5000 Collegiate Words with Brief Definitions –
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abase v. To lower in position, estimation, or the like; degrade. abbess n. The lady superior of a nunnery.
abbey n. The group of buildings which collectively form the dwelling-place of a society of monks or nuns.
abbot n. The superior of a community of monks.
abdicate v. To give up (royal power or the like).
abdomen n. In mammals, the visceral cavity between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor; the belly.
abdominal n. Of, pertaining to, or situated on the abdomen. abduction n. A carrying away of a person against his will, or illegally. abed adv. In bed; on a bed.
aberration n. Deviation from a right, customary, or prescribed course. abet v. To aid, promote, or encourage the commission of (an offense). abeyance n. A state of suspension or temporary inaction. abhorrence n. The act of detesting extremely.
abhorrent adj. Very repugnant; hateful.
abidance n. An abiding.
abject adj. Sunk to a low condition.
abjure v. To recant, renounce, repudiate under oath.
able-bodied adj. Competent for physical service.
ablution n. A washing or cleansing, especially of the body. abnegate v. To renounce (a right or privilege).
abnormal adj. Not conformed to the ordinary rule or standard. abominable adj. Very hateful.
abominate v. To hate violently.
abomination n. A very detestable act or practice.
aboriginal adj. Primitive; unsophisticated.
aborigines n. The original of earliest known inhabitants of a country. aboveboard adv. & adj. Without concealment, fraud, or trickery. abrade v. To wear away the surface or some part of by friction. abrasion n. That which is rubbed off.
abridge v. To make shorter in words, keeping the essential features, leaning out minor particles.
abridgment n. A condensed form as of a book or play.
abrogate v. To abolish, repeal.
abrupt adj. Beginning, ending, or changing suddenly or with a break. abscess n. A Collection of pus in a cavity formed within some tissue of the body. abscission n. The act of cutting off, as in a surgical operation. abscond v. To depart suddenly and secretly, as for the purpose of escaping arrest. absence n. The fact of not being present or available.
absent-minded adj. Lacking in attention to immediate surroundings or business. absolution n. Forgiveness, or passing over of offenses.
absolve v. To free from sin or its penalties.
absorb v. To drink in or suck up, as a sponge absorbs water.
absorption n. The act or process of absorbing.
abstain v. To keep oneself back (from doing or using something).
Characterized by self denial or abstinence, as in the use of drink, food. abstemious adj.
abstinence n. Self denial.
abstruse adj. Dealing with matters difficult to be understood. absurd adj. Inconsistent with reason or common sense. abundant adj. Plentiful.
abusive adj. Employing harsh words or ill treatment. abut v. To touch at the end or boundary line.
abyss n. Bottomless gulf.
academic adj. Of or pertaining to an academy, college, or university. academician n. A member of an academy of literature, art, or science. academy n. Any institution where the higher branches of learning are taught.
accede v. To agree.
accelerate v. To move faster.
accept v. To take when offered.
access n. A way of approach or entrance; passage.
accessible adj. Approachable.
accession n. Induction or elevation, as to dignity, office, or government. accessory n. A person or thing that aids the principal agent. acclaim v. To utter with a shout.
accommodate v. To furnish something as a kindness or favor. accompaniment n. A subordinate part or parts, enriching or supporting the leading part. accompanist n. One who or that which accompanies.
accompany v. To go with, or be associated with, as a companion. accomplice n. An associate in wrong-doing.
accomplish v. To bring to pass.
accordion n. A portable free-reed musical instrument. accost v. To speak to.
account n. A record or statement of receipts and expenditures, or of business transactions.
accredit v. To give credit or authority to.
accumulate v. To become greater in quantity or number. accuracy n. Exactness.
accurate adj. Conforming exactly to truth or to a standard. accursed adj. Doomed to evil, misery, or misfortune. accusation n. A charge of crime, misdemeanor, or error. accusatory adj. Of, pertaining to, or involving an accusation. accuse v. To charge with wrong doing, misconduct, or error. accustom v. To make familiar by use.
acerbity n. Sourness, with bitterness and astringency. acetate n. A salt of acetic acid.
acetic adj. Of, pertaining to, or of the nature of vinegar. ache v. To be in pain or distress.
Achillean adj. Invulnerable.
achromatic adj. Colorless,
acid n. A sour substance.
acidify v. To change into acid.
acknowledge v. To recognize; to admit the genuineness or validity of. acknowledgment n. Recognition.
acme n. The highest point, or summit.
acoustic adj. Pertaining to the act or sense of hearing. acquaint v. To make familiar or conversant.
acquiesce v. To comply; submit.
acquiescence n. Passive consent.
acquire v. To get as one's own.
acquisition n. Anything gained, or made one's own, usually by effort or labor.
acquit v. To free or clear, as from accusation. acquittal n. A discharge from accusation by judicial action.
Release or discharge from indebtedness, obligation, or responsibility. acquittance n.
acreage n. Quantity or extent of land, especially of cultivated land.
acrid adj. Harshly pungent or bitter.
acrimonious adj. Full of bitterness.
acrimony n. Sharpness or bitterness of speech or temper. actionable adj. Affording cause for instituting an action, as trespass, slanderous words.
actuality n. Any reality.
actuary n. An officer, as of an insurance company, who calculates and states the risks and premiums.
actuate v. To move or incite to action.
acumen n. Quickness of intellectual insight, or discernment; keenness of discrimination.
acute adj. Having fine and penetrating discernment. adamant n. Any substance of exceeding hardness or impenetrability. addendum n. Something added, or to be added.
addle v. To make inefficient or worthless; muddle. adduce v. To bring forward or name for consideration. adhere v. To stick fast or together.
adherence n. Attachment.
adherent adj. Clinging or sticking fast.
adhesion n. The state of being attached or joined. adieu inter. Good-by; farewell.
adjacency n. The state of being adjacent.
adjacent n. That which is near or bordering upon. adjudge v. To award or bestow by formal decision. adjunct n. Something joined to or connected with another thing, but holding a subordinate place.
adjuration n. A vehement appeal.
adjutant adj. Auxiliary.
administrator n. One who manages affairs of any kind. admissible adj. Having the right or privilege of entry.
admittance n. Entrance, or the right or permission to enter. admonish v. To warn of a fault.
admonition n. Gentle reproof.
ado n. unnecessary activity or ceremony.
adoration n. Profound devotion.
adroit adj. Having skill in the use of the bodily or mental powers. adulterant n. An adulterating substance.
adulterate v. To make impure by the admixture of other or baser ingredients.
adumbrate v. To represent beforehand in outline or by emblem.
The coming or arrival, as of any important change, event, state, or personage. advent n.
adverse adj. Opposing or opposed.
adversity n. Misfortune.
advert v. To refer incidentally.
advertiser n. One who advertises, especially in newspapers. advisory adj. Not mandatory.
advocacy n. The act of pleading a cause.
advocate n. One who pleads the cause of another, as in a legal or ecclesiastical court.
aerial adj. Of, pertaining to, or like the air.
aeronaut n. One who navigates the air, a balloonist. aeronautics n. the art or practice of flying aircraft aerostat n. A balloon or other apparatus floating in or sustained by the air.
aerostatics n. The branch of pneumatics that treats of the equilibrium, and mechanical properties.
affable adj. Easy to approach.
affect v. To act upon
affectation n. A studied or ostentatious pretense or attempt. affiliate n. Some auxiliary person or thing.
affirmative adj. Answering yes; to a question at issue. affix v. To fasten.
affluence n. A profuse or abundant supply of riches. affront n. An open insult or indignity.
afire adv. & adj. On fire, literally or figuratively. afoot adv. In progress.
aforesaid adj. Said in a preceding part or before. afresh adv. Once more, after rest or interval.
afterthought n. A thought that comes later than its appropriate or expected time.
agglomerate v. To pile or heap together.
aggrandize v. To cause to appear greatly.
aggravate v. To make heavier, worse, or more burdensome. aggravation n. The fact of being made heavier or more heinous, as a crime , offense, misfortune, etc.
aggregate n. The entire number, sum, mass, or quantity of something. aggress v. To make the first attack.
aggression n. An unprovoked attack.
aggrieve v. To give grief or sorrow to.
aghast adj. Struck with terror and amazement.
agile adj. Able to move or act quickly, physically, or mentally. agitate v. To move or excite (the feelings or thoughts).
agrarian adj. Pertaining to land, especially agricultural land. aide-de-camp n. An officer who receives and transmits the orders of the general. ailment n. Slight sickness.
airy adj. Delicate, ethereal.
akin adj. Of similar nature or qualities.
alabaster n. A white or delicately tinted fine-grained gypsum. alacrity n. Cheerful willingness.
albeit conj. Even though.
A person with milky white skin and hair, and eyes with bright red pupil and usually pink iris. albino n.
album n. A book whose leaves are so made to form paper frames for holding photographs or the like.
alchemy n. Chemistry of the middle ages, characterized by the pursuit of changing base metals to gold.
alcohol n. A volatile, inflammable, colorless liquid of a penetrating odor and burning taste. alcoholism n. A condition resulting from the inordinate or persistent use of alcoholic beverages.
alcove n. A covered recess connected with or at the side of a larger room. alder n. Any shrub or small tree of the genus Alumnus, of the oak family. alderman n. A member of a municipal legislative body, who usually exercises also certain judicial functions.
aldermanship n. The dignity, condition, office, or term of office of an alderman. alias n. An assumed name.
alien n. One who owes allegiance to a foreign government. alienable adj. Capable of being aliened or alienated, as lands. alienate v. To cause to turn away.
alienation n. Estrangement.
aliment n. That which nourishes.
alkali n. Anything that will neutralize an acid, as lime, magnesia, etc. allay v. To calm the violence or reduce the intensity of; mitigate. allege v. To assert to be true, especially in a formal manner, as in court. allegory n. The setting forth of a subject under the guise of another subject of aptly suggestive likeness.
alleviate v. To make less burdensome or less hard to bear.
alley n. A narrow street, garden path, walk, or the like. alliance n. Any combination or union for some common purpose. allot v. To assign a definite thing or part to a certain person. allotment n. Portion.
allude v. To refer incidentally, or by suggestion.
allusion n. An indirect and incidental reference to something without definite mention of it. alluvion n. Flood.
ally n. A person or thing connected with another, usually in some relation of helpfulness.
almanac n. A series of tables giving the days of the week together with certain astronomical information.
aloof adv. Not in sympathy with or desiring to associate with others. altar n. Any raised place or structure on which sacrifices may be offered or incense burned.
alter v. To make change in.
alteration n. Change or modification.
altercate v. To contend angrily or zealously in words.
One chosen to act in place of another, in case of the absence or incapacity of that other. alternate n.
alternative n. Something that may or must exist, be taken or chosen, or done instead of something else.
altitude n. Vertical distance or elevation above any point or base-level, as the sea. alto n. The lowest or deepest female voice or part.
altruism n. Benevolence to others on subordination to self-interest. altruist n. One who advocates or practices altruism.
amalgam n. An alloy or union of mercury with another metal. amalgamate v. To mix or blend together in a homogeneous body. amateur adj. Practicing an art or occupation for the love of it, but not as a profession. amatory adj. Designed to excite love.
ambidextrous adj. Having the ability of using both hands with equal skill or ease. ambiguous adj. Having a double meaning.
ambitious adj. Eagerly desirous and aspiring.
ambrosial adj. Divinely sweet, fragrant, or delicious.
ambulance n. A vehicle fitted for conveying the sick and wounded. ambulate v. To walk about
ambush n. The act or state of lying concealed for the purpose of surprising or attacking the enemy.
ameliorate v. To relieve, as from pain or hardship
amenable adj. Willing and ready to submit.
Americanism n. A peculiar sense in which an English word or phrase is used in the United States. amicable adj. Done in a friendly spirit.
amity n. Friendship.
amorous adj. Having a propensity for falling in love.
amorphous adj. Without determinate shape.
amour n. A love-affair, especially one of an illicit nature. ampere n. The practical unit of electric-current strength. ampersand n. The character &; and.
amphibious adj. Living both on land and in water.
amphitheater n. An edifice of elliptical shape, constructed about a central open space or arena. amplitude n. Largeness.
amply adv. Sufficiently.
amputate v. To remove by cutting, as a limb or some portion of the body. amusement n. Diversion.
anachronism n. Anything occurring or existing out of its proper time. anagram n. The letters of a word or phrase so transposed as to make a different word or phrase. analogous adj. Corresponding (to some other) in certain respects, as in form, proportion, relations.
analogy n. Reasoning in which from certain and known relations or resemblance others are formed.
analyst n. One who analyzes or makes use of the analytical method. analyze v. To examine minutely or critically.
anarchy n. Absence or utter disregard of government.
anathema n. Anything forbidden, as by social usage.
That branch of morphology which treats of the structure of organisms. anatomy n.
ancestry n. One's ancestors collectively.
anecdote n. A brief account of some interesting event or incident. anemia n. Deficiency of blood or red corpuscles.
anemic adj. Affected with anemia.
anemometer n. An instrument for measuring the force or velocity of wind. anesthetic adj. Pertaining to or producing loss of sensation. anew adv. Once more.
angelic adj. Saintly.
Anglophobia n. Hatred or dread of England or of what is English. Anglo-Saxon n. The entire English race wherever found, as in Europe, the United States, or India.
angular adj. Sharp-cornered.
anhydrous adj. Withered.
animadversion n. The utterance of criticism or censure.
animadvert v. To pass criticism or censure.
animalcule n. An animal of microscopic smallness.
animate v. To make alive.
animosity n. Hatred.
annalist n. Historian.
annals n. A record of events in their chronological order, year by year. annex v. To add or affix at the end.
annihilate v. To destroy absolutely.
annotate v. To make explanatory or critical notes on or upon. annual adj. Occurring every year.
annuity n. An annual allowance, payment, or income.
annunciation n. Proclamation.
anode n. The point where or path by which a voltaic current enters an electrolyte or the like.
anonymous adj. Of unknown authorship.
antagonism n. Mutual opposition or resistance of counteracting forces, principles, or persons. Antarctic adj. Pertaining to the south pole or the regions near it. ante v. In the game of poker, to put up a stake before the cards are dealt. antecede v. To precede.
antecedent n. One who or that which precedes or goes before, as in time, order, or causality.
antechamber n. A waiting room for those who seek audience. antedate v. To assign or affix a date to earlier than the actual one. antediluvian adj. Of or pertaining to the times, events before the great flood in the days of Noah.
antemeridian adj. Before noon.
antemundane adj. Pertaining to time before the world's creation. antenatal adj. Occurring or existing before birth.
anterior adj. Prior.
anteroom n. A room situated before and opening into another, usually larger. anthology n. A collection of extracts from the writings of various authors. anthracite n. Hard coal.
anthropology n. The science of man in general.
anthropomorphous adj. Having or resembling human form.
antic n. A grotesque, ludicrous, or fantastic action.
Antichrist n. Any opponent or enemy of Christ, whether a person or a power.
A gradual or sudden decrease in the importance or impressiveness of what is said. anticlimax n.
anticyclone n. An atmospheric condition of high central pressure, with currents flowing outward.
antidote n. Anything that will counteract or remove the effects of poison, disease, or the like. antilogy n. Inconsistency or contradiction in terms or ideas. antipathize v. To show or feel a feeling of antagonism, aversion, or dislike. antiphon n. A response or alteration of responses, generally musical. antiphony n. An anthem or other composition sung responsively. antipodes n. A place or region on the opposite side of the earth. antiquary n. One who collects and examines old things, as coins, books, weapons, etc. antiquate v. To make old or out of date.
antique adj. Pertaining to ancient times.
antiseptic n. Anything that destroys or restrains the growth of putrefactive microorganisms. antislavery adj. Opposed to human slavery.
antispasmodic adj. Tending to prevent or relieve non-inflammatory spasmodic affections. antistrophe n. The inversion of terms in successive classes, as in “the home of joy” and “the joy of home”.
antitoxin n. A substance which neutralizes the poisonous products of micro-organisms. antonym n. A word directly opposed to another in meaning. anxious adj. Distressed in mind respecting some uncertain matter. apathy n. Insensibility to emotion or passionate feeling. aperture n. Hole.
apex n. The highest point, as of a mountain.
aphorism n. Proverb.
apiary n. A place where bees are kept.
apogee n. The climax.
apology n. A disclaimer of intentional error or offense. apostasy n. A total departure from one's faith or religion. apostate adj. False.
apostle n. Any messenger commissioned by or as by divine authority. apothecary n. One who keeps drugs for sale and puts up prescriptions. apotheosis n. Deification.
appall v. To fill with dismay or horror.
apparent adj. Easily understood.
apparition n. Ghost.
appease v. To soothe by quieting anger or indignation.
appellate adj. Capable of being appealed to.
appellation n. The name or title by which a particular person, class, or thing is called. append v. To add or attach, as something accessory, subordinate, or supplementary.
appertain v. To belong, as by right, fitness, association, classification, possession, or natural relation.
apposite adj. Appropriate.
apposition n. The act of placing side by side, together, or in contact. appraise v. To estimate the money value of.
appreciable adj. Capable of being discerned by the senses or intellect. apprehend v. To make a prisoner of (a person) in the name of the law. apprehensible adj. Capable of being conceived.
approbation n. Sanction.
appropriate adj. Suitable for the purpose and circumstances.
A water-conduit, particularly one for supplying a community from a distance. aqueduct n.
aqueous adj. Of, pertaining to, or containing water.
arbiter n. One chosen or appointed, by mutual consent of parties in dispute, to decide matters.
arbitrary adj. Fixed or done capriciously.
arbitrate v. To act or give judgment as umpire.
arbor n. A tree.
arboreal adj. Of or pertaining to a tree or trees.
arborescent adj. Having the nature of a tree.
arboretum n. A botanical garden or place devoted to the cultivation of trees or shrubs. arboriculture n. The cultivation of trees or shrubs.
arcade n. A vaulted passageway or street; a roofed passageway having shops, etc., opening from it.
archaic adj. Antiquated
archaism n. Obsolescence.
archangel n. An angel of high rank.
archbishop n. The chief of the bishops of an ecclesiastical province in the Greek, Roman, and Anglican church.
archdeacon n. A high official administrator of the affairs of a diocese. archaeology n. The branch of anthropology concerned with the systematic investigation of the relics of man.
archetype n. A prototype.
archipelago n. Any large body of water studded with islands, or the islands collectively themselves.
ardent adj. Burning with passion.
ardor n. Intensity of passion or affection.
arid adj. Very dry.
aristocracy n. A hereditary nobility
aristocrat n. A hereditary noble or one nearly connected with nobility. armada n. A fleet of war-vessels.
armful n. As much as can be held in the arm or arms.
armory n. An arsenal.
aroma n. An agreeable odor.
arraign v. To call into court, as a person indicted for crime, and demand whether he pleads guilty or not.
arrange v. To put in definite or proper order.
arrangement n. The act of putting in proper order, or the state of being put in order. arrant adj. Notoriously bad.
arrear n. Something overdue and unpaid.
arrival n. A coming to stopping-place or destination.
arrogant adj. Unduly or excessively proud, as of wealth, station, learning, etc. arrogate v. To take, demand, or claim, especially presumptuously or without reasons or grounds.
Artesian well n. A very deep bored well. water rises due to underground pressure artful adj. Characterized by craft or cunning.
Arthurian adj. Pertaining to King Arthur, the real or legendary hero of British poetic story. artifice n. Trickery.
artless adj. Ingenuous.
ascendant adj. Dominant.
ascension n. The act of rising.
ascent n. A rising, soaring, or climbing.
ascetic adj. Given to severe self-denial and practicing excessive abstinence and devotion. ascribe v. To assign as a quality or attribute.
asexual adj. Having no distinct sexual organs.
ashen adj. Pale.
askance adv. With a side or indirect glance or meaning.
asperity n. Harshness or roughness of temper.
aspirant n. One who seeks earnestly, as for advancement, honors, place. aspiration n. An earnest wish for that which is above one's present reach. aspire v. To have an earnest desire, wish, or longing, as for something high and good, not yet attained.
assailant n. One who attacks.
assassin n. One who kills, or tries to kill, treacherously or secretly. assassinate v. To kill, as by surprise or secret assault, especially the killing of some eminent person.
assassination n. Murderer, as by secret assault or treachery.
assay n. The chemical analysis or testing of an alloy ore. assent v. To express agreement with a statement or matter of opinion. assess v. To determine the amount of (a tax or other sum to be paid). assessor n. An officer whose duty it is to assess taxes.
assets n. pl. Property in general, regarded as applicable to the payment of debts. assiduous adj. Diligent.
assignee n. One is appointed to act for another in the management of certain property and interests.
assimilate v. To adapt.
assonance n. Resemblance or correspondence in sound.
assonant adj. Having resemblance of sound.
assonate v. To accord in sound, especially vowel sound.
assuage v. To cause to be less harsh, violent, or severe, as excitement, appetite, pain, or disease. astringent adj. Harsh in disposition or character.
astute adj. Keen in discernment.
atheism n. The denial of the existence of God.
athirst adj. Wanting water.
athwart adv. From side to side.
atomizer n. An apparatus for reducing a liquid to a fine spray, as for disinfection, inhalation, etc. atone v. To make amends for.
atonement n. Amends, reparation, or expiation made from wrong or injury. atrocious adj. Outrageously or wantonly wicked, criminal, vile, or cruel. atrocity n. Great cruelty or reckless wickedness.