CAP / CEPT Take, Seize
Inception (n) – The start of something, the beginning
Helpful Hint: If you know the movie “Inception,” then you can remember that the title refers to the origins of a thought within a dream
Sample Sentence: Companies love to play up the story of their humble inception, like how Nike supposedly began in a garage.
Precept (n) – A commandment given as a rule of conduct
Synonyms: guideline, principle, tenet
You May Remember: From unit 1, PRE- means “before”, so a precept is a rule you must “take before” – in other words, there is no negotiating it
Sample Sentence: A lot of the unwritten precepts of the religion are handed down from generation to generation and are never formally taught.
-AGOG / -AGOGUE Leader, Bringer
Demagogue (n) – A leader who gains power by arousing the emotions and prejudices of the people
Synonyms: radical, revolutionary
Helpful Hint: Negative – a demagogue isn’t inspirational, he is manipulative
Sample Sentence: Because of the fragile state of the economy and the recent bloodshed of the civil war, the country’s leadership was easily taken over by an opportunistic demagogue.
Pedagogy (n) – The art of teaching and instructional method
Synonyms: teaching, instruction, education
Sample Sentence: The principal was well versed in pedagogy and could easily discuss the best methods that help students learn.
DIS- Apart, Not
Disillusion (v) -To free from idealism or from a belief; To correct someone whose belief is narrow-minded or wrong
Synonyms: to disappoint, to open one’s eyes
Helpful Hints: An illusion is a false appearance or belief. To DISillusion is to take that illusion, or false idea/belief etc., away.
Sample Sentence: Even though she was a grown woman, she couldn’t shake the sense of disillusionment that she felt when her childhood idol was arrested for armed robbery.
Dispassionate (adj) – Impartial or calm
Synonyms: disinterested, detached, aloof
Antonyms: emotional, passionate
Helpful Hints: The opposite of passionate
Sample Sentence: Even when everyone around him was screaming about this, that, or the other, Atticus remained dispassionate, his voice barely raising at all when he spoke.
Efface (v) – To wipe out; to erase; to obliterate
Synonyms: annhilate, erradicate, expunge
You May Remember: From unit 5, the prefix E- means “out of,” so to efface means to “make something become out” or more simply, to remove
Sample Sentence: With their fourth straight trip to the state quarterfinals, the softball team completely effaced their former reputation of being a pushover team.
Faction (n) – A subgroup within a larger group
Synonyms: gang, clique, coterie
Helpful Hints: A faction is a group of people forming a cohesive, usually contentious, minority from within a larger group.
Sample Sentence: Even though she lobbied for better working conditions and was respected by most of her employees, a bitter faction of workers still attempted to get her thrown out of office.
Homogeneous (adj) – Composed of parts that are all of the same kind
Synonyms: alike, consistent, uniform
Antonyms: different, heterogeneous
Sample Sentence: The U.S. military takes people from all sorts of different regions, temperaments, and social situations and molds them into equally competent and homogenous soldiers.
Homophone (n) – A word that sounds exactly like another word, although the spelling may be different
Helpful Hints: Do not confuse with a HOMOGRAPH (two words that are spelled the same, although the pronunciation may be different). Night and Knight are homophones, while present (a gift) and present (to show or display) are homographs.
Sample Sentence: Carl misunderstood when his brother, carrying shopping bags, explained, “I love good buys.” Not considering the more logical homophone, Carl said, “Well, then, good-bye,” and drove away.
-ABLE / -IBLE Able
Incorrigible (adj) – Unable to change; Stubbornly stuck in one’s ways
Synonyms: hopeless, irreformable, unredeemable
Antonyms: curable, reformable, redeemable
You May Remember: In unit 2, IN- means “not” – “incorrigible means “Not able to be corrected”. Also- Negative – this is less like “self-sure” and more “stubborn”
Sample Sentence: As her husband picked his teeth at the dinner table after the meal, Loretta rolled her eyes and muttered, “Henry, you are incorrigible.”
Plausible (adj) – Seemingly true; able to be believed
Synonyms: possible, reasonable, credible
Antonyms:impossible, unbelievable, improbable
Helpful Hints: You try to give your teacher plausible excuses, i.e., believable excuses for not having your homework done.
Sample Sentence: Before telling their parents, the sisters collaborated to come up with a plausible excuse about how their cat got out for the third straight day.
-ISE / -IZE To Become
Jeopardize (v) – To put at risk; to endanger
Synonyms: risk, endanger, threaten, imperil
Helpful Hints: Think of the game-show Jeopardy. You are risking the loss of money if you give the wrong answer.
Sample Sentence: Even though he feared it might jeopardize his chances of winning the bronze medal, the slalom skier went recklessly fast on his final run—it was all or nothing!
Polarize (v) – To divide into two sharply opposed groups
Helpful Hints: Think of the North & South Poles, or the poles of a magnet – they are absolute opposites
Sample Sentence: Thanksgiving dinner was going fine until the grandmother starting making some aggressive and polarizing comments about how her two daughters were raising their children.
Judicial (adj) – Pertaining to judgements in courts of law; Having to do with the court system
Synonyms: legal, official
Sample Sentence: When the traffic cop was asked to rip up the speeding ticket, he claimed that it had already become a judicial affair.
Misjudge (v) – To estimate or judge something poorly
Synonyms: mistake, misread, miscalculate
Antonyms: judge well, figure
Sample Sentence: When the raggedy child next door came out to help the girl who had badly hurt her leg in the accident, the girl’s father recognized how badly he had misjudged the boy, whom he had slightly feared.