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- definition: a person who compliments other for personal gain
- synonym: suck-up
- antonym: rebel
- sentence: The professor recognized the overly flattering student as nothing more than a sycophant.
- definition: violent & causing destruction
- synonym: malicious (worse than bad)
- antonym: benevolent (meaning gold)
- sentence: The pernicious ice storm attacked the small coastal town.
- definition: a lot of it everywhere
- synonym: omnipresent
- antonym: rare
- sentence: This year, jeggings, a weird hybrid of jeans and leggings were ubiquitous at the mall.
- definition: comment not related to the subject
- synonym: randomness
- antonym: relativity
- sentence: one of the kids in my group of friends is so random; he constantly drops non sequitars into our conversations.
- definition: a verbal tirade in anger
- synonym: rant
- antonym: silence
- sentence: The candidate for governor lost voter approval when her diatribe about illegal immigration was posted on YouTube.
- definition: extreme patriotism
- synonym: xenophobic
- antonym: accepting
- sentence: The jingoistic tone of the Tea Party speakers made the average American a bit uncomfortable.
- definition: not able to be changed/calmed
- synonym: stubborn
- antonym: flexible
- sentence: After the dry cleaner ruined her wedding dress, my sister's anger was implacable.
- definition: a natural attracting between a person & something else
- synonym: fondness
- antonym: hatred
- sentence: With her affinity for performing, it was no surprised that Julia won the lead in the school musical.
- definition: a woman who strives to please men for her own gain
- synonym: flirt
- antonym: tomboy
- sentence: The girl coquettishly batted her eyelashes and giggled as the boy told a lame story.
- definition: a loud relentless nagging to get what one wants
- synonym: pester
- antonym: coax
- sentence: the noisy protestors harangued the B.P. oil executive during his speech.
- definition: in the manner of a cow
- synonym: dull
- antonym: sharp/quick
- sentence: He stared at me with a dull, bovine expression.
- definition: heavily sarcastic
- synonym: snarky
- antonym: sincere
- sentence: The girl's snarky, facetious manner made her unpopular with both peers and adults.
- definition: extremely sorry
- synonym: apologetic
- antonym: indifferent
- sentence: The contrite boy offered all his birthday money to fix the window he broke.
- definition: really smart from book learning
- synonym: bookish
- antonym: illiterate
- sentence: The erudite philosopher's lecture drew a large crowd of deep-thinking students.
- definition: something that doesn't fit a pattern
- synonym: irregularly
- antonym: consistency
- sentence: It was a complete anomaly when Polly Pupil, a freshman, won the title of homecoming Queen.
- definition: ill-natured, grouchy
- synonym: quarrelsome, sour
- antonym: optimistic
- sentence: The crusty, cantankerous old man bellowed at the children as they walked past his house.
- definition: to laugh in a way of ridiculing
- synonym: mock
- antonym: complement
- sentence: The professor derided my essay as a clumsy attempt at literary analysis.
- definition: a big disaster
- synonym: catastrophe
- antonym: success
- sentence: The mortgage industry's financial debacle has wounded the entire nation's economy.
- definition: foolish over-confidence
- synonym: recklessness
- antonym: caution
- sentence: She had the temerity to criticize her teacher in front of the whole class.
- definition: a feeling of annoyance about mundane tasks
- synonym: boredom
- antonym: amusement
- sentence: Facing staggering pules of homework with no hop of ennui filled my soul.
- definition: ill-tempered person, usually an old man
- synonym: geezer/grouch
- antonym: gentlemen/saint/sweetheart
- sentence: The complaining man who works in the next cubicle is nothing but a crusty old curmudgeon.
- definition: temporary stay for high purpose
- synonym: pilgrimage/mission
- antonym: tour/vacation
- sentence: A visit to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre made my sojourn to England complete.
- definition: sociable
- synonym: open, outgoing
- antonym: shy, reserved
- sentence: My gregarious neighbors are the most popular couple on the block.
- definition: to make greater
- synonym: enhance, increase
- antonym: decrease, shrink
- sentence: The professor augments his salary by moonlighting as a book editor.
- definition: ready to trap
- synonym: cunning/sly/malevolent
- antonym: helpful/benevolent
- sentence: Bed bugs are insidious little creatures; you don't know they're there until it's too late.
- definition: fate
- synonym: destiny
- antonym: coincidence
- sentence: When the pretty girl he'd noticed on the bus sat next to him in economics class, the smitten bow knew it was kismet.
- definition: to lift a weight off of you
- synonym: relieve
- antonym: accuse
- sentence: After DNA evidence was used to show that the suspect was never at the crime scene, he was exonerated and released from prison.
- definition: selfless caring for others
- synonym: philanthropy
- antonym: egoism
- sentence: In an act of altruism, an anonymous donor paid the college expenses of the entire senior class.
- definition: having short-sightedness
- synonym: blind/dense
- antonym: observant
- sentence: Historians often hold the myopic viewpoint that most scientific principles come from discoveries.
- definition: to stimulate/excite
- synonym: motivate/unite
- antonym: discourage
- sentence: The candidate's speech galvanized the young voters to work to change the unjust law.
- definition: socially inappropriate
- synonym: tacky, obnoxious, unrefined
- antonym: refined
- sentence: The mother-in-law's formal manners always make me feel gauche.
- definition: highest point
- synonym: summit, acme
- antonym: base, beginning
- sentence: The missile reached its zenith and then fell on its target.
- definition: useless
- synonym: impossible, worthless, pointless
- antonym: useful
- sentence: With a 17 percent in the class, any efforts to pass the final exam would be futile.
- definition: to go over in the mind repeatedly
- synonym: contemplate, ponder
- antonym: ignore/forget
- sentence: The professor asked us to ruminate on the nature of human existence.
- definition: sharpness & biting anger in a relationship
- synonym: tension, drama
- antonym: peace, harmony
- sentence: The acrimony of my parents' divorce was impossible to hide.
- definition: comfort, a rebuilding place
- synonym: haven, asylum
- antonym: discomfort
- sentence: When times are tough, many people seek solace in religion.
- definition: lacking in inspiration or intellect
- synonym: dull, distasteful
- antonym: sophisticated, smart
- sentence: Many of today's pop songs are filled with shallow, insipid lyrics.
- definition: commonplace or unimaginative
- synonym: flat, ordinary, typical
- antonym: unique, special
- sentence: His pedestrian tastes were satisfied with a diet of mac-n-cheese and frozen pizza.
- definition: dealing with raw emotions
- synonym: instinctive
- antonym: intellectual
- sentence: The voter's visceral fear of change led to the election of the status-quo candidates.
- definition: incapable of performing a task
- synonym: inadequate
- antonym: useful, skilled
- sentence: His inept handling of the employees' complaints led to a lawsuit.
- definition: to lessen the impact of something bad
- synonym: alleviate
- antonym: intensify
- sentence: She wanted to mitigate misery in the world.
- definition: something that eases pain/burden
- synonym: remedy
- antonym: stressor
- sentence: The best anodyne for a broken heart is a new love.
- definition: to go back & forth between 2 things
- synonym: waver
- antonym: resolve/decide
- sentence: Early in my career, I vacillated between journalism and teaching.
- definition: capable of catching fire
- synonym: flammable, combustible
- antonym: benign
- sentence: The girl's incendiary lies required a response.
- definition: deep, dark, evil acts
- synonym: sin
- antonym: altruism, wholesomeness
- sentence: Edgar Allan Poe's tales are filled with wickedness and depravity.
- definition: a defensive wall
- synonym: shield, barrier
- antonym: sword, gateway
- sentence: Well-trained police forces are a bulwark against the breakdown of society.
- definition: persuade by flattering or gently teasing
- synonym: coax
- antonym: blackmail
- sentence: He hoped to cajole his girlfriend into breaking her curfew.
- definition: something that marks the approach of something else
- synonym: omen, warning
- sentence: The storm clouds on the horizon were a harbinger of doom.
- definition: acting quickly without thought
- synonym: rash, impulsive
- antonym: logical, thoughtful
- sentence: The impetuous teen had a long history of shoplifting arrests and traffic violations.
- definition: spoken or done without preparation
- synonym: impromptu
- antonym: prepared
- sentence: The student's extemporaneous speech wowed his classmates and teacher alike.
- definition: smelling very unpleasant
- synonym: smelly
- antonym: fragrant, fresh
- sentence: The smell of Tom's fetid P.E. uniform, which hadn't been washed in a month, was overwhelming.
- definition: carried out with minimum effort to satisfy the situation
- synonym: adequate
- antonym: exemplary, outstanding
- sentence: He gave a perfunctory nod to all of the dinner party guests at the table.
- definition: a noisy disturbance
- synonym: ruckus, squabble
- antonym: tranquility
- sentence: It took two referees and all of the coaches to end the fracas on the field.
- definition: a small flaw
- synonym: imperfection
- antonym: perfection
- sentence: In marriage, spouses learn to tolerate each other's little foibles.
- definition: showing a lack of thought or intelligence
- synonym: dimwitted, dumb
- antonym: intelligent, erudite
- sentence: From his vacuous expression, I could tell that he didn't know anything about the homework reading.
- definition: no revealing one's thoughts or feelings easily
- synonym: reserved, shy
- antonym: open, sociable
- sentence: The reticent boy rarely spoke about his family.
- definition: in a ridiculous manner
- synonym: unbelievable, outrageous
- antonym: normal, realistic
- sentence: Facing a farcical tangle of travel delays, the commuters were trapped for three hours.
- definition: relating to the idea of all people deserving equal rights
- synonym: equal
- antonym: biased
- sentence: Our laws should promote a fairer more egalitarian society.
- definition: able to be touched or felt
- synonym: tangible, noticeable
- antonym: intangible, undetectable
- sentence: The tension between the warring couple was palpable.
- definition: a person falsely claiming to have special talents or skills
- synonym: fraud, impostor
- antonym: virtuoso, saint, hero
- sentence: In Huckleberry Finn, the King and the Duke were nothing but charlatans.