Abash: To disconcert; embarrass
He looked rather abashed at her criticism.
Abate: To lessen; reduce in amount or intensity; lower
The rain has started to abate slightly.
Abdicate: To resign from a high position; renounce some right
She has abdicated all responsibility for the project.
Abduct: Carry off (a person) by force; kidnap
The company director was abducted from his car by terrorists.
Abductor: Kidnapper; one who forcibly carries a person away
He was tortured by his abductors.
Abet: To encourage; assist or support, often in wrongdoing
They claimed that the riot had been abetted by the police.
Abide: To endure; bear patiently; accept
He can’t abide laziness.
Abjure: When we abjure a belief, we renounce or repudiate it
He abjured his religion.
Abort: To terminate a procedure before completion
His arrest aborted our plan.
Abound: To be plentiful; grow or exist in abundance
Fish abound in that lake.
Abscond: To depart suddenly and secretly; to go into hiding, as from the law
Two prisoners absconded last night.
Abstain: To refrain from action; hold back from participation
He took a vow to abstain from alcohol.
Abstract: Theoretical; lacking specific factual instances; difficult to understand; abstruse
I don’t want your abstract ideas; give me something concrete.
Abstruse: Hard to understand
I found her arguments very abstruse.
Abut: To border on; touch
Their house abutted (on to) the police station.
Abyss: Chasm; deep crack or fissure in the earth, immeasurable rift
He was killed in a climbing accident when a rope broke and he fell into an abyss.
Acclamation: Enthusiastic approval by loud applause; cheering, shouts
His speech was greeted with sounds of acclamation.
Acclimation: An adaptation; becoming accustomed to a new climate or environment
It takes many months for acclimation to life in a tropical climate.
Accolade: Praise; award; honour; acclaim
Your approval is the highest accolade for a poet.
Accord: To grant or bestow as suitable or proper; allow; award
The crowd of supporters accorded him a hero’s welcome.
Accost: To confront boldly or aggressively
When he stepped down from his jeep, a man from the mob accosted him.
Accost: To address; approach and speak to; speak first to
When the two young men accosted me, I was frightened because I thought they were going to attack me.
Acerbic: Bitter; having a biting, caustic way of expressing oneself
His acerbic remarks upset the minister.
Acoustic: Relating to sound or hearing
The microphone converts acoustic waves to electrical signals for transmission.
Acquiescence: Passive consent; agreement with reservations
I was surprised by her acquiescence in the scheme.
Adamant: Unyielding, as in the sense of great strength of will; inflexible
He’s absolutely adamant in not allowing smoking in his house.
Addicted: Habitually dependent; taken over by something habit-forming
He has been addicted to drugs.
Adduce: To cite or allege; bring forward as pertinent or conclusive
She adduced several facts to support her thesis.
Adept: Skilful; proficient; expert
She is very adept in making people feel at ease.
Adjudicate: Determine judicially
He was asked to adjudicate on the dispute.
Adjunct: Non-essential addition; something added to the main thing but not fundamentally a part of it
I hope I would find the computer course a useful adjunct to my other studies.
Adjure: To repudiate; renounce under oath; disavow; forswear; recant
He adjured his life of dissipation.
Adroit: Skilful and resourceful; reacting and thinking quickly as the hockey player’s adroit move
He became adroit at dealing with difficult questions.
Adverse: Whatever opposes, is harmful or interferes
This medicine has no adverse effects.
Aesthetic: Artistic; appreciative of or keen about beauty in art and nature
The new building has little aesthetic value.
Affect: To influence; produce a noticeable reaction, response or slight change
The team’s performance was affected by the rain.
Affectation: Artificial behaviour intended to impress others
I detest all affectation.
Affix: To fasten to; attach; add; append
She affixed a stamp to the envelope.
Affluent: Having plenty of money; rich
This colony is mostly inhabited by affluent families.
Agglomeration: Jumbled collection; heap or cluster of dissimilar items
The country is an agglomeration of different ethnic and religious groups.
Aggressive: Assertive; acting boldly or vigorously; enterprising
Aggressive nations threaten world peace.
Aghast: Dumbfounded; horrified or appalled by something terrible or frightening
I was aghast at the violence I was witnessing.
Alacrity: Cheerful willingness
She accepted the proposal with alacrity.