Words of the Week
March 2007
Understanding New Words from Context Clues

March 1 (Thursday)
bellicose adjective
Definition: inclined to fight or quarrel; pugnacious; warlike
Sentence: Scratchy Wilson, in “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky,” was not ordinarily quarrelsome. Only when he was intoxicated did he become bellicose.

March 5 (Monday)
carp verb
Definition: find fault unreasonably, complain in a petty, nagging way.
Sentence: There you go carping again! You are always finding fault with the way I do things.

March 7 (Wednesday)
collation noun
Definition: light meal
Sentence: After the meeting I stayed for the collation, reasoning that a light meal would not spoil my appetite for dinner.

March 9 (Friday)
cull verb
Definition: select; pick out; choose
Sentence: The string beans had been thoroughly picked over by earlier shoppers, but I was able to cull about a half pound for tonight’s dinner.

March 13 (Tuesday)
dun verb
Definition: make repeated, insistent demands for payment
Sentence: His creditors kept sending bills and telephoning to demand payment. Their dunning made his life unbearable.

March 19 (Monday)
equivocate verb
Definition: be deliberately ambiguous; use misleading terms so as not to commit oneself
Sentence: Stop giving us ambiguous answers. Say yes or no. Don’t equivocate.

March 21 (Wednesday)
ingenuous adjective
Definition: innocent and simple; artless; naive
Sentence: He may give the impression of being ingenuous, but let me assure you he is not naive.
March 23 (Friday)
mendacious adjective
Definition: lying,; untrue; deceitful
Sentence: They filed a mendacious accident report; it was full of lies.

March 27 (Tuesday)
preen verb
Definition: dress oneself carefully or smartly; fuss in dressing; primp
Sentence: Sam shouldn’t criticize Nora for preening. He likes to have a neat appearance too, doesn’t he?

March 29 (Thursday)
rue verb
Definition: feel remorse for; wish undone; regret
Sentence: She said I would rue my decision to turndown the managership. The truth is I have never regretted it.



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