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finely or delicately made or done
- a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general
- business leaders expressed their angst over war and recession
When something is done in haste, it's done fast, and often with carelessness. In his haste to finish the paper, he didn't notice he had replaced "taste" with "waste" during spell-checking, so his title became, "Foods of Our Home State: What a Waste!"
To bumble is to move or speak in an awkward, fumbling way. You might bumble your way through your first dance performance, tripping over your own two feet.
- stupefied by sleep or a drug
- she was under sedation and a bit dopey
Sedation is either the state of being relaxed or sleepy because of a drug, or the act of drugging someone with a sedative
If you had a brief or incomplete look at something, you had a glimpse. "He didn't mean to peek, but he got a glimpse of his birthday present when his wife tried to sneak it into the house. Of course, it's pretty hard to hide a ladder."
Thrill doesn't refer to any old type of excitement; this stuff is intense. For many people, the experience of riding a roller coaster provides a great thrill, or an intense feeling of excitement.
Avid usually means very eager or enthusiastic. If you're an avid reader, it means you read as much as you can, whenever you can.
Are your muscles looking small, weak, and totally inferior? In other words, puny? Sounds like somebody needs to eat more spinach.
When you're walking on the perfect green grass of a golf course, you might remark on the gorgeous turf. Turf is the top layer of ground, especially when it's planted with grass.
If you have a keen interest in something, you are really, really into it. Keen is an adjective that describes something that is intense and focused.
Defeat is the opposite of victory. When you lose, you suffer defeat. When you win, you defeat your enemy.
To gravitate is to move toward or feel attracted to something. People gravitate toward things they like.
You are known as someone with a lot of business savvy, but only because you've managed to keep your staggering debts a secret. Which is actually pretty savvy. Someone who is savvy is shrewd and perceptive.
If you are persuasive, then you have a knack for getting people to do things. Your most persuasive friend might be able to talk you into riding in a hot air balloon despite your fear of heights.
Intricate things are complex and have many elements: they're not simple. Think of the intricate wiring of a computer's motherboard, or the intricate plot of a movie that you have a hard time following.
To deceive means to trick or lie. A crafty kid might deceive his mother into thinking he has a fever by holding the thermometer to a light bulb to increase the temperature.
If you have a notion that you can swim across the ocean, you are probably wrong. A notion is an idea, often vague and sometimes fanciful.
"Let's start over." That's what someone might say when he or she needs to recast something, meaning "to make major changes that make something seem very different or even brand new."
If something is thriving, it's doing well — so well you could call it "booming." A thriving retail business sees its products flying off the shelves.
If you wield a tool or a weapon, you handle it effectively. Picture a gallant knight wielding a sword or a skillful chef wielding a knife.
- surrounded by in the middle of...
- our dream home, set amid magnificent rolling countryside
A ward is a group of rooms or a section in a hospital or prison; in a hospital, different wards deal with different needs, like the psychiatric ward or maternity ward.
Whether it’s the kernel of a pistachio nut or the kernel of wisdom in a story, kernel can refer to the center or essential part of something.
- make (something) physically stronger or more solid.
- the first phase of the project is to consolidate the outside walls
A condiment adds flavor to food. Ketchup and mustard are popular condiments
the act of searching for food and provisions
Consecrate means to make holy or to dedicate to a higher purpose. You need to consecrate a building to turn it into a church, but you can also consecrate a week in New York City to the pursuit of the perfect bagel.
drink (something, especially an alcoholic drink) heartily
When a person is inexorable, they're stubborn. When a thing or process is inexorable, it can't be stopped.
Use the adjective stubborn to describe someone who is not open to new ideas or ways of doing things, like your uncle who refuses to listen to any music made after 1990. Stubborn is the opposite of flexible
Insensate is a word to describe something without feelings or consciousness. Cars, computers, and stuffed animals are all insensate (though some of us occasionally project thoughts and personalities onto them).
Do all these words make your head ache? If so, take an aspirin to alleviate, or relieve, your pain.
Grab for the adjective precarious when something is unstable, dangerous or difficult and likely to get worse. Are you totally broke and the people you owe money to keep calling? You're in a precarious financial situation!
The adjective unassailable means without flaws or indefensible. If you are going to get home late (again!), you'd better have an unassailable alibi for your parents, or else you should plan on not seeing the outside of your room for a while.
having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline
- dogged; in a stubborn unregenerate manner
- When someone is beyond stubborn, use the word obstinate instead: "You obstinate old mule! Get out of my way!"
A salutation is a greeting, whether it's "Dear sir" in a letter or "Hey there!" in person.
A culprit is a person who does something wrong, like committing a crime. When your wallet got stolen out of your pocket, there was a culprit to blame in the crowd.
a kitchen servant employed to do menial tasks (especially washing)
When you emulate someone, you imitate them, especially with the idea of matching their success.
- a person's social environment.
- he grew up in a military milieu
- a person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief
- four-day cooking classes are offered to neophytes and experts
That guy over there correctly identifying the dozen spices used in the meal he's eating? He’s likely a gourmet, someone who knows a lot about fine food.
When someone takes umbrage at something, they find it offensive, and it probably makes them angry.
When you like someone, you might say, "She is an absolute delight." You mean you think she's great: a delight is a source of joy, and to delight is to pleasure. Babies are particularly good at expressing delight in new things.
(used of statements) harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign
- Something blatant is very obvious and offensive. Don't get caught in a blatant lie, because you won't be able to weasel your way out of it
- obvious, flagrant, glaring
When you get a foreboding, you get a sense that something bad is going to happen. A foreboding is a foretelling, a sign or a glimpse, that "something wicked this way comes" — or might come.
- uninteresting; unchallenging
- The movie was so insipid that we left.
- bankrupt; unable to pay debts
- Many of the young are insolvent due to credit card debt.
- rebellious, especially politically
- Many young insurgents die defending their ideas.
- stubborn; unruly
- Obedience training helps intractable dogs.
- having or showing a tendency to be easily angered
- an irascible man
- impossible to deny or disprove
- The evidence of guilt was irrefutable.
- uncertain how to act
- She stood irresolute outside his door.
- having or showing good judgment or sense
- A judicious use of reward is part of good parenting.
- light or set on fire
- arouse or inspire (an emotion or feeling)
- She hesitated, suspicion kindling within her
- brief and to the point, using very few words
- His laconic reply suggested a lack of interest in the topic.
- light, good-humored satire
- The cartoonist lampooned the new Vice-president.
- lose or lack vitality; grow weak or feeble
- Tina languished the year her fiance was in Iraq
- a state of physical or mental weariness; lack of energy
- The thought of housework fills me with lassitude.
- The American public's response to Katrina was laudable.
- liberal in amount; wasteful
- The new rich are notorious for lavish lifestyle
- lack of seriousness; lightness
- Everyone enjoys a little levity in somber times.
- Most teenage girls are loquacious.
- so foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing; ridiculous
- It's ludicrous that I have been fined
- wishing evil to others
- Failure made him malevolent toward successful people.
- impair the appearance of; disfigure
- no wrinkles marred her face
- lacking in quantity or quality; scanty
- They were forced to supplement their meager earnings
- to wander
- The lovers meandered slowly trough the gardens.
one who hates mankind
- to calm or sooth
- Nothing we said seemed to mollify he disappointment
ill-humored; sullen; gloomy; melancholy
- wicked; evil
- The nefarious activities of the organized-crime syndicates.
- to cancel out; deny; nullify
- Alcohol negates the effects of the drug.
- failing to take proper care in doing something
- The nurse have been negligent in the performance of her duties.
- carefree; feeling or appearing casually calm and relaxed
- She gave a nonchalant shrug.
- destroy utterly; wipe out
- The memory was so painful that he obliterated it from his mind.
- We were too obtuse then to understand the implications.
- excessively pushy in offering services
- An officious bellboy hopes for a good tip.
- not transparent; hard to see through
- The opal is opaque gem
- great wealth or luxuriousness
- Their opulence included yacht and villa in Italy.
- showing hard work or great care
- Restoring antique furniture is painstaking work.
- example; model
- There is a new paradigm for public art in this country.
- having a limited or narrow outlook or scope; provincial
- Organized religion is parochial in its views
- stingy; excessively frugal
- It is better to be generous than parsimonious.
- scarcity; lack
- There was a paucity of help in the clean-up effort.
- above comparison
- Helen of Troy is said to have peerless beauty.
- to read or examine with care
- It is best to peruse a contract before signing it.
- to pacify; conciliate
- They attempted to placate the students with promises.
- calm; not easy irritated
- The travelers remained placid despite repeated delays.
- a pompous ass who pretends he knows everything
- weighty; heavy in importance
- Earth's future is a ponderous matter to consider.
- He took potent pain killer and went to bed early.
- eliciting or possessing an extraordinary interest in sex
- David’s mother was shocked by the discovery of prurient reading material hidden beneath her son’s mattress.
If someone comments on the pulchritude of your face, you shouldn’t be offended. It may sound like quite the opposite, but pulchritude actually means “beauty.”