DEFINITION: one who argues in support of something; an advocate for or champion of a cause
SENTENCE: Colleen became a huge proponent of fad diets when she lost weight using one, but has since realized that exercise is healthier and more important.
SYNONYMS: fan, supporter, advocate
ANTONYMS: enemy, foe, opponent
DEFINITION: a person, especially a child or young person, with great talent or ability; a young genius
SENTENCE: Mozart was declared a prodigy when he wrote his first symphony at age four, and his father toured him around Europe to show off his young genius.
SYNONYMS: genius, mastermind, whiz
ANTONYMS: simpleton, idiot, moron
DEFINITION: a person (as a priestess of ancient Greece) through whom a deity is believed to speak
SENTENCE: The conflict in ancient Greek literature resulting from people consulting the oracle to try to learn about their futures speaks to the dangers of knowing too much and being too curious.
SYNONYMS: prophecy, fortune, vision
DEFINITION: a person who dislikes or distrusts other people in general; someone who hates or distrusts humankind
SENTENCE: In A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens portrays Ebenezer Scrooge as a cold-hearted misanthrope who despises poor people and Christmas.
SYNONYMS: hater, cynic, skeptic
ANTONYMS: humanitarian, philanthropist, altruist
DEFINITION: a person who does something in a new way or has new ideas about how something can be done; a person who introduces new things
SENTENCE: Michael Jackson was an extraordinarily talented entertainer and musical innovator who became a global superstar, setting the standard for how a song could be presented.
SYNONYMS: creator, founder, pioneer
ANTONYMS: follower, imitator, copycat
DEFINITION: a person who seeks favor by flattering people of influence; a toady; someone who behaves in an obsequious or servile manner
SENTENCE: Jimmy is a shameless sycophant, but he is so obvious in his obsessive praise that he will never get anywhere with powerful people
DEFINITION: a person who is seemingly indifferent to or unaffected by joy, grief, pleasure, or pain; someone who is impassive and emotionless
SENTENCE: The guards at Buckingham Palace are famous for keeping their faces stoic, even in the face of hot summer weather and hordes of pesky tourists.
SYNONYMS: aloof, detached, imperturbable
ANTONYMS: emotional, responsive, concerned
DEFINITION: a depraved, morally unprincipled, or wicked person; someone who behaves in a morally wrong way
SENTENCE: The motivational speaker called his young self a reprobate because of his constant stealing, fighting, and trouble with authority.
SYNONYMS: corrupter, degenerate, villain
DEFINITION: a disloyal person who deserts one party or cause in favor of another; a traitor or deserter
SENTENCE: Benedict Arnold was vilified as a renegade, and his name has become synonymous with "traitor."
SYNONYMS: traitor, turncoat, heretic
ANTONYMS: adherent, loyalist, patriot
DEFINITION: characterized by very strict laws, rules, and punishments; rigorous or extremely cruel in nature
SENTENCE: We were all relieved when the year ended because we would never have to deal with Ms. Dylan and her draconian class rules ever again.
SYNONYMS: brutal, authoritarian, harsh
ANTONYMS: lenient, gentle, amenable
DEFINITION: using or involving the use of a minimum of words; very brief and concise
SENTENCE: Some brilliant people are habitually laconic, preferring to listen to others than to talk themselves.
SYNONYMS: compact, curt, pithy, concise, terse
ANTONYMS: verbose, wordy, long-winded
DEFINITION: marked by simplicity, frugality, or avoidance of luxury and comfort; like the Spartans of ancient Greece, sternly disciplined and rigorously simple
SENTENCE: Recruits at the Marine training center at Paris Island must live in spartan barracks with almost no possessions and pass a demanding twelve-week training schedule.
ANTONYMS: luxurious, opulent, extravagant
DEFINITION: idyllically calm and peaceful; untroubled and tranquil
SENTENCE: The time she spent in the countryside relaxing and enjoying the natural beauty gave Grace the most halcyon week of her life.
SYNONYMS: serene, balmy, pastoral
ANTONYMS: violent, anxious, turbulent
DEFINITION: a plausible but deliberately misleading or fallacious argument designed to deceive someone
SENTENCE: Maura's sophistry as a student frustrated her teachers, because though her logic seemed sound her conclusions were incorrect and she obviously talked just to frustrate them.
SYNONYMS: deception, trickery, subterfuge
ANTONYMS: honesty, truthfulness, forthrightness
DEFINITION: existing only as a product of an unchecked imagination; wildly fantastical or highly unrealistic
SENTENCE: Fad diets, vitamin supplements, and exercise routines all offer claims that have often proved to be based on chimerical logic.
SYNONYMS: imaginary, fanciful, mythical
ANTONYMS: real, authentic, factual
DEFINITION: to exclude, by general consent, from society, friendship, conversation, privileges, etc; to not allow someone in a group
SENTENCE: Maddy and Jack made sure to teach their kids to share, to be curious, and to be inclusive, not ostracize any of their peers.
SYNONYMS: banish, blacklist, boycott
ANTONYMS: embrace, welcome, include
DEFINITION: having little or no money; penniless; not affluent
SENTENCE: America tells people who are born impecunious that if they world hard and dedicate themselves, they might one day become rich, which is not always true.
SYNONYMS: destitute, poor, impoverished
ANTONYMS: rich, wealthy, affluent
DEFINITION: extremely wicked or villainous; infamous by way of being wicked or impious
SENTENCE: Carly was writing a novel in which scientists from an unnamed country plotted a nefarious end to the world in which everyone else would become mindless drones.
SYNONYMS: evil, foul, perverse
ANTONYMS: honorable, respectable, virtuous
DEFINITION: markedly good-humored especially as shown by happiness, jollity, or conviviality; cheerful
SENTENCE: Ironically, Grant who works in a funeral home as a mortician is the probably most jovial and kind person I know.
SYNONYMS: happy, merry, mirthful,
ANTONYMS: moody, sad, unhappy
DEFINITION: a song or hymn of dirge or lamentation, often used for a funeral; a slow mournful musical composition
SENTENCE: Abe thought that he would be able to get through the ceremony without crying, but when the dirge started, his tears also began to flow.
SYNONYMS: requiem, lament, elegy
ANTONYMS: ditty, hymn, lullaby
DEFINITION: showing or expressing too much emotion, especially in a foolish or annoying way; excessively sentimental
SENTENCE: Francesca got kicked off of DJ duty at the party because she played two songs in a row that were maudlin and slow.
SYNONYMS: overemotional, mushy, tear-jerking
ANTONYMS: calm, matter-of-fact, unemotional
DEFINITION: hopeful or romantic in an impractical way; foolishly impractical in the pursuit of ideals
SENTENCE: Eric wants to become a politician and change the world, but he is quixotic and probably will have a hard time finding success in the cutthroat political world.
SYNONYMS: chimerical, dreamy, unrealistic
ANTONYMS: realistic, pragmatic, practical
DEFINITION: a place or scene of riotous uproar or chaos; unrestrained disorder or tumult
SENTENCE: Kerri Anne was in Madrid when Spain won the World Cup in 2010, and she said that despite the country's trying financial problems, the city was engulfed in joyful pandemonium for almost a week.
SYNONYMS: chaos, ruckus, hullabaloo
ANTONYMS: tranquility, calm, peace
DEFINITION: a strict disciplinarian who demands total obedience; a person who demands absolute adherence to forms and rules
SENTENCE: Even for the Army, Drill Sergeant Mahmoud Boulos demanded so much of recruits and held them to such high standards of behavior that he was known by all as a martinet.
SYNONYMS: authoritarian, drillmaster, tyrant
DEFINITION: a complete failure; a debacle
SENTENCE: Many observers believe that the government's initial slow response to Hurricane Katrina transformed the natural disaster into a human-made fiasco.