|TOEFL 500-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. Antonyms: 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. Antonym: obtuseness.
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. Synonym: antagonist. 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 - alterated 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. Antonym: repel.
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. Synonym: complaisant.
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 –apprised his lieutenants of the new situation.
APPROBATION: Approval; praise -a plan that met with hearty approbation. Synonyms: sanction, commendation. Antonym: disapprobation.
APT (noun: APTITUDE, APTNESS): ((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. Synonym: tyrannical. Antonym: benevolent.
AVARICE: Excessive greed - a fortune accumulated by avarice and miserliness. Synonyms: covetousness, cupidity, avidity. Antonym: magnanimity.
AWRY: Unsymmetrical; not straight - the picture, hanging awry on the wall. Synonym: askew.
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. Antonym: beneficent.
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. Synonym: misrepresent
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 - the joys of the shepherd. Synonyms: pastoral, rustic, rural.
BUFFOON: A clown - acting like a buffoon, full of ludicrous tricks. Synonym: harlequin.
BULWARK: (1) An embankment used as a fortification - a lofty bulwark for defense. Synonym: rampart. 2) 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. Synonym: jingoist.
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.
CIVIL: (1) Of or having to do with citizens or the state - 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.
CONGENIAL: ((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.
CONSECRATE: ((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.
DEVIOUS: ((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. Antonym partial.
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 edifies the 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 egotistic person, flourishing on praise. Synonyms: egocentric, vain. Antonym: altruistic.
EGREGIOUS: Outstandingly bad an egregious mistake with serious implications.
EJACULATE: To exclaim or utter suddenly – ejaculated a cry of horror.
ELICIT: To draw out – elicited no response from the audience. Synonyms: evoke, extract, extort.
ELUCIDATE: To make clear; to explain – elucidated his 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 engendered good will.
ENNUI: Boredom; weariness of mind-fell asleep at the meeting from sheer ennui.
ENSUE: To follow or result-Silence ensued when the leader arose to speak.
ENTREAT: To beg earnestly – entreated the judge to show mercy. Synonyms: solicit, supplicate, beseech, implore, importune; (adj.) importunate, mendicant, suppliant
EPHEMERAL: Very short-lived - an ephemeral joy, 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 epicurean tastes.
EPIGRAM: A brief pointed saying - a speech full of original epigrams. Synonyms: maxim proverb, adage.
EPITAPH: A tombstone inscription - an epitaph engraved 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.
FEIGN (noun: FEINT): To pretend - He feigned to be angry, but we saw through his pretense. Synonyms: dissemble, sham, dissimulate, affect.
FELICITY (adj.: FELICITOUS): (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.
FETISH: (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. Synonym: breach.
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.
IMPEACH: (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.
IMPLICIT: (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 not unmasked 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. Synonym: maze.
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.
LAVISH: (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.