Fall Vocabulary + Definitions

Fall Vocabulary: List 1

adumbrate – verb; give to understand; describe roughly or briefly or give the main points or summary of
apotheosis – noun; the elevation of a person (as to the status of a god); model of excellence or perfection of a kind; one having no equal
ascetic – adj.; practicing great self-denial; pertaining to or characteristic of an ascetic or the practice of rigorous self-discipline; noun someone who practices self denial as a spiritual discipline
bauble – noun; a mock scepter carried by a court jester; cheap showy jewelry or ornament on clothing
beguile – verb; attract; cause to be enamored; influence by slyness
burgeon – verb; grow and flourish
complement – noun; something added to complete or make perfect;either of two parts that mutually complete each other
contumacious - adj.; willfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient
curmudgeon – noun; a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas
didactic - adj.; instructive (especially excessively)
disingenuous - adj.; not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness
exculpate – verb; pronounce not guilty of criminal charges
faux - adj.; not genuine or real; being an imitation of the genuine article
pas – noun; (ballet) a step in dancing (especially in classical ballet)
fulminate – verb; cause to explode violently and with loud noise; come on suddenly and intensely; criticize severely
fustian – noun; a strong cotton and linen fabric with a slight nap; pompous or pretentious talk or writing
hauteur – noun; overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors
inhibit – verb; limit the range or extent of; to put down by force or authority
jeremiad – noun; a long and mournful complaint
opportunist - adj.; taking immediate advantage, often unethically, of any circumstance of possible benefit; noun a person who places expediency above principle
unconscionable - adj.; greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation; lacking a conscience

Fall Vocabulary: List 2

accoutrements – noun; personal clothing, accessories, ect. 
apogee – noun; a final climactic stage
apropos - adj.; of an appropriate or pertinent nature; adv. by the way; at an opportune time
bicker – noun; a quarrel about petty points; verb argue over petty things
coalesce – verb; fuse or cause to grow together; mix together different elements
contretemps – noun; an awkward clash
convolution – noun; the action of coiling or twisting or winding together; a convex fold or elevation in the surface of the brain
cull – noun; the person or thing that is rejected or set aside as inferior in quality; verb remove something that has been rejected; look for and gather
disparate - adj.; including markedly dissimilar elements;fundamentally different or distinct in quality or kind
dogmatic - adj.; characterized by assertion of unproved or unprovable principles; relating to or involving dogma; of or pertaining to or characteristic of a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative
licentious - adj.; lacking moral discipline; especially sexually unrestrained
mete – noun; a line that indicates a boundary
noxious - adj.; injurious to physical or mental health
polemic - adj.; of or involving dispute or controversy; noun a controversy (especially over a belief or dogma); a writer who argues in opposition to others (especially in theology)
populous - adj.; densely populated
probity – noun; complete and confirmed integrity; having strong moral principles
repartee – noun; adroitness and cleverness in reply
supervene – verb; take place as an additional or unexpected development
truncate - adj.; terminating abruptly by having or as if having an end or point cut off; verb make shorter as if by cutting off; approximate by ignoring all terms beyond a chosen one;replace a corner by a plane
unimpeachable - adj.; beyond doubt or reproach; completely acceptable; not open to exception or reproach; free of guilt; not subject to blame

Fall Vocabulary: List 3

accolade - noun a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
acerbity - noun a sharp sour taste; a sharp bitterness; a rough and bitter manner
attrition - noun the act of rubbing together; wearing something down by friction; a wearing down to weaken or destroy; sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation; the wearing down of rock particles by friction due to water or wind or ice; erosion by friction
bromide - noun any of the salts of hydrobromic acid; formerly used as a sedative but now generally replaced by safer drugs; a trite or obvious remark
chauvinist - noun an extreme bellicose nationalist; a person with a prejudiced belief in the superiority of his or her own kind
chronic - adj. being long-lasting and recurrent or characterized by long suffering
expound - verb add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing; state
factionalism – adj. self-interested; partisan
immaculate - adj. completely neat and clean; free from stain or blemish; without fault or error
imprecation - noun the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil (and usually serves as an insult); a slanderous accusation
ineluctable - adj. impossible to avoid or evade: "inescapable conclusion"
mercurial - adj. changeable; volatile; fickle; flighty; erratic
palliate - verb provide physical relief, as from pain; lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
protocol - noun code of correct conduct; forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state;
resplendent - adj. having great beauty and splendor
stigmatize - verb mark with a stigma or stigmata; to accuse or condemn or openly or formally or brand as disgraceful
sub rosa -  noun confidentially; secretly; privately
vainglory - noun outspoken conceit
vestige - noun an indication that something has been present
volition - noun the act of making a choice; the capability of conscious choice and decision and intention

Fall Vocabulary: List 4

apposite - adj. being of striking appropriateness and pertinence
augur - noun (ancient Rome) a religious official who interpreted omens to guide public policy; verb predict from an omen; indicate by signs
bilk - verb evade payment to; cheat somebody out of what is due, especially money; escape, either physically or mentally;hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of
charisma - noun a personal attractiveness or interestingness that enables you to influence others
debilitate - verb make weak
execrable - adj. deserving a curse; unequivocally detestable;of very poor quality or condition
impinge - verb impinge or infringe upon; advance beyond the usual limit
labyrinth - noun maze
narcissism - noun an exceptional interest in and admiration for yourself
niggardly - adj. petty or reluctant in giving or spending
pastiche - noun a work of art that imitates the style of some previous work; a musical composition consisting of a series of songs or other musical pieces from various sources
precarious - adj. affording no ease or reassurance; not secure; beset with difficulties; dangerously insecure; fraught with danger
rapport - noun a relationship of mutual understanding or trust and agreement between people
utilitarian - adj. having a useful function; having utility often to the exclusion of values; noun someone who believes that the value of a thing depends on its utility
vacuous - adj. devoid of matter; void of expression; devoid of significance or point; devoid of intelligence
vagary - noun an unexpected and inexplicable change in something (in a situation or a person's behavior, etc.)
viable - adj. capable of life or normal growth and development;capable of being done with means at hand and circumstances as they are
xenophobia - noun an irrational fear of foreigners or strangers
zany - adj. like a clown; ludicrous, foolish; noun a buffoon in one of the old comedies; imitates others for ludicrous effect;a man who is a stupid incompetent fool
zealot - noun an excessively zealous person; fanatic

Fall Vocabulary: List 5

apostate - adj. not faithful to religion or party or cause;noun a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
bravado - noun a swaggering show of courage
consensus - noun agreement in the judgment or opinion reached by a group as a whole
constrict - verb become tight or as if tight; squeeze or press together
dichotomy - noun being twofold; a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses
effusive - adj. extravagantly demonstrative; uttered with unrestrained enthusiasm
euphoria - noun a feeling of great (usually exaggerated) elation
gothic - adj. characterized by gloom and mystery and the grotesque
impasse - noun a situation in which no progress can be made or no advancement is possible
lugubrious - adj. excessively mournful
metamorphosis - noun a complete change of physical form or substance; a striking change in appearance or character or circumstances
mystique - noun an aura of heightened value or interest or meaning surrounding a person or thing
non sequitur – noun a statement containing an illogical conclusion.
parlous - adj. fraught with danger
punctilio - noun strict observance of formalities; a fine point of etiquette or petty formality
quagmire - noun a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot; a difficult situation to escape.
quixotic - adj. not sensible about practical matters; unrealistic
raconteur - noun a person skilled in telling anecdotes
sine qua non – noun an indispensable condition, element, or factor; something essential.
vendetta - noun a feud in which members of the opposing parties murder each other

Fall Vocabulary: List 6

acumen - noun a tapering point; shrewdness shown by keen insight
adjudicate - verb bring to an end; settle conclusively; put on trial or hear a case and sit as the judge at the trial of
anachronism - noun an artifact that belongs to another time; a person who seems to be displaced in time; who belongs to another age; something located at a time when it could not have existed or occurred
apocryphal - adj. being of questionable authenticity; of or belonging to the Apocrypha
disparity - noun inequality or difference in some respect
dissimulate - verb hide (feelings) from other people
empirical - adj. derived from experiment and observation rather than theory; relying on medical quackery
flamboyant - adj. richly and brilliantly colorful; elaborately or excessively ornamented
fulsome - adj. unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech
immolate - verb offer as a sacrifice by killing or by giving up to destruction
imperceptible - adj. impossible or difficult to perceive by the mind or senses
lackey - noun a male servant (especially a footman); a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
liaison - noun a channel for communication between groups; a usually secretive or illicit sexual relationship
monolithic - adj. characterized by massiveness and rigidity and total uniformity; imposing in size or bulk or solidity
mot juste.-  the exact, appropriate word
nihilism - noun complete denial of all established authority and institutions; the delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist; a sense that everything is unreal
patrician - adj. belonging to or characteristic of the nobility or aristocracy; noun a person of refined upbringing and manners; a member of the aristocracy
propitiate - verb make peace with
sic - adv. intentionally so written (used after a printed word or phrase); verb urge a dog to attack someone
sublimate - adj. made pure; noun the product of vaporization of a solid; verb direct energy or urges into useful activities

Fall Vocabulary: List 7

beatitude - noun one of the eight sayings of Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount; in Latin each saying begins with `beatus' (blessed); a state of supreme happiness
bete noire – noun a person or thing especially disliked or dreaded; bane; bugbear
bode - verb indicate by signs
dank - adj. unpleasantly cool and humid
ecumenical - adj. of worldwide scope or applicability
fervid - adj. extremely hot; characterized by intense emotion
fetid - adj. offensively malodorous
gargantuan - adj. of great mass; huge and bulky
heyday - noun the period of greatest prosperity or productivity
incubus - noun a male demon believed to lie on sleeping persons and to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women; someone who depresses or worries others; a situation resembling a terrifying dream
infrastructure - noun the basic structure or features of a system or organization
inveigle - verb influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
kudos - noun an expression of approval and commendation
lagniappe - noun a small gift (especially one given by a merchant to a customer who makes a purchase)
prolix - adj. tediously prolonged or tending to speak or write at great length
protégé - noun a person who receives support and protection from an influential patron who furthers the protege's career
prototype - noun a standard or typical example
sycophant - noun a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
tautology - noun useless repetition; (logic) a statement that is necessarily true
truckle - noun a low bed to be slid under a higher bed; verbyield to out of weakness; try to gain favor by cringing or flattering

Fall Vocabulary: List 8

aberration - noun an optical phenomenon resulting from the failure of a lens or mirror to produce a good image; a disorder in one's mental state; a state or condition markedly different from the norm
ad hoc -  adj. concerned or dealing with a specific subject, purpose, or end
bane - noun something causes misery or death
bathos - noun triteness or triviality of style; a change from a serious subject to a disappointing one; insincere pathos
cantankerous - adj. having a difficult and contrary disposition; stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate
casuistry - noun moral philosophy based on the application of general ethical principles to resolve moral dilemmas;argumentation that is specious or excessively subtle and intended to be misleading
de facto – noun in fact; in reality
depredation - noun an act of plundering and pillaging and marauding; (usually plural) a destructive action
empathy - noun understanding and entering into another's feelings
harbinger - noun an indication of the approach of something or someone; verb foreshadow or presage
hedonism - noun the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of ethical principle
lackluster - adj. lacking luster or shine; lacking brilliance or vitality
malcontent - adj. discontented as toward authority; noun a person who is discontented or disgusted
mellifluous - adj. pleasing to the ear
nepotism - noun favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs)
pander - noun someone who procures customers for whores (in England they call a pimp a ponce); verb arrange for sexual partners for others; yield (to); give satisfaction to
peccadillo - noun a petty misdeed
piece de resistance – the most noteworthy or prized feature; aspect; ect.  
remand - noun the act of sending an accused person back into custody to await trial; verb lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
syndrome - noun a complex of concurrent things; a pattern of symptoms indicative of some disease

Fall Vocabulary: List 9

abeyance - noun temporary cessation or suspension
ambivalent - adj. uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow
beleaguer - verb surround so as to force to give up; annoy persistently
carte blanche – noun unconditional authority; full discretionary power
cataclysm - noun an event resulting in great loss and misfortune; a sudden violent change in the earth's surface
debauch - noun a wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity; verb corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
éclat - noun brilliant or conspicuous success or effect;ceremonial elegance and splendor; enthusiastic approval
fastidious - adj. giving careful attention to detail; hard to please; excessively concerned with cleanliness; having complicated nutritional requirements; especially growing only in special artificial cultures
gambol - verb play boisterously
imbue - verb suffuse with color; fill, soak, or imbue totally;spread or diffuse through
inchoate - adj. only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
lampoon - noun a composition that imitates somebody's style in a humorous way; verb ridicule with satire
malleable - adj. capable of being shaped or bent or drawn out;easily influenced
nemesis - noun something causes misery or death
opt - verb select as an alternative; choose instead; prefer as an alternative
philistine - noun a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits
picaresque - adj. involving clever rogues or adventurers especially as in a type of fiction
queasy - adj. causing or fraught with or showing anxiety;feeling nausea; feeling about to vomit; causing or able to cause nausea
refractory - adj. temporarily unresponsive or not fully responsive to nervous or sexual stimuli; not responding to treatment; stubbornly resistant to authority or control
savoir-faire - noun social skill

Fall Vocabulary: List 10

abortive - adj. failing to accomplish an intended result
bruit - verb tell or spread rumors
contumelious - adj. arrogantly insolent
dictum - noun an authoritative declaration; an opinion voiced by a judge on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question and therefore not binding
ensconce - verb fix firmly
iconoclastic - adj. destructive of images used in religious worship; said of religions, such as Islam, in which the representation of living things is prohibited; characterized by attack on established beliefs or institutions
in medias res – in the middle
internecine - adj. characterized by bloodshed and carnage for both sides; (of conflict) within a group or organization
maladroit - adj. unskillful; awkward
maudlin - adj. effusively or insincerely emotional
modulate - verb vary the frequency, amplitude, phase, or other characteristic of; vary the pitch of one's speech
portentous - adj. of momentous or ominous significance; puffed up with vanity; ominously prophetic
prescience - noun the power to foresee the future
quid pro quo – noun one thing in return for another
salubrious - adj. favorable to health of mind or body;promoting health; healthful
saturnalia – unrestrained revelry; orgy
touchstone - noun a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated
traumatic - adj. psychologically painful
vitiate - verb make imperfect; corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
waggish - adj. witty or joking

Fall Vocabulary: List 11

aficionado - noun a serious devotee of some particular music genre or musical performer; a fan of bull fighting
browbeat - verb discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate; be bossy towards
commensurate - adj. corresponding in size or degree or extent
diaphanous - adj. so thin as to transmit light
emolument - noun compensation received by virtue of holding an office or having employment (usually in the form of wages or fees)
foray - noun an initial attempt; a sudden short attack; verbbriefly enter enemy territory; steal goods; take as spoils
genre - noun a class of art
homily - noun a sermon on a moral or religious topic
immure - verb lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
insouciant - adj. marked by blithe unconcern
matrix - noun an enclosure within which something originates or develops (from the Latin for womb)
obsequies – noun funeral rite or ceremony
panache - noun distinctive and stylish elegance
persona - noun a personal facade that one presents to the world
philippic - noun a speech of violent denunciation
prurient - adj. characterized by lust
sacrosanct - adj. must be kept sacred
systemic - adj. affecting an entire system
tendentious - adj. having or marked by a strong tendency especially a controversial one
vicissitude - noun a change or variation occurring in the course of something

Fall Vocabulary: List 12

affinity - noun a natural attraction or feeling of kinship
bilious - adj. relating to or containing bile; irritable as if suffering from indigestion
cognate - adj. having the same ancestral language; related in nature; noun a word is cognate with another if both derive from the same word in an ancestral language
corollary - noun (logic) an inference that follows directly from the proof of another proposition; a practical consequence that follows naturally
cul de sac - noun a street with only one way in or out; a passage with access only at one end
derring-do - noun brave and heroic deeds
divination - noun a prediction uttered under divine inspiration
elixir - noun a substance believed to cure all ills
folderol - noun nonsensical talk or writing
gamut - noun a complete extent or range
hoi polloi – the common people; the masses
ineffable - adj. too sacred to be uttered; defying expression or description
lucubration - noun laborious cogitation
mnemonic - noun a device used to aid recall
obloquy - noun blame, or abusive language aimed at a person or thing
parameter - noun limits or boundaries; guidelines
pundit - noun a learned person, expert, or authority
risible - adj. arousing or provoking laughter
symptomatic - adj. relating to or according to or affecting a symptom or symptoms; characteristic or indicative of e.g. a disease
volte-face - noun a major change in attitude or principle or point of view