LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

acquiesce v.
In legal terminology, to accept or agree by not making objections.
affable adj.
Agent Orange n.
A chemical used by the U.S. Army in Vietnam. The chemical killed vegetation and was sprayed from the air on the dense forests in Vietnam and on crops. People exposed to agent orange develop cancer, respiratory and skin problems. It also causes disabilities and deformation in children whose mothers have been exposed to the chemical.
ambiguity n.
Something that is unclear or could be interpreted in more than one way.
amicus curiae n.
From Latin, literally, "a friend of the court." In legal terminology, a person or organization who offers the court information which might help in making a decision. The amicus curiae is not involved in the case in any other way.
anarchy n.
A lawless situation; absence of a government.
annihilate v.
To destroy completely.
antagonism adj.
Hostility; opposition.
apathy n.
Lack of interest or concern.
articulate adj.
Well-spoken, confident in expression.
bellicose adj.
Aggressive or willing to fight.
canvassing v.
To go door to door soliciting votes for a political cause or signatures for a petition.
capitalism n.
An economic system in which property is controlled by private owners for their own profit.
caprice n.
A sudden, unpredictable action or change of mind.
certiorari n.
An order from a higher court directing a lower court to send a record in a legal case for the higher court to review, to determine whether there was a legal error in the proceedings of a lower court.
charismatic n.
Having charisma, charm, appeal.
chauvinist adj.
Believing in one's own superiority and prejudiced against others.
cloture n.
A process aimed at ending a debate quickly; brings an end to or prevents a filibuster.
colluvium n.
Loose sediment that has been deposited or built up at the bottom of a low-grade slope.
communism n.
Economic and political system in which all property is publicly owned.
Congress of Industrial Organizations n.
An organization that represented the interests of various U.S. labor unions. Merged with the American Federation of Labor (AFL) to become today's AFL-CIO.
contentious adj.
Showing an inclination to dispute or disagree; ready to fight; disruptive, argumentative; hostile.
convocation n.
An assembly.
corroborate v.
To support with other evidence.
coup n.
An overthrow; a revolution or rebellion.
coup d’etat n.
A sudden, violent overthrow of government.
covert adj.
Concealed, secret.
détente n.
The easing of hostilities between nations.
demographic adj.
Having to do with human populations, especially relating to population expansion or decline.
demographics n.
Statistics describing the characteristics of a population.
denigration n.
The act of disgracing or shaming.
disenchantment n.
Loss of faith in previously held hopes, beliefs, or illusions.
disenfranchise v.
To deprive of voting privileges.
divergent adj.
Different from each other.
elitist adj.
Restricted to a small, often wealthy elite.
emasculate v.
Make weak or less effective.
eradicate v.
To get rid of completely.
erudite adj.
Having or showing great knowledge or learning.
ethereal adj.
Heavenly, celestial.
eugenics n.
The science of modifying a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable characteristics.
exacerbate v.
To make worse.
executive privilege n.
Power claimed by presidents of the United States and members of their administrations to resist or ignore demands by Congress and the courts.
fabricate v.
To make up.
filibuster n.
In a legislative body, delaying or preventing a vote on a proposal through extensive debate of that proposal.
gaggle n.
A disorderly or noisy group of people.
guerilla n.
Member of a small, independent force fighting irregular warfare, usually against a larger, regular army.
ham radio n.
Amateur radio, in which ordinary people operate small home-based radio stations for communication.
hone v.
To practice or refine.
ideology n.
A system of political beliefs or theories held by an individual or a group.
impasse n.
An inescapable position.
indigenous adj.
Native, or belonging naturally to a particular region.
inertia n.
A tendency to do nothing.
infuriate v.
Make someone extremely angry.
innovative adj.
New; being introduced for the first time.
insurgent n.
One who rises in revolt against authority.
invidious adj.
Offensively discriminating.
Kremlin n.
Official residence of the President of Russia. "The Kremlin" was used to refer to the government of the Soviet Union just as "the White House" is used to refer to the executive branch of the U.S. government.
laissez faire n.
A philosophy that believes in refraining from interfering with an individual's freedom of choice or action.
leftwing adj.
Supporting social change in pursuit of a more egalitarian society.
lexicon n.
The vocabulary of a particular region, speaker, or area of knowledge.
liberalize v.
To remove restrictions on.
litigation n.
A claim or dispute argued before a court of law.
mandate n.
Authority entrusted to a person.
marginalize v.
To isolate.
meager adj.
Slight, deficient.
mimeograph n.
A duplicating machine that produces copies from a stencil; made obsolete by the photocopy machine.
mitigate v.
To decrease or lessen; to make less severe
modus vivendi n.
An agreement allowing two disputing nations to live in peace.
monolithic n.
A large, unchanging whole
muckraking n.
The process of searching out and publishing controversial and scandalous information.
nascent adj.
Beginning to develop.
nefarious adj.
noncontiguous adj.
Not bordering each other.
ostracize v.
To exclude or shun a person.
ouster n.
Dismissal from a position.
peripheral adj.
Of little importance or concern.
perjure v.
To lie during the course of judicial proceedings, especially while under oath.
pervade v.
To spread or be present throughout.
philanthropy n.
A desire to promote the welfare of other people; charity.
prevalent adj.
Widespread or common.
proscribe v.
To prohibit or forbid.
proviso n.
A condition or stipulation.
psyche n.
The collective mental characteristics of a group of people or a nation.
rationalize v.
To explain or justify.
registered nurse n.
A nurse with a diploma from a nursing school or college nursing program.
regressive adj.
Returning to an earlier state or form.
repatriation n.
The return of a person to his or her native country.
repudiate v.
To refuse to accept, or to deny that something is true. In a legal sense, to refuse to pay a debt or meet an obligation.
rhetoric n.
Elegant speech.
rogue nation n.
A nation which ignores international law and threatens the security of other nations.
routinize v.
To make into a set, regular course of procedure.
scrutinize v.
To examine or inspect something closely.
sensationalism n.
Being controversial or seeking attention.
spurious adj.
Counterfeit or pretend.
subjugate v.
To conquer by force; to enslave.
sublimate n.
Divert or modify ones own desires for a higher purpose.
subservient adj.
Subordinate; belonging to a lower rank.
subversion n.
supra adv.
As mentioned previously.
systemic adj.
Affecting a system as a whole, not merely its individual parts.
tacit adj.
Understood or implied without being stated.
traumatize v.
To inflict a wound upon.
vestige n.
A trace of something that has disappeared or no longer exists.