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February 6, 2013
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Spelling Bee 2013, Word List 1 to 10

The News-Review will sponsor a Douglas County Spelling Bee on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at Wildlife Safari in Winston.

Words will appear each Monday on the Schools Page. The word lists can also be accessed at our website, by entering ‘Spelling Bee’ into the search field or by entering directly into your web browser. The last word list will be published Feb. 11.

The County Spelling Bee Champion will go home with a trophy and a new computer system. Trophies and other prizes will also be awarded to the First, Second and Third place winners.

All public school, private school, and home-school students in the fifth through eighth grades are invited to participate. Students wishing to enter elimination rounds in their district must sign up with their school’s spelling bee coordinator.


gigantic. Greater in size than the usual or expected. “The American flag flying over the service station is so gigantic that it can be seen from a mile away.”

dismal . Marked by gloom, dejection, somberness, or depression of spirits. “The children who forgot their gloves spent a dismal recess looking out the window at the snow.”

hulking . Of great size or powerful build. “One look at the hulking guard would cause anyone to think twice about making him angry.”

bantam . Small: easily handled. “Accustomed to bantam automobiles in Europe, Jacqui regarded American cars as too large and unwieldy.”

dingo . A wild dog of Australia. “Many Australian farmers erect high fences to protect their sheep against the dingo.”

blather . Voluble, foolish, or nonsensical talk. “Matt’s announcement consisted of 10 percent information and 90 percent blather.”

hearsay . Something heard from another: report, rumor. “Jody’s elaborate account of the argument was based purely on hearsay.”

invisible . Of such small size as to be hardly noticeable. “Isaiah felt invisible sitting in the back of the lecture hall.”

acre . Any of various units of land area. “Miriam had to cross a 10-acre field to get to her favorite swimming hole.”

distressing . Subjecting to great strain or difficulties. “Ulrich had a distressing day at the office.”

dimension . A measurable aspect such as length or width. “Height is one dimension of a cube.”

humane . Marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for other human beings or animals. “Sharon received an award for her humane treatment of stray pets.”

dinosauric . Huge. “Angela was astounded by the dinosauric size of the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial.”

dawdler . One who wastes time in idle lingering. “Lauren was such a dawdler that she often missed the school bus.”

peninsula . A portion of land nearly surrounded by water and connected with a larger body by an isthmus. “Florida is actually a very large peninsula.”

mastodon . Someone or something of gigantic size or unusually large size: giant. “Mrs. Campbell’s automobile collection ranges from a tiny two-seater to an antique mastodon.”

disagreeable . Causing discomfort, displeasure, or repugnance. “Mary was so disagreeable that after the first day or two nobody would play with her.”

durable . Able to exist for along time: lasting. “Jimmy brought along a pair of durable hiking boots for his trek through the mountainous terrain.”

mammoth . Gigantic. “Clarence specialized in growing mammoth vegetables and held several records for his specimens.”

hurling . Impelling with great vigor. “For lack of something better to do, Simon spent the afternoon hurling stones into the creek.”

quest . An act or instance of searching expedition, pursuit, venture. “In ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,’ the horseman rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head.”

muse . Become absorbed in thought. “When he was a boy, Howard used to sit on the porch and muse on what he would do with his life.”

liberalism . A political philosophy based on the belief in freedom for the individual and on the belief of governmental guarantees of human rights and civil liberties. “Alex believes that persons attracted to liberalism are often more compassionate than practical.”

resolute . Having or characterized by a decided purpose: determined. “Jody remained resolute in his decision to resign from the committee.”

stationary . Fixed in a place, position, course, or mode. “The clerk calmly remained in a stationary position.”

thermometer . An instrument for determining temperature. “The thermometer that takes a temperature reading from one’s ear is now used widely.”

magnitude . Greatness of size or extent: vastness. “The magnitude of the shift from previous policies left all members of the organization unsure of their roles.”

tenement . A single room or set of rooms for use by one tenant or family: apartment, flat. “Polly grew up in a tenement on the west side of the city.”

disappearance . Removal from sight: vanishing. “With the disappearance of the snow, the sleds and skates were replaced with bicycles.”

skimpiness . The quality or state of being deficient in supply or execution. “The skimpiness of Eunice’s budget did not allow for many luxuries.”


poised. Marked by easy composure of manner or bearing. “The poised skater performed her routine with great precision and self-assurance.”

furiously. In an impassioned manner: angrily. “The soldiers furiously pursued the raiders but could not catch them.”

badgers. Any of certain strong sturdily-built carnivorous mammals. “Ivar always said that the badgers had cleaner houses than people, and that when he hired a housekeeper her name would be Mrs. Badger.”

solarium. A glass-enclosed porch or living room. “Lacey moved her sunlight-starved fern from her bedroom to the solarium.”

cavalcade. A procession of riders or carriages. “The king headed up the cavalcade proceeding toward the Duke of Parma.”

horizontal. Placed or operating in a plane parallel to the horizon. “Lori wore a sweater with red and blue horizontal stripes.”

despair. Utter loss of hope. “Despair overcame Gerald as he stared at his French exam.”

dromedary. A camel of unusual speed, bred and trained especially for riding, and having a single large hump on the back. “Camel rides at the zoo featured a dromedary.”

exploit. Deed, act. “Sarah’s first exploit in baking resulted in a burned pie and charred juice in the oven.”

tattletale. One that blabs or tells secrets. “Erica’s official title is ‘social reporter,’ but Will considers her a plain old tattletale.”

candlelight. The light of a candle. “C. J. sat by candlelight in his study and thought about the last eight years of his life.”

molecule. A tiny bit: fragment, fraction. “Every tone is a molecule of music.”

ponderous. Unwieldy or clumsy because of weight and size. “Roy could barely lift the ponderous ancient weapon.”

titanic. Colossal, gigantic. “World War II brought political change on a titanic scale to Europe.”

appalling. Inspiring dismay: shocking. “There was something about the night that was mysterious and appalling.”

askance. With a side look: sideways, obliquely. “Juan’s cat has a habit of looking askance at a toy for a long while before pouncing on it.”

cumbersome. Of an excessive size, shape, or length: unwieldy. “Emrick dragged his cumbersome duffel bag by its strap.”

simile. A figure of speech comparing two essentially unlike things and often introduced by “like” or “as.” “Kermit has a pet chicken and knows firsthand what the simile ‘as scarce as hens’ teeth’ means.”

delicacy. Something pleasing to eat that is accounted rare or luxurious. “Caviar is considered a delicacy.”

obvious. Readily and easily perceived by the sensibilities or mind. “’We’re moving!’ he shouted, which was a fact that had already become obvious to everyone.”

bevy. An usually large group or collection. “A bevy of reporters crowded around the gold medal winner.”

pathetic. Evoking tenderness, pity, sympathy, or sorrow: affecting, pitiable. “Riding on the back of anyone who’d carry him was the Threadbare Excuse, a small pathetic figure whose clothes were worn and tattered and who mumbled the same things again and again.”

feud. A relationship of aggressive hostility: quarrel. “A feud over the property boundaries developed between the two families.”

hoarseness. The quality or state of having a rough-sounding voice. “Paul’s remedy for hoarseness is hot water with lemon.”

contraband. Goods or merchandise of which the importation, exportation, or sometimes possession is forbidden. “On the teacher’s desk sat the contraband taken from students during the day.”

flaunting. Seeking to attract attention especially by appearing or acting brash and brazen. “During the party Terry seemed to be flaunting his ability to play piano.”

possessed. Influenced or controlled by something (as an evil spirit or a passion). “During the race the winning horse ran as if he were possessed by a demon.”

demure. Marked by quiet modesty, sedate reserve, restraint, or sobriety: retiring, shy. “Sondra’s classmates mistook her demure conduct for standoffishness.”

rebuttal. The act of contradicting. “Dennis’s convincing rebuttal sent Oscar home in a huff.”

amendment. The process of changing or modifying in any way for the better (as a motion, bill, act, or constitution). “A well-drafted constitution will provide for its own amendment.”


fiends. Infernal beings: demons. “After a pleasant chat with the princesses, all that remains is a leisurely ride back through those chaotic crags whose frightening fiends have sworn to tear any intruder limb from limb and devour him down to his belt buckle.”

potentate. One who possesses great power or sway: ruler. “Barry acts more like a potentate than a leader in his role as class president.”

praline. A round patty of creamy brown sugar containing pecan meats. “The praline is a favorite candy of the southern United States.”

puritanical. Morally rigorous, strict. “Mrs. Langley is a puritanical woman who tolerates no nonsense from her students.”

sorbet. A frozen dessert made with a mixture of fruits. “Wylie ate sorbet between courses to cleanse his palate.”

bewitched. Cast a spell over. “Some say a sorceress bewitched the valley during the early days of settlement.”

excavator. A worker who digs out material or digs cavities (as in quarrying or for building construction). “The excavator gasped when the side of the pit gave way to reveal a dark chamber.”

affliction. A state of pain, distress, or grief. “John Addison wrote that some virtues are seen only in affliction.

unfavorable. Opposed, contrary. “Willa decided the time was unfavorable for her to tell her mother the news.”

intricate. Having many complexly interrelating parts or elements: complicated. “Jason described the intricate mechanism of the clock as ‘awesome.’”

tobacco. The leaves of a plant of the genus Nicotiana prepared and processed for use in smoking or chewing or as snuff. “At an early age, Amy vowed never to use tobacco.”

sibilant. Having, containing or producing the sound of or a sound resembling that of the “s” or the “sh in “sash.” “’She sells sea shells ...’ is a sibilant tongue twister.”

aerobatics. Spectacular flying feats and maneuvers (as rolls and dives). “Brian enjoyed the exhibition of aerobatics at the Labor Day festival.”

bulbous. Resembling or suggesting a bulb especially in roundness or in the gross enlargement of a part. “From off on the right, his heavy bulbous body lurching dangerously on the spindly legs which barely supported him, came the Overbearing know-it-all, talking continuously.”

perceived. Became aware of through the senses. “Through the mist, Steve perceived the shape of a house.”

baronial. Splendid, stately, spacious, ample. “The baronial fireplace had enough room to hold six-foot logs.”

prolonger. One who lengthens in time, extends in duration, or draws out. “Dr. Murphy kept his remarks short because he did not want to be the prolonger of the meeting.”

monolith. Something resembling a single great stone. “Sir Larry is considered a pillar of strength by his friends and a hulking obstinate monolith by his enemies.”

jauntily. In a light or carefree manner. “Steve’s hat was perched jauntily on the side of his head.”

assess. Determine the rate or amount of. “Joyce’s job with the insurance company was to assess damages.”

profuse. Overly plentiful: bountiful. “Buttons on the entertainer’s suit were so profuse that not another one could be placed anywhere.”

brandishing. Shaking or waving (a weapon) menacingly. “’That’s why I drove him off,’ cried the Humbug fiercely brandishing his cane.”

overwrought. Suffering from or revealing nervous strain: agitated. “(Tock’s) parents were so overwrought that they gave up having any more children and devoted their lives to doing good work among the poor and hungry.”

butterscotch. A hard candy made by boiling together brown sugar, corn syrup, and water. “Butterscotch has a deep golden color and a delicious rich taste.”

haunted. Inhabited by or as if by apparitions: frequented by ghosts. “The deserted Victorian house outside town is said to be haunted.”

polarize. Cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern. “Sunglasses that polarize light reflected off water help the wearer see into the water.”

spherical. Like a sphere: globular. “Linda suspected that the spherical rock she found was a geode.”

slovenly. Negligent of neatness and order, especially in dress or person. “He that is born under Capricorn shall incline to the slovenly.”

heather. A common evergreen low-growing shrubby plant. “The true heather of Scotland is also called ling or common heath.”

doughiness. The quality or state of being not thoroughly baked. “The doughiness of the cake mortified Mrs. Cavendish.”


manuscript. Not printed. “Rob bought an 18th-century manuscript map from the bookshop as a gift to his father.”

plumber. One who installs, repairs, and maintains piping, fittings, and fixtures that are involved in the distribution and use of water in a building. “The plumber replaced the lead pipes in the Davidsons’ house with copper ones.”

antelope. Any of various ruminant mammals of Africa and southwest Asia. “The bounding antelope managed to outdistance the pursuing lion.”

yeast. A substance used in baking and the fermentation of alcoholic beverages: leaven. “The sourdough bread recipe called for two packages of yeast.”

slavish. Requiring hard work: laborious. “’A slavish concern for the composition of words is the sign of a bankrupt intellect,’ roared the Humbug, waving his cane furiously.”

peerless. Matchless, incomparable. “Randy wondered how he could compete against the peerless defending champion.”

sediment. Material deposited (as by water, wind, or glaciers). “The layers of sediment were evident in the shades of color on the rocky hillside.”

caramelize. Change (sugar or the sugar content of a food) into caramel. “Kara is going to caramelize some sugar to make peanut brittle.”

audition. Give a trial performance. “Cornelius decided to audition for the part of Shylock.”

knapsack. A bag or case often of canvas supported on the back by a strap over each shoulder and used especially for carrying supplies while on a march or hike. “The next morning, Boris found a young snapping turtle in his knapsack.”

condescended. Stooped or bent to action or speech less formal or dignified than is customary in one’s social rank. “The rajah condescended to seat himself on a rug under the tree.”

platypus. A small egg-laying aquatic mammal of southern and eastern Australia and Tasmania having a fleshy bill resembling that of a duck, dense blackish brown fur, five-toed webbed feet, and a broad flattened tail. “Cindy has asked for a platypus for her birthday.”

sagely. In a wise or prudent manner. “Vera invested her savings sagely.”

traversed. Moved to and fro over or along. “Zane serenely traversed the frozen pond.”

occasionally. Now and then: here and there. “Years ago I was just an ordinary bee minding my own business, smelling flowers all day, and occasionally picking up part-time work in people’s bonnets.”

terrarium. A fully enclosed wholly or predominantly glass container for the indoor cultivation of moisture-loving plants. “Mosses and other small woodland plants thrive in a terrarium.”

acuate. Having a sharp point: shaped like a needle: sharpened. “Cobb’s beagle was distinctive because of its acuate tail.”

visualize. See a mental image of. “Arthur could still visualize the accident down to the smallest detail.”

grandiloquent. Marked by a lofty, extravagantly colorful, pompous, or bombastic style. “With a grandiloquent gesture, Mona left the ballroom.”

vorago. An engulfing chasm: abyss. “Before he knew it, Beck had crossed the bridge over the vorago.”

introspect. Look within (as one’s own mind). “Bokeem likes to sit on the edge of the pond in his aunt’s backyard and introspect.”

ascertained. Made sure of: discovered. “In the moonlight, the form of the heretofore unknown might now be ascertained.”

minstrels. Professional musical entertainers of a kind originating in medieval times. “Off to one side a group of minstrels sang songs to the delight of those either too young or too old to engage in trade.”

preface. The author’s introduction to a book usually explaining the object and scope of what follows : a foreword. “In her preface, the author explained how she got involved in the study of gorillas.”

sonnet. A fixed verse form of Italian origin consisting of 14 lines. “Thomas remembered memorizing in high school a sonnet about Triton and a wreathed horn.”

emphatically. In a markedly forceful manner. “At the school board meeting, Jonah spoke emphatically in favor of requiring students to wear uniforms.”

heretical. Of, relating to, or characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards: unorthodox. “A free society allows the expression of all opinions, however heretical they may seem.”

parable. A usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle. “Ella’s Sunday school teacher began every class with a parable.”

equilibrist. One who balances himself in unnatural positions and performs hazardous movements. “Of all the acts in the circus, Yancy liked the equilibrist best.”

axiom. A proposition, rule, or maxim that has found general acceptance or is thought worthy thereof. “’Early to bed, early to rise’ is Uncle Abdul’s favorite axiom.”


valiantly. In a brave or bold manner courageously. “Deidre tried valiantly to swim the English Channel.”

loitering. Frittering away time in the course of doing something or proceeding somewhere. “Amanda would have been ready to meet the bus if she hadn’t loitered in front of the TV.”

portentous. Of, relating to, or constituting something that foreshadows a coming event: ominous. “Oliver’s dream proved portentous.”

ricotta. A white unripened whey cheese of Italian origin that resembles cottage cheese. ??Angela’s favorite Italian recipe calls for ravioli stuffed with ricotta.”

parody. A writing in which the language and style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule often with certain peculiarities greatly heightened or exaggerated. “Jackie’s parody of Mickey Spillane won her first place in the essay contest.”

vulnerable. Capable of being wounded: defenseless against injury. “Maggie’s sensitive nature made her vulnerable to cross remarks.”

leopard. A large strong cat of southern Asia and Africa that is adept at climbing and is usually tawny or buff with black spots. “The so-called ‘black panther’ is actually a black-coated form of the leopard.”

azimuth. An arc of the horizon measured between a fixed point and the vertical circle passing through the center of an object. “Using a compass, the navigator took the magnetic azimuth of the star.”

julienne. Cut in long thin strips — used especially of vegetables and fruits. “Bruce added julienne cucumber to the salad.”

meagerness. The quality or state of being small, thin, or inadequate. “The meagerness of supporting evidence rendered the politician’s book and speeches unconvincing to Albert.”

ghastly. Giving rise to terror: frightening. “The gnarled trees appeared ghastly in the moonlight.”

suffice. Be enough: meet or satisfy a need. “One teaspoonful of salt will suffice for the stew.”

calabash. The common bottle gourd. “A calabash with a hole cut in it makes a dandy birdhouse.”

babblative. Given to excessive talking: garrulous. “The babblative waitress called everyone at our table ‘sweetheart.’”

aporia. A passage in speech or writing incorporating or presenting a difficulty or doubt. “The Bible verse ‘Then the steward said within himself, “What shall I do?”’ is an aporia.”

octahedron. A solid bounded by eight plane faces. “Tanya bought a music box in the form of an octahedron for her new grandson.”

fantasize. Create or develop imaginative and often fantastic views, ideas, or explanations. ??After Calvin was elected to the student council, all he ever did was fantasize about becoming president of the United States.”

epos. A body of poetry expressing the tradition of a people. “The ancient epos survived in later literature.”

sprawling. Lying or sitting with arms and legs stretched out carelessly or awkwardly. “The bucking of the horse sent the cowboy sprawling on the ground.”

pomander. A mixture of perfumed or aromatic substances usually made in a ball and enclosed in a perforated bag or box. “Mom’s clothes always smelled of the pomander she kept in her closet.”

inclusion. The act of taking in as a part of a larger group, class, or principle. “The inclusion of females in the traditionally male school’s freshman class caused an uproar.”

vixenish. Resembling a shrewish ill-tempered woman. “Elena could become vixenish when she felt slighted.”

elegiac. Consisting of two dactylic hexameter lines the second of which is often felt to be pentameter. “Gonda could not figure out how to scan the elegiac couplet.”

ductility. The quality or state of being capable of being drawn out into wire. “The ductility of platinum is such that it has been drawn into a wire less than two thousandths of an inch in diameter.”

vellication. The act of twitching or of causing to twitch. “While dissecting a frog in biology class, Sam noticed vellication of the legs.”

disconsolate. Hopelessly sad: being beyond comfort. “No words were sold, the marketplace closed down, and the people grew poor and disconsolate.”

shrewish. Resembling or having the characteristics of an ill-tempered, scolding woman. “Because Della is naturally ill-tempered, she had no difficulty acting the part of the shrewish neighbor.”

mosquito. Any of numerous two-winged flies that have a rather narrow abdomen and usually a long slender rigid proboscis with which they puncture the skin of animals to suck the blood. “I have everything here from the buzz of a mosquito a million years ago to what your mother said to you this morning.”

illumination. A giving of physical light or the state of being lighted. “Because of its many windows, Sarah’s office always has ample illumination.”

doffed. Lifted the hat. “When he reached the car, the figure doffed his cap.”


proprieties. The customs and manners of polite society, conventionally correct behavior. “Not one to bother with proprieties, Luke is considered by most people to be downright rude.”

exception. The act of excluding or omitting. “They’re usually open to the public only on Mondays from two to four, but since you’ve traveled so far, we’ll have to make an exception.”

gluttonously. In a manner marked by excess in eating and drinking especially when habitual. “After eating gluttonously, Jack took a short nap on the couch.”

spaghetti. A pasta made in solid strings of small diameter but larger than vermicelli. “The specialty of the restaurant was spaghetti with meat sauce.”

myth. A traditional story that is usually of unknown origin and that serves to explain some practice, belief, institution, or natural phenomenon. “The Greek myth about Persephone explains the coming of winter weather.”

marmot. A stout-bodied short-legged rodent that has coarse fur, a short bushy tail and very small ears, lives in burrows, and hibernates in winter. “When sensing danger, the marmot sits upright and gives an alarm whistle.”

topography. The art or practice of graphic delineation in detail usually on maps or charts, especially in a way to show their relative positions and elevations. “Identifying the enemy’s rocket sites will require an expert in topography.”

nutritiously. In a manner that promotes growth and development. “Judging from the kinds of foods that George likes, it is not going to be easy to get him to eat nutritiously.”

mischief. Action or conduct that annoys or irritates without causing or meaning to cause serious harm. “Hearing the puppy’s thumping and barking, Erica went to investigate the mischief he was creating.”

pendentive. Any supporting member at the corner of a square or polygonal plan for making the transition to a circular or octagonal plan. “The ingenious pendentive attracted the attention of the architectural historian.”

fiasco. A bulbous long-necked straw-covered bottle for wine. “On each table, a fiasco served as a candle holder.”

pachyderm. One of a group of thick-skinned mammals: an elephant or rhinoceros. “When the circus came to town, it usually featured at least one pachyderm.”

gaunt. Thin and angular. “On a high podium in front stood the conductor, a tall, gaunt man with dark deep-set eyes.”

envisage. Have a mental picture of in advance of realization. “Benjamin could scarcely envisage the scale of the project, so he broke it down into smaller, more manageable units.”

obdurate. Resistant to persuasion or softening influences, unyielding. “Fritz is maintaining an obdurate opposition to the new highway bypass.”

verbatim. Word for word; in the same words. “Marcelle can recite the entire Gettysburg Address verbatim.”

legitimately. According to law or rules. “Mabel legitimately owned the automobile, even though she couldn’t locate her title or registration.”

porcupine. Any of various relatively large rodents having stiff sharp erectile bristles mingled with the hair. “The yelping dog’s snout was covered with quills from a porcupine.”

noticeable. Likely to attract attention, conspicuous. “The only really noticeable things about him were his tiny mustache and his enormous ears, each of which was fully as large as his head.”

cumbrous. Giving trouble, vexatious. “A swarm of cumbrous gnats followed the hikers all day long.”

inapplicable. Not adapted, not suitable. “The name Brutus was inapplicable to the small dog.”

precipitated. Caused to move or act very rapidly. “The completion of the railroad precipitated the demise of waterborne transport.”

taciturnity. The quality or state of being disinclined or reluctant to talk or converse. “Gene and Leo’s taciturnity about the cause of the scuffle resulted in a trip to the principal’s office.”

pungent. Causing a sharp sensation: pricking, irritating, acrid. “The pungent odor of wet dog sent the guests out for fresh air.”

declivate. Inclining downward, sloping. “Mary Ann slid down the declivate roof of the playhouse.”

solfatara. A volcanic area or vent that yields sulfur gases and hot vapors and represents a late stage of volcanic activity. “Harry noticed a rotten-egg odor coming from a solfatara on the north side of the previously inactive volcano.”

diffraction. A modification which light undergoes in passing by the edges of opaque bodies or through narrow slits in which the rays appear to be deflected and produce fringes of parallel light and dark or colored bands. “One consequence of diffraction is that sharp shadows are not produced.”

stupendous. Of amazing size or greatness. “The construction of Khufu’s pyramid was a stupendous accomplishment for the ancient Egyptians.”

indisputable. That is beyond argument, unquestionable. “Geraldo considered the result of his experiment indisputable.”

olfactometry. The testing and measurement of the sensitivity of the sense of smell. “When Godfrey couldn’t smell any aromas from foods, his doctor recommended that he undergo olfactometry.”


distal. Located away from the center of the body. “The professor asked the students to identify the distal and proximal ends of several bones.”

rumormonger. One who spreads unconfirmed pieces of information. “If Alfonso doesn’t learn to hold his tongue, he’s going to earn a reputation as a rumormonger.”

oppressive. Overpowering or depressing to the spirit or senses. “The troops battled the oppressive heat by drinking large amounts of water.”

innovation. The introduction of something new. “The people of the small village were suspicious of all innovation.”

competency. The quality or state of being functionally adequate. “The prospective student questioned the competency of the professor.”

countenance. The expressive appearance of one’s face: look, expression. “The department store Santa’s countenance set Loretta at ease.”

tapir. Any of a genus of chiefly nocturnal hoofed mammals of tropical America and Myanmar to Sumatra that have the snout and upper lip prolonged into a short flexible proboscis. “The tapir is both a browser and a grazer, feeding on leaves, twigs, and fruits, as well as on grasses.”

savorous. Pleasurable to the taste, flavorful. “Mabel prepared a savorous Thanksgiving dinner for her family.”

stratose. Arranged in layers. “The stratose limestone was quite visible where the hillside had been cut during highway construction.”

billowy. Characterized by rolling or swelling surges. “The warm sun and billowy breezes dried them as they went.”

chivalrous. Marked by special courtesy and high-minded disinterested consideration to women. “Chivalrous behaviors of previous generations are less common in today’s atmosphere of equal rights for women.”

redoubtable. Inspiring awe or reverence: august, eminent. “Mount Rushmore is a fitting memorial to four redoubtable statesmen.”

ludicrous. Meriting derisive laughter or scorn, absurd. “The jury was instructed to disregard the ludicrous remarks made by the defendant.”

adamantine. Rigidly firm, unyielding. “Debra’s adamantine chain of logic bedazzled her philosophy professor.”

forensics. The art or study of argumentative discourse, debate. “Tara is captain of the forensics team at her high school.”

anticlimax. The usually sudden transition in writing from a significant idea to one trivial by comparison. “Dickens disliked the stupendous silliness of three stanzas with an anticlimax at the end of each.”

credulity. Belief or readiness of belief especially on slight or uncertain evidence. “Marco’s personality was a strange mixture of shrewdness and credulity.”

hypertension. Abnormally high arterial blood pressure. “Doctors recommend reducing salt intake for patients with hypertension.”

argumentative. Given to or fond of disagreement: contentious. “Jill is so argumentative that no one likes to sit beside her on the bus.”

grievous. Causing, characterized by, or indicative of severe physical pain or suffering. “Jason screamed as if the scratch on his leg were a grievous wound.”

analogy. A figure of speech involving an extended or elaborate comparison between two things or situations. “Hugo used an analogy to illustrate his point, but no one understood the analogy either.”

raspberry. Any of various usually black or red sweet juicy edible berries. “The raspberry is highly prized for making jams and preserves.”

recommended. Advised, counseled. “’Now step up! Now step up!’ he recommended.”

wretched. Squalid, dismal, foul. “After the flood, the whole neighborhood looked wretched.”

pitiless. Devoid of or unmoved by compassion. “The pitiless tornado bore onward, ripping up everything in its path.”

capitatim. Levied or granted at so much per head. “Collecting an affordable capitatim fee for civic pool use will not cover operating costs.”

altigraph. An instrument that measures height and is equipped with a recording mechanism. “Nora stored the readings of the altigraph in a folder in her backpack.”

mesomorph. An intermediate or average type of human body. “Students classified the mummy as a mesomorph.”

exterminated. Gotten rid of, eliminated. “The Grubes have exterminated the rats in the cellar with rat poison.”

disentangle. Straighten out, unravel. “Mrs. Luce helped David disentangle the strands of the plot in ‘Hamlet.’”


harried. Kept under constant attack or threat of attack, harassed. “A mosquito harried Charlie as he tried to sleep.”

globular. Round like a ball, spherical. “A globular lamp hung from the center of the ceiling in Gretchen’s dining room.

flourishes. Ostentations in the performance of something often intended to call forth or fix attention or admiration. “The five cabinet members then rolled up the large parchment and, with many bows and flourishes, retired.”

opacity. The quality or state of a body that renders it impervious to the rays of light; lack of transparency or translucency. “The envelope’s opacity made it impossible for Garnet to see if there was a check inside.”

revelry. Boisterous merrymaking. “The revelry at campaign headquarters began after the arrival of the winning candidate.”

canard. An airplane having the horizontal stabilizing and control surfaces in front of the main supporting surfaces. “Tommy wants his next model airplane to be a canard.”

mourning. Feeling sorrow or grief for. “Jacob was mourning the loss of his turtle until a neighbor found it and returned it to him.”

horologist. A maker of clocks or watches. “After working as a watch repairman for seven years, Matt decided to become a full-fledged horologist.”

monotonous. Having no change or variety; wearisomely uniform. “The sky became quite gray and the whole countryside seemed to lose its color and assume the same monotonous tone.”

bandalore. A toy with an automatically winding cord by which it is brought back to the hand when thrown. “Jeffrey brought a bandalore for show-and-tell.”

bustling. Given to or full of noisy or energetic activity. “As they strolled along the bustling and busy avenue, he began.”

autonomy. The quality or state of being independent, free and self-directing. “After years of fighting the colonial government, the island was finally granted autonomy.”

apostrophe. A mark used to indicate omission of one or more letters or figures or to mark the possessive case of English nouns. “Use of the apostrophe when forming plural nouns is a common punctuation error.”

heifer. A young cow. “This year’s blue-ribbon heifer belongs to Mrs. Cates.”

hysteria. Conduct or an outbreak of conduct exhibiting unmanageable fear or emotional excess. “Hysteria overcame the defendant when the guilty verdict was announced.”

caribou. Any of several large deer of northern North America. “While in Montana, Jill photographed a caribou silhouetted on a high ridge.”

melancholy. Depressed in spirits, mournful. “The melancholy chirp of a cricket was the only sign of life near him.”

calico. Any of various cheap cotton fabrics with figured patterns. “Molly’s dress was made of a bold orange and yellow checked calico.”

impervious. Not allowing entrance or passage through; impenetrable. “Ted covered the woodpile with a tarp impervious to water.”

superstitious. Having or based on a belief, conception, act, or practice resulting from ignorance, unreasoning fear of the unknown, or a false conception of causation. “The bridge became more than ever an object of superstitious awe.”

extraordinarily. In a manner beyond what is usual, regular, common, or customary. “Dr. Miller told us that Brutus was extraordinarily frisky this morning.”

herbarium. A room, building, or institution housing a collection of dried plant specimens. “Jackson was looking forward to visiting the herbarium while on vacation.”

ruminate. Muse upon, contemplate repeatedly. “Luke likes to ruminate in the backyard while chewing on a stem of grass.”

precibal. Occurring before meals. “The host graciously proposed a precibal toast to the guest of honor.”

effusive. Expressing or marked by unrestrained emotion; unduly demonstrative. “’Is this the right road?’ asked Milo, a little bowled over by the effusive greeting.”

prevaricate. Deviate from the truth, speak equivocally or evasively; lie. “Emmy tends to prevaricate whenever the teacher questions her behavior.”

enumerated. Related one after another; listed. “When the waiter had enumerated the dessert choices, making a single selection was difficult.”

erudition. An extensive knowledge acquired chiefly from books. “The schoolmaster was esteemed as a man of great erudition.”

perjury. The voluntary violation of an oath. “One thing is certain after the testimony: Either Mr. Jakes or Mr. Cleveland has committed perjury.”

malediction. Curse, execration. “The villain’s last words were a malediction on the entire royal family.”


cardiomegaly. Enlargement of the heart. “Severe anemia can result in cardiomegaly.”

otitis. Inflammation of the ear. “Jeff’s earache was diagnosed as a symptom of otitis of the middle ear.”

oxymoron. A combination for epigrammatic effect of contradictory or incongruous words. “Dexter feels that the phrase ‘jumbo shrimp’ is an oxymoron.”

jejune. Immature, juvenile. “Dennis rejected the jejune poems for publication.”

meringue. A mixture of beaten egg whites and powdered sugar baked at a low temperature and used as a topping (as on pies, puddings). “Thelma scraped the meringue off her pie.”

philologist. A scholar concerned with human speech as the vehicle of literature and as a field of study that sheds light on cultural history. “Hannah wants to become a philologist and study ancient Russian dialects.”

monomaniacal. Relating to, characterized by, or affected with such concentration on a single object or idea as to suggest mental derangement. “Stuart’s obsession with racing cars seems almost monomaniacal to his friends.”

grampus. A cetacean of temperate and tropical seas having a blunt snout and teeth in the lower jaw only. “Squid and octopus are the main foods of the grampus.”

vertiginate. Whirl dizzily around: twirl. “Young children love to vertiginate until they fall down.”

brougham. A light closed carriage with seats inside for two or four. “The brougham was once a common sight on the streets of London.”

impresario. The manager or conductor of an opera or concert company. “The impresario was eager to begin his opera company’s 10-city tour.”

hartebeest. A large African antelope with short ringed divergent horns. “The hartebeest grazes mainly on the open plains and scrublands of sub-Saharan Africa.”

impromptu. Without previous study, preparation or consideration; on the spur of the moment. “Leah is able to speak impromptu and at length on countless subjects.”

fulgurant. Flashing like lightning, dazzling. “Emily’s fulgurant diamond brooch attracted many eyes at the dinner party.”

piqued. Excited or aroused by a provocation, challenge or rebuff. “Perry’s loud voice piqued the dog’s barking.”

haiku. An unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables, respectively. “Compressing an image or idea into only 17 syllables is what makes a haiku most challenging to compose.”

chandelle. An abrupt climbing turn of an airplane. “Sylvester almost fainted when the plane pitched into a sudden chandelle.??

sirenian. Any of an order of aquatic herbivorous mammals including the manatee, dugong and Steller’s sea cow. “The future of the sirenian in Florida is in doubt because of the increasing boat traffic.”

rhesus. A pale brown Asian monkey often used in medical research. “A rhesus was the first monkey to be rocketed into the stratosphere.??

albedometer. A device for measuring the reflection of light (as by snow). “David used an albedometer to measure the reflection of light by the clouds.”

cribral. Of or relating to a sieve, perforated. “The mouths of certain whales contain a cribral structure for collecting food.”

hypotactic. Of, relating to or exhibiting syntactic subordination (as by conjunction). “Yun loved the complicated hypotactic prose of academic German.”

pertinacious. Stubbornly unshakable. “There was something mysterious in the moody and dogged silence of this pertinacious companion.”

sukiyaki. Meat, soybean curd, onions, bamboo shoots and other vegetables cooked in soy sauce, sake and sugar. “Joyce watched with fascination as the Japanese cook prepared sukiyaki right at the table.”

ornithopter. A heavier-than-air airplane deriving its chief support and propulsion from flapping wings. “Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches of an ornithopter provide early evidence of man’s quest for flight.”

anecdote. A usually short narrative of an interesting, amusing or curious incident. “The speaker’s presentation ended with a touching anecdote.”

slantindicular. Somewhat oblique. “The main staircase of the new library rises at a slantindicular angle to the facade.”

hosanna. An expression of enthusiastic praise; acclamation. “Mr. Wong greeted Katya with a loud hosanna.”

mansard. A roof having two slopes on all sides with the lower slope steeper than the upper one. “The mansion was topped with an elegant mansard.”

reliquary. A casket, shrine, or container for keeping or exhibiting relics. “According to the guidebook, the reliquary contains one of St. Catherine’s finger bones.” cardiomegaly. Enlargement of the heart. “Severe anemia can result in cardiomegaly.”


accrescent. Growing continuously; specifically, growing larger after flowering. “After its flower had fallen away, the plant’s accrescent calyx became noticeably larger.”

pyrethrum. Any of various chrysanthemums with finely divided and often aromatic leaves. “The pyrethrurn is a source of a natural insecticide.”

cochleariform. Shaped like a spoon. “Jacques theorized that the cochleariform bone was used in prehistoric times as a spoon.”

minuscular. Very small in size or importance. “A minuscular speck of dirt on Alison’s frock was enough to infuriate her.”

sychnocarpous. Able to produce fruit repeatedly. “The apple and pear are sychnocarpous trees.”

arbuscle. A dwarf tree or treelike shrub. “The gardener recommended that Micah purchase an arbuscle to plant next to the house.”

panegyric. An oration or writing expressing praise. “Walt Whitman composed a famous panegyric on the occasion of Abraham Lincoln’s death.”

epithet. A disparaging or abusive word or phrase. “Donnie apologized for shouting an epithet at Mr. Garibaldi.”

gongorism. An excessively involved, ornate, and artificial style of writing. “In his later years, the poet lapsed into gongorism.”

alliteration. The repetition usually initially of a sound that is usually a consonant in two or more neighboring words or syllables (as in “daring deed”). “Poor writers rely on alliteration when lacking ideas.”

kielbasa. A smoked sausage. “Adria ordered a half-pound of potato salad and a kielbasa from the deli.”

sententious. Terse, aphoristic or moralistic in expression: pithy. “The sitcom’s drop in popularity was attributed to its growing tendency toward sententious sermonizing.”

censorious. Marked by or given to an inclination to discover and severely condemn especially social, moral or artistic errors. “Helen was in one of her censorious moods at the reception this evening.”

psalmody. The act, practice, or art of singing sacred songs in worship. “Although the New England Puritans did away with church organs and instruments, they kept their psalmody.”

litotes. Understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by a negative of the contrary (as in “He’s not a bad ball player”). “Rupert loved to use the litotes ‘not bad’ to convey high praise.”

aardwolf. A striped hyenalike mammal of southern and eastern Africa that feeds chiefly on carrion and insects. “Termites are the favorite food of the aardwolf.”

catastasis. The dramatic complication immediately preceding the climax of a play. “As the catastasis progressed, the tension mounted, culminating in the inevitable clash of characters.”

colobus. Any of a genus of slender long-tailed African monkeys. “In the colobus the thumb is either absent or greatly reduced in size.”

desman. An aquatic insectivorous mammal of Russia that resembles a mole. “At one end the desman has a long, flared snout and at the other end a long, flattened tail.”

amphora. An ancient Greek jar or vase having a large oval body, narrow cylindrical neck, and two handles that rise almost to the level of the mouth. “Divers recovered an unblemished amphora from the bottom of the bay.”

ratatouille. A stew made of eggplant, tomatoes, green peppers, squash, and sometimes meat. “Mamie used vegetables from her own garden to make the ratatouille.”

derailleur. A mechanism for shifting gears on a bicycle that operates by moving the chain from one set of exposed gears to another. “Joseph’s pants kept getting caught in the derailleur of his bicycle.”

quokka. A stocky Australian reddish or chestnut brown wallaby with a short tail — also called a shorttailed wallaby. “Meggie’s pet quokka wanted to follow her everywhere.”

aretalogy. A narrative of the miraculous deeds of a god or hero. “Owen was fascinated by the aretalogy of Hercules’ labors.”

radicchio. A chicory of a red variety with variegated leaves that is used as a salad green. “Instead of lettuce, Angela always uses radicchio in her salads.”

cordillera. A group of mountain ranges forming a mountain system of great linear extent. “The Andean cordillera extends along the west coast of South America.”

anadiplosis. Repetition of a prominent word, usually the last in a phrase, clause, sentence or verse, at the beginning of the next phrase, clause, sentence or verse. “Anne read the second member of the anadiplosis louder than the first for emphasis.”

guenon. Any of various long-tailed chiefly arboreal African monkeys. “The guenon is a favorite zoo monkey because of its bright markings, good nature and its habit of grimacing at observers.”

brachylogy. Conciseness of expression. “A successful poet is a master of imagery and brachylogy.”

convertible. An automobile having a top that may be folded back, lowered, or removed. “Thelma and Louise enjoyed cruising the highway in Louise’s convertible.”

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The News-Review Updated Mar 7, 2013 11:44PM Published Apr 18, 2013 01:20PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.