penultimate - next to the last; second last: All Latin words of two syllables are accented on the first syllable. Words of three or more syllables are accented on the penultimate syllable (called the penult) if that syllable is long; otherwise the accent is placed on the antepenult (third last syllable). Also: antepenultimate (third last). [ultimus, ultima, ultimum - farthest; last]
pallid - pale, wan: The mysterious bird in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” sits upon “the pallid bust of Pallas.” Also: pallidness, pallor (paleness, wanness). [palleo, pallere, pallui - to be pale; pallesco, pallescere, pallui - to become pale; pallor, palloris, m. - paleness, pallor]
palpable - 1. readily seen; obvious; 2. able to be felt: Older women are urged to get an annual mammogram and not to wait until a lump in the breast becomes palpable. Also: palpability, palpableness, palpate (to examine medically by touching), palpation, palpator.
impale - 1) to pierce through with something pointed: In a Halloween tragedy, a young girl dressed as a witch accidentally impaled herself on her broomstick when she jumped from a porch. 2) to render helpless, as if pierced through. Also: impalable, impalability, impaler, impalement.
paludal - of, pertaining to, or produced by marshes: Alligators and cottonmouths are two of the most feared paludal residents of Louisiana. [paluster, palustris, palustre - swampy, marshy]
disparage - 1) to speak disrespectfully of, try to lessen the
importance of:: If we are unwilling to face our own weaknesses, we
will be inclined to disparage those who have helped us in times of
greatest need. 2) to lower in esteem, bring discredit upon. Also: disparagement.
partake (of) - 1) to take some: The old hermit ate little.
On days when he was hungry, he partook of food; on most days, he fasted.
2) to have some of the qualities (of). Also: partakable,
parsimonious - excessively thrifty or frugal; stingy: It’s one thing to be careful how you spend your money and quite another to be parsimonious. Also: parsimoniousness, parsimony.
patency - 1) the state of being obvious; 2) in medicine, the state of being unobstructed: Cardiac vein grafts have a ten-year patency rate of 50 percent. Also: patent (evident, obvious).
patent (adj.) - open to observation, obvious, evident: The judge had no trouble recognizing the arrangement for what it was: a patent attempt to avoid paying taxes.
paternal - having to do with, derived from, or on the side of
the father: The youngest son was said to bear a strong resemblance to
his paternal grandfather. Also: paternalism (system of
controlling others as a father controls his children), paternalist,
paternalistic. [paternus, paterna, paternum - paternal]
dispassionate - free from emotion or prejudice; impartial: Reporters for the school newspaper are expected to write dispassionate, factual news accounts; editorializing, they are told, belongs on editorial pages. Also: dispassion, dispassionateness.
passible - capable of feeling, especially pain and suffering: Here is an interesting philosophical question for theists: Is God passible or impassible? Also: impassibility, impassible, impassibleness, passibility.
expatriate - 1) to force to leave the country; banish, exile;
2) to withdraw from residence in or allegiance to one's native land: The
poet Ezra Pound expatriated himself and went to Italy, where he became
an admirer of the dictator Mussolini and broadcast Fascist propaganda to
the United States. Also: expatriation.
paucity - fewness (small number); scarcity (small amount): Always able to laugh at himself, old Jim used to say that his corpulence made up for a paucity of brain cells. [paucitas, paucitatis, f. - a small number, scarcity]
pacific - 1) peaceable, not warlike; 2) calm: The king's
pacific countenance belied his intention of invading his guests' country
within a week. Also: pacifiable, pacificate (to bring into a
peaceful condition; to pacify), pacification (a pacifying or
being pacified), pacifier, pacify. [pacificus, pacifica,
pacificum - peacemaking, peaceable]
impeccable - faultless, flawless: Anyone who claims that his past is impeccable is either a god or a liar. 2) incapable of sin, sinless. Also: impeccability, peccable (capable of wrongdoing), peccability. [peccatum, peccati, n. - fault, transgression, sin; peccatus, peccatus, m. - a failing, fault]
impecunious - having no money, broke: Can an impecunious
professional gambler collect unemployment compensation? Also: impecuniosity
(lack of money), impecuniousness (impecuniosity). [pecuniosus,
pecuniosa, pecuniosum - wealthy, moneyed]
pedestrian - (n.) someone who goes on foot; (adj.) 1. of or pertaining to pedestrians; 2. commonplace, lacking in imagination or vitality: The interviewers found the applicant’s ideas too pedestrian for their avant-garde magazine. Also: pedestrianism (the practice of traveling on foot; commonplace quality), pedestrianize (to walk). [pedester, pedestris, pedestre - on foot]
pejorative - a derogatory or disparaging word or phrase, especially one whose basic meaning has changed for the worse: There's no getting around it: "queer" is a pejorative, an unfortunate word indeed, for it cannot be used in its original sense, and it should not be used in its acquired sense. Also: pejoration (a worsening; a change of meaning for the worse).
compel - 1) to force; 2) to get by force: An absolute ruler
can compel obedience but not gratitude, trust, and love. [compello,
compellere, compuli, compulsus - to bring together; to force a
person to do something, compel]
penchant - a strong inclination, fondness, taste or liking for something: Happy are they whose penchant and duty are one and the same.
pendulous - 1) hanging down loosely: The long, pendulous nasal appendage of the elephant fascinates both children and adults. 2) swinging freely; 3) fluctuating. [pendulus, pendula, pendulum - hanging]
append - to add, attach, or affix as a supplement: To his report he appended a note of gratitude to management and staff. Also: appendage (a subordinate attached part), appendant (attached), appendance, appendancy, appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix). [appendo, appendere, appendi, appensus - to weigh out; appendix, appendicis, f. - addition]
pendulous - 1) hanging loosely; swinging freely: The short legs, sad eyes, and pendulous ears of the Basset hound all contribute to its lugubrious appearance. 2) undecided, vacillating. Also: pendular, pendulousness, pendulum. [pendeo, pendere, pependi - to hang, be suspended]
penury - terrible poverty, extreme want; destitution: Because their house has only one bathroom, they think that penury itself has taken up residence with them. Also: penurious (stingy, miserly; indigent), penuriousness.
percolate - 1) to cause or allow (a liquid) to pass through a porous body (filter); 2) (of a liquid) to drain through small spaces; to filter through: They loved the aroma of percolating coffee on a lazy Sunday morning. Also: percolable, percolative, percolation, percolator. [colum, coli, n. - strainer, per (prep. w/ acc,) - through]
perdition - 1) loss of one’s soul; damnation: To say that perdition for Jonathan Edwards was a bleaker state than that envisioned by many modern theologians is to understate the difference. 2) hell; 3) utter loss or ruin. [perditor, perditoris, m. - destroyer]
perfidious - faithless, treacherous: In a song from the 1950’s called “Perfidia,” the singer says good-bye to his perfidious lover. Also: perfidiousness, perfidy. [perfidia, perfidiae, f. - faithlessness; perfidus, perfida, perfidum - faithless]
perfunctory - 1. done routinely (merely to discharge a duty): After a perfunctory appearance at a neighbor’s graduation reception, he got down to the real business of the day, golfing. 2. lacking interest; indifferent; acting merely to discharge a duty. Also: perfunctoriness. [perfunctio, perfunctionis, f. - a performing, discharging]
imperil - to place in danger; endanger: He avoided the collision only by swerving blindly; his lack of concentration had imperiled the lives of everyone in the van. Also: imperilment, peril (danger), perilless, perilous, perilousness. [periculosus, periculosa, periculosum - dangerous]
permutation - a rearrangement, transformation, alteration: Because Latin is a highly inflected language, word-order permutations involving basic structural words are possible with no change of meaning. Also: permutate (to cause to undergo a permutation), permutable, permutability, permutableness, permutational, permutationist, permute (to alter, change), permuter. [muto, mutare, mutavi, mutatus - to change ; permutatio, permutationis, f. - a complete change]
pernicious - causing great harm: It was obvious to all who knew the victim that the reporter’s statement was a pernicious lie; consequently, he was sued for libel. Also: perniciousness. [nex, necis, f. - (violent) death; perniciabilis, perniciabile - destructive; pernicies, perniciei, f. - destruction]
perpetual - lasting forever; never ceasing: Alchemy, the fountain of youth, and perpetual motion have all been recognized as fantasy, haven't they? Also: perpetuable, perpetuality, perpetualness, perpetuance, perpetuate (to make perpetual; to keep from being forgotten), perpetuation, perpetuator, perpetuity. [perpetuo, perpetuare, perpetuavi, perpetuatus - to cause to continue, make continual; perpetuitas, perpetuitatis, f. - continuous succession]
perpetuate - to cause to continue; to preserve from oblivion: Not wishing to perpetuate a lie, some parents prefer not to instill in their children a belief in Santa Claus. Also: perpetual (lasting forever or indefinitely long), perpetuality, perpetualness, perpetuable, perpetuance, perpetuation, perpetuator, perpetuity (state or quality of being perpetual). [perpetuitas, perpetuitatis, f. - continuity; perpetuo - constantly; perpetuo, perpetuare - to cause to continue]
perspicacious - having keen powers of observation and understanding: The perspicacious youngster took delight in catching his teachers in mistakes. Also: perspicaciousness, perspicacity, perspicuity (clearness, lucidity), perspicuous (clearly presented, easily understood, lucid), perspicuousness. [perspicientia, perspicientiae, f. - a full awareness; perspicio, perspicere, perspexi, perspectus - to look through, see through; perspicuitas, perspicuitatis, f. - clearness; perspicuus, perspicua, perspicuum - transparent; evident, clear]
perspicuous - clear, lucid; easily understood: Behind every perspicuous report is a logical mind. Also: perspicuity, perspicuousness. [perspicientia, perspicientiae, f. - full knowledge; perspicuitas, perspicuitatis, f. - clearness; perspicuus, perspicua, perspicuum - bright, clear]
pertinent - pertaining to the matter at hand; relevant; appropriate: The chairman interrupted the speaker: "If you have something pertinent to say, please continue; otherwise, please take a seat." Also: impertinent, pertinence, pertinency. [per (prep. w/ acc.) - through; teneo, tenere, tenui, tentus - hold]
perturbation - 1. act of disturbing or disquieting; 2) a disturbed or agitated condition: Instead of calling to complain, she endured for years the sleeplessness and perturbation caused by the barking of the neighbor’s dog. 3. cause of disturbance or disquiet. Also: perturb, perturbable, perturbability, perturbatious, perturbative (having a tendency to perturb), perturbedness, perturber, perturbator (one who perturbs), perturbment. [perturbatio, perturbationis, f. - confusion, disorder]
pervade - to be spread throughout: Consumerism, the idea that the increased consumption of goods is desirable, pervades American society. Also: pervader, pervasion, pervasive, pervasiveness. [per (prep. w/ acc.) - through; vado, vadere - to go, walk, rush]
pervasive - tending to spread throughout: The PTA adopted a resolution urging all members to oppose the pervasive influence of violent films in the community. Also: pervade (to spread throughout; to exist throughout), pervader, pervasion, pervasiveness. [per (prep. w/ acc.) - through; vado, vadere - to go, hasten]
impervious - impenetrable; not capable of being affected or disturbed: Impervious to the criticism of friend or foe, Mary sailed through life with no thought of becoming mired in shark-infested water. Also: imperviousness. [impervius, impervia, impervium - impassable]
biped - a two-footed animal: Not all bipeds are mammals;
birds, for example, have two feet, but they do not nurse their young.
Also: bipedal, bipedalism (the condition of being two-footed), bipedality.
[bis - twice; pedalis, pedale - having the length of a
pessimist - a person who tends to look on the dark side of things and to expect the worst: The pessimist looks at life, sees suffering and death, and stops looking. Also: pessimism, pessimistic.
petulant - irritable over trifles; peevish: Spoiled since birth, the petulant child needed time to adjust to the expectations of teachers and classmates. Also: petulance. [petulans, petulantis - impudent; petulantia, petulantiae, f. - impudence]
piety - 1) reverence for God, devout fulfillment of religious duties: In practice, piety means different things to different people; however, most will agree that attendance at church services does not, in and of itself, satisfy its demands. 2) dutiful respect for one’s parents. Also: pious (showing respect for God and for one’s religion; real or pretended religiousness [pio, piare, piavi, piatus - to satisfy with sacred rites; pius, pia, pium - dutiful, devout, religious]
piliform - having the form of or resembling hair: Today many wigs are made of piliform strands of synthetic fiber, which are nearly indistinguishable from real human hair.
complacent - pleased with oneself (without an awareness that one's luck can change); self-satisfied: Coaches caution their victorious teams not to become complacent. Also: complacence, complacency. [complaceo, complacere, complacui, complacitus - to please greatly]
placebo - a pill, tablet, etc.
given to someone as medicine which has no medicinal ingredients: If
it can be shown that a placebo is as effective as a trusted psychiatric
medication, are doctors morally bound to inform patients of this fact
and/or to change their medication?
implacable - not to be pacified or appeased: In Nathaniel
Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne appeals to her
husband, Roger Chillingworth, to cease his relentless persecution of the
Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale; however, the implacable Chillingworth, consumed
with vengeance, refuses her request. Also: implacability,
implacableness. [implacabilis, implacabile - unappeasable;
implacatus, implacata, implacatum - unappeased; cf. also placate]
plebiscite - a direct vote by the people on a political issue: The United States has a representative democracy, which means that most political issues are decided by representatives elected by the people, not by plebiscite. Also: plebiscitory (adj.). [scisco, sciscere, scivi, scitus - to investigate; to enact, approve by voting]
plenitude - abundance; fullness; completeness: Much of the plenitude of ancient Greek science, lost to the West during the Dark Ages, was rediscovered in the libraries of the Arabs. Also: plenitudinous.
applicable - that can be applied; suitable; appropriate;
relevant: In his Critique of Practical Reason, Immanuel Kant
formulated what he believed to be a moral law applicable to all men in
every moral situation. Also: applicability, applicableness,
inapplicable, inapplicableness, inapplicability. [applico,
applicare, applicavi, applicatus - to apply to; to attach; applicatio,
applicationis, f. - application; attachment]
plummet - (n.) a piece of lead or other substance hung at the end of a line, used to determine depth or verticality; plumb bob; (v.) to fall straight down, plunge: As Enron stock plummeted, many an employee’s dream of a comfortable retirement vanished. [plumbeus, plumbea, plumbeum - leaden, made of lead]
plurality - 1) the condition of being plural; 2) majority: If
you need a plurality to win, and if an even number of votes is cast,
then you must win by two votes. 3) the difference between the
largest number of votes and the next largest. [pluralis, plurale
pluvial - of or pertaining to rain, especially much rain; rainy: By examining the terraces of Lake Bonneville, a dried-up lake in Utah that once covered some 20,000 square miles, geologists have found that, 10,000 years ago, in the latest pluvial period, the level of the lake was 600 feet higher than the lake bed’s present elevation. Also: pluvious (rainy), pluviosity. [pluvia, pliviae, f. - rain; pluvius, pluvia, pluvium - rainy]
impunity - exemption from punishment, injury, or loss: No
young person should be allowed to violate school and domestic rules with
impunity. [punio, punire, punivi, punitus - to punish; impunitas,
impunitatis, f. - impunity]
ponderous - 1) of great weight, very heavy; 2) heavy and awkward; 3) dull: Novels like James Joyce’s Ulysses and Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus can be read with profit by well-educated readers, but not by most high-school students, who peremptorily pronounce them ponderous. Also: ponder (to consider carefully and thoroughly, to weigh in the mind), ponderer, ponderability, ponderable (able to be considered deeply; able to be weighed), ponderation (act of weighing), ponderousness, ponderosity. [pondero, ponderare, ponderavi, ponderatus - to weigh; to consider; ponderosus, ponderosa, ponderosum - weighty meaningful; pondo (adv.) - by weight]
apposite - appropriate; relevant: Each page consists of a
black-and-white photograph and an apposite, superimposed quotation.
Also: appositeness. [appono, apponere, apposui, appositus
- to place near; to add to]
pontoon - 1) a flat-bottomed boat or other floating object used to support a bridge: His uncle served in a corps of engineers that specialized in the placement of pontoons for amphibious attacks by sea and for crossing rivers. 2) boat-shaped parts that replace wheels on airplanes that take off from and land on water.
dispeople - to deprive of all or many people: In the spring
of 1995 there was initial concern that the ebola virus, that sprang up
in a remote rural area of Zaire, might spread and dispeople towns,
cities, and even countries. Also: unpeople (dispeople); depopulate
(dispeople, unpeople), depopulation, depopulative, depopulator.
portal - door; gate; entrance, usually large and imposing: Arriving at the portal, the king knocked three times ceremoniously; to his dismay, the great door remained closed.
portico - a porch or covered walkway, often across the front of a building, having a roof supported by columns: As we walked by, the President was standing on the portico of the White House.
comport - behave (oneself) in a specified manner; deport: Most
of the prisoners of war comported themselves with dignity and courage. Also:
comportment (behavior). [comporto, comportare, comportavi,
comportatus - to bring together, gather]
impotent - 1) lacking power: Known best for his impotent
diatribes, the old codger was more pitied than feared. 2) sexually
powerless (said of males). Also: impotence, impotency. [impotens,
impotentis - powerless;]
postdate - give or write a date later than the true date: She
postdated the check so that it could not be cashed before her
next deposit. [do, dare, dedi, datus - to give]
posterity - 1) all succeeding generations: It seems probable that posterity will judge us harshly for our pollution of the environment. 2) all of a person's descendants. [posteritas, posteritatis, f. - posterity]
postulate - (n.) proposition that is taken to be self-evident; (v.) 1) to assume the existence or truth of something, often as a basis for argument: Before beginning the discussion of the possibility of life after death, the speakers agreed to postulate the existence of a God who is omnipotent, omniscient, and infinitely good. 2) to demand, claim. Also: postulance, postulancy, postulant (candidate for admission to a religious order), postulantship, postulation, postulational, postulator. [postulatio, postulationis, f. - a demand, request]
precipitous - 1) steep like a precipice; 2) headlong: The
precipitous devaluation of stocks at the end of 1929 led to the
Great Depression. Also: precipice (a high and very steep
cliff; an extremely hazardous situation), precipitant (falling or
rushing headlong), precipitance, precipitancy (great haste;
rashness), precipitousness. [praecipito, praecipitare,
praecipitavi, praecipitatus - to cast down headlong; to fall
headlong; to rush down headlong]
precocious - 1) prematurely developed: Do precocious children, as a rule, develop into extraordinary adults? 2) flowering before the appearance of leaves. Also: precociousness, precocity (early maturity). [coquo, coquere, coxi, coctus - to cook; to ripen]
predatory - 1) characterized by or inclined to plundering; 2)
capturing and feeding upon other animals: Many people maintain that
cats, despite their predatory instincts, make good pets. Also: predation
(the act of preying on another animal or other animals); predator
(a predatory person or animal), predatoriness. [praedator,
praedatoris, m. - plunderer; hunter; greedy man; praedatorius,
praedatoria, praedatorium - plundering; praedatio, praedationis,
f. - plundering; praedor, praedari, praedatus sum - to
predicament - an unpleasantly difficult or dangerous situation: With headlights burning and keys locked in the car, he thought he was in an awful predicament until he remembered that the school’s security director had a device for opening locked car doors without a key. Also: predicamental. [praedicabilis, praedicabile - laudable, praisworthy; praedicatio, praedicationis, f. - proclamation; praedicator, praedicatoris, m. - eulogist]
predicate - (trans. v.) 1) to proclaim, assert; 2) to assert something of the subject of a logical proposition; (intrans. v.) to make an affirmation; (n.) 1) one of the two basic components of a clause, the other being the subject: The predicate consists of everything in a clause except the subject and its modifiers. 2) that which is affirmed or denied concerning the subject of a logical proposition. Also: predicable (assertable), predicability, predicableness, predicament, predicamental, predicant (pertaining to preaching; a preacher), predication, predicational, predicative, predicator (verb), predicatory (pertaining to preaching). [praedicabilis, praedicabile - praiseworthy; praedicatio, praedicationis, f. - proclamation; praedicator, praedicatoris, m. - a praiser; eulogist]
impregnable - 1) that cannot be broken through or entered by force: After World War I, the French built the Maginot Line, a system of heavy fortifications along their eastern border, which they hoped would be impregnable; in 1940 the Germans captured it from the rear. 2) capable of being made pregnant or of being saturated. Also: impregnability, impregnate (to make pregnant or to saturate), impregnation, impregnator, impregnatory, pregnable (that can be broken through or entered by force), pregnability.
premium - 1) reward; special offer; bonus: Each month the video club has a veritable truckload of tempting premiums. 2) an additional amount paid or to be paid; 3) a payment; fee.
preposterous - so contrary to nature, reason, or common sense as to be laughable; absurd: For many a believer the beliefs of others are preposterous: one man’s superstition is another man’s religion. Also: preposterousness.
presage - (n.) 1. presentiment, foreboding; 2. omen; 3. a prediction; (v.) 1. to portend, foreshadow: A farmer once told me that rain on Sunday before 7 a.m. presages a second rainfall that week. 2. to predict. Also: presageful, presager. [praesagio, praesagire, praesagivi - to perceive beforehand; praesagitio, praesagitionis, f. - a presentiment; praesagus, praesaga, praesagum - perceiving beforehand
presumptuous - taking too much for granted; acting without permission; impertinent: Not wanting to appear presumptuous, he couched his request in polite and deferential language. Also: presumable, presume, presumer, presumption, presumptive (presumed; giving reason for presumption), presumptuousness.
preternatural - outside the usual course of nature, abnormal: Before their fall, Adam and Eve are said to have had the preternatural gift of freedom from death. 2) supernatural. Also: preternaturalism (preternatural state or characteristic; recognition of the preternatural), preternaturality, preternaturalness.
preterit - (n.) 1) past tense; 2) verb in the past tense; (adj.) denoting a past state or action: The preterit forms of the English verbs play, go, and be are played, went, and was, respectively. Also: preterition (a passing over; omission), preteritive (expressing or limited to past tenses).
prevaricate - to lie, to speak untruthfully or misleadingly: Perhaps he who deliberately prevaricates in formally accusing an innocent person of a crime should suffer the expected punishment of the accused. Also: prevarication, prevaricative, prevaricator, prevaricatory. [praevaricator, praevaricatoris, m. - a double dealer, a false advocate]
pragmatic - concerned with practical results: He was a realist; his approach to life was pragmatic, not speculative. Also: pragmatical, pragmaticalism, pragmatics, pragmaticism, pragmatism (branch of philosophy that stresses practical considerations as tests of value and truth), pragmatist, pragmatistic.
depravity - wickedness, moral corruption: Who among us is the final arbiter of goodness? Among people of apparent good will we find disparate values, including moral values, so that sometimes one person's depravity is another person's virtue. Also: depravation, deprave, depravedness. [pravitas, pravitatis, f. - crookedness; depravatio, depravationis, f. - a distorting, distortion; depravo, depravare,---, depravatus - to make crooked, distort]
deprecate - to express strong disapproval of: Most Louisville east enders welcome plans for a bridge connecting the truncated I-265 in Kentucky with the truncated I-265 in Indiana by the most direct route; of course, many who would be inconvenienced by such a bridge deprecate those plans and find, as they maintain, compelling reasons against them. Also: deprecation, deprecative (deprecating), deprecator, deprecatoriness (deprecative condition or quality), deprecatory (deprecative).[deprecatio, deprecationis, f. - an attempt to avert by prayer or intercession; deprecator, deprecatoris, m. - intercessor; deprecor, deprecari, deprecatus sum - to try to avert by prayer, entreaty, or intercession]
prehensile - adapted for grasping or holding on: All monkeys have prehensile hands and feet; some have prehensile tails as well. Also: prehensible (able to be seized or grasped), prehensility.
irrepressible - unable to be prevented from acting, kept down,
or restrained: Who doesn't admire the irrepressible spirit of a
person like Magic Johnson who, though afflicted with the AIDS virus,
continues to achieve and to smile? Also: irrepressibility,
irrepressibleness. [reprimo, reprimere, repressi, repressus -
to hold back, keep back, restrain]
appreciable - enough to be noticed or felt: It has been
said that acquiring a more effective methodology can raise a student's
SAT scores appreciably. [ad (prep. w/ acc.) - to; toward]
imprecate - to call down or invoke (curses, evil) upon a person: On the Tonight Show, the Great Swami (played by Johnny Carson), would regularly imprecate "the fleas of a thousand camels" upon the less than properly credulous or properly deferential Ed McMann. Also: imprecation (a curse; act of cursing), imprecator, imprecatory, precative, precatory (having to do with entreaty or supplication). [precarius, precaria, precarium - obtained by entreaty; precatio, precationis, f. - entreaty, request, prayer; precor, precari, precatus - to entreat, request, pray, beg]
precarious - 1) uncertain, insecure: Nothing is certain, and life is precarious at best; however, those who depend on the stock market as their primary source of retirement income, exacerbate precariousness. 2) dangerous. Also: precariousness. [precarius, precaria, precarium - obtained by entreaty or prayer; precatio, precationis, f. - prayer; precator, precatoris, m. - suppliant; precor, precari, precatus - ask, entreat, beg]
primacy - the state of being first in rank, importance, time,
etc.: Papal primacy has been a principle of the Roman Catholic Church
for many centuries; the Eastern Orthodox Churches do not acknowledge
principate - supreme office or authority: Upon the death of Augustus, the principate passed to his adopted son, Tiberius.
prioritize - to arrange in order of precedence in time, importance, preference, etc. Some families consciously prioritize their material needs in order to spend their money wisely. Also: prioritization, priority.
pristine - 1) unspoiled, uncorrupted; having its original purity: Thanks to skillful and patient restoration, century-old works of art are again able to be viewed in their pristine beauty. 2) characteristic of an earlier, or of the earliest, period.
approbation - official approval or commendation: Her
suggestions elicited the approbation of her commanding officer and the
gratitude of her colleagues. Also: approbate (officially
approve), approbator, approbative (showing approbation), approbativeness,
approbatory. [approbo, approbare, approbavi, approbatus - to
approve of; to make acceptable; approbatio, approbationis, f. -
procure - to get, obtain, secure: Unable because of the railroad strike to procure the necessary means of production, many manufacturing companies were forced to close down. Also: procurable, procurance, procuration, procurator, procuratorate, procuratorship, procuratorial. [procuratio, procurationis, f. - management, administration; procurator, procuratoris, m. - manager, administrator]
profligate - (adj.) 1. shamelessly wicked: 2. recklessly extravagant: When the profligate son returned home, the father killed a fattened calf for him, something he had never done for his faithful son; (n.) a very wicked person or a spendthrift. Also: profligacy (shameless dissipation; reckless extravagance), profligateness. [profligator, profligatoris, m. - a spendthrift]
profusion - 1. abundance; large amount: The surplus income of people in technologically advanced countries has resulted in a profusion of luxury items there, while in other parts of the world people try to subsist on two or three dollars a day. 2. extravagance. Also: profuse (given freely and in large amounts), profuseness, profusive (lavish), profusiveness. [profusus, profusa, profusum - lavish, extravagant]
profound - 1. very deep intellectually or emotionally: Perhaps there are intelligent beings somewhere in the universe by whom our profound thinkers would be seen as pitiably superficial. 2. far beneath the surface. Also: profoundness, profundity ( the state or quality of being profound). [profundum, profundi, n. - depth]
prolific - 1. producing new individuals abundantly: Fish reproduce prolifically, and when natural predation is minimized, many of the young survive to adulthood. 2. highly productive. Also: proliferate (to grow by multiplication of parts; to spread rapidly), proliferation, proliferous (producing new individuals by budding or cell division), prolificacy, prolificness. [facio, facere, feci, factus - to do, make]
promulgate - to make known formally, to announce officially: A reasonable state cannot expect conformity to a law that has not been adequately promulgated. Also: promulgation, promulgator. [promulgatio, promulgationis, f. - a making known, publishing]
propinquity - nearness in time, place, or relationship: Their
reacquaintance was made possible by the fortuitous propinquity of their
theater seats. [propinquitas,
propiquitatis, f. - nearness]
propitious - favorable: The restaurant’s success is in large measure attributable to its propitious location across from a popular shopping mall. Also: propiatiable, propitiate (to appease), propitiation, propitiative, propitiator, propitiatory (serving to propitiate), propitiousness. [propitio, propitiare,---, propitiatus - to appease]
proponent - someone who makes a proposition or supports a cause: When Congress is in session, proponents as well as opponents of pending legislation appear daily in front of the Capitol to demonstrate their support or opposition.
appropriate (v.) - 1) to set aside for a specific use; 2) to
take possession of; to take as one's own: Plagiarism is the illegal
appropriation of someone else's ideas or words. Also: appropriation,
appropriative, appropriator. [ad (prep. w/ acc.) - to;
prospective - 1) likely; expected: The company required
prospective employees to undergo a rigorous, six-week training session.
2) looking to the future. Also: prospectivity, prospectiveness.
provident - 1) careful about providing for the future: Provident
people, we are told, begin early to put aside money for retirement. 2)
prudent; frugal. Also: providence (care for the future; God's
help and care), providential (fortunate; as if by divine
providence), providentness. [providentia, providentiae, f.
provincial - narrow-minded, unsophisticated: The provincial attitude of several of the delegates made progress difficult. Also: provincialism (narrowness of outlook), provinciality, provincialize, provincialization. [provincialis, provinciale - pertaining to a province]
proximate - 1) next; nearest; 2) approximate. The proximate
cause of World War II was the German invasion of Poland; one of the
remote causes was the Treaty of Versailles at the conclusion of World
War I. Also: proximal, proximateness, proximation (next;
prudent - wise in practical matters; judicious: The prudent man thinks before he acts or speaks. Also: prudence, prudential (having or showing prudence; having decision-making or advisory authority). [prudentia, prudentiae, f. - a foreseeing; skill; practical judgment]
publican - in ancient Rome, a collector of taxes, tolls, etc.:
Be humble is the message of the parable of the publican and the
Pharisee in the Bible. [publicanus, publicani, m. - tax
impudent - impertinent, rude, disrespectful, insolent: She liked all her students (the ones who talked and the ones who didn’t, the ones who slept and the ones who stayed awake, the lazy and the diligent)--all, that is, except the impudent ones; those she could not abide. Also: impudence, impudency, impudentness, impudicity (immodesty), pudency. [impudens, impudentis - shameless; impudentia, impudentiae, f. - shamelessness; impudicitia, impudicitiae, f. - shamelessness; impudicus, impudica, impudicum - shameless; pudicitia, pudicitiae, f. - modesty, chastity; pudicus, pudica, pudicum - modest, chaste; pudor, pudoris, m. - shame; modesty]
puerile - childish, immature: The congressman's puerile behavior shocked his constituents. Also: puerilism (childish behavior in an adult), puerility (childishness). [puerilis, puerile - boyish; childish]
impugn - to attack by words; to call into question: Not
wishing to impugn the veracity of the headmistress, the girls attributed
her statement to misinformation and misunderstanding. Also: impugnable,
impugnability, impugnation, impugnment. [impugno, impugnare,
impugnavi, impugnatus - to attack; impugnatio, impugnationis, f. -
pulchritude - physical beauty: The report of Helen's pulchritude having reached far-off Troy, the Trojan prince Paris sailed to Greece and abducted her. Also: pulchritudinous (physically beautiful). [pulchritudo, pulchritudinis, f. - beauty]
pulverize - 1) to reduce to powder or dust; 2) to demolish completely: On the day after the local high school’s 30-0 victory in the first round of the state tournament, an alliterative headline read, "Panthers Pulverize Opponents." Also: pulverable (pulverizable), pulverizable, pulverization, pulverizer, pulverulent (consisting of, covered with, or crumbling to dust), pulverulence.
punctilious - very attentive to details: Without dedicated, punctilious lab assistants, the pet project of many a scientist would have failed. Also: punctilio (detail, fine point), punctiliousness. [pungo, pungere, pupugi, punctus - to prink, puncture]
pungent - 1. having a sharp taste or smell; 2. sharp, biting,
caustic: Officer candidates are expected to accept pungent criticisms
without question or retaliation. Also: pungency. [punctim
- with the point; by stabbing; punctum, puncti, n. - a prick; a
small hole; a point]
depute - 1) to give authority to someone as a deputy or a
substitute; 2) to assign (authority, a task, etc.): The United States
Constitution deputes to the Vice-President the powers of the President
in the event that the latter becomes unable to discharge his duties. Also:
deputable, deputation (a deputing; a person or persons deputed).
[deputo, deputare, deputavi, deputatus - to prune; to estimate,
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