“Simon’s Saga,” Vocabulary from Episode 14 – 30 Words

cajole

influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering

I cajoled this woman into showing me this really obscure opening gambit.
hypothesis

a tentative insight that is not yet verified or tested

His hypothesis was confirmed by the look on Jaz’s face.
lucid

transparently clear; easily understandable

The vision was completely lucid, like the most intense dream she had ever had.
oblivious

lacking conscious awareness of

Jaz could see the opening at the top of the bag: books were spilling out onto the sidewalk as she walked, but she was oblivious to the laughter of the people around her.
stolid

having or revealing little emotion or sensibility

She trudged on stolidly through the icy, snow-covered street.
dour

showing a brooding ill humor

She wore a bulky gray coat as she shuffled along, a dour expression on her face.
myopic

unable to see distant objects clearly

Now the woman was squinting myopically through the thick lenses of her wire-rim glasses at a complex mathematical formula that completely covered an ancient, dilapidated blackboard in a squalid classroom.
dilapidated

in a state of decay, ruin, or deterioration

Now the woman was squinting myopically through the thick lenses of her wire-rim glasses at a complex mathematical formula that completely covered an ancient, dilapidated blackboard in a squalid classroom.
squalid

foul and run-down and repulsive

Now the woman was squinting myopically through the thick lenses of her wire-rim glasses at a complex mathematical formula that completely covered an ancient, dilapidated blackboard in a squalid classroom.
vicissitude

a variation in circumstances or fortune

The vicissitudes of Russian life since the fall of the Soviet Union had obviously taken their toll.
stereotype

a conventional or formulaic conception or image

How can such stereotypes be a part of my mind?
demean

reduce in worth or character, usually verbally

You’re the one always telling people stereotypes are demeaning to the unique individual dignity of each person.
patent

clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment

This was a patent violation of the laws of probability, of the very structure of the universe, in fact.
unorthodox

breaking with convention or tradition

He must have been thinking, what if this is some brilliant, unorthodox variation I’ve never seen?
stratagem

a maneuver, especially in a game or conversation

Of course, he gradually recovered and beat me, but he had to resort to a lot of pretty extreme stratagems.
transitory

lasting a very short time

Of course, it had just been one brief, transitory moment, but he cherished it nevertheless.
taciturn

habitually reserved and uncommunicative

“I mean, how was I to know that Diane would be practically as taciturn as Axel?”
rueful

feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses

He looks rueful, she thought.
debacle

a sudden and complete disaster

He’s probably blaming himself for another debacle.
founder

fail utterly; collapse

Their scheme had foundered on one little factor that they had, inadvertently, overlooked.
inadvertently

without knowledge or intention

Their scheme had foundered on one little factor that they had, inadvertently, overlooked.
intimate

marked by close acquaintance, association, or familiarity

“Talked? Oh yeah, an hour of the most romantic dialogue. It was so intimate I started to get embarrassed being there with them.”
coy

affectedly shy especially in a playful or provocative way

‘So, which do you prefer as an alternative to the traditional Einsteinian view of spacetime, the Lagrangian formulation of general relativity or the Hamiltonian one?’ she asks coyly.
stifle

smother or suppress

Jaz tried to stifle a laugh.
gravity

a solemn and dignified feeling

Despite the gravity of the situation, she had to admit, Simon could be pretty amusing.
coup

a brilliant and notable success

“Yeah, it was a real coup, wasn’t it?
laconic

brief and to the point

I mean, what a combination! Two almost completely laconic people.
loquaciousness

the quality of being wordy and talkative

“Yeah, next time I’ll have to check out the candidate’s loquaciousness index.”
pessimist

a person who expects the worst

Now we’ve reversed. I’m the pessimist and you’re the optimist.
intuition

instinctive knowing, without the use of rational processes

But listen, really, we’ve got to go with the world famous Simon Intuition, right?

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