A coup is a brilliant, often unexpected victory. Winning the state championship was a real coup for the small town school. Coup is also used to mean coup d'etat, which means the take over of a government. The Venezuelan government denied reports of an attempted coup last April. You will also hear the phrase coup de grace, which means a final blow. Kevin Miller delivered the coup de grace with a grand slam home run. Be careful you do not confuse coup with coupe, which means a sedan.

Abstract means not concrete, theoretical.

Machination refers to a scheming activity, a devious plotting, a manipulation.

Eccentric means not conventional, quirky, peculiar in comparison to what is considered normal.

Oblique means indirect or vague.

Pious means sincerely religious, reverent, devout.

An accolade is an award, honor, or expression of praise.

A precept is a rule to live by, a principle that guides behavior, a point in one's moral code of conduct.

Equivocal means ambiguous, intentionally confusing or unclear, capable of being interpreted in more than one way.

Succumb means to give in to a superior force.

To condone is to overlook something that is seen as being in some way objectionable; to justify or allow, though not to whole-heartedly support; or give tacit approval to or to forgive or excuse after the fact.

To belabor is to go over repeatedly, to persist beyond the point of reason.

Contingent means dependent, hinging upon: Our leaving for the beach tonight is contingent upon Stephen's getting home from work early enough.

Incisive means cutting to the heart of a matter; very clear and direct.

A dilettante is a dabbler, someone with superficial knowledge, or who embraces the trappings of a discipline more than the essence.

An adage is a traditional saying.

To digress is to stray from the main topic, intent, or plan.

A philistine is a person who is smugly ignorant, who has no appreciation of intellectual or artistic matters, who is contentedly commonplace in his tastes and ideas, who is smugly conventional.

An enormity is extreme wickedness; outrageousness.

To prepossess means to influence beforehand; to prejudice, usually in a positive way; to preoccupy.

Poignant means deeply touching; so emotionally moving as to be almost painful; bitter-sweet.

To allege is to assert without proof.

To elicit is to draw forth, to bring out, to evoke.

To daunt is to intimidate, to make fearful, to discourage.

To proscribe is to prohibit, to outlaw, to forbid, to condemn as harmful or dangerous.

To recant is to publicly take back, to deny something previously affirmed.

A chimera as used above means an illusion, a fleeting foolish fancy.

A myriad is a huge number.

Parsimonious means stingy, extremely frugal, miserly.

Precipitous means steep.

A premise is an assumption, a basis for conclusion, an idea upon which other ideas rest.

Novel means original, fresh, new.

Dissolution means the breaking up or dissolving of something into parts; disintegration.

Indigent means poor, needy, barely scraping by.

Vapid means lacking liveliness, dull, spiritless, insipid.

Obdurate means stubborn, insensitive, unyielding, not moved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings, inflexible.

To subjugate is to enslave, to subdue and dominate, to bring under control, conquer.

To dissipate means to thin out, to drift away or dissolve.

Inexorable means unavoidable, inevitable, relentless, unyeilding.

To forbear is to refrain from, to abstain, to hold oneself back.

Hapless means unlucky, unfortunate, not favored by chance.

A propensity is a natural inclination, a tendency, a leaning or aptitude.

To be relentless is to be mercilessly persistent, unyielding, unstoppable.

To placate is to sooth, to appease, to pacify, to calm down.

Narcissism refers to excessive self-love, self-absorption, egocentricity.

To accost is to boldly confront, to approach, often aggressively and speak to first.

Proximity refers to nearness in place, time, occurrence, or relation.

An anomaly is an aberration, an irregularity, a deviation, something not in accordance with how things usually are.

Verisimilitude refers to the appearance of or similarity to truth or reality.

Scrupulous means conscientious, strictly careful, exacting.