.
The old letter was filled with torrid declarations of undying love.

traverse

(v) To pass over, across, or through.
Route 66, which traverses the United States from Chicago to Los Angeles, is sometimes called “The Mother Road” because in 1932 it opened the West to the automobile.

compete
ubiquitous

(adj) Appearing to be present in large numbers or in many different places.
Tourists with cameras are ubiquitous in Europe every summer.

zenith

(n) 1. The highest point; the peak.
Winning the Nobel prize for literature is, for some writers, the zenith of their career.

2. The point in the sky directly above the observer.
Through the telescope, we spotted a comet that appeared to be midway between the horizon and the zenith.

compete

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