Flashcards in Analogous Words III Deck (100):
mean having a smooth bright surface or appearance.
sleek suggests a smoothness or brightness resulting from attentive grooming or physical conditioning: a sleek racehorse.
slick suggests extreme smoothness that results in a slippery surface: slipped and fell on the slick floor.
glossy suggests a highly reflective surface: photographs having a glossy finish.
mean not demanding effort or involving difficulty.
easy is applicable either to persons or things imposing tasks or to activity required by such tasks: an easy college course.
facile often adds to easy the connotation of undue haste or shallowness: facile answers to complex questions.
simple stresses ease in understanding or dealing with because complication is absent: a simple problem in arithmetic.
light stresses freedom from what is burdensome: a light teaching load.
effortless stresses the appearance of ease and usually implies the prior attainment of artistry or expertness: moving with effortless grace.
smooth stresses the absence or removal of all difficulties, hardships, or obstacles: a smooth ride.
mean an indirect means to gain an end.
trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end: the tricks of the trade.
ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression: the ruses of smugglers.
stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy: the stratagem-filled game.
maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty: last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy.
artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention: the clever artifices of the stage.
wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements: used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself.
feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent: a feint toward the enemy's left flank..
mean a disposition to show kindness or compassion.
mercy implies compassion that forbears punishing even when justice demands it: threw himself on the mercy of the court.
charity stresses benevolence and goodwill shown in broad understanding and tolerance of others: show a little charity for the less fortunate.
clemency implies a mild or merciful disposition in one having the power or duty of punishing: the judge refused to show clemency.
grace implies a benign attitude and a willingness to grant favors or make concessions: by the grace of God.
leniency implies lack of severity in punishing: criticized the courts for excessive leniency.
mean unlike in kind or character.
different may imply little more than separateness but it may also imply contrast or contrariness: different foods.
diverse implies both distinctness and marked contrast: such diverse interests as dancing and football.
divergent implies movement away from each other and unlikelihood of ultimate meeting or reconciliation: went on to pursue divergent careers.
disparate emphasizes incongruity or incompatibility: disparate notions of freedom.
various stresses the number of sorts or kinds: tried various methods.
mean the right to govern or rule or determine.
power implies possession of ability to wield force, authority, or influence: the power to mold public opinion.
authority implies power for a specific purpose within specified limits: granted the authority to manage her estate.
jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits: the bureau having jurisdiction over parks.
control stresses the power to direct and restrain: you are responsible for the students under your control.
command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience: the army officer in command.
sway suggests the extent of exercised power or influence: the empire extended its sway over the region.
dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority: given dominion over all the animals.
mean the ability to exert effort.
power may imply latent or exerted physical, mental, or spiritual ability to act or be acted upon: the awesome power of flowing water.
force implies the actual effective exercise of power: used enough force to push the door open.
energy applies to power expended or capable of being transformed into work: a worker with boundless energy.
strength applies to the quality or property of a person or thing that makes possible the exertion of force or the withstanding of strain, pressure, or attack: use weight training to build your strength.
might implies great or overwhelming power or strength: the belief that might makes right.
mean to judge something with respect to its worth or significance.
estimate implies a judgment, considered or casual, that precedes or takes the place of actual measuring or counting or testing out: estimated the crowd at two hundred.
appraise commonly implies the fixing by an expert of the monetary worth of a thing, but it may be used of any critical judgment: having their house appraised.
evaluate suggests an attempt to determine relative or intrinsic worth in terms other than monetary: evaluate a student's work.
value equals appraise but without implying expertness of judgment: a watercolor valued by the donor at$500.
rate adds to estimate the notion of placing a thing according to a scale of values: a highly rated restaurant.
assess implies a critical appraisal for the purpose of understanding or interpreting, or as a guide in taking action: officials are trying to assess the damage.
mean to think about in order to arrive at a judgment or decision.
consider may suggest giving thought to in order to reach a suitable conclusion, opinion, or decision: refused even to consider my proposal.
study implies sustained purposeful concentration and attention to details and minutiae: study the plan closely.
contemplate stresses focusing one's thoughts on something but does not imply coming to a conclusion or decision: contemplate the consequences of refusing.
weigh implies attempting to reach the truth or arrive at a decision by balancing conflicting claims or evidence: weigh the pros and cons of the case.
mean to cause to be late or behind in movement or progress.
delay implies a holding back, usually by interference, from completion or arrival: bad weather delayed our arrival.
retard suggests reduction of speed without actual stopping: language barriers retarded their progress.
slow and slacken also imply a reduction of speed
slow often suggesting deliberate intention: medication slowed the patient's heart rate.
slacken an easing up or relaxing of power or effort: on hot days runners slacken their pace.
detain implies a holding back beyond a reasonable or appointed time: unexpected business had detained her.
mean to move or act slowly so as to fall behind.
delay usually implies a putting off (as a beginning or departure): we cannot delay any longer.
procrastinate implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy: procrastinates about making decisions.
lag implies failure to maintain a speed set by others: lagging behind in technology.
loiter and dawdle imply delay while in progress, especially in walking, but dawdle more clearly suggests an aimless wasting of time: loitered at several store windows \ children dawdling on their way home from school.
dally suggests delay through trifling or vacillation when promptness is necessary: stop dallying and get to work.
mean given to talk or talking.
talkative may imply a readiness to engage in talk or a disposition to enjoy conversation: a talkative neighbor.
loquacious suggests the power of expressing oneself articulately, fluently, or glibly: a loquacious spokesperson.
garrulous implies prosy, rambling, or tedious loquacity: garrulous traveling companions.
voluble suggests a free, easy, and unending loquacity: a voluble raconteur.
mean using more words than necessary to express thought.
wordy may also imply loquaciousness or garrulity: a wordy speech.
verbose suggests a resulting dullness, obscurity, or lack of incisiveness or precision: the verbose position papers.
prolix suggests unreasonable and tedious dwelling on details: habitually transformed brief anecdotes into prolix sagas.
diffuse stresses lack of compactness and pointedness of style: diffuse memoirs that are so many shaggy-dog stories.
mean movement in a particular direction.
tendency implies an inclination sometimes amounting to an impelling force: a general tendency toward inflation.
trend applies to the general direction maintained by a winding or irregular course: the long-term trend of the stock market is upward.
drift may apply to a tendency determined by external forces: the drift of the population away from large cities / or it may apply to an underlying or obscure trend of meaning or discourse: got the drift of her argument.
tenor stresses a clearly perceptible direction and a continuous, undeviating course: the tenor of the times.
current implies a clearly defined but not necessarily unalterable course: an encounter that changed the current of my life.
mean not light or frivolous.
serious implies a concern for what really matters: a serious play about social injustice.
grave implies both seriousness and dignity in expression or attitude: read the proclamation in a grave voice.
solemn suggests an impressive gravity utterly free from levity: a sad and solemn occasion.
sedate implies a composed and decorous seriousness: remained sedate amid the commotion.
staid suggests a settled, accustomed sedateness and prim self-restraint: a quiet and staid community.
sober stresses seriousness of purpose and absence of levity or frivolity: a sober look at the state of our schools.
earnest suggests sincerity or often zealousness of purpose: an earnest reformer.
mean to make something clear or understandable.
explain implies a making plain or intelligible what is not immediately obvious or entirely known: explain the rules.
expound implies a careful often elaborate explanation: expounding a scientific theory.
explicate adds the idea of a developed or detailed analysis: explicate a poem.
elucidate stresses the throwing of light upon as by offering details or motives previously unclear or only implicit: elucidate an obscure passage.
interpret adds to explain the need for imagination or sympathy or special knowledge in dealing with something: interpreting a work of art.
mean to state positively usually in anticipation of denial or objection.
assert implies stating confidently without need for proof or regard for evidence: asserted that modern music is just noise.
declare stresses open or public statement: declared her support for the candidate.
affirm implies conviction based on evidence, experience, or faith: affirmed the existence of an afterlife.
protest emphasizes affirming in the face of denial or doubt: protested that he really had been misquoted.
avow stresses frank declaration and acknowledgment of personal responsibility for what is declared: avowed that all investors would be repaid in full
mean having a menacing or threatening aspect.
ominous implies having a menacing, alarming character foreshadowing evil or disaster: ominous rumblings from the volcano.
portentous suggests being frighteningly big or impressive but now seldom definitely connotes forewarning of calamity: an eerie and portentous stillness.
fateful suggests being of momentous or decisive importance: the fateful conference that led to war.
mean to set loose from restraint or constraint.
free implies a usually permanent removal from whatever binds, confines, entangles, or oppresses: freed the animals from their cages.
release suggests a setting loose from confinement, restraint, or a state of pressure or tension, often without implication of permanent liberation: released his anger on a punching bag.
liberate stresses particularly the resulting state of liberty: liberated their country from the tyrant.
emancipate implies the liberation of a person from subjection or domination: labor-saving devices emancipated us from household drudgery.
manumit implies emancipation from slavery: the document manumitted the slaves.
mean not subject to the rule or control of another.
free stresses the complete absence of external rule and the full right to make all of one's own decisions: you're free to do as you like.
independent implies a standing alone; applied to a state it implies lack of connection with any other having power to interfere with its citizens, laws, or policies: the colony's struggle to become independent.
sovereign stresses the absence of a superior power and implies supremacy within a thing's own domain or sphere: separate and sovereign armed services.
autonomous stresses independence in matters pertaining to self-government: in this denomination each congregation is regarded as autonomous.
mean to issue orders.
command and order imply authority and usually some degree of formality and impersonality.
command stresses official exercise of authority: a general commanding troops.
order may suggest peremptory or arbitrary exercise: ordered his employees about like slaves.
bid suggests giving orders peremptorily (as to children or servants): she bade him be seated.
enjoin implies giving an order or direction authoritatively and urgently and often with admonition or solicitude: a sign enjoining patrons to be quiet.
direct and instruct both connote expectation of obedience and usually concern specific points of procedure or method, instruct sometimes implying greater explicitness or formality: directed her assistant to hold all calls / the judge instructed the jury to ignore the remark.
charge adds to enjoin an implication of imposing as a duty or responsibility: charged by the President with a secret mission.
mean to cause one to break a bond of affection or loyalty.
estrange implies the development of indifference or hostility with consequent separation or divorcement: his estranged wife.
alienate may or may not suggest separation but always implies loss of affection or interest: managed to alienate all his coworkers.
disaffect refers especially to those from whom loyalty is expected and stresses the effects (as rebellion or discontent) of alienation without actual separation: troops disaffected by hunger.
mean to check or defeat another's plan or block achievement of a goal.
frustrate implies making vain or ineffectual all efforts however vigorous or persistent: frustrated attempts at government reform.
thwart suggests frustration or checking by crossing or opposing: the army thwarted his attempt at a coup.
foil implies checking or defeating so as to discourage further effort: foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her.
baffle implies frustration by confusing or puzzling: baffled by the maze of rules and regulations.
balk suggests the interposing of obstacles or hindrances: officials felt that legal restrictions had balked their efforts to control crime.
mean to excite a feeling of anger or annoyance.
irritate implies an often gradual arousing of angry feelings that may range from mere impatience to rage: constant nagging that irritated me greatly.
exasperate suggests galling annoyance and the arousing of extreme impatience: his exasperating habit of putting off needed decisions.
nettle suggests a sharp but passing annoyance or stinging: your pompous attitude nettled several people.
provoke implies an arousing of strong annoyance that may excite to action: remarks made solely to provoke her.
rile implies inducing an angry or resentful agitation: the new work schedules riled the employees.
peeve suggests arousing fretful often petty or querulous irritation: a toddler peeved at being refused a cookie.
mean breaking easily.
fragile implies extreme delicacy of material or construction and need for careful handling: a fragile antique chair.
frangible implies susceptibility to being broken without implying weakness or delicacy: frangible stone used for paving.
brittle implies hardness together with lack of elasticity or flexibility or toughness: brittle bones.
crisp implies a firmness and brittleness desirable especially in some foods: crisp lettuce.
friable applies to substances that are easily crumbled or pulverized: friable soil.
mean free from all taint of what is lewd or salacious.
chaste primarily implies a refraining from acts or even thoughts or desires that are not virginal or not sanctioned by marriage vows: they maintained chaste relations.
pure differs from chaste in implying innocence and absence of temptation rather than control of one's impulses and actions: the pure of heart.
modest and decent apply especially to deportment and dress as outward signs of inward chastity or purity: preferred more modest swimsuits / decent people didn't go to such movies.
mean something spoken, written, or done in return.
answer implies the satisfying of a question, demand, call, or need: had answers to all their questions.
response may imply a quick or spontaneous reaction to a person or thing that serves as a stimulus: a response to the call for recruits.
reply often suggests a thorough response to all issues, points, or questions raised: a point-by-point reply to the accusation.
rejoinder can be a response to a reply or to an objection: a salesman with a quick rejoinder to every argument.
retort implies a reaction to an implicit or explicit charge, criticism, or attack which contains a countercharge or counterattack: she made a cutting retort to her critics.
mean showing restraint in speaking.
silent implies a habit of saying no more than is needed: the strong, silent type.
taciturn implies a temperamental disinclination to speech and usually connotes unsociability: taciturn villagers.
reticent implies a reluctance to speak out or at length, especially about one's own affairs: was reticent about his plans.
reserved implies reticence and suggests the restraining influence of caution or formality in checking easy informal conversational exchange: greetings were brief, formal, and reserved.
secretive, too, implies reticence but usually carries a suggestion of deviousness and lack of frankness or of an often ostentatious will to conceal: the secretive research and development division.
mean a mode of expression intended to arouse amusement.
wit suggests the power to evoke laughter by remarks showing verbal felicity or ingenuity and swift perception especially of the incongruous: a playful wit.
humor implies an ability to perceive the ludicrous, the comical, and the absurd in human life and to express these usually without bitterness: a sense of humor.
irony applies to a manner of expression in which the intended meaning is the opposite of what is seemingly expressed: the irony of the title.
sarcasm applies to expression frequently in the form of irony that is intended to cut or wound: given to heartless sarcasm.
satire applies to writing that exposes or ridicules conduct, doctrines, or institutions either by direct criticism or more often through irony, parody, or caricature: a satire on the Congress.
repartee implies the power of answering quickly, pointedly, or wittily: a dinner guest noted for repartee.
mean evenness of mind under stress.
equanimity suggests a habit of mind that is only rarely disturbed under great strain: accepted her troubles with equanimity.
composure implies the controlling of emotional or mental agitation by an effort of will or as a matter of habit: maintaining his composure even under hostile questioning.
sangfroid implies great coolness and steadiness under strain: handled the situation with professional sangfroid.
mean an intense emotional state induced by displeasure.
anger, the most general term, names the reaction but by itself does not convey cause or intensity: tried to hide his anger.
ire, more frequent in literary contexts, suggests an intense anger, often with an evident display of feeling: cheeks flushed with ire.
rage and fury suggest loss of self-control from violence of emotion: shook with rage. / could not contain his fury.
indignation stresses righteous anger at what one considers unfair, mean, or shameful: a comment that caused general indignation.
wrath is likely to suggest a desire or intent to punish or get revenge: I feared her wrath if I was discovered.
mean painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger.
fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage: fear of the unknown.
dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety: faced the meeting with dread.
fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear: fright at being awakened suddenly.
alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger: view the situation with alarm.
panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity: the news caused widespread panic.
terror implies the most extreme degree of fear: immobilized with terror.
trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation: raised the subject with trepidation.
mean to injure unjustly or outrageously.
wrong implies inflicting injury either unmerited or out of proportion to what one deserves: a penal system that had wronged him.
oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform: a people oppressed by a warmongering tyrant.
persecute implies a relentless and unremitting subjection to annoyance or suffering: a child persecuted by constant criticism.
aggrieve implies suffering caused by an infringement or denial of rights: a legal aid society representing aggrieved minority groups.
mean to ease the anger or disturbance of.
pacify suggests a soothing or calming: pacified by a sincere apology.
appease implies quieting insistent demands by making concessions: appease their territorial ambitions.
placate suggests changing resentment or bitterness to goodwill: a move to placate local opposition.
mollify implies soothing hurt feelings or rising anger: a speech that mollified the demonstrators.
propitiate implies averting anger or malevolence especially of a superior being: propitiated his parents by dressing up.
conciliate suggests ending an estrangement by persuasion, concession, or settling of differences: conciliating the belligerent nations.
mean to form an idea of.
think implies the entrance of an idea into one's mind with or without deliberate consideration or reflection: I just thought of a good joke.
conceive suggests the forming and bringing forth and usually developing of an idea, plan, or design: conceived of a new marketing approach.
imagine stresses a visualization: imagine you're at the beach.
fancy suggests an imagining often unrestrained by reality but spurred by desires: fancied himself a super athlete.
realize stresses a grasping of the significance of what is conceived or imagined: realized the enormity of the task ahead.
envisage and envision imply a conceiving or imagining that is especially clear or detailed: envisaged a totally computerized operation. / envisioned a cure for the disease.
mean to use one's powers of conception, judgment, or inference.
think is general and may apply to any mental activity, but used alone often suggests attainment of clear ideas or conclusions: teaches students how to think.
cogitate implies deep or intent thinking: cogitated on the mysteries of nature.
reflect suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind: reflecting on fifty years of married life.
reason stresses consecutive logical thinking: able to reason brilliantly in debate.
speculate implies reasoning about things theoretical or problematic: speculated on the fate of the lost explorers.
deliberate suggests slow or careful reasoning before forming an opinion or reaching a conclusion or decision: the jury deliberated for five hours.
mean quickness in movement or action.
haste applies to personal action and implies urgency and precipitancy and often rashness: marry in haste.
hurry often has a strong suggestion of agitated bustle or confusion: in the hurry of departure she forgot her toothbrush.
speed suggests swift efficiency in movement or action: exercises to increase your reading speed.
expedition and dispatch both imply speed and efficiency in handling affairs but expedition stresses ease or efficiency of performance and dispatch stresses promptness in concluding matters: the case came to trial with expedition. / paid bills with dispatch.
mean a stimulus to action.
motive implies an emotion or desire operating on the will and causing it to act: a motive for the crime.
impulse suggests a driving power arising from personal temperament or constitution: buying on impulse.
incentive applies to an external influence (as an expected reward) inciting to action: a bonus was offered as an incentive.
inducement suggests a motive prompted by the deliberate enticements or allurements of another: offered a watch as an inducement to subscribe.
spur applies to a motive that stimulates the faculties or increases energy or ardor: fear was a spur to action.
goad suggests a motive that keeps one going against one's will or desire: thought insecurity a goad to worker efficiency.
mean the state of being in great trouble.
distress implies an external and usually temporary cause of great physical or mental strain and stress: the hurricane put everyone in great distress.
suffering implies conscious endurance of pain or distress: the suffering of famine victims.
misery stresses the unhappiness attending especially sickness, poverty, or loss: the homeless live with misery every day.
agony suggests pain too intense to be borne: in agony over the death of their child.
mean to make an effort to accomplish an end.
attempt stresses the initiation or beginning of an effort: will attempt to photograph the rare bird.
try is often close to attempt but may stress effort or experiment made in the hope of testing or proving something: tried to determine which was the better procedure.
endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty: endeavored to find crash survivors in the mountains.
essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting: will essay a dramatic role for the first time.
strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort: continues to strive for peace.
mean marked by bitterness and a power or will to cut or sting.
sarcastic implies an intentional inflicting of pain by deriding, taunting, or ridiculing: a critic known for his sarcastic remarks.
satiric implies that the intent of the ridiculing is censure and reprobation: a satiric look at contemporary society.
ironic implies an attempt to be amusing or provocative by saying usually the opposite of what is meant: made the ironic observation that the government could always be trusted.
sardonic implies scorn, mockery, or derision that is manifested by either verbal or facial expression: surveyed the scene with a sardonic smile.
mean disturbed by fear.
fearful implies often a timorous or worrying temperament: the child is fearful of loud noises.
apprehensive suggests a state of mind and implies a premonition of evil or danger: apprehensive of being found out.
afraid often suggests weakness or cowardice and regularly implies inhibition of action or utterance: afraid to speak the truth.
mean to put persons or things into their proper places in relation to each other.
order suggests a straightening out so as to eliminate confusion: ordered her business affairs.
arrange implies a setting in sequence, relationship, or adjustment: arranged the files numerically.
marshal suggests gathering and arranging in preparation for a particular operation or effective use: marshaling the facts for argument.
organize implies arranging so that the whole aggregate works as a unit with each element having a proper function: organized the volunteers into teams.
systematize implies arranging according to a predetermined scheme: systematized billing procedures.
methodize suggests imposing an orderly procedure rather than a fixed scheme: methodizes every aspect of daily living.
mean capable of being seen through.
clear implies absence of cloudiness, haziness, or muddiness: clear water.
transparent implies being so clear that objects can be seen distinctly: a transparent sheet of film.
translucent implies the passage of light but not a clear view of what lies beyond: translucent frosted glass.
limpid suggests the soft clearness of pure water: her eyes were limpid pools of blue.
mean quickly and easily understood.
clear implies freedom from obscurity, ambiguity, or undue complexity: clear instructions.
perspicuous applies to a style that is simple and elegant as well as clear: a perspicuous style.
lucid suggests a clear logical coherence and evident order of arrangement: a lucid explanation.
mean to alter the dress or appearance of so as to conceal the identity or true nature.
disguise implies a change in appearance or behavior that misleads by presenting a different apparent identity: disguised herself as a peasant.
cloak suggests a means of hiding a movement or an intention: cloaked their maneuvers in secrecy.
mask suggests some often obvious means of hiding or disguising something: smiling to mask his discontent.
mean not inclined to be forward.
shy implies a timid reserve and a shrinking from familiarity or contact with others: shy with strangers.
bashful implies a frightened or hesitant shyness characteristic of childhood and adolescence: a bashful boy out on his first date.
diffident stresses a distrust of one's own ability or opinion that causes hesitation in acting or speaking: felt diffident about raising an objection.
modest suggests absence of undue confidence or conceit: modest about her success.
coy implies a pretended shyness: put off by her coy manner.
mean to uphold as true, right, just, or reasonable.
maintain stresses firmness of conviction: steadfastly maintained his innocence.
assert suggests determination to make others accept one's claim: asserted her rights.
defend implies maintaining in the face of attack or criticism: defended his voting record.
vindicate implies successfully defending: his success vindicated our faith in him.
justify implies showing to be true, just, or valid by appeal to a standard or to precedent: the action was used to justify military intervention.
mean to pass or cause to pass the time pleasantly.
amuse suggests that one's attention is engaged lightly: amuse yourselves while I make dinner.
divert implies distracting attention from worry or routine occupation especially by something funny: a light comedy to divert the tired businessman.
entertain suggests supplying amusement by specially contrived methods: a magician entertaining children at a party.
mean having or showing practical wit or skill in contriving.
clever stresses physical or mental quickness, deftness, or great aptitude: a person clever with horses.
adroit often implies a skillful use of expedients to achieve one's purpose in spite of difficulties: an adroit negotiator.
cunning implies great skill in constructing or creating: a filmmaker cunning in his use of special effects.
ingenious suggests the power of inventing or discovering a new way of accomplishing something: an ingenious software engineer.
mean to behave abjectly before a superior.
fawn implies seeking favor by servile flattery or exaggerated attention: waiters fawning over a celebrity.
toady suggests the attempt to ingratiate oneself by an abjectly menial or subservient attitude: toadying to his boss.
truckle implies the subordination of oneself and one's desires or judgment to those of a superior: truckling to a powerful lobbyist.
cringe suggests a bowing or shrinking in fear or servility: a cringing sycophant.
cower suggests a display of abject fear in the company of threatening or domineering people: cowering before a bully.
mean showing close attention to detail.
careful implies attentiveness and cautiousness in avoiding mistakes: a careful worker.
meticulous may imply either commendable extreme carefulness or a hampering finicky caution over small points: meticulous scholarship.
scrupulous applies to what is proper or fitting or ethical: scrupulous honesty.
punctilious implies minute, even excessive attention to fine points: punctilious observance of ritual.
mean a misgiving about what one is doing or going to do.
qualm implies an uneasy fear that one is not following one's conscience or better judgment: no qualms about plagiarizing.
scruple implies doubt of the rightness of an act on grounds of principle: no scruples against buying stolen goods.
compunction implies a spontaneous feeling of responsibility or compassion for a potential victim: had compunctions about lying.
demur implies hesitation caused by objection to an outside suggestion or influence: accepted her decision without demur.
mean to have a strong desire for something.
long implies a wishing with one's whole heart and often a striving to attain: longed for some rest.
yearn suggests an eager, restless, or painful longing: yearned for a stage career.
hanker suggests the uneasy promptings of unsatisfied appetite or desire: always hankering for money.
pine implies a languishing or a fruitless longing for what is impossible: pined for a lost love.
hunger and thirst imply an insistent or impatient craving or a compelling need: hungered for a business of his own. / thirsted for power.
mean the dominant quality or qualities distinguishing a person or group.
disposition implies customary moods and attitude toward the life around one: a cheerful disposition.
temperament implies a pattern of innate characteristics associated with one's specific physical and nervous organization: an artistic temperament.
temper implies the qualities acquired through experience that determine how a person or group meets difficulties or handles situations: a resilient temper.
character applies to the aggregate of moral qualities by which a person is judged apart from intelligence, competence, or special talents: strength of character.
personality applies to an aggregate of qualities that distinguish one as a person: a somber personality.
mean to hold back from or control in doing something.
restrain suggests holding back by force or persuasion from acting or from going to extremes: restrained themselves from laughing.
check implies restraining or impeding a progress, activity, or impetus: trying to check government spending.
curb suggests an abrupt or drastic checking: learn to curb your appetite.
bridle implies keeping under control by subduing or holding in: bridle an impulse to throw the book down.
mean to come or go between.
interpose often implies no more than this: interposed herself between him and the door.
interfere implies hindering: noise interfered with my concentration.
intervene may imply an occurring in space or time between two things or a stepping in to stop a conflict: quarreled until the manager intervened.
mediate implies intervening between hostile factions: mediated between the parties.
intercede implies acting for an offender in begging mercy or forgiveness: interceded on our behalf.
mean to draw another by exerting a powerful influence.
attract applies to any degree or kind of ability to exert influence over another: students attracted by the school's locale.
allure implies an enticing by what is fair, pleasing, or seductive: an alluring smile.
charm implies the power of casting a spell over the person or thing affected and so compelling a response: charmed by their hospitality /
but it may, like captivate, suggest no more than evoking delight or admiration: her performances captivated audiences.
fascinate suggests a magical influence and tends to stress the ineffectiveness of attempts to resist: a story that continues to fascinate children.
enchant is perhaps the strongest of these terms in stressing the appeal of the agent and the degree of delight evoked in the subject: hopelessly enchanted by her beauty.
mean the desire to see another experience pain, injury, or distress.
malice implies a deep-seated often unexplainable desire to see another suffer: felt no malice toward their former enemies.
malevolence suggests a bitter persistent hatred that is likely to be expressed in malicious conduct: a look of dark malevolence.
ill will implies a feeling of antipathy of limited duration: ill will provoked by a careless remark.
spite implies petty feelings of envy and resentment that are often expressed in small harassments: petty insults inspired by spite.
malignity implies deep passion and relentlessness: a life consumed by motiveless malignity.
spleen suggests the wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice: venting his spleen against politicians.
grudge implies a harbored feeling of resentment or ill will that seeks satisfaction: never one to harbor a grudge.
mean acting or activated without deliberation.
spontaneous implies lack of prompting and connotes naturalness: a spontaneous burst of applause.
impulsive implies acting under stress of emotion or spirit of the moment: impulsive acts of violence.
instinctive stresses action involving neither judgment nor will: blinking is an instinctive reaction.
automatic implies action engaging neither the mind nor the emotions and connotes a predictable response: his denial was automatic.
mechanical stresses the lifeless, often perfunctory character of the response: a mechanical teaching method.
mean falling short of what is normal, necessary, or desirable.
meager implies the absence of elements, qualities, or numbers necessary to a thing's richness, substance, or potency: a meager portion of meat.
scanty stresses insufficiency in amount, quantity, or extent: supplies too scanty to last the winter.
scant suggests a falling short of what is desired or desirable rather than of what is essential: in January the daylight hours are scant.
skimpy usually suggests niggardliness or penury as the cause of the deficiency: tacky housing developments on skimpy lots.
spare may suggest a slight falling short of adequacy or merely an absence of superfluity: a spare, concise style of writing.
sparse implies a thin scattering of units: a sparse population.
mean careful in the use of one's money or resources.
sparing stresses abstention and restraint: sparing in the offering of advice.
frugal implies absence of luxury and simplicity of lifestyle: ran a frugal household.
thrifty stresses good management and industry: thrifty use of nonrenewable resources.
economical stresses prudent management, lack of wastefulness, and use of things to their best advantage: an economical health-care plan.
mean being unwilling or showing unwillingness to share with others.
stingy implies a marked lack of generosity: a stingy child, not given to sharing.
close suggests keeping a tight grip on one's money and possessions: folks who are very close when charity calls.
niggardly implies giving or spending the very smallest amount possible: the niggardly amount budgeted for the town library.
parsimonious suggests a frugality so extreme as to lead to stinginess: a parsimonious lifestyle notably lacking in luxuries.
penurious implies niggardliness that gives an appearance of actual poverty: the penurious eccentric bequeathed a fortune.
miserly suggests a sordid avariciousness and a morbid pleasure in hoarding: a miserly couple devoid of social conscience.
mean the state of one with insufficient resources.
poverty may cover a range from extreme want of necessities to an absence of material comforts: the extreme poverty of the slum dwellers.
indigence implies seriously straitened circumstances: the indigence of her years as a graduate student.
penury suggests a cramping or oppressive lack of money: a catastrophic illness that condemned them to years of penury.
want and destitution imply extreme poverty that threatens life itself through starvation or exposure: lived in a perpetual state of want / the widespread destitution in countries beset by famine.
mean to consider or examine attentively or deliberately.
ponder implies a careful weighing of a problem or, often, prolonged inconclusive thinking about a matter: pondered the course of action.
meditate implies a definite focusing of one's thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply: meditated on the meaning of life.
muse suggests a more or less focused daydreaming as in remembrance: mused upon childhood joys.
ruminate implies going over the same matter in one's thoughts again and again but suggests little of either purposive thinking or rapt absorption: ruminated on past disappointments.
mean to turn aside from a straight course.
swerve may suggest a physical, mental, or moral turning away from a given course, often with abruptness: swerved to avoid hitting the dog.
veer implies a major change in direction: at that point the path veers to the right.
deviate implies a turning from a customary or prescribed course: never deviated from her daily routine.
depart suggests a deviation from a traditional or conventional course or type: occasionally departs from his own guidelines.
digress applies to a departing from the subject of one's discourse: a professor prone to digress.
diverge may equal depart but usually suggests a branching of a main path into two or more leading in different directions: after school their paths diverged.
mean to use one's powers to lead, guide, or dominate.
conduct implies taking responsibility for the acts and achievements of a group: conducted negotiations.
manage implies direct handling and manipulating or maneuvering toward a desired result: manages a meat market.
control implies a regulating or restraining in order to keep within bounds or on a course: controlling his appetite.
direct implies constant guiding and regulating so as to achieve smooth operation: directs the store's day-to-day business.
mean being without worth or significance.
vain implies either absolute or relative absence of value: vain promises.
nugatory suggests triviality or insignificance: a monarch with nugatory powers.
otiose suggests that something serves no purpose and is either an encumbrance or a superfluity: a film without a single otiose scene.
idle suggests being incapable of worthwhile use or effect: idle speculations.
empty and hollow suggest a deceiving lack of real substance or soundness or genuineness: an empty attempt at reconciliation / a hollow victory.
mean submissive to the will of another.
obedient implies compliance with the demands or requests of one in authority: obedient to the government.
docile implies a predisposition to submit readily to control or guidance: a docile child.
tractable suggests having a character that permits easy handling or managing: tractable animals.
amenable suggests a willingness to yield or cooperate because of a desire to be agreeable or because of a natural open-mindedness: amenable to new ideas.
mean a way of acting fixed through repetition.
habit implies a doing unconsciously and often compulsively: had a habit of tapping his fingers.
practice suggests an act or method followed with regularity and usually through choice: our practice is to honor all major credit cards.
usage suggests a customary action so generally followed that it has become a social norm: western-style dress is now common usage in international business.
custom applies to a practice or usage so steadily associated with an individual or group as to have almost the force of unwritten law: the custom of wearing black at funerals.
wont usually applies to an habitual manner, method, or practice of an individual or group: as was her wont, she slept until noon.
mean to give way to someone or something that one can no longer resist.
yield may apply to any sort or degree of giving way before force, argument, persuasion, or entreaty: yields too easily in any argument.
submit suggests full surrendering after resistance or conflict to the will or control of another: a repentant sinner vowing to submit to the will of God.
capitulate stresses the fact of ending all resistance and may imply either a coming to terms (as with an adversary) or hopelessness in the face of an irresistible opposing force: officials capitulated to the protesters' demands.
succumb implies weakness and helplessness to the one that gives way or an overwhelming power to the opposing force: a stage actor succumbing to the lure of Hollywood.
relent implies a yielding through pity or mercy by one who holds the upper hand: finally relented and let the children stay up late.
defer implies a voluntary yielding or submitting out of respect or reverence for or deference and affection toward another: I defer to your expertise in these matters.
mean respect and esteem shown to another.
honor may apply to the recognition of one's right to great respect or to any expression of such recognition: the nomination is an honor.
homage adds the implication of accompanying praise: paying homage to Shakespeare.
reverence implies profound respect mingled with love, devotion, or awe: great reverence for my father.
deference implies a yielding or submitting to another's judgment or preference out of respect or reverence: showed no deference to their elders.
mean having or showing great vitality and force.
vigorous further implies showing no signs of depletion or diminishing of freshness or robustness: as vigorous as a youth half his age.
energetic suggests a capacity for intense activity: an energetic campaigner.
strenuous suggests a preference for coping with the arduous or the challenging: the strenuous life on an oil rig.
lusty implies exuberant energy and capacity for enjoyment: a lusty appetite for life.
nervous suggests especially the forcibleness and sustained effectiveness resulting from mental vigor: full of nervous energy.
mean to turn away by not accepting, receiving, or considering.
decline often implies courteous refusal especially of offers or invitations: declined his party's nomination.
refuse suggests more positiveness or ungraciousness and often implies the denial of something asked for: refused to lend them the money.
reject implies a peremptory refusal by sending away or discarding: rejected the manuscript as unpublishable.
repudiate implies a casting off or disowning as untrue, unauthorized, or unworthy of acceptance: teenagers who repudiate the values of their parents.
spurn stresses contempt or disdain in rejection or repudiation: spurned his overtures of friendship
mean to assign to a person or place for a definite purpose.
commit may express the general idea of delivering into another's charge or the special sense of transferring to a superior power or to a special place of custody: committed the felon to prison.
entrust implies committing with trust and confidence: the president is entrusted with broad powers.
confide implies entrusting with great assurance or reliance: confided complete control of my affairs to my attorney.
consign suggests removing from one's control with formality or finality: consigned the damaging notes to the fire.
relegate implies a consigning to a particular class or sphere often with a suggestion of getting rid of: relegated to an obscure position in the company.
mean skill and grace in dealing with others.
tact implies delicate and considerate perception of what is appropriate: questions showing a lack of tact.
address stresses dexterity and grace in dealing with new and trying situations and may imply success in attaining one's ends: brought it off with remarkable address.
poise may imply both tact and address but stresses self-possession and ease in meeting difficult situations: answered the accusations with unruffled poise.
savoir faire is likely to stress worldly experience and a sure awareness of what is proper or expedient: the savoir faire of a seasoned traveler.
mean to cause deterioration or lowering in quality or character.
debase implies a loss of position, worth, value, or dignity: commercialism has debased the holiday.
vitiate implies a destruction of purity, validity, or effectiveness by allowing entrance of a fault or defect: a foreign policy vitiated by partisanship.
deprave implies moral deterioration by evil thoughts or influences: the claim that society is depraved by pornography.
corrupt implies loss of soundness, purity, or integrity: the belief that bureaucratese corrupts the language.
debauch implies a debasing through sensual indulgence: the long stay on a tropical isle had debauched the ship's crew.
pervert implies a twisting or distorting from what is natural or normal: perverted the original goals of the institute.
mean giving or given out in great abundance.
profuse implies pouring forth without restraint: profuse apologies.
lavish suggests an unstinted or unmeasured profusion: a lavish party.
prodigal implies reckless or wasteful lavishness threatening to lead to early exhaustion of resources: prodigal spending.
luxuriant suggests a rich and splendid abundance: a luxuriant beard.
lush suggests rich, soft luxuriance: a lush green lawn.
exuberant implies marked vitality or vigor in what produces abundantly: an exuberant imagination.
mean to bring one thing into correspondence with another.
adapt implies a modification according to changing circumstances: adapted themselves to the warmer climate.
adjust suggests bringing into a close and exact correspondence or harmony such as exists between parts of a mechanism: adjusted the budget to allow for inflation.
accommodate may suggest yielding or compromising to effect a correspondence: accommodated his political beliefs in order to win.
conform applies to bringing into accordance with a pattern, example, or principle: refused to conform to society's values.
reconcile implies the demonstration of the underlying compatibility of things that seem to be incompatible: tried to reconcile what he said with what I knew.
mean to introduce into the mind.
implant implies teaching that makes for permanence of what is taught: implanted a love of reading in her students.
inculcate implies persistent or repeated efforts to impress on the mind: tried to inculcate in him high moral standards.
instill stresses gradual, gentle imparting of knowledge over a long period of time: instill traditional values in your children.
inseminate applies to a sowing of ideas in many minds so that they spread through a class or nation: inseminated an unquestioning faith in technology.
infix stresses firmly inculcating a habit of thought: infixed a chronic cynicism.
mean the falling from a higher to a lower level in quality, character, or vitality.
deterioration implies generally the impairment of value or usefulness: the deterioration of the house through neglect.
degeneration stresses physical, intellectual, or especially moral retrogression: the degeneration of their youthful idealism into cynicism.
decadence presupposes a reaching and passing the peak of development and implies a turn downward with a consequent loss in vitality or energy: cited love of luxury as a sign of cultural decadence.
decline differs from decadence in suggesting a more markedly downward direction and greater momentum as well as more obvious evidence of deterioration: the meteoric decline of his career after the scandal.
mean a state of mind or a manner marked by easy coolness and freedom from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment.
confidence stresses faith in oneself and one's powers without any suggestion of conceit or arrogance: the confidence that comes from long experience.
assurance carries a stronger implication of certainty and may suggest arrogance or lack of objectivity in assessing one's own powers: handled the cross-examination with complete assurance.
self-possession implies an ease or coolness under stress that reflects perfect self-control and command of one's powers: answered the insolent question with complete self-possession.
aplomb implies a manifest self-possession in trying or challenging situations: handled the reporters with great aplomb.
mean to make one aware of something.
inform implies the imparting of knowledge especially of facts or occurrences: informed us of the crisis.
acquaint lays stress on introducing to or familiarizing with: acquaint yourself with the keyboard.
apprise implies communicating something of special interest or importance: keep us apprised of the situation.
notify implies sending notice of something requiring attention or demanding action: notified the witness when to appear.
mean to favor actively one that meets opposition.
support is least explicit about the nature of the assistance given: supports waterfront development.
uphold implies extended support given to something attacked: upheld the legitimacy of the military action.
advocate stresses urging or pleading: advocated prison reform.
back suggests supporting by lending assistance to one failing or falling: refusing to back the call for sanctions.
champion suggests publicly defending one unjustly attacked or too weak to advocate his or her own cause: championed the rights of children.
mean done without attracting observation.
secret implies concealment on any grounds for any motive: met at a secret location.
covert stresses the fact of not being open or declared: covert intelligence operations.
stealthy suggests taking pains to avoid being seen or heard especially in some misdoing: the stealthy step of a burglar.
furtive implies a sly or cautious stealthiness: lovers exchanging furtive glances.
clandestine implies secrecy usually for an evil, illicit, or unauthorized purpose and often emphasizes the fear of being discovered: a clandestine meeting of conspirators.
surreptitious applies to action or behavior done secretly often with skillful avoidance of detection and in violation of custom, law, or authority: the surreptitious stockpiling of weapons.
underhanded stresses fraud or deception: an underhanded trick.
mean pointing toward a happy outcome.
favorable implies that the persons involved are approving or helpful or that the circumstances are advantageous: favorable weather conditions.
auspicious applies to something taken as a sign or omen promising success before or at the start of an event: an auspicious beginning.
propitious may also apply to beginnings but often implies a continuing favorable condition: a propitious time for starting a business.
mean producing or capable of producing a result.
effective stresses the actual production of or the power to produce an effect: an effective rebuttal.
effectual suggests the accomplishment of a desired result especially as viewed after the fact: the measures to stop the pilfering proved effectual.
efficient suggests an acting or a potential for action or use in such a way as to avoid loss or waste of energy in effecting, producing, or functioning: an efficient small car.
efficacious suggests possession of a special quality or virtue that gives effective power: a detergent that is efficacious in removing grease.
mean not being each and every one the same.
distinct indicates that something is distinguished by the mind or eye as being apart or different from others: two distinct versions.
separate often stresses lack of connection or a difference in identity between two things: separate rooms.
discrete strongly emphasizes individuality and lack of connection: broke the job down into discrete stages.
mean to set or keep in motion.
move is very general and implies no more than the fact of changing position: moved the furniture.
actuate stresses transmission of power so as to work or set in motion: turbines actuated by waterpower.
drive implies imparting forward and continuous motion and often stresses the effect rather than the impetus: a ship driven aground by hurricane winds.
impel is usually figurative and suggests a great motivating impetus: a candidate impelled by ambition.
mean to delay an action or proceeding.
defer implies a deliberate putting off to a later time: deferred buying a car until spring.
postpone implies an intentional deferring usually to a definite time: the game is postponed until Saturday.
suspend implies temporary stoppage with an added suggestion of waiting until some condition is satisfied: business will be suspended while repairs are under way.
stay often suggests the stopping or checking by an intervening agency or authority: the governor stayed the execution.
mean to make alive or lively.
quicken stresses a sudden renewal of life or activity especially in something inert: the arrival of spring quickens the earth.
animate emphasizes the imparting of motion or vitality to what is or might be mechanical or artificial: happiness animated his conversation.
enliven suggests a stimulus that arouses from dullness or torpidity: enlivened her lectures with humorous anecdotes.
vivify implies a freshening or energizing through renewal of vitality: new blood needed to vivify the dying club.
mean to give up completely.
relinquish usually does not imply strong feeling but may suggest some regret, reluctance, or weakness: relinquished her crown.
yield implies concession or compliance or submission to force: the troops yielded ground grudgingly.
resign emphasizes voluntary relinquishment or sacrifice without struggle: resigned her position.
surrender implies a giving up after a struggle to retain or resist: surrendered their claims.
abandon stresses finality and completeness in giving up: abandoned all hope.
waive implies conceding or forgoing with little or no compulsion: waived the right to a trial by jury.
mean a departure from what is true, right, or proper.
error suggests the existence of a standard or guide and a straying from the right course through failure to make effective use of this: procedural errors.
mistake implies misconception or inadvertence and usually expresses less criticism than error: dialed the wrong number by mistake.
blunder regularly imputes stupidity or ignorance as a cause and connotes some degree of blame: diplomatic blunders.
slip stresses inadvertence or accident and applies especially to trivial but embarrassing mistakes: a slip of the tongue.
lapse stresses forgetfulness, weakness, or inattention as a cause: a lapse in judgment.
mean faithfulness to something to which one is bound by pledge or duty.
fidelity implies strict and continuing faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty: marital fidelity.
allegiance suggests an adherence like that of citizens to their country: pledging allegiance.
fealty implies a fidelity acknowledged by the individual and as compelling as a sworn vow: fealty to the truth.
loyalty implies a faithfulness that is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce, desert, or betray: valued the loyalty of his friends.
devotion stresses zeal and service amounting to self-dedication: a painter's devotion to her art.
piety stresses fidelity to obligations regarded as natural and fundamental: filial piety.
mean enjoying or indicative of good health. healthy implies full strength and vigor as well as freedom from signs of disease: a healthy family.
sound emphasizes the absence of disease, weakness, or malfunction: a sound heart.
wholesome implies appearance and behavior indicating soundness and balance: a face with a wholesome glow.
robust implies the opposite of all that is delicate or sickly: a lively, robust little boy.
hale applies particularly to robustness in old age: still hale at the age of eighty.
well implies merely freedom from disease or illness: she has never been a well person.
mean to separate forcibly.
tear implies pulling apart by force and leaving jagged edges: tear up the letter.
rip implies a pulling apart in one rapid uninterrupted motion often along a line or joint: ripped the shirt on a nail.
rend implies very violent or ruthless severing or sundering: an angry mob rent the prisoner's clothes.
split implies a cutting or breaking apart in a continuous, straight, and usually lengthwise direction or in the direction of grain or layers: split logs for firewood.
cleave implies very forceful splitting or cutting with a blow: a bolt of lightning cleaved the giant oak.
rive occurs most often in figurative use: a political party riven by conflict.
mean having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions.
covetous implies inordinate desire often for another's possessions: covetous of his brother's country estate.
greedy stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire: greedy for status symbols.
acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep: an eagerly acquisitive mind.
grasping adds to covetous and greedy an implication of selfishness and often suggests unfair or ruthless means: a hard grasping trader who cheated the natives.
avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess: an avaricious miser.
mean excessively greedy.
voracious applies especially to habitual gorging with food or drink: teenagers are often voracious eaters.
gluttonous applies to one who delights in eating or acquiring things especially beyond the point of necessity or satiety: an admiral who was gluttonous for glory.
ravenous implies excessive hunger and suggests violent or grasping methods of dealing with food or with whatever satisfies an appetite: a nation with a ravenous lust for territorial expansion.
rapacious often suggests excessive and utterly selfish acquisitiveness or avarice: rapacious developers indifferent to environmental concerns.
mean isolated from others.
alone stresses the objective fact of being by oneself with slighter notion of emotional involvement than most of the remaining terms: everyone needs to be alone sometimes.
solitary may indicate isolation as a chosen course: glorying in the calm of her solitary life / but more often it suggests sadness and a sense of loss: left solitary by the death of his wife.
lonely adds to solitary a suggestion of longing for companionship: felt lonely and forsaken.
lonesome heightens the suggestion of sadness and poignancy: an only child often leads a lonesome life.
lone may replace lonely or lonesome but typically is as objective as alone: a lone robin pecking at the lawn.
forlorn stresses dejection, woe, and listlessness at separation from one held dear: a forlorn lost child.
desolate implies inconsolable grief at loss or bereavement: desolate after her brother's death.