500+TOEFL Vocabulary Words

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500+ Toefl Exam Word List

ABANDON: To give up completely - abandoned the sinking ship.

Synonyms: relinquish, forgo, forsake

ABASH: To lose self-confidence; to confuse, put to shame – abashed before the assembled dignitaries.

Synonyms: fluster, disconcert, discomfit, discompose

Antonym: (adj.) self-possessed

ABDICATE: To give up claim to - abdicated the throne

Synonyms: renounce, abandon, relinquish

ABET: To encourage -or support - treacherously abetted the enemy.

Synonyms: spur, incite

Antonym: deter

ABRIDGE: To shorten - abridged his lengthy speech.

Synonyms: curtail, diminish, retrench

Anthonyms: protract, elongate, amplify

ABROGATE: To abolish or render void - a treaty abrogated by mutual consent.

Synonyms: annul, nullify, rescind, void

ABSTEMIOUS: Moderate in the use of food or drink - abstemious in his habits.

Synonym: temperate

ACADEMIC: Pertaining to school; theoretical academic interests; an academic discussion, with no practical implications.

Synonym: scholastic

ACCEDE: To agree to -accede to a request.

Synonym: assent

Antonym: demur

ACCELERATE: - To quicken, speed tip - took an accelerated course in order to graduate early.

Synonym: expedite (adj. expeditious)

Antonym: retard

ACCOLADE: An award or salute - a tremendous accolade for a returning hero.

Synonyms: tribute, ovation

ACCORD: Agreement or harmony - in full accord with his view.

Synonyms: concord, concurrence

Antonyms:dissension, discord

ACRIMONIOUS: Sharp or harsh in language or temper - stung by the acrimonious remark.

Synonyms:caustic, acerb, pungent, tart, mordant, acrid; (noun) asperity

Antonyms:suave, affable

ACUMEN: Keenness of mind or insight - showing exceptional business acumen.

Synonyms:perspicacity, discernment, perception


ADMONISH (noun: ADMONITION): To warn or find fault gently - admonishing the unruly child.

Synonyms:chide, caution, reprimand, reprehend, reproach

ADVERSARY: (adj.: ADVERSE): An opponent - his adversary in a bitter debate.


Antonyms:cohort, confederate, ally, accomplice

ADVERSITY: Misfortune - calm in the face of adversity.

Synonyms:affliction, mischance, reverses

AESTHETIC: Pertaining to the beautiful - interested in aesthetic values rather than in purely practical affairs.

AFFABLE: Sociable, courteous, and agreeable in manner a much admired, affable gentleman.

Synonyms: civil, complaisant, benign, gracious, genial, urbane, cordial

Antonyms:curt, brusque, rude, boorish, surly

AFFLUENT: Prosperous, flourishing; copious - a large bequest from an affluent grandfather.

Synonyms:opulent, profuse

Antonyms:destitute, impecunious

AGGRESSIVE (noun: AGGRESSION. an unprovoked attack): self-assertive; attacking, offensive - annoyed people by his aggressive attitude;

Synonyms:bumptious, officious, obtrusive

Antonyms:meek, humble, retiring, diffident

ALACRITY: Eagerness; cheerful promptness - responded to the flattering offer with alacrity.

Synonyms:celerity, briskness, energy, animation

Antonyms:apathy, nonchalance, sluggishness, lethargy, phlegmatism

ALIENATE: To estrange - altenated by his gruff manner.

ALLAY: To calm; to lessen in severity - at ease now that his fears have been allayed.

Synonyms:appease, alleviate, pacify, assuage, abate, mitigate, propitiate, mollify, placate

Antonyms:intensify, aggravate

ALLUDE (noun: ALLUSION): To refer to indirectly - alluded quite subtly to his friend's misfortune.

Synonyms:insinuate, intimate, imply

Antonyms:refer, cite

ALLURE: To tempt by flattery or an attractive offer - allured by the prospect of a new job.

Synonyms:lure, decoy, inveigle, entice, seduce, wheedle, beguile, cajole


AMBIGUOUS: Uncertain, vague, capable of being inter- in more than one way - puzzled by the ambiguous statement.

Synonyms:hazy, obscure, equivocal, dubious, nebulous

Antonyms:explicit, unquestionable

AMENABLE: Obedient; willing to submit - amenable to the suggestion.

Synonyms:tractable, docile, responsive

Antonyms:intractable, refractory, recalcitrant

AMIABLE: Good-natured; friendly - attracted friends by his amiable disposition.


ANACHRONISM: A thing placed or occurring out of its normal time - A machine gun at the Battle of Yorktown would be an anachronism.

ANALOGY (adj.: ANALOGOUS): A relation between two things shown in the resemblance not of the things themselves but of their characteristics- He indicated points of analogy between the two situations.

Synonyms:correspondence, affinity

Antonym: anomaly (a deviation from the general rule)

ANARCHY: State of confusion or lawlessness - a country brought to utter anarchy by civil war.

Synonyms: chaos, pandemonium

ANIMUS: A feeling of hatred-felt no animus, even against the enemy.

Synonyms: enmity, rancor, malevolence, animosity

Antonym: amity

ANNALS: Historical records - in the annals of literature.

ANONYMOUS: Of unknown authorship-an anonymous publication.

ANTHOLOGY: A collection of choice literary works – an anthology of modern poetry.

ANTITHESIS (adj.: ANTITHETICAL): Contrast; the direct opposite - His selfish attitude seemed to me the antithesis o patriotism.

APATHY (adj.: APATHETIC): Lack of feeling, emotion, or interest - attributed his failure to apathy, rather than lack of ability.

Synonyms: torpor, lethargy, sluggishness, listlessness, languor, lassitude, dispassion; (verb) languish

Antonyms:zeal, animation

APPREHENSIVE (verb: APPREHEND): Fearful - Being unprepared, John is apprehensive of the examination.

APPRISE: To inform -apprisedhis lieutenants of the new situation.

APPROBATION: Approval; praise -a plan that met with hearty approbation.

Synonyms:sanction, commendation

Synonyms:sanction, commendation



(1) Likely; inclined or disposed - apt to succeed. Synonym: prone

(2) Fit, suitable - an apt remark.

Synonyms: appropriate, felicitous

(3) Skillful, expert - apt at woodcarving.

Synonyms: deft, dextrous, adept. Antonym: inept

ARBITER: A person who has authority to decide matters in dispute - a fair decision rendered by the arbiter.

Synonyms: mediator, arbitrator

ARCHETYPE: An original pattern - copies reproduced from the archetype.

Synonym: prototype

Antonyms: Stereotype, facsimile, replica

ARID: Dry; barren - the arid desert land.

Synonyms. jejune, parched

Antonyms: arable, fertile

ARISTOCRACY: Government by the best people; a privileged class -special privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy.

Synonym: oligarchy

Antonym: democracy

ARMISTICE: A temporary suspension of hostilities. The armistice halted the war.

Synonym: truce

ARTFUL: Sly; crafty - attained his mean objective by artful measures.

Synonyms: cunning, wily, adroit, ingenious, guileful

Antonyms: guileless, ingenuous, artless

ARTICULATE (verb): To speak clearly or distinctly - articulated slowly so that he could not be misunderstood.

(adj.): Capable of speech; distinct, clear – an articulate man, always ready to give his views.

ASCETIC: Rigorously self-denying - pursued the ascetic life of a monk.

Synonyms: austere, abstinent

Antonyms: wanton, self-indulgent

ASKANCE: With distrust - looked askance at the forged signature.

ASSEVERATE: To declare positively; to confirm - asseverated his views with conviction.

Synonyms:assert, avouch, aver, avow, allege

Antonyms:gainsay, controvert, recant, rescind, abjure, disavow

ASSIDUOUS: Industrious - an assiduous worker, toiling long hours.

Synonyms:sedulous, attentive, diligent, indefatigable

Antonyms:indolent, slothful

ASYLUM: A place offering shelter and retreat -found asylum from persecution.

Synonyms:sanctuary, refuge

ATHEIST: One who denies that God exists - The atheist declared, "There is no God."

Synonyms:infidel, agnostic, skeptic

ATTRIBUTE (verb): Assign -attributed his success to bard work.

Synonym: ascribe

(noun): An inherent quality -Generosity was his outstanding attribute.

AUGMENT: To increase or enlarge - an army augmented by numerous enlistments.

Synonyms: enhance, amplify - Antonyms: abate, curtail

AUSPICIOUS: Indicating a happy outcome - The prospect for this project appears auspicious.

Synonyms:propitious, fortunate

Antonyms:ominous, foreboding

AUTHENTIC: Genuine -proved to be an authentic document.

Synonyms:veritable, bona fide

Antonyms;apocryphal, counterfeit, spurious, bogus

AUTOCRATIC: Despotic - feared by the masses as an autocratic ruler.



AVARICE: Excessive greed - a fortune accumulated by avarice and miserliness.

Synonyms:covetousness, cupidity, avidity


AWRY: Unsymmetrical; not straight - the picture, hanging awry on the wall.


BANAL: Lacking in freshness, originality, or vigor-bored by his banal remarks.

Synonyms:commonplace, hackneyed, prosaic, trite, stereotyped, vapid

Antonyms:racy, original, vivid

BANEFUL (noun: BANE: poison; source of harm): Destructive, poisonous - a baneful effect, causing serious injury.

Synonyms: deleterious, pernicious, virulent, noxious, toxic


BANTER: Good-natured teasing or ridicule-The two wits I exchanged banter, to the amusement of the audience.

Synonyms:raillery, chaff

BATON: A stick or staff - The conductor wielded his baton gracefully.

BELIE: To give a false idea of - His gracious manner belled his. evil purpose.


BELLICOSE; Inclined to quarrel; warlike - His bellicose attitude often got John into fights.

Synonyms: pugnacious, contentious, disputatious

Antonyms: pacific, conciliatory

BELLIGERENT: Engaged in war - two belligerent nations warring fiercely.

BENEVOLENT: Kindly; charitable - like a benevolent monarch, bestowing many favors.

Synonyms: benign, benignant, gracious, magnanimous

Antonyms: malevolent, malignant

BEREAVE: To deprive or leave desolate by loss - a widow just bereaved of her husband.

BESMIRCH: To soil or dirty - besmirched his opponent's good name with vile epithets.

Synonyms: stilly, defile, smirch, bespatter

BIASED: Prejudiced - misled by a biased point of view.

Synonyms:bigoted, arbitrary, partial, partisan

Antonyms:disinterested, equitable

BIBLIOPHILE: A lover of books - The bibliophile fingered the old book fondly.

Antonym: bibliophobe

BIZARRE: Queer; unusual in appearance- bizarre clothes, outlandish in the extreme.

Synonyms:odd, fantastic, grotesque, eccentric

BLAND: Gentle; polite; agreeable - a bland diet, without irritating foods.

Synonyms: mild, suave (affable or persuasive in manner), soothing, non-irritating

Antonyms: piquant, tart, racy, caustic, acrid, pungent

BLANDISHMENT: A flattering speech or act - attracted people by his blandishments.

BLEMISH (verb): To scar or spoil - Bad associates blemished his character

(noun): A disfigurement, defect - a character without a blemish.

BLIGHT: To ruin or decay - the rotting wheat-, blighted by incessant rain.

Synonyms:wither, blast

BLITHE: Gay and light-hearted in spirit or mood - spread cheer with her blithe spirit.

Synonyms: jocund, merry, joyous

Antonyms: dejected, forlorn, abject

BOG: A swamp - sank into the spongy bog.

Synonyms: morass, fen, quagmire, mire

BOMBASTIC (noun: BOMBAST): High-sounding; pretentious in language - a bombastic speech, inflated with meaningless high-flown words.

Synonyms: ranting, pompous, fustian

BOORISH: Unrefined in speech or manners - exhibited the boorish manners of a backwoodsman.

Synonyms:churlish, uncouth. uncultured, crass

Antonym: suave

BUCOLIC: Pertaining to the country - a bucolic poem de- the joys of the shepherd.

Synonyms:pastoral, rustic, rural

BUFFOON: A clown - acting like a buffoon, full of ludicrous tricks.

Synonym: harlequin


  1. An embankment used as a fortification - a lofty bulwark for defense.

Synonym: rampart

  1. A person, idea, or object serving as a protection - acted as a bulwark in the fight against crime.

BUMPTIOUS: Obnoxiously conceited or self-assertive - a bumptious monitor, puffed up with his own importance,

Synonyms: aggressive, arrogant, contumelious, overbearing

CABAL: A small group of persons engaged in plotting - a cabal of prominent persons united to overthrow the government.

Synonyms: junto, faction

CACOPHONOUS: Unharmonious sounding - a cacophonous blare of trumpets, noisy and discordant.

Synonyms: dissonant, discordant, blatant, strident, raucous Antonyms: mellifluous, euphonious, dulcet

CADAVEROUS: Corpselike; hence, haggard, pale -His face appeared cadaverous from long imprisonment.

Synonyms: ghastly, gaunt, pallid (noun: pallor), wan, ashen

Antonyms: rubicund, florid

CALLOUS: Unfeeling or insensitive - made callous by long suffering.

Synonyms: insensible, obdurate

CALUMNIATE: To accuse falsely or maliciously in order to injure another's reputation; slander - calumniated his political opponent by spreading false rumors.

Synonyms: asperse, vilify, defame, scandalize

CANDID (noun: CANDOR): Frank, outspoken; impartial a candid reply that could hardly be more forthright.

Synonyms: artless, ingenuous, unbiased

Antonyms: guileful, evasive

CANTANKEROUS: Ill-natured; quarrelsome – showed a cantankerous and sullen disposition.

Synonyms:petulant, peevish, contentious, pugnacious, testy, choleric, fretful

Antonyms:amiable, affable, equable

CAPRICIOUS: Inclined, through some whim or fancy change the mind, purpose, or actions suddenly - a capricious person, undependable in mood or temper.

Synonyms:fickle, fitful, changeable, erratic, inconstant, crotchety, whimsical, mercurial

Antonyms:steadfast, constant, even-tempered

CAPTIOUS: Quick to find fault about trifles- a captious critic pouncing on slight laws.

Synonyms:hypercritical, carping, carviling, censorious

CARICATURE: A picture or other description of a person which exaggerates ludicrously one or more of his distinctive features - not a realistic portrait but a malicious caricature.

CASTIGATE: To punish or criticize severely - castigated for using improper language.

Synonyms:reprove, upbraid, reprehend, censure, reprimand, chasten

Antonyms:commend, eulogize, laud

CELESTIAL: Pertaining to the sky; heavenly-a celestial pageant of bright stars.

Synonyms:ethereal; (noun) firmament

CHAUVINIST. An extreme patriot-a chauvinist with most pride in his country.


CHICANERY: Trickery, deception,- practised chicanery all his shady dealings.

Synonyms:duplicity, craft, stratagem, wile, subterfuge

CHRONIC: Continuing a long time; habitual-a. chronic complaint, persisting for years.

Synonyms:persistent, unremitting, inveterate, incessant, constant

Antonyms:intermittent, sporadic, infrequent

CIRCUMSPECT: Cautious - looked about him circumspectly.

Synonyms:prudent, vigilant, discreet, wary

Antonyms:rash, indiscreet, reckless, precipitate, foothardy, temerarious, headstrong

CIRCUMVENT: To gain an advantage by the use of trick to evade by the use of deception; to go around - circumvented the law by evasive practices.

Synonyms:thwart, balk, outwit, delude


  1. Of or having to do with citizens or the state - We I civil duties as well as civil liberties.
  2. Polite, courteous - answered in a civil fashion.

Synonyms: respectful, gracious

CLAMOROUS: Loud and noisy - a clamorous outburst the crowd outside.

Synonyms: vociferous, obstreperous, blatant, raucous, strident

Antonyms: muted, quiet

CLANDESTINE: Secret; stealthy - a clandestine meeting known only to a few.

Synonyms: furtive, covert, surreptitious

Antonyms: overt, manifest, above-board

CLEMENT: Merciful; gentle - a clement judge who tempered justice with leniency.

Synonyms: compassionate, forbearing

Antonyms: relentless, ruthless

COALITION (verb: COALESCE): Alliance; merging of various units into one unit - three parties forming a coalition to rule the country.

Synonyms: amalgamation, consolidation, fusion

COERCION: Compelling a person by physical force or other means to do something against his will - rendered his services without the slightest coercion.

Synonyms: constraint, restraint, impelling

COGENT: Having the force to compel, usually by appealing to reason - persuaded by cogent arguments.

Synonym: persuasive

COLLUSION: Working together secretly for an evil purpose - acted in collusion to overthrow the government.

Synonyms: collaboration, conspiracy, conniving, machination

COMMODIOUS: Roomy - a commodious apartment.

Synonyms: spacious, capacious, ample

COMPATIBLE: Harmonious; able, to get along together parted company because they were not compatible.

Synonyms: congruous, consistent

Antonyms: incongruous, discordant, incompatible

COMPENDIUM (adj.: COMPENDIOUS): A brief summary of the main ideas of a larger work - a compendium of chemistry in a slim volume.

Synonyms: synopsis, digest, precis, abstract, epitome

COMPENSATION: Payment for services - just compensation for his labor.

Synonyms: stipend, remuneration, recompense, emolument

COMPLACENT: Self-satisfied - looked on his own performance with a complacent smile.

Synonym: smug

COMPUNCTION: Regret for wrongdoing - displayed slight compunction for his misdeed.

Synonyms: contrition, penitence, atonement, remorse, qualm

CONCEDE: To yield; to admit as true; to grant - conceded victory to a superior force.

Synonyms: acquiesce, capitulate

CONDIGN: Well-deserved (applied chiefly to punishment) - received condign punishment for his crime.

CONDOLE (noun: CONDOLENCE): To express sympathy with another in sorrow, pain, or misfortune - condoled with each other in their grief.

Synonyms: commiserate, show compassion, solace

CONDONE: To forgive or overlook (an offense) - condoned the deed, in view of the offender's age.

Synonyms: extenuate, palliate, mitigate, gloss

CONFEDERATE (noun): A person allied with others for a special purpose (frequently a bad one) - joined his confederate in secret enterprise.

Synonyms: collaborator, accomplice

(adj.): United or allied in a conspiracy - two confederate groups hurrying to their rendezvous.


(1) Possessing similar interests and tastes; able to get on well with others - congenial people with similar backgrounds.

Synonym: compatible

(2) Agreeable - congenial to his taste.

CONJECTURE: To guess - Without facts, we can only conjecture about his guilt.

Synonyms: surmise, presume


(1) To set apart as sacred - consecrate the battlefield with a monument to the dead heroes. Synonyms: hallow, sanctify Antonym: desecrate

(2) To devote or dedicate to some aim - consecrated his life to teaching.

CONSENSUS. General agreement - The consensus of the committee was that no action should be taken.

Synonym: accord

CONSTERNATION: Amazement; lack of courage caused by fearful prospect - The threat struck deep consternation into John.

Synonyms: dismay, bewilderment

CONSTRUE (noun: CONSTRUCTION): To interpret, explain the sense of, or analyze - construed the statement to his own advantage.

CONSUMMATE (adj.): Perfect or highly accomplished - achieved with consummate skill.

Antonyms: botched. bungled, inept

(verb): To complete, bring to perfection - consummated the deal without delay.

CONTEMPTUOUS: Expressive of contempt (an emotion involving anger and disgust) - cast a contemptuous look at his subordinate.

Synonyms: supercilious, scornful, disdainful, contumelious

CONVIVIAL: Festive; gay - a convivial party.

Synonyms: jovial, jocund, mirthful

Antonyms: lugubrious, dolorous, mirthless

COPIOUS: Plentiful - shed copious tears at the bad news.

Synonyms. profuse, bountiful, abundant

Antonyms: meager, scant

CORPULENT: Fat - corpulent due to excessive eating.

Synonyms: obese, portly

Antonyms: gaunt, lank, emaciated, peaked

COSMOPOLITAN (noun): One who is at home in all countries - A cosmopolitan can feel at ease anywhere in the world.

(adj.): Free from local prejudices - a world-wide traveler, cosmopolitan in tastes and attitudes.

Synonyms: Catholic

Antonyms: parochial, provincial

COTERIE: A group of people joined by common interests a coterie of select friend.

Synonym: clique

COUNTENANCE (noun): A face - His countenance expressed his complete disgust.

Synonym: visage

(verb): To approve - refused to countenance disrespectful conduct.

Synonym: sanction

CRASS: Coarse and stupid - displayed crass ignorance.

Synonym: gross

CRAVEN (noun): Coward - the deed of a craven, motivated by fear.

Synonym. Poltroon

(adj.): Cowardly - a craven act which shocked the world.

Synonyms: pusillanimous, dastardly.

Antonyms: stalwart, intrepid, valiant, stout-hearted

CREDENCE: Trust or belief - gave little credence to the rumor.

Synonym: conviction

Antonym: skepticism

CREDIBLE: Worthy of belief - a credible story, true to life.

Antonym: incredible

CREDITABLE: Deserving or reflecting Credit or honor - applauded for his creditable performance.

Synonyms: praiseworthy, meritorious, commendable

Antonyms: discreditable, infamous, opprobrious, ignominious

CREDULOUS: Inclined to believe anything; easily imposed upon - a credulous fool whom anyone can dupe.

Synonym: gullible

Antonyms: incredulous, skeptical

CRINGE: To shrink in fear - cringing before superior force.

Synonyms, cower, flinch, fawn, truckle, wince

CRUCIAL: Decisive or critical; difficult - the crucial event that decided the outcome.

CRYPTIC: Containing hidden meaning - a cryptic message, difficult to decipher.

Synonyms: occult, enigmatic

Antonyms: palpable, manifest

CULPABLE: Deserving blame or censure - removed from office for culpable negligence.

Synonyms: censurable, reprehensible

CUMBROUS: Burdensome and clumsy - a cumbrous knapsack, impeding his march.

Synonyms: cumbersome, unwieldy, bulk

CURB: To control, check, or restrain - forcibly curbed the people's protest.

Synonyms: repress, subdue

CURSORY: Hurried; hence, superficial - Time permitted only a cursory examination.

Antonyms: painstaking, meticulous

CURT: Rudely abrupt -offended by the curt response.

Synonyms: blunt, brusque, bluff

Antonyms: affable, civil

CYNICAL: Sneeringly distrustful of the good motives or conduct of others - belittled the hero with a cynical remark.

Synonyms: sarcastic, surly

DEARTH: Scarcity - a dearth of news, brought about by censorship.

Antonyms: plethora, abundance

DEFERENCE: Submitting to the wishes or judgment of another - yielded out of deference to the old man.

Synonyms: respect, complaisance, veneration

Antonym: recalcitrance

DEITY: A god -The sun was a deity to ancient peoples.

Synonym: divinity

DELECTABLE: Very pleasing - a delectable meal, tastefully prepared.

DELETE: To erase or cancel, take out or remove - deletedan offensive phrase.

Synonyms: expunge, censor, efface, eradicate

DELINEATE: To sketch or portray - striking features, delineated by a master artist.

DELINQUENT (noun): An offender - found to be a delinquent by the court.

(adj.): Failing to fulfill an obligation - too many people who are delinquent in meeting their civic duties.

Synonym: derelict

DELUGE: A great flood; downpour - a spring deluge which caused the river to overflow.

DEMAGOGUE: A leader who tries to stir the passions of people for his own purposes - the mob roused by an unprincipled demagogue.

DEMEANOR: Behavior; bearing - carrying himself with a proud demeanor.

Synonyms: deportment, mien

DEMURE: Affectedly or falsely modest or prim; serious demure as a Victorian maiden.

Synonyms: sedate, staid, decorous, prudish, coy

Antonyms: immodest, frivolous

DENOUNCE (noun: DENUNCIATION): To speak against - denounced by the press as a traitor.

Synonyms: stigmatize, censure, reprehend, castigate

Antonyms: laud, eulogize

DEPLETE: To empty or to use up - depleted the public treasury by vast building programs.

Synonyms: exhaust, drain

Antonyms: replenish; (adj.) replete

DEPLORE: To express sorrow or grief over - a lamentable situation deplored by all parties.

Synonyms: lament, decry, grieve

DEPRAVED: Of low morals; corrupt - a depraved mind, devising evil.

Synonyms: debased, wicked, vicious, perverted

DEPRECATE: To plead or argue against a certain course of action - deprecated the proposal severely.

Synonyms: remonstrate, protest, decry, expostulate

Antonym: sanction

DEPRECIATE: To belittle or speak slightingly of - depreciated John's acting ability.

Synonyms: disparage, derogate (adj. derogatory)

Antonyms: enhance, magnify, extol, laud, eulogize

DEVASTATION: Widespread ruin - the city left in utter devastation by war.

Synonyms: destruction, desolation


(1) Winding; indirect - took a devious, rather than the direct way home.

Synonym: circuitous

(2) Straying from the right course - used devious means to attain his wicked ends.

Synonyms: crooked, erring

DEVOID: Lacking in; not possessing - a speech devoid of even a trace of ill-will.

Synonym: destitute

Antonyms: abounding, prevalent

DEVOUT: Devoted to religious observances - devout in his regularity of attendance at worship.

Synonyms: pious, religious

Antonym: impious

DICTUM: Art authoritative statement; a saying-an imperial dictum demanding instant compliance.

DIDACTIC: Designed to teach, imparting a lesson - a poem with a didactic purpose.

Synonym: pedagogical

DIFFIDENT: Lacking in self-confidence- too diffident to lead a group.

Synonyms: shy, timid, reserved, reticent, retiring

Antonyms: forward, aggressive

DILEMMA: A situation calling for a choice between two equally difficult alternatives; hence, a difficult or perplexing situation - faced with a dilemma defying solution.

Synonyms:predicament, quandary, plight

DILETTANTE: One who dabbles in the fine arts for amusement only and without concentrated study - a doctor by profession, a dilettante in art.

Synonyms:amateur, connoisseur

DISCONCERT: To confuse; to embarrass - disconcerted by his suspicious stare.

Synonyms:perturb, discomfit, discompose, abash, disquiet, fluster

DISCONSOLATE: Depressed; without hope or possibility of consolation - made disconsolate by abject poverty.

Synonyms:inconsolable, dejected

Antonyms:blithesome, carefree

DISCOURSE: To converse or talk; to discuss - discoursed at length on the rise of political parties.

DISCRETE: Separate - two discrete issues, totally unrelated.

DISCURSIVE: Rambling from one subject to another - a discursive letter, covering many topics.

Synonyms:desultory, digressive

DISPARITY (adj.: DISPARATE): Inequality; difference in image, quantity, character, or rank - great disparity between promise and performance.

DISPASSIONATE: Free from feeling or partiality - coldly dispassionate as the chairman of the meeting

Synonyms:palm, impartial


DISPATCH (verb): To do speedily; to send off - dispatched with remarkable promptness.

Synonym: expedite

(noun): A speedy performance; the sending off of something - done with all possible dispatch.

Synonyms: celerity, alacrity

DISPEL: To drive away; to scatter - dispelled a doubt that had lingered.

Synonyms:dissipate, disperse, diffuse

DISSENT (noun: DISSENSION): To disagree; to differ in opinion - He dissented violently, rejecting compromise.

DISSOLUTE: Living loosely; unrestrained in conduct or morals - his life wasted by dissolute conduct.

Synonyms:debauched, dissipated, profligate

DISTRAUGHT: Mentally distressed; distracted - distraught by trials and tribulations.

Synonym: harassed

DIVERSE: (verb: DIVERSIFY; noun: DIVISIBILITY): Varied; different - two diverse characters; one candid, the other insincere.

Synonym: multifarious

DIVERTING: Entertaining - a diverting one of the most amusing I've ever seen.

DIVULGE: To make public or reveal - refused to divulge his source of information.

Synonyms: disclose, impart

DOGMATIC: Positive in expressing an opinion; asserting an opinion as though it were an undisputed fact - spoken dogmatically, as if the speaker considered himself infallible.

Synonyms: overbearing, opinionated, peremptory, dictatorial

DOLOROUS: Sorrowful; mournful - a dolorous song full of sorrow for past joys.

Synonyms: doleful, lugubrious, grievous

Antonyms: jocund, blithe, mirthful

DYNAMIC: Forceful - possessed dynamic energy, tireless and powerful.

Synonym: energetic

Antonyms: static, inert, dormant, torpid, sluggish, quiescent

ECCLESIASTIC (adj.): Pertaining to the clergy or the church - recognized as an authority in ecclesiastic matters. Antonyms: secular, lay

(noun): A clergyman - an ecclesiastic of liberal views.

EDICT: A public command or proclamation issued by an authority - proclaimed by royal edict.

Synonym: decree

EDIFY: To instruct or uplift, particularly in morals or religion - a story that edifiesthe reader, as well as entertains him

EFFETE: No longer productive; hence, lacking in or, worn out - powerful in ancient days, now an effete civilization.

EGOTISTIC: Conceited - an egotisticperson, flourishing on praise.

Synonyms: egocentric, vain

Antonym: altruistic

EGREGIOUS: Outstandingly bad an egregiousmistake with serious implications.

EJACULATE: To exclaim or utter suddenly - ejaculateda cry of horror.

ELICIT: To draw out - elicitedno response from the audience.

Synonyms: evoke, extract, extort

ELUCIDATE: To make clear; to explain - elucidatedhis theory so that even a schoolboy could understand it.

Synonym: clarify

EMISSARY: A person sent on an errand or mission - delegated his emissary to conclude a pact.

ENGENDER: To cause, produce, or stir up-an act that engenderedgood will.

ENNUI: Boredom; weariness of mind-fell asleep at the meeting from sheer ennui.

ENSUE: To follow or result-Silence ensuedwhen the leader arose to speak.

ENTREAT: To beg earnestly - entreatedthe judge to show mercy.

Synonyms: solicit, supplicate, beseech, implore, importune;

(adj.) importunate, mendicant, suppliant

EPHEMERAL: Very short-lived - an ephemeraljoy, lasting but a day.

Synonyms: fleeting, transitory, transient, evanescent

Antonym: eternal

EPICUREAN (noun): A person devoted to luxurious living and pleasure - an epicurean, seeking to enjoy every meal.

(adj.): Pleasure-loving - His entire existence demonstrated his epicureantastes.

EPIGRAM: A brief pointed saying - a speech full of original epigrams.

Synonyms: maxim proverb, adage

EPITAPH: A tombstone inscription - an epitaphengraved on marble.

EPITHET: A phrase that describes a quality (good or bad) in a person or thing - "Glaring" error is a commonly used epithet.

Synonyms: characterization , appellation

EQUANIMITY (adj.: EQUABLE): Evenness of temper or mind - suffered his cruel fate with equanimity.

Synonyms: serenity, composure, imperturbability, aplomb

ERR (noun: ERRATUM): To be mistaken or go astray - To err is human, to forgive divine.

Synonyms: stray, blunder

ERRATIC: Irresponsible, eccentric; lacking a fixed purpose erratic behavior, reflecting his queer ideas.

ERUDITE: Learned - an erudite person, an editor of many books.

Synonyms: scholarly , knowing

ESOTERIC: Understood by only a select few - an esoteric subject, discussed only by scholars.

Synonyms: abstruse, recondite

EXCEPTIONABLE: Objectionable - exceptionable behavior, universally criticized.

Synonyms: questionable, reprehensible, censurable

Antonym: laudable

EXCULPATE: To free from blame - exculpated by a jury.

Synonyms: vindicate, exonerate, absolve, acquit

Antonyms: arraign, indict, inculpate

EXEMPLARY (noun: EXEMPLAR): Serving as a model; commendable - exemplary conduct approved by all.

Synonyms: illustrative, typical; praiseworthy, laudable

EXODUS: Departure, emigration - the pathetic exodus of refugees from their homeland.

EXOTIC: Strange and foreign - an exotic costume imported from Asia.

EXPATIATE: To speak or write at great length - He expatiated on the subject for two hours.

Synonym: dilate

EXPATRIATE (verb): To banish or exile; to withdraw from one's country - expatriated for treachery to his country.

(noun): An expatriated person - expatriates who left the United States to live in Paris.

EXPEDIENT (adj.): Convenient in helping to attain some purpose - found it expedient to maintain silence at that moment.

Synonyms: opportune, seasonable

(noun): A means to accomplish something - tried all expedients to achieve a quick result.

EXPLOIT (verb): To use for one's selfish purpose – refugees exploited by unscrupulous employers.

(noun): A brilliant deed - lauded for his exploits in science.

Synonym: feat

EXPOUND (noun: EXPOSITION): To set forth in detail; to explain - expounded his theory in a learned article.

EXPURGATE: To purify (usually a piece of writing) of offensive material - expurgate all obscenities before the book could be sold.

Synonyms: purge, delete

EXTEMPORANEOUS: Done or spoken on the spur of the moment or without preparation - an extemporaneous speech.

Synonyms: impromptu, offhand

EXTINCT: No longer existing or active - the extinct dinosaur, alive only in history.

Synonym: defunct

Antonym: extant

EXTIRPATE: To root out, destroy totally - extirpated the cause of trouble.

Synonyms: eradicate, exterminate, efface, obliterate

EXTRANEOUS. Not essential; foreign; irrelevant - excluded material extraneous to the subject.

Synonyms: extrinsic, adventitious

Antonyms: germane, intrinsic, inherent, relevant, pertinent

EXULTATION: Great rejoicing - received the good news with exultation.

Synonym: jubilation

FACADE: Front or face, especially of a building - a facade of marble.

FACETIOUS: Given to joking or inappropriate gaiety; said in fun - brightened the evening with his facetious remarks.

Synonyms: jocose, droll, flippant, frivolous

Antonyms: solemn, grave, saturnine

FALLACIOUS (noun: FALLACY): Unsound; misleading; deceptive - led astray by fallacious reasoning and plans.

FALLIBLE: Liable to make mistakes or be deceived - Being human, Tom was naturally fallible.

Antonyms: infallible, unerring

FATHOM: To penetrate and understand - difficult to fathom his mysterious actions.

FATUOUS: Foolish; silly - a fatuous suggestion that struck us as stupid.

Synonyms: inane, vacuous, puerile

Antonyms: judicious, sagacious, sage

FEALTY: Faithfulness - The soldiers were pledged to fealty to their ruler.

Synonyms: allegiance, constancy, fidelity

Antonyms: disloyalty; infidelity, treachery

FEASIBLE: Workable - a feasible plan, proved practical by - previous experience.

Antonym: impracticable

245 FEIGN (noun: FEINT): To pretend - He feigned to be angry, but we saw through his pretense.

Synonyms: dissemble, sham, dissimulate, affect


(1) A state of happiness - promoted felicity in the nation.

Synonym: bliss

(2) A high ability - lie has a felicity of language, mastery of the well-chosen phrase.

FERVID: Spirited; ardent - a fervid debater, full of emotion.

Synonyms: perfervid, impassioned, zealous, fervent, vehement

FESTOON (noun): A garland of flowers, leaves, etc. hung between two points - the room bright with festoons of Thanksgiving decorations.

(verb): To hang with festoons - a room festooned with spring flowers.


(1) Something that is believed to have magical powers - savages worshipping the fetish in a ceremonial dance.

Synonym: charm, talisman, amulet

(2) An object of unreasoning devotion and worship – Photography, begun as a hobby, became a fetish.

FIASCO: A ludicrous and complete failure - all his glorious plans ending in a fiasco.

Synonym: debacle

FICTITIOUS: Unreal; made-up - used a fictitious name to avoid being recognized.

Synonym: fabricated

FLACCID: Lacking firmness - muscles grown flaccid after the illness.

Synonyms: flabby, limp

FLAGRANT: Outstandingly bad - condemned for his flagrant abuse of power.

Synonyms: glaring, scandalous, notorious, conspicuous, gross

FLAMBOYANT: Elaborately showy - written in a flamboyant, style, full of highly decorative imagery.

Synonyms: florid, ornate, resplendent, embellished, garish, gaudy, gorgeous, rococo

Antonym: somber

FLAUNT: Display or wave boastfully - flaunted the excellent report before his delighted parents.

FLEETING: Passing swiftly -the fleeting hours of happiness

Synonyms: transitory, fugitive

FLUCTUATE: To waver from one course to another; to vary irregularly - his mood fluctuating with every hour.

Synonyms: oscillate, vacillate, undulate, sway

FORBEAR (noun: FORBEARANCE): To exercise self control; to keep from - forbearing to shoot the animal despite temptation.

Synonyms: restrain, abstain

FORENSIC: Pertaining to public discussion or law courts - a lawyer gifted in forensic debate.

Synonyms: rhetorical, oratorical

FORTUITOUS: Accidental - a fortuitous meeting with a friend in need.

Synonyms: casual, incidental, adventitious, random

FRACAS: A disorderly quarrel - A fracas broke up the meeting.

Synonyms: brawl, altercation, fray, wrangle, imbroglio

FRUSTRATE: To prevent (the attainment of an object); to defeat or render ineffectual - His scholastic progress was frustrated by a serious illness.

Synonyms: balk, thwart, foil, baffle, obstruct, discomfit

Antonym: abet

FULSOME: Disgustingly excessive - nauseated by fulsome praise.

GARNISH: To trim or decorate - dishes garnished attractively with greens.

Synonyms: adorn, deck

GENEALOGY: A record of a person's or a family's ancestors or relatives - an interesting genealogy, including saints and sinners.

Synonym: lineage

GENESIS: Origin - chemistry, which had its genesis in alchemy.

Synonym: inception

GESTICULATE: To make gestures, or indicate feelings by. motions - gesticulated wildly to show his distress.

GHASTLY: Horrible, deathlike - a ghastly disaster which shocked the world.

Synonyms: gruesome, grisly, pallid, macabre, grim, lurid

GIBE (variant spelling: JIBE): To laugh at; to utter with scorn - gibed at his enemy mercilessly.

Synonyms: mock, sneer, jeer, scoff, flout, deride (adj.: derisive), rail, taunt

GLIB: Smooth-spoken, fluent - a glib liar, distorting the truth effortlessly.

GLUTTONOUS (noun. GLUTTON; verb: GLUT): Inclined to cat to excess - gulped down his food in gluttonous fashion.

Synonyms:voracious, intemperate

GOSSAMER (noun): A very thin gauzelike fabric or structure - a poem so delicate that it seemed an unreal gossamer.

(adj.): Thin and light - the gossamer wings of a dragon fly.

Synonyms: diaphanous, flimsy, gauzelike Antonyms: substantial, ponderous

GREGARIOUS: Habitually fond of associating in a company or herd - gregarious sheep; that gregarious animal, man.

Antonyms:lone, aloof

GRIMACE: A distortion of the face to express an attitude or feeling - a grimace that was more expressive than words.

HAIL: To greet - The crowd hailed the returning hero.

Synonyms: accost, salute

HARANGUE (verb): To deliver a long. noisy speech- harangued the multitude.

Synonyms: rant, declaim

(noun): A loud, tiresome speech - an empty harangue which bored his audience.

Synonym: tirade

HARBINGER, A forerunner; ail announcer - the robin, harbinger of spring.

Synonyms:precursor, herald

HAUGHTY: Proud; looking down with contempt on others - dismissed the messenger in a haughty manner.

HEEDLESS: Thoughtless; taking little care - rushed into battle, heedless of the danger.

Synonyms: inadvertent, rash, incautious

Antonyms: prudent, circumspect, mindful, wary

HEINOUS: Wicked; hateful - committed a heinous crime.

Synonyms: atrocious, outrageous, monstrous, odious, nefarious, abominable

HERESY: An opinion held in opposition to the traditional view - a view condemned as heresy.

Synonym: heterodoxy

Antonym: orthodoxy

HIATUS: A gap or vacancy; break -left a hiatus on the page where he erased a sentence.


HISTRIONIC: Pertaining to the theater; designed for show - broke into histrionic laughter, hollow and insincere.

Synonyms: dramatic, theatrical

HOAX (noun): A trick or deception; a practical joke - played a hoax upon the credulous public.

Synonym: canard

(verb): To play a trick on; to deceive - He hoaxed the crowd completely with his disguise.

HOMONYM: Two words having the same sound but different meanings - confusing such homonyms as mail add male.

HOVEL: A dirty or wretched dwelling - born in a hovel, died in a mansion.

HYPERBOLE: Extravagant exaggeration for effect - An example of hyperbole: "There are a million objections to the project."

Synonym: overstatement

Antonym: understatement

HYPOTHESIS: An assumption made for the sake of argument - worked from a fantastic hypothesis.

Synonym: supposition

IDIOSYNCRASY: A. personal peculiarity - Wearing white was one of Whistler's idiosyncrasies.

Synonyms: eccentricity, foible, mannerism, crotchet, aberration, quirk, singularity

IGNOMINIOUS (noun: IGNOMINY): Incurring public disgrace - suffered an ignominious descent from political power.

Synonyms: infamous, degrading, opprobrious, odious

Antonyms: illustrious, renowned, preeminent

IMMACULATE: Spotless; pure - an immaculate reputation.

Synonyms: undefiled, unsullied, unblemished, untarnished

Antonyms: defiled, sullied, blemished

IMMINENT: Likely to occur soon - stood in imminent peril.

Synonym: impending

IMMUNE (verb: IMMUNIZE): Exempt from; protected from - immune from taxation.

Synonym : unsusceptible

IMPALE: To pierce through with a pointed instrument - impaled a spider to the wall.


(1) To accuse (a public official) of wrongdoing - impeached the judge for accepting a bribe.

Synonym: arraign

(2) To cast discredit upon - impeached his motives.

Synonyms: call in question, discredit

IMPECCABLE: Faultless - performed with impeccable skill.

Synonyms: consummate, irreproachable, unerring, infallible

Antonyms: culpable, fallible

IMPERVIOUS: Incapable of being penetrated - a mind impervious to new ideas.

Synonyms: impermeable, impenetrable

Antonyms: permeable, pervasive

IMPLACABLE: Incapable of being soothed, made peaceful, or forgiving - implacable resentment.

Synonyms: unrelenting, inexorable, unappeasable

Antonyms: placable, forbearing


(1) Implied but not clearly expressed - an implicit agreement.

(2) Unquestioning - implicit confidence.

Synonyms: tacit, implied

Antonym: explicit

IMPORT (noun): Meaning; significance or importance - a matter of great import.

Synonyms: purport, moment, consequence

IMPOSTOR (noun: IMPOSTURE): One who pretends to be what he is notunmasked as an impostor.

Synonyms: quack, mountebank, charlatan, bogus, fraud

IMPRECATION: A curse - hurled imprecations at those who would not listen to him.

Synonyms: execration, malediction, anathema

Antonyms: benediction, benison

IMPREGNABLE: Unconquerable - an impregnable fortress.

Synonym: invincible

Antonym: vulnerable

IMPROPRIETY: Improper act, manners, or expression - guilty of impropriety in public office.

Synonyms: indecency, indecorum

Antonym: amenity

IMPROVIDENT: Lacking in thrift; not providing for future needs - an improvident spender.

Synonyms: prodigal, shiftless

IMPUGN: To attack or criticize as false; to call in question - impugned his honesty.

INCARCERATE: To imprison - crushed his opponents by incarcerating them.

Synonyms: intern, immure

Antonyms: emancipate, enfranchise

INCISIVE: Cutting, penetrating - incisive criticism.

Synonyms: sarcastic, mordant, trenchant, acute

INCOGNITO. With one's identity concealed - traveled incognito.

INCONTROVERTIBLE: Indisputable - incontrovertible evidence.

Synonyms: irrefutable, -indubitable

INCREMENT: An increase - a salary increment.

Synonym: accrual

INCUMBENT (noun): An officeholder - the incumbent in an election.

(adj.): Obligatory - felt it incumbent to reply.

Synonyms: - mandatory, imperative

INDEFATIGABLE: Untiring - an indefatigable worker.

Synonyms:unflagging, unremitting, persevering

INDIGENOUS: Native - Rice is indigenous to China.

Synonyms:innate, inborn

INDOOMITABLE: Stubborn in determination not to be subdued - indomitable courage.

Synonyms:insuperable, irrepressible, invincible, unyielding

Antonyms:tractable, amenable, docile, submissive

INFERENCE: A conclusion reached by reasoning from data or premises - an inference drawn from his remarks.

Synonyms:deduction, implication

INGENIOUS: Demonstrating originality, skill, or resourcefulness - an ingenious device.

Synonyms:dextrous, inventive, adroit

Antonyms:maladroit, gauche

INGENUOUS: Simple and straightforward; concealing nothing - an ingenuous plan that anyone could see through.

Synonyms: unsophisticated, naive, candid

Antonym: sophisticated

INGRATIATE: To win another's favor or good opinion tried to ingratiate himself with the politician.

INHIBIT: To check or hinder - inhibited his friend from a foolhardy course.

Synonyms:restrain, curb

Antonym: promote

INNOCUOUS: Harmless; inoffensive - an innocuous remark, but it enraged him.

INNUENDO: An indirect reference or suggestion (frequently derogatory) - conveyed his idea by innuendo.

Synonyms: (verb) intimate, insinuate

INORDINATE: Excessive - spoiled by inordinate praise.

Synonyms: immoderate, intemperate, extravagant

INSATIABLE: Unable to be satisfied - insatiable greed

Synonyms. unappeasable, unquenchable, insatiate

INSCRUTABLE: Incapable of interpretation or understanding - the inscrutable smile of the Mona Lisa.

Synonyms: unfathomable, cryptic, enigmatic

INSIDIOUS: Working secretly or slyly - that insidious disease, cancer.

Synonyms: wily, crafty, furtive, treacherous, artful, guileful perfidious

INSTIGATE: To stir tip - instigated discontent among the soldiers.

Synonyms: foment, incite

INTEGRITY: Honesty, moral soundness - a man of proved integrity.

Synonyms: probity, uprightness, incorruptibility

INVEIGH (noun-. INVECTIVE): To speak angrily or bitterly-inveighed against economic discrimination.

Synonyms: rail, denounce, fulminate, vituperate

IRASCIBLE: Easily angered - Even petty things made Peter irascible.

Synonyms: choleric, petulant, testy, peevish, splenetic, touchy

Antonyms: placid, equable

IRE: Anger -aroused his ire.

Synonyms: resentment; (adj.) irate, incensed

IRKSOME: Tedious, monotonous - an irksome chore that no one liked.

ITINERANT: Traveling about; wandering - an itinerant salesman.

Synonym: nomadic

JARGON: Confused, unintelligible, meaningless talk; special vocabulary used only by members of a group or trade - Variety, a newspaper written in theatrical jargon.

Synonyms: gibberish, argot, cant

JAUNTY: Having an air of easy carelessness or liveliness - walked with a jaunty step.

Synonyms: sprightly, airy, gay, nonchalant, debonair

Antonyms: somber, staid

JEOPARDY: Danger - His life was in jeopardy.

Synonyms: hazard, peril

JETTISON: To throw overboard (as cargo); to throw off (as a burden or something in the way )- jettisoned their old candidate as a political liability.

JUDICIOUS: Wise; using or exhibiting good judgment - a well-chosen plan, termed judicious by all.

Synonyms:discreet, politic, discerning

KALEIDOSCOPIC: Constantly changing or varying in pattern or scenes - kaleidoscopic views of New York.

KEN: Range of sight or understanding - something beyond our ken.

Synonym: insight

LABYRINTH (adj.: LABYRINTHINE): A structure or intricate passage out of which it is difficult to find one's way (also applied to spiritual and intellectual complexities) - confused by a labyrinth of intellectual discussions.


LACHRYMOSE: Causing or given to shedding tears - a lachrymose tragedy.

LACONIC: Saying much in few words - a laconic reply that spoke volumes.

Synonyms:concise, pithy, terse, succinct, taciturn, reticent

Antonyms:verbose, prolix, redundant, diffuse, tautological, turgid, garrulous, voluble

LARCENY: Theft - indicted for grand larceny.

LATENT: Hidden; present but not fully developed - latent talent that time will reveal.

Synonyms:dormant, quiescent, covert, potential

Antonyms:apparent, patent


(1) Profuse or generous - lavish in praise.

Synonyms: ample, superabundant

(2) Given to extravagance - a lavish spender.

Synonyms: prodigal, munificent, magnanimous.

Antonyms: parsimonious, niggardly, frugal, penurious

LETHAL: Deadly - a lethal weapon.

Synonyms: mortal, fatal

LONGEVITY: Prolonged duration of life - a country remarkable for the longevity of its inhabitants.

LOW: To bellow softly like cattle - the lowing herd in the meadow.

Synonym: moo

LUCID: Clear; transparent; easily understood - a lucid explanation of a difficult text.

Synonyms: pellucid, perspicuous, intelligible, limpid, luminous, translucent

Antonyms: abstruse, obscure

LUDICROUS: Ridiculous; producing laughter - a ludicrous remark that set them all to roaring.

Synonyms: mirthful, droll, comical, absurd

Antonyms: doleful, lugubrious, dismal

LUMINARY: An eminent person; a celestial body - the platform graced by a number of luminaries.

MACHIAVELLIAN: Sacrificing moral principles in order to attain power; politically cunning; crafty - a machiavellian design, wickedly contrived.

Synonym: unscrupulous

MALICIOUS (noun: MALICE): Bearing, or acting with, deliberate ill-will or spite - hurting with malicious intent.

Synonyms:rancorous, malignant, malevolent, virulent, vindictive

Antonym: benign

MASQUERADE (verb): To assume a deceptive appearance or character - a thief masquerading as an honest man.

Synonyms: dissemble, feign

(noun): A disguise; a group of people in disguise or fancy costumes - a masquerade so perfect no one could guess his identity.

MAUDLIN: Sentimental to the point of tears - turned maudlin at the mention of his lost dog.

Synonym : mawkish, lachrymose

MEANDER: To walk about (or talk) aimlessly; to wind about (as a stream) - meandered through the town, looking into shop windows.

Synonym: ramble

MEDIOCRE: Average in quality - a mediocre performance, unworthy of his talents.

MERCENARY: Acting solely from a consideration of reward or profit - actuated by a mercenary motive.

Synonym: venal

MERETRICIOUS: Attracting in a false, cheap, or showy manner- a meretricious beauty that is too flashy to be real.

Synonyms:tawdry, specious

METICULOUS: Fussy about minute details - took meticulous pains with his composition.

Synonyms:fastidious, punctilious, overscrupulous, finical, methodical

Antonyms:desultory, perfunctory, slovenly

METTLE (adj.: METTLESOME: high-spirited ): Disposition; spirit; courage - His mettle was tried in battle.

Idiom: to be on one's mettle (meaning, “ready to do one's best”)

Synonyms:temperament, ardor

MICROCOSM: A little world, or a universe in miniature this village, a microcosm of the great outside world.

Antonym:macrocosm (world on a large scale)

MIMIC: To make fun of or copy by imitating - mimicked the comedian's gestures.

MISANTHROPIC (noun: MISANTHROPE): Hating or distrusting mankind - condemned for his misanthropic views.

Antonyms: philanthropic, altruistic

MISNOMER: A name or term that describes wrongly - To call him a brave man is really a misnomer.

MONOLOGUE: A speech by one person - The actor gave his views in a dramatic monologue.


Antonyms:colloquy (adj. colloquial): conversation between two or more persons; dialogue: conversation between two persons

MOROSE: Gloomy; ill-humored - shunned because of his morose temper.

Synonyms: sulky, crabbed, sullen, splenetic, saturnine

Antonyms: blithe, genial

MOTLEY: Of various colors; of mixed ingredients - a motley costume; a motley crowd.

Synonyms: checkered (referring to a varied career), piebald, variegated, diverse, heterogeneous

Antonym: homogeneous

MOTTLED: Spotted or streaked with varied colors - a mottled pony.

Synonyms:blotched, dappled

MUNDANE: Of, or pertaining to, the world, as contrasted with the spirit - mundane affairs.

Synonyms:earthly, terrestrial, secular, temporal

MURKY: Dark; cloudy - a murky cavern.

Synonyms:dismal, tenebrous, fuliginous

Antonyms:resplendent, glowing, lustrous, luminous, fulgent, coruscating

MUTABLE: Given to frequent change in nature, mood, or form - mutable in mood as a spring wind.

Synonyms:vacillating, fickle, inconstant, fitful, mercurial, wavering, capricious

Antonyms:constant, steady

MYRIAD: Innumerable - the myriad stars in the heavens.

NAUTICAL: Pertaining to ships or navigation - a nautical career.

Synonyms: marine, naval, maritime

NETTLE: To irritate or provoke - nettled by his critics.

Synonyms: vex, pique, goad

NOCTURNAL: Pertaining to, or occurring in, the night - awakened by the sounds of a nocturnal prowler.

Antonym: diurnal

NOISOME: Foul-smelling; harmful-the swamp gave off a noisome odor.

Synonyms: malodorous, fetid, disgusting; noxious, deleterious

Antonym: salubrious

NONCHALANT: Unmoved or indifferent; casual - reacted to the news in a nonchalant manner.

Synonym: apathetic

Antonyms: enthusiastic, zealous

NOSTALGIA: Homesickness - felt nostalgia for the old homestead.

NOTORIOUS: Widely known (in a bad sense) - a notorious gambler.

NOVICE: A beginner - conducted himself in politics like a novice.

Synonyms:tyro, neophyte


OBDURATE: Hard-hearted; stubborn - an obdurate, unrepentant criminal.

Synonyms:adamant, unyielding, inflexible

Antonyms:submissive, docile, compliant

OBLIVIOUS (noun: OBLIVION): Forgetful; absent-minded - walking oblivious of his surroundings.

Synonyms:unmindful, heedless, abstracted

OBSESSION: A persistent feeling, idea, activity, etc., which dominates a person; the state of being exclusively preoccupied by a fixed idea - Now that he has learned bowling, it has become his obsession.

Synonyms:mania, infatuation (a foolish passion), monomania

OBSOLETE: No longer in use - an obsolete word, not even included by most dictionaries.

Synonyms:archaic, antiquated

OBTRUSIVE (verb: OBTRUDE): Thrusting oneself or itself into undue prominence - made himself obnoxiously obtrusive.

Synonyms:intrusive, aggressive

OBVIATE: To prevent, dispose of, or make unnecessary by appropriate actions - an act which obviated all objections.

Synonyms:preclude, forestall

OMNIPOTENT: All-powerful - an omnipotent despot.

ONUS: Burden; duty; obligation - bore the onus of his difficult office creditably.

OSTENSIBLE: Apparent; pretended - his ostensible, though not actual, purpose.

Synonyms:professed, plausible (that is, appearing true, reasonable, or fair), specious

OSTRACIZE: To banish; to exclude from public favor or privileges - a former premier ostracized by popular vote.

Synonym: outlaw

PANACEA: A remedy for all ills - seeking a panacea to cure our social troubles.

Synonym: nostrum

PANEGYRIC: A speech or writing of extravagant praise - delivered a panegyric at his friend's testimonial dinner.

Synonyms:eulogy, adulation, tribute, laudation (adj. laudatory), encomium

Antonyms:censure, disparagement, derogation, castigation, depreciation

PARADOX: A self -contradictory statement; something 'that appears to be absurd and yet may be true -"Life is too important a matter to he taken seriously." - a paradox by Oscar Wilde.

Synonym: anomaly

PARAPHRASE: To restate the meaning of a passage in other words - paraphrased the poem in a few lines of prose.

PARODY (noun): A humorous imitation of an author's style and mannerisms - wrote a parody on Kipling's "Gunga Din."

Synonym: burlesque

(verb): To write a parody - parodied the popular authors of the (lay to his audience's amusement.

Synonym: Mimic

PECCADILLO: A petty fault-possesses one peccadillo among his many virtues.

Synonyms: frailty, foible, flaw, blemish

PECUNIARY: Pertaining to money - involved in pecuniary difficulties.

Synonyms; financial, fiscal, monetary

PEDANT (adj.: PEDANTIC): One who proudly shows off his learning or who overrates his knowledge - like a pedant glorying in his scholarly trifles.

PENSIVE: Sadly thoughtful - softly sang his pensive song.

Synonyms: reflective, meditative, contemplative, musing

PEREMPTORY: Positive in expressing an opinion - gave a peremptory judgment.

Synonyms:decisive, resolute, imperious, positive, dogmatic

Antonyms:indecisive, tentative

PERTINACIOUS: Clinging doggedly to an opinion or purpose - pertinacious in his efforts.

Synonyms:obdurate, tenacious, persistent, persevering, intractable, inflexible

PERUSE: To read carefully - perused the important letter.

PERVERSE: Willfully bent on doing the wrong thing - a perverse lad, always disobeying his parents.

Synonyms:headstrong, froward, refractory, wayward, fractious

PETRIFY: To paralyze with horror, fear, or surprise - petrified by the enemy bombardment.

Synonyms:stupefy, stun, bewilder, amaze

PLAGIARISM. Adopting and reproducing, without acknowledgment, the writings or ideas of another and passing them off as one's own - denied the charge of deliberate plagiarism.

PLATITUDE: A dull and commonplace remark - bored people by his pompous phrases and platitudes.

Synonyms:bromide, truism, axiom

PLEBEIAN: Pertaining to the common people; hence, common or vulgar - plebeian in his tastes and outlook.

Antonyms:patrician, aristocratic

PLEBISCITE. A direct vote by the people - The decision to confederate was ratified by plebiscite.


(1) Gripping and moving the feelings powerfully - a poignant grief.

(2) Piercing, biting, pointed - a poignant cry; poignant wit.

PONDEROUS: Very heavy; clumsy; dull - a ponderous speech, extremely boring.

PRECARIOUS: Uncertain or risky - earning a precarious livelihood, providing no luxuries.


(1) Very steep - a precipitous cliff.

(2) Descending rapidly - a precipitous decline in popularity.

PRECOCIOUS: Remarkable for early mental development a precocious genius.


(1) Inclined to plunder or rob; - predatory bands roaming the countryside.

(2) Preying on, others - predatory animals prowling about.

Synonyms: predacious, looting, pillaging

PREDILECTION: Partiality or preference for; a favorable opinion arrived at beforehand - a predilection for theatricals.

Synonyms: prepossession, proclivity, predisposition, penchant

Antonyms: aversion, antipathy, repugnance

PRELUDE: An introduction, forerunner, or preliminary step - a short prelude to the play.

Synonyms: preface, prologue, preamble.

Antonym: epilogue

PREROGATIVE: A privilege or power attaching to a position - It is a woman's prerogative to refuse to tell her age.

Synonym: license

PRESTIGE: Esteem or influence accorded for recognized achievements or reputation - As Senator he enjoyed great prestige.

Synonym: distinction

415, PRECOCIOUS: Remarkable for early mental development a precocious genius.


(1) Inclined to plunder or rob; - predatory bands roaming the countryside.

(2) Preying on, others - predatory animals prowling about.

Synonyms: predacious, looting, pillaging

PREDILECTION: Partiality or pr eference for; a favorable opinion arrived at beforehand - a predilection for theatricals.

Synonyms: prepossession, proclivity, predisposition, penchant

Antonyms: aversion, antipathy, repugnance

PRELUDE: An introduction, forerunner, or preliminary step - a short prelude to the play.

Synonyms: Preface, prologue. Preamble

Antonym: epilogue

PREROGATIVE: A privilege or power attaching to a position - It is a woman's prerogative to refuse to tell her age.

Synonym: license

PRESTIGE: Esteem or influence accorded for recognized achievements or reputation - As Senator he enjoyed great prestige.

Synonym: distinction


(1) Something taken for granted - acted on a reasonable presumption.

(2) Going beyond proper bounds; impudent boldness - His question was downright presumption.

Synonyms: effrontery, forwardness, arrogance

PREVARICATE: To disguise or conceal the truth to lie - prevaricated in order to avoid detection.

Synonyms: quibble, equivocate; (adj.) mendacious

Antonyms: (noun) veracity, verity; (adj.) forthright

PROCRASTINATE: To postpone or put off to another time - missed his opportunity by procrastinating too long.

Synonyms: defer, delay

PROGNOSTICATE (noun: PROGNOSIS): To forecast - The Weather Bureau prognosticates daily.

Synonyms:presage, portend, augur, forebode

PROLETARIAT: The wage-earning class - a truckman, humble member of the proletariat.

PROMONTORY: A cliff - an imposing promontory along the coast.

Synonyms:headland, precipice

PROMULGATE: To publish or proclaim; to spread abroad The President promulgated a decree.


PROTUBERANT: Bulging or swelling out - a protuberant jaw.

Antonyms:receding, recessive

PROVISIONAL: Temporary; for the time being - a provisional plan until a permanent decision is reached.


PROXIMITY: Nearness-worked in close proximity to his home.

Synonyms :propinquity, vicinity


PSEUDONYM: A false name assumed by a writer - concealed his identity by a pseudonym.

Synonyms:alias, pen name, nom de plume

PUNITIVE: Inflicting, or concerned with, punishment - took punitive measures against deserters.

QUASH: To crush; to render void - quashed a rebellion; quashed an indictment.

Synonyms:suppress, extinguish, quell; annul

QUERULOUS: Given to fault-finding and complaining - Her querulous nature estranged many people.

Synonyms:fretful, whining, captious, carping, peevish, petulant

Antonym: affable

QUIXOTIC: Extravagantly romantic or idealistic; highly impractical - a quixotic scheme that can never materialize.

Synonyms:utopian, visionary, fantastic

RACONTEUR: A skilled storyteller - held spellbound by a superb raconteur.

RADICAL (noun): One who advocates extreme basic changes - The reform movement was led by a radical.

(adj.): Thorough, extreme - radical measures adopted to meet the emergency.

Antonym:(noun and adj.) conservative

RAMIFICATION: A branching; sub-division - studied the subject in all its ramifications.

RAZE: To tear down completely- razed the old building.



RECAPITULATE: To restate in a brief, concise form; to sum up - recapitulated the main ideas.

RECIPROCAL: Mutual; done in return for something received - held each other in reciprocal esteem.

RECUMBENT: Lying down; leaning back or down - resting in a recumbent position.


(1) Fragrant - a room redolent of roses.

Synonym: aromatic

(2) Reminiscent of - redolent of olden times.

REDOUBTABLE: Commanding fear or respect - cringing before a redoubtable enemy.


REFUTE: To prove incorrect or false-refuted his opponent's argument.

Synonyms:rebut, confute

Antonyms: substantiate, confirm, corroborate

REITERATE: Repeat (several times) - reiterated his story once more.

REMUNERATIVE: Profitable - a remunerative job.

Synonyms: lucrative, gainful

RENEGADE: One who forsakes political or party principles or his religious faith - a renegade from his former allegiance.

Synonyms: turncoat, apostate, recreant, traitor

REPRISAL: Injury inflicted in turn for one received - took action in reprisal against his neighbor.

Synonym: retaliation

RESENTMENT: Feeling of displeasure or indignation resulting from mistreatment or abuse - showed resentment at what he considered an unwarranted insult.

Synonyms: umbrage, dudgeon, animosity

RESILIENT: Elastic; light-hearted; possessing power of recovery - a resilient Spirit, refusing to admit defeat.

Synonyms: flexible, pliable, supple, limber


(1) Temporary deferment or cessation of work or pain - a brief respite from labor.

Synonym: surcease

(2) A temporary delay in the execution of -a sentence - granted the doom man a temporary respite.

Synonym: reprieve

RETRIBUTION: The reward or punishment exacted for an injury, wickedness, or other action - suffered just retribution for his folly.

Synonyms: requital, nemesis


(1) To make good -retrieved a mistake.

(2) To recover -retrieved the suitcase left at the station.

(3) To restore - retrieved his lost fortunes.

REVERBERATE: To echo - a shot reverberating through the valley.

Synonym: resound

RUDIMENTARY: In an early stage of development - possessing only a rudimentary, knowledge of physics.

Synonym: incipient

RUE (adj.: RUEFUL): To be sorry for-He will rue the day he left home.

Synonyms: regret, repent

SACROSANCT: Very holy - a shrine. regarded as sacrosanct.

Synonyms: consecrated, inviolable, hallowed

SAGACIOUS (noun: SAGACITY): Wise; shrewd - proved to be sagacious in his judgment.

Synonyms: perspicacious, astute, sapient, discerning, sage

SALLOW: Sick - a sallow complexion.

Synonym: pallid

Antonyms: rubicund, ruddy, florid

SALLY: (verb): To rush forth suddenly - sallied out to meet the enemy.

(noun): A Witty remark - amused the audience with his sallies against his opponent.

Synonyms: quip, banter

SANCTIMONIOUS: Pretending to be religious - showed his hypocrisy in a sanctimonious display of piety.

SANGUINARY: Bloody - a sanguinary battle.

Synonym: gory

SANGUINE: Of a hopeful disposition; blood-red in color - a perennial optimist, sanguine in temperament.

Synonyms: buoyant, ardent

SARTORIAL: Pertaining to a tailor or clothes - a picture of sartorial perfection.


(1) An attentive or flattering follower - a prince surrounded by many satellites.

Synonyms: lackey, toady, disciple, adherent; adj., fawning, obsequious, partisan

(2) A country influenced or controlled by another - Freedom is conspicuously absent ,in the Soviet satellites.

(3) A body (natural or artificial) which revolves around a larger body, generally a planet - The moon is the only natural satellite of the earth, but in recent years it has been joined by many artificial satellites.

SCINTILLA: A trace; a particle - not a scintilla of convincing evidence.

Synonyms: iota; vestige

SCOURGE (verb): To punish severely; to afflict; to whip - a disease that scourged the country.

Synonyms: excoriate, flay

(noun). A whip or other means of punishment; a cause of affliction - The Black Plague was a dreadful scourge of the Middle Ages.

Synonym: tribulation

SCRUTINIZE: To examine carefully -scrutinized the contents of the letter.

SHIBBOLETH: A party slogan - a shibboleth designed to attract votes.

SIMPER (verb): To smile in a silly or affected way simpered as he greeted each guest.

(noun): An affected or silly smile - stood nervously, a simper on his face.

Synonym: (verb and noun) smirk

SINECURE: Employment entailing little or no responsibility or labor - His job was a sinecure.

SINISTER: Threatening or showing evil; dishonest - the sinisterlook of a gangster.

SLEAZY: Flimsy and cheap - sleazy cloth which is used only in cheap garments.

Synonym: unsubstantial

SLOVENLY: Untidy-severely criticized the student's slovenly appearance.

Synonyms: slipshod, slatternly, frowzy

SOPORIFIC: Tending to induce sleep - a poorly written novel, soporific in effect.

SORDID: Mean and base; filthy - Sordid motives breed selfish actions.

Synonyms: degraded, vile, ignoble

SOVEREIGN: Supreme m power and authority; independent of the control of any other government - possessing sovereign powers; a sovereign state.

Synonyms: autonomous, imperial, majestic, paramount

SPORADIC: Occurring singly, at irregular intervals; scattered - sporadic cases of illness.

SPURN: To refuse or reject with contempt - an offer that was spurned instantly.

Synonyms: repel, snub

STOIC: Indifferent, calm in bearing pain or pleasure; practising remarkable self-control over emotions - maintained a stoic attitude despite all his trials.

Synonyms: stolid, impassive

STRINGENT: Strict; compelling, constraining stringent regulations; stringent requirements.

Synonyms: exacting, rigid

Antonym: lax

STUPENDOUS: Amazing by, virtue of its immense size, force, or any quality in exceptional degree - The circus is a stupendous spectacle.

Synonyms: astounding, prodigious, monstrous, marvelous, colossal, awful

SUCCULENT: juicy - a succulent steak.

Antonyms; desiccated, vapid

SULTRY: Close, hot, and moist - sultry tropical weather.


(1) Lying flat on the back - resting in a supine position.

Antonym: erect

(2) Inert, inactive, averse to taking action - a supine, ineffective administrator.

Synonyms: listless, torpid

TANGIBLE: Real; actual - tangible gains which may be seen. and counted.

Synonyms: material, veritable, perceptible, substantial

TANTAMOUNT: Equivalent - an act that is tantamount to treason.

TAUNT (verb). To reproach with contempt - taunted him with the charge of failure to act promptly.

Synonyms: mock, twit, gibe, sneer, deride

(noun): An insulting, jeering, or bitter remark - hurled taunts at his foes.

TEEMING: In abundance, fertile, highly productive - the teeming tropics, rank with vegetation.

Synonyms: swarming, fruitful, fecund, abounding

TEMERITY: Unwise or reckless boldness - leaped into battle with thoughtless temerity.

Synonyms: audacity, presumptuousness, effrontery, rashness;

(adj.) temerarious, foolhardy, venturesome

Antonyms: prudence, circumspection, wariness

TEMPORAL: Worldly, as opposed to spiritual; existing for a time only - a man preoccupied with temporal matters.

Synonyms: mundane, secular, civil

TEMPORIZE: To delay or refuse to commit oneself in order to gain time - temporized while his friends hurried to his aid.

Synonym: equivocate

TENET: A principle of belief held as true - a tenet of religion which be maintained loyally.

Synonyms: creed, doctrine, dogma

TENUOUS: Slender; not substantial; of slight importance - clung desperately to his tenuous hope.

TRANQUIL: Calm; peaceful - a tranquil summer night.

Synonyms: placid, serene

Antonyms: perturbed, ruffled, turbulent

TRANSGRESS: To break a law or command; to violate a moral principle; to overstep a moral bound or limit - transgressed the bounds of decency; transgressed the law.

TREMULOUS: Trembling - tremulous with fright.

Synonym: quivering

TRIVIAL: Of little - importance - a trivial offense.

Synonym: paltry

Antonyms: gross, momentous

TRUCULENT (noun: TRUCULENCE): Cruel, fierce; harsh; threatening or intimidating savagely - a dispute marked by a truculent attitude on both sides.


(1) Swollen, inflated - turgid rivers overflowing their banks.

Synonyms: bloated, distended

(2) Using big or high-sounding words - a turgid prose style.

Synonyms: pompous, bombastic, prolix

UBIQUITOUS: Existing everywhere - The common cold is a ubiquitous complaint.

Synonyms: omnipresent, universal

UNTENABLE: Incapable of being defended or held - withdrew the argument as untenable.

UTILITARIAN (adj.): Materially or practically useful - beautiful, but not utilitarian.

VANQUISH: To subdue or conquer -an army vanquished with heavy losses.

VAUNT: To boast - proudly vaunted his strength.

Synonyms: brag (noun: braggadocio, braggart), proclaim

VENEER: A superficial appearance or show designed to impress one with superiority - pierced beneath his thin veneer of elegance.

Synonym: gloss

VENERABLE: Deserving respect or reverence because of age - a venerable leader.

VERNAL: Pertaining to spring-an array of vernal flowers.

Antonym: hibernal (wintry)

VERSATILE: Able to do many things skillfully - versatile in all the arts.

VICARIOUS: Taking the place of another; felt, received, or done in place of another - took vicarious pleasure in his brother's victory.

VICISSITUDE: A change from one condition to another, often unexpected - suffered many vicissitudes of fortune.

VIRAGO: A scolding or ill-tempered woman - My neighbor's wife is a virago.

Synonyms: shrew, termagant, vixen

VITUPERATE (noun: VITUPERATION; adj.: VITUPERATIVE): To scold or blame loudly, find fault with in abusive language - an angry man, vituperating the world.

Synonyms: berate, revile

WAIVE: To give up (privileges, etc.); to do without - waived his rights to the property.

Synonyms: relinquish, forgo, forsake

WHIM (adj.: WHIMSICAL): A sudden notion or passing fancy -frequently acted on the whim of the moment.

Synonyms: caprice, vagary, crotchet

WRITHE: To twist about (usually with pain) - writhed in agony on the floor.

Synonyms: contort, squirm

ZEALOUS (noun: ZEALOT: fanatic): Full of enthusiasm or eagerness -a zealous student, first in his class.

Antonym: perfunctory

ZENITH: The highest point - the zenith of his career.

Synonyms: acme, apex, culmination, summit

Antonym: nadir


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