Vocabulary #6

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
• 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)?
• 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
• 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
• 4. cater (verb) 1. to try to satisfy the needs of; try to
make things easy and pleasant 2. to supply food and
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
• 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.
• 9. maternal (adj) of or like a mother
• Thanks to its maternal instincts, the wolf
successfully raised the human child.
• Synonyms: motherly, protective
• 10. narrative (noun) a story; a detailed report
• You’ll love reading the narrative of Frederick
• Synonyms: account
• Other forms: I don’t like abstract poems; I prefer
narrative (adj) poems.
• 11. nurture (verb) to bring up, care for, train, or
• 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?
• 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
• 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
• 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.
• 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
• 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
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!
2. avail (verb) to be of use to; to help
• The doctor’s best efforts did not avail the dying
• 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
3. bizarre (adj) unusual, odd or outrageous
• Tracy was exhibiting bizarre behavior around James
because she had a crush on him.
4. chastise (verb) to criticize or discipline
• The football coach would chastise his players when
they were losing.
• Synonyms: scold, berate
• Antonyms: praise, encourage
5. contagious (adj) easily transmittable
• Even though Stella’s boyfriend had strep throat and
was highly contagious, she kissed him.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
14. subside (verb) to lessen, diminish, decline
• The weatherman said the huge waves would subside
after the hurricane.
• Antonyms: to rise, increase
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
• 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.

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