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2500 Cards in this Set

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Dilapidate(v)
to fall into disrepair or ruin. To become partly ruined, or decayed, especially through neglect.
(The hotel we stayed in was really dilapidated)
Synonyms: ruinous, shabby
Tizzy(n)
a state of nervous excitement or agitation, a highly excited and distracted state of mind.
(She got herself in a real tizzy because she couldn't find her car keys and she thought they'd been stolen.)
Synonyms: fume, chaos.
Agitate(v)
to make someone feel anxious and not calm.(I didn't want to agitate her by telling her)
to shake a liquid. (Pour the powder into the solution and agitate it until the powder has dissolved.)
to argue energetically, especially in public.(The unions continue to agitate for higher pay)
Hokey(adj)
too emotional or artificial and therefore difficult to believe. (The ending of the movie was awful hokey)
Synonyms: corny, sentimental, hackneyed, mawkish, banal
Attrition(n)
the gradual weakening and destroying of something, especially the strength or confidence of an enemy by repeatedly attacking it.(Terrorist groups and the government have been engaged in a costly war of attrition since 1968.)
Synonyms: weakening, attenuation.
Atone(v)
reparation for a wrong or injury, expiation for sin. Make up for misdeed, to do something that shows that you are sorry for something bad you did.(He said that young hooligans should do community service as atonement for their crimes.)
Synonyms: expiate
Discern(v)
perceive or recognize, distinguish with difficulty by sight or with the other senses. See or notice something unclear.(It is difficult to discern any pattern in these figures)
Inextricable(adj)
so intricate or entangled as to make escape impossible, impossible to get free from, impossible to escape from. ALSO extremely complex, hopelessly involved or compled.(In the case of King Arthur, legend and truth are often inextricable)
Synonyms: perplexing, tangle
Aplomb(n)
self-confidence or assurance when in a demanding situation. Great coldness and composure under strain. Confidence, skill and poise, especially in difficult or challenging circumstances.(Rosalind conducted the meeting with her usual aplomb)
Synonyms: coolness, self-possesion
Poise(n)
calm confidence in a person's way of behaving, or a quality of grace and balance in the way a person holds or moves their body.(He looked embarrassed for a moment, then quickly regained his poise.)
Disparity(n)
a great difference, a lack of equality between people or things. Unlikeness, dissimilarity or incongruity.(The growing disparity between rich and poor)
Synonyms: dissimilarity, discrepancy, inequality
Adversity(n)
a difficult or unlucky situation or event. Misfortune, hardship. Adversity applies to a state of grave or persistent misfortune.(She was always cheerful in adversity)
Synonyms: calamity, misery, misfortune.
Loquacious(adj)
Given to fluent or excessive talk, tending to talk much or freely. It describes someone who talks a lot or is full of trivial conversation.
Synonyms: verbose, talkative,
Ignoramus(n)
An offensive term that deliberately insults somebody's level of intelligence or education. A person who knows nothing. A totally ignorant person.(I am a complete ignoramus where computers are concerned)
Synonyms: blockhead, fool, dunce, imbecile.
Deleterious(adj)
Causing harm or damage, having a harmful effect on somebody or something. Harmful in a subtle or unexpected way.(These drugs have a proven deleterious effect on the nervous system.)
Synonyms: detrimental
Vacillate(v)
alternate or waver between different opinions or actions; be indecisive.(I had for a time vacillated between teaching and journalism, Her mood vacillated between hope and despair)
Synonyms: oscillate, fluctuate
Irresolute(adj)
not able or willing to take decisions or actions.(an irresolute reply)
Synonyms: indecisive, fickle
Modicum(n)
a small quantity of a particular thing, something considered desirable or valuable. A small portion, a limited quantity, a small amount of something good such as truth or honesty.(Anyone with a modicum of common sense could have seen that the plan wouldn't work)
Synonyms: little
Gaffe(n)
an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator, a blunder, a social mistake.(Was that a bit of a gaffe then, starting to eat before everyone else had been served?)
Synonyms: blunder
Susceptible(adj)
Easily affected or influenced. Liable to being affected by something. Emotional; easily affected emotionally. Capable or permitting of something.(Among particularly susceptible children, the disease can develop very fast)
Synonyms:affected, disposed
Prolix(adj)
tediously prolonged or tending to speak or write at great length. Marked by or using an excess of words.(The author's prolix style has done nothing to encourage sales of the book)
Synonyms: verbose, lengthy, tedious.
Gullible(adj)
easily deceived or tricked, and too willing to believe everything that other people say.(There are any number of miracle cures on the market for people gullible enough to buy them)
Synonyms: naive, credulous
Perpetual(adj)
lasting forever, lasting for all time, occuring repeatedly, occuring over and over.(They lived in perpetual fear of being discovered and arrested, She's perpetually asking me for money)
Synonyms: incessant
Disparage(v)
criticize, to refer disapprovingly or contemptuously to somebody or something, regard or represent as being of little worth.(The actor's work for charity has recently been disparaged in the press as an attempt to get publicity)
Synonyms: criticize, defame
Mesmerize(v)
hold the attention of someone to the exclusion of all else. To absorb somebody's attention, to fascinate somebody, capture the whole attention.(I was completely mesmerized by the performance)
Synonyms:enthrall, captivate, fascinate
Expeditious(adj)
speedy, or carried out promptly and efficiently, having or showing the ability to respond without delay or hesitation. To cause to be done more quickly.(The bank was expeditious in replying to my letter)
Synonyms: prompt, speedy
Rigidity(n)
unable to bend or be forced out of shape. Not flexible. The state of being demanding (asi in discipline).(I was rigid with fear, We were disappointed that they insisted on such a rigid interpretation of the rules)
Synonyms: implacability, inflexibility, intransigent.
Consecrate(v)
Make or declare sacred or holy, dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose. To devote or dedicate something to a particular purpose.(The new cathedral was completed and consecrated in 1962)
Punitive(adj)
inflicting or intended as punishment, relating to, done as, or imposed as a punishment.(Any misbehavior was immediately met with a punitive response. ALSO of a tax, cost, or other charge: extremely high.(The President has threatened to impose punitive import duties)
Synonyms: harsh, disciplinary
Dogmatic(adj)
inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true. To dogmatise means to represents as an incontrovertible truth. Prone to expressing strongly held believes and opinions.
Synonyms: opinionated, stubborn
Inimical(adj)
tending to obstruct or harm, unfriendly, hostile, being adverse often by reason of hostility or malevolence. Unfavorable to something.(Excessive managerial control is inimical to creative expression)
Synonyms: harmful, adverse
Reticent(adj)
Not revealing one's thoughts or feelings readily, reluctant to draw attention to yourself, cool and formal in manner. Unwilling to do something.(He is very reticent about his past, Most of the students were reticent about answering questions.)
Synonyms: reserved
Shrill(adj)
having a loud and high sound that is unpleasant or painful to listen to.(She had a shrill high-pitched voice)
Synonyms: cacophonous
Commence(v)
to begin something
(We will commence building work in August of next year, Shall we let the meeting commence, gentlemen?)
Synonyms: start
Anathema(n)
something or someone that one vehemently dislikes, something which is greatly disliked, or disapproved. OR one that is cursed or damned.(Credit controls are anathema to the government. For older employees, the new system is an anathema)
Synonyms: abomination, abhorrent.
Plausible(adj)
Seeming reasonable or probable, superficially fair, reasonable, or valuable but often specious, appearing worthy of belief, likely to be true or able to be believed.(A plausible explanation/excuse. A plausible salesman)
Synonyms: believable, probable
Obscure(adj)
Not discovered or known, not clearly expressed or easily understood, hard to make out, indistinct, vague.(The law is too obscure to interpret correctly. An obscure island in the Pacific)
Synonyms: unclear, ambiguous, abstruse.
Impediment(n)
A hindrance or obstruction in doing something. TO impede means to slow down or cause problems for the advancement or completion of something. Also speech impediment; a defect in a person's speech such as a lisp or stammer.(Although he's shy, it certainly hasn't impeded his career in any way.)
Synonyms: inhibition, hindrance
Inertia(n)
a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged, Apathy, inability or unwillingness to move or act.(He had to overcome his inertial and get back to work)
Synonyms: apathy
Erudite(adj)
having or showing great knowledge or learning. Very knowledgeable through study.(He's the author of an erudite book on Scottish history)
Synonyms: knowledgeable
Bowdlerize(v)
to remove indecent or offensive material from a text. To remove words or parts of a book, play or film that are considered to be unsuitable or offensive.
Synonyms: edit
Succinct(adj)
Briefly and clearly expressed. Clear and short. To the point, having characteristics of both brevity and clarity.(Keep your letter succinct and to the point)
Synonyms: concise
Awry(adj)
Not in the proper position, but turned and twisted to one side. Out of the normal position. Away from the appropriate, planned, or expected course, amiss. Not in keeping with plans or expectations.
(Anything that goes awry in the office is blamed on Pete. She rushed in, her face red and sweaty and her hat awry)
Synonyms: askew, amiss
Exude(v)
to discharge or release something such as a liquid or an odor. Produced from the inside and spread out slowly. To display an emotion, quality strongly and openly, to show a particular quality clearly usually through general behavior and body language.(She just exudes confidence)
Synonyms: exhibit, display.
Spur(v)
To urge (a horse) forward by digging one's spurs into its sides. To give an incentive or encouragement to someone. To cause or promote the development of something.(Rising consumer sales have the effect of spurring the economy to faster growth. Spurred on by her early succcess, she went on to write four more novels in rapid succession.)
Synonyms: impulse, motivate
Iffy(adj)
Full of unceratinty, doubtful, something that is iffy is of doubtful quality or legality. Uncertain or unlikely to happen. Undecided or unsure about something.(The milk smells a bit iffy. Simon's kind of iffy about going to Columbia)
Synonyms: uncertain
Indelible(adj)
not able to be forgotten or removed. Impossible to remove or alter. Permanent, lasting, unfading.(I have an indelible memory of that meeting with Anastasia)
Synonyms:inerasable
Accomplice(n)
A person who helps another commit a crime. One associated with another especially in wrongdoing.
Synonyms: abbetor.
Backhanded(adj)
made with the back of the hand facing in the direction of movement. Indirect, ambiguous or insincere. With a doubtful or double meaning(backhanded compliment)
Convulsion(n)
a violent shaking of the body or limbs caused by uncontrollable muscle contractions, which can be a symptom of brain disorders and other conditions. An extreme disturbance or disruption. A violent or political upheaval. Uncontrollable laughter.(She went into convulsions and had to be rushed to hospital)
Synonyms: seizure, upheaval, contraction.
Euphoria(n)
A feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness. A feeling of great joy or confidence. Elation(They were in a state of euphoria for days after they won the prize)
Synonyms: elation, joy, happiness
Inexorable(adj)
impossible to stop or prevent. Or, of a person, impossible to persuade or diverted from a course.(the inexorable progress of science. These events led inexorably to war)
Synonyms: adamant
Convey(v)
Communicate or express something(an idea, impression or feeling). Transfer or transmit something along a wire, pipe, tube or other carrier. Take somebody somewhere.(I tried to convey in my speech how grateful we all were for his help. The goods are usually conveyed by sea.)
Synonyms: transmit, express
Chasm(n)
deep hole in the earth, a deep crack or hole in the ground. A wide difference in feelings, ideas or interests. Gap or break in the progress or continuity of something.
(They leaned over the rails and peered down into the dizzying chasm below. There is still a vast economic chasm between developed and developing countries)
Synonyms: gap, abyss
Foil(v)
To prevent someone or something from being successful(The prisoners' attempt to escape was foiled at the last minute when police received a tip-off).Something or someone that makes another's good or bad qualities more noticable(The older, cynical character in the play is the perfect foil for the innocent William)
Synonyms: thwart, hinder
Antonyms: help, aid, expedite
Habor(n,v)
a safe, protected area, a port for ships, to provide shelter to a person or to a ship, to hold in or think privately about(I hope Paul harbors no anger against me for my long delay in responding to his e-mail. I could tell that all of the ladies harbored a little animosity toward the prettiest girl at the party.)
Synonyms: hold, shelter, anchorage
Antonyms: expose
Impair(v)
to worsen something or to make it less effective(Everyone knows that too much alcohol can impair a person's driving ability. Without glasses, his vision is seriously impaired)
Synonyms: weaken, deteriorate, diminish
Antonyms:improve
Oasis(n)
a fertile spot in a desert or barren place, a place of shelter or sanctuary(Her place was an oasis of peace and sanity amid the surrounding chaos)
Synonyms: refuge, sanctuary, haven
Antonyms: prison
Fidelity(n)
honest or lasting support, or loyalty, especially to a sexual partner.(How important do you think sexual fidelity is in a marriage?), when you copy the detail and quality of an original, such as picture, sound or story.(The best ink-jet printers can reproduce photographs with amazing fidelity)
Synonyms: allegance, faithfulness
Antonyms: infidelity, disloyalty, inaccuracy
Extrovert(adj)
a gregarious and uninhibited person who thrives and gets their energy from socializing.(Most sales people are extrovert)
Synonyms: sociable person
Antonyms: introvert
Galvanize(v)
to stimulate a person or group into action, to stimulate a part of the body with an electric shock, to coat iron or steel with zinc for protection.(The prospect of his mother coming to stay galvanized him into action and he immediately set about cleaning the house)
Synonyms: stimulate, provoke
Antonyms: quiet, still
Ineluctable(adj)
describes something impossible to avoid or escape.(What goes up must come down describes the ineluctable law of gravity. One often hears that the only things in life that are ineluctable are death and taxes)
Synonyms: inescapable, unavoidable, inevitable, destined, imminent
Antonyms: avoidable, escapable, uncertain.
Nondescript(adj)
lacking distinctive of interesting characteristic, dull, uninteresting, or without any distinguishing characteristics.(The meteorological bureau is in a nondescript building on the outskirts of town)
Synonyms: dull, drab, unremarkable, indistinguishable, ordinary
Antonyms: vivid, unique, interesting
Peripheral(n)
On the ohter edges of something, related to an issue, but not of major importance to it.(Whenever John is watching his favorite show Lost, everything else is of peripheral interest. He's planning on building a guest house on the periphery of his property)
Synonyms: outer, marginal, irrelevant, insignificant
Antonyms: central, significant, inner
Prostrate(adj)
lying down, often on one's face, either out of respect and submissiveness, lying down in a horizontal position due to illness or lack of energy, physically exhausted or emotionally overwhelmed.(After a long day of yard work, I was prostrate on the couch for several hours. My sick grandma was prostrate in her hospital bed. When the emperor walked in, all of his servants fell down to the ground prostrate.)
Synonyms: exhausted, prone, reclining.
Antonyms: upright, standing
Redolent(adj)
exuding a fragrance with qualities that remind you of something else, suggesting or reminiscent of another time or place, suggesting suggestive or reminiscent of something, having particular smell.(Angela's perfume is redolent of our time together in Paris. The desert air is much more redolent after the rain. The studio of the yoga teacher was redolent with the smell of incense.)
Synonyms: reminiscent, aromatic, evocative
Saccharine(adj)
excessively sweet or sentimental, too pleasant or charming, with too much feeling to be believed.(I don't trust her, with her saccharine smiles. saccharine love songs)
Synonyms: ingratiating, sweet, sugary, oversentimental, cloying
Antonyms: sour, bitter
Preen(v)
to spend time making yourself look attractive.(Roald always spends ages preening himself before he goes out). to feel very proud or satisfied with yourself because of an action or quality.(The government is publicly preening itself on the latest trade figures.)
Synonyms: groom, self-congratulating, primp, spruce
Hapless(adj)
without luck, unfortunate, having, prone to, or marked by bad luck. (The hapless wanderer could find no resting place and suffered another night in the bitter cold. Many children are hapless victims of this war)
Synonyms: unlucky, unfortunate
Antonyms: lucky, fortunate
Expedite(v)
to hasten the action or speed up the progress of something; to cause something to be done or progress more quickly.(I am really getting desperate-come on guys-is there anyway that we can expedite this process so we can meet our deadline?)
Synonyms: hasten, accelerate, facilitate, advance
Antonyms: stifle
Repulse(v)
to drive back or repel, to cause aversion or disgust, to reject an approach.(Since Joanne is a vegetarian, she feels repulsion when she sees other people eating meet. The latest movie contains repulsive scenes.)
Synonyms: repel, reject, rebuff, refuse.
Antonyms: welcome, captivate
Spurious(adj)
not valid or genuine, different than what is claimed and intended to deceive, based on false reasoning or information that is not true, and therefore not to be trusted.(Some of the arguments against the case of global warming are questionable and others downright spurious)
Synonyms: counterfeit, phony, fake, illegitimate, deceptive
Antonyms: authentic, genuine
Potable(adj)
suitable for drinking, (noun) a liquid, especially alcohol, that is suitable for drinking.(After the earthquake, the tap water was not potable. The wine was too old to be potable anymore)
Synonyms: drinkable, uncontaminated, useable
Antonyms: impotable, polluted, unclean.
Resourceful(adj)
able to deal effectively with different situations, having the necessary resources to adapt to different situations and effectively solve problems.(Children can be very resourceful at creating new games when left to their own imagination)
Synonyms: adroit, enterprising, inventive
Antonyms: dim-witted
Ineffable(adj)
not able to be described in words, causing so much emotion, especially pleasure, that it cannot be described.(After her team won the championship, she experienced ineffable happiness, David Attenborough's Planet Earth shows the ineffable beauty of our planet)
Synonyms: indescribable, inexpressible.
Antonyms: describable, expressible
Loll(v)
to lie, sit or hang down in a relaxed informal or uncontrolled way.(I spent most of the weekend lolling about on the beach. A dog with its tongue lolling out.)
Synonyms: lounge, sprawl, loaf, loiter, languish.
Antonyms: stand, move
Vivid(adj)
bright or intense in color; brightly colored or producing clear, powerful, and detailed images in the mind, very clear and fresh when perceived by the eye or the mind, capable of evoking strong and distinct images.(Lise recounted the events of her childhood with vivid detail. Marc's vivid imagination will serve him well in a creative field)
Synonyms: bright, colorful, dazzling.
Antonyms: dull, muddy
inane(adj)
not important or relevant, silly, insubstantial or empty.(Joanne loves to watch those inane reality shows every night. At the party, I somehow got trapped in an inane conversation about the weather)
Synonyms: stupid, ridiculous, insubstantial, illogical
Antonyms: logical, reasonable, important
Implacable(adj)
impossible to comfort, calm, or satisfy, unable to be changed, satisfied, or stopped, describes(someone who has) strong opinions or feelings which are impossible to change.(Unfortunately I could not reach a compromise with the implacable client)
Synonyms: relentless, inexorable
Antonyms: placable, flexible
Harmonious(adj)
musically pleasing, blending or combining well, sharing mutual opinions, beliefs, actions, or friendship.(He finds the harmonious sounds of the symphony very relaxing. The two friends maintained a harmonious relationship.)
Synonyms: harmonic, concordant
Antonyms: discordant, dissonant
Genteel(adj)
refined and polite in manner and of higher class; polite and correct in manner, or trying to be polite and correct in order to be of a high social class.(The mansion had an atmosphere of genteel elegance and decay. He took elocution lessons to try to make his accent sound more genteel.)
Synonyms: elegant, refined, pretentious
Antonyms: unrefined, impolite, natural
Rabble(n)
a mob of people; a large noisy uncontrolled group of people, lowest class of people. (Rabble-rouser)(Paul thought of himself as a peacemaker, but the police labeled him a rabble-rouser. The minister was threatened by an angry, disorderly rabble formed outside the government building)
Synonyms: mob, crowd
Antonyms: royalty, high-society
Flamboyant(adj)
obviously elaborate and brightly colored, with the intention to be noticed; very confident in behavior, or intended to be noticed, especially by being brightly coloured, showy in apprearance. (His clothes were rather flamboyant for such a serious occasion. Flamboyant gesture)
Synonyms: showy, resplendent
Antonyms: dull, humble
Emanate(v)
to come from or out of, to send out or give out something, to express a quality or through the way that you look and behave. (The smell of Lisa's perfume emanates from her bedroom even when she isn't home. Most of the voters voted for the young leader because charisma just emanated from him.)
Synonyms: emit, radiate, exude,
Antonyms: withhold
Quarantine(n,v)
isolation, especially in order to prevent an illness or disease from spreading, to isolate in order to prevent an illness or disease from spreading.(The horse had to spend several months in quarantine when it reached Britain)
Synonyms: detention, confinement, isolation, incarceration.
Antonyms: freedom, liberation
Maudlin(adj)
overly emotional, sentimental, and often tearful, feeling sad and having a lot of pity for yourself, especially after you have drunk a lot of alcohol.(Some people are angry drunks, while others become sappy and maudlin.)
Synonyms: tearful, sentimental, overemotional
Antonyms: serious
Repudiate(v)
to refuse to recognize the truth or validity of something, to reject something as untrue or unjust, to formally disapprove of something, to formally separate yourself from something or someone, to refuse to pay a debt.(He repudiated the allegation that he had tried to deceived them.)
Synonyms: reject, abjure, negate, abandon, renounce, abdicate, disdain, forsake
Antonyms: accept, embrace, adopt, recognize.
Precedent(n)
an action or decision from the past, that can be used as an example for future, similar circumstances, an established custom or practice, a law established by following previous legal decisions.(There are several precedents for promoting people who don't have formal qualifications. Some politicians fear that agreeing to the concession would set a dangerous precedent)
Synonyms: model, precursor, guideline, pattern, prototype
Antonyms: following, descendent
Fastidious(adj)
giving too much attention to small details and wanting everything to be correct and perfect.(He is very fastidious about how a suitcase should be packed), having a strong dislike of anything dirty or unpleasant. (They were too fastidious to eat in a fast-food restaurant)
Synonyms: meticulous, persnickety, finicky, squeamish
Antonyms: indifferent, uncritical, undemanding,
Ellipsis(n)
when words are left out of a sentence but the sentence can still be understood.(An example of ellipsis is "What percentage was left?" "Twenty" (= 20 percent))
Synonyms: omission
Antonyms: addition
Travesty(n)
something which fails to represent the values and qualities that it is intended to represent, in a way that is shocking or offensive.(Their production of MacBeth was quiet the worst I've ever seen - it was a travesty.)
Synonyms: distortion, parody, spoof, mockery, farce, sham
Antonyms: copy, accuracy
Hoard(v,n)
to collect large amounts of something and keep it in a safe, often secret, place. (During the siege people began hoarding food and supplies. We found a huge hoard of tinned food in the basement)
Synonyms: store, accumulate, stash, stockpile, amass
Antonyms: use, throw out
Renovate(v)
to repair and improve something, especially a building. (He renovates old houses and sells them at a profit)
Synonyms: restore, repair, recondition, remodel, rejuvenate, revive, overhaul
Antonyms: age, destroy
Static(adj)
staying in one place without moving, or not changing for a long time, noise on a radio or television caused by electricity in the air. (Oil prices have remained static for the last few months.)
Synonyms: changeless, motionless, immobile
Antonyms: moving, changing
Procure(v)
to obtain something, especially after an effort. (She's managed somehow to procure his telephone number)
Synonyms: acquire, bring about
Antonyms: lose, scatter, disperse
Ossify(v)
to be made into bone, to become rigid and inflexible.(Years of easy success had ossified the company's thinking and it never faced up to the challenge of the new technology.)
Synonyms: fossilize, solidify, petrify, stiffen
Antonyms: soften, liquefy
Virtuoso(adj, n)
a person who is extremely skilled at something, especially at playing an instrument or performing. (Famous mainly for his wonderful voice, Cole was also a virtuoso on the piano. The Times critics described her dancing as a virtuoso performance of quite dazzling accomplishment.)
Synonyms: genius, maestro, prodigy
Antonyms: amateur, average, common
Inept(adj)
characterized by a lack of perceptiveness, judgment, or fitness, generally incompetent, unsuitable or out of place.(He was always rather inept at sport. Dick was socially inept and uncomfortable in the presence of women)
Synonyms: incompetent, foolish, ineffective, clumsy, awkward, unfit, inappropriate
Antonyms: competent, adroit, effective, graceful, adept
Maladroit(adj)
inefficient or ineffective; clumsy, not adroit or adept, lacking tact and being insensitive in speech or behavior. Awkward in movement or unskilled in behavior or action.(Phil's maladroit at the office party was just one of many reasons why he was passed over for the promotion. Phil is not used to going to parties, so he is often maladroit in social situations)
Synonyms: inept, clumsy, awkward, inelegant, tactless
Antonyms: adroit, adept, skillful, graceful
Nuance(n)
a subtle difference, distinction or variation in something, a subtle quality
(If you don't understand the nuances of the author's language, you may not fully appreciate his book)
Synonyms: subtlety, hint, trace
Imperturbable(adj)
not easily perturbed or upset--calm and steady, always staying calm and controlled, even in difficult situations that would cause anxiety to others.(Staying calm and controlled despite problems or difficulties)
Synonyms: calm, cool, even, unflappable, impassive.
Antonyms: agitated, upset, perturbed.
Labyrinth(n)
a complex network of pathways through which it is difficult to navigate, something really intricate. (With all the construction detours, she felt like she was driving through a labyrinth. Navigating his crazy work and social schedule has become quite a labyrinth)
Synonyms: maze, complexity, puzzle, riddle, tangle
Antonyms: simplicity, ease, clarity
Elicit(v)
to draw out, to call forth, to obtain or produce something, especially information or a reaction. (They were able to elicit the support of the public. She tried to elicit sympathy by breaking down in tears during the meeting)
Synonyms: evoke, draw out, extract, obtain, educe
Antonyms: suppress, cover, hide
Forthright(adj)
honest, direct, and not evasive in expressing one's thoughts or feeling. (Marc's forthright manner can be mistaken for rudeness. Lisa admires his forthright way of dealing with people)
Synonyms: direct, frank, straightforward, candid, sincere
Antonyms: indirect, insincere, dishonest, deceitful
Paradigm(n)
a model or a representative example, a very clear or typical example used as a model.(The move from Newtonian physics to Einstein's relativism represented a major paradigm shift in physics.)
Synonyms: model, prototype, pattern, example, archetype
Antonyms: anomaly
Officious(adj)
meddlesome and interfering: characteristic of somebody who is eager to give unwanted help or advice, unofficial or informal, especially in political or diplomatic dealings, interfering and being in the way.(The ministers met in an officious setting, keeping things casual, since it was Sunday. Joanne said she wanted to help Marc prepare the meal, but she just made an officious nuisance of herself)
Synonyms: meddlesome, interfering, self-important, unofficial, informal
Antonyms: shy, helpful
Remiss(adj)
careless or negligent about an expected duty, not doing a duty well enough.(You have been remiss in your duties. It was remiss of me to forget to give you the message)
Synonyms: heedless, negligent, careless
Antonyms: responsible, dutiful, diligent, attentive
Posterity(n)
generations to come in the future, all of a person's descendants. (The President's most fundamental duty is to create and preserve freedom for us and our posterity)
Synonyms: offspring, future generations, descendants, progeny
Antonyms: ancestors
Mundane(adj)
ordinary or commonplace, relating to or of the world. ( Mundane matters such as paying bills and shopping for food do not interest her.)
Synonyms: ordinary, commonplace, banal, dull, earthly
Antonyms: unusual, rare, extraordinary, heavenly
Egocentric(adj)
selfish, self-centered, and concerned only with personal needs rather than the needs of others
Synonyms: selfish, self-centered, egotistic
Antonyms: selfless
Palatial(adj)
luxurious and grand, like a palace. This adjective describes a house that is very large and splendid. (The Karel V hotel is known for its palatial elegance. The palatial, 130-room mansion is the most expensive home in the city)
Synonyms: grand, deluxe, impressive, regal, rich, luxurious, plush, opulent.
Odious(adj)
provoking hatred, contempt, disgust
(The man committed an odious crime for which he should be severely punished. There are few things as odious to him as racism)
Synonyms: hateful, contemptible, detestable, loathsome, repulsive
Antonyms: lovable
Garish(adj)
gaudy, flashy, showy, or brightly and vividly colored.
(Frank arrived in a garish, electric blue, 24-person limousine.)
Synonyms: gaudy, tawdry, showy, flashy, flamboyant, ornate
Antonyms: elegant, tasteful, simple, plain, modest
Facetious(adj)
humorous in a sarcastic way, not serious about a serious subject, in an attempt to be amusing or to appear clever, not seriously meaning what you say, usually in an attempt to be humorous or to trick someone.
(Lisa's facetious remarks made it clear that she wasn't taking the meeting seriously.)
Synonyms: humorous, clever, sarcastic, witty, ironic, jocose.
Antonyms: serious, matter-of-fact, lugubrious
Kindle(v)
to start a fire, to excite or arouse
(Al Gore made a movie to kindle awareness about global warming. Two years after their divorce, Mark tried to rekindle his relationship with his ex-wife)
Synonyms: ignite, flame, blaze, awaken, excite, arouse
Antonyms: deaden, inhibit
Hierarchy(n)
an organization of a group of people or things, arranged according to rank or importance. (Mark hopes to rise through the hierarchy quickly and become a manager)
Synonyms: ranking, order, level, regime
Impervious(adj)
not affected by outside influence, remaining unaffected by other's opinions, arguments, suggestions, unable to be penetrated or not allowing passage into or through something, unable to be injured or damaged.(Marc seemed to be impervious to the criticism made against him and continued with his same modus operendi. My thermal blanket forms an impervious shield from the cold and enables me to sleep warmly through the night.)
Synonyms: impenetrable, resistant, unaffected, invulnerable, impermeable
Antonyms: responsive, vulnerable, penetrable
Legacy(n)
money or property left through a will, something handed down from one person or generation to another.(The company founders left a legacy of competitive spirit that lives on in this corporation. The Greeks have a rich legacy of philosophical works)
Synonyms: grant, heritage, inheritance, bequest, bestowal.
Pallor(n)
an unhealthy pale appearance, an unnatural color of pale, where the person looks sick or unhealthy. (We knew Joanne was sick as soon as we saw the pallor of her face. Next ot Marc's tanned face, Joanne's seemed pallid and unhealthy.)
Synonyms: paleness
Antonyms: tan, glow
Paradox(n)
a situation or statement which seems difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics, a statement or idea that contradicts itself. (It's a curious paradox that drinking a lot of water can often make you feel thirsty)
Synonyms: contradiction, inconsistency, incongruity, reversal, puzzle, dilemma, oxymoron
Antonyms: consistency, congruity, coherence, agreement
Myopic(adj)
being nearsighted, lacking foresight or understanding, unable to understand a situation or the way actions will affect it in the future. (While baseball managers sometimes see less successful teams as being capable of developing future talent, fans tend to be more myopic, wanting to win now.)
Synonyms: nearsighted, short-sighted, narrow-minded, closed-minded.
Antonyms: provident.
Oscillate(v)
to move from side to side, to be undecided and waver back and forth about a decision or opinion, to move repeatedly from side to side or up and down between two points, or to vary between two feelings or opinions.(The needle on the dial oscillated between full and empty. My emotions oscillate between desperation and hope)
Synonyms: swing, vacillate, alternate, pendulate
Antonyms: remain, stay, settle
Insubordinate(adj,n)
a person who does not submit to authority or follow orders, not submitting to authority, disobedient or rebellious; refusing to obey orders or submit to authority.(Because the marine never followed his captain's orders, he was considered an insubordinate. Joanne defended her insubordinate behavior by exposing corruption in high places.)
Synonyms: defiant, disobedient, disorderly, rebellious, antagonistic, insurgent.
Antonyms: subordinate, complaisant, harmonious.
Lustrous(adj)
shining or gleaming. (My girlfriend has a conditioner that gives her hair a lustrous glow. Phoebe gave Joey an endearing smile and tossed her long, lustrous hair.)
Synonyms: shining, glowing, gleaming, bright, luminous, burnished.
Antonyms: dull
Homage(n)
something done to show respect and deference-a show of reverence. (In 2009 a lot of scientists will pay homage to Charles Darwin for his achievements in his field of research. Micheal paid homage to his ancestors by maintaining as many of his family's traditions as he could.)
Synonyms: honor, deference, reverence, loyalty, admiration, honor
Antonyms: disrespect
Impertinent(adj)
brash, especially in showing disrespect to a superior or to someone older, not relevant, not pertinent to the discussion or issue at hand.(The impertinent little boy was bossing his babysitter around, telling her where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do. Marc was impertinent when he asked if she was married)
Synonyms: rude, impolite, brash, irrelevant, audacious, insolent, impudent, extraneous.
Antonyms: pertinent, relevant, respectful, polite, applicable
Exotic(adj)
strikingly different, strikingly unusual and often very colorful and exciting or suggesting distant countries and unfamiliar cultures, from elsewhere introduced from another place or region.(Liz and I wanted to go somewhere exotic for my next vacation, so we chose Hawaii. Frank had a taste for exotic foods and he enjoyed eating at ethnic restaurants.)
Synonyms: foreign, tropical, rare, uncommon, unusual, curious
Antonyms: common, native
Florid(adj)
having an unhealthily glowing pink or red complexion, elaborate and overly complicated in wording and general style.(Lisa bought a florid, gilded mirror that took up most of the wall. My fair skin became florid after a day of surfing in the ocean)
Synonyms: showy, flamboyant, embellished, ornate, flowery, overblown.
Antonyms: simple, uncomplicated
Impiety(n)
lack of religious respect, a lack of due reverence for God or religion, ungodly act, an act that shows a lack of religious respect or devotion, lack of respect, a lack of respect or dutifulness. (The church accused Galileo Galilei of impiety and had all his writings burned. Lisa's impiety caused her to be ostracized by members of the church.)
Synonyms: irreverence, blasphemy, godlessness, sacrilege
Antonyms: reverence, respect, devotion
Mendacious(adj)
likely to give false information or tell lies, untrue, false, or intentionally misleading. (The newspaper has the reputation of routinely publishing mendacious stories about celebrities. Some of Marc's statements are misleading and some downright mendacious.)
Synonyms: spurious, lying, dishonest, false, fallacious, deceitful, deceptive.
Antonyms: truthful, honest.
Germane(adj)
relevant to a subject under consideration, relevant and appropriate to a given matter. (As long as Martin's ideas were germane to the business at hand, he was allowed to expound on them. Her remarks could not have been more germane to the discussion)
Synonyms: relevant, pertinent, applicable.
Antonyms: irrelevant, unsuitable
Hybrid(n, adj)
something made of different parts or elements, a plant formed by cross breeding two different types of plants, an animal resulting from the breeding of two different species, a car that runs on a combination of two types of fuel.(The architecture is a hybrid of classical and modern styles. Many of the plants in her garden are hybrids, which makes them not only uniquely beautiful but also heartier than average.)
Synonyms: mixture, compound, crossbreed
Extol(v)
to praise highly and lift someone or something up with great admiration, to praise somebody or something with great enthusiasm and admiration. (His book extolling the benefits of vegetarianism sold thousands of copies)
Synonyms: glorify, praise, hail, exalt
Antonyms: condemn, criticize, disparage
Foolhardy(adj)
bold or courageous without regard or awareness of danger. (Frank made a foolhardy attempt to climb the tree to recover his kite. It was foolhardy of Marc to approach the dog without knowing whether it was friendly or not)
Synonyms: bold, reckless, foolish, overconfident, heedless, impetuous
Antonyms: careful, prudent, cautious, sensible
Personable(adj)
having a nice, polite, and pleasant appearance and personality.(Marc didn't mind working late with Judy because she was so personable and easygoing. Frank was blessed with the most personable in laws.)
Synonyms: attractive, friendly, charming, easygoing, likeable, sociable
Antonyms: unattractive, unfriendly, unpleasant
Overwrought(adj)
extremely upset, nervous, or agitated, excessively elaborate or overly decorated.(Joanna was overwrought when her dogs got out of the apartment and were lost for several hours. Everyone in the office was overwrought with the thought that the company might go out of business)
Synonyms: agitated, frantic, nervous, frenzied, hysterical, ornate, gaudy, flamboyant
Antonyms: calm, relaxed, tranquil, simple
Solace(n,v)
comfort or consolation in a time of distress, sadness, grief, or disappointment, the act of consoling or giving relief, to console or give strength to someone, help and comfort when you are feeling sad or worried. (The tax rebate checks provided solace to many cash-strapped families. I find it helps to seek solace in the company of family and friends during times of crisis.)
Synonyms: comfort, consolation, console, cheer, relieve, assuage, soothe
Antonyms: grief, sadness, irritation, trouble, sadden, irritate
Quantum(n)
the smallest, indivisible unit of energy, a measurable amount of something, quantity: a required quantity or amount, especially an amount of money paid in recompense. (Most people do not know what quantum physics is; it is simply the physics of the smallest units of matter, like atoms. It was a revolutionary generation of computers that was a quantum leap beyond anything on the market.)
Synonyms: smallest unit of measure
Antonyms: largest unit of measure
Mercenary(adj,n)
motivated chiefly by the desire for gain, a professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army, someone interested primarily in their own gain, especially financially, greedy and interested in selfish gain.(Phil has a mercenary urge to own the latest and most expensive item in home electronics. John was a mercenary who had fought for several nations.)
Synonyms: greedy, materialistic, selfish, avaricious
Antonyms: selfless, generous, unpaid
Expansive(adj)
covering a wide range, scope or area, able to expand, with arms stretched out and open wide, happy to talk to people in a friendly way. (Frank owns a beautiful house with a wide, expansive backyard. As the river nears the end of its long journey to the sea it becomes quite expansive.)
Synonyms: wide, outstretched, extensive, expanding, spacious, talkative, jovial, outgoing
Antonyms: condensed, contracted, restricted, quiet, reserved.
Histrionic(adj)
related to acting or actors-dramatic or theatrical, melodramatic or affected, overly emotional and showy.(There's no need to be so histrionic; this isn't really that big a deal. Joanne has a penchant of histrionic temper fits with lots of throwing of dishes and door slamming.)
Synonyms: theatrical, dramatic, melodramatic, affected, sensational, insincere
Antonyms: sincere, genuine
Immaculate(adj)
perfectly clean and spotless, free from error, without blame or fault. (My aunt's kitchen was always immaculate. He gave an immaculate performance as the aging hero.)
Synonyms: clean, spotless, stainless, pristine, flawless, faultless, balmeless
Antonyms: dirty, stained, soiled, imperfect, flawed, impure
Kudos(n)
praise and honor received for an achievement. (Lise has received kudos and accolades for her work with several charity organizations.)
Synonyms: praise, recognition, glory, award, admiration
Antonyms: criticism
Molt(v)
shed old feathers, hair, or skin, to make way for a new growth. To periodically lose or shed an outer covering of skin, hair, or feathers.
(The young bird's baby feathers molted as its adult feathers grew in. The deer's winter fur molted in preparation for summer)
Synonyms: shed
Antonyms: grow
Facilitate(v)
make(an action or process) easy or easier, to make easier, to increase the likelihood of, to be of use. (Lisa wanted to meet the author, and Marc facilitated and introduction. Frank hopes to facilitate a dialogue between the two opposing factions. Phil was brought on to help facilitate communication between the different departments.)
Synonyms: ease, simplify, expedite, enable, assist, advance
Antonyms: complicate
Jibe(v,n)
to agree with or conform to something, in nautical terminology, to shift a sail from one side of a vessel to the other, an insulting remark intended to have a hurtful effect. If one statement or opinion jibes with another, it is similar to it
(Marc's sarcastic jibes during the trial got him removed from the courtroom. Lisa quit her job because her needs just didn't jibe with the company's policies.)
Synonyms: agree, conform, accord, concur, insult, mockery, ridicule
Antonyms: differ, disaree, clash, compliment
Extraneous(adj)
not essential or important; not relevant to the matter at hand, coming from outside. (Extraneous light in the camera spoiled the photo. Most of the information in Marc's lecture notes seems to be extraneous)
Synonyms: nonessential, irrelevant, immaterial, incidental
Antonyms: relevant, inherent, germane, pertinent
Efface(v)
to remove, blur, or completely eliminate, especially by rubbing off or out, to act in an inconspicuous or humble manner, especially because of shyness or modesty
(Don't be self-effacing if he compliments your hard work, simply thank him and acknowledge his compliment. It's better to accept a compliment gracefully, rather than make self-effacing remarks.)
Synonyms: erase, annul, delete, expunge
Antonyms: add, restore
Frugal(adj)
tending to spend very little money, small in expense or quantity.(Phil has always been frugal with his money, and he never has any money problems)
Synonyms: thrifty, provident, penny-pitching
Antonyms:prodigal, extravagant, lavish
Foment(v)
to cause trouble or stir up rebellion, to promote growth or development, to lessen pain by bathing in warm water. (I believe that the new technology will foment our industry and create positive change. John filed the law suit, not because he needed the money, but because he wanted to foment trouble for his former contractor. Marc was afraid that his letter might foment more tension.)
Synonyms: stir up, promote, evoke, abet, instigate
Antonyms: suppress, repress, quell
Meander(v)
If a river, stream or road meanders, it follows a route which is not straight or direct. To walk slowly without any clear direction. If a text, process or activity meanders, it has no clear direction. (We spent the afternoon meandering around the streets of the old town. The film meanders along with no particular story line.)
Synonyms: wander, twist, bend, wind, curve, snake, amble, stroll, roam.
Imminent(adj)
about to happen or likely to occur soon.(I'm sorry to tell you that with the latest threat, you and your family appear to be in imminent danger. The closing of the community center appears imminent despite the efforts of the citizens to save it.)
Synonyms: looming, forthcoming, menacing, impending
Antonyms: far-off, unlikely, distant
Palatable(adj)
describes food or drink that has a pleasant taste, acceptable. (a very palatable wine, I'm afraid the members won't find all these changes very palatable.)
Synonyms: acceptable, agreeable, appetizing, delicious, enjoyable, flavorful, yummy, tempting
Antonyms: unsavory, unappetizing, unpalatable.
Latitude(n)
freedom to behave, act or think in the way you want to, the position north or south of the equator measured from 0 to 90 degrees. (Courts can show a considerable degree of latitude when it comes to applying the law.)
Synonyms: freedom, liberty, leeway
Antonyms: restriction, restraint, constraint.
Nettle(v, n)
to annoy or irritate someone, to sting, a stinging plant with serrated leaves. (If you are going to go on the hike, watch out for stinging nettle. I've been putting off tackling the problem for too long and I think it's time to grasp the nettle.)
Synonyms: annoy, sting, irritate, tease, vex, bother, exasperate
Antonyms: soothe
Fallacy(n)
a misconception or false belief, an argument that does not work because of an error in logic or the error itself. (It is a common fallacy that women are worse drivers than men. Phil's argument is based on fallacious reasoning.)
Synonyms: misconception, error, flaw, mistake, inconsistency, falsity, sophistry
Nominal(adj)
in name or thought but not reality.
(She's the nominal head of our college - the real work is done by her deputy. For a nominal fee Just Vocabulary offers the podcast advertisement free.)
Synonyms: ostensible, insignificant, honorary, titular, trifling
Antonyms: important, real
Opportune(adj)
suitable for a purpose or occurring at the right time, happening at a time which is likely to give success or which is convenient. (The family dinner was an opportune time for us to announce our engagement. Our morning meeting will provide an opportune time to discuss our strategic plan)
Synonyms: appropriate, fitting, auspicious, timely, fortunate, fortuitous
Antonyms: inopportune
Immutable(adj)
not changing or unable to be changed
(Once my parents make a decision, it is immutable and they never change their minds. Some people regard the rules of English grammar and punctuation as an immutable, others view them as evolving.)
Synonyms: unchangeable, constant, unalterable, fixed, permanent, stable
Antonyms: changeable, mutable
Inaugurate(v)
to formally and officially put something new in place such as a government official, a building, or a new procedure, often with a special ceremony. (The Mayor is going to inaugurate the new City Hall building today at noon. Representatives from every major media outlet were present at the presidential inauguration.)
Synonyms: induct, install, dedicate, launch, debut, commence
Antonyms:stop, end, terminate
Gauche(adj)
lacking manners and proper social behavior, awkward and uncomfortable with other people, especially because young and lacking in experience. Behaving in a way that offends other people, because of not knowing what is correct or not caring about their feelings.
(Joanne had grown from a gauche teenager to a self-assured young woman. Phil's loud talking at the opera marked him as gauche and uncultured.)
Synonyms: unsophisticated, tactless, awkward, graceless, uncultured, uncouth, boorish
Antonyms: sophisticated, polite, civilized
Hasten(v)
be quick to do something; move quickly, cause to happen sooner than anticipated, to speed up the progress of an activity, to go somewhere or do something quickly and without delay.
(It was an unfortunate decision and Marc hastened to say it had nothing to do with him. Officials acted in haste, without understanding the situation)
Synonyms: speed, quicken, accelerate, hurry, expedite, rush, hustle
Antonyms: slow, delay
Extort(v)
to extract or obtain money, information, or the like, by intimidation, force, or abuse of authority, to obtain something such as money or information from somebody by using force, threats, or other unacceptable methods.
(The girl decided to extort the secret from Lisa by threatening to make up and spread a damaging secret of her own. Frank deeply regrets that he was a school bully who was used to extorting lunch money from other school kids.)
Synonyms: blackmail, bully, gouge, coerce
Finesse(n)
refinement and delicacy, subtle skill in handling or manipulating people or situations, an attempt to win a trick with a card that is not a certain winner, do in a subtle and delicate manner. (Micheal Jackson had legendary finesse on the dance floor. Lisa had such social finesse, she was able to quickly and easily solve any problem within the company. Frank did not want to stay so he tried to finesse his way out of the party.)
Synonyms: delicacy, artfulness, grace, savvy, mastery, elegance, diplomacy, discretion
Antonyms: indiscretion, clumsiness
Mentor(n)
a well-intentioned role model, advisor, and guide to someone less experienced, knowledgeable, or mature, a person who gives another person help and advice over a period of time and often also teaches them how to do their job, to serve as a conselor, teacher, or guide. (Frank mentors young talented pianists who need someone to look up to. Lisa asked her Dad's Uncle to be her mentor and guide her on her way to becoming a professional writer.)
Synonyms: advisor, guide, tutor, role model
Doggerel(n)
a verse of poetry or song that is uneven in measure and often poorly composed, usually for an intentional, comic effect.(Lisa has the doggerel from the latest soda commercial stuck in her head. The doggerel in the middle of the show made the audience laugh)
Synonyms: verse, jingle
Morass(n)
a swamp or area of low lying wetlands that make walking difficult, a difficult situation that hinders or overwhelms, an area of muddy or boggy ground, a complicated or confused situation.
(The distracted driver had driven his car off the road and into a morass. The morass of rules and regulations is delaying the start of the project.)
Synonyms: marsh, swamp, quagmire, bog, moor, mire
Mellifluous(adj)
having a pleasing or rich sound, pleasant and soothing to listen to, and sweet or rich in tone.
(I love to listen to the mellifluous sound of Yo Yo Ma cello. The opera singer's voice was rich and mellifluous.)
Synonyms: melodious, musical, sweet, honeyed, resonant
Antonyms: discordant
Neophyte(n)
beginner, a beginner or novice at something, a recent convert to a religion, a new resident of a religious community, someone who has recently become involved in an activity and is still learning about it.
(When Karen married Jim, she became a Catholic neophyte. Undergraduate students are generally neophytes in their chosen majors and need guidance from experienced professors.)
Synonyms: novice, beginner, student, rookie, amateur, convert,
Antonyms: veteran
Murmur(v,n)
a quietly spoken utterance, a subdued complaint, say something in a murmur
(A murmur of complaint was heard from the audience when the sound system failed. The students murmured something under when Marc the teacher handed out their new homework assignment.)
Synonyms: complaint, lament, mutter, mumble
Opprobrious(adj)
disgraceful; shameful, expressing harsh criticism or scorn, shameful and worthy of contempt. (The CEO had opprobrious words for his sales department after another weak month. Most people believe that cheating on your spouse is an opprobrious act.)
Synonyms: critical, scornful, derogatory, abusive, insulting, contemptible, offensive, scurrilous
Antonyms: appreciative, complimentary, proud, worthy, reputable, honorable
Phlegmatic(adj)
having a calm temperament, not readily showing emotion, unexcitable, generally unemotional and difficult to arouse. (As a footballer his great asset was his calm, phlegmatic manner. Lisa's bright hair color would shock even the most phlegmatic person.)
Synonyms: composed, calm, unemotional, apathetic, stony, stoic, nonchalant
Antonyms: animated, excited, emotional, passionate, spirited
Antonyms:
Rebuff(v,n)
to reject or refuse sharply and with criticism, a rude or curt rejection of an offer or advance, a sudden block or setback of progress, reject or snub something: to reject or snub an offer, advance, or approach made by somebody.
(Lisa asked Frank for help, but Frank rebuffed her, saying he only helped his real friends)
Synonyms: snub, reject, deny, refuse, spurn.
Antonyms: accept, approve
Querulous(adj)
tending to complain, inclined to complain or find fault, whining, whining or complaining in tone.
(The querulous woman drove her boyfriend crazy with her constant nagging. My sister is a great nurse, even the most querulous patients failed to upset her.)
Synonyms: petulant, grouchy, irritable, whiny, peevish, grumble
Antonyms: cheerful, happy, good-nature
Obtuse(adj)
annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand, slow to learn or understand, lacking insight, blunt or rounded, not sharp.
(Lisa tried to learn how the application functions, but Frank thinks she's too obtuse to ever learn how to use it. Joanne frustrated her mentor by pretending to be obtuse.)
Synonyms: dim-witted, dull, dumb, ignorant, stupid, blunt.
Antonyms: acute, sharp, keen, intelligent
Obeisance(n)
the act of obeying or behaving respectfully, a show or sign of respect such as bowing, a gesture of respect or deference.
(The servant bowed deeply in obeisance to the queen. Phil's obeisance at the meeting seemed rather formal and unnecessary)
Synonyms: respect, courtesy, bow, homage, deference, reverence
Antonyms: disrespect
Dissuade(v)
to convince or persuade someone not to do something.
(There was nothing anyone could do to dissuade Lisa from going on the dangerous trip. After a long talk, Marc was able to dissuade Joanne from marrying the man who had been unfaithful to her.)
Synonyms: deter, discourage, divert
Antonyms: persuade
Eschew(v)
to intentionally avoid something, especially on moral or practical grounds. abstain from: to avoid doing or using something on principle or as a matter of course.
(Ever since Frank stopped drinking alcohol, he has eschewed any party where he knew drinks were being served. Bill decided to eschew his friend's bachelor party, as he knew it would be wild, and his wife would not approve.)
Synonyms: avoid, evade, abstain, renounce, shun, forgo
Antonyms: choose, embrace, indulge in
Equivocal(adj)
open to question or interpretation, difficult to understand. An equivocation is a statement which is deliberately vague or ambiguous. And finally, to equivocate is to be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information.
(Marc will vote for the new candidate who never tries to equivocate. Lisa's father grew tired of Lisa equivocations and her ability to twist the truth.)
Synonyms: ambiguous, dubious, questionable, uncertain, cryptic, confusing, ambivalent, suspicious, confusing
Antonyms: clear, certain
Enervate(v)
to weaken somebody, either physically or mentally, to weaken somebody's physical, mental, or moral vitality.
(Nothing enervates me like a car alarm that beeps all night. Just the thought of speaking in public is enough to enervate me.)
Synonyms: tire, exhaust, fatigue, deplete, weaken, enfeeble.
Antonyms: strengthen, energize
Extant(adj)
describes something very old, yet still existing, not lost or destroyed.
(It was challenging for David Attenborough to track extant plant species in the rainforest, as some of them are destroyed daily. The Discovery channel did a series on extant Egyptian artifacts and their significance to the culture)
Synonyms: surviving, existent, undestroyed, remaining
Antonyms: dead, departed, destroyed, extinct, gone
Flaccid(adj)
limp, soft, lacking firmness, lacking vitality, lacking energy, lacking enthusiasm, lacking competence, lacking firmness or resilience.
(The flaccid asparagus was not well received by the food critics. In business, it is considered totally unacceptable to have a flaccid handshake.)
Synonyms: soft, weak, flimsy, lax, inelastic
Antonyms: firm, tough, strong
Exemplary(adj)
worthy of imitation, serving as a perfect model or example, designed to be severe and serve as a warning to others. (Through the exemplary jail sentence for the 15 year old, the judge hoped to curb violent behavior amongst other young gang members. Phil ran an exemplary project, which I want everyone to use as a model for future success)
Synonyms: laudable, praiseworthy, quintessential, worthy, emblematic, typical, representative
Antonyms: substandard, atypical, anomalous, reprehensible
Faction(n)
a self-seeking party or group (generally within a government) that is the dissenting minority within a larger group; this clique of partisans holds slightly different beliefs and interests than the rest of the group, party strife and intrigue.(There were two major Roman political factions: the populares and the optimates. There is a faction in the Democratic party that supports tax cuts and strong defense)
Synonyms: wing, group, dissension, strife, discord, coalition
Antonyms: entirety, total, whole, peace, unity, agreement
Grandiose(adj)
large, grand, and impressive, but sometimes also pretentious or unrealistic, larger and containing more detail than necessary, or intended to seem important or splendid. (The sight of the grandiose ballroom took our breath away. Marc fancied himself as a visionary, but his ideas were all grandiose and could never be implemented. Frank made a grandiose arrival to his high school reunion.)
Synonyms: pretentious, ostentatious, grand, unrealistic, extravagant, overblown, impressive, regal.
Antonyms: modest, simple, ordinary.
Discourse(n)
verbal communication, formal, extended expression of thought on a subject, to converse or discuss. (Marc's passionate political discourse caused a stir among students. The discourse around the dinner table mainly surrounded Frank's business plans.)
Synonyms: talk, dialogue, conversation, discussion, speech, lecture, thesis.
Antonyms: discuss, communicate, converse.
Heresy(n)
belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious doctrine, opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted. (Some famous thinkers such as Galileo were accused of heresy in their own times because their new ideas contradicted the church. Lisa thinks Marc is a heretic because Marc is not entirely convinced that Western medicine has all the answers. Lisa's belief that a split would be good for the party was regarded as heretical)
Synonyms: dissent, iconoclasm, nonconformity, dissidence
Antonyms: orthodox
Gainsay(v)
to say that something isn't true, especially by contradicting another person. (It was very difficult to gainsay Marc's claim. I hear what you are saying but I must gainsay the premise of your argument.)
Synonyms: oppose, deny, refute, disallow, dispute, question, impugn
Antonyms: agree, allow, affirm
Impromptu (adj, adv)
done without being planned, organized, or rehearsed, said or done without preparation, on the spot. (Upon receiving the award, Jim Tressel made an impromptu speech to his team. Part of the Obama and McCain debate is the impromptu question-and-answer session. Marc has an uncanny aility to deliver hilarious, impromptu speeches without any preparation or advanced notice.)
Synonyms: spontaneous, improvised, unrehearsed, extemporaneous.
Antonyms: planned, rehearsed.
Genial(adj)
good-natured and kind, mild, especially sunny and good for life or growth.(The genial sunshine and mild temperature was ideal for growing a variety of flowers and plants. Elisabeth was always a genial hostess, treating her guests with kindness and sincere attention.)
Synonyms: pleasant, mild, amicable, amiable, kind, friendly, congenial, warm, favorable
Antonyms: unfriendly, cold, hostile
Miscreant(n,adj)
someone who breaks the law or does wrong, behaving badly or lawfully.
(The museum was vandalized by a group of miscreants last night. Many people were upset that the alleged miscreant was not found guilty)
Synonyms: villain, criminal, wrongdoer, scoundrel, knave, ruffian
Antonyms: do-gooder
Inanimate(adj)
not alive, especially not in the manner of animals and humans, showing no sign of life, lifeless.
(Lisa prefers to paint still life art and inanimate objects rather than people and animals. The audience for tonight's show has proved to be a rather inanimate crowd.)
Synonyms: nonliving, inorganic, dull, lifeless, inactive, inert.
Antonyms: living, lively, animated.
Leverage(n)
power to influence people and get the results you want. (If the United Nations had more troops in the area, it would have greater leverage), the ratio between the amount of money that a company owes to banks and the value of the company, to use borrowed money to buy a company (The company is highly leveraged and struggling with interest payments.)
Synonyms: advantage, effectiveness, power, influence, support, fund, supplement, invest, clout
Antonyms: disadvantage, hindrance, weakness
Irate(adj)
indicating anger, showing or typical of great anger.
(Her boss became irate when she cost the company its biggest client. His irate neighbors yelled at him for throwing such a loud party.)
Synonyms: angry, mad, furious, fuming, enraged, annoyed.
Antonyms: calm, kind, pleased
Licentious(adj)
having little or no moral restriction, especially in sexual behavior.
(During his college years Mark engaged in a licentious lifestyle. Mark has now reformed from his licentious lifestyle to one of self-restraint and chastity. My Grandma found the licentious behavior of today's generation offensive.)
Synonyms: promiscuous, lustful, lascivious, lewd
Antonyms: chaste, virtuous
Impassive(adj)
expressionless, showing no outward sign of emotion, especially on the face, devoid of all emotion, feeling no emotions at all, either positive or negative. (When they told Lisa that she was adopted she was surprisingly impassive. An impassive expression is a real asset in a poker game.)
Synonyms: unemotional, apathetic, indifferent, inscrutable.
Antonyms: emotional, moved
Sinister(adj)
suggesting evil, threatening or suggesting malevolence, menace, or harm. Giving the impression that something harmful or evil is happening or will happen.
(The evil villain had a sinister plan to take over the world. Frank's sinister smile and squinted eyes scared the children.)
Synonyms: threatening, menacing, evil, ominous, malign, minatory, wicked, foreboding
Profusion(n)
a great deal: a large quantity of something, profuse quality, the quality of being profuse.
(Mark loved the recent profusion of books and articles on his favorite subject. The company accepted blame and sent us profuse apologies. This Spring the flowers bloomed in greater profusion than in past years.)
Synonyms: abundance, extravagance, excess, plenty, wealth, lavishness
Antonyms: sparseness, lack, shortage
Proselytize(v)
to convert or try to convert someone to a different religion
(The missionary tried to proselytize people to his religion, The cult members tried to proselytize the students. The man proselytized to Islam after falling in love with a Muslim woman.)
Synonyms: convert, change, proselyte, persuade, influence, indoctrinate.
Sinuous(adj)
curved or moving in a curved way, full of bends and curves, lithe and graceful, especially making graceful winding or curving movements.
(Lisa hated driving the sinuous roads that led up to the mountains. The man loved his wife's sinuous, feminine body. At the lectures, he tormented the teachers with sinuous questions.)
Synonyms: winding, crooked, curved, twisting, curvy, serpentine
Antonyms: straight, unbent
Refute(v)
to deny the truth of and overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof, to prove to be false or incorrect.
(Marc definitely lost that debate, Frank refuted each of Marc's points with contradicting statements. The attorneys will attempt to refute the evidence against the defendant.)
Synonyms: disprove, dispute, oppose, challenge, contradict, gainsay, negate.
Antonyms: prove, confirm, defend, corroborate.
Recuperate(v)
to recover after a sickness, to recover after a monetary loss.
(Lisa went home to recuperate from her recent surgery. Frank lost at black jack but hoped to recuperate his losses at the poker table. The bank filed for bankruptcy, but they never expected to recuperate their good financial standing so quickly.)
Synonyms: improve, heal, mend, recover, survive, regain.
Antonyms: regress, degenerate
Rend(v)
tear, split, or divide with force, to take something or somebody away using force, to pierce with a loud scream or shriek, to cause distress to somebody.
(The storm Gustav is likely to rend apart everything in its path. With one stroke of his sword, he rent his enemy's helmet in two. )
Synonyms: separate, rip, sever, sunder, cleave, lacerate, split, pierce, pull, tear.
Antonyms: attach, join, meld, unite
Propitiate(v)
win somebody's favor, to appease or conciliate somebody or something. (The CEO hoped that the refund would help to propitiate their angry customers. Marc brought donuts to work as a propitiatory gift, in hopes that everyone would forgive him for losing his temper.)
Synonyms: conciliate, appease, correct, soften, gratify, placate, pacify.
Antonyms: aggravate, annoy, irritate
Stigma(n)
sign of social unacceptability: the shame or disgrace attached to something regarded as socially unacceptable. A strong lack of respect for someone or a bad opinion of them because they have done something society does not approve of.
(There's a stigma associated with low-income food programs. The disease AIDS no longer seems to have the stigma attached to it that it had a decade ago.)
Synonyms: shame, disgrace, dishonor, reproach, scar, smudge, blemish
Antonyms: glory, honor
Tendentious(adj)
having a tendency toward something and wanting to influence others to agree with your viewpoint, especially in an argumentative way. Trying to influence opinion: written or spoken with personal bias in order to promote a cause or support a viewpoint.
(Phil's account of the events was tendentious, not to mention inaccurate. Luckily Phil's tendentious statements no longer anger his friends and family. The tendentious talk show host used his show to promote his political ideology.
Synonyms: biased, partial, inclined, argumentative
Antonyms: impartial, unbiased.
Sunder(v)
break something apart, to separate something into parts, especially by force, or be separated in this way.
(During the Cold War East and West Berlin were sundered by an impenetrable wall. The controversial issue threatened to sunder the government. The unity of the group could not be sundered.)
Synonyms: separate, divide, split, break, sever, crack.
Antonyms: assemble, join, unify
Subjugate(v)
to conquer or take control by force, to bring somebody, especially a people or nation, under the control of another. To treat yourself, your wishes or your beliefs as being less important than other people or their wishes or beliefs.
(The United States is set up in a way that ensures the government could never subjugate its people. The rebel leader's plan was to subjugate the people of the country in order to establish a new form of government. Journalists must subjugate personal political convictions to their professional commitment to fairness and balance.)
Truncate(v)
to shorten something by cutting off or removing a part, to shorten decimal number, to restrict the precision of a decimal number by limiting the digits to the right of the decimal point without rounding.
(Television coverage of the match was truncated by a technical fault. Because Lisa's report was longer than allowed, she had to truncate the ending. The movie was truncated so that it would fit the television time slot.
Uncouth(adj)
behaving in a rude, unpleasant way. Rude and without refinement.
(Frank's uncouth brother uses his shirt for a napkin. It was really uncouth of Phil to make that comment about how much more money he makes than his coworker. Joanne's new boyfriend seems like an uncouth, opinionated boor.)
Transcend(v)
be or go beyond the range or limits of, be superior to; surpass.
(Marc hopes he would gain things from soccer that transcend the game itself, like honor and good sportmanship. Lisa said that society must transcend its racial and ethnic divisions.)
Synonyms: surpass, be superior, exceed, rise above, go beyond, outshine.
Antonyms: be inferior, fail, lose
Deluge(v,n)
heavy downpour or flood, to overwhelm with a large amount of something.
(We've been deluged with replies to our advertisement. Karen was caught in a deluge on her way to the interview, and her clothing and papers were soaked. This little stream can become a deluge when it rains heavily)
Synonyms: torrent, downpour, flood, soak, cataclysm, inundate, spate, drench, soak, oversupply.
Antonyms: sprinkling, undersupply
Welter(v,n)
a large, confused, or disorderly group of things, to roll about-wallow, to be immersed in something, like a liquid.
(The report was issued amid a welter of conflicting evidence. I did not want David to welter in sorrow over his break-up, so I took him out to dinner. It's amazing that anyone survived the welter of chaos and violence during the riot. I couldn't even hear myself think in the welter of the noisy market place.)
Synonyms: confusion, turmoil, jumble, commotion
Antonyms: calm, order
Tantamount(adj)
equivalent to a particular thing in effect, outcome, or value-the same as.
(Many felt the questionable accounting practices of the company were tantamount to corporate fraud. Marc's refusal to testify was tantamount to an admission of guilt. I believe his testimony was tantamount to perjury.)
Synonyms: equal, equivalent, identical, parallel, synonymous.
Antonyms: opposite, unlike
Yoke(n,v)
a wooden bar that harnesses two animals together, a bar designed to fit across a person's shoulders so that loads can be balanced on the ends, a bond that ties, something that is restrictive or oppressive, to link or become joined together.
(The people of that country have been living under the yoke of oppression for far too long. The farmer yoked the oxen together in order to plow the field. Our creative department will have to yoke with the account service department to meet the needs of the customers.)
Synonyms: collar, harness, crosspiece, bondage, chain, enslavement, link, connection, oppression, join, bond, connect, attach.
Antonyms: disconnect, divide, separate, free ,release.
Vapid(adj)
dull, lacking interest or liveliness, insipid, lacking strength, taste, or flavor.
(A tuneful but vapid musical comedy. Joanne watched a vapid tv programme. The debate turned into a vapid conversation)
Incessant(adj)
uninterrupted and continuous, unceasing, continuing for a long time without stopping.
(Lisa's incessant questions were cute at first, but soon became very annoying. Frank's boss incessant demands are putting so much pressure on him that he's beginning to see physical signs of the strain. The city endured weeks of incessant bombing.
Synonyms: constant, unending, ceaseless, continuous, uninterrupted, perpetual
Antonyms: temporary, period
Paltry(adj)
not worthy of consideration, so small as to be contemptible.
(Joanne's paltry salary is barely enough to cover her rent. Marc was tired of Lisa's paltry excuses. The restaurant served a paltry meal, leaving everyone hungry and irritable.
Synonyms: tiny, insignificant, negligible, worthless, pathetic, scant, meager
Antonyms: large, grand, significant, substantial.
Minutiae(n)
the small, precise, or trivial details of something.
(The committee studied the minutiae of the report for hours. Comedy is so often based in the minutiae of everyday life. He had memorized the many minutiae of the legal code
Arduous(adj)
requiring great physical endurance or exertion, requiring great mental effort, steep or demanding.
(Reading War and Peace would be an arduous task, because it would require a persistent effort over a long period of time. Frank was given the arduous task of managing the global product launch in 20 countries. In those days, a trip to the Wast was an arduous journey.
Synonyms: difficult, hard, strenuous, laborious, formidable, tiring , exhausting.
Antonyms: effortless, easy
Sumptuous(adj)
of superior quality, magnificent, grand, and lavish, especially when created at great expense.
(Marc recently sold his sumptuous apartment. Frank decided to buy a sumptuous luxury car.)
Synonyms: luxurious, lavish, magnificent, deluxe, extravagant, grand, impressive, expensive
Antonyms: cheap, inferior, poor, low-key, humble, simple
Omniscient(adj)
having or seeming to have unlimited knowledge. Knowing and understanding all things.
(They give the impression that the magazine is omniscient. Marc seemed to know everything about Lisa, but surely, he couldn't be omniscient. If God is omniscient, the he knows everything that will ever happen to me in my life.
Synonyms: all-knowing, all-seeing
Antonyms: short-sighted.
Pittance(n)
a very small or inadequate amount of money.
(Marc did not accept Lisa's apology because it didn't show even a pittance of sincerity. After the attorney's fees, Phil only received a pittance of the original settlement. Fresh out of college, many young people work for a pittance just to gain some experience.
Synonyms: rationing, allowance, bit, trifle, smidgen
Antonyms: abundance, plenty
Rapacious(adj)
greedy and grasping, especially for money, and sometimes willing to use unscrupulous means to obtain what is desired, destructive and vicious, engaging in violent pillaging and likely to harm or destroy things.
Tractable(adj)
easily dealt with, controlled or persuaded.
(It can be easy for marketers to influence tractable young minds. The problem turned out to be rather less tractable than I had expected. The horse was intractable and wouldn't make a good riding horse.
Synonyms: manageable, compliant, complaisant, controllable, docile.
Antonyms: intractable, nonconforming, inflexible
Wince(v,n)
to show pain briefly and suddenly in the face, often moving the head back at the same time.
(Did I hurt you-I thought I saw you wince. It makes me wince even thinking about eye operations. Lisa gave a wince as the nurse put the needle in.)
Synonyms: flinch, recoil, shrink, cringe.
Fecund(adj)
fertile, capable of producing much vegetation or many offspring, highly imaginative, able to produce many different and original ideas.
(The avid gardener was proud of his lush and fecund garden. It was a fecund meeting that produced several new ideas for how to improve our product. Meditation creates a fecund atmosphere that enables me to think of completely original ideas.
Synonyms: fertile, productive, prolific, creative, fruitful.
Antonyms: unproductive, unimaginative, barren, impotent, infertile, sterile, feckless
Vitriolic(adj)
filled with or expressing extreme bitterness and hatred toward somebody or something.
(Marc is a writer who has often been criticized by the press but never before with such vitriol. The Mayor launched a vitriolic attack on the Police Dept Officer, accusing him of shielding mafia friends.
Synonyms: acrimonious, rancorous, bitter, caustic, mordant, acerbic
Ribald(adj)
coarsely or irreverently humorous, describes language that is humorously vulgar and sexual; a person who uses language that is humorously vulgar.
(The stand-up comedian entertained his audience with ribald jokes. The ribald made everyone at the restaurant feel uncomfortable with lewd comments about the food.
Synonyms: rude, crude, lewd, profane, vulgar, indecent
Antonyms: proper, wholesome
Divulge(v)
to make known, to reveal something, especially something private or secret.
(Marc divulged Lisa's little secret. Lisa thought she could divulge information with complete trust. Marc shouldn't divulge other people's secrets.
Synonyms: disclose, reveal, tell, expose
Antonyms: hide, mask
Presage(v,n)
to predict that something will happen, especially something unpleasant, a warning or sign of a future event, a bad or uneasy feeling of something to come.
(The October snow was a presage to a very hard winter. A sluggish stock market usually presages an economic recession. Other than some shortness of breath, he didn't have any of the signs that usually presage a heart attack.)
Synonyms: foreshadow, foretell, predict, portend, indication, prediction, forecast, omen
Trudge(n)
a long, strenuous walk, to walk in a heavy-footed, slow manner.
(Because of the heavy snow, Marc has to trudge through the snow to get to his car. Even though the task was hard, Frank decided to trudge forward rather than give up. The beautiful view from the Mount Everest was well worth the trudge to get there.
Synonyms: walk, lumber, march, tramp. plod
Antonyms: glide, float
Jocund(adj)
jolly, cheerful and full of good humor
(Jeremy performed a jocund dance at the festival. Frank's jocund personality always cheered people up. The jocund atmosphere and good moods all around the room made for a great wedding.)
Synonyms: cheerful, happy, merry, jolly, carefree, animated, jovial, spirited
Antonyms: miserable, sad, depressed
Veneer(n)
deceptive appearance, a superficial appearance or show put on to please or impress others, a thin layer of a material bonded to the surface of a less attractive or inferior material.
(The Godfather managed to hid his corrupt dealings under a veneer of respectability. The wardrobe is made of chipboard with a pine veneer. Frank had a veneer of sophistication but was really just a bully.
Synonyms: surface, lamination, layer, facade, front, false.
Gossamer(adj,n)
a fine film of cobwebs, often seen floating in the air or covered with dew on the ground, delicate fabric, a delicate, sheer fabric or gauze, something sheer and delicate: something delicate, sheer, and filmy.
(Lisa's dress swirled like gossamer. I didn't see the gossamer spider webs until the sun hit them just right.)
Synonyms: gauzy, fine, sheer, translucent.
Trenchant(adj)
expressed in a forceful, direct, and effective way, deliberately hurtful.
(With trenchant criticism, the minister said that his opponent lacked morality. There were boos and hisses during the Marc's speech, but the most trenchant comment came from his colleague. Lisa wrote a trenchant and powerful essay about World War II.
Synonyms: sarcastic, biting, clear, critical, forceful, powerful, incisive
Antonyms: indirect, flattering
Languid(adj)
lacking energy and spirit, slow moving
(During the hot and languid African summer I spent numerous hours sitting leisurely by the pool. It was clear by his languid demeanor that Frank was no longer interested in his girlfriend. Marc had been languid for several months, and his waistline showed it.)
Synonyms: sluggish, lethargic, lackadaisical, inactive, listless
Antonyms: active, spirited, energetic, lively
Halcyon(adj)
tranquil and free from disturbance or care, happy and carefree, a mythical bird thought to have brought calm to the seas.
(Lisa recalled the halcyon days of her youth. The sea went from stormy and turbulent to calm and halcyon. I love the lake when it is serene and halcyon.
Synonyms: peaceful, placid, calm, tranquil, serene, balmy, golden
Antonyms: turbulent, hectic, unhappy
Falter(v)
to lose strength or purpose and stop, or almost stop, to move awkwardly as if you might fall.
(The dinner party conversation faltered for a moment. Her friends never faltered in their belief in her. Nigel's voice faltered and he stopped speaking. The nurse saw him falter and made him lean on her)
Jettison(v)
to discard or abandon something such as an idea or project, to throw something form a ship, aircraft, or vehicle.
(As ratings dropped, the station jettisoned its educational podcasts. Seawater filled the Titanic so rapidly that Leonardo began to frantically jettison unnecessary items. Microsoft was forced to jettison some of their ideas when it became clear that their plans were too elaborate.
Synonyms: abandon, cast off, discard, expel, unload, eliminate.
Antonyms: keep, retain
Insolent(adj)
disrespectful and rude, unrestrained by convention.
(The insolent child always talked back to his mother. The lawyer's insolent behavior got him thrown out of the courtroom. That kind of insolence will not be tolerated in my classroom.)
Synonyms: impolite, rude, disrespectful, insulting, arrogant
Antonyms: respectful, considerate, polite
Revive(v)
to bring back to life, to give new life or energy to something, to restore and renew.
(A hot shower and a cup of tea will revive you. Traditional skills are being revived by local craftsmen. The paramedics revived the unconscious man after several minutes.)
Synonyms: restore, rejuvenate, revitalize, resurrect, refresh, renew.
Antonyms: extinguish, kill
Pontificate(v)
speak pompously, to speak about something as if you are the authoritative expert on the subject.
(Experts get on the tube and pontificate about the economy. I have a feeling he's going to get up and pontificate about the subject as if he's the foremost authority.)
Synonyms: expound, expatiate
Antonyms: ask, deliberate
Virtuous(adj)
with moral integrity, having or showing moral goodness or righteousness, a good moral quality in a person, or the general quality of goodness in a person.
(I;ve been up working since six o'clock this morning so I'm feeling very virtuous. He described them as a virtuous and hard-working people. I'm convinced he only does that charity work so that he can feel virtuous.
Synonyms: moral, ethical, honest, conscientious, scrupulous
Antonyms: virtueless, immoral, unethical, dishonest
Strident(adj)
harshly loud, grating, and offensive, loudly, strongly or urgently expressed.
(People are put off by his strident voice. The strident committee member openly complained during the meeting. Whenever Lisa drinks too much, her voice becomes strident.
Synonyms: harsh, shrill, noisy, loud, vulgar
Antonyms: respectful, quiet, reserved
Drawl(n)
a way of speaking in which the speaker draws out the vowel sounds and pronounces words slowly
(Frank drawled when he spoke, so that all his words ran together as one. I find his Texas drawl to be rather charming
Synonyms: accent
Antonyms: enunciation
Vociferous(adj)
shouting noisily, shouting in a noisy and determined way.
(The vociferous coach yelled at the players throughout the entire game. Vociferous people express their opinions and complaints loudly and repeatedly in speech, and vociferous demand are mad repeatedly and loudly.
Synonyms: loud, boisterous, clamorous, noisy, shrill, vocal
Antonyms: quiet, silent
Inveterate(adj)
fixed in a habit or practice, especially a bad one, firmly established and of long standing.
(Frank was an inveterate smoker and there was little hope of him being able to quit. Even after retiring from the army, he was unable to discontinue his inveterate visual scanning of a room. Tracy is known as an inveterate liar, so beware of believing her.
Synonyms: habitual, confirmed, chronic, abiding, customary, protracted
Antonyms: intermittent, temporary, occasinal
Fatuous(adj)
showing lack of intelligence or thought combined with complacency.
(My hopes of manning a space shuttle are fatuous. I couldn't believe Mugabe's fatuous statement to the press. Phil is not very smart and is known for making fatuous comments before thinking them through.)
Synonyms: asinine, imbecile, ludicrous, moronic, vacuous, delusive, stupid, foolish, unreal
Antonyms: brilliant, intelligent, smart, wise, knowing
Harangue(v,n)
a forceful, public criticism made in a speech or sometimes in writing, to criticize or question somebody, or try to persuade somebody to do something in a forceful angry way.
(Frank's lawyer made comments, which were marked by a vicious harangue against the defendant. Joanne's parents will sometimes come up to her room and harangue her for playing her music too loud. Marc delivered a long harangue to his students.)
Synonyms: lecture, invective, diatribe, tirade, rant, attack.
Antonyms: encomium
Pluck(n)
courage and determination
(Lisa's got a lot of pluck to stand up for herself like that. My grandfather is 85 but he has a lot of pluck. Phil never shown a lot of pluck and routinely lets people walk all over him.
Synonyms: courage, spirit, heart, determination, fortitude, bravery
Antonyms: cowardice, indifference
Insular(adj)
not interested in new or foreign ideas, originating on an island, alone, like and island.
(Marc's insular attitude toward foreign cultures restricted his desire to travel. My sister was quite happy to grow up in her insular environment, but once she got older, she was ready to break free and explore the world. Many older people cling to insular beliefs without ever considering other people's opinions)
Synonyms: narrow-minded, provincial, conservative, confined.
Antonyms: broad-minded, open, welcoming.
Respite(n)
a pause from doing something, often for relaxation, a usually short interruption of relief in the intensity or amount of something, especially harm or discomfort, a temporary suspension of a punishment.
(We needed a few moments of respite in the shade during our strenuous marathon. Lisa worked in the garden all day, with only five minutes of respite for a drink of water. The end of the difficult project was in sight, and I looked forward to some respite.
Synonyms: pause, rest, reprieve, suspension, hiatus, reprieve
Antonyms: continuation
Transitory(adj)
not permanent or lasting, but existing only for a short time.
(The Dutch soccer team took early but transitory lead in the first half of Sunday's game. According to the government, the sudden shift in consumer spending will prove to be transitory.
Synonyms: temporary, short-term, short-lived, momentary, transient
Antonyms: lengthy, long-lived, permanent.
Stratify(v)
to make, arrange, or divide into layers, to divide into social status groups, to preserve seeds for germination by placing between layers of earth.
(Marc stratified the research document into several smaller reports. The professor stratified our research group by age and level of education. Alcoholism is an epidemic that has touched every stratum of our society)
Synonyms: tier, layer, divide, classify
Furtive(adj)
secretive, done in a way that is intended to escape notice. Shifty, presenting the appearance, or giving the impression, of somebody who has something to hide.
(Marc knew what Frank was about to say and shot his friend a furtive glance. James Bond's actions were furtive enough not to arouse suspicion. Lisa's furtive manner made Phil question what exactly he was up to.
Synonyms: stealthy, shifty, sneaky, secretive, surreptitious
Antonyms: open, obvious
Foible(n)
weakness or quirk, an idiosyncrasy or small weakness.
(Frank overcame his foible of chronic tardiness. The foible portion of the fencing sword blade is weaker, but has more agility and speed. Interrupting people while they are speaking is probably Marc.s greatest foible.
Synonyms: imperfection, shortcoming, defect, quirk
Antonyms: strength, perfection
Intercede(v)
to plead on behalf of someone, especially when the person is about to be punished, to act as a mediator.
(I would be thankful if you would intercede in this matter on my behalf. Marc asked his friend to intercede with the journalist)
Synonyms: mediate, advocate, intervene, assist, arbitrate, intrude
Antonyms: antagonize
Mandatory(adj)
compulsory, needing to be done, followed, or complied with, usually because of an official requirement, resembling or having the power to mandate.
(It's mandatory to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. To become a diver you must undergo a mandatory drug test before you apply for this position.)
Synonyms: compulsory, imperative, obligatory.
Antonyms: voluntary, optional, elective
Nascent(adj)
just beginning to develop, in the process of emerging, being born, or starting to develop, produced in reaction medium, in the process of being created in a reaction medium, often in a highly active form.
(The nascent space industry is already beginning to garner results. Although we are still in our nascent stages, we certainly have high hopes for the future. Lisa's mom was very lucky they caught the cancer early, because in its nascent stages, it is still highly treatable.)
Synonyms: new, primary, initial, developing, evolving, growing, incipient.
Antonyms: old, dying
Penury(n)
state of extreme poverty.
(Marc's dad is a gambler and he spent his entire fortune and died in penury. Lisa may have had a penurious childhood, but she is quiet rich now. The lottery winner went from penury to wealth overnight.
Synonyms: poverty, misery, destitution, misfortune, affliction, indigence.
Antonyms: wealth, abundance, affluence
Scathe(v)
criticize somebody, to subject somebody to severe criticism.
(Newspaper cartoonists scathed the dishonest politician with a series of cruel caricatures. The angry employee wrote a scathing letter to the CEO. Marc's scathing review of the movie changed my mind about wanting to see it.
Tonic(adj)
lifting the spirits and creating feeling of general well-being, designed or serving to boost energy and generally create a feeling of strength and health.
(The romantic comedy was a tonic for his saddened heart. A cold beer is a great tonic on a hot summer day. My dad's grandchildren are a perfect tonic for him.
Synonyms: medicine, remedy, refresher, refreshing drink
Wane(v,n)
show less lighted area (waning moon) or to get smaller or less, to decrease gradually in intensity or power. To finish, to draw to a close.
(We wanted to hike this weekend, but when we hear the weather forecast, our enthusiasm waned. As the restaurant gained popularity, the quality of the food seemed to wane. My cravings for hamburgers gradually waned as I began to eat less of them.)
Synonyms: decline, decrease, fade, diminish, subside, abate.
Antonyms: grow, increase, intensify
Vindictive(adj)
vengeful, looking for revenge or done through a desire for revenge, spiteful, feeling, showing, or done through a desire to hurt somebody.
(Don't offend Marc, he has a very vindictive personality. Marc can be spiteful and vindictive if he thinks he's been wronged in some way. Even though I was badly hurt by Marc's actions, I chose to forgive him rather than be vindictive.
Synonyms: vengeful, spiteful, malicious, vicious, resentful
Antonyms: forgiving
Fulminate(v)
to vehemently criticize or denounce, to explore loudly and violently.
(Frank is always fulminating about how bad our government is. The new CEO fulminated against recent lapses in customer service. The lightning was followed by a large roar of fulminating thunder)
Synonyms: criticize, denounce, castigate, declaim, censure, flare, foam, rage, bristle
Antonyms: appease, calm, assuage
Fervid(adj)
glowing or burning with intense heat, describes an impassioned, zealous spirit or enthusiasm toward one's beliefs.
(It is our fervent hope that a peaceful solution will soon be found. Jeremy is fervid in his support of Barack Obama. Carl Sagan was the most fervid advocate of space exploration.)
Synonyms: burning, fiery, hot, torrid, blazing, impassioned, vehement, zealous, eager
Malinger(v)
to feign illness in order to avoid obligations, especially work.
(Marc was just malingering when he called in sick. Marc got caught malingering in the office and he was let go. I would love to malinger today in order to surfing.)
Synonyms: duck, dodge, loaf, pretend.
Antonyms: oblige
Insulate(v)
to protect something or prevent the transfer to heat, cold, or sound by surrounding it in insulating materials, to isolate or set apart.
(It is difficult to insulate your children from all the violence shown on TV. The builders used insulation to prevent our house from becoming too cold in the winter. Lisa insulated herself from office politics by not socializing with her coworkers.
Synonyms: cover, protect, cushion, encase, shield, isolate, separate, sequester
Antonyms: expose
Scanty(adj)
smaller than what is desired, barely enough.
(Namibia expects another drought this year because of scanty rainfall. Lisa quit her job because of her scanty wage. That club downtown is well known for its scantily-clad dancers.)
Synonyms: deficient, insufficient, meager, skimpy, sparse, stingy.
Antonyms: excessive, sufficient, ample
Nefarious(adj)
very wicked or evil.
(The CEO offered his employees nefarious schemes. That single nefarious act made Frank's dad infamous as a crook. The Godfather was convicted for committing murder and many other nefarious acts.)
Synonyms: evil, wicked, bad, villainous, heinous, treacherous, base, depraved.
Antonyms: good, kind, moral.
Vicarious(adj)
experienced as a result of watching, listening to or reading about the activities of other people, rather than by doing the activities yourself.
(I felt vicarious pain when Lisa told me about how she had accidentally cut herself. I felt vicarious excitement to hear that Frank was going for a surf. Most football fans experience the vicarious thrill of victory every time their team wins.)
Synonyms: indirect, secondary, surrogate, sympathetic
Antonyms: first-hand, direct
Perfidy(n)
a betrayal of trust and faith, an act of treachery.
(Marc is remembered for his perfidy more than for anything else. Marc's perfidious actions shocked his students. Frank is a loyal and patriotic man who would never commit perfidy.)
Synonyms: deception, dishonesty, disloyalty, betrayal, treachery, trickery.
Antonyms: loyalty, faithfulness, honesty.
Tirade(n)
a long, angry speech, usually denouncing something.
(Marc's tirades can sometimes make me sick to my stomach. Marc's tirade seemed excessive, given that the situation was not all that serious. Marc launched into a tirade about the importance of studying with SAT Flashcards.)
Synonyms: harangue, fulmination, diatribe, rant
Whet(v)
to stimulate an interest in something or intensify a feeling, to sharpen something, like a knife.
(Lisa decided to whet my appetite by having starters before dinner. Marc will have to whet the knife before using it. The small bite of that brownie, whet my appetite for dessert.)
Synonyms: arouse, excite, stimulate, spur, awaken, sharpen, hone, grind.
Antonyms: bore, dull, blunt
Frivolous(adj)
not serious in content, attitude, or behavior; not having any serious purpose or value, lacking in intellectual substance and not worth serious consideration, silly and trivial.
(The judge dismissed the case as frivolous. My dad said to watch my spending and avoid frivolous purchases. The frivolity with which Marc approached the situation showed that he wasn't serious.)
Synonyms: silly, trivial, senseless, paltry, petty
Antonyms: important, pertinent, relevant.
Fiasco(n)
a thing that is a complete failure, in a ludicrous or humiliating way.
(The rain turned the celebration into a fiasco. A drunk debater turned the debate into a fiasco. I got sick and my wife got robbed; I would say the holiday was a fiasco.)
Synonyms: failure, disaster, embarrassment, blunder, breakdown, debacle, flop
Antonyms: success, accomplishment.
Saturnine(adj)
gloomy, bitter, and overly serious.
(The college students were in a saturnine mood after they got caught drinking alcohol. Marc was in a seriously bad mood which was made clear by his saturnine behavior. Marc used to be happy and easy going, but he has turned saturnine over the years.)
Synonyms: irritable, grouchy, harsh, gruff, crabby.
Antonyms: happy, pleasant, sweet
Ingenious(adj)
clever and imaginative, skillful and adept.
(Faced with a credit crisis, the President up with an ingenious proposal. The book was ingenious, with a clever, intricate plot and a surprise ending I never saw coming. Carl Sagan is an ingenious artist and scientist.)
Synonyms: brilliant, talented, bright, gifted, clever, imaginative, skilled.
Nebulous(adj)
not clear, distinct, or definite.
(Marc's goals for the future were nebulous. The CEO said that the current plan is nebulous and does not specifically address our weaknesses. The doctor delivered only a nebulous document that failed to provide any definitive recommendations.)
Synonyms: indistinct, vague, unclear, ambiguous, unfixed, confused.
Antonyms: distinct, defined, specific.
Patent(adj)
easily perceived, very obvious.
(The earth is not orbiting around the moon; that's a patent lie. Spitting in the police officer's face was a patent disregard for the law. It could not be more patently obvious that he is in love with her.)
Synonyms: obvious, clear, evident, apparent.
Antonyms: obscure, ambiguous, unclear, incomprehensible
Wry(adj)
combining amusement and irony for dry humor-sardonic. temporarily contorted or bent to one side.
(Marc's wry smile led me to believe Lisa was being sarcastic. Some people were offended by his wry humor. Mr Colbert wry commentary on the state of world affairs made him very popular.)
Synonyms: sarcastic, sardonic, cynical, crooked, ironic, mocking.
Antonyms: serious, solemn, sober, straight.
Verdant(adj)
covered with green vegetation, green in color.
(My favorite part of our trip to South Africa was observing the beautiful wildlife of its verdant Kruger Wildpark. Her verdant wine lands of Stellenbosch were nearly destroyed by last year's drought. The cows and sheep grazed in the verdant countryside.)
Synonyms: green, blooming, fresh, grassy, flourishing, lush, leafy
Antonyms: barren, brown
Malleable(adj)
easily influenced, trained, or controlled.
(Dad wanted me to be a malleable boy who would take his advice. Lead is a substance that is malleable that is easily bent and shaped. The Netherlands saw its colonies as a source of raw material and a malleable workforce.
Synonyms: susceptible, pliable
Threadbare(adj)
(of material) looking worn and thin from much use. A threadbare excuse, argument or idea lacks strength and no longer impresses people because it is old or has been used too much.
(Lisa's clothes were faded and threadbare. The movie was a tissues of threadbare cliche
Synonyms: worn, well-worn, old, thin, worn out, holey, moth-eaten.
Mischievous(adj)
tending to or exhibiting reckless playfulness. (of a person, animal, or their behavior) causing or showing a fondness for causing trouble in a playful way, causing or intended to cause harm or trouble.
(My little sister had been so mischievous that Mom had to pay the babysitter extra. Later my sister got punished for her mischievous tricks on the neighbors. The opposition spreads mischievous gossip that ruined the president's good reputation.)
Synonyms: misbehaving, troublesome, playful, teasing, wicked, naughty
Antonyms: well-behaved.
Deplete(v)
to use up the supply of, exhaust the abundance of, to diminish in number of quantity.
(Our food supplies are depleting fast. In todays busy world, it's difficult to avoid getting depleted and depressed. The miners depleted the vein of gold after month of working.)
Synonyms: exhaust, use up, consume, expend, drain.
Antonyms: augment.
Lugubrious(adj)
very sad and depressed, mournful, looking or sounding sad and dismal.
(Marc was in a lugubrious state for weeks, after being dismissed from the university. I tried to lighten Marc's lugubrious mood with some cheery music. But his lugubrious heart felt like it would never feel joy again after his dismissal.)
Synonyms: sad, gloomy, mournful, melancholy, dismal, morose, dreary, funereal, somber
Antonyms: happy, lighthearted, joyous
Daunt(v)
to frighten or intimidate.
(Lisa was not at all daunted by the size of the project. Eddy Murphy was undaunted by the lack of laughter and continued his stand-up routine with a smile on his face. The raging inferno didn't daunt the firefighters for a moment.)
Synonyms: frighten, dismay, frustrate, discourage, subdue.
Antonyms: hearten, arouse, encourage.
Encumber(v)
to burden or weigh down, to impede, hamper, or hold back, restrict or burden (someone or something) in such a way that free action or movement is difficult.
(When you're climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the fewer encumbrances the better. To encumber Frank with this additional problem may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. The monk's movements were encumbered by her heavy skirts)
Synonyms: burden, impede, hamper, hinder.
Antonyms: help, speed, lighten.
Incipient(adj)
in an initial stage, beginning to happen or develop. In the beginning of development or formation.
(The system detects incipient problems early. Marc's ideas were still incipient and vague; he needed to work them out in more detail. Democracy is incipient in this African country, give it sometime to take hold.)
Synonyms: emerging, nascent, initial, beginning, developing, growing, inchoate
Antonyms: developed, finished, full-blown
Rampart(n)
a defensive fortification, specifically, a mound of earth topped by a wall.
(I got lost after wandering around the castle's old ramparts and towers)
Synonyms: fortification, barrier, embankment, wall
Antonyms: opening, passage
Tawdry(adj)
gaudy and cheap in quality, mean-spirited and lacking human decency.
(Lisa's tawdry outfit was in bad taste for the occasion. Lisa had tawdry rings she wore on her fingers.)
Synonyms: cheap, flashy, shameful, gaudy, glitzy
Antonyms: reserved, precious, valuable
Unflappable(adj)
composed and able to remain calm when facing difficult situations. Having or showing calmness in a crisis.
(I voted for him because I think he is an unflappable leader who will stay calm in this frenetic, high-pressure environment. The witness remained unflappable during the FBI interrogation and he calmly answered the officer's barrage of questions. Richard Dawkings is a great debater, because he is unflappable and he always takes his time to calmly answer the question.
Synonyms: composed, calm, cool.
Antonyms: flustered, nervous, anxious, disturbed.
Verbose(adj)
using or expressed in more words than are needed.
(Many first year students think that much academic language is obscured and verbose. Try not to be verbose when you're being interviewed. The CEO had to plow through a verbose letter of complaint.)
Synonyms: wordy, loquacious, garrulous.
Antonyms: succinct, laconic
Flout(v)
to show contempt or disregard for a law or convention by openly disobeying or defying it. Openly disregard (a rule, law or convention)
The new intern flouted the company dress code by wearing torn jeans.
The brave opposition leader plans to flout the dictator's censorship laws.)
Synonyms: spurn, deride, gibe, mock
Antonyms: obey, follow
Platonic(adj)
free from physical desire (as in love), referring to Plato and his philosophies.
(Although Frank and Lisa spent a lot of time together, their relationship was only platonic. Although it was strictly platonic, many other teachers couldn't accept Marc's close relationship with one of his female student.)
Synonyms: non-physical, intellectual, spiritual, non-lustful
Antonyms: amorous, sensual
Embezzle(v)
to use or take entrusted money for personal gain, steal or misappropriate (money placed in one's trust or belonging to the organization for which one works)
(His plan to embezzle money from the bank was unsuccessful. Underestimation of the CEO led to the quiet employee's successful large-scale embezzlement of funds)
Coalesce(v)
to unite, fuse, or grow together; come together and form one mass or whole, to form a group from different elements.
(At the end of each season, the best players from each NBA team coalesce to form the NBA All-Stars. We need to coalesce our resources in order to provide a truly global solution on global warming)
Synonyms: unite, consolidate, fuse
Antonyms: divide, split, separate
Ingenuous(adj)
to be innocent and trusting, sometimes to the point of being foolish, openly candid and sincere.
(It was very ingenuous of Marc to give out his personal information over the internet. My daughter's ingenuous comment about religion made the priest laugh.)
Immure(v)
to enclose or confine (someone) against their will. To close or shut in by or as if by barriers. To put in or as if in prison.
(The adventurer was immured by the frozen wastelands that surrounds them. Rapunzel was immured in her tower by her evil stepmother. Lisa's brother was immured in a lunatic asylum.)
Prudish(adj)
overly concerned with being modest or proper. Prude(n) a person who is or claims to be easily shocked by matters relating to sex or nudity.
(I don't think Lisa would enjoy Amsterdam's Red Light district; she's far too prudish. On the other hand Lisa was prudish in high school, perhaps she changed over the years.)
Malcontent(adj, n)
an unhappy and discontented individual, especially one who feels oppressed or is in open rebellion against his or her government, dissatisfied or unhappy with something.
(The streets in every town in Zimbabwe are filled with malcontents carrying protest signs. Cathy was malcontent at her current job and was looking to find something better.)
Recant(v)
to renounce a, usually controversial, belief; to take back a statement made earlier.
(When Martin Luther espoused views that opposed the traditional beliefs of the Catholic Church, religious leaders asked him to recant. Marc had to recant his statement when he found that many of the sources had been falsified. The newspaper was forced to recant Marc's published article.)
Quixotic(adj)
extremely chivalrous, motivated by idealism that is imaginative but not really practical, having and idealistic or romanticized view of life.
(Marc had a quixotic idea, but it was not completely far-fetched. Frank was a quixotic man who always opened the door for women. John's quixotic plan of the perfect way to propose to Elizabeth proved to be too difficult to execute.)
Caricature(v,n)
an extreme description or exaggeration of someone or something done for comic effect, creation of such comic representations. A caricature can be created in drawing, writing, or even speech.
(Marc's brother creates caricatures of popular political figures for the SAT and TOEFL magazine. I am not caricaturing your brother. There are many cartoonists who draw caricatures of tourist along the banks of the Seine in Paris)
Jaded(adj)
dulled through repetition or excess, no longer interested in something, often because of having been overexposed to, exhausted from overwork or overexposure, hardened, insensitive, or dispassionate due to unpleasant experience.
(Looking for something to refresh his zest for life, the jaded CEO decided to sail around the world. The CEO's pessimistic speech left the employees jaded and depressed. Marc has been through so much hardship in his life that his views of religion are quiet jaded.
Dogma(n)
a religious doctrine, a code of beliefs. A fixed, especially religious, belief or set of beliefs that people are expected to accept without any doubts.
(His political dogma paralleled that of the democratic party. This company has always operated under the dogma that employees must be respected and compensated fairly.)
Concord(n)
harmony and agreement occurring in attitudes and feelings between persons or things, a treaty establishing mutual agreement and friendly relations between countries, to be in agreement.
(I can definitely concord on your point, but you should hear my ideas as well. Sue and Sally work well in concord.)
Harbinger(n,v)
a sign or indication of future events, to foreshadow or announce something coming in the future.
(The turning of the leaves is a harbinger of winter. Their arguments were harbingers of more serious trouble in their marriage)
Instigate(v)
to provoke, incite, or start something, to cause an event or situation to happen by making a set of actions or a formal process begin.
(The government will instigate new measures to combat terrorism. The revolt in the north is believed to have been instigated by a high-ranking general.)
Panache(n)
a dashing sense of style and self-confidence.
(Bill Clinton presents with a panache that immediately captures his audience's attention. Paris Hilton always throws parties that demonstrate her panache for entertaining.)
Mollify(v)
to calm or soothe somebody who is angry or upset, to make something less intense or severe, to make something less hard, rigid, or stiff.
(Marc is really upset; we need to think of how we can mollify his concerns. Marc practiced yoga after work to mollify his stress)
Abstemious(adj)
marked by moderation and temperance in indulgence (especially with food and drink)
(My mother was an abstemious woman who disapproved of self-indulgence. In many abstemious cultures, people abstain from drinking any kind of alcohol)
Rancor(n)
strong, bitter feelings of resentment.
(Surprisingly there was no rancor between the prosecution and defense attorneys once the trial ended. Lisa's rancor for her opponent was deep-seated and was fed by feelings of hostility)
Tangent(n)
Go off a tangent means a subject or activity that is different than the on you are talking about or doing, to suddenly start talking or thinking about a completely new subject.
(It's hard to get a firm decision out of him, he's always going off at a tangent)
Rotund(adj)
fat or round in shape, full and rich sounding.
(The rotund man was asked to play Santa Claus at the holiday party each year. Pavarotti usually has a rotund singing voice, but his last concert was a little flat.)
Gloat(v)
to be smug or self-satisfied or to gain satisfaction from success, good fortune, or the failings of others.
(Please don't gloat over your victory, it's very unbecoming. Every time Marc wins an argument, he gloats for hours)
Rhetoric(n)
speech or writing used to influence or persuade, complex or elaborate language that sounds pretentious, empty and pointless talk
(The Ministers' big plans are just rhetoric, if not followed by implementation. The presentation of the party was typical political rhetoric; a lot of proposed programs, without any accountability. Do you really want an answer, or was that a rhetorical question?)
Revile(v)
to attack somebody verbally, to use abusive language.
(The judge was reviled in the newspapers for his opinions on rape. Works of art are often reviled when they are first produced. Jack's mistake wasn't so awful that you should revile him publicly.)
Cavalier(adj)
showing careless disregard and disrespect for something or somebody.
(A cavalier attitude toward public health concerns. Mark's cavalier attitude has made him very unpopular around the office. The executive team's cavalier approach to spending, quickly dried up the company's cash reserve.)
Sage(adj)
having wisdom which usually comes from age or experience, wise, especially as a result of great experience.
(Joanne was unusually sage for her youth. I was thankful for Lisa's sage advice and glad that I had followed it)
Sordid(adj)
dirty or rundown, immoral or unethical.
(There are lots of really sordid apartments in the city's poorer area. Sordid can also mean immoral and shocking. He told me he'd had an affair but he spared me the sordid details)
Exalt(v)
to raise someone to higher rank or more powerful position, to praise someone a lot, or to raise someone to a higher rank or more powerful position.
(Popular support and media hype have exalted Super Bowl Sunday to the level of a national holiday. He felt and exalted sense of power now that he was in line to run the company.)
Coax(v)
to influence, persuade, and manipulate by flatter and gentle, persistent effort.
(Trying to coax Dad into taking us on a ski trip, we mentioned what a great skier he is. He has some information I want, so I'm going to try to coax it out of him over a drink. A mother was coaxing her reluctant child into the water.)
Crass(adj)
vulgar and insensitive, without consideration for how other people might feel.
(The Olympics as shown on TV represents crass commercialism, he said. He made crass comments about her worn-out clothes.)
Quaff(v)
to gulp down a drink in a hearty, spirited manner.
(He opened his throat and quaffed the beer in just two swallows. The thirsty dog happily quaffed his water.)
Surrogate(n)
a person who acts in place of another, especially in an official capacity, something that takes the place of another, taking the place of something.
(When the President cannot make it to an engagement, the Vice President often serves as his surrogate. She seems to regard him as a surrogate for her father. For some people, reading travel books is a surrogate for actual travel.
Intrinsic(adj)
being part of the fundamental nature or substance of something, being contained entirely within a part of the body.
(The geologist recognized the intrinsic value of the gemstone the instant he saw it. Maths is an intrinsic part of the school curriculum. Each human being has intrinsic dignity and worth)
Botch(v)
to spoil something by doing it badly. To make or do something in a clumsy or unskillful way.
(We botched up our first attempt at wallpapering the bathroom. Our landlord redecorated the bedroom, but it was such a botched job that we decided to redo it. Thousands of women are infertile as a result of botched abortions.)
Purport(v,n)
to claim that something is true, but without proof, the idea that is conveyed or intended to be conveyed to the mind by language, symbol, or action, to pretend to be or to do something, especially in a way that is not easy to believe, the general meaning if someone's words or actions.)
(I didn't read it all but I think the purport of the letter was that he will not be returning for at least a year. They purport to represent the wishes of the majority of parents at the school. The study purports ti show an increase in the incidence of the disease.)
Insurgency(n)
An organized rebellion aimed at overthrowing a government, organization, or leadership.
(Many businesses are afraid to invest in the country while the rebel insurgency is underway. An employee insurgency aimed at ousting executive management erupted when the management announced another pay freeze.
Misogynist(n)
someone, usually a man, who hates women or believes that men are much better than women.
(She left the Church because of its misogynist teachings on women and their position in society. That movie is criticized for its misogynistic.
Delineate(v)
to describe, portray, or list in detail, to indicate the physical boundaries of something.
(The President's memo delineates the necessary steps we'll need to take before the merger can take place. Barbed wire fences delineate the boundaries of each clan's territory. The boundary of the park is delineated by a row of trees.)
Stoop(v)
to descend to level that is beneath one's dignity, to do something even though you know it is wrong, because you think it will give you an advantage. to bend the top half of the body forward and down. If someone stoops, their head and shoulders are always bent forwards and down.
(The doorway was so low that we had to stoop to go through it. Something fell out of her coat pocket and she stooped down and picked it up. I'm a desperate woman but I wouldn't stoop to blackmail. No reputable company would stoop to selling the names of their clients to other companies.)
Pundit(n)
someone who is especially knowledgeable about a subject and is often asked to give opinions about it.
(The professor also served as a political pundit for the local news. On the news program, two pundits debated about the economy)
Autonomous(adj)
existing as an independent entity (especially government), free from external constraint, able to make free and independent decisions.
(Some people have expressed the opinion that California should secede from the United States and become an autonomous government. I'm sorry, but you just don't have the autonomy to make those kinds of decisions on your own, next time, check with me first. Our group retains the right to make autonomous decisions without input from the board of directors.)
Indomitable(adj)
hard to defeat or subdue, impossible to subdue or defeat, describes someone strong, brave, determined and difficult to defeat or frighten.
(The indomitable Mrs Furlong said she would continue to fight for justice. An indomitable spirit was needed to endure the rigors of pioneer life.)
Intelligible(adj)
clear enough to be understood, capable of being understood or comprehend.
(She was so upset when she spoke that she was hardly intelligible. It was a poor telephone connection, and only some of his words were intelligible.)
Relent(v)
to grow less in scope or intensity especially gradually, to act in a less severe way toward someone and allow something that you had refused to allow before.
(Her parents eventually relented and let her go to the party. The security guard relented and let them through. The fury of the storm relented, and the next day the sun finally broke through the clouds)
Apprehensive(adj)
worried that something bad may happen, aware of possible implications. The noun apprehension refers to nervousness or anxiety over something that is anticipated. It can also refer to the ability to understand the importance of something and is a more formal way to denote understanding.
(Lisa was apprehensive before the big exam, but once it began, she realized she knew the material. Jason's apprehension of the complexity of the situation led the group to choose him as the new director.)
Concede(v)
to admit, usually with reluctance, that something is true of that someone is right, to accept defeat, usually before the final outcome in an election, fight, or debate, to grant something, such as right or privilege.
(Al Gore originally conceded the election to George W. Bush, but the withdrew his concession and challenged the vote count.)
Synonyms: admit, acknowledge, surrender, accede, accord, acquiesce, grant.
Surmise(n,v)
a guess based on incomplete facts; to guess that something is true based on limited facts or intuitive feelings.
(Since Mike has a broken leg, it is safe to surmise that he will not be going on the ski trip this weekend.)
Synonyms: speculation, assumption, conclusion, inference, speculate, guess, assume
Dwindle(n)
to become small in size or amount, or fewer in number.
(The community has dwindled to a tenth of its former size in the last two years. Her hopes of success in the race dwindled last night as the weather became worse.)
Slink(v)
to walk or leave quietly because you do not want to be noticed or are ashamed of something, to walk away from somewhere quietly so that you are not noticed.
(I tried to slink out of the room so that nobody would see me go. He usually slinks off at about 3.30. I was so embarrassed that I tried to slink away.)
Dulcet (adj)
sweet to the taste, pleasing to the ear, generally pleasing or agreeable.
(Record the dulcet tones of your family and friends)
Breezy(adj)
having a relaxed, casual manner, to be happy and confident, quick, informal, and confident, marked by strong wind than usual.
She revolutionized fashion reporting with her breezy style. I get a bit depressed at times, whereas Gill's always bright and breezy.)
Negate(v)
to declare not be true, show to be false, to cause to be invalid, to cause something to have no effect.
(This evidence negates his claim that he was not at the scene of the accident. Her actions negated her statement and proved her to be a hypocrite.)
Secular(adj)
not having any connection with religion.
(We live in an increasingly secular society, in which religion has less and less influence on our daily lives. Secular education.)
Bedrock(n)
The main principles on which something is based.
(Some people believe that the family is the bedrock of society. My religious faith is the bedrock of my life.)
Contention(n)
heated disagreement, something that people argue about for a long time, the disagreement that results from opposing arguments. an opinion expressed in an argument.
(It is her contention that exercise is more important than diet if you want to lose weight. There's a lot of contention about that issue - for every person firmly in favor, there's someone fiercely against. The main bone of contention was deciding who would take care of the children after the divorce)
Livid(adj)
extremely angry. (especially of marks on the skin) of an unpleasant purple or dark blue colour.
(The rude letter from his mother in law made him livid. He had a long livid scar across his cheek.)
Improbable(adj)
not likely to happen or to be true, not probable, unlikely to occur or to be true.
(It's highly improbable that Norris will agree. It is improbable that he could have driven home in less than an hour.)
Dubious(adj)
not sure about an outcome or conclusion; likely to be dishonest; untrustworthy or morally worrisome in some way. Open to doubt or suspicion. Giving rise to uncertainty.
(I was a little dubious about whether or not to trust him. This artifact has rather dubious origin. The thesis is based on several dubious assumptions.)
Conundrum(n)
an intricate and difficult problem with a seemingly impossible solution, a trick riddle in which a fanciful question is answered with a pun on words.
Arranging childcare over the school holidays can be quiet a conundrum for working parents.
Semblance(n)
a situation or condition which is similar to what is wanted or expected, but is not exactly as desired.
(The city has now returned to some semblance of normality after last night's celebrations. He was executed without even the semblance of a fair trial.)
Intractable(adj)
extremely difficult to manage, teach, or deal with because of strong will and resistance to change, difficult to deal with or solve.
(He was an intractable child who deliberately did the opposite of whatever he was told. Cats are by nature fairly intractable animals.)
Synonyms: stubborn, obstinate, obdurate
Transgress(v)
to overstep what is considered acceptable, to violate a law.
(I didn't realize I was transgressing when I told your sister she looked like she had lost weight. Don't even think about transgressing the laws of that Asian country, for punishment are severe and there's nothing that our government can do to intervene.
Interject(v)
say abruptly, especially as an interruption. To say (something) that interrupts someone who is speaking.
(He interjected questions throughout the discussion. She occasionally interjected comments into the conversation.)
Surreptitious(adj)
marked by quiet and caution and secrecy; taking pains to avoid being observed, conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods. Done secretly, without anyone seeing or knowing.
(A surreptitious glance at his watch. Surreptitious mobilization of troops. She seemed to be listening to what I was saying, but I couldn't help noticing her surreptitious glances at the clock.)
Abolition(n)
the act of abolishing a system or practice or institution, especially abolishing slavery. Abolish = to end an activity or custom officially.
(I think bullfighting should be abolished. National Service was abolished in Britain in 1962. The abolition of capital punishment.)
Helm(n)
a position of control and leadership; to be in charge or in control of something, at the helm = officially controlling an organization or company. If someone is at the helm of a group or organization, they control it.
(She is the first woman to be at the helm of this corporation. With Steve Lewis at the helm, we are certain of success.)
Tenacity(n)
persistent determination in holding to something, especially opinions, valuables and routines. The quality of being tenacious.
(She practices her gymnastics routine with the tenacity of a bulldog. He was the most tenacious politician in South Korea.)
Abash(v)
cause to feel embarrassed, disconcerted, or ashamed.
(She was not abashed at being caught. My clumsiness left me abashed.)
Banter(v)
talk or exchange remarks in a good-humored teasing way. To exchange lighthearted teasing remarks. To speak to in a playful or teasing way.
(The men bantered with the waitresses. He was known for his quick wit and clever bantering.)
Preamble(n)
A section at the beginning of a speech, report or formal document that introduces what follows. A preliminary or preparatory statement; an introduction.
(What she said was by way of a preamble. I gave him the bad news without preamble.)
Transpose(v)
cause to exchange places, transfer to a different place or context, write or play in a different key from the original, to change something from on position to another, or to exchange the position of two things.
(In their latest production they have reworked "King Lear", transposing it to pre-colonial Africa. The confusion was caused when two numbers were accidentally transposed by a Social Security clerk.)
Fortuitous(adj)
happening by chance, especially as the result of a happy accident, indicating good fortune.
(Our profits were increased by a fortuitous and unexpected drop in the cost of raw material. The early completion of the new hotel proved fortuitous, as several colleges had scheduled their spring breaks for the week of its grand opening. The unexpected demise of our largest competitor was a fortuitous boon to our quarterly sales.)
Fledged(v)
to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity; also: to leave the nest after acquiring such feathers. Fully-Fledged: completely developed or trained.
(What started as a small business is now a fully-fledged company. After years of study, Tim is now a fully-fledged architect.)
Rendition(n)
an interpretation of a musical score or a performance of a musical work. A particular way in which music is performed or a drawing or painting is produced or appears. RENDER(v) to give something such as a service, a personal opinion or expression, or a performance of a song or poem.
(This CD contains new renditions of old Beatles tunes. The singers rendered the song with enthusiasm. We see that freight railroads make good profits while rendering excellent service)
Bereavement(n)
the death of a close relative or friend. The fact or state of sorrow over the death or departure of a loved one.
(She has recently suffered a bereavement. Having a close relative or friend who has recently died. The bereaved parents wept openly. The bereaved people whose relatives or friends have recently died)
Detriment(n)
harm or damage or causing harm and working against something. The noun detriment means "harm" or "damage". The adj detrimental is a more sophisticated way of saying "harmful".
(Are you sure that I can follow this diet without detriment to my health? She was very involved with sports at college, to the detriment of her studies. I hope that our decision to make this investment isn't detrimental to our financial future.)
Idiosyncrasy(n)
a peculiar way of behaving or thinking that is particular to an individual or group.
(A person's idiosyncrasy is a peculiar quirk or habit that makes someone unique. Marc had some odd idiosyncrasies, like asking people to take their shoes off before entering his office. Her obsession with velvet Sinatra paintings was just one of her many idiosyncrasies.)
Truculent(adj)
aggressive and defiant, displaying great anger and inclined to fight, belligerent.
(Bob was a truculent man who didn't like following rules and would fight people who tried to tell him what to do. Because of his truculent personality, he has been in several fights recently)
Latent(adj)
present or existing, but needing certain conditions in order to be apparent, expressed, or developed.
(Frank had a latent heart condition that went undetected until it was too late. Lisa discovered her latent artistic abilities after she took a class in ceramics. Although Frank appears quiet and meek, I have a feeling he has a latent talent for negotiating)
Cull(v)
to remove something undesirable or inferior from a group, to select or pick something from a group, especially to use as an example.
(The scientists wished to cull test subjects who refused to follow protocol. The network decided to cull the best photographs of the President in light of the upcoming political campaign. Now that I've done all of my research, I'll have to cull the data in a concise report.)
Enmesh(v)
to catch or entangle in or as if in meshes. To catch or involve someone in something unpleasant or dangerous from which it is difficult to escape.
(The whales are caught by being enmeshed in nets. She has become enmeshed in a tangle of drugs and petty crime. Soon after Eli Whitney had invented it, others copied his cotton gin, and he spent the rest of his life enmeshed in lawsuits trying to protect his invention.)
Resolute(v)
firm in belief or purpose, and characterized by determination. Resolute is related to the words resolve and resolution. When you resolve to do something, you make a firm decision to do it. Likewise, a resolution is a firm decision or determination to do something. So, someone who is resolute in his or her decision is firm and determined to stand by it.
(Many people felt the President failed to lead with conviction and was not resolute in making decisions. Kate's resolute refusal to apologize to her brother put a huge rift in their relationship.)
Befit(v)
to be suitable, fitting, or appropriate to.
(It was a very elegant and opulent dinner, with a table setting that was befitting a king. The Prime Minister was greeted by a twelve-cannon solute, befitting a leader of his stature. As befits their Italian heritage, the meal seemed never to end and consisted of countless courses.)
Lineage(n)
the members of a person's family who are directly related to that person and who lived a long time before him or her. A group of individuals tracing descent from a common ancestor; especially: such a group of persons whose common ancestor is regarded as its founder, the line of ancestors from whom a person is descended.
(She's very proud of her ancient royal lineage. His Italian lineage was very important to him)
Corollary(n)
an inference that follows directly from the proof of another proposition. A practical consequence that follows naturally, something that results from something else.
(Blind jealousy is a frequent corollary of passionate love. Unfortunately, violence is the inevitable corollary of such a revolutionary change in society. One corollary of the attack was that no one trusted them thereafter.)
Vanish(v)
become invisible or unnoticeable, cease to exist, decrease rapidly and disappear, To disappear or stop being present or existing, especially in a sudden, surprising way.
(The child vanished while on her way home from school. We rushed out of the shop in hot pursuit, but the thief had vanished into thin air.)
Clover(n)
A small plant with three round leaves on each stem, often fed to cows. A four leaf clover with a leaf which is divided into four parts rather than the usual three, which is thought to bring good luck to anyone who finds it. To live/be in clover means to enjoy life of wealth and comfort.
(With the income from the family estate, she's in clover.)
Alternate(v,adj)
to happen or exist one after the other repeatedly, with first one thing, then another thing, and then the first thing again. If something happens on alternate days, it happens every second day.)
(She alternated between cheerfulness and deep despair. Private cars are banned from the city on alternate days. He alternated working in the office with long tours overseas.)
Endure(v)
to come to knowledge of something by living through it (an elderly couple who have endured the ups and downs of a half century of married life), to put up with something painful or difficult (At some point we all have to endure the loss of a beloved pet. The fashion business is built on change, since nobody expects a particular clothing style to endure.)
Spellbound(v)
to hold the attention of as if by a spell (The tale about pirates and their buried treasure spellbound him for hours) An event or a person that attracts people's complete attention (The final game of the tennis match was a real spellbinder. At the circus, the children are spellbound, watching the acrobats perform.)
Visceral(adj, n)
obtained through intuition rather than from reasoning or observation, based on emotional reactions rather than on reason or thought, relating to the viscera; the large organs inside the body, including the heart, stomach, lungs and intestines.
(His approach to acting is visceral rather than intellectual)
Lambaste(v)
to criticize someone or something severely, to criticize severely or angrily especially for personal failings, to strike repeatedly
(Stern schoolmasters who lambasted the boys for the smallest violation of the rules. His first novel was well and truly lambasted by the critics.)
Flux(n)
continuous change.
Our plans are in a state of flux at the moment.
Resonant(adj)
clear and loud, or causing sounds to be clear and loud. making you think of a similar experience or memory.
(A deep, resonant voice. A resonant concert hall. We felt privileged to be the first group of Western visitors to enter the historic palace, resonant with past conflicts.)
Beleaguer(v)
to annoy or harass, to surround with an army. To beleaguer someone is to annoy severely. It originates from the Dutch word belegeren, which literally means "to camp around".
(He was beleaguered by worries of losing his job. Our camp was beleaguered by an army of ants in the middle of the night.)
Ingrain(v)
deeply rooted into habit or constitution. Ideas and principles can become ingrained, or deeply rooted, into the natural fiber of a person or culture. When something is ingrained it is deep-seated and nearly impossible to change or remove.
(The harsh memories became ingrained within her, causing her to have nightmares and irrational fears. Our holiday traditions are ingrained within our family, and we would never think of changing them.)
Arcane(adj)
requiring secret or mysterious knowledge to be understood, difficult to understand.
(The arcane rites of passage involved in the granting of academic tenure are a mystery to all but the initiated. His arcane observations about the world were a mystery to me.
Point-blank(adj, adv)
aimed or fired straight at the mark esp from close range; direct, straightforward, plain, or explicit: a point-blank denial.
(He was shot in the back, point-blank. He asked me point-blank if I was lying)
Ingratiate(v)
to make someone like you by praising or trying to please them.
(He's always trying to ingratiate himself with his boss. An ingratiating smile/manner)
Premise(n)
An idea or theory on which a statement or action is based.
(They had started with the premises that all men are created equal. The research project is based on the premise stated earlier.)
Implicate(v)
to suggest or imply, to make a connection between people and events, especially pertaining to a crime, to weave to twist together.
(The new evidence implicates more suspects in this complicated crime. The way he told the story implicated wrong doing on my part)
Impasse(n)
a point where no agreement can be made, and progress is halted, a road with only one way to get in and out.
(After days of talks, labor negotiations hit an impasse. I couldn't take my usual route to work because construction had created an impasse.)
Synonyms: standstill, deadlock, stalemate.
Importune(v)
to make repeated forceful requests for something, usually in a way that is annoying or inconvenient. to request sex with someone in retrun for payment)
(As a tourist, you are importuned for money the moment you step outside your hotel. He was arrested for importuning a young boy outside the station.)
Girth(n)
the distance around the outside of a thick or fat object, like a tree or a body.
(The oak was 2 metres in girth. He was a man of massive girth. His ample girth was evidence of his love of good food.)
Glower(n,v)
an angry stare, look at with a fixed gaze, look angry or sullen, wrinkle one's forehead, as if to signal disapproval, to look very angry, annoyed or threatening.
(Baseball fans glowering at the TV as they watched their favorite team lose. The old man just sat in his rocking chair and silently glowered at the uninvited guess.)
Gibe(n)
An insulting remark that is intended to make someone look stupid.
(Unlike many other politicians, he refuses to indulge in cheap gibes at other people's expense)
Evade(v)
to get or keep away from (as a responsibility) through cleverness or trickery. To avoid facing up to (evaded the real issues). To avoid the performance of. To fail to pay taxes. To avoid answering directly.
(Just give me an answer and stop evading the question. The police have assured the public that the escaped prisoners will not evade recapture for long. He can't evade doing military service forever.)
Goad(v)
to provoke or try to incite someone to do something.
(The group tried to goad Marc into singing karaoke by telling him he was a "chicken" if he didn't do it. The President delivered several speeches intended to goad Congress into enacting new legislation.)
Expunge(v)
to purposely delete information from a piece of writing, to wipe out or destroy, as in a memory or an offense.
(A proofreader will scrutinize text and expunge unnecessary words, phrases, or sentences. Lisa's underwent hypnosis in order to expunge the terrible memory. Joanne had tried to quit several times, but once she became pregnant, she expunged her smoking habit once and for all.)
Expiate(v)
to extinguish the guilt incurred by, to make amends for. to show regret for bad behavior by doing something to express that you are sorry and by accepting punishment.
To expiate a crime/sin.
Eclectic(adj)
made up of parts from various styles. Deriving ideas or style from a broad and varied range of sources. Made up of elements from various sources; choosing what is best or preferred from a variety of sources or styles.
(He has a very eclectic taste in literature. She had an eclectic taste in music and was always listening to something new.)
Expound(v)
to give a detailed description or answer.
(The professor decided to expound on the underlying message of the book for the entire 50-minute lecture. If you like, I could expound on the issue further)
Edify(v)
to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge. EDIFICATION: the improvement of the mind and understanding, especially by learning. To provide someone with moral or spiritual understanding.
(The BBC has a family-oriented show that tried to edify the television audience as well as entertain it.)
Eddy(n)
a current of water or air running contrary to the main current; especially a circular current (whirlpool)
(The water eddied around in a whirlpool. The water eddied ceaselessly in the wake of the boat.)
Decry(v)
to openly criticize something or someone.
(The animal rights activists decried the use of animals in the testing of cosmetics. She decried his involvement in the scandal and said she would never let him live it down.)
Synonyms: condemn, disparage, criticize
Dearth(n)
a falling short of an essential or desirable amount or number. An amount or supply which is not large enough; a lack.
(The region is suffering from a dearth of medical specialists. There was a dearth of usable firewood at the campsite.)
Denigrate(v)
to belittle someone or something, to defame someone, to deny the importance of something.
(You shouldn't denigrate Phil's abilities; he isn't a great pianist, but he is talented. Even though the critics denigrated the author for her unpopular attitudes on many social issues, her book sold briskly and was widely quoted.)
Synonyms: belittle, defame, disparage, malign
Demure(adj)
modestly shy, often in a playful or flirtatious way.
(Her demure manner in front of her boyfriend's parents effectively hid her wild side. He gave his teacher a demure smile.)
Confection(n)
a decorated cake or unusual sweet dish, a sweet preparation of fruit or the like.
(Following the main course there were assorted confections so delicious, looking as to temp even determined dieters.)
Collusion(n)
A secret conspiracy between people or companies for illegal, deceitful, or fraudulent purposes. To collude is similar to collaborate, except instead of collaborating with the enemy, there is general cooperation to deceive another.
(The casino employees pulled off a major robbery in collusion with professional thieves. Large corporations sometimes act in collusion to raise prices on a product, leaving disgruntled consumers few choices.)
Bilk(v)
to cheat someone out of something, especially money. To avoid paying debt or a person to whom money is owned.
(The company bilked its investors out of millions of dollars. He bilked his creditors by moving tho South America.)
Billet(n)
A place especially for soldiers to stay in for a short time.
(The army's billet is the largest in the region. Our billets were about a mile out of town.)
Concur(v)
to agree with someone or have the same opinion as someone else, to agree or have the same opinion as some else, to occur or exist at the same time.
(The board concurred that the editor should have full control over editorial matters. The lively 1960s, a decade in which the Cold War, the race to the moon, the VietNam War, and the civil rights movement all concurred.)
Conduit(n)
the means or channel by which something is transmitted or conveyed, such as information, a pipe or channel used to carry water or other liquids, a pipe or tube used for protecting electrical wires.
(The undercover police officer had a few trusted conduits of information upon whom he relied. The computers were connected through a system of conduits)
Rendition(n)
the way that something is performed, written, drawn.
(Her rendering of the song was delightful)
Betoken(v)
to be a sign of something. To typify beforehand, to give evidence of.
(The blue sky betokened a day of good weather.)
Burgeon(n)
to grow and flourish.
(The buds I planted last fall will burgeon into beautiful flowers come spring. The once burgeoning high-tech stocks have been flat for over six months.)
Synonyms: grow, blossom, bloom, flourish
Antonyms: diminish, shrink
Breach(n,v)
a breaking of the law or of a rule, break, violate, or trespass.
(I know that if I do not follow the appropriate protocol or do not uphold my end of the agreement, I can be accused of breach of contract. The counselor told the struggling couple that the breach in their relationship was not insurmountable)
Adage(n)
a wise saying, proverb.
(He remembered the old adage 'Look before you leap'.)
Ardent(adj)
enthusiastic or passionate. Ardent combines eagerness with intense feelings of passion or devotion.
(An ardent lover; an ardent theatergoer. He is an ardent baseball fan. An ardent suitor)
Synonyms: passionate, fervent, zealous, fervid, wholehearted, vehement, intense.
Abjure(v)
to give up, to renounce, to state publicly that you no longer agree with a belief or way of behaving. To swear to give up.
(He abjured his religion. She decided to abjure lying.)
Accolade(n)
an expression signifying praise, distinction, or approval. Public praise of somebody's achievements. Any award, honor or laudatory notice.
(The lead dancer received flowers as accolades for her performance. Her approval was the highest accolade he could have received.)
Abase(v)
to make yourself seem to be less important or not deserve respect, to lower in character or dignity. To reduce to a lower standing in one's own eyes or in others' eyes.
(Frank was unwilling to abase himself by pleading guilty to a crime that he did not commit. I certainly don't abase myself when I do good, honest manual labor.)
Abdicate(v)
to give up something (esp a position) formally. To stop controlling or managing something that you are in charge of.
(King Edward abdicated the British throne in 1936. She was accused of abdicating all responsibility for the project. I think it's an abdication of your responsibility if you don't vote.)
Bear Market
a market characterized by falling prices for securities. A market in which share prices are falling. The opposite of Bull Market.
Impugn(v)
to cause people to doubt someone's character, qualities or reputation by criticizing them.
(He could no longer work as a doctor because his reputation had been impugned. Are you impugning my competence as a professional designer?)
Belie(v)
to show something to be false, or to hide something such as an emotion, to represent something falsely or to hide something behind something very different.
(Her calm face belied the terror she was feeling. His gruff manner belied a gentle personality.)
Bull Market
A market, especially a stock market, characterized by rising prices; opposite of a bear market.
Mull(v)
to reflect deeply on a subject, to think carefully about something for a long time. To ponder or to reflect.
(I need a few days to mull things over, before I make a decision)
Decouple(v)
to separate or disengage one thing from another. To eliminate the interrelationship.
(The issue threatened to decouple Europe from the United States.)
Scornful(adj)
feeling or showing open dislike for someone or something regarded as undeserving or respect or concern.
(Frank gave the other science projects a scornful look. She has nothing but scorn for the new generation of politicians.)
Adroit(adj)
displaying physical or mental skill.
(The repair was not difficult for the adroit handyman. Barry's adroit driving helped to avoid a serious accident.)
Grapple(v)
To fight, especially in order to gain something. To hold onto someone and fight with them. To try to deal with or understand a difficult problem or subject.
(The children grappled for the ball. Two officers grappled with the gunman. Today, many Americans are still grappling with the issue of race.)
Protract(v)
lengthen in time; cause to be or last longer, to prolong in time or space, to extend forward or outward. Prolong, draw out.
(I have no desire to protract the process. Disputants who needlessly protracted the negotiations.)
Commensurate(adj)
in a correct and suitable amount compared to something else.
(A salary that is commensurate with skills and experience. We are changing our pay structure for the sales team so that pay will be commensurate with sales revenue.)
Brunt(n)
the brunt of: the main force of something unpleasant, to receive the worst part of something unpleasant.
(The infantry have taken the brunt of the missile attacks. Small companies are feeling the full brunt of the recession.)
Ambient(adj)
relating to the immediate surroundings of something (especially of environmental conditions)
(Ambient conditions/lightning/noise/temperature. Ambient music)
Probe(v)
to search into or examine something. A careful and detailed examination.
(Investigators are probing into drug dealing in the area. The probe explored allegations of corruption in the police department.)
Spillover(n)
an extension of something especially when an excess exists. An amount of liquid which has become too much for the object that contains it and flows or spreads out: the effects of an activity which have spread beyond what was originally intended.
(We are now witnessing a spillover of the war into neighboring regions. The spillover from the adjacent river flooded the lower fields. We are benefiting from a spillover of prosperity from neighboring states.)
Laggard(n)
something or someone who lags or takes a long time to do something, reluctant and tending to get left behind, tending to waste time.
(The laggard legislation could not get the budget together. My laggard co-worker has made us late to every meeting we've attended together.
Windfall(n)
a piece of fruit blown down from a tree, an amount of money that you win or receive from someone unexpectedly.
(I tend to leave the windfalls for the birds to pick at. Investors each received a windfall of $3000)
Retrogress(v)
To return to an older and worse state.
(retrogressive and disastrous policies. If you do not follow the doctor's orders, your condition will retrogress.)
Relegate(v)
refer or assign to another person for decision or judgment, assign to a class or particular kind, to demote somebody or something to an obscure status or condition.
(Janet needed to relegate her research to colleagues so she could rush to meet her boss for their appointment. Since the company couldn't force him to retire, he was relegated to a titular position without any power of purpose.)
Logjam(n)
something that blocks the ability to do other things, a jumble of logs jammed together in a watercourse.
(They're trying to break the logjam in negotiations. They broke the logjam by starting a series of discussions)
Synonyms: deadlock, impasse
Pipe Dream(n)
a fantastic but vain hope. An unattainable goal, hope or plan, not very likely to be realized.
(Her plans for a movie career are just a pipe dream. I have this pipe dream about being emperor of the universe.)
Churn(v)
agitate or turn milk or cream into butter, move about vigorously.
(The cream is ripened before it is churned. The seas churned. Her stomach was churning at the thought of the ordeal. In high winds most of the lake is churned up.)
Deprave(v)
lead away from what is natural or right; corrupt. To lower in character or dignity.
(The belief that pornography depraves society as a whole. A depraved character/mind. Someone who can kill a child like that must be totally depraved.)
Restive(adj)
impatient and tense, especially under restrain or in a forced delay, unwilling to be controlled or calmed.
(The clients are becoming restive, and are complaining about the slow turnaround time for their cases. There was a sense that the protestors were beginning to get restive, and riot police were brought in to control them)
Synonyms: impatient, uneasy, agitated, fidgety, jittery, restless, uptight, obstinate, stubborn, unyielding.
Antonyms: patient, calm, peaceful.
Encrust(v)
form a crust or a hard layer; cover or coat with crust; decorate or cover lavishly with gems.
(The refrigerator shelves were encrusted with the residue of many spills.)
Lagniappe(n)
something given in addition to what is ordinarily expected or owes. Something given to someone without expectation of a return.
(The hotel threw in some free shampoo as a lagniappe. The meal was served with a lagniappe of freshly made cornbread.)
Quaint(adj)
attractive because of being unusual and especially old-fashioned.
(A quaint old cottage. Her manner of speaking is quaint, and I quiet enjoy her unusual diction.)
Parochial(adj)
belonging to or related to a parish, narrow-minded.
(The parents removed their children from a public school and enrolled them in a parochial school. Mary's parochial views frustrated her liberal, free-thinking daughter.)
Impenetrable(adj)
impossible to see through or go through, impossible to understand.
(Outside, the fog was thick and impenetrable. An impenetrable barrier. Some of the lyrics on their latest album are completely impenetrable.)
Mind-numbing(adj)
inspiring no interest or thought, especially because of dullness or repetitiveness; so extreme or intense as to prevent normal thought, extremely boring: a mind-numbing task is extremely boring. I quit my mind-numbing job and leave for New York.
Douse(v)
to make something or someone wet by throwing a lot of liquid over them. To stop a fire or light from burning or shining, especially by putting water on it or by covering it with something.
(We watched as demonstrators doused a car in petrol and set it alight.)
Analogy(n)
if you make or draw an analogy between two things, you show that they are similar in some way. A comparison based on such similarity, often used to help explain something or make it easier to understand.
(He drew an analogy between the brain and a vast computer. It is sometimes easier to illustrate and abstract concept by analogy with something concrete.)
Hefty(adj)
large in amount, size, force.
(A hefty bill/fine. Her salary will go up by a hefty 10%. A hefty woman with dyed blond hair)
Unequivocal(adj)
clear and definite, allowing no doubt or confusion.
(My mother's message was clear and unequivocal. When delegating tasks and giving out orders, it is important to use unequivocal terms so that no one is confused.)
Mantra(n)
commonly repeated word or phrase.
(Her personal mantra was: never give up. Repeating a mantra during meditation may lead to enhanced relaxation. I have a lot of work to accomplish, so my mantra for today is: focus, focus, focus.)
Inadvertent(adj)
marked by unintentional lack of care, not duly attentive, done carelessly, not focusing the mind on a matter. An inadvertent action is one that you do without realizing what you are doing.
(The government has said it was an inadvertent error. The inadvertent error cost them several days of extra work.)
Meticulous(adj)
very careful and with great attention to detail, marked by extreme or excessive care in the consideration or treatment of details. Someone who is meticulous, is extremely careful and picky in attention to detail.
(Many hours of meticulous preparation have gone into writing the book. He painted a meticulous portrait of the actress.)
Incongruous(adj)
out of place, and not suitable for the occasion. Not consistent with something else. Not blending in.
(The new Mac computer looked incongruous on the antique desk. It seems incongruous to have an out of shape and overweight fitness trainer.
Offish(adj)
lacking cordiality, inclined to be distant and reserved, aloof in manner, reluctant to show friendship or enter into conversation with other people.
(Lisa was criticized by Mark because of her offish attitude. Frank's offish behaviour stirred a conflict in the office.)
Tardy(adj)
slow in action or response, done later than it should have been done.
(Dinner was somewhat delayed on account of David's rather tardy arrival.)
Smorgasbord(n)
A buffet offering a variety of hot and cold dishes. A number of different things, a wide collection, a great variety.
A great smorgasbord of cars was on display.
Eradicate(v)
to destroy or get rid of something completely, so that it can never return. To eliminate, to annihilate.
(I wish I could eradicate the ant problem once and for all. Their goal was to eradicate poverty)
Perfunctory(adj)
done quickly, hasty and without attention to detail. Lacking interest or enthusiasm.
(The operator answered the phone with a perfunctory greeting. She gave the list only a perfunctory glance.)
Glib(adj)
speaking or spoken in a confident and persuasive way but without honesty or careful consideration.
(He's a glib, self-centered man. No one was convinced by his glib answers.)
Pun(n)
an amusing use of a word or phrase that has several meanings or that sounds like another word, word play, an amusing use of a word or phrase which has several meanings or which sounds like another word.
Ubiquitous(adj)
seeming to be in all places.
(Leather is very much in fashion this season, as of course is the ubiquitous denim. The Swedes are not alone in finding their language under pressure from the ubiquitous spread of English.)
Blithe(adj)
lightheartedly happy, carefree and unconcerned.
(Somehow, no matter how many obstacles she faces, she maintains a blithe and bubbly attitude. Although Henry is a brilliant scholar, his blithe disregard of tradition and etiquette has caused him to get into trouble from time to time.)
Insouciance(n)
A lack of concern shown by someone about something which they might be expected to take more seriously. It's a cheerful feeling of not caring or worrying about anything.
(I admired his youthful insouciance. Frank strolled through the house with an air of insouciance.)
Inundate(v)
to be covered with water, especially floodwater, to flood. To be overwhelmed, to be given or sent so many things that cannot deal with.
(Her office was inundated with request for tickets. When her friends heard about Jenna big promotion, her office was inundated with congratulatory flowers.)
Laud(v)
to praise someone or something highly, to admire or to glorify or to honor something or someone.
(U2's last single is lauded by the music press. Frank's work for the charity is laudable.)
Mar(v)
to harm the appearance or quality of something. To spoil or detract from something. To reduce the soundness, effectiveness or perfection of something.
(It was a really nice weekend, marred only by a little argument in the car on the way home. The celebration were marred by violence.)
Repent(v)
to make a change for the better as a result or remorse for one's sins. If you repent, you show or say that you are sorry for something you have done.
(He repented just hours before he died. Those who refuse to repent, he said, will be punished.)
Vaunt(v)
A vain display of one's own worth or attainments. To boast. Speech of extravagant self-praise.
(The bank much-vaunted security system failed completely. Reagan's much-vaunted economic miracle.)
Shylock(n,v)
loan shark, to shylock is to lend money at exorbitant rates.
(My banker is a real shylock)
Achilles'heel
a weakness or vulnerable point. A weakness that seems small but makes somebody or something fatally vulnerable.
(His Achilles Heel is his quick temper)
Red Tape
excessive formality and routine required before official action can be taken. The collection or sequence of forms and procedures required to gain bureaucratic approval for something, especially when oppressively complex and time-consuming.
(All the red tape and paperwork that goes on there prevents any progress.)
Maroon(v)
to place in an isolated and often dangerous position, to abandon and leave without aid or resources.
(Having lost all his money, he was marooned in the strange city. The rising floodwaters marooned us on top of the house.)
Innate(adj)
Belonging to the essential nature if something. An innate quality or ability is one which a person is born with.
(Lisa has an innate ability to sense when someone was unhappy. Some people think leadership is an innate skill that you are born with, others believe leadership skills can be learned.)
Erroneous(adj)
mistaken, incorrect, or containing error.
(My erroneous planning is to blame for our missed deadline. Generally, newspapers will retract and apologize for erroneous headlines and statements.)
Paucity(n)
A paucity of means that there is less than is needed of something. A paucity means smallness of number or quantity.
(There is a paucity of information. Even the film's impressive finale can't hide the first hour's paucity of imagination.)
Spearhead(v)
to lead something such as an attack or a course of action.
(British troops spearheaded the invasion. Joe Walker will be spearheading our new marketing initiative.)
Leapfrog(v)
to improve your position by going past other people quickly or by missing out some stages, to improve your position by moving quickly past or over something that blocks your way.
(They've leapfrogged from third to first place. She leapfrogged several older colleagues to get the manager's post.)
Raucous(adj)
unpleasantly loud and noisy.
(The resting firefighters jumped when they heard the raucous fire alarm. The neighbors called the police about the raucous music coming from next door.)
Wily(adj)
clever at obtaining what you want by playing tricks on others. Clever at getting what you want, and willing to trick people.
(Frank was outwitted by his willy opponent. Lisa's boss is a willy old fox.)
Terse(adj)
Using few words and often not seeming polite or friendly. Devoid of superfluity. If you do something tersely, you do it in a brief and sometimes in a rude or unfriendly way.
(The police officer was shouting terse orders for vehicles to pull over. Jack made a reply tersely and ended up the conversation.)
Subpoena(v)
to be ordered to come to a court of law and give evidence as a witness.
Egregious(adj)
An egregious error, failure, problem, etc, is extremely bad and noticeable, conspicuous bad.
Ablaze(adj)
on fire, burning strongly, brightly lit, radiant with bright colors, showing strong emotion or excitement.
(The house was ablaze, and the flames and smoke could be seen for miles around. The ballroom was ablaze with lights. The field was ablaze with poppies and wild flowers. Her eyes were ablaze with excitement.)
Enviable(adj)
highly desirable; likely to evoke feelings of envy. UNENVIABLE describes a duty or necessary action that is unpleasant or difficult.
(She's in the enviable position of being able to choose who she works for.)
Temerity(n)
boldness, reckless confidence that might be offensive. Excessive confidence to do or say something that shocks or upsets other people.
(She had the temerity to call me a liar.)
Kilter(n)
good working order or condition. OUT OF KILTER = out of harmony or balance.
(Missing more than one night's sleep can throw your body out of kilter.)
Spat(n)
a short argument or disagreement about something unimportant, to quarrel briefly over a minor thing.
(She was having a spat with her brother about who did the washing up.)
Engulf(v)
to surround or to cover something completely. Or to affect you very strongly.
(The flames rapidly engulfed the house. Northern areas of the country were engulfed in a snowstorm last night. The war is threatening to engulf the entire region.)
Ham-fisted(adj)
not at all skillful with your hands, clumsy, lacking skills when using your hands or when dealing with people.
(The report criticizes the ham-fisted way in which complaints were dealt with.)
Ironclad(adj)
solid or certain, not able to be disputed or questioned. Not capable of being attacked or refuted. Also, covered with iron, especially as a protection or armor.
(Iron-clad rules.)
Folksy(adj)
If you describe something as folksy, you mean that it is simple and has a style characteristic of folk craft and tradition. If you describe someone as folksy, you mean that they are friendly and informal in their behavior.
(The book has a certain folksy charm.)
Prowess(n)
great skill at doing something, and extraordinary ability, distinguished bravery, especially military valor and skill.
(Athletic/sporting prowess. He's always boasting about his sexual prowess.)
Trite(adj)
Overused and consequently lacking in interest or originality. Dull on account or overuse. Not fresh and hackneyed.
(His lyrics about love and peace are to trite for me to take them seriously. I know it will sound trite, but I've loved being part of this club.)
Precipitous(adj)
very high and steep. Of a change in a condition: sudden and dramatic. Precipitous means steep in both literal and figurative senses.
(A precipitous mountain path. Over the past 18 months, there has been a precipitous fall in car sales.)
Throe(n)
mostly used as plural (throes). Intense or violent pain and struggle. Effects of severe physical pain. In the throes of...= in the middle of, in the process of, struggling with.
(The country is presently in the throes of the worst recession since the second world war. He's in the throes of a mid-life crisis which makes him rather difficult to live with.)
Ferocious(adj)
very fierce, very extreme, violently unfriendly or aggressive in disposition. Unrestrained violence and brutality.
(A ferocious dog, a ferocious battle. She's got a ferocious temper.)
Indict(v)
to formally accuse or charge with a serious crime. To charge, to take to court, to accuse.
(He was indicted on drug charges at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Five people were indicted of making and selling counterfeit currency.)
Salient(adj)
particularly noticeable, the salient facts are the most important things.
(She began to summarize the salient points of the proposal. The article presented the salient facts of the dispute clearly and concisely.)
Converge(v)
to meet, to reach at the same point coming from different connections. Become same; become gradually less different and eventually the same. Arrive at same destination.
(The paths all converge at the main gate of the park. Due to roadworks, three lanes of traffic have to converge into two.)
Diverge(v)
to separate and go in different directions, to differ to some extent, to deviate from or not fit in with something such as a typical pattern.
(The walked along the road together until they reached the village, but then their paths diverged. Although the two organizations have worked together for many years, their objectives have diverged recently.)
Plethora(n)
excessive amount, a larger amount than you need, want or can deal with. A superabundance.
(There's a plethora of books about the royal family. The plethora of rules and regulations is both contradictory and confusing.)
Henpeck(v)
(of a women) continually criticize and order about her husband. A henpecked man is controlled by, harassed by his wife.
Retrospect(n)
the remembering of past events, thinking about or reviewing the past, especially from a new perspective, or with new information.
(In retrospect, I think my marriage was doomed from the beginning. I'm sure my university days seem happier in retrospect than they really were.)
Fraught(adj)
Full of or accompanied by problems, dangers, or difficulties. Full of unpleasant things. Causing or affected by anxiety or stress.
(The negotiations have been fraught with difficulties right from the start. From beginning to end, the airlift was fraught with risks. This is one of the most fraught weekends of the year for the security forces.)
Devoid(adj)
to lack or be without something that is necessary or usual. Not possessing, untouched by, void, or destitute. To be devoid of something means to lack something.
(Their apartment is devoid of all comforts. He seems to be devoid of compassion.)
Chafe(v)
To make sore or worn by rubbing. To press with friction. To be irritated or annoyed.
(The bracelet was so tight that it started to chafe my wrist. We have been chafing under petty regulations for too long.)
Consensus(n)
An opinion or position reached by a group as a whole. A generally wide accepted opinion. Wide agreement.
(The general consensus in the office is that he's useless at his job. Could we reach a consensus on this matter? Let's take a vote.)
Champ(v)
to make biting movements. To bite upon. IDIOM: champing at the bit; show impatience; to be eager and not willing to wait to do something.
(He was chomping away on a bar of chocolate. There she sat, happily chomping her breakfast.)
Recluse(n)
a person who lives a solitary life and tends to avoid other people. Somebody living apart from others, a solitary person who lives alone.
(He is a millionaire recluse who refuses to give interviews.)
Tenet(n)
A principle of belief, something accepted as important truth. An opinion or belief held to be true by someone or especially an organization.
(It is a tenet of contemporary psychology that an individual's mental health is supported by having good social networks.)
Captivate(v)
attract and hold the interest and attention of, enchant somebody, to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant.
(With her beauty and charm, she captivated film audiences everywhere.)
Resuscitate(v)
to revive somebody or be revived; to revive somebody from unconsciousness or apparent death. OR to return to popularity, to revive waning interest in something such as a style or project.)
(Her heart had stopped, but the doctors successfully resuscitated her.)
Laconic(adj)
using very few words, concise. Tending not to speak frequently.
(She had a laconic wit.)
Lavish(adj)
to be extravagant with something, to give or spend something generously or to excess. Lavished attention on the child.
(Lavish spending, lavish banquets. The evening was a lavish affair with glorious food and an endless supply of champagne. The lavish production makes this musical truly memorable.)
Pertain(v)
have relevance, to have reference or a connection to something. Be appropriate or suitable. To be part of belong to something.
(We are only interested in the parts of the proposals that pertain to local issues.)
Drub(v)
to defeat severely. To defeat decisively. To instill forcefully.
Incredulous(adj)
unwilling or unable to believe something. Skeptical, disbelieving, inclined to doubt or question claims.
("Did you see that?" she asked incredulously. A few incredulous spectators watched as Paterson, ranked 23rd in the world, beat the champion.)
Wallop(v)
to strike or hit someone/somebody very hard, to strike with a great force, or to create a forceful effect. To defeat somebody decisively.
(My mother gave me such a wallop when she eventually found me. "How did your tennis match go last night?" Oh, I was walloped again.)
Buoyant(adj)
cheerful or optimistic, able to float or pushing upward or rise to the surface of a fluid. Quick to recover emotionally, tending to recover quickly from a disappointment or failure.
(After reading the letter he was in a buoyant mood.)
Avid(adj)
having or showing a keen interest, having an eager desire for something. Insatiable desire.
(An avid football fan, an avid supporter of the arts. He took an avid interest in the project. She hadn't seen him for six months and was avid for news.)
Vernacular(n)
the form of a language that a regional or other group of speakers use naturally, especially in informal situations.
(The French I learned at school is very different from the local vernacular of the village where I'm now living. Many Roman Catholics regret the replacing of the Latin mass by the vernacular.)
Contrive(v)
to do something creatively, to accomplish something by being clever, to make something ingenious. To manage something, to accomplish something difficult or unexpected. To plot, to formulate clever or deceitful schemes.
(Couldn't you contrive a meeting between them? Somehow she contrived to get tickets for the concert.)
Specious(adj)
seeming to be right or true, but really wrong or false.
(a specious argument/claim. specious allegations/promises)
Munificent(adj)
very liberal in giving; generous, showing great generosity: a munificent gift.
(A former student has donated a munificent sum of money to the college.)
Noisome(adj)
bad for the well being of the body. Bad smelling, having an unpleasant smell, causing intense displeasure.
(a noisome stench)
Lackadaisical(adj)
lacking enthusiasm, lacking energy. Carelessly lazy and listless. Lethargic. Done without interest or vigor.
(The food was nice enough but the service was rather lackadaisical)
Veracity(n)
conformity to facts, accuracy, habitual truthfulness. The quality of being true, honest or accurate. Correctness.
(Doubts were cast on the veracity of her alibi after three people claimed to have seen her at the scene of the robbery.)
Recrimination(n)
argument between people who are blaming each other.
(The peace talks broke down and ended in bitter mutual recrimination.)
Fortify(v)
to strengthen a place with defensive works so as to protect it against attack. It to strengthen or invigorate mentally or physically.
(They hurriedly fortified the village with barricades of carts, tree trunks and whatever came to hand. He fortified himself with a drink and a sandwich before driving on.)
Inkling(n)
A slight knowledge or suspicion, a hint, a faint idea about a fact, event or person.
(I didn't have the slightest inkling that she was unhappy. He must have had some inkling of what was happening.)
Badger(v)
to persuade someone by telling them repeatedly to do something, or to question someone repeatedly.
(Stop badgering me - I'll do it when I'm ready. She's been badgering me into doing some exercise. Every time we go into a shop, the kids badger me to buy them sweets.)
Chary(adj)
Cautious about the amount one gives or reveals. Wary or reluctant to share, give or use something.
(I'm a bit chary of using a travel agency that doesn't have official registration.)
Incorrigible(adj)
impossible to change, very difficult to correct or reform. Unruly and unmanageable.
(An incorrigible liar/rogue)
Deft(adj)
quick and skillful, moving or acting in a quick, smooth and skillful way. Dexterous.
(Her movements were deft and quick. She answered the journalist's questions with a deft touch. He's very deft at handling awkward situations.)
Aboveboard(adj)
without deceit or trickery; straightforward. Without concealment or deception; honest.
(Their business was open and aboveboard.)
Barefaced(adj)
without disguise; unconcealed. Undisguisedly bold; brazen.
(That's a barefaced lie!)
Apoplectic(adj)
furious, overcome with anger, extremely and noticeably angry, or in a state of violent excitement.
(He was apoplectic with rage.)
Flippant(adj)
not taking something seriously enough, showing lack of seriousness that is thought inappropriate. Marked by disrespectful levity or casualness.
(The audience was shocked by his flippant remarks about patriotism.)
Foist(v)
impose something on somebody. To force somebody to accept something undesirable. OR to give somebody something inferior on the pretense that it's genuine, valuable or desirable.
(I try not to foist my values on the children but it's hard.)
Flack(n)
(n)strong adverse criticism. (v) to promote.
Libel(n)
defamation, a false and malicious published statement that damages somebody's reputation. Attacking of somebody's reputation.
(She threatened to sue the magazine for libel.)
Acerbic(adj)
describes something that is spoken or written in a way that is direct, clever and cruel.
(The letters show the acerbic wit for which Parker was both admired and feared.)
Bombast(n)
high-sounding language with little meaning, used to impress people. Pompous language, full of long or pretentious words, boastful.
(A bombastic preacher, a bombastic statement.)
Recuse(v)
disqualify somebody, to declare yourself to be disqualified to judge something or participate in something because of possible bias or personal interest.
(The judge recused himself)
Pesky(adj)
Irritating, annoying, or troublesome. Those pesky kids from the neighbors, those pesky weeds.
Sycophant(n)
A person who flatters someone in a servile way. One who uses compliment to gain favor, a person who acts obsequiously toward someone in order to gain advantage.
(The Prime Minister is surrounded by sycophants.)
Indubitable(adj)
obvious or definitely true, and not to be doubted, impossible to doubt, unquestionable.
(An indubitable fact)
Inchoate(adj)
just beginning or developing, imperfectly formed, only partly formed. Rudimentary, undeveloped, unformed.
(I had inchoate suspicions. She had a child's inchoate awareness of language.)
Stonewall(v)
refuse to cooperate, to create obstructions or refuse to cooperate, especially by avoiding questions or providing desired information. Deliberately create delay.
(The interview accused the minister of stonewalling on the issue of tax increases.)
Obfuscate(v)
make something obscure, make something unclear by making it unnecessarily complicated. To make something harder to understand, especially intentionally.
(She was criticized for using arguments that obfuscated the main issue.)
Cantankerous(adj)
Bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative. Grouchy, easily angered and difficult to work with. Awkward to use.
(He's getting a bit cantankerous in his old age.)
Castigate(v)
Reprimand someone severely, to criticize harshly and usually publicly. To inflict a penalty on for a fault or crime.
(Health inspectors castigated the kitchen staff for poor standards of cleanliness.)
Digress(v)
leave the main subject temporarily in speech or in writing. Move of central topic. To move away from the central topic, to deviate or wander away from the main topic.
(But I digress. To get back to what I was saying, this poem reflects the poet's love of nature and his religious beliefs.)
Emulate(v)
Match or surpass, typically by imitation. To copy something achieved by someone else and try to do it as well as they have. To strive to equal or excel, especially through imitation.
(They hope to emulate the success of other software companies. Fitzgerald is keen to emulate Martin's record of three successive world titles.)
Piquant(adj)
spicy or salty, having a flavor, taste or smell that is spicy or salty, sharply stimulating or provocative, refreshingly interesting, stimulating, or provocative.
(More piquant details of their private life were revealed. A piquant mixture of spices.)
Retinue(n)
A group of advisors, assistants, or others accompanying an important person. A group of followers, who travel with an important person. Entourage or escort.
Coterie(n)
A small group of people with shared interests or tastes, esp. one that is exclusive or other people. An intimate and often exclusive group of people with a unifying common interest or purpose.
(A coterie of writers.)
Vet(v)
make a careful and critical examination of something. To investigate someone thoroughly, esp in order to ensure that they are suitable for a job requiring secrecy, loyalty, or trustworthiness. To check or investigate particularly with regard to providing formal approval.
(During the war, the government vetted all news reports before they were published. The bank carefully vets everyone who applies for an account.)
Recalcitrant(adj)
having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline. Unwilling to do what you are asked or ordered to do, even if it is reasonable.
Quintessential(adj)
representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class. The most typical example or representative.
(Roasted garlic with sheep's milk cheese is the quintessential Corsican meal.)
Abhor(v)
to regard with disgust and hatred. To disapprove or reject something very strongly. To regard with extreme repugnance, detest utterly.
(I abhor all forms of racism. An abhorrent crime. Racism of any kind is abhorrent to me.)
Effulgence(n)
The quality or state of having or giving off light. Brightness or a brilliant light radiating from something. Of a person or their expression. Emanating joy or goodness.
Prolific(adj)
Producing much fruit or many offspring. Of an artist, author, etc. : producing many works. Marked by abundant productivity.
(He was probably the most prolific songwriter of his generation. Rabbits and other rodents are prolific.)
Fathom(v)
Understand a difficult problem after much thought. To understand something usually something profound or mystifying OR to measure the depth of water.
(For years people have been trying to fathom out the mysteries of the whale's song. I can't fathom her at all.)
Hubris(n)
excessive pride leading to nemesis. Excessive pride and ambition that usually leads to downfall.
(He was punished for his hubris.)
Labile(adj)
liable to change, easily altered. Tending to alter quickly and spontaneously. Unstable.
Peruse(v)
Read thoroughly, examine carefully, scrutinize.
(He opened a newspaper and began to peruse the personal ads.)
Shun(v)
persistently avoid, ignore, or reject through caution. To avoid somebody or something intentionally. To evade to get or keep away from through.
(She has shunned publicity since she retired from the theater. After the trial he was shunned by friends and family alike.)
Enshrine(v)
Preserve (a right, tradition, or idea) in a form that ensures it will be protected and respected. Give special protection to so something.
(Almost two and a half million war dead are enshrined at Yasukuni. A lot of memories are enshrined in this photograph album. The right of freedom of speech is enshrined in law.)
Petulant(adj)
childishly sulky or bad-tempered, ill tempered or sulky in a peevish manner.
(Well, he didn't invite me to his party, so I'm certainly not inviting him to mine!" she said petulantly.)
Replete(adj)
Filled or well-supplied with something, very full of or sated by food. Amply or fully equipped, completely or fully supplied with something.
(After two helpings of dessert, Sergio was at last replete. This car has an engine replete with the latest technology.)
Scour(v)
clean or brighten the surface of something by rubbing hard. OR thoroughly searching in order to locate something.
(The police are scouring the countryside for the missing child. I scoured the shops for a blue and white shirt, but I couldn't fine one anywhere.)
Turmoil(n)
A state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty. Confused disturbance, a state of great confusion, commotion or disturbance.
(The whole region is in turmoil. The country is in a state of political turmoil. The Stock Exchange is in turmoil following a huge wave of selling.)
Wobble(v,n)
move unsteadily from side to side. Hesitate or waver between different courses of action; vacillate. Unable or unwilling to reach a decision.
(That bookcase wobbles whenever you put anything on it. I gave the poles a slight wobble and whole tent collapsed.)
Belabor(v)
Argue or elaborate in excessive detail, harp on something, to repeat or discuss something unnecessarily, criticize harshly and usually publicly. To attack or assault someone verbally.
(There's no need to belabor the point- you don't need to keep reminding me. She belabor him with her walking stick.)
Pathology(n)
the scientific study of diseases; a deviation from a healthy and normal condition.
(Ask Angela about the disease that's killing your roses; she specialized in plant pathology in college. Don't believe him, he's a pathological liar. I decided to specialized in pathology during my medical studies because I'm fascinated with finding cures for disease.)
Probity(n)
unquestionable honesty and integrity.
(The president's probity came into question during the scandal. Nuns live lives of honesty and moral probity. The company believed its management should be held to the highest standards of probity.)
Purvey(v)
to provide goods and services, especially as a business, to circulate gossip or information.
(The Italian government purveyed blankets and water to the earthquake victims. Lisa considered herself a purveyor of news and opinion. This company has purveyed clothing to the armed forces for generations.)
Synonyms: supply, provide, furnish, circulate, inform
Antonyms: hinder, impede, limit
Riveting(adj)
arousing and holding the attention of.
(I found the movie riveting and was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I was riveted to the television as news of the events unfolded. Marc's lectures were less than riveting, and several students decided to drop the class.)
Synonyms: fascinating, enthralling, spellbinding, captivating
Antonyms: boring, dull, uninteresting, common
Belligerent(adj)
the quality of being hostile, ready to start a fight, or ready to go to war.
(Watch out! Lee's in a belligerent mood.)
Rampant(adj)
happening in an unrestrained manner, flourishing or spreading unchecked. Growing strongly and to a very large size.
(Rampant inflation means that our wage increases soon become worth nothing. Disease is rampant in the overcrowded city)
Wanton(adj)
causing sexual excitement; lustful, sensual, marked by unprovoked, gratuitous maliciousness; capricious and unjust: merciless, inhumane; showing complete lack of care, spend wastefully.
(wanton destruction of human life. A wanton disregard for safety. Wanton extravagance.)
Aficionado(n)
a person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity or subject; a person who likes, knows about, and appreciate a usually fervently pursued interest or activity.
(A club for model railway aficionados. An aficionado of French Films.)
Benign(adj)
kindly: having a kind and gentle disposition or appearance; not life-threatening: not a threat to life or long-term health, harmless: neutral or harmless in its effect of influence: favorable: mild or favorable in effect.
( A benign old lady. A benign tumour.)
Novice(n)
beginner: somebody who is beginning or learning an activity and has acquired little skill in it: OR religious student: somebody who has joined a religious order but has not yet taken final vows.
(I've never driven a car before - I'm a complete novice)
Frenetic(adj)
excessively agitated; transported with rage or other violent emotion. Charactereized by feverish activity, confusion, and hurry fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way; marked by great and often stressful excitement or activity.
(There was frenetic trading of the Stock Exchange yesterday.)
Retch(v)
to make the sound and action of vomiting esp when nothing is actually vomited. To try to vomit; an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting.
(The sight of blood makes him retch.)
Camaraderie(n)
feeling of close friendship and trust among a group of people; mutual trust and friendship. A spirit of friendly-good friendship.
(When you've been climbing alone for hours, there's a tremendous sense of camaraderie when you meet another climber.)
Quell(v)
put stop to something; to bring something to an end, usually by means of force suppress bad feeling: To allay a disturbing feeling or thought in a reassuring way. To thoroughly overwhelm and reduce to submission or passivity.
(Police in riot gear were called in to quell the disturbances. This latest setback will have done nothing to quell the growing doubts about the future of the club.
Whim(n)
passing impulse: a sudden thought, idea, or desire, especially one based on impulse rather than reason or necessity. A sudden desire or change of mind. An odd or fanciful or capricious idea.
(We booked the holiday on a whim. You can add what you like to this mixture - brandy, whisky, or nothing at all - as the whim takes you.)
Infest(v)
to overrun a place or site in large numbers and become threatening, harmful, or unpleasant. Be present in large numbers, typically so as to cause damage or disease. To spread or swarm in or over in a troublesome manner.
(The barn was infested with rats.)
Aloof(adj)
physically remote: physically distant or apart describes an unfriendly person who refuses to take part in things: not interested or involved, usually because you do not approve of what is happening.
(She seemed rather aloof when in fact she was just shy. Whatever is happening in the office, she always remains aloof. She kept herself aloof from her husband's business.)
Brink(n)
The point where a new or different situation is about to begin.
(Extreme stress had driven him to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Scientists are on the brink of a major new discovery.)
Austere(adj)
humorless, or suggesting strict self-denial, suggesting physical hardship. Imposing or suggesting physical hardship. Plain and without luxury: plain and simple, without luxury or self-indulgence.
(An austere childhood during the war. The courtroom was a large dark chamber, an austere place.)
Incompetent(adj)
bad at doing something: lacking the skills, qualities, or ability to do something properly, lacking necessary status. Not having the necessary legal status, validity, or powers for the purpose in question.
(He has described the government as corrupt and incompetent.)
Exasperate(v)
to make somebody very angry or frustrated, often by repeatedly doing something annoying. To frustrate; to make angry or annoyed.
(He's becoming increasingly exasperated with the situation.)
Exacerbate(v)
to make an already bad or problematic situation worse, to make more violent, bitter, or severe.
(This attack will exacerbate the already tense relations between the two communities.)
Muddle(v,n)
mix things together in disorder: to mix things together in a confused or disordered way. Confuse or be confused. He became increasingly muddled as he grew older.
Prudence(n)
the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason. Sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs. Skill and good judgment in the use of resources. Caution or circumspection as to danger or risk.
(The firm was commended for its financial prudence.)
Combative(adj)
eager to fight or ague. Striving to overcome in argument. Having or showing a ready disposition to fight.
(The prime minister was in a combative mood, twice accusing the opposition of gross incompetence.)
Idle(adj)
not working or in use: not working, operating, producing. or in use lazy: lazy and unwilling to work. Frivolous and a waste of time (idle pleasures). Unfounded: having no basis in fact idle gossip.
(Half these factories now stand idle. It's crazy to have $7000 sitting idle in the bank.)
Effervescent(adj)
bubbly: producing gas in the form of tiny bubbles. Vivacious; behaving in a lively, high-spirited, or highly excited way. To bubble, hiss, and foam as gas escapes.
(effervescent vitamin C tablets.)
Vivacious(adj)
joyously unrestrained. Attractively lively and animated. A vivacious person, especially a woman or girl, is attractively energetic and enthusiastic.
(He brought along his wife, a vivacious blonde, some twenty years his junior.)
Devour(v)
to eat something eagerly and in large amounts so that nothing is left. To destroy something completely. To read books or literature quickly and eagerly.
(The young cubs hungrily devoured the deer.)
Sagacious(adj)
wise or shrewd: having or based on a profound knowledge and understanding of the world combined with intelligence and good judgment. Having or showing good judgement. Caused by or indicating acute discernment.
(A sagacious person/comment/choice.)
Sophomoric(adj)
immature: showing the naive lack of judgement tthat accompanies immaturity. Silly and childish.
(A sophomoric sense of humour.)
Burlesque(n)
mockery by ludicrous imitation. The mocking of a serious matter or style by imitating it in an incongruous way. A comically exaggerated imitation, especially in a literary or dramatic work. A variety adult entertainment show, usually including titillation such as striptease.
Vanity(n)
something somebody is vain: an instance or source of excessive pride. Excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements. Futility: the state or fact of being futile, worthless, or empty of significance; something that is considered futile, worthless, or empty of significance.
(He wants the job purely for reasons of vanity and ambition.)
Lassitude(n)
A state of weariness accompanied by listlessness or apathy physical or mental weariness; lack of energy.
(Shareholders are blaming the company's problems on the lassitude of the managing director.)
Wayward(adj)
resistant to guidance or discipline: disobedient and uncontrollable. Erratic or unpredictable: behaving in an erratic, apparently perverse, or unpredictable manner.
Heedless(adj)
not paying attention to something: not paying attention to somebody or to something such as a warning, piece of advice, or danger. Showing a reckless lack of care or attention.
(Heedless destruction of the rainforests is contributing to global warming. Journalists had insisted on getting to the front line of the battle, heedless of the risks.)
Impetuous(adj)
acting impulsively: acting on the spur of the moment, without considering the consequences. Done without thought as a reaction to an emotion or impulse marked by impulsive passion. Marked by force and violence of movement or action (an impetuous wind.)
(He's so impetuous - why can't he think things over before he rushes into them? The Prime Minister may now be regretting her impetuous promise to reduce unemployment by half.)
Nuisance(n)
somebody or something irritating: an annoying or irritating person or thing. Illegal thing: something not allowed by law because it causes harm or offense, either to people in general public or to an individual person.
(I've forgotten my umbrella - what a nuisance! It's such a nuisance having to rewrite those letters.)
Effeminate(adj)
Of a man, having behavior and mannerisms associated with a typical woman rather than a typical man. Describes a man who behaves or looks similar to a woman.
(He's got a very effeminate manner/voice.)
Capricious(adj)
A sudden and usually foolish desire to have or do something, or a sudden and foolish change of mind or behavior; a whim.
(He was a cruel and capricious tyrant.)
Tether(n)
a rope or chain attached to an animal and attached to something at the other end, restricting the animal's movement. Having no strength or patience left: the limit of one's strength or resources (at the end of my tether.)
(By 6 o'clock after a busy day I'm at the end of my tether.)
Pillory(n,v)
A wooden frame with holes into which somebody's head and hands could be locked. To ridicule somebody: to scorn or ridicule somebody or something openly, punish somebody in pillory.
(Although regularly pilloried by the press as an obnoxious loudmouth, he is, nonetheless, an effective politician.)
Tempestuous(adj)
Marked by bursts of destructive force or intense activity, marked by sudden or violent disturbance, marked by turmoil or disturbance especially of natural elements.
(Order was restored to the court after the judge put a stop to the defendant's tempestuous outburst. We spent a tempestuous night stranded on the summit of the mountain.)
Mischievous(adj)
playfully naughty or troublesome: behaving or likely to behave in a naughty or troublesome way, but in fun and not meaning serious harm. Troublesome or irritating: intended to tease or cause trouble, through usually in fun or without much malice.
(She has a mischievous sense of humor. A book about the mischievous antics of his ten-year-old daughter.)
Devious(adj)
secretive and calculating: not straightforward, sincere, or honest about intentions or motives. Unfair or underhand: not adhering to the right or usual course, procedures, or standards.
(You have to be a bit devious if you're going to succeed in business. A devious scheme.)
Extricate(v)
Free with difficulty: to release somebody or something with difficulty from a physical constraint or an unpleasant or complicated situation.
(It took hours to extricate the car from the sand. I tried to extricate myself from the situation but it was impossible.)
Ardor(n)
intense emotion, great passion, enthusiasm, or eagerness. Fiery intensity of feeling. Strong entusiasm or devotion; zeal
(His ardour for her cooled after only a few weeks.)
Endeavor(n,v)
a purposeful or industrious undertaking; especially one that requires effort or boldness. Earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something. Do one's utmost. A sincere attempt. A determined or assiduous effort towards a specific goal.
(In spite of our best endeavors, it has proven impossible to contact her. Crossing the North Pole on foot was an amazing feat of human endeavor.)
Cringe(v)
show submission or fear. Bend one's head and body in fear or in a servile manner. Have a sudden feeling of embarrassment of disgust. To shrink in fear or servility. To behave in an excessively humble or servile way.
(I cringed at the sight of my dad dancing.)
Juxtapose(v)
to place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast. Mix
(The exhibition juxtaposes Picasso's early drawings with some of his later works.)
Baleful(adj)
having a harmful effect, deadly or pernicious in influence, foreboding or threatening evil.
(He gave me a baleful look. His baleful influence.)
Abominable(adj)
worthy of causing disgust or hatred. Quiet disagreeable or unpleasant, causing intense displeasure, disgust or resentment.
(Your tablemanners are abominable. The prisoners are forced to live in abominable conditions.)
Consummate(adj)
making complete, complete a transaction, or close a deal.
(A life of consummate happiness. He's a consummate athlete/gentleman/liar.)
Accoutrement(n)
often used in plural. Items needed for the performance of a task or activity. Something that is not necessary in itself but adds to the convenience or performance of the main piece of equipment. An accessory item of clothing or equipment, military equipment other than uniforms and weapons.
Ensconce(v)
To make yourself very comfortable or sale in a place or position.
(After dinner, I ensconced myself in a deep armchair with a book. The Prime Minister is now firmly ensconced in Downing Street with a large majority.)
Bemuse(v)
engross somebody, to absorb the attention of somebody. Bewilder, to cause somebody to be confused of puzzled especially regarding emotional matters.
Gleam(n,v)
A brief and often reflected light, steady shining or glowing OR a brief show of some quality or annotation, a gleam of hope in a nasty situation.
(He polished the table until it gleamed. His eyes gleamed with triumph.)
Acumen(n)
skill in making correct decisions and judgments in a particular subject, such as business or politics.
(She has considerable business/financial acumen.)
Circumlocution(n)
The use of many words where fewer would do, especially deliberate attempt to be vague or evasive.
('Economical with the truth' is a circumlocution for lying. Politicians are experts in circumlocution.)
Heckle(v)
Interrupt with aggressive comments, to harass and annoy with questions, challenges, or gibes.
(A few angry locals started heckling the speaker.)
Bland(adj)
Insipid, lacking flavor, character or interest. Unemotional or free from anything annoying.
(I find chicken a little bland. Pop music these days is so bland.)
Newfangled(adj)
Puzzingly new, worryingly new or different, contemptibly modern, unfamiliar or different.
(I really don't understand these newfangled computer games that my children are always playing.)
Garrulous(adj)
talking too much, excessively or pointlessly talkative. Wordy, using many or too many words.
Jinx(n)
cause of misfortune, an unseen force, a person or something such as a curse that is thought to bring bad luck. The state or spell of bad luck brought on by a jinx.
(There's a jinx on this computer - it's gone wrong three times this morning.)
Flummox(v)
To confuse someone so much that they do not know what to do.
(I have to say that last question flummoxed me.)
Assiduous(adj)
Constant in application or attention; diligent: an assiduous worker who strove for perfection. Unceasing; persistent: assiduous research.
(The Government has been assiduous in the fight against inflation.)
Pester(v)
to be a constant source of annoyance to somebody, by harassing him or her with demands. Trouble somebody with persistent requests, interruption or petty questions.
(At the frontier, there were people pestering tourists for cigarettes, food or alcohol. John has been pestering her to go out with him all month.)
Amid(adj)
within or among AND while something is happening.
(On the floor, amid mounds of books, were two small envelopes. The new perfume was launched amidst a fanfare of publicity.)
Sardonic(adj)
disdainfully or cynically mocking, showing a lack of respect in a humorous but unkind way, often because you think that you are important to consider or discuss a matter.
(A sardonic smile/look/comment.)
Gauntlet(n)
An open challenge.
(Everyday they had to run the gauntlet of hostile journalists on their way to school. A price war looks likely now that a leading supermarket has thrown down the gauntlet to its competitors.)
Balloon(v)
to get bigger and rounder, to quickly increase in size, weight or importance.
(I ballooned when I became pregnant with my second baby. The rumours soon ballooned into a full grown scandal.)
Partisan(n, adj)
biased supporter, having the character of blind, passionate, or unreasonable adherence to a party.
(The audience was very partisan, and refused to listen to her speech.)
Ploy(n)
deceptive tactic, intended to embarrass or frustrate an opponent. A cunning manoeuvre to gain advantage.
(There are various ploys we can use if necessary. He only said he had a meeting as a ploy to get her to leave.)
Coy(adj)
showing marked and often playful or irritating evasiveness or reluctance to make a definite or committing statement. Pretending shyness or modesty.
(She gave me a coy look from under her schoolgirl's fringe. She's very coy about her age)
Pontifical(adj)
pompously dogmatic or self-important; pretentious. OR Having the dignity or authority of a pope/ bishop.
(I think it should be illegal for non-parents to pontificate about parenting.)
Short-change(v)
getting less than you expect, to give someone less change than is due in a transaction. To treat unfairly.
(I think I was short-changed in the pub last night, because I've only got $5 in my purse when I should have $10. Children who leave school unable to read and write properly are being tragically short-changed.)
Antagonist(n)
A person who is strongly opposed to something or someone.
(The antagonists in this dispute are quite unwilling to compromise.)
Protagonist(n)
An advocate or champion or a cause. An important supporter of an idea or political system. A leading person.
(Key protagonists of the revolution were hunted down and executed.)
Play Possum
To pretend to be dead or sleeping so that someone will not annoy or attack you.
Bolster(v)
to encourage something through support, to give a boost to.
(More money is needed to bolster the industry. She tried to bolster my confidence by telling me that I had a special talent. They need to do something to bolster their image.)
Consolidate(v)
to become, or cause something to become stronger and more certain.
(The success of their major product consolidated the firm's position in the market. She hoped that marriage would consolidate their relationship.)
Elucidate(v)
explain or clarify something. To make lucid especially by explanation or analysis.
(I don't understand. You'll have to elucidate. The reasons for the change in weather conditions have been elucidated by several scientists.)
Earsplitting(adj)
Distressingly loud or shrill, describes a sound that is too loud that it hurts your ears.
(An ear-splitting explosion, ear-piercing screams.)
Invigorate(v)
fill with energy of life. To make someone stronger, healthier and more energetic.
(We were invigorated by our walk.)
Hurtle(v)
move at great spread, often in a wildly uncontrolled manner. To more rapidly, violently or without control.
(The truck came hurtling toward us. The explosion sent pieces of metal and glass hurtling through the air.)
Exonerate(v)
free somebody from blame, guilt or an obligation.
(The report exonerated the crew from all responsibility for the collision.)
Hone(v)
improve something with refinements, to bring something to a state of increased intensity, excellence or completion. Or to sharpen blade on whetstone, to hone is to make it sharper.
(His physique was honed to perfection. Her debating skills were honed in the students' union.)
Corroborate(v)
to add proof or certainty to an account, statement, idea, with new information.
(Recent research seems to corroborate his theory.)
Inveigh(v)
To declaim or rail. To utter censorious and bitter language; to attack with harsh criticism.
(There were politicians who inveighed against immigrants to get votes.)
Wanting(adj)
unsatisfactory, not meeting expectations of requirements. Absent; not provided, lacking deprived of, in need of and deficient.
(I think she's perhaps a little wanting in charm. This government's policies, said the speaker, have been tried and found wanting.)
Last-Ditch(adj)
final, done or taken when all other option have been exhausted. A final attempt before quitting, often desperate.
(In a last-ditch attempt to save his party from electoral defeat, he resigned from the leadership.)
Ghastly(adj)
unpleasant and shocking, very bad, frightening.
(Today's newspaper gives all the ghastly details of the murder. It was all a ghastly mistake. You look ghastly - are you okay?)
Sectarian(n, adj)
strongly supporting a particular religious group, especially in such a way as not to be willing to accept other beliefs.
(A sectarian murder. He called on terrorists on both sides of the sectarian divide to end the cycle of violence.)
Resilient(adj)
recovering quickly from setbacks. Or elastic: able to spring back into shape after being bent, stretched, or squashed.
(This rubber ball is very resilient and immediately spring back into shape. She's a resilient girl - she won't be unhappy for long)
Commiserate(v)
to feel or express sympathy for someone's suffering, unhappiness or bad luck.
(I began by commiserating with her over the defeat.)
Entice(v)
provoke someone to do something through promises or persuasion.
(The adverts entice the customer into buying things they don't really want. People are being enticed away from the profession by higher salaries elsewhere. A smell of coffee in the doorway enticed people to enter the shop)
Sturdy(adj)
well made, strongly build, resolute.
(sturdy walking boots, a sturdy table, sturdy little legs.)
Bungle(v)
to act or work clumsy and awkwardly, to do something wrong in a careless of stupid way.
Leery(adj)
suspicious, cautious or wary, not trusting of someone or something and tending to avoid them if possible.
(I've always been a bit leery of authority figures.)
Dichotomy(n)
a division or contrast between two things that are represented as being opposed or entirely different.
(There is often a dichotomy between what politicians say and what they do.)
Scapegoat(n)
A person who is blamed for wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others.
(The captain was made a scapegoat for the team's failure.)
Portend(v)
to be a sign that something bad is likely to happen in the future.
(It was a deeply superstitious country, where earthquakes were commonly believed to portend the end of dynasties.)
Perennial(adj)
lasting a very long time, or happening repeatedly or all the time.
(The film 'White Christmas' is a perennial favorite. We face the perennial problem of not having enough money.)
Bellicose(adj)
ready or inclined to quarrel, fight, or go to war. Belligerent, battleful, combative.
(The general made some bellicose statements about his country's military strength.)
Judicious(adj)
marked by the exercise of good judgment or common sense in practical matters, characterized by good judgment or sound thinking.
(We should make judicious use of the resources available to us.)
Farce(n)
an absurd situation, in which everything goes wrong or becomes a sham.
(No one had prepared anything so the meeting was a bit of a farce.)
Mitigate(v)
to make something less harmful, unpleasant or bad.
(It is unclear how to mitigate the effects of tourism on the island.)
Pall(v)
become less appealing or interesting through familiarity.
(The pleasure of not having to work quickly palled.)
Red Herring (n)
a fact, idea or subject that takes people's attention away from the central point being considered.
(The police investigated many clues, but they were all red herrings.)
Maraud(v)
Roam in search of thing to steal or people to attack, to roam about and raid in search of plunder.
(Witnesses reported gangs of marauding soldiers breaking into people's houses and setting fire to them.)
White Elephant(n)
A possession that is useless or troublesome, esp. one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of.
Raunchy(adj)
sexually explicit or suggestive in an earthy or vulgar way OR messy; lacking cleanliness or neatness.
(A raunchy magazine/video)
Double Whammy(n)
A situation when two unpleasant things happen at almost the same time.
(Britain's farmers have faced the double whammy of a rising pound and falling agricultural prices.)
Blatant(adj)
completely obvious conspicuous, or obtrusive.
(The whole episode was a blatant attempt to gain publicity.)
Mangy(adj)
in poor condition, showing signs of wear and tear and neglect.
(We need to get rid of that mangy old carpet in the bedroom.)
Valiant(adj)
brave or determined; done courageously. Acting with bravery or boldness.
(The company has made a valiant effort in the last two years to make itself more efficient.)
Flagrant(adj)
conspicuously offensive (flagrant errors); especially so obviously inconsistent with what is right or proper as to appear to be a flouting of law or morality.
(A flagrant misuse of fund.)
Suffice(v)
be sufficient, be adequate, be enough or meet the needs of.
(I'm taking four hundred pounds' worth of travellers' cheques - I think that should suffice.)
Saturate(v)
to soak something with liquid, to fill something with so many people or things that no more can be added. Supply a market beyond the point at which the demand for a product is satisfied.
(The grass had been saturated by overnight rain. He had cut his leg badly, and his trousers were saturated with blood.)
Broach(v)
to bring up a difficult subject, OR to open a bottle or barrel.
(At some point we've got to discuss money but I don't know quiet how to broach the subject with him. Shall we broach another case of wine?)
Quagmire(n)
an area of soft wet ground which you sink into if you try and walk on it, a difficult and dangerous situation.
(At the end of the match, the pitch was a real quagmire. Since the coup, the country has sunk deeper into a quagmire of violence and lawlessness.)
Abeyance(n)
suspension of activity, temporary inactivity or non operation, temporarily suspended.
(The project is being held in abeyance until agreement is reached on funding it. Hostilities between the two groups have been in abeyance since last June.)
Vindicate(v)
show to be right by providing justification or proof. Clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting proof.
(The decision to include Morris in the team was completely vindicated when he scored three goals. They said they welcomed the trial as a chance to vindicate themselves.)
Largesse(n)
willingness to give money, or money given to poor people by rich people.
(The national theater will be the main beneficiary of the millionaire's largesse.
Pellucid(adj)
transparent, allowing all or most light to pass through. OR easy to understand, clear in meaning.
Braggadocio(n)
boastful or arrogant behavior. Overblown, empty boasting and swaggering self-aggrandizement.
Congruent(adj)
in agreement, corresponding to or consistent with each other or with something else.
(congruent triangles)
Abstruse(adj)
difficult to penetrate, difficult to understand or comprehend.
(An abstruse philosophical essay.)
Abject(adj)
showing no pride or respect for yourself; sunk to a low condition, down in spirit or hope; degraded, servile, despicable, groveling.
(They live in abject poverty. He is almost abject in his respect for his boss.)
Scurrilous(adj)
expressing unfair or false criticism, which is likely to damage someone's reputation, vulgar verbal abuse, rude and cruel.
(a scurrilous remark/attack/article)
Opaque(adj)
preventing light from traveling through, and therefore not transparent or translucent, describes writing or speech that is difficult to understand.
(opaque glass. I find her poetry rather opaque.)
Dispel(v)
to remove fears, doubts, false ideas, force to go away, both concrete and metaphorically.
(I'd like to start the speech by dispelling a few rumors that have been spreading recently.)
Sedentary(adj)
involving little exercise, characterized by or requiring a sitting posture, not physically active.
(A sedentary job/occupation. My doctor says I should start playing sport because my lifestyle is too sedentary.)
Misnomer(n)
a name that does not suit what it refers to, or the use of such a name.
(It was such the scruffiest place I've ever stayed in, so 'Hotel Royal' was a bit of a misnomer. It's something of a misnomer to refer to these inexperienced boys as soldiers.)
Palpable(adj)
so obvious that is can easily be seen or known, or so strong that it seems as if it can be touched or physically felt.
(A palpable effect. Her joy was palpable.)
Hyperbole(n)
a way of speaking/writing that makes someone or something sound much bigger, better, smaller, worse, more unusual, than they are.
(The blurb on the back of the book was full of the usual hyperbole - 'enthralling', 'fascinating' and so on.)
Upbraid(v)
to forcefully or angrily tell someone they should not have done a particular thing and criticize them for having done it.
(In newspaper articles she consistently upbraided those in authority who overstepped their limits.)
Morose(adj)
unhappy or annoyed and unwilling to speak, smile, or be pleasant to people.
(a morose expression. Why are you so morose these days?)
Peccadillo(n)
A minor sin, a slight offense, a small fault.
(A youthful peccadillo. He dismissed what had happened as a mere peccadillo.)
Euphemism(n)
the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant; also: the expression so substituted.
('Senior citizen' is a euphemism for 'old person'. The article made so much use of euphemism that often its meaning was unclear.)
Fervor(n)
describes beliefs that are strongly and sincerely felt. An intense heated emotion, passion, ardor, extremely passionate.
(A fervent supporter of the communist party. It is his fervent hope that a peaceful solution will soon be found.)
Elongate(v)
to become or make something become longer and often thinner. Make longer, extend, lengthen, draw out.
(In the photo her face was slightly elongated.)
Jocular(adj)
amusing or intended to cause amusement. Describes someone who is happy and likes to make jokes.
(A jocular comment. Micheal was in a very jocular mood at the party.)
Perk(v)
to become or cause someone to become happier, more energetic or active. To gain in vigor or cheerfulness after a period of weakness or depression. OR and advantage, or benefit.
(She perked up as soon as I mentioned that Charles was coming to dinner. Would you like a cup of coffee? It might perk you up a bit.)
Intricate(adj)
having many complexly arranged elements; solvable or comprehensible only with painstaking effort. Complex.
(The watch mechanism is extremely intricate and very difficult to repair. Police officers uncovered an intricate web of deceit.)
Mishap(n)
an accident or unlucky event, problem, unfortunate circumstance, bad luck.
(A series of mishaps led to the nuclear power plant blowing up.)
Succumb(v)
to die or suffer badly from an illness; to lose the determination to oppose something, or to give up and accept something that you first opposed; give in, to die from illness or injury.
(The town finally succumbed last week after being pounded with heavy artillery for more than two months.)
Profligate(adj)
wasteful: extremely extravagant or wasteful OR with low morals: having or showing extremely low moral standards.
(She is well-known for her profligate spending habits.)
Improvident(adj)
spending money in a way that is not sensible, and/ or not planning carefully for the future; lacking care for the future, unconcerned about future needs: failing to put money aside or give any thought to the future without foresight: not sensible, cautious, or wise.
Incumbent(adj)
obligatory: necessary as a result of a duty, responsibility, or obligation forcing one's compliance or participation by or as if by law.
(The incumbent president faces problems which began many years before he took office.)
Trivialize(v)
to make something seem less important than it really is. To reduce the importance or value of something, to treat something as, or make it appear less important or valuable than it really is.
(I don't want to trivialize the problem, but I do think there are more important matters to discuss.)
Duress(n)
Forcible restraint or compulsion by threat. Violence use to coerce a person into doing something. The use of force or threats to make somebody do something.
(He claimed that he signed the confession under duress.)
Thwart(v)
to oppose and defeat the efforts, plans or ambitions. To prevent the occurence or realization of something. Frustrate something.
(My holiday plans have been thwarted by the strike.)
Pursuit(v,n)
Act of striving for something, the effort made to try to achieve or obtain something over a period of time.
(Three people have been killed in high-speed pursuits by the police recently. The robbers fled the scene of the crime, with the police in pursuit.)
Privy(adj)
be privy to sth; to be told information that is not told to many people. Sharing in the knowledge of something secret or private. Sharing secret knowledge, sharing knowledge or something secret or private.
(I was nev