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webster essential vocabulary: part 2

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webster essential vocabulary: part 2

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(bq) the main content is grouped into sets of words that have been taken from the sat and gre examinations over the past 10 years. these approximately 1,500 words are expected by the examiners to be familiar in one form or another to college and graduate school applicants. invite you to consult this book.

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M–N<br /> machination (MAK in AY shin) n. a secret or artful plot, usually one having<br /> evil intention (usually plural)<br /> • The machinations of the KGB have made for some pretty exciting spy novels.<br /> • The Odessa File tells of the machinations of an organization designed to further the cause of the Nazis after the war.<br /> [Syn. plot]<br /> <br /> malediction (MAL I DIK shin) n. 1. a curse or the calling down of an evil spell<br /> on someone; 2. evil talk about someone; slander<br /> • Giving one the evil eye is one form of malediction popular among some<br /> European cultures.<br /> • Certain Caribbean cultures carry out their maledictions through the use of<br /> effigies called voodoo dolls.<br /> • The newspaper story about Henry’s drug misuse was a malediction worthy<br /> of a healthy sized lawsuit.<br /> malinger* (muh LING oer) vt. to feign illness or injury to avoid work; to shirk<br /> • They have a name for malingering in the army; it’s goldbricking.<br /> • One who malingers and gets a reputation for so doing is not likely to<br /> remain employed for very long, unless, of course, his/her employer is<br /> his/her parent.<br /> [-ed, -ing, -er n.]<br /> <br /> mallet (MAL it) n. 1. a kind of hammer usually with a head of wood (used to<br /> drive a chisel) or of hard rubber (used to bang out dents in sheet metal); 2. a longhandled hammer with a cylinder-shaped head used for playing croquet or one with<br /> an even longer handle used for playing polo; 3. a small, wooden hammer with a<br /> round head used to play xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, bells, etc.<br /> • The body-shop worker uses a rubber mallet to hammer out small dents.<br /> • A polo mallet has a very long handle because each player must strike the<br /> ball while seated on a horse.<br /> • Wooden mallets with ball-shaped heads are used to strike the keys on a<br /> xylophone.<br /> mandate* (MAN dayt) n. 1. an authoritative order, usually in writing; 2. the<br /> overwhelming wishes of an elected official’s constituents, regarded as an order<br /> —vt. to require, as by law<br /> • As a result of World War I, mandates to rule certain areas that used to be<br /> parts of the Ottoman Empire were issued by the League of Nations.<br /> • The shop foreman has a mandate from ownership to require each worker to<br /> put in 16 hours of overtime.<br /> • Senator Strong’s overwhelming victory is a mandate for him to pursue<br /> equal rights for women.<br /> • The new law mandates a $300 fine for overtime parking.<br /> [-d,* mandating]<br /> <br /> 153<br /> <br /> 154<br /> <br /> Essential Vocabulary<br /> <br /> manual (MAN yoo il) adj. 1. of or having to do with the hands; 2. without<br /> electrical or other power assist; 3. not automatic (as in an automotive transmission)<br /> —n. 1. a book of facts or instructions; 2. any of several organ keyboards; 3. a drill<br /> for handling certain weapons<br /> • A carpenter needs good manual dexterity.<br /> • Most old-fashioned wells have a manual crank that lifts a bucket on the<br /> end of a rope.<br /> • To drive a car with a manual transmission, you must learn how to use the<br /> clutch.<br /> • Don’t throw out your DVD manual; you never know. . . .<br /> • The fingers operate the manual on an organ, while the feet play the<br /> pedals.<br /> • A good soldier must learn the manual of arms.<br /> manuscript (MAN yoo skript) adj. 1. handwritten or typed, but not printed;<br /> 2. writing consisting of unconnected letters; not cursive —n. 1. a book or document<br /> written by hand; 2. a copy of an author’s work submitted to a printer or publisher;<br /> 3. writing, as apart from printing<br /> • Your report needs to be at least four pages of manuscript, double-spaced if<br /> typed.<br /> • Manuscript is the style of writing we first learn, before we are taught to<br /> write in cursive.<br /> • Until the printing press was invented, all books were manuscripts.<br /> • Any manuscript submitted to a publisher should be accompanied by an<br /> SASE (self-adressed stamped envelope).<br /> mar (MAHR) vt. to injure or damage so as to disfigure; spoil; impair; hurt the<br /> appearance<br /> • With her key, Joan marred the finish on Bud’s car.<br /> • The cries of protesters marred the president’s appearance at the convention.<br /> [-red, -ring]<br /> <br /> mastery (MAS tir ee) n. 1. control; rule; 2. the upper hand in a struggle;<br /> victory; 3. expert skill or knowledge; 4. accomplishing success in understanding<br /> something<br /> • Agassi had complete mastery on the tennis court.<br /> • In the battle between the sexes, women achieve mastery about 60% of the<br /> time.<br /> • Glenn’s lack of mastery of the guitar is what caused his audience to leave<br /> the recital during the intermission.<br /> • Kim’s years of practice had led to mastery of the art of karate.<br /> <br /> M – N: SAT Words<br /> <br /> 155<br /> <br /> materialism (muh TIR ee uhl i zm) n. 1. the philosophical doctrine that everything in the world is matter, and even thought, will, and feeling can be connected<br /> to matter (the opposite of idealism); 2. the notion that possessions, wealth, and<br /> comfort are the most important things in the world; 3. the tendency to be more<br /> concerned with material things than with the intellectual or spiritual<br /> • The philosophy of materialism enjoyed some popularity in the nineteenth<br /> century.<br /> • The idea of materialism permeates some of the work of pop singer<br /> Madonna—especially in her song “Material Girl.”<br /> • When a person pursues someone of the opposite sex because of the latter’s<br /> wealth, that is a display of materialism.<br /> [materialistic adj., materialistically adv.]<br /> <br /> mathematical (MATH i MAT i kl) adj. 1. of, concerned with, or about mathematics; 2. precise; rigorously exact<br /> We all need some sort of mathematical education.<br /> A high-quality diamond must be cut with mathematical precision.<br /> maverick (MAV rik) n. 1. a stray calf; any unbranded livestock; 2. a person who<br /> takes an independent stand or a position different from that of the rest of his group<br /> • One of the jobs of a cowboy on a drive is rounding up mavericks.<br /> • A maverick politician often votes against the official position of his party’s<br /> leadership.<br /> maxim (MAX im) n. a concisely worded statement of truth or rule of conduct<br /> • “A stitch in time saves nine” is a well-known maxim.<br /> • “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” is a maxim we<br /> should all live by.<br /> [Syn. saying]<br /> <br /> meaning (MEE ning) n. significance; import; what is intended to be conveyed,<br /> signified, or indicated —adj. 1. intending; having purpose; 2. significance<br /> • Only time will tell us the meaning of today’s world events.<br /> • Sally was meaning to tell Harry how much she cared.<br /> • Barbara’s locket’s meaning was a reminder of her mother.<br /> [-ly adv.]<br /> <br /> means (MEENZ) n. 1. the way in which something is done; agency; 2. available<br /> wealth; resources; 3. great wealth<br /> • He had the means to get over the top of the fence.<br /> • Margie had the means to buy the very best silver.<br /> • The CEO of the software company is a woman of great means.<br /> <br /> 156<br /> <br /> Essential Vocabulary<br /> <br /> QUICK REVIEW #54<br /> Match the word from column 2 with the word from column 1 that means most<br /> nearly the same thing.<br /> 1. machination<br /> <br /> a. stray<br /> <br /> 2. malediction<br /> <br /> b. intent<br /> <br /> 3. malinger<br /> <br /> c. greediness<br /> <br /> 4. mallet<br /> <br /> d. saying<br /> <br /> 5. mandate<br /> <br /> e. precise<br /> <br /> 6. manual<br /> <br /> f. wealth<br /> <br /> 7. manuscript<br /> <br /> g. order<br /> <br /> 8. mar<br /> <br /> h. spoil<br /> <br /> 9. mastery<br /> <br /> i. handwritten<br /> <br /> 10. materialism<br /> <br /> j. hammer<br /> <br /> 11. mathematical<br /> <br /> k. control<br /> <br /> 12. maverick<br /> <br /> l. instructions<br /> <br /> 13. maxim<br /> <br /> m. curse<br /> <br /> 14. meaning<br /> <br /> n. shirk<br /> <br /> 15. means<br /> <br /> o. plot<br /> <br /> media (MEE dee uh) n. all means of communication, such as radio, television,<br /> cinema, and print matter that provide the public with news and entertainment<br /> • Most of the media in the United States are driven by advertising dollars.<br /> • Since the advent of television, the roles played by the print media have<br /> tended to become more specialized.<br /> mediocre (MEE dee OH kir) adj. 1. of average quality; not too good, not too<br /> bad; 2. inferior; not good enough<br /> • The quality of prime-time TV shows has, over the years, been mediocre,<br /> with the best shows airing after 10 P.M.<br /> • For the most part, packaged supermarket baked goods are mediocre when<br /> compared with freshly baked goods.<br /> melee (MAY lay) n. 1. a noisy or confused struggle or brawl among a number of<br /> people; 2. a confused mixture<br /> • After the first half of watching the football game at the tavern, a melee<br /> broke out among the patrons.<br /> • Sangria is a melee of citrus fruits and red wine served over ice.<br /> melodrama (MEL uh DRAH muh) n. 1. a play or film concerned with exaggerated conflict and sensational overacting stereotypical characters; 2. any sensational<br /> hyperemotional acting, utterance, etc.<br /> <br /> M – N: SAT Words<br /> <br /> 157<br /> <br /> • Melodrama is typical of daytime soap operas, with lots of gesticulating and<br /> grand gestures.<br /> • Silent films were filled with melodrama in contrived scenes such as the<br /> heroine’s being tied to the tracks as the train approaches.<br /> [-tic adj., -tically adv.]<br /> <br /> memorable (MEM uh ri bl) adj. worth remembering; notable<br /> • Lou Gehrig’s farewell address was a memorable moment in sports history, as<br /> was Jackie Robinson’s breaking baseball’s color line.<br /> • September 11, 2001, is probably as memorable a date for today’s generation<br /> as was December 7, 1941, for the World War II generation.<br /> [memorably adv., memorability n.]<br /> <br /> mentor (MEN tir) n. 1. a wise advisor; 2. a teacher, coach, or active role model<br /> —vi., vt. to act as an advisor or teacher<br /> • Athenian philosopher Aristotle was a mentor to Alexander of Macedon, also<br /> know as Alexander the Great.<br /> • Julius Caesar was a mentor to Octavian, who later became the first Roman<br /> emperor, Caesar Augustus.<br /> merely (MEER lee) adv. no more than; only; and nothing else<br /> • Fishing is thought by some to be merely a blood sport rather than a form of<br /> relaxation.<br /> • Mighty Mouse is merely a muscular mouse in yellow and red tights and cape.<br /> metamorphose* (met uh MAWR fohz) vt. to change in form or in nature; to<br /> transform; to undergo metamorphosis<br /> • The caterpillar can be seen to metamorphose into a moth or butterfly.<br /> • A tadpole will metamorphose into a frog or toad.<br /> • Now metamorphose your frown into a smile; it uses fewer muscles.<br /> [-d, metamorphosing] [Syn. transform]<br /> <br /> metaphor* (MET uh fawr) n. a figure of speech containing an implied comparison, but not using like or as (which would make it a simile), for example, “raining<br /> cats and dogs,” but not “that pepper is as hot as fire”<br /> • Metaphor is skillfully used by Shakespeare, although it is sometimes mixed as<br /> in “. . . to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing drown them.”<br /> • A metaphor is like a simile, which is what the first part of this sentence is.<br /> methodical (meth AH dik uhl) adj. orderly and systematic<br /> • The surgeon proceeded with the operation in a methodical manner.<br /> • The floor waxer was methodical, making sure that he got every square inch<br /> of the room.<br /> [methodic adj., -ly adv.]<br /> <br /> meticulous* (mi TIK you luhs) adj. extremely careful about detail; paying careful attention; scrupulous<br /> • The model builder was meticulous in his attention to getting the rigging<br /> just right.<br /> • The chef was meticulous in making sure that no raw meat came in contact<br /> with ingredients meant for the salad.<br /> <br />
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