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The Metro - Vocabulary

NB: the meaning given for each word is contextual meaning, that is to say it is the specific meaning of the word within the context of the story. Some of these words have other meanings not shown here.

Word Part of Speech Contextual Meaning Example Sentence
advances noun approaches of a sexual nature The waitress didn't appreciate the advances from the men in the bachelor party.
amicably adverb in a friendly way The taxi driver amicably offered the poor lady a free ride.
amorous adjective full of passion The couple that met on the beach had an amorous relationship for one week.
antithesis noun the complete opposite Even though they are identical twins, Joe and John are the antithesis of each other.
astute adjective crafty, clever The astute fisherman had the hole in the boat patched before it sunk.
atrocity noun very cruel happening or treatment It was an atrocity when George's friends locked him outside in the snow with no shoes or socks.
bizarre adjective very strange It was so bizarre when the clown at the party knelt down and asked Judy to marry him.
bleak adjective discouraging, unappealing I couldn't believe that homeless people were living in that bleak alley.
blower noun (slang) the telephone Sandy got on the blower with her sister as soon as she heard the juicy gossip.
brief me verb give me the background information/details I need "Can you brief me on the condition of the patient?" the doctor asked the nurse.
brusquely adverb quickly, abruptly The woman brusquely pointed out the thief in the line up of criminals.
buskers noun people who beg or entertain for money on the street I gave the buskers a few dollars to play my favourite song.
cannabis noun drug from a hemp plant The police found cannabis in the house where the thieves were living.
captivated past participle unable to stop looking at something The young children were captivated by the fireworks display.
caught in the act idiom found in the middle of doing something (here, having sex) I caught my aunt and uncle in the act in our basement when I was a child.
Chihuahua noun tiny breed of Mexican dog Chihuahuas have huge eyes for such little dogs.
clairvoyants noun people who claim they are able to see the future I asked Becky if she was a clairvoyant because she always knows when I am dating someone new.
claustrophobic adjective afraid of small spaces I tried to sleep in the attic, but I was too claustrophobic.
coax verb persuade gently Can I coax you into buying some chocolates for charity?
come to a head verb come to a point where you can't ignore something any more The couple's financial problems came to a head when Nancy became pregnant.
concierge noun resident caretaker for apartments or hotel I asked the concierge to call a taxi for room 101.
consultation noun a meeting to discuss possible future action or business The bride often goes for a hair consultation before her big day in the salon.
corpse noun dead body The shipmates buried the corpse at sea.
cramped adjective having no spare room It was so cramped on the bus that we had to sit on our bags.
craved verb - past wanted badly (often food) My sister craved peaches through her whole pregnancy.
cursing verb - progressive using bad or rude language My uncle was cursing as the Christmas lights fell off the roof.
cynic noun a person who doesn't believe another is being sincere I never vote because I'm a cynic when it comes to politicians.
decapitated past participle had one's head cut off Long ago, prisoners were decapitated after committing serious crimes.
deferred past participle put off until later My holiday time was deferred because our company was so busy this summer.
deflect verb turn away I always deflect phone calls from people trying to sell me something.
demoralized adjective having lost hope The demoralized cyclist put his damaged bike on his shoulders and walked to the finish line.
despaired verb - past very worried Amanda despaired because her husband was more than three hours late from work.
despondently adverb without hope I despondently called for help but I knew there was nobody home.
Deutschmarks noun German currency (pre Euro) I transferred my American savings into Deutschmarks before I went to Germany.
disdainfully adverb without respect, with dislike My grandmother stared at my new boyfriend disdainfully because of his long hair.
dismally adverb gloomily, without hope The children stared dismally out the window until the sun finally came out.
dismay noun consternation, distress Rebecca was full of dismay when we jumped out from behind the couch.
disparity noun big difference There was quite a disparity between Anne and George's accounts of why their marriage failed.
dispatched past participle sent to do something (often emergency services) The police dog team was dispatched to an area in the woods where the criminal had been spotted.
domain noun subject of interest or expertise Since I was five years old dancing has been my domain.
duvet noun heavy quilt filled with feathers We don't use our duvet on the bed in the summer; we just use a sheet.
ecstasy noun great pleasure (often sexual) Eileen had never known true ecstasy before she started dating Charles.
emerge verb come out from somewhere The mouse finally emerged from under the fridge.
enduring adjective lasting a long time The minister wished the newlyweds enduring happiness and love.
envisage verb imagine I envisage my first home as an old farm in the country.
evaporated past participle disappeared All of the water in the frog's tank had evaporated by the time we got home from our weekend away.
exodus noun mass departure There was an exodus of young people on the Monday of Spring break.
exquisite verb very beautiful, wonderful The queen looked exquisite in her royal gown.
extricate verb to let free They will extricate the prisoner if he is found not guilty.
festooned verb - past decorated The hotel was festooned with streamers and balloons to welcome the celebrities.
fetch verb run and get If you want the dog to fetch the bone you have to throw it into the ocean.
fiddled around verb - past did casual work using one's hands Ben fiddled around with the wires until he got the computer working again.
flocked verb - past went as a group The children flocked to the ice cream truck.
forensic evidence noun scientific proof at a crime scene (for example: blood) The forensic evidence proved that the murderer was male.
frantic adjective wild and scared The people grew frantic as the tornado got closer to the city.
frisson noun shiver When I watched the car accident on the news it sent a frisson up my back.
fruitlessly adverb unsuccessfully The baby fruitlessly pulled at the top of the jar of candy.
gazed verb - past stared at with wide eyes The children gazed at the field of sunflowers.
germane adjective related to the situation At the germane moment the father walked in and heard the baby saying "Dad" for the first time.
glowered verb - past stared angrily I glowered at the bus driver who closed his doors just as I arrived at the stop.
grandiose adjective large and impressive The couple had grandiose dreams about winning the lottery.
graphology noun the study of handwriting Police use graphology to tell if a suspect is nervous.
gratitude noun thankfulness The students showed their gratitude by sending their retired teacher flowers.
grotesque adjective disgusting, hard to look at The horror movie was so grotesque I had to walk out of the theatre.
grudgingly adverb without wanting to The child grudgingly took the garbage out for his mom.
hastily adverb quickly with little thought We packed so hastily that I forgot my bathing suit.
hawkers noun people who sell goods on the street I bought this necklace from some hawkers in Amsterdam.
head-shrink noun psychiatrist Annie cries so much I think she might need a head-shrink.
heroin noun strong narcotic drug derived from morphine People who use heroin often need help getting over their addiction.
hocus pocus noun (slang) magic It was like hocus pocus when the door shut by itself.
homicidal adjective likely to kill someone The police were extremely concerned, because the criminal that got away was homicidal.
hue noun shades of colour When painting, artists often blend many hues.
huskiness noun rough and dry voice Smokers often speak with a distinct huskiness.
imperative adjective very important It is imperative that you wear your seat belt during take-off.
impromptu adjective without being planned We took an impromptu vacation to Hawaii at Christmas.
incongruity noun quality of being out of place The only female felt the incongruity as the men stared at her during her workout.
indiscretion noun something, especially a sexual relationship, that might be embarrassing or morally wrong His indiscretion cost him his marriage.
insulated past participle protected The front seat passengers were insulated by the car's air bags.
intently adverb eagerly, with interest We watched intently as Monica jumped from the airplane.
intersected verb - past crossed paths in the middle The two highways intersected at the downtown core.
irritable adjective grumpy I'm always irritable when it's this hot outside.
jaded adjective tired or lacking enthusiasm after having too much of something The jaded playboy had completely lost interest in women.
lashed verb - past hit violently Mark got stung after he lashed at the bee in his hair.
leads noun clues to solving a crime We don't have any leads except that the thief is driving a brown car.
legible adjective readable print The photocopy of my driver's license is barely legible.
line noun a route on a subway or metro I took the wrong subway line so I was late for my date.
lovelorn adjective sad because one is not loved back by another The lovelorn man wrote 100 letters to his sweetheart but never got one in return.
mahogany adjective reddish coloured wood The mahogany bookshelf doesn't go with the maple furniture.
manicured adjective well kept fingernails My manicured nails would get ruined if we didn't have a dishwasher.
memorabilia noun things you buy that remind you of somewhere (for example: hats, postcards, magnets) They sell lots of 1950's memorabilia in the front lobby of the diner.
meticulous adjective precise, perfect My father is meticulous when it comes to balancing his finances.
monotone noun voice with only one sound My science teacher is so boring because he speaks in a monotone.
mumbo-jumbo noun (slang) nonsense Most parenting books tell you a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about how you should raise your kids.
nonchalant adjective casual The driver was pretty nonchalant about the accident even though his car was destroyed.
nominal adjective (of money) small amount, a token There is just a nominal fee to cover the cost of coffee and sandwiches.
papers noun (informal) immigration forms that legalize a person to work or stay in another country Migel was living in America without his papers so he wasn't able to find legal work.
piqued past participle irritated The drivers were piqued by the way the cyclist slowed down the traffic.
placid adjective calm The placid woman sang a song in the elevator until the power was restored.
plaque noun a flat ornament on which celebratory or memorializing words are written Each member on the baseball team got a plaque for coming in second place.
poignant adjective emotionally moving The movie was so poignant I cried at the end.
precision noun perfect accuracy Janice paints her nails with such precision it looks like she gets them done professionally.
preposterous adjective ridiculous, impossible to be true It was preposterous that the fourteen year old needed a babysitter.
prowling verb - progressive searching secretly The thief was prowling through our jewellery box when we got home.
publicity card noun small piece of paper (business card) that advertises your career or title My publicity card has my picture and my company's email address on it.
rapport noun relationship I have a good rapport with my boss, so I'm not afraid to ask for vacation time.
recoil verb move back in fear I can't help but recoil when they show operations on television.
reconciled verb - past settled or reorganized (finances) I reconciled my loans and savings accounts after getting my inheritance.
resignation noun the giving up of a job The president of the company gave his resignation after he found out his illness was very serious.
revelries noun good times, festivities Our New Year's Eve revelries kept the neighbours awake until 5:00 am.
ridiculed verb - past made fun of Leslie ridiculed her brother for always wearing mismatching socks.
sanctity noun holiness, purity The sanctity of the church was questioned after the minister was arrested.
save for preposition except for All of the girls at the party were wearing dresses save for Andrea, who always wears jeans.
severing noun the cutting off of The severing of his own arm was what saved the climber's life.
shrine noun a place dedicated to a religious or important figure My aunt's bedroom is like an Elvis Presleyshrine.
sobbing verb - progressive crying loudly We were all sobbing at Angelica's farewell party.
splayed verb - past spread wide apart The woman's arms were splayed out as her husband stepped off the plane.
stern adjective strict My grandfather was so stern that we had to eat every crumb on our dinner plate before we got up from the table.
stirred verb - past moved in one's sleep, woke slightly The child stirred when the phone rang but thankfully went back to sleep.
straddled verb - past stood on both sides When I went travelling, I often straddled borders for photographs.
stunned past participle surprised I was stunned when my best friend told me she was moving to the other side of the world.
succulent adjective thick/juicy The succulent watermelon was exactly what we needed on such a hot summer day.
sullenly adverb sulkily, unhappily The dog stood sullenly beside our suitcases before we left for our vacation.
sweltering adjective very hot The bus was sweltering because there was no air conditioning.
tawdry adjective cheap, of fake appearance The hostess was wearing a tawdry pearl necklace that looked like it came out of a cereal box.
tenement adjective divided into separate suites or residences Our salon is in a tenement building until we can buy our own place.
terminate verb put an end to I tried to terminate my magazine subscription but they keep sending me new issues.
thrust verb push or give forcibly Eric thrust Mia into the pool because she was taking so long to go in.
tolerable adjective just barely able to handle I can't stand talking to the man next door, but his wife is tolerable.
touts noun people who bother you to buy something The touts on the street pressured us to buy their perfumes and colognes.
trifle noun a very small amount This year's Christmas bonus was a trifle compared to last year's.
turmoil noun great trouble Everyone is quitting because there is so much turmoil with our new boss.
turnstile noun entrance with revolving metal arms You pay for the subway at the turnstiles.
uncanny adjective difficult to explain It was uncanny how much the child looked like his adopted mother.
unfaithful adjective not keeping a promise to only have one sexual partner Mrs. Jones divorced her husband when she learned that he was being unfaithful to her.
upholstered adjective covered with thick material My grandfather's upholstered chair needs to be vacuumed.
vaguely adverb unclearly I vaguely remember meeting you many years ago.
veritable adjective rightly called The papers said the parade was a veritable disaster because of the poor weather.
virile adjective masculine, manly There were many virile competitors in the body-building event.
vitality noun energy, life I was filled with a sense of vitality following the graduation ceremony.
voodoo adjective a practice which involves sticking pins in dolls in order to cause pain to human figures I was so mad when I saw my boyfriend with another woman that I actually thought about making a voodoo doll of her.
welling verb - progressive filling with liquid The sink was welling with soap and about to overflow.
whores noun prostitutes; women who have sexual relations with strangers for money The whores stand on the street and wait for men to pick them up.
wits' end idiom no longer able to tolerate I am at my wits' end trying to keep these ants out of the house.
wrung verb - past clasped, squeezed tightly The woman wrung her hands while the policeman wrote up her speeding ticket.
wryly adverb said with a grin to show that an unfortunate situation is humorous "Adam got caught trying to steal another car," his ex-girlfriend said wryly.
yearn for verb want intensely My parents tell everyone how much they yearn for grandchildren.

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