Archive for category High Frequency Word List


prevaricate |priˈvariˌkāt|

verb [ intrans. ]

speak or act in an evasive way : he seemed to prevaricate when journalists asked pointed questions. See note at lie .

Prevaricate : lie


prevarication |priˌvariˈkā sh ən| |priˈvɛrəˈkeɪʃən| |prəˈvɛrəˈkeɪʃən| |-ˈkeɪʃ(ə)n| noun

prevaricator |-ˌkātər| |priˈvɛrəˈkeɪdər| |prəˈvɛrəˈkeɪdər| noun

ORIGIN mid 16th cent. (in the sense [go astray, transgress] ): from Latin praevaricat- ‘walked crookedly, deviated,’ from the verb praevaricari, from prae ‘before’ + varicari ‘straddle’ (from varus ‘bent, knock-kneed’ ).


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perfidious |pərˈfidēəs|

adjective poetic/literary

deceitful and untrustworthy : a perfidious lover.


perfidiously |pərˈfɪdiəsli| adverb

ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Latin perfidiosus, from perfidia ‘treachery.’

Perfidious : untrustworthy

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penchant |ˈpen ch ənt|

noun [usu. in sing. ]

a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something : he has a penchant for adopting stray dogs.

Penchant : a strong or habitual liking for something

ORIGIN late 17th cent.: from French, ‘leaning, inclining,’ present participle of the verb pencher.

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penury |ˈpenyərē|


extreme poverty; destitution : he died in a state of virtual penury.

Penury : Extreme Poverty

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin penuria ‘need, scarcity’ ; perhaps related to paene ‘almost.’

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quiescent |kwēˈesnt; kwī-|


in a state or period of inactivity or dormancy : strikes were headed by groups of workers who had previously been quiescent | quiescent ulcerative colitis. See note at latent .

Quiescent : at rest; dormant; temporarily inactive


quiescence |kwaɪˈɛsns| |kwiˈɛsns| noun

quiescently |ˈkwaɪˈɛsntli| |kwiˈɛsntli| adverb

ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin quiescent- ‘being still,’ from the verb quiescere, from quies ‘quiet.’

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reverent |ˈrev(ə)rənt; ˈrevərnt|


feeling or showing deep and solemn respect : a reverent silence.

Reverent : feeling or showing deep and solemn respect


reverently |ˈrɛvərn=tli| |ˈrɛv(ə)rəntli| adverb

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin reverent- ‘revering,’ from the verb revereri (see revere ).


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reticent |ˈretəsənt|


not revealing one’s thoughts or feelings readily : she was extremely reticent about her personal affairs.

Reticent : not revealing one's thoughts or feelings readily


reticence |ˈrɛdəsəns| noun

reticently |ˈrɛdəsəntli| adverb

ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Latin reticent- ‘remaining silent,’ from the verb reticere, from re- (expressing intensive force) + tacere ‘be silent.’

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reproach |riˈprō ch |

verb [ trans. ]

address (someone) in such a way as to express disapproval or disappointment : critics of the administration reproached the president for his failure to tackle the deficiency | [with direct speech ] “You know that isn’t true,” he reproached her. See note at rebuke .

• ( reproach someone with) accuse someone of : his wife reproached him with cowardice.

• archaic censure or rebuke (an offense).


the expression of disapproval or disappointment : he gave her a look of reproach | a farrago of warnings and pained reproaches.

• ( a reproach to) a thing that makes the failings of someone or something else more apparent : his elegance is a living reproach to our slovenly habits.

• ( Reproaches) (in the Roman Catholic Church) a set of antiphons and responses for Good Friday representing the reproaches of Jesus Christ to his people.


above (or beyond) reproach such that no criticism can be made; perfect.

Reproach : address (someone) in such a way as to express disapproval or disappointment


reproachable |rəˈproʊtʃəbəl| |riˈproʊtʃəbəl| adjective

reproacher |rəˈproʊtʃər| |riˈproʊtʃər| noun

reproachingly |rəˈproʊtʃɪŋli| |riˈproʊtʃɪŋli| adverb

ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French reprochier (verb), from a base meaning ‘bring back close,’ based on Latin prope ‘near.’

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rescind |riˈsind|

verb [ trans. ]

revoke, cancel, or repeal (a law, order, or agreement) : the government eventually rescinded the directive.

Rescind : Cancel


rescindable |rəˈsɪndəbəl| |riˈsɪndəbəl| adjective

ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from Latin rescindere, from re- (expressing intensive force) + scindere ‘to divide, split.’

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refractory |riˈfraktərē|

adjective formal

1 stubborn or unmanageable : his refractory pony.

2 resistant to a process or stimulus : some granules are refractory to secretory stimuli.

• Medicine (of a person, illness, or diseased tissue) not yielding to treatment : healing of previously refractory ulcers.

• rare Medicine (of a person or animal) resistant to infection.

• technical (of a substance) resistant to heat; hard to melt or fuse.

noun ( pl. -ries) technical

a substance that is resistant to heat.

Refractory : Stubborn


refractoriness |rəˈfrøkˈtɔrin1s| |riˈfrøkˈtɔrinəs| noun

ORIGIN early 17th cent.: alteration of obsolete refractary, from Latin refractarius ‘stubborn’ (see also refract ).

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