(v.) to approach and speak to first; to confront in a challenging or aggressive way
The nobleman was ACCOSTED by beggars on his way to the castle.
Syn: buttonhole, approach
Ant: evade, avoid, shun
(n.) a comment indicating strong criticism or disapproval
The inexperienced filmmaker was disheartened by the ANIMADVERSION of the film critic.
Syn: rebuke, reproof
Ant: praise, compliment
(adj.) desirous of something to the point of greed; intensely eager
Most writers are also AVID readers who have loved books since childhood.
Syn: keen, enthusiastic, grasping
Ant: reluctant, indifferent, unenthusiastic
(adj.) having a salty taste and unpleasant to drink
The shipwrecked passengers adrift on the lifeboat became ill after drinking BRACKISH water.
Syn: briny, saline
Ant: fresh, clear, sweet
(n.) swiftness, rapidity of motion or action
Although the heavy snowfall was not expected, the highway department responded with surprising CELERITY.
Syn: promptness, alacrity, speed
Ant: slowness, sluggishness, dilatoriness
(adj.) straying or wandering from a straight or direct course; done or acting in a shifty or underhanded way
The interrogator used DEVIOUS methods to try to get the suspect to incriminate himself.
Syn: roundabout, indirect, tricky, sly, artful
Ant: direct, straightforward, open, aboveboard
(n.) in chess, an opening move that involves risk or sacrifice of a minor piece in order to gain a later advantage; any opening move of this type
Asking an interesting stranger about his or her job is a popular party GAMBIT.
Syn: ploy, stratagem, ruse, maneuver
(n.) a legendary bird identified with the kingfisher; (adj.) of or relating to the halcyon; calm, peaceful; happy, golden; prosperous, affluent
The teacher read the legend of the HALCYON, a mythic bird that nested in a calm sea.
The woman often spoke of the HALCYON days of her childhood.
Syn: (adj.) tranquil, serene, placid, palmy
Ant: (adj.) turbulent, chaotic, tumultuous
(adj.) pertaining to actors and their techniques; theatrical, artificial; melodramatic
Upon receiving his award, the young actor gave a HISTRIONIC speech.
Syn: affected, stagy
Ant: low-keyed, muted, untheatrical, subdued
(adj.) deliberately setting or causing fires; designed to start fires; tending to stir up strife or rebellion; (n.) one who deliberately sets fires, arsonist; one who causes strife
The arsonist planted an INCENDIARY device in the basement of the store.
The radical INCENDIARY was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Syn: (adj.) inflammatory, provocative, (n.) firebrand
Ant: (adj.) soothing, quieting, (n.) peacemaker
(n.) a whirlpool of great size and violence; a situation resembling a whirlpool in violence and destruction
Many innocent people caught in the MAELSTROM of the revolution lost their lives and property.
Syn: vortex, chaos, turbulence, tumult
(adj.) nearsighted; lacking a broad, realistic view of a situation; lacking foresight or discernment
The MYOPIC foreign policy of the last administration has led to serious problems with our allies.
(adj.) open, not hidden, expressed or revealed in a way that is easily recognized
In order for Congress to declare war, the President must demonstrate an OVERT threat.
Syn: clear, obvious, manifest, patent
Ant: secret, clandestine, covert, concealed
(adj.) tending to make worse; expressing disapproval or disparagement, derogatory, deprecatory, belittling
The lawyer was accused of making a PEJORATIVE remark when referring to the defendant's background.
Ant: complimentary, ameliorative
(n.) the state of being proper, appropriateness; (pl.) standards of what is proper or socially acceptable
The social worker questioned the PROPRIETY of the police's request to see confidential records.
Syn: fitness, correctness, decorum
Ant: unseemliness, inappropriateness
(n.) improper or disrespectful treatment of something held sacred
The anthropologist was accused of committing a SACRILEGE when she disturbed an ancient burial ground.
Syn: desecration, profanation, defilement
(adv.) without delay or formality; briefly, concisely
As soon as there was evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the official was SUMMARILY ousted from his post.
Syn: promptly, peremptorily, abruptly
(adj.) asking humbly and earnestly; (n.) one who makes a request humbly and earnestly, a petitioner, suitor
He made a SUPPLIANT address to the parole board.
Stranded in the deserted city of Moscow, Napoleon had to turn to the Czar not as a conqueror but as a SUPPLIANT.
(n.) an object that serves as a charm or is believed to confer magical powers, an amulet, fetish
Most people do not believe that rabbit's feet and other TALISMANs actually bring good luck.
(v.) to move in waves or with a wavelike motion; to have a wavelike appearance or form
The baseball fans began to UNDULATE as they cheered, so that they appeared to move in a wave.
Syn: ripple, fluctuate, rise and fall