TOEFL Test 500-Word List

TOEFL Test 500-Word List

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.

ARID: Dry; barren – the arid desert land. Synonyms: jejune, parched. Antonyms: arable, fertile.

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.

BANEFUL (noun: BANE: poison; source of harm): Destructive, poisonous – a baneful effect, causing serious injury. Synonyms: deleterious, pernicious, virulent, noxious, toxic. Antonym: beneficent.

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.


CANTANKEROUS: Ill-natured; quarrelsome – showed a cantankerous and sullen disposition. Synonyms: petulant, peevish, contentious, pugnacious, testy, choleric, fretful. Antonyms: amiable, affable, equable.


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.

CONVIVIAL: Festive; gay – a convivial party. Synonyms: jovial, jocund, mirthful. Antonyms: lugubrious, dolorous, mirthless.

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.

DYNAMIC: Forceful – possessed dynamic energy, tireless and powerful. Synonym: energetic. Antonyms:  static, inert, dormant, torpid, sluggish, quiescent.

ECCLESIASTIC (adj.): Pertaining to the clergy or the church – recognized as an authority in ecclesiastic matters. Antonyms:  secular, lay. (noun): A clergyman – an ecclesiastic of liberal views.

EDICT: A public command or proclamation issued by an authority – proclaimed by royal edict. Synonym: decree.

EDIFY: To instruct or uplift, particularly in morals or religion – a story that edifies the reader, as well as entertains him.

EFFETE: No longer productive; hence, lacking in or, worn out – powerful in ancient days, now an effete civilization.

EGOTISTIC: Conceited – an egotistic person, flourishing on praise. Synonyms:  egocentric, vain. Antonym: altruistic.

EGREGIOUS: Outstandingly bad an egregious mistake with serious implications.

EJACULATE: To exclaim or utter suddenly – ejaculated a cry of horror.

ELICIT: To draw out – elicited no response from the audience. Synonyms:  evoke, extract, extort.

ELUCIDATE: To make clear; to explain – elucidated his theory so that even a schoolboy could understand it. Synonym: clarify.

EMISSARY: A person sent on an errand or mission – delegated his emissary to conclude a pact.

ENGENDER: To cause, produce, or stir up-an act that engendered good will.

ENNUI: Boredom; weariness of mind-fell asleep at the meeting from sheer ennui.

ENSUE: To follow or result-Silence ensued when the leader arose to speak.

ENTREAT: To beg earnestly – entreated the judge to show mercy. Synonyms:  solicit, supplicate, beseech, implore, importune; (adj.) importunate, mendicant, suppliant

EPHEMERAL: Very short-lived – an ephemeral joy, lasting but a day. Synonyms:  fleeting, transitory, transient, evanescent. Antonym: eternal

EPICUREAN (noun): A person devoted to luxurious living and pleasure – an epicurean, seeking to enjoy every meal. (adj.): Pleasure-loving – His entire existence demonstrated his epicurean tastes.

EPIGRAM: A brief pointed saying – a speech full of original epigrams. Synonyms:  maxim proverb, adage.

EPITAPH: A tombstone inscription – an epitaph engraved on marble.

EPITHET: A phrase that describes a quality (good or bad) in a person or thing – “Glaring” error is a commonly used epithet. Synonyms:  characterization , appellation

EQUANIMITY (adj.: EQUABLE): Evenness of temper or mind – suffered his cruel fate with equanimity. Synonyms:  serenity, composure, imperturbability, aplomb.

ERR (noun: ERRATUM): To be mistaken or go astray – To err is human, to forgive divine. Synonyms:  stray, blunder.

ERRATIC: Irresponsible, eccentric; lacking a fixed purpose erratic behavior, reflecting his queer ideas.

ERUDITE: Learned – an erudite person, an editor of many books. Synonyms:  scholarly, knowing.

ESOTERIC: Understood by only a select few – an esoteric subject, discussed only by scholars. Synonyms:  abstruse, recondite.

EXCEPTIONABLE: Objectionable – exceptionable behavior, universally criticized. Synonyms:  questionable, reprehensible, censurable. Antonym: laudable.

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.

FLEETING: Passing swiftly -the fleeting hours of happiness. Synonyms:  transitory, fugitive.

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.

HEINOUS: Wicked; hateful – committed a heinous crime. Synonyms:  atrocious, outrageous, monstrous, odious, nefarious, abominable.

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.

INCISIVE: Cutting, penetrating – incisive criticism. Synonyms:  sarcastic, mordant, trenchant, acute.

INCOGNITO. With one’s identity concealed – traveled incognito.

INCONTROVERTIBLE: Indisputable – incontrovertible evidence. Synonyms:  irrefutable, indubitable.

INCREMENT: An increase – a salary increment. Synonym: accrual.

INCUMBENT (noun): An officeholder – the incumbent in an election. (adj.): Obligatory – felt it incumbent to reply. Synonyms: mandatory, imperative.

INDEFATIGABLE: Untiring – an indefatigable worker. Synonyms: unflagging, unremitting, persevering.

INDIGENOUS: Native – Rice is indigenous to China. Synonyms: innate, inborn.

INDOOMITABLE: Stubborn in determination not to be subdued – indomitable courage. Synonyms: insuperable, irrepressible, invincible, unyielding. Antonyms: tractable, amenable, docile, submissive.

INFERENCE: A conclusion reached by reasoning from data or premises – an inference drawn from his remarks. Synonyms: deduction, implication.

INGENIOUS: Demonstrating originality, skill, or resourcefulness – an ingenious device. Synonyms: dextrous, inventive, adroit. Antonyms: maladroit, gauche.

INGENUOUS: Simple and straightforward; concealing nothing – an ingenuous plan that anyone could see through. Synonyms:  unsophisticated, naive, candid. Antonym: sophisticated.

INGRATIATE: To win another’s favor or good opinion tried to ingratiate himself with the politician.

INHIBIT: To check or hinder – inhibited his friend from a foolhardy course. Synonyms: restrain, curb. Antonym: promote.

INNOCUOUS: Harmless; inoffensive – an innocuous remark, but it enraged him.

INNUENDO: An indirect reference or suggestion (frequently derogatory) – conveyed his idea by innuendo. Synonyms:  (verb) intimate, insinuate.

INORDINATE: Excessive – spoiled by inordinate praise. Synonyms:  immoderate, intemperate, extravagant.

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.

MURKY: Dark; cloudy – a murky cavern. Synonyms: dismal, tenebrous, fuliginous. Antonyms: resplendent, glowing, lustrous, luminous, fulgent, coruscating.

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.

OBDURATE: Hard-hearted; stubborn – an obdurate, unrepentant criminal. Synonyms: adamant, unyielding, inflexible. Antonyms: submissive, docile, compliant.

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.

SALLOW: Sick – a sallow complexion. Synonym: pallid. Antonyms: rubicund, ruddy, florid.

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.

SLOVENLY: Untidy-severely criticized the student’s slovenly appearance. Synonyms: slipshod, slatternly, frowzy.

SOPORIFIC: Tending to induce sleep – a poorly written novel, soporific in effect.

SORDID: Mean and base; filthy – Sordid motives breed selfish actions. Synonyms: degraded, vile, ignoble.

SOVEREIGN: Supreme m power and authority; independent of the control of any other government – possessing sovereign powers; a sovereign state. Synonyms: autonomous, imperial, majestic, paramount.

SPORADIC: Occurring singly, at irregular intervals; scattered – sporadic cases of illness.

SPURN: To refuse or reject with contempt – an offer that was spurned instantly. Synonyms: repel, snub.

STOIC: Indifferent, calm in bearing pain or pleasure; practising remarkable self-control over emotions – maintained a stoic attitude despite all his trials. Synonyms: stolid, impassive.

STRINGENT: Strict; compelling, constraining stringent regulations; stringent requirements. Synonyms: exacting, rigid. Antonym: lax.

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.

TRANQUIL: Calm; peaceful – a tranquil summer night. Synonyms: placid, serene. Antonyms: perturbed, ruffled, turbulent.

TRANSGRESS: To break a law or command; to violate a moral principle; to overstep a moral bound or limit – transgressed the bounds of decency; transgressed the law.

TREMULOUS: Trembling – tremulous with fright. Synonym: quivering.

TRIVIAL: Of little – importance – a trivial offense. Synonym: paltry. Antonyms: gross, momentous.

TRUCULENT (noun: TRUCULENCE): Cruel, fierce; harsh; threatening or intimidating savagely – a dispute marked by a truculent attitude on both sides.

TURGID: (1) Swollen, inflated – turgid rivers overflowing their banks. Synonyms: bloated, distended. (2) Using big or high-sounding words – a turgid prose style. Synonyms: pompous, bombastic, prolix.

UBIQUITOUS: Existing everywhere – The common cold is a ubiquitous complaint. Synonyms: omnipresent, universal.

UNTENABLE: Incapable of being defended or held – withdrew the argument as untenable.

UTILITARIAN (adj.): Materially or practically useful – beautiful, but not utilitarian.

VANQUISH: To subdue or conquer -an army vanquished with heavy losses.

VAUNT: To boast – proudly vaunted his strength. Synonyms: brag (noun: braggadocio, braggart), proclaim.

VENEER: A superficial appearance or show designed to impress one with superiority – pierced beneath his thin veneer of elegance. Synonym: gloss.

VENERABLE: Deserving respect or reverence because of age – a venerable leader.

VERNAL: Pertaining to spring-an array of vernal flowers. Antonym: hibernal (wintry).

VERSATILE: Able to do many things skillfully – versatile in all the arts.

VICARIOUS: Taking the place of another; felt, received, or done in place of another – took vicarious pleasure in his brother’s victory.

VICISSITUDE: A change from one condition to another, often unexpected – suffered many vicissitudes of fortune.

VIRAGO: A scolding or ill-tempered woman – My neighbor’s wife is a virago. Synonyms: shrew, termagant, vixen.

VITUPERATE (noun: VITUPERATION; adj.: VITUPERATIVE): To scold or blame loudly, find fault with in abusive language – an angry man, vituperating the world. Synonyms: berate, revile.

WAIVE: To give up (privileges, etc.); to do without – waived his rights to the property. Synonyms: relinquish, forgo, forsake.

WHIM (adj.: WHIMSICAL): A sudden notion or passing fancy -frequently acted on the whim of the moment. Synonyms: caprice, vagary, crotchet.

WRITHE: To twist about (usually with pain) – writhed in agony on the floor. Synonyms: contort, squirm.

ZEALOUS (noun: ZEALOT: fanatic): Full of enthusiasm or eagerness -a zealous student, first in his class. Antonym: perfunctory.

ZENITH: The highest point – the zenith of his career. Synonyms: acme, apex, culmination, summit. Antonym: nadir.


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