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1

Eminent

em·i·nent\ˈe-mə-nənt\
adjective
: successful, well-known and respected
Full Definition
1 : standing out so as to be readily perceived or noted : conspicuous
2 : jutting out : projecting
3 : exhibiting eminence especially in standing above others in some quality or position : prominent
synonyms see famous
Examples
many eminent surgeons are on the hospital's staff
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin eminent-, eminens, present participle of eminēre to stand out, from e- + -minēre; akin to Latin mont-, mons mountain — more at mount.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: astral, bright, distinguished, illustrious, luminous, noble, notable, noteworthy, outstanding, preeminent, prestigious, redoubtable, signal, star, superior

2

Steep

steep\ˈstēp\
adjective
: almost straight up and down : rising or falling very sharply
: going up or down very quickly
: very high
Full Definition
1 : lofty, high — used chiefly of a sea
2 : making a large angle with the plane of the horizon
3 a : mounting or falling precipitously
b : being or characterized by a rapid and intensive decline or increase
4 : extremely or excessively high
steep·ish \ˈstē-pish\ adjective
steep·ly adverb
steep·ness noun
Examples
a steep slope/hillside
The stairs are very steep.
a steep drop/increase in prices
Origin: Middle English stepe, from Old English stēap high, steep, deep; akin to OldFrisian stāp steep, Middle High German stief — more at stoop.
First use: before 12th century
Synonyms: abrupt, bold, precipitous, sheer
Antonyms: easy
Synonyms: endue (or indue), imbue, inculcate, ingrain (also engrain), inoculate, invest, infuse, suffuse
Antonyms: wring (out)

3steep
: to put (something) in a liquid for a period of time
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to soak in a liquid at a temperature under the boiling point (as for softening, bleaching, or extracting an essence)
2 : to cover with or plunge into a liquid (as in bathing, rinsing, or soaking)
3 : to saturate with or subject thoroughly to (some strong or pervading influence)
intransitive verb
: to undergo the process of soaking in a liquid
synonyms see soak
steep·er noun
Origin: Middle English stepen.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: abrupt, bold, precipitous, sheer
Antonyms: easy
Synonyms: endue (or indue), imbue, inculcate, ingrain (also engrain), inoculate, invest, infuse, suffuse
Antonyms: wring (out)

3

Indiscriminate

in·dis·crim·i·nate\ˌin-dis-ˈkrim-nət, -ˈkri-mə-\
adjective
: affecting or harming many people or things in a careless or unfair way
: not careful in making choices
Full Definition
1 a : not marked by careful distinction : deficient in discrimination and discernment
b : haphazard, random
2 a : promiscuous, unrestrained
b : heterogeneous, motley
in·dis·crim·i·nate·ly adverb
in·dis·crim·i·nate·ness noun
Examples
donated an indiscriminate jumble of toys, books, and old clothes to the rummage sale
First use: circa 1598
Synonyms: assorted, eclectic, heterogeneous, miscellaneous, kitchen-sink, magpie, mixed, motley, patchwork, piebald, promiscuous, raggle-taggle, ragtag, varied
Antonyms: homogeneous

4

Voracious

5

Abound

abound\ə-ˈbau̇nd\
: to be present in large numbers or in great quantity
Full Definition
intransitive verb
1 : to be present in large numbers or in great quantity : be prevalent
2 : to be copiously supplied — used with in or with
Examples
a business in which opportunities abound
They live in a region where oil abounds.
They live in a region that abounds in/with oil.
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French abunder, from Latin abundare, from ab- + unda wave — more at water.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: brim, bristle, bulge, burst, bustle, buzz, crawl, hum, overflow, pullulate, swarm, teem

6

Prognosticate

prog·nos·ti·cate\präg-ˈnäs-tə-ˌkāt\
transitive verb
1 : to foretell from signs or symptoms : predict
2 : presage
synonyms see foretell
Other forms: prog·nos·ti·cat·ed; prog·nos·ti·cat·ing
prog·nos·ti·ca·tive \-ˌkā-tiv\ adjective
prog·nos·ti·ca·tor \-ˌkā-tər\ noun
Examples
using current trends to prognosticate what the workplace of the future will be like
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: augur, call, forecast, predict, presage, foretell, prophesy, read, vaticinate

7

Automaton

au·tom·a·ton\ȯ-ˈtä-mə-tən, -mə-ˌtän\
noun
: a machine that can move by itself ; especially
: a person who acts in a mechanical or machinelike way
Full Definition
1 : a mechanism that is relatively self-operating; especially : robot
2 : a machine or control mechanism designed to follow automatically a predetermined sequence of operations or respond to encoded instructions
3 : an individual who acts in a mechanical fashion
Other forms: plural au·tom·atons or au·tom·a·ta\-mə-tə, -mə-ˌtä\
Origin: Latin, from Greek, neuter of automatos.
First use: 1611

8

Matron

ma·tron\ˈmā-trən\
noun
: an older married woman who usually has a high social position
: a woman whose job is to be in charge of children or other women
: a female nurse who is in charge of the other nurses in a hospital
Full Definition
1 a : a married woman usually marked by dignified maturity or social distinction
b : a woman who supervises women or children (as in a school or police station)
c : the chief officer in a women's organization
2 : a female animal kept for breeding
Examples
the matron firmly ordered the rowdy little boys back to their seats
Origin: Middle English matrone, from Anglo-French, from Latin matrona, from matr-, mater.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: dame, dowager, grande dame, matriarch

9

Technology

10

Realm

realm\ˈrelm\
noun
: an area of activity, interest, or knowledge
: a country that is ruled by a king or queen
Full Definition
1 : kingdom 2
2 : sphere, domain
3 : a primary marine or terrestrial biogeographic division of the earth's surface
Examples
new discoveries in the realm of medicine
in political and legal realms
the realm of art/science/education
Origin: Middle English realme, from Anglo-French, alteration of Old French reiame, from Latin regimen control — more at regimen.
First use: 13th century
Synonyms: area, arena, bailiwick, barony, business, circle, demesne, department, discipline, domain, element, fief, fiefdom, firmament, front, game, kingdom, line, precinct, province, field, specialty, sphere, terrain, walk

11

Annals

an·nals\ˈa-nəlz\
noun plural
: historical records
: records of the activities of an organization
Full Definition
1 : a record of events arranged in yearly sequence
2 : historical records : chronicles
3 : records of the activities of an organization
Examples
his annals of the reigns of English kings was used as a source by Shakespeare
Origin: Latin annales, from plural of annalis yearly — more at annual.
First use: 1542
Synonyms: history, chronicle, record

12

Compound

com·pound\käm-ˈpau̇nd, kəm-ˈ, ˈkäm-ˌ\
: to make (something, such as an error or problem) worse : to add to (something bad)
finance : to pay interest on both an amount of money and the interest it has already earned
: to form (something) by combining separate things
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to put together (parts) so as to form a whole : combine
2 : to form by combining parts
3 a : to settle amicably : adjust by agreement
b : to agree for a consideration not to prosecute (an offense)
4 a : to pay (interest) on both the accrued interest and the principal
b : to add to : augment
intransitive verb
1 : to become joined in a compound
2 : to come to terms of agreement
com·pound·able \-ˈpau̇n-də-bəl, -ˌpau̇n-\ adjective
com·pound·er noun
Origin: Middle English compounen, from Anglo-French *cumpundre, from Latin componere, from com- + ponere to put — more at position.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: amalgamated, composite
Antonyms: noncompound, simple
Synonyms: accelerate, add (to), aggrandize, amplify, augment, boost, build up, increase, enlarge, escalate, expand, extend, hype, multiply, pump up, raise, swell, stoke, supersize, up
Antonyms: abate, decrease, de-escalate, diminish, downsize, dwindle, lessen, lower, minify, reduce, subtract (from)

2com·pound\ˈkäm-ˌpau̇nd, käm-ˈ, kəm-ˈ\
adjective
: made up of two or more parts
: made by combining two or more words
: consisting of two or more main clauses
Full Definition
1 : composed of or resulting from union of separate elements, ingredients, or parts: as
a : composed of united similar elements especially of a kind usually independent

b : having the blade divided to the midrib and forming two or more leaflets on a common axis

2 : involving or used in a combination
3 a of a word : constituting a compound
b of a sentence : having two or more main clauses
Origin: Middle English compouned, past participle of compounen.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: amalgamated, composite
Antonyms: noncompound, simple
Synonyms: accelerate, add (to), aggrandize, amplify, augment, boost, build up, increase, enlarge, escalate, expand, extend, hype, multiply, pump up, raise, swell, stoke, supersize, up
Antonyms: abate, decrease, de-escalate, diminish, downsize, dwindle, lessen, lower, minify, reduce, subtract (from)

13

Tinge

14

Paradox

par·a·dox\ˈper-ə-ˌdäks, ˈpa-rə-\
noun
: something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible
: someone who does two things that seem to be opposite to each other or who has qualities that are opposite
: a statement that seems to say two opposite things but that may be true
Full Definition
1 : a tenet contrary to received opinion
2 a : a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true
b : a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true
c : an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises
3 : one (as a person, situation, or action) having seemingly contradictory qualities or phases
Examples
the paradox of fighting a war for peace
Origin: Latin paradoxum, from Greek paradoxon, from neuter of paradoxos contrary to expectation, from para- + dokein to think, seem — more at decent.
First use: 1540
Synonyms: dichotomy, incongruity, contradiction

15

Implore

im·plore\im-ˈplȯr\
: to make a very serious or emotional request to (someone)
: to say (something) as a serious or emotional request
: to ask or beg for (something) in a very serious or emotional way
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to call upon in supplication : beseech
2 : to call or pray for earnestly : entreat
synonyms see beg
Other forms: im·plored; im·plor·ing
im·plor·ing·ly adverb
Examples
the victims of the hurricane implored the governor to put the full resources of the state into the relief effort
Origin: Middle French or Latin; Middle French implorer, from Latin implorare, from in- + plorare to cry out.
First use: circa 1540
Synonyms: appeal (to), beseech, besiege, conjure, entreat, impetrate, beg, importune, petition, plead (to), pray, solicit, supplicate

16

Drudgery

drudg·ery\ˈdrəj-rē, ˈdrə-jə-rē\
noun
: boring, difficult, or unpleasant work
Full Definition
: dull, irksome, and fatiguing work : uninspiring or menial labor
synonyms see work
Other forms: plural drudg·er·ies
Examples
in the “good old days” household servants led lives filled with much drudgery and little pleasure
First use: 1550
Synonyms: donkeywork, drudge, 1toil, fatigue, grind, labor, moil, slavery, sweat, travail
Antonyms: fun, play

17

Interminable

in·ter·mi·na·ble\(ˌ)in-ˈtərm-nə-bəl, -ˈtər-mə-\
adjective
: having or seeming to have no end : continuing for a very long time
Full Definition
: having or seeming to have no end; especially : wearisomely protracted
in·ter·mi·na·ble·ness noun
in·ter·mi·na·bly \-blē\ adverb
Origin: Middle English, from Late Latin interminabilis, from Latin in- + terminare to terminate.
First use: 15th century

18

Perceive

per·ceive\pər-ˈsēv\
: to notice or become aware of (something)
: to think of (someone or something) as being something stated
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 a : to attain awareness or understanding of
b : to regard as being such
2 : to become aware of through the senses; especially : see, observe
Other forms: per·ceived; per·ceiv·ing
per·ceiv·able \-ˈsē-və-bəl\ adjective
per·ceiv·ably \-blē\ adverb
per·ceiv·er noun
Examples
I thought I perceived a problem, but I wasn't sure
perceived that it was going to be a nice day
I perceive your point, but I still disagree
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French perceivre, from Latin percipere, from per- thoroughly + capere to take — more at heave.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: feel, scent, see, sense, smell, taste
Antonyms: miss

19

Laconic

la·con·ic\lə-ˈkä-nik\
adjective
: using few words in speech or writing
Full Definition
: using or involving the use of a minimum of words : concise to the point of seeming rude or mysterious
synonyms see concise
la·con·i·cal·ly \-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Examples
the sportscaster's color commentary tends to be laconic but very much to the point
laconic by nature, he found the monastery's vow of silence was very much to his liking
Origin: Latin laconicus Spartan, from Greek lakōnikos; from the Spartan reputation for terseness of speech.
First use: 1589
Synonyms: aphoristic, apothegmatic, brief, capsule, compact, compendious, crisp, curt, elliptical (or elliptic), epigrammatic, concise, monosyllabic, pithy, sententious, succinct, summary, telegraphic, terse, thumbnail
Antonyms: circuitous, circumlocutory, diffuse, long-winded, prolix, rambling, verbose, windy, wordy

20

Throng

21

Intrepid

in·trep·id\in-ˈtre-pəd\
adjective
: feeling no fear : very bold or brave
Full Definition
: characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance
in·tre·pid·i·ty \ˌin-trə-ˈpi-də-tē\ noun
in·trep·id·ly \in-ˈtre-pəd-lē\ adverb
in·trep·id·ness noun
Examples
an intrepid explorer who probed parts of the rain forest never previously attempted
Origin: Latin intrepidus, from in- + trepidus alarmed — more at trepidation.
First use: 1680
Synonyms: bold, courageous, dauntless, doughty, fearless, gallant, greathearted, gutsy, gutty, heroic (also heroical), brave, lionhearted, manful, stalwart, stout, stouthearted, undauntable, undaunted, valiant, valorous
Antonyms: chicken, chickenhearted, chicken-livered, coward, cowardly, craven, dastardly, fainthearted, fearful, gutless, lily-livered, milk-livered [archaic], nerveless, poltroon, poor-spirited, pusillanimous, spineless, spiritless, timorous, uncourageous, ungallant, unheroic, weakhearted, yellow

22

Accost

ac·cost\ə-ˈkȯst, -ˈkäst\
: to approach and speak to (someone) often in an angry, aggressive, or unwanted way
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to approach and speak to often in a challenging or aggressive way
Origin: Middle French accoster, ultimately from Latin ad- + costa rib, side — more at coast.
First use: 1597

23

Reticent

ac·cost\ə-ˈkȯst, -ˈkäst\
: to approach and speak to (someone) often in an angry, aggressive, or unwanted way
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to approach and speak to often in a challenging or aggressive way
Origin: Middle French accoster, ultimately from Latin ad- + costa rib, side — more at coast.
First use: 1597

24

Hapless

hap·less\ˈha-pləs\
adjective
: having no luck : very unfortunate
Full Definition
: having no luck : unfortunate
hap·less·ly adverb
hap·less·ness noun
Examples
the hapless motorist had barely paid his bill and driven away from the body shop when a truck sideswiped his car
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: unlucky, hard-luck, ill-fated, ill-starred, jinxed, luckless, snakebit (or snakebitten), star-crossed, unfortunate, unhappy
Antonyms: fortunate, happy, lucky

25

Furtive

fur·tive\ˈfər-tiv\
adjective
: done in a quiet and secret way to avoid being noticed
Full Definition
1 a : done by stealth : surreptitious
b : expressive of stealth : sly
2 : obtained underhandedly : stolen
synonyms see secret
fur·tive·ly adverb
fur·tive·ness noun
Examples
a furtive guy who always seems to be up to something, and usually that something is no-good
gave each other furtive glances as we watched our friend open the booby-trapped soda
Origin: French or Latin; French furtif, from Latin furtivus, from furtum theft, from fur thief, from or akin to Greek phōr thief; akin to Greek pherein to carry — more at bear.
First use: 1612
Synonyms: sneaky, shady, shifty, slippery, sly, sneaking, stealthy
Antonyms: open, overt, public

26

Felon

fel·on\ˈfe-lən\
noun
: a criminal who has committed a serious crime (called a felony)
Full Definition
1 : one who has committed a felony
2 archaic : villain
3 : whitlow
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French felun, fel evildoer, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German fillen to beat, whip, fel skin — more at fell.
First use: 13th century
2felon
adjective
1 archaic
a : cruel
b : evil
2 archaic : wild
First use: 13th century

27

Plethora

pleth·o·ra\ˈple-thə-rə\
noun
: a very large amount or number : an amount that is much greater than what is necessary
Full Definition
1 : a bodily condition characterized by an excess of blood and marked by turgescence and a florid complexion
2 : excess, superfluity; also : profusion, abundance
ple·tho·ric \plə-ˈthȯr-ik, ple-, -ˈthär-; ˈple-thə-rik\ adjective
Examples
a biology textbook that is helpfully illustrated with a plethora of excellent illustrations
the author offers a plethora of detail that tends to overwhelm the reader
Origin: Medieval Latin, from Greek plēthōra, literally, fullness, from plēthein to be full — more at full.
First use: 1541
Synonyms: abundance, cornucopia, feast, plenitude, plentitude, plenty, superabundance, wealth
Antonyms: deficiency, inadequacy, insufficiency, undersupply

28

Irate

irate\ī-ˈrāt, ˈī-ˌ, i-ˈrāt\
adjective
: very angry
Full Definition
1 : roused to ire
2 : arising from anger
irate·ly adverb
irate·ness noun
Examples
Irate viewers called the television network to complain about the show.
an irate neighbor
First use: 1838
Synonyms: angered, apoplectic, ballistic, cheesed off [chiefly British], choleric, enraged, foaming, fuming, furious, hopping, horn-mad, hot, incensed, indignant, inflamed (also enflamed), infuriate, infuriated, angry, ireful, livid, mad, outraged, rabid, rankled, riled, riley, roiled, shirty [chiefly British], sore, steamed up, steaming, teed off, ticked, wrathful, wroth
Antonyms: angerless, delighted, pleased

29

Vigilant

vig·i·lant\ˈvi-jə-lənt\
adjective
: carefully noticing problems or signs of danger
Full Definition
: alertly watchful especially to avoid danger
synonyms see watchful
vig·i·lant·ly adverb
Examples
the night watchman, who was usually vigilant, apparently dozed off and didn't notice the vandals sneaking in
Origin: Middle English (Scots), from Latin vigilant-, vigilans, from present participle of vigilare to keep watch, stay awake, from vigil awake.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: Argus-eyed, attentive, awake, observant, open-eyed, tenty (also tentie) [Scottish], alert, watchful, wide-awake
Antonyms: asleep

30

Pretext

pre·text\ˈprē-ˌtekst\
noun
: a reason that you give to hide your real reason for doing something
Full Definition
: a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs
synonyms see apology
Origin: Latin praetextus, from praetexere to assign as a pretext, screen, extend in front, from prae- + texere to weave — more at technical.
First use: 1513

31

Fabricate

fab·ri·cate\ˈfa-bri-ˌkāt\
: to make or build (something)
: to create or make up (something, such as a story) in order to trick people
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 a : invent, create
b : to make up for the purpose of deception
2 : construct, manufacture; specifically : to construct from diverse and usually standardized parts
Other forms: fab·ri·cat·ed; fab·ri·cat·ing
fab·ri·ca·tor \ˈfa-bri-ˌkā-tər\ noun
Examples
with a few inexpensive materials from a craft shop, we were able to fabricate our own holiday wreath
fabricated a daring plan to create an underground explosion that would take the enemy totally by surprise
the house was essentially fabricated at the factory and then shipped to the site for assembly
Origin: Middle English, from Latin fabricatus, past participle of fabricari, from fabrica.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: make, fashion, form, frame, manufacture, produce
Antonyms: demount, disassemble, dismantle, dismember, knock down, strike, take down, tear down

32

Adroit

adroit\ə-ˈdrȯit\
adjective
: very clever or skillful
Full Definition
: having or showing skill, cleverness, or resourcefulness in handling situations
synonyms see clever, dexterous
adroit·ly adverb
adroit·ness noun
Examples
an adroit negotiator
She is adroit at handling problems.
She managed the situation adroitly.
Origin: French, from Old French, from a- (from Latin ad-) + droit right, droit.
First use: 1652
Synonyms: skillful, artful, bravura, deft, delicate, dexterous (also dextrous), expert, masterful, masterly, practiced (also practised), virtuoso, workmanlike
Antonyms: amateur, amateurish, artless, rude, unprofessional, unskillful

33

Gesticulate

ges·tic·u·late\je-ˈsti-kyə-ˌlāt\
: to move your arms and hands especially when speaking in an angry or emotional way
Full Definition
intransitive verb
: to make gestures especially when speaking
Other forms: ges·tic·u·lat·ed; ges·tic·u·lat·ing
ges·ti·cu·la·tive \je-ˈsti-kyə-ˌlā-tiv\ adjective
ges·tic·u·la·tor \-ˌlā-tər\ noun
ges·tic·u·la·to·ry \-lə-ˌtȯr-ē\ adjective
Origin: Latin gesticulatus, past participle of gesticulari, from *gesticulus, diminutive of gestus.
First use: circa 1609

34

Nuance

nu·ance\ˈnü-ˌän(t)s, ˈnyü-, -ˌäⁿs; nü-ˈ, nyü-ˈ\
noun
: a very small difference in color, tone, meaning, etc.
Full Definition
1 : a subtle distinction or variation
2 : a subtle quality : nicety
3 : sensibility to, awareness of, or ability to express delicate shadings (as of meaning, feeling, or value)
nu·anced \-ˌän(t)st, -ˈän(t)st\ adjective
Origin: French, from Middle French, shade of color, from nuer to make shades of color, from nue cloud, from Latin nubes; perhaps akin to Welsh nudd mist.
First use: 1781

35

Avid

av·id\ˈa-vəd\
adjective
: very eager
: wanting something very much
Full Definition
1 : desirous to the point of greed : urgently eager : greedy
2 : characterized by enthusiasm and vigorous pursuit
synonyms see eager
av·id·ly adverb
av·id·ness noun
Examples
stared at the array of jewels with an avid glint in his eye
an avid baseball card collector
Origin: French or Latin; French avide, from Latin avidus, from avēre to desire, crave; akin to Welsh ewyllys desire, Old Irish con-oí he protects.
First use: 1769
Synonyms: acquisitive, avaricious, greedy, coveting, covetous, grabby, grasping, mercenary, moneygrubbing, rapacious
Antonyms: apathetic, indifferent, uneager, unenthusiastic

36

Cajole

ca·jole\kə-ˈjōl\
: to persuade someone to do something or to give you something by making promises or saying nice things
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 a : to persuade with flattery or gentle urging especially in the face of reluctance : coax
b : to obtain from someone by gentle persuasion
2 : to deceive with soothing words or false promises
Other forms: ca·joled; ca·jol·ing
ca·jole·ment \-ˈjōl-mənt\ noun
ca·jol·er noun
ca·jol·ery \-ˈjō-lə-rē\ noun
Examples
cajoled her into doing his laundry for him
Origin: French cajoler.
First use: 1630
Synonyms: blandish, blarney, coax, palaver, soft-soap, sweet-talk, wheedle
Synonym discussion: cajole coax soft-soap blandish wheedle mean to influence or persuade by pleasing words or actions. cajole suggests the deliberate use of flattery to persuade in the face of reluctance or reasonable objections . coax implies gentle and persistent words or actions employed to produce a desired effect . soft-soap refers to using smooth and somewhat insincere talk usually for personal gain . blandish implies a more open desire to win a person over by effusive praise and affectionate actions . wheedle suggests more strongly than cajole the use of seductive appeal or artful words in persuading .

37

Rudimentary

ru·di·men·ta·ry\ˌrü-də-ˈmen-tə-rē, -ˈmen-trē\
adjective
: basic or simple
: not very developed or advanced
Full Definition
1 : consisting in first principles : fundamental
2 : of a primitive kind
3 : very imperfectly developed or represented only by a vestige
ru·di·men·tar·i·ly \-ˌmen-ˈter-ə-lē, -ˈmen-trə-lē\ adverb
ru·di·men·ta·ri·ness \-ˈmen-tə-rē-nəs, -ˈmen-trē-\ noun
Examples
rudimentary shelters built by prehistoric peoples
had only a rudimentary knowledge of science
Origin: (see rudiment ).
First use: 1839
Synonyms: crude, low, rude, primitive
Antonyms: advanced, developed, evolved, high, higher, late

38

Enhance

en·hance\in-ˈhan(t)s, en-\
: to increase or improve (something)
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 obsolete : raise
2 : heighten, increase; especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness
Other forms: en·hanced; en·hanc·ing
en·hance·ment \-ˈhan(t)-smənt\ noun
Examples
some shrubbery would really enhance the curb appeal of that house
the right makeup would enhance the beauty of her eyes
leather seats and a state-of-the-art stereo system enhance the sedan
Origin: Middle English enhauncen, from Anglo-French enhaucer, enhauncer, from Vulgar Latin *inaltiare, from Latin in + altus high — more at old.
First use: 13th century
Synonyms: ameliorate, amend, better, improve, enrich, help, meliorate, perfect, refine, upgrade
Antonyms: worsen

39

Caustic

caus·tic\ˈkȯs-tik\
adjective
: able to destroy or burn something by chemical action
: very harsh and critical
Full Definition
1 : capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action : corrosive
2 : marked by incisive sarcasm
3 : relating to or being the surface or curve of a caustic
caus·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
caus·tic·i·ty \kȯ-ˈsti-sə-tē\ noun
Origin: Latin causticus, from Greek kaustikos, from kaiein to burn.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: acerb, acerbic, acid, acidic, acidulous, acrid, barbed, biting, sarcastic, corrosive, cutting, mordant, pungent, sardonic, satiric (or satirical), scalding, scathing, sharp, smart-aleck, smart-alecky, smart-mouthed, snarky, tart

2caus·tic\ˈkȯs-tik\
noun
1 : a caustic agent: as
a : a substance that burns or destroys organic tissue by chemical action
b : sodium hydroxide
2 : the envelope of rays emanating from a point and reflected or refracted by a curved surface
Origin: (see 1caustic ).
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: acerb, acerbic, acid, acidic, acidulous, acrid, barbed, biting, sarcastic, corrosive, cutting, mordant, pungent, sardonic, satiric (or satirical), scalding, scathing, sharp, smart-aleck, smart-alecky, smart-mouthed, snarky, tart

40

Loathe

loathe\ˈlōth\
: to hate (someone or something) very much
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to dislike greatly and often with disgust or intolerance : detest
synonyms see hate
Other forms: loathed; loath·ing
loath·er noun
Examples
She loathed him.
They were rivals who truly/bitterly loathed each other.
I loathe having to do this.
Origin: Middle English lothen, from Old English lāthian to dislike, be hateful, from lāth.
First use: 12th century
Synonyms: abhor, abominate, despise, detest, execrate, hate
Antonyms: love

41

Reprimand

rep·ri·mand\ˈre-prə-ˌmand\
noun
: a severe or formal reproof
Origin: French réprimande, from Latin reprimenda, feminine of reprimendus, gerundive of reprimere to check — more at repress.
First use: 1636

2reprimand
: to speak in an angry and critical way to (someone who has done something wrong, disobeyed an order, etc.)
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to reprove sharply or censure formally usually from a position of authority
synonyms see reprove
First use: 1681
Synonyms: commination, condemnation, denunciation, excoriation, objurgation, rebuke, censure, reproach, reproof, riot act, stricture
Antonyms: citation, commendation, endorsement (also indorsement)
Synonyms: baste, bawl out, berate, call down, castigate, chastise, chew out, dress down, flay, hammer, jaw, keelhaul, lambaste (or lambast), lecture, rag, rail (at or against), rant (at), rate, ream (out), rebuke, scold, reproach, score, tongue-lash, upbraid
Antonyms: cite, commend, endorse (also indorse)

42

Lackluster

lack·lus·ter\ˈlak-ˌləs-tər\
adjective
: lacking excitement or interest
Full Definition
: lacking in sheen, brilliance, or vitality : dull, mediocre
lackluster noun
First use: 1600

43

Inadvertent

in·ad·ver·tent\-tənt\
adjective
: not intended or planned
Full Definition
1 : not focusing the mind on a matter : inattentive
2 : unintentional
in·ad·ver·tent·ly adverb
Examples
an inadvertent encounter with a rattlesnake in the brush
Origin: back-formation from inadvertence.
First use: 1653
Synonyms: casual, chance, fluky (also flukey), fortuitous, accidental, incidental, unintended, unintentional, unplanned, unpremeditated, unwitting
Antonyms: calculated, deliberate, intended, intentional, planned, premeditated, premeditative, prepense, set

44

Jostle

jos·tle\ˈjä-səl\
: to push against (someone) while moving forward in a crowd of people
Full Definition
intransitive verb
1 a : to come in contact or into collision
b : to make one's way by pushing and shoving
c : to exist in close proximity
2 : to vie in gaining an objective : contend
transitive verb
1 a : to come in contact or into collision with
b : to force by pushing : elbow
c : to stir up : agitate
d : to exist in close proximity with
2 : to vie with in attaining an objective
Other forms: jos·tled; jos·tling \-s(ə-)liŋ\
Origin: alteration of justle, frequentative of 1joust.
First use: 1546
Synonyms: bore, bull, bulldoze, crash, elbow, jam, 2press, muscle, push, shoulder, squeeze

45

Infamous

in·fa·mous\ˈin-fə-məs\
adjective
: well-known for being bad : known for evil acts or crimes
: causing people to think you are bad or evil
Full Definition
1 : having a reputation of the worst kind : notoriously evil
2 : causing or bringing infamy : disgraceful
3 : convicted of an offense bringing infamy
in·fa·mous·ly adverb
Examples
the infamous criminal who remains known only by the moniker of “Jack the Ripper”
Origin: Middle English, from Latin infamis, from in- + fama fame.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: discreditable, disgraceful, dishonorable, ignominious, disreputable, louche, notorious, opprobrious, shady, shameful, shoddy, shy, unrespectable
Antonyms: honorable, reputable, respectable

46

Dupe

dupe\ˈdüp also ˈdyüp\
noun
: one that is easily deceived or cheated : fool
Examples
They duped her out of $300.
He was duped into buying a phony watch.
We were duped by the con artist.
Origin: French, from Middle French duppe, probably alteration of huppe hoopoe.
First use: 1681
Synonyms: bamboozle, beguile, bluff, buffalo, burn, catch, con, cozen, delude, deceive, fake out, fool, gaff, gammon, gull, have, have on [chiefly British], hoax, hoodwink, hornswoggle, humbug, juggle, misguide, misinform, mislead, snooker, snow, spoof, string along, sucker, suck in, take in, trick
Antonyms: undeceive

2dupe
: to deceive or trick (someone) into believing or doing something
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to make a dupe of
Other forms: duped; dup·ing
dup·er noun
First use: 1704
Synonyms: bamboozle, beguile, bluff, buffalo, burn, catch, con, cozen, delude, deceive, fake out, fool, gaff, gammon, gull, have, have on [chiefly British], hoax, hoodwink, hornswoggle, humbug, juggle, misguide, misinform, mislead, snooker, snow, spoof, string along, sucker, suck in, take in, trick
Antonyms: undeceive

47

Incipient

in·cip·i·ent\-ənt\
adjective
: beginning to develop or exist
Full Definition
: beginning to come into being or to become apparent
in·cip·i·ent·ly adverb
Examples
I have an incipient dislike and distrust of that guy, and I only met him this morning
Origin: Latin incipient-, incipiens, present participle of incipere to begin — more at inception.
First use: 1669
Synonyms: aborning, budding, inceptive, inchoate, nascent
Antonyms: adult, full-blown, full-fledged, mature, ripe, ripened

48

Ominous

om·i·nous\ˈä-mə-nəs\
adjective
: suggesting that something bad is going to happen in the future
Full Definition
: being or exhibiting an omen : portentous; especially : foreboding or foreshadowing evil : inauspicious
om·i·nous·ly adverb
om·i·nous·ness noun
Examples
that comment about downsizing from the company president sounded ominous
Origin: (see omen ).
First use: 1580
Synonyms: baleful, dire, direful, doomy, foreboding, ill, ill-boding, inauspicious, menacing, minatory, portentous, sinister, threatening
Antonyms: unthreatening
Synonym discussion: ominous portentous fateful mean having a menacing or threatening aspect. ominous implies having a menacing, alarming character foreshadowing evil or disaster . portentous suggests being frighteningly big or impressive but now seldom definitely connotes forewarning of calamity . fateful suggests being of momentous or decisive importance .

49

Bristle

bris·tle\ˈbri-səl\
noun
: a short, stiff hair, fiber, etc.
Full Definition
: a short stiff coarse hair or filament
bris·tle·like \ˈbri-sə(l)-ˌlīk\ adjective
Origin: Middle English bristil, from brust bristle, from Old English byrst; akin to Old High German burst bristle, and perhaps to Latin fastigium top.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: hair, fiber, filament, thread
Synonyms: brim, abound, bulge, burst, bustle, buzz, crawl, hum, overflow, pullulate, swarm, teem

2bristle
of hair : to rise up and become stiff
: to show signs of anger : to become angry
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to furnish with bristles
2 : to make bristly : ruffle
intransitive verb
1 a : to rise and stand stiffly erect
b : to raise the bristles (as in anger)
2 : to take on an aggressively defensive attitude (as in response to a slight or criticism)
3 a : to be full of or covered with especially something suggestive of bristles
b : to be full of something specified
Other forms: bris·tled; bris·tling \ˈbris-liŋ, ˈbri-sə-\
Examples
Electricity makes your hair bristle.
He bristled at the insult.
She bristled at their criticism.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: hair, fiber, filament, thread
Synonyms: brim, abound, bulge, burst, bustle, buzz, crawl, hum, overflow, pullulate, swarm, teem

50

Repudiate

re·pu·di·ate\ri-ˈpyü-dē-ˌāt\
: to refuse to accept or support (something) : to reject (something or someone)
: to say or show that (something) is not true
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to divorce or separate formally from (a woman)
2 : to refuse to have anything to do with : disown
3 a : to refuse to accept; especially : to reject as unauthorized or as having no binding force
b : to reject as untrue or unjust
4 : to refuse to acknowledge or pay
synonyms see decline
Other forms: re·pu·di·at·ed; re·pu·di·at·ing
re·pu·di·a·tor \-ˌā-tər\ noun
Examples
vigorously repudiated the charge that she had lied on her résumé
the angry mother bitterly repudiated her teenaged daughter, telling her that she never wanted to see or hear from her again
we didn't like the terms, so we repudiated the contract
Origin: Latin repudiatus, past participle of repudiare, from repudium rejection of a prospective spouse, divorce, probably from re- + pudēre to shame.
First use: 1545
Synonyms: contradict, disaffirm, disallow, disavow, disclaim, disconfirm, disown, gainsay, negate, negative, refute, reject, deny
Antonyms: acknowledge, admit, allow, avow, concede, confirm, own

51

Tremulous

52

Cessation

ces·sa·tion\se-ˈsā-shən\
noun
: a stopping of some action : a pause or stop
Full Definition
: a temporary or final ceasing (as of action) : stop
Examples
the cessation of the snowstorm was a relief
Origin: Middle English cessacioun, from Middle French cessation, from Latin cessation-, cessatio delay, idleness, from cessare to delay, be idle — more at cease.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: arrest, arrestment, cease, end, check, close, closedown, closure, conclusion, cutoff, discontinuance, discontinuation, ending, expiration, finish, halt, lapse, offset, shutdown, shutoff, stay, stop, stoppage, surcease, termination
Antonyms: continuance, continuation

53

Stipulate

stip·u·late\ˈsti-pyə-ˌlāt\
: to demand or require (something) as part of an agreement
Full Definition
intransitive verb
1 : to make an agreement or covenant to do or forbear something : contract
2 : to demand an express term in an agreement — used with for
transitive verb
1 : to specify as a condition or requirement (as of an agreement or offer)
2 : to give a guarantee of
Other forms: stip·u·lat·ed; stip·u·lat·ing
stip·u·la·tor \-ˌlā-tər\ noun
Origin: Latin stipulatus, past participle of stipulari to demand a guarantee (from a prospective debtor).
First use: circa 1624

54

Euphemism

eu·phe·mism\ˈyü-fə-ˌmi-zəm\
noun
: a mild or pleasant word or phrase that is used instead of one that is unpleasant or offensive
Full Definition
: the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant; also : the expression so substituted
eu·phe·mist \-mist\ noun
eu·phe·mis·tic \ˌyü-fə-ˈmis-tik\ adjective
eu·phe·mis·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Origin: Greek euphēmismos, from euphēmos auspicious, sounding good, from eu- + phēmē speech, from phanai to speak — more at ban.
First use: circa 1681

55

Mundane

mun·dane\ˌmən-ˈdān, ˈmən-ˌ\
adjective
: dull and ordinary
: relating to ordinary life on earth rather than to spiritual things
Full Definition
1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of the world
2 : characterized by the practical, transitory, and ordinary : commonplace
synonyms see earthly
mun·dane·ly adverb
mun·dane·ness \-ˈdān-nəs, -ˌdān-\ noun
mun·dan·i·ty \ˌmən-ˈdā-nə-tē\ noun
Examples
they didn't want to be bothered with mundane concerns like doing the dishes while on vacation
a period for reflection and penitence, when spiritual concerns should take precedence over those that are mundane
Origin: Middle English mondeyne, from Anglo-French mundain, from Late Latin mundanus, from Latin mundus world.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: everyday, nitty-gritty, prosaic, terrestrial, workaday
Antonyms: heavenly, nontemporal, unearthly, unworldly

56

Incongruous

in·con·gru·ous\(ˌ)in-ˈkäŋ-grə-wəs\
adjective
: strange because of not agreeing with what is usual or expected
Full Definition
: lacking congruity: as
a : not harmonious : incompatible
b : not conforming : disagreeing
c : inconsistent within itself
d : lacking propriety : unsuitable
in·con·gru·ous·ly adverb
in·con·gru·ous·ness noun
Examples
there's an incongruous modernism to the actor's performance in this period piece
incongruous theories about the origins of matter
Origin: Late Latin incongruus, from Latin in- + congruus congruous.
First use: 1611
Synonyms: amiss, graceless, improper, inapposite, inapt, inappropriate, incorrect, indecorous, inept, infelicitous, malapropos, perverse, unapt, unbecoming, unfit, unhappy, unseemly, unsuitable, untoward, wrong
Antonyms: appropriate, becoming, befitting, correct, decorous, felicitous, fit, fitting, genteel, happy, meet, proper, right, seemly, suitable

57

Condolence

con·do·lence\kən-ˈdō-lən(t)s also ˈkän-də-\
noun
: a feeling or expression of sympathy and sadness especially when someone is suffering because of the death of a family member, a friend, etc.
Full Definition
1 : sympathy with another in sorrow
2 : an expression of sympathy
synonyms see pity
First use: 1603

58

Belligerent

bel·lig·er·ent\bə-ˈlij-rənt, -ˈli-jə-\
adjective
: angry and aggressive : feeling or showing readiness to fight
: fighting a war : engaged in a war
Full Definition
1 : waging war; specifically : belonging to or recognized as a state at war and protected by and subject to the laws of war
2 : inclined to or exhibiting assertiveness, hostility, or combativeness
belligerent noun
bel·lig·er·ent·ly adverb
Examples
the coach became quite belligerent and spit at an umpire after being thrown out of the game
Origin: modification of Latin belligerant-, belligerans, present participle of belligerare to wage war, from belliger waging war, from bellum + gerere to wage.
First use: 1577
Synonyms: aggressive, agonistic, argumentative, assaultive, bellicose, brawly, chippy, combative, confrontational, contentious, discordant, disputatious, feisty, gladiatorial, militant, pugnacious, quarrelsome, scrappy, truculent, warlike, on the warpath
Antonyms: nonaggressive, nonbelligerent, pacific, peaceable, peaceful, unbelligerent, uncombative, uncontentious
Synonym discussion: belligerent bellicose pugnacious quarrelsome contentious mean having an aggressive or fighting attitude. belligerent often implies being actually at war or engaged in hostilities . bellicose suggests a disposition to fight
. pugnacious suggests a disposition that takes pleasure in personal combat . quarrelsome stresses an ill-natured readiness to fight without good cause . contentious implies perverse and irritating fondness for arguing and quarreling .

59

Disdain

dis·dain\dis-ˈdān\
noun
: a feeling of strong dislike or disapproval of someone or something you think does not deserve respect
Full Definition
: a feeling of contempt for someone or something regarded as unworthy or inferior : scorn
Origin: Middle English desdeyne, from Anglo-French desdaign, from desdeigner (see 2disdain ).
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: contemptuousness, despisement, despite, despitefulness, contempt, misprision, scorn
Antonyms: admiration, esteem, estimation, favor, regard, respect
Synonyms: contemn, dis (also diss) [slang], scorn, disrespect, high-hat, look down (on or upon), slight, sniff (at), snoot, snub
Antonyms: honor, respect

2dis·dain\dis-ˈdān\
: to strongly dislike or disapprove of (someone or something)
: to refuse to do(something) because of feelings of dislike or disapproval
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to look on with scorn
2 : to refuse or abstain from because of a feeling of contempt or scorn
3 : to treat as beneath one's notice or dignity
synonyms see despise
Examples
They disdained him for being weak.
teenagers who disdain authority
a critic who disdains all modern art
Origin: Middle English desdeynen, from Anglo-French desdeigner, dedeigner, from Vulgar Latin *disdignare, from Latin dis- + dignare to deign — more at deign.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: contemptuousness, despisement, despite, despitefulness, contempt, misprision, scorn
Antonyms: admiration, esteem, estimation, favor, regard, respect
Synonyms: contemn, dis (also diss) [slang], scorn, disrespect, high-hat, look down (on or upon), slight, sniff (at), snoot, snub
Antonyms: honor, respect

60

Feint

feint\ˈfānt\
noun
sports : a quick movement that you make to trick an opponent
Full Definition
: something feigned; specifically : a mock blow or attack on or toward one part in order to distract attention from the point one really intends to attack
synonyms see trick
Examples
The boxer made a feint with his right, then followed with a left hook.
Origin: French feinte, from Old French, from feint, past participle of feindre.
First use: 1644

2feint
sports : to pretend to make an attack as a trick to fool your opponent : to make a feint
Full Definition
intransitive verb
: to make a feinttransitive verb
1 : to lure or deceive with a feint
2 : to make a pretense of
Examples
He feinted with his right, then followed with a left hook.
First use: 1741

61

Alacrity

alac·ri·ty\ə-ˈla-krə-tē\
noun
: a quick and cheerful readiness to do something
Full Definition
: promptness in response : cheerful readiness
alac·ri·tous \-krə-təs\ adjective
Examples
having just acquired his driver's license that morning, the teen agreed with alacrity to drive his cousin to the airport
Origin: Latin alacritas, from alacr-, alacer lively, eager.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: amenability, gameness, goodwill, obligingness, willingness

62

Intimidate

in·tim·i·date\in-ˈti-mə-ˌdāt\
: to make (someone) afraid
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to make timid or fearful : frighten; especially : to compel or deter by or as if by threats
Other forms: in·tim·i·dat·ed; in·tim·i·dat·ing
in·tim·i·dat·ing·ly \-ˌdā-tiŋ-lē\ adverb
in·tim·i·da·tion \-ˌti-mə-ˈdā-shən\ noun
in·tim·i·da·tor \-ˈti-mə-ˌdā-tər\ noun
Examples
refusing to be intimidated by the manager's harsh stare, I demanded my money back
Origin: Medieval Latin intimidatus, past participle of intimidare, from Latin in- + timidus timid.
First use: 1646
Synonyms: blackjack, bogart, browbeat, bulldoze, bully, bullyrag, cow, hector, mau-mau, strong-arm, pick on

63

Scoff

scoff\ˈskäf, ˈskȯf\
noun
1 : an expression of scorn, derision, or contempt : gibe
2 : an object of scorn, mockery, or derision
Origin: Middle English scof, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to obsolete Dan skof jest; akin to OldFrisian skof mockery.
First use: 14th century
2scoff
intransitive verb
: to show contempt by derisive acts or language
transitive verb
: to treat or address with derision : mock
scoff·er noun
First use: 14th century

64

Brash

65

Promulgate

pro·mul·gate\ˈprä-məl-ˌgāt; prō-ˈməl-, prə-ˈ, ˈprō-(ˌ)\
: to make (an idea, belief, etc.) known to many people
: to make (a new law) known officially and publicly
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to make (as a doctrine) known by open declaration : proclaim
2 a : to make known or public the terms of (a proposed law)
b : to put (a law) into action or force
synonyms see declare
Other forms: pro·mul·gat·ed; pro·mul·gat·ing
pro·mul·ga·tion \ˌprä-məl-ˈgā-shən; ˌprō-(ˌ)məl-, (ˌ)prō-ˌ\ noun
pro·mul·ga·tor \ˈprä-məl-ˌgā-tər; prō-ˈməl-, prə-ˈ, ˈprō-(ˌ)\ noun
Examples
the encyclical that promulgated the church's position on artificial birth control
Origin: Latin promulgatus, past participle of promulgare, from pro- forward + -mulgare (probably akin to mulgēre to milk, extract) — more at emulsion.
First use: 1530
Synonyms: advertise, annunciate, blare, blaze, blazon, broadcast, declare, enunciate, flash, give out, herald, placard, post, proclaim, announce, publicize, publish, release, sound, trumpet

66

Pugnacious

pug·na·cious\ˌpəg-ˈnā-shəs\
adjective
: showing a readiness or desire to fight or argue
Full Definition
: having a quarrelsome or combative nature : truculent
synonyms see belligerent
pug·na·cious·ly adverb
pug·na·cious·ness noun
pug·nac·i·ty \-ˈna-sə-tē\ noun
Examples
a movie reviewer who is spirited, even pugnacious, when defending her opinions
Origin: Latin pugnac-, pugnax, from pugnare to fight — more at pungent.
First use: 1642
Synonyms: aggressive, agonistic, argumentative, assaultive, bellicose, brawly, chippy, combative, confrontational, contentious, discordant, disputatious, feisty, gladiatorial, militant, belligerent, quarrelsome, scrappy, truculent, warlike
Antonyms: nonaggressive, nonbelligerent, pacific, peaceable, peaceful, unbelligerent, uncombative, uncontentious

67

Belittle

68

Tangible

tan·gi·ble\ˈtan-jə-bəl\
adjective
: easily seen or recognized
: able to be touched or felt
Full Definition
1 a : capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch : palpable
b : substantially real : material
2 : capable of being precisely identified or realized by the mind
3 : capable of being appraised at an actual or approximate value
synonyms see perceptible
tan·gi·bil·i·ty \ˌtan-jə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
tan·gi·ble·ness \ˈtan-jə-bəl-nəs\ noun
tan·gi·bly \-blē\ adverb
Origin: Late Latin tangibilis, from Latin tangere to touch.
First use: 1589
Synonyms: palpable, touchable
Antonyms: impalpable, intangible

2tan·gi·ble\ˈtan-jə-bəl\
noun
: something that is tangible (see 1tangible ); especially : an asset capable of being appraised at an actual or approximate value
Origin: (see 1tangible ).
First use: 1890
Synonyms: palpable, touchable
Antonyms: impalpable, intangible

69

Laceration

lac·er·a·tion\ˌla-sə-ˈrā-shən\
noun
: a deep cut or tear of the flesh
: the act of cutting or tearing flesh
Full Definition
1 : the act of lacerating
2 : a torn and ragged wound
Examples
the fall from the motocross bike left him with several lacerations from the sharp rocks
First use: 1597
Synonyms: incision, gash, rent, rip, slash, slit, tear

70

Sordid

sor·did\ˈsȯr-dəd\
adjective
: very bad or dishonest
: very dirty
Full Definition
1 : marked by baseness or grossness : vile
2 a : dirty, filthy
b : wretched, squalid
3 : meanly avaricious : covetous
4 : of a dull or muddy color
synonyms see mean
sor·did·ly adverb
sor·did·ness noun
Examples
he managed to rise above the sordid streets upon which he grew up
a sordid affair involving bribery and corruption in high places
Origin: Latin sordidus, from sordes dirt — more at swart.
First use: 1606
Synonyms: bedraggled, befouled, begrimed, bemired, besmirched, black, blackened, cruddy, dingy, draggled, dusty, filthy, foul, grimy, grotty [chiefly British], grubby, grungy, mucky, muddy, nasty, smudged, smutty, soiled, dirty, stained, sullied, unclean, uncleanly
Antonyms: clean, cleanly, immaculate, spick-and-span (or spic-and-span), spotless, stainless, ultraclean, unsoiled, unstained, unsullied

71

Octogenarian

oc·to·ge·nar·i·an\ˌäk-tə-jə-ˈner-ē-ən\
noun
: a person who is between 80 and 89 years old
Full Definition
: a person whose age is in the eighties
octogenarian adjective
Origin: Latin octogenarius containing eighty, from octogeni eighty each, from octoginta eighty, from octo eight + -ginta (akin to viginti twenty) — more at vigesimal.
First use: 1815

72

Scurrilous

scur·ri·lous\ˈskər-ə-ləs, ˈskə-rə-\
adjective
: said or done unfairly to make people have a bad opinion of someone
Full Definition
1 a : using or given to coarse language
b : vulgar and evil
2 : containing obscenities, abuse, or slander
scur·ri·lous·ly adverb
scur·ri·lous·ness noun
Examples
a scurrilous satire on the scandal that enveloped Washington
First use: 1576
Synonyms: contumelious, invective, opprobrious, scurrile (or scurril), abusive, truculent, vitriolic, vituperative, vituperatory

73

Solace

so·lace\ˈsä-ləs also ˈsō-\
transitive verb
1 : to give comfort to in grief or misfortune : console
2 a : to make cheerful
b : amuse
3 : allay, soothe
Other forms: so·laced; so·lac·ing
so·lace·ment \-mənt\ noun
so·lac·er noun
Origin: (see 2solace ).
First use: 13th century
Synonyms: cheer, consolation, relief, comfort
Synonyms: assure, cheer, console, reassure, comfort, soothe
Antonyms: distress, torment, torture, trouble

2so·lace\ˈsä-ləs also ˈsō-\
noun
: someone or something that gives a feeling of comfort to a person who is sad, depressed, etc. : a source of comfort
Full Definition
1 : comfort in grief : alleviation of grief or anxiety
2 : a source of relief or consolation
Origin: Middle English solas, from Anglo-French, from Latin solacium, from solari to console.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: cheer, consolation, relief, comfort
Synonyms: assure, cheer, console, reassure, comfort, soothe
Antonyms: distress, torment, torture, trouble

74

Aspirant

as·pi·rant\ˈas-p(ə-)rənt, ə-ˈspī-rənt\
noun
: a person who tries to become something : a person who aspires to do or to be something
Full Definition
: one who aspires
First use: 1738
Synonyms: applicant, applier, candidate, campaigner, contender, expectant, hopeful, prospect, seeker
Antonyms: noncandidate

2aspirant
adjective
: seeking to attain a desired position or status
First use: 1800
Synonyms: applicant, applier, candidate, campaigner, contender, expectant, hopeful, prospect, seeker
Antonyms: noncandidate

75

Dreg

dreg\ˈdreg\
noun
1 : sediment contained in a liquid or precipitated from it : lees — usually used in plural
2 : the most undesirable part — usually used in plural
3 : the last remaining part : vestige — usually used in plural
dreg·gy \ˈdre-gē\ adjective
Origin: Middle English, from Old Norse dregg; perhaps akin to Latin fraces dregs of oil.
First use: 14th century

76

Frenzy

77

Ethic

eth·ic\ˈe-thik\
noun
: rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad
: an area of study that deals with ideas about what is good and bad behavior : a branch of philosophy dealing with what is morally right or wrong
: a belief that something is very important
Full Definition
1 plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
2 a : a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values — often used in plural but singular or plural in construction
b plural but sing or plural in constr : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group
c : a guiding philosophy
d : a consciousness of moral importance
3 plural : a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness)
Origin: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin ethice, from Greek ēthikē, from ēthikos.
First use: 14th century

78

Clandestine

79

Rampant

ram·pant\ˈram-pənt also -ˌpant\
adjective
—used to describe something that is very common or that is spreading very quickly and in a way that is difficult to control
: growing quickly and in a way that is difficult to control
Full Definition
1 a : rearing upon the hind legs with forelegs extended
b : standing on one hind foot with one foreleg raised above the other and the head in profile — used of a heraldic animal
2 a : marked by a menacing wildness, extravagance, or absence of restraint
b : profusely widespread
ram·pant·ly adverb
Examples
the mayor promised to put a stop to the rampant crime that plagued the city
try to avoid the patch of rampant poison ivy near the resting spot on the trail
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French, present participle of ramper.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: abandoned, intemperate, raw, runaway, unbounded, unbridled, unchecked, uncontrolled, unhampered, unhindered, unrestrained
Antonyms: bridled, checked, constrained, controlled, curbed, governed, hampered, hindered, restrained, temperate

80

Concur

con·cur\kən-ˈkər, kän-\
: to agree with someone or something
Full Definition
intransitive verb
1 : to act together to a common end or single effect
2 a : approve
b : to express agreement
3 obsolete : to come together : meet
4 : to happen together : coincide
synonyms see agree
Other forms: con·curred; con·cur·ring
Examples
I concur with your assessment of the political situation
the lively 1960s, a decade in which the Cold War, the race to the moon, the Vietnam War, and the civil rights movement all concurred
all sides concurred to pass the reform legislation on campaign financing
Origin: Middle English concurren, from Latin concurrere, from com- + currere to run — more at car.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: coincide, agree
Antonyms: differ, disagree

81

Inane

82

Admonish

ad·mon·ish\ad-ˈmä-nish\
: to speak to (someone) in a way that expresses disapproval or criticism
: to tell or urge (someone) to do something
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 a : to indicate duties or obligations to
b : to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner
2 : to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to
synonyms see reprove
ad·mon·ish·er noun
ad·mon·ish·ing·ly \-ni-shiŋ-lē\ adverb
ad·mon·ish·ment \-mənt\ noun
Examples
admonished her for littering
my physician is always admonishing me to eat more healthy foods
Origin: Middle English admonesten, from Anglo-French amonester, from Vulgar Latin *admonestare, alteration of Latin admonēre to warn, from ad- + monēre to warn — more at mind.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: rebuke, chide, reprimand, reproach, reprove, tick off

83

Duress

du·ress\du̇-ˈres also dyu̇-\
noun
: force or threats meant to make someone do something
Full Definition
1 : forcible restraint or restriction
2 : compulsion by threat; specifically : unlawful constraint
Examples
complied with the order only under duress
Origin: Middle English duresse, from Anglo-French duresce hardness, severity, from Latin duritia, from durus.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: arm-twisting, coercion, compulsion, constraint, force, pressure

84

Flagrant

fla·grant\ˈflā-grənt also ˈfla-\
adjective
: very bad : too bad to be ignored
Full Definition
1 archaic : fiery hot : burning
2 : conspicuously offensive ; especially : so obviously inconsistent with what is right or proper as to appear to be a flouting of law or morality
fla·grant·ly adverb
Examples
that was a flagrant violation of the rules
Origin: Latin flagrant-, flagrans, present participle of flagrare to burn — more at black.
First use: 1513
Synonyms: blatant, conspicuous, egregious, glaring, gross, obvious, patent, pronounced, rank, striking

85

Culprit

cul·prit\ˈkəl-prət, -ˌprit\
noun
: a person who has committed a crime or done something wrong
Full Definition
1 : one accused of or charged with a crime
2 : one guilty of a crime or a fault
3 : the source or cause of a problem
Examples
the police caught the culprit a mere two blocks from the scene of the crime
Origin: Anglo-French cul. (abbreviation of culpable guilty) + prest, prit ready (i.e., to prove it), from Latin praestus — more at presto.
First use: 1678
Synonyms: crook, criminal, felon, lawbreaker, malefactor, miscreant, offender

86

Inexorable

in·ex·o·ra·ble\(ˌ)i-ˈneks-rə-bəl, -ˈnek-sə-, -ˈneg-zə-rə-\
adjective
: not able to be stopped or changed
Full Definition
: not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped : relentless
in·ex·o·ra·bil·i·ty \(ˌ)i-ˌneks-rə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌnek-sə-, -ˌneg-zə-\ noun
in·ex·o·ra·ble·ness \-ˈneks-rə-bəl-nəs, -ˈnek-sə-, -ˈneg-zə-\ noun
in·ex·o·ra·bly \-blē\ adverb
Origin: Latin inexorabilis, from in- + exorabilis pliant, from exorare to prevail upon, from ex- + orare to speak — more at oration.
First use: 1542

87

Duplicity

du·plic·i·ty\du̇-ˈpli-sə-tē also dyu̇-\
noun
: dishonest behavior that is meant to trick someone
Full Definition
1 : contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially : the belying of one's true intentions by deceptive words or action
2 : the quality or state of being double or twofold
3 : the technically incorrect use of two or more distinct items (as claims, charges, or defenses) in a single legal action
Other forms: plural du·plic·i·ties
Examples
we were lucky not to be taken in by his duplicity
Origin: Middle English duplicite, from Middle French, from Late Latin duplicitat-, duplicitas, from Latin duplex.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: artifice, cheating, cozenage, craft, craftiness, crookedness, crookery, cunning, cunningness, deceitfulness, deception, deceptiveness, dishonesty, dissembling, dissimulation, double-dealing, dupery, deceit, fakery, foxiness, fraud, guile, guilefulness, wiliness
Antonyms: artlessness, forthrightness, good faith, guilelessness, ingenuousness, sincerity

88

Acrimonious

ac·ri·mo·ni·ous\ˌa-krə-ˈmō-nē-əs\
adjective
: angry and bitter
Full Definition
: caustic, biting, or rancorous especially in feeling, language, or manner
ac·ri·mo·ni·ous·ly adverb
ac·ri·mo·ni·ous·ness noun
Examples
an acrimonious parting between the two former friends
Origin: (see acrimony ).
First use: 1659
Synonyms: acrid, bitter, embittered, hard, rancorous, resentful, sore
Antonyms: unbitter

89

Paucity

pau·ci·ty\ˈpȯ-sə-tē\
noun
: a small amount ofsomething : an amount that is less than what is needed or wanted
Full Definition
1 : smallness of number : fewness
2 : smallness of quantity : dearth
Examples
a paucity of useful answers to the problem of traffic congestion at rush hour
Origin: Middle English paucite, from Latin paucitat-, paucitas, from paucus little — more at few.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: crunch, dearth, deficit, drought (also drouth), failure, famine, inadequacy, inadequateness, insufficiency, lack, lacuna, deficiency, pinch, poverty, scantiness, scarceness, scarcity, shortage, undersupply, want
Antonyms: abundance, adequacy, amplitude, opulence, plenitude, plenty, sufficiency, wealth

90

Elicit

elic·it\i-ˈli-sət\
: to get (a response, information, etc.) from someone
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to draw forth or bring out (something latent or potential)
2 : to call forth or draw out (as information or a response)
synonyms see educe
elic·i·ta·tion \i-ˌli-sə-ˈtā-shən, ˌē-\ noun
elic·i·tor \i-ˈli-sə-tər\ noun
Examples
the role elicited the actress's flair for comedy that previous directors had overlooked
Origin: Latin elicitus, past participle of elicere, from e- + lacere to allure.
First use: 1605
Synonyms: educe, evoke, inspire, raise

91

Pernicious

92

Impunity

im·pu·ni·ty\im-ˈpyü-nə-tē\
noun
: freedom from punishment, harm, or loss
Full Definition
: exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss
Examples
she mistakenly believed that she could insult people with impunity
Origin: Middle French or Latin; Middle French impunité, from Latin impunitat-, impunitas, from impune without punishment, from in- + poena punishment — more at pain.
First use: 1532
Synonyms: exemption, immunity

93

Tolerate

tol·er·ate\ˈtä-lə-ˌrāt\
transitive verb
: to allow (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) to exist, happen, or be done
: to experience (something harmful or unpleasant) without being harmed
: to accept the feelings, behavior, or beliefs of (someone)
Full Definition
1 : to endure or resist the action of (as a drug or food) without serious side effects or discomfort : exhibit physiological tolerance for
2 a : to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction
b : to put up with
synonyms see bear
Other forms: tol·er·at·ed; tol·er·at·ing
tol·er·a·tive \-ˌrā-tiv\ adjective
tol·er·a·tor \-ˌrā-tər\ noun
Examples
my boss simply doesn't tolerate tardiness
suffering a terrible headache, the poor woman couldn't tolerate all the noise the neighbors were making
Origin: Latin toleratus, past participle of tolerare to endure, put up with; akin to Old English tholian to bear, Latin tollere to lift up, latus carried (suppletive past participle of ferre), Greek tlēnai to bear.
First use: 1524
Synonyms: let, permit, suffer, allow
Antonyms: bar, block, constrain, prevent

94

Consternation

con·ster·na·tion\ˌkän(t)-stər-ˈnā-shən\
noun
: a strong feeling of surprise or sudden disappointment that causes confusion
Full Definition
: amazement or dismay that hinders or throws into confusion
Origin: French or Latin; French, from Latin consternation-, consternatio, from consternare to throw into confusion, from com- + -sternare, probably from sternere to spread, strike down — more at strew.
First use: 1604

95

Affluent

af·flu·ent\ˈa-(ˌ)flü-ənt also a-ˈflü- or ə-\
adjective
: having a large amount of money and owning many expensive things
Full Definition
1 : flowing in abundance
2 : having a generously sufficient and typically increasing supply of material possessions
synonyms see rich
af·flu·ent·ly adverb
Origin: Middle English, from Latin affluent-, affluens, present participle of affluere to flow to, flow abundantly, from ad- + fluere to flow — more at fluid.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: rich, deep-pocketed, fat, fat-cat, flush, loaded, moneyed (also monied), opulent, silk-stocking, wealthy, well-endowed, well-fixed, well-heeled, well-off, well-to-do
Antonyms: destitute, impecunious, impoverished, indigent, needy, penniless, penurious, poor, poverty-stricken
Synonyms: tributary, bayou, branch, confluent, feeder, influent
Antonyms: distributary, effluent

2af·flu·ent\ˈa-(ˌ)flü-ənt also a-ˈflü- or ə-\
noun
1 : a tributary stream
2 : a wealthy or affluent person
Origin: (see 1affluent ).
First use: 1818
Synonyms: rich, deep-pocketed, fat, fat-cat, flush, loaded, moneyed (also monied), opulent, silk-stocking, wealthy, well-endowed, well-fixed, well-heeled, well-off, well-to-do
Antonyms: destitute, impecunious, impoverished, indigent, needy, penniless, penurious, poor, poverty-stricken
Synonyms: tributary, bayou, branch, confluent, feeder, influent
Antonyms: distributary, effluent

96

Feasible

97

Discern

dis·cern\di-ˈsərn, -ˈzərn\
transitive verb
1 a : to detect with the eyes
b : to detect with senses other than vision
2 : to recognize or identify as separate and distinct : discriminate
3 : to come to know or recognize mentally
intransitive verb
: to see or understand the difference
dis·cern·er noun
dis·cern·ible also dis·cern·able \-ˈsər-nə-bəl, -ˈzər-\ adjective
dis·cern·ibly \-blē\ adverb
Examples
barely able to discern the garden gate through the mist
too young to discern between right and wrong
we're still trying to discern the meaning of that cryptic remark
Origin: Middle English, from Middle French discerner, from Latin discernere to separate, distinguish between, from dis- apart + cernere to sift — more at dis-, certain.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: behold, catch, descry, see, distinguish, espy, eye, look (at), note, notice, observe, perceive, regard, remark, sight, spot, spy, view, witness
Antonyms: confuse, mistake, mix (up)

98

Sally

sal·ly\ˈsa-lē\
noun
: a clever and funny remark
: a sudden attack in which a group of soldiers rush forward against an enemy
Full Definition
1 : an action of rushing or bursting forth; especially : a sortie of troops from a defensive position to attack the enemy
2 a : a brief outbreak : outburst
b : a witty or imaginative saying : quip
3 : a venture or excursion usually off the beaten track : jaunt
Other forms: plural sallies
Origin: Middle French saillie, from Old French, from saillir to rush forward, from Latin salire to leap; akin to Greek hallesthai to leap.
First use: 1560
Synonyms: jaunt, junket, outing, ramble, excursion, sashay, sortie, spin

2sally
intransitive verb
1 : to leap out or burst forth suddenly
2 : set out, depart — often used with forth
Other forms: sal·lied; sal·ly·ing
Examples
After having breakfast and packing our bags, we sallied forth on the next leg of our trip.
First use: 1560
Synonyms: jaunt, junket, outing, ramble, excursion, sashay, sortie, spin

99

Perverse

per·verse\(ˌ)pər-ˈvərs, ˈpər-ˌ\
adjective
: wrong or different in a way that others feel is strange or offensive
Full Definition
1 a : turned away from what is right or good : corrupt
b : improper, incorrect
c : contrary to the evidence or the direction of the judge on a point of law
2 a : obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable, or accepted : wrongheaded
b : arising from or indicative of stubbornness or obstinacy
3 : marked by peevishness or petulance : cranky
4 : marked by perversion
synonyms see contrary
per·verse·ly adverb
per·verse·ness noun
per·ver·si·ty \pər-ˈvər-sə-tē, -stē\ noun
Examples
how can you be so cheerful one day, and so perverse the next?
social conservatives who believe that Hollywood is a perverse world that exerts an unhealthy influence on the young
a fact so self-evident that not even the most perverse of opponents could deny it
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French purvers, pervers, from Latin perversus, from past participle of pervertere.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: choleric, crabby, cranky, cross, crotchety, fiery, grouchy, grumpy, irascible, peevish, irritable, pettish, petulant, prickly, quick-tempered, raspy, ratty, short-tempered, snappish, snappy, snarky, snippety, snippy, stuffy, testy, waspish
Antonyms: pure, uncorrupt, uncorrupted

100

Perfunctory

101

Chagrin

cha·grin\shə-ˈgrin\
noun
: a feeling of being frustrated or annoyed because of failure or disappointment
Full Definition
: disquietude or distress of mind caused by humiliation, disappointment, or failure
Origin: French, from chagrin sad.
First use: circa 1681
2cha·grin\shə-ˈgrin\
transitive verb
: to vex or unsettle by disappointing or humiliating
Other forms: cha·grined \-ˈgrind\; cha·grin·ing \-ˈgri-niŋ\
Origin: (see 1chagrin ).
First use: 1733

102

Precocious

103

Deride

de·ride\di-ˈrīd, dē-\
: to talk or write about (someone or something) in a very critical or insulting way : to say that (someone or something) is ridiculous or has no value
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to laugh at contemptuously
2 : to subject to usually bitter or contemptuous ridicule
synonyms see ridicule
Other forms: de·rid·ed; de·rid·ing
de·rid·er noun
de·rid·ing·ly \-ˈrī-diŋ-lē\ adverb
Examples
my brothers derided our efforts, but were forced to eat their words when we won first place
Origin: Latin deridēre, from de- + ridēre to laugh.
First use: circa 1526
Synonyms: ridicule, gibe (or jibe), jeer, laugh (at), mock, scout, shoot down, skewer

104

Disparage

dis·par·age\di-ˈsper-ij, -ˈspa-rij\
: to describe (someone or something) as unimportant, weak, bad, etc.
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to lower in rank or reputation : degrade
2 : to depreciate by indirect means (as invidious comparison) : speak slightingly about
synonyms see decry
Other forms: dis·par·aged; dis·par·ag·ing
dis·par·age·ment \-ij-mənt\ noun
dis·par·ag·er noun
dis·par·ag·ing adjective
dis·par·ag·ing·ly \-ij-iŋ-lē\ adverb
Examples
disparaged polo as a sport for the idle rich
Origin: Middle English, to degrade by marriage below one's class, disparage, from Anglo-French desparager to marry below one's class, from des- dis- + parage equality, lineage, from per peer.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: bad-mouth, belittle, cry down, denigrate, deprecate, depreciate, derogate, diminish, dis (also diss) [slang], discount, dismiss, decry, kiss off, minimize, play down, poor-mouth, put down, run down, talk down, trash, trash-talk, vilipend, write off
Antonyms: acclaim, applaud, exalt, extol (also extoll), glorify, laud, magnify, praise

105

Masticate

mas·ti·cate\ˈmas-tə-ˌkāt\
: to chew (food)
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to grind or crush (food) with or as if with the teeth : chew
2 : to soften or reduce to pulp by crushing or kneadingintransitive verb
: chew
Other forms: mas·ti·cat·ed; mas·ti·cat·ing
mas·ti·ca·tion \ˌmas-tə-ˈkā-shən\ noun
mas·ti·ca·tor \ˈmas-tə-ˌkā-tər\ noun
Examples
mindlessly masticated peanuts while watching the baseball game on TV
Origin: Late Latin masticatus, past participle of masticare, from Greek mastichan to gnash the teeth; akin to Greek masasthai to chew — more at mandible.
First use: 1562
Synonyms: champ, chaw, chew, chomp (on), crunch (on), gnaw (on), bite (on), nibble

106

Laudable

laud·able\ˈlȯ-də-bəl\
adjective
: deserving praise
Full Definition
: worthy of praise : commendable
laud·able·ness \ˈlȯ-də-bəl-nəs\ noun
laud·ably \-blē\ adverb
Examples
you showed laudable restraint in dealing with that ridiculously demanding customer
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: applaudable, commendable, creditable, estimable, admirable, meritorious, praiseworthy
Antonyms: censurable, discreditable, illaudable, reprehensible

107

Fiasco

fi·as·co\fē-ˈas-(ˌ)kō also -ˈäs-\
noun
: a complete failure
Other forms: plural fi·as·coes
Origin: French, from Italian, from fare fiasco, literally, to make a bottle.
First use: circa 1854
2fi·as·co\fē-ˈäs-(ˌ)kō, -ˈas-\
noun
: bottle, flask; especially : a bulbous long-necked straw-covered bottle for wine
Other forms: plural fi·as·coes also fi·as·chi \-(ˌ)kē\
Origin: Italian, from Late Latin flasco bottle — more at flask.
First use: 1887

108

Confidant

con·fi·dant\ˈkän-fə-ˌdänt also -ˌdant, -dənt\
noun
: a trusted friend you can talk to about personal and private things
Full Definition
: one to whom secrets are entrusted; especially : intimate
Examples
she's my confidant; I tell her everything without reservation
Origin: French confident, from Italian confidente, from confidente confident, trustworthy, from Latin confident-, confidens.
First use: 1646
Synonyms: alter ego, amigo, buddy, chum, compadre, comrade, friend, confidante, crony, familiar, intimate, mate [chiefly British], musketeer, pal
Antonyms: enemy, foe

109

Voluble

vol·u·ble\ˈväl-yə-bəl\
adjective
: talking a lot in an energetic and rapid way
Full Definition
1 : easily rolling or turning : rotating
2 : characterized by ready or rapid speech : glib, fluent
synonyms see talkative
vol·u·bil·i·ty \ˌväl-yə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
vol·u·ble·ness \ˈväl-yə-bəl-nəs\ noun
vol·u·bly \-blē\ adverb
Origin: Middle English, from Latin volubilis, from volvere to roll; akin to Old English wealwian to roll, Greek eilyein to roll, wrap.
First use: 15th century

110

Quell

quell\ˈkwel\
: to end or stop (something) usually by using force
: to calm or reduce (something, such as fear or worry)
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to thoroughly overwhelm and reduce to submission or passivity
2 : quiet, pacify
quell·er noun
Origin: Middle English, to kill, quell, from Old English cwellan to kill; akin to Old High German quellen to torture, kill, quāla torment, Lithuanian gelti to hurt.
First use: 13th century
Synonyms: clamp down (on), crack down (on), crush, put down, quash, repress, silence, slap down, snuff (out), squash, squelch, subdue, suppress, sit on
2quell
noun
1 obsolete : slaughter
2 archaic : the power of quelling
Origin: Middle English, from quellen to kill.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: clamp down (on), crack down (on), crush, put down, quash, repress, silence, slap down, snuff (out), squash, squelch, subdue, suppress, sit on

111

Obsolescence

ob·so·les·cence\-ˈle-sən(t)s\
noun
: the condition of no longer being used or useful : the condition of being obsolete
Full Definition
: the process of becoming obsolete or the condition of being nearly obsolete
First use: circa 1828

112

Dubious

113

Skirmish

skir·mish\ˈskər-mish\
noun
: a brief and usually unplanned fight during a war
: a minor or brief argument or disagreement
Full Definition
1 : a minor fight in war usually incidental to larger movements
2 a : a brisk preliminary verbal conflict
b : a minor dispute or contest between opposing parties
Origin: Middle English skyrmissh, alteration (influenced by Anglo-French eskermir to fence (with swords), protect, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German scirmen to protect, scirm shield) of skarmuch, from Anglo-French escarmuche, from Old Italian scaramuccia — more at screen.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: brush, hassle, run-in, scrape, encounter
2skirmish
intransitive verb
: to be involved in a skirmish
Full Definition
1 : to engage in a skirmish
2 : to search about (as for supplies) : scout around
skir·mish·er noun
Examples
Rebel groups are skirmishing with military forces.
The presidential candidates skirmished over their economic plans.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: brush, hassle, run-in, scrape, encounter

114

Implacable

im·pla·ca·ble\(ˌ)im-ˈpla-kə-bəl, -ˈplā-\
adjective
: opposed to someone or something in a very angry or determined way that cannot be changed
Full Definition
: not placable : not capable of being appeased, significantly changed, or mitigated
im·pla·ca·bil·i·ty \-ˌpla-kə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌplā-\ noun
im·pla·ca·bly \-ˈpla-kə-blē, -ˈplā-\ adverb
Examples
an implacable judge who knew in his bones that the cover-up extended to the highest levels of government
an implacable dedication to the proposition that everyone is entitled to a quality education
Origin: Middle English, from Latin implacabilis, from in- + placabilis placable.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: adamant, adamantine, bullheaded, dogged, hard, hardened, hardheaded, hard-nosed, headstrong, immovable, obstinate, inconvincible, inflexible, intransigent, mulish, obdurate, opinionated, ossified, pat, pertinacious, perverse, pigheaded, self-opinionated, self-willed, stiff-necked, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding, willful (or wilful)
Antonyms: acquiescent, agreeable, amenable, compliant, complying, flexible, pliable, pliant, relenting, yielding

115

Paroxysm

116

Jurisdiction

ju·ris·dic·tion\ˌju̇r-əs-ˈdik-shən\
noun
: the power or right to make judgments about the law, to arrest and punish criminals, etc.
: the power or right to govern an area
: an area within which a particular system of laws is used
Full Definition
1 : the power, right, or authority to interpret and apply the law
2 a : the authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate
b : the power or right to exercise authority : control
3 : the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised
synonyms see power
ju·ris·dic·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
ju·ris·dic·tion·al·ly adverb
Examples
the United States has no jurisdiction over Cuba
Origin: Middle English jurisdiccioun, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French jurisdiction, from Latin jurisdiction-, jurisdictio, from juris + diction-, dictio act of saying — more at diction.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: administration, authority, governance, government, rule, regime (also régime), regimen

117

Reprehensible

rep·re·hen·si·ble\ˌre-pri-ˈhen(t)-sə-bəl\
adjective
: very bad : deserving very strong criticism
Full Definition
: worthy of or deserving reprehension : culpable
rep·re·hen·si·bil·i·ty \-ˌhen(t)-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
rep·re·hen·si·ble·ness \-ˈhen(t)-sə-bəl-nəs\ noun
rep·re·hen·si·bly \-blē\ adverb
Examples
a reprehensible tyrant, who oppressed his country for decades, has finally been brought to justice
your behavior towards the other team was truly reprehensible, so you're being suspended from the next three games
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: blamable, censurable, culpable, blameworthy, reproachable
Antonyms: blameless, faultless, impeccable, irreproachable

118

Arbitrary

ar·bi·trary\ˈär-bə-ˌtrer-ē, -ˌtre-rē\
adjective
: not planned or chosen for a particular reason : not based on reason or evidence
: done without concern for what is fair or right
Full Definition
1 : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law
2 a : not restrained or limited in the exercise of power : ruling by absolute authority
b : marked by or resulting from the unrestrained and often tyrannical exercise of power
3 a : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something
b : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will
ar·bi·trari·ly \ˌär-bə-ˈtrer-ə-lē, -ˈtre-rə-\ adverb
ar·bi·trar·i·ness \ˈär-bə-ˌtrer-ē-nəs, -ˌtre-rē-\ noun
Examples
an arbitrary piano teacher who makes all her students do the same exercises over and over again
the order of the names of the 10 semifinalists is entirely arbitrary
a nation with no tradition of democracy, only a long history of arbitrary rulers
Origin: (see 1arbitrage ).
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: dictatorial, high-handed, imperious, peremptory, willful (or wilful)
Antonyms: methodical (also methodic), nonrandom, orderly, organized, regular, systematic, systematized

119

Fray

fray\ˈfrā\
transitive verb archaic
: scare; also : to frighten away
Origin: Middle English fraien, short for affraien to affray.
First use: 14th century
2fray
noun
: a usually disorderly or protracted fight, struggle, or dispute
First use: 14th century
3fray
transitive verb
1 a : to wear (as an edge of cloth) by or as if by rubbing : fret
b : to separate the threads at the edge of
2 : strain, irritate
intransitive verb
1 : to wear out or into shreds
2 : to show signs of strain
Origin: Middle English fraien, from Anglo-French freier, froier to rub, from Latin fricare — more at friction.
First use: 15th century
4fray
noun
: a raveled place or worn spot (as on fabric)
First use: 1630

120

Monolithic

121

Indigent

in·di·gent\ˈin-di-jənt\
adjective
: lacking money : very poor
Full Definition
1 : suffering from extreme poverty : impoverished
2 a archaic : deficient
b archaic : totally lacking in something specified
indigent noun
Examples
indigent people who require some outside assistance
Origin: Middle English, from Middle French, from Old French, from Latin indigent-, indigens, present participle of indigēre to need, from Old Latin indu + Latin egēre to need; perhaps akin to Old High German echerode poor.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: beggared, beggarly, broke, destitute, dirt-poor, down-and-out, famished, hard up, impecunious, impoverished, poor, necessitous, needful, needy, pauperized, penniless, penurious, poverty-stricken, skint [chiefly British], threadbare
Antonyms: affluent, deep-pocketed, fat, fat-cat, flush, moneyed (also monied), opulent, rich, silk-stocking, wealthy, well-heeled, well-off, well-to-do

122

Harass

ha·rass\hə-ˈras; ˈher-əs, ˈha-rəs\
: to annoy or bother (someone) in a constant or repeated way
: to make repeated attacks against (an enemy)
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 a : exhaust, fatigue
b (1) : to annoy persistently (2) : to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct
2 : to worry and impede by repeated raids
synonyms see worry
ha·rass·er noun
ha·rass·ment \-mənt\ noun
Examples
had been visibly harassed by the demands of the presidency
Origin: French harasser, from Middle French, from harer to set a dog on, from Old French hare, interjection used to incite dogs, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hier here — more at here.
First use: 1617
Synonyms: break, burn out, bust, do in, do up, drain, fag, fatigue, frazzle, exhaust, kill, knock out, outwear, tire, tucker (out), wash out, wear, wear out, weary

123

Turbulent

124

Effigy

ef·fi·gy\ˈe-fə-jē\
noun
: an image of a person
Full Definition
: an image or representation especially of a person; especially : a crude figure representing a hated person
Other forms: plural ef·fi·gies
in effigy : publicly in the form of an effigy
Origin: Middle French effigie, from Latin effigies, from effingere to form, from ex- + fingere to shape — more at dough.
First use: 1539

125

Flout

flout\ˈflau̇t\
: to break or ignore (a law, rule, etc.) without hiding what you are doing or showing fear or shame
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to treat with contemptuous disregard : scorn
intransitive verb
: to indulge in scornful behavior
synonyms see scoff
usage see flaunt
flout·er noun
Origin: probably from Middle English flouten to play the flute, from floute flute.
First use: 1551
Synonyms: despise, disregard, scorn

126

Oust

oust\ˈau̇st\
: to cause or force (someone or something) to leave a position of power, a competition, etc.
: to take the place of (someone or something)
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 a : to remove from or dispossess of property or position by legal action, by force, or by the compulsion of necessity
b : to take away (as a right or authority) : bar, remove
2 : to take the place of : supplant
synonyms see eject
Examples
The rebels ousted the dictator from power.
He was ousted as chairman.
The team was ousted from the tournament in the first round of the play-offs.
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French oster, ouster to take off, remove, oust, from Late Latin obstare to ward off, from Latin, to stand in the way, from ob- in the way + stare to stand — more at ob-, stand.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: banish, boot (out), bounce, cast out, chase, dismiss, drum (out), expel, extrude, kick out, eject, out, rout, run off, throw out, turf (out) [chiefly British], turn out
Antonyms: crown, enthrone, throne

127

Exacerbate

ex·ac·er·bate\ig-ˈza-sər-ˌbāt\
: to make (a bad situation, a problem, etc.) worse
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to make more violent, bitter, or severe
Other forms: ex·ac·er·bat·ed; ex·ac·er·bat·ing
ex·ac·er·ba·tion \-ˌza-sər-ˈbā-shən\ noun
Examples
a misconceived plan that only exacerbated the city's traffic problem
Origin: Latin exacerbatus, past participle of exacerbare, from ex- + acerbus harsh, bitter, from acer sharp — more at edge.
First use: 1660
Synonyms: aggravate, complicate, worsen
Antonyms: allay, alleviate, assuage, ease, help, mitigate, relieve

128

Forthwith

forth·with\(ˌ)fȯrth-ˈwith also -ˈwith\
adverb
: without delay
Full Definition
: immediately
Examples
if the fire alarm rings, leave the building forthwith
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: bang, directly, immediately, headlong, incontinently, instantaneously, instanter, instantly, now, PDQ, plumb, presently, promptly, pronto, right, right away, right now, right off, straightaway, straight off, straightway

129

Revert

re·vert\ri-ˈvərt\
intransitive verb
1 : to come or go back (as to a former condition, period, or subject)
2 : to return to the proprietor or his or her heirs at the end of a reversion
3 : to return to an ancestral type
re·vert·er noun
re·vert·ible \-ˈvər-tə-bəl\ adjective
Examples
after the national emergency had passed, the political parties abandoned their shotgun unity and reverted to their partisan squabbling
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French revertir, from Latin revertere, v.t., to turn back & reverti, v.i., to return, come back, from re- + vertere, verti to turn — more at worth.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: retrogress, return, regress
Antonyms: advance, develop, evolve, progress

130

Terminate

ter·mi·nate\ˈtər-mə-nət\
adjective
: coming to an end or capable of ending
Origin: Middle English, from Latin terminatus, past participle of terminare, from terminus.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: close out, complete, conclude, end, finish, round (off or out), close, wind up, wrap up
Antonyms: begin, commence, inaugurate, open, start
2ter·mi·nate\ˈtər-mə-ˌnāt\
: to end in a particular way or at a particular place
: to cause (something) to end
: to take a job away from (someone)
Full Definition
intransitive verb
1 : to extend only to a limit (as a point or line); especially : to reach a terminus
2 : to form an ending
3 : to come to an end in timetransitive verb
1 a : to bring to an end : close
b : to form the conclusion of
c : to discontinue the employment of
2 : to serve as an ending, limit, or boundary of
3 : assassinate, kill
synonyms see close
Other forms: ter·mi·nat·ed; ter·mi·nat·ing
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: close out, complete, conclude, end, finish, round (off or out), close, wind up, wrap up
Antonyms: begin, commence, inaugurate, open, start

131

Stymie

sty·mie\ˈstī-mē\
transitive verb
: to stop (someone) from doing something or to stop (something) from happening
Full Definition
: to present an obstacle to : stand in the way of
Other forms: sty·mied; sty·mie·ing
Examples
the raging blizzard stymied the rescuers' attempts to find the stranded mountain climbers
Origin: Scots stimie, stymie to obstruct a golf shot by interposition of the opponent's ball.
First use: 1902
Synonyms: clog, cramp, embarrass, encumber, fetter, handcuff, handicap, hinder, hobble, hog-tie, hold back, hold up, impede, inhibit, interfere (with), manacle, obstruct, shackle, short-circuit, hamper, tie up, trammel
Antonyms: aid, assist, facilitate, help

132

Cognizant

cog·ni·zant\ˈkäg-nə-zənt\
adjective
: aware of something
Full Definition
: knowledgeable of something especially through personal experience; also : mindful
synonyms see aware
Examples
not fully cognizant of the details of the trade agreement
Origin: (see cognizance ).
First use: 1820
Synonyms: alive, apprehensive, aware, conscious, mindful, sensible, sentient, ware, witting
Antonyms: insensible, oblivious, unaware, unconscious, unmindful, unwitting

133

Tranquil

134

Emaciate

ema·ci·ate\i-ˈmā-shē-ˌāt\
intransitive verb
: to waste away physicallytransitive verb
1 : to cause to lose flesh so as to become very thin
2 : to make feeble
Other forms: ema·ci·at·ed; ema·ci·at·ing
ema·ci·a·tion \-ˌmā-s(h)ē-ˈā-shən\ noun
Examples
without adequate medical supplies, doctors could only look on helplessly as cholera victims continued to emaciate
Origin: Latin emaciatus, past participle of emaciare, from e- + macies leanness, from macer lean — more at meager.
First use: 1646
Synonyms: decay, droop, weaken, fade, fail, flag, go, lag, languish, sag, sink, waste (away), wilt, wither

135

Surge

136

Sanctuary

sanc·tu·ary\ˈsaŋ(k)-chə-ˌwer-ē\
noun
: a place where someone or something is protected or given shelter
: the protection that is provided by a safe place
: the room inside a church, synagogue, etc., where religious services are held
Full Definition
1 : a consecrated place: as
a : the ancient Hebrew temple at Jerusalem or its holy of holies
b (1) : the most sacred part of a religious building (as the part of a Christian church in which the altar is placed) (2) : the room in which general worship services are held (3) : a place (as a church or a temple) for worship
2 a (1) : a place of refuge and protection (2) : a refuge for wildlife where predators are controlled and hunting is illegal
b : the immunity from law attached to a sanctuary
Other forms: plural sanc·tu·ar·ies
Examples
by law, anyone who sought refuge in a religious sanctuary was safe from arrest by the civil authorities
the marshland has been set aside as a sanctuary for shorebirds along that section of the coast
Origin: Middle English seintuarie, sanctuarie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin sanctuarium, from Latin sanctus.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: shrine, sanctum

137

Ascend

as·cend\ə-ˈsend\
: to go up : to rise or move toward the sky
: to slope or lead upward
: to rise toa higher or more powerful position in a government, company, etc.
Full Definition
intransitive verb
1 a : to move upward
b : to slope upward
2 a : to rise from a lower level or degree
b : to go back in time or in order of genealogical successiontransitive verb
1 : to go or move up
2 : to succeed to : occupy
as·cend·able or as·cend·ible \-ˈsen-də-bəl\ adjective
Examples
the path ascended so steeply at one point that we had to scramble up on our hands and knees
Origin: Middle English, from Latin ascendere, from ad- + scandere to climb — more at scan.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: arise, aspire, climb, lift, mount, rise, soar, thrust, up, uprise, upthrust, upturn
Antonyms: decline, descend, dip, drop, fall (off), plunge

138

Malnutrition

mal·nu·tri·tion\ˌmal-nu̇-ˈtri-shən, -nyu̇-\
noun
: the unhealthy condition that results from not eating enough food or not eating enough healthy food : poor nutrition
Full Definition
: faulty nutrition due to inadequate or unbalanced intake of nutrients or their impaired assimilation or utilization
First use: 1862

139

Privation

pri·va·tion\prī-ˈvā-shən\
noun
: a lack or loss of the basic things that people need to live properly
Full Definition
1 : an act or instance of depriving : deprivation
2 : the state of being deprived; especially : lack of what is needed for existence
Examples
the constant privation of sleep was starting to affect my work
Origin: Middle English privacion, from Anglo-French, from Latin privation-, privatio, from privare to deprive.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: deprivation, loss

140

Afflict

141

Besiege

be·siege\bi-ˈsēj, bē-\
: to surround a city, building, etc., with soldiers and try to take control of it
: to gather around (someone) in a way that is aggressive, annoying, etc.
: to overwhelm (someone) withtoo many questions or requests for things
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to surround with armed forces
2 a : to press with requests : importune
b : to cause worry or distress to : beset
Other forms: be·sieged; be·sieg·ing
be·sieg·er noun
Examples
armies besieged the city for six months before it finally surrendered
a family besieged by worries about the faltering economy
bereaved parents continued to besiege the president with pleas to end the war
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: beleaguer, blockade, invest, leaguer [archaic], lay siege to

142

Sinister

143

Ubiquitous

144

Remote

145

Harbinger

har·bin·ger\ˈhär-bən-jər\
noun
: something that shows what is coming
Full Definition
1 archaic : a person sent ahead to provide lodgings
2 a : one that pioneers in or initiates a major change : precursor
b : one that presages or foreshadows what is to come
synonyms see forerunner
Origin: Middle English herbergere, from Anglo-French, host, from herberge camp, lodgings, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German heriberga.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: angel, foregoer, forerunner, herald, outrider, precursor
Synonyms: adumbrate, forerun, foreshadow, herald, prefigure
2harbinger
transitive verb
: to be a harbinger of : presage
First use: 1646
Synonyms: angel, foregoer, forerunner, herald, outrider, precursor
Synonyms: adumbrate, forerun, foreshadow, herald, prefigure

146

Malignant

147

Thwart

thwart\ˈthwȯrt\
transitive verb
: to prevent (someone) from doing something or to stop (something) from happening
Full Definition
1 a : to run counter to so as to effectively oppose or baffle : contravene
b : to oppose successfully : defeat the hopes or aspirations of
2 : to pass through or across
synonyms see frustrate
thwart·er noun
Origin: Middle English thwerten, from thwert, adverb.
First use: 13th century
Synonyms: baffle, balk, beat, checkmate, discomfit, foil, frustrate
Antonyms: advance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nurture, promote
2thwart\ˈthwȯrt, nautical often ˈthȯrt\
adverb
: athwart
Origin: Middle English thwert, from Old Norse thvert, from neuter of thverr transverse, oblique; akin to Old High German dwerah transverse, oblique.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: baffle, balk, beat, checkmate, discomfit, foil, frustrate
Antonyms: advance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nurture, promote
3thwart
adjective
: situated or placed across something else : transverse
thwart·ly adverb
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: baffle, balk, beat, checkmate, discomfit, foil, frustrate
Antonyms: advance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nurture, promote
4thwart
noun
: a seat extending athwart a boat
Origin: alteration of obsolete thought, thoft, from Middle English thoft, from Old English thofte; akin to Old High German dofta rower's seat.
First use: circa 1736
Synonyms: baffle, balk, beat, checkmate, discomfit, foil, frustrate
Antonyms: advance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nurture, promote

148

Fretful

fret·ful\ˈfret-fəl\
adjective
: upset and worried
: not relaxing or restful
Full Definition
: disposed to fret : irritable, restless
fret·ful·ly \-fə-lē\ adverb
fret·ful·ness noun
First use: 1594

149

Respite

150

Excruciating

excruciating
adjective
: very painful : causing great mental or physical pain
: very severe
: extreme or excessive
Full Definition
1 : causing great pain or anguish : agonizing adverb
Examples
those who publicly disagreed with the government were subjected to excruciating torture
the excruciating heat that the settlers faced as they crossed the deserts of the Southwest
most excruciating of all was the endless wait for news of any survivors of the plane crash
First use: 1599
Synonyms: agonizing, harrowing, racking, raging, tormenting, torturing, torturous, wrenching
Antonyms: easy, light, soft

151

Reverberate

re·ver·ber·ate\-bə-ˌrāt\
: to continue in a series of quickly repeated sounds that bounce off a surface (such as a wall)
: to become filled with a sound
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : reflect
2 : repel
3 : echo
intransitive verb
1 a : to become driven back
b : to become reflected
2 : to continue in or as if in a series of echoes : resound
Other forms: re·ver·ber·at·ed; re·ver·ber·at·ing
Origin: Latin reverberatus, past participle of reverberare, from re- + verberare to lash, from verber rod — more at vervain.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: echo, reecho, resonate, resound, sound
2re·ver·ber·ate\-b(ə-)rət\
adjective
: reverberant
First use: 1603
Synonyms: echo, reecho, resonate, resound, sound

152

Succumb

suc·cumb\sə-ˈkəm\
intransitive verb
: to stop trying to resist something
: to die
Full Definition
1 : to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire
2 : to be brought to an end (as death) by the effect of destructive or disruptive forces
synonyms see yield
Examples
he finally succumbed and let his wife get rid of his dilapidated easy chair
refused to succumb to her fears and defiantly walked through the dark cemetery
the patient lay so still and pale that everyone thought he had succumbed, and then he opened his eyes
Origin: French & Latin; French succomber, from Latin succumbere, from sub- + -cumbere to lie down; akin to Latin cubare to lie.
First use: 1604
Synonyms: blink, bow, budge, capitulate, concede, give in, knuckle under, quit, relent, submit, yield, surrender
Antonyms: resist

153

Extortion

ex·tor·tion\ik-ˈstȯr-shən\
noun
: the crime of getting money from someone by the use of force or threats
Full Definition
1 : the act or practice of extorting especially money or other property; especially : the offense committed by an official engaging in such practice
2 : something extorted; especially : a gross overcharge
ex·tor·tion·er \-sh(ə-)nər\ noun
ex·tor·tion·ist \-sh(ə-)nist\ noun
Examples
six dollars for a cup of coffee is just plain extortion
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: fleecing, gouging, highway robbery, overcharging

154

Adverse

ad·verse\ad-ˈvərs, ˈad-ˌ\
adjective
: bad or unfavorable : not good
Full Definition
1 : acting against or in a contrary direction : hostile
2 a : opposed to one's interests ; especially : unfavorable
b : causing harm : harmful
3 archaic : opposite in position
ad·verse·ly adverb
ad·verse·ness noun
Examples
all the adverse publicity really caused the movie star's popularity to suffer
the adverse effects of the drug are too severe to allow it to be marketed
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French advers, from Latin adversus, past participle of advertere.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: counter, disadvantageous, hostile, inimical, negative, prejudicial, unfavorable, unfriendly, unsympathetic, untoward
Antonyms: advantageous, favorable, friendly, positive, supportive, sympathetic, well-disposed

155

Impresario

im·pre·sa·rio\ˌim-prə-ˈsär-ē-ˌō, -ˈser-, -ˈzär-\
noun
: a person who manages a performance (such as a concert or play)
Full Definition
1 : the promoter, manager, or conductor of an opera or concert company
2 : a person who puts on or sponsors an entertainment (as a television show or sports event)
3 : manager, director
Other forms: plural im·pre·sa·ri·os
Origin: Italian, from impresa undertaking, from imprendere to undertake, from Vulgar Latin *imprehendere — more at emprise.
First use: 1746

156

Bigot

big·ot\ˈbi-gət\
noun
: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person ; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)
Full Definition
: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
big·ot·ed \-gə-təd\ adjective
big·ot·ed·ly adverb
Examples
an incorrigible bigot who hasn't entertained a new thought in years
Origin: French, hypocrite, bigot.
First use: 1660
Synonyms: dogmatist, dogmatizer, partisan (also partizan), sectarian

157

Asset

as·set\ˈa-ˌset also -sət\
noun
: a valuable person or thing
: something that is owned by a person, company, etc.
Full Definition
1 plural
a : the property of a deceased person subject by law to the payment of his or her debts and legacies
b : the entire property of a person, association, corporation, or estate applicable or subject to the payment of debts
2 : advantage, resource
3 a : an item of value owned
b plural : the items on a balance sheet showing the book value of property owned
4 : something useful in an effort to foil or defeat an enemy: as
a : a piece of military equipment
b : spy
Examples
rumors persisted that CIA assets were behind the coup d'état
the team's strong pitching staff has become a real asset in its pursuit of a pennant
as a result of the booming economy, the college's assets grew dramatically over the course of the decade
Origin: back-formation from assets, singular, sufficient property to pay debts and legacies, from Anglo-French assetz, from asez enough, from Vulgar Latin *ad satis, from Latin ad to + satis enough — more at at, sad.
First use: 1531
Synonyms: agent, spy, emissary, intelligencer, mole, operative, spook, undercover
Antonyms: disadvantage, drawback, encumbrance, hindrance, impediment, minus

158

Spew

159

Entourage

en·tou·rage\ˌän-tu̇-ˈräzh\
noun
: a group of people who go with and assist an important person
Full Definition
1 : one's attendants or associates
2 : surroundings
Examples
the gaggle of hangers-on that passes for the rock star's entourage
Origin: French, from Middle French, from entourer to surround, from entour around, from en in (from Latin in) + tour circuit — more at turn.
First use: circa 1834
Synonyms: cortege, following, posse, retinue, suite, tail, train

160

Venom

ven·om\ˈve-nəm\
noun
: poison that is produced by an animal (such as a snake) and used to kill or injure another animal usually through biting or stinging
: a very strong feeling of anger or hatred
Full Definition
1 : poisonous matter normally secreted by some animals (as snakes, scorpions, or bees) and transmitted to prey or an enemy chiefly by biting or stinging; broadly : material that is poisonous
2 : ill will, malevolence
Origin: Middle English venim, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *venimen, alteration of Latin venenum magic charm, drug, poison; akin to Latin venus love, charm — more at win.
First use: 13th century
Synonyms: bane, toxic, toxin, poison
2venom
transitive verb
: envenom
First use: 14th century

161

Blatant

bla·tant\ˈblā-tənt\
adjective
: very obvious and offensive
Full Definition
1 : noisy especially in a vulgar or offensive manner : clamorous
2 : completely obvious, conspicuous, or obtrusive especially in a crass or offensive manner : brazen
synonyms see vociferous
bla·tant·ly adverb
Examples
a blatant clamor for the impeachment of the scandal-plagued governor
I take off points for blatant spelling errors
Origin: perhaps from Latin blatire to chatter.
First use: 1596
Synonyms: vociferous, caterwauling, clamant, clamorous, obstreperous, squawking, vociferant, vociferating, yawping (or yauping), yowling

162

Virulent

163

Loath

loath
adjective
: not wanting or willing to dosomething
Full Definition
: unwilling to do something contrary to one's ways of thinking : reluctant
synonyms see disinclined
loath·ness noun
Examples
She was loath to admit her mistakes.
He was loath to reveal his secrets.
Variants: also loth \ˈlōth, ˈlōth\ or loathe \ˈlōth, ˈlōth\
Origin: Middle English loth loathsome, from Old English lāth; akin to Old High German leid loathsome, Old Irish lius loathing.
First use: 12th century
Synonyms: cagey (also cagy), disinclined, dubious, indisposed, hesitant (also loth or loathe), reluctant, reticent
Antonyms: disposed, inclined

164

Solicit

so·lic·it\sə-ˈli-sət\
: to ask for (something, such as money or help) from people, companies, etc.
: to ask (a person or group) for money, help, etc.
: to offer to have sex with (someone) in return for money
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 a : to make petition to : entreat
b : to approach with a request or plea
2 : to urge (as one's cause) strongly
3 a : to entice or lure especially into evil
b : to proposition (someone) especially as or in the character of a prostitute
4 : to try to obtain by usually urgent requests or pleas
intransitive verb
1 : to make solicitation : importune
2 of a prostitute : to offer to have sexual relations with someone for money
synonyms see ask
Examples
solicited several opinions about which job he should accept
always ready to solicit donations for a charity
solicited him to join the team
Origin: Middle English, to disturb, promote, from Anglo-French solliciter, from Latin sollicitare to disturb, from sollicitus anxious, from sollus whole (from Oscan; akin to Greek holos whole) + citus, past participle of ciēre to move — more at safe, -kinesis.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: interview, poll, canvass, survey

165

Ineffectual

in·ef·fec·tu·al\ˌi-nə-ˈfek-chə(-wə)l, -ˈfeksh-wəl\
adjective
: not producing or able to produce the effect you want
Full Definition
1 : not producing the proper or intended effect : futile
2 : ineffective 2
in·ef·fec·tu·al·i·ty \-ˌfek-chə-ˈwa-lə-tē\ noun
in·ef·fec·tu·al·ly \-ˈfek-chə(-wə)-lē, -ˈfek-shwə-\ adverb
in·ef·fec·tu·al·ness noun
Examples
an ineffectual effort to find the trail again did at least lead them to another stunning view of the canyon
another ineffectual plan to lose weight without dieting or exercising
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: counterproductive, feckless, hamstrung, ineffective, inefficacious, inefficient, inexpedient
Antonyms: effective, effectual, efficacious, efficient, expedient, operant, ultraefficient

166

Astute

as·tute\ə-ˈstüt, a-, -ˈstyüt\
adjective
: having or showing an ability to notice and understand things clearly : mentally sharp or clever
Full Definition
: having or showing shrewdness and perspicacity ; also : crafty, wily
synonyms see shrewd
as·tute·ly adverb
as·tute·ness noun
Examples
a police detective known to be an astute judge of character
Origin: Latin astutus, from astus craft.
First use: 1565
Synonyms: shrewd, canny, clear-eyed, clear-sighted, hard-boiled, hardheaded, heady, knowing, savvy, sharp, sharp-witted, smart
Antonyms: unknowing

167

Advocate

ad·vo·cate\ˈad-və-kət, -ˌkāt\
noun
: a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy
: a person who works for a cause or group
: a person who argues for the cause of another person in a court of law
Full Definition
1 : one that pleads the cause of another; specifically : one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court
2 : one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal
3 : one that supports or promotes the interests of another
Origin: Middle English advocat, from Anglo-French, from Latin advocatus, from past participle of advocare to summon, from ad- + vocare to call, from voc-, vox voice — more at voice.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: exponent, advocator, apostle, backer, booster, champion, expounder, espouser, friend, gospeler (or gospeller), herald, hierophant, high priest, paladin, promoter, proponent, protagonist, supporter, true believer, tub-thumper, white knight
Antonyms: adversary, antagonist, opponent
Synonyms: support, back, champion, endorse (also indorse), patronize, plump (for), plunk (for) or plonk (for)
2ad·vo·cate\ˈad-və-ˌkāt\
: to support or argue for (a cause, policy, etc.)
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to plead in favor of
synonyms see support
Other forms: ad·vo·cat·ed; ad·vo·cat·ing
ad·vo·ca·tion \ˌad-və-ˈkā-shən\ noun
ad·vo·ca·tive \ˈad-və-ˌkā-tiv\ adjective
ad·vo·ca·tor \-ˌkā-tər\ noun
Origin: (see 1advocate ).
First use: 1599
Synonyms: exponent, advocator, apostle, backer, booster, champion, expounder, espouser, friend, gospeler (or gospeller), herald, hierophant, high priest, paladin, promoter, proponent, protagonist, supporter, true believer, tub-thumper, white knight
Antonyms: adversary, antagonist, opponent
Synonyms: support, back, champion, endorse (also indorse), patronize, plump (for), plunk (for) or plonk (for)

168

Malady

mal·a·dy\ˈma-lə-dē\
noun
: a disease or illness
Full Definition
1 : a disease or disorder of the animal body
2 : an unwholesome or disordered condition
Other forms: plural mal·a·dies
Examples
in the olden days people were always suffering from some unknown malady
Origin: Middle English maladie, from Anglo-French, from malade sick, from Latin male habitus in bad condition.
First use: 13th century
Synonyms: affection, ail, ailment, bug, complaint, complication, condition, disorder, distemper, distemperature, fever, ill, illness, infirmity, disease, sickness, trouble
Antonyms: health, wellness

169

Amicable

am·i·ca·ble\ˈa-mi-kə-bəl\
adjective
: showing a polite and friendly desire to avoid disagreement and argument
Full Definition
: characterized by friendly goodwill : peaceable
am·i·ca·bil·i·ty \ˌa-mi-kə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
am·i·ca·ble·ness \ˈa-mi-kə-bəl-nəs\ noun
am·i·ca·bly \-blē\ adverb
Examples
the contract negotiations between the hotel workers and management were reasonably amicable
finds his coworkers at his new job just as amicable as he ever could have hoped
Origin: Middle English, from Late Latin amicabilis (see amiable ).
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: agreeable, harmonious, compatible, congenial, frictionless, kindred, unanimous, united
Antonyms: disagreeable, discordant, disharmonious, disunited, incompatible, inharmonious, uncongenial
Synonym discussion: amicable neighborly friendly mean exhibiting goodwill and an absence of antagonism. amicable implies a state of peace and a desire on the part of the parties not to quarrel . neighborly implies a disposition to live on good terms with others and to be helpful on principle . friendly stresses cordiality and often warmth or intimacy of personal relations .

170

Nefarious

ne·far·i·ous\ni-ˈfer-ē-əs\
adjective
: evil or immoral
Full Definition
: flagrantly wicked or impious : evil
synonyms see vicious
ne·far·i·ous·ly adverb
Examples
the chaste heroines and nefarious villains of old-time melodramas
Origin: Latin nefarius, from nefas crime, from ne- not + fas right, divine law; perhaps akin to Greek themis law, tithenai to place — more at do.
First use: circa 1609
Synonyms: black, dark, evil, immoral, iniquitous, bad, rotten, sinful, unethical, unlawful, unrighteous, unsavory, vicious, vile, villainous, wicked, wrong
Antonyms: decent, ethical, good, honest, honorable, just, moral, right, righteous, sublime, upright, virtuous

171

Scrutinize

scru·ti·nize\ˈskrü-tə-ˌnīz\
: to examine (something) carefully especially in a critical way
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to examine closely and minutelyintransitive verb
: to make a scrutiny
Other forms: scru·ti·nized; scru·ti·niz·ing
scru·ti·niz·er noun
Examples
the project's time constraints make it impossible for the programmers to scrutinize every line of code, so some bugs should be expected
First use: 1671
Synonyms: audit, check (out), con, examine, overlook, oversee, review, scan, inspect, survey, view
Synonym discussion: scrutinize scan inspect examine mean to look at or over. scrutinize stresses close attention to minute detail . scan implies a surveying from point to point often suggesting a cursory overall observation . inspect implies scrutinizing for errors or defects . examine suggests a scrutiny in order to determine the nature, condition, or quality of a thing .

172

Vexatious

173

Desist

de·sist\di-ˈsist, -ˈzist, dē-\
: to stop doing something
Full Definition
intransitive verb
: to cease to proceed or act
synonyms see stop
de·sis·tance \-ˈsis-tən(t)s, -ˈzis-\ noun
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French desister, from Latin desistere, from de- + sistere to stand, stop; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand.
First use: 15th century

174

Premonition

pre·mo·ni·tion\ˌprē-mə-ˈni-shən, ˌpre-\
noun
: a feeling or belief that something is going to happen when there is no definite reason to believe it will
Full Definition
1 : previous notice or warning : forewarning
2 : anticipation of an event without conscious reason : presentiment
Examples
she had a premonition that her cat would somehow get hurt that day
Origin: Middle English premunition, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin premunition-, premunitio, alteration of Late Latin praemonitio, from Latin praemonēre to warn in advance, from prae- + monēre to warn — more at mind.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: foreboding, presage, presentiment, prognostication

175

Peruse

pe·ruse\pə-ˈrüz\
: to look at or read (something) in an informal or relaxed way
: to examine or read (something) in a very careful way
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 a : to examine or consider with attention and in detail : study
b : to look over or through in a casual or cursory manner
2 : read; especially : to read over in an attentive or leisurely manner
Other forms: pe·rused; pe·rus·ing
pe·rus·al \-ˈrü-zəl\ noun
pe·rus·er noun
Examples
perused the manuscript, checking for grammatical errors
Origin: Middle English, to use up, deal with in sequence, from Latin per- thoroughly + Middle English usen to use.
First use: 1532
Synonyms: read, pore (over)

176

Recoil

re·coil\ri-ˈkȯi(-ə)l\
: to quickly move away from something that is shocking, frightening, or disgusting : to react to something with shock or fear
of a gun : to move back suddenly when fired
Full Definition
intransitive verb
1 a : to fall back under pressure
b : to shrink back physically or emotionally
2 : to spring back to or as if to a starting point : rebound
3 obsolete : degenerate
Origin: Middle English reculen, recoilen, from Anglo-French reculer, recuiler, from re- + cul backside — more at culet.
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: blench, cringe, quail, flinch, shrink, squinch, wince
Synonym discussion: recoil shrink flinch wince blench quail mean to draw back in fear or distaste. recoil implies a start or movement away through shock, fear, or disgust . shrink suggests an instinctive recoil through sensitiveness, scrupulousness, or cowardice . flinch implies a failure to endure pain or face something dangerous or frightening with resolution . wince suggests a slight involuntary physical reaction (as a start or recoiling) . blench implies fainthearted flinching . quail suggests shrinking and cowering in fear .
2re·coil\ˈrē-ˌkȯi(-ə)l, ri-ˈkȯi(-ə)l\
noun
: the sudden backward movement of a gun that happens when the gun is fired
Full Definition
1 : the act or action of recoiling; especially : the kickback of a gun upon firing
2 : reaction
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: blench, cringe, quail, flinch, shrink, squinch, wince

177

Inclement

in·clem·ent\(ˌ)in-ˈkle-mənt, ˈin-klə-\
adjective
: having rain and storms
Full Definition
: lacking mildness: as
a archaic : severe in temper or action : unmerciful
b : physically severe : stormy
in·clem·ent·ly adverb
Examples
the weather report warned that the holiday weekend would be spoiled by inclement weather
Origin: Latin inclement-, inclemens, from in- + clement-, clemens clement.
First use: 1621
Synonyms: bleak, dirty, foul, nasty, raw, rough, squally, stormy, tempestuous, turbulent
Antonyms: bright, clear, clement, cloudless, fair, sunny, sunshiny, unclouded

178

Wan

179

Mastiff

mas·tiff\ˈmas-təf\
noun
: a type of large, powerful dog
Full Definition
: any of a breed of very large massive powerful smooth-coated dogs that are apricot, fawn, or brindle and are often used as guard dogs
Origin: Middle English mastif, from Medieval Latin mastivus, from Vulgar Latin *masuetivus, from Latin mansuetus tame — more at mansuetude.
First use: 14th century

180

Pertinent

per·ti·nent\ˈpər-tə-nənt, ˈpərt-nənt\
adjective
: relating to the thing that is being thought about or discussed
Full Definition
: having a clear decisive relevance to the matter in hand
synonyms see relevant
per·ti·nent·ly adverb
Examples
he impressed the jury with his concise, pertinent answers to the attorney's questions
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin pertinent-, pertinens, present participle of pertinēre (see pertain ).
First use: 14th century
Synonyms: applicable, apposite, apropos, germane, material, pointed, relative, relevant, to the point
Antonyms: extraneous, immaterial, impertinent, inapplicable, inapposite, irrelative, irrelevant, pointless

181

Obsess

ob·sess\əb-ˈses, äb-\
: to be the only person or thing that someone thinks or talks about
: to think and talk about someone or something too much
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to haunt or excessively preoccupy the mind of
intransitive verb
: to engage in obsessive thinking : become obsessed with an idea
Origin: Latin obsessus, past participle of obsidēre to frequent, besiege, from ob- against + sedēre to sit — more at ob-, sit.
First use: 1531

182

Doleful

183

Elusive

elu·sive\ē-ˈlü-siv, -ˈlü-ziv\
adjective
: hard to find or capture
: hard to understand, define, or remember
Full Definition
: tending to elude: as
a : tending to evade grasp or pursuit
b : hard to comprehend or define
c : hard to isolate or identify
elu·sive·ly adverb
elu·sive·ness noun
Examples
the giant squid is one of the ocean's most elusive inhabitants
Origin: (see elusion ).
First use: 1719
Synonyms: evasive, fugitive, slippery

184

Frustrate

frus·trate\ˈfrəs-ˌtrāt\
: to cause (someone) to feel angry, discouraged, or upset because of not being able to do something
: to prevent (efforts, plans, etc.) from succeeding : to keep (someone) from doing something
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 a : to balk or defeat in an endeavor
b : to induce feelings of discouragement in
2 a (1) : to make ineffectual : bring to nothing (2) : impede, obstruct
b : to make invalid or of no effect
Other forms: frus·trat·ed; frus·trat·ing
Origin: Middle English, from Latin frustratus, past participle of frustrare to deceive, frustrate, from frustra in error, in vain.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: baffle, balk, beat, checkmate, discomfit, foil, thwart
Antonyms: advance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nurture, promote

2frustrate
adjective
: characterized by frustration
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: baffle, balk, beat, checkmate, discomfit, foil, thwart
Antonyms: advance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nurture, promote

185

Histrionics

his·tri·on·ics\-niks\
noun plural but singular or plural in construction
: behavior that is too emotional or dramatic : histrionic behavior
Full Definition
1 : theatrical performances
2 : deliberate display of emotion for effect
First use: 1864

186

Symptomatic

187

Interject

in·ter·ject\ˌin-tər-ˈjekt\
: to interrupt what someone else is saying with (a comment, remark, etc.)
Full Definition
transitive verb
: to throw in between or among other things : interpolate
synonyms see introduce
in·ter·jec·tor \-ˈjek-tər\ noun
in·ter·jec·to·ry \-t(ə-)rē\ adjective
Examples
she occasionally interjected comments into the conversation
Origin: Latin interjectus, past participle of intericere, from inter- + jacere to throw — more at jet.
First use: 1588
Synonyms: edge in, fit (in or into), inject, insinuate, intercalate, insert, interpolate, interpose, intersperse, introduce, sandwich (in or between), work in

188

Imminent

im·mi·nent\ˈi-mə-nənt\
adjective
: happening very soon
Full Definition
: ready to take place; especially : hanging threateningly over one's head
im·mi·nent·ly adverb
Examples
a storm is imminent, so you should seek shelter now
an imminent development that should radically transform how we treat the disease
Origin: Latin imminent-, imminens, present participle of imminēre to project, threaten, from in- + -minēre (akin to Latin mont-, mons mountain) — more at mount.
First use: 1528
Synonyms: impending, looming, pending, threatening, around the corner
Antonyms: late, recent

189

Engross

en·gross\in-ˈgrōs, en-\
: to hold the complete interest or attention of (someone)
Full Definition
transitive verb
1 a : to copy or write in a large hand
b : to prepare the usually final handwritten or printed text of (an official document)
2 [Middle English, from Anglo-French engrosser, from en gros wholesale, in quantity]
a : to purchase large quantities of (as for speculation)
b archaic : amass, collect
c : to take or engage the whole attention of : occupy completely
en·gross·er noun
Examples
a mystery story that will engross readers all the way to the surprise ending
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French engrosser to put (a legal document) in final form, from Medieval Latin ingrossare, from in grossam (put) into final form, literally, (written) in large (letter).
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: absorb, bemuse, busy, catch up, engage, enthrall (or enthral), enwrap, fascinate, grip, immerse, interest, intrigue, involve, occupy

190

Squeamish

squea·mish\ˈskwē-mish\
adjective
: afraid to deal with or do things that might hurt or offend people
: having an unpleasantly nervous or doubtful feeling
: easily shocked, offended, or disgusted by unpleasant things
Full Definition
1 a : easily nauseated : queasy
b : affected with nausea
2 a : excessively fastidious or scrupulous in conduct or belief
b : easily offended or disgusted
squea·mish·ly adverb
squea·mish·ness noun
Examples
the rolling of the ship made her squeamish
Origin: Middle English squaymisch, modification of Anglo-French escoymous.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: ill, nauseated, qualmish, queasy (also queazy), queer, queerish, sick, sickish, nauseous

191

Salient

192

Inert

in·ert\i-ˈnərt\
adjective
: unable to move
: moving or acting very slowly
chemistry : not able to affect other chemicals when in contact with them : not chemically reactive
Full Definition
1 : lacking the power to move
2 : very slow to move or act : sluggish
3 : deficient in active properties; especially : lacking a usual or anticipated chemical or biological action
synonyms see inactive
inert noun
in·ert·ly adverb
in·ert·ness noun
Examples
the inert, abandoned factories that are scattered all over that dying city
a sleepy, inert reptile that is no threat to people when left alone
Origin: Latin inert-, iners unskilled, idle, from in- + art-, ars skill — more at arm.
First use: 1647
Synonyms: dead, dormant, fallow, free, idle, inactive, inoperative, latent, off, unused, vacant
Antonyms: active, alive, busy, employed, functioning, going, living, on, operating, operative, running, working