Difficult Words:
Approbation, Appropriate, Aptitude, Arbiter, Arcane and Archaic

This is a list of Difficult Words: Approbation, Appropriate, Aptitude, Arbiter, Arcane and Archaic

Approbation (AP ruh BAY shun) n: approval, praise

• The crowd expressed its approbation of what the team had done by gleefully covering the field with chicken carcasses.

• The ambassador's actions met with the approbation of his commander in chief.

• Approbation is a fancy word for approval, to which it is closely related. Disapprobation is disapproval.

Appropriate (Uuh PROH pree ATE) v: to take without permission, to set aside for a particular use

• Nick appropriated my lunch. He grabbed it out of my hands and ate it. So I appropriated Ed's.

• The deer and raccoons appropriated the vegetables in our garden last summer. This year we'll build a better fence.

• Don’t confuse the pronunciation of the verb-appropriate with the pronunciation of the adjective-appropriate (uh PROH pree it). To appropriate has a different meaning as well. When Congress decides to appropriate by some new submarines, it appropriates money for them. That is, it sets some money aside. The money thus set aside is called an appropriation.

• When an elected official takes money that was supposed to be spent on submarines and spends it on a Rolls-Royce and a few mink coats, he is said to have misappropriated the money.

• When the government decides to build a highway through your backyard, it expropriates your property for this purpose. That is, it uses its official authority to take possession of your property.

Aptitude (AP ti TOOD) n: capacity for learning, natural ability

• Princeton Review students have a marked aptitude for taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test. They earn high scores.

• I tried to repair my car but as I sat on the floor of my garage surrounded by mysterious parts, I realized that I had no aptitude for automobile repair.

• The opposite of aptitude is ineptitude.

Arbiter (AHR bi tur) n: one who decides, a judge

• A judge is an arbiter.

• An arbiter of fashion is someone who determines what other people will wear by wearing it herself.

• An arbiter arbitrates or weighs apposing viewpoints and makes decisions.

• The words arbiter and arbitrator mean the same thing.

Arbitrary (AHR bi TRER ee) adj: random, capricious

• The grades Mr. Simone gave his English students appeared to be arbitrary; they didn't seem to be related to anything the students had done in class.

• The old judge was arbitrary in sentencing criminals; there was no sensible pattern to the sentences he handed down.

Arcane (ahr KANE) adj: mysterious, known only to a select few

• The rites of the secret cult were arcane; no one outside the cult knew what they were.

• The arcane formula for the cocktail was scrawled in blood on a faded scrap of paper.

• We could make out only a little of the arcane inscription on the old trunk.

Archaic (ahr KAY ik) adj: extremely old, ancient; outdated

• The tribe's traditions are archaic. They have been in force for thousands of years.

• Archaic civilizations are ones that disappeared a long time ago.

• An archaic meaning of a word is one that isn't used anymore.

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