a troublesome and mischievous person, especially a child
a troublesome wild animal
be thrifty or parsimonious; economize
I have scrimped and saved to give you a good education.
extremely small; tiny
A minuscule fragment of DNA.
that is solely or no more or better than what is specified
It happened a mere decade ago.
not involving anyone or anything else; only
He is solely responsible for any debts the company may incur.
become subject to (something unwelcome or unpleasant) as a result of one's own behavior or actions
He is solely responsible for any debts the company may incur.
(of a bird or other winged creature) fly unsteadily or hover by flapping the wings quickly and lightly; quivering
A couple of butterflies fluttered around the garden.
a mark, fault, or other imperfection that marks a substance or object
Plates with flaws in them were sold at the outlet store.
a thing that prompts or encourages someone; an incentive; stimulus, incentive, encouragement
Profit was both the spur and the reward of enterprise.
an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm and respiratory organs, with a sudden closure of the glottis and a characteristic sound like that of a cough.
a thin, pointed piece of metal, wood, or another rigid material
impale on or pierce with a sharp point
She spiked another oyster.
pierce or transfix with a sharp instrument
His head was impaled on a pike and exhibited for all to see.
talk long-windedly without making very much sense
She began blathering on about spirituality and life after death.
completely fill (a place or container) to the point that it appears to be overflowing
The ashtray by the bed was crammed with cigarette butts.
find a way around (an obstacle); overcome (a problem or difficulty), typically in a clever and surreptitious way
I found it quite easy to circumvent security.
a large-scale systematic plan or arrangement for attaining some particular object or putting a particular idea into effect
A clever marketing scheme.
jump or spring a long way, to a great height, or with great force
I leaped across the threshold.
a strip of wood, metal, or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room
I leaped across the threshold.
belonging exclusively to
The air hung with an antiseptic aroma peculiar to hospitals.
(of several people or things) come together from different directions so as eventually to meet
The convergence of lines in the distance.
establish (an attitude, habit, or belief) so firmly that change is very difficult or unlikely
Ageism is entrenched in our society.
preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience
English prejudice against foreigners.
make or become less
A tax whose purpose is to diminish spending.
squandering of money, energy, or resources
The dissipation of the country's mineral wealth.
waste (something, especially money or time) in a reckless and foolish manner
Entrepreneurs squander their profits on expensive cars.
nothing other than; unmitigated (used for emphasis)
She giggled with sheer delight.
something that is based on another source
originating from, based on, or influenced by
Darwin's work is derivative of the moral philosophers.
absolute; unqualified; complete, total
The tour had been an unmitigated disaster.
a beehive; place where the bees lives.
a general direction in which something is developing or changing
An upward trend in sales and profit margins.
the force or energy with which a body moves
Hit the booster coil before the flywheel loses all its impetus.
a fellow citizen or national of a country
Stich defeated his compatriot Boris Becker in the quarterfinals.
get rid of (someone or something) as no longer useful or desirable
Hilary bundled up the clothes she had discarded.
a water-worn ravine (a deep, narrow gorge with steep sides)
A steep icy gully.
crowd together; nestle closely
They huddled together for warmth.
a handicraft in which yarn is made up into a patterned fabric by looping yarn with a hooked needle
She had crocheted the shawl herself.
spun thread used for knitting, weaving, or sewing
a long, thin strand of cotton, nylon, or other fibers used in sewing or weaving
a small stream
A babbling brook.
talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish, excited, or incomprehensible way
He would babble on in his gringo Spanish.
utter something rapidly and incoherently
A babbling brook.
Charles stared at her in utter amazement.
They are busily scribbling down every word she utter.
thinly dispersed or scattered
Areas of sparse population.
throw in various random directions
Scatter the coconut over the icing.
a person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging
A temporary home for vagrants.
maintain or support oneself, especially at a minimal level
Thousands of refugees subsist on international handouts.
a space or room just below the roof of a building; loft, garret
All my summer clothes are in the attic.
collect, gather, or move with a rake or similar implement
They started raking up hay.
Whether it's used as a noun or a verb, the word halt means stop. You can remember this by remembering that when you step on the brake to halt your car (verb), it comes to a halt (noun).
People who are fickle change their minds so much you can't rely on them. If your best friend suddenly decides that she doesn't like you one week, and then the next week she wants to hang out again, she's being fickle.
Use the noun aphorism when you have something compact and astute to say, such as "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
A gash is a deep cut, like a gash on your knee from a biking accident, or a gash in the earth caused by workers who are digging up a broken sewer.
If you're a canny investor, you know how to spend money to make money — that is, you're prudent, farsighted, and capable of protecting your own interests, particularly in matters of finance or business; smart, clever
If something is uncanny, it is so mysterious, strange, or unfamiliar that it seems supernatural. If you hear strange music echoing through your attic, you might refer to it as positively uncanny.
If you avenge your father's death by killing his murderer (thereby taking revenge for the crime), there is a good chance you'll end up in jail, if you're caught.
Pssst... do you know the secret handshake? If you haven't been brought into the inner circle of those with special knowledge,esoteric things will remain a mystery to you.
abstruse, deep, recondite
It's rather difficult to penetrate the meaning of recondite. Fitting, because it's an adjective that basically means hard for the average mind to understand.
The front of a ship is called the fore, and the back is the "aft." A cruise ship might be so large that your cabin at the ship's fore is almost a quarter mile from your sister's in the aft.
Use the noun catacomb to talk about an old underground cemetery. The most famous catacombs were built by the ancient Romans.
Astound means to amaze. Savants, or those with extreme brain abnormalities, can astound people by their ability to play Beethoven sonatas on the piano after having heard them only once.
You might ask your friend for a loan if you're short a few bucks, but if the bank is about to foreclose on your house you'll implore your friend for the money, desperately begging for the cash so you can keep your house.
evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way
his eyes were strangely compelling
decision taken after investigation
When people act frantically or in an uncontrolled manner, it's best to give them their space. If there's a fire in a building, everyone will be stampeding frantically to the nearest exit. Just try not to get trampled.
a sudden panicked rush of a number of horses, cattle, or other animals.
To trample is to forcefully walk right over something or someone. If you fall down during a footrace, another runner might trample you.
If you are upset, you are distraught. If you want to explain why you are pulling your hair out, just utter "Leave me alone; I'm distraught" It'll work.
Candor usually means the quality of being open, honest, and sincere. If someone tells you they think you are dumb, you might reply with, "While I appreciate your candor, I don't think we need to be friends anymore."
Repugnance means strong distaste for something. If you love animals, you probably feel repugnance for people who mistreat their horses.
repulsion, revulsion, disgust
Ethereal is something airy and insubstantial, such as a ghostly figure at the top of the stairs. It might also be something delicate and light, like a translucent fabric, or a singer’s delicate voice.
bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative.
a crusty, cantankerous old man
another term for curse
a person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, cause, or activity.
You can use maudlin to describe something that brings tears to your eyes, or makes you feel very emotional. Tearjerkers like "Forrest Gump" and "Titanic" can be described as maudlin.
a sudden and ignominious failure
the economic debacle that became known as the Great Depression
showing great attention to detail; very careful and precise.
Imprudence sometimes gets people in trouble, because it means a lack of care or thoughtfulness. The imprudence of not wearing your gloves in the winter might result in frostbite on your fingers.
Stature is the another way to say "height of a person," like the surprising stature of the movie star who seems so much taller in his action movies.
A person who lives simply and economically can be called frugal. Buying clothes at a consignment shop would be considered frugal. Not getting your mom a gift for her birthday — that's just cheap.
We are sorry to inform you that the adjective contrite means to feel regret, remorse, or even guilt.
It smells absolutely rotten and offensive. Birds are falling from the sky because of the fumes. You might throw up from one whiff. Whatever it is, it reeks.
to ring a bell
bells and gongs chimed
make a loud noise, as of animal
To mince is to chop into tiny bits. Your favorite soup recipe might include directions to mince four cloves of garlic.
a square piece of cloth used for wiping the eyes or nose or as a costume accessory
a filthy hospital with no sanitation
Corpulent is a formal word that describes a fat person. If you are trying to be respectful when describing a fat man, you might refer to him as a "corpulent gentleman."
A misnomer is a wrong or unsuitable name. It’s a misnomer to call your grandmother “Grandfather,” the same way it’s a misnomer to call a chair with four legs that doesn't move unless you drag it across the floor, a rocking chair.
If you're apprehensive, you're anxious or fearful. If you just got run over by a crazy bicyclist, you might be a bit apprehensive crossing the street.
When Picasso is described as a protean genius, it means that not only was he brilliant, but he changed the way he worked many times. Protean means able to change shape.
When you watch scary movies, do you ever feel your heart palpitate? This means it beats quickly.
Sanction has two nearly opposite meanings: to sanction can be to approve of something, but it can also mean to punish, or speak harshly to. Likewise, a sanction can be a punishment or approval. Very confusing––the person who invented this word should be publicly sanctioned!
As a noun, a stroll is a leisurely walk. After a heavy meal, you may want to go out for a stroll to help you work off some of the calories. You also will take a stroll on your day off and the weather is nice.
Scientists believe that one of the causes of the obesity epidemic sweeping the US is our sedentary lifestyle. Sedentary means sitting a lot and refers to a person or job that is not very physically active.
The prefix "pre-" means “before,” so it makes sense that a prelude is an introductory action, event or performance that comes before a bigger or more momentous one.
If something is trifling it's really unimportant, of no consequence — "a trifling detail."
(typically of a young person or that person's behavior) showing or characterized by a tendency to commit crime, particularly minor crime.
lawless, lawbreaking, criminal
Use the adverb perpetually if something is never, ever going to stop
continuing forever; everlasting
A whiff can mean the hint of something you smell. When you drive past the sewage treatment plant and suddenly roll up your car windows, it's usually because you've gotten a whiff of the plant's special odor.
To purge is to get rid of something or someone, and often it’s done suddenly.