Verbal Advantage - Level 6
Terms in this set (50)
Sleight of hand; a cleverly executed trick or deception.
Synonyms: magic, prestidigitation, thaumaturgy.
Childish, immature; hence, foolish, silly. Etymology: Latin puerilis, youthful, from puer, a child.
Synonyms: ("childish or immature") infantile, juvenile; ("foolish or silly") inane; frivolous, asinine, fatuous, sophomoric, callow
Conspiracy, partnership in wrongdoing, criminal participation, direct association in guilt, the state of being an accomplice.
N.B. This discussion distinguishes the words conspiracy, confederacy and collusion
To transform; specifically, to change from one nature, form, or substance into another, especially to a higher, better, or more refined one.
Difficult to understand, hard to grasp mentally, deep, profound, incomprehensible, unfathomable.
Synonyms: inscrutable, esoteric, occult, cryptic, enigmatic, arcane, recondite, acroamatic.
Antonyms: manifest, discernible, lucid, perspicuous.
To instruct, improve, teach, enlighten; especially, to instruct or improve intellectually,
morally, or spiritually.
Corresponding noun: edification, enlightenment; intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement.
Usage tip: Except when used humorously, the phrase "for your edification" should probably be avoided; it has become cliché and often has a condescending overtone.
Haughty, proud, scornful, contemptuous, disdainful.
To disguise; conceal under a false appearance; speak or behave hypocritically; cover up the facts or one's true feelings or motives; mask under a pretense or deceptive manner.
Synonyms: feign, affect, simulate, camouflage, equivocate, prevaricate.
Empty, vacant; devoid of substance, interest, intelligence, expression, or meaning.
Synonyms: blank, unintelligent, shallow, stupid, senseless, inane, fatuous.
Roomy, spacious, ample, able to contain or hold a great deal.
Helping or pertaining to the memory, assisting or improving the ability to recall.
Resonant; deep, full, and rich in sound; having, or capable of producing, a powerful, impressive sound.
To warn or notify of a fault or error, especially in conduct or attitude; to criticize or reprove gently but earnestly.
Synonyms: advise, counsel, caution, apprise, exhort, expostulate.
An example, model, or pattern.
Corresponding Adjective: paradigmatic, exemplary, typical, serving as a model or pattern.
Roundabout, indirect, not straightforward, following a roundabout and often extended course.
Synonyms: devious, meandering, sinuous, tortuous, serpentine, labyrinthine (like a labyrinth or maze).
To clear from blame, free from suspicion of wrongdoing or dishonor; uphold or maintain the truth or innocence of something or someone in the face of criticism or imputations of guilt.
Corresponding noun: vindication.
N.B. This discussion distinguishes the verbs exonerate and acquit, which mean to free from blame.
Rural, rustic, of or pertaining to country life.
Synonyms: pastoral, provincial, agrarian, idyllic, Arcadian.
Antonyms: urban, municipal, civic, metropolitan, cosmopolitan.
To banish, send into exile, expel from a place; to bar, exclude, or reject from a group or from acceptance by society.
Corresponding noun: ostracism, banishment.
An excess, surplus, overabundance, oversupply.
Synonyms: superabundance, profusion, superfluity, surfeit.
Antonyms: scarcity, insufficiency, dearth, paucity.
An inclination, liking, leaning; a strong natural bent or tendency, often toward something disagreeable, objectionable, or wicked.
Synonyms: partiality, penchant, predisposition, predilection, propensity.
Proportionate, corresponding in amount, measure, or degree; also, equal, of the same size or extent.
Constant, uninterrupted, continuous, unceasing.
Synonyms: interminable, relentless, unremitting, continuous.
Antonyms: occasional, irregular, intermittent, incidental, sporadic, fitful, erratic.
N.B. This discussion distinguishes the words continuous and continual, which are often confused and misused. Continual means happening again and again at short intervals: continual reminders, continual attempts, continual laughter, the continual ringing of the telephone. Continuous means uninterrupted or unbroken: continuous noise, continuous rain, a continuous effort, the continuous rotation of the earth.
A flatterer, parasite, toady, fawning follower, hanger-on.
Not closely related, only slightly connected, digressive, divergent.
Related word: tangent, (geometry) a line that touches a curve but does not intersect it; the phrase to go off on a tangent means to make an abrupt change of course (usually in speech), diverge, digress.
Defensible, reasonable; able to be defended, maintained, or upheld (as, a tenable law, a tenable reason).
Antonym: untenable, indefensible.
Incapable of being felt or understood, not able to be perceived either by the sense of touch or by the mind.
Synonyms: untouchable, imperceptible, intangible.
Antonyms: palpable, perceptible, manifest, tangible.
Hateful, detestable, offensive, revolting, arousing strong dislike or aversion.
Synonyms: disgusting, obnoxious, objectionable, disagreeable, contemptible,repellent, repugnant, loathsome, abominable, abhorrent, heinous, opprobrious, flagitious, execrable.
Usage tip: Be careful to distinguish the words odious and odorous both in spelling and usage. Odorous means emitting an odor, having a distinct aroma or smell. Odious means hateful, detestable, revolting. Odorous armpits or odorous garbage may be odious, but there is nothing odious about odorous flowers.
Existing or seeming to exist everywhere at the same time.
Synonyms: ever-present, universal, pervading, omnipresent.
To turn over in the mind, think about again and again, consider carefully or at length.
Synonyms: ponder, contemplate, meditate, deliberate, muse, cogitate, mull.
Additional useful word: mastication, the act of chewing.
Payment, compensation, or reward.
Synonyms: reimbursement, recompense, consideration, indemnification, emolument.
A small sin, slight offense, minor fault or flaw.
Related words: peccant, guilty, sinful, culpable; peccable, liable to sin or do wrong; and impeccable, incapable of sin, unable to do wrong-hence, free from all faults or imperfections.
Synonyms: failing, frailty, foible.
Lying down on the back, with the face turned upward.
N.B. This discussion distinguishes the words prone, prostrate, recumbent, which denote lying down in various ways.
Usage tip: Be careful not to confuse the adjective prostrate with the noun prostate. Prostrate means lying flat, stretched out, either on the back (supine) or the belly (prone). Prostate denotes the gland in men that contributes to the production of semen and helps control urination.
Common, ordinary, unoriginal; flat, dull, and predictable; lacking freshness or zest.
Synonyms: trite, commonplace, conventional, humdrum, hackneyed, shopworn, stereotyped, insipid, vapid, bromidic.
Antonyms: creative, imaginative, unconventional, unorthodox, ingenious, innovative, novel, pithy.
Having or expressing an opinion different from the accepted opinion; not in agreement with established doctrine or belief.
Antonym: orthodox, agreeing with established opinion, adhering to accepted beliefs.
Characterized by lofty, high-flown language; full of grand or high-sounding words.
Synonyms: bombastic, grandiose, florid, turgid.
Antonyms: plain-spoken, forthright, unaffected, candid.
Mournful and gloomy; expressing sadness or sorrow, often in an exaggerated, affected, or ridiculous way.
Synonyms: dismal, melancholy, dreary, funereal, doleful, dolorous, disconsolate, plaintive, woeful, lachrymose, saturnine.
Antonyms: cheerful, jubilant, joyous, gleeful, mirthful, jovial, sanguine.
Too small to be measured or calculated.
Synonyms: tiny, minute, microscopic, minuscule.
Usage tip: Properly, infinitesimal means too small to be measured or calculated. Loose usage: Scientists detected an infinitesimal amount of mercury and lead
in the city's tap water. Precise usage: In a test of the city's tap water, scientists determined that if mercury and lead were present, the amounts were infinitesimal.
To prod or urge to action, stimulate, arouse, stir up.
Synonyms: egg on, spur, incite, impel, instigate.
Antonyms: soothe, pacify, appease, assuage, mollify.
To pretend to be sick or incapacitated so as to avoid work or duty; to shirk or dodge responsibility by feigning illness or inability.
Related word: malady, an illness or affliction. Corresponding noun: malingerer, a person who malingers.
To state positively, declare with confidence.
Synonyms: assert, affirm, avow, profess, contend, asseverate.
A harsh, jarring sound, especially a harsh and unpleasant blend of sounds.
Synonyms: dissonance, discord, disharmony, stridency.
Antonyms: silence, tranquility, serenity, placidity, quiescence.
Corresponding adjective: cacophonous, having a harsh, unpleasant, jarring sound.
Synonyms of cacophonous include dissonant, discordant, raucous, and strident
Stubborn and disobedient, actively resisting authority or control, unruly, impossible to work with or manage.
Synonyms: willful, headstrong, ungovernable, rebellious, obstinate, intractable, perverse, recalcitrant, intransigent, contumacious.
Antonyms: obedient, submissive, compliant, deferential, malleable, docile, tractable, acquiescent, obsequious.
A person who attacks cherished or popular beliefs, traditions, or institutions; someone who destroys or denounces an established idea or practice.
Synonyms: radical, extremist, insurgent, firebrand.
To weaken, drain of energy, deprive of force or vigor.
Synonyms: exhaust, deplete, devitalize, debilitate.
Antonyms: energize, invigorate, stimulate, revive, enliven, animate, vitalize, fortify.
Take care to distinguish these words: to energize is to infuse with energy, invigorate; to enervate is to weaken, drain of energy.
Lightness or gaiety of manner or expression; specifically, a lightness or lack of seriousness that is inappropriate or unbecoming.
Synonyms: silliness, foolishness, frivolity, flippancy, tomfoolery, triviality, jocularity.
Antonyms: seriousness, earnestness, sobriety, solemnity, gravity.
Composure, calmness, evenness of mind and temper.
Synonyms: poise, self-possession, serenity, tranquility, placidity, imperturbability, sangfroid
A criticism, critical comment, especially an unfavorable or hostile observation or remark.
Synonyms: reproof, censure, condemnation, disapprobation, castigation, objurgation, animadversion.
Antonyms: praise, compliment, commendation, acclamation, plaudit.
Usage tip: Stricture is a noun, not a verb. You cannot stricture something, but if you have an unfavorable opinion of a person or a thing, you can express your strictures, sharp criticisms or hostile remarks.
Rich, wealthy, very well-to-do, having substantial means.
Antonyms: indigent, destitute, impecunious.
N.B. This discussion distinguishes the adjectives opulent, affluent, and prosperous, which connote wealth and success.
To belittle, depreciate, discredit, lower in estimation or value, speak of or treat as inferior.
Synonyms: abuse, ridicule, scorn, slander, defame, censure, denigrate, malign, vilify, traduce, calumniate.
Rambling, roving, covering a wide range of topics, wandering from one subject to another.
Synonyms: desultory, digressive.
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