Sporadic is an adjective that you can use to refer to something that happens or appears often, but not constantly or regularly. The mailman comes every day but the plumber visits are sporadic–he comes as needed.
not continuous; intermittent
talkative; long-winded; rambling
To divert means to shift or turn from one thing to another. A magician might attempt to divert your attention as he shoves the rabbit into the hat.
irritable; difficult to control
A sentence that teaches a new vocabulary word should always be pellucid, that is, its style and meaning should be easily understandable so that you can derive the definition from the sentence.
paying attention to small details
think over something; ponder
If someone is docile, he is easily taught or handled. If you suddenly became a trouble-maker in class, your teachers would long for the days when you were sweet and docile.
gentle and easily lead
Something fraudulent is intentionally false and meant to harm or deceive. That email message from the Sultan of Brunei offering you millions of dollars just might be fraudulent.
You can use the verb purloin to mean "steal" or "take," especially if it's done in a sneaky way. If you sneak a dollar out of your mom's purse, you purloin it.
swamp; muddy ground
Penury means extreme poverty to the point of homelessness and begging in the streets. Economic downturns, job loss, shopping sprees, and weekends at the high rollers' table in Vegas can lead to penury.
Something that is staid is dignified, respectable — possibly even boring, like a staid dinner party that is heavy on the important guests but light on the laughs.
dull; sober; serious
place of refuge or safety
Any mom taking care of the kids day in and day out is probably more than ready to seek asylum, or refuge, at a local spa.
Although the verb collate specifically means to put pages in a correct order, the word can be used more generally to mean to put anything into the proper sequence.
Dolt refers a person who isn't very smart. You might be called a dolt if you do something dumb, like stand outside your car complaining that you locked your keys inside — even though the window is wide open.
bring about or initiate (an action or event).
to start; provoke
If someone calls you perceptive, they mean you are good at understanding things or figuring things out. Perceptive people are insightful, intelligent, and able to see what others cannot.
section of a poem
A vignette is a brief but powerful scene. A good vignette leaves you wanting more.
foolish old man; senile
troublemaker; person who entices others to do something
loyal; faithful; dependable; steadfast
plotting and planning
If you are making secret agreements with someone, then you are in collusion with them. Every time gas prices jump, consumers suspect the gas station owners of collusion and price fixing.
speak in a slow, lazy way with prolonged vowel sounds.
hater of women
(in Christian theology) a state of eternal punishment and damnation into which a sinful and impenitent person passes after death.
A quagmire is a dangerous place, like the muddy shoreline of a pond. The more you try to climb out of a quagmire, the more you seem to slip. That's because as you step on the mud, it oozes everywhere.
Attenuate is a verb that means to make or become weaker. The effects of aging may be attenuated by exercise
What is that person doing, interrupting everyone and changing the subject every minute? He is trying to commandeer, or take control, of the conversation.
take possession of
Drivel is useless, boring information. If you drivel, you talk stupidly or actually drool.
Peremptory comments are like orders. If you say something in a peremptory manner, you want people to stop what they’re doing and do what you say. Peremptory comments put an end to a discussion, and that’s final!
attractively unusual or old-fashioned; picturesque
You can call a dock worker who loads cargo onto boats a stevedore.
Do you need to make something bigger, better, or stronger? Then you need to augment it. To augment is to increase the amount or strength of something.
curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement
funny, humorous, amusing, comic
ancient type of sailing ship
If you shared your most embarrassing secrets with a friend who then told them to everyone he knows, his betrayal could be described as perfidy.
favorable; promising to turn out well
If you start a marathon by falling flat on your face, that's not an auspicious start.
not suitable or advisable
When you sprawl, you spread out in an ungainly way, like when you're lying down comfortably on the sofa with your legs and arms flung out around you.
throw or hurl forcefully.
When you hurl something, you throw it hard. You might hurl your shoe at a horrible bug if it suddenly scuttled across the floor; fling
To make supremely happy.
To smear over, as with something oily or sticky.
To scold severely.
To bewilder is to amaze, baffle, dumbfound, flummox, perplex, or stupefy. When you bewilder people, you confuse them.
a flattering or pleasing statement or action used to persuade someone gently to do something.
noisy, energetic, and cheerful; rowdy.
A breach is a violation of a law, duty, or promise. If you'd contracted to mow your neighbor's lawn and don't do it, he can sue you for breach of contract. Or he can mow the lawn himself.
Someone bumptious is cocky, aggressive, and loud. Bumptious people jump ahead of everyone in line at the ice cream truck and steal subway seats from pregnant women.
A number of persons secretly united for effecting by intrigue some
To talk in a singsong, preaching tone with affected solemnity
(of a person) tending to find fault or raise petty objections.
Try not to be described as a captious person yourself, however. No one likes a carping individual!
an army unit consisting of soldiers who fight on
Chagrin is a noun that represents an emotion or feeling and it's an uncomfortable one. If you feel chagrin it means that you are embarrassed or distressed as a result of a failure.
the state of being annoyed, frustrated, or worried
Careful; wary; cautious.
When two things live or happen during the same period of time, they are coeval.
Consider carefully and deeply; ponder.
Fit to be eaten
To serve as a remembrance of a person or event
A complement is something that makes up a satisfying whole with something else. Those shiny red shoes you just bought complement your shiny red purse.
To make complete.
Comport means to behave, and particularly to behave well. If you attend a school for social etiquette, you will learn how to comport yourself properly at the dinner table.
When you feel compunction you feel very, very sorry, usually for something you did to hurt someone or mess something up. When you feel no compunction, you're not at all sorry.
agreement or harmony between people or groups.
To concur is to agree or approve of something. If someone says something you agree with, you can say "I concur!"
The place where streams meet.
a sudden, alarming amazement or dread that results in utter confusion; dismay; panic
To vituperate is to speak or write in an extremely negative way about someone.
A grocery store with a large selection of fruits and vegetables could be said to have a cornucopia of produce. A cornucopia is a lot of good stuff.
Of a material nature; physical
evidence that confirms or supports a statement, theory, or finding; confirmation.
To countervail is to oppose something successfully.
hasty and therefore not thorough or detailed
To cut off or cut short
a person or thing that is the center of attention or admiration.
the main attraction
To delay or put off to some other time.
To deem worthy of notice or account.
To overwhelm with a flood of water.
a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
an inhabitant or occupant of a particular place
That part of a play or story in which the
mystery is cleared up.
Testimony legally taken on interrogatories
and reduced to writing, for use as evidence in court.
If people are laughing at you, making fun of you, and acting as if you're worthless, they're treating you with derision. Derision is mean and attacking — it's a form of contempt.