ACT Word of the Day

Friday 04-15-16
paradox - noun; an idea that is self-contradictory.  Example: He told his friends that his first job was a paradox because the more he worked, the more relaxed he felt. 

Thursday 04-14-16
orient - verb; align or position something relative to a known point or landmark.  Example: The front of all these businesses are oriented in the direction of the ocean. 

Wednesday 04-13-16
omit - verb; to leave out or exclude someone or something, either intentionally or by accident

Tueday 04-12-16
obstruct - verb; to be or get in the way of; prevent; hinder.  The noun form is obstruction.

Monday 04-11-16
obsolete - adjective; no longer produced or used; out of date.  Unfortunately, this is an adjective that can be used in about a year for a new phone to tablet you bought today. 

Friday 04-08-16
substrate - noun; any substance or layer underneath another; a surface on which an organism grows or is attached.

Thursday 04-07-16
solution - noun; a homogeneous mixture or two or more substances; frequently (but not necessarily) a liquid solution.  

Wednesday 04-06-16
residual - adjective; relating to or indicating a remainder; something left after other parts have been taken away.  Typically, this refers to a physical substance, such as the ring of dirt that might be left in a bathtub after a kid takes a bath.  But it can also refer to non-physical things, such as in the sentence: "She was interested to see if last week's argument had any residual effects on students' attitudes this week."

Tuesday 04-05-16
inversely proportional - adjective; describing a relationship between two connected amounts, factors, or quantities in which an increase in one causes a decrease in the other.  Example: 1. If there is a class comprised of boys and girls, when the number of girls is increased, the percentage represented the boys in the class will decrease.  (15 boys is 38% of a class of 40 that has 25 girls, but 15 boys is only 30% of a class of 50 with 35 girls.) 2. The more you sit on the couch, the less likely you are to earn a basketball scholarship.

Monday 04-04-16
directly proportional - adjective; describing a relationship between two connected amounts, factors, or quantities in which an increase in one causes an increase in the other. Examples: 1. The more hours you work in a day, the more money you make.  2. The faster a car is driven, the more quickly the tire tread can wear away.  

Friday 04-01-16
larvae - noun; the active, immature form of an insect, which differs greatly in form from the adult; the stage between the egg and the pupa.

Thursday 03-31-16
interval - noun; the distance between things; a definite length of time marked off by two instants.

Wednesday 03-30-16
intact - adjective; undamaged, complete, or whole.

Tuesday 03-29-16
incremental - adjective; increasing gradually by regular degrees or additions.  The noun form is increment. 

Monday 03-28-16
hypothesis - noun; a tentative theory or concept that is not yet verified.  If a hypothesis proves true, it will explain certain facts or phenomena.  An adjective form of the word is hypothetical

Friday 03-18-16
notion - noun; a belief about something. Example: "What gave you the notion that I liked raspberry-filled doughnuts?"

Thursday 03-17-16
nostalgia - noun; a sentimental lodging or affection for the past.  Example: "During his ten-year reunion, Jack had the opportunity to walk through the halls of the high school.  It gave him a sense of nostalgia."

Wednesday 03-16-16
mishap - noun; an unlucky accident

Tuesday 03-15-16
minute (pronounced MY-noot) - adjective; extremely small.  Example: "The reporter had a reputation for finding the most minute details of a story."

Monday 03-14 - 16
mere - adjective; used to emphasis how small or insignificant someone or something is. Example: "She was reading an article about how an antique dealer had recently purchased an Apple I computer at a yard sale for a mere $5."

Friday 03-11-16
lethargic - adjective; sluggish and apathetic.  Example: "The teacher was excited about starting the unit on mold spores, but there was a lethargic response from her 6th Period class. Maybe it was because that class was right after lunch."

Thursday 03-10-16
latent - adjective; existing but not yet developed or obvious; hidden or concealed. Example: "His father wanted him to job shadow at a number of different industries hoping that this would revealed some latent skill that would help him get a job in the future."

Wednesday 03-09-16
lack - verb; to be without or deficient.  Example: "If this case goes to trial, the prosecution will lack a sufficient amount of evidence to bring about a conviction."

Tuesday 03-08-16
justify - verb; to show or to prove that one is right or reasonable. Example: "He hoped that if he let his boss drive his company vehicle and see how bad of shape it was in, it would help justify his request for a new one."

Monday 03-07-16
intuition - noun; the ability to understand something immediately; in other words, "a gut feeling."

Friday 03-04-16
integrate - verb; to combine one thing with another so that they become a whole.

Thursday 03-03-16
infer - verb; deduce or conclude from evidence or reasoning rather than from clear statements.

Wednesday 03-02-16
inevitable - adjective; certain to happen; unavoidable

Tuesday 03-01-16
indissoluble - adjective; solid and not able to be broken apart.  This can be used for a physical solid (like a rock) or for something that is not physical, as in the example: "The owner was certain that after the meeting, the two companies would have an indissoluble agreement."

Friday 02-26-16
inconceivable - adjective; not capable of being imagined.  Example: "Much of the technology we consider commonplace today was inconceivable 50 years ago."

Thursday 02-25-16
incompetent - adjective; not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully.  Example: "The manager felt that the boss' son was an incompetent waiter because he dropped the first three trays of food that he tried to carry.  However, he was afraid to say anything because he was afraid his comments would be incendiary."

Wednesday 02-24-16
incendiary - adjective; designed to cause fire. In terms of people, this can describe someone who tends to stir up conflict or an action that causes conflict. 

Tuesday 02-23-16
impervious - adjective; not able of being affected 

Monday 02-22-16
immobile - adjective; not able to be moved

Friday 02-19-16
imminent - adjective; about to happen.  Note: This is often confused with eminent, which, if you were paying attention earlier in the year, you would know means, " famous or respected in a particular field or profession."

Thursday 02-18-16
immerse - verb; to involve oneself deeply in a particular activity.  Example: "He immersed himself in learning to play the guitar."  Note: The idea comes from another meaning for the word immerse, which means "to submerge something in a liquid."

Wednesday 02-17-16
hurtle - verb; to move or cause to move at a great speed (usually in an uncontrolled way). Example: "The car hurtled toward the barricade and crashed through it."  Note: This word is often confused with hurdle, which is a noun and means, "an obstacle or difficulty," or a verb which means, "to jump an obstacle."  This is the obstacle that a runner jumps in track. 

Tuesday 02-16-16
hardship - noun; severe suffering or deprivation (which simply means, "being deprived of something"). 

Friday 02-12-16
glaring - adjective; extremely obvious or conspicuous. Example: "The most glaring mistake he had made that day was when he forgot to put the drain plug back in his boat before putting it in the water."  Note: The word can also mean extremely bright or shining (such as in "the glaring sun").  The word glare is a verb which means, "to look at someone or something intently," as in the example, "She glared at him from across the room.  He knew she had heard about the boat incident." 

Thursday 02-11-16
fleeting - adjective; lasting for a very short time.  

Wednesday 02-10-16
feign - verb; to pretend to be affected by a feeling, state, or injury.  Example: "She feigned excitement when she walked into the surprise party, even though everyone had already posted the plans for the party on Instagram."

Tuesday 02-09-16
facilitate - verb; to make an action or a process easy or easier.  Example: "Keeping the young plants in the greenhouse will facilitate their growth because we can reproduce the temperature and moisture of their natural habitat."

Monday 02-08-16
exploit - verb; to use a situation or a person in an unfair or selfish way.

Friday 02-05-16
evolve - verb; to develop gradually, especially from a simple form to a more complex form.

Thursday 02-04-16
ethereal - adjective; extremely delicate in a way that seems too perfect for this world; heavenly.  Example: "The news reporter described the ballerina as 'having an ethereal grace as she moved across the stage.'" 

Wednesday 02-03-16
engross - verb; to absorb all the attention or interest of.  Example: "Solving the Rubik's cube completely engrossed him."

Tuesday 02-02-16
engage - verb; to attract and to occupy someone's interest or attention. Example: "The candidate hoped that a story from his childhood would engage his listeners and help him win their support." 

Monday 02-01-16
eminent - adjective; famous or respected in a particular field or profession.  Note: This word is often confused with imminent, which is an adjective that means, "about to happen."

Friday 01-29-16
given - adjective; specific or stated; Example: "On any given day, you can find him in the park running with his dogs."  Of course, as a verb, given is the past participle form of give, as in the example "The employees were given the day off."

Thursday 01-28-16
generalize - verb; to draw conclusions on general ideas from more specific ideas.  Example: "Just because you got hit by a foul ball on your first trip to a major league stadium, it doesn't mean you should generalize and say that all major league stadiums are dangerous."

Wednesday 01-27-16
gauge - verb; to measure precisely and against a standard; to determine the capacity volume or contents of by measurement and calculations; the noun form is also gauge.  Example of the verb form in a sentence:  "Some teachers can gauge how well their students understand the subject by listening to the questions that students ask in class."

Tuesday 01-26-16
fuse - verb; to mix together different elements; to join; the noun form is also fuse and means "a device used with an electrical current that prevents the current from exceeding a safe level." 

Monday 01-25-16
exhibit - verb; to show or make visible or apparent; the noun form is exhibition.  Example: "When the dog was trapped in the alley by the animal control officer, it exhibited signs of aggression."

Friday 01-22-16
emerge - verb; to become apparent, important, or prominent; the noun form is emergence.
Example of the verb form:  "We were interested to see who would emerge as the front runner in the race for class president."

Thursday 01-21-16
eclipse - noun; normally used in astronomy, it is also used to mean a loss of significance, power, or prominence in relation to someone or something else.  The verb form is also eclipse.  Example of the noun form: "The candidate was looking for news ways to improve public opinion of his campaign in order to avoid an eclipse by the other candidates."

Wednesday 01-20-16
dynamic - adjective; characterized by constant change, activity, or progress.   

Tuesday 01-19-16
disposition - noun; a person's inherent qualities of mind or character.  

Friday 01-15-16
dismay - verb; distress, typically caused by something unexpected.

Thursday 01-14-16
discrepancy - noun; a lack of compatibility or similarity between two or more facts.  Example: "There seems to be a discrepancy between the quantity of products that is listed on the inventory and the actual number of products that are in the warehouse."

Wednesday 01-13-16
diminish - verb; to make less or to become less. Example: "Giving up three home runs in the 1st inning strongly diminished the pitcher's chances of being named Player of the Game."

Tuesday 01-12-16
digress - verb; to leave the main subject temporarily in speech or writing.  The noun form is digression.  Example of the verb form: "Once you get to the main part of your argument, don't digress by trying to further explain ideas you have already discussed."  

Monday 01-11-16
diffuse - adjective; having the characteristic of being spread out over a large area; not concentrated in one area; the verb form, which is also diffuse, means to spread something out over a large area.  Example of the adjective form: "Although loud in the small room, the music was more diffuse outside the house and we could not hear it very well." 

Friday 12-11-15
exert - verb; to make a great effort at a mental or physical task; it also means "to put to use," as in the example: "The board of directors exerted its influence over the committees in order to bring about many of the changes that have taken place in the organization."  The noun form is exertion.

Thursday 12-10-15
evolution - noun; a process by which something passes by degrees to a different stage of development.  The verb form is evolve

Wednesday 12-09-15
erode - verb; to remove soil or rock; to ground something down; to deteriorate.  The noun form is erosion and the adjective form is erosive

Tuesday 12-08-15
emit - verb; to give off, send forth, or discharge (as in light, heat, radiation, etc.).   

Monday 12-07-15
efficient - adjective; being effective without wasting time, effort, or expense; able to accomplish a purpose effectively.   The noun form is efficiency.

Friday 12-04-15
depict - verb; to show or to represent 

Thursday 12-03-15
demean - verb; to belittle someone or something; to damage the dignity or respect of someone or something

Wednesday 12-02-15
deficit - noun; the amount by which a fund is lacking; the adjective form is deficient

Tuesday 12-01-15
cumbersome - adjective; large or heavy; used to describe something that is difficult to use or carry (because it is large or heavy). 

Monday 11-30-15
critical - adjective; expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgments. Example: "The governor was critical of the bill that the congressman was planning to introduce."

Friday 11-20-15
corollary - noun; a natural consequence or result.  Example: "I'm just guessing, but maybe your weight gain is a corollary of the 10 pounds of turkey and dressing you consumed." 

Thursday 11-19-15
correlate - verb; having a mutual relationship or connection; the noun form is correlation and the adjective form is correlative.

Wednesday 11-18-15
contradict - verb; to be in conflict with; the noun form is contradiction and the adjective form is contradictory.

Tuesday 11-17-15
contract - While we normally think of this as a noun, meaning "a legal document signed by two agreeing people," its verb form means, "to decrease in size, number, or range."

Monday 11-16-15
contour - noun; an outline, especially one representing or bounding the shape or form of something. Example: "The contour of the car help reduce wind resistance."  

Friday 11-13-15
consecutive - adjective; following continuously; in unbroken or logical sequence 

Thursday 11-12-15
condescending - adjective; showing a feeling of superiority over someone;  Example: "Some employees did not like the way she explained the process in a condescending way." 

Tuesday 11-10-15
compose - verb; to write or create; to constitute or make up; the noun form is either composition or composite.  Example of the verb form: "The students composed a list of subjects that they were hoping to study in college."

Monday 11-09-15
complement - noun; something that completes or brings to perfection; the verb form is the same and means, "to complete or to bring about completion or perfection." Example of the verb form: "The shoes she was wearing complemented her outfit."

Friday 11-06-15
distinguish - verb; to recognize or treat someone or something as different than others 

Thursday 11-05-15
deposition - noun; the process of a substance being deposited; sworn evidence given in a court of law

Wednesday 11-04-15
decelerate - verb; to reduce the speed of; to lose velocity; to move more slowly

Tuesday 11-03-15
correspond - verb; to share a similarity; to match or agree almost exactly

Monday 11-02-15
conduct - verb; to transmit a form of energy, such as heat or electricity

Friday 10-30-15
compensate - verb; to make up for something unwelcome or unpleasant; the noun form is compensation.

Thursday 10-29-15
compassion - noun; concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others; the adjective form is compassionate.

Wednesday 10-28-15
coherent - adjective; logical and consistent; the noun form is coherence.

Tuesday 10-27-15
burgeon - verb; begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish; the noun form is spelled the same way and means "a sprout."

Friday 10-23-15
befall - verb; to occur in someone's life (usually something bad)

Thursday 10-22-15
bear - verb; to endure an ordeal or difficulty; also, to carry a weight or load 

Tuesday 10-20-15
assess - verb; to evaluate or to estimate the nature, quality, or ability of someone or something; the noun form is assessment

Monday 10-19-15
assert - verb; to state a fact or belief confidently or forcefully; the noun form is assertion and the adjective form is assertive

Friday 10-16-15
combustion - noun; the process of burning. 

Thursday 10-15-15
characteristic - adjective; typical of a particular person, place, or thing. 

Wednesday 10-14-15
attribute - noun; a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.  In this form, it is also a verb which means "to give a person or a thing credit or responsibility for something."

Tuesday 10-13-15
altitude - noun; the height of an object or the point in relation to sea level or ground level.

Monday 10-12-15
abundant - adjective; existing or available in large quantities; plentiful; the noun form 
is abundance

Friday 10-09-15
arcane - adjective; mysterious or secret.

Thursday 10-08-15
apprehensive - adjective; anxious or fearful that something bad will happen.

Wednesday 10-07-15
anticipate - verb; to regard as probable; to expect or to predict; the noun form is anticipation and the adjective form is anticipatory

Tuesday 10-06-15
antagonize - verb; to cause someone to become hostile. 

Monday 10-05-15
anecdote - noun; a short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person; the adjective form is anecdotal 

Friday 10-02-15
analyze - verb; to examine in detail, typically for the purpose of explanation; the noun form is analysis and the adjective form is analytical.

Thursday 10-01-15
ambiguous - adjective; open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning.

Wednesday 09-30-15
aloof - adjective; not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant with people.

Tuesday 09-29-15
adhere - verb; to stick completely to a surface; also, to strongly believe in or follow the practices of a certain philosophy or political system; the noun form is adherence or adherent and the adjective form is also adherent.