Vocabulary Word Meanings: From Unanimous, Undermine to Usury

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Unanimous

adj- in total agreement

Note: “Un” means “one” and “animous” means “mind or soul”, so unanimous means “of one mind”

Everyone wanted Michelle to be class president, so the vote was unanimous.

Undermine

verb- to weaken by wearing away the foundation, to sabotage

Carol tried to undermine Don’s authority by starting a rumor about him.

Uniform

adj- similar; consistent

Also used as: Uniformity (noun); uniformly (adv)

Power tools are helpful when you need to cut a lot of lumber into uniform.

Unprecedented

adj- the first of its kind

Also used as: Precede (verb), think of “legal precedent”.

Sandra Day O’Connor’s appointment to the Supreme Court was unprecedented.

Undulate

verb- move in a wavy manner

Also used as: Undulated-adj; undulation- noun

The wind shaped the sand dune into an undulating sculpture

Ubiquitous

adj- existing everywhere at the same time

Also used as: Ubiquity, iniquitousness- nouns; ubiquitously- adv

Certain signs of our culture seem to be ubiquitous and are hard to escape.

Unerring

adj- without making a mistake

Also used as: Unerringly- adv

The gymnast won the gold medal because he was unerring in performing his.

Unkempt

adj- messy; sloppy, dirty

We could tell by his unkempt appearance that he hadn’t been home in days.

Upbraid

verb- criticize secerely, scold

He was afraid he would be upbraided for his mistake.

Usurp

verb- to seize or take over by force

Also used as: Usurpation- noun

The army violently usurped the throne.

Usury

noun- the practice of charging a very high rate of interest on loans

Also used as: Usurious- adj; usuriously- adv

The interest rates on some credit cards are so high they’re almost usurious.

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