English Words in Action, Group A

(a variety of English words which have developed through history and are currently used in our modern age)

English vocabulary quizzes in random order from easy to more difficult for greater word skills.

Simply click on this banner (or the following link) and you will be on your way to stimulate your brain for greater word comprehension with quizzes based on some of the words in this unit.

adamant (adjective), more adamant, most adamant
1. Not willing to change an opinion or decision; very determined: Tamika's aunt is an adamant defender of women's rights.
2. Refusing to be persuaded or to change one's mind: The Chief Executive Officer of the company made an adamant refusal to resign his position.
Determined in purpose or objective.
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Stubborn and uncooperative.
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Unshakable in an opinion even when it is wrong.
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Immovable in opposition.
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addle (verb), addles; addled; addling
1. To befuddle, to confuse, to rattle, to mix up, to discombobulate: The problem is that if anyone tries to use logical explanations for some political positions, it just addles the listeners and makes their understanding more confusing than comprehensible.

While Rodger was walking along the dark street late at night, his brain was addled by fear of what might happen to him.

2. To rot, to decay, to putrefy: The eggs were addling because they were not refrigerated and were on the shelf too long.
3. Etymology: from a Middle English word from the Old English adela, meaning "liquid filth". It’s related to the German adel, meaning "urine, mire" or "puddle".
addle-brain (s) (noun), addle-brains (pl)
A dimwit, an idiot, an imbecile, or a moron: Jane said, "Oh, no, I'm an addle-brain. I didn't mean to put salt in the coffee instead of sugar."

There seems to be too many addle-brains who are thinking about running for President of the U.S.

addle-brained, addlebrained (adjective); more addle-brained, more addlebrained; most addle-brained, most addlebrained
1. Dull-witted, stupid, and confused: A addle-brained politician admitted that he had been participating in several inappropriate electronic relationships with some women.
2. Crazy, weak, mentally deficient in some way: Is it possible that the man was addlebrained when someone knocked on his door at the hotel and he opened the door while he was still completely naked after taking a shower?
A muddled or confused mind.
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addled (adjective), more addled, most addled
A reference to having a muddled or confused mind; foolish, silly, or illogical: Ryan asked for a minute to clear his addled brain when he was asked a question which he was not prepared to answer.
adiaphorous (adjective) (uncomparable)
1. A description of anything that neither benefits nor harms: The adiaphorous placebo the doctor prescribed had absolutely no medical benefit for Josh.
2. A reference to anything that is neutral, neither right nor wrong, or indifferent: The adiaphorous attitude of the student resulted in his failing to pass his exams and no longer getting any financial aid from his parents.

2. Etymology: from Greek adiaphoros, from the negative prefix a + diaphoros, "different"; that is, "making no difference, of no consequence".
Neither harmful nor helpful.
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Indifferent or neutral.
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ad-lib (verb), ad-libs; ad-libbed; ad-libbing
To improvise all or part of a speech or another kind of performance; that is, to spontaneously say something without prior preparation: Many in the audience noticed that the mistress of ceremonies was ad-libbing her speech at the awards ceremony.
To  improvise words, gestures, etc. that are not in a script.
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Aesculapian (adjective) (not comparable)
Relating to the art of medicine, or a medical practitioner: Aesculapius was the Greco-Roman god of medicine, or the healing arts, and so an Aesculapian professional usually refers to a physician or to a medical doctor.
A physician.
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aghast (adjective), more aghast, most aghast
1. Struck by shock or with terror or horror: Sabina was aghast at the thought of having to walk across the narrow bridge spanning the deep chasm.
2. Etymology: from Old English gæsten, "frighten," which comes from gæst, "ghost, spirit".
Seized with fear or terror.
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agog (uh GAHG) (adjective), more agog, most agog
1. Relating to being intensely excited or eager: Max and Mariam are agog to see all the sights in Paris.
2. Referring to great interest in some action: The news about the new laptops has computer users agog.
3. Etymology: from Old French a gogue, "joke, good humor, joyfulness, merriment"; from gogue, "fun"; of unknown origin.
Very excited with anticipation that something will take place.
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agrypnotic (ag" rip NAHT ik) (adjective), more agrypnotic, most agrypnotic
A reference to that which prevents sleep, or produces wakefulness; such as, a drug, strong tea, or coffee: The doctor advised Karen not to drink coffee at night because it usually produces an agrypnotic condition that keeps her awake.

Click on this agrypnotic link, if you want to see more words that are related to it.

aid and abet (verb), aids and abets; aided and abetted; aiding and abetting
1. To help a person, or people, to commit a crime: The lawyer's client was aiding and abetting the bank robbers by driving the getaway car.
2. Etymology: This terminology is considered to be a lawyer's redundancy since abet means the same thing as aid, which gives credence to the old rumor that lawyers used to be paid by the word as illustrated by the following statements as shown below.

To help, assist, or to facilitate the commission of a crime, to promote the accomplishment thereof, to help in advancing or bringing it about, or to encourage, counsel, or to incite as to its commission.

Aid and abet includes all the assistance rendered by words, acts, encouragement, support, or presence, actual or constructive, to render assistance if necessary.

—Compiled from information provided by Black's Law Dictionary;
Sixth Edition; by Henry Campbell Black, M.A.; West Publishing Co.;
St. Paul, Minn; 1990, page 68.
aiding and abetting (adjective), more aiding and abetting, most aiding and abetting
A reference to helping, assisting, or facilitating the commission of a crime and to promote the accomplishment thereof; as well as, to help in advancing or bringing it about, or encouraging it, counseling, or inciting its commission: The lawyer tried to reassure Jim that the aiding and abetting charge would not hold up in court.

Legally, aiding and abetting describes any and all assistance rendered by words, acts, encouragement, support, or presence, actual or constructive, and to render assistance, if necessary; and are obviously derived from a combination of aid and abet:

  • Aid means "to support, to help, to assist, or to strengthen".
  • Act in cooperation with; to supplement the efforts of another person or other people.
  • Distinguished from abet, aid within the aider and abettor statue means "to help, to assist", or "to strengthen"; while abet means "to counsel, to encourage, to incite, or to assist" in the commission of a criminal act.
—Compiled from information located in
Black's Law Dictionary, 6th edition; by Henry Campbell Black, M.A.;
West Publishing Co.; St. Paul. Minnesota; 1990; page 68.
alacritous (adjective), more alacritous, most alacritous
1. Normally a reference to a person's peppy behavior: Jimmy's alacritous behavior was his reaction when his mother told him that he could buy something in the candy store.
2. A quick and cheerful willingness to do something: Dorinda's alacritous acceptance of the invitation to the party surprised her parents.
3. A descriptive term for a certain mood or a tempo of a musical composition, indicating how the music should be played: The concert had several sections of alacritous rhythms.
alacrity (s) (noun), alacrities (pl)
1. A quick and cheerful readiness to do something: Floy and Renate prepared for their European trip with alacrity.
2. Promptness or eagerness and speedy readiness to respond to something: Bryan answered the call for assistance from his supervisor with alacrity.
3. Agility and nimbleness: Despite Mike's advanced age, he moved around with alacrity.
4. Etymology: from Latin alacritatem, alacritas, "liveliness, ardor, eagerness"; from alacer, alacris, "cheerful, brisk, lively"; of uncertain origin.
Eager willingness to do something.
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Very enthusiastic to accept a date.
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A cheerful greeting.
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Links to all of the groups of English words in action, Groups A to Z.

You may see the bibliographic list of sources of information for these words in action.