English Advanced Nouns

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an eager willingness to do something
The first three weeks at his new job; Mark worked with such alacrity that upper management knew it would be giving him a promotion.
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something that is inappropriate for the given time period (usually something old). Dressed in 15th century clothing each day; Edward was a walking anachronism.
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a detested person; the source of somebody's hate
Hundreds of years ago; Galileo was anathema to the church; today the church is anathema to some on the left side of the political spectrum.
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something that soothes or relieves pain
Muzak; which is played in department stores; is intended to be an anodyne; but is often so cheesy and over-the-top that customers become irritated.
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great coolness and composure under strain
Nancy acted with aplomb during dangerous situations--she once calmly climbed up an oak tree to save a cat.
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the highest point
The apogee of the Viennese style of music; Mozart's music continues to mesmerize audiences well into the 21st century.
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a person who has abandoned a religious faith or cause
An apostate of the Republican Party; Sheldon has yet to become affiliated with any party and dubs himself an independent.
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a short; pithy instructive saying
"Winston Churchill is famous for many apothegms; but this might be his most famous: ""It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."""
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exaltation to divine status; the highest point of development
As difficult as it is to imagine; the apotheosis of Mark Zuckerberg's career; many believe; is yet to come.
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a person who has recently reached a position of power; a social climber
The city center was aflutter with arrivistes who each tried to outdo one another with their ostentatious sports cars and chic evening dress.
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cunning tricks used to deceive others
The mayoral candidates both spent much of the campaign accusing each other of artifices designed to mislead the voting public.
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the quality of innocence
I; personally; found the artlessness of her speech charming.
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harshness of manner
The editor was known for his asperity; often sending severe letters of rejection to amateur writers.
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a reappearance of an earlier characteristic; throwback
Much of the modern art movement was an atavism to a style of art found only in small villages through Africa and South America.
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an act that debases or corrupts
The movie World War Z is a complete bastardization of the book with little more in common than zombies and a title.
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a strong verbal attack
Political broadsides are usually strongest in the weeks leading up to a national election.
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a trite or obvious remark
"Instead of sharing his umbrella; the cheeky stranger offered Martha the following bromide: ""Looks like it's raining."""
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a deliberately misleading fabrication The public will always be fooled by the media's canards.
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to surrender (usually under agreed conditions)
Paul; losing 19-0 in a ping-pong match against his nimble friend; basically capitulated when he played the last two points with his eyes closed.
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an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
The introduction of smallpox was a cataclysm for Native Americans; killing off more than half of their population.
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speed; rapidity
We aim to respond to customers' questions with celerity and accuracy; with no longer than a 24 hour wait time.
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strong feelings of embarrassment
Much to the the timid writer's chagrin; the audience chanted his name until he came back on the stage.
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a flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes
"You may call him a ""motivational speaker;"" but I call him a charlatan--he doesn't have any idea what he's really talking about."
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fanatical patriotism; belief that one's group/cause is superior to all other groups/causes
Vegetarians argue that man is chauvinistic in his belief that animals do not consciously feel the pain we humans do. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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something desired or wished for but is only an illusion and impossible to achieve Many believe that a world free of war is a chimera--a dream that ignores humanity's violent tendancies.
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a very intense and uncontrolled fire
In the summer months; conflagrations are not uncommon in the southwest; do to the heat and lack of rain.
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a practical consequence that follows naturally
A corollary of Hurricane Sandy; which ravaged the east coast of the U.S.; is a push to build higher sea walls to protect against future hurricanes.
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greed for money
Some believe people that amassing as much wealth as possible is the meaning to life--yet they often realize that cupidity brings anything but happiness.
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a grouchy; surly person
Since Uncle Mike was the family curmudgeon; each Thanksgiving he was plied with copious amounts of wine; in the hope that she would become less grouchy.
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the final resolution of the many strands of a literary or dramatic work; the outcome of a complex sequence of events
At the denouement of the movie; all questions were answered; and the true identity of the robber was revealed.
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(of a building) abandoned
At one time the waterfront factories were busy and productive; but now they stand derelict and will be torn down.
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something desired as a necessity
The desideratum of the environmental group is that motorists should rely on carpooling.
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a cruel and oppressive dictator
The Emperor Claudius was regarded as a fair-minded leader; his successor; Nero; was an absolute despot.
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a strong verbal attack against a person or institution
Steve's mom launched into a diatribe during the PTA meeting; contending that the school was little more than a daycare in which students stare at the wall and teachers stare at the chalkboard.
Hobbits are diminutive figures.
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to indicate smallness
"He prefers to be called a diminutive of his name: ""Bill"" instead of ""John William."""
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an exemption from a rule or obligation
Since her father is a billionaire; she is given dispensation from many of the school's policies. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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a living full of debauchery and indulgence in sensual pleasure
Many Roman emporers were known for their dissolution; indulging in unspeakable desires of the flesh. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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deceitfulness; pretending to want one thing but interested in something else
A life of espionage is one of duplicity: an agent must pretend to be a totally different person than who she or he actually is.
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audacious (even arrogant) behavior that you have no right to
The skateboarders acted with effrontery; skating through the church grounds and spray-painting signs warning trespassers.
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any method that derives knowledge from experience; used in experimental science as a way to gain insight and knowledge
Empiricism does not always lead to knowledge; an experience or experiment may raise more questions than it answers.
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an act of extreme wickedness
The enormity of Pol Pot's regime is hard to capture in words--within months hundreds of thousands of Cambodians lost their lives. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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a witty saying
"My favorite epigram from Mark Twain is ""A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way."""
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a sudden revelation or moment of insight
Gary one day had an epiphany that he was a people person; he prompty quit his factory job and began working as a salesman.
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the name derived from a person (real or imaginary); the person for whom something is named
Alexandria; Egypt is an eponym because it is named after Alexander the Great.
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critical explanation or analysis; especially of a text
The Bible is fertile ground for exegesis--over the past five centuries there have been as many interpretations as there are pages in the Old Testament.
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something to be imitated
Lena's homework is on the wall because it is an exemplar of clean; neat; and thoughtful work.
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the quality of being meager
After two months at sea; the exiguity of the ship's supplies forced them to search for fresh water and food.
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someone who deliberately creates trouble
Freddie is a firebrand: every time he walks into the office; he winds up at the center of heated argument.
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a socially awkward or tactless act
In a famous gaffe; Vice President Quayle attempted to correct the spelling of a grade school student; only to find that the child was correct.
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a manuveur or risk in a game or conversation; designed to secure an advantage
Randy played a gambit; telling his boss that he would leave at the end of the week if he didn't get a raise.
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corruption; usually through bribery
In countries with rampant graft; getting a driver's license can require no more than paying an official. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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resourcefulness and determination
Wallace Stegner lamented the lack of gumption in the U.S. during the sixties; claiming that no young person knew the value of work.
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overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors
As soon as she won the lottery; Alice begin displaying a hauteur to her friends; calling them dirty-clothed peasants behind their backs.
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overbearing pride or presumption
Bill Clinton was criticized for his hubris; since he believed he could get away with anything once in the White House.
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a confusing and potentially embarrassing situation
The chef cook-off featured one gourmand who had the unfortunate distinction of mixing the wrong broths; creating an imbroglio that diners would not soon forget.
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total lack of meaning or ideas
Bill's poem was nothing more than a list of impressive sounding words; so there was no point in trying to take meaning from the inanity.
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a poor or needy person
The indigents; huddled under the overpass; tried to start a small bonfire in the hope of staying warm.
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injustice by virtue of not conforming with rules or standards
"After decades of racial inequity; the ""separate but equal"" doctrine was successfully overturned."
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lack of concern
"Surprisingly; Hank had become a high-powered CEO; his high school friends remembered him as ""Hanky Panky""; who shrugged off each failed class with insouciance."
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an indirect suggestion
At first the hostess tried intimation; praising the benefits of cutlery; when Cecil continued eating with his hands; the hostess told him to use a fork at dinner.
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abusive or denunciatory language
The Internet has unleashed the invectives in many of us; many people post stinging criticism on the comments section underneath newspaper articles or YouTube videos.
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a person who thinks that their country should be at war
In the days leading up to war; a nation typically breaks up into the two opposing camps: doves; who do their best to avoid war; and jingoists; who are only too eager to wave national flags from their vehicles and vehemently denounce those who do not do th
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a force that cannot be stopped
Napoleon was considered a juggernaut until he decided to invade Russia in winter; after which; his once indomitable army was decimated by cold and famine.
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any long and tedious account of something
Mr. Rogers spoke to a Senate committee and did not give a litany of reasons to keep funding the program; but instead; appealed to the basic human decency of all present.
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the confusion of a word with another word that sounds similar
"Whenever I looked glum; my mother would offer to share ""an amusing antidote"" with me--an endearing malapropism of ""anecdote"" that never failed to cheer me up."
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someone shirking their duty by pretending to be sick or incapacitated
At one time; our country was full of hardworking respectful people; but now it seems that everyone is a malingerer with little inclination to work.
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a strict disciplinarian
The job seemed perfect to Rebecca; until she found out that her boss was a total martinet; after each project the boss would come by to scrutinize--and inevitably criticize--every little detail of the work Rebecca had done.
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a pauper who lives by begging
Tolstoy was an aristocrat; but he strove to understand the Christianity of the Russian peasants by wandering among them as a mendicant.
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a small or moderate or token amount
If my sister had even a modicum of sense; she wouldn't be engaged to that barbarian.
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the lowest point
For many pop music fans; the rap and alternative-rock dominated 90s were the nadir of musical expression.
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something that has been changed numerous times but on which traces of former iterations can still be seen
The downtown was a palimpsest of the city's checkered past: a new Starbucks had opened up next to an abandoned; shuttered building; and a freshly asphalted road was inches away from a pothole large enough to swallow a small dog.
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hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases; a universal solution
While the company credit card has made most large purchases easier; it is no panacea: some smaller basic transactions still must be conducted in cash.
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a formal expression of praise
Dave asked Andrew to do just a simple toast; but Andrew launched into a full panegyric; enumerating a complete list of Dave's achievements and admirable qualities.
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an ideal instance; a perfect embodiment of a concept
Some say that Athens was the paragon of democracy; but these people often forget that slaves and women were still not allowed to vote.
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an outcast
The once eminent scientist; upon being found guilty of faking his data; has become a pariah in the research community.
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a person who has suddenly become wealthy; but not socially accepted as part of a higher class
The theater was full of parvenus who each thought that they were surrounded by true aristocrats.
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the most essential part of something
When Cynthia hears a speaker presenting a complex argument; she is always able to discard the irrelevant details and extract the pith of what the speaker is trying to convey. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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a feeling of evil to come
On the night that Lincoln would be fatally shot; his wife had a presentiment about going to Ford's Theater; but Lincoln persuaded her that everything would be fine.
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the state of being first in importance
The primacy of Apple Computers is not guaranteed; as seen in the recent lawsuits and weak growth.
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integrity; strong moral principles
The ideal politician would have the probity to lead; but reality gravely falls short of the ideal of morally upright leaders.
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a statement made about the future
When the Senator was asked about where the negotiations would lead; he said that any guess he could make would be an unreliable prognostication.
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boring verbosity
I loved my grandfather dearly; but his prolixity would put me to sleep; regardless of the topic.
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a traitor
History looks unfavorably upon quislings; indeed they are accorded about the same fondness as Nero--he who watched his city burn down while playing the violin.
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a person skilled in telling anecdotes
Jude is entertaining; but he is no raconteur: beyond the handful of amusing stories he has memorized; he has absolutely no spontaneous story-telling ability.
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light teasing
The new recruit was not bothered by the raillery; finding most of it light-hearted and good-natured.
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the reestablishing of cordial relations
Although Ann hoped that her mother and her aunt would have a rapprochement; each one's bitter accusations against the other made any reconciliation unlikely.
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a summary (think of recap)
Every point of the professors lesson was so clear that the students felt his concluding recapitulation was not necessary.
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mutual accusations
The two brothers sat and cried; pointing fingers and making elaborate recriminations of the other's guilt
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a retaliatory action against an enemy in wartime
The Old Testament doctrine of an eye for an eye is not the kind of retaliation practiced in war; rather; an arm; a leg; and both ears are the reprisal for the smallest scratch.
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an angry dispute
The Prime Minister looked very foolish after his row with the foreign dignitary was caught on video and posted on youtube. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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calmness or poise in difficult situations
The hostage negotiator exhibited a sangfroid that oftentimes was more menacing than the sword at his throat; or the gun at his head.
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joy from watching the suffering of others
From his warm apartment window; Stanley reveled in schadenfreude as he laughed at the figures below; huddled together in the arctic chill.
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an outward or token appearance or form that is deliberately misleading
While the banker maintained a semblance of respectability in public; those who knew him well were familiar with his many crimes.
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a bad imitation
The early days of computer graphics made real people into a simalacrum that now seems comical.
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an office that involves minimal duties
The position of Research Director is a sinecure: the job entails almost no responsibilities; nor does the person in that position have to answer to anyone.
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a socially awkward or tactless act
Mother Anna was always on guard against any solecism from her children and scolded them immediately if any of them talked out of place in public. This word has other definitions but this is the most important one for the GRE
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a feeling of excessive concern
I walked to his house in the rain to make sure he had enough to eat while he was sick; but he seemed not to appreciate my solicitude.
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something intended to misrepresent the true nature of an activity
Finally deciding to abandon all subterfuge; Arthur revealed to Cindy everything about his secret affair over the past two years.
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an excessive amount of something
There was no such thing as a surfeit of shopping for Nancy--she could stay at the outlet stores from opening to closing time.
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a person who indulges in luxury
Despite the fact that he'd maxed out fifteen credit cards; Max was still a sybarite at heart: when the police found him; he was at a $1;000 an hour spa in Manhattan; getting a facial treatment.
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fearless daring
No child has the temerity to go in the rundown house at the end of the street and see if it is haunted.
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defiant aggressiveness
When the boss confronted Aaron about his earlier remarks; Aaron responded with utter truculence; simply throwing a glass of water in the boss' face and walking away.
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depravity; a depraved act
During his reign; Caligula indulged in unspeakable sexual practices; so it not surprising that he will forever be remembered for his turpitude.
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someone new to a field or activity
All great writers; athletes; and artists were tyros at one time--unknown; clumsy; and unskilled with much to learn.
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a feeling of anger caused by being offended
Since he was so in love with her; he took umbrage at her comments; even though she had only meant to gently tease him.
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the appearance of truth
All bad novels are bad for numerous reasons; all good novels are good for their verisimilitude of reality; placing the readers in a world that resembles the one they know.
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" change in one""s circumstances; usually for the worse"
Even great rulers have their vicissitudes--massive kingdoms have diminished overnight; and once beloved kings have faced the scorn of angry masses.
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spirit of the times
Each decade has its own zeitgeist--the 1990's was a prosperous time in which the promise of the American Dream never seemed more palpable.

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