a member of a mythical race of short, stocky human-like creatures who are generally skilled in mining and metalworking
If there is bounty on your table, it means there are lots of kinds of foods and plenty of them.
Look out below! An avalanche is a whole lot of falling snow and ice. Also, life can feel like an avalanche when things get hectic.
Whirl means a quick spin, and for giving something a try. Hang-gliding? Snake-charming? "Sure," you say. "I'll give it a whirl."
quivering is a trembling, shaking motion. A cold gust of wind might make you quiver, as would an icy glare from the abominable snowman.
Abominable is as bad as it gets. So if the food at camp is abominable, the campers might start to shout, "Ick! Ick! Your stew is making us sick!"
If you've got myriad problems it doesn't mean you should call a myriad exterminator, it means you've got countless problems; loads of them; too many to count. Welcome to the club.
a large/great number
a sharp twist or curve in something that is otherwise straight
a kink in the road
A swivel is a device that allows something to turn freely. Desk chairs are often designed so the seat can swivel atop the base. In the hospital, the TV is usually mounted on a swivel so that the nurses can adjust it
tremble convulsively, typically as a result of fear or revulsion; shake, shiver
I shuddered with horror
When you use the word emanate, you're usually talking about lights, sounds or unseen forces coming out of a specific source. If you hear creepy sounds emanating from an old house, that might mean it's haunted.
A tenet is a principle or belief honored by a person or, more often, a group of people. "Seek pleasure and avoid pain" is a basic tenet of Hedonism. "God exists" is a tenet of most major religions.
principle, belief, doctrine, precept
the process of taking legal action; lawsuit, legal dispute
the company wishes to avoid litigation
fully matured, ripe
If you need to be untangled, set free or otherwise released from something or someone, you need to be extricated.
praise formally or officially
he was commended by the judge for his courageous actions
If you vouch for someone, you provide evidence or guarantee something on their behalf. If you vouch for your brother, you're saying he's a stand-up type of guy.
An omen is an event or happening that you take as sign of something to come. It’s believed to be a bad omen if a black cat crosses your path or if it rains on your wedding day.
A harbinger is something that comes before and that shows what will follow in the future. The robin is a harbinger of spring––its presence means spring is coming soon.
As humans we are all fallible, because fallible means likely to make errors or fail. Nobody's perfect, after all.
You know that group of people — friends, assistants, bodyguards — that are always surrounding you everywhere you go? That's your entourage!
supersede and replace
another discovery could supplant the original finding
clear (someone) of blame or suspicion
hospital staff were vindicated by the inquest verdict
A verdict is a decision made after a lot of considering, usually made by the jury in a courtroom
An inquest is when a court of law or a coroner investigates the circumstances of a person's death.
persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats
exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action
the action of anointing someone with oil or ointment as a religious rite or as a symbol of investiture as a monarch.
smear or rub with oil, typically as part of a religious ceremony
high priests were anointed with oil
Reluctantly means "with hesitation, doubt or dread." You might reluctantly walk into the dentist's office for your appointment, knowing that your mouth would soon be in pain.
the equipment required for a task or sport.
coat or mark (something) messily or carelessly with a greasy or sticky substance.
his face was smeared with dirt
damage the reputation of (someone) by false accusations; slander
To lurch is to suddenly move — usually forward. If you are on a ship that lurches a lot during a storm, you may find your body lurching in one direction and your stomach going in the opposite one.
Whenever you smear something on a surface, you are daubing. Abstract Expressionists may have been able to daub a canvas with paint and sell it for millions, but you probably wouldn't be so lucky.
utter in a loud voice; talk in a loud voice (usually denoting characteristic manner of speaking)
Sedation is either the state of being relaxed or sleepy because of a drug, or the act of drugging someone with a sedative.
An interrogation is a question or an intense questioning session. Police do interrogations of suspects all the time.
A tangent is an entirely different topic or direction.
he quickly went off on a tangent about wrestling
Little Red Riding Hood strayed from the path and ended up getting eaten by the Big Bad Wolf. When you stray, you wander off without paying attention to where you're going, and sometimes you get in trouble.
an acquired or natural skill at performing a task
I have the knack to finish what I started
A vice is a moral failing or a bad habit. Traditional examples of vice include drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and gambling in card games.
To recuperate is to get something back that you have lost — could be good health, or money lost in a bad investment. When you recuperate, you heal and recover.
Don’t cry over spilled milk, it is just a minor mishap — a misfortune. If the surgeon operates on the wrong leg when you go in for knee surgery? Now, that’s a mishap to get upset about.
a state of being essentially equal or equivalent; equally balanced
on a par with the best
equality, equation, equivalence
(of an argument or case) clear, logical, and convincing
compelling, strong, forceful, powerful
Something perishable is likely to die or decay. A perishable is also a type of food with a limited shelf life if it's not refrigerated
A person who fritters chooses to spend their energy on things that are wasteful. You can fritter money, time, or energy, but once you've "frittered it away," you can't get it back!
All of the clothes in your closet make up your wardrobe. If you're tired of your wardrobe, it just might be time to go shopping.
If something is tedious, it's boring. If you're anxious to get outside and enjoy the sun, even the best lecture will seem tedious
To avail means to take advantage of an opportunity, the way you'd be crazy not to avail yourself of a chocolate milkshake on Free Milkshake Day at your local ice cream parlor.
a room in a private house or establishment where people can sit and talk and relax
A venture is a risky undertaking. If your latest venture is a dog food store, you hope there are some hungry dogs around. Also, to venture is to go somewhere possibly dangerous, like if you venture out into a snowstorm.
If you excel at math, you are doing it better than anyone else. You might even be moving so much faster than the rest of your class, you're put into a special, accelerated math program.
When something fails to deliver a useful result, you can call it futile. Hopefully all the time you're spending studying vocabulary won't turn out to be futile!
having or showing an excessively high opinion of one's appearance, abilities, or worth.
their flattery made him vain
To falsify is to alter or mangle something, like a message or document, in a way that distorts the meaning
an angry argument or disagreement, typically between people who are usually on good terms.
argument, disagreement, squabble, fight, dispute
A squabble is a fight but not necessarily a serious one. When we squabble, we have a little argument, probably about something not too important.
making one feel very happy, animated, or elated; thrilling
an exhilarating two-hour rafting experience
extremely exciting as if by alcohol or a narcotic
To flail means to wave around wildly. If you are stranded on a deserted island and you see a ship in the distance, it’s a good idea to flail your arms in the air to get the captain’s attention.
Intriguing things or people arouse curiosity and have an indescribable draw. If you find the night sky intriguing and enjoy pondering the limitlessness of the universe, you should consider becoming an astronomer.
Things that intertwine are twisted or mixed together.
When you depict something, you draw a picture of it, describe it or show what it looks like.
Viscous means sticky, gluey and syrupy. So if something is viscous, you usually don't want to stick your fingers in it — that goes for boogers and maple syrup alike.
the dry outer covering of some fruits or seeds.
shell, hull, pod, case
If you immerse yourself in your work, you completely involve yourself in it, spending long hours in the office and thinking about work all the time.
submerge, dip, dunk, duck, sink
For something that comes after something else in time or order, choose the adjective subsequent. If the entire class fails an exam, the teacher will hopefully make subsequent ones a little easier
A stratum is a layer of something, whether abstract, like a social stratum composed of only billionaires, or physical, like the different strata (that’s the plural version) of clouds that an airplane passes through.
having the body covered or partially covered with thin horny plates, as some fish and reptiles
the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
(of a material) come apart or be shed from a surface in scales or layers.
tough protective covering of the woody stems and roots of trees and other woody plants
Cleavage is a word for a kind of splitting or separation: it's mainly used for the split between a woman's breasts.
A furrow is a groove or a depression. Originally, furrows were created in soil for water to flow. Now, its most common meaning is of a deep line or wrinkle on the face, as in a "furrowed brow."
sink, subside, or bulge downward under weight or pressure or through lack of strength.
he closed his eyes and sagged against the wall
Green, orange, yellow, and blue — each of these is a hue, a color or a shade that's true. A rainbow shows the melting of one hue into another, from red to violet, and all shades in between.
A remnant is something that's left over, once the rest is used up.
remains, remainder, leftovers, residue, rest
When something proliferates, it's growing, spreading or multiplying really quickly.
Attain is all about reaching some mark of achievement—you can attain a destination. You can attain your goal. If you win over and over at the blackjack tables, you might attain a reputation for success.
an act of pushing or shoving something.
a short excursion or journey for pleasure.
trip, pleasure trip
1. of or relating to tension.
2. capable of being drawn out or stretched.
a structure consisting of strips of wood or metal crossed and fastened together with square or diamond-shaped spaces left between, used typically as a screen or fence or as a support for climbing plants; grid
the central point, pin, or shaft on which a mechanism turns or oscillates.
a movable joint or mechanism on which a door, gate, or lid swings as it opens and closes, or that connects linked objects.
the act of moving smoothly along a surface while remaining in contact with it
The supporting point of a lever, the first fulcrum you met was probably on the playground — right underneath the see-saw.
stretched or pulled tight; not slack
the fabric stays taut without adhesive
When something juts, it extends outward. Your nose juts out from your face, just as your ears jut from your head. If you’re feeling determined, you might jut out your chin.
a channel for conveying water or other fluid.
a conduit for conveying water to the power plant
To describe a person or thing that can adapt to do many things or serve many functions, consider the adjective versatile.
rise and fall irregularly in number or amount.
trade with other countries tends to fluctuate from year to year
vary, change, differ, shift, alter
Occlude means to obstruct, as with an opening. You hear this a lot in a medical context. Heart surgeons are looking for occlusions in blood vessels––things that occlude the flow of blood.
an illness, typically a minor one
If you've got a rash or a persistent cough, you can call that an ailment
fail to resist (pressure, temptation, or some other negative force)