a. flexible; yielding; easily bent or shaped
E.g. In remodeling the bathroom, we have replaced all the old, rigid lead pipes with new, pliable copper tubing.
a. flexible; easily influenced; easily bent or flexed; pliable
E.g. He says that media in China is largely pliant, meaning his company has rarely faced tough questions.
v. move or walk heavily or laboriously; travel slowly but steadily
E.g. Labourers plod home through the muddy fields.
n. covering of feathers on bird; feathers used ornamentally; elaborate dress
E.g. Bird watchers identify different species of bird by their characteristic songs and distinctive plumage.
n. society or government ruled by wealthy class
E.g. From the way the government caters to the rich, you might think our society is a plutocracy rather than a democracy.
n. state of deeply felt distress or sorrow; keenness of emotion
E.g. Watching the tearful reunion of the long-separated mother and child, the social worker was touched by the poignancy of the scene.
a. confined; cramped.
E.g. I shall have to go and live in that poky little house, and have next to no toys to play with.
a. aggressive in verbal attack; disputatious
E.g. Lexy was a master of polemical rhetoric; she should have worn a T-shirt with the slogan "Born to Debate.".
v. fertilize by transferring pollen
E.g. Although honeybees are effective to fertilize under high temperature in California, they do not effectively pollinate alfalfa in western Canada.
a. speaking, writing, written in, or composed of several languages
E.g. New York City is a polyglot community because of the thousands of immigrants who settle there.
n. excessive self-esteem or exaggerated dignity; acting like stuffed shirt
E.g. Although the commencement speaker had some good things to say, we had to laugh at his pomposity and general air of parading his own dignity.
a. slow and laborious because of weight; labored and dull
E.g. His humor lacked the light touch; his jokes were always ponderous.
a. pertaining to bishop or pope; having dignity or authority of bishop
E.g. This is quite evident from his acquired right of subdelegation whereby he was allowed to name a vicegerens, his representative not alone in pontifical ceremonies, but also in jurisdiction.
n. common people; vulgar; multitude
E.g. He had the support of large sections of the populace.
a. crowded; populated
E.g. That figure is slightly more than the annual value of all goods and services produced in China and India, the two most populous countries.
a. full of pores; able to absorb fluids; full of tiny pores that allow fluids or gasses to pass through
E.g. Dancers like to wear porous clothing because it allows the ready passage of water and air.
v. foretell; serve as an omen or a warning of; indicate by prediction
E.g. The king does not know what these omens portend and asks his soothsayers to interpret them.
a. full of unspecifiable significance; exciting wonder and awe; wonderful
E.g. He waited imperiously for their attention before he began his carefully composed talk, delivered in portentous tones.
v. assume existence of; put forward, as for consideration or study; suggest
E.g. Before proving the math formula, we needed to posit that x and y were real numbers.
a. after death, as of child born after father's death or book published after author's death
E.g. The critics ignored his works during his lifetime; it was only after the posthumous publication of his last novel that they recognized his great talent.
n. essential premise; underlying assumption
E.g. The basic postulate of democracy, set forth in the Declaration of Independence, is that all men are created equal.
a. suitable for drinking; drinkable
E.g. The recent drought in the Middle Atlantic states has emphasized the need for extensive research in ways of making sea water potable.
n. monarch; ruler who is unconstrained by law
E.g. The potentate spent more time at Monte Carlo than he did at home on his throne.
v. speak foolishly; talk idly and at length; chatter
E.g. Let us not prate about our good qualities; rather, let our virtues speak for themselves.
v. come before; antecede
E.g. Most English adjectives precede the noun they modify.
n. rule or principle prescribing particular action or conduct; authorized direction or order
E.g. This precept is the only way I know in the world of being loved without being despised, and feared without being hated.
n. unexpected acceleration or hastening; the quantity of water falling to earth
E.g. The storm brought several inches of precipitation.
a. extremely steep; descending rapidly, or rushing onward
E.g. This hill is difficult to climb because it is so precipitous.
n. concise summing up of main points
E.g. Before making her presentation at the conference, Ellen wrote up a neat precis of the major elements she would cover.
v. make impossible, as by action taken in advance; prevent; eliminate
E.g. The fact that the band was already booked to play in Hollywood on New Year's Eve would preclude their accepting the New Year's Eve gig in London.
n. forerunner; one who precedes an event and indicates its approach
E.g. Though Gray shared many traits with the Romantic poets who followed them, most critics consider him precursor of the Romantic Movement, not true Romantics.
n. condition of favoring or liking; tendency towards; preference
E.g. Although I have written all sorts of poetry over the years, I have a definite predilection for occasional verse.
a. most frequent or common; having superior power and influence
E.g. The predominant mood among policy-makers is optimism.
a. outstanding; superior to or notable above all others
E.g. The king traveled to Boston because he wanted the preeminent surgeon in the field to perform the operation.
v. make oneself tidy in appearance; feel self-satisfaction
E.g. With each new crisis, the capitalists, "blinded by greed," will always be blamed, as noble altruists such as Hillary Clinton and John McCain preen about how they just want to help the little guy.
n. superiority in numbers or amount
E.g. There is a preponderance of Blacks in our city.
v. foretell or predict; indicate or warn of in advance
E.g. The vultures flying overhead presage the discovery of the corpse in the desert.
n. something used to preserve, especially a chemical added to foods to inhibit spoilage
E.g. I have had some previous experience in this branch of what I call preservative chemistry.
n. cleverly executed trick or deception; skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with hands
E.g. My hunch was that he won the contest not so much as a result of real talent, but rather through prestidigitation.
a. supposed to be true; reasonable as a supposition
E.g. Forty per cent of the US population are women 25-65 years old, presumable the target audience.