Flashcards in Analogous Words II Deck (100):
mean deserving of contempt because of the absence of higher values.
base stresses the ignoble and may suggest cruelty, treachery, greed, or grossness: base motives.
low may connote crafty cunning, vulgarity, or immorality and regularly implies an outraging of one's sense of decency or propriety: refused to listen to such low talk.
vile, the strongest of these words, tends to suggest disgusting depravity or filth: a vile remark.
mean to disturb or irritate by persistent acts.
worry implies an incessant goading or attacking that drives one to desperation: pursued a policy of worrying the enemy.
annoy implies disturbing one's composure or peace of mind by intrusion, interference, or petty attacks: you're doing that just to annoy me.
harass implies petty persecutions or burdensome demands that exhaust one's nervous or mental power: harassed on all sides by creditors.
harry may imply heavy oppression or maltreatment: the strikers had been harried by thugs.
plague implies a painful and persistent affliction: plagued all her life by poverty.
pester stresses the repetition of petty attacks: constantly pestered with trivial complaints.
tease suggests an attempt to break down one's resistance or rouse to wrath: children teased the dog.
mean not clearly understandable.
obscure implies a hiding or veiling of meaning through some inadequacy of expression or withholding of full knowledge: obscure poems.
dark implies an imperfect or clouded revelation often with ominous or sinister suggestion: muttered dark hints of revenge.
vague implies a lack of clear formulation due to inadequate conception or consideration: a vague sense of obligation.
enigmatic stresses a puzzling, mystifying quality: enigmatic occult writings.
cryptic implies a purposely concealed meaning: cryptic hints of hidden treasure.
ambiguous applies to language capable of more than one interpretation: an ambiguous directive.
equivocal applies to language left open to differing interpretations with the intention of deceiving or evading: moral precepts with equivocal phrasing.
mean not strong enough to endure strain, pressure, or strenuous effort.
weak applies to deficiency or inferiority in strength or power of any sort: felt weak after the surgery.
feeble suggests extreme weakness inviting pity or contempt: a feeble attempt to walk.
frail implies delicacy and slightness of constitution or structure: a frail teenager unable to enjoy sports.
fragile suggests frailty and brittleness unable to resist rough usage: a reclusive poet too fragile for the rigors of this world.
infirm suggests instability, unsoundness, and insecurity due to old age or crippling illness: infirm residents requiring constant care.
decrepit implies being worn-out or broken-down from long use or old age: the dowager's decrepit retainers.
mean arousing or deserving scorn.
contemptible may imply any quality provoking scorn or a low standing in any scale of values: a contemptible liar.
despicable may imply utter worthlessness and usually suggests arousing an attitude of moral indignation: a despicable crime.
pitiable applies to what inspires mixed contempt and pity: a pitiable attempt at tragedy.
sorry may stress pitiable inadequacy or may suggest wretchedness or sordidness: this rattletrap is a sorry excuse for a car.
scurvy adds to despicable an implication of arousing disgust: a scurvy crew of hangers-on.
mean conspicuously unclean or impure.
dirty emphasizes the presence of dirt more than an emotional reaction to it: a dirty littered street.
filthy carries a strong suggestion of offensiveness and typically of gradually accumulated dirt that begrimes and besmears: a stained greasy floor, utterly filthy.
foul implies extreme offensiveness and an accumulation of what is rotten or stinking: a foul-smelling open sewer.
nasty applies to what is actually foul or is repugnant to one expecting freshness, cleanliness, or sweetness: it's a nasty job to clean up after a sick cat. In practice, nasty is often weakened to the point of being no more than a synonym of unpleasant or disagreeable: had a nasty fall / his answer gave her a nasty shock.
squalid adds to the idea of dirtiness and filth that of slovenly neglect: squalid slums.
All these terms are also applicable to moral uncleanness or baseness or obscenity.
dirty then stresses meanness or despicableness: don't ask me to do your dirty work
while filthy and foul describe disgusting obscenity or loathsome behavior: filthy street language / a foul story of lust and greed
and nasty implies a peculiarly offensive unpleasantness: a stand-up comedian known for nasty humor.
Distinctively, squalid implies sordidness as well as baseness and dirtiness: engaged in a series of squalid affairs.
mean to make inroads upon the property, territory, or rights of another.
trespass implies an unwarranted or unlawful intrusion: hunters trespassing on farmland.
encroach suggests gradual or stealthy entrance upon another's territory or usurpation of another's rights or possessions: the encroaching settlers displacing the native peoples.
infringe implies an encroachment clearly violating a right or prerogative: infringing a copyright.
invade implies a hostile and injurious entry into the territory or sphere of another: accused of invading their privacy.
mean to make an object of laughter of.
ridicule implies a deliberate often malicious belittling: consistently ridiculed everything she said.
deride suggests contemptuous and often bitter ridicule: derided their efforts to start their own business.
mock implies scorn often ironically expressed as by mimicry or sham deference: youngsters began to mock the helpless wino.
taunt suggests jeeringly provoking insult or challenge: hometown fans taunted the visiting team.
mean to undergo destructive dissolution.
decay implies a slow change from a state of soundness or perfection: a decaying mansion.
decompose stresses a breaking down by chemical change and when applied to organic matter a corruption: the strong odor of decomposing vegetation.
rot is a close synonym of decompose and often connotes foulness: fruit was left to rot in warehouses.
putrefy implies the rotting of animal matter and offensiveness to sight and smell: corpses putrefying on the battlefield.
spoil applies chiefly to the decomposition of foods: keep the ham from spoiling.
mean lying down.
prone implies a position with the front of the body turned toward the supporting surface: push-ups require a prone position.
supine implies lying on one's back and suggests inertness or abjectness: lying supine on the couch.
prostrate implies lying full-length as in submission, defeat, or physical collapse: a runner fell prostrate at the finish line.
recumbent implies the posture of one sleeping or resting .
mean acute in perception and sound in judgment.
shrewd stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness and judgment: a shrewd judge of character.
sagacious suggests wisdom, penetration, and farsightedness: sagacious investors got in on the ground floor.
perspicacious implies unusual power to see through and understand what is puzzling or hidden: a perspicacious counselor saw through the child's facade.
astute suggests shrewdness, perspicacity, and diplomatic skill: an astute player of party politics.
mean to deprive of life.
kill merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner: killed in an accident / frost killed the plants.
slay is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive: slew thousands of the Philistines.
murder specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility: convicted of murdering a rival.
assassinate applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives: terrorists assassinated the Senator.
dispatch stresses quickness and directness in putting to death: dispatched the sentry with one bullet.
execute stresses putting to death as a legal penalty: executed by lethal gas.
mean right with respect to some end, need, use, or circumstance.
fit stresses adaptability and sometimes special readiness for use or action: fit for battle.
suitable implies an answering to requirements or demands: clothes suitable for camping.
meet suggests a just proportioning: meet payment.
proper suggests a suitability through essential nature or accordance with custom: proper acknowledgement.
appropriate implies eminent or distinctive fitness: an appropriate gift.
fitting implies harmony of mood or tone: a fitting end.
apt connotes a fitness marked by nicety and discrimination: apt quotations.
happy suggests what is effectively or successfully appropriate: a happy choice of words.
felicitous suggests an aptness that is opportune, telling, or graceful: a felicitous phrase.
mean lacking in social refinement.
rude implies ignorance of or indifference to good form; it may suggest intentional discourtesy: rude behavior.
rough is likely to stress lack of polish and gentleness: rough manners.
crude may apply to thought or behavior limited to the gross, the obvious, or the primitive: a crude joke.
raw suggests being untested, inexperienced, or unfinished: turning raw youths into polished performers.
mean a troubled or engrossed state of mind or the thing that causes this.
care implies oppression of the mind weighed down by responsibility or disquieted by apprehension: a face worn by years of care.
concern implies a troubled state of mind because of personal interest, relation, or affection: crimes caused concern in the neighborhood.
solicitude implies great concern and connotes either thoughtful or hovering attentiveness toward another: acted with typical maternal solicitude.
anxiety stresses anguished uncertainty or fear of misfortune or failure: plagued by anxiety and self-doubt.
worry suggests fretting over matters that may or may not be real cause for anxiety: financial worries.
mean to get hold of by or as if by catching up with the hand.
take is a general term applicable to any manner of getting something into one's possession or control: take some salad from the bowl.
seize implies a sudden and forcible movement in getting hold of something tangible or an apprehending of something fleeting or elusive when intangible: seized the suspect.
grasp stresses a laying hold so as to have firmly in possession: grasp the handle and pull.
clutch suggests avidity or anxiety in seizing or grasping and may imply less success in holding:!clutching her purse.
snatch suggests more suddenness or quickness but less force than seize: snatched a doughnut and ran.
grab implies more roughness or rudeness than snatch: grabbed roughly by the arm.
mean having an incline approaching the perpendicular.
steep implies such sharpness of pitch that ascent or descent is very difficult: a steep hill / a steep dive.
abrupt implies a sharper pitch and a sudden break in the level: a beach with an abrupt drop-off.
precipitous applies to an incline approaching the vertical: the river winds through a precipitous gorge.
sheer suggests an unbroken perpendicular expanse: sheer cliffs that daunted the climbers.
mean to give money or its equivalent in return for something.
pay implies the discharge of an obligation incurred: paid their bills.
compensate implies a making up for services rendered: an attorney well compensated for her services.
remunerate clearly suggests paying for services rendered and may extend to payment that is generous or not contracted for: promised to remunerate the searchers handsomely.
satisfy implies paying a person what is required by law: all creditors will be satisfied in full.
reimburse implies a return of money that has been spent for another's benefit: reimbursed employees for expenses.
indemnify implies making good a loss suffered through accident, disaster, or warfare: indemnified the families of the dead miners.
repay stresses paying back an equivalent in kind or amount: repay a favor with a favor.
recompense suggests due return in amends, friendly repayment, or reward: passengers were recompensed for the delay.
mean to make an onslaught upon.
attack implies taking the initiative in a struggle: plan to attack the town at dawn.
assail implies attempting to break down resistance by repeated blows or shots: assailed the enemy with artillery fire.
assault suggests a direct attempt to overpower by suddenness and violence of onslaught: commandos assaulted the building from all sides.
bombard applies to attacking with bombs or shells: bombarded the city nightly.
storm implies attempting to break into a defended position: preparing to storm the fortress.
mean lacking steadiness or regularity in movement.
fitful implies intermittence, a succession of starts and stops or risings and fallings: fitful sleep.
spasmodic adds to fitful the implication of rapid or violent activity alternating with inactivity: spasmodic growth.
convulsive suggests the breaking of regularity or quiet by uncontrolled movement: convulsive shocks.
mean intense exaltation of mind and feelings.
ecstasy and rapture both suggest a state of trance or near immobility produced by an overpowering emotion.
ecstasy may apply to any strong emotion (as joy, fear, rage, adoration): religious ecstasy.
rapture usually implies intense bliss or beatitude: in speechless rapture.
transport applies to any powerful emotion that lifts one out of oneself and usually provokes vehement expression or frenzied action: in a transport of rage.
mean a power to see what is not evident to the average mind.
discernment stresses accuracy (as in reading character or motives or appreciating art): the discernment to know true friends.
discrimination stresses the power to distinguish and select what is true or appropriate or excellent: the discrimination that develops through listening to a lot of great music.
perception implies quick and often sympathetic discernment (as of shades of feeling): a novelist of keen perception into human motives.
penetration implies a searching mind that goes beyond what is obvious or superficial: lacks the penetration to see the scorn beneath their friendly smiles.
insight suggests depth of discernment coupled with understanding sympathy: a documentary providing insight into the plight of the homeless.
acumen implies characteristic penetration combined with keen practical judgment: a director of reliable box-office acumen.
mean to go after or on the track of something or someone.
chase implies going swiftly after and trying to overtake something fleeing or running: a dog chasing a cat.
pursue suggests a continuing effort to overtake, reach, or attain: pursued the criminal through narrow streets.
follow puts less emphasis upon speed or intent to overtake: friends followed me home in their car.
trail may stress a following of tracks or traces rather than a visible object: trail deer / trailed a suspect across the country.
mean to put on a false or deceptive appearance.
assume often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive: assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients.
affect implies making a false show of possessing, using, or feeling: affected an interest in art.
pretend implies an overt and sustained false appearance: pretended that nothing had happened.
simulate suggests a close imitation of the appearance of something: cosmetics that simulate a suntan.
feign implies more artful invention than pretend, less specific mimicry than simulate: feigned sickness.
counterfeit implies achieving the highest degree of verisimilitude of any of these words: an actor counterfeiting drunkenness.
sham implies an obvious falseness that fools only the gullible: shammed a most unconvincing limp.
mean a thing made to seem other than it is.
imposture applies to any situation in which a spurious object or performance is passed off as genuine: their claim of environmental concern is an imposture.
fraud usually implies a deliberate perversion of the truth: the diary was exposed as a fraud.
sham applies to fraudulent imitation of a real thing or action: condemned the election as a sham.
fake implies an imitation of or substitution for the genuine but does not necessarily imply dishonesty: these jewels are fakes; the real ones are in the vault.
humbug suggests elaborate pretense usually so flagrant as to be transparent: creating publicity by foisting humbugs on a gullible public.
counterfeit applies especially to the close imitation of something valuable: 20-dollar bills that were counterfeits.
mean having lost all or nearly all hope.
despondent implies a deep dejection arising from a conviction of the uselessness of further effort: despondent about yet another rejection.
despairing suggests the slipping away of all hope and often despondency: despairing appeals for the return of the kidnapped child.
desperate implies despair that prompts reckless action or violence in the face of defeat or frustration: one last desperate attempt to turn the tide of battle.
hopeless suggests despair and the cessation of effort or resistance and often implies acceptance or resignation: the situation of the trapped miners is hopeless.
mean enduring for so long as to seem fixed or established.
lasting implies a capacity to continue indefinitely: a book that left a lasting impression on me.
permanent adds usually the implication of being designed or planned to stand or continue indefinitely: permanent living arrangements.
durable implies power to resist destructive agencies: durable fabrics.
stable implies lastingness because of resistance to being overturned or displaced: a stable government.
mean not lacking or faulty in any particular.
perfect implies the soundness and the excellence of every part, element, or quality of a thing frequently as an unattainable or theoretical state: a perfect set of teeth.
whole suggests a completeness or perfection that can be sought, gained, or regained: felt like a whole person again after vacation.
entire implies perfection deriving from integrity, soundness, or completeness of a thing: the entire Beethoven corpus.
intact implies retention of perfection of a thing in its natural or original state: the boat survived the storm intact.
mean to give up a position with no possibility of resuming it.
abdicate implies a giving up of sovereign power or sometimes an evading of responsibility such as that of a parent: abdicated the throne.
renounce may replace it but often implies additionally a sacrifice for a greater end: renounced her inheritance by marrying a commoner.
resign applies to the giving up of an unexpired office or trust: resigned from the board.
mean to arouse as if by pricking.
provoke directs attention to the response called forth: my stories usually provoke laughter.
excite implies a stirring up or moving profoundly: news that excited anger and frustration.
stimulate suggests a rousing out of lethargy, quiescence, or indifference: stimulating conversation.
pique suggests stimulating by mild irritation or challenge: that remark piqued my interest.
quicken implies beneficially stimulating and making active or lively: the high salary quickened her desire to have the job.
mean not easily aroused to activity.
lazy suggests a disinclination to work or to take trouble: take-out foods for lazy cooks.
indolent suggests a love of ease and a dislike of movement or activity: the heat made us indolent.
slothful implies a temperamental inability to act promptly or speedily when action or speed is called for: fired for being slothful about filling orders.
mean to honor and admire profoundly and respectfully.
revere stresses deference and tenderness of feeling: a professor revered by her students.
reverence presupposes an intrinsic merit and inviolability in the one honored and a similar depth of feeling in the one honoring: reverenced the academy's code of honor.
venerate implies a holding as holy or sacrosanct because of character, association, or age: heroes still venerated.
worship implies homage usually expressed in words or ceremony: worships their memory.
adore implies love and stresses the notion of an individual and personal attachment: we adored our doctor.
mean to interfere with the activity or progress of.
hinder stresses causing harmful or annoying delay or interference with progress: rain hindered the climb.
impede implies making forward progress difficult by clogging, hampering, or fettering: tight clothing that impedes movement.
obstruct implies interfering with something in motion or in progress by the sometimes intentional placing of obstacles in the way: the view was obstructed by billboards.
block implies complete obstruction to passage or progress: a landslide blocked the road.
mean to effect the destruction or abolition of something.
exterminate implies complete and immediate extinction by killing off all individuals: exterminate cockroaches.
extirpate implies extinction of a race, family, species, or sometimes an idea or doctrine by destruction or removal of its means of propagation: many species have been extirpated from the area.
eradicate implies the driving out or elimination of something that has established itself: a campaign to eradicate illiteracy.
uproot implies a forcible or violent removal and stresses displacement or dislodgment rather than immediate destruction: the war uprooted thousands.
mean unwilling to alter a predetermined course or purpose.
inflexible implies rigid adherence or even slavish conformity to principle: inflexible in their demands.
obdurate stresses hardness of heart and insensitivity to appeals for mercy or the influence of divine grace: obdurate in his refusal to grant clemency.
adamant implies utter immovability in the face of all temptation or entreaty: adamant that the work should continue.
mean sharp and stimulating to the mind or the senses.
pungent implies a sharp, stinging, or biting quality especially of odors: a cheese with a pungent odor.
piquant suggests a power to whet the appetite or interest through tartness or mild pungency: a piquant sauce.
poignant suggests something is sharply or piercingly effective in stirring one's emotions: felt a poignant sense of loss.
racy implies having a strongly characteristic natural quality fresh and unimpaired: spontaneous, racy prose.
mean to decrease in bulk or volume.
contract applies to a drawing together of surfaces or particles or a reduction of area or length: caused her muscles to contract.
shrink implies a contracting or a loss of material and stresses a falling short of original dimensions: the sweater will shrink when washed. condense implies a reducing of something homogeneous to greater compactness without significant loss of content: condense the essay into a paragraph.
compress implies a pressing into a small compass and definite shape usually against resistance: compressed cotton into bales.
constrict implies a tightening that reduces diameter: the throat is constricted by a tight collar.
deflate implies a contracting by reducing the internal pressure of contained air or gas: deflate the balloon.
mean firmly established.
inveterate applies to a habit, attitude, or feeling of such long existence as to be practically ineradicable or unalterable: an inveterate smoker.
confirmed implies a growing stronger and firmer with time so as to resist change or reform: a confirmed bachelor.
chronic suggests something that is persistent or endlessly recurrent and troublesome: a chronic complainer.
mean of uncertain outcome.
acute stresses intensification of conditions leading to a culmination or breaking point: an acute housing shortage.
critical adds to acute implications of imminent change, of attendant suspense, and of decisiveness in the outcome: the war has entered a critical phase.
crucial suggests a dividing of the ways and often a test or trial involving the determination of a future course or direction: a crucial vote.
mean culpably careless or indicative of such carelessness.
negligent implies inattention to one's duty or business: negligent about writing a note of thanks.
neglectful adds a more disapproving implication of laziness or deliberate inattention: a society callously neglectful of the poor.
lax implies a blameworthy lack of strictness, severity, or precision: a reporter lax about accurate quotation.
slack implies want of due or necessary diligence or care: slack workmanship.
remiss implies blameworthy carelessness shown in slackness, forgetfulness, or neglect: had been remiss in their familial duties.
mean exposing oneself to danger more than required by good sense.
adventurous implies a willingness to accept risks but not necessarily imprudence: adventurous pioneers.
venturesome implies eagerness for perilous undertakings: venturesome stunt pilots.
daring implies fearlessness in courting danger: daring mountain climbers.
daredevil stresses ostentation in daring: daredevil motorcyclists.
rash suggests imprudence and lack of forethought: a rash decision.
reckless implies heedlessness of probable consequences: a reckless driver.
foolhardy suggests a lack of good sense: the foolhardy sailor ventured into the storm.
mean fixed and unyielding in course or purpose.
obstinate implies usually an unreasonable persistence: an obstinate proponent of conspiracy theories.
dogged suggests an admirable often tenacious and unwavering persistence: pursued the story with dogged perseverance.
stubborn implies sturdiness in resisting change which may or may not be admirable: a person too stubborn to admit error.
pertinacious suggests an annoying or irksome persistence: a pertinacious salesclerk refusing to take no for an answer.
mulish implies a thoroughly unreasonable obstinacy: a mulish determination to have his own way.
mean including everything or everyone without exception.
whole implies that nothing has been omitted, ignored, abated, or taken away: read the whole book.
entire may suggest a state of completeness or perfection to which nothing can be added: the entire population was wiped out.
total implies that everything has been counted, weighed, measured, or considered: the total number of people present.
all may equal whole entire, or total: all proceeds go to charity.
mean a state of being free from doubt.
certainty and certitude are very close;
certainty may stress the existence of objective proof: claims that cannot be confirmed with scientific certainty.
while certitude may emphasize a faith in something not needing or not capable of proof: believes with certitude in an afterlife.
conviction applies especially to belief strongly held by an individual: holds firm convictions on every issue.
mean a judgment one holds as true.
opinion implies a conclusion thought out yet open to dispute: each expert seemed to have a different opinion.
view suggests a subjective opinion: very assertive in stating his views.
belief implies often deliberate acceptance and intellectual assent: a firm belief in her party's platform.
conviction applies to a firmly and seriously held belief: the conviction that animal life is as sacred as human.
persuasion suggests a belief grounded on assurance (as by evidence) of its truth: was of the persuasion that everything changes.
sentiment suggests a settled opinion reflective of one's feelings: her feminist sentiments are well-known.
mean agreeable or pleasant especially to the sense of taste.
palatable often applies to something that is found to be merely agreeable: butterflies that birds find palatable.
appetizing suggests a whetting of the appetite and applies to aroma and appearance as well as taste: appetizing hors d'oeuvres.
savory applies to both taste and aroma and suggests piquancy and often spiciness: dumplings with savory fillings.
tasty implies a pronounced taste: a tart and tasty pie.
toothsome stresses the notion of agreeableness and sometimes implies tenderness or daintiness: an enticing array of toothsome desserts.
mean to give as a favor or a right.
grant implies giving to a claimant or petitioner something that could be withheld: granted them a new hearing.
concede implies yielding something reluctantly in response to a rightful or compelling claim: even her critics concede she can be charming.
vouchsafe implies granting something as a courtesy or an act of gracious condescension: vouchsafed the secret to only a few chosen disciples.
accord implies giving to another what is due or proper: accorded all the honors befitting a head of state.
award implies giving what is deserved or merited usually after a careful weighing of pertinent factors: awarded the company a huge defense contract.
mean to produce or have an effect upon.
affect implies the action of a stimulus that can produce a response or reaction: the sight affected her to tears.
influence implies a force that brings about a change (as in nature or behavior): our beliefs are influenced by our upbringing.
touch may carry a vivid suggestion of close contact and may connote stirring, arousing, or harming: plants touched by frost / his emotions were touched by her distress.
impress stresses the depth and persistence of the effect: only one of the plans impressed him.
strike, similar to but weaker than impress, may convey the notion of sudden sharp perception or appreciation: struck by the solemnity of the occasion.
sway implies the acting of influences that are not resisted or are irresistible, with resulting change in character or course of action: politicians who are swayed by popular opinion.
mean to move from a lower to a higher place or position.
lift usually implies exerting effort to overcome resistance of weight: lift the chair while I vacuum.
raise carries a stronger implication of bringing up to the vertical or to a high position: scouts raising a flagpole.
rear may add an element of suddenness to raise: suddenly reared itself up on its hind legs.
elevate may replace lift or raise especially when exalting or enhancing is implied: elevated the taste of the public.
hoist implies lifting something heavy especially by mechanical means: hoisted the cargo on board.
heave implies lifting and throwing with great effort or strain: heaved the heavy crate inside.
boost suggests assisting to climb or advance by a push: boosted his brother over the fence.
mean superior to all others in influence or importance.
dominant applies to something that is uppermost because ruling or controlling: a dominant social class.
predominant applies to something that exerts, often temporarily, the most marked influence: a predominant emotion.
paramount implies supremacy in importance, rank, or jurisdiction: unemployment was the paramount issue in the campaign.
preponderant applies to an element or factor that outweighs all others in influence or effect: preponderant evidence in her favor.
mean to take the first step in a course, process, or operation.
begin , start , and commence are often interchangeable.
begin, opposed to end, is the most general: begin a trip / began dancing.
start, opposed to stop, applies especially to first actions, steps, or stages: the work started slowly.
commence can be more formal or bookish than begin or start: commence firing / commenced a conversation.
initiate implies taking a first step in a process or series that is to continue: initiated diplomatic contacts.
inaugurate suggests a beginning of some formality or notion of significance: the discovery of penicillin inaugurated a new era in medicine.
usher in is somewhat less weighty than inaugurate: ushered in a period of economic decline.
mean to cause to separate or break up.
scatter implies a force that drives parts or units irregularly in many directions: the bowling ball scattered the pins.
disperse implies a wider separation and a complete breaking up of a mass or group: police dispersed the crowd.
dissipate stresses complete disintegration or dissolution and final disappearance: the fog was dissipated by the morning sun.
dispel stresses a driving away or getting rid of as if by scattering: an authoritative statement that dispelled all doubt.
mean closely resembling each other.
similar implies the possibility of being mistaken for each other: all the houses in the development are similar.
analogous applies to things belonging in essentially different categories but nevertheless having many similarities: analogous political systems.
parallel suggests a marked likeness in the development of two things: the parallel careers of two movie stars.
mean the extent that lies within the powers of something (as to cover or control).
range is a general term indicating the extent of one's perception or the extent of powers, capacities, or possibilities: the entire range of human experience.
gamut suggests a graduated series running from one possible extreme to another: a performance that ran the gamut of emotions.
compass implies a sometimes limited extent of perception, knowledge, or activity: your concerns lie beyond the narrow compass of this study.
sweep suggests extent, often circular or arc-shaped, of motion or activity: the book covers the entire sweep of criminal activity.
scope is applicable to an area of activity, predetermined and limited, but somewhat flexible: as time went on, the scope of the investigation widened.
orbit suggests an often circumscribed range of activity or influence within which forces work toward accommodation: within that restricted orbit they tried to effect social change.
mean to disclose against one's will or inclination.
acknowledge implies the disclosing of something that has been or might be concealed: acknowledged an earlier peccadillo.
admit implies reluctance to disclose, grant, or concede and refers usually to facts rather than their implications: admitted the project was over budget.
own implies acknowledging something in close relation to oneself: must own I know little about computers.
avow implies boldly declaring, often in the face of hostility, what one might be expected to be silent about: avowed that he was a revolutionary
confess may apply to an admission of a weakness, failure, omission, or guilt: confessed a weakness for sweets.
mean unreal or unbelievable.
imaginary applies to something which is fictitious and purely the product of one's imagination: an imaginary desert isle.
fanciful suggests the free play of the imagination: a teller of fanciful stories.
visionary stresses impracticality or incapability of realization: visionary schemes.
fantastic implies incredibility or strangeness beyond belief: a fantastic world inhabited by monsters.
chimerical combines the implication of visionary and fantastic: chimerical dreams of future progress.
quixotic implies a devotion to romantic or chivalrous ideals unrestrained by ordinary prudence and common sense: a quixotic crusade.
mean to lead astray or frustrate usually by underhandedness.
deceive implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness: tried to deceive me about the cost.
mislead implies a leading astray that may or may not be intentional: I was misled by the confusing sign.
delude implies deceiving so thoroughly as to obscure the truth: we were deluded into thinking we were safe.
beguile stresses the use of charm and persuasion in deceiving: was beguiled by false promises.
mean being actually and exactly what is claimed.
authentic implies being fully trustworthy as according with fact: an authentic account of the perilous journey;
it can also stress painstaking or faithful imitation of an original: an authentic reproduction / authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
genuine implies actual character not counterfeited, imitated, or adulterated: genuine piety / genuine maple syrup;
it also connotes definite origin from a source: a genuine Mark Twain autograph.
bona fide implies good faith and sincerity of intention: a bona fide offer for the stock.
mean one who gives full loyalty and support to another.
follower may apply to people who attach themselves either to the person or beliefs of another: an evangelist and his followers.
adherent suggests a close and persistent attachment: adherents to Marxism.
disciple implies a devoted allegiance to the teachings of one chosen as a master: disciples of Gandhi.
partisan suggests a zealous often prejudiced attachment: partisans of the President.
mean given to or marked by strict discipline and firm restraint.
severe implies standards enforced without indulgence or laxity and may suggest harshness: severe military discipline.
stern stresses inflexibility and inexorability of temper or character: stern arbiters of public morality.
austere stresses absence of warmth, color, or feeling and may apply to rigorous restraint, simplicity, or self-denial: living an austere life in the country.
ascetic implies abstention from pleasure and comfort or self-indulgence as spiritual discipline: the ascetic life of the monks.
mean the act or opportunity of choosing or the thing chosen.
choice suggests the opportunity or privilege of choosing freely: freedom of choice.
option implies a power to choose that is specifically granted or guaranteed: the option of paying now or later.
alternative implies a need to choose one and reject another possibility: equally attractive alternatives.
preference suggests a choice guided by one's judgment or predilections: a preference for cool weather.
selection implies a range of choice: a varied selection of furniture.
election implies an end or purpose which requires exercise of judgment: doing a tax return forces certain elections on you.
mean having qualities that appeal to a cultivated taste.
choice stresses preeminence in quality or kind: choice fabric.
exquisite implies a perfection in workmanship or design that appeals only to very sensitive taste: an exquisite gold bracelet.
elegant applies to what is rich and luxurious but restrained by good taste: a sumptuous but elegant dining room.
rare suggests an uncommon excellence: rare beauty.
delicate implies exquisiteness, subtlety, and fragility: delicate craftsmanship.
dainty sometimes carries an additional suggestion of smallness and of appeal to the eye or palate: dainty sandwiches.
mean an intelligible feature by which a thing may be identified.
quality is a general term applicable to any trait or characteristic whether individual or generic: material with a silky quality.
property implies a characteristic that belongs to a thing's essential nature and may be used to describe a type or species: the property of not conducting heat.
character applies to a peculiar and distinctive quality of a thing or a class: remarks of an unseemly character.
attribute implies a quality ascribed to a thing or a being: the attributes of a military hero.
mean to move backward.
recede implies a gradual withdrawing from a forward or high fixed point in time or space: the flood waters gradually receded.
retreat implies withdrawal from a point or position reached: retreating soldiers.
retract implies drawing back from an extended position: a cat retracting its claws.
back is used with up, down, out, or off to refer to any retrograde motion: backed off on the throttle.
mean to drive or force out.
eject carries an especially strong implication of throwing or thrusting out from within as a physical action: ejected an obnoxious patron from the bar.
expel stresses a thrusting out or driving away especially permanently which need not be physical: a student expelled from college.
oust implies removal or dispossession by power of the law or by force or compulsion: police ousted the squatters.
evict chiefly applies to turning out of house and home: evicted for nonpayment of rent.
mean given to thrusting oneself into the affairs of others.
impertinent implies exceeding the bounds of propriety in showing interest or curiosity or in offering advice: resented their impertinent interference.
officious implies the offering of services or attentions that are unwelcome or annoying: officious friends made the job harder.
meddlesome stresses an annoying and usually prying interference in others' affairs: a meddlesome landlord.
intrusive implies a tactless or otherwise objectionable thrusting into others' affairs: tried to be helpful without being intrusive.
obtrusive stresses improper or offensive conspicuousness of interfering actions: expressed an obtrusive concern for his safety.
mean something that exhibits distinguishing characteristics in its category.
instance applies to any individual person, act, or thing that may be offered to illustrate or explain: an instance of history repeating itself.
case is used to direct attention to a real or assumed occurrence or situation that is to be considered, studied, or dealt with: a case of mistaken identity.
illustration applies to an instance offered as a means of clarifying or illuminating a general statement: a telling illustration of Murphy's Law.
example applies to a typical, representative, or illustrative instance or case: a typical example of bureaucratic waste.
sample implies a part or unit taken at random from a larger whole and so presumed to be typical of its qualities: show us a sample of your work.
specimen applies to any example or sample whether representative or merely existent and available: one of the finest specimens of the jeweler's art.
mean to tell beforehand.
foretell applies to the telling of the coming of a future event by any procedure or any source of information: seers foretold the calamity.
predict commonly implies inference from facts or accepted laws of nature: astronomers predicted an eclipse.
forecast adds the implication of anticipating eventualities and differs from predict in being usually concerned with probabilities rather than certainties: forecast snow.
prophesy connotes inspired or mystic knowledge of the future especially as the fulfilling of divine threats or promises: prophesying a new messiah.
prognosticate is used less often than the other words; it may suggest learned or skilled interpretation, but more often it is simply a colorful substitute for predict or prophesy: prognosticating the future.
mean a subjective response to a person, thing, or situation.
feeling denotes any partly mental, partly physical response marked by pleasure, pain, attraction, or repulsion; it may suggest the mere existence of a response but imply nothing about the nature or intensity of it: the feelings that once moved me are gone.
emotion carries a strong implication of excitement or agitation but, like feeling, encompasses both positive and negative responses: the drama portrays the emotions of adolescence.
affection applies to feelings that are also inclinations or likings: a memoir of childhood filled with affection for her family.
sentiment often implies an emotion inspired by an idea: her feminist sentiments are well known.
passion suggests a very powerful or controlling emotion: revenge became his ruling passion.
mean having the desire or disposition to please.
amiable implies having qualities that make one liked and easy to deal with: an amiable teacher not easily annoyed.
good-natured implies cheerfulness or helpfulness and sometimes a willingness to be imposed upon: a good-natured girl who was always willing to pitch in.
obliging stresses a friendly readiness to be helpful: our obliging innkeeper found us a bigger room.
complaisant often implies passivity or a yielding to others because of weakness: was too complaisant to protest a decision he thought unfair.
mean provoking laughter or mirth.
laughable applies to anything occasioning laughter: laughable attempts at skating.
ludicrous suggests absurdity that excites both laughter and scorn: a thriller with a ludicrous plot.
ridiculous suggests extreme absurdity, foolishness, or contemptibility: a ridiculous display of anger.
comic applies especially to what arouses thoughtful amusement: a comic character.
comical applies to what arouses spontaneous hilarity: a comical hat.
mean to come to possess or control by or as if by seizing.
catch implies the seizing of something in motion or in flight or in hiding: caught the dog as it ran by.
capture suggests taking by overcoming resistance or difficulty: capture an enemy stronghold.
trap snare entrap ensnare imply seizing by some device that holds the one caught at the mercy of the captor.
trap and snare apply more commonly to physical seizing: trap animals / snared butterflies with a net.
entrap and ensnare more often are figurative: entrapped the witness with a trick question / a sting operation that ensnared burglars.
bag implies shooting down a fleeing or distant prey: bagged a brace of pheasants.
mean apprehensible as real or existent.
perceptible applies to what can be discerned by the senses often to a minimal extent: a perceptible difference in sound to a careful listener.
sensible applies to whatever is clearly apprehended through the senses or impresses itself strongly on the mind: an abrupt, sensible drop in temperature.
palpable applies either to what has physical substance or to what is obvious and unmistakable: the tension in the air was almost palpable.
tangible suggests what is capable of being handled or grasped both physically and mentally: no tangible evidence of UFOs.
appreciable applies to what is distinctly discernible by the senses or definitely measurable: an appreciable increase in income.
ponderable suggests having definitely measurable weight or importance: exerted a ponderable influence on world events.
mean power exerted over the minds or behavior of others.
influence may apply to a force exercised and received consciously or unconsciously: used her influence to get the bill passed.
authority implies the power of winning devotion or allegiance or of compelling acceptance and belief: his opinions lacked authority.
prestige implies the ascendancy given by conspicuous excellence or reputation for superiority: the prestige of the newspaper.
weight implies measurable or decisive influence in determining acts or choices: their wishes obviously carried much weight.
credit suggests influence that arises from the confidence of others: his credit with the press.
mean actively engaged or occupied.
busy chiefly stresses activity as opposed to idleness or leisure: too busy to spend time with the children.
industrious implies characteristic or habitual devotion to work: industrious employees.
diligent suggests earnest application to some specific object or pursuit: very diligent in her pursuit of a degree.
assiduous stresses careful and unremitting application: assiduous practice.
sedulous implies painstaking and persevering application: a sedulous investigation of the murder.
mean to arrive at a mental conclusion.
infer implies arriving at a conclusion by reasoning from evidence; if the evidence is slight, the term comes close to surmise: from that remark, I inferred that they knew each other.
deduce often adds to infer the special implication of drawing a particular inference from a generalization: denied we could deduce anything important from human mortality.
conclude implies arriving at a necessary inference at the end of a chain of reasoning: concluded that only the accused could be guilty.
judge stresses a weighing of the evidence on which a conclusion is based: judge people by their actions.
gather suggests an intuitive forming of a conclusion from implications: gathered their desire to be alone without a word.
mean an attitude of mind that predisposes one to favor something.
predilection implies a strong liking deriving from one's temperament or experience: a predilection for travel.
prepossession suggests a fixed conception likely to preclude objective judgment of anything counter to it: a prepossession against technology.
prejudice usually implies an unfavorable prepossession and connotes a feeling rooted in suspicion, fear, or intolerance: a mindless prejudice against the unfamiliar.
bias implies an unreasoned and unfair distortion of judgment in favor of or against a person or thing: a strong bias toward the plaintiff.
mean not now showing signs of activity or existence.
latent applies to a power or quality that has not yet come forth but may emerge and develop: a latent desire for success.
dormant suggests the inactivity of something (as a feeling or power) as though sleeping: their passion had lain dormant.
quiescent suggests a usually temporary cessation of activity: the disease was quiescent.
potential applies to what does not yet have existence or effect but is likely soon to have: a potential disaster.
mean to concur with what has been proposed.
assent implies an act involving the understanding or judgment and applies to propositions or opinions: voters assented to the proposal.
consent involves the will or feelings and indicates compliance with what is requested or desired: consented to their daughter's going.
accede implies a yielding, often under pressure, of assent or consent: officials acceded to the prisoners' demands.
acquiesce implies tacit acceptance or forbearance of opposition: acquiesced to his boss's wishes.
agree sometimes implies previous difference of opinion or attempts at persuasion: finally agreed to come along.
subscribe implies not only consent or assent but hearty approval and active support: subscribes wholeheartedly to the idea.
mean assent to the truth of something offered for acceptance.
belief may or may not imply certitude in the believer: my belief that I had caught all the errors.
faith almost always implies certitude even where there is no evidence or proof: an unshakable faith in God.
credence suggests intellectual assent without implying anything about grounds for assent: a theory now given credence by scientists.
credit may imply assent on grounds other than direct proof: gave full credit to the statement of a reputable witness.
mean regret for sin or wrongdoing.
penitence implies sad and humble realization of and regret for one's misdeeds: absolution is dependent upon sincere penitence.
repentance adds the implication of a resolve to change: repentance accompanied by a complete change of character.
contrition stresses the sorrowful regret that constitutes true penitence: tearful expressions of contrition.
compunction implies a painful sting of conscience especially for contemplated wrongdoing: had no compunctions about taking back what is mine.
remorse suggests prolonged and insistent self-reproach and mental anguish for past wrongs and especially for those whose consequences cannot be remedied: thieves untroubled by feelings of remorse.
mean to come into or be in harmony regarding a matter of opinion.
agree implies complete accord usually attained by discussion and adjustment of differences: on some points we all can agree.
concur often implies approval of someone else's statement or decision: if my wife concurs, it's a deal.
coincide, used more often of opinions, judgments, wishes, or interests than of people, implies total agreement: their wishes coincide exactly with my desire.
mean to come or bring together into a group, mass, or unit.
gather is the most general term for bringing or coming together from a spread-out or scattered state: a crowd quickly gathered.
collect often implies careful selection or orderly arrangement: collected books on gardening.
assemble implies an ordered union or organization of persons or things often for a definite purpose: experts assembled for a conference.
congregate implies a spontaneous flocking together into a crowd or huddle: congregating under a shelter.
mean to come or cause to come to a conclusion.
decide implies previous consideration of a matter causing doubt, wavering, debate, or controversy: she decided to sell her house.
determine implies fixing the identity, character, scope, or direction of something: determined the cause of the problem.
settle implies a decision reached by someone with power to end all dispute or uncertainty: the dean's decision settled the campus alcohol policy.
rule implies a determination by judicial or administrative authority: the judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible.
resolve implies an expressed or clear decision or determination to do or refrain from doing something: he resolved to quit smoking.
mean to put between or among others.
introduce is a general term for bringing or placing a thing or person into a group or body already in existence: introduced a new topic into the conversation.
insert implies putting into a fixed or open space between or among: inserted a clause in the contract.
insinuate implies introducing gradually or by gentle pressure: insinuated himself into the group.
interpolate applies to the inserting of something extraneous or spurious: interpolated her own comments into the report.
intercalate suggests an intrusive inserting of something in an existing series or sequence: new chapters intercalated with the old.
interpose suggests inserting an obstruction or cause of delay: interpose barriers to communication.
interject implies an abrupt or forced introduction: interjected a question.
mean familiar through frequent or regular repetition.
usual stresses the absence of strangeness or unexpectedness: my usual order for lunch.
customary applies to what accords with the practices, conventions, or usages of an individual or community: the customary waiting period before the application is approved.
habitual suggests a practice settled or established by much repetition: a habitual morning routine.
wonted stresses habituation but usually applies to what is favored, sought, or purposefully cultivated: his wonted determination.
accustomed is less emphatic than wonted or habitual in suggesting fixed habit or invariable custom: accepted the compliment with her accustomed modesty.
mean of or belonging to actuality.
material implies formation out of tangible matter; used in contrast with spiritual or ideal it may connote the mundane, crass, or grasping: material values.
physical applies to what is perceived directly by the senses and may contrast with mental, spiritual, or imaginary: the physical benefits of exercise.
corporeal implies having the tangible qualities of a body such as shape, size, or resistance to force: artists have portrayed angels as corporeal beings.
phenomenal applies to what is known or perceived through the senses rather than by intuition or rational deduction: scientists concerned with the phenomenal world.
sensible stresses the capability of readily or forcibly impressing the senses: the earth's rotation is not sensible to us.
objective may stress material or independent existence apart from a subject perceiving it: no objective evidence of damage.
mean having knowledge of something.
aware implies vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences: aware of changes in climate.
cognizant implies having special or certain knowledge as from firsthand sources: not fully cognizant of the facts.
conscious implies that one is focusing one's attention on something or is even preoccupied by it: conscious that my heart was pounding.
sensible implies direct or intuitive perceiving especially of intangibles or of emotional states or qualities: sensible of a teacher's influence.
alive adds to sensible the implication of acute sensitivity to something: alive to the thrill of danger.
awake implies that one has become alive to something and is on the alert: a country always awake to the threat of invasion.
mean enjoying or providing a position of contentment and security.
comfortable applies to anything that encourages serenity, well-being, or complacency as well as physical ease: started feeling comfortable in our new surroundings.
cozy suggests warmth, shelter, assured ease, and friendliness: a cozy neighborhood coffee shop.
snug suggests having just enough space for comfort and safety but no more: a snug little cottage.
easy implies relief from or absence of anything likely to cause discomfort or constraint: living in easy circumstances.
restful applies to whatever induces or contributes to rest or relaxation: a quiet restful vacation.
mean to make someone or something yield.
force is the general term and implies the overcoming of resistance by the exertion of strength, power, or duress: forced to flee for their lives.
compel typically suggests overcoming of resistance or unwillingness by an irresistible force: compelled to admit my mistake.
coerce suggests overcoming resistance or unwillingness by actual or threatened violence or pressure: coerced into signing over the rights.
constrain suggests the effect of a force or circumstance that limits freedom of action or choice: constrained by conscience.
oblige implies the constraint of necessity, law, or duty: felt obliged to go.
mean intense emotion compelling action.
passion applies to an emotion that is deeply stirring or ungovernable: was a slave to his passions.
fervor implies a warm and steady emotion: read the poem aloud with great fervor.
ardor suggests warm and excited feeling likely to be fitful or short-lived: the ardor of their honeymoon soon faded.
enthusiasm applies to lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity: never showed much enthusiasm for sports.
zeal implies energetic and unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause: preaches with fanatical zeal.
mean interested in what is not one's personal or proper concern.
curious, a neutral term, basically connotes an active desire to learn or to know: children are curious about everything.
inquisitive suggests impertinent and habitual curiosity and persistent quizzing: dreaded the visits of their inquisitive relatives.
prying implies busy meddling and officiousness: prying neighbors who refuse to mind their own business.
mean to get the better of by force or strategy.
conquer implies gaining mastery of: Caesar conquered Gaul.
vanquish implies a complete overpowering: vanquished the enemy and ended the war.
defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals: the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas.
subdue implies a defeating and suppression: subdued the native tribes after years of fighting.
reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender: the city was reduced after a month-long siege.
overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle: overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks.
overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power: violently overthrew the old regime.
mean a number of individuals thought of as a group because of a common quality or qualities.
type may suggest strong and clearly marked similarity throughout the items included so that each is typical of the group: one of three basic body types.
kind may suggest natural grouping: a zoo seemingly having animals of every kind.
sort often suggests some disparagement: the sort of newspaper dealing in sensational stories.
nature may imply inherent, essential resemblance rather than obvious or superficial likenesses: two problems of a similar nature.
description implies a group marked by agreement in all details belonging to a type as described or defined: not all acts of that description are actually illegal.
character implies a group marked by distinctive likenesses peculiar to the type: research on the subject so far has been of an elementary character.
mean inclined to resist authority or control.
contrary implies a temperamental unwillingness to accept orders or advice: a contrary child.
perverse may imply wrongheaded, determined, or cranky opposition to what is reasonable or normal: a perverse, intractable critic.
restive suggests unwillingness or inability to submit to discipline or follow orders: tired soldiers growing restive.
balky suggests a refusing to proceed in a desired direction or course of action: a balky witness.
wayward suggests strong-willed capriciousness and irregularity in behavior: a school for wayward youths.
mean a usually obsequious flatterer or self-seeker.
parasite applies to one who clings to a person of wealth, power, or influence or is useless to society: a jet-setter with an entourage of parasites.
sycophant adds to this a strong suggestion of fawning, flattery, or adulation: a powerful prince surrounded by sycophants.
toady emphasizes the servility and snobbery of the self-seeker: cultivated leaders of society and became their toady.
leech stresses persistence in clinging to or bleeding another for one's own advantage: a leech living off his family and friends.
sponge stresses the parasitic laziness, dependence, and opportunism of the cadger: a shiftless sponge, always looking for a handout.
mean not sharp, keen, or acute.
dull suggests a lack or loss of keenness, zest, or pungency: a dull pain / a dull mind.
blunt suggests an inherent lack of sharpness or quickness of feeling or perception: a person of blunt sensibility.
obtuse implies such bluntness as makes one insensitive in perception or imagination: too obtuse to take the hint.
mean the faculty of executing well what one has devised.
art implies a personal, unanalyzable creative power: the art of choosing the right word.
skill stresses technical knowledge and proficiency: the skill of a glassblower.
cunning suggests ingenuity and subtlety in devising, inventing, or executing: a mystery plotted with great cunning.
artifice suggests technical skill especially in imitating things in nature: believed realism in film could be achieved only by artifice.
craft may imply expertness in workmanship: the craft of a master goldsmith.
mean attaining or seeking to attain one's ends by guileful or devious means.
sly implies furtiveness, lack of candor, and skill in concealing one's aims and methods: a sly corporate raider.
cunning suggests the inventive use of sometimes limited intelligence in overreaching or circumventing: the cunning fox avoided the trap.
crafty implies cleverness and subtlety of method: a crafty left-hander.
wily implies skill and deception in maneuvering: the wily fugitive escaped the posse.
tricky is more likely to suggest shiftiness and unreliability than skill in deception and maneuvering: a tricky political operative.
foxy implies a shrewd and wary craftiness usually involving devious dealing: a foxy publicity man planting stories.
artful implies indirectness in dealing and often connotes sophistication or cleverness: elicited the information by artful questioning.
slick emphasizes smoothness and guile: slick operators selling time-sharing.