DEFINITION: A brief summary of the major points of something; a short description
SENTENCE: I gave my parents a quick synopsis of the night's many events, from dinner to the concert to the birthday party on the beach.
SYNONYMS: a condensed version, epitome, abstract, abridgment, prcis
ANTONYMS: drawn-out, wordy
DEFINITION: A figure of speech that uses "like" or "as" to compare two unlike things
SENTENCE: The doctor called Ariana's daughter Hazel "pretty as a peach" when she came in for her checkup, and the little girl blushed at the simile.
SYNONYMS: comparison, parallel, allusion
DEFINITION: A figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two unrelated objects (without "like" or "as")
SENTENCE: Shakespeare's poetry is rife with metaphors that try to convey deep truths or abstract subjects by simplifying them into comparisons.
SYNONYMS: comparison, parallel, allusion
DEFINITION: the attribution of human nature or character to animals, inanimate objects, or abstract notions, especially as a rhetorical figure
SENTENCE: Karl joked around that he could interpret for his dog, who was trying to talk to people constantly, but not many of his friends were amused by his attempt at canine personification.
DEFINITION: a use of words to convey meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning, esp. used in an attempts to be funny; a situation that is strange or funny because things happen in a way that seems to be the opposite of what you expected
SENTENCE: Mario was quick to see the irony of his situation when he stumbled and fell on the grass just after giving a demonstration of how much his time in gymnastics had improved his balance.
DEFINITION: a way of using humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, bad, etc.; a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule
SENTENCE: The TV show "The Office" provides a satire of unmotivated cubicle workers and clueless bosses.
SYNONYMS: banter, mockery, parody
DEFINITION: obvious and intentional exaggeration, esp. when used for humor, persuasion, or to convey emotion
SENTENCE: The Statue of Liberty seemed so small in the distance that Erica thought her cousins had exaggerated its size, but when she stood at the base of the huge structure, the description did not seem so much like hyperbole.
SYNONYMS: amplification, distortion, enlargement
DEFINITION: a representation such as drawing, description, or imitation that makes someone look funny or foolish because some part of the person's appearance is exaggerated
SENTENCE: Modern cartoonists often caricature Jay Leno by exaggerating his already prominent chin.
SYNONYMS: cartoon, imitation, parody
DEFINITION: noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style
SENTENCE: Many writers use characters or plot twists that are similar to those in Homer's "The Odyssey," from Ancient Greek times, which is one of the world's oldest and most famous epics.
SYNONYMS: legend, saga, tale
ANTONYMS: short poem
DEFINITION: A long narrative or legend of heroic exploits; a prose composition that is long, complicated, and has many details
SENTENCE: I am trying to write a novel, but I'm getting so distracted by side stories and offshoot characters that my one book is turning into a ridiculously complicated saga.
SYNONYMS: epic, chronicle, legend
ANTONYMS: short story
DEFINITION: Soothing or pleasant sounds; esp. the acoustic effect produced by words formed or combined so as to please the ear
SENTENCE: Saul plays with words both in his head and out loud so that when he speaks, his phrases are always filled with euphony.
SYNONYMS: melody, rhythm
DEFINITION: A discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds; harsh clashing sounds that are jarring or grating
SENTENCE: Since my brother started a garage band, all I hear on weekday afternoons is the cacophony of drums, amps, and screaming with no rhythm or melody.
SYNONYMS: discord, harshness, noise
ANTONYMS: silence, harmony
DEFINITION: (in biology) the process that causes a liquid (especially water) to pass through the wall of a living cell; also the process by which ideas and information are absorbed without conscious effort
SENTENCE: You can't learn vocabulary words by osmosis; you have to study hard and repeat them correctly to really remember them.
DEFINITION: Lukewarm or mild; characterized by a lack of warmth or enthusiasm
SENTENCE: The film was only mediocre; it received tepid reviews from critics for its slow pace, un-inspirational writing, and unremarkable performances.
SYNONYMS: Lukewarm; mild; apathetic
ANTONYMS: passionate, fervent, enthusiastic
DEFINITION: brilliantly lively, stimulating, or witty; exciting and intelligent, esp. referring to the stimulation of senses or the imagination
SENTENCE: The scintillating performance that Max gave was captivating in every sense of the word.
SYNONYMS: dazzling, exciting, glimmering
ANTONYMS: dull, humdrum, uninspiring
DEFINITION: Cheerfully confident, optimistic, or hopeful of character
SENTENCE: Gerardo remains sanguine even when things are going badly at work because he always keeps his priorities in perspective and knows that things will work out in the end.
SYNONYMS: hopeful, upbeat, enthusiastic
ANTONYMS: pessimistic, gloomy, sad
DEFINITION: the use of clever and dishonest methods to achieve something; the practice of deceiving people in order to achieve certain goals
SENTENCE: Katy tried to use her best guile to get herself out of her first speeding ticket, first claiming that her mother was sick, then breaking down in tears, but it had no effect on the police officer.
SYNONYMS: trickery, ruse, dishonesty
ANTONYMS: frankness, sincerity, truthfulness
DEFINITION: displaying wealth, knowledge, etc., in a way that is meant to attract attention, admiration, or envy
SENTENCE: Jill always wanted to scream at the people in the huge houses she drove past to go to work about how the money for their ostentatious homes could be better used helping people.
SYNONYMS: extravagant, flamboyant, glittery
ANTONYMS: plain, humble, modest
DEFINITION: Intellectually productive or inventive to a high degree; fertile in the sense of ideas or reproduction
SENTENCE: Writers prosper when they are able to put in print the many ideas that blossom from their extremely fecund imaginations.
SYNONYMS: fruitful, prolific, lush
ANTONYMS: barren, unproductive, unfruitful
DEFINITION: Haughtily disdainful and contemptuous, as a person or facial expression; arrogantly superior
SENTENCE: Korbie couldn't help being supercilious when she learned how to ride a horse and her older brother was still struggling to be able to sit in a saddle.
SYNONYMS: fruitful, prolific, lush
ANTONYMS: humble, modest, unpretentious
DEFINITION: a short pause in which nothing happens; a gap or break in a material objet
SENTENCE: Lillian took a brief hiatus from struggling to finish her term paper, and in the five minutes it took her to walk around the block, she thought of the ending that she had not been able to find.
SYNONYMS: break, lapse, gap
DEFINITION: derived or selected from different sources; not following any one system, as in philosophy, medicine, etc., but consisting of different types, methods, styles, etc.
SENTENCE: Gabe takes many eclectic life experiences and condenses them into inventive, impossible stories that he posts on his blog.
SYNONYMS: potpourri, diverse, mixed
ANTONYMS: uniform, unvaried, similar
DEFINITION: to have great respect for, admire, or be in awe of; to show devotion for and honor to
SENTENCE: A good sportsman must revere the game he plays in order to dedicate himself to it fully and honestly.
DEFINITION: To regard with great respect; to hold in high esteem
SENTENCE: People often venerate international heroes like George Washington and Nelson Mandela.