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.

abate v.
To lessen or decrease.
abettor n.
One who supports and encourages the actions or plans of another.
abhorrence n.
Strong disgust or hatred.
abject adj.
Utterly hopeless.
abjure v.
Renounce or give up.
abortive adj.
Failing to achieve an intended objective; unsuccessful.
abridge v.
To shorten; in a legal sense, to cut short or limit.
abridgement n.
The act of shortening.
abscond v.
To hide or run away, usually taking something or someone along.
accede v.
To agree to a request or demand.
accouter v.
To equip.
accoutrements n.
Accessory items.
accrue v.
Build up; accumulate.
Achilles n.
A mythical Greek warrior and hero. As a baby, his mother dipped him into a magical river to make him immortal. She held him by his heel; therefore, this was his one vulnerable body part. Eventually he was wounded by and died from an arrow shot to his heel.
acquiesce v.
Accept reluctantly.
acquiescence n.
Compliance; agreement.
actuate v.
To motivate.
adjacent n.
Next to something else.
adjourn v.
To postpone or suspend until another time.
affirmative n.
Positive statement indicating agreement.
aggrandize v.
To make greater; to exaggerate the greatness of someone or something.
aggrieve v.
To distress.
alacrity n.
Brisk eagerness; enthusiasm.
allegiance n.
Loyalty of a citizen to his or her country.
alloy n.
Mixture of two or more metals.
ambiguous adj.
Having more than one meaning; lacking clarity.
ambivalent adj.
Having mixed feelings.
amenable adj.
Agreeable; willing.
amiable n.
Friendly, good-natured.
amicable adj.
Friendly, without serious disagreement.
ammunition n.
Materials that can be fired from a gun, rocket or other weapon.
anguish adj.
Suffering or pain.
animosity n.
A feeling of strong dislike; hostility.
annex v.
To add or attach to something larger or more important; or to incorporate territory into the domain of a city, state, or country.
annihilation n.
Total destruction; extinction.
annul v.
To make void; to cancel.
antagonize v.
To provoke or anger.
antecedent adj.
Preceding or existing before someone or something else.
apostate n.
A disloyal person.
appease v.
To satisfy or yield to.
apportion v.
To divide.
apprehend v.
apprehension n.
approbation n.
appropriate v.
To authorize for a specific purpose. Adj. Fitting or proper.
appurtenance n.
Property that is considered connected with the principal property.
arbiter n.
A person making a judgment.
arbitrary n.
Arrived at by chance, not by reason.
arduous adj.
arraign v.
To call before a court to charge with a crime.
artifice n.
to trick or deceive others. false or fake.
ascertain v.
To determine with certainty.
assent v.
To agree.
assuage v.
To ease or soothe.
astute adj.
Clever; shrewd.
atrocious adj.
Appalling; very cruel.
atrocity n.
A shocking or cruel act; an act of extreme violence.
audacious adj.
Extremely bold.
augment v.
To make larger; to increase.
autocratic adj.
Ruled by a person with unlimited power.
avarice n.
Excessive greed.
baffle v.
To confuse or bewilder.
banditi n.
A gang of outlaws or thieves (that is, of bandits).
barbarity n.
Cruel, brutal or savage actions.
barbarous adj.
Savage; wild.
barrage n.
A rapid, continuous round of gunfire.
benevolent adj.
Marked by goodwill and kindness.
benign adj.
beset v.
Attacked on all sides.
bona fide adj.
Authentic; true.
bondage n.
breach n.
A gap in a wall, barrier, or defense. A breach can also be a violation, as in "a breach of the law." To breach is to make a breach.
brethren n.
Members; brothers.
bribery n.
The act of giving money, goods or services to persuade someone to take action, sometimes in a way that is corrupt or illegal.
brigantine n.
A two-masted sailing ship.
brogue n.
A strong accent; usually refers to an Irish or Scottish accent when speaking English.
bulwark n.
Something that offers strong support or protection from danger.
burthen n.
cabal n.
A small group of people who come together to plot against others.
calamity n.
candid adj.
Honest; straightforward.
candour adj.
Honesty; openness.
carnage n.
The violent killing of many people.
cede v.
To give up.
censure n.
Criticism or show of disapproval.
cession n.
Something that is ceded or given up.
charismatic n.
Having charisma, charm, appeal.
chattel n.
A piece of property. Sometimes used to refer to a slave or servant.
circulate v.
To pass or move around from person to person.
circumspection n.
The quality of being cautious and attentive.
clandestinely adv.
clemency n.
Mercy; leniency.
coercion n.
The use of force or power to exert control.
coercive adj.
Intending to force or compel somebody.
cognizance n.
Awareness or knowledge.
commerce n.
The buying and selling of goods.
compel v.
To force.
compensation n.
Money or other goods offered in exchange for something or to make up for the loss of something.
competent adj.
compliance n.
Cooperation with legal or official authority.
compulsory adj.
concession n.
A grant or privilege given by a ruling body.
conciliate v.
To make peace.
concur v.
To agree.
concurrence adj.
condescend v.
To lower oneself.
conducive adj.
Favorable or helpful.
confine v.
To keep in or imprison.
conjecture v.
To form an opinion based on guessing or incomplete evidence.
consanguinity n.
Close connection; kinship.
conspiracy n.
A group of people planning and working together to commit an illegal act.
conspire v.
Meeting, perhaps in secret, to plot or work together.
constituents n.
Members of a group represented by an elected official.
construe v.
To interpret or see.
contagion n.
A corrupting influence.
contemptible adj.
Despicable; shameful; deserving of contempt.
contentious adj.
Showing an inclination to dispute or disagree; ready to fight; disruptive, argumentative; hostile.
contingency n.
Emergency or an event that may occur.
cordially adj.
Politely; graciously.
covet v.
To crave or desire.
covetousness n.
Strong desire to own what belongs to someone else.
defective adj.
deference n.
Respectful giving in to someone else's wishes, opinion, etc.
deficiency n.
A lack; incompleteness.
defray v.
To pay.
degenerate v.
To pass from a higher to a lower type or condition; to decrease in quality.
delinquency n.
Negligence; failure to fulfill one's duty.
denominate v.
To give a name or title
denomination n.
A religious group or community called by the same name and sharing a common leadership and set of beliefs.
deplorable adj.
Completely unacceptable; wretched.
depreciation n.
Decline in value.
deprive v.
To deny or take away.
deputation n.
derision n.
Ridicule; mockery.
derisive adj.
Mocking; making fun of.
derive v.
To obtain.
derogatory adj.
Critical; offensive; insulting.
desolation n.
The state of being wretched, miserable and alone.
despotism n.
A dictatorship; absolute power; a country ruled by a despot.
detain v.
delay the progress of
devise v.
To plan.
devoid adj.
devolve v.
To cause (a duty or responsibility) to fall upon a person.
diametrically adj.
In direct opposition.
diminution n.
diplomacy n.
The process of conducting negotiations between nations.
disaffected adj.
discretional adj.
According to one's own judgment.
discretionary adj.
Left to one's own judgment.
disdain n.
Scorn or disrespect.
disdain n.
Scorn or disrespect.
disparage v.
To speak about in a disrespectful way.
dispatch n.
A report or message; v. to send off or away.
disperse v.
To separate, scatter or spread widely
dispersion n.
The act of being scattered in different directions.
docket n.
The list of cases to be heard in a court.
dominion n.
Territory or area under control; property under one's control.
dragoon n.
European military units that fought mounted on horses or on foot.
dry goodsd n.
Fabric, thread, clothing, and so on (as opposed to hardware or groceries).
edict n.
A formal command.
effectual adj.
Potentially effective.
elite n.
A group of people who enjoy privileges because of their elevated intellectual, social or economic status.
embargo n.
An order from the government that restricts trade with another nation or the movement of trading ships.
emolument n.
Profit or salary.
en masse n.
All together.
encroach v.
To gradually and stealthily take another's possessions or rights.
endeavor v.
try hard to achieve something
endeavors n.
Actions; undertakings.
endemic adj.
Native to or confined to a certain region.
Endow v.
To furnish or give qualities or abilities to.
enormity n.
Something great or serious, especially something seriously wrong.
ensue v.
To happen afterward, usually as a direct result.
entails n.
Restrictions on future ownership of property.
enumeration n.
A list of items, possibly numbered.
environ v.
To surround.
equipage n.
equitably adv.
escalate v.
To increase in intensity.
estrange v.
To turn your back on or separate from.
evince v.
To show, make clear, prove
ex post facto n.
Latin term meaning "after the fact." An ex post facto law makes it possible to punish someone for a breaking a law, even though their action was not against the law at the time it occurred.
excise n.
An internal tax on goods or services within a country.
execration n.
A curse.
exert v.
To put forth an effort; to apply.
exigency n.
Urgency or immediate need.
exodus n.
The departure of a large number of people.
exorbitant adj.
Beyond the bounds of reason; inflated or ridiculous.
expatiate v.
To speak about at length; to expand upon.
expedient adj.
Suitable to meet a certain purpose; convenient.
explicit adj.
Clear and plain.
exportation n.
The act of sending goods abroad to a foreign country.
expulsion n.
The act of forcing someone or something out.
extraneous adj.
Not essential; off the subject.
extravagance n.
Reckless spending or overspending; wastefulness.
faction n.
A small group of people, usually one that has broken away from a larger group.
factious adj.
Inclined to dissent and disagreement.
farthing n.
A coin worth one-quarter of a British penny.
feeble adj.
Weak or unhealthy.
felicity n.
The state of happiness.
felony n.
A serious crime like murder or burglary.
fiat n.
Official authorization or approval.
fidelity n.
Faithfulness to duties or obligations; loyalty.
foment v.
To promote the growth of.
formidable adj.
Causing fear or alarm.
fraught v.
Full of.
Furnish v.
To supply or provide.
futile adj.
Useless; ineffective.
glebe n.
A piece of land belonging to an English church or a clergyman.
gratify v.
To satisfy.
grievance n.
grievous adj.
Serious or severe (causing someone to grieve).
grog n.
An alcoholic drink of rum with water.
guerilla n.
Member of a small, independent force fighting irregular warfare, usually against a larger, regular army.
habeas corpus n.
In Latin habeas corpus means: "[We command] that you have the body." The writ of habeas corpus is a legal action that can be taken when a person is detained or imprisoned indefinitely by the government. It ensures that the person who has been arrested will be brought before a court and receive a trial.
habitation n.
A dwelling; a settlement of people.
hamper v.
To interfere with the progress or movement of.
hector v.
To intimidate or bully.
heinous adj.
Especially wicked; atrocious.
hitherto adv.
Until now.
hostile adj.
Very unfriendly, aggressive.
hostilities n.
Acts of war.
ignominy n.
Disgrace; shame.
imbecility adj.
imbrue v.
immunity n.
Resistance; lack of susceptibility to infection.
Impeach v.
To accuse of misconduct. Impeachment is the act of impeaching.
imperial adj.
Ruling or supreme authority.
implacable adj.
Impossible to satisfy or pacify.
impost n.
A tax.
impropriety n.
Bad behavior; lack of modesty.
imprudent adj.
Lacking wisdom or good sense; incautious.
impunity n.
Free from punishment.
impute v.
Attribute; to credit to.
incite v.
To provoke or stir up.
incitement n.
inclemency n.
incontestible adj.
Cannot be disputed or argued against.
incur v.
To bring upon oneself.
indefatigable adj.
Incapable of becoming tired.
indelible adj.
Permanent; unable to be removed.
indemnify n.
Insured against damage or injury.
indeterminate adj.
Vague; unclear.
indictment n.
A formal document in which a person is accused of a crime or a wrongdoing.
indigence n.
indignation n.
anger as a response to unfair treatment
indubitably adv.
Cannot be doubted or questioned.
induce v.
To persuade or influence.
industriously adv.
skillfully and intelligently
ineffectual adj.
Ineffective; pointless.
inevitable adj.
Expected; certain.
infatuated adj.
Obsessed; smitten.
infirm adj.
Feeble; physically weak or unhealthy.
infringe v.
To trespass on or violate.
infringement n.
A violation.
infuse v.
To introduce
inglorious adj.
inimical adj.
Not favorable; hostile.
iniquitous adj.
Wicked; evil.
injurious adj.
inquest n.
Legal examination or inquiry.
insolent adj.
Rude; cheeky; disrespectful.
insurgency n.
Uprising or rebellion.
insurrection n.
An uprising against authority.
intercourse n.
Interaction or communication between individuals or groups.
interpose v.
To step or come between two parties; verbally, to inject or put in a comment or question.
interstices n.
Spaces in between.
intrepid adj.
Brave or fearless.
inviolable adj.
Incapable of being violated or corrupted.
inviolate adj.
Undisturbed; kept pure.
jarring adj.
jurisdiction n.
Authority or control.
lament v.
To vocally mourn or express sorrow.
lamentable adj.
Unfortunate, regrettable.
languish v.
To become weak; to lose strength.
laudable adj.
lax adj.
Loose or slack.
levy n.
(n.) An amount owed, as in taxes. (v.) to impose.
litigious adj.
Having a tendency to engage in disputes and lawsuits.
logistics n.
The organization of people, supplies, and so on for a large, complex operation such as a military battle.
lucrative adj.
Extremely profitable.
magistrate n.
A civil officer who administers the law within a limited jurisdiction.
magnanimity adj.
Generosity of spirit.
maim v.
Wound or injure so that part of the body is permanently damaged.
malice n.
A desire to hurt others or see them suffer.
malignant adj.
Dangerous; harmful.
malpractice n.
Misconduct; negligence.
manifest v.
To show or demonstrate.
marque n.
An obsolete word that meant seizure of property as a method of retaliation or pay back against an enemy.
marque n.
An obsolete word that meant seizure of property as a method of retaliation or pay back against an enemy.
maxim n.
An expression.
megafauna n.
Large or relatively large animals.
migration n.
The mass movement of an animal, human, or object from one place to another.
militia n.
An army composed of citizen soldiers rather than professional soldiers.
misdemeanor n.
A crime that is less serious that a felony offense.
mitigate v.
To decrease or lessen; to make less severe
mitigation n.
Lessening or easing.
monopoly n.
Exclusive control or ownership.
muster n.
A military gathering.
naturalization n.
The process where a person is given the rights of a citizen.
navigation n.
Charting the course for a vessel; the act of navigating.
notwithstanding prep.
In spite of.
oblige v.
To force or require.
obliterate v.
To destroy completely.
obstinate n.
obstinately adv.
onerous adj.
Burdensome; difficult.
opulence n.
orthodox adj.
ostentation n.
Showy display.
pacifist n.
A person who opposes war or violence and believes that disputes should be settled peacefully. This belief causes many pacifists to refuse to participate in military service.
parry v.
To deflect or avoid.
pauper n.
A very poor person.
perfidy n.
A betrayal of trust.
perilous adj.
perpetual adj.
Everlasting; continuous.
perpetuate v.
To cause to endure, or to be continued indefinitely; to preserve from extinction or oblivion.
perpetuities n.
Exclusive and permanent ownership, usually of land.
perseverance n.
Steady determination and persistence.
pervade v.
To spread or be present throughout.
perversion n.
Turning of good into bad; a falsification or distortion.
piazza n.
A passageway that is open-sided and has a roof; or a porch or veranda.
piety n.
Reverence and obedience to God; religious devotion.
pillage n.
Plunder, looting, or violent robbery during wartime.
pique n.
Irritation or resentment.
pittance n.
A small amount.
plume v.
To pride oneself.
plunder v.
To steal by use of force, especially during war.
pompion n.
populace n.
The people who live in a place.
posterity n.
Descendants; future generations.
practicable adj.
Realistic; possible.
pragmatic adj.
Practical; realistic.
precedent n.
A custom or convention established by long practice.
precipitate v.
To cause or bring about, especially suddenly.
preclude v.
To make impossible or prevent.
predominate v.
To have controlling power over.
preferment n.
An appointment to a position which brings social or financial gain.
pretense n.
Unjustified claim; a charade or deceit.
pretext n.
Alleged reason; made-up excuse.
prevalency n.
The characteristic of being widespread.
pro tempore adj.
proclamation n.
A formal public announcement or statement.
procure v.
To obtain.
prodigious adj.
Of great size, extent, or amount.
proffer v.
To propose or suggest.
propitious adj.
Favorable; promising.
proposition n.
Proposal; suggestion; plan.
propriety n.
The standard of what is considered appropriate in behavior, speech, or conduct.
providence n.
The protection of God; divine guidance or control.
provisions n.
prudence n.
Caution; forethought.
prudent adj.
wise; using good judgment.
punctuality n.
Being on time.
punitive adj.
quay n.
A landing for boats at the edge of the water.
quitrent n.
A kind of rent or real estate tax paid to landholders under a feudal system.
quorum n.
The number of people necessary to conduct a meeting or make a decision.
rabble n.
A rowdy crowd.
ratification n.
Formal approval.
ratify v.
To approve or confirm.
rebrobate n.
A sinner or a person without principles.
recalcitrance n.
recession n.
An economic slump or decline.
reciprocal adj.
Mutual; give-and-take.
recompense n.
Payment made to compensate for damage or loss.
reconcile v.
To bring into agreement or make consistent.
reconciliation n.
The act of reconciling and ending conflict.
reconnoiter v.
To make an inspection; to survey or scout.
rectitude n.
Righteousness; morally correct behavior.
recur v.
To happen again.
redress v.
To impose fairness or compensation after a wrong has occurred.
reiterate v.
To repeat.
relinquish v.
To give up control of something.
reminiscent adj.
Suggesting memories of something similar.
remnant n.
Something left over; a remainder.
remonstrance n.
A formal protest.
rendezvous v.
To meet, usually by appointment. As a noun, a meeting.
reprieve n.
A pardon; a postponement of punishment.
reprisal n.
Pay back; an act of vengeance.
repulse v.
To drive back or repel.
requisite adj.
requisitions n.
Demands or requests for something.
resentment n.
Bitterness; ill feelings.
retaliation n.
To hurt someone for what they have done to you.
revenue n.
Income; The money a government earns from taxes and other means.
rigor n.
A quality of being strict or severe.
rout n.
A crushing defeat.
sacred adj.
sagacious n.
having or showing good judgement
sanctify v.
To bless or make sacred.
sanction v.
(v.) To authorize or allow. (n.) Approval.
sanctuary n.
A place of safety; a refuge.
satiate v.
To satisfy oneself completely.
scrupulous adj.
Having moral integrity or character.
scrutiny n.
Examination or inspection.
sedition n.
Action or speech promoting rebellion.
seditious adj.
Rebellious or disloyal.
sentiments n.
Feelings; qualities.
servitude n.
severity adj.
Harshness, cruelty.
shackles n.
A pair of bonds or rings, connected by a chain, used to fasten someone's hands or feet together.
simpleton n.
An ignorant, foolish person.
skirmish n.
Brief fights; minor battles
solecism n.
solicitous adj.
Showing a desire to please or care for someone else.
sovereign n.
Supreme ruler.
sovereignty n.
Independence; freedom from external control.
specie n.
Money in coins.
stalemate n.
A deadlock position in which neither party can advance.
stipulation n.
Terms or conditions.
subaltern adj.
Lower in rank.
subdue v.
To overpower or conquer.
subjugate v.
To conquer by force; to enslave.
subsistence n.
The means of supporting life, usually referring to food and other basic commodities.
subvert v.
To destroy or ruin.
subvert v.
To overthrow or cause the downfall of.
succession n.
The coming of one person after another in a sequence; the order of those entitled to a royal position of power.
sufficient adj.
Adequate; enough.
suffrage n.
The right to vote.
sundry adj.
Various; miscellaneous.
superlatives adj.
Surpassing or superior to all others.
suppliant adj.
Asking humbly.
supplication n.
A sincere and humble prayer to a deity, asking for mercy or a blessing.
supposition n.
sureties n.
A pledge or guarantee.
swale n.
A linear hollow or depression found between dunes or beach ridges, and is generally marshy or swampy and heavily vegetated.
tarry v.
To stay in a place temporarily.
temperate adj.
Self-restrained or moderate.
tenement n.
Property held by one person leasing it from another.
throng n.
A crowd.
tory n.
A person loyal to the British government during the American Revolution.
tranquility n.
The state of being peaceful.
transgression n.
Violation of the law.
transient adj.
Temporary; fleeting.
treason n.
An act of disloyalty against one's own country.
triennially adj.
Occurring every three years.
trifling adj.
tumults n.
Commotion or disturbance.
tumultuous adj.
Noisy and chaotic.
tutelage n.
The act of teaching or instructing.
tyrannical adj.
Unfairly harsh or cruel.
tyranny n.
An oppressive government; cruel use of power.
ultimatum n.
A final demand.
unalienable adj.
Cannot be taken away.
unanimous adj.
fully in agreement.
undulating v.
To move like a wave, rising and falling in rounded peaks.
unequivocally adv.
Clearly; obviously.
unorthodox adj.
unwarrantably adv.
Inexcusably; unjustifiably.
urban adj.
Characteristic of a city.
usurp v.
To take wrongly, illegally, or by force.
usurpation n.
The act of seizing or taking over.
vacate v.
To give up possession of.
vagabond n.
A homeless person; a tramp or wanderer.
valiant adj.
Brave; courageous.
vandue v.
To sell by auction.
venal adj.
Willing to accept a bribe; corrupt.
vendue n.
Public auction.
venerable adj.
Respected; admired.
veracity n.
Truth or accuracy.
verbatim adj.
Word for word, exactly as said or written.
verdure n.
The fresh green color characteristic of lush vegetation.
vicinage n.
Vicinity; the area near to a region.
vicinity n.
The surrounding or nearby area
vindicate v.
To clear of accusation and blame.
vivacity adj.
Liveliness; animation
vocation n.
A career or occupation.
wampum n.
Cylindrical beads made from the ends of shells rubbed down, polished, and threaded on strings, which were often combined to form bracelets, belts, collars, etc.
zeal n.
zealous adj.
Full of enthusiasm or passion.