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to humble; digrace
My intention was not to abase the comedian.
synonyms: demean; humiliate
to reduce in amount, degree, or severity
As the hurricane's force abated the winds dropped and the sea became calm.
Synonyms: ebb; lapse; let up; moderate; relent; slacken; subside; wane
to give up position, right, or power
With the angry mob clamoring outside the palace, the king abdicated his throne and fled.
Synonyms: cede; relinquish; resign; quit; yield
deviating from what is normal or expected
Since he had been a steady, cheerful worker for many years, his fellow postal workers did not expect his aberrant burst of rage.
Synonyms: abnormal; anomalous; deviant; divergent; errant; irregular
temporary suppression or suspension
The baseball game was held in abeyance while it continued to rain.
Synonyms; deferral; delay; dormancy; postponement; remission
to reject; abandon formally
The spy abjured his allegiance to the United States when he defected to Russia.
Synonyms: forswear; recall; recant; take back
to leave secretly
The patron absconded from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door.
Synonyms: decamp; escape; flee
to choose not to do something
Before the medical procedure you must abstain from eating.
Synonyms: forbear; refrain; withold
moderate in appetite
Because Alyce is a vegetarian, she was only able to eat an abstemious meal at the Texas steakhouse.
Synonyms: abstinent; continent; self-restraining; sober; temperate
an extremely deep hole
The submarine dove into the abyss to chart the previously unseen depths.
Synonyms: chasm; void
a growth in size; an increase in amount
The committee's strong fund-raising efforts resulted in an accretion in scholarship money.
Synonyms: accumulation; buildup
sour in taste or manner
The acidulous taste of the spoiled milk made the young boy's lips pucker.
Synonyms: acerbic; acetous; biting; piquant; pungent; tart
highest point; summit; the highest level or degree attainable
Just when he reached the acme of his power, the dictator was overthrown.
Synonyms: apex; peak; summit
to make impure
The restaurant made his ketchup last longer by adulterating it with water.
Synonyms: debase; doctor; load
to speak in favor of
The vegetarian advocated a diet containing no meat.
Synonym: back; champion; support
a nest built high in the air; an elevated, often secluded dwelling
Perched high among the trees, the eagle's aerie was filled with eggs.
Synonyms: perch; stronghold
concerning the appreciation of beauty
The aesthetic movement regarded the pursuit of beauty to be the only true purpose of art.
Synonyms: artistic; tasteful
The affected hairdresser spouted French phrases, though she had never been to France.
Synonyms; insincere; pretentious; put-on
to increase in power, influence and reputation
The supervisor sought to aggrandize himself by claiming that the achievements of his staff were actually his own.
Synonyms: amplify; apotheosize; augment; dignify; elevate; enlarge; ennoble; exalt; glorify; magnify; swell; uplift; wax
to combine; to mix together
Giant Industries amalgamated with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products incorporated.
Synonyms: admix; blend; coalesce; combine; commingle; commix; compound; fuse; intermingle; intermix; merge; mingle; mix; unite
doubtful or uncertain; can be interpreted several ways
The directions he gave were so ambiguous the we disagreed on which way to turn.
Synonyms: cloudy; doubtful; dubious; equivocal; indeterminate; nebulous;obscure; unclear; vague
to make better; to improve
The doctor was able to ameliorate the patient's suffering using painkillers.
Synonyms: amend; better;improve; pacify; upgrade
speed or quickness
The restaurant won a reputation for fine service since the wait staff responded to their clients' requests with alacrity.
synonyms: dispatch; haste; swiftness
to diminish by installment payments
While college students are notorious for accumulating credit card debt, they are not as well known for amortizing it.
To make more bearable
Taking aspirin helps to alleviate a headache.
Synonyms: allay; assuage; comfort; ease; lessen; lighten; mitigate; palliate; relieve
ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits
Though she claimed it was not because of superstition, Vivian always wore an amulet around her neck.
Synonyms: fetish; talisman
something out of place in time
- The aged hippie used anachronistic phrases like "groovy" and "far out" that had not been popular for years.
- synonyms; archaism; incongruity
a lessening of pain without loss of consciousness
After having her appendix removed, Tatiana welcomed the analgesia that the painkillers provided.
similar or alike in some way; equivalent to
His mother argued that not going to college was analogous to throwing his life away
Synonyms: alike; comparable; corresponding; equivalent; homogeneous; parallel; similar
something that calms or soothes pain
The anodyne massage helped remove the knots from the lawyer's tense shoulders.
Synonyms: narcotic; nepenthe; opiate
deviation from what is normal
Albino animals may display too great an anomaly in their coloring to attract normally colored mates.
Synonyms: aberrant; aberration; abnormality; deviance; deviation; irregularity; preternaturalness
to annoy or anger
The child discovered that he could antagonize the cat by pulling it's tail.
Synonyms: clash; conflict; incite; irritate; oppose; pester; provoke; vex
The antipathy between fans of the rival soccer teams made the game even more electrifying to watch.
Synonyms: abhorrence; animosity; animus; antagonism; aversion; dislike; enmity; hatred; hostility; loathing; repellence; repugnance; repulsion; revulsion
lack of interest or emotion
The apathy of voters is so great that less than half the people who are eligible to vote actually bother to do so.
Synonyms; coolness; disinterest; disregard; impassivity; indifference; insensibility; lassitude; lethargy; listlessness; phlegm; stolidity; unconcern; unresponsiveness
of questionable authority
There is no hard or authoritative evidence to support the apocryphal tales that link the Roswell, New Mexico, incident to a downed UFO.
Synonyms: disputed; doubtful; fictitious; fraudulent
one who renounces a religious faith
So that he could divorce his wife, the king scoffed at the church docrines and declared himself an apostate.
Synonyms: defector; deserter; traitor
approval and praise
The approbation that Jerry Lewis had received in France included a medal from the ministry of culture.
Synonyms: acclaim; adulation; applause; commendation; compliments; exalt; extol; hail; kudos; praise
determined by chance or impulse
When you lack the information to judge what to do next, you will be forced to make an arbitrary decision.
Synonyms; changeable; erratic; indiscriminate; random; wayward
to judge a dispute between two opposing parties
Since the couple could not come to an agreement, a judge was forced to arbitrate their divorce proceedings.
Synonyms: adjudge; adjudicate; determine; intermediate; intervene; judge; moderate; referee; rule
Her archaic Commodore computer could not run the latest software.
Synonyms: ancient; antediluvian; antique; archaic; bygone; dated; dowdy; fusty; obsolete; old-fashioned; outdated; outmoded; passé; prehistoric; stale; superannuated; superseded; vintage
intense and passionate feeling
Bishop's ardor for landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley.
Synonyms: devotion; enthusiasm; fervency; fervidity; fervidness; fervor; fire; passion; zeal; zealousness
able to speak clearly and expressively
She is extremely articulate when it comes to expressing her pro-labor views; as a result, unions are among her strongest supporters.
Synonyms: eloquent; expressive; fluent; lucid; silver-tongued; smooth-spoken
to claim without justification; to claim for oneself without right
Gretchen watched in astonishment as he boss arrogated the credit for her brilliant work on the project.
Synonyms: appropriate; presume; take
to make something unpleasant less severe
Like many people, Philip Larkin used alcohol to assuage his sense of meaninglessness and despair.
Synonyms: allay; alleviate; appease; comfort; conciliate; ease; lighten; mitigate; mollify; pacify; palliate; placate; propitiate; relieve; soothe; sweeten
to attack; assault
The foreign army will try to assail our bases, but they will not be successful in their attack.
Synonyms: beset; strike; storm
to reduce in force or degree; weaken
The Bill of Rights attenuated the traditional power of government to change laws at will.
Synonyms: debilitate; devitalize; dilute; enervate; enfeeble; rarefy; sap; thin; undermine; undo; unnerve; water; weaken
fearless and daring
The audacious peasant dared to insult the king's mother.
Synonyms; adventuresome; aggressive; assertive; bold; brave; courageous; daring; dauntless; doughty; fearless; gallant; game; heroic; intrepid; mettlesome; plucky; stout; stouthearted; unafraid; undaunted; valiant; valorous; venturesome; venturous
prophecy; prediction of events
Troy hoped the rainbow was an augury of the good things to come.
Synonyms: auspices; harbinger; omen; portent; presage
The august view of the Grand Teton summit took my breath away.
Synonyms: admirable; awesome; grand; majestic
severe or stern in appearance; undecorated
The lack of decoration makes Zen temples seem austere to the untrained eye.
Synonyms: bleak; dour; grim; hard; harsh; severe
premise; postulate; self-evident truth
Halle lived her life based on the axioms her grandmother had passed on to her.
Synonyms: adage; apothegm; aphorism; maxim; rule
predictable; clichéd; boring
His conversation consisted of banal phrases like "Have a nice day" or "Another day, another dollar."
Synonyms: bland; bromidic; clichéd; commonplace; fatuous; hackneyed; innocuous; insipid; jejune; musty; platitudinous; prosaic; quotidian; shopworn; stale; stereotypic; threadbare; timeworn; tired; trite; vapid; worn-out
bell tower; room in which the bell is hung
The town was shocked when a bag of money was found stashed in the old belfry of the church.
Synonyms: spire; steeple
As predicted, a bevy of teenagers surrounded the rock star's limousine.
Synonyms: band; bunch; gang; pack; troop
to divide into two parts
The large corporation just released a press statement announcing its plans to bifurcate.
to cheat; defraud
When the greedy salesman realized that his customer spoke poor French, he bilked the tourist out of 20 euros.
Synonyms: beat; defraud; diddle; gyp; overreach
to afflict; destroy
The farmers feared that the night's frost would blight the potato crops entirely.
Synonyms: damage; plague
joyful, cheerful, or without appropriate thought
Summer finally came, and the blithe students spent their days at the beach.
Synonyms: carefree; lighthearted; merry
to support; prop up
The presence of giant footprints bolstered the argument that Bigfoot was in the area.
Synonyms: brace; buttress; crutch; prop; stay; support; sustain; underpinning; uphold
pompous in speech and manner
Mussolini's speeches were mostly bombastic; his boasting and outrageous claims had no basis in fact.
Synonyms: bloated; declamatory; fustian; grandiloquent; grandiose; high-flown; magniloquent; orotund; pretentious; rhetorical; self-important
good-natured geniality; atmosphere of good cheer
The aspects of her job she loved most were the flexible hours and the pleasant bonhomie in the office.
crude person, one lacking in manners or taste
"That utter boor ruined my recital with his constant guffawing!" wailed the pianist.
Synonyms: clod; lout; oaf; vulgarian; yahoo
to grow and flourish
Faulkner neither confirmed nor denied stories about himself, allowing rumor to burgeon where it would.
Synonyms: bloom flourish prosper; thrive
He burnished the silver coffee pot until it shone brightly
Synonyms: buff; luster; polish; scour
a secret group seeking to overturn something
The boys on the street formed a cabal to keep girls out of their tree house.
Synonyms: camp; clan; clique; coterie; in-group; mafia; mob; ring
harsh, jarring noise
The junior high orchestra created an almost unbearable cacophony as they tried to tune their instruments.
Synonyms: chaos; clamor; din; discord; disharmony; noise
a false malicious accusation; misrepresentation
The unscrupulous politician used calumny to bring down his opponent in the senatorial race.
Synonyms: defamation; libel; slander
That tabloid's feature story about a goat giving birth to a human child was clearly a canard.
Synonyms: falsehood; falsity; fib; misrepresentation; prevarication; tale; untruth
impartial, and honest in speech
The observations of a child can be charming since they are candid and unpretentious
Synonyms: direct; forthright; frank; honest; open; sincere; straight; straightforward; undisguised
changing one's mind quickly and often
Queen Elizabeth I was quite capricious; her courtiers could never be sure which one would catch her fancy.
Synonyms: arbitrary; chance; changeable; erratic; fickle; inconstant; mercurial; random; whimsical; willful
science or art of making maps
Gail's interest in cartography may stem from the extensive traveling as a child.
Synonyms: charting; surveying; topography
to punish or criticize harshly
Martina castigated her boyfriend for not remembering her birthday.
Synonyms: admonish; chastise; chide; rebuke; reprimand; reproach; reprove; scold; tax; upbraid
something that brings about a change in something else
The imposition of harsh taxes was the catalyst that finally brought on the revolution.
Synonyms: accelerator; goad; impetus; impulse; incentive; motivation; spur; stimulant
universal; broad and comprehensive
Hot tea with honey is a catholic remedy for a sore throat.
Synonyms: extensive; general
biting in wit
Dorothy Parker gained her caustic reputation from her cutting, yet witty, insults.
Synonyms: acerbic; biting; mordant; trenchant
great disorder or confused situation
In most religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from chaos.
Synonyms: clutter; confusion; disarrangement; disarray; disorder; disorderliness;disorganization; jumble; mess; muddle; scramble; snarl; topsy-turviness; turmoil
someone prejudiced in favor of a group to which he or she belongs
The attitude that men must be obeyed since they are inherently superior to women is common among male chauvinists.
Synonyms: biased; colored; one-sided; partial; partisan; prejudicial; prepossessed; tendentious
deception by means of craft or guile
Dishonest used-car salesmen often use chicanery to sell their beat-up old cars.
Synonyms: artifice; conniving; craftiness; deception; deviousness; misrepresentation; pettifoggery; shadiness; sneakiness; sophistry; subterfuge; underhandedness
cautious; aware of potential consequences
She was very circumspect in her language and behavior when first introduced to her fiancée's parents.
Synonyms: alert; cautious; heedful; mindful; prudent; solicitous; vigilant; wary
sickly sweet; excessive
When Enid and Jay first started dating, their cloying affection towards one another often made their friends ill.
Synonyms: excessive; fulsome
to grow together to form a single whole
The sun and planets eventually coalesced out of a vast cloud of gas and dust.
Synonyms: amalgamate; blend; coalesce; condense; consolidate; fuse; unite
stongbox; large chest for money
The bulletproof glass of the coffer is what keeps the crown jewels secure.
Synonyms; treasury; chest; exchequer; war chest
convincing and well-reasoned
Swayed by the cogent argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendant.
Synonyms; convincing; persuasive; solid; telling; valid
collaboration; complicity; conspiracy
It came to light that the police chief and the mafia had a collusion in running the numbers racket.
Synonyms: connivance; intrigue; machination
to overlook, pardon, or disregard
Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as condoning an air of lawlessness.
Synonyms: exculpate; excuse; pardon; remit
a person with expert knowledge or discriminating tastes
Dr. Crane was a connoisseur of fine food and wine, drinking and eating only the best.
Synonyms: authority; epicure; expert; gastronome; gourmet
deeply sorrowful and repentant for a wrong
After three residents were mugged in the lobby while the watchman was away from his post, he felt very contrite.
Synonyms: apologetic; regretful; remorseful
The contumacious teenager ran away from home when her parents told her she was grounded.
Synonyms: factious; insubordinate; insurgent; mutinous;rebellious; seditious
intricate and complicated
Although many people bought the professor's book, few people could follow its convoluted ideas and theories.
Synonyms: Byzantine; complex elaborate; intricate; knotty; labyrinthine; perplexing; tangled
to support with evidence
All the DA needed were fingerprints to corroborate the witness's testimony that he saw the defendant in the victim's apartment.
Synonyms: authenticate; back; buttress; confirm; substantiate; validate; verify
to pamper; treat with great care
Marta just loves to cosset her first and only grandchild.
Synonyms: cater to; cuddle; dandle; fondle; love; pamper; pet; spoil
an intimate group of persons with a similar purpose
Angel invited a coterie of fellow stamp enthusiasts to a stamp-trading party
Synonyms: clique; set
The craven lion cringed in the corner oh his cage, terrified of the mouse
Synonyms: fainthearted; spineless; timid
too trusting; gullible
Although some 4-year-olds believe in the Tooth Fairy, only the most credulous 9-year-olds also believe in her.
Synonyms: naive; susceptible; trusting
steadily increasing in volume or force
The crescendo of tension became unbearable as Evel Knievel prepared to jump his motorcycle over the school buses.
Synonyms: acme; capstone; climax; crest; culmen; culmination; meridian; peak
greed; strong desire
The thief stared at the shining jewels with cupidity in his gleaming eyes.
Synonyms: avarice; covetousness; rapcity
cranky person, usually old
Ernesto was a notorious curmudgeon who snapped at anyone who disturbed him for any reason.
Synonyms: crab; coot; grouch