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- DEFINITION: contradictory, having mixed feelings
- SENTENCE: The new Hogwarts first-year was ambivalent about whether she enjoyed potions or transfiguration more.
- SYNONYMS: uncertain, unsure, wavering
- ANTONYMS: resolute, definite, clear
- contradictory, having mixed feelings
- DEFINITION: deviation from the norm, something that is atypical (not normal)
- SENTENCE: Mr. Dursley noticed several strange anomalies, like a cat reading a map, on Privet Drive.
- SYNONYMS: odditiy, deviation, inconsistency
- ANTONYMS: normality, conformity, sameness
sarcastic and sardonic
- DEFINITION: mocking, derisive, taunting, stinging
- SENTENCE: A witty writer once wrote the sardonic statements: "Sir, you are a drunk." "Well, Madame, you are ugly. In the morning I shall be sober, and you will still be ugly."
- SYNONYMS: acerbic, biting, smart-alecky
- ANTONYMS: complimentary, respectful, pleasant
dearth and paucity
- DEFINITION: a scarcity or shortage of something
- SENTENCE: A study by USA Today revealed that college football teams have a dearth of minority coaches: just 9 of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision universities have minority coaches. There is also a paucity of minority coordinators: the investigation found that just 39 of the 261 coordinators are minorities.
- SYNONYMS: insufficiency, lacking, deficiency
- ANTONYMS: abundance, excess, plenty
- DEFINITION: to speak in a foolish manner; to babble incessantly
- SENTENCE: The crazy man prattled on and on about the merits of buying canned corn versus fresh corn in the supermarket.
- SYNONYMS: chatter, mutter, jabber
- ANTONYMS: articulate, eloquent
- DEFINITION: dry, humorous with a clever twist and a touch of irony
- SENTENCE: Alyssa's wry sense of humor made her esoteric to most but highly entertaining to the highly intellectual.
- SYNONYMS: witty, droll, amusing
- ANTONYMS: formal, grave, serious
unconventional and unorthodox
- DEFINITION: not ordinary or typical; avoiding customary conventions and behaviors
- SENTENCE: It was highly unconventional for the KAA students to dislike the Socratic Summer Academy camp.
- SYNONYMS: different, eccentric, nonconformist
- ANTONYMS: traditional, conformist, conventional
painstaking and meticulous
- DEFINITION: extremely careful; very exacting
- SENTENCE: After the destructive incident, experts meticulously gathered each broken fragment and painstakingly restored Michelangelo's Pieta.
- SYNONYMS: thorough, exacting, conscientious
- ANTONYMS: careless, cursory, sloppy
- DEFINITION: fearlessly, often recklessly daring; very bold
- SENTENCE: Both Japan and the United States launched audacious surprise attacks on unsuspecting adversaries: Japan with Pearl Harbor and the USA with the Christmas Day attack in 1776.
- SYNONYMS: brave, courageous, valiant
- ANTONYMS: meek, timid, docile
indifferent and apathetic
- DEFINITION: marked by a lack of interest or concern
- SENTENCE: The apathetic bird does not get the worm.
- SYNONYMS: unconcerned, neutral, blase
- ANTONYMS: opinionated, concerned, biased
- DEFINITION: lacking self-confidence; self-effacing; not assertive-
- SENTENCE: Peter Parker was originally very diffident, but he was able to overcome his diffidence to become Spider-Man.
- SYNONYMS: shy, bashful, reserved
- ANTONYMS: outspoken, outgoing, confident
- DEFINITION: practical; sensible; not idealistic or romantic
- SENTENCE: Protestant King Henry IV made a pragmatic decision to resolve a crisis by choosing to become Catholic for his Catholic-dominated country.
- SYNONYMS: realistic, utilitarian, efficient
- ANTONYMS: idealistic, impractical, insensible
- DEFINITION: an imaginative re-creation
- SENTENCE: The treasures of Pharaoh Tutankhamen are evocations of the power and splendor of Ancient Egypt.
- DEFINITION: overbearing; impertinently bold; characterized by brashly overstepping one's place
- SENTENCE: When Max started being presumptuous about his knowledge of how to run camps, Alyssa smacked him.
- SYNONYMS: arrogant, pompus, smug
- ANTONYMS: humble, modest, submissive
- DEFINITION: stubborn resistance to and defiance of authority or guidance; obstinate; obdurate
- SENTENCE: In Amy Winehouse's song "Rehab", her friends and family all beg her to go to rehab, but she is recalcitrant and declares, "No, no, no."
- SYNONYMS: rebellious, obstinate, resistant
- ANTONYMS: passive, obedient, agreeable
- DEFINITION: a timely benefit; blessing
- SENTENCE: Harry Potter's late enrollment in Slughorn's potion class turned out to be a boon when Slughorn offered him a tattered potions book with all the answers in it.
- SYNONYMS: advantage, perk, benefit
- ANTONYMS: handicap, harm, hinderance
- DEFINITION: a source of harm and ruin
- SENTENCE: Professor Snape is the bane of Harry Potter's existence.
- SYNONYMS: nuisance, torment, curse
- ANTONYMS: boon, fortune, blessing
clandestine and surreptitious
- DEFINITION: secret; covert; not open; not aboveboard
- SENTENCE: Dumbledore's Army was a clandestine group that conducted surreptitious activity, secretly teaching students how to defend themselves.
- SYNONYMS: concealed, hidden, stealthy
- ANTONYMS: overt, forthwright, direct
"affable, amiable, genial, gregarious"
- DEFINITION: agreeable; marked by a pleasing personality; warm and friendly
- SENTENCE: The minions are mischevious but gregarious little creatures.
- SYNONYMS: amenable, sociable, charming
- ANTONYMS: disagreeable, hostile, irritable
- DEFINITION: puzzled; confused; bewildered; very perplexed; mystified
- SENTENCE: In "The Hangover," three confounded friends try to find their missing friend Doug after a crazy night in Las Vegas.
- SYNONYMS: befuddled, baffled, dazed
- ANTONYMS: certain, cognizant, sure
- DEFINITION: huge; massive; enormous
- SENTENCE: The genie turned himself into a prodigious elephant so that Aladdin could parade through the streets.
- SYNONYMS: gigantic, collossal, monumental
- ANTONYMS: tiny, small, little
- DEFINITION: unclear; uncertain; open to more than one definition; not definitive
- SENTENCE: The ambigious nature of romance makes dating very confusing sometimes.
- SYNONYMS: vague, cloudy, questionable
- ANTONYMS: clear, definite, explicit
- DEFINITION: to express disapproval; scold; rebuke; censure
- SENTENCE: The young boy was reproached for setting ants on fire with a magnifying glass.
- SYNONYMS: admonish, scorn, denounce
- ANTONYMS: praise, compliment, laud
- a sentimental longing for the past
- DEFINITION: a sentimental longing for the past
- SENTENCE: Whenever kids born in the 1990's experience nostalgia, they turn to Pokemon, boy bands, and fruit gushers.
- SYNONYMS: fond memories, reminiscence, sentimentality
- ANTONYMS: hating the past, modern, avant-garde
- DEFINITION: an inference based upon guesswork; a supposition
- SENTENCE: Scientists have offered a number of conjectures to explain why the Age of Dinosaurs came to an abrupt end.
- SYNONYMS: guess, hypothesize, theorize
- ANTONYMS: hard evidence, scientific fact, empirical