accumulate v. To build up a large amount of something
Over several generations, the Hardington family accumulated vast
wealth by buying and selling land.
Parts of speech accumulation n
affluence n. Wealth and the style of life that goes with it
Mohadzir grew up amid affluence, which poorly prepared him for his grad student days in crowded apartments with no servants.
Parts of speech affluent adj
elite adj. Belonging to a special, honored group
Messner is an elite climber who recently ascended an 8,000-meter mountain without extra oxygen.
Parts of speech elite n, elitist adj
impoverish v. To make a person or group poor
The collapse of the steel industry impoverished several counties in eastern Ohio.
Parts of speech impoverishment n
privileged adj. Able to enjoy special advantages because of one’s position (usually because of being born into a wealthy or powerful family)
Despite his privileged position in one of America’s most powerful families, the politician tried to portray himself as an ordinary person.
Parts of speech privilege n
assess v. To estimate the value of something
The Barnes building was assessed at $1.3 million, but it can probably sell for much more than that.
Parts of speech assessor n, assessment n
asset n. A possession that has positive value
Usage tips Some examples of assets are real estate, cash, and stock shares.
hazardous adj. Dangerous
Parents have to be careful not to buy children’s clothes and toys made of hazardous materials.
Parts of speech hazard n, hazardously adv
lease v. To rent something for a long time (several months or years)
Some drivers prefer to lease a car rather than buy one.
Parts of speech lease n, lessor n, lessee n
liability n. Legal responsibility for harming a person or property; a disadvantage
Before you go river rafting, you sign a document releasing the trip leaders from liability in case of injury.
Henderson is just a liability to our work team, because he never finishes anything on time.
Usage tips In its second meaning, liability is often followed by a to phrase.
Parts of speech liable adj
proprietor n. Owner, usually of a business or a building
The proprietor of Hekman’s Windows is Nels Hekman, grandson of
the people who established the factory.
Usage tips Very often, proprietor is followed by an of phrase.
Parts of speech proprietary adj
sole adj. Only
Many people have wanted to invest in Harry’s publishing business, but he remains the sole owner.
Usage tips Sole almost always appears before the noun it modifies. It does not come after a linking verb like be.
Parts of speech solely adv
compensate v. To give an employee money or other things in exchange for the work he or she does
My pay doesn’t properly compensate me for my efforts, but my other benefits, like health insurance, fill in the gap.
Usage tips Compensate is often followed by a for phrase.
Parts of speech compensation n, compensatory adj
dynamic adj. Full of energy
This job requires a dynamic person, someone who will look for opportunities instead of just waiting around for them.
Parts of speech dynamism n, dynamically adv
enterprising adj. Creative in thinking of ways to make money
Immigrants are often among the most enterprising members of society, partly because anyone brave enough to make an overseas move is likely to be a risk-taker.
Parts of speech enterprise n (Note:There is no verb “to enterprise.”)
exploit v. To take advantage of; to treat inconsiderately in order to profit
The company tried to exploit the low interest rates to expand operations.
The foreign mining company exploited our copper resources and then simply left.
Parts of speech exploitation n, exploitive adj
incentive n. A possible benefit that motivates a person to do a certain thing
This city’s willingness to support its public schools gave us an incentive to move here with our two young children.
Usage tips Incentive is usually followed by a to phrase.
industrious adj. Willing to work hard
The Dutch settlements in Ottawa County were founded by industrious farmers who objected to frivolous behavior such as dancing.
Usage tips Only people can be industrious; companies cannot.
Parts of speech industriousness n, industriously adv
marginal adj. Not very significant or effective
Our new advertising campaign had only marginal success, raising sales by a mere 3 percent.
Parts of speech marginally adv
resign v. To quit one’s job
Because of controversy over his leadership style, Morton resigned from his job as president.
Parts of speech resignation n
distill v. to remove one liquid from a mixture of liquids by boiling; to get something valuable from a confusing mix of ideas
The forest peoples of Southeast Asia distill an alcoholic drink called arak from a paste of palm berries.
Most students are confused by her lectures, but Joe can always distill her main idea.
Parts of speech distillation n, distillery n
entrepreneurial adj. Able to create business opportunities from a wide variety of circumstances
Many engineers of the 1970s made great computers, but only a few were entrepreneurial enough to see the business possibilities in the new machines.
Parts of speech entrepreneur n
extract v. To take out
International mining companies came to the Malay Peninsula to extract the region’s massive tin deposits.
Parts of speech extraction n, extractor n
haggle v. To argue back and forth about a price
The customer and the shopkeeper haggled over the silver plate for more than an hour.
Usage tips Haggle is often followed by a phrase with over or about.
Parts of speech haggler n
intrepid adj. Fearless
For nearly 200 years, only the most intrepid colonists would cross the Appalachian Mountains.
proportionately adv. In an amount appropriate to each of several recipients
The food aid was distributed proportionately per family, with larger families receiving more.
Parts of speech proportion n, proportionate adj, proportionally adv
prototype n. The first one made of a machine or system
The airplane manufacturer uses robots to test every prototype, just in case there is a problem with the design.
shuttle v. To move back and forth often between two places
The small jet shuttles between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore nearly every two hours.
Parts of speech shuttle n
advocate v. To speak out in favor of something
Some environmentalists advocate removing large dams from the Columbia River.
Usage tips Advocate is usually followed by a term for a process or action, very often the -ing form of a verb
Parts of speech advocate n, advocacy n
coalition n. A group of several different groups or countries that are working together to achieve a certain goal.
Several local churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples formed a coalition to promote understanding among people of different religions.