ABANDON: To give up completely – abandoned the sinking ship. Synonyms: relinquish, forgo, forsake
ABASH: To lose self-confidence; to confuse, put to shame – abashed before the assembled dignitaries. Synonyms: fluster, disconcert, discomfit, discompose. Antonym: (adj.) self-possessed
ABDICATE: To give up claim to – abdicated the throne. Synonyms: renounce, abandon, relinquish
ABET: To encourage -or support – treacherously abetted the enemy. Synonyms: spur, incite. Antonym: deter
ABRIDGE: To shorten – abridged his lengthy speech. Synonyms: curtail, diminish, retrench. Antonyms: protract, elongate, amplify
ABROGATE: To abolish or render void – a treaty abrogated by mutual consent. Synonyms: annul, nullify, rescind, void.
ABSTEMIOUS: Moderate in the use of food or drink – abstemious in his habits. Synonym: temperate
ACADEMIC: Pertaining to school; theoretical academic interests; an academic discussion, with no practical implications. Synonym: scholastic
ACCEDE: To agree to – accede to a request. Synonym: assent. Antonym: demur
ACCELERATE: – To quicken, speed tip – took an accelerated course in order to graduate early. Synonym: expedite (adj. expeditious). Antonym: retard.
ACCOLADE: An award or salute – a tremendous accolade for a returning hero. Synonyms: tribute, ovation
ACCORD: Agreement or harmony – in full accord with his view. Synonyms: concord, concurrence. Antonyms: dissension, discord
ACRIMONIOUS: Sharp or harsh in language or temper – stung by the acrimonious remark. Synonyms: caustic, acerb, pungent, tart, mordant, acrid; (noun) asperity. Antonyms: suave, affable,
ACUMEN: Keenness of mind or insight – showing exceptional business acumen. Synonyms: perspicacity, discernment, perception. Antonym: obtuseness.
ADMONISH (noun: ADMONITION): To warn or find fault gently – admonishing the unruly child. Synonyms: chide, caution, reprimand, reprehend, reproach.
ADVERSARY: (adj.: ADVERSE): An opponent – his adversary in a bitter debate. Synonym: antagonist. Antonyms: cohort, confederate, ally, accomplice.
ADVERSITY: Misfortune – calm in the face of adversity. Synonyms: affliction, mischance, reverses.
AESTHETIC: Pertaining to the beautiful – interested in aesthetic values rather than in purely practical affairs.
AFFABLE: Sociable, courteous, and agreeable in manner a much admired, affable gentleman. Synonyms: civil, complaisant, benign, gracious, genial, urbane, cordial. Antonyms: curt, brusque, rude, boorish, surly.
AFFLUENT: Prosperous, flourishing; copious – a large bequest from an affluent grandfather. Synonyms: opulent, profuse. Antonyms: destitute, impecunious.
AGGRESSIVE (noun: AGGRESSION. an unprovoked attack): self-assertive; attacking, offensive – annoyed people by his aggressive attitude. Synonyms: bumptious, officious, obtrusive. Antonyms: meek, humble, retiring, diffident.
ALACRITY: Eagerness; cheerful promptness – responded to the flattering offer with alacrity. Synonyms: celerity, briskness, energy, animation. Antonyms: apathy, nonchalance, sluggishness, lethargy, phlegmatism.
ALIENATE: To estrange – alterated by his gruff manner.
ALLAY: To calm; to lessen in severity – at ease now that his fears have been allayed. Synonyms: appease, alleviate, pacify, assuage, abate, mitigate, propitiate, mollify, placate. Antonyms: intensify, aggravate.
ALLUDE (noun: ALLUSION): To refer to indirectly – alluded quite subtly to his friend’s misfortune. Synonyms: insinuate, intimate, imply. Antonyms: refer, cite.
ALLURE: To tempt by flattery or an attractive offer – allured by the prospect of a new job. Synonyms: lure, decoy, inveigle, entice, seduce, wheedle, beguile, cajole. Antonym: repel.
AMBIGUOUS: Uncertain, vague, capable of being inter- in more than one way – puzzled by the ambiguous statement. Synonyms: hazy, obscure, equivocal, dubious, nebulous. Antonyms: explicit, unquestionable.
AMENABLE: Obedient; willing to submit – amenable to the suggestion. Synonyms: tractable, docile, responsive. Antonyms: intractable, refractory, recalcitrant.
AMIABLE: Good-natured; friendly – attracted friends by his amiable disposition. Synonym: complaisant.
ANACHRONISM: A thing placed or occurring out of its normal time – A machine gun at the Battle of Yorktown would be an anachronism.
ANALOGY (adj.: ANALOGOUS): A relation between two things shown in the resemblance not of the things themselves but of their characteristics – He indicated points of analogy between the two situations. Synonyms: correspondence, affinity. Antonym: anomaly (a deviation from the general rule).
ANARCHY: State of confusion or lawlessness – a country brought to utter anarchy by civil war. Synonyms: chaos, pandemonium.
ANIMUS: A feeling of hatred-felt no animus, even against the enemy. Synonyms: enmity, rancor, malevolence, animosity. Antonym: amity.
ANNALS: Historical records – in the annals of literature.
ANONYMOUS: Of unknown authorship-an anonymous publication.
ANTHOLOGY: A collection of choice literary works – an anthology of modern poetry.
ANTITHESIS (adj.: ANTITHETICAL): Contrast; the direct opposite – His selfish attitude seemed to me the antithesis o patriotism.
APATHY (adj.: APATHETIC): Lack of feeling, emotion, or interest – attributed his failure to apathy, rather than lack of ability. Synonyms: torpor, lethargy, sluggishness, listlessness, languor, lassitude, dispassion; (verb) languish. Antonyms: zeal, animation.
APPREHENSIVE (verb: APPREHEND): Fearful – Being unprepared, John is apprehensive of the examination.
APPRISE: To inform –apprised his lieutenants of the new situation.
APPROBATION: Approval; praise -a plan that met with hearty approbation. Synonyms: sanction, commendation. Antonym: disapprobation.
APT (noun: APTITUDE, APTNESS): ((1) Likely; inclined or disposed – apt to succeed. Synonym: prone. (2) Fit, suitable – an apt remark. Synonyms: appropriate, felicitous. (3) Skillful, expert – apt at woodcarving. Synonyms: deft, dextrous, adept. Antonym: inept.
ARBITER: A person who has authority to decide matters in dispute – a fair decision rendered by the arbiter. Synonyms: mediator, arbitrator
ARCHETYPE: An original pattern – copies reproduced from the archetype. Synonym: prototype. Antonyms: Stereotype, facsimile, replica.
ARISTOCRACY: Government by the best people; a privileged class -special privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy. Synonym: oligarchy. Antonym: democracy.
ARMISTICE: A temporary suspension of hostilities. The armistice halted the war. Synonym: truce
ARTFUL: Sly; crafty – attained his mean objective by artful measures. Synonyms: cunning, wily, adroit, ingenious, guileful. Antonyms: guileless, ingenuous, artless.
ARTICULATE (verb): To speak clearly or distinctly – articulated slowly so that he could not be misunderstood. (adj.): Capable of speech; distinct, clear – an articulate man, always ready to give his views.
ASCETIC: Rigorously self-denying – pursued the ascetic life of a monk. Synonyms: austere, abstinent. Antonyms: wanton, self-indulgent.
ASKANCE: With distrust – looked askance at the forged signature.
ASSEVERATE: To declare positively; to confirm – asseverated his views with conviction. Synonyms: assert, avouch, aver, avow, allege. Antonyms: gainsay, controvert, recant, rescind, abjure, disavow.
ASSIDUOUS: Industrious – an assiduous worker, toiling long hours. Synonyms: sedulous, attentive, diligent, indefatigable. Antonyms: indolent, slothful.
ASYLUM: A place offering shelter and retreat – found asylum from persecution. Synonyms: sanctuary, refuge.
ATHEIST: One who denies that God exists – The atheist declared, “There is no God.” Synonyms: infidel, agnostic, skeptic.
ATTRIBUTE (verb): Assign -attributed his success to bard work. Synonym: ascribe (noun): An inherent quality -Generosity was his outstanding attribute.
AUGMENT: To increase or enlarge – an army augmented by numerous enlistments. Synonyms: enhance, amplify. Antonyms: abate, curtail.
AUSPICIOUS: Indicating a happy outcome – The prospect for this project appears auspicious. Synonyms: propitious, fortunate. Antonyms: ominous, foreboding.
AUTHENTIC: Genuine -proved to be an authentic document. Synonyms: veritable, bona fide. Antonyms: apocryphal, counterfeit, spurious, bogus.
AUTOCRATIC: Despotic – feared by the masses as an autocratic ruler. Synonym: tyrannical. Antonym: benevolent.
AVARICE: Excessive greed – a fortune accumulated by avarice and miserliness. Synonyms: covetousness, cupidity, avidity. Antonym: magnanimity.
AWRY: Unsymmetrical; not straight – the picture, hanging awry on the wall. Synonym: askew.
BANAL: Lacking in freshness, originality, or vigor-bored by his banal remarks. Synonyms: commonplace, hackneyed, prosaic, trite, stereotyped, vapid. Antonyms: racy, original, vivid.
BANTER: Good-natured teasing or ridicule-The two wits I exchanged banter, to the amusement of the audience. Synonyms: raillery, chaff
BATON: A stick or staff – The conductor wielded his baton gracefully.
BELIE: To give a false idea of – His gracious manner belled his evil purpose. Synonym: misrepresent
BELLICOSE; Inclined to quarrel; warlike – His bellicose attitude often got John into fights. Synonyms: pugnacious, contentious, disputatious. Antonyms: pacific, conciliatory.
BELLIGERENT: Engaged in war – two belligerent nations warring fiercely.
BENEVOLENT: Kindly; charitable – like a benevolent monarch, bestowing many favors. Synonyms: benign, benignant, gracious, magnanimous. Antonyms: malevolent, malignant.
BEREAVE: To deprive or leave desolate by loss – a widow just bereaved of her husband.
BESMIRCH: To soil or dirty – besmirched his opponent’s good name with vile epithets. Synonyms: stilly, defile, smirch, bespatter.
BIASED: Prejudiced – misled by a biased point of view. Synonyms: bigoted, arbitrary, partial, partisan. Antonyms: disinterested, equitable.
BIBLIOPHILE: A lover of books – The bibliophile fingered the old book fondly. Antonym: bibliophobe.
BIZARRE: Queer; unusual in appearance- bizarre clothes, outlandish in the extreme. Synonyms: odd, fantastic, grotesque, eccentric.
BLAND: Gentle; polite; agreeable – a bland diet, without irritating foods. Synonyms: mild, suave (affable or persuasive in manner), soothing, non-irritating. Antonyms: piquant, tart, racy, caustic, acrid, pungent.
BLANDISHMENT: A flattering speech or act – attracted people by his blandishments.
BLEMISH (verb): To scar or spoil – Bad associates blemished his character; (noun): A disfigurement, defect – a character without a blemish.
BLIGHT: To ruin or decay – the rotting wheat, blighted by incessant rain. Synonyms: wither, blast
BLITHE: Gay and light-hearted in spirit or mood – spread cheer with her blithe spirit. Synonyms: jocund, merry, joyous. Antonyms: dejected, forlorn, abject.
BOG: A swamp – sank into the spongy bog. Synonyms: morass, fen, quagmire, mire.
BOMBASTIC (noun: BOMBAST): High-sounding; pretentious in language – a bombastic speech, inflated with meaningless high-flown words. Synonyms: ranting, pompous, fustian.
BOORISH: Unrefined in speech or manners – exhibited the boorish manners of a backwoodsman. Synonyms: churlish, uncouth, uncultured, crass. Antonym: suave.
BUCOLIC: Pertaining to the country – a bucolic poem – the joys of the shepherd. Synonyms: pastoral, rustic, rural.
BUFFOON: A clown – acting like a buffoon, full of ludicrous tricks. Synonym: harlequin.
BULWARK: (1) An embankment used as a fortification – a lofty bulwark for defense. Synonym: rampart. 2) A person, idea, or object serving as a protection – acted as a bulwark in the fight against crime.
BUMPTIOUS: Obnoxiously conceited or self-assertive – a bumptious monitor, puffed up with his own importance. Synonyms: aggressive, arrogant, contumelious, overbearing.
CABAL: A small group of persons engaged in plotting – a cabal of prominent persons united to overthrow the government. Synonyms: junto, faction.
CACOPHONOUS: Unharmonious sounding – a cacophonous blare of trumpets, noisy and discordant. Synonyms: dissonant, discordant, blatant, strident, raucous. Antonyms: mellifluous, euphonious, dulcet.
CADAVEROUS: Corpselike; hence, haggard, pale -His face appeared cadaverous from long imprisonment. Synonyms: ghastly, gaunt, pallid (noun: pallor), wan, ashen. Antonyms: rubicund, florid.
CALLOUS: Unfeeling or insensitive – made callous by long suffering. Synonyms: insensible, obdurate.
CALUMNIATE: To accuse falsely or maliciously in order to injure another’s reputation; slander – calumniated his political opponent by spreading false rumors. Synonyms: asperse, vilify, defame, scandalize.
CANDID (noun: CANDOR): Frank, outspoken; impartial a candid reply that could hardly be more forthright. Synonyms: artless, ingenuous, unbiased. Antonyms: guileful, evasive.
CAPRICIOUS: Inclined, through some whim or fancy change the mind, purpose, or actions suddenly – a capricious person, undependable in mood or temper. Synonyms: fickle, fitful, changeable, erratic, inconstant, crotchety, whimsical, mercurial. Antonyms: steadfast, constant, even-tempered.
CAPTIOUS: Quick to find fault about trifles- a captious critic pouncing on slight laws. Synonyms: hypercritical, carping, carviling, censorious.
CARICATURE: A picture or other description of a person which exaggerates ludicrously one or more of his distinctive features – not a realistic portrait but a malicious caricature.
CASTIGATE: To punish or criticize severely – castigated for using improper language. Synonyms: reprove, upbraid, reprehend, censure, reprimand, chasten. Antonyms: commend, eulogize, laud.
CELESTIAL: Pertaining to the sky; heavenly-a celestial pageant of bright stars. Synonyms: ethereal; (noun) firmament.
CHAUVINIST. An extreme patriot-a chauvinist with most pride in his country. Synonym: jingoist.
CHICANERY: Trickery, deception,- practised chicanery all his shady dealings. Synonyms: duplicity, craft, stratagem, wile, subterfuge.
CHRONIC: Continuing a long time; habitual-a. chronic complaint, persisting for years. Synonyms: persistent, unremitting, inveterate, incessant, constant. Antonyms: intermittent, sporadic, infrequent.
CIRCUMSPECT: Cautious – looked about him circumspectly. Synonyms: prudent, vigilant, discreet, wary. Antonyms: rash, indiscreet, reckless, precipitate, foothardy, temerarious, headstrong.
CIRCUMVENT: To gain an advantage by the use of trick to evade by the use of deception; to go around – circumvented the law by evasive practices. Synonyms: thwart, balk, outwit, delude.
CIVIL: (1) Of or having to do with citizens or the state – civil duties as well as civil liberties. 2) Polite, courteous – answered in a civil fashion. Synonyms: respectful, gracious.
CLAMOROUS: Loud and noisy – a clamorous outburst the crowd outside. Synonyms: vociferous, obstreperous, blatant, raucous, strident. Antonyms: muted, quiet.
CLANDESTINE: Secret; stealthy – a clandestine meeting known only to a few. Synonyms: furtive, covert, surreptitious. Antonyms: overt, manifest, above-board.
CLEMENT: Merciful; gentle – a clement judge who tempered justice with leniency. Synonyms: compassionate, forbearing. Antonyms: relentless, ruthless.
COALITION (verb: COALESCE): Alliance; merging of various units into one unit – three parties forming a coalition to rule the country. Synonyms: amalgamation, consolidation, fusion.
COERCION: Compelling a person by physical force or other means to do something against his will – rendered his services without the slightest coercion. Synonyms: constraint, restraint, impelling.
COGENT: Having the force to compel, usually by appealing to reason – persuaded by cogent arguments. Synonym: persuasive.
COLLUSION: Working together secretly for an evil purpose – acted in collusion to overthrow the government. Synonyms: collaboration, conspiracy, conniving, machination.
COMMODIOUS: Roomy – a commodious apartment. Synonyms: spacious, capacious, ample.
COMPATIBLE: Harmonious; able, to get along together parted company because they were not compatible. Synonyms: congruous, consistent. Antonyms: incongruous, discordant, incompatible.
COMPENDIUM (adj.: COMPENDIOUS): A brief summary of the main ideas of a larger work – a compendium of chemistry in a slim volume. Synonyms: synopsis, digest, precis, abstract, epitome.
COMPENSATION: Payment for services – just compensation for his labor. Synonyms: stipend, remuneration, recompense, emolument.
COMPLACENT: Self-satisfied – looked on his own performance with a complacent smile. Synonym: smug.
COMPUNCTION: Regret for wrongdoing – displayed slight compunction for his misdeed. Synonyms: contrition, penitence, atonement, remorse, qualm.
CONCEDE: To yield; to admit as true; to grant – conceded victory to a superior force. Synonyms: acquiesce, capitulate.
CONDIGN: Well-deserved (applied chiefly to punishment) – received condign punishment for his crime.
CONDOLE (noun: CONDOLENCE): To express sympathy with another in sorrow, pain, or misfortune – condoled with each other in their grief. Synonyms: commiserate, show compassion, solace.
CONDONE: To forgive or overlook (an offense) – condoned the deed, in view of the offender’s age. Synonyms: extenuate, palliate, mitigate, gloss.
CONFEDERATE (noun): A person allied with others for a special purpose (frequently a bad one) – joined his confederate in secret enterprise. Synonyms: collaborator, accomplice. (adj.): United or allied in a conspiracy – two confederate groups hurrying to their rendezvous.
CONGENIAL: ((1) Possessing similar interests and tastes; able to get on well with others – congenial people with similar backgrounds. Synonym: compatible. (2) Agreeable – congenial to his taste.
CONJECTURE: To guess – Without facts, we can only conjecture about his guilt. Synonyms: surmise, presume.
CONSECRATE: ((1) To set apart as sacred – consecrate the battlefield with a monument to the dead heroes. Synonyms: hallow, sanctify. Antonym: desecrate. (2) To devote or dedicate to some aim – consecrated his life to teaching.
CONSENSUS. General agreement – The consensus of the committee was that no action should be taken. Synonym: accord.
CONSTERNATION: Amazement; lack of courage caused by fearful prospect – The threat struck deep consternation into John. Synonyms: dismay, bewilderment.
CONSTRUE (noun: CONSTRUCTION): To interpret, explain the sense of, or analyze – construed the statement to his own advantage.
CONSUMMATE (adj.): Perfect or highly accomplished – achieved with consummate skill. Antonyms: botched. bungled, inept (verb): To complete, bring to perfection – consummated the deal without delay.
CONTEMPTUOUS: Expressive of contempt (an emotion involving anger and disgust) – cast a contemptuous look at his subordinate. Synonyms: supercilious, scornful, disdainful, contumelious.
COPIOUS: Plentiful – shed copious tears at the bad news. Synonyms: profuse, bountiful, abundant. Antonyms: meager, scant.
CORPULENT: Fat – corpulent due to excessive eating. Synonyms: obese, portly. Antonyms: gaunt, lank, emaciated, peaked.
COSMOPOLITAN (noun): One who is at home in all countries – A cosmopolitan can feel at ease anywhere in the world. (adj.): Free from local prejudices – a world-wide traveler, cosmopolitan in tastes and attitudes. Synonyms: Catholic. Antonyms: parochial, provincial.
COTERIE: A group of people joined by common interests a coterie of select friend. Synonym: clique.
COUNTENANCE (noun): A face – His countenance expressed his complete disgust. Synonym: visage. (verb): To approve – refused to countenance disrespectful conduct. Synonym: sanction.
CRASS: Coarse and stupid – displayed crass ignorance. Synonym: gross.
CRAVEN (noun): Coward – the deed of a craven, motivated by fear. Synonym. Poltroon. (adj.): Cowardly – a craven act which shocked the world. Synonyms: pusillanimous, dastardly. Antonyms: stalwart, intrepid, valiant, stout-hearted.
CREDENCE: Trust or belief – gave little credence to the rumor. Synonym: conviction. Antonym: skepticism.
CREDIBLE: Worthy of belief – a credible story, true to life. Antonym: incredible.
CREDITABLE: Deserving or reflecting Credit or honor – applauded for his creditable performance. Synonyms: praiseworthy, meritorious, commendable. Antonyms: discreditable, infamous, opprobrious, ignominious.
CREDULOUS: Inclined to believe anything; easily imposed upon – a credulous fool whom anyone can dupe. Synonym: gullible. Antonyms: incredulous, skeptical.
CRINGE: To shrink in fear – cringing before superior force. Synonyms: cower, flinch, fawn, truckle, wince.
CRUCIAL: Decisive or critical; difficult – the crucial event that decided the outcome. CRYPTIC: Containing hidden meaning – a cryptic message, difficult to decipher. Synonyms: occult, enigmatic. Antonyms: palpable, manifest.
CULPABLE: Deserving blame or censure – removed from office for culpable negligence. Synonyms: censurable, reprehensible.
CUMBROUS: Burdensome and clumsy – a cumbrous knapsack, impeding his march. Synonyms: cumbersome, unwieldy, bulk. CURB: To control, check, or restrain – forcibly curbed the people’s protest. Synonyms: repress, subdue.
CURSORY: Hurried; hence, superficial – Time permitted only a cursory examination. Antonyms: painstaking, meticulous. CURT: Rudely abrupt -offended by the curt response. Synonyms: blunt, brusque, bluff. Antonyms: affable, civil.
CYNICAL: Sneeringly distrustful of the good motives or conduct of others – belittled the hero with a cynical remark. Synonyms: sarcastic, surly.
DEARTH: Scarcity – a dearth of news, brought about by censorship. Antonyms: plethora, abundance.
DEFERENCE: Submitting to the wishes or judgment of another – yielded out of deference to the old man. Synonyms: respect, complaisance, veneration. Antonym recalcitrance.
DEITY: A god -The sun was a deity to ancient peoples. Synonym: divinity.
DELECTABLE: Very pleasing – a delectable meal, tastefully prepared. DELETE: To erase or cancel, take out or remove – deletedan offensive phrase. Synonyms: expunge, censor, efface, eradicate.
DELINEATE: To sketch or portray – striking features, delineated by a master artist.
DELINQUENT (noun): An offender – found to be a delinquent by the court. (adj.): Failing to fulfill an obligation – too many people who are delinquent in meeting their civic duties. Synonym: derelict.
DELUGE: A great flood; downpour – a spring deluge which caused the river to overflow.
DEMAGOGUE: A leader who tries to stir the passions of people for his own purposes – the mob roused by an unprincipled demagogue.
DEMEANOR: Behavior; bearing – carrying himself with a proud demeanor. Synonyms: deportment, mien.
DEMURE: Affectedly or falsely modest or prim; serious demure as a Victorian maiden. Synonyms: sedate, staid, decorous, prudish, coy. Antonyms: immodest, frivolous.
DENOUNCE (noun: DENUNCIATION): To speak against – denounced by the press as a traitor. Synonyms: stigmatize, censure, reprehend, castigate- Antonyms: laud, eulogize.
DEPLETE: To empty or to use up – depleted the public treasury by vast building programs. Synonyms: exhaust, drain. Antonyms: replenish; (adj.) replete.
DEPLORE: To express sorrow or grief over – a lamentable situation deplored by all parties. Synonyms: lament, decry, grieve.
DEPRAVED: Of low morals; corrupt – a depraved mind, devising evil. Synonyms: debased, wicked, vicious, perverted.
DEPRECATE: To plead or argue against a certain course of action – deprecated the proposal severely. Synonyms: remonstrate, protest, decry, expostulate. Antonym: sanction.
DEPRECIATE: To belittle or speak slightingly of – depreciated John’s acting ability. Synonyms: disparage, derogate (adj. derogatory). Antonyms: enhance, magnify, extol, laud, eulogize.
DEVASTATION: Widespread ruin – the city left in utter devastation by war. Synonyms: destruction, desolation.
DEVIOUS: ((1) Winding; indirect – took a devious, rather than the direct way home. Synonym: circuitous. (2) Straying from the right course – used devious means to attain his wicked ends. Synonyms: crooked, erring.
DEVOID: Lacking in; not possessing – a speech devoid of even a trace of ill-will. Synonym: destitute. Antonyms: abounding, prevalent.
DEVOUT: Devoted to religious observances – devout in his regularity of attendance at worship. Synonyms: pious, religious. Antonym impious.
DICTUM: Art authoritative statement; a saying-an imperial dictum demanding instant compliance.
DIDACTIC: Designed to teach, imparting a lesson – a poem with a didactic purpose. Synonym: pedagogical.
DIFFIDENT: Lacking in self-confidence- too diffident to lead a group. Synonyms: shy, timid, reserved, reticent, retiring. Antonyms: forward, aggressive.
DILEMMA: A situation calling for a choice between two equally difficult alternatives; hence, a difficult or perplexing situation – faced with a dilemma defying solution. Synonyms: predicament, quandary, plight.
DILETTANTE: One who dabbles in the fine arts for amusement only and without concentrated study – a doctor by profession, a dilettante in art. Synonyms: amateur, connoisseur.
DISCONCERT: To confuse; to embarrass – disconcerted by his suspicious stare. Synonyms: perturb, discomfit, discompose, abash, disquiet, fluster.
DISCONSOLATE: Depressed; without hope or possibility of consolation – made disconsolate by abject poverty. Synonyms: inconsolable, dejected. Antonyms: blithesome, carefree.
DISCOURSE: To converse or talk; to discuss – discoursed at length on the rise of political parties. DISCRETE: Separate – two discrete issues, totally unrelated.
DISCURSIVE: Rambling from one subject to another – a discursive letter, covering many topics. Synonyms: desultory, digressive.
DISPARITY (adj.: DISPARATE): Inequality; difference in image, quantity, character, or rank – great disparity between promise and performance.
DISPASSIONATE: Free from feeling or partiality – coldly dispassionate as the chairman of the meeting. Synonyms: palm, impartial. Antonym partial.
DISPATCH (verb): To do speedily; to send off – dispatched with remarkable promptness. Synonym: expedite. (noun): A speedy performance; the sending off of something – done with all possible dispatch. Synonyms: celerity, alacrity.
DISPEL: To drive away; to scatter – dispelled a doubt that had lingered. Synonyms: dissipate, disperse, diffuse.
DISSENT (noun: DISSENSION): To disagree; to differ in opinion – He dissented violently, rejecting compromise.
DISSOLUTE: Living loosely; unrestrained in conduct or morals – his life wasted by dissolute conduct. Synonyms: debauched, dissipated, profligate.
DISTRAUGHT: Mentally distressed; distracted – distraught by trials and tribulations. Synonym: harassed.
DIVERSE: (verb: DIVERSIFY; noun: DIVISIBILITY): Varied; different – two diverse characters; one candid, the other insincere. Synonym: multifarious.
DIVERTING: Entertaining – a diverting one of the most amusing I’ve ever seen.
DIVULGE: To make public or reveal – refused to divulge his source of information. Synonyms: disclose, impart.
DOGMATIC: Positive in expressing an opinion; asserting an opinion as though it were an undisputed fact – spoken dogmatically, as if the speaker considered himself infallible. Synonyms: overbearing, opinionated, peremptory, dictatorial.
DOLOROUS: Sorrowful; mournful – a dolorous song full of sorrow for past joys. Synonyms: doleful, lugubrious, grievous. Antonyms: jocund, blithe, mirthful.
EXCULPATE: To free from blame – exculpated by a jury. Synonyms: vindicate, exonerate, absolve, acquit. Antonyms: arraign, indict, inculpate.
EXEMPLARY (noun: EXEMPLAR): Serving as a model; commendable – exemplary conduct approved by all. Synonyms: illustrative, typical; praiseworthy, laudable.
EXODUS: Departure, emigration – the pathetic exodus of refugees from their homeland.
EXOTIC: Strange and foreign – an exotic costume imported from Asia.
EXPATIATE: To speak or write at great length – He expatiated on the subject for two hours. Synonym: dilate.
EXPATRIATE (verb): To banish or exile; to withdraw from one’s country – expatriated for treachery to his country. (noun): An expatriated person – expatriates who left the United States to live in Paris.
EXPEDIENT (adj.): Convenient in helping to attain some purpose – found it expedient to maintain silence at that moment. Synonyms: opportune, seasonable. (noun): A means to accomplish something – tried all expedients to achieve a quick result.
EXPLOIT (verb): To use for one’s selfish purpose – refugees exploited by unscrupulous employers. (noun): A brilliant deed – lauded for his exploits in science. Synonym: feat.
EXPOUND (noun: EXPOSITION): To set forth in detail; to explain – expounded his theory in a learned article.
EXPURGATE: To purify (usually a piece of writing) of offensive material – expurgate all obscenities before the book could be sold. Synonyms: purge, delete.
EXTEMPORANEOUS: Done or spoken on the spur of the moment or without preparation – an extemporaneous speech. Synonyms: impromptu, offhand.
EXTINCT: No longer existing or active – the extinct dinosaur, alive only in history. Synonym: defunct. Antonym: extant.
EXTIRPATE: To root out, destroy totally – extirpated the cause of trouble. Synonyms: eradicate, exterminate, efface, obliterate.
EXTRANEOUS. Not essential; foreign; irrelevant – excluded material extraneous to the subject. Synonyms: extrinsic, adventitious. Antonyms: germane, intrinsic, inherent, relevant, pertinent.
EXULTATION: Great rejoicing – received the good news with exultation. Synonym: jubilation.
FACADE: Front or face, especially of a building – a facade of marble.
FACETIOUS: Given to joking or inappropriate gaiety; said in fun – brightened the evening with his facetious remarks. Synonyms: jocose, droll, flippant, frivolous. Antonyms: solemn, grave, saturnine.
FALLACIOUS (noun: FALLACY): Unsound; misleading; deceptive – led astray by fallacious reasoning and plans.
FALLIBLE: Liable to make mistakes or be deceived – Being human, Tom was naturally fallible. Antonyms: infallible, unerring.
FATHOM: To penetrate and understand – difficult to fathom his mysterious actions.
FATUOUS: Foolish; silly – a fatuous suggestion that struck us as stupid. Synonyms: inane, vacuous, puerile. Antonyms: judicious, sagacious, sage.
FEALTY: Faithfulness – The soldiers were pledged to fealty to their ruler. Synonyms: allegiance, constancy, fidelity. Antonyms: disloyalty, infidelity, treachery.
FEASIBLE: Workable – a feasible plan, proved practical by – previous experience. Antonym: impracticable.
FEIGN (noun: FEINT): To pretend – He feigned to be angry, but we saw through his pretense. Synonyms: dissemble, sham, dissimulate, affect.
FELICITY (adj.: FELICITOUS): (1) A state of happiness – promoted felicity in the nation. Synonym: bliss. (2) A high ability – lie has a felicity of language, mastery of the well-chosen phrase.
FERVID: Spirited; ardent – a fervid debater, full of emotion. Synonyms: perfervid, impassioned, zealous, fervent, vehement.
FESTOON (noun): A garland of flowers, leaves, etc. hung between two points – the room bright with festoons of Thanksgiving decorations. (verb): To hang with festoons – a room festooned with spring flowers.
FETISH: (1) Something that is believed to have magical powers – savages worshipping the fetish in a ceremonial dance. Synonym: charm, talisman, amulet. (2) An object of unreasoning devotion and worship – Photography, begun as a hobby, became a fetish.
FIASCO: A ludicrous and complete failure – all his glorious plans ending in a fiasco. Synonym: debacle.
FICTITIOUS: Unreal; made-up – used a fictitious name to avoid being recognized. Synonym: fabricated.
FLACCID: Lacking firmness – muscles grown flaccid after the illness. Synonyms: flabby, limp.
FLAGRANT: Outstandingly bad – condemned for his flagrant abuse of power. Synonyms: glaring, scandalous, notorious, conspicuous, gross.
FLAMBOYANT: Elaborately showy – written in a flamboyant, style, full of highly decorative imagery. Synonyms: florid, ornate, resplendent, embellished, garish, gaudy, gorgeous, rococo. Antonym: somber.
FLAUNT: Display or wave boastfully – flaunted the excellent report before his delighted parents.
FLUCTUATE: To waver from one course to another; to vary irregularly – his mood fluctuating with every hour. Synonyms: oscillate, vacillate, undulate, sway.
FORBEAR (noun: FORBEARANCE): To exercise self control; to keep from – forbearing to shoot the animal despite temptation. Synonyms: restrain, abstain.
FORENSIC: Pertaining to public discussion or law courts – a lawyer gifted in forensic debate. Synonyms: rhetorical, oratorical.
FORTUITOUS: Accidental – a fortuitous meeting with a friend in need. Synonyms: casual, incidental, adventitious, random.
FRACAS: A disorderly quarrel – A fracas broke up the meeting. Synonyms: brawl, altercation, fray, wrangle, imbroglio.
FRUSTRATE: To prevent (the attainment of an object); to defeat or render ineffectual – His scholastic progress was frustrated by a serious illness. Synonyms: balk, thwart, foil, baffle, obstruct, discomfit. Antonym: abet.
FULSOME: Disgustingly excessive – nauseated by fulsome praise.
GARNISH: To trim or decorate – dishes garnished attractively with greens. Synonyms: adorn, deck.
GENEALOGY: A record of a person’s or a family’s ancestors or relatives – an interesting genealogy, including saints and sinners. Synonym: lineage.
GENESIS: Origin – chemistry, which had its genesis in alchemy. Synonym: inception.
GESTICULATE: To make gestures, or indicate feelings by. motions – gesticulated wildly to show his distress.
GHASTLY: Horrible, deathlike – a ghastly disaster which shocked the world. Synonyms: gruesome, grisly, pallid, macabre, grim, lurid.
GIBE (variant spelling: JIBE): To laugh at; to utter with scorn – gibed at his enemy mercilessly. Synonyms: mock, sneer, jeer, scoff, flout, deride (adj.: derisive), rail, taunt.
GLIB: Smooth-spoken, fluent – a glib liar, distorting the truth effortlessly.
GLUTTONOUS (noun. GLUTTON; verb: GLUT): Inclined to cat to excess – gulped down his food in gluttonous fashion. Synonyms: voracious, intemperate.
GOSSAMER (noun): A very thin gauzelike fabric or structure – a poem so delicate that it seemed an unreal gossamer. (adj.): Thin and light – the gossamer wings of a dragon fly. Synonyms: diaphanous, flimsy, gauzelike Antonyms: substantial, ponderous.
GREGARIOUS: Habitually fond of associating in a company or herd – gregarious sheep; that gregarious animal, man. Antonyms: lone, aloof.
GRIMACE: A distortion of the face to express an attitude or feeling – a grimace that was more expressive than words.
HAIL: To greet – The crowd hailed the returning hero. Synonyms: accost, salute.
HARANGUE (verb): To deliver a long. noisy speech- harangued the multitude. Synonyms: rant, declaim. (noun): A loud, tiresome speech – an empty harangue which bored his audience. Synonym: tirade.
HARBINGER, A forerunner; ail announcer – the robin, harbinger of spring. Synonyms: precursor, herald.
HAUGHTY: Proud; looking down with contempt on others – dismissed the messenger in a haughty manner.
HEEDLESS: Thoughtless; taking little care – rushed into battle, heedless of the danger. Synonyms: inadvertent, rash, incautious. Antonyms: prudent, circumspect, mindful, wary.
HERESY: An opinion held in opposition to the traditional view – a view condemned as heresy. Synonym: heterodoxy. Antonym: orthodoxy.
HIATUS: A gap or vacancy; break -left a hiatus on the page where he erased a sentence. Synonym: breach.
HISTRIONIC: Pertaining to the theater; designed for show – broke into histrionic laughter, hollow and insincere. Synonyms: dramatic, theatrical.
HOAX (noun): A trick or deception; a practical joke – played a hoax upon the credulous public. Synonym: canard. (verb): To play a trick on; to deceive – He hoaxed the crowd completely with his disguise.
HOMONYM: Two words having the same sound but different meanings – confusing such homonyms as mail add male.
HOVEL: A dirty or wretched dwelling – born in a hovel, died in a mansion.
HYPERBOLE: Extravagant exaggeration for effect – An example of hyperbole: “There are a million objections to the project.” Synonym: overstatement. Antonym: understatement.
HYPOTHESIS: An assumption made for the sake of argument – worked from a fantastic hypothesis. Synonym: supposition.
IDIOSYNCRASY: A. personal peculiarity – Wearing white was one of Whistler’s idiosyncrasies. Synonyms: eccentricity, foible, mannerism, crotchet, aberration, quirk, singularity.
IGNOMINIOUS (noun: IGNOMINY): Incurring public disgrace – suffered an ignominious descent from political power. Synonyms: infamous, degrading, opprobrious, odious. Antonyms: illustrious, renowned, preeminent.
IMMACULATE: Spotless; pure – an immaculate reputation. Synonyms: undefiled, unsullied, unblemished, untarnished. Antonyms: defiled, sullied, blemished.
IMMINENT: Likely to occur soon – stood in imminent peril. Synonym: impending.
IMMUNE (verb: IMMUNIZE): Exempt from; protected from – immune from taxation. Synonym: unsusceptible.
IMPALE: To pierce through with a pointed instrument – impaled a spider to the wall.
IMPEACH: (1) To accuse (a public official) of wrongdoing – impeached the judge for accepting a bribe. Synonym: arraign. (2) To cast discredit upon – impeached his motives. Synonyms: call in question, discredit.
IMPECCABLE: Faultless – performed with impeccable skill. Synonyms: consummate, irreproachable, unerring, infallible. Antonyms: culpable, fallible.
IMPERVIOUS: Incapable of being penetrated – a mind impervious to new ideas. Synonyms: impermeable, impenetrable. Antonyms: permeable, pervasive.
IMPLACABLE: Incapable of being soothed, made peaceful, or forgiving – implacable resentment. Synonyms: unrelenting, inexorable, unappeasable. Antonyms: placable, forbearing.
IMPLICIT: (1) Implied but not clearly expressed – an implicit agreement. (2) Unquestioning – implicit confidence. Synonyms: tacit, implied. Antonym: explicit.
IMPORT (noun): Meaning; significance or importance – a matter of great import. Synonyms: purport, moment, consequence.
IMPOSTOR (noun: IMPOSTURE): One who pretends to be what he is not unmasked as an impostor. Synonyms: quack, mountebank, charlatan, bogus, fraud.
IMPRECATION: A curse – hurled imprecations at those who would not listen to him. Synonyms: execration, malediction, anathema. Antonyms: benediction, benison.
IMPREGNABLE: Unconquerable – an impregnable fortress. Synonym: invincible. Antonym: vulnerable.
IMPROPRIETY: Improper act, manners, or expression – guilty of impropriety in public office. Synonyms: indecency, indecorum. Antonym: amenity.
IMPROVIDENT: Lacking in thrift; not providing for future needs – an improvident spender. Synonyms: prodigal, shiftless.
IMPUGN: To attack or criticize as false; to call in question – impugned his honesty.
INCARCERATE: To imprison – crushed his opponents by incarcerating them. Synonyms: intern, immure. Antonyms: emancipate, enfranchise.
INSATIABLE: Unable to be satisfied – insatiable greed. Synonyms. unappeasable, unquenchable, insatiate.
INSCRUTABLE: Incapable of interpretation or understanding – the inscrutable smile of the Mona Lisa. Synonyms: unfathomable, cryptic, enigmatic.
INSIDIOUS: Working secretly or slyly – that insidious disease, cancer. Synonyms: wily, crafty, furtive, treacherous, artful, guileful perfidious.
INSTIGATE: To stir tip – instigated discontent among the soldiers. Synonyms: foment, incite.
INTEGRITY: Honesty, moral soundness – a man of proved integrity. Synonyms: probity, uprightness, incorruptibility.
INVEIGH (noun-. INVECTIVE): To speak angrily or bitterly-inveighed against economic discrimination. Synonyms: rail, denounce, fulminate, vituperate.
IRASCIBLE: Easily angered – Even petty things made Peter irascible. Synonyms: choleric, petulant, testy, peevish, splenetic, touchy. Antonyms: placid, equable.
IRE: Anger -aroused his ire. Synonyms: resentment; (adj.) irate, incensed.
IRKSOME: Tedious, monotonous – an irksome chore that no one liked.
ITINERANT: Traveling about; wandering – an itinerant salesman. Synonym: nomadic.
JARGON: Confused, unintelligible, meaningless talk; special vocabulary used only by members of a group or trade – Variety, a newspaper written in theatrical jargon. Synonyms: gibberish, argot, cant.
JAUNTY: Having an air of easy carelessness or liveliness – walked with a jaunty step. Synonyms: sprightly, airy, gay, nonchalant, debonair. Antonyms: somber, staid.
JEOPARDY: Danger – His life was in jeopardy. Synonyms: hazard, peril.
JETTISON: To throw overboard (as cargo); to throw off (as a burden or something in the way )- jettisoned their old candidate as a political liability.
JUDICIOUS: Wise; using or exhibiting good judgment – a well-chosen plan, termed judicious by all. Synonyms: discreet, politic, discerning.
KALEIDOSCOPIC: Constantly changing or varying in pattern or scenes – kaleidoscopic views of New York.
KEN: Range of sight or understanding – something beyond our ken. Synonym: insight.
LABYRINTH (adj.: LABYRINTHINE): A structure or intricate passage out of which it is difficult to find one’s way (also applied to spiritual and intellectual complexities) – confused by a labyrinth of intellectual discussions. Synonym: maze.
LACHRYMOSE: Causing or given to shedding tears – a lachrymose tragedy.
LACONIC: Saying much in few words – a laconic reply that spoke volumes. Synonyms: concise, pithy, terse, succinct, taciturn, reticent. Antonyms: verbose, prolix, redundant, diffuse, tautological, turgid, garrulous, voluble.
LARCENY: Theft – indicted for grand larceny.
LATENT: Hidden; present but not fully developed – latent talent that time will reveal. Synonyms: dormant, quiescent, covert, potential. Antonyms: apparent, patent.
LAVISH: (1) Profuse or generous – lavish in praise. Synonyms: ample, superabundant. (2) Given to extravagance – a lavish spender. Synonyms: prodigal, munificent, magnanimous. Antonyms: parsimonious, niggardly, frugal, penurious.
LETHAL: Deadly – a lethal weapon. Synonyms: mortal, fatal.
LONGEVITY: Prolonged duration of life – a country remarkable for the longevity of its inhabitants.
LOW: To bellow softly like cattle – the lowing herd in the meadow. Synonym: moo.
LUCID: Clear; transparent; easily understood – a lucid explanation of a difficult text. Synonyms: pellucid, perspicuous, intelligible, limpid, luminous, translucent. Antonyms: abstruse, obscure.
LUDICROUS: Ridiculous; producing laughter – a ludicrous remark that set them all to roaring. Synonyms: mirthful, droll, comical, absurd. Antonyms: doleful, lugubrious, dismal.
LUMINARY: An eminent person; a celestial body – the platform graced by a number of luminaries.
MACHIAVELLIAN: Sacrificing moral principles in order to attain power; politically cunning; crafty – a machiavellian design, wickedly contrived. Synonym: unscrupulous.
MALICIOUS (noun: MALICE): Bearing, or acting with, deliberate ill-will or spite – hurting with malicious intent. Synonyms: rancorous, malignant, malevolent, virulent, vindictive. Antonym: benign.
MASQUERADE (verb): To assume a deceptive appearance or character – a thief masquerading as an honest man. Synonyms: dissemble, feign. (noun): A disguise; a group of people in disguise or fancy costumes – a masquerade so perfect no one could guess his identity.
MAUDLIN: Sentimental to the point of tears – turned maudlin at the mention of his lost dog. Synonym: mawkish, lachrymose.
MEANDER: To walk about (or talk) aimlessly; to wind about (as a stream) – meandered through the town, looking into shop windows. Synonym: ramble.
MEDIOCRE: Average in quality – a mediocre performance, unworthy of his talents.
MERCENARY: Acting solely from a consideration of reward or profit – actuated by a mercenary motive. Synonym: venal.
MERETRICIOUS: Attracting in a false, cheap, or showy manner- a meretricious beauty that is too flashy to be real. Synonyms: tawdry, specious.
METICULOUS: Fussy about minute details – took meticulous pains with his composition. Synonyms: fastidious, punctilious, overscrupulous, finical, methodical. Antonyms: desultory, perfunctory, slovenly.
METTLE (adj.: METTLESOME: high-spirited ): Disposition; spirit; courage – His mettle was tried in battle. Idiom: to be on one’s mettle (meaning, “ready to do one’s best”). Synonyms: temperament, ardor.
MICROCOSM: A little world, or a universe in miniature this village, a microcosm of the great outside world. Antonym macrocosm (world on a large scale).
MIMIC: To make fun of or copy by imitating – mimicked the comedian’s gestures.
MISANTHROPIC (noun: MISANTHROPE): Hating or distrusting mankind – condemned for his misanthropic views. Antonyms: philanthropic, altruistic.
MISNOMER: A name or term that describes wrongly – To call him a brave man is really a misnomer.
MONOLOGUE: A speech by one person – The actor gave his views in a dramatic monologue. Synonym: soliloquy. Antonyms: colloquy (adj. colloquial): conversation between two or more persons; dialogue: conversation between two persons.
MOROSE: Gloomy; ill-humored – shunned because of his morose temper. Synonyms: sulky, crabbed, sullen, splenetic, saturnine. Antonyms: blithe, genial.
MOTLEY: Of various colors; of mixed ingredients – a motley costume; a motley crowd. Synonyms: checkered (referring to a varied career), piebald, variegated, diverse, heterogeneous. Antonym: homogeneous.
MOTTLED: Spotted or streaked with varied colors – a mottled pony. Synonyms: blotched, dappled.
MUNDANE: Of, or pertaining to, the world, as contrasted with the spirit – mundane affairs. Synonyms: earthly, terrestrial, secular, temporal.
MUTABLE: Given to frequent change in nature, mood, or form – mutable in mood as a spring wind. Synonyms: vacillating, fickle, inconstant, fitful, mercurial, wavering, capricious. Antonyms: constant, steady.
MYRIAD: Innumerable – the myriad stars in the heavens.
NAUTICAL: Pertaining to ships or navigation – a nautical career. Synonyms: marine, naval, maritime.
NETTLE: To irritate or provoke – nettled by his critics. Synonyms: vex, pique, goad.
NOCTURNAL: Pertaining to, or occurring in, the night – awakened by the sounds of a nocturnal prowler. Antonym: diurnal.
NOISOME: Foul-smelling; harmful-the swamp gave off a noisome odor. Synonyms: malodorous, fetid, disgusting; noxious, deleterious. Antonym: salubrious.
NONCHALANT: Unmoved or indifferent; casual – reacted to the news in a nonchalant manner. Synonym: apathetic. Antonyms: enthusiastic, zealous.
NOSTALGIA: Homesickness – felt nostalgia for the old homestead.
NOTORIOUS: Widely known (in a bad sense) – a notorious gambler.
NOVICE: A beginner – conducted himself in politics like a novice. Synonyms: tyro, neophyte. Antonym: virtuoso.
OBLIVIOUS (noun: OBLIVION): Forgetful; absent-minded – walking oblivious of his surroundings. Synonyms: unmindful, heedless, abstracted.
OBSESSION: A persistent feeling, idea, activity, etc., which dominates a person; the state of being exclusively preoccupied by a fixed idea – Now that he has learned bowling, it has become his obsession. Synonyms: mania, infatuation (a foolish passion), monomania.
OBSOLETE: No longer in use – an obsolete word, not even included by most dictionaries. Synonyms: archaic, antiquated.
OBTRUSIVE (verb: OBTRUDE): Thrusting oneself or itself into undue prominence – made himself obnoxiously obtrusive. Synonyms: intrusive, aggressive.
OBVIATE: To prevent, dispose of, or make unnecessary by appropriate actions – an act which obviated all objections. Synonyms: preclude, forestall.
OMNIPOTENT: All-powerful – an omnipotent despot.
ONUS: Burden; duty; obligation – bore the onus of his difficult office creditably.
OSTENSIBLE: Apparent; pretended – his ostensible, though not actual, purpose. Synonyms: professed, plausible (that is, appearing true, reasonable, or fair), specious.
OSTRACIZE: To banish; to exclude from public favor or privileges – a former premier ostracized by popular vote. Synonym: outlaw.
PANACEA: A remedy for all ills – seeking a panacea to cure our social troubles. Synonym: nostrum.
PANEGYRIC: A speech or writing of extravagant praise – delivered a panegyric at his friend’s testimonial dinner. Synonyms: eulogy, adulation, tribute, laudation (adj. laudatory), encomium. Antonyms: censure, disparagement, derogation, castigation, depreciation.
PARADOX: A self -contradictory statement; something ‘that appears to be absurd and yet may be true -“Life is too important a matter to he taken seriously.” – a paradox by Oscar Wilde. Synonym: anomaly.
PARAPHRASE: To restate the meaning of a passage in other words – paraphrased the poem in a few lines of prose.
PARODY (noun): A humorous imitation of an author’s style and mannerisms – wrote a parody on Kipling’s “Gunga Din.” Synonym: burlesque. (verb): To write a parody – parodied the popular authors of the (lay to his audience’s amusement. Synonym: Mimic.
PECCADILLO: A petty fault-possesses one peccadillo among his many virtues. Synonyms: frailty, foible, flaw, blemish.
PECUNIARY: Pertaining to money – involved in pecuniary difficulties. Synonyms; financial, fiscal, monetary.
PEDANT (adj.: PEDANTIC): One who proudly shows off his learning or who overrates his knowledge – like a pedant glorying in his scholarly trifles.
PENSIVE: Sadly thoughtful – softly sang his pensive song. Synonyms: reflective, meditative, contemplative, musing.
PEREMPTORY: Positive in expressing an opinion – gave a peremptory judgment. Synonyms: decisive, resolute, imperious, positive, dogmatic. Antonyms: indecisive, tentative.
PERTINACIOUS: Clinging doggedly to an opinion or purpose – pertinacious in his efforts. Synonyms: obdurate, tenacious, persistent, persevering, intractable, inflexible.
PERUSE: To read carefully – perused the important letter.
PERVERSE: Willfully bent on doing the wrong thing – a perverse lad, always disobeying his parents. Synonyms: headstrong, froward, refractory, wayward, fractious.
PETRIFY: To paralyze with horror, fear, or surprise – petrified by the enemy bombardment. Synonyms: stupefy, stun, bewilder, amaze.
PLAGIARISM. Adopting and reproducing, without acknowledgment, the writings or ideas of another and passing them off as one’s own – denied the charge of deliberate plagiarism.
PLATITUDE: A dull and commonplace remark – bored people by his pompous phrases and platitudes. Synonyms: bromide, truism, axiom.
PLEBEIAN: Pertaining to the common people; hence, common or vulgar – plebeian in his tastes and outlook. Antonyms: patrician, aristocratic.
PLEBISCITE. A direct vote by the people – The decision to confederate was ratified by plebiscite.
POIGNANT: (1) Gripping and moving the feelings powerfully – a poignant grief. (2) Piercing, biting, pointed – a poignant cry; poignant wit.
PONDEROUS: Very heavy; clumsy; dull – a ponderous speech, extremely boring.
PRECARIOUS: Uncertain or risky – earning a precarious livelihood, providing no luxuries.
PRECIPITOUS: (1) Very steep – a precipitous cliff. (2) Descending rapidly – a precipitous decline in popularity.
PRELUDE: An introduction, forerunner, or preliminary step – a short prelude to the play. Synonyms: preface, prologue, preamble. Antonym: epilogue.
PREROGATIVE: A privilege or power attaching to a position – It is a woman’s prerogative to refuse to tell her age. Synonym: license.
PRESTIGE: Esteem or influence accorded for recognized achievements or reputation – As Senator he enjoyed great prestige. Synonym: distinction.
PRESUMPTION: (1) Something taken for granted – acted on a reasonable presumption. (2) Going beyond proper bounds; impudent boldness – His question was downright presumption. Synonyms: effrontery, forwardness, arrogance.
PREVARICATE: To disguise or conceal the truth to lie – prevaricated in order to avoid detection. Synonyms: quibble, equivocate; (adj.) mendacious. Antonyms: (noun) veracity, verity; (adj.) forthright.
PROCRASTINATE: To postpone or put off to another time – missed his opportunity by procrastinating too long. Synonyms: defer, delay.
PROGNOSTICATE (noun: PROGNOSIS): To forecast – The Weather Bureau prognosticates daily. Synonyms: presage, portend, augur, forebode.
PROLETARIAT: The wage-earning class – a truckman, humble member of the proletariat.
PROMONTORY: A cliff – an imposing promontory along the coast. Synonyms: headland, precipice.
PROMULGATE: To publish or proclaim; to spread abroad The President promulgated a decree. Synonym: disseminate.
PROTUBERANT: Bulging or swelling out – a protuberant jaw. Antonyms: receding, recessive.
PROVISIONAL: Temporary; for the time being – a provisional plan until a permanent decision is reached. Synonym: tentative.
PROXIMITY: Nearness-worked in close proximity to his home. Synonyms: propinquity, vicinity. Antonym remoteness.
PSEUDONYM: A false name assumed by a writer – concealed his identity by a pseudonym. Synonyms: alias, pen name, nom de plume.
PUNITIVE: Inflicting, or concerned with, punishment – took punitive measures against deserters.
QUASH: To crush; to render void – quashed a rebellion; quashed an indictment. Synonyms: suppress, extinguish, quell; annul.
QUERULOUS: Given to fault-finding and complaining – Her querulous nature estranged many people. Synonyms: fretful, whining, captious, carping, peevish, petulant. Antonym: affable.
QUIXOTIC: Extravagantly romantic or idealistic; highly impractical – a quixotic scheme that can never materialize. Synonyms: utopian, visionary, fantastic.
RACONTEUR: A skilled storyteller – held spellbound by a superb raconteur.
RADICAL (noun): One who advocates extreme basic changes – The reform movement was led by a radical. (adj.): Thorough, extreme – radical measures adopted to meet the emergency. Antonym (noun and adj.): conservative.
RAMIFICATION: A branching; sub-division – studied the subject in all its ramifications.
RAZE: To tear down completely- razed the old building. Synonyms: level. Antonym: rear.
RECAPITULATE: To restate in a brief, concise form; to sum up – recapitulated the main ideas.
RECIPROCAL: Mutual; done in return for something received – held each other in reciprocal esteem.
RECUMBENT: Lying down; leaning back or down – resting in a recumbent position.
REDOLENT: (1) Fragrant – a room redolent of roses. Synonym: aromatic. (2) Reminiscent of – redolent of olden times.
REDOUBTABLE: Commanding fear or respect – cringing before a redoubtable enemy. Synonym: formidable.
REFUTE: To prove incorrect or false-refuted his opponent’s argument. Synonyms: rebut, confute. Antonyms: substantiate, confirm, corroborate.
REITERATE: Repeat (several times) – reiterated his story once more.
REMUNERATIVE: Profitable – a remunerative job. Synonyms: lucrative, gainful.
RENEGADE: One who forsakes political or party principles or his religious faith – a renegade from his former allegiance. Synonyms: turncoat, apostate, recreant, traitor.
REPRISAL: Injury inflicted in turn for one received – took action in reprisal against his neighbor. Synonym: retaliation.
RESENTMENT: Feeling of displeasure or indignation resulting from mistreatment or abuse – showed resentment at what he considered an unwarranted insult. Synonyms: umbrage, dudgeon, animosity.
RESILIENT: Elastic; light-hearted; possessing power of recovery – a resilient Spirit, refusing to admit defeat. Synonyms: flexible, pliable, supple, limber.
RESPITE: (1) Temporary deferment or cessation of work or pain – a brief respite from labor. Synonym: surcease. (2) A temporary delay in the execution of -a sentence – granted the doom man a temporary respite. Synonym: reprieve.
RETRIBUTION: The reward or punishment exacted for an injury, wickedness, or other action – suffered just retribution for his folly. Synonyms: requital, nemesis.
RETRIEVE: (1) To make good -retrieved a mistake. (2) To recover -retrieved the suitcase left at the station. (3) To restore – retrieved his lost fortunes.
REVERBERATE: To echo – a shot reverberating through the valley. Synonym: resound.
RUDIMENTARY: In an early stage of development – possessing only a rudimentary, knowledge of physics. Synonym: incipient.
RUE (adj.: RUEFUL): To be sorry for-He will rue the day he left home. Synonyms: regret, repent.
SACROSANCT: Very holy – a shrine. regarded as sacrosanct. Synonyms: consecrated, inviolable, hallowed.
SAGACIOUS (noun: SAGACITY): Wise; shrewd – proved to be sagacious in his judgment. Synonyms: perspicacious, astute, sapient, discerning, sage.
SALLY: (verb): To rush forth suddenly – sallied out to meet the enemy. (noun): A Witty remark – amused the audience with his sallies against his opponent. Synonyms: quip, banter.
SANCTIMONIOUS: Pretending to be religious – showed his hypocrisy in a sanctimonious display of piety.
SANGUINARY: Bloody – a sanguinary battle. Synonym: gory.
SANGUINE: Of a hopeful disposition; blood-red in color – a perennial optimist, sanguine in temperament. Synonyms: buoyant, ardent.
SARTORIAL: Pertaining to a tailor or clothes – a picture of sartorial perfection.
SATELLITE: (1) An attentive or flattering follower – a prince surrounded by many satellites. Synonyms: lackey, toady, disciple, adherent; adj., fawning, obsequious, partisan. (2) A country influenced or controlled by another – Freedom is conspicuously absent ,in the Soviet satellites. (3) A body (natural or artificial) which revolves around a larger body, generally a planet – The moon is the only natural satellite of the earth, but in recent years it has been joined by many artificial satellites.
SCINTILLA: A trace; a particle – not a scintilla of convincing evidence. Synonyms: iota; vestige.
SCOURGE (verb): To punish severely; to afflict; to whip – a disease that scourged the country. Synonyms: excoriate, flay. (noun). A whip or other means of punishment; a cause of affliction – The Black Plague was a dreadful scourge of the Middle Ages. Synonym: tribulation.
SCRUTINIZE: To examine carefully -scrutinized the contents of the letter.
SHIBBOLETH: A party slogan – a shibboleth designed to attract votes.
SIMPER (verb): To smile in a silly or affected way simpered as he greeted each guest. (noun): An affected or silly smile – stood nervously, a simper on his face. Synonym: (verb and noun) smirk.
SINECURE: Employment entailing little or no responsibility or labor – His job was a sinecure.
SINISTER: Threatening or showing evil; dishonest – the sinister look of a gangster.
SLEAZY: Flimsy and cheap – sleazy cloth which is used only in cheap garments. Synonym: unsubstantial.
STUPENDOUS: Amazing by, virtue of its immense size, force, or any quality in exceptional degree – The circus is a stupendous spectacle. Synonyms: astounding, prodigious, monstrous, marvelous, colossal, awful.
SUCCULENT: juicy – a succulent steak. Antonyms: desiccated, vapid.
SULTRY: Close, hot, and moist – sultry tropical weather.
SUPINE: (1) Lying flat on the back – resting in a supine position. Antonym: erect. (2) Inert, inactive, averse to taking action – a supine, ineffective administrator. Synonyms: listless, torpid.
TANGIBLE: Real; actual – tangible gains which may be seen, and counted. Synonyms: material, veritable, perceptible, substantial.
TANTAMOUNT: Equivalent – an act that is tantamount to treason.
TAUNT (verb). To reproach with contempt – taunted him with the charge of failure to act promptly. Synonyms: mock, twit, gibe, sneer, deride. (noun): An insulting, jeering, or bitter remark – hurled taunts at his foes.
TEEMING: In abundance, fertile, highly productive – the teeming tropics, rank with vegetation. Synonyms: swarming, fruitful, fecund, abounding.
TEMERITY: Unwise or reckless boldness – leaped into battle with thoughtless temerity. Synonyms: audacity, presumptuousness, effrontery, rashness; (adj.) temerarious, foolhardy, venturesome. Antonyms: prudence, circumspection, wariness.
TEMPORAL: Worldly, as opposed to spiritual; existing for a time only – a man preoccupied with temporal matters. Synonyms: mundane, secular, civil.
TEMPORIZE: To delay or refuse to commit oneself in order to gain time – temporized while his friends hurried to his aid. Synonym: equivocate.
TENET: A principle of belief held as true – a tenet of religion which be maintained loyally. Synonyms: creed, doctrine, dogma.
TENUOUS: Slender; not substantial; of slight importance – clung desperately to his tenuous hope.