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- DEFINITION: geographically widespread an affecting a large proportion of the population, as a disease
- SENTENCE: Many scientists worry that experimentations on viruses for any purpose in labs raises the risk of a pandemic should specimens escape from their confinement.
- DEFINITION: strength of mind that allows one to endure pain or adversity with courage, especially over a period of time
- SENTENCE: On our backpacking trip, we took a rest day before the hardest hike to build up our fortitude for the long, hard climb.
- SYNONYMS: endurance, resolution, perseverance
- ANTONYMS: cowardice, helplessness, weakness
- DEFINITION: small in stature or presence
- SENTENCE: Sheila was such a diminutive woman that people were constantly surprised when she spoke with a powerful voice.
- SYNONYMS: tiny, petite, little
- ANTONYMS: enormous, gigantic, large
- DEFINITION: old-fashioned; out of date; no longer part of contemporary usage; antiquated
- SENTENCE: Ben is so good at vocabulary that he can define even the most archaic of terms without looking them up, and even tell you their language of origin.
- SYNONYMS: ancient, obsolete, antique
- ANTONYMS: modern, new, relevant
- DEFINITION: to try to influence someone by words or advice; to encourage; give a pep talk
- SENTENCE: No matter how hard I tried, I could not exhort the stray cat to come inside, so I had to leave the milk out on the porch for him.
- SYNONYMS: encourage, advise, persuade, implore, urge
- ANTONYMS: impede, discourage, thwart
- DEFINITION: natural, basic, or instinctual aversion; strong dislike
- SENTENCE: Jolene can't help her antipathy toward all vegetables except for corn and broccoli, but she cooks lots of creative dishes with heavy spices to enable herself to eat the healthy plants.
- SYNONYMS: abhorrence, enmity, hatred
- ANTONYMS: love, rapport, friendliness
- DEFINITION: ill will, resentment, or enmity tending toward active hostility; a feeling of strong dislike that tends to display itself in action
- SENTENCE: Ever since I let slip the final score of the World Cup match to Jean before he could watch it himself, he looks at me with animosity when I enter a room, as if he wants to use me as a soccer ball.
- SYNONYMS: aggression, dislike, hatred
- DEFINITION: to depart temporarily from a subject; to deviate from a main topic in writing or speaking
- SENTENCE: I like it when my teachers digress, because the topics they talk when they do about are usually more interesting than the subject of the lesson.
- SYNONYMS: meander, roam, stray, wander, ramble
- ANTONYMS: focus, concentrate, zero-in
- DEFINITION: showing great determination in holding on to something that is valued; unwilling to accept defeat, or to stop doing or having something
- SENTENCE: Clara was known for being tenacious on the rugby field, and it often took three or more players from the other team to tackle her when she had the ball.
- SYNONYMS: adamant, dogged, steadfast
- ANTONYMS: weak, surrendering, yielding
- DEFINITION: benignly lenient or permissive; characterized by excessive generosity, especially in reference to unrestrained gratification; overly tolerant
- SENTENCE: Emma's dad is known for being indulgent, often letting her friends stay up late eating chocolate and watching movies, even on school nights.
- SYNONYMS: permissive, lenient, tolerant
- ANTONYMS: harsh, unforgiving, strict
- DEFINITION: create disunity, discord or dissension; to break up into opposing factions or groups
- SENTENCE: Though meant to bring people of different cultures together, major sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup are often divisive because people only want the team from their country to win.
- SYNONYMS: alienating, discordant, disruptive
- ANTONYMS: unifying, cohesive, synthesizing
- DEFINITION: to cause people in a group to have sharply differing opinions; to encourage people toward more extreme, conflicting positions
- SENTENCE: Whenever Khaled speaks, he tends to polarize anyone listening into one group of people who totally agree with him and a group that wants to contest every word he says.
- SYNONYMS: split, separate
- DEFINITION: lacking a fully developed form or limits; having the hazy, vague qualities of a cloud; difficult to see, understand, or describe
- SENTENCE: Lotta is interested in theoretical physics, because so much is undiscovered and the limits of what is possible are so nebulous that it seems to her that anything can happen in that field.
- SYNONYMS: ambiguous, amorphous, murky, vague, cloudy, misty
- ANTONYMS: clear, apparent, plain
- DEFINITION: a comparison between two things that shows their similarity; an observation of similar characteristics in different things, often to be used for rhetorical emphasis or as the basis for deduction
- SENTENCE: When attempting to explain how much his stomach was hurting, Eddie used the analogy of a ball that bounces on a floor full of firecrackers, saying that a little fiery explosion might happen at any second.
- SYNONYMS: simile, metaphor, correlation, likeness, association
- ANTONYMS: dissimilar, unlikeness, difference
- DEFINITION: showing an analogy, or displaying a likeness that permits an analogy; corresponding in some particular way
- SENTENCE: Music is often seen as analogous to mathematics, because both operate with set rules and boundaries, and both rely largely on finding patterns.
- SYNONYMS: similar, reminiscent (of),
- DEFINITION: very brief; vanishing quickly
- SENTENCE: Indu's feeling of joy at having finished her final exams was fleeting, because she knew that she would have to work all summer to save money for college.
- SYNONYMS: cursory, ephemeral
- ANTONYMS: lasting, enduring, lengthy
- DEFINITION: lasting for only a short time; living only one day, as certain flowers or insects do
- SENTENCE: Thought it is sad that the lights from fireworks are ephemeral, their short lives help us appreciate their beauty even more when we get to see them.
- SYNONYMS: fleeting, transitory, short-lived
- DEFINITION: a tendency to do, or to be attracted to, something; a partiality or disposition in favor of something; a preference
- SENTENCE: Because she could not stand the taste of mint, Andrea developed a predilection for chocolate-flavored toothpaste.
- SYNONYMS: bias, leaning, partiality, penchant
- DEFINITION: a strong inclination or taster for something; a liking for or habit of doing something, esp. that others might not like
- SENTENCE: Nabil has such a penchant for exotic recipes that he travels the world and takes cooking classes to learn new ways of cooking.
- SYNONYMS: affinity, bias, propensity
- ANTONYMS: indifference, impartial, neutral
- DEFINITION: likely to change or react to a new idea or sudden desire; characterized by unpredictable, constantly shifting moods
- SENTENCE: Justin is so capricious that he will walk out of movie theaters halfway through a movie because he feels like walking around the block.
- SYNONYMS: variable, erratic, volatile
- ANTONYMS: constant, steadfast, dependable
- DEFINITION: Having the characteristics of eloquence, shrewdness, swiftness, and/or thievishness attributed to the god Mercury; changing mood or thought quickly and often
- SENTENCE: Dee's mercurial emotions lead to the music she makes being wild and unpredictable, and also thrilling to listen to.
- SYNONYMS: capricious, changeable, mutable, inconstant
- DEFINITION: rude or unpleasant; not polite or socially acceptable; behaving in a rude way
- SENTENCE: Greg always acted uncouth, but Yolanda immediately saw through his rough exterior and talked to him like a regular person, which surprised him into being nice for a change.
- SYNONYMS: rude, churlish, classless
- DEFINITION: characterized by crude behavior and deplorable manners; vulgar and unmannered
- SENTENCE: Guests at the queen's table might be thrown out of a party for boorish behavior that does not befit such royal company.
- SYNONYMS: rude, barbaric, uncouth
- ANTONYMS: civilized, refined, cultured
- DEFINITION: feeling or showing anger at something unfair, offensive or wrong
- SENTENCE: Callie was indignant at being called a space case when she made a totally valid point, even if it was on a subject that had ended in the class's conversation twenty minutes before.
- SYNONYMS: disgruntled, riled, annoyed
- ANTONYMS: pleased, happy, satisfied
- DEFINITION: a remark that suggests something esp. something inappropriate, but does not refer to it directly; a veiled reference to something immoral or improper
- SENTENCE: Informal conversations or creative fiction are both great places for innuendo, Mr. Diaz reminded Malia, but school papers that are supposed to be based on research are not.
- SYNONYMS: allusion, hint, insinuation
- DEFINITION: to stop something from happening; to prevent someone from accomplishing something
- SENTENCE: Try though the administration might, they failed in their attempts to thwart the senior class's yearly prank on the last day of school.
- SYNONYMS: impede, block, deter
- ANTONYMS: encourage, goad, help
- DEFINITION: to present an obstacle to or stand in the way of something; to get in the way of someone's plans
- SENTENCE: Though his political opponents tried to stymie his run for office, Karl Chang won a seat in the state parliament by a landslide.
- SYNONYMS: prevent, impede, end
- DEFINITION: skillful and adept under pressing conditions; to have or show great skill
- SENTENCE: Jenna's adroit leadership in the face of a possible order meltdown on her ship resulted in her promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
- SYNONYMS: skillful, proficient, adept, dexterous
- ANTONYMS: clumsy, awkward, inept
- DEFINITION: able to do something quickly and accurately; skillful
- SENTENCE: Liam's deft use of language and quick enunciation make him one of Ireland's best spoken word poets.
- SYNONYMS: nimble, adept
- DEFINITION: caution gently but earnestly; warn against a course of action, usually in a kind way
- SENTENCE: Tessa was kind when admonishing her son Jon after he almost ran into the street, but she was stern enough to let him know that she was serious.
- SYNONYMS: scold, chide, berate
- ANTONYMS: applaud, praise, approve
- DEFINITION: impossible to doubt because of obvious truth; not open to question or dispute
- SENTENCE: Scholars still disagree about whether Shakespeare actually wrote all of his plays, largely because historians still do not have any incontrovertible evidence that he was the author.
- SYNONYMS: incontestable, undeniable, unquestionable
- ANTONYMS: questionable, uncertain, ambiguous
- DEFINITION: having or showing a tendency to eat huge amounts of food; needing a lot of something to be satisfied
- SENTENCE: Henry has such a voracious appetite that he can sometimes eat two whole pizzas by himself.
- SYNONYMS: ravenous, insatiable, gluttonous
- ANTONYMS: quenched, satisfied, satiated
- DEFINITION: very eager or greedy for food, often because of extreme hunger
- SENTENCE: Ingrid was ravenous after eating almost nothing all day, which made her irritable enough to snap at her coworker Evan before running home to make dinner.
- SYNONYMS: famished, starving, rapacious
- DEFINITION: having no sympathy or feeling for other people; emotionally hardened, and therefore unsympathetic
- SENTENCE: Good writers can describe the motivations behind characters' actions that seem callous, showing the humanity even in people who do bad things.
- SYNONYMS: tough, insensitive, harsh, unfeeling
- ANTONYMS: compassionate, sensitive, tender
- DEFINITION: brave and willing to risk dangerous situations; resolutely fearless
- SENTENCE: Manuel is an intrepid explorer, constantly going places that other people would shy away from.
- SYNONYMS: brave, gutsy, stalwart, daring
- ANTONYMS: timid, cowardly, meek
- DEFINITION: not frightened or discouraged, despite problems or lack of success; not afraid to continue doing something in the face of danger
- SENTENCE: Diana was determined to reach the top of the mountain and was undaunted by the harsh weather and rugged path along the cliffs.
- SYNONYMS: bold, intrepid, fearless