CON Together, With
Contagious (adj) – Tending to spread from person to person
Helpful Hints: Contagious is not merely meant for medical uses – a good mood can be contagious. Note, the prefix “con-” may show up as “col-”, “com-”, “co-”, and “cor-” depending on the first consonant after the root. (Examples: collect, compromise, costar, corroborate).
You May Remember: You have had other vocab words with the prefix “con-” including misconstrue and confidential.
Sample Sentence: Since their child was sick and highly contagious, the parents decided not to go to the birthday party.
Compromise (n) – A settlement (v) To settle differences; To agree
Helpful Hints: A compromise requires both sides who are having a conflict to give in a little, to an equal and fair degree.
Sample Sentence: They finally compromised and agreed to get married at a neutral location to satisfy both of their families.
Juris, Jure Law, Justice; To Swear an Oath
Abjure (v) – To reject formally; to resist the temptation of
Synonyms: Forswear, Forsake, Renounce; Abstain from, Refrain from, Forgo
Antonyms: Adhere to; Give in to, Surrender to
Helpful Hints: Abjure is used with an object. You have to abjure something–drinking, vices, religion, your brother’s behavior, etc.
You might You May Remember: We learned the prefix “ab-” meaning “away from” in Freshman Unit 4. A jury swears to remain unbiased in deciding a case, whereas some who abjures something swears it away.
Sample Sentence: Martin Luther King Jr. abjured violence and advocated for pacifism.
Jurisdiction (n) – Lawful power or right to exercise official authority
Synonyms: Rule, Authority, Governance
Helpful Hints: Jurisdiction refers to the usage of power within set boundaries. The police in Burlington have jurisdiction in our town, but not Billerica. Judges have jurisdiction in the courtroom.
Sample Sentence: Because the drug trafficking occurred across state lines, the FBI has jurisdiction.
HYPER over, above, more
Hyperbole (n) – Obvious and intentional exaggeration
Helpful Hints: People use this rhetorical device all the time. That last sentence was an example.
Sample Sentence: When arguing within your writing it is best to avoid hyperbole in order to keep your credibility.
Hyperactive (adj) – unusually active; in a state of increased agitation
Synonyms: Uncontrollable; Excitable, Frenzied, High-strung
Helpful Hints: The word can mean uncontrollably active, as in an overactive pituitary gland, but it can also mean excitable, as in the hyperactive child. You may have heard of ADHD, which stands for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity.
Sample Sentence: Believing that sugar was linked to her son’s hyperactive nature, Linda avoided purchasing overly sweet cereals.
TURB Troubled, Upset
Turbulent (adj) – marked by conflict, confusion, and disorder; neither calm nor controlled
Synonyms: Unstable, Chaotic, Tempestuous, Tumultuous
Antonyms: Calm, Untroubled, Tranquil
Sample Sentence: After ten years in a turbulent marriage, Camille wanted a divorce.
Sample Sentence: The turbulent nor’easter smashed windows and tore down trees.
Imperturbable (v) – Incapable of being upset or disturbed; calm
Synonyms: Unexcitable, Unflappable, Unshakable, Composed
Antonyms: Excitable, Flappable, Shakeable, Perturbable
You May Remember: “im- / in- / il- / ir-” mean not. Someone imperturbable cannot be made upset.
Sample Sentence: The imperturbable spelling bee champion recited one challenging word after another without even a hint of nervousness.
GRAT Pleasing, Favorable
Gratify (v) – To please someone(s), as by satisfying a need
Synonyms: Content, Delight, Satisfy, Pleasure
Sample Sentence: Seeing me graduate from college would really gratify my mother.
Ingratitude (n) – A lack of appropriate appreciation or thankfulness
Synonyms: Thanklessness, Ungratefulness
Antonyms: Appreciation, Gratefulness
You May Remember: “im- / in- / il- / ir-” mean not. Someone displaying ingratitude is not grateful.
Sample Sentence: I was shocked the the teenager’s ingratitude toward her mother’s gift.
MIS- Wrong, Bad
Mischievous (adj) – 1. playfully annoying or harmful 2. intended to cause harm
Synonyms: 1. Devilish; Impish 2. Damaging, Deleterious, Pernicious
Antonyms: 2. Benign, Harmless, Innocent, Innocuous.
Help Hints: Do not confuse the prefix “mis-” (wrong, bad) with the suffix “-miss” (to send).
You May remember, we have seen the prefix “mis-” freshman year in the words “misnomer” and “misanthrope”.
Sample Sentence 1: The mischievous child stole cookies when his father’s back was turned.
Sample Sentence 2: The mischievous rumor destroyed an innocent girl’s reputation.
Miscreant (n) – a person who does something immoral or illegal; a villain
Synonyms: Wrongdoer, Scoundrel, Delinquent, Reprobate
Helpful Hints: Though generally used an a noun, miscreant can also be used as an adjective to mean villainous.
Sample Sentence: The miscreant spray painted vulgarities all over the school building.
EPI near, on, upon, over
Epitome (n) – A person or thing that is typical of or possesses to a high degree the features of a whole group; The best example of something (the epitome of goodness)
Synonyms: Embodiment, Exemplification, Model, Archetype
You May Remember: You saw the prefix “epi-” in Freshman Unit 6 in the word epigraph (n) – An inscription, especially on a building or a statue, or at the beginning of a poem or chapter of a book
Sample Sentence: An Olympic athlete could be viewed as the epitome of athleticism.
Epidemic (n) – a rapid outbreak (adj) – widespread
Synonyms: (n) Upturn, Outbreak, Rash, Eruption (adj) Widespread, Rampant, Extensive
Helpful Hints: Often, the term epidemic is used to refer to a disease that spreads rapidly to a lot of people at once. However, an epidemic can be any type of rapid outbreak, as in, an epidemic of poverty swept the nation.
You May Remember: We learned “pandemic” in unit 4. If an epidemic spreads quickly and far enough, it becomes a pandemic. Do not confuse epidemic with endemic, a disease that is regularly present in an area and impacts a relatively small percentage of a population such as Malaria in Africa.
Sample Sentence (n): Collecting Beanie Babies became a cultural epidemic in the 1990s, with adults paying thousands of dollars for particular stuffed animals that were virtually worthless years later.
Sample Sentence (adj): Epidemic violence among American youth is becoming a grave concern for our nation.
CARN- Body, Flesh
Carnage (n) – 1. The slaughter of a great number of people or animals
Synonyms: Slaughter, Massacre, Butchery, Bloodbath
Helpful Hints: You have probably studied the term carnivore, or meat eater (eater of flesh) in science.
Sample Sentence: The stink and carnage of battle made me wretch violently.
Carnal (adj) – pertaining to the flesh or body; sensual or sexual
Synonyms: Sensuous, Lustful, Lascivious
Helpful Hints: You may have heard the term “carnal desires” which means people are giving into their baser bodily pleasures or sensual appetites. Often carnal desires (pleasing your body) are contrasted against spiritual ones (pleasing your soul).
Sample Sentence: Giving in to my carnal love of chocolate, I asked for extra hot-fudge on my sundae.