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Vocab 6



1. Something unusual

2. deviating from what is normal or desirable

3. not typical


1. If your goal is to reduce the likelihood of an aberration occurring in your experiment, then you need to carefully read all the instructions before beginning the procedure.

2. The presence of cancer cells under a microscope is an aberration that no doctor wants to see.


corroboration, n.

1. To back up a claim

2. to strengthen or support with other evidence; make more certain



The chocolate on James’ face was enough to corroborate the theory he was the one who stole the brownies.

2. After watching the videotape, the officials were able to corroborate the runner’s claim of interference during the race.


incongruity, n.

1. out of place; inconsistent or incompatible


1. There's something incongruous about eating dessert before the main course.

2. I do not believe your story because the statement you gave yesterday is incongruous to a witness's statement.


1. the sense of enjoyment that comes upon hearing about the problems of others


1. I must admit I experienced a bit of schadenfreude when I heard my annoying boss had been fired.

2. Summer was a strange woman who took joy in the suffering of others and always experienced schadenfreude when her friends were miserable.


1. False; untrue


1. The con artist made a spurious claim about being a member of the royal family.

2. Recently, some weight loss drugs were taken off the market because of spurious statements made by the manufacturers.


1. vile, vicious or terrible

2. unequivocally detestable


1. Mixing coffee and lemonade is an abominable act thatcannot go unpunished


2. Last year’s football team was abominable

, and we finished the season with no wins.


1. the original model from which all similar things are copied

2. an ideal example that people often attempt to duplicate


1. If you have long blonde hair, a sparkly ball gown, and a fairygodmother hovering over your head, you're the archetype ofa fairytale princess.

2. Our country’s founding fathers looked at the archetype ofprosperous countries in order tocreate our own nation.


1. being a usually artificial and inferior substitute orimitation

2. replicated from something else yet lacking the original qualities


1. The dishonest store owner tried to sell ersatz products but claimed that they were designer.

2. Before segregation ended, minorities were given an ersatz education that was not equal to the education received by their white peers.

3. At his trial, the defendant argued he could not be charged with selling drugs since his ersatz cocaine was made out of flour and salt.


1. a complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to findone's way

2. a maze


1. At the farm, I found it very easy to get lost in the labyrinth of corn stalks.

2. The casino was designed as a labyrinth to keep gamblers trapped inside.

3. Since Jane could not find a map of the gigantic mall, she felt as though she was in a never-ending labyrinth



1. a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something


1. My aunt has penchant for things that are a bitwacky.

2. The backpacker did not have a penchant for luxury travel.

3. Increasingly investors area ending up with more exposure to residential property because of commercial property players' growing penchant for mixed-useschemes.

Maverick, n.

1. a person who thinks and acts in an independent way, often behaving differently from theexpected

2. an independent individual who does not goalong with a group or party

• Examples:

• 1. Because Senator McCain worked across the aisle with both Democrats and Republicans, he was considered a maverick politician.

Nirvana, n.

1. a state of perfect happiness; an ideal or idyllic place.

2. the highest state that someone can attain in Hinduism and

Buddhism, a state of enlightenment, meaning a person's individual desires and suffering go away.


1. The north shore of Oahu is considered a nirvana for big wavesurfers.


1. a long, blustering, noisy, or scolding speech

2. To give a forceful and lengthy lecture or criticism to someone


1. After I ate an entire cake, my mom gave me along a harangue about the virtues of eatingwell.

2. The angry motorist leapt from his car to harangue the other driver.


1. a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune.


1. The story is about the emotional odyssey experienced by a teenage girl.

2. When the refugees reached they shore, they believed their odyssey was at anend.

Motif, n.

1. a recurring subject, theme, idea, etc., especially in a literary, artistic, or musical work.

2. A dominant idea or feature


1. Because she comes back to the idea again and again, alienation isa central motif in hernovels.

2. The theme of creation is a recurrent motif inCeltic mythology

Fortuitous, adj.

1. happening by accident or chance


1. Just as the bank was about to foreclose on the Smith family home,

Mr. Smith received a fortuitous job offer.

2. When Ellen had given up hope her car would start, a fortuitous encounter with her neighbor, a mechanic, got her back on the road.

Inconsequential, adj.

1. Without consequence, trivial, doesn't matter

• Examples:

1. Compared to the seven car pileup on the highway yesterday, mylittle fender bender is pretty inconsequential.

2. Worrying about inconsequential tasks will prevent you from doing projects which really matter.

Precocious, adj.

1. Gifted or talented beyond one'syears

2. having mature qualities at an unusually earlyage


1. I was a precocious child who at the age of four was alreadydiscussing the daily news with my parents.

2. Due to the rigor of the program, most of the students in the

Kealakehe STEM academy are quite precocious.

Reparation, n.

1. something done or paid in expiation of a wrong

• Examples:

1. Anthony decided to file a claim seeking reparation for the chronic respiratory problems he had suffered ever since he worked at the factory.

2. The issue of making reparation to descendants of slaves has become a hotbed of controversy in the U.S.

Scrutinize, v.

• 1. Tolook atcarefully

• Examples:

1. Because of recent terror attacks, the airline screenersclosely scrutinize all bags that are going on boardairplanes.

2. After receiving over two hundred resumes, the human resources department must now scrutinize all of the potential candidates to find the ideal person for theposition.

3. If you do not scrutinize your credit card statement each month, you may find yourself paying for charges you did notincur.

anachronistic (adj.) anachronism (n.)

• Describing something that doesn't fit its time period.


1. While some individuals still travel by train, most people view this mode of transportation as anachronistic


2. When Odysseus texts Penelope on an iPhone in Book 12, I must say it felt like a bit of an anachronism


flummox (v.) flummoxing (adj.)

• to baffle or makeconfusing


1. Depending on the translation, The Odyssey might flummox you, due to the anachronisticlanguage.

2. The defense attorney harangued the witness with questions designed to flummox and confuse.

fortitude (n.)

• strength of mind that enables a person to face challenges withcourage


1. Although they knew the odds were not in their favor, theAchaens demonstrated great fortitude in fighting the Trojans.

2. My Aunt Jane will need to muster all the fortitude she can, if she wishes to deal with her abominablechildren.

machination (n.)

• a scheme that is usually created for bad or underhanded reasons


1. While Odysseus fits the classical archetype of a hero, his penchant for underhanded machinations constantly leads to destruction.

2. Since Michael had not studied for the test, he devised aclever machination by which he could get a copy of the exam before class.

vindicate (v.) vindication (n.)

• to clear from an accusation, suspicion or criticism

• to prove that what someone said or did was right or true, after other people thought it waswrong


1. The seemingly inconsequential decision by Eurylochus to open the bag of wind vindicated Odysseus' suspicion that he was not anasset to the team.

2. While your repayment doesn’t vindicate your decision to steal the money and hold all the customers hostage, it may help to provide some reparation for the people who were harmed byit.

antecedent (n.)

• something that came before something else and may have influenced or caused it


1. The story of Odysseus forms a literary antecedent to all future heroic tales in literature.

benign (adj.)

• gentle; kindly

• not harmful in effect: in particular, (in medicine) not malignant.


1. Even though the company claims the energy drink is benign, you may experience some unwanted side effects after drinking the beverage, including an inability to breath, temporary tooth loss, and death.

2. Although he seems a kindly and benign old man, Dumbledore is always ready to use

disparate (adj.)

• very different from each other


1. Because there was so much disparate information on the topic, the research process took longer than expected.

2. Even though they are identical twins, they have such disparate personalities that it’s impossible to get them confused.

juxtaposition (n.)

• an act or instance of placing two elements close together or side by side. This is often done in order to compare/contrast the two, to show similarities or differences.


1. Going from the beach to the top of Mauna Kea on the same day makes for an odd juxtaposition during a Hawaiian vacation.

2. By using sweet and salty ingredients in her dessert, Lee found a juxtaposition that created the perfect flavor.

juxtaposition -- continued

• Juxtaposition is a literary element, like a simile or a metaphor, that will help explain contrasts in your writing.

From A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…

ubiquitous (adj.)

• present, appearing, or found everywhere.


1. Since first appearing in 2008, smart phones have quickly become a ubiquitous part of modern life.

violation (n.)

• in breach of a rule, law, or agreement



North Korea’s nuclear testing may be in violation of international law.


When I read my sister’s diary, I felt a little bad about this violation of her privacy. But not too bad.