LUC / LUD Light
Allude (v) – To refer to casually or indirectly
Synonyms: refer, suggest, insinuate
Helpful Hints: Don’t confuse allude with elude (to escape or avoid)
You May Remember: From unit 2, AD- means “toward”. The abbreviated form of this prefix is the A- seen here, so to allude is to cast light toward something (to draw attention to it indirectly)
Sample Sentence: The popular police drama show on television frequently alluded to real-life criminal cases that had recently hit the headlines.
Elucidate (v) – To explain or to make clear
Synonyms: clarify, illuminate, illustrate, explicate
Antonyms: confuse, distract, obcure
You May Remember: From unit 5, E- as a prefix means “out from” so elucidating something is helping an idea come out from the light (to let it be seen, perhaps)
Sample Sentence: The English teacher could see that his students were confused, so he tried to elucidate the meaning of the poem.
Annihilate (v) – To destroy completely
Synonyms: demolish, eradicate, obliterate
Antonyms: preserve, revive, save
You May Remember: Here again is the shortened form of AD- (from unit 2) so annihilating something brings it toward a state of nothingness. You may also remember that “annihilate” was a synonym for “efface” in unit 8, meaning “to wipe out; erase; obliterate.”
Sample Sentence: Overnight, the rabbits annihilated the vegetable garden, eating nearly all of the carrots and cabbage.
Nihilist (n) – A person who believes in the total rejection of established laws and institutions
Synonyms: anarchist, radical, insurrgent
You May Remember: From unit 7, the -IST suffix is “one who does” so a nihilist is a “nothing-creator”
Sample Sentence: He had started out as a member of the student council during his freshmen year at college, but he quickly became bitter against all political structures and became a nihilist.
Congregate (v) -To come together, or to gather, especially in large numbers
Synonym – assemble
Antonyms – scatter, disperse
Helpful Hints: Ants congregate around a picnic and people congregate around the exit to Fenway Park, hoping to see a baseball star.
You May Remember: CON- (from unit 5) means together, so to congregate is literally to “group together”
Sample Sentence: For the final four or five minutes of lunch period every day, students congregate in the lobby outside of the cafeteria, waiting for the bell.
Egregious (adj) -Remarkably bad
Synonyms: shocking, appalling, atrocious, deplorable
Helpful Hints: Something that is “egregious” is so bad that it is easily noticed.
You May Remember: Here is another word that begins with the E- / EX- prefix from unit 5, meaning “out from” – an egregious mistake stands out from the pack.
Sample Sentence: Glen winced at the egregious mistakes that his son was making at his piano recital.
GEN A People, An Ethnic Group
Genealogy (n) – A record or study of the ancestry of a person, family or group of people
Synonyms: bloodline, lineage, pedigree
You May Remember: The -LOGY suffix from unit 1 means “The study of” – thus, “genealogy” is “the study of a group of people”
Sample Sentence: Her study of her family’s genealogy taught her that her family had Spanish roots, and not just the Italian background that she had always known.
Indigenous (adj) – Of a particular region
Synonyms: native, homegrown
Antonyms: alien, foreign
Helpful Hints: Even though the root indicates people, this word can be used to describe animals or plants that are particular to a region as well
You May Remember: Our second version of the IN- prefix (unit 5) told us that IN- can mean “into” – an indigenous person is one who is within his cultural group.
Sample Sentence: Because it is one of the most widespread indigenous birds of Massachusetts, the chickadee was declared the state bird.
GRAD / GRESS Step
Gradual (adj) – Taking place little by little
Synonyms: step-by-step, slow, moderate
Antonyms: sudden, abrupt
Sample Sentence: If you practice something every day, you will not become an expert all at once, but you will notice a steady, gradual improvement.
Regress (v) – 1. To move backward 2. To revert to a less advanced state
Synonyms: backslide, deteriorate, revert
Antonyms: develop, grow, progress
You May Remember: The RE- prefix from unit 1 is NOT the one in play here – in this case, the RE- prefix means “back” and s a regression is a step back.
Sample Sentence: She was surprised at how much her Japanese language skills had regressed; it had only been 15 months since she had last stayed in Kyoto, and she was barely able to communicate with the locals.
Homonym (n) – A word that is spelled and pronounced exactly the same as another word, but carries a different meaning
Helpful Hints: Loads of words are homonyms – anything with more than one entry in the dictionary is. These are much more common than homophones (from unit 8, these words merely sound alike)
You May Remember: From unit 8, we learned that HOMO means “same” which helps us remember that two words that are homonyms have the exact same name
Sample Sentence: The sentence “The duck had to duck under the bridge” contains a pair of homonyms.
Misnomer (n) – An inappropriate or oddly chosen name
Helpful Hints: In the definition, “inappropriate” doesn’t mean “vulgar” or “crude, but simply “not accurate or correct”. Boston College is actually a university in Chestnut Hill, so the school’s name is a misnomer on two counts.
Sample Sentence: Boston College is actually a university in Chestnut Hill, so the school’s name is a misnomer on two counts.
Mediate (v) – To settle a dispute between two parties
Synonyms: referee, intercede, arbitrate
Antonyms: argue, disagree
Sample Sentence: The friend had to mediate between his two close friends who were having a long and difficult disagreement.
Mediocre (adj) – Average, ordinary
Synonyms: common, decent, unexceptional
Antonyms: unusual, extraordinary, exceptional
Sample Sentence: The Wolves had yet another mediocre season, finishing with 10 wins and 10 losses and missing the playoffs yet again.
MIT / MISS Send
Permit (v) To allow (n) An official permission to do something
Synonyms: (v) consent, (n) pass, license
Antonyms: (v) prohibit
You May Remember: In our previous unit, we learned that PER- means “through” so to permit a request is to “send it through” or not stop it
Sample Sentence: (v) His parents permit him to stay out until midnight on the weekend.
Sample Sentence: (n) The restaurant was in trouble when it was discovered that it didn’t have the proper permits to serve food.
Transmit (v) – To send forward, to pass along
Synonyms: spread, communicate, relay
Antonyms: receive, accept
You May Remember: From unit 3, the prefix TRANS- means “Across” so to transmit a message or a satellite signal is to send it across the space between its origin and its destination
Sample Sentence: The submarine’s captain continued to transmit messages about his location, even though they might have gotten intercepted by the enemy.