infinite: never-ending; going on forever
• Her mother seemed to have an infinite number of questions about Jenny’s
date with Silas.
• The teacher had infinite patience and never lost her temper, no matter how
far her students pushed her.
abduct: to kidnap
• Mrs. Jenkin’s biggest fear was that her daughter would be abducted, so she
watched her closely whenever they went to the park.
• Kent’s parents didn’t believe his story about being abducted by aliens and
taken away in their spaceship for three hours.
textiles: woven materials; cloth
• The interior designer had a collection of textiles for her customers to
• Clothing manufacturers make many purchases from textile factories.
loathe: to hate
• George loathed cooked carrots and groaned every time his dad made them
• “I loathe cleaning the toilet,”said Mike.“I’d rather vacuum the whole house
every day for a week.”
unscrupulous: dishonest; immoral
• The unscrupulous coach encouraged his team to cheat whenever they
• The businessman was so unscrupulousthat he cheated people who lived in
controversial: debatable; likely to cause disagreement
• The decision to eliminate school uniforms at St. Mary’s School was quite
• Many of Madonna’s music videos are controversial.
turbulent: wild; unstable
• Everyone wishes Molly and Zeke would break up.They have such a
• The injured seal was having trouble staying afloat in the turbulent waters.
nocturnal: active at night
• Many owls are nocturnal.That’s why they see so well in the dark.
• “My cat is nocturnal and loves to go out at 2:00 AM,”said Marta.
tout: to praise highly
• James Brown has been touted as the “Godfather of Soul.”
• Mr. Octave had been touted as one of the best drama directors in the state,
so the school was delighted to hire him.
smug: self-satisfied to an annoying degree
• Marcos was smug about the Ahe got on his grammar test. He bragged
about it to anyone who would listen.
• Charla was smug about knowing the answer when no one else did.
#façade: the face or front part of something, especially an artificial or false front
• Jessica’s bravery was just a façade. Deep down, she was terrified.
• The building had a brick façade, but it was really constructed of wood.
#vehement: forceful; full of intense feeling
• Ella took a vehement dislike to tomatoes after she ate too many of them and
Vocabulary List #12
aghast: feeling great horror or dismay
• Tiffany was aghast to discover she had toilet paper stuck to her shoe while
she was being crowned homecoming queen.
• Kate was aghast to learn she hadn’t made the volleyball team.
redundant: needlessly repetitive
• “Saying two twinsis redundant,”said the English teacher.
• “It is important,”said Lou’s father.“It’s vital. It’s crucial. It’s . . .”He stopped
and sighed.“I guess I’m being redundant.”
gullible: easily fooled or taken in
• Roseanne was so gullible she always believed the outlandish stories Mau-
rice told her.
• Sven lost $500 in a telephone scam because he is so gullible.
eccentric: out-of-the-ordinary; odd; unconventional
• The eccentric woman kept a slice of pepperoni pizza under her mattress in
case she got hungry during the night.
• The play is funny because it has so many eccentric characters.You never
know what they’re going to do next.
inanimate: not living
• Shelley didn’t think of her stuffed animals as inanimate objects.They seemed
so alive and real to her.
• A computer is an inanimate object,but a hamster is not.
jeer: to make fun of in a rude,sarcastic manner
• When the football team fell behind by another seven points,the fans jeered
instead of cheered.
• The crowd jeered Elaine when her comedy routine flopped.
paradox: a statement that seems inconsistent or contradictory but may be true
• “You say you love him yet hate him,”said LuAnn.“That seems like a paradox
believe it’s true.
ravenous: extremely hungry
• A full day of skiing left Luisa ravenous. She ate three plates of spaghetti
when she got back to the lodge.
• No matter how much he eats for breakfast, Paul is always ravenous by sec-
valiant: brave; courageous
• Even though Wendy didn’t win the race, her coach praised her valiant
flourish: to prosper or thrive
• Abe’s house plants flourished because he took such good care of them.
• Business at the coffee house flourished when the owner hired a popular
#mesmerize: to hypnotize
• Paige sat staring at the TV screen, mesmerizedby Johnny Depp.
• Blaine’s blue eyes can mesmerizeeven the crankiest customer at Hooligan’s
• The family was destitute and had to live in their car.
• Mr. Bandower knew that if he quit his job, his family would be destitute.
Vocabulary List #13
• Paula studied for her biology test by reading the chapter synopsis. She
should have read the chapter instead.
• Ms. Moser was having trouble understanding the plot of the Italian opera,
so she read the synopsis printed in the program.
idolize: to greatly admire
• Joe idolized Michael Jordan and wanted to grow up to be just like him.
• Tiffany idolized her older sister and followed her around everywhere she
• Tasha inadvertently put too much butter in her cookies, so they were really
• Sometimes, when you order a pizza for delivery, the pizza place will call you
back to verify that the order is not a prank.
• Shauna said the bank robber had been wearing a red ski mask, and the
other witnesses verified her statement.
convene: to meet or assemble
• The meeting of Snowboarders for Peace will convene at 7:00 PMin the
excerpt: a passage selected from a book,speech,play,film,etc.
• “Mr.Bucco read an excerpt from Huckleberry Finnthat was so interesting it
made us want to read the rest of the book,”said Clarence,looking surprised.
• The speaker read an excerpt from one of the speeches of Martin Luther King,
Jr.,and it brought tears to the eyes ofthe audience.
lucrative: bringing in a lot of money
• Having two paper routes is more lucrative than having just one.
• The class fund-raiser was so lucrative that the students got to go on a much
more expensive class trip than they had expected.
orb: a sphere or circle
• The sun was a glowing orange orbrising in the east.
• Eyeballs are orbs. So are cantaloupes.
lament: to mourn or grieve
• For months after his family moved to another city, Cory lamented the loss
of all his friends.
• Long after the funeral, Fawn lamented the death of her favorite aunt.
candor: honesty and straightforwardness
• Nina made no excuses to Ross. She told him with candor that she simply
did not want to go to the prom with him.
• Jane displayed unfortunate candor when she told the principal he had bad
#faux: false; artificial
• My mom refers to her wig as “fauxhair.”
• Faux pearls cost less than real ones.
#precocious: smart for his or her age; showing skills or abilities at an earlier age
• Jamal could read when he was only two and a half. He has always been
• Six-year-old Ursula is precocious. She already understands calculus.
Vocabulary List #14
seethe: to boil; to be violently agitated or disturbed
• Maggie thought her parents would seethe over hercheating. But it was
worse than that; they sat quietly and looked very, very disappointed.
• Tony was seething inside, but he wasn’t about to let Hank know it. He
smiled calmly and walked on by.
incompatible: not going together well
• Bonnie and Jeff are incompatible on road trips. She likes to stop and look
at every attraction, and he hates to get off the highway for any reason at all.
• Alice’s boss asked her to transfer to another department because the two of
them were so incompatible.
paunch: a potbelly
• Ever since he stopped doing his sit-ups, Mr. Romero had been getting a bit
of a paunch.
• Walt didn’t care if he developed a paunch. He would never give up his
favorite snack of Mountain Dew and Oreos.
proprietor: the owner of a business
• Celestina Monarco became the sole proprietor of Monarco’s Grocery Store
after her husband died.
• If Tom decided to buy the store, he would then become the proprietor.
vermin: any of various small, harmful or disgusting animals or insects
• The run-down building was full of vermin and quite unsuitable for people
to live in.
• If you want to keep your sugar and flour free of vermin, store them in the
smitten: struck with a powerful feeling; inspired with love
• Tony was smitten with the new girl in his chemistry class. Because he was
concentrating on her and not on his Bunsen burner, he knocked it over and
burned a hole in the counter.
• Yvonne went to the pool every single day all summer long because she was
smitten with the lifeguard.
fickle: very changeable in affection, loyalty, etc.
• The fickle princess was always changing her mind about which prince she
wanted to marry.
• The fickle fan always cheered for whichever team was winning.
gaunt: thin and bony
• The artist was gaunt. He had been working so hard on his project that he
usually forgot to take time to eat.
• Other than looking gaunt,the hostage appeared unharmed after being locked
up for five days with no food.
meddle: to interfere in someone else’s business
• Since Mrs. Busby lives alone, meddling in her neighbors’ lives makes her
own life seem more interesting.
• Mrs.Vance is always snooping around her daughter’s room and meddling in
her personal affairs.
kleptomaniac: someone who is addicted to stealing
• After Kirsten was picked up a fifth time for shoplifting, her parents won-
dered if maybe she was a kleptomaniac.
• When Lila’s grandma moved in with her, she had to keep a constant eye on
all her things. Her grandma was known for being a kleptomaniac who stole
salt shakers, pillow cases – anything.
#astute: clever; intelligent; cunning
• Eleanor was astute about investing her money, and she soon became a mil-
• “These footprints are muddy.The thief must have come in after it started rain-
ing,”said the detective,making an observation that wasn’t particularly astute.
#filibuster: the making of long speeches to prevent a vote on a bill
• The senators kept the filibuster goingfor six days. It’s a wonder any of
them had a voice left afterwards.
• The 16-hour filibuster was successful. It prevented a vote on the bill.
Vocabulary List #15
veto: to reject
• Theodore had planned on taking his mom’s brand new car on his Friday
night date, but she vetoed that idea.
• The principal informed the student council that she has the power to veto
any of its decisions if she disagrees with them.
prominent: outstanding; distinguished; readily noticeable
• Brenna’s aunt was such a prominent lawyer that she didn’t even need to
• Jay Leno has a prominent chin.
ethical: moral or right
• “Stealing money from your sister to buy a pack of gum is not ethical,”said
• Clarisse joined the demonstrators outside the company’s walls.“The cruel
and painful experiments some companies perform on animals are not ethi-
cliché: a stale, overused expression
• “Quiet as a mouse”is a cliché. So is “You can’t have your cake and eat it,
• Since Harold uses a lot of clichés, it is easy to finish his sentences for him.
introvert: a person whose thoughts and interests are directed mostly inward.
• Even though April seemed to be anintrovert, the drama teacher thought
she would be great as the lead in the school play.
• An introvert is more likely to prefer writing in a diary to talking on the
phone with friends.
extrovert: an outgoing person
• An extrovert is more likely to prefer going to a party to writing in his diary.
• Although she liked the extrovertsin her class very much, the teacher often
had to scold them for talking during class.
comprehend: to understand
• “I’ll never comprehend this algebra lesson,”muttered Evelyn,“even if I
study it for 20 years!”
• To help his students comprehend the workings of a hot air balloon, the
professor brought in a diagram.
profound: deep; intense; intelligent
• The editor was hoping to someday receive a book manuscript full of
profound insight into human nature, but all she ever got was silly fluff.
• Evan expected a profound answer when he asked the artist the meaning of
her painting, but all she said was,“It’s just a painting.”
transition: a change
• Nina’s mother says lip gloss is the perfect transition between wearing no
make-up at all and wearing lipstick.
• The transition between grade school and junior high is difficult for many
simultaneously: happening at the same time
• Brian simultaneously talked on the phone and played solitaire on the com-
• Jonathon was a deep sleeper, so he set six alarm clocks to go off
#gobbledygook: words that are confusing and needlessly official-sounding
• The contract was just a bunch of gobbledygook to Tim, so he decided to
have his lawyer clarify it for him before he signed.
• Since the politician didn’t really know the answer to the reporter’s question,
he just spoke a lot of gobbledygook to try to cover up his ignorance.
• Although cigarettes are carcinogenic, many people unwisely smoke them