GRE Kaplan 500
| to humble; to disgrace|
My intention was not to abase the comedian.
Synonyms: deman; humiliate
| to reduce in about, degree, or severity|
As the hurricane's force abated, the winds dropped and the sea became calm.
Synonyms: ebb; lapse; let up; moderate; relent; slacket; subside; wane
| to give up a postion, right, or power|
With the angry bom clamoring outside the palace, the king abdicated his throne and fled.
Synonyms: cede; quit; relinquish; resign; yield
| deviating from what is normal or expected|
Since he had been a steady, cheerful worker for many years, his fellow postal workers did not expect his aberrant burst of rage.
Synonyms: abnormal; anomalous; deviant; divergent; errant; irregular
| temporary suppression or suspension|
The baseball game was held in abeyance while it continued to rain.
Synonyms: deferral; delay; dormancy; postponement; remission
| to reject; to abandon formally|
The spy abjured his allegiance to the United States when he defected to Russia.
Synonyms: forswear; recall; recant; retract; take back
| to leave secretly|
The patron absconded from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door.
Synonyms: decamp; escape; flee
| to choose not to do something|
Before the medical procedure, you must abstain from eating.
Synonyms: forbear; refrain; withhold
| moderate in appetite|
Because Alyce is a vegetarian, she was able to eat only an abstemious meal at the Texas Steakhouse.
Synonyms: abstinent; continent; self-restraining; sober; temperate
| an extremely deep hole|
The submarine dove into the abyss to chart the previously unseen depths.
Synonyms: chasm; void
| a gradual growth in size; an increase in amount|
The committee's strong fund-raising efforts resulted in an accretion in scholarship money.
Synonyms: accumulation; buildup
| sour in taste or manner|
The acidulous taste of the spoiled milk made the young boy's lips pucker.
Synonyms: acerbic; acetous; biting; piquant; pungent; tart
| the highest point; the summit; the highest level or degree attainable|
Just when he reached the acme of his power, the dictator was overthrown.
Synonyms: apex; peak; summit
| to make impure|
The restauranteur made his ketchup last longer by adulterating it with water.
Synonyms: debase; doctor; load
| to speak in favor of|
The vegetarian advocated a diet containing no meat.
Synonyms: back; champion; support
| a nest built high in the air; an elevated, often secluded, dwelling|
Perched high among the trees, the eagle's aerie was filled with eggs.
Synonyms: perch; stronghold
| concerning the appreciation of beauty|
The aesthetic movement regarded the pursuit of beauty as the only true purpose of art.
Synonyms: artistic; tasteful
| phony; artificial|
The affected hairdresser spouted French phrases, though she had never been to France.
Synonyms: insincere; pretentious; put-on
| to increase in power, influence, and reputation|
The supervisor south to aggrandize himself by claiming that the achievements of his staff were actually his own.
Synonyms: amplify; apotheosize; augment; dignify; elevate; enlarge; ennoble; glorify; magnify; swell; uplift
| speed or quickness|
The restaurant won a reputation for fine service since the wait staff responded to their clients' requests with alacrity.
Synonyms: celerity; dispatch; haste; swiftness
| to make more bearable|
Taking aspirin helps to alleviate a headache.
Synonyms: allay; assuage; comfort; ease; lessen; lighten; mitigate; palliate; relieve
| to combine; to mix together|
Giant Industries amalgamated with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products Incorporated.
Synonyms: admix; blend; coalesce; combine; commingle; commix; compound; fuse; intermingle; intermix; merge; mingle; mix; unite
| doubtful or uncertain; can be interpreted several ways|
The directions he gave were so ambiguous that we disagreed on which way to turn.
Synonyms: cloudy; doubtful; dubious; equivocal; indeterminate; nebulous; obscure; unclear; vague
| to make better; to improve|
The doctor was able to ameliorate the patient's suffering using painkillers.
Synonyms: amend; better; improve; pacify; upgrade
| to diminish by installment payments|
While college students are notorious for accumulating credit card debt, they are not as well known for amortizing it.
Synonyms: decrease; reduce
| an ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits|
Though she claimed it was not because of superstition, Vivian always wore an amulet around her neck.
Synonyms: fetish; talisman
| something out of place in time|
The play was set in the nineteenth century, but was ruined by anachronisms, like the lead actor's digital watch.
Synonyms: archaism, incongruity
| the lessening of pain without loss of consciousness|
After having her appendix removed, Tatiana welcomed the analgesia that the painkillers provided.
Synonyms: numbness; stupor
| similar or alike in some way; equivalent|
His mother argued that not going to college was analogous to throwing his life away.
Synonyms: alike; comparable; corresponding; equivalent; homogeneous; parallel; similar
| something that calms or soothes pain|
The massage was an anodyne that helped remove the knots from the lawyer's tense shoulders.
Synonyms: narcotic; nepenthe; opiate
| deviation from what is normal|
Albino animals may display too great an anomaly in their coloring to attract normally colored mates.
Synonyms: aberrancy; aberration; abnormality; deviance; deviation; irregularity; preternaturalness
| to annoy or provoke to anger|
The child discovered that he could antagonize the cat by pulling its tail.
Synonyms: clash; conflict; incite; irritate; oppose; pester; provoke; vex
| extreme dislike|
The antipathy between fans of the rival soccer teams made the game even more electrifying to watch.
Synonyms: abhorrence; animosity; animus; antagonism; aversion; dislike; enmity; hatred; hostility; loathing; repellence; repugnance; repulsion; revulsion
|lack of interest or emotion|
The apathy of voters is so great that less than half the people who are eligible to vote actually bother to do so.
Synonyms: coolness; disinterest; disregard; impassivity; indifference; insensibility; lassitude; lethargy; listlessness; phlegm; stolidity; unconcern; unresponsiveness
| of questionable authority or authenticity|
There is no hard or authoritative evidence to support the apocryphal tales that link the Roswell, New Mexico, incident to a downed UFO.
Synonyms: disputed; doubtful; fictitious; fraudulent
| one who renounces a religious faith|
So that he could divorce his wife, the king scoffed at the church doctrines and declared himself an apostate.
Synonyms: defector; deserter; traitor
| approval and praise|
The approbation that Jerry Lewis received in France included a medal from the Ministry of Culture.
Synonyms: acclaim; adulation; applause; commendation; compliments; exaltation; extolment; hail; kudos; praise
| determined by chance or impulse|
When you lack the information to judge what to do next, you will be forced to make an arbitrary decision.
Synonyms: changeable; erratic; indiscriminate; random; wayward
| to judge a dispute between two opposing parties|
Since the couple could not come to an agreement, a judge was forced to arbitrate their divorce proceedings.
Synonyms: adjugate; adjudicate; determine; intermediate; intervene; judge; moderate; referee; rule
| ancient; old-fashioned|
Her archaic Commodore computer could not run the latest software.
Synonyms: ancient; antediluvian; antique; bygone; dated; dowdy; fusty; obsolete; old-fashioned; outdated; outmoded; passé; prehistoric; stale; superannuated; superseded; vintage
| intense and passionate feeling|
Bishop's ardor for landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley.
Synonyms: devotion; enthusiasm; fervency; fervidity; fervidness; fervor; fire; passion; zeal; zealousness
| to claim without justification; to claim for oneself without right|
Gretchen watched in astonishment as her boss arrogated the credit for her brilliant work on the project.
Synonyms: appropriate; presume; take
| able to speak clearly and expressively|
She is extremely articulate when it comes to expressing her pro-labor views; as a result, unions are among her strongest supporters.
Synonyms: eloquent; expressive; fluent; lucid; silver-tongued; smooth-spoken
| to attack; to assault|
The foreign army will try to assail our bases, but they will not be successful in their attack.
Synonyms: beset; storm; strike
| to make something unpleasant less severe|
Like many people, Philip Larkin used alcohol to assuage his sense of meaninglessness and despair.
Synonyms: allay; alleviate; appease; comfort; conciliate; ease; lighten; mitigate; mollify; pacify; palliate; placate; propitiate; relieve; soothe; sweeten
| to reduce in force or degree; to weaken|
The Bill of Rights attenuated the traditional power of government to change laws at will.
Synonyms: debilitate; devitalize; dilute; enervate; enfeeble; rarefy; sap; thin; undermine; undo; unnerve; weaken
|fearless and daring|
The audacious peasant dared to insult the king's mother.
Synonyms: adventuresome; aggressive; assertive; bold; brave; courageous; daring; dauntless; doughty; fearless; gallant; game; heroic; intrepid; mettlesome; plucky; stout; stouthearted; unafraid; undaunted; valiant; valorous; venturesome; venturous
| a prophecy; a prediction of events|
Troy hoped the rainbow was an augury of good things to come.
Synonyms: auspice; harbinger; omen; portent; presage
| dignified; grandiose|
The august view of the Grand Teton summit took my breath away.
Synonyms: admirable; awesome; grand; majestic
| severe or stern in appearance; undecorated|
The lack of decoration makes Zen temples seem austere to the untrained eye.
Synonyms: bleak; dour; grim; hard; harsh; severe
| premise; postulate; self-evident truth|
Halle lived her life based on the axioms her grandmother had passed on to her.
Synonyms: adage; aphorism; apothegm; maxim; rule
|predictable; clichéd; boring|
His conversation consisted of banal phrases like "Have a nice day" or "Another day, another dollar."
Synonyms: bland; bromidic; clichéd; commonplace; fatuous; hackneyed; innocuous; insipid, jejune; musty; platitudinous; prosaic; quotidian; shopworn; stale; stereotypic; threadbare; timeworn; tired; trite; vapid; worn-out
| a bell tower; the room in which a bell is hung|
The town was shocked when a bag of money was found stashed in the old belfry of the church.
Synonyms: spire; steeple
| a group|
As predicted, a bevy of teenagers surrounded the rock star's limousine.
Synonyms: band; bunch; gang; pack; troop
| to divide into two parts|
The large corporation just released a press statement announcing its plans to bifurcate.
Synonyms: bisect; split
| to cheat; to defraud|
When the greedy salesman realized that his customer spoke poor French, he bilked the tourist out of 20 euros.
Synonyms: beat; defraud; overreach
| to afflict; to destroy|
The farmers feared that the night's frost would blight the potato crops entirely.
Synonyms: damage; plague
| joyful, cheerful, or without appropriate thought|
Summer finally came, and the blithe students spent their days at the beach.
Synonyms: carefree; lighthearted; merry
| to support; to prop up|
The presence of giant footprints bolstered the argument that Bigfoot was in the area.
Synonyms: brace; buttress; crutch; prop; stay; support; sustain; underpin; uphold
| pompous in speech and manner|
Mussolini's speeches were mostly bombastic; his boasting and outrageous claims had no basis in fact.
Synonyms: bloated; declamatory; fustian; grandiloquent; grandiose; high-flown; magniloquent; orotund; pretentious; rhetorical; self-important
| good-natured geniality; an atmosphere of good cheer|
The aspects of her job that Dana loved most were the flexible hours and the pleasant bonhomie in the office.
Synonyms: affability; amiability; cordiality; geniality
| a crude person; one lacking manners or taste|
"That udder boor ruined my recital with his constant guffawing!" wailed the pianist.
Synonyms: clod; lout; oaf; vulgarian; yahoo
| to grow and flourish|
Faulkner neither confirmed nor denied stories about himself, allowing rumor to burgeon where it would.
Synonyms: bloom; flourish; prosper; thrive
| to polish|
He burnished the silver coffee pot until it shone brightly.
Synonyms: buff; luster; polish; scour
| a secret group seeking to overturn something|
The boys on the street formed a cabal to keep girls out of their tree house.
Synonyms: camp; circle; clan; clique; coterie; in-group; mafia; mob; ring
| a harsh, jarring noise|
The junior high orchestra created an almost unbearable cacophony as they tried to tune their instruments.
Synonyms: chaos; clamor; din; discord; disharmony; noise
| a false and malicious accusation; misrepresentation|
The unscrupulous politician used calumny to bring down his opponent in the senatorial race.
Synonyms: defamation; libel; slander
| a lie|
The tabloid's feature story about a goat giving birth to a human child was clearly a canard.
Synonyms: falsehood; falsity; fib; misrepresentation; prevarication; tale; untruth
| impartial and honest in speech|
The observations of a child can be charming since they are candid and unpretentious.
Synonyms: direct; forthright; frank; honest; open; sincere; straight; straightforward; undisguised
| changing one's mind quickly and often|
Queen Elizabeth I was quite capricious; her courtiers could never be sure which one would catch her fancy.
Synonyms: arbitrary; chance; changeable; erratic; fickle; inconstant; mercurial; random; whimsical; willful
| the science or art of making maps|
Gail's interest in cartography may stem from the extensive traveling she did as a child.
Synonyms: charting; surveying; topography
| to punish or criticize harshly|
Martina castigated her boyfriend for not remembering her birthday.
Synonyms: admonish; chastise; chide; rebuke; reprimand; reproach; reprove; scold; tax; upbraid
| something that brings about a change in something else|
The imposition of harsh taxes was the catalyst that finally brought on the revolution.
Synonyms: accelerator; goad; impetus; impulse; incentive; motivation; spur; stimulant
| universal; broad and comprehensive|
His catholic musical tastes include everything from opera to rap.
Synonyms: extensive; general
| biting in wit; severely critical or sarcastic|
Dorothy Parker gained her caustic reputation from her cutting, yet witty, insults.
Synonyms: acerbic; biting; mordant; trenchant
| great disorder; a confused situation|
In most religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from chaos.
Synonyms: clutter; confusion; disarrangement; disarray; disorder; disorderliness; disorganization; jumble; mess; muddle; scramble; snarl; topsy-turviness; turmoil
| someone prejudiced in favor of a group to which he or she belongs|
The attitude that men must be obeyed since they are inherently superior to women is common among male chauvinists.
Synonyms: bigot; jingoist; partisan
| deception by means of craft or guile|
Dishonest used-car salesmen often use chicanery to sell their beat-up old cars.
Synonyms: artifice; conniving; craftiness; deception; deviousness; misrepresentation; pettifoggery; shadiness; sneakiness; sophistry; subterfuge; underhandedness
| cautious; aware of potential consequences|
She was very circumspect in her language and behavior when first introduced to her fiancé's parents.
Synonyms: alert; cautious; heedful; mindful; prudent; solicitous; vigilant; wary
| sickly sweet; excessive|
When Enid and Jay first started dating, their cloying affection toward one another often made their friends ill.
Synonyms: excessive; fulsome
| to grow together to from a single whole|
The sun and planets eventually coalesced out of a vast cloud of gas and dust.
Synonyms: amalgamate; blend; condense; consolidate; fuse; unite
| a strongbox; a large chest for money|
The bulletproof glass of the coffer is what keeps the crown jewels secure.
Synonyms: chest; exchequer; treasury; war chest
| convincing and well-reasoned|
Swayed by the cogent argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendant.
Synonyms: convincing; persuasive; solid; sound; telling; valid
| a collaboration; complicity; conspiracy|
It came to light that the police chief and the mafia had a collusion in running the numbers racket.
Synonyms: connivance; intrigue; machination
| to overlook, pardon, or disregard|
Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as condoning an air of lawlessness.
Synonyms: exculpate; pardon; remit
| a person with expert knowledge or discriminating tastes|
Dr. Crane was a connoisseur of fine food and wine, drinking and eating only the best.
Synonyms: authority; epicure; expert; gastronome; gourmet
| deeply sorrowful and repentant for a wrong|
After three residents were mugged in the lobby while the watchman was away from his post, he felt very contrite.
Synonyms: apologetic; regretful; remorseful
The contumacious teenager ran away from home when her parents told her she was grounded.
Synonyms: factious; insubordinate; insurgent; mutinous; rebellious; seditious
| intricate and complicated|
Although many people bought the professor's book, few people could follow its convoluted ideas and theories.
Synonyms: byzantine; complex; elaborate; intricate; knotty; labyrinthine; perplexing; tangled
| to support with evidence|
All the DA needed were fingerprints to corroborate the witness's testimony that he saw the defendant in the victim's apartment.
Synonyms: authentic; back; buttress; confirm; substantiate; validate; verify
| to pamper; to treat with great care|
Marta just loves to cosset her first and only grandchild.
Synonyms: cater to; cuddle; dandle; fondle; love; pamper; pet; spoil
| an intimate group of persons with a similar purpose|
Angel invited a coterie of fellow stamp enthusiasts to a stamp-trading party.
Synonyms: clique; set
| lacking courage|
The craven lion cringed in the corner of his cage, terrified of the mouse.
Synonyms: fainthearted; spineless; timid
| too trusting; gullible|
Although some four-year-olds believe in the Tooth Fairy, only the most credulous nine-year-olds also believe in her.
Synonyms: naïve; susceptible; trusting
| steady increase in volume or force|
The crescendo of tension became unbearable as Evel Knievel prepared to jump his motorcycle over the school buses.
Synonyms: acme; capstone; climax; crest; culmination; meridian; peak
| greed; strong desire|
The thief stared at the shining jewels with cupidity in his gleaming eyes.
Synonyms: avarice; covetousness; rapacity
| a cranky person, usually an old one|
Ernesto was a notorious curmudgeon who snapped at anyone who disturbed him for any reason.
Synonyms: coot; crab; grouch
| a young woman making a debut in high society|
The debutante spent hours dressing for her very first ball, hoping to catch the eye of an eligible bachelor.
Synonyms: lady; maiden
| a downward slope|
Because the village was situated on the declivity of a hill, it never flooded.
Synonyms: decline; descent; grade; slant; tilt
| proper; tasteful; socially correct|
The countess trained her daughters in the finer points of decorous behavior, hoping they would make a good impression when she presented them at Court.
Synonyms: appropriate; comme il faut; courteous; polite
| appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety|
The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the decorum appropriate for a visit to the palace.
Synonyms: correctness; decency; etiquette; manners; mores; propriety; seemliness
| to scar the appearance of; to vandalize|
After the wall was torn down, the students began to deface the statues of Communist leaders of the former Eastern Bloc.
Synonyms: disfigure; impair; spoil
| respect; courtesy|
The respectful young law clerk treated the Supreme Court justice with the utmost deference.
Synonyms: courtesy; homage; honor; obeisance; respect; veneration
| subtly or unexpectedly harmful|
If only we had known the clocks were defective before putting them on the market, it wouldn't have been quite so deleterious to our reputation.
Synonyms: adverse; hurtful; inimical; injurious
| a leader or rabble-rouser, usually one appealing to emotion or prejudice|
He began his career as a demagogue, giving fiery speeches at political rallies.
Synonyms: agitator; inciter; instigator
| to express doubts or objections|
When scientific authorities claimed that all the planets revolved around the Earth, Galileo, with his superior understanding of the situation, was forced to demur.
Synonyms: dissent; expostulate; protest; remonstrate
| to speak of or treat with contempt; to mock|
The awkward child was often derided by his "cooler" peers.
Synonyms: gibe; jeer; mock; ridicule; scoff; sneer; taunt
| to dry out thoroughly|
After a few weeks lying on the desert's baking sands, the cow's carcass became completely desiccated.
Synonyms: dehydrate; dry; parch
| jumping from one thing to another; disconnected|
Athena had a desultory academic record; she had changed majors 12 times in 3 years.
Synonyms: aimless; disconnected; erratic; haphazard; indiscriminate; objectless; purposeless; random; stray; unconsidered; unplanned
| allowing light to show through; delicate|
These diaphanous curtains do nothing to block out the sunlight.
Synonyms: gauzy; sheer; tenuous; translucent; transparent
| an abusive, condemnatory speech|
The trucker bellowed a diatribe at the driver who had cut him off.
Synonyms: fulmination; harangue; invective; jeremiad; malediction; obloquy; tirade
| an authoritative statement|
"You have time to lean, you have time to clean," was the dictum our boss made us live by.
Synonyms: adage; aphorism; apothegm; decree; edict
| lacking self-confidence|
Steve was diffident during the job interview because of his nervous nature and lack of experience in the field.
Synonyms: backward; bashful; coy; demure; modest; retiring; self-effacing; shy; timid
| to make larger; to expand|
When you enter a darkened room, the pupils of your eyes dilate so as to let in more light.
Synonyms: amplify; develop; elaborate; enlarge; expand; expatiate
| intended to delay|
The congressman used dilatory measures to delay the passage of the bill.
Synonyms: dragging; flagging; laggard; lagging; slow; slow-footed; slow-going; slow-paced; tardy
| someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic|
Jerry's friends were such dilettantes they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week.
Synonyms: amateur; dabbler; superficial; tyro
| a harsh and disagreeable combination, especially of sounds|
Cognitive dissonance is the inner conflict produced when long-standing beliefs are contradicted by new evidence.
Synonyms: clash; contention; discord; dissension; dissent; dissidence; friction; strife; variance
| a funeral hymn or mournful speech|
Melville wrote a dirge for the funeral of James McPherson, a Union general who was killed in 1864.
Synonyms: elegy; lament
| to set right; to free from error|
Galileo's observations disabused scholars of the notion that the sun revolved around the Earth.
Synonyms: correct; undeceive
| to perceive or recognize|
It is easy to discern the difference between butter and butter-flavored topping.
Synonyms: catch; descry; detect; differentiate; discriminate; distinguish; espy; glimpse; known; separate; spot; spy; tell
| fundamentally different; entirely unlike|
Although the twins are physically identical, their personalities are disparate.
Synonyms: different; dissimilar; divergent; diverse; varient; various
|to present a false appearance; to disguise one's real intentions or character|
The villain could dissemble to the police no longer--he admitted the deed and tore up the floor to reveal the stash of stolen money.
Synonyms: act; affect; assume; camouflage; cloak; counterfeit; cover up; disguise; dissimulate; fake; feign; mask; masquerade; pose; pretend; put on; sham
| the female branch of a family|
The lazy husband refused to cook dinner for his wife, joking that the duty belongs to the distaff's side.
| to swell, inflate, or bloat|
Her stomach was distended after she gorged on the six-course meal.
Synonyms: broaden; bulge
| to act confusedly or without clear purpose|
Ellen dithered around her apartment, uncertain how to tackle the family crisis.
Synonyms: falter; hesitate; vacillate; waffle; waver
| active or occurring during the day|
Diurnal creatures tend to become inactive during the night.
Synonyms: daylight; daytime
| to foretell or know by inspiration|
The fortune-teller divined from the pattern of the tea leaves that her customer would marry five times.
Synonyms: auger; foresee; intuit; predict; presage
| rigidly devoted to theories without regard for practicality; dogmatic|
The professor's manner of teaching was considered doctrinaire for such a liberal school.
Synonyms: dictatorial; inflexible
| a firmly held opinion, especially a religious belief|
Linus's central dogma was that children who believed in the Great Pumpkin would be rewarded.
Synonyms: creed; doctrine; teaching; tenet
| dictatorial in one's opinions|
The dictator was dogmatic, claiming he, and only he, was right.
Synonyms: authoritarian; bossy; dictatorial; doctrinaire; domineering; imperious; magisterial; masterful; overbearing; peremptory
| amusing in a wry, subtle way|
Although the play couldn't be described as hilarious, it was certainly droll.
Synonyms: comic; entertaining; funny; risible; witty
| to deceive|
Bugs Bunny was able to dupe Elmer Fudd by dressing up as a lady rabbit.
Synonyms: beguile; betray; bluff; cozen; deceive; delude; fool; hoodwink; humbug; mislead; take in; trick
| suffering from indigestion; gloomy and irritable|
The dyspeptic young man cast a gloom over the party the minute he walked in.
Synonyms: acerbic; melancholy; morose; solemn; sour
| exhilarated; full of enthusiasm and high spirits|
The ebullient child exhausted the baby-sitter, who lacked the energy to keep up with her.
Synonyms: ardent; avid; bubbly; zestful
| selecting from or made up from a variety of sources|
Budapest's architecture is an eclectic mix of eastern and western styles.
Synonyms: broad; catholic
| to instruct morally and spiritually|
The guru was paid to edify the actress in the ways of Buddhism.
Synonyms: educate; enlighten; guide; teach
The efficacy of penicillin was unsurpassed when it was first introduced; the drug completely eliminated almost all bacterial infections.
Synonyms: dynamism; effectiveness; efficiency; force; power; productiveness; proficiency; strength; vigor
| a stuffed doll; a likeness of a person|
Protestors burned effigies of the unpopular leader.
Synonyms:dummy; figure; image
| impudent boldness; audacity|
The receptionist had the effrontery to laugh out loud when the CEO tripped over a computer wire and fell flat on his face.
Synonyms: brashness; gall; nerve; presumption; temerity
| a sorrowful poem of speech|
Though the beautiful elegy is about death and loss, it urges its readers to endure this life, and to trust in spirituality.
Synonyms: dirge; lament
| persuasive and moving, especially in speech|
The Gettysburg Address is moving not only because of its lofty sentiments but because of its eloquent words.
Synonyms: articulate; expressive; fluent; meaningful; significant; smooth-spoken
| to add ornamental or fictitious details|
Britt embellished her résumé, hoping to make the lowly positions she had held seem more important.
Synonyms: adorn; bedeck; elaborate; embroider; enhance; exaggerate
| to copy; to try to equal or excel|
The graduate student sought to emulate his professor in every way, copying not only how she taught but also how she conducted herself outside of class.
Synonyms: ape; imitate; simulate
| warm praise|
She wrote an encomium in praise of the outgoing president.
Synonyms: citation; eulogy; panegyric; salutation; tribute
| belonging to a particular area; inherent|
The health department determined that the outbreak was endemic to the small village, so they quarantined the inhabitants before the virus could spread.
Synonyms: indigenous; local; native
| to reduce in strength|
The guerillas hoped that a series of surprise attacks would enervate the regular army.
Synonyms: debilitate; enfeeble; sap; weaken
| to produce, cause, or bring about|
His fear and hatred of clowns was engendered when he witnessed a bank robbery carried out by five men wearing clown suits and make-up.
Synonyms: beget; generate; spawn
| a puzzle; a mystery|
Speaking in riddles and dressed in old robes, the artist gained a reputation as something of an enigma.
Synonyms: conundrum; perplexity
| to count, list, or itemize|
Before making his decision, Jacob asked the waiter to enumerate the different varieties of ice cream that the restaurant carried.
Synonyms: catalog; index; tabulate
| lasting a short time|
The lives of mayflies seem ephemeral to us, since the flies' average life span is a matter of hours.
Synonyms: evanescent; fleeting; momentary; transient
| a person with refined taste in food and wine|
Niren is an epicure who always throws the most splendid dinner parties.
Synonyms: bon vivant; connoisseur; gastronome; gastronomist; gourmand; gourmet
| to use expressions of double meaning in order to mislead|
When faced with criticism of his policies, the politician equivocated and left all parties thinking he agreed with them.
Synonyms: ambiguous; evasive; waffling
| wandering and unpredictable|
The plot seemed predictable until it suddenly took a series of erratic turns that surprised the audience.
Synonyms: capricious; inconstant; irresolute; whimsical
Edda, a fashion maven, knew instantly that her friend's new Kate Spade bag was really an ersatz version purchased on the street.
Synonyms: artificial; dummy; false; imitation; mock; sham; simulated; spurious; substitute
| learned; scholarly; bookish|
The annual meeting of philosophy professors was a gathering of the most erudite, well-published individuals in the field.
Synonyms: learned; scholastic; wise
| to shun; to avoid (as something wrong or distasteful)|
The filmmaker eschewed artificial light for her actors, resulting in a stark movie style.
Synonyms: avoid; elude; escape; evade; shun; shy
| known or understood by only a few|
Only a handful of experts are knowledgeable about the esoteric world of particle physics.
Synonyms: abstruse; arcane; obscure
Most people consider it estimable that Mother Teresa spent her life helping the poor of India.
Synonyms: admirable; commendable; creditable; honorable; laudable; meritorious; praiseworthy; respectable; venerable; worthy
| the beliefs or character of a group|
It is the Boy Scouts' ethos that one should always be prepared.
Synonyms: culture; ethic; philosophy
| a speech in praise of someone|
His best friend gave the eulogy, outlining his many achievements and talents.
Synonyms: commend; extol; laud
| use of an inoffensive word or phrase in place of a more distasteful one|
The funeral director preferred to use the euphemism "sleeping" instead of the word "dead".
Synonyms: circumlocution; delicacy
| pleasant, harmonious sound|
To their loving parents, the children's orchestra performance sound like euphony, although an outside observer probably would have called a cacophony of hideous sounds.
Synonyms: harmony; melody; music; sweetness
| to make worse|
It is unwise to take aspirin to try to relieve heartburn since, instead of providing relief, it will only exacerbate the problem.
Synonyms: aggravate; annoy; intensify; irritate; provoke
| to clear from blame; to prove innocent|
The legal system is intended to convict those who are guilty and exculpate those who are innocent.
Synonyms: absolve; acquit; clear; exonerate; vindicate
| urgent; requiring immediate action|
The patient was losing blood so rapidly that it was exigent to stop the bleeding.
Synonyms: critical; imperative; needed; urgent
| to clear of blame|
The fugitive was exonerated when another criminal confessed to committing the crime.
Synonyms: absolve; acquit; clear; exculpate; vindicate
| clearly stated or shown; forthright in expression|
The journalist wrote an explicit description of the gruesome murder.
Synonyms: candid; clear-cut; definite; definitive; express; frank; specific; straightforward; unambiguous; unequivocal
| one who champions or advocates|
The vice president was an enthusiastic exponent of computer technology.
Synonyms: representative; supporter
| to censor|
Government propagandists expurgated all negative references to the dictator from the film.
Synonyms: bowdlerize; cut; sanitize
| dormant; unused|
This field should lie fallow for a year so the soil does not become completely depleted.
Synonyms: idle; inactive; unseeded
| acting excessively enthusiastic; filled with extreme, unquestioned devotion|
The stormtroopers were fanatical in their devotion to the emperor, readily sacrificing their lives for him.
Synonyms: extremist; fiery; frenzied; zealous
| stupid; foolishly self-satisfied|
Ted's fatuous comments always embarrassed his keen-witted wife at parties.
Synonyms: absurd; ludicrous; preposterous; ridiculous; silly
| to grovel|
The understudy fawned over the director in hopes of being cast in the part on a permanent basis.
Synonyms: bootlick; grovel; pander; toady
| fertile; fruitful; productive|
The fecund couple yielded a total of 20 children.
Synonyms: flourishing; prolific
| intensely emotional; feverish|
The fans of Maria Callas were particularly fervid, doing anything to catch a glimpse of the great opera singer.
Synonyms: burning; impassioned; passionate; vehement; zealous
| foul-smelling; putrid|
The fetid stench from the outhouse caused Francesca to wrinkle her nose in disgust.
Synonyms: funky; malodorous; noisome; rank; stinky
| to decline in vigor, strength, or interest|
The marathon runner slowed down as his strength flagged.
Synonyms: dwindle; ebb; slacken; subside; wane
| excessively decorated or embellished|
The palace had been decorated in an excessively florid style; every surface had been carved and glided.
Synonyms: baroque; elaborate; flamboyant; ornate; ostentatious; rococo
| to arouse or incite|
The rebels tried to foment revolution through their attacks on the government.
Synonyms: agitate; impassion; inflame; instigate; kindle
| to cross a body of water by wading|
Because of the recent torrential rains, the cowboys were unable to ford the swollen river.
Synonyms: traverse; wade
| to prevent or delay; to anticipate|
The landlord forestalled T.J.'s attempt to avoid paying the rent by waiting for him outside his door.
Synonyms: avert; deter; hinder; obviate; preclude
| happening by chance; fortunate|
It was fortuitous that he won the lotto just before he had to pay back his loans.
Synonyms: chance; fortunate; haphazard; lucky; propitious; prosperous
| unruly; rebellious|
The general had a hard time maintaining discipline among his fractious troops.
Synonyms: contentious; cranky; peevish; quarrelsome
| frantic; frenzied|
The employee's frenetic schedule left her little time to socialize.
Synonyms: corybantic; delirious; feverish; mad; rabid; wild
| tending to be thrifty or cheap|
Scrooge McDuck's frugality was so great that he accumulated enough wealth to fill a giant storehouse with money.
Synonyms: economy; parsimony; prudence; sparingness
| secret; stealthy|
Glenn was furtive when he peered out of the corner of his eye at the stunningly beautiful model.
Synonyms: clandestine; covert; shifty; surreptitious; underhand
| to dance or skip around playfully|
From her office, Amy enviously watched the playful puppies gambol around Central Park.
Synonyms: caper; cavort; frisk; frolic; rollick; romp
| to gather and store|
The director managed to garner financial backing from several different sources for his next project.
Synonyms: acquire; amass; glean; harvest; reap
| tending to talk a lot|
The garrulous parakeet distracted its owner with its continuous talking.
Synonyms: effusive; loquacious
| the growth process from conception to birth|
The longer the gestation period of an organism, the more developed the baby is at birth.
Synonyms: development; gravidity; pregnancy
| fluent in an insincere manner; offhand; casual|
The slimy politician managed to continue gaining supporters because he was a glib speaker.
Synonyms: easy; superficial
| to glare or stare angrily and intensely|
The cranky waiter glowered at the indecisive customer.
Synonyms: frown; lower; scowl
| a degree or stage in a process; a variation in color|
The paint store offers so many gradations of red that it's impossible to choose among them.
Synonyms: nuance; shade; step; subtlety
| outgoing; sociable|
She was so gregarious that when she found herself alone she felt quite sad.
Synonyms: affable; communicative; congenial; sociable
| causing grief or sorrow; serious and distressing|
Maude and Bertha sobbed loudly throughout the grievous event.
Synonyms: dire; dolorous; grave; mournful
| to humble oneself in a demeaning way|
Thor groveled to ex-girlfriend, hoping she would take him back.
Synonyms: bootlick; cringe; fawn; kowtow; toady
| deceit; trickery|
Since he was not fast enough to catch the roadrunner on foot, the coyote resorted to guile in an effort to trap his enemy.
Synonyms: artifice; chicanery; connivery; duplicity
| easily deceived|
The con man pretended to be a bank officer so as to fool gullible bank customers into giving him their account information.
Synonyms: credulous; exploitable; naïve
| unfortunate; having bad luck|
I wish someone would give that poor, hapless soul some food and shelter.
Synonyms: ill-fated; ill-starred; jinxed; luckless; unlucky
| the domination of one state or group over its allies|
When Germany claimed hegemony over Russia, Stalin was outraged.
Synonyms: authority; power
| tightly sealed|
The hermetic seal of the jar proved impossible to break.
Synonyms: airtight; impervious; watertight
| composed of unlike parts; different; diverse|
The United Nations is by nature a heterogeneous body.
Synonyms: assorted; miscellaneous; mixed; motley; varied
| very old; whitish or gray from age|
The old man's hoary beard contrasted starkly to the new stubble of his teenage grandson.
Synonyms: ancient; antediluvian; antique; venerable; vintage
| of a similar kind|
The class was fairly homogeneous since almost all the students were journalism majors.
Synonyms: consistent; standardized; uniform; unvarying
| to manage economically; to use sparingly|
The cyclist paced herself at the start of the race, knowing that if she husbanded her resources she'd have the strength to break out of the pack later on.
Synonyms: conserve; ration
| purposeful exaggeration for effect|
When the mayor claimed his town was one of the seven wonders of the world, outsiders classified his statement as a hyperbole.
Synonyms: embellishment; inflation; magnification
| one who opposes established beliefs, customs, and institutions|
His lack of regard for traditional beliefs soon established him as an iconoclast.
Synonyms: maverick; nonconformist; rebel; revolutionary
| peculiarity of temperament; eccentricity|
His numerous idiosyncrasies included a fondness for wearing bright green shoes with mauve socks.
Synonyms: humor; oddity; quirk
| having low moral standards; not noble in character; mean|
The photographer was paid a princely sum for the picture of the self-proclaimed ethicist in the ignoble act of pick-pocketing.
Synonyms: lowly; vulgar
| to infuse, dye, wet, or moisten|
Marcia struggled to imbue her children with decent values, a difficult task in this day and age.
Synonyms: charge; freight; impregnate; permeate; pervade
| a blocked path; a dilemma with no solution|
The rock slide produced an impasse, so no one could proceed further on the road.
Synonyms: cul-de-sac; deadlock; stalemate
| poor; having no money|
After the stock market crashed, many former millionaires found themselves impecunious.
Synonyms: destitute; impoverished; indigent; needy; penniless
| not capable of being disturbed|
The counselor had so much experience dealing with distraught children that she was imperturbable, even when faced with the wildest tantrums.
Synonyms: composed; dispassionate; impassive; serene; stoical
| impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected|
A good raincoat will be impervious to moisture.
Synonyms: impregnable; resistant
| quick to act without thinking|
It is not good for an investment broker to be impetuous since much thought should be given to all the possible options.
Synonyms: impulsive; precipitate; rash; reckless; spontaneous
| not devout in religion|
The nun cut herself off from her impious family after she entered the convent.
Synonyms: immoral; irreverent; profane
| unable to be calmed down or made peaceful|
His rage at the betrayal was so great that he remained implacable for weeks.
Synonyms: inexorable; intransigent; irreconcilable; relentless; remorseless; unforgiving; unrelenting
| a curse|
Spouting violent imprecations, Hank searched for the person who had vandalized his truck.
| to call into question; to attack verbally|
"How dare you impugn my motives?" protested the lawyer, on being accused of ambulance chasing.
Synonyms: challenge; dispute
| blood-red in color|
At his mother's mention of his baby pictures, the shy boy's cheeks turned incarnadine with embarrassment.
Synonyms: reddened; ruby; ruddy
| not fully formed; disorganized|
The ideas expressed in Nietzsche's mature work also appear in an inchoate form in his earliest writing.
Synonyms:amorphous; incoherent; incomplete; unorganized
| to teach; to impress in the mind|
Most parents inculcate their children with their beliefs and ideas instead of allowing their children to develop their own values.
Synonyms: implant; indoctrinate; instill; preach
| habitually lazy or idle|
Her indolent ways got her fired from many jobs.
Synonyms: fainéant; languid; lethargic; slothful; sluggish
| inflexible; unyielding|
The inexorable force of the twister swept away their house.
Synonyms: adamant; obdurate; relentless
| showing innocence or childlike simplicity|
She was so ingenuous that her friends feared that her innocence and trustfulness would be exploiting when she visited the big city.
Synonyms: artless; guileless; innocent; naïve; simple; unaffected
| an ungrateful person|
When none of her relatives thanked her for the fruitcakes she had sent them, Audrey condemned them all as ingrates.
Synonyms: cad; churl
| to gain favor with another by deliberate effort; to seek to please somebody so as to gain an advantage|
The new intern tried to ingratiate herself with the managers so that they might consider her for a future job.
Synonyms: curry favor; flatter
| hostile; unfriendly|
Even though a cease-fire had been in place for months, the two sides were still inimical to each other.
Synonyms: adverse; antagonistic; dissident; recalcitrant
| a sin; an evil act|
"I promise to close every den of iniquity in this town!" thundered the conservative new mayor.
Synonyms: enormity' immortality; injustice; vice; wickedness
Some snakes are poisonous, but most species are innocuous and pose no danger to humans.
Synonyms: benign; harmless; inoffensive; insipid
| an investigation; an inquiry|
The police chief ordered an inquest to determine what went wrong.
Synonyms: probe; quest; research
| lacking interest or flavor|
The critic claimed that the painting was insipid, containing no interesting qualities at all.
Synonyms: banal; bland; dull; stale; vapid
After the emperor's troops crushed the insurrection, its leaders fled the country.
Synonyms: mutiny; revolt; revolution; uprising
| to bury|
After giving the masses one last chance to pay their respects, the leader's body was interred.
Synonyms: entomb; inhume; sepulcher; sepulture; tomb
| a period between reigns|
When John F. Kennedy was shot, there was a brief interregnum before Lyndon B. Johnson became president.
| not easily managed or manipulated|
Intractable for hours, the wild horse eventually allowed the rider to mount.
Synonyms: stubborn; unruly
| uncompromising; refusing to be reconciled|
The professor was intransigent on the deadline, insisting that everyone turn the assignment in at the same time.
Synonyms: implacable; inexorable; irreconcilable; obdurate; obstinate; remorseless; rigid; unbending; unrelenting; unyielding
| fearless; resolutely courageous|
Despite freezing winds, the intrepid hiker completed his ascent.
| to overwhelm; to cover with water|
The tidal wave was inundated Atlantis, which was lost beneath the water.
Synonyms: deluge; drown; engulf; flood; submerge
| to harden; accustom|
Eventually, Hassad became inured to the sirens that went off every night and could sleep through them.
Synonyms: condition; familiarize; habituate
| abusive language|
A stream of invective poured from Mrs. Pratt's mouth as she watch the vandals smash her ceramic frog.
Synonyms: denunciation; revilement; vituperation
| ceremony conferring authority|
At Napoleon's investiture, he grabbed the crown from the Pope's hands and placed it on his head himself.
Synonyms: inaugural; inauguration; indiction; initiation; installation
| envious, obnoxious, or offensive; likely to promote ill-will|
It is cruel and invidious for parents to play favorites with their children.
Synonyms: discriminatory; insulting; jaundiced; resentful
| easily made angry|
Atilla the Hun's irascible and violent nature made all who dealt with him fear for their lives.
Synonyms: cantankerous; irritable; ornery; testy
| wandering from place to place; unsettled|
The itinerant tomcat came back to the Johansson homestead every two months.
Synonyms: nomadic; vagrant
| nonsensical talk; specialized language|
You need to master the technical jargon in order to communicate successfully with engineers.
Synonyms: argot; cant; dialect; idiom; slang
| to discard; to get rid of as unnecessary or encumbering|
The sinking ship jettisoned its cargo in a desperate attempt to reduce its weight.
Synonyms: dump; eject
| belligerent support of one's country|
The professor's jingoism made it difficult for the students to participate in an open political discussion.
Synonyms: chauvinism; nationalism
| playful; humorous|
The jocular old man entertained his grandchildren for hours.
Synonyms: amusing; comical
| sensible; showing good judgment|
The wise and distinguished judge was well known for having a judicious temperament.
Synonyms: circumspect; prudent; sagacious; sapient
| a point of time, especially one where two things are joined|
At this juncture, I think it would be a good idea for us to take a coffee break.
Synonyms: confluence; convergence; crisis; crossroads; moment
| having a sharp edge; intellectually sharp; perceptive|
With her keen intelligence, she figured out the puzzle in ten seconds flat.
Synonyms: acute; canny; quick
| to set fire to or ignite; to excite or inspire|
With only damp wood to work with, Tilda had great difficulty trying to kindle the campfire.
Synonyms: arouse; awaken; light; spark
| relating to motion; characterized by movement|
The kinetic sculpture moved back and forth, startling the museum visitors.
Synonyms: active; dynamic; mobile
| sound of a funeral bell; omen of death or failure|
When the townspeople heard the knell from the church belfry, they knew that their mayor had died.
Synonyms: chime; peal; toll
| fame, glory, or honor|
The actress happily accepted kudos from the press for her stunning performance in the film.
Synonyms: acclaim; accolade; encomium; homage; praise
Marcella always became lachrymose when it was time to bid her daughter good-bye.
Synonyms: teary; weeping
| using few words|
He was the classic laconic native of Maine; he talked as if he were being charged for each word.
Synonyms: concise; curt; pithy; taciturn; terse
| to express sorrow; to grieve|
The children continued to lament the death of the goldfish weeks after its demise.
Synonyms: bewail; deplore; grieve; mourn
| to ridicule with satire|
The mayor hated being lampooned by the press for his efforts to improve people's politeness.
| lacking energy; indifferent; slow|
The languid cat cleaned its fur, ignoring the vicious, snarling dog chained a few feet away from it.
Synonyms: lackadaisical; listless; sluggish; weak
| relating to precious stones or the art of cutting them|
Most lapidary work today is done with the use of motorized equipment.
| theft of property|
The crime of stealing a wallet can be categorized as petty larceny.
Synonyms: burglary; robbery; stealing
| generous giving (a of money) to others who may seem inferior|
She'd always relied on her parents' largess, but after graduation she had to get a job.
Synonyms: benevolence; boom; compliment; favor; present
| a state of diminished energy|
The lack of energy that characterizes patients with anemia makes lassitude one of the primary symptoms of the disease.
Synonyms: debilitation; enervation; fatigue; languor; listlessness; tiredness; weariness
| potentially available, but not readily apparent|
Latent trait testing seeks to identify skills that the test takers may have but are not aware of.
Synonyms: concealed; dormant; inert; potential; quiescent
| to give praise; to glorify|
Parades and fireworks were staged to laud the success of the rebels.
Synonyms: acclaim; applaud; commend; compliment; exalt; extol; hail; praise
| extremely generous or extravagant; giving unsparingly|
She was so lavish with her puppy that it soon became overweight and spoiled.
Synonyms: extravagant; exuberant; luxuriant; opulent; prodigal; profuse; superabundant
After being swindled once, Ruth became leery of strangers trying to sell things to her.
Synonyms: distrustful; guarded; wary
The little boy thought his legerdemain was working on his mother, but she in fact knew about every hidden toy and stolen cookie.
Synonyms: chicanery; conjuring
| acting in an indifferent or slow, sluggish manner|
The clerk was so lethargic that, even when business was slow, he always had a long line in front of him.
Synonyms: apathetic; lackadaisical; languid; listless; torpid
| an inappropriate lack of seriousness; an overly casual atmosphere|
The joke added a jarring note of levity to the otherwise serious meeting.
Synonyms: amusement; humor
| tolerant or broad-minded; generous or lavish|
Cali's liberal parents trusted her and allowed her to manage her own affairs to a large extent.
Synonyms: bounteous; latitudinarian; munificent; permissive; progressive
| a free thinker (usually used disparagingly); one without moral restraint|
The libertine took pleasure in gambling away his family's money.
| immoral; unrestrained by society|
Religious citizens were outraged by the licentious exploits of the free-spirited artists living in town.
Synonyms: lewd; wanton
| clear; transparent|
Fernando could see all the way to the bottom through the pond's limpid water.
Synonyms: lucid; pellucid; serene
| to treat as a celebrity|
After the success of his novel, the author was lionized by the press.
Synonyms: feast; honor; regale
| easily-flexed; limber; agile|
The lissome yoga instructor twisted herself into shapes that her students could only dream of.
Synonyms: graceful; lithe; supple
| lacking energy and enthusiasm|
Listless and depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend, Raj spent his days moping on the couch.
Synonyms: fainéant; indolent; languid; lethargic; sluggish
| discolored from a bruise; pale; reddened with anger|
André was livid when he discovered that someone had spilled grape juice all over his cashmere coat.
Synonyms: ashen; black-and-blue; furious; pallid
She is naturally loquacious, which is a problem in situations where listing is more important than talking.
Synonyms: effusive; garrulous; verbose
| clear and easily understood|
The explanations were written in a simple and lucid manner so that students were immediately able to apply what they learned.
Synonyms: clear; coherent; explicit; intelligible; limpid
| sorrowful; mournful; dismal|
Irish wakes are a rousing departure from the lugubrious funeral services to which most people are accustomed.
Synonyms: funereal; gloomy; melancholy; somber; woeful
| to move slowly and awkwardly|
The bear lumbered toward the garbage, drooling at the prospect of the leftovers he smelled.
Synonyms: galumph; hulk; lurch; stumble
| bright; brilliant; glowing|
The park was bathed in luminous sunshine that warmed the bodies and the souls of the visitors.
Synonyms: incandescent; lucent; lustrous; radiant; resplendent
| plot or scheme|
Tired of his enemies' endless machinations to remove him from his throne, the kind had them executed.
Synonyms: cabal; conspiracy; design; intrigue
| whirlpool; turmoil; agitated state of mind|
The transportation system of the city had collapsed in the maelstrom of war.
Synonyms: eddy; turbulence
| powerful or influential person|
The entertainment magnate bought two cable TV stations to add to his collection of magazines and publishing houses.
Synonyms: dignitary; luminary; nabob; potentate; tycoon
| a curse; a wish of evil upon another|
The frog prince looked for a princess to kiss him and put and end to the witch's malediction.
Synonyms: anathema; imprecation
| to evade responsibility by pretending to be ill|
A common way to avoid the draft was by malingering--pretending to mentally of physically ill so as to avoid being taken by the army.
Synonyms: shirk; slack
| capable of being shaped|
Gold is the most malleable of precious metals; it can easily be formed into almost any shape
Synonyms: adaptable; ductile; plastic; pliable; pliant
| artificial or stilled in character|
The portrait is an example of the mannered style that was favored in that era.
Synonyms: affected; unnatural
| to damage or deface; to spoil|
Telephone poles mar the natural beauty of the countryside.
Synonyms: blemish; disfigure; impair; injure; scar
| strict disciplinarian; one who rigidly follows rules|
A complete martinet, the official insisted that Pete fill out all the forms again even though he was already familiar with his case.
Synonyms: dictator; stickler; tyrant
| overly sentimental|
The movie's treatment of the mother's death was so maudlin that, instead of making the audience cry, it made them cringe.
Synonyms: bathetic; mawkish; saccharine; weepy
So many of her stories were mendacious that I decided she must be a pathological liar.
Synonyms: deceitful; false; lying; untruthful
"Please, sir, can you spare a dime?" begged the mendicant as the businessman walked past.
Synonyms: panhandler; pauper
| quick, shrewd, and unpredictable|
Her mercurial personality made it difficult to guess how she would react to the bad news.
Synonyms: clever; crafty; volatile; whimsical
| gaudy; falsely attractive|
The casino's meretricious decor horrified the cultivated interior designer.
Synonyms: flashy; insincere; loud; specious; tawdry
| figure of speech comparing two different things|
The metaphor "a sea of troubles" suggests a lot of troubles by comparing their number to the vastness of the sea.
Synonyms: allegory; analogy; simile; symbol
| extremely careful; fastidious; painstaking|
To find all the clues at the crime scene, the meticulous investigators examined every inch of the area.
Synonyms: finicky; fussy; picky; precise; punctilious; scrupulous
| to operate against; work against|
Lenin militated against the tsar for years before he overthrew him and established the Soviet Union.
Synonyms: affect; change; influence
| frivolity; gaiety; laughter|
Vera's hilarious jokes contributed to the general mirth at the dinner party.
Synonyms: glee; hilarity; jollity; merriment
| a person who dislikes others|
The Grinch was such a misanthrope that even the sight of children singing made him angry.
| a written note or letter|
Priscilla spent hours composing a romantic missive for Elvis.
| to soften; to lessen|
A judge may mitigate a sentence if she decides that a person committed a crime out of need.
Synonyms: allay; alleviate; assuage; ease; lighten; moderate; mollify; palliate; temper
| to calm or make less severe|
Their argument was so intense that it was difficult to believe any compromise would mollify them.
Synonyms: appease; assuage; conciliate; pacify
| to shed hair, skin, or an outer layer periodically|
The snake molted its skin and left it behind in a crumpled mass.
Synonyms: cast; defoliate; desquamate
| extremely plain or secluded, as in a monastery|
The philosopher retired to his monastic lodgings to contemplate life free from any worldly distraction.
Synonyms: austere; contemplative; disciplined; regimented; self-abnegating
| no variation; tediously the same|
The monotony of the sound of the dripping faucet almost drove the research assistant crazy.
Synonyms: drone; tedium
| fixed customers or manners; moral attitudes|
In keeping with the mores of ancient Roman society, Nero held a celebration every weekend.
Synonyms: conventions; practices
Ken opened the hotel room window, letting in the multifarious noises of the great city.
Synonyms: assorted; heterogeneous; indiscriminate; legion; motley; multifold; multiform; multiplex; populous; varied
| lacking foresight; having a narrow view or short-range perspective|
Not wantint to spend a lot of money up front, the myopic business owner would likely suffer the consequences later.
Synonyms: short-sighted; unthinking
| lowest point|
As Joey waited in line to audition for the diaper commercial, he realized he had reached the nadir of his acting career.
Synonyms: bottom; depth; pit
| lacking sophistication or experience|
Inexperienced writers often are naïve and assume that big words make them sound smarter.
Synonyms: artless; credulous; guileless; ingenuous; simple; unaffected; unsophisticated
| starting to develop; coming into existence|
The advertising campaign was still in a nascent stage, and nothing had been finalized yet.
Synonyms: embryonic; emerging; inchoate; incipient
| new word or expression|
Aunt Mabel simply does not understand today's youth; she is perplexed by their clothing, music and neologisms.
Synonyms: slang; coinage
| novice; beginner|
A relative neophyte at bowling, Rudolfo rolled all of his balls into the gutter.
Synonyms: apprentice; greenhorn; tyro
| to irritate|
I don't particularly like having blue hair--I just do it to nettle my parents.
Synonyms: annoy; vex
| stinking; putrid|
A dead mouse trapped in your walls produces a noisome odor.
Synonyms: disgusting; foul; malodorous
| existing in name only; negligible|
A nominal but far from devoted member of the high school yearbook committee, she rarely attends meetings.
Synonyms: minimal; titular
| a subtle expression of meaning or quality|
The scholars argued for hours over tiny nuances in the interpretation of the last line of the poem.
Synonyms: gradation; subtlety; tone
| coin collecting|
Tomas's passion for numismatics had resulted in an impressive collection of coins from all over the world.
| hardened in feeling; resistant to persuasion|
The president was completely obdurate on the issue, and no amount of persuasion would change his mind.
Synonyms: inflexible; intransigent; recalcitrant; tenacious; unyielding
| indirect or evasive; misleading or devious|
Usually open and friendly, Reynaldo has been behaving in a curiously oblique manner lately.
Synonyms: glancing; slanted; tangential
| overly submissive and eager to please|
The obsequious new associate made sure to compliment her supervisor's tie and agree with him on every issue.
Synonyms: compliant; deferential ;servile; subservient
| stubborn; unyielding|
The obstinate child could not be made to eat any food that he perceived to be "yucky."
Synonyms: intransigent; mulish; persistent; pertinacious; stubborn; tenacious
| to prevent; to make unnecessary|
The river was shallow enough to wade across at many points, which obviated the need for a bridge.
Synonyms: forestall; preclude; prohibit
| to stop up; to prevent the passage of|
A shadow is thrown across the Earth's surface during a solar eclipse, when the light from the sun is occluded by the moon.
Synonyms: barricade; block; close; obstruct
| too helpful; meddlesome|
While planning her wedding, Maya discovered just how officious her future mother-in-law could be.
Synonyms: eager; intrusive; unwanted
| troublesome and oppressive; burdensome|
The assignment was so extensive and difficult to manage that it proved onerous to the team in charge of it.
Synonyms: arduous; backbreaking; burdensome; cumbersome; difficult; exacting; formidable; hard; laborious; oppressive; rigorous; taxing; trying
| impossible to see through; preventing the passage of light|
The heavy build-up of dirt and grime on the windows made them almost opaque.
Synonyms: blurred; cloudy; nontransparent
| to express an opinion|
At the "Let's Chat Talk Show," the audience member opined that the guest was in the wrong.
Synonyms: point out; voice
| public disgrace|
After the scheme to defraud the elderly was made public, the treasurer resigned in utter opprobrium.
Synonyms: discredit; disgrace; dishonor; disrepute; ignominy; infamy; obloquy; shame
Roberto soon grew tired of his date's orotund babble about her new job, and decided their first date would probably be their last.
Synonyms: aureate; bombastic; declamatory; euphuistic; flowery; grandiloquent; magniloquent; oratorical; overblown; sonorous
| to change into bone; to become hardened or set in a rigidly conventional pattern|
The forensics expert ascertained the body's age based on the degree to which the facial structure had ossified.
Synonyms: fossilize; harden
The ostensible reason for his visit was to borrow a book, but he secretly wanted to chat with the lovely Wanda.
Synonyms: represented; supposed; surface
| excessive showiness|
The ostentation of the Sun King's court is evident in the lavish decoration and luxuriousness of his palace at Versailles.
Synonyms: conspicuousness; flashiness; pretentiousness; showiness
| agitated; overdone|
The lawyer's overwrought voice on the phone made her clients worry about the outcome of their case.
Synonyms: elaborate; excited; nervous; ornate
| relating to a palace; magnificent|
After living in a cramped studio apartment for years, Siobhan thought the modest one bedroom looked downright palatial.
Synonyms: grand; stately
| to make less serious; to ease|
The alleged crime was so vicious that the defense lawyer could not palliate it for the jury.
Synonyms: alleviate; assuage; extenuate; mitigate
| lacking color or liveliness|
The old drugstore's pallid window could not compete with the new megastore's extravagant display next door.
Synonyms: ashen; blanched; ghostly; pale; wan
| flamboyance or dash in style and action; verve|
Leah has such panache when planning parties, even when they're last-minute affairs.
| elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise|
The director's panegyric for the donor who kept his charity going was heart-warming.
Synonyms: compliment; homage
| impressive array|
Her résumé indicates a panoply of skills and accomplishments.
Synonyms: array; display; fanfare; parade; pomp; shine; show
| a contradiction or dilemma|
It is a paradox that those most in need of medical attention are often those least able to obtain it.
Synonyms: ambiguity; incongruity
| model of excellence or perfection|
He is the paragon of what a judge should be: honest, intelligent, hardworking, and just.
Synonyms: apotheosis; ideal; quintessence; standard
| to trim off excess; to reduce|
The cook's hands were sore after the pared hundreds of potatoes for the banquet.
Synonyms: clip; peel
| an outcast|
Once he betrayed those in his community, he was banished and lived the life of a pariah.
Synonyms: castaway; derelict; leper; offscouring; untouchable
| discussion, usually between enemies|
The parley between the rival cheerleading teams resulted in neither side admitting that they copied the other's dance moves.
Synonyms: debate; dialogue; negotiations; talks
| to ward off or deflect, especially by a quick-witted answer|
Kari Parried every question the army officers fired at her, much to their frustration.
Synonyms: avoid; evade; repel
| a piece of literature or music imitating other works|
The playwright's clever pastiche of the well-known children's story had the audience rolling in the aisles.
Synonyms: medley; spoof
| causing disease|
Bina's research on the origins of pathogenic microorganisms should help stop the spread of disease.
Synonyms: infecting; noxious
| a minor sin or offense|
Gabriel tends to harp on his brother's peccadilloes and never lets him live them down.
Synonyms: failing; fault; lapse; misstep
| someone who shows off learning|
The graduate instructor's tedious and excessive commentary on the subject soon gained her a reputation as a pedant.
Synonyms: doctrinaire; nit-picker; pedagogue; scholar; schoolmaster; sophist
| having bad connotations; disparaging|
The teacher scolded Mark for his unduly pejorative comments about his classmate's presentation.
Synonyms: belittling; dismissive; insulting
| an oppressive lack of resources (as money); severe poverty|
Once a famous actor, he eventually died in penury and anonymity.
Synonyms: destitution; impoverishment
| to wander from place to place; to travel, especially on foot|
Shivani enjoyed peregrinating the expansive grounds of Central park.
Synonyms: journey; traverse; trek
| willing to betray someone's trust|
The actress's perfidious companion revealed all of her intimate secrets to the gossip columnist.
Synonyms: disloyal; faithless; traitorous; treacherous
| done in a routine way; indifferent|
The machine-like teller processed the transaction and gave the waiting customer a perfunctory smile.
Synonyms: apathetic; automatic; mechanical
| wandering from place to place, especially on foot|
Eleana's peripatetic meanderings took her all over the countryside in the summer months.
Synonyms: itinerant; nomadic; wayfaring
| to penetrate|
The miraculous new cleaning fluid is able to permeate stains and dissolve them in minutes!
Synonyms: imbue; infuse; pervade; suffuse
| shrewd, astute, or keen-witted|
Instructor Poirot used his perspicacious mind to solve mysteries.
Synonyms: insightful; intelligent; sagacious
| to be present throughout; to permeate|
Four spices--cumin, turmeric, coriander, and cayenne--pervade almost every Indian dish, and give the cuisine its distinctive flavor.
Synonyms: imbue; infuse; penetrate; permeate; suffuse
| a compact or close-knit body of people, animals, or things|
A phalanx of guards stood outside the prime minister's home day and night.
Synonyms: legion; mass
| charity; a desire or effort to promote goodness|
The Metropolitan Museum of Art owes much of its collection to the philanthropy of private collectors who willed their estates to the museum.
Synonyms: altruism; humanitarianism
| a person who is guided by materialism and is disdainful of intellectual or artistic values|
The philistine never even glanced at the rare violin in his collection but instead kept an eye on its value and sold it at a profit.
Synonyms: boor; bourgeois; capitalist; materialist; vulgarian
| calm and unemotional in temperament|
Although the bomb could go off at any moment, the phlegmatic demolition expert remained calm and unafraid.
Synonyms: apathetic; calm; emotionless; impassive; indifferent; passionless; unemotional
| profound or substantial yet concise, succinct, and to the point|
Martha's pithy comments during the interview must have been impressive because she got the job.
Synonyms: brief; compact; laconic; terse
| to soothe or pacify|
The burlar tried to placate the snarling dog by referring to it as a "nice doggy" and offering it a treat.
Synonyms: appease; conciliate; mollify
| able to molded, altered, or bent|
The new material was very plastic and could be formed into products of vastly different shape.
Synonyms: adaptable; ductile; malleable; pliant
| crude or coarse; characteristic of commoners|
After five weeks of rigorous studying, the graduate settled in for a weekend of plebeian socializing and television watching.
Synonyms: conventional; unrefined
Assuming that more was better, the defendant offered the judge a plethora of excuses.
Synonyms: glut; overabundance; superfluity; surfeit
| courageous; spunky|
The plucky young nurse dove into the foxhole, determined to help the wounded soldier.
Synonyms: brave; bold; gusty
| controversy; argument; verbal attack|
The candidate's polemic against his opponent was vicious and small-minded rather than convincing and well-reasoned.
Synonyms: denunciation; refutation
| shrewd and practical in managing or dealing with things; diplomatic|
She was wise to curb her tongue and was able to explain her problem to the judge in a respectful and politic manner.
| a speaker of many languages|
Ling's extensive travels have helped her to become a true polyglot.
| to assume as real or conceded; to propose as an explanation|
Before proving the math formula, we need to posit that x and y were real numbers.
| a monarch or ruler with great power|
Alex was much kinder before he assumed the role of potentate.
Synonyms: dominator; leader
| practical, as opposed to idealistic|
While idealistic gamblers think they can get rich by frequenting casinos, pragmatic gamblers realize that the odds are heavily stacked against them.
Synonyms: rational; realistic
| meaningless, foolish talk|
Her husband's mindless prattle drove Heidi insane; sometimes she wished he would just shut up.
Synonyms: babble; blather; chatter; drivel; gibberish
| thrown violently or brought about abruptly; lacking deliberation|
Theirs was a precipitate marriage--they had only known each other for two weeks before they wed.
Synonyms: abrupt; hasty; headlong; hurried; ill-considered; impetuous; impulsive; prompt; rash; reckless; sudden
| short summary of facts|
Farah wrote a précis of her thesis on the epic poem to share with the class.
| having foresight|
Jonah's decision to sell the apartment seemed to be a prescient one, as its value soon dropped by half.
Synonyms: augural; divinatory; mantic; oracular; premonitory
| to lie or deviate from the truth|
Rather than admit that he had overslept again, the employee prevaricated and claimed that heavy traffic had prevented him from arriving at work on time.
Synonyms: equivocate; lie; perjure
| fresh and clean; uncorrupted|
Since concerted measures had been taken to prevent looting, the archeological site was still pristine when researchers arrived.
Synonyms: innocent; undamaged
| complete honesty and integrity|
George Washington's reputation for probity is illustrated in the legend about his inability to lie after he chopped down the cherry tree.
Synonyms: integrity; morality; rectitude; uprightness; virtue
| a natural inclination or predisposition|
Her childhood love of acting, singing, and adoration indicated a proclivity for the theater in later life.
Synonyms: bias; leaning; partiality; penchant; predilection; predisposition; prejudice; propensity
| lavish; wasteful|
The prodigal son quickly wasted all of his inheritance on a lavish lifestyle devoted to pleasure.
Synonyms: extravagant; lavish; profligate; spendthrift; wasteful
| corrupt; degenerate|
Some historians claim that it was the Romans' decadent, profligate behavior that led to the decline of the decline of the Roman Empire.
Synonyms: dissolute; extravagant; improvident; prodigal; wasteful
| to increase in number quickly|
Although he only kept two guinea pigs initially, they proliferated to such an extent that he soon had dozens.
Synonyms: breed; multiply; procreate; propagate; reproduce; spawn
| to conciliate; to appease|
Because their gods were angry and vengeful, the Vikings propitiated them with many sacrifices.
Synonyms: appease; conciliate; mollify; pacify; placate
| the quality of behaving in a proper manner; obeying rules and customers|
The aristocracy maintained a high level of propriety, adhering to even the most minor social rules.
Synonyms: appropriateness; decency; decorum; modesty
| wisdom, caution, or restraint|
The college student exhibited prudence by obtaining practical experience along with her studies, which greatly strengthened her résumé.
Synonyms: astuteness; circumspection; discretion; frugality; judiciousness; providence; thrift
| childish, immature, or silly|
Olivia's boyfriend's puerile antics are really annoying; sometimes he acts like a five-year-old!
Synonyms: infantile; jejune; juvenile
Pugilism has been defended as a positive outlet for aggressive impulses.
Synonyms: fighting; sparring
The mortals gazed in admiration at Venus, stunned by her incredible pulchritude.
Synonyms: comeliness; gorgeousness; handsomeness; loveliness; prettiness
| sharp and irritating to the senses|
The smoke from the burning tires was extremely pungent.
Synonyms: acrid; caustic; piquant; poignant; stinging
| cowardly; without courage|
The pusillanimous man would not enter the yard where the miniature poodle was barking.
Synonyms: cowardly; timid
| inclined to complain; irritable|
Curtis's complaint letter received prompt attention after the company labeled him as a querulous potential troublemaker.
Synonyms: peevish; puling; sniveling; whiny
Many animals are quiescent over the winter months, minimizing activity in order to conserve energy.
Synonyms: dormant; latent
| overly idealistic; impractical|
The practical Danuta was skeptical of her roommate's quixotic plans to build a roller coaster in their yard.
Synonyms: capricious; impulsive; romantic; unrealistic
| occurring daily; commonplace|
The sight of people singing on the street is so quotidian in New York that passersby rarely react to it.
Synonyms: everyday; normal; usual
| a witty, skillful storyteller|
The raconteur kept all the passengers entertained with his stories during the six-hour flight.
Synonyms: anecdotal; monologist
| to become thinner or sparser|
Since the atmosphere rarefies as altitudes increase, the air at the top of very tall mountains is too thin to breathe.
Synonyms: attenuate; thin
| relief from wrong or injury|
Seeking redress for the injuries she had received in the accident, Doreen sued the driver of the truck that had hit her.
Synonyms: amends; indemnity; quittance; reparation; restitution
Patrick tried desperately to think of a clever rejoinder to Marianna's joke, but he couldn't.
Synonyms: retort; risposte
| meal or mealtime|
Ravi prepared a delicious repast of chicken tikka and naan.
Synonyms: banquet; feast
| abundantly supplied; complete|
The gigantic supermarket was replete with consumer products of every kind.
Synonyms: abounding; full
| relaxation; leisure|
After working hard every day in the busy city, Mike finds his response on weekends playing golf with friends.
Synonyms: calmness; tranquility
| to reject the validity of|
The old woman's claim that she was Russian royalty was repudiated by other known relatives.
Synonyms: deny; disavow; disclaim; disown; renounce
| to return or repay|
Thanks for offering to lend me $1,000, but I know I'll never be able to requite your generosity.
Synonyms: compensate; reciprocate
| impatient, uneasy, or restless|
The passengers became restive after having to wait in line for hours and began to shout complaints at the airline staff.
Synonyms: agitated; anxious; fretful
| silent; reserved|
Physically small and verbally reticent, Joan Didion often went unnoticed by those she was reporting upon.
Synonyms: cool; introverted; laconic; standoffish; taciturn; undemonstrative
| effective writing or speaking|
Lincoln's talent for rhetoric was evident in his beautifully expressed Gettysburg Address.
Synonyms: eloquence; oratory
| humorous in a vulgar way|
The court jester's ribald brand of humor delighted the rather uncouth king.
Synonyms: coarse; gross; indelicate; lewd; obscene
| very highly ornamented; relating to an 18th century artistic style of elaborate ornamentation|
The ornate furniture in the house reminded Tatiana of the rococo style.
Synonyms: intricate; ornate
The rustic cabin was an ideal setting for a vacation in the country.
Synonyms: bucolic; pastoral
| extremely sacred; beyond criticism|
Many people considered Mother Teresa to be sacrosanct and would not tolerate any criticism of her.
Synonyms: holy; inviolable; off-limits
| shrewd; wise|
Owls have a reputation for being sagacious, perhaps because of their big eyes, which resemble glasses.
Synonyms: astute; judicious; perspicacious; sage; wise
| prominent; of notable significance|
His most salient characteristic is his tendency to dominate every conversation.
Synonyms: marked; noticeable; outstanding
Run-down and sickly, Rita hoped that the fresh mountain air would have a salubrious effect on her health.
Synonyms: bracing; curative; medicinal; therapeutic; tonic
| ruddy; cheerfully optimistic|
A sanguine person things the glass is half full, whereas a depressed person thinks it's half empty.
Synonyms: confident; hopeful; positive; rosy; rubicund
| cynical; scornfully mocking|
Isabella was offended by the sardonic way in which her date made fun of her ideas and opinions.
Synonyms: acerbic; caustic; sarcastic; satirical; snide
| to satisfy fully or overindulge|
His desire for power was so great that nothing less than complete control of the country could satiate it.
Synonyms: cloy; glut; gorge; surfeit
| trace amount|
This poison is so powerful that no more than a scintilla of it is needed to kill a horse.
Synonyms: atom; iota; mote; spark; speck
| behavior that promotes rebellion or civil disorder against the state|
Li was arrested for sedition after he gave a fiery speech in the main square.
Synonyms: conspiracy; insurrection
| aware; conscious; able to perceive|
The anesthetic didn't work, and I was still sentient when the dentist started drilling!
Synonyms: feeling; intelligent; thinking
| angelic; sweet|
Selena's seraphic appearance belied her nasty, bitter personality.
Synonyms: cherubic; heavenly
| a well-paying job or office that requires little or no work|
The corrupt mayor made sure to set up all his relatives in sinecures within the administration.
Synonyms: easy pickings (?)
| to calm down or moderate|
In order to slake his curiosity, Bryan finally took a tour backstage at the theater.
Synonyms: moderate; quench; satisfy
One of Ronald Reagan's sobriquets was "The Gipper."
Synonyms: alias; pseudonym
| grammatical mistake|
"A ain't going with you," she said, obviously unaware of her solecism.
Synonyms: blooper; faux pas; vulgarism
| causing sleep or lethargy|
The movie proved to be so soporific that soon loud snores were heard throughout the cinema.
Synonyms: hypnotic; narcotic; slumberous; somnolent
| highly self-disciplined; frugal; austere|
When he was in training, the athlete preferred to live in a spartan room, so he could shut out all distractions.
Synonyms: restrained; simple
| deceptively attractive; seemingly plausible but fallacious|
The student's specious excuse for being late sounded legitimate, but was proved otherwise when his teacher called his home.
Synonyms: illusory; ostensible; plausible; sophistic; spurious
| frolicsome; playful|
The lakeside vacation meant more sportive opportunities for the kids than the wine tour through France.
Synonyms: frisky; merry
| a state of static balance or equilibrium; stagnation|
The rusty, ivy-covered World War II tank had obviously been in stasis for years.
Synonyms: inertia; standstill
| extremely loud|
Cullen couldn't hear her speaking over the stentorian din of the game on TV.
Synonyms: clamorous; noisy
| a mark of shame or discredit|
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was required to wear the letter A on her clothes as a public stigma for her adultery.
Synonyms: blemish; blot; opprobrium; stain; taint
| unemotional; lacking sensitivity|
The prisoner appeared stolid and unaffected by the judge's harsh sentence.
Synonyms: apathetic; impassive; indifferent; phlegmatic; stoic; unconcerned
| trick designed to deceive an enemy|
The Trojan Horse must be one of the most successful military stratagems used in all of history.
Synonyms: artifice; feint; maneuver; ruse; wile
| lofty or grand|
The music was so sublime that it transformed the rude surroundings into a special place.
Synonyms: august; exalted; glorious; grand; magnificent; majestic; noble; resplendent; superb
| to tarnish; to taint|
With the help of a public relations firm, he was able to restore his sullied reputation.
Synonyms: besmirch; defile
| to replace (another) by force; to take the place of|
The overthrow of the government meant a new leader to supplant the the tyrannical former one.
Synonyms: displace; supersede
| excessive amount|
Because of the surfeit of pigs, pork prices have never been lower.
Synonyms: glut; plethora; repletion; superfluity; surplus
| rude and bad-tempered|
When asked to clean the windshield, the surly gas station attendant tossed a dirty rag at the customer and walked away.
Synonyms: gruff; grumpy; testy
| a person devoted to pleasure and luxury|
A confirmed sybarite, the nobleman fainted at the thought of having to leave his palace and live in a small cottage.
Synonyms: hedonist; sensualist
| a self-serving flatterer; a yes-man|
Dreading criticism, the actor surrounded himself with admirers and sycophants.
Synonyms: bootlicker; fawner; lickspittle; toady
| cooperation; mutual helpfulness|
The rhino and the tick-eating bird live in symbiosis; the rhino gives the bird food in the form of ticks, and the bird rids the rhino of parasites.
Synonyms: association; interdependence
| temporary irregularity in musical rhythm|
A jazz enthusiast will appreciate the use of syncopation in that musical genre.
| done without using words|
Although not a word was said, everyone in the room knew that a tacit agreement had been made about what course of action to take.
Synonyms: implicit; implied; undeclared; unsaid; unuttered
| silent; not talkative|
The clerk's taciturn nature earned him the nickname Silent Bob.
Synonyms: laconic; reticent
| claw of an animal, especially a bird of prey|
A vulture holds its prey in its talons while it dismembers it with its beak.
Synonyms: claw; nail
| digressing; diverting|
Your argument is interesting, but it's tangential to the matter at hand, so I suggest we get back to the point.
Synonyms: digressive; extraneous; inconsequential; irrelevant; peripheral
| gaudy, cheap, or showy|
The performer changed into her tawdry, spangled costume and stepped out onto the stage to do her show.
Synonyms: flashy; loud; meretricious
| earthly; down-to-earth; commonplace|
Many "extraterrestrial" objects turn out to be terrestrial in origin, as when flying saucers turn out to be normal airplanes.
Synonyms: earthbound; mundane; sublunary; tellurian; terrene
| a long, harsh speech or verbal attack|
Observers were shocked at the manager's tirade over such a minor mistake.
Synonyms: diatribe; fulmination; harangue; obloquy; revilement; vilification
| one who flatters in the hope of gaining favors|
The kind was surrounded by toadies who rushed to agree with whatever outrageous thing he said.
Synonyms: parasite; sycophant
| a book, usually a large and academic one|
The teacher was forced to refer to various tomes to find the answer to the advanced student's question.
Synonyms: codex; volume
| extreme mental and physical sluggishness|
After surgery, the patient's torpor lasted several hours until the anestesia wore off.
Synonyms: apathy; languor
| temporary; lasting a brief time|
The reporter's homes were transitory; she stayed in one place only long enough to cover the current story.
Synonyms: ephemeral; evanescent; fleeting; impermanent; momentary
| acute, sharp, or incisive; forceful; effective|
Tyrone's trenchant observations in class made him the professor's favorite student.
Synonyms: bitting; caustic; cutting; keen
| swollen as from a fluid; bloated|
In the process of osmosis, water passes through the walls of turgid cells, ensuring that they never contain too much water.
| beginner; novice|
An obvious tyro at salsa, Millicent received no invitations to dance.
Synonyms: apprentice; fledgling; greenhorn; neophyte; tenderfoot
| offense; resentment|
The businessman took umbrage at the security guard's accusation that he had shoplifted a packet of gum.
Synonyms: asperity; dudgeon; ire; pique; rancor
| unscrupulous; shockingly unfair or unjust|
After she promised me the project, the fact that she gave it to someone else is unconscionable.
Synonyms: dishonorable; indefensible
| absolute; certain|
The jury's verdict was unequivocal: the organized crime boss would be locked up for life.
Synonyms: categorical; clear; explicit; express; unambiguous
| to scold sharply|
The teacher upbraided the student for scrawling graffiti all over the walls of the school.
Synonyms: berate; chide; rebuke; reproach; tax
| the practice of lending money at exorbitant rates|
The moneylender was convicted of usury when it was discovered that he charged 50 percent interest on all his loans.
| to physically sway; to be indecisive|
The customer held up the line as he vacillated between ordering chocolate-chip or rocky-road ice cream.
Synonyms: dither; falter; fluctuate; oscillate; waver
| varied; marked with different colors|
The variegated foliage of the jungle allows it to support thousands of different animal species.
| respected because of age|
All of the villagers sought the venerable old woman's advice whenever they had a problem.
Synonyms: distinguished; elderly; respectable
| to respect deeply|
In a traditional Confucian society, the young venerate their elders, deferring to the elders' wisdom and experience.
Synonyms: adore; honor; idolize; revere
| filled with truth and accuracy|
She had a reputation for veracity, so everyone trusted her description of events.
Synonyms: candor; exactitude; fidelity; probity
The professor's answer was so verbose that his student forgot what the original question had been.
Synonyms: long-winded; loquacious; prolix; superfluous
| green with vegetation; inexperienced|
He wandered deep into the verdant woods in search of mushrooms and other edible flora.
Synonyms: grassy; leafy; wooded
| related to spring; fresh|
Bea basked in the balmy vernal breezes, happy that winter was coming to an end.
Synonyms: springlike; youthful
| a trace; a remnant|
Vestige of the former tenant still remained in the apartment, though he hadn't lived there for years.
Synonyms: relic; remains; sign
| to annoy, irritate, puzzle or confuse|
The old man who loved his peace and quiet was vexed by his neighbor's loud music.
Synonyms: annoy; bother; chafe; exasperate; irk; nettle; peeve; provoke
| a change or variation|
Investors must be prepared for vicissitudes of the stock market.
Synonyms: inconstancy; mutability
| vitality and energy|
The vim with which she worked so early in the day explained why she was so productive.
Synonyms: force; power
| think and adhesive, like a slow-flowing fluid|
Most viscous liquids, like oil or honey, become even thicker as they are cooled down.
Synonyms: gelatinous; glutinous; thick
| to abuse verbally; to berate|
Vituperating someone is never a constructive way to effect change.
Synonyms: castigate; reproach; scold
| easily aroused or changeable; lively or explosive|
His volatile personality made it difficult to predict his reaction to anything.
Synonyms: capricious; erratic; fickle; inconsistent; inconstant; mercurial; temperamental
| talkative; speaking easily; glib|
The voluble man and his reserved wife proved the old saying that opposites attract.
Synonyms: loquacious; verbose
| sickly pale|
The sick child had a wan face, in contrast to her rosy-cheeked sister.
Synonyms: ashen; sickly
| undisciplined; unrestrained; reckless|
The townspeople were outraged by the wanton display of disrespect when they discovered the statute of the town founder covered in graffiti.
Synonyms: capricious; lewd; licentious
| to fluctuate between choices|
If you waver too long before making a decision about which testing site to register for, you may not get your first choice.
Synonyms: dither; falter; fluctuate; oscillate; vacillate
| lightly acting in a fanciful or capricious manner; unpredictable|
The ballet was whimsical, delighting the children with its imaginative characters and unpredictable sets.
Synonyms: capricious; erratic; flippant; frivolous
| clever; deceptive|
Yet again, the wily coyote managed to elude the ranchers who wanted to capture it.
Synonyms: crafty; cunning; tricky
| charming; happily engaging|
Lenore gave the doorman a winsome smile, and he let her pass to the front of the line.
Synonyms: attractive; delightful
| shriveled; withered; wrinkled|
The wizened old man was told that the plastic surgery necessary to make him look young again would cost more money than he could imagine.
Synonyms: atrophied; desiccated; gnarled; wasted
| a ghost or specter; a ghost of a living person seen just before his or her death|
Gideon thought he saw a wraith late one night as he sat vigil outside his great uncle's bedroom door.
Synonyms: apparition; bogeyman; phantasm; shade; spirit
| a fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers|
Countries in which xenophobia is prevalent often have more restrictive immigration policies than countries that are more open to foreign influences.
Synonyms: bigotry; chauvinism; prejudice
| to join together|
As soon as the farmer had yoked his oxen together, he began to plow the fields.
Synonyms: bind; harness; pair
| passion; excitement|
She brought her typical zeal to the project, sparking enthusiasm in the other team members.
Synonyms: ardency; fervor; fire; passion
| someone passionately devoted to a cause|
The religious zealot had no time for those who failed to share his strong beliefs.
Synonyms: enthusiastic; fanatic; militant; radical
| the point of culmination; peak|
The diva considered her appearance at the Metropolitan Opera to be the zenith of her career.
Synonyms: acme; pinnacle
| a gentle breeze; something airy or unsubstantial|
The zephyr from the ocean made the intense heat on the beach bearable for the sunbathers.
Synonyms: breath; draft