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Ivy Leaguea group of universities and colleges in the northeastern United States that regularly compete against each other in sports and have a reputation for scholastic achievement and social prestige
(Specifically: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, & Yale)
She wants to attend an Ivy League school.
(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
other common meaning(s) — as in: muster strength or the crew
She mustered the courage to introduce herself.
I will not permit the defendant to make a mockery of this trial.
He looked for an omen before going into battle.
bylinea line giving the name of the writer of an article — typically at the top of the article — as in: the byline format
He uses Jonathan in his byline, but everyone calls him Jon.
farcea situation that is so badly organized or going so poorly that it seems ridiculous
a situation that is made to look like one thing, but is really another
or more specifically:
a situation that is supposed to be fair, but is completely unfair
other common meaning(s) — as in: the meeting was a farce
The peace talks have become a farce.
She is oblivious to the dangers.
The effects of the drought are apparent to anyone who sees the dry fields.
contractan agreement - typically written and enforceable by law
other common meaning(s) — as in: legal contract
She signed the contract.
debuta first presentation - such as:
The band debuts a new song or two every month.
She pretended to need help with her homework as a ruse to see him again.
The defending World Champions dominated their unranked opponent.
Children acquire language at an amazing rate.
China recently emerged as a world power.
perimeterthe outer edge — in various senses such as:
Don’t go beyond the perimeter of the campgrounds.
The couch is covered with synthetic leather.
bronzea reddish brown metal that is made of copper and (usually) tin
the reddish-brown color of the metal (such as a bronze tan)
something made of the alloy — such as a sculpture
She received the bronze medal at the Olympics.
She has great charm and great poise.
designateassign someone or something for a particular purpose
other common meaning(s) — as in: designated driver
I’ll be the designated driver.
designateindicate or signify (show something in a particular way)
other common meaning(s) — as in: designated by a star on the map
State capital cities are designated on the map by stars.
blitzAmerican football: a defensive maneuver to swiftly tackle the quarterback by pursuing him with one or more defenders who normally remain behind the line of scrimmage
other common meaning(s) — as in: blitz the quarterback
He’s especially good at responding to a blitz.
compliantconforming to rules
other common meaning(s) — as in: compliant with the law
The company was fined for not being regulation 4.3 compliant.
James feinted left and drove right.
Her cleverness and inventiveness was exceeded only by her guile.
The game show places a premium on remembering trivia.
other common meaning(s) — as in: She contended for the gold medal
Militant groups are contending for control of the country
spraininjury to the ligaments of a joint caused by stretching them too far — most commonly injuring the ankle
(ligaments are the tough, fibrous bands that connect bones across joints)
She sprained her ankle.
volleyto hit the ball before it touches the ground
in the form, long volley: many uninterrupted returns over the net
other common meaning(s) — in volleyball
They were especially excited to win such a long volley.
volleya tennis stroke in which a player hits the ball before it bounces
in the form, long volley: many uninterrupted returns over the net
other common meaning(s) — in tennis
She won the set on a back-hand volley.
From 18-yards out, she kicked a volley into the upper corner of the net.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the inherent dignity of each person.
Triple Crowna title won by a horse that can win the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness
other common meaning(s) — in horse racing
The Kentucky Derby is my favorite race of the Triple Crown.
He pitched a no-hitter; though it wasn’t a perfect game.
Lou Gehrigadmired U.S. baseball player who hit 23 grand slam home runs before he had to retire because he was stricken with ALS (1903-1941)
Lou Gehrig set the record for most career grand slams before his career was cut short by ALS.
You’ll rue the day you betrayed me.
abjectextreme (in a negative sense such as misery, hopelessness, submissiveness, cruelty, or cowardice)
She grew up in abject poverty; though she didn’t know it.
abrasivea substance that wears down another surface (abrades)
other common meaning(s) — as in: rub with an abrasive
He cleaned it with an abrasive.
the book was released to great acclaim
The Heisman Trophy is the highest accolade in college football.
I appreciate her fine mind, but find her humor a bit acerbic.
The meeting ended in acrimony.
She built a very successful company with uncommon business acumen.
Remember the old adage: "It’s not how much you earn; it’s how much you save."
Don’t grow dependent upon popular adulation. It comes and goes and reverses unexpectedly.
She’s an affable, never-met-someone-she-didn’t-like kind of woman.
affrontan intentional insult; or to intentionally insult — as in: an affront to society
She considered anything but the very best manners to be an affront to her dignity.
He is an aficionado of fine cigars.
aggravateannoy or irritate
other common meaning(s) — as in: he aggravates me
She is the most aggravating person I know.
She is amazingly agile for someone so tall.
She alleged that she was the victim of a crime.
Regular massage will help to alleviate the pain.
The physical altercation between opposing players led to suspensions on both sides.
Although in the middle of Dallas, the restaurant has a Maui Beach ambiance.
She seemed an ideal candidate—attractive, amiable, intelligent and energetic.
amicus curiaean adviser to the court on some matter of law who is not a party to the case; usually someone who wants to influence the outcome of a lawsuit involving matters of wide public interest
Both the ACLU and the Justice Department were amici curiae in a case involving an employer’s alleged abuse of his employees civil liberties.
The live in appalling conditions.
The President is thought to have made the statement to appease the party faithful.
aproposof an appropriate or pertinent nature
other common meaning(s) — as in: unusual attire, but apropos
The story was apropos.
Hyde’s study indicates that girls and boys have the same aptitude for math.
arbitersomeone who settles disputes — often because of reputation
someone chosen to judge and decide a disputed issue
She was the final arbiter on all matters of fashion.
ardentshowing or feeling intense emotion — typically strong positive feelings such as enthusiasm or love
I am her most ardent fan.
At last, they won their long and arduous fight for independence.
We saw the rocket ascend.
askewnot straight (not in proper alignment)
(when used metaphorically) not right, or not as planned
She came out of the water with her glasses askew but still on her head.
Astute investors spread their risk instead of investing all their money in just one thing.
She was alarmed by his atrocious behavior.
audaciousbold and daring (inclined to take risks) — especially in violating social convention in a manner that could offend others
It was an audacious act of piracy.
audiblecapable of being heard — as in: barely audible
She spoke in a barely audible whisper.
He wants to avenge the murder of his brother
avert a strike
badgerburrowing mammal with strong claws widely distributed in the northern hemisphere
other common meaning(s) — as in: saw a badger
The word badger is thought to have come from a French word for "digger".
She looked at him with two unblinking, baleful eyes.
He calls himself a bard from Brooklyn.
bastiondefense or defensive fortification — such as people who defend a principle or fortifications that defend people from attack (especially the projecting part of a castle wall or rampart)
These rules are a bastion against corruption.
Please don’t belabor the obvious.
belieto give a false impression; or be in contradiction with
other common meaning(s) — as in: his smile belied his treachery
His gruff demeanor belies a soft heart.
The gradualness of the change does not belittle its importance.
She was obviously bemused by his questions.
Nobody likes to work with her. She is always berating her colleagues.
bereftlacking something that is desired
suffered great sadness because of loss or lack of something expected or strongly desired
deprived (taken away something that is desired)
She is bereft of hope.
She teaches and beseeches her students to think about their future.
biasa personal preference — especially a prejudice that prevents objective consideration
any tendency to move in a particular direction — such as a car that tends to want to swerve toward the right
She has a bias against young people.
a bland diet
The once thriving downtown has become an example of urban blight with abandoned buildings and too much crime.
It is a boisterous crowd, but there is more than enough security.
bombasticpompous or pretentious talk or writing
(often using difficult words in an attempt to make something sound more important than it is or to make the speaker sound more intelligent)
The media relishes her bombastic style.
tough soldiers with plenty of bravado
The problem with the Fannie Mae and its GSE brethren is...
She is a bumptious young editor who will change her ways or lose her job.
burnishpolish and make shiny — especially metal
or more generally: to improve something — especially the impression that something makes
cachea storage space — often hidden to hold valuables, provisions or weapons; or the storing of things
other common meaning(s) — as in: cache of arms
We found a cache of weapons buried in the woods.
There was a cacophony of discord as everyone spoke at once.
The sound of the waves crashing on the shore had a comforting cadence.
She described him as shallow and callow.
camouflagesomething that conceals or deceives — especially clothing or placement of plants parts or natural animal coloring that blends into the background
the act of concealing or deception
The troops camouflaged themselves before they went into enemy territory.
He is a cantankerous old man who seldom has something good to say.
They were out carousing last night.
causticof a chemical substance: corrosive; capable of destroying or eating away such as a strong acid
of a person: sarcastic, critical, or harsh
Don’t get it on your skin. It’s caustic.
cavortto play in a lively, unrestrained manner — often to prance or jump around excitedly — sometimes implying sexual play
The puppies cavorted in the basket.
cerebralrelating to the brain — especially the cerebrum (front of the brain)
involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct
Moderate exercise increases cerebral blood volume which improves thinking.
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