Vocabulary #6 Born with a mic • A lot of rappers claim that they were born with a mic. Well, what if one of them really was? • This is his story. • Born with a mic Authentic • 1. authentic (adj) genuine; real; true • While digging in our backyard, Wing and I found an authentic Native American arrowhead. • Synonyms: actual, valid • Antonyms: fake, false, counterfeit • Other forms: Do you really question this painting’s authenticity (noun)? Bewilder • 2. bewilder (verb) to puzzle completely; confuse • The high school basketball team, bewildered by the nontraditional style of their ape opponents, lost to the “Chimp All-Stars” in overtime. • Synonyms: baffle, fluster • Antonyms: clear up, explain Canny • 3. canny (adj) smart and careful; watchful of one’s own interests • While General Motors was still building big trucks and SUVs, Honda made the canny decision to focus on smaller cars that were better for the environment. • Synonyms: shrewd, prudent • Antonyms: foolish Cater • 4. cater (verb) 1. to try to satisfy the needs of; try to make things easy and pleasant 2. to supply food and service • 1. The cereal company finally catered to popular demand and put its “Frosty the Ferret” cartoon character back on the box. • 2. We had the big dinner catered, so we didn’t have to cook a thing. • Synonyms: 1. humor, indulge Climax • 5. climax (noun) the highest or most intense moment in the course of something • Marley’s year reached its climax when she hit the game-winning home run and found out she got into college on the same day. • Synonyms: top, apex, pinnacle Confront • 6. confront (verb) to stand up to; to face boldly • I confronted the bully after school and told him I wasn’t giving him any more quarters. • Synonyms: resist, oppose • Antonyms: back down • Other forms: The protest became violent after a confrontation (noun) between protesters and the police. Debut • 7. debut (noun) a first public appearance • A famous actor decided to wear shorts and a tank top to his movie’s debut. • Synonyms: beginning • Antonyms: closing, finale • Other forms: The show debuted (verb) on Broadway last June. Fathom • 8. fathom (verb) to figure out; to understand; to get to the bottom of • I can’t fathom why you would want to buy those shoes when you already own a pair just like them. • Synonyms: discern • Antonyms: misunderstand • Other forms: A fathom is also a unit of measurement for measuring the depth of the sea. Maternal • 9. maternal (adj) of or like a mother • Thanks to its maternal instincts, the wolf successfully raised the human child. • Synonyms: motherly, protective Narrative • 10. narrative (noun) a story; a detailed report • You’ll love reading the narrative of Frederick Douglass. • Synonyms: account • Other forms: I don’t like abstract poems; I prefer narrative (adj) poems. Nurture • 11. nurture (verb) to bring up, care for, train, or nourish • I tried to nurture the plant, but I must have done something wrong because it died. • Synonyms: raise, cultivate • Antonyms: ignore, neglect • Other forms: Is it nature or nurture (noun) that’s made you so goofy? Orthodox • 12. orthodox (adj) in agreement with established or generally accepted beliefs or ways of doing things, especially relating to religion • Rejecting her parents’ lifestyle as too orthodox, Julie decided to go live alone on a mountain. • Synonyms: conventional, customary • Antonyms: unconventional, unorthodox, heterodox Prowess • 13. prowess (noun) great skill or ability • Few fighters had the swagger, the prowess, and the charm that Muhammad Ali had. • Synonyms: expertise, mastery • Antonyms: inability, weakness Snare • 14. snare (verb) to trap, catch, or get • Using his trap, old Jim McGreevey snared two plump rabbits. • Synonyms: entrap • Antonyms: liberate, let go • Other forms: The squirrel dodged the snare (noun) and ran home. Tamper • 15. tamper (verb) to interfere with; to mess with rashly or foolishly • Someone has been tampering with this lock; I can tell because the combination is off . • Synonyms: meddle, tinker Vocabulary Practice • 1. You have to watch TV tonight; I’m making my acting (debut OR climax) on the show a Monkey Bus Filled With Fools. • 2. The easiest way to (fathom OR bewilder) Monica is to pretend you don’t speak the same language as her. • 3. I’m worried about what will happen when Sammy (snares OR confronts) me about having a crush on his sister. Vocabulary Practice • 1. Stefanie was bummed when she learned that her bag wasn’t (authentic OR canny); it was a cheaply made copy. • 2. The chimpanzee had such (orthodox OR maternal) feelings toward the hippo that she even tried to nurse the giant beast. Vocabulary #5 • Dreaming is pretty amazing. Each night, we close our eyes and are taken to places where crazy things occur. Sometimes it seems that we can control our dreams and we’re able to do whatever we want. Other times, it seems as though our dreams control us, and we’re just along for the wild ride. • Wild Ride Amiss • 1. amiss (adj) in a faulty way, astray, or wrong • When my parents came home from being gone all weekend, they saw how clean the house was and immediately knew something was amiss. • Synonyms: faulty, improper, flawed, askew, awry • Other forms: Amiss can also be an adverb: Something’s gone amiss! Avail • 2. avail (verb) to be of use to; to help • The doctor’s best efforts did not avail the dying patient. • Synonyms: to benefit, aid • Other forms: Avail can also be a noun meaning “use or advantage” as in: His strength was of little or no avail in digging himself out from under the avalanche. Bizarre • 3. bizarre (adj) unusual, odd or outrageous • Tracy was exhibiting bizarre behavior around James because she had a crush on him. Chastise • 4. chastise (verb) to criticize or discipline • The football coach would chastise his players when they were losing. • Synonyms: scold, berate • Antonyms: praise, encourage Contagious • 5. contagious (adj) easily transmittable • Even though Stella’s boyfriend had strep throat and was highly contagious, she kissed him. Culminate • 6. culminate (verb) to come to the end or the highest point • The flag football tournament will culminate with an awards banquet, where I hope to be recognized as the most valuable player. • Synonyms: conclude, finish, peak • Other forms: A huge dinner marked the culmination (noun) of the Broadway season. Deplore • 7. deplore (verb) to feel or express strong disapproval of • The group told the President that they deplored American involvement in the war. • Synonyms: to bemoan, regret Dialect • 8. dialect (noun) the language specific to a group of people due to geography, society, or an occupation • Those dudes speak a strange dialect of Spanish. Hover • 9. hover (verb) to suspend in air; to wait nearby • The cats tend to hover by their food dish when they are hungry for breakfast and dinner. • Synonyms: hang, float, linger Loll • 10. loll (verb) to lounge; to recline • During summer, the kids like to loll about on the dock in their bathing suits beside the lake. • Synonyms: to hang, relax, chill • Antonyms: to hurry, rush, speed Modify • 11. modify (verb) to change; to amend • Sometimes my grandmother will modify her cookie recipe by adding more sugar so they are sweeter. • Other forms: If you make a modification (noun) to something, you make a change to it. Preposterous • 12. preposterous (adj) foolish, absurd • Barry was telling his mom a preposterous story about why he was an hour and a half late to school. • Antonyms: reasonable, sensible, logical Spontaneous • 13. spontaneous (adj) unplanned and impulsive • There was a spontaneous burst of laughter at the back of the classroom when the teacher accidentally said a bad word. Subside • 14. subside (verb) to lessen, diminish, decline • The weatherman said the huge waves would subside after the hurricane. • Antonyms: to rise, increase Tedious • 15. tedious (adj) boring, tiring or monotonous • Sharon gave her daughter some tedious tasks to complete to pass the time while they waited for their plane to arrive. • Antonyms: entertaining, interesting, exciting Vocabulary Practice • 1. Cats are infamous for (lolling OR hovering) about all day while dogs are busy running and barking. • 2. It is (spontaneous OR preposterous) to think that one day there will be flying cars and talking robots. • 3. Marcy wanted to drastically (subside OR modify) her bedroom by painting it green and brown like a rainforest and hanging monkeys from the ceiling. Vocabulary Practice • 1. We called the police to complain about our neighbor’s dog, who was incessantly barking, but they could not (avail OR culminate) us. • 2. The patient was so (contagious OR bizarre) that he had to be locked in a special wing of the hospital.