100 Words Definitions, Part 2

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Continuing from the 100 Words Definitions, Part 1 post. Here are the last 50 of the 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know.

51. lugubrious
Excessively mournful.

52. metamorphosis
- A complete change of physical form or substance especially as by magic or witchcraft.
- A striking change in appearance or character or circumstances.
- The marked and rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in some animals.

53. mitosis
Cell division in which the nucleus divides into nuclei containing the same number of chromosomes.

54. moiety
- One of two basic subdivisions of a tribe.
- One of two (approximately) equal parts.

55. nanotechnology
The branch of engineering that deals with things smaller than 100 nanometers (especially with the manipulation of individual molecules).

56. nihilism
- A revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake.
- Complete denial of all established authority and institutions.
- The delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist; a sense that everything is unreal.

57. nomenclature
A system of words used in a particular discipline.

58. nonsectarian
Not restricted to one sect or school or party.

59. notarize
Authenticate as a notary.

60. obsequious
- Attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner.
- Attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery.

61. oligarchy
A political system governed by a few people.

62. omnipotent
Having unlimited power.

63. orthography
A method of representing the sounds of a language by written or printed symbols.

64. oxidize
- Add oxygen to or combine with oxygen.
- Enter into a combination with oxygen or become converted into an oxide.

65. parabola
A plane curve formed by the intersection of a right circular cone and a plane parallel to an element of the curve.

66. paradigm
- A standard or typical example.
- The generally accepted perspective of a particular discipline at a given time.
- The class of all items that can be substituted into the same position (or slot) in a grammatical sentence (are in paradigmatic relation with one another).
- Systematic arrangement of all the inflected forms of a word.

67. parameter
- A constant in the equation of a curve that can be varied to yield a family of similar curves.
- A quantity (such as the mean or variance) that characterizes a statistical population and that can be estimated by calculations from sample data.
- Any factor that defines a system and determines (or limits) its performance.

68. pecuniary
Relating to or involving money.

69. photosynthesis
Synthesis of compounds with the aid of radiant energy (especially in plants).

70. plagiarize
Take without referencing from someone else's writing or speech; of intellectual property.

71. plasma
- Colorless watery fluid of blood and lymph containing no cells and in which erythrocytes and leukocytes and platelets are suspended.
- (physical chemistry) A fourth state of matter distinct from solid or liquid or gas and present in stars and fusion reactors; a gas becomes a plasma when it is heated until the atoms lose all their electrons, leaving a highly electrified collection of nuclei and free electrons.
- A green slightly translucent variety of chalcedony used as a gemstone.

72. polymer
A naturally occurring or synthetic compound consisting of large molecules made up of a linked series of repeated simple monomers.

73. precipitous
- Extremely steep.
- Characterized by precipices.
- Done with very great haste and without due deliberation.

74. quasar
A star-like object that may send out radio waves and other forms of energy; large red shifts imply enormous recession velocities.

75. quotidian
Found in the ordinary course of events.

76. recapitulate
- Summarize briefly.
- Repeat an earlier theme of a composition.
- Repeat stages of evolutionary development during the embryonic phase of life.

77. reciprocal
- Hybridization involving a pair of crosses that reverse the sexes associated with each genotype.
- (mathematics) One of a pair of numbers whose product is 1: the reciprocal of 2/3 is 3/2; the multiplicative inverse of 7 is 1/7.
- Something (a term or expression or concept) that has a reciprocal relation to something else.
- Of or relating to the multiplicative inverse of a quantity or function.
- Concerning each of two or more persons or things; especially given or done in return.
- Of or relating to or suggestive of complementation.

78. reparation
- Something done or paid in expiation of a wrong.
- The act of putting something in working order again.
- (usually plural) Compensation exacted from a defeated nation by the victors.
- Compensation (given or received) for an insult or injury.

79. respiration
- The metabolic processes whereby certain organisms obtain energy from organic molecules; processes that take place in the cells and tissues during which energy is released and carbon dioxide is produced and absorbed by the blood to be transported to the lungs.
- The bodily process of inhalation and exhalation; the process of taking in oxygen from inhaled air and releasing carbon dioxide by exhalation.
- A single complete act of breathing in and out.

80. sanguine
- Inclined to a healthy reddish color often associated with outdoor life.
- Confidently optimistic and cheerful.

81. soliloquy
- A (usually long) dramatic speech intended to give the illusion of unspoken reflections.
- Speech you make to yourself.

82. subjugate
- Put down by force or intimidation.
- Make subservient; force to submit or subdue.

83. suffragist
An advocate of the extension of voting rights (especially to women).

84. supercilious
- Expressive of contempt.
- Having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy.

85. tautology
- Useless repetition.
- (logic) A statement that is necessarily true.

86. taxonomy
- Practice of classifying plants and animals according to their presumed natural relationships.
- (biology) Study of the general principles of scientific classification.
- A classification of organisms into groups based on similarities of structure or origin etc.

87. tectonic
- Of or pertaining to construction or architecture.
- Pertaining to the structure or movement of the earth's crust.

88. tempestuous
(of the elements) As if showing violent anger.

89. thermodynamics
The branch of physics concerned with the conversion of different forms of energy.

90. totalitarian
- Characterized by a government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control.
- Of or relating to the principles of totalitarianism according to which the state regulates every realm of life.

91. unctuous
Unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech.

92. usurp
- Seize and take control without authority and possibly with force; take as one's right or possession.
- Take the place of.

93. vacuous
- Devoid of significance or point.
- Complacently or inanely foolish.

94. vehement
- Marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid.
- Characterized by great force or energy.

95. vortex
- A powerful circular current of water (usually the resulting of conflicting tides).
- The shape of something rotating rapidly

96. winnow
- The act of separating grain from chaff.
- Remove by a current of air.
- Treat by exposure to a current of air so that waste matter is eliminated.
- Separate from chaff.
- Blow on.

97. wrought
Shaped to fit by or as if by altering the contours of a pliable mass (as by work or effort).

98. xenophobe
An irrational fear of foreigners or strangers.

99. yeoman
- In former times was free and cultivated his own land.
- Officer in the (ceremonial) bodyguard of the British monarch.

100. ziggurat
A rectangular tiered temple or terraced mound erected by the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians.

Boy, that sure is a long list :P

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