sparse adj., thin; not dense. After the long drought, much of the thickly forested area had become sparse with trees. sparsely, adv.
thread bare adj., worn down so that the threads show. The jeans were threadbare because she washed them and wore them every weekend.
ca pit u la tion n., conditional surrender, act of giving up under prearranged terms. The victorious general accepted the capitulation of the defeated armies.
port ly adj., large and heavy in a dignified way. Jack Sprat was slender, and his wife was portly.
con spic u ous adj., obvious; attracting attention by being unusual or unexpected. Lisette's jeans were conspicuous at the semiformal dance.
mer cu ri al adj., volatile; frequently and unexpectedly changing. Jemma is so mercurial that I never know what she'll do from one minute to the next.
lei sure n., free, unoccupied time. Alan likes to listen to music during his leisure time.
pan to mime n., dramatic presentation given without words, using only action and gestures. When Yumiko lost her voice, she tried to pantomine in order to communicate.
ex trav a gant adj., excessive; beyond reasonable limits. The ten-course dinner was extravagant, but Marcella likes to do things bigger and better than everyone else.
in tol er a ble adj., unbearable, insufferable. When the heat became intolerable, we jumped into the pool to cool off.
vile adj., disgusting; repulsive. The smell of the food was so vile, we didn't dare to taste it.
mim ic v., imitate in speech or action. Beth and Pedro sometimes mimic their older brother to tease him.
co ed u ca tion al adj., having students of both sexes attend classes together. Thomas attended an all-boys' high school, but he went to a coeducational college.
quar rel v., fight; dispute heatedly. The two brothers are competitive and quarrel often.
in dig nant adj., angry; scornful. Malik's response to the accusation was indignant. indignantly, adv.
scoff ing adj., mocking, taunting. The other students chanted her name in a scoffing manner. scoffingly, adv.
grave adj., somber; serious. The doctor's face was grave when she gave Gordon the results of his test.
bus tle n., noisy, energetic, and often obtrusive activity. Kari was intimidated by the bustle and confusion in the lunchroom.
grat i tude n., feeling of appreciation; thankfulness. I don't know how to express my gratitude for all you've done for me.
fa tal ist n., one who believes all events are determined by fate and are therefore inevitable. "Whatever will be, will be," said Leon, the fatalist.
im pro vise v., make with the materials at hand, usually to fill an unforeseen need. We did not have enough chairs for everyone, so we improvised a bench with boxes and planks.
satch el n., small bag for carrying clothes, books, etc. Kayla packed her school books in her satchel.
os ten ta tious adj., showy; obviously proud or boastful. Milo was ostentatious in parading the trophy around the field. ostentatiously, adv.
fal ter ing adj., wavering, hesitating. She could hear her voice faltering during her first lines, but by the end of the play her words were loud and clear. falteringly, adv.