- Her stress over spending so much money on a house ABATED when the real estate broker told her about the property's 15-year tax ABATEMENT.
formally give up the throne (or some other power or responsibility)
- King Edward VIII of England famously ABDICATED the throne in order to marry an American divorcée.
- Parents can be charged with neglect for ABDICATING their responsibilities towards their children.
- The teen's ABERRANT behavior made his family suspect that he was using drugs.
- Losing rather than gaining weight over the holidays is certainly an ABERRATION.
detest, regard with disgust
- "Go out with you?" she replied. "I abhor you! I would rather stab myself with a rusty bread knife than be your girlfriend!"
give up, renounce; repudiate, recant, or shun (especially formally or under oath)
- To become a citizen of the United States, you must ABJURE loyalty to the nation of your birth.
- Since enrolling in that nutrition class, she has ABJURED sugar and saturated fats.
rough, suitable for grinding or polishing (such as sandpaper); causing irritation or annoyance
- Could the inside of this mascot costume be any more abrasive? It's rubbing my skin raw! I have some seriously abrasive remarks for whoever designed this things.
reduce or lessen; shorten by omitting parts throughout while retaining the main idea
- Our romantic vacation was ABRIDGED when the babysitter called to say that the kids were sick and we should come home.
- Audio books are almost always ABRIDGED, since few people want to listen to a 200-hour book.
hold back, refrain (especially from something bad or unhealthy); decline to vote
- The church board voted on whether to hold an abstinence rally to encourage young people not to become sexually active; while most members voted in favor, one voted against and two ABSTAINED, with one ABSTAINER commenting that, as far as she knew, the chuch's teens were pretty abstemious already.
summit, peak, highest point
- The acme of my vacation was when I finally climed to the ACME of the mountain and enjoyed the gorgeous vista.
the practice of pursuing political or other goals through vigorous action, often including protests and demonstrations.
- Lindsay's parents had a hard time accepting that, after incurring $100,000 in student loans, their daughter had decided to enter the low-paying field of environmental ACTIVISM.
stick (to), such as with glue, or to a plan or belief
- I have a message board that ADHERES to my refrigerator with magnets; on it, I've written some affirmations to help me ADHERE to my diet plan.
mildly scold; caution, advise, or remind to do something
- She was an exacting boss who upbraided an employee for jamming the copier, yet she merely ADMONISHED her five-year-old for the same offense.
- Pioneer women persevered despite ADVERSE circumstances, even when fording a river - baby in one arm, leading a horse with the other - against an ADVERSE current.
speak or argue in favor of; a person who pleads for a cause or on behalf of another person
- I cannot possibly vote for a candidate who ADVOCATES oil drilling in federally protected nature preserves.
- Children often have ADVOCATES appointed to represent them in coourt.
concerning the appreciation of beauty or good taste, pertaining to the science of what is beautiful; a sense of beauty and taste of a particular time and place
- The twins were so different - one possessed a truly baroque AESTHETIC, preferring golden, gilded decor. The other lived in a world of pure logic, untouched by any AESTHETIC sense whatsoever; art did not move him, his house was bare, and he married his wife solely because she was a master of calculus.
warm and friendly, pleasant, approachable
- The professional wrestler played at belligerence in the ring, but in real life, he was quite an AFFABLE fellow - sociable, easy-going, and always ready to lend a hand.
fake behavior (such as in speech or dress) adopted to give a certain impression
- I'm annoyed whenever Americans move to England and suddenly start speaking with an affected British accent; such AFFECTATIONS, when practiced by celebrities, are only likely to alienate their fans.
make greater; exaggerate
- I can't stand when my coworker AGGRANDIZES her role in our group projects.
- Stop it with your constant self-AGGRANDIZING - we don't care how many automobiles you own!
gather together, amount to; constituting a whole made up of constituent parts
- While some of the company's divisions did better than others, in AGGREGATE, we made a profit.
- Concrete is created when crushed rock or glass is AGGREGATED with cement; in AGGREGATE, concrete is stronger than cement alone.
cheerful or speedy willingness
- Any boss wants an employee to respond with ALACRITY to his or her requests, handling them promptly and with enthusiasm.
cause to become unfriendly, hostile, or distant
- The talk-show host was trying to help, but only ALIENATED her viewers when she suggested that they cope with a tough economy by checking themselves into a spa.
lessen, make easier to endure
- The stimulus package has ALLEVIATED the pangs of the Great Recession, but times are still tough.
not clear, hard to understand, open to having several meanings or interpretations
- The meaning of this ancient text is AMBIGUOUS - either we are missing some cultural context, or else the writer actually wanted to be mysterious.