V. contradict; give a false impression. His coarse, hard-bitten exterior belied his inner sensitivity.
V. disparage or depreciate; put down. Parents should not belittle their children's early attempts at drawing, but should encourage their efforts. Barry was a put-down artist: he was a genius at belittling people and making them feel small.
ADJ. warlike. His bellicose disposition alienated his friends.
ADJ. quarrelsome. Whenever he had too much to drink, he became belligerent and tried to pick fights with strangers. belligerence, N.
V. lament; express disapproval of. The widow bemoaned the death of her beloved husband. Although critics bemoaned the serious flaws in the author's novels, each year his latest book topped the best-seller list.
ADJ. confused; lost in thought; preoccupied. Jill studied the garbled instructions with a bemused look on her face.
N. blessing. The appearance of the sun after the many rainy days was like a benediction.
N. gift giver; patron. Scrooge later became Tiny Tim's benefactor and gave him gifts.
ADJ. helpful; useful. Tiny Tim's cheerful good nature had a beneficial influence on Scrooge's onceuncharitable disposition.
N. person entitled to benefits or proceeds of an insurance policy or will. In Scrooge's will, he made Tiny Tim his beneficiary. everything he left would go to young Tim.
ADJ. generous; charitable. Mr. Fezziwig was a benevolent employer, who wished to make Christmas merrier for young Scrooge and his other employees.
ADJ. kindly; favorable; not malignant. Though her benign smile and gentle bearing made Miss Marple seem a sweet little old lady, in reality she was a tough-minded, shrewd observer of human nature. benignity, N.
ADJ; N. determined; natural talent or inclination. Bent on advancing in the business world, the secretary-heroine of Working Girl has a true bent for high finance.
V. leave to someone by a will; hand down. Though Maud had intended to bequeath the family home to her nephew, she died before changing her will. bequest, N.
V. scold strongly. He feared she would berate him for his forgetfulness.
N. state of being deprived of something valuable or beloved. His friends gathered to console him upon his sudden bereavement.
ADJ. deprived of; lacking; desolate because of a loss. The foolish gambler soon found himself bereft of funds.
ADV. frenzied. Angered, he went berserk and began to wreck the room.
V. beg; plead with. The workaholic executive's wife beseeched him to spend more time with their son.
V. harass or trouble; hem in. Many vexing problems beset the American public school system. Sleeping Beauty's castle was beset on all sides by dense thickets that hid it from view.
V. surround with armed forces; harass (with requests). When the bandits besieged the village, the villagers holed up in the town hall and prepared to withstand a long siege. Members of the new administration were besieged with job applications from people who had worked on the campaign.
V. soil, defile. The scandalous remarks in the newspaper besmirch the reputations of every member of the society.
ADJ. beastlike; brutal. According to legend, the werewolf was able to abandon its human shape and take on a bestial form.
V. give. He wished to bestow great honors upon the hero.
V. signify; indicate. The well-equipped docks, tall piles of cargo containers, and numerous vessels being loaded all betoken Oakland's importance as a port.