Amass (v) – to collect or to gather
Synonyms: Accumulate, Assemble, Aggregate
Sample Sentence: Over the years, Brittany amassed ornaments that she collected wherever she traveled.
Astute (adj) – Wise or mentally sharp
Synonyms: Smart, Quick, Perceptive
Antonym: Slow-minded, Daft
Helpful Hints – Sherlock Holmes, Macgyver, and Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible) are all astute individuals.
Sample Sentence: His astuteness helped him to win the Factathlon.
Cathartic (adj) – Emotionally soothing
Helpful Hints: This word suggests a purging of negative emotions like anxiety or fear. When the Red Sox finally broke their 86-year championship drought, the victory was cathartic to many lifelong Red Sox fans.
Sample Sentence: Having some time to yourself each day is cathartic and healthy.
Compromise (n/v) – 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.
Delinquency (n) – 1. Neglect and wrong-doing 2. Failure to complete an obligation on time
Synonyms: 1. Illegal behavior, Dereliction 2. Bring overdue
Helpful Hints: “Juvy” is a slang term for a juvenile delinquent center. And a delinquent payment is one that is overdue.
Sample Sentence: His delinquency left him with two years of probation and 50 hours of community service.
Disparage (v) To criticize; To belittle
Synonyms: Ridicule, Deride, Mock
Helpful Hints: You sometimes hear people talk about “self-disparaging comments” which is basically anything that you say that insults yourself.
Sample Sentence: Do not disparage good manners.
Enumerate (v) – Count out; List
Synonyms: Recapitulate, Recount
Sample Sentence: It would be impossible to enumerate how many stars there are in the sky.
Expedient (n/adj) – n. A solution that is effective, but it perhaps improper or immoral (i.e. a means to an end) adj. Convenient and suitable, although perhaps immoral
Sample Sentence: n. The broken ladder was a useful expedient for getting to the second floor. adj. Paying his employees in cash was expedient, as it saved him from having to worry about offering them health benefits
Foster (v) – To care for; To encourage
Synonyms: Nurse, Advance, Promote
Helpful Hints: Think of a foster family. Their job is to care for a child until it hopefully gets adopted.
Sample Sentence: My mother fosters my singing talent by taking me to voice and music lessons each week.
Implacable (adj) – Unable to be appeased or soothed
Synonyms: Unappeasable, Inconsolable
Sample Sentence: We tried everything to quiet the screaming baby, but he was simply implacable.
Intricate (adj) – Having many parts or elements; Complicated
Synonyms: Tangled, Elaborate
Sample Sentence: The musical composition was so intricate that it took several listenings to fully understand all of the little elements that the composer had included.
Levity (n) – Lack of seriousness; Humor
Synonyms: Frivolity, Silliness
Helpful Hints: Levity and Levitate have the same root, both suggesting a lightness of a sort.
Sample Sentence: Alli cracked a joke to bring some levity to the serious nature of the conversation.
Myopic (adj) – Short-sighted (literal or metaphoric); Narrow-minded
Sample Sentence: My boss is terribly myopic and only sees things one way and never wants to try anything new.
Ostentatious (adj) – Characterized by an over-the-top showiness that is meant to impress
Synonyms: Showy, Grandiose
Antonyms: Simple, Humble
Helpful Hints: My Super Sweet 16 is a show that displays the ostentatious parties of the children on the program.
Sample Sentence: The wedding was an ostentatious display of the wealthy family, complete with the couple riding in on a camel.
Procrastinate (v) – To delay; To put off until a later date
Synonyms: Prolong, Postpone
Helpful Hints: Waiting until the night before it is due to start your research paper
Sample Sentence: Abby preferred to do the assignment as soon as she received it, unlike her friends who procrastinate until the last possible second.
Renovation (n) – The act of improving or renewing
Helpful Hints: A home renovation is when you update or fix your house
Sample Sentence: The renovation of the backyard ended up taking all summer and we didn’t get to enjoy the new patio.
Scuttle (v) – To run or move with short, quick steps
Synonyms: Scamper, Scurry
Sample Sentence: After the mother gave them money for ice cream, the children scuttled to get in line at the truck.
Sparse (adj) – Thinly scattered; Not thick or plentiful
Sample Sentence: As Mr. Miller grew older, the hair on his head was more sparse.
Squander (v) – Waste
Helpful Hints: A person can squander money or resources
Sample Sentence: When they were stranded, they ate sparingly so as not to squander all of their resources right away.
Unrelenting (adj) – Never giving up
Synonyms: Merciless, Ruthless
Antonyms: Relenting, Giving in
Sample Sentence: An Olympic athlete must be unrelenting in his or her training.