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100 smart words

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accolade
n. sound of praise, public recognition, knighting, curved molding
acrimony
n. bitterness
angst
n. existentialist dread, anxiety
anomaly
n. irregularity, peculiarity, angle in planet's orbit
antidote
n. substance that counteracts poison
avant-garde
n. artists with new ideas and methods
baroque
n. flamboyant style of architecture and art, highly ornamented 17C music
bona fide
a. authentic, sincere and honest
boondoggle
n. wasteful pursuit, politically motivated government project
bourgeois
a. conventional, capitalist, affluent middle-class people
bravado
n. boldness or courage, audacity, daring, bluster, boasting
brogue
n. regional accent
brusque
a. abrupt, blunt, or curt in manner or speech
byzantine
a. of Byzantium, of eastern Roman Empire, of Byzantine art of architecture
cacophony
n. unpleasant noise, use of jarring sounds
camaraderie
n. friendship, amity, companionship, solidarity, company, comradeship
capricious
a. given to sudden change
carte blanche
n. freedom to act, free rein, complete freedom/discretion, full authority
catch-22
n. absurd situation or its cause
caustic
a. sarcastic, corrosive n. substance that corrodes, curve formed by reflections
charisma
n. personal magnetism, divine gift, charm, personality, appeal, allure
cloying
v. weary with excess
déjà vu
n. feeling of reliving something, boredom
dichotomy
n. separation of different or contradictory things, branching of plants
dilettante
n. dabbler in art or knowledge, art lover
disheveled
a. with messed-up hair or clothes, untidy
élan
n. vigor and enthusiasm, flamboyance, flair, style, confidence, elegance
ennui
n. boredom from lack of interest, languor, tedium, world-weariness
epitome
n. typical example, summary of a written work
equanimity
n. calm temperament
equivocate
v. be deliberately unclear, to speak vaguely or ambiguously in order to mislead
esoteric
a. restricted to initiates, abstruse, secret
euphemism
n. less offensive synonym, use of inoffensive words
fait accompli
n. something already cone
fastidious
a. demanding, delicate
faux pas
n. social blunder -> an embarrassing mistake that breaks a social convention
fiasco
n. humiliating failure, straw-covered wine bottle
finagle
v. get something by trickery, to trick, cheat, or manipulate somebody
Freudian slip
n. psychologically significant slip of tongue
glib
a. slick, superficial, casual and relaxed
gregarious
a. friendly, living communally, growing together
harbinger
n. somebody or something that foreshadows or anticipates a future event
hedonist
n. seeking of pleasure, philosophy of pleasure
heresy
n. unorthodox religious opinion, holding of unorthodox religious belief/opinion
idiosyncratic
n. quirk, unusual response to something
idyllic
a. serenely beautiful and happy
indelicate
a. tactless or offensive, physically unrefined
infinitesimal
a. tiny, close to zero
insidious
a. gradual and harmful, slowly and subtly harmful or destructive
junket
n. expense-paid trip, entertainment, set milk dessert
kitsch
n. artistic vulgarity(sentimentality, tastelessness, or ostentation in any of the art
litany
n. long repetitious list, prayers during worship
lurid
a. horrifying or shocking, unattractively bright, glowing unnaturally, pallid
Machiavellian
a. cunning and unscrupulous, relating to Machi..
malaise
n. feeling of illness, general feeling of discontent
malinger
v. feign illness (pretend to be ill in order to avoid work), shirt, truant, play hooky
mantra
n. holy word in meditation, often repeated expression or idea
maudlin
a. sentimental, overly or tearfully sentimental esp. because of affected by alcohol
mercenary
n. fighting for money, somebody interested only in profit, motivated on by money
minimalist
n. advocate of smaller role for government, practitioner of artistic minimalism
misnomer
n. unsuitable name, calling something by wrong name
narcissist
n. self-admiration, personality disorder
nirvana
n. spiritual enlightenment, completely enjoyable experience
non sequitur
n. incongruous(unrelated to next) statement, unwarranted conclusion
nouveau riche
n. somebody with newly acquired wealth who likes to display it
oblivion
n. state of being forgotten, overlooking of past offenses
ogle
v. stare at somebody desirously for sexual enjoyment or showing sex interest
ostentatious
a. rich and showy, marked by vulgar display of wealth and success to impress
ostracize
v. exclude from society or a group in/formal, banish by a popular vote
panacea
n. supposed cure-all for all diseases or problems
paradox
n. something absurd or contradictory, self-contradictory statement
peevish
a. irritable, bad-tempered, or tending to complain
perfunctory
a. done routinely/hastily/superficially without thought, attention or genuine feeling
philistine
n. somebody from ancient Philistia, indifferent to intellectual matters
precocious
a. mentally advanced for age, blossoming or ripening early
propriety
n. quality of being socially appropriate, socially correct or appropriate behavior
quid pro quo
n. something done in exchange, returning a favor
quintessential
n. embodiment, extract, fifth element (after earth, air, fire, water)
red herring
n. misleading clue, smoked herring, preliminary business prospectus
revel
v. take pleasure, enjoy party for good time in company of others
rhetoric
n. persuasive speech or writing, pretentious words, empty talk, skill w/ language
scintillating
a. possessing/displaying a dazzling impressive liveliness, cleverness, or wit
spartan
n. marked by stern discipline, austerity, frugality, simplicity, or courage
stigma
n. sign of social unacceptability, spot on butterflies
stoic
n. impassive who is unemotional, showing patience & endurance during adversity
suave
a. charming, pleasingly dressed, well groomed, polite
Svengali
n. evil manipulator controls and manipulates somebody else for evil purposes
sycophant
n. a servile or obsequious person flatters somebody powerful for personal gain
teetotaler
a. resolved to abstain from alcoholic beverages, total (complete and absolute)
tête-à-tête
n. intimate conversation for two, type of sofa
tirade
n. long angry speech of criticism or denunciation, outburst, rant, harangue
tryst
n. arrangement to meet, secret meeting between lovers
ubiquitous
a. existing everywhere at once, or seeming to be
unrequited
a. not reciprocated, or not returned in the same way/degree, unavenged
untenable
a. not defendable (lacking sound reasoning to make defense possible)
vicarious
a. experienced thru another by imagining, delegated, endured for somebody else
vile
a. disgusting, abhorrence, wicked, very unpleasant, worthless
waft
v. float gently, something carried through air, waving motion, light breeze
white elephant
n. something costly to maintain, possession of questionable value
zealous
a. full of zeal (actively and unreservedly enthusiastic)