“Simon’s Saga,” Vocabulary from Episode 5 – 20 Words

ebullient

joyously unrestrained

She does not seem particularly ebullient, Simon decided.
acerbic

harsh or corrosive in tone

Though she could sometimes be quite acerbic, his girlfriend seldom resorted to sarcasm.
volatile

liable to lead to sudden change or violence

When she did, it meant she was volatile and might become bellicose at any moment.
bellicose

having or showing a ready disposition to fight

When she did, it meant she was volatile and might become bellicose at any moment.
mollify

cause to be more favorably inclined

He had to mollify her—and quickly!
ravine

a deep narrow steep-sided valley

He felt like he was standing on the edge of a very deep ravine, and he was about to fall into it.
alacrity

liveliness and eagerness

Yes, he had to act with alacrity.
query

an instance of questioning

“I was just answering some queries this scholarly young woman had about what courses she should take next semester,” Simon said.
impassive

having or revealing little emotion or sensibility

He glanced at the girl, who remained impassive, except for the slightest trace of a smile on her face.
appease

make peace with

This should appease Jaz, he thought.
pedagogical

relating to the study of teaching

Jaz never tired of discussing pedagogical topics.
eclectic

selecting what seems best of various styles or ideas

His tastes are so eclectic and his research so scrupulous that he knows all the gut courses on campus.
scrupulous

characterized by extreme care and great effort

His tastes are so eclectic and his research so scrupulous that he knows all the gut courses on campus.
scathing

marked by harshly abusive criticism

She gave him a scathing look.
assessment

the act of judging a person or situation or event

He’s a science major, but basically he’s an all-round genius. Even professors come over to get his assessment of their ideas.
Renaissance

the revival of learning and culture

“Yeah,” Simon said, “he’s our little Renaissance dude.”
perspective

a way of regarding situations or topics

I’ve got this paper on Chagall due at the end of next week and I’ve been doing all this research, but I’ve kind of reached a dead end. I really need someone with a different perspective.
savant

a learned person

I can’t wait to meet this guy! He sounds like a real savant.
reclusive

withdrawn from society; seeking solitude

“Axel is really brilliant, but he’s a pretty reclusive guy,” said Simon.
piquant

engagingly stimulating or provocative

“And make sure you bring what you’ve done on your paper so far—and all your research notes. That kind of stuff always helps to pique Axel’s interest.”

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