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adj. deviating from normal or correct.
- An example of an aberrant behavior would be a usually calm person having a fit of rage.
- A year of abberant weather-record rainfall in the summer, record heat in autumn.
v. to leave secretly and hide, often to avoid the law.
Several prisoners absconded from the jail.
- v., n. to speak, plead, or argue for a cause, or in another’s behalf.
- a passionate advocate of civil rights
- (n) -- one who advocates.
- She works as a consumer advocate.
- v. to make greater, to increase, thus, to exaggerate.
- To make your farm larger by purchasing the neighboring farm is an example of aggrandize.
- a movie that aggrandizes the bad guys and makes the cops look like dopes
- v. to unite or mix.
- An example of the word amalgamate is the process of combining flour and butter to create a roux.
- (n) -- amalgamation.
- amalgamating different styles of music
- adj. vague; subject to more than one interpretation
- We were confused by the ambiguous wording of the message.
- adj. extremely pleasing to the senses, divine (as related to the gods) or delicious (n: ambrosia)
- An example of ambrosia is perfume.
- An example of ambrosia is nectar.
- An example of ambrosia is a dessert salad made with marshmallows, orange, pineapple and coconut.
- n. a person or artifact appearing after its own time or out of chronological order (adj: anachronistic)
- If a movie about ancient Egypt showed a Pharaoh wearing a wristwatch, the wristwatch would be an example of an anachronism.
- He's an old-fashioned politician who is seen by many of his colleagues as an anachronism.
- adj. peculiar; unique, contrary to the norm (n: anomaly)
- A person with 50 piercings and tattoos is an example of someone who is anomalous.
- Researchers could not explain the anomalous test results.
- adj. ancient; outmoded; (literally,before the flood)
- An example of people who are antediluvian are Adam and Eve.
- An example of an antediluvian item is the rotary phone.
- He has antediluvian notions about the role of women in the workplace.
- n. hostility toward, objection, or aversion to
- An example of antipathy is how a staunch Republican might feel about a Democrat.
- There has always been strong antipathy between the two groups.
- v. to settle a dispute by impulse (n: arbitration)
- An example of arbitrate is to hear issues and help a couple decide on a divorce settlement.
- The council will arbitrate among the interest groups.
- v. to make less severe; to appease or satisfy
- An example of something that a nurse might assuage is someone's pain with the distribution of medicine.
- An example of something that you may assuage is your need for sleep.
- He couldn't assuage his guilt over the divorce.
- v. weaken (adj: attenuated)
- An example of attenuate is to destroy many members of an opposing force.
- Earplugs will attenuate the loud sounds of the machinery.
- adj. extremely bold; fearless, especially said of human behavior (n: audacity)
- A shy housewife traveling to a war torn country alone is an example of an audacious act.
- They have audacious plans for the new school.
- v. to declare
- An example of aver is to firmly and assertively state that you are not guilty.
- He averred that he was innocent.
- adj. commonplace or trite (n: banality)
- An example of something banal are boring knock-knock jokes that have been told many times before.
- He made some banal remarks about the weather.
- adj. unconcealed, shameless, or brazen
- a barefaced lie
- a barefaced challenge for a fight
- n. speech or action intended to coax someone into doing something
- An example of a blandishment is telling a friend how beautiful she is in order to entice her to buy your movie ticket.
- He resisted the blandishment.
- n. pompous speech (adj: bombastic)
- The writings of Shakespeare are examples of bombast.
- you need less bombast and more substance in this speech on human rights
- n., v. a lapse, gap or break, as in a fortress wall. To break or break through.
- Unfortunately, the club members never forgot his breach of ettiquette.
- v., n. to grow or flourish; a bud or new growth (adj: burgeoning )
- An example of burgeon is a cherry tree flowering in springtime.
- The market for collectibles has burgeoned in recent years.
- v., n. to support. a support
- A stone wall built against a wall to support the building is an example of a buttress.
- the mother had always been the buttress of our family in trying times
- v.to get something by taking advantage of someone
- An example of to cadge is to get dinner by asking people entering a restaurant to buy you something.
- She cadged money from her sister.
- n. impulse (adj: capricious)
- A groom leaving a bride while standing at the altar is an example of a caprice action.
- Snow falling in Los Angeles in the middle of the summer is an example of a caprice.
- Employees have complained of being at the mercy of the manager's every whim and caprice.
- v.to chastise or criticize severely
- An example of castigate is when a person is punished harshly in public for his behavior.
- The author castigated the prime minister as an ineffective leader.
- n.an agent of change (adj: catalytic; v. catalyze)
- An example of catalyst is how President Bush's claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction started the war in Iraq.
- The bombing attack was the catalyst for war.
- adj.capable of dissolving by chemical action; highly critical:
- "His caustic remarks spoiled the mood of the party."
- The chemical was so caustic that it ate through the pipes.
- n.deception by trickery
- An example of chicanery is dishonest actions by politicians to get elected.
- He wasn't above using chicanery to win votes.
- adj.willingly compliant or accepting of the status quo (n: complaisance)
- A happy-go-lucky girl who is agreeable, doesn't fight and does what others want her to do is an example of someone who is complaisant.
- n.a great fire
- An example of a conflagration is a large fire that burns up two houses.
- the historic tavern burned to the ground in a horrible conflagration
- adj.of or having to do with material, as opposed to spiritual; tangible.
- (In older writings,coeporeal could be a synonym for corporal. This usage is no longer common)
- An example of corporeal is tangible property as opposed to intellectual property.
- the corporeal nature of matter
- adj.of the body: "corporal punishment."
- a non-commissioned officer ranked between a sergeant and a private.
- When you punish someone by harming his body and causing pain (such as by spanking the person) this is an example of corporal punishment.
- started to suffer the corporal ailments that come with advancing age
- v.to strengthen or support:
- "The witness corroborted his story."
- (n: corroboration)
- adj., n.cowardly; a coward
- A person who runs and hides when he hears any noise or sounds is an example of someone who might be described as craven.
- a craven refusal to deliver the unwelcome news personally
- adj.deserving of blame (n: culpability)
- An example of culpable is a person who has committed a wrongdoing.
- They held her culpable for the accident.
- n.lack, scarcity:
- "The prosecutor complained about the dearth of concrete evidence against the suspect."
- n.submission or courteous yielding:
- "He held his tongue in deference to his father."
- (n: deferential. v. defer)
- v.to show, create a picture of.
- When a writer describes a scene in vivid detail, this is an example of when he depicts the scene.
- The wall was painted with a large mural depicting famous scenes from American history.
- n.belittlement. (v. deprecate)
- movie critics tried to outdo one another in deprecatingthe comedy as the stupidest movie of the year
- n.the act of preying upon or plundering:
- "The depredations of the invaders demoralized the population."
- v.to make clear, to say
- An example of descry is to pick out a secret code in a message.
- we couldn't descry the reasons for his sudden departure
- v.to dry out thoroughly (adj: desiccated)
- An example of desiccate is slice a banana and put in a food dehydrator.
- that historian's dry-as-dust prose desiccates what is actually an exciting period in European history
- n.a bitter abusive denunciation.
- An example of a diatribe is a father lecturing his son about how the son is not doing anything with his life.
- The article is a diatribe against mainstream media.
- adj.lacking self-confidence, modest (n: diffidence)
- An example of diffident is a young man who is afraid to sign up for the football team.
- She was diffident about stating her opinion.
- for someone who makes a living performing for other people, the actress is remarkably diffident in real life
- adj.to free a person from falsehood or error:
- "We had to disabuse her of the notion that she was invited."
- let me disabuse you of your foolish notions about married life
- adj.belittling (n: disparagement. v. disparage)
- The candidate made disparaging remarks about his opponent, but they only made him seem small for insulting a worthy adversary.
- adj.calm; objective; unbiased
- An example of someone dispassionate is a good judge.
- Journalists aim to be dispassionate observers.
- v.to conceal one's real motive, to feign
- An example of dissemble is a person who is pretending to be your friend but who really just wants an invitation to your beach house.
- he dissembled happiness at the news that his old girlfriend was getting married—to someone else
- adj.stubborn or determined:
- "Her dogged pursuit of the degree eventually paid off."