Matthew's 100 Words Results

Word My Definition Actual Definition Notes
abjure I don't know. Something legal, I think. 1. To recant solemnly; renounce or repudiate. 2. To renounce under oath; forswear.  
abrogate To turn your back on, or discard, ignore. "He abrogated responsibility for the decision" To abolish, do away with, or annul, especially by authority.  
abstemious I don't know. Someone who refrains from stuff? 1 Eating and drinking in moderation. 2. Characterized by abstinence or moderation.  
acumen Ability, aptitude. "We hired him for his business acumen." Quickness, accuracy, and keenness of judgment or insight. Oof, that's a close call. I'm going to give it to myself.
antebellum Um, ancient or antique? Belonging to the period before a war, especially the American Civil War. I think I would have had to specifically mention war to get this one.
auspicious Something the foretells good or exciting times ahead. 1. Attended by favorable circumstances; propitious. 2. Marked by success; prosperous.  
belie To give away, reveal, betray. "His clenched fists belied his cheerful manner." 1. To give a false representation to; misrepresent. 2. To show to be false; contradict:  
bellicose Belligerent Warlike or hostile in manner or temperament.  
bowdlerize To dumb-down, turn into doggerel. To remove material that is considered offensive or objectionable from (a book, for example).  
chicanery Trickery, cheating, smoke and mirrors. Deception by trickery or sophistry.  
chromosome A strand of DNA containing genes. 1. A threadlike linear strand of DNA and associated proteins in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells that carries the genes and functions in the transmission of hereditary information. 2. A circular strand of DNA in bacteria that contains the hereditary information necessary for cell life.any of the rod-shaped or threadlike DNA-containing structures of cellular organisms that contain all or most of the genes of the organism.  
churlish Mean-spirited 1. Vulgar. 2. Marked by a lack of civility or graciousness; surly. 3. Difficult to work with or deal with, intractable.  
circumlocution A longwinded way of saying something, or to avoid saying something outright. 1. The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language. 2. Evasion in speech or writing. 3. A roundabout expression.  
circumnavigate To go all the way around something (the globe, specifically). 1. To proceed completely around. 2. To go around; circumvent.  
deciduous A broad-leafed tree 1. Falling off or shed at a specific season or stage of growth. 2. Shedding or losing foliage at the end of the growing season. 3. Not lasting; ephemeral. I will get busted by my botanist wife if I don't get this one right ... so I declare myself to have gotten it right.
deleterious Something that has a negative effect (such as a "deleterious" gene causing birth defects) Having a harmful effect; injurious.  
diffident Not sure. Aloof? 1. Lacking or marked by a lack of self-confidence; shy and timid. 2. Reserved in manner.  
enervate To weaken, to siphon off the energy of. 1. To weaken or destroy the strength or vitality of. I wonder how many kids, having read the Harry Potter books, will think that this means "strengthen" because of the "Eneverate" spell.
enfranchise To empower. 1. To bestow a franchise on. 2. To endow with the rights of citizenship, especially the right to vote. 3. To free, as from bondage. "Empower" was a little too vague.
epiphany A sudden realization or great idea. 1. A revelatory manifestation of a divine being. 2. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something. 3. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization. Just barely.
equinox You know, I don't actually know what this means. Like, the point where the Earth is closest to / farthest from the sun? 1. Either of the two points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator intersects the ecliptic; 2. Either of the two times each year (as about March 21 and September 23) when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are everywhere on earth of approximately equal length. Sweet!
euro Currency used by the European Union. The official common currency of 12 European Union nations (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain).  
evanescent Hmm. Something fizzy or sparkling? Vanishing or likely to vanish like vapor. Close, but I missed the essence of it.
expurgate To remove, as by censoring. To remove erroneous, vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable material from (a book, for example) before publication.  
facetious Jokingly; with tongue-in-cheek. Playfully jocular; humorous.  
fatuous Hollow, not substantial. "A fatuous argument." Foolish or silly, especially in a smug or self-satisfied way. Close call, but I was certain that "empty" was a key component of the def, and was wrong about that.
feckless I think this means the same as "reckless." 1. Lacking purpose or vitality; feeble or ineffective. 2. Careless and irresponsible.  
fiduciary Having to do with finances. 1. Of or relating to a holding of something in trust for another. 2. Of or being a trustee or trusteeship; 3. Held in trust. A little to vague.
filibuster To hold up a senate vote by talking incessantly. 1. The use of obstructionist tactics, especially prolonged speechmaking, for the purpose of delaying legislative action. 2. An instance of the use of this delaying tactic; 3. An adventurer who engages in a private military action in a foreign country  
gamete A reproductive cell. A reproductive cell having the haploid number of chromosomes, especially a mature sperm or egg capable of fusing with a gamete of the opposite sex to produce the fertilized egg.  
gauche I don't know. Unfashionable? Lacking social polish; tactless.  
gerrymander To redraw district lines for political advantage. To divide (a geographic area) into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party in elections.  
hegemony When one culture (nation?) has dominance over another. The predominant influence, as of a state, region, or group, over another or others.  
hemoglobin Something to do with blood. The iron-containing respiratory pigment in red blood cells of vertebrates, consisting of about 6 percent heme and 94 percent globin. Too vague.
homogeneous All the same, uniform "Thanks to the proliferation of chain fast-food restaurants, America's cuisine has become homogeneous." 1. Of the same or similar nature or kind. 2. Uniform in structure or composition throughout.  
hubris Arrogance; self-importance. Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance.  
hypotenuse The long angle of a right triangle. The hypotenuse of a right triangle is the triangle's longest side; the side opposite the right angle.  
impeach To remove from office. No, wait--it's a trap! It's to charge an official of some offense; removing him from office is the next step. 1. To make an accusation against. 2. To charge (a public official) with improper conduct in office before a proper tribunal. 3. To challenge the validity of; try to discredit: impeach a witness's credibility.  
incognito In disguise. With one's identity disguised or concealed.  
incontrovertible Undisputed. Impossible to dispute; unquestionable.  
inculcate To breed or foster an idea in someone. 1. To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition; instill: inculcating sound principles. 2. To teach (others) by frequent instruction or repetition; indoctrinate. I think I needed to mention "repetition" to get this one.
infrastructure The underlying systems or physical environment that make an operation possible. 1. An underlying base or foundation especially for an organization or system. 2. The basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of a community or society, such as transportation and communications systems, water and power lines, and public institutions including schools, post offices, and prisons.  
interpolate To calculate intermediate points based on points at the ends. 1. To insert or introduce between other elements or parts. 2. To insert (material) into a text or insert into a conversation. 3. To change or falsify (a text) by introducing new or incorrect material. 4. Mathematics. To estimate a value of (a function or series) between two known values.  
irony A discrepancy between expected and actual outcome. 1. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning. 2. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning. 3. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect. 4. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs.  
jejune Bland, passe. 1. Not interesting; dull. 2. Lacking maturity; childish. 3. Lacking in nutrition.  
kinetic Having to do with motion; inertia. Of, relating to, or produced by motion.  
kowtow To bow down before; to be obsequious. 1. To kneel and touch the forehead to the ground in expression of deep respect, worship, or submission, as formerly done in China. 2. To show servile deference.  
laissez faire Unfettered by regulation. 1. An economic doctrine that opposes governmental regulation of or interference in commerce beyond the minimum necessary for a free-enterprise system to operate according to its own economic laws. 2. Noninterference in the affairs of others.  
lexicon The specialized vocabulary of a people or profession. 1. A dictionary. 2. A stock of terms used in a particular profession, subject, or style; a vocabulary.  
loquacious Either means "talkative" or "not talkative." I'm going to go with "talkative." Very talkative; garrulous.  
lugubrious With great difficulty? Mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree.  
metamorphosis To change from one thing to another, as a caterpillar to a butterfly. 1. Change of physical form, structure, or substance especially by supernatural means. 2. striking alteration in appearance, character, or circumstances.  
mitosis The splitting of the sex cell. 1. A process that takes place in the nucleus of a dividing cell, involves typically a series of steps consisting of prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase, and results in the formation of two new nuclei each having the same number of chromosomes as the parent nucleus; 2. Cell division in which mitosis occurs. Rats. I was thinking of meiosis.
moiety No idea. 1. A half. 2. A part, portion, or share. 3. Anthropology. Either of two kinship groups based on unilateral descent that together make up a tribe or society.  
nanotechnology Tiny machines. The science and technology of building devices, such as electronic circuits, from single atoms and molecules.  
nihilism Belief in nothing. 1. An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence. 2. A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. 3. Rejection of all distinctions in moral or religious value and a willingness to repudiate all previous theories of morality or religious belief. 4. The belief that destruction of existing political or social institutions is necessary for future improvement. 5. A diffuse, revolutionary movement of mid 19th-century Russia that scorned authority and tradition and believed in reason, materialism, and radical change in society and government through terrorism and assassination.  
nomenclature A system of classification. 1. A system of names used in an art or science: the nomenclature of mineralogy. 2. The procedure of assigning names to the kinds and groups of organisms listed in a taxonomic classification: the rules of nomenclature in botany.  
nonsectarian Guessing, here: to not belong to any particular group. Not limited to or associated with a particular religious denomination. Didn't mention religion.
notarize To authorize as authentic. To certify or attest to (the validity of a signature on a document, for example) as a notary public.  
obsequious Oh hey, I used this one in defining "kowtow." Check out the big brain on Baldwin. To readily accede to the wishes of a superior. Full of or exhibiting servile compliance; fawning.  
oligarchy Don't really know, except that its often used in conjunction with corporate power. 1.Government by a few, especially by a small faction of persons or families; those making up such a government. 2. A state governed by a few persons.  
omnipotent All powerful, as a god. Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful.  
orthography "Ortho" means "horizontal or vertical"; "graphy" means "writing." Can't figure out what "orthography" is, though. 1. The art or study of correct spelling according to established usage. 2. The aspect of language study concerned with letters and their sequences in words. 3. A method of representing a language or the sounds of language by written symbols; spelling. Ah. I guess this with "ortho" as in orthodoxy / correctness.
oxidize To have a chemical reaction due to exposure to oxygen. 1. To combine with oxygen; make into an oxide. 2. To increase the positive charge or valence of (an element) by removing electrons. 3. To coat with oxide.  
parabola A bell-shaped curve. A plane curve formed by the intersection of a right circular cone and a plane parallel to an element of the cone or by the locus of points equidistant from a fixed line and a fixed point not on the line.  
paradigm A framework of thought. 1. One that serves as a pattern or model. 2. A set or list of all the inflectional forms of a word or of one of its grammatical categories: the paradigm of an irregular verb. 3. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.  
parameter The input to an equation. 1. A constant in an equation that varies in other equations of the same general form; one of a set of independent variables that express the coordinates of a point. 2. One of a set of measurable factors, such as temperature and pressure, that define a system and determine its behavior and are varied in an experiment. 3. A quantity, such as a mean, that is calculated from data and describes a population.  
pecuniary Uhhh, miserly? 1. Of or relating to money: a pecuniary loss. 2. Requiring payment of money.  
photosynthesis The process by which plants convert sunlight to food. The process in green plants and certain other organisms by which carbohydrates are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water using light as an energy source. Most forms of photosynthesis release oxygen as a byproduct.  
plagiarize Come on. What modern college graduate wouldn't know this one? 1. To use and pass off (the ideas or writings of another) as one's own. 2. To appropriate for use as one's own passages or ideas from (another).  
plasma Again, something to do with blood--I don't know specifically 1. The clear, yellowish fluid portion of blood, lymph, or intramuscular fluid in which cells are suspended. It differs from serum in that it contains fibrin and other soluble clotting elements. 2. Cell-free, sterilized blood plasma, used in transfusions. 3. Protoplasm or cytoplasm. 4. An electrically neutral, highly ionized gas composed of ions, electrons, and neutral particles. Too vague.
polymer A long string of molecules. Any of numerous natural and synthetic compounds of usually high molecular weight consisting of up to millions of repeated linked units, each a relatively light and simple molecule.  
precipitous Sudden; abrupt. 1. Resembling a precipice; extremely steep. 2. Having several precipices. I was thinking in terms of time rather than geography.
quasar A body in space, but I don't know exactly what one is. An extremely distant, and thus old, celestial object whose power output is several thousand times that of our entire galaxy. Ha! I guess I knew as much as anyone.
quotidian Crap, I used this word not too long ago. Well, it's lost now. 1. Everyday; commonplace. 2. Recurring daily. Used especially of attacks of malaria.  
recapitulate To reiterate, to repeat. 1. To repeat in concise form. 2. To appear to repeat (the evolutionary stages of the species) during the embryonic development of the individual organism. I missed the "concise" component of the def.
reciprocal Two-way. 1. Concerning each of two or more persons or things. 2. Interchanged, given, or owed to each other. 3. Performed, experienced, or felt by both sides. 4. Interchangeable; complementary.  
reparation Restitution for a wrong. 1. The act or process of repairing or the condition of being repaired. 2. The act or process of making amends; expiation. 3. Something done or paid to compensate or make amends. 4. Compensation or remuneration required from a defeated nation as indemnity for damage or injury during a war.  
respiration Breathing. 1. The act or process of inhaling and exhaling; breathing. 2. The act or process by which an organism without lungs, such as a fish or plant, exchanges gases with its environment.  
sanguine I can never remember what this means. I think: unconcerned, relaxed. 1. Of the color of blood; red. 2. Of a healthy reddish color; ruddy: a sanguine complexion. 3. Cheerfully confident; optimistic. Close, but no.
soliloquy A long speech given by a person to himself. 1. A dramatic or literary form of discourse in which a character talks to himself or herself or reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener. 2. A specific speech or piece of writing in this form of discourse. 3. The act of speaking to oneself.  
subjugate To put under your control. 1. To bring under control; conquer. 2. To make subservient; enslave.  
suffragist One who advocates voting rights for an oppressed group. An advocate of the extension of political voting rights, especially to women.  
supercilious Another one I can never remember. Haughty? Feeling or showing haughty disdain. YES!
tautology An argument that ultimately rests upon itself. "Circles are round because round things are circles." 1. Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy. 2. An instance of such repetition. 3. An empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement" Either it will rain tomorrow or it will not rain tomorrow." My def was subtly, but profoundly, different.
taxonomy A system of classification; specifically, the division of organisms in kingdoms, phylums, orders, etc. 1. The classification of organisms in an ordered system that indicates natural relationships. 2. The science, laws, or principles of classification; systematics. 3. Division into ordered groups or categories.  
tectonic Having to do with the plates that make up the Earth's crust. 1. Relating to, causing, or resulting from structural deformation of the earth's crust. 2. Relating to construction or building. 3. Architectural.  
tempestuous Quick to anger. 1. Of, relating to, or resembling a tempest. 2. Tumultuous; stormy.  
thermodynamics The progression of higher forms of energy into entropy. 1. Physics that deals with the relationships and conversions between heat and other forms of energy. 2. Thermodynamic phenomena and processes.  
totalitarian To rule with absolute power. Of, relating to, being, or imposing a form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed.  
unctuous Groveling? Subservient? 1. Characterized by affected, exaggerated, or insincere earnestness). 2. Having the quality or characteristics of oil or ointment; slippery. 3. Containing or composed of oil or fat. 4. Abundant in organic materials; soft and rich: unctuous soil.  
usurp To take the place or power of another. 1. To seize and hold (the power or rights of another, for example) by force or without legal authority. 2. To take over or occupy without right: usurp a neighbor's land.3. To take the place of (another) without legal authority; supplant.  
vacuous Empty-headed; dumb. 1. Devoid of matter; empty. 2. Lacking intelligence; stupid. 3. Devoid of substance or meaning; inane. 4. Devoid of expression; vacant. 5. Lacking serious purpose or occupation; idle.  
vehement Zeal, fervor. 1. Characterized by forcefulness of expression or intensity of emotion or conviction; fervid. 2. Marked by or full of vigor or energy; strong.  
vortex A whirlpool. 1. A spiral motion of fluid within a limited area, especially a whirling mass of water or air that sucks everything near it toward its center. 2. A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it.  
winnow I think this means to reduce by process of selection. "The 10 contestants were winnowed down to three finalists." 1. To separate the chaff from (grain) by means of a current of air. 2. To rid of undesirable parts. 3. To blow (chaff) off or away. 4. To blow away; scatter. 5. To blow on; fan: a breeze winnowing the tall grass. 6. To examine closely in order to separate the good from the bad; sift. 7. To separate or get rid of (an undesirable part); eliminate: winnowing out the errors in logic. 8. To sort or select (a desirable part); extract.  
wrought Created as an effect. 1. Put together; created: a carefully wrought plan. 2. Shaped by hammering with tools. Used chiefly of metals or metalwork. 3. Made delicately or elaborately. Sort of, but I did not think it meant "carefully made."
xenophobe One who fears the unknown. A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or foreign peoples. Close enough.
yeoman Some guy on a boat. 1. An attendant, servant, or lesser official in a royal or noble household. 2. A yeoman of the guard. 3. A petty officer performing chiefly clerical duties in the U.S. Navy. 4. An assistant or other subordinate, as of a sheriff. 5. A diligent, dependable worker. 6. A farmer who cultivates his own land, especially a member of a former class of small freeholders in England.  
ziggurat My favorite candybar. No, wait: That's "Zagnut." Um, is this a vehicle of some sort? A temple tower of the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories. Oh crap, I knew this.
I knew the words in green; I did not know the words in red. In total, I knew 70 of 100.