a. foul-smelling; offensive by arousing disgust; harmful or dangerous
E.g. The noisome atmosphere downwind of the oil refinery not only stank, it damaged the lungs of everyone living in the area.
n. terminology; system of names used in an art or science
E.g. Sharon found Latin word parts useful in translating medical nomenclature.
n. indifference; lack of concern; composure
E.g. Cool, calm, and collected under fire, James Bond shows remarkable nonchalance in the face of danger.
a. very reluctant to give out information
E.g. We were annoyed by his noncommittal reply for we had been led to expect definite assurances of his approval.
n. one who refuses to conform to established standards of conduct; not conforming to some norm; unconventional
E.g. You can feel the old stubborn nonconformist spirit of the early settlers from his story.
n. failure to conform; lack of harmony or correspondence
E.g. A divided Liberal party after the war meant a frustrated and enfeebled nonconformity.
a. dull and uninteresting; lacking distinct or individual
E.g. The private detective was a short, nondescript fellow with no outstanding features, the sort of person one would never notice in a crowd.
n. person of no importance; something that does not exist or that exists only in imagination
E.g. Because the two older princes dismissed their youngest brother as a nonentity, they did not realize that he was quietly plotting to seize the throne.
v. perplex or bewilder someone; confound or flummox
E.g. Jack's uncharacteristic rudeness might nonplus Jill, leaving her uncertain how to react.
n. patent medicine whose efficacy is questionable; quack medicine
E.g. This nostrum is a compound of some of the ordinary foods with certain well-known aromatic and carminative substances.
v. make invalid; make null; invalidate; counteract force or effectiveness of
E.g. We will nullify the contract, it no longer has any legal force next month.
n. collector and student of money, in particular of coins
E.g. The numismatist had a splendid collection of antique coins.
a. hardened in wrongdoing or wickedness; not giving in to persuasion
E.g. He was obdurate in his refusal to listen to our complaints.
v. confuse; muddle; cause confusion; make needlessly complex
E.g. Was the president's spokesman trying to clarify the Whitewater mystery, or was he trying to obfuscate the issue so the voters would never figure out what went on?.
a. happy and ready to do favors for others
E.g. As she grew up, a sound English education corrected in a great measure her French defects; and when she left school, I found in her a pleasing and obliging companion: docile, good-tempered, and well-principled.
a. slavishly attentive; attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
E.g. Helen liked to be served by people who behaved as if they respected themselves; nothing irritated her more than an excessively obsequious waiter or a fawning salesclerk.
n. act or practice of observing or noticing with attention; an act, ceremony, or rite, as of worship or respect
E.g. The worker was praised for his observance of the rules.
a. noisily aggressive; making great noise or outcry
E.g. What do you do when an obstreperous horde of drunken policemen goes carousing through your hotel, crashing into potted plants and singing vulgar songs?.
v. push oneself or one's ideas forward or intrude; stick out or extrude
E.g. Because Fanny was reluctant to obtrude her opinions about child-raising upon her daughter-in-law, she kept a close watch on her tongue.
a. inclined to intrude or thrust one's self or one's opinions upon others; enter uninvited; forward; pushing; intrusive.
E.g. I might have escaped notice, had not my treacherous slate somehow happened to slip from my hand, and falling with an obtrusive crash, directly drawn every eye upon me.
v. bypass requirement or make it unnecessary; get rid of
E.g. I hope this contribution will obviate any need for further collections of funds.
n. strong dislike, contempt, or aversion; hatefulness; disrepute
E.g. Prince Charming could not express the odium he felt toward Cinderella's stepsisters because of their mistreatment of poor Cinderella.
a. marked by excessive eagerness in offering unwanted services or advice to others
E.g. Judy wanted to look over the new computer models on her own, but the officious salesman kept on butting in with "helpful" advice until she was ready to walk out of the store.
n. government by a few persons, especially by a small faction of persons or families
E.g. One small clique ran the student council: what had been intended as a democratic governing body had turned into an oligarchy.
a. having total knowledge; knowing everything
E.g. I do not pretend to be omniscient, but I am positive about this fact.
a. eating both plant and animal food; devouring everything; having interest in a variety of subjects
E.g. Some animals, including man, are omnivorous and eat both meat and vegetables; others are either carnivorous or herbivorous.
a. burdensome or oppressive; not easily borne; wearing
E.g. He asked for an assistant because his work load was too onerous.
n. one that looks on; spectator
E.g. He was an outsider at the best, a friendly onlooker who saw little.
n. burden or obligation; difficult or disagreeable responsibility or necessity
E.g. The emperor was spared the onus of signing the surrender papers; instead, he relegated the assignment to his generals.
a. varying in color when seen in different lights or from different angles; lustrous
E.g. The oil slick on the water had an opalescent, rainbow-like sheen.
a. impenetrable by light; not transparent; not reflecting light; having no luster
E.g. The opaque window shade kept the sunlight out of the room.
n. medicine to induce sleep or deaden pain; something that relieves emotions or causes inaction
E.g. To say that religion is the opiate of the people is to condemn religion as a drug that keeps the people quiet and submissive to those in power.
a. bringing disgrace; shameful or infamous
E.g. She wrote an opprobrious editorial in the newspaper about the critic who tore her new play to shreds.
n. extreme wealth; luxuriousness; abundance
E.g. The glitter and opulence of the ballroom took Cinderella's breath away.
a. prophetic; uttered as if with divine authority; mysterious or ambiguous
E.g. Like many others who sought divine guidance from the oracle at Delphi, Oedipus could not understand the enigmatic oracular warning he received.
n. elaborate discourse; delivered in public; treating an important subject in a formal and dignified manner
E.g. He was asked to deliver an oration at the meeting.
n. musical composition for voices and orchestra based on religious text
E.g. Kathleen Ferrier was the greatest oratorio singer of the time.
n. place of orisons, or prayer; chapel or small room set apart for private devotions
E.g. He pulverized the opposition with the force of his oratory.
v. decree or command; grant holy orders; predestine
E.g. The king would ordain that no foreigner should be allowed to enter the city.
n. act of admitting to holy orders; disposition as in ranks or rows; formal arrangement
E.g. At the young priest's ordination, the members of the congregation presented him with a set of vestments.