degrade or humble; to lower in rank, status, or esteem
- After messing up at work, the man faced a thorough ABASEMENT from his boss; when he realized he had forgotten his own wedding anniversary, he further ABASED himself in front of his wife.
temporary suspension, inactivity
- The baseball player's contract negotiations are in ABEYANCE while doctors try to determine whether his injuries will heal in time for the season.
side-by-side. The more common "abreast of" means keeping up with, staying aware of, or remaining equal in progress with.
- As the professor walked ABREAST down the street with her mentor, she was amazed that the old man, long since retired, still kept ABREAST OF all the latest developments in neurobiology.
cutting off; sudden termination; the separation of leaves, petals, or other parts from a plant or animal
- The ABSCISSION of leaves from the tree is normal in fall.
- An inflamed appendix calls for an immediate surgical ABSCISSION.
depart suddenly and secretively
- A robber ABSCONDS with stolen goods.
- People who eat in a restaurant and run out without paying - or criminals who jump bail - could also be said to be ABSCONDING.
a deep and vast space or cavity; anything profound or infinite
- Walking a tightrope over an active volcano, the acrobat was terrified of falling into the ABYSS.
- Now recovering, the patient remembered her experience with clinical depression as an ABYSS of hopelessness.
agree, give consent; assume power (usually as "accede to")
- While the Englishman was a strong believer in democracy, he had to ACCEDE that watching Prince Charles someday ACCEDE TO the throne would indeed be exciting.
gradual increase; an added part of addition
- He was pleased by the ACCRETION of money in his portfolio.
- Some charitable funds keep the principle in their accounts untouched and use only the ACCRETION for philanthropic purposes.
sour; harsh or severe
- Lemons are ACERBIC.
- Harsh comments are also ACERBIC, like putting lemon juice on a wound.
slightly acid or sour; sharp or caustic
- Grapefruit juice is ACIDULOUS.
- I'm skipping Thanksgiving this year just to avoid my mother's ACIDULOUS comments about what she thinks I ought to be doing with my life.
Keen, quick, accurate insight or judgment
- His political ACUMEN allowed him to bargain behind the scenes and get bills passed despite being in the minority party.
Make impure by adding inappropriate or inferior ingredients
- Some bars ADULTERATE top-shelf liquor by pouring cheaper brands into the more expensive brands' bottles.
give a rough outline of; foreshadow; reveal only partially; obscure
- When I took on the lead role in the movie, I agreed not to give away the plot, but I suppose I could give a brief ADUMBRATION of the premise.
dwelling or fortress built on a high place; the best of a bird of prey, such as an eagle or hawk, built on a mountain or cliff
- The billionaire smoked a cigar out his window and watched the riots in the streets below, safe in the AERIE of his penthouse apartment.
although, even though
- The village leader was illiterate ALBEIT highly intelligent.
- The trip was exciting, ALBEIT brief.
distant physically or emotionally; reserved; indifferent
- Perceiving her parents as cold and ALOOF, the child was naturally drawn to her warm, genial aunt.
blend, merge, or unite
- The AMALGAMATED Transit Union is so called because it contains many local unions of bus operators, subway operators, baggage handlers, etc.
- When turning her life story into a memoir, she AMALGAMATED two important relatives into a single character, even AMALGAMATING their names (Mary and Rose) into the character "Aunt Mary Rose."
improve; make better or more bearable
- If you spill water on your computer keyboard, you can AMELIORATE the damage by leaving the keyboard upside down to dry - it may still be ruined, but that's still the best chance you've got of saving it.
gradually pay off a debt, or gradually write off an asset
- A mortgage is a common form of AMORTIZED debt - spreading the payments out over as long as 30 years is not uncommon.
- On his company balance sheet, Joe AMORTIZED the value of his patent, estimating that the patent's value as an asset would decline steadily over the course of the year as competitors patented competing products.
something that is not in its correct historical time; a mistake in chronology, such as by assigning a person or event to the wrong time period
- The Queen of England is a bit of an ANACHRONISM, with her old-fashioned pillbox hats.
- Did you catch the ANACHRONISMS in the latest action blockbuster set in ancient Greece? One of the characters was wearing a wristwatch with his toga!
pain relief; inability to feel pain
- While natural-birth advocates decline ANALGESIA in childbirth, many women are very eager to take advantage of modern anesthesia.
- A disease of the spinal cord can cause ANALGESIA, which can be dangerous because the patient doesn't know when he has injured himself.
make void or null, cancel, abolish (usually of laws or other established rules)
- Can we appreciate the art of a murderer? For many, the value of these paintings is ANNULLED by the artist's crimes.
medicine that relieves pain; soothing, relieving pain
- While aspirin is a nice analgesic, the construction worker argued that, for sore and tired muscles, nothing beat the ANODYNE effects of a six-pack of beer.
be older than, precede in time; assign to an earlier date
- Dinosaurs ANTEDATE the first human beings by about 65 million years.
- Jamal didn't get around to writing the "Best Vocabulary Words of 2010" blog post until January 3rd, 2011, but he ANTEDATED the post for December 31st so at least the infrequent readers wouldn't notice.
directly opposed, opposite; involving antithesis
- Partying all night, every night, is ANTITHETICAL to one's academic performance.
person who deserts a party, cause, religion, etc.
- Many people considered "freedom fighters" by some are considered APOSTATES by others; some women's rights leaders in very conservative nations receive death threats from religious leaders who consider them APOSTATE.
pioneer of a reform movement
- In the 1980's, when low-fat diets were all the rage, Dr. Rubens became an APOSTLE of the Mediterranean diet, high in healthy fats, and traveled the world proselytizing to groups of physicians and nutritionists.
highly appropriate, suitable, or relevant
- He searched his brain for an APPOSITE word to describe wealthy American's addiction to consumer goods, until he discovered the neologism "affluenza."
inform, give notice to
- I can't believe you failed to APPRISE me that my child was biting the other children in his preschool class! If I had known, I could've addressed this issue before all the other parents threatened to sue!
praise or approval, especially formal approval
- In her speech for class president, she won the APPROBATION of her peers by promising not only to save the prom, but to raise enough money to make it free for everyone.
set aside or authorize (such as money) for a particular purpose; take for one's own use
- The School Board APPROPRIATED money for new textbooks.
- In putting together the perfect outfit for "Career Day" at her high school, Mackenzie APPROPRIATED her mother's stethoscope and her little brother's stuffed pig, making it clear to everyone that she wanted to be a veterinarian.
judge, umpire, person empowered to decide matters at hand
- Professional mediators ARBITRATE disputes.
- The principle said, "As the final ARBITER of what is and is not appropriate in the classroom, I demand that you take down that poster of the rapper Ice-T and his scantily-clad wife Coco."
Very passionate, devoted, or enthusiastic
- He was an ARDENT heavy metal lover and became offended anytime someone referred to Poison as a "hair band."
- They were so in love that not even meeting each other's awful relatives could dampen their ARDOR.
claim or take presumptuously or without the right to do so
- In order to build the oil pipeline, the government ARROGATED the land of many small farmers who are still fighting for compensation.
- The bride's mother ARROGATED the right to decide on the venue, the food, and even the wedding dress!
assign or credit to a certain cause or source
- He ASCRIBED his good grades to diligent studying.
- The young boy ASCRIBED to his imaginary friend all the powers he wished he had himself - being able to fly, having dozens of friends, and never having to eat his broccoli.
free from germs; lacking vitality, warmth, or emotion
- It is very important to perform surgery in an ASEPTIC environment, lest a patient contract SEPSIS (a systemic infection) and die.
- Not only did Marlene dump Tom via email, but the email was so ASEPTIC she might as well have been sending an interoffice memo, "That was ice cold," said Tom.
rigor, severity; harshness or sharpness of tone; roughness of surface
- Used to a more lax school environment, the freshman at military school was shocked by the ASPERITY of punishments meted out for even the most minor offenses, as well as the ASPERITY with which his drill sergeant bossed him around.
- The ASPERITY of her cheap, scratchy sweater made her wish she could afford cashmere.
damaging remarks, defamation, slander
- He could no longer work with his duplicitous business partner, who acted friendly to his face but then spewed ASPERSIONS about him behind his back.
- If you ASPERSE me one more time, I will sue you for libel!
attack violently, assault
- One strategy for winning in boxing is to simply ASSAIL your opponent with so many blows that he becomes disoriented.
- The debate team ASSAILED the opposition with more evidence than they could respond to.
persevering, diligent, constant
- Through ASSIDUOUS effort over a substantial period of time, anyone can develop a prodigious vocabulary.
weaken or thin out
- When you pull a piece of bubblegum so it becomes long and thin, you are ATTENUATING it.
- Sadly, the day care center was so understaffed that the carers' efforts were ATTENUATED, and many of the children barely received any attention at all.
in harmony; in sympathetic relationship
- Research shows that new mothers are keenly ATTUNED to their babies' cries; even those who were formerly heavy sleepers often find that they now wake up immediately when their babies need attention.
- In the sixth week of Melanie's foreign study program, she finally ATTUNED herself to life on a French farm.
telling the future, such as through supernatural means
- Value investors such as Warren Buffet (who attempt to buy shares in undervalued companies by analyzing the business themselves) consider others' attempts to "time the market" as mere AUGURY, equivalent to trying to predict rain by reading tea leaves.
venerable, majestic; inspiring admiration
- "I welcome you to this AUGUST institution, where Presidents and Nobel Prize winners have received the fruits of erudition," said the university president (rather bombastically) to the new crop of first-year students.
insatiable greed; a miserly desire to hoard wealth
- It is hard to fathom the sheer AVARICE of a company that would fraudulently overcharge a struggling school system for new computers.
self-evident truth requiring no proof; universsally or generally accepted principle
- Given the last decade of research into the brain - as well as our own experience trying to function while deprived of sleep or food - we must take as AXIOMATIC that the brain is influenced by the body.
swell or puff out; incease rapidly
- During the dot-com bubble, the university's investments BALLOONED to three times their former value.
lacking freshness and originality; cliché
- The drama professor despaired at reading another BANAL play from his uninspired students. "Oh look," he said sarcastically, "yet another young person has decided to write a play about a young person breaking free of society's constraints. Can you see me yawning?"
something that ruins or spoils
- Mosquitoes are the BANE of my existence! They just love me, and by "love" I mean ruin my summer!
- The closure of the hospital could not have been more BANEFUL to the already strained community.
howling in a deep way, like a dog or wolf
- The lonely dog BAYED all night.
- The mob BAYED for the so-called traitors to be put to death.
- The billionaire had been a mean and stingy fellow, but after his death, his BENEFICENT widow gave all his money to charity, even accompanying the donations with andwritten notes thanking the charities for all the good work they did.
personal inclination or tendency
- He had a pedantic BENT - he was just naturally inclined to correct people's grammar and otherwise act like an imperious schoolmaster.
- Even a vow of silence couldn't dampen the nun's garrulous BENT - even her paryers were verbose!
attack, overwhelm, crowd in on or surround
- The regiment was BESIEGED by attackers on all sides and finally surrendered.
- I cannot go out this weekend - I am BESIEGED by homework!
group of birds or other animals that stay close together; any large group
- The bar owner cringed when a BEVY of women in plastic tiaras came in - "Another drunken bachelorette party," he sighed.
to fork into two branches or divide into two halves
- The medical student carefully BIFURCATED the cadaver brain, separating it precisely into right and left hemishperes.
- The BIFURCATE tree stood tall, its two massive branches reaching for the sky.
cheat or defraud
- The con artist BILKED many elderly people out of their savings, promising to cure illnesses from diabetes to cancer with only 36 monthly payments of $99.99 - for which the victims received nothing but useless placebo pills.
disease that kills plants rapidly, or any cause of decay or destruction (noun); ruin or cause to wither (verb)
- Many potato farmers have fallen into poverty as a result of BLIGHT killing their corps.
- Gang violence is a BLIGHT on our school system, causing innocent students to fear even attending classes.
- Violence has BLIGHTED our town.
joyous, merry; excessively carefree (so as to ignore more important concerns)
- Delighted about making the cheerleading team, she BLITHELY skipped scross the street without looking, and just narrowly avoided being hit by a bus.
(of speech or writing) far too showy or dramatic than is appropriate; pretentious
- Professor Knutsen's friends joked that he became quite BOMBASTIC after a few drinks, once asking a woman in a bar, "Is your daddy an aesthete? Because you are the epitome of ineffable pulchritude." She replied, "I'm not impressed by your BOMBAST."
friendliness, open and simple good heartedness
- By the end of the summer, the campers were overflowing with BONHOMIE, vowing to remain Facebook friends forever.
shake, wave, or flourish, as a weapon
- The Renaissance Fair ended badly, with one drunken fellow BRANDISHING a sword and refusing to leave the ladies' dressing tent.
suffer or tolerate
- "You will do your homework every night before you go anywhere, you will do your chores, and you will be home by 9 p.m. I will BROOK no disobeying of these rules, young man!"
pertaining to shepherds; suggesting a peaceful and pleasant view of rural life
- The play was set in a BUCOLIC wonderland - while getting some shepherd's robes for the lead actor was no problem, the stagehands had a hard time bringing in a flock of sheep.
polish, make smooth and lustrous
- Mr.Hoffenstotter replaced all of the rustic wood doorknobs with newer models made of BURNISHED steel. "So shiny," said his delighted wife.
malicious lie intended to hurt someone's reputation; the act of telling such lies
- I've had enough of your CALUMNIOUS accusations! Admit that you made up all those wicked things about me, or I will see you in court when I sue you for slander!
rumor, a false or baseless story
- The idea that we only use 10% of our brains is a tired, old CANARD; actually, even the dumbest people use all of their brains.
chief, most important
- The CARDINAL rule of Fight Club is that you don't talk about Fight Club.
- Some precursors to the Constitution (such as documents governing the colonies) enumerated the rights of male property holders only. The U.S. Constitution took a more CATHOLIC approach, declaring that "All men are created equal." Today, policy writers would probably take CATHOLICISM a step further and write "All people."
trickery, deception by knowingly false arguments
- The defense lawyer's strategy for getting her client acquitted by knowingly misinterpreting words in an obscure precedent was nothing but CHICANERY.
- Nice try, passing off last week's homework as this week's by changing the date at the top. I've had enough of your CHICANERY, young man!
strictly limit a role, range of activity, or area; in math, to be constructed around so as to touch as many points as possible
- Suki's parents CIRCUMSCRIBED her after-school activities; she was permitted only to study and to join organizations directly related to academic subjects.
- A square CIRCUMSCRIBED in a circle has all four of its vertices on the circle's circumference.
- Our land is CIRCUMSCRIBED by hedges and fences.
cautious, prudent; careful to consider the circumstances and consequences
- Luann immediately forked over an initiation fee to become a vitamin distributor, but her more CIRCUMSPECT brother had a list of at least twenty questions he wanted answered before he would consider joining.
climb awkwardly or with difficulty, scramble
- The hiker had spent the last hour plodding lethargically up the side of the mountain, but when she caught sight of the summit, she excitedly began to CLAMBER up even the steepest inclines.
disgustingly or distastefully sweet
- I do like visiting our grandmother, but I can't stand those CLOYING movies she watches - last time it was some heart-tugging story where an orphan saves a suffering pony.
- I do like cake, but I find that honey-covered angel food cake positively cloying.
cause a liquid to become solid or semisolid
- Hemophilia is a medical condition in which the blood doesn't COAGULATE, meaning that a hemophiliac can easily bleed to death from a small wound.
- When making jam, use pectin to get the fruit to COAGULATE.
final part of a musical composition; an ending, esp. one that sums up what has come before.
- "You play this middle section twice, then move to the CODA," the music teacher explained to the child. "The CODA always comes last."
- Dropping my purse in a mud puddle right outside my own front door was a fine CODA to a horrible evening.
chest for storing valuables; financial resources, a treasury
- The dishonest employee called it "dipping into the company COFFERS," but the arresting officer called it "embezzlement."
- Rather than rent a safety-deposit box, I keep my priceless antique coins in a COFFER here at home.
conspire; cooperate for illegal or fraudulent purposes
- After two competing software companies doubled their prices on the same day, leaving consumers no lower-priced alternative, the federal government investigated the companies for COLLUSION.
concise but complete summary; a list or collection
- I could hardly bring my whole collection of poetry books on vacation, so instead, I brought a lightweight poetry COMPENDIUM containing a few selections each from thirty or so poets thought to represent various styles and eras.
- This movie review is unusually COMPENDIOUS - although a scant 500words, it tells every single thing that happens in the entire film.
eager to please; cheerfully complying
- Coming from a more uptight corporate background, Chris found the soup kitchen volunteers remarkably COMPLAISANT - when he asked the greeters to sweep the floor and the cooks to wash dishes, everyone happily moved to their new positions.
confuse, frustrate; mix up or make worse
- He was positively CONFOUNDED by a map that seemed to show "East Bethlehem" as being to the west of "West Bethlehem."
- He was already a little flummoxed in regards to differential equations, but reading an incorrectly-edited Wikipedia page on the topic only CONFOUNDED the problem.
suggest or imply in addition to the precise, literal meaning
- The word "titanic" simply means large or majestic, but because of the word's association with the sunken ship, "titanic" has a negative CONNOTATION to many people.
things that are opposing; either of two opposite things
- The Machiavellian among us would say that ethics and expedience are CONTRARIES - at some point, one must win out over the other.
remorseful; feeling sorry for one's offenses or sins
- He would have punished his son more severely for breaking his car's windshield in a "rock throwing contest," but the boy seemed truly CONTRITE.
rebellious; stubbornly disobedient
- The psychologist's book "Dealing With Your CONTUMACIOUS Teenager" would have sold many more copies to parents of rude and rebellious youth if only people knew what "CONTUMACIOUS" meant.
call together, as to a meeting
- The dean has CONVOKED this gathering to discuss the Honor Code.
treat as a pet, pamper
- The COSSETED toddler was lovingly wrapped up in his snow gear, so much so that he could barely even move his arms enough to make his first snowball.
close or exclusive group, clique
- The pop star never traveled anywhere without a COTERIE of assistants and managers.
greed, great or excessive desire
- The doctor's medical license was revoked after it was discovered that, out of sheer CUPIDITY, he had diagnosed people with illnesses they didn't have and pocketed insurance money for performing procedures they didn't need.
Bad-tempered, difficult person; grouch
- The college students' party was hampered by constant complaints from a CURMUDGEONLY neighbor who insisted that making noise after 8pm was unreasonable, and called the police over a single beer can on his lawn.
speak in an impassioned, pompous, or oratorical manner; give a formal speech
- After a drink or two, Gabe will DECLAIM all night about campaign finance reform - you won't be able get a word in edgewise in between all his grandstanding and "expertise."
- Not just any DECLIVITY can serve as a wheelchair ramp - I'm pretty sure this thing is too steep to pass regulations.
fix, mark, or define the boundaries of
- The role of an executive coach is DELIMITED by our code of conduct - we may not counsel people for psychological conditions, for instance.
a leader who lies and gains power by arousing the passions and especially prejudices of the people
- Political DEMAGOGUES lie and twist the facts, depending more on their natural charisma and ability to determine exactly what their audience wants to hear than any actual understanding or perspicacity.
show reluctance or object, especially for moral reasons
- When asked to name her favorite professor in the department, she DEMURRED - she was pretty sure that, if she said anything, it would come back to haunt her.
lacking consistency or order, disconnected, sporadic; going off topic
- Lulu said she'd been studying for the GRE for a year, but she had been doing so in only the most DESULTORY way - a few vocab words here and there, then nothing for a month, and practice tests whenever she felt like it, which was rarely.
- Don't mind my daughter - there's no need to let a toddler's DESULTORY remarks pull an adult conversation off track.
very sheer, fine, translucent
- The wedding dress was a confection of DIAPHANOUS silk, made of at least ten layers of the thin fabric, each layer of which was so fine you could see through it.
division into two parts or into two contradictory groups
- There is a DICHOTOMY in the sciences between theoretical or "pure" sciences such as physics and chemistry, and the life sciences, which often deal more with classifying than with theorizing.
formal or authoritative pronouncement; saying or proverb
- "A stitch in time saves nine" is an old DICTUM meaning that it's easier to solve a problem before it gets too big.
- The king's DICTUM stated that each feudal lord must provide a certain number of soldiers within three weeks' time.
lacking confidence, shy
- Natasha was so DIFFIDENT that she never believed her comments could be worth anything in class, even when she knew the answer.
spread widely, disseminate; dispersed, widely spread out, or wordy and going off-topic
- The spy attempted to root out the dissenters at the gala, but he was only able to detect a DIFFUSE sense of discontent all around the room.
- It will be very difficult to DIFFUSE the power among the people when transitioning from autocracy to democracy.
to become wider or make wider, cause to expand; to speak or write at length, elaborate upon
- The doctor gave her eye drops to make her pupils DILATE.
- These dinners at Professor Hwang's house usually run rather late - after the meal, he'll typically DILATE on his latest research for at least an hour.
slow, late; procrastinating or stalling for time
- Jack was suppposed to start his presentation ten minutes ago and he isn't even here? I'm not surprised - he's a DILATORY fellow.
person who takes up an art or activity for amusement only or in a superficial way
- The "arts center" in the rich neighborhood was populated by DILETTANTES - a sculpture here, a bit of music appreciation there, two weeks of painting class until they got bored and quit.
a funeral or mourning song or poem
- It was supposed to be a wedding march, but when the organist started playing, the reluctant bride thought the song sounded more like a DIRGE for her former, carefree life.
disconcerting, confusing, frustrating
- His fiancee's family said they were comfortable with the fact that he was of a different religion, but he found their constant probing about his beliefs quite DISCOMFITING.
- He hates telemarketers so much that he likes to DISCOMFIT them by asking them personal questions and suggesting he call them at their homes instead.
harsh or inharmonious in sound; disagreeing, incongruous
- In a graduation ceremony full of hopeful and congratulatory speeches, the salutatorian's address about the terrible economy struck a DISCORDANT note.
separate, distinct, detached, existing as individual parts
- Be sure to use quotation marks and citations as appropriate in your papaer in order to keep your ideas DISCRETE from those of the experts you are quoting.
- The advertising agency pitched us not on one campaign, but on three DISCRETE ideas.
belittle, put down; bring shame upon, discredit
- An Ad Hominem attack is a logical fallacy in which the arguer DISPARAGES his opponent rather than addressing the opponent's ideas.
- Your shoplifting arrest has DISPARAGED this family!
- He chose the college for two DISPARATE reasons: the strength of the computer science program, and the excellence of the hip-hop dance squad.
mislead, conceal the truth, put on a false appearance of
- Roxanne was used to DISSEMBLING in job interviews; when asked about the gap on her resume from 1999-2003, she would say, "Oh, I was out of the workforce fulfilling some obligations" - a somewhat misleading way to describe a prison stint.
- He won so much money at pool halls by DISSEMBLING inexperince, pretending at first that he had no idea how to even hold a pool cue; once bets were placed, he handily defeated his opponents.
dissolving, the state of having been dissolved; breaking bonds or breaking up of a group of people; death, disintegration; sinking into extreme hedonism, vice, and degradation
- Raoul went from garden-variety hedonism to utter DISSOLUTION - his three-day drug benders cost him his job and may land him in jail.
- Following the DISSOLUTION of the corporation and the liquidation of our assets, each investor will receive a cash payment proportional to his or her shareholding in the company.
female, esp. relating to the maternal side of the family; women or women's work; a staff that holds wool or flax for spinning
- In completing your medical history, please try to remember which illnesses occurred on the DISTAFF side of your family.
- Medical studies using all male study groups may produce results that cannot be replicated in DISTAFF subjects.
swell, expand, stretch, bloat
- The emergency room doctor constantly saw people who came in with DISTENDED bellies, sure that they had appendicitis; usually, it was just gas.
act indecisively; a state of fear or trembling excitement
- "Stop DITHERING," said the mother to her daughter. "Pick which sweater you want so I can pay for it and we can get out of here."
- The haunted house brought the children to a DITHER from which it was difficult for their parents to calm them down.
occurring every day; happening in the daytime (rather than at night)
- While many Americans rarely have a sit-down family meal, in many other cultures, dining as a family is a DIURNAL affair.
- Wall street is a DIURNAL neighborhood - hectic in the day, but quiet once people pile on the rush hour trains to go home.
person who applies doctrine in an impractical or rigid and close-minded way; merely theoretical, impractical, or fanatical about other people accepting one's ideas
- The old science professor was so DOCTRINAIRE that he refused to even consider any evidence that flew in the face of his own research, and thereby failed to recognize when his graduate students made an exciting new discovery.
- Don't be a DOCTRINAIRE - try actually considering the views of those you disagree with!
take off (such as clothes), put aside; remove one's hat as a gesture
- Before the spring break revelers could consider DOFFING their clothes, they saw the sign: "No skinny dipping."
- In my grandfather's day, it was considered polite to DOFF your hat when a lady entered the room; to us today, lifting your hat a few inches off your head and then putting it right back seems to some like a silly way to show respect.
join or fit together
- When the neuroscientist married an exercise physiologist, neither thought they'd end up working together, but when Dr. Marion Ansel received a grant to study how exercise improves brain function and Dr. Jim Ansel was assigned to her team, the two found that their careers DOVETAILED nicely.
funny in an odd way
- The play was a DROLL production - not laugh-out-loud hilarious, but funny especially because it was so strange. Who's ever seen a fairy tale be mistaken for a block of cheese?
person who is easily fooled or used; to fool or exploit
- The dashing rogue used flattery and lies to DUPE several old ladies out of their money.
- "I feel like a total DUPE," said Hazel Rosenbaum, 87. "I thought he and I were going to get married, but he really just wanted my Social Security checks."
deceit, double-dealling, acting in two different ways for the purpose of deception
- The campaign worker's DUPLICITY finally came to light when it was discovered that, despite rising to a trusted position within the local Workers Party, he was actually a registered National Party member and was feeding information back to his cronies.
grumpy, pessimistic, irritable; suffering from dyspepsia (indigestion)
- The DYSPEPTIC professor was so angered by a question from a student who hadn't done the homework that he actually stomped out of class.