WHY SHOULD I LEARN THIS MATERIAL?
Standardized tests, taken in middle school and high school, call for a strong command
of the English vocabulary for maximum success. The sentence completion exercises
evaluate your understanding, as do the vocabulary-in-text questions of the Critical
Reading passages. Your ability to analyze the reading passages successfully will also
improve by working on these words, since you won’t be stopping as your read when
running into unfamiliar terminology. A stronger vocabulary will also help you analyze
sentences and paragraphs more effectively.
This book contains words that often appear on standardized tests such as the CRCT
and PARCC tests you will take in middle school and the SAT and ACT that you will take
in high school. Each word on the list is accompanied by the definition and either a
phrase or sentence within which the word is used. These words are not difficult; they
are just unfamiliar to you. To help you, this book contains strategies and mnemonic
devices for each word, enabling you to remember them forever. Often the grammar and
spelling in these strategies is intentionally incorrect in order to create the desired effect:
your long-term retention of each word’s meaning. Humorous, wacky connections
between the words and your memory actually give students success, so read and
remember and have a laugh along the way. The exciting part of this book is that you
will be familiar with 400+ words by the time you leave Arnold Magnet Academy.
WOD List for the1st Nine Weeks
Week 1:--Starts the 2nd Week of School (August 12th)
1. abound, (uh-BOWND) v. to be or grow in a large number or amount; teem:
Example: Rabbits abound in these woods.
Strategy: Abound has nothing to do with bound or bind. It’s derived from the prefix ab –
meaning away, and the Latin root undulare to flow. If something is abundant it is
2. compensate, (KOM-pin-sait) v. to make up for, or offset; pay
Example: Job benefits compensate for lower wages.
Strategy: Compensate comes for the Latin word for weight, thus to put things back into
balance. However we compensate or are compensated, things remain in balance.
What compensation can you expect for studying these words and analogies?
3. metaphor, (MET-uh-for) n. an implied comparison between two things, used
to describe on of them, as in “drowning in work.”
Example: Mark drew a metaphor between his forearm muscles and tow
Strategy: Think of a recent song you’ve had in your head; try to see if the lines have a
metaphor in them or if the song acts as a metaphor for something in your life.
4. persecute, (PER-she-cute) v. to subject to harassment, punishment, or ill-
Example: Early Christians were persecuted because their beliefs were
different than what was already established.
Strategy: Many people associate persecute with punishment, but the word has a nuance
that implies the treatment is ongoing, unjust, or extreme. For a mnemonic
connection, one can combine execution and personal to yield pers + ecution =
persecution – singled out for punishment or suffering.
5. tensile, (tense-ile) adj. relating to tension or capability of being stretched:
Example: Engineers are so impressed with the high tensile strength of a
spider’s web that they are attempting to replicate it.
Strategy: Tensile come from the word tension and pertains to the degree of tension that
something can take before it snaps or breaks. Physics classes could have a field
day with this word, testing things to discern the breaking point.
6. abridge, (uh-BRIJ) v. to shorten while retaining content; an abridged
dictionary. 2. To restrict: abridged privileges.
Example: If you read an abridged version of the novel, you will miss some
things that are included on the test.
Strategy: Abridge comes from the Italian word breve, which is a short musical note. From
that word, besides abridge, we get abbreviate, brevity, and brief.
7. competent, (KOM-peh-tent) adj. capable or qualified; adequate: n.
Example: The line in the recommendation stated that she is a steady,
Strategy: Notice the word compete in competent. If you are competent at a certain skill
you are capable of successfully competing with others in that endeavor.
8. mendicant, (MEN-dih-kent) n. a beggar: mendicancy
Example: Men that can’t find jobs often become mendicants.
Strategy: Think of a girl named Mandy, as in the sentence, “Mandy can’t afford to travel with
us anymore: she’s become a mendicant who begs for her meals.”
9. persist, (per-SIST) v. to continue a task or course of action: The cold
weather persisted for weeks; n. persistence, persistency, adj. persistent
Example: Her persistence made her a good salesperson.
Strategy: Persist comes from a long line of words for the Latin to stand: sistere. If you
persist in standing, you’ll be standing a long, long time. If you “take a stand”, you
are persisting in the way it is.
10. tentative, (TEN-tah-tiv) adj. 1. not yet definite; provisional; 2.hesitant or
Example: 1. a tentative solution to the problem. 2. The newcomer gave a
tentative grin as he was introduced.
Strategy: See the tent in tentative. Someone who is living in a tent is not definite about
living in that location, so they are tentative about establishing permanent living
11. abrogate, (AB-ro-gait) v. to abolish, repeal, or set aside: adj. abrogative
Example: Congress abrogated the treaty.
Strategy: Did you hear about the new product Ab Rogaine? Apparently, if you take it, it
abrogates the flab from your abs, and you become that slip person you’ve
always dreaded of.
12. compile, (kum-PILE) v. to gather together into a unit, work, or book; n.
compilation, adj. compiled
Example: She had to compile the data from the experiments.
Strategy: Look at the word pile in compile. We compile our papers into piles to get
13. methodical, (meh-THOD-ih-kull) adj. done, arranged, or acting in an
orderly, systematic way
Example: Because there were so many orders to fill, David had to
come up with a methodical procedure to save time.
Strategy: You could have little problem connecting the word method with methodical.
You have a method to doing something.
14. perspicacious, (per-spih-KAY-shuss) adj. keenly perceptive or
Example: Mary made the perspicacious comment that let the team
to the discovery of the cure.
Strategy: Connect this word to perspective +ouss (full of) or full of perspective.
15. tenure, (TEN-yer) n. the fact, right, or period of holding or possessing
Example: The dropping of the atomic bomb occurred during his
tenure as president.
Strategy: Tenure can be connected with ten years; it takes ten years for a professor to
get tenured; her position is secure with tenure.
16. abscond, (ab-SKOND) v. to leave suddenly and secretly, esp. to avoid capture
Example: He absconded with the money he had stolen
Strategy: The prefix abs- mans away. The word originates from Latin: abscondere – to hide
away, secretly. Connect abscond with escape or with a sentence like – The ex-con
absconded with the money, but was caught and found himself back in jail.
17. complacent, (kum-PLAY-sent) adj. pleased with oneself or with things as they
Example: If we are complacent, or competitors will overtake us.
Strategy: On the surface, complacent can seem to mean something good, with a definition of
being pleased with ones self; however, that’s the problem, as soon as someone is
satisfied, he or she ceases to put forth effort. With that in mind, we should always be a
little hungry, or a little stressed, in order to find what it takes to improve.
18. methodology, (meh-thod-AHH-luh-jee) n. principles or rules used for a specific
activity or branch of knowledge.
Example: Scientists use a special methodology when performing
Strategy: The easiest thing to do with this word is chop off the last five letters, yielding method.
You could get confused if you already know that the suffix –ology means the study of.
Methodology is not the study of efficient methods, but it is connected to science – the
rules governing a scientific procedure.
19. perspective, (per-SPEC-tive) n. aa visual or mental view of a scene or subject;
point of view
Example: I want to get your perspective on this issue.
Strategy: Perspicacious connects with the word perspective, which involves possessing
insight or wisdom. Perception is another good word to connect with perspective and
perspicacious. From these –atious and –acious words, we can deduce that the
suffixes mean to be full of. Perspicacious= full of perspective.
20. terminate, (TER-mih-nate) v. to put an end to; bring a stop to; come to an end;
Example: We terminated our membership at the health club.
Strategy: Many will associate this word with the movie The Terminator. Just think of what his job
is; it’s almost as if the definition is his job description. The Terminator terminates.
21. absolve, (ab-Zolv) v. to free or release from blame, guilt, responsibility, or
obligation; n. absolution
Example: He as absolved of his duty.
Strategy: The prefix abs- means away. The word originates from Latin: absolvere – to set free.
Make an effort to absolve someone of the conduct that has offended you in the recent
22. complementary, (kom-plih-MENT-uh-ree) adj. making complete, full, or whole
Example: With their complementary talents, Danielle and Christina made
a great team.
Strategy: We think of complements or praise with the word complementary, but we should also
consider how one thing complements another: how jelly complements peanut butter,
Robin complements Batman, or lyrics complement a melody. DON’T confuse
complementary with complimentary which means given away freely or conveying
admiration or praise.
23. meticulous, (meh-TIK-you-luss) adj. attentive to every small detail; painstaking
Example: The detectives conducted a meticulous search for evidence.
Strategy: Inventory how meticulous you are. List 5-10 expectations others place on you, whether
through your job, your school, your friends, or family. Then rate how meticulously you
fulfill those responsibilities.
24. pertinent, (PER-tih-nent) adj. or, concerning, or connected to a subject: all the
pertinent evidence. v. pertain
Example: My father was only interested in the pertinent facts regarding
my lateness last night.
Strategy: Connect pertinent to pertain. If something is pertinent, it pertains to that issue.
25. terminology, (ter-min-OL-uh-gee) n. the specialized language used in a
particular field or subject
Example: My accountant, Max, is very knowledgeable in the
terminology of economics.
Strategy: Develop a terminology for modern slang: focusing on the term in terminology is the
key to remember this word.
26. abstain, (ab-STAIN) v. to choose to hold oneself back voluntarily from
something: abstention; n. abstinence
Example: If you abstain from any kind of illegal drug use.
Strategy: Abridge comes from the Latin word abstinere, which is to hold or keep away from-, so
it is related to abstain; perhaps an abridgement (cutting back on, or lessening the
amount of) relates to the sense of abstaining from considering the entire thing.
27. complex, (KOM-plex) adj. not simple; having complicated or interconnected
elements; difficult to understand
Example: Our effort to protect U.S. airports from terrorism has evolved
into quite a complex system.
Strategy: Complex is a very common word. As an adjective or noun, it can take on multiple
meanings, besides meaning difficult, it can pertain to a collective group of buildings,
shelters, and facilities; it can also suggest a condition, often mental.
28. mettle, (sounds like metal) n. toughness of character; courage
Example: He showed his mettle during the close games.
Strategy: Link mettle to metal and the notion of having nerves of steel or an iron will to face
29. perturb, (PER-turb) v. to cause great disturbance in (the mind); agitate; worry; n.
Example: The swarming bees perturbed the hikers.
Strategy: Perturb can be linked to disturb. As verbs, both pertain to annoying someone.
30. terrestrial, (ter-RESS-tree-ul) adj. or or relating to the earth or land as opposed
to air or water
Example: An elephant is a terrestrial animal.
Strategy: Terrestrial is derived from the root terra- which means earth, as in the words territory,
terrier, terrarium, terra cotta (baked earth), and terrain.
31. abrasive, (uh-BRAY-sive) adj. causing to wear away or become irritated; n.
Example: She would make a great drill sergeant with her abrasive way of
Strategy: The noun form of abrasive is abrasion, and it is a good idea to learn abrasion in
with two other wound words, contusion and laceration. Abrasion almost sounds
like it has razor inside of it, and a razor is used to scrape more than slice, so
an abrasion is a scrape. A laceration is a slice (add an S to laceration and you have
slasheration), so a laceration is a deep cut or slice, the result of a slash; contusion
has the same U sound as bruise, and a contusion is bruising.
32. comply, (kum-PLY) v. to act in agreement with or obedience to; n. compliance;
Example: He complied with school rules.
Strategy: Comply, a verb, is compliant as an adjective, and compliant looks like complaint, so
you can think of the sentence, the boss had not complaint with the worker who was
compliant to his rules.
33. peruse, (per-OOZE) v. to read or examine attentively in detail; n. perusal
Example: Please peruse this contract before signing it.
Strategy: Peras, one of the earliest known words means completeness, and user, usus, and
util are the origins of use, so you wind up with to use to completeness. If you
peruse something, you are examining every minute detail, until you have covered it
34. pensive, (PEN-siv) adj. deep in a sad, melancholy, or dreamy thoughtfulness
Example: Thoughts of the deceased wife put him in a pensive mood.
Strategy: Pensive comes from the French very penser = to think. Strangely enough, pensive is
related to the pansy because the flower was thought to have a pensive look when it
was in bloom.
35. theology, (thee-AHH-luh-gee) n. the study of religion, the relationship between
God and the universe, or a particular system of belief and doctrine; n. theologian,
theologist ; adj. theological
Example: Tanya’s minister is well versed in theology.
Strategy: Theos was the original Greek word for God, which has no connection to the Latin
Deus for God. The difficult word, apotheosis, is derived from theology, and it means
the perfect example, essentially, if you make something an apotheosis, you are
assigning it divine qualities.
36. abstemious, (ab-STEE-me-us) adj. eating or drinking in moderate amounts;
Example: The abstemious model worked hart to keep her figure slim and
Strategy: Abstemious people abstain from luxuries, especially in matters of food and drink.
Another way to remember it connects abs + steamy or steamy abs; in order to have
people view your abs as “steamy” or hot, you have to be abstemious in your diet.
37. complicity, (kum-PLIH-sih-tee) n. participation in wrongdoing, especially in a
Example: His complicity in the theft proved that Richard was not an
Strategy: You can see the connection between an accomplice and complicity. Complicity
mainly involves one’s association in a criminal act – not a positive act.
38. microcosm, (MIKE-roe-kah-zum) n. a complete, tiny world; small example of a
Example: Santa Barbara is a microcosm of California.
Strategy: This is a good opportunity to learn the prefixes micro- small and macro- large.
39. pervade, (per-VAID) v. to spread or be present everywhere; permeate; invade
n. pervasion; adj. pervasive
Example: Determination pervaded the team
Strategy: Connect pervade with invade; if something pervades an area, it covers the entire
space, or it invades that space and takes it over.
40. theoretical, (thee-or-EH-tih-kul) adj. proposed as an explanation, rather than
proved by fact; of or based on theory; hypothetical
Example: The Catholic Church opposed Galileo’s theoretical model of the
Strategy: Theoretical and theory come to us by way of the Greek word for spectator; thus, they
are related to the word theater. Initially, the word implied to speculate about something
after having been a spectator, taking in as much as one might about that subject.
Week #9 – Give Nine Weeks Test over WODs #1-40.