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- calm state of mind; self-possession
- Composure is a must for a public speakers.
- intended or likely to placate or pacify
- Teo brought roses to Sarah as a conciliatory gesture.
- present from birth (especially of a disease or physical abnormality)
- Heart problems in the young are often congenital.
- sharing a boundary; adjacent
- Illinois and Indiana have contiguous borders.
- sociable; merry; festive
- The party have convivial atmosphere.
- abundant; plentiful
- Copious rain gives us lush lawns.
- warm; sincere; friendly
- The people in Florida, are very cordial.
- lacking sensitivity, refinement, or intelligence
- Booing and throwing things at sport events is crass.
- gullible; believing to quickly
- He sold 'miracle' cures to desperate and credulous clients
- shortage; scarce supply
- There is a dearth of water in the dessert.
- to drain the energy of; make (someone) weak and infirm
- Chronic stress debilitates even the strong.
- process of deterioration; decay
- Overconfidence is a source of decadence.
- damage the good reputation of (someone); slander or libel
- He claimed that the article defamed his family.
- humble submission and respect; veneration
- He addressed her with the deference due to age
- to sketch; to describe in words
- The characters were very well delineate in her play.
- moral corruption; wickedness
- a tale of wickedness and depravity
- express disapproval of; belittle
- He deprecated his own contribution to the program.
- treat (a sacred place or thing) with violent disrespect; violate
- More than 300 graves were desecrated.
- tyrant; ruler with oppressive power
- When one despot is deposed for another, the cycle of repression continues
- jumping from one thing to another; lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm; casual
- Cocktail party conversation is desultory.
- shifty; showing a skillful use of underhanded tactics to achieve goals
- Bill's success has been gotten by devious means.
- a bitter, abusive criticism.
- Votes are more powerful that political diatribes.
- intended to teach or instruct
- My favorite films have didactic messages.
- lack of self-confidence, timid
- Shy people are often diffident.
- tiny, minuscule
- The gnat (tiny flying insect) is diminutive insect.
- perceptive; having keen (sharp) insight
- Discerning mothers know when children are lying.
- not in accord; conflicting; disagreeing or incongruous
- Discordant shouts rose from the crowd.
- a lack of compatibility or similarity between two or more facts
- There's a discrepancy between your account and his.
- to belittle; to reduce in esteem
- Don't disparage your instincts.
- lacking in emotions or bias
- Journalists should be dispassionate reporters of facts.
- deceitfulness; double-dealing
- Duplicity and friendship do not go hand in hand.
- combining elements from various sources
- Bette Midler has an eclectic singing style.
- a building, usually a large, public one
- The Chicago Art Institute is an imposing edifice.
- grand and impressive in appearance
- The Chicago Art Institute is an imposing edifice.
- bubbling up, especially of high spirits
- An effervescent friend can be a good party guest.
- outstandingly bad; shocking
- Being called by another name is egregious error.
- to clarify
- The instruction did nothing to elucidate my confusion.
- difficult to capture, see or comprehend
- The elusive thought he had had moments before.
- having the quality of softening or soothing the skin
- The Aloe Vera plant contains a natural emollient.
- to weaken mentally or morally
- The demands of my job enervates me more every day.
- cause or give rise to (a feeling, situation, or condition)
- Dr. Martin Luther King's speeches engendered hope.
- hostility, animosity
- Enmity between Protestants and Catholics.
- lasting for a very short time
- Technology is ephemeral.
- mental calmness, composure
- She accepted both the good and the bad with equanimity.
- ambiguous; intentionally misleading
- Unfortunately, your contract verbiage is equivocal.
- mistaken; wrong
- Please correct the erroneous fact in your story.
- having or showing great knowledge or learning; learned, scholarly, educated
- Few people study enough to be erudite.
- Speech or writing that praises someone or something highly, typically someone who has just died; accolade
- His good friend delivered a brief eulogy.
- a departure from what is normal, usual; anomaly
- Inspector Gadget's limbs are anatomic aberrations.
- eating and drinking in moderation
- We only had a bottle. Very abstemious of you.
- truthfulness; accuracy
- officials expressed doubts concerning the veracity of the story
wanting to avoid activity or exertion; lazy
- bad-tempered and unfriendly
- Think of the irritable old guy who lives on your street and always seems to be simmering with some sullen nasty anger, whose every utterance he spits out with a rude snarl. He's the poster boy for surly
grind to a fine powder
cause to ripen and discharge pus
shrewd and wise
Pernicious means harmful and subtle, such as a poison gas that causes cancer in those exposed to it over the course of years
It's everywhere! It's everywhere! When something seems like it's present in all places at the same time, reach for the adjective ubiquitous
You're most likely to encounter the adjective eccentric in a description of an unusual or quirky person — like a scatter-brained aunt who leaves her life savings to her cat
- circumspection; the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information
- carefulness, caution
- lasting only for a short time; impermanent
- It was clear from the beginning that this is a transient phenomenon," he said
- To dislodge is to remove something
- When you're choking, you need to dislodge the food from your throat.
- of considerable importance, size, or worth
- a substantial amount of cash is all what I need
- To conform means to adapt to fit in with new conditions. So if you travel to Morocco, you should conform to the local custom and adjust your usually skin-bearing wardrobe to one that is more modest
- comply with, abide by, obey, observe, follow
A manifestation is the public display of emotion or feeling, or something theoretical made real
If you are resentful of someone, you feel ill will toward him, mixed with envy, like when a newer coworker gets the promotion you've been working toward for years
Envious is another way to say jealous or resentful — in other words, you want what someone else has, whether it's charming good looks or the last chocolate frosted donut
Genuine things are true or authentic. When you're talking about people, being genuine has to do with being sincere
- not regularly or continuously; intermittently
- he slept fitfully
throw or toss with a light motion
- unite or cause to unite
- Two ideas or concepts can be knit together, and it could be said that a marriage knits two people together
Reciprocal describes something that's the same on both sides. If you and your sister are in a big fight on a long car trip, you might resolve it through a reciprocal agreement that you'll stop poking her and she'll stop reading road signs out loud.
- Pleasure is gratification, whether it’s given or received. Everyone has desires, and when those desires get fulfilled, that’s gratification
- satisfaction, fulfillment, indulgence, relief
Altruism is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others.
- a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions
- don't let a few small-minded bigots destroy the good image of the city
- chauvinist, partisan, sectarian, zealot
An adversary is someone who fights against or opposes another. In tennis, you stand across the net from your adversary
The adjective utilitarian describes something that is useful or functional. If you are attracted to a car for its storage space and gas mileage — as opposed to its sparkly tire rims — then chances are you value a car's utilitarian features
- Convalesce is a soft-sounding word, and it describes something you should do in a soft bed, recover from an illness
- recover, recuperate
An intervention is the act of inserting one thing between others, like a person trying to help. You could be the subject of a school intervention if your teachers call your parents about the bad grades you've been hiding.
social class of people; status in the society
A lien is a claim against the property of someone who owes money. It's pronounced like "lean," which might also describe your meager finances if a lien has been placed on your home.
When you put a damper on something, you restrain it or inhibit it. Putting a damper on things usually means bringing them down — your car troubles might put a damper on your travel plans
When something has a designation, it has a title or a description that helps you identify it. The “organic” designation on the vegetables you buy lets you know that no pesticides were used in growing the plants
A misdemeanor is a minor offense, rather than a serious crime. A minor infraction like keeping a library book for years or stealing a pack of bubble gum would be considered a misdemeanor
An incumbent is an official who holds an office. If you want to run for congress, you're going to have to beat the incumbent
If your Great Aunt Maude tells you you've become a dissipated bum, she means you don't think of anything but gambling and whiskey. But then again, her perspective on your weekend trip to Vegas might be a little off
become progressively worse
- If we're talking about science fiction, and you suddenly go off on a long tangent about the cost of grape soda, you digress. When a person digresses, they stray from the topic
- deviate, go off on a tangent, get off the subject
Something that is fallow is left unused. If you’re smart but lazy, someone might say you have a fallow mind; practice of leaving fields unplowed in rotation
When you make something young again or give it more life and energy, you rejuvenate it. For example, you can often rejuvenate a not-quite-dead plant, bringing it back to health with some water
A caterwaul is a yowl, shriek, or loud cry. If you've ever heard two cats fighting, you know what a caterwaul sounds like
a long loud emotional utterance
An indigent person is extremely poor, lacking the basic resources of a normal life. Often the indigent lack not only money but homes
You can describe a person unable to read or write as illiterate. Karaoke, which involves singing out the words to songs as they scroll across a big screen, requires the ability to read. If you’re illiterate, you won’t be able to participate
Something inexplicable can't be explained. It doesn't make sense. You don't want to come to the beach on the most beautiful day of the year? That's inexplicable!
You take your pants to the tailor to be altered. He tells you he can't alter it. The pants are unalterable. Something unalterable cannot be changed.
- To be ineligible is to not qualify for something
- they were ineligible for jury duty
not to be exceeded
"White bunny. Moon. Square." Do you understand what that means? Of course not! It's totally cryptic. Cryptic comments or messages are hard to understand because they seem to have a hidden meaning.