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Abashed (adj) "Embarrassed or uncomfortable in others presence" The new student was visibly abashed when the teacher scolded him in front of the class for reaching late. syn: Confound, Chagrin, Discomfit ant: Unabashed rel: Abashment (n), Abash (v), Abashedly
Abate (v) Subside or Moderate, Lessen "Ever since the owners of this TV show changed its anchorperson, viewers interest in the show has considerably abated." syn: Diminish ant: Enhance rel: Abatement (n)
Abet (v) Incite or support, encourage (usually an offender or the commission of an offense) The judge ruled Mr. Cornwell guilty of aiding and abetting the main accused in the bank-robbery case. syn: Uphold ant: Frustrate rel: Abetment (n), Abettor (n)
Abeyance (n) Suspended action With the pace of life in Indian metros getting faster by the day, many of the old Indian traditions have fallen into abeyance and are no longer practiced. syn: Interlude, Cessation ant: Continuance rel: Abeyant (adj)
Abjure (v) "To deny, To abandon ones claim or right" "John has legally abjured himself from his fathers wealth, saying that he is not interested in inheriting money that has been earned unscrupulously." syn: Disavow, Rence ant: Espouse rel: Abjuration (n)
Abnegation (n) "Lack of concern for ones own wishes" According to some religious preachers, self-abnegation is the only route to a state of unlimited happiness. syn: Abjure, Disavow ant: None rel: Abnegate (v), Self-abnegation is often used instead of abnegation
Abominable (adj) Very bad or unpleasant, Deserving hate "Im never going to that restaurant again, the food there is abominable." syn: Detestable, Repugnant, Odious, Reprehensible ant: None rel: Abominate (v), Abomination (n), Abominably (adv)
Abortive (adj) 1) Fruitless, Unsuccessful 2) Resulting in abortion After three abortive attempts, the hunters finally succeeded in killing the man-eating tiger in the jungle. syn: None ant: None rel: Abort (v), Abortion (n), Abortiveness (n), Abortively (adv)
Abrogate (v) Abolish, Do away with By abrogating the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA), the government has conceded to a long standing demand of the Association of Exporters. syn: Revoke, Rescind, Repeal ant: Enact, Institute rel: Abrogation (n)
Abseil (n & v) (Make) descend by using a rope fixed at higher point The only way to escape from the fortress was to abseil down from the steep cliff on the western side of the mountain, a task which was almost impossible. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Abstemious (adj) Sparing in eating and drinking "Hes known for his abstemious habits; you cannot persuade him to eat more than what he wishes." syn: Abstinent, Temperate, Moderate ant: Indulgent rel: Abstemiously (adv), Abstemiousness (n)
Abstruse (adj) Difficult to comprehend After two years of grueling research, the professor came up with a rather abstruse theory on the nature of nuclear reactions, which could not be understood by any of the doctoral students of Physics in the university.
Abut (v) 1) To touch or join at the border or side 2) Have a common boundary The main reason for the bitterness between the two farmers was that their fields did not have a clearly defined boundary and abutted on each other. syn: Fringe ant: None rel: Abut
Acaudal (adj) Tailless, Having no visible stem A species of acaudal monkeys has been sighted on a remote island in the Pacific, and the absence of a tail has surprised many a zoologist. syn: None ant: Caudal rel: None
Accede (v) (1) Agree to a plan or suggestion (2) To take a high post or position after someone has left it After much persuasion, the teacher finally acceded to our request for letting off the class a little early. syn: Acquiesce ant: None rel: Accession (n)
Acclivity (n) Sharp upward slope The acclivity of this hill provides an ideal testing ground for budding mountaineers. syn: Ascent ant: Declivity rel: Acclivitous (adj)
Accost (v) Approach and speak first to a person A sinister looking man accosted me in the dark street and asked for money. syn: Solicit, Confront ant: None rel: None
Accoutrements (n) "A soldiers equipment, other than clothing or weaponry" "At these high altitudes, an oxygen cylinder is an essential part of every soldiers accoutrements." syn: None ant: None rel: None
Acephalous (adj) 1) Headless 2) Without a leader With the sudden demise of its leader Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress Party was rendered acephalous and directionless. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Acerbity (n) Harshness or bitterness of speech, manner, temper etc. The acerbity in her speech can put off almost anyone; she urgently needs to tone down the harsh words she uses. syn: Tartness, Astringency ant: Sweetness rel: Acerbic (adj)
Acidulous (adj) Slightly sour; sharp, caustic The apples grown in this area are particularly acidulous, perhaps because of the presence of a small amount of hydrochloric acid in the soil of this region. syn: Rancid ant: None rel: Acidulate (v)
Acme (n) The top or highest point Just when everyone thought that he had reached the acme of perfection in the game of chess, he was outplayed by an unknown Armenian, playing his first major tournament. syn: Pinnacle, Zenith ant: None rel: None
Acolyte (n) An attendant or follower. Specifically, a person in the church who helps a priest to perform religious ceremonies.
Acquiesce (v) Assent, agree passively In deciding the marriage of their daughter, parents in rural India take the acquiescence of the daughter for granted. syn: Concur, Assent ant: Rebel, Oppose, Carp rel: Acquiescence, (n), Acquiescent (adj)
Acrid (adj) Sharp, Bitterly pungent A distinct, acrid smell of burning rubber filled the air, but no one could tell where it was coming from. syn: Caustic ant: None rel: Acridity (n)
Acrimonious (adj) Stinging, caustic "He let out a string of acrimonious remarks about the old man, when he was told that his name did not figure in the old mans will." syn: Mordant, Sarcastic, Scornful, Scathing ant: Harmonious rel: Acrimony (n), Acrimoniously(a)
Actuate (v) To activate, Put into action, Motivate His efforts at making the business run are actuated by an ambition which borders on greed. syn: Propel, Impel ant: Discourage, Prevent rel: Actuation (n), Actuator (n)
Acute (adj) Quickly perceptive, brief and severe Dogs are known for having an acute sense of smell. syn: Intense ant: None rel: Acutely (adv), Acuteness (n)
Ad valorem (adv & adj) According to the value, in proportion to the estimated value of goods The finance ministry has decided to charge a 2 percent ad valorem duty on the goods produced in the newly developed industrial township. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Addle (v & adj) 1) Muddle, drive crazy, become rotten 2) Empty, muddled, unsound Working continuously for fifteen hours a day for months on end can addle the brains of the sharpest individual. syn: Perturb, Fluster ant: None rel: Addled (adj)
Adduce (v) To give an example, proof, or explanation He had worked so hard; I cannot adduce any reason for his failure. syn: Cite ant: None rel: None
Adjunct (n) Thing that is subordinate or incidental to another My idea was considered by the company director as an adjunct to the main proposal. syn: Affiliate ant: None rel: Adjunctive (adj)
Adjuration (n) An earnest appeal, entreaty His most sincere adjurations to the teacher to let him retake the examination fell on deaf ears. syn: None ant: None rel: Adjure (v)
Adjutant (n) Staff officer assisting the commander (usu. in the army), Assistant The adjutant of this army unit is a strict disciplinarian. syn: Confederate ant: None rel: Adjutancy (n)
Adlib (adj & v) 1) Freely, without restraint 2) Speak without preparation. (1) At the Etos chain of restaurants, you pay a fixed price for a meal and can eat ad lib.
Admonish (v) To warn (gently but firmly), to exhort, to reprove The salesperson was gently admonished by the customer for not knowing the specifications of the product well enough. syn: Exhort, Reprimand, Castigate ant: (Admonition) : Countenance rel: Admoniti
Adulterate (v & adj) Make impure by mixing with baser substances The widespread adulteration of cement by unscrupulous traders has proved to be a menace for the construction industry in this state. syn: Amalgamate ant: Purify rel: Adulteration (n)
Adumbrate (v) To give a sketchy representation of, To foreshadow a coming event vaguely He had an amazing power of adumbration bordering on the supernatural; he somehow always knew when something very good or very bad was about to happen. syn: Obfuscate
Advent (n) Arrival of important person or thing The advent of e-mail has severely impacted the postal industry all over the world. syn: Ingress ant: None rel: Adventism (n), Adventist (n)
Adventitious (adj) Accidental, casual, happening by chance In a most adventitious occurrence, the arrival of his baby coincided with his getting a new job that paid him almost twice as before. syn: Fortuitous, Contingent ant: None rel: Adventitiously (adv)
Aegis (n) Protection, Patronage or sponsorship They planned to hold the concert under the aegis of the National Development Authority. syn: Auspices ant: None rel: None
Aesthetic (adj & n) 1) Artistic,dealing with or capable of appreciating the beautiful 2) Set of principles of good taste and appreciation of beauty Though the building has been aesthetically designed, it is not very practical. syn: Elegant ant: Philistine
Affectation (n) An artificial display, usually of behavior It was not difficult to see through her affected smile and make out that she was hiding a lot of pain and discomfort. syn: Pretense ant: None rel: Affect (v & n), Affected (adj)
Afflatus (n) Divine inspiration, communication of supernatural knowledge Joan of Arc was motivated by an afflatus from God to devote her life to the needy. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Affray (n) A public fight or riot The rousing speech by the student leader led to an affray between the two groups, and the police had to be called to control the fight. syn: Altercation, Clamor ant: None rel: None
Affront (v & n) 1) To offend or insult by disrespect 2) Open insult uAffronted by his fiance in front of so many people, he walked out of the party in a huff. syn: Impertinence ant: None rel: None
Agglutination (n) Sticking or fusing together This disease is caused by an agglutination of the white blood cells. syn: None ant: None rel: Agglutinate (v), Agglutinative (adj), Agglutinin (n)
Agitate (v) Stir up, disturb The actor became visibly agitated when the journalist questioned him about his relationship with the young starlet. syn: Fluster, Perturb ant: Appease rel: Agitation (n)
Agog (adv) Highly excited, intensely curious The children were agog with excitement when the principal annced that the renowned sportsperson would shortly visit their school. syn: Ecstatic ant: None rel: None
Agrarian (adj & n) 1) Pertaining to land or its cultivation 2) Advocate of redistribution of landed property Having himself been a farmer once, the senator is a strong campaigner for agrarian reforms. syn: Countrified, Provincial, Rustic ant: None rel: None
Alacrity (n) Quickness of response, Briskness Not wanting to waste any time on formalities, he accepted our offer with alacrity. syn: Celerity ant: Slowness
Alcove (n) A small space in a room-wall, Recess in garden wall or hedge The sparrow had made its nest in an alcove in the garden wall. syn: Lattice, Arbor, Bower, Gazebo ant: None rel: None
Alfresco (adv & adj) In the open air, outdoors Not finding any sponsors to stage their performance, the upstart rock group decided to hold a concert at the beach, alfresco. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Alible (adj) Nutritious, nourishing The food cooked in this way is particularly alible for people who are recuperating from a severe illness. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Allay (v) To calm, pacify or diminish "The Presidents statement was meant to allay public fears over the war situation; however, it ended up increasing the panic among the people." syn: Appeal, Assuage ant: None rel: None
Alluvial (adj & n) 1) Pertaining to soil deposits left by running water 2) Such deposit The rich, alluvial soil of this state is ideal for growing high quality cotton crops. syn: None ant: None rel: Alluvium (n), Alluvion (n)
Amatory (adj) Of or showing (esp. sexual) love His amatory glances at her were met with cold stares of uninterestedness and annoyance, much to his discomfiture. syn: Erotic, Amorous, Passionate, Ardent, Fervent ant: None rel: None
Ambit (n) Bounds, limits, scope Taking a decision as profound as this is not in the ambit of my authority. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Amble (v & n) 1) To walk at a leisurely pace 2) Gait of ambling horse, Easy pace Al leisurely ambled towards me, totally unaware of the tragedy that had befallen his family. syn: Canter, Gallop, Trot ant: None rel: None
Ameliorate (v) Improve, become better Hiring an extra computer operator will only slightly ameliorate the situation; what we actually need is an organized plan to deliver on time. syn: Pacify, Amend ant: Worsen rel: Amelioration (n), Ameliorator (n)
Amenable (adj) Submissive, easily manageable, docile, tractable I have indicated in my job application that I am quite amenable to being placed at any location. syn: Pliable, Docile ant: Intractable, Querulous rel: Amenability (n), Amenableness (n), Amenably (
Amenity (n) Convenient feature, Something that makes life easier or enjoyable Except for this park, this town has hardly anything to show for local amenities. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Anathema (n) 1) A formal curse imposed by authority 2) Cursed or detested thing His strong views in favor of abortion rights are an anathema to the pro-life lobby in the senate. syn: Abhorrence, Aversion ant: Blessing rel: Anathematize (v)
Anchorite (n) Person who lives on his own, usu. for religious reasons He spent the last few years of his life as an anchorite, removed from all worldly affairs and devoted to spiritual causes. syn: Hermit rel: Anchorness (n), Anchoretic (adj), Anchoritic (adj)
Ancillary (adj) Serving as an aid or accessory; Auxiliary In order to cut down on costs, the hospital has decided to lay off almost half of its ancillary staff, which included everyone other than nurses and doctors. syn: Subsidiary, Appurtenant ant: Principal
Animadversion (n) Sever criticism, stricture, censure "She only had words of animadversion for her husband, blaming him for their sons failure at school." syn: Admonition, Remonstrance, Criticism, Censure ant: None rel: Animadvert (v)
Annals (n) Narrative of events year by year, Historical records The last decade will go down in the annals of American history as among the most progressive ever. syn: Catalogue, Chronicle ant: None rel: Annalist (n), Annalistic (adj)
Anneal (v & n) 1) To toughen (metal or glass) by heat and slow cooling 2) Treatment by first heating and then cooling This plate is made of annealed copper, and is stronger than most other plates of its type. syn: Petrify, Indurate ant: None rel: None
Annuity (n) Sum payable in respect of a particular year The only income for the family is in the form of an annuity which the mother receives from the government. syn: Bounty, Dole ant: None rel: None
Antediluvian (adj & n) 1)Utterly out of date, totally outmoded 2) Old-fashioned or aged person She described my ideas about marriage as antediluvian, that they did not make sense in the present day world. syn: Antiquated, Venerable, Archaic, Prehistoric ant: Modern
Anthropoid (adj & n) 1) Manlike in form 2) Being that is human in form only esp. a manlike ape Going by the Darwinian theory, humanoid forms like gorilla should evolve into other more complex species over thousands of years. syn: Anthropomorphic, Humanoid
Antipathy (n) Constitutional or settled aversion, dislike "The company presidents well known antipathy towards trade unions has made him quite unpopular with the laborers." syn: Repugnance, Hostility ant: Fondness rel: Antipathic (adj), Antipathetic (adj)
Antithesis (n) Contrast of ideas expressed by parallelism of strongly contrasted words The Socialist system of state-owned resources was completely antithetical to the norms of a market economy. syn: Corollary, Converse ant: Similarity rel: Antithetic (adj)
Aphorism (n) A saying, prov, maxim, apothegm (usu.: a short, pithy sentence; e.g. look before you leap) He has a very annoying way of stating an aphorism with almost anything he says, sometimes even when it is totally irrelevant. syn: Maxim, Prov, Cliche
Aplomb (n) Self confidence, Poise She showed absolutely no signs of stage fright, handling each of the questions thrown at her with aplomb. syn: Panache, Intrepidity ant: Confusion rel: None
Apocalyptic (adj) Of, like, or pertaining to a some misfortune... syn: Inauspicious, Portentous, Ominous
Apocryphal (adj) A false story, Anything widely believed which is actually not true Most of the stories about the ostentatious use of wealth by the Sultan of Brunei are apocryphal; this however, is totally authentic. syn: Fraudulent, Fictitious ant: Authentic
Apoplectic (adj) Violently excited and angry The old general was apoplectic with rage at the sight of the young lieutenant behaving so nonchalantly. syn: Seizure, Convulsion ant: None rel: Apoplexy (n)
Apostate (n & adj) A person who gives up his religious faith, beliefs etc. Though he was an apostate from the political party, he was still invited to its annual convention held last month. syn: Recreant, Treacherous ant: Loyalist rel: Apostatical (adj)
Apothegm (n) A concise and instructive saying Certain apothegms, like Nothing succeeds like success are time tested and will always remain true. syn: Aphorism ant: None rel: None
Apotheosis (n) Highest development, perfect example The paralytic stroke has struck him at a time which can be regarded as the apotheosis of his artistic career; hope he recovers and continues to compose music in the same manner. syn: Exaltation, Aggrandizement
Appall* syn: Nauseate
Appellation (n) "Name or title, specifically one which is added to a persons actual name" History has honored the brave deeds of King Alexander of Greece by giving him the appellation of Alexander, the Great. syn: Cognomen, Designation ant: None rel: None
Apposite (adj) Highly pertinent or relevant Even though his remark was not very diplomatic, it was quite apposite in the given situation. syn: Germane ant: Inappropriate rel: Apposition (n), Appositional (adj)
Apprise (v) Inform The Diplomat apprised the Prime Minister of the exact situation in the war-torn country. syn: Acquaint ant: None rel: None
Approbation (n) Praise or approval, esp. at a formal level The approbatory comments of the general about the actions taken by the commanding officer boosted the morale of the entire regiment. syn: Sanction, Authorization
Appurtenance (n) Minor thing that goes with a more important one The judge decreed that he pay a penalty of $5,000 to the garage owner, in addition to other appurtenances like paying for the damage done to the car. syn: Adjunct ant: None rel: Appurtenant (adj)
Apropos (adv) With reference to; Regarding "Apropos to the point youve just raised, I dont think its valid to assume that the player is not guilty of misconduct." syn: Appropriate, Germane, Pertinent ant: Untimely rel: None
Aquiline (adj) 1) Of or like an eagle 2) Curved, hooked "An aquiline nose is one that curves like an eagles beak." syn: None ant: None rel: None
Arable (adj & n) 1) Fit for plowing 2) Plants that can be grown on such land The nomadic tribes in central India keep moving from one place to another in search of arable lands. syn: Fertile ant: None rel: None
Arboretum (n) Place where different varieties of trees and shrubs are studied and exhibited "The botany department at the university has submitted a request for the construction of an arboretum in the campus." Syn: Conservatory
Arcade (n) A covered passageway, usually lined with shops A shopping arcade is an essential part of a five-star hotel. syn: Mezzanine, Colonnade rel: Arcaded (adj)
Ardor (n) Strong enthusiasm, passion "The young boys ardor to witness the proceedings in the assembly was visibly dampened when his father scolded him in public for being over-enthusiastic." syn: Fervor, Mettle, Zeal, Passion
Argot (n) Jargon or slang of a class or group "The journalist on his visit to the prison could not understand a word of the prisoners argot, and had to come back disappointed." syn: Slang, Vernacular, Dialect, Accent ant: None rel: None
Aromatic* syn: Piquant
Array* syn: Muster
Arrears (n) 1) Outstanding debts 2) Something that remains not done The landlord agreed to waive three months of rent which was in arrears provided I vacate the house immediately. syn: Liability, Debit ant: None rel: Arrearage (n)
Arrogance* syn: Haughtiness, Contumely, Insolence, Loftiness rel: Arrogant (adj), Arrogantly (adv)
Arrogate (v) To claim unduly or presumptuously As soon as he grabbed power in the country through a military coup, the general arrogated to himself the right to change the law. syn: Embrace, Imitate ant: Delegate rel: Arrogation (n)
Arroyo (n) A short water course, often dry gully or channel The arroyo that flows beside the boundary of my garden is a small offshoot of the river that runs about half a mile away. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Artifice (n) A clever trick, deceitful device The walls of this room have large mirrors on them; which is an artifice to make the room look larger. syn: Stratagem, Ruse ant: Sincerity, Candor rel: None
Artisan* syn: Adept, Contriver, Artificer rel: Artisanate (n)
Artless (adj) Without guile; Open and honest His artless remark about his humble background went against him when the final selection was made. syn: Naive, Ingenuous, Guileless ant: None rel: Artlessly (adv), Artlessness (n)
Ascendancy (n) Controlling influence With his cunning mind and superior leadership skills, he soon managed to gain ascendancy over the group. syn: Dominion ant: None rel: Ascendant (adj & n)
Ascetic* syn: Austere rel: Ascetically (adv)
Aseptic (adj) Free from germs and disease causing elements (of a wound etc.) Had the wound been made aseptic immediately after you injured yourself, the infection would not have spread. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Ashen* syn: Anemic, Wan, Pallid rel: Ash (n)
Askance (adv) With an indirect or slant look I could see that she was trying to look at me askance, even while keeping a straight face. syn: Oblique, Lopsided, Askew ant: None rel: None
Asperity (n) Roughness or harshness of attitude, sharpness of temper "The asperity in his voice while answering the strangers questions vanished as soon as he realized that the stranger was the general himself." syn: Acrimony, Astringency, Sarcasm ant: None
Aspersion (n) A false or derogatory remark If you are casting aspersions on my ability to drive, let me inform you that I have been driving a car for over twenty years now. syn: Obloquy, Infamy, Calumny, Censure ant: Flattery rel: Asperse (v)
Aspirant (n & adj) Seeker after position or status "Much before the companys presentation about the job began, the hall was packed to capacity with job aspirants, and more of them were on their way in." syn: Suitor ant: None rel: Aspire (v), Aspiration (n)
Assail (v) Make hostile attack upon The angry crowd assailed the police with stones and whatever they could lay their hands upon. syn: Assault ant: None rel: Assailable (adj), Assailant (n)
Assay (v & n) 1) To test the fineness purity etc. part of a metal 2) Such tests The assay of the necklace by the expert jeweler showed that the pearls used in the necklace were not genuine. syn: Procedure ant: None rel: Assayable (adj)
Assent (n & v) 1) Express agreement (to statement or opinion etc)2) (Official) consent or sanction "As we waited for the directors assent to our idea, we wondered what our next step should be if the director did not approve of the idea." syn: Acquiescence
Assert* syn: Aver, Asservate, Contend rel: Assertion
Asseverate (v) To affirm or declare positively or emphatically Even though the doctor asseverated that the illness was minor, I decided to go for a second opinion. syn: Contend, Allege, Assert ant: None rel: Asseveration (n)
Assiduous (adj) Diligent and persevering, Hard working The detective assiduously pursued the case for nearly six months, and finally his hard work paid off as he found the crucial piece of evidence against the stockbroker. syn: Industrious, Laborious, Sedulous
Assimilate* (v) (1) To understand completely, and put such understanding to practical use
Assuage (v) To lessen or ease, Relieve He said in the interview that the only job that could assuage his thirst for knowledge was that of a librarian, so that he could be amongst books every day. syn: Pacify, Mitigate, Palliate ant: Rankle rel: Assuagement(n)
Astringent (adj & n) 1) Severe and biting, Harsh 2) Able to tighten up the skin or stop bleeding "The astringent criticism of this movie by the noted critic appears to me as rather biased; its almost as if he has some personal animosity against the director."
Astute (adj) Shrewd With his astute handling of the situation, the team manager was able to avoid a possible crisis within the ranks of the team. syn: Sagacious ant: Foolish rel: Astutely (adv), Astuteness (n)
Atavism (n) Resemblance to remote ancestors rather than to parents Coming from a family known for its musicians over the generations, the little child seemed to derive an atavistic pleasure from stroking the piano keys. syn: Throwback, Retrogression, Relapse
Atelier (n) Studio, workshop Working from his small atelier, which was a sparsely furnished, rented room, Robert Duvall created some of the most exquisite paintings of modern times.
Attenuate (v & adj) 1) To weaken or make thin 2) Slender, Tapering gradually Though my interest in music has not attenuated, I have not been getting as much time to listen to music as I used to, thanks to the pressures of my present job. ant: Thicken
Audacious (adj) Bold; Daring The robber made an audacious attempt to free himself from the grip of the huge dog by trying to fight with it, but his effort was in vain. syn: Courageous, Dauntless, Intrepid rel: Audaciously (adv), Audacity, Audaciousness (n)
Auger (n) Tool for boring holes in wood Though the instrument looked like a normal auger as used by a carpenter, it could bore holes through the hardest of metals.
August (adj) Very impressive In my unimpressive clothes, I found myself rather out of place in the august gathering that consisted of the high and mighty of the city. syn: Majestic ant: Raffish rel: Augustly (adv), Augustness (n)
Auspicious (adj) Of good omen With my finding this new job, the year has begun quite auspiciously for me. syn: Sacred, Propitious rel: Auspiciously (adv), Auspiciousness (n)
Austere (adj) Morally strict, Severely simple For two years, he lived an austere life of a monk in the foothills of the Himalayas. syn: Rigorous, Stringent, Rugged ant: Sybaritic rel: Austerity (n)
Autarchy a political system governed by a single individual; economic independence as a national policy
Autocrat (n) Person with supreme power Within a few years, the democratic system of government in the island nation had degenerated into an autocracy, with the President gaining supreme command of all systems of the government. syn: Potentate, Sovereign
Auxiliary (adj & n) (Person or thing) that gives help The small legacy from his distant relative proved to be an auxiliary for Hori, who had lost his bullocks the previous month. syn: Subsidiary, Ancillary, Appurtenant
Aver (v) Assert, affirm Despite clear evidence to the contrary, the man still averred that he had never met the person accused of stealing the painting collection. syn: Asseverate ant: Deny rel: Averment (n)
Avocation (n) Side-business; Minor occupation Even after he became the director of the advertising agency, he continued teaching at his old institute as an avocation.
Axiom (n) Self-evident proof that does not require any proof The boxer successfully proved the old axiom that the one who attacks first is always at an advantage. syn: Postulate, Conception rel: Axiomatic (adj), Axiomatically (adv)
Babel (n) Scene of confusion, noisy assembly After the results were annced, the babel and utter chaos in the classroom continued undiminished till the principal himself entered the room.
Bacchanalia (n) A loud and noisy party, esp. one with a lot of drinking and disorderly behavior As soon as the election results were annced, the entire town broke into bacchanalian celebrations that continued till early hours of the morning. syn: Revelry
Badinage (n) Playful and non-serious talk He sternly told her that he had had enough of the badinage and wanted to have a serious discussion with her over their future. syn: Banter
Bailiwick (n) "A persons special province or domain, ones sphere of operations" The police officer simply refused to register my complaint, saying that the place where the theft was committed was out of his bailiwick.
Baleful (adj) Dangerous and sinister, Destructive The little child felt threatened by the baleful looks of the old man, and immediately rushed to the comforting arms of her mother. syn: Ruinous, Malignant ant: Beneficent rel: Balefully (adv)
Balk (v) (1) To be unwilling to proceed on an action, To stop short of doing something (2) To act as an obstacle, To hinder or thwart Not willing to be involved in any controversy, they balked at the idea of reporting the matter to the police. syn: Demure
Ballast (n & v) 1) That which gives stability 2) Furnish with such thing There was nothing on the boat which could be used as a ballast, and as the severe storm approached, they found themselves in a helpless situation. syn: Counterbalance
Ballyhoo (n & v) Misleading, vulgar or noisy publicity Amidst the ballyhoo of TV commercials for various products from computers to washing soaps, this quiet advertisement for Care for the underprivileged stands out in many ways.
Baloney (n) Nonsense All that he said about the advantages of that drug sounded like utter baloney to me; I know for a fact that the drug is absolutely useless. syn: Prattle, Gossip, Bunkum
Bandy (v) To discuss The idea was bandied around the conference table for over forty minutes, before finally being dropped.
Banter (n & v) 1) Playful, good-humored ridicule 2) To tease or exchange remarks in good humor He misinterpreted her good-humored banter to be an insult and left her place in a huff. syn: Jest, Badinage, Repartee
Barmy (adj) Foolish, crazy The idea of setting up a company with such a ridiculously small amount of money sounds rather barmy to me. rel: Barm (n)
Baroque (adj & n) Of a highly ornate style The baroque architecture on the walls of this monument, with its intricate design and weaving patterns, is typical of the architectural style of the 7th century Belgium. syn: Lavish, Flamboyant
Bashful (adj) Shy, Too hesitant to open up and share The six-year old girl was bashful and coy to begin with, but soon she opened up and gave me all the information I wanted. syn: Blushing, Diffident, Timid rel: Bashfully (adv), Bashfulness (n)
Bated (adj) Controlled or restrained The crowd outside the election office waited for the results of the election with bated breath. syn: Deduct, Remit rel: Bate (v)
Bauble (n) A worthless, showy ornament or any other object. Also, any unimportant issue "That earring is just a cheap bauble, dont get taken in by its shine!" syn: Triviality, Trinket, Trifle
Beatific (adj) Displaying great peace and happiness "The beatific smile on an innocent infants face is among the most beautiful sights in the world." syn: Blissful, Sublime ant: Impish rel: Beatifically (adv)
Beatitude (n) Blessedness Lord Buddha taught the principal of the middle path as the route towards absolute beatitude - the state of eternal bliss. syn: Bliss
Bedevil (v) To be a cause for continuous trouble and difficulty Since inception, the project has been bedeviled by unexpected delays and arguments between the company directors. rel: Bedevilment (n)
Bedizen (v) To dress showily Bedizened in their most colorful clothes, the village folk had turned out in great numbers at the annual music and theater festival. ant: Stripbare
Bedraggled (adj) Thoroughly wet His bedraggled appearance made it obvious that he had been caught in the pouring rain.
Beget (v) To give rise to; To produce Violence can never be a solution to this turmoil; it will only beget more violence. syn: Spawn rel: Begetter (n)
Begrudge (v) Feel or show dissatisfaction at something His lectures on sociology are so tedious that almost everyone in the class begrudges attending them. syn: Resent
Beguile (v) (1) Cheat, Do something deceitful (2) To spend time (usu.) in a pleasant way (1) I was beguiled by him into believing that he was a representative of the company.(2) We beguiled the long hours in the train by playing Scrabbles. syn: Swindle, Hoax
Beholden (adj) Thankful, Feeling you have a duty to someone because they have done something for you "Thank you for helping me find a job, Im beholden to you." syn: Obligated
Behoove (v) To be necessary, fit or proper It does not behoove all of us to meet the principal for this; it is better if we elect a representative. rel: Sometimes also written as Behove
Belabor (v) (1) To attack, esp. vally (2) Explain something in a laborious way In his zeal to impress the audience, the presidential candidate belabored his points in his speech to such an huge extent. syn: Impugn, Vituperate, Dence, Malign, Vilify
Beleaguer (v) (1) To worry and annoy continuously, Harass (2) To surround so as to prevent escape, Besiege (1) The beleaguered parents had no option but to take their deviant child to a child psychiatrist. syn: Torment, Besiege
Belie (v) Give a false notion of, Contradict Belying all expectations, the ace tennis star lost to an unknown German in the first round of the US Open. syn: Garble, Varnish
Belittle* syn: Ridicule, Denigrate ant: Vaunt
Bellicose (adj) Wishing to fight The tribals in the western part of this state are known for their bellicosity and ferociousness, so it is not advisable to make this trip by night. syn: Belligerent, Pugnacious, Contentious rel: Bellicosity (n)
Bemused (adj) Preoccupied; Confused; Lost in thoughts Not having seen anything like this before, the Japanese tourists watched the Indian wedding with a bemused and overawed expression on their faces. syn: Distrait rel: Bemuse (v)
Benediction* (n) A blessing syn: Invocation, Petition ant: Anathema rel: Benedictory (adj)
Benign (adj) Of a gentle disposition, gracious, kind , harmless "I always thought that Tim was a rather benign soul who wouldnt hurt a fly, so Im surprised that he would have used such abusive words for you." syn: Benevolent ant: Malignant
Bereft (adj) Lacking Even as he heard the harsh judgement against him, his face was bereft of any expression of dejectedness.
Beset (v) To be full of, or surrounded by, usu. difficulties The route across the Alps was beset with danger and difficulties, yet Hannibal and his small group of soldiers managed to cross the rugged mountainous terrain. syn: Tormented rel: Besetment (n)
Besotted (adj) Completely in love with "Derek was too besotted with Paula to realize that she was merely using him to gain some information." rel: Besot (v)
Bête Noire (n) A person or object that evokes fear or dislike in a particular person u"The newly appointed Chancellor of the university is Prof. Higgins old bête noir -- the two had once publicly assailed each other over a rather trivial issue."
Bevy (n) Large group or crowd, usu. of women, but also applied to any large group of similar things There were a bevy of laws and regulations that governed foreign trade in India till a decade ago. syn: Covey, Drove
Bibulous (adj) Addicted to or fond of drinking Till the time that he gets rid of his bibulous ways and does not over indulge in alcohol, he will not be allowed in this club. rel: Bibulously (adv)
Biennial (adj & n) Occurring once every two years Since the cricket series has been planned as a biennial event, it will now only be held next year, not this year. rel:Biennial is contrasted with biannual, which means occurring twice in a year.
Bilge (n & v) Worthless talk No longer willing to be bored by his useless bilge, I simply walked out of the room.
Bilious (adj) Caused or affected with liver trouble, because of which a person is always in a bad mood. Hence, any person who is upset or angry. The bilious old man shouted at all the children playing near his garden and shooed them away.
Bilk (v) Cheat, Ditch Within a few hours of landing in the East African country, I was bilked out of my travelers checks by an organized gang of swindlers. syn: Swindle
Bivouac (n & v) 1) Temporary encampment 2) Remain temporarily (esp. in night) We decided to spend the night in our bivouac just a few kilometers short of our final destination.
Blanch* syn: Etiolate
Bland (adj) Without much taste (of food etc.) Also, showing no strong feelings or other noticeable qualities The national news channel gave a rather bland coverage of the election campaign. syn: Insipid, Tedious, Prosaic ant: Piquant
Blandishment (n) Flattering or coaxing speech or action Resisting at first, the child soon gave in to the blandishments of the stranger and agreed to go to the park with him. ant: Criticism rel: Blandish (v)
Blarney (n & v) Flattering talk with intention to deceive "Hes tried to blarney several people to buy the stolen sunglasses, but no one seemed interested." syn: Cajolery, Flattery, Gallantry, Adulation
Blasé (adj) Tired or bored of pleasure or because of over-familiarity uThe thought of flying used to excite me as a kid, but now I have been on an aircraft so often that I have become quite blasé about it. ant: Ardent
Blithe (adj) Having no worry, Very happy, Without any care With blithe unconcern, the wealthy businessman took out four hundred-dollar bills and handed them over to the representative of the Missionaries of Charity. syn: Buoyant ant: Grave
Bluster (v & n) To speak in a loud, angry or rough manner. Hence, loud and boastful talk By blustering at the top of his voice, the teacher was trying his best to control the class but the children continued their unruly behavior.
Bogy (n) A particular fear, usu. unexplained and unreasonable "She has instilled the fear of the devil in the child as a bogy, so that whenever he misbehaves, she threatens him that the devil will come and take him." syn: Bugbear
Bombast (n) High-sounding but insincere words which do not mean much With his bombastic speeches, he managed to win the support of the largely uneducated and gullible rural masses who were totally unaware of his evil intentions. syn: Harangue
Bowdlerize (v) To remove objectionable matter from a book, film. The broadcasting ministry decided that the film can be telecast only after all the scenes which have a reference to the former Prime Minister have been bowdlerized. syn: Expurgate, Expunge, Sanitize
Bower (n) A pleasant and quiet place in a garden etc. made from tree branches and plant stems (in the shape of a small hut) The couple sat for several hours under the bower on the beach, watching the sun set into the shimmering waters of the sea.
Brackish (adj) Slightly salty, and hence distasteful or nauseous Tasting the water of the river we were on, I found the water to be brackish; so I could conclude that the sea was near. syn: Saline
Braggadocio (n) 1) Empty boasting or bragging 2) Person who engages in such bragging Knowing his tendency to avoid any kind of risk, I was certain that his words were nothing but empty braggadocio. syn: Swaggering, Pretension, Rodomontade rel: Brag (v), Braggart (
Braise (v) To cook slowly in a covered dish in a little fat and liquid The wonderful taste of this steak comes from braising it for nearly an hour and then garnishing it with an Indian mint-like herb.
Brassy (adj) Bold and vulgar, not refined The high-society party was a rather brassy display of newly-acquired wealth and jewelry, and I came back from it quite disgusted. syn: Audacious, Insolent, Impertinent, Defiant rel: Brassily (adv), Brassiness (n)
Brevity (n) Compact written or spoken expression, Using very few words The teacher has the gift of brevity as she can explain the most complicated of concepts in precise and simple terms. syn: Pithiness
Bridle (v) To show sudden annoyance She bridled at the suggestion that she attend work on Sunday.
Bristling (adj) (1) Full of, Overflowing (2) Showing anger (1) The central part of the town was bristling with activity.(2) The hurt she felt because of his thoughtless remark about her father came bristling out of her eyes. syn: (2) Belligerent, Pugnacious
Broach* syn: Moot, Ventilate
Broadside (n) A strong written or oral attack on someone. Also, the discharge of all guns on one side of a ship The people were bored of the countless broadsides launched by the opposition leader against the Prime Minister.
Brocade (n & v) 1) Fabric woven with raised patterns 2) To work with raised patterns For her wedding, she decided to wear a heavy brocade gown, but it proved to be rather uncomfortable because of its weight.
Bromide (n) A boring person or remark "Consisting nothing but the usual bromides about economic growth and social development, the Prime Ministers Independence Day speech was a rather disappointing one." syn: Cliche, Platitude, Banality
Brook (v & n) 1) To endure or tolerate 2) Small stream (1) The UN Secretary General said that the issue of global nuclear disarmament brooks no further delay.(2) I washed my hands in the cold water of the fast-flowing brook.
Browbeat (v) To bully with looks or words His employer managed to browbeat him into working an extra hour every day, without giving any compensation for the extra work. syn: Harass, Intimidate
Bruit (v) Spread news of something The news of his resignation was bruited around the company in no time.
Brusque (adj) Quick and rude in manner of speech When I called his office, I was brusquely told by his secretary that he was busy in a meeting and would not be able to see me. syn: Abrupt, Boorish, Gruff
Bullion (n) Bars of gold and silver The value of bullion as an investment has declined over the years, as most people prefer to invest in stock or real estate.
Bumptious (adj) Offensively conceited and over-confident His bumptiousness and boasting about himself made him the most unpopular and detested figure in the organization.
Burgeon (v & n) To develop and grow quickly A telecommunication revolution of sorts occurred in India in the 1980s, as thousands of calling booths burgeoned all over the country within a space of a few years. syn: Proliferate, Thrive
Burlesque (n) A type of writing or acting that makes a serious piece of work look foolish and amusing, Any cheap imitation of a high quality work He is most known for his burlesque of Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet. syn: Travesty, Caricature, Parody, Satire
Burnish (v) To polish, make shiny or lustrous My job at the handcraft store was to burnish the silver and brass items on sale each morning so that they looked new to the customer. syn: Scour ant: Dull
Buttress (v & n) Support The events in Russia and other socialist countries in the 1990s buttressed the stand of the free-market economists. syn: Bolster, Prop
Buxom* syn: Comely
Cachinate (v) To laugh loudly or immoderately Though I did not see any reason to laugh, the man next to me at the movie theater suddenly cachinated in a booming voice.
Cacophonous* (adj) Discordant, Inharmonious syn: Ill-sounding ant: Mellifluous
Cad (n) A person of low manners or ungentlemanly conduct "I just dont understand how that ill-mannered cad could have been allowed entry into this elite club."
Cadence (n) Rhythmic or measured flow or beat The music soon built up a pleasant, rhythmic cadence, and a few couples came on to the dance floor. syn: Rhythm
Cadge (v) To beg As if cadging me to pay for his meal was not enough, he now begged me to pay his bus fare for him to go home. ant: Earn
Cagey (adj) Reluctant to provide information, unwilling to talk The old man was rather cagey at first to give me any information about the theft, but when he was convinced that my intentions were noble, he relented.
Cairn (n) Mound of stones as a memorial or landmark etc. "Till she could find the funds to build a proper epitaph, the old lady along with her youngest son built a small cairn of stones at her husbands grave."
Callow (adj) Immature and inexperienced Within a relatively short span of two years, Jim transformed himself from a callow freelance writer to an admired reporter under the guidance of the veteran editor of the newspaper. ant: Experienced, Sophisticated
Calorific (adj) Heat-producing Because of its high calorific value, the coal produced in this region is mainly used in smelters in the iron and steel industry.
Calumniate (v) A false and unjust report on someone with the intention of damaging their reputation This newspaper report on Mr. Dexter is the most shameless piece of calumny Ive ever come across in my life, not even a single remark is true. ant: Vindicate
Cameo (n) (1) Piece of relief-carving in stone with color-layers utilized to give background (2) A short piece of writing or acting (2) The producer of that movie has managed to rope in Teresa Rose, to play a small cameo in his forthcoming movie.
Canard (n) A hoax, A sensational, fabricated story to fool the people, A false report. The society has accused the periodical of spreading a malicious canard against it, and has threatened legal action if the periodical did not retract its words.
Canny (adj) Clever and careful, Worldly-wise Having been a member of some political party for over thirty years, Mr. Hewitt Gray had the reputation of a canny politician with a shrewd mind and great survival instincts. syn: Shrewd
Cant (n) Insincere talk. Also jargon, words or talk characteristic to a particular group or class. "The politicians speech at the stadium was nothing but empty political cant -- doing anything for the poverty of this region is the last thing on his mind."
Cant (v) To slope or lean, Incline Within an hour of hitting the deadly iceberg, the Titanic began to dangerously cant over to one side.
Cantankerous (adj) Quarrelsome, disposed to fight. The cantankerous old couple in that apartment keep fighting at the smallest pretext, quite in contrast with their neighbors who are the quietest people in the locality. syn: Belligerent, Pugnacious, Contentious
Canter (n & v) Medium-paced movement of a horse, any ride at a similar speed. Hence, to move at the speed of a canter The horse moved at a canter from some distance and suddenly broke into a fast gallop as it saw the smoke on the horizon. syn: Gallop, Trot
Capacious (adj.) Roomy, spacious The suitcase was capacious enough to hold all my requirements for fifteen days; for anything beyond that, I needed a larger piece of luggage.
Capitulate (v) Surrender on agreed terms, Accept defeat on conditions The harassed railway minister had no choice but to capitulate to the demand for his resignation after the third train accident of the year. ant: Resist
Capricious (adj) Apt to change suddenly The capricious nature of the lead guitarist wasbecause he was known to pull out of his commitments at the last moment. syn: Fickle, Inconsistent, Whimsical, Flighty ant: Constant, Steadfast
Captious (adj) Too ready to find fault, over-critical Upset at the captious and constantly complaining nature of his wife, he decided to consult a lawyer for a divorce. syn: Carping, Censorious ant: Tolerant
Carafe (n) A bottle for serving wine or water at meals. Also, the amount contained in such a bottle. The hostess called for another carafe of red wine.
Caret (n) The ^ mark, used in writing or printing to show where something is to be added Since he had omitted a few words in the contract, he inserted them into the text by using a caret at the appropriate places.
Carousal (n) A drinking bout, Jovial feast, A drunken revelry. "He refused to take part in the carousal, saying that he would prefer to celebrate his sons victory quietly in his room." syn: Bacchanalia ant: Sobriety
Carp* (v) Find fault, Complain continuously and unnecessarily syn: Cavil ant: Acquiesce
Carte blanche (n) Full discretionary power. [Lit., A blank paper given to a person to write his own terms on] He has given his son-in-law a carte blanche to operate the company the way he wants to.
Castigate (v) Punish with blows or words, Criticize severely The Sanders committee report submitted to the President severely castigates the commerce department for not paying adequate attention to the dumping of foreign goods into the local market. syn: Chastise
Casuistry (n) False but clever use of arguments and reasoning His arguments appeared as nothing but clever casuistry at first, but slowly, we began to see the impeccable logic behind it.
Cataract* (n) (1) Large waterfall, Downpour of rain
Catechism (n) Book for religious instruction, Instruction by question and answer The teacher had developed a unique style of teaching by catechism, wherein she taught each lesson as a series of questions and answers.
Catenate (v) To connect in a series, like links of a chain The jeweler had so finely catenated the small gold beads into a chain that the joints were just not visible.
Catholic (adj) Varied, Having a wide variety of likings, Including different types of a thing "His taste in music is pretty catholic -- he enjoys the Beatles as much as he loves Bach." ant: Narrow
Caucus (n) Private meeting of members of a party to select officers or determine policy. Also, a group of important people that can influence policy decisions. "Members of the Ku Klux Klan in Florida have planned a secret caucus." ant: Conspiracy
Causative (adj) Acting as a cause, Leading to In most common diseases, the causative organism is the bacteria, though the more deadly diseases are caused by the virus.
Cause célèbre (n) Any famous law case or controversy or cause which excites great public interest. The trial of Richard Dixon in the small town of Errington became a major cause célèbre, largely because of the attention given to it by the national press.
Caustic (adj & n) Any chemical that burns or corrodes organic tissue. Also, words that are meant to intentionally hurt the feelings of a person I have always appreciated his gentle manners, so was totally taken aback by his caustic remarks. syn: Biting
Cavalcade (n) Company of riders, Procession, Parade "The Presidents cavalcade consisted of sixteen horseriders, in addition to a fleet of fancy cars."
Cavalier (adj) Thoughtless and disrespectful "The supervisor sternly reprimanded him for being so cavalier towards the expensive equipment he was using in the factory." syn: Haughty, Supercilious
Caveat (n) A cautionary statement or warning meant to prevent misunderstanding "The policeman let him go with a stern caveat that similar behavior should not repeated in the future." syn: Proviso
Cavil (n) Find fault in an annoying way Ms. Noggin caviled at almost everything that the decorators had done to adorn the ballroom for the party, asking them to redo most of the work. syn: Carp
Celerity (n) Rapidity of motion, speed, swiftness. With amazing celerity, the prisoner jumped out of the open window and disappeared into the narrow alley. syn: Alacrity ant: Delay
Censor (n & v) Person expressing opinions on others morals and conduct, Official licensing or suppressing as immoral. Of the three explicit scenes in the film, only one was considered integral to the plot and was partially censored; the other completely.
Censorious (adj) Fault-finding, Over-critical Even though he had great knowledge of his subject, he could never be a popular teacher because of his censorious nature -- he was critical of almost everything that his students did. syn: Captious
Censure (n & v) Adverse judgement, Expression of disapproval, Criticize unfavorably His tasteless remarks came under severe censure by everyone present at the assembly. syn: Reprimand, Reprove, Blame ant: Praise
Centrifugal (adj) Flying, Tending to fly from center "The washing machine is based on the principle of centrifugal action : as the container with the soaked clothes moves in a circular motion, the dirt on the clothes gets removed." ant: Centripetal
Centripetal (adj) Tending towards center "Gravity is a centripetal force, in which all objects on the surface of the earth are being pulled towards its center." ant: Centrifugal
Cephalic (adj) Of, or connected with the head The cows were struck by a cephalic disease in which the skin around their neck became taut and they could not breathe freely.
Ceremonious (adj) Addicted or showing to ceremony. Also, extremely formal or polite. The soldiers were given a ceremonious welcome when they returned from the battlefields of west Asia. syn: Punctilious ant: Unceremonious
Certitude (n) The state or feeling of being sure and certain Despite the advancement in technology, it is impossible to predict the occurrence of an earthquake with any degree of certitude. syn: Conviction
Cerulean* (adj) Sky blue syn: Azure
Chafe* (v) (2) To become impatient or annoyed. "The passengers were beginning to chafe at the delay in their flight."
Chaff (n) Separated grain-husks, Chopped hay and straw, Worthless stuff The farmers in northern India have a rather elaborate procedure of separating the grain from the chaff.
Chaff (v & n) To make fun of (someone) in a harmless, friendly way. Hence, friendly joking. His friends chaffed at him at his inability to strike a conversation with the pretty girl who sat next to him on the bus. syn: Banter ant: Seriousness
Chagrin (n & v) Acute disappointment or annoyance Much to his chagrin, the baseball match that he had been waiting for all summer was called off because of stormy weather.
Chary (adj) Cautious, unwilling to take risks After my experience in this company, I am rather chary of joining another company with similar operations. ant: Foolhardy
Chaste* ant: Impure, Wanton rel: Chasten
Chattel (n) Movable property, personal property that is not a house or piece of land For the last fifteen years, Mr. Robinson has been living in a station wagon at the corner of 17th Avenue, with all his chattel and his faithful dog.
Chicanery (n) Trickery, Deceitful practice "In an act of blatant and deceitful chicanery, the cab driver quickly replaced the 50-dollar bill Id given him with a 10-dollar note, and demanded more money from money." syn: Subterfuge, Duplicity.
Chide (v) Scold, Complain angrily Even as the teacher chided him for not submitting his task on time, he did not show any signs of regret or repentance. syn: Upbraid, Reproach, Rebuke ant: Praise
Chimerical (adj) Imaginary, Fanciful What appeared as a rather chimerical and improbable scheme at first, was now looking perfectly reasonable and feasible as a select team of experts got down to implementing it. syn: Whimsical, Quixotic ant: Realistic
Chisel (v) Swindle or obtain by deceit As always, saying that he did not have any loose change to pay the cab fare, he managed to chisel 15-odd dollars out of me.
Choleric (adj) Angry, easily angered or irritated As he moved up the hierarchy, his attitude towards his juniors became increasingly intolerant and choleric, and he would snap at them at the slightest of issues. syn: Irascible, Bilious, Splenetic. ant: Coolhear
Churl (n) Person of low birth, ill-mannered person, disrespectful person He behaved like an absolute churl at the department store, pestering the saleswoman for a discount and fighting with the cashier for a small amount. ant: (Churlish) : Gracious, Polite
Chutzpah (n) Confidence, usually of a disrespectful and arrogant nature Even though he was not officially authorized to enter the stadium, he relied on his persuasive powers and chutzpah to get past the security.
Cipher* (n) (2) A person of no importance or influence
Circumscribe (v) Lay down limits of, Confine, Define logically This set of rules and regulations circumscribe your authority -- make sure that you do not exceed what is stated here in the use of your power. syn: Restrict
Circumspect (adj) Cautious, Done after careful thought Fearing that it could be a bomb, the policeman circumspectly examined the strange looking object that had appeared from almost nowhere. syn: Prudent, Discreet.
Cistern (n) Reservoir or water tank
Clairvoyance* (n) Having the power to see mentally what is happening or exists out of sight. Acute perception... syn: Perspicacity
Clamber (v) Climb with hand and feet, Climb with difficulty The only way we could reach the fortress at the top of the hill was to clamber up the steep cliff on the western side of the hill, as all the other sides were heavily guarded.
Clandestine* syn: Surreptitious ant: Overt
Claque (n) Hired group of applauders During his election campaign, the politician took with him a claque of supporters, whose only job was to applaud his statements at every speech that he made.
Clarion (n & adj) Loud and clear sound As the Indian consumer has been exposed to high quality imported goods, she has sent an unmistakable clarion call to the Indian manufacturers to improve the quality of their goods or pay the price. syn: Rousing
Clemency (n) (1) An inclination to be lenient while passing a judgement (2) Mildness, esp. of weather (1) Saying that the accused was old and had a family to support, the counsel pleaded the judge for clemency.(2) The weather remained clement. syn: Mercy
Clout (n) Great influence (especially political or social) His brother-in-law had just been elected a senator, and he tried to use his political clout to win the contract for the construction of the bridge.
Cloy (v) To satisfy or fill to excess to the extent of disgust or boredom By the time the waiters brought in the dessert, I had eaten so much that I was absolutely cloyed. syn: Glut, Sate
Coalesce (v) Grow together to form one body, combine The two insurance companies which had been fierce competitors hitherto, have coalesced to form one large insurance company, the largest in the country. syn: Merge
Coda (n) A short, independent musical passage that ends a bigger piece of music The master musician ended the concert with a beautiful coda in C-minor, which he dedicated to the memory of Beethoven.
Codicil (n) An appendix to a document, esp. to a will Just before he died, the wealthy farmer added a codicil to his will by which he gave away one-fourth of his estate to charity.
Coeval (adj) Of the same age or duration The growth of the Renaissance in Europe was coeval with the growth of the Mughal empire in India. syn: Contemporary
Cogent (adj) Strong and convincing None of the arguments that the defense counsel put forth in support of the accused were cogent enough for the judge to give a judgement in his favor. syn: Compelling ant: Unconvincing, Faluous
Cogitate (v) Think deeply His silence suggested that he was deeply cogitating about the consequences of his decision, yet he could not come up with anything meaningful when he finally spoke up. syn: Ponder, Meditate
Cognate (n) Descended from common ancestor (of a living creature or a word) The latest findings of the study of human genes indicates that all human beings on earth are cognates of the same African couple.
Cognomen (n) "A name, surname or title; e.g., Great in Alexander the Great" Because of his generous ways, people started calling Don Vito Corleone The Godfather, and the cognomen stuck. syn: Appellation
Cognoscenti (n) Experts in a particular field Because of his remarkable knowledge of classical music, the musical cognoscenti of the town soon accepted him as one of them. syn: Connoisseurs
Coiffure (n) Hair-style He came back from the salon with a new, stylish coiffure -- one that made him look much younger than he was.
Collate (v) (1) Compare in detail (2) Collect and arrange systematically (1) The professor collated the results of the research of the two teams who had worked on very similar projects, and was surprised to find that the findings were totally different.
Collusion (n) Secret understanding between two or more people with a fraudulent intention The theft of these documents could only have been committed by way of a collusion between at least two members of this team; I dont believe it is an individuals work.
Comatose* (adj) (1) In a coma, deeply unconscious (2) Extremely sleepy and inactive syn: (2) Torpid ant: Alert
Comely (adj) Having a pleasing appearance, attractive Ever since the comely young girl has moved into the neighborhood, said the lady to her husband, our son has been behaving in a rather funny fashion.
Comestibles (n) Things to eat Not knowing where their next meal was going to come from, the poor, malnourished children were intently gathering comestibles from the trash dumped by the garbage van. syn: Eatable ant: Inedible
Comity (n) Courtesy, Friendliness Though I had bitterly fought with him just a few days back, he showed remarkable comity in his behavior towards me when I met him in the store this morning. ant: Discord
Commensurate (adj) Equal in size or quality, Equivalent, Proportionate Within a few days, she started feeling that her salary was not commensurate with the amount of work she was being asked to do, and started looking for a better-paying job.
Commodious (adj) Spacious, Having plenty of space For its small size, the newly launched car is quite commodious -- I never thought we all could fit into it so comfortably. ant: Cramped
Compendious (adj) Giving much information concisely "This CD-ROM is a compendious source of information on the history of American music -- I dont think such exhaustive information on this subject is available elsewhere from a single source." ant: vose
Complaisant (adj) Willing to please others, that is, obliging and gracious (complacent
Comport (v) Behave (oneself) in a stated way "She comported herself with great dignity at her husbands funeral." syn: Accord
Compunction (n) Uneasiness and hesitation stemming from a sense of guilt or regret After the way I had been insulted by the owner of the company, I did not have any compunction about quitting the organization. syn: Scruples
Concerted (adj) Done together, Planned or executed in agreement. Also, determined In a concerted effort, various social organizations have collected a huge sum of money for the welfare of the people rendered homeless in the earthquake that hit western India in ear
Conciliate (v) To win the trust of someone, Remove disfavor or anger He tried hard to win back her favor, but all his attempts at conciliation were snubbed by her. ant: Quarrel
Conclave* (n) A private meeting or secret assembly
Concomitant (adj) Accompanying or existing together with something else "The spread of Islam outside the Arabian peninsula was concomitant with the spread of Arabic in the 7th and 8th centuries AD."
Concord (n) Agreement, Harmony between persons or things The enthusiasm shown by the dignitaries of the two warring nations could be the first step towards reaching a concord on their prolonged dispute. ant: Dissonance
Concourse (n) A large area in a public building where people gather in or pass through "I told her that Ill be waiting for her at the main concourse of the airport, but forgot to mention how she would recognize me among so many people gathered in that hall."
Condescend (v) To consent to do something less dignified or fitting than usual "We know youve just got a promotion and are now our boss, but will you please condescend to join us for lunch?" syn: Deign
Condign (adj) Worthy of or deserving punishment "Imprisonment for three years is not a condign punishment for a crime like this, I feel he should be in jail for at least ten years." ant: Inadequate, Undeserved
Condole (v) To express sympathy to someone who has experienced great misfortune or sorrow "Even though they had fought bitterly just two weeks earlier, Harry was among the first ones to come to Sally to offer his condolences at her fathers demise."
Conduit (n) Pipe or channel for conveying water or liquid. Also, any passage or channel through which something flows "The investigation revealed that the perpetrators used innocent people as conduits to pass on fake currency notes into the country."
Confabulate (v) To talk privately "Ive observed that hes been having a series of confabulations with Ricardo lately; wonder whats brewing between them?"
Conflagration* (n) (2) any sudden, violent event that involves a large number of people "It is feared that these minor incidents of skirmishes on the border might escalate into a major conflagration, if immediate action is not taken."
Confluence (n) The place where two rivers flow together and become one larger river The Kumbh Mela is a major religious event in India, happening once every twelve years, at the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna, the two holiest rivers in India.
Confute* (v) To prove to be wrong (syn: Disprove.)
Congenial (adj) "Pleasant, In agreement with ones taste and nature" Though the meeting was held in an apparently congenial atmosphere, anyone who observed closely would have felt the undercurrent of hostility between the two businessmen.
Connive (v) To work together for some illegal or fraudulent purpose The policeman asserted with authority that the robbery could only have been committed with the connivance of an employee of the art gallery who was familiar with the layout of the gallery.
Connubial (adj) Pertaining to marriage After leading a rather hectic life as a salesman for nearly five years, he has decided to get married and settle down to a life of connubial bliss. syn: Conjugal
Consanguineous (adj) Having the same ancestor or lineage Though their consanguinity could not be established, everyone believed the two gentlemen had a common ancestor because of their close resemblance. (sanguine
Consequential* ant: Nugatory
Conservatory* ant: Wastrel
Consonance (n) Agreement, Harmony "The father and son duo run their garments business in absolute consonance; theres hardly ever a disagreement between them." ant: Dissonance
Consternation (n) Great surprise and anxiety or dismay To his great consternation, his name did not figure in the list of participants even after he had deposited the requisite fee and submitted all the documents.
Contemporaneous (adj) Existing or happening during the same period of time The two authors are not contemporaneous, but their writing styles are so similar that it appears as if it is the same person writing under two different names.
Contentious (adj) Quarrelsome, likely to cause contention By making such a thoughtless statement to the press, the governor has unnecessarily converted a rather tame issue into a contentious one. syn: Belligerent, pugnacious, bellicose.
Contiguous (adj) Touching or adjoining ("Our school building was contiguous to the cinema theater, so there were several cases of high school students absconding from classes to catch the latest Hollywood offering." syn: Adjacent ant: Remote)
Contort (v) To twist or distort out of shape The way gymnasts can contort their bodies with such ease sometimes makes me wonder whether their skeletal structure is the same as that of a normal human being.
Contravene (v) To act in opposition to, Contradict, Oppose The notice on the board clearly said that anyone found acting in contravention of the stated regulations will be debarred from membership of the club.
Contretemps (n) Unfortunate or embarrassing occurrence "I had a slight contretemps with my neighbor over the height of our fence, but were now back to friendly terms."
Contrite (adj) "Deeply and humbly sorry for ones wrong doing, Extremely repentant" I had thought he would feel some guilt at having spoken so rudely with her, but rather than being contrite, he was behaving as if he had been aggrieved. syn: Penitent
Contumacious (adj) Exceedingly stubborn The stable-hand complained that for the last few days, the horse was being unreasonably contumacious -- it refused to eat anything and also not let anyone ride it. syn: Recalcitrant
Contumely (n) Abusive/offensive language or behavior I had always thought him to be a gentle and good-natured soul, so was rather taken aback by his contumely, which I think was totally uncalled for.
Conversant (adj) Well acquainted "I am not really conversant with the rules and regulations of this club, so Im depending on you to explain them to me."
Convivial (adj) Festive, Giving a pleasant feeling of joy The convivial atmosphere at the party was briefly disrupted when Vivian and Leigh had a small dispute, but they soon made up and the party continued with the same enthusiasm and vigor. ant: Unsociable
Cordon (n) Projecting course of stone in wall, Chain of military posts, Continuous circle of persons The assailant had almost managed to get past his cordon of security guards, when his cellular phone rang and gave him away.
Corollary (n) Something that naturally follows from something else History has shown that violence is a natural corollary of a revolutionary change in the society.
Corpulent (adj) Very fat His corpulence had become a cause of embarrassment for him; everywhere he went, he could hear little children looking at his huge belly with amazement. syn: Rotund
Cortege (n) A group of attendants at a funeral. Also any procession ("An endless array of cars formed a part of the cortege at his funeral, in addition to the many people who were walking in silence." syn: Retinue)
Coruscate (v) To flash or glitter The atmosphere in the room was enlivened by her coruscating smile; there was hardly a man who was not attracted towards her that evening. syn: Sparkle
Coterie (n) Set of persons associated by exclusive, shared interests ("The President has himself inducted Sarah into the exclusive coterie of Senators who are supposed to be the eyes and ears of the President.")
Coterminous (adj) Having a common boundary US and Canada are coterminous countries, and many immigrants have used this to their advantage by illegally crossing the border to the US.
Countenance (v) To give sanction or approval to "... given a stern warning ... that he will no longer countenance such absenteeism ..." (n) Expression of the face "... dismayed countenance ... quite upset ... " ant: Admonition, Disapprove
Countermand (v) Cancel, Revoke A section of the voters complained about gross irregularities in the conduct of the elections, so the election commission decided to countermand the elections in the state.
Countervailing (adj) Acting with an opposite effect It was the first time in eight years that someone had tried to take countervailing action against the dictatorial impositions of the committee secretary.
Couture (n) Designing high quality fashionable clothes "In 1960, Pierre Cardin became the first couturier to design mens clothes; before that, all designers concentrated on womens clothing."
Cow (v) To control by threat or violence "Fear of unemployment has cowed the workers into unconditional acceptance of the companys plans."
Crabbed (adj) Cramped or irregular handwriting that is difficult to read The letter was written in a crabbed handwriting making it very difficult for any of us to read.
Cravat (n) A mans scarf, often worn in the open neck of a shirt in place of a necktie.
Craven (adj & n) Extremely cowardly The little pup of mine is such a craven that he runs to hide under the bed as soon as he hears an unfamiliar voice in the house! syn: Pusillanimous ant: Brave, Intrepid
Credence (n) Belief, Acceptance as true Saying that he could not give credence to my val complaint, the magistrate asked me to officially register the complaint on a signed letter-head.
Credulous (adj) Apt to believe anything without question He was so credulous that he believed each and every word of what the impostor said, and had almost told him his bank account details when I reached the scene. syn: Naive.
Crestfallen (adj) "Dejected, Having lost ones self-confidence" Reaching my apartment, I was crestfallen to find that the closet in which I keep all my belongings had been ransacked. syn: Dispirited ant: Elated
Crevice* (n) A narrow crack or opening, esp. in rock (crevasse
Croesus (n) A very rich person With the enormous amount of wealth that he has acquired through his trading operations, the magazine has rightly described him as a croesus.
Crux (n) Crucial point "The panel of economists have unanimously concluded that the crux of the problem for India is its vast population, because of which the countrys resources are always under constraint."
Crèche (n) A place where infants and children are cared for while their parents work Most working parents have no option but to leave their infants in a Crèche while they go out to work.
Cull (v) To choose or collect from a larger pool ("He managed to cull all the information he needed from the Internet, and put together a report in just three hours." syn: Glean)
Culvert (n) Artificial channel for water The civic authorities have planned a comprehensive system of underground culverts in the city so as to improve its drainage system.
Cunctation (n) Delay The winning team in the football match tried a lot of cunctative tactics towards the end of the game as it was leading by a solitary goal, but the rival team managed to score the equalizing goal. syn: Procrastinate
Cupidity (n) Greed of gain Her cupidity for diamond jewelry knew no bounds; she had over 100 diamond pendants and necklaces of various shapes and sizes, and was ready to buy more. ant: Altruism, Generosity
Curator (n) Person in charge, Manager, Keeper, Custodian The curator of this museum is a kindly old man who has held his position for nearly thirty years now, and can tell you in detail about each and every exhibit in the museum.
Curmudgeon (n) An ill-tempered, irritable person; esp., an elderly such man The complaining old curmudgeon kept on pestering the shopkeeper for nearly fifteen minutes, when the shopkeeper finally lost his patience. syn: Codger
Cursory (adj) Casual, Hastily done A cursory examination of this report will not help you much, you need to read through it in detail. ant: Detailed, Thorough
Cygnet (n) A young swan The beautiful cygnet ruffled its white feathers in the a few weeks she would turn into a graceful swan.
Cynosure (n) The object of general attention, Center of attraction or admiration At the party thrown by the industrial to celebrate his twenty-fifth anniversary, his exquisitely beautiful youngest daughter proved to be the cynosure of all eyes.
Dais (n) Low platform, esp. for high table Even before the speaker could reach the dais to deliver his speech, a section of the crowd started shouting slogans against him.
Dally (v) (1) To consider, but not very seriously (2) Delay, Be slow or waste time (dilly dally)
Dank (adj.) Unpleasantly wet and cold.
Dapper (adj.) Neat, Smart in appearance or movement Dressed up for his first interview, Jasper looked trim and dapper in his new suit and his
Dastardly treacherously cowardly.
Daub (v & n) (1) To cover with something soft and sticky, Smear (2) A small quantity of any soft and sticky substance like plaster, clay etc (1) Not knowing how to paint, he merely daubed the wall with paint; as a result, it looked worse than it did before.
De jure (adj. & adv.) By right, legal Rightfully During the political turmoil in the country after the coup, the army general called the shots and ran the government, but the Prime Minister remained the de jure head of state. syn: Legitimate
Dearth (n) Scanty supply of something Though there was no dearth of milk in his house, he refused to give the crying child even a drop of it. syn: Scarcity ant: Superfluity, Plethora
Debacle (n) (1) Sudden downfall, Rout, Stampede (2) Break up of ice in river; Sudden rush of water (1) As if the 5-0 debacle that the school hockey team suffered in the match against the Riverdale team was not humiliating enough, they were subjected to another d
Debase (v) Reduce in quality or value; Lower in quality Even as the remixed versions of old songs are becoming increasingly popular among the youth today, the older generation considers them to be a debasement of good music of the yesteryears.
Debauched (adj.) Morally and physically ruined because of over indulgence in alcohol, sex, drugs, etc.
Debonair (adj.) Friendly, Pleasant, Unembarrassed All the nurses in the hospital wanted to be in the same shift as the debonair young doctor who had just joined the hospital, had charmed the ladies with his stylish ways and attractive looks. ant: Awkward
Decadence (n) A process or period of falling, decay, degeneration While the other states in the country are on the path to prosperity, this one particular state is moving in the opposite direction and is becoming decadent in all respects. syn: Retrogression
Deciduous (adj.) Falling off as of leaves, Shed leaves periodically or normally
Decorous (adj.) Polite and well-behaved, proper and correct in a restrained or formal way "He is a picture of decorousness and obedience in front of his parents, but otherwise, he is one of the most ill-mannered child Ive ever seen." ant: Improper
Decorum (n) Polite and decent behavior The class teacher praised the students for maintaining decorum in the auditorium, and requested them to behave in the same way at all occasions. syn: Seemliness
Decry (v) Express strong disapproval of, Disparage The Guardians of Culture society in England has severely decried the depiction of vulgarity in the London tabloids. ant: Condone
Deference (n) a disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others; a courteous expression (by word or deed) of esteem or regard
Defray (v) Pay the costs or expenses The company agreed to defray all the expenses that I had incurred on the project, including the air fare.
Degradation (n) Debasement, Bringing into dishonor or contempt, Degeneration With a sustained and concerted effort at planting trees and preserving forests, the government of this country has effectively managed to stem the environmental degradation of the last twen
Deign (v) Condescend, Think fit, Stoop "Theres no way he could have deleted the files deliberately -- I know he would not deign to such low levels."
Deleterious (adj.) Harmful Had I been aware of the deleterious effects of this medicine on the nervous system, I would never have recommended it to you.
Delineate (v) Portray, Depict, Sketch As a good manager, you should be able to clearly delineate the tasks for all your subordinates.
Deluge (n & v) Flood, Rush, Inundation He let out a deluge of swear words at the peon for spilling ink on his shirt.
Demagogue (n) A leader who influences the populace by appealing to prejudices and passion, Rabble-rouser By instilling the fear of God in the innocent masses, the demagogue incited them to vote for his political party. syn: Agitator
Demeanor* syn: Mien, Deportment.
Demur (v;n) 1) To express disagreement or refusal to do something ("I requested ... but he demurred saying ..." syn: Staid. 2) take exception to, (law) a formal objection to an opponent's pleadings)
Demure (adj.) Grave, Serious, Coy ("As a child she used to be very quiet and shy; I clearly remember her sitting demurely in her mothers lap each time I saw her in the church.") (affectedly modest or shy especially in a playful or provocative way)
Dence (v) Condemn, Criticize "The governments decision to raise the income tax by as much as 10
Denigrate (v) Defame, Tarnish the reputation of By indulging in such destructive activities, he is denigrating the name of his own family in the society. syn: Malign, Slander, Traduce, Vilify, Calumniate ant: Lionize
Denouement (n) Outcome, Final development of the plot of a play In a most unexpected Denouement to the political drama that had continued for nearly two weeks, the leader of an insignificant political party was elected the Chief Minister, thanks to some last-moment
Deplore (v) Regret, Disapprove of, grieve over "Even though she deplored her husbands decision to quit his job and shift to farming, she had no choice but to accept it." syn: Bewail
Deportment (n) The way a person behaves, esp. the way he/she walks and stands The young engineering graduates were given lessons in deportment by the company, since they were supposed to meet clients in the course of their work. syn: Demeanor, Mien
Deprecate (v) Express disapproval of, Protest against The teacher gave the boys a deprecating glance and told them to be quiet.
Depredation (n) Despoiling, Plundering "These so called guardians of Indian culture have described the celebration of Valentines Day as a depredation of the Indian soul, saying that such events can only spoil the ancient Indian culture." syn: Destruction ant: Rest
Deride (v) To make fun of, to treat scornfully, scoff at Everyone present at the gathering derided him for his stupid comments; some even went to the extent of saying that he had lost his mental balance. ant: Truculent
Derisory (adj.) An very small amount, not worth consideration They are paid a derisory amount for all the hard work they do; but because of their inability to do anything else, they have not choice but to continue. syn: Ironical
Derogate (v) To detract, Take away a part from a whole Seeing that I was over-burdened, my boss decided to derogate some of the work he had initially assigned to me and did it himself. ant: Praise
Desiccate (v) Take out moisture from something in order to preserve it, to dry thoroughly. "The old sailors skin had become wrinkled and desiccated from years of being out in the sun and the wind." ant: Inundate
Despoil (v) Plunder, Deprive of all possessions The Huns repeatedly attacked India from the north-west side, despoiling the towns, looting the wealth and spreading death and destruction all over. syn: Pillage, Spoliation, Rapine, Forage
Desultory (adj.) Going from one subject to another aimlessly, Disconnected I went to him hoping to get a lot of knowledge on the subject of his specialization; however, he disappointed me by just making a desultory conversation of hardly any relevance. syn: Unme
Détente (n) Easing of strained relations esp. between two states For the first time in nearly three decades, the two warring nations seem to be heading towards a Détente; as recent gestures from both sides point to a softening of the earlier hard stance.
Devious (adj.) Roundabout, Erratic, Not straightforward When a straightforward interrogation did not help, he resorted to all sorts of devious means, including blackmail, to get out the truth from her.
Devoid (adj.) Lacking, Destitute What makes her acting look so good is that it is completely devoid of any theatricality and her expressions are completely natural. ant: Replete
Devolve (v) Transfer or be passed on The basic problem with the new manager is that he just does not know how to devolve responsibility to his juniors, and wants to do everything on his own.
Dialectic (n & adj.) 1) Art of logical disputation, Testing of truth by discussion 2) Criticism dealing with metaphysical contradictions and their solutions To solve the case, the detective took a dialectic approach, testing all opposing views against one another
Diaphanous (adj.) Transparent, So delicate and thin that light can pass through it I caught a glimpse of the girl through her diaphanous veil, and what I saw was a picture of exquisite beauty.
Diatribe* (n) Violent verbal attack, Denunciation syn: Inveigh
Dictum (n) Authoritative and weighty statement, Formal saying Just Do It, apart from being a popular commercial slogan, is also very much an American dictum, which has influenced a large number of young people over the years. syn: Maxim
Didactic (adj.) Meant to instruct, Having the manner of a teacher In many schools, traditional didactic teaching has been replaced by an approach which allows children to discover things for themselves.
Diffidence (n) Shyness, Excessively modest At first, she was extremely diffident about teaching a class of college students, but gained confidence almost as soon as she started her class. syn: Bashful ant: Boldness
Digression (n) Wandering away from the subject, Depart from the main subject temporarily in speech or writing I did not like her way of teaching because her lecture had too many digressions; she kept on wandering to various subjects, most of them not relevant to th
Dilatory (adj.) Delaying, Tending to slow down action The heavy lunch had a dilatory effect on my pace of work, and I could not complete the task by the evening as I had planned. syn: Cunctative, Fabian ant: Expediting
Din (n & v) Continued confused stunning or distracting noise There was no way that I could hear the telephone ring above the din created by the children in the living room.
Dinghy (n) Small boat They cast anchor about a mile from the shore and reached the mainland on a dinghy.
Dingy (adj.) Dark and dirty "The lawyers chamber was a small, dingy room, poorly ventilated, with books and legal documents occupying most of its space."
Disabuse (v) Undeceive, Disillusion, Correct a false impression I always thought that those two were sworn enemies, but seeing them behave in such a friendly manner has disabused me of my notion. ant: Deceive
Disaffected (adj.) Discontented, Disloyal The management of the company has blamed the slowdown in production on disaffected workers, stating that it has taken steps to please the workers as far as possible, but the union leaders are not being sensible in their dema
Disapprobation (n) Disapproval, Condemnation The Chief Minister has expressed his strong disapprobation at the misutilization of the funds at the village level. ant: Accolade
Disavow* syn: Abnegation
Discomfit (v) To make someone feel uncomfortable or embarrassed She was discomfited by the presence of several tough looking men in the compartment, but managed to keep a brave front.
Disconcert (v) Confuse, Upset, Derange, Spoil It was rather disconcerting to realize that the supposedly brand new refrigerator I had purchased had previously been used by someone.
Disconsolate (adj.) Sad, Disappointed, Forlorn, Inconsolable She was rather disconsolate at having lost such a wonderful opportunity to win the award, and everyone gathered around her trying to console her saying that she will surely get another chance. ant: Joyous
Discord (n & v) Lack of harmony, disagreement According to Indian historians, the seeds of discord between India and Pakistan were sown by the British when they left undecided the status of the state of Kashmir. ant: Unanimity, Unison, Comity
Discursive (adj.) Rambling, not keeping to the main subjects, wandering from the main point "That was among the most discursive lectures Ive ever heard; he spoke on everything except the topic he was supposed to speak on." syn: Digressive
Disgorge (v) Surrender something, Eject, Vomit The child had accidentally swallowed the key, so the doctor tried to make him disgorge it by administering him a mild medicine to induce vomit.
Dishabille (n) The state of being partially or negligently dressed Feeling the tremors of the earthquake, people of the colony rushed out of their houses, many of them in a state of dishabille.
Disinter (v) Dig up, Unearth Left with no other option, the court made the rather unusual decision to disinter the dead body from its gave and have a DNA test conducted on it to firmly establish its identity.
Disinterested (adj.) Unbiased and impartial As far as I know, the judge is absolutely disinterested and will give a fair hearing to both the parties.
Disparate (adj. & n) Basically different, Unrelated Though they came from the most disparate of backgrounds -- one from a wealthy business family and the other the son of a humble farmer -- they remained the best of friends throughout their lives.
Dispassionate (adj.) Free from emotions, Calm, Impartial Prone to being emotional like all human beings, it sometimes becomes very difficult for a judge to give a dispassionate hearing to a court case involving human issues.
Dispatch* (n) (2) Speed and effectiveness "The children finished their assignments with great dispatch"
Dispirited (adj.) Dejected, Lacking hope I had always found him to be active and cheerful, so was quite surprised to find him sitting dispirited and dull.
Disquisition (n) Long, elaborate speech or writing After a lengthy disquisition on the ill-effects of genetic manipulation, the speaker went on to demonstrate some photographs that made sent shivers down the spine of the audience.
Dissemble (v) Disguise, Pretend The army officer tried his best to dissemble that there had not been any breach of authority, but the investigations revealed otherwise.
Disseminate (v) Distribute, Spread, Scatter about The Ministry of Health has proposed to set up a public affairs department whose function would be to disseminate information to the public about infectious diseases like AIDS and Hepatitis-B.
Dissimulate (v) Pretend, Conceal Though he tried hard to keep a straight face, he could not dissimulate that he had felt greatly hurt because of the harsh words spoken against him by his friend.
Dissolute (adj.) Lacking moral restraint or self discipline, given to immoral conduct When his infidelity with his wife became known in the rather conservative society, he was branded a dissolute and was ostracized from the society.
Dissonant (adj.) Not in harmony, Harsh (1) The orchestra played in perfect unison, with not a single dissonant note being struck. (2) My ideas on this issue are quite in dissonance with his; while he is a strong believer in perpetuity of life and the concept of re
Distrait (adj.) Inattentive, not paying attention Even after the teacher had scolded him a couple of times, the distrait child kept looking out of the window.
Dither (v & n) To be indecisive about something, or to do something nervously "Hes still dithering over whether to accept the job hes been offered."
Divagate (v) Stray, digress He has a very annoying habit of divagating from the topic while making a conversation; you have to coax him to stick to the main point.
Divest (v) (1) To take something off or away from someone (2) To sell a business or a part of business (1) Proved guilty of improper conduct during the Olympic Games, the athlete was divested of all the medals that he had won in the Games. (2) The divestment of
Docile* syn: Amenable, Tractable. ant: Truculent
Dogged (adj.) Determined, Stubborn Her amazing capacity for hard work, along with a sense of sincerity and dogged determination, led her to the top of the organizational hierarchy. syn: Persistent
Doggerel (adj. & n) Trivial worthless verse How can you read such doggerel? scolded the father to his son, looking at the trashy comic books he was reading.
Doleful (adj.) Sorrowful, Very sad As everyone stood with a doleful expression on their face at the funeral, I could see tears beginning to swell in her beautiful eyes. ant: Merry
Dolorous (adj.) Distressing, Causing sadness or emotional suffering Mirza Ghalib, the noted Urdu poet who lived in India about 300 years ago, is known for his dolorous poetry, much of which revolves around the distress and pain he suffered in love. syn: Mournful
Dotage (n) Senility and mental weakness, feebleness of mind as a result of old age Showing clear signs of dotage, my grandfather was looking for his spectacles that were resting on the bridge of his nose.
Doughty (adj.) Valiant, brave, bold, dauntless She has been a doughty campaigner for animal rights for several years now, often going to ridiculous extents to make her point in the society. syn: Intrepid
Dour (adj.) Stern, severe In contrast to the reticent and dour principal of the school, who was a strict disciplinarian, the new music teacher was full of mirth and laughter, often seen joking with the students on the school lawns. syn: Inflexible
Dovetail (n & v) Join together, combine neatly Under the effective leadership of the former senator, the company was able to dovetail its own operations with those of the smaller company it had taken over without having to lay off any employee.
Dowdy (n & adj.) Untidy and unattractive, Not stylish The door was opened by a dowdy old woman, wearing rather ill-fitting clothes and having oily, unkempt hair. syn: Slovenly
Doyen (n) An experienced and respected person in a particular type of work Sir Donald Bradman, who played cricket for Australia over fifty years ago and has an amazing record, is still respected as the doyen of world cricket.
Dredge (v) To remove unwanted things from, or search for something on, the bottom of a river, lake etc. After two days, they managed to dredge up the corpse from the bottom of the lake.
Dregs (n) The sediment of liquids that sink to its bottom. Also, the poorest or least desirable part, the scum, scrapings or rejects The bar was extremely disreputed, being a common meeting place for criminals, drug addicts, and other dregs of the society.
Droll (adj. & n) Odd and amusing, Comical, Queer and meant to provoke laughter He watched the proceedings at the amusement park with a droll expression on his face, wondering whether the animals in the park would also be amused by the queer antics of the human
Dross (n) Waste matter, Worthless impurities Even though the number of TV channels and programs have drastically gone up in the last few years, most of what they show is pure dross.
Dubious (adj.) Questionable, Filled with doubt "Dont even think of going to that doctor, he had a very dubious reputation -- some people say that all his degrees are forged."
Dulcet (adj.) Sweet, Soothing She sang a pleasant melody in her dulcet voice, enchanting everyone present at the party.
Duress (n) Forcible restraint, especially unlawfully The accused claimed that he had been forced to signed the contract under duress, and that he had no intention of getting into the deal.
Earthy (adj) (1) Of or like earth (2) Unrefined, Coarse, Impolite (1) Susan prefers to adorn herself in earthy colors such as greens and browns.(2) Peter is unpopular because he uses earthy and vulgar language.
Ebb (v) Become gradually lower or weaker ("As he grew older and more mature, his childishness slowly ebbed away." syn: Recede)
Ebullient (adj) Full of high spirits, bubbling over with enthusiasm or excitement John was in a happy and ebullient mood after receiving the most prestigious award in his school. syn: Vivacious
Ebullition (n) Act, process or state of boiling or bubbling up. Also any agitation or excitement There was an ebullition of violence on the streets as a result of a major dispute between the two religious sects.
Ecumenical (adj) Of or pertaining to the whole, Christian church. Also, universal The Pope conducted an ecumenical seminar by inviting priests from all over the world to express their opinions on spreading Christianity.
Edacious (adj) Greedy or very fond of eating "Jacobs obesity can be ascribed to his edaciousness and his capacity to consume large quantities of food at a time." syn: Voracious
Edict (n) An official order The Mayor passed an edict prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in public places. syn: Decree
Edifice (n) A large building or constructed structure The sprawling museum of Louvre is one the most remarkable edifices of Paris.
Educe (v) To draw out something latent or hidden Participating in the talent contest educed the special capabilities of Jean who is otherwise a reserved person. syn: Elicit
Efface (v) Rub out, Remove the surface of She could never really efface the memory of that horrible existence from her mind, as that fateful evening continued to haunt her till her last days. syn: Obliterate
Effete (adj) Having lost its vitality, creativity or strength. Also, incapable of further production. "Having been extensively cultivated for years, the farmers land has now become effete and can no longer sustain him." syn: Sterile, Barren
Efficacious (adj) Producing the desired result The medicine prescribed by the junior doctor proved to be efficacious and relieved him off his pain immediately.
Efflorescence (n) The period or action of developing of flowers on a plant February is the efflorescent season after which the tulips are in full bloom and its fields are open to tourists.
Effluent (n) Discharge of waste liquid matter, sewage Harmful effluent is flowing out of the drains of chemical factories and pouring into our rivers.
Effrontery (n) Rudeness without any sense of shame "Everyone is aware of Ruths effrontery and hence do not ever expect an apology from her for her uncivil behaviors." syn: Audacity, Arrogant, Temerity, Impudence, Gall. ant: Shyness
Effulgent (adj) Shining brilliantly The trophy won by our team appeared more magnificent and effulgent in the rays of the sun. syn: Radiant, Glowing, Dazzling.
Effusive (adj) Showing too much feeling "We were rather taken aback by Amandas effusiveness when she burst into tears of joy on meeting us after a long time." ant: Phlegmatic
Egalitarian (adj) Having the belief that all people are equal, Believing in equal rights for all
Egregious (adj) Standing apart (usually in a negative sense); Conspicuous for a bad quality. Sue was egregious in her pink gown at the funeral where everyone was dressed in black. syn: Flagrant
Egress (n) Act or Right of going out or leaving, Exit The hurried egress of the crowd from the theatre after the show was rather chaotic. ant: Ingress, Entrance
Egret (n) A large, long-legged, white-feathered water bird The egret at the zoo were as beautiful as the flamingos and the Siberian cranes.
Elliptical (adj) (2) Having an implied meaning and hence difficult to understand (usu. speech or written text) ("The unfamiliar forms used by Picasso make his paintings rather elliptical and hence, confusing to the common man. ")
Eloquence* (n) Expressiveness, Persuasive speech
Elucidate (v) Explain, Clarify The professor elucidated upon the theory by giving simple examples. ant: Obfuscate
Emanate (v) To come out from (of something non-material) Strange rumors emanate from the idle gossips of the two old women in our neighborhood.
Embargo syn: Moratorium
Embrocation (n) Liquid for rubbing on the body to relieve aches Angela was relieved from pain after applying a soothing embrocation on her sprained ankle. syn: Liniment
Embroil (v) Throw into confusion, Involve in an argument or any difficult situation While trying to resolve the fight between the two teams the referee himself got embroiled in their quarrel.
Emend (v) To take the mistakes out of a text before it is printed Fred has a tendency to make spelling errors and thus carefully emends the articles he writes for the school magazine.
Emetic (adj) Causing vomiting, any substance that induces vomiting The child had accidentally swallowed a metallic keyring, so the doctor quickly administered him an emetic so as to make him vomit it.
Eminent (adj) Famous and admired, Distinguished Matthew is an eminent doctor renowned for successfully treating several patients for cancer. ant: Notorious
Eminently (adv) Perfectly "The judges decision in favor of the assaulted victim was eminently fair."
Emollient (n) Soothing or softening, esp. to the skin. Hence, anything that soothes ant: Irritating
Empyrean (adj) Heavenly, Celestial Margaret radiated an empyrean look dressed up as an angel for the costume ball.
Encipher (v) Encode, Convert a message into code For security reasons, most of the secret formulae developed recently in our laboratory have been enciphered into cryptic symbols. ant: Decipher
Enclave (n) Territory enclosed within an alien land, Any enclosed area. (Scarlet Enclave in Forsaken land)
Encomium (n) Expression of high praise Mother Teresa was worthy of the worldwide recognition and all the encomium she received for her charitable deeds. syn: Eulogy
Endemic (adj) Peculiar to a country or class of people, commonly found in a specified area or people Freckles are small patches of pigmented skin endemic to blonde and redheaded people. ant: Pandemic
Enfranchise (v) To admit to the rights of citizenship (especially the right to vote) The Jones family was enfranchised citizenship five years after migrating to America.
Engender (v) Cause, Produce Religious sects are meant to engender peace amongst the people instead of which they create only disharmony.
Enjoin (v) (1) To command or direct with authority (2) To forbid or prohibit (1) The teacher enjoined him to take tutorials to bring up his falling grades in mathematics. (2) The sheriff enjoined him from trading, as his license was illegal. syn: Prohibit, Pro
Enmesh (v) To catch as if in a net Though in the beginning he did it for earning money, and thought that he would quit it, now he finds himself enmeshed in a tangle of drugs and other crimes. syn: Entwine
Enmity (v) Ill will, Hatred The friendship between Doris and Diana turned into enmity after their big fight over a mere dress in the mall. syn: Hostility ant: Affection
Ennui (n) A feeling of weariness and boredom We were overcome with ennui after reading the same chapters again and again for the science test. syn: Tedium ant: Excitement
Enormity (n) (1) An act of great wickedness (2) The quality of being very great, Hugeness (1) The enormity of his crime was such that the judge had no choice but to pass a sentence of death for him. (2) The enormity of the problem of unemployment has made it diff
Ensconce (v) To settle, establish or place securely and comfortably He was ensconced in a big armchair in front of the fireplace and sleeping peacefully. ant: Uncover
Entente (n) A friendly and mutual agreement between two countries The two neighboring countries signed an entente, each agreeing upon non-interference in the others internal affairs.
Enterprising (adj) Full of initiative Tom is the most enterprising member of our club and carries out all his responsibilities very efficiently.
Entreat (v) Plead, Ask earnestly The students felt guilty and entreated the teacher to forgive them for their pranks they played on her. syn: Beseech
Enumerate (v) To name or list things one by one At the supermarket, while my friend enumerated the items on our shopping list, I kept picking them up.
Ephemeral (adj) Short-lived, lasting only a day or few days Thoughtless spending on expensive clothes is only an ephemeral pleasure which does not bring long lasting joy. syn: Transitory ant: Eternal, Permanent
Epicene (adj) Having the characters of both the sexes The earthworm is an epicene creature, which can reproduce all by itself. syn: Hermaphrodite
Epicure (n) A person having great interest in matters of taste and enjoymentticularly food and drink Bruce is a complete Epicurean who believes more in simply enjoying life rather than working hard. syn: Gourmet, Gastronome
Epigram (n) A short, witty saying or poem "For Teachers Day we composed epigrams for each of our tutors, which spoke about their personalities."
Epigraph (n) Study of inscription on stones etc The Father of the Nation is the epigraph carved below this statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
Episcopal (adj) Of, or governed by, bishop(s) Our neighboring town has an Episcopal government where the clergymen are authorized to maintain law and order.
Episodic (adj) Loosely connected, Divided into incidents This film on the pharos is rather episodic and does not portray the history of ancient Egypt in a unified manner.
Epistle (n) A letter, esp. a formal, elegant one In school we were taught the format for writing epistles to an editor.
Epithet (n) Word or phrase characteristically used to describe a person or thing "Selfish is the correct epithet that can be used to describe Rita who never shares her things with her sister."
Equable (adj) (1) Not easily annoyed, calm (of a person) (2) Even and regular, Steady (of climate or temperature) (1) Sandy makes a good teacher for small children, as she is a patient and equable person. (2) The doctor has advised her to avoid extreme temperatu
Equanimity (n) Evenness of mind or temper, composure calmness, equability "Roger was very brave and received the bad news of his fathers accident with great equanimity." ant: Agitation
Equerry (n) Official (usu. male) of the British royal household attending to members of the royal family The old butler retired after serving as an excellent equerry to royal family for twenty years.
Equitable (adj) Fair, Impartial "After his death, grandfathers will revealed that he had distributed his wealth equitably between his sons."
Equivocal (adj) Deliberately ambiguous, questionable, Having a double or doubtful meaning The lawyer was very equivocal and put forth questions to the witness in a roundabout manner to get the truth out of him. ant: Clear
Erudite (adj) Learned, Scholarly Confucius was a very erudite philosopher whose quotes are remembered and referred to by the whole world. ant: Ignorant
Escapement (n) Mechanism regulating the movement of a watch or a clock She had to give her watch for repair as its escapement had got spoilt and it was showing the wrong time.
Eschew (v) Shun or abstain from Rodney has been eschewed from attending the club meetings after he misbehaved with the president. syn: Avoid, Refrain ant: Welcome
Escritoire (n) Writing desk with drawers etc. New escritoire has been ordered for the office, as the old furniture needs desperate replacement.
Esculent (n) Thing fit for food The trekkers discovered some red delicious looking berries in the forest but not being sure whether it was esculent, they did not taste them.
Espousal (n) Adoption or support of a cause The school children are fighting against drug abuse and have become popular all over the country for this espousal. ant: Abjuration
Esprit de corps (n) Loyalty and devotion uniting a group There is never any infighting in this religious group which is bonded by the esprit de corps they share.
Estrade (n) Raised platform "The teachers desk is on an estrade to enable her to view the entire class properly."
Ethos (n) Underlying character of a culture, group etc This book is based on the ethos and lifestyle of the Arabians sheikhs.
Etiolated (adj) Seriously weakened She had a relapse of jaundice after which her liver became etiolated.
Etiology (n) Study of the causes of diseases Etiology can tell us the causes of the common cold but no cure for it.
Etude (n) Short musical composition or exercise The musical group performed a brilliant etude that entranced the audience.
Euphony (n) Pleasant or sweet sounding Her voice is soft and euphonious and appealing to the ear when she sings. ant: Cacophony, Discord
Evanescence (n) Vanishing, fading from sight or senses Once a great actress, this old woman now stays seriously ill and her past memories is almost evanescent. syn: Fleeting, Fugacious ant: Longevity
Evince (v) To show clearly, Indicate, Reveal The x-ray evinced a fracture of her anklebone. syn: Manifest, Display ant: Conceal
Ex gratia (adj) (Payment) made as a favor, not legally binding He gave him the money ex gratia without any expectation of returns.
Ex officio (adj) "By virtue of ones office or position" It was for ex officio reasons that the company was able to get the contract.
Exacting (adj) Extremely demanding, Requiring much effort and attention He makes a very exacting boss who manages to keep his employees busy all the time.
Exceptionable (adj) Objectionable, Likely to cause offence or dislike The tactics employed by Julie to get the job are exceptionable and unfair to the other applicants.
Excise (n) Government tax on certain goods produced inside a country "The government has levied excise duties on the production of mustard oil in the country."
Excoriate (v) (1) Strip the skin from (2) Criticize severely, Express a very bad opinion of a book, play etc. (1) Poachers hunt down crocodiles and mercilessly excoriate them to manufacture belts and purses.(2) Critics excoriated Isabel for her bad performance in
Execrable (adj) (1) Of very bad quality or nature (2) Deserving hate (1) Mason is sweet natured and very different from his twin brother who is selfish and execrable. syn: abominable rel: Execrate
Exhort (v) Warn, To urge or advise strongly The general exhorted the discouraged soldiers to fight well and win the battle for their country. syn: Admonish, Reprove ant: Dissuade
Exigent (adj) Extremely urgent, Requiring immediate aid or action, exacting or demanding The patient was in an exigent condition and passed away because of receiving no medical attention.
Exiguous (adj) Scanty, Small How can you even think of starting such a big business with such an exiguous amount in hand? syn: Meagre, Diminutive
Exordium (n) Introductory part of a speech or a treatise His exordium itself was so powerful that it immediately gripped the attention of the listeners for the rest of the speech.
Expedient (adj) Suitable in a situation, even though not morally right or just "The mason had not done his job properly, so we thought it expedient to pay him only after he did the job again." syn: Advantageous
Expedite (v) To speed up, Hasten Unlike other companies that take more time to send you the replies, UGB is so expeditious that it sends you the reply within twenty four hours. ant: Tardy, Procrastinate
Expiate (v) To make amends for an offense, failure, sin etc., do penance for She is now feeling guilty and would like to expiate for the entire harm she has done to her friends. syn: Atone for
Explicate (v) To explain, usu. a work of literature, in detail "The professor tried to explicate Shakespeares Macbeth to the class in simplified terms."
Expository (adj) Explanatory, Serving to explain His worn out clothes are expository of his ruined financial status.
Expostulate (v) To protest earnestly and pleadingly The laborers expostulated against the new management, which laid down unreasonable regulations on them. syn: Remonstrate
Expurgate (v) To remove objectionable matter from a book etc. The censor board expurgated all scenes from the film, which it felt was inappropriate for the viewing of children. syn: Bowdlerize
Extenuate (v) To make thin, or less severe The murderer extenuated his crime by portraying it as an act of defense. syn: Attenuate
Extirpate (v) Root out, destroy The mayor is trying to formulate methods of extirpating unemployment from the town. syn: Eradicate ant: Implant
Extol (v) Praise enthusiastically Critics have extolled the new actor for his brilliant performance in the play. syn: Exalt ant: Flinch, Lamboste
Extricate (v) Free, Disentangle "The bird managed to extricate herself from the hunters net and fly away."
Extrude (v) Force or push out That man was extruded out of the queue when he tried to barge in between.
Exude (v) To discharge, Give forth By the time he finished the tennis match, sweat was exuding from every part of his body.
Exult (v) Rejoice greatly The old man exulted on the arrival of his newly born grandchild.
Fabian (adj & n) Cautious and dalaying, Member of fabian society Jimmy is a fabianist who would rather leave his test papers incomplete than rush through it. syn: Cunctative, Dilatory
Facer (n) Sudden great difficulty "The sudden loss in his business was like a facer amidst his fathers illness."
Facetious (adj) Addicted to or marked by pleasantry or levity Gary has this facetious habit of passing silly remarks, which can get very irritating at times. syn: Humorous, Jocose
Facile (adj) Requiring little effort; easily achieved. Also, meaningless or incomplete (1) She was such a good painter that it was facile for her to win the contest.(2) The rest of the audience was irritated by the loud and weird facile remarks she passed at t
Factious (adj) Raising dissentions or factions, creating discord The old blind man tried to befool the crowd by inventing a completely factious story about himself.
Factitious (adj) Unnatural, Made for a special purpose The hotel ordered factitious red flowers made of paper to decorate its lobby for Christmas. syn: Artificial ant: Spontaneous
Factotum (n) A person who has tasks or responsibilities of all kinds, a jack of all trades Our butler is the factotum of our household as he is also a cook as well as a driver.
Fait accompli (n) An accomplished act. Hence an act or thing already done and not reversible ("His sins are fait accompli and cannot be redeemed even if he begs forgiveness.")
Fallacious (adj) False, Misleading Richmond is an unhappy rich man proving this well-known saying as a fallacy that success brings happiness.
Fallow (n, adj & v) Potentially useful but not presently in use (usu. of land) This land is now fallow and crops will be planted on it only after the rains. syn: Uncultivated
Fanciful (adj) Indulging in fancies She is a fanciful poet who loves to write about her dreams. syn: Whimsical, Capricious
Fastidious (adj) Difficult to please ("Kim is a fastidious eater who manages to find faults in food cooked even by the finest of chefs." syn: Unpleasant)
Fatuous (adj) Foolish or idiotic in a self-satisfied way During one of the ground tests, the candidate made a sort of fatuous suggestion about crossing a river with the help of a rope. ant: Sensible
Fawning (adj) Obedient They fawned over their rich uncle to please him so that he would give them some of his wealth. syn: Obsequious, Cringing ant: Arrogant
Faze (v) Disconcert, Dismay "Janes irrational behavior left everyone in a faze at the party."
Fealty (n) Faithfulness, Loyalty The maid servant showed exemplary fealty to her master by staying up for nights during his illness. syn: Fidelity ant: Perfidy
Febrile (adj) Feverish, frenzied, delirious, hysterical She was febrile and had almost lost her consciousness after her head injury.
Feckless (adj) Incompetent and irresponsible His fecklessness in money matters has lead to the loss of all his wealth and property. syn: Worthless, Feeble
Fecund (Adj) Fruitful or fertile The fecundity of the soil makes this land suitable for the growth of all kinds of crops. syn: Prolific ant: Barren, Infertile, Desolate, Acarpus
Felicitous (adj) Apt, Suitably expressed, Well chosen He raised a toast and felicitated his mother who was moved to tears by the words of her son. ant: (Felicity) : Misery
Fell (v) Cut or knock down, Bring down Nowadays a great number of trees are felled down to make land available for the man to live on. ant: Propitious
Felon (n & adj) 1) Inflammatory sore on finger, esp. near nail 2) Cruel, wicked, criminal
Ferment (n & v) 1) Agitation, Commotion 2) Excite, stirr up 1) The trains were all delayed by long hours causing fermentation at the railway station. 2) He sang a lively song for the birthday girl and fermented the dull crowd at the party.
Ferret (v & n) "1) To search and uncover by careful investigation. (Used with out) 2) Stout cotton or silk tape" 1) The detective managed to ferret out the robbers responsible for stealing priceless paintings from the museum. 2) The upholstery of her furniture
Fervid (adj) 1) Ardent 2) Hot, glowing 1) His fervid speech opposed to child labor, touched the hearts of the listeners. 2) She was fervid and fresh after the long walk in the park. ant: Listless, Restrained
Fervor (n) Glowing ardor, Intensity of feeling Despite all efforts, he cannot disguise the fervor of his love for Olivia.
Fete (v & n) To honour or commemorate in a festival or celebration 1) The club feted the newly elected president by throwing a party. 2) The club organized a fete to raise funds for the forthcoming concert.
Fetid (adj) Stinking The air was fetid with the unpleasant smell of garbage dumped nearby. ant: Redolent
Fetter (n & v) 1) Anything checking freedom of movement or expression 2) Check or restraint "1) No threats from the management could fetter the union leader who spoke fearlessly against the company. 2) Chains around the prisoners ankles fettered his movements."
Fickle (adj) Changeable, Faithless Annie is a fickle-minded girl who has not yet decided upon the career she would like to pursue. ant: Loyal
Fidelity (n) Loyalty The counsellor emphasized on the importance of fidelity for a healthy marriage.
Filch (v) To steal, pilfer The shopkeeper filched the rich customer by pricing his products at double their value.
Finical (adj) "Precise, dainty, (particularly insistent that ones standards should be met)" Margaret has a very finical attitude and buys her clothes only from the most expensive boutiques in the town. syn: Fastidious
Firebrand* (n) A person or thing that brings trouble syn: Troublemaker
Firmament (n) Sky with its clouds and stars The moon was bright and the firmament lit the sky which looked as if it had been studded with jewels.
Fitful (adj) Having irregular periods of activity "She lost her peace of mind and slept fitfully after hearing about her fathers illness." syn: Spasmodic, Intermittent
Fleck (n & v) 1) Spot in skin, Patch of color or light 2) To mark with flecks 1) Her cheeks have brown flecks, which she tries to disguise by using make up. 2) Martha looked very pretty in her dress that was white flecked with red polka dots.
Flighty (adj) Fickle, guided by whim or fancy syn: Crotchety, capricious
Flippancy (n) Lack of respect or seriousness, Irreverence "Johns flippant remarks during history class annoyed the teacher." syn: Impiety, Impudence
Flit (v & n) 1) Fly, Dart lightly, Pass swiftly by 2) Change of abode esp. to evade creditor etc. 1) During our nature walk we saw beautiful blue birds flitting from branch to branch. 2) Thieves never have a permanent abode and flit from place to place to av
Floe (n) A sheet of floating ice Though there were no big icebergs, the ship was badly damaged because the crew did not watch out for floes.
Florid (adj) Having a reddish color, Ruddy, Rubicund, Rufescent, hence flushed. Also, Ornate to an excessive degree, fancy, elaborate "1) Nancys face was florid after her friends embarrassed her at the party. 2) She used florid language to impress the judges at
Flout (v & n) 1) Defy, disregard with contempt 2) Flouting speech or act 1) The boarders got into trouble with the matron after they flouted the rules of the hostel.
Fodder (n & v) 1) Coarse food for cattle, horses etc 2) Give fodder to 1) Alfalfa is a very good fodder for cattle. 2) Horses need to be foddered well to build up their energy before they can run in the races.
Foil (n & v) 1) Metal hammered or rolled into fine sheet 2) Sword used in fencing 3) Track of hunted animal, check 4) Run over or cross so as to baffle hounds, beat off, repulse, frustrate etc 1) The food on flight is all served in foil containers to keep it
Foist (v) To pass off something spurious as genuine or worthy, to introduce or insert surreptitiously The retailer tried to foist his defective stock on his customers by packing it in new and fancy boxes.
Foment (v) Bathe with warm or medicated lotions The nurse dressed his wound by fomenting it with the options prescribed by the doctor. ant: Quell
Fop (n) Dandy, A man who takes too much interest in his clothes and personal appearance He always tries to be a fop but none of the boys in his class like his taste for clothes.
Forbearance (n) Patience Her forbearance was rewarded and she finally got a good raise in her salary.
Forebear / Forbear (n) An ancestor, progenitor Timothy has inherited his interest in botany from his forebears who were great scientists of their times. syn: Forefather
Forlorn (adj) Sad and lonely, Wretched Maggie was miserable and forlorn when her cousins returned to America after spending an enjoyable vacation with her. syn: Desperate
Formality (n) "Ceremonious quality, Something done just for forms sake" 1) Friends should be at ease with one another and realize that there is no place for formality in everyday life. 2) There are a few formalities that have to be settled before we become the leg
Forswear (v) Swear falsely The witness accepted the bribe offered by the lawyer and agreed to forswear in court.
Founder (v) 2) Fall completely, give way "The roof of the building foundered because of lack of support from the pillars that were very weak."
Foundling (n) Deserted child of unknown parents Mark is a foundling raised by an old couple who brought them home from an orphanage.
Fracas (n) Noisy quarrel The football player tripped his opponent after which a fight broke out and all the rest got involved in the fracas. syn: Brawl, Melee
Fractious (adj) Unruly The students were unusually fractious that day and even the teacher failed to bring about any order in the class. syn: Peevish ant: Agreeable
Fraught (adj) Full of (meaning etc), causing or suffering anxiety The long journey through the woods was fraught with adventure.
Fray (v & n) 1) To cause cloth, rope etc. to separate into loose threads at the edges by friction or wear 2) Noisy quarrel 1) It is a nuisance to stitch a dress with this material as its cloth frays when cut. 2) We were ready for the fray that always follows
Frenetic (adj) Filled with excessive and mistaken enthusiasm The participants were frenetic about their victory but did not know that their team had been disqualified. syn: Frenzied, Frantic
Frolicsome (adj) Full of pranks The governess was fed up of the practical jokes of the frolicsome children. syn: Joyous
Frond (n) A large leaf, or a leaf-like expansion, as of a palm tree or a fern We rested under the frondage of the palm trees.
Frowzy (adj) Careless and untidy in appearance. Also having a disagreeable smell 1) After the football game, he came back home looking rather frowzy with mud on his clothes. 2) The frowzy smell of the bread made it obvious that it had become stale. syn: Sloven
Fructify (v) To bear fruit The gardener finally managed to fructify the barren apple tree after tending it carefully for years.
Fruition (n) Bearing of fruit, Attainment of thing desired, Enjoyment After much delay the plan to build the orphanage finally came to fruition.
Frump (n) An unkempt woman, Unattractively dressed woman, a dowdy woman While in plain clothes she looks very beautiful, she looks like a frump in that old cardigan and black skirt. syn: Slattern, Trollop
Fuddled (adj) Confused due to intoxication "Larrys meaningless mumbling made it clear that he was totally fuddled after the drink." syn: Maudlin
Fugacious (adj) Fleeting, volatile, hard to capture or keep Realizing the fugacity of these moments, we enjoyed the last few days of school to the fullest. syn: Evanescent
Fulminate (v) Flash like lightening. Make loud or violent val attacks "The entire assembly was shocked by the reporters sudden fulminatory remarks at the minister." syn: Thunder, Explode
Fulsome (adj) Excessive in an insincere way so as to be distasteful or sickening Kevin knew that he would fail this semester so he tried fulsomely ways to please the teacher. syn: Immoderate
Fulvous (adj) Reddish yellow The fulvouscent lights on the billboards were piercing to the eye. syn: Tawny
Furlough (n & v) 1) Leave of absence 2) Grant or spend furlough Her boss, for extending her holiday beyond her furlough, fired Julie.
Furtive (adj) Done secretly, stealthily "The examination papers were furtively stolen from the principals office." syn: Surreptitious ant: Open
Fusillade (n & v) 1) Continuous firing of guns, anything that is like such a discharge 2) Assault, shoot down 1) The fusillade of bullets by the soldiers killed almost a hundred of the enemies. 2) The burglar was arrested for theft and attempting to fusillade the
Fusty (adj) Smelling stale and stuffy. Also, old fashioned in ideas etc After a month when they returned, their small cottage was smelling a bit fusty, so they decided to open all the windows and doors, and got started with cleaning.
Gabble (v & n) To speak quickly and unclearly, so that the listener finds it difficult to understand. Hence, such speech The old lady seated next to me on the aircraft merrily gabbled away at me in Persian, totally ignorant of the fact that I could not understa
Gad (v) Wander about idly, Travel constantly for pleasure He reached Paris on a Sunday, and not having anything to do, decided to gad about the historical city to get a feel of it. syn: Gallivant
Gadfly (n) A large fly that bites cattle. Also an irritatingly persistent person Like an irritating gadfly, he often comes to my workplace without any rhyme on reason, and keeps disturbing me at work.
Gaffe (n) Indiscreet act or remark, a blunder He addressed the colonel as a major, then quickly realizing his gaffe, profusely apologized for his blunder. syn: Faux pas
Gainsay (v) To deny, To contradict "Theres no gainsaying the fact that what the boy has done is nothing short of a crime, but while judging his guilt, we must keep in mind his tender age and the fact that he has had a rather pitiful upbringing."
Gambol (n & v) To jump about in play The school children were merrily gamboling about in the playing field in the pleasant spring sunshine.
Gamely (adv.) Bravely, With spirit He gamely conceded at the end of the match that he had been totally outplayed by his opponent, who was obviously much better than him.
Garner (v & n) Gather, Collect, often with difficulty He tried hard to garner some support from his colleagues when the president of the company accused him of mismanagement of funds, but no one came forward on his behalf.
Garret (n) Room on top floor or partly or entirely on the roof During his early days as a struggling artist in Paris, he lived on the top of this building in a small garret, that also served as his studio.
Garrulous (adj.) Wordy, Talkative Tim is such a garrulous little boy that his teachers always ask him to sit in a corner of the class, all by himself, so that he cannot talk with the other students of the class. syn: Loquacious
Gastronome (n) Fond of, or a judge of, good eating and drinking Everyone acknowledges him as a natural gastronome; he not only is very fond of eating, but can also make out small differences in taste that others cannot normally perceive. syn: Epicure, Gourmet
Gauche (adj.) Tactless, without ease or grace Her transformation from a gauche teenager to a self-assured, smart young business executive, within a period of five years, was truly amazing.
Gaudy (adj.) Inappropriately fine, Showy The principal of the college has reprimanded her for wearing such gaudy clothes to college, and has issued a notice stating that everyone is expected to dress in a decent way.
Gaunt (adj.) Lean and thin His lean and gaunt frame belies his huge appetite. syn: Emaciated, Lank
Gelid (adj.) Ice-cold Her lips had turned gelid in the icy weather and she found it difficult to speak. syn: Chilly
Geniality (n) Cheerfulness, Kindliness, Sympathy "Id never expected such geniality from them; I used to think they are quite rude and consider guests to be a nuisance."
Genteel (adj.) Having a high social class, Polite and refined (sometimes in an unnatural way) Not accustomed to the genteel ways of the sophisticated socialites, the young lady from the small town found herself rather out of place at the party.
Gentility (n) Refinement, Full of gentleness The gentility of her behavior, despite being spoken to so rudely by her father, is truly admirable.
Gentry (n) People of standing, Class of people just below nobility The club by the river was at one time frequented only by selective gentry of the town, but now you can find all kinds of base characters drinking and talking loudly on its lawns.
Genuflect (v) To bend the knees as in worship "Anyone who entered the kings court had to first genuflect in front of a huge statue of the king placed immediately after the royal gates."
Gerrymander (v & n) Arrange boundaries of (a constituency etc.) so as to gain unfair electoral advantages. Such manipulation The formation of three new states has been widely criticized by several sections of the press as nothing but political gerrymandering.
Gesticulation (n) Motion, Gesture I could see my brother wildly gesticulating at me, but could not figure out towards what he was trying to draw my attention.
Gibbous (adj.) Convex, Protruding, used to describe the moon between half-moon and full moon phase By looking at the gibbous shape of the moon, I could make out that the full-moon night was still about a week away.
Gibe (v & n) To speak in an insulting way. Hence, words spoken as an insult Not able to tolerate the gibes of her classmates at her badly freckled face, he broke down and started sobbing loudly. syn: Scoff, Deride
Giblets (n) Edible organs from a bird After they had eaten most of the chicken flesh, they kept the remaining giblets in the fridge, planning to use them in a recipe for soup.
Gild (v) Cover with a thin layer of gold or gold paint The town authorities had gilded the statue just before the arrival of the dignitary, and it glittered brilliantly in the mid-day sun.
Glib (adj.) Fluent, Facile, Slick "With his glib sales pitch, the salesman almost managed to convince me to buy the timeshare holiday package; now Im glad that I did not get fully convinced."
Grandiloquent (adj.) Pompous, bombastic, using high-sounding language His grandiloquent speech, in which he merely talked about his own achievements and how he had taken the company to such heights, was panned by the press.
Gratis (adj. & adv.) Free of charge, without payments The anncement that drinks will be provided gratis was greeted with loud cheers from all sides. syn: Gratuitous
Gratuitous (adj.) Given freely, Unwarranted, Uncalled for He goes about giving gratuitous advice to others, and despite all his good intentions, this habit of his has made him rather unpopular in the class. syn: Gratis
Gregarious (adj.) Habitually living in flocks or communities, Fond of company As opposed to her sister who prefers to keep to herself and does not speak much, Terry is quite gregarious, fond of making friends and outgoing by nature.
Grudging (adj.) Unwilling, Reluctant, Stingy He confirmed his reputation of being a very poor loser when he accepted defeat very grudgingly in the semi finals of the French Open tennis tournament.
Gruesome (adj.) Extremely shocking and unpleasant "In a gruesome incident reported by todays newspaper, the police has found human remains in a garbage bag very near to the place I stay."
Habiliment (n) Dress suited to any office or occasion, Attire Though the usual habiliment for a formal discussion like this is a dark pin-striped suit, he surprised everyone by bearing a semi-formal, light colored jacket. syn: Costume
Hackle (n & v) "Long feathers on the neck of a roaster, pigeon etc.[ Make someones hackles rise means make someone very angry]" The provocation from the audience in the front benches was sufficient to raise his hackles, but he managed to check his anger and kep
Halcyon days (n & adj) A period in the past which was completely happy and free of trouble Most people look back to their school life as those wonderful halcyon days when there were hardly any worries in life. ant: Rough, Turbulent
Harangue (n & v) Speech made to a gathering/ assembly. Usually a loud, vehement address The opposition leader gave his usual harangue in the parliament after the finance minister had completed his budget speech, criticizing almost every policy measure annced in t
Harridan (n) A bad tempered old woman He shouted at his mother-in-law, calling her a cold-hearted harridan, and walked out of the house.
Hauteur (n) Haughty manner, Arrogance "The chairman delivered the speech with his customary detached hauteur, keeping himself at an arms length with the daily affairs of the company." syn: Superciliousness
Hegemony (n) Leadership esp. by one state of confederacy The two tribal chieftains were constantly at loggerheads at each other over the question of regional hegemony; each wanted to have control over the territories they inhabited. syn: Authority
Heuristic (adj & n) Proceeding by experimentation (used to refer to a system of education in which the pupil is made to discover things by himself).
Hidebound (adj) Narrow minded The accounts department in most companies is rather hidebound -- it just sticks to the rules without any deviation. syn: Conservative
Hirsute (adj) Rough with hair or bristles syn: Pilose
Hoary (adj) Grey with age Old, and therefore not amusing (of a joke etc.) "Instead of wasting time listening to his hoary old jokes, its better if we play a game of scrabbles."
Hoi polloi (n) The common people, The masses The Finance Minister in his budget speech clearly said that the budget proposals were made keeping in mind the hoi polloi, and not the top bracket of wealthy industrialists.
Homily (n) A moralizing lecture or discourse, usu. on how one should behave Her constant homilies about the need for him to develop social etiquette did not have any effect on him, and he continued to behave in a rather clumsy way.
Huckster (n) A person who tries to sell goods to people in a noisy or annoying way The huckster persuaded me for nearly ten minutes to the buy the sunglasses which were obviously stolen, but I was in no mood to oblige him. syn: Pedlar
Humility (n) Humbleness, Not being proud Despite being the richest person at the gathering, Mr. Bramson is the personification of humility -- talking to him, no one can imagine how rich he is. ant: Arrogance, Presumption
Idolater (n) An admirer The numerous idolaters of Elvis Presley gathered from all over the country on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birth anniversary and sang and danced to his songs long into the night.
Ignoble (adj) Dishonorable, Something to be ashamed of "Dont expect me to be a part of your ignoble idea of skipping the class to watch a movie!" syn: Base, Vile, Ignominious ant: Noble, Honorable
Ignominy (n) A state of shame or dishonor. Also, an act of shameful behavior The Lakelanders had to bear the ignominy of six consecutive defeats in the county baseball tournament, until they finally managed to win their seventh outing against the Juniors. ant: F
Ignoramus (adj) Ignorant person "Hes a complete ignoramus as far as a computer is concerned -- far from operating it, he does not even know how to switch it on." syn: Dolt ant: Clever, Shrewd
Imbroglio (n) Confusing or embarrassing situation. Also, a misunderstanding The imbroglio between the two Indian states over the sharing of the water of a river that flows through them has remained unsolved for the past several years now.
Immanent (adj) Inborn, Inherent "Hes never been to an acting school -- his skills in acting are totally immanent."
Impecunious (adj) Having little or no money, Poor Starting his career as an impecunious clerk living in a small, one-room house, he toiled hard and slowly went up the company hierarchy to become the vice president. syn: Indigent, Penurious, Impoverished ant: Prosp
Impel (v) To take action "I didnt want to go against him, but his repeated threats to kill me impelled me to lodge a complaint against him."
Impenitent (adj) Not sorry for a wrongdoing "Hes not just impenitent for what he has done, I think he firmly believes that he did the right thing by not attending class without informing anyone." syn: Unrepentant ant: Repentent
Impertinent (adj) Rude, Not respectful While Clive is very polite and respectful to his friends and elders, his brother Clare is quite impertinent; nobody believes that they are real brothers. syn: Impudent, Insolent
Imperturbable (adj) Remaining calm and composed in difficult or confusing situations, Not disturbed easily He showed remarkable imperturbability in the most pressurizing of situations, and the panel was convinced that he was the right candidate for the demanding job.
Impetuous (adj) Acting without thought, tending to take immediate action "He now regrets the impetuous decision he took; had he given it a fair thought before, he wouldnt have suffered so much." syn: Impulsive, Furious, Vehement
Impiety (n) Lacking respect and reverence, usu. for God During the Dark Ages in Europe, the church often exerted its authority by accusing an artist of impiety towards Christianity and destroying his work. syn: Impudence, Flippancy ant: (Impious) : Devout
Impinge (v) To have a strong effect or influence on Problems like population, pollution, unemployment, child labor, etc. have been greatly impinging on every aspect of our lives.
Importune (v) To make repeated and forceful requests for something, usu. in an annoying and inconvenient way The nasty part about being a tourist is that you are importuned for money by beggars and pedlars alike the moment you step into the market area.
Imprecation (n) A curse, Word spoken as an abuse He spontaneously let out an offensive imprecation in fornt of his parents when their car was hit by a stone thrown from the pavement. syn: Expletive
Impresario (n) A producer or manager of a performance esp. an opera or concert company. A leading theatrical impresario from India, Alyque Padamsee has not only written and directed several plays, he has also actively been involved in the making of several commerci
Improvident (adj) Person who does not provide for the future. Hence, someone who wastes money He is now repenting his improvident ways -- had he been more careful with money when he was earning well, he would not have faced such difficult conditions now.
Imprudent (adj) Lacking caution, Thoughtless None of the boys in the class is as imprudent as Bonson is; his carelessness is sure to have a bad effect on his result. syn: Indiscreet
Impudent (adj) Rude and disrespectful His impudent behavior at the party when he slapped the humble waiter in front of everybody put off most people. syn: Impertinent, Insolent ant: Embarrassed
Impugn (v) "To question or raise doubts about (someones behavior, qualities etc.)" "(2) The doctors reputation was sullied when his abilities as a surgeon were impugned in an article in the press." syn: Inveigh
Inalienable (adj) That which cannot be rightfully taken away or transferred The maid has been with us for nearly twenty years and has become an inalienable part of the family. syn: Irrevocable, Inviolable
Inaugurate (v) Start, Initiate, Install With great fanfare, the hospital was inaugurated in the village about eight months ago, but it has been totally dysfunctional since then because there are no doctors willing to work here.
Inchoate (adj) Just begun, Not fully formed It had been just six months since I had migrated to Egypt, and my knowledge of Arabic was rather inchoate and inaccurate. syn: Rudimentary
Incipient (adj) Beginning, In an initial stage The doctor told the patient that the disease could not be cured as it had reached its final state, had he come to him when the disease was in its incipient stage, he could have saved him. ant: Ultimate, Concluding
Inclement (adj) Not favorable, Harsh (usu. of weather) Almost all the flights were delayed by four hours because of the inclement weather conditions. ant: Opposed
Incongruous (adj) Strange or inappropriate, in relation to the surroundings His new house stands incongruous in that old locality; the house he has built is modern whereas all the other houses are old-fashioned.
Incredulous (adj) Showing disbelief, Skeptical The scientist was incredulous to see that the liquid in the beaker had changed color on its own. ant: Gullible
Incrustation (n) Hard outer covering, Material that forms a layer or crust over something Because of the dampness, incrustations of calcium carbonate had formed over the walls of the cave, causing them to become slippery. syn: Encrusting
Inculcate (v) Fix (ideas etc.) in the mind The reason he succeeds in every sphere of life is that his parents have inculcated him with hard-work and the will to succeed. syn: Urge, Impress
Incumbent (adj) (1) Resting upon a person as a moral obligation, or as necessary under the circumstances (2) Being in the position of an office holder Since his father had not been keeping well, he felt it incumbent upon him to help in the family business.
Indefatigable (adj) Not showing any signs of tiredness Though the weather was very hot and they had already covered a distance of more than ten miles through the desert, the group of young monks kept on moving indefatigably without resting. ant: Exhausted
Indemnify (v) To pay, or promise to pay, in case of loss or damage "It was all because of the drivers sheer negligence that the car hit the pole; he will have to indemnify for the damages now."
Indenture (v & n) Bind as servant or apprentice to master Unable to pay off his debts to the land owners, many landless peasants were forced to indenture themselves to the landowners without getting anything in return.
Indigent (adj) Poor, needy Unable to live with his extreme poverty any longer, the indigent beggar decided to end his life and his miseries. syn: Penniless, Destitute, Impecunious
Indite (v) Compose, Put in writing According to the law of this country, a will has to be indited on legal stationery and endorsed in a court of law as a legal document before it can be considered valid.
Indolent (adj) Lazy, Avoiding exertion, Disliking physical activity It was not just the students who wee looking bored and uninterested, even the teacher seemed quite indolent about doing her job. syn: Slothful, Shiftless ant: Industrious, Diligent
Indomitable (adj) Unconquerable, Too strong and brave to be discouraged None could challenge his indomitable courage; so brave he was that he could face the whole army even if he were left alone in the battlefield. syn: Invincible ant: Vincible
Indubitable (adj) Unquestionable, That cannot be doubted "Though the professors authority on the subject is indubitable, I sometimes feel that his knowledge about it is too theoretical and bookish." syn: Indisputable
Indurate (adj) Hardened, physically or morally Spending eight years in hostel had made him extremely indurate and self-reliant; he did not find it too difficult to adjust in any circumstance.
Ineluctable (adj) Against which it is useless to struggle, Impossible to escape from "He soon realized that the pythons grip was ineluctable; it was futile to apply strength and he must think of something else fast."
Inexorable (adj) "Whose effects or actions cannot be changed by ones efforts, Who cannot be persuaded to act in a different way" Ageing is one of those inexorable realities that one cannot really fight against, the best one can do is to keep oneself healthy so as t
Inextricable (adj) (1) From which it is impossible to get free (2) Those which are permanently linked and which cannot be separated For a majority of the Indians living in villages, it is virtually impossible to get out of the inextricable grip of poverty and backwar
Ingenue (n) An actress playing the role of a girl or young woman in a play, film etc. Also, a girl or young woman of simplicity or innocence. Susan Sarandon was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for the brilliant portrayal of a naive ingenue who comes to New
Ingenuous (adj) Unsophisticated, Inexperienced, Naive Despite the evidence, he still ingenuously believes that his friend could not have betrayed him. ant: Disingenuous
Ingratiate (v) "Bring (oneself) into a persons favor, esp. to gain advantage" His primary objective since joining this company has been to ingratiate himself with the top bosses so as to win their favor and subsequently, a promotion.
Inimical (adj) Very unfavorable, Unfriendly, Harmful Though excessive regulation of the visual media by the government can be inimincal to creative expression, some degree of control is at times essential in a society which is in the process of opening up. syn:
Inimitable (adj) Matchless, Not able to be copied or reproduced Sylvester Stallone is known for his own inimitable style of dialogue delivery, in which he appears to be merely mumbling the words to himself. ant: Compatible
Iniquitous (adj) Very unjust or wicked, Unrighteous For several years, the Indian economy was governed by an iniquitous system of licences and permits, which favored a selected group of industrialists at the cost of the others. syn: Nefarious ant: Faithful
Inordinate (adj) Beyond reasonable limits, Excessive His inordinate love for music was one of the main reasons for his poor performance in the final examinations.
Inquest (n) An official inquiry into a crime, usu. a murder The official inquest into the Herschelle murder case went on for almost six months, and the report at the end of it did not have anything new to say.
Inscrutable (adj) Very difficult to understand Her face was totally bereft of any expression, except for an inscrutable smile that did not convey anything. syn: Unfathomable
Insensate (adj) (1) Showing lack of human feeling (2) Without sense or reason, stupid, foolish "He takes other peoples feelings and distress so lightly that at times I feel that he is largely insensate to their sufferings." syn: Inanimate, Insentient
Insensible (adj) (1) Unconscious (2) Unaware (3) Unable to have feelings (esp. pain) In another example of his insensibility towards his children, he has never even bothered to look at their report cards. ant: Sensible, Conscious
Insentient (adj) Inanimate, lacking physical sensation Only an insentient person like him could have treated the children so badly when they came asking for help. syn: Insensate
Insipid (adj) Lacking in flavor, Dull, Lifeless, Uninteresting The performance of the actors in the play was so insipid and lifeless that we dcided to walk out of the theater during the interval. syn: Tasteless ant: Flavorful, Savoury
Insolvent (adj) "Unable to repay ones debts, Bankrupt" Driven into insolvency because of poor demand for its products, the company had to sell off all its assets to repay its debts.
Insouciance (n) State of being carefree and unconcerned I had expected him to be quite upset when I told him the news, so I was rather taken aback when he reacted with such insouciance as if nothing had happened.
Insular (n) "Narrow-minded, Interested only in ones own group or community" As if the Taliban society was not insular enough, the religious leaders of the state have further separated themselves from the rest of the world by destroying ancient Buddhist statues.
Insuperable (adj) Unbeatable, Which is too difficult to be defeated His brilliant speech on TV have given him an insuperable lead in the opinion polls over his rival candidate in the race to the presidential elections. syn: Insurmountable, Unsurpassable ant: Vinci
Integument (n) A covering, External coating or skin According to Bhagvad Gita, the ancient Indian sacred text, the body is just a temporary external integument for the soul, which is permanent and beyond the cycle of life and death.
Intelligentsia (n) The intelligent and educated classes It is unfortunate that the intelligentsia of our society, the people who can play a crucial role in mobilizing public opinion for the improvement of the society, have detatched themselves from the political proces
Inter (v) Bury Though many of the soldiers died a heroic death, they had to be interred rather unceremoniously in unmarked graves in the foreign land. ant: Exhume, Unearth
Intercede (v) Plead as a peacemaker Several religious leaders from all over the world have interceded with the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan to protect the cultural heritage of the country.
Interdict (v) Prohibit, Forbid the use of, Restrain a person from doing something The doctor has strictly interdicted him from having any kind of oily food; his diet for the next two months should comprise only boiled food. syn: Proscribe, Enjoin.
Interim (n) Meantime A interim government was set up before the newly elected government could have taken charge of office.
Interminable (adj) Endless, Tediously long "My neighbor has the annoying habit of breaking into an interminable story about the days when he was younger, and Ive had the misfortune of having to listen to the same endless story more than once." syn: Infinite, Eternal
Internecine (adj) Involving serious disagreement among members of the same group, Mutually destructive or deadly, Harmful to both sides The main cause for the downfall of the Muslim empire in India was the internecine warfare amongst the members of the royal family,
Intestate (adj) Not having made a will before death The entire family thought that the old man had died intestate, when it was revealed by the lawyer that he had indeed made a will just a week beofre he died. ant: Testator
Intractable (adj) Very difficult to control, manage, or solve, Extremely stubborn The problem appeared intractable to both Eric and I, but Dave managed to solve it within five minutes. syn: Obdurate ant: Amenable
Intransigent (adj) Uncompromising, Not ready to be persuaded The child was becoming increasingly intransigent and always wanted to have his way, so the parents got concerned and decided to consult a child-psychologist. syn: Unyielding, Irreconcilable. ant: Yielding
Intrinsic (adj) Inherent, Essential, Built-in In the rapidly changing norms of the society, many young people find it very difficult to retain their intrinsic values. syn: Inherent ant: Extrinsic
Introspective (adj) Looking within oneself Towards the end of their lives, many people tend to become introspective, thinking about their good deeds and bad deeds during their lifetime.
Inundate (v) Overwhelm, Flood, Submerge, Overflow They were inundated with congratulatory and good-luck messages before the inauguration of their new departmental store. ant: Dessicate
Inure (v) Accustom to something unpleasant, get used to Though he comes from India and loves spicy food, he did not have much trouble in inuring himself to the relatively bland European food when he was in Austria for a company project for six months. ant: In
Invective (n) Abuse, Violent attack in words The meeting was soon reduced to a platform for venting personal enmities, and invectives, charges and counter charges flew in all directions.
Inveigh (v) To make a bitter attack in words During the middle ages, anyone who dared to inveigh against the authority of the church was immediately exiled from the territory. syn: Diatribe, Belabor ant: Laud
Inveigle (v) To coax or entice by flattery He desperately tried to inveigle his father into buying him a motor cycle, but the father would have none of it. syn: Cajole, Beguile
Inveterate (adj) Long established, Habitual, Deep-rooted. The two families bore an inveterate hatred for each other and the bitterness went back several generations. ant: Inexperienced
Invidious (adj) Likely to cause ill-will, resentment or hatred. He described the plan as invidious, saying that it may solve the immediate problem but is likely to cause a lot of bitterness and resentment among the employees in the long run.
Inviolable (adj) Secure from corruption, Attack, Violation The Prime Minister described as inviolable the right of a child to a primary education, and said that under no circumstances can a child be denied this right. syn: Unassailable
Irascible (adj) Prone to anger Known for her sharp and irascible temper, the lady of the house was feared by all the attendants of the house. syn: Choleric, Splenetic, Bilious. ant: Placid
Irksome (adj) Annoying, Tedious After pulling the person out of the well, the man sweated and fumed, saying that was quite an irksome task. syn: Tiresome
Irreconcilable (adj) Incompatible, Not able to be resolved The judge granted them a divorce on grounds of irreconciliable differences.
Irreproachable (adj) Blameless, Impeccable "Her handling of the situation was absolutely irreproachable; I dont think I could have done it any better." syn: Faultless
Irresolute (adj) Undecided, Hesitating Even after thinking about it for nearly two months, he was still irresolute about which car to buy. syn: Uncertain ant: Determined
Irretrievable (adj) Impossible to recover or regain, Irreparable Because the computer was struck by a virus, the sales data could not be found out as the file was irretrievable.
Irreverence (n) Lack of proper respect The board of directors showed irreverence towards the company chairman by not informing him about the meeting. ant: (Irreverent) : Pious
Irrevocable (adj) Unalterable, Gone beyond The contract clearly mentioned that the clause regarding the transfer of copyright was irrevocable, and once the contract has been signed, it cannot be changed without the mutual consent of the parties. syn: Irreversible,
Itinerant (adj) A person travelling from place to place ( in business) "For the first few years of his employment with the company, his status was nothing more than that of an itinerant salesman, moving from one town to another trying to boost the sales of his com
Jaundiced (adj.) Prejudiced, Having a bad opinion about something based on personal experience Having been duped by travel agents twice in the past, he now looks at the claims of even the most reputed travel agent with a jaundiced eye. syn: Prejudiced, Resentful
Jaunty (adj. & n) Happy and confident We could make out from his jaunty strides out of the interview room that he had had a good interview. syn: Robust, Virile
Jejune (adj.) Dull and dry, devoid of interest or satisfaction His lectures were so jejune that most of the members were seen napping while he was delivering it. syn: Insipid, Vapid, Tedious
Jeremiad (n) Tale of woe Everyone in the community had their own set of miseries and problems, so no one was really interested in listening to his jeremiad. syn: Ramentation
Jettison (v;n) 1) Throw ovoard;abandon 2) Drop objects to lighten aircraft in flight. The company had to jettison its outdated policies and incorporate new and profitable policies in order to improve the working strategy of the company. syn: Exclude, Discard
Jingoism (n) "The extreme and irrational belief that ones country is always the best, Extreme and imbalanced patriotism" Jingoistic feelings among the spectators at the India-Pakistan cricket match are always so high that the security personnel have to be constan
Jocose (adj.) Given to jokes and jesting, Humorous, Witty His jocose manner managed to lighten the atmosphere a little, but many people did not really approve of his jokes on such an occasion. syn: Comical, Facetious, Farcical, Ridiculous ant: Morose
Jocular (adj.) Intended to cause amusement, Joking I had jocularly commented on her wistful and forlorn looks, but I should have known better; she was in such a foul mood that she just lashed out at me. syn: Jocose, Witty ant: Solemn
Joie de vivre (n) A feeling of great happiness and enjoyment in life "Hes been to Goa many times, and just loves the joie de vivre of the city and its beautiful beaches."
Jumpy (adj.) Nervous and anxious She thought she heard a noise from the basement of the house, and since she was alone, got very jumpy about it.
Juncture (n) Joining point, where things join, concurrence of events The negotiations between the two interest groups had reached a crucial juncture when both the sides were basically agreeing to compromise on some of their initial demands. syn: Contingency, Exi
Junket (n & v) A banquet, feast or picnic On the excellent performance of the company, the managing director decided to take all the employees on an all-expenses-paid, three-day junket to Bangkok. syn: Expedition
Junta (n) A government, specially a military one, that has taken power in a country by force The military junta in Pakistan has just annced that the basic rights of the citizens will not be revoked but a new constitution will be adopted. syn: Junto
Jurisprudence (n) The science of law and its administration; the system of laws The last year has seen several offenses being committed over the Internet, none of which are covered under the existing legal jurisprudence of the country.
Justification (n) Good or just reason, Defense, Excuse If you have decided to take this chance, you better have a good justification for it. syn: Repentance, Amends
Ken (v & n) Range or sight of knowledge So dull and poor he was in mathematics that it was just beyond his ken to understand even the basic principles of geometry. syn: Purview, Horizon
Knave (n) Untrustworthy, Dishonest person The butler the Siglers had employed turned out to be a knave of the highest order; he made away with valuables worth over a 7000 pounds at the first available opportunity. syn: Dishonest, Con man, Charlatan, Phony
Knoll (n & v) A small, low hill I could never had thought that he has such little stamina; he was utterly exhausted and panting by the time he reached the top of the knoll, a climb of barely 15 minutes. syn: Embankment
Knotty (adj.) Puzzling, Complicated and difficult to solve The shrewd journalist tried his best to discomfort the young actress with one knotty question after the other, but she proved to be sharper than he had thought and managed to effectively counter each co
Kohl (n) Black powder used by women to darken their eyelids In certain Indian communities, it is compulsory for an unmarried girl to outline her eyes with kohl, so as to look more attractive.
Kowtow (v & n) 1) To show great humility and regard or to treat with obsequious deference 2) Chinese custom of touching ground with forehead as sign of worship or absolute submission "He can go to any extent to get a promotion, but Im just not prepared to kowto
Laborious (adj.) Hard-working, showing signs of toil After they had completed the laborious exercise of checking each and every record in the huge database, they were informed that they had been looking at the wrong database. syn: Toilsome ant: Lazy
Lachrymose (adj.) Tearful, Weeping, Sorrowful The role of the lachrymose old woman who lost her son in the battle was wonderfully enacted by Lorna, well known for her ability to bring tears in her eyes as often as she wants.
Lackadaisical (adj.) Lacking purpose or zest Such lackadaisical approach towards your work will get you nowhere; you need to start taking things more seriously. syn: Languishing ant: Ambitious
Laconic (adj.) Tense or brief in the use of words, concise
Laggard (n) A person who is slow and lags behind He is a bit of a laggard in class, and has to be prodded to perform.
Laity (n) The laymen, People who are not members of a specific profession Though the media makes a big event out of the annual national budget, the laity is not really too interested in the subject as most of the description is hard-to-understand economic term
Lambent (adj.) Shining softly, Glowing There was a lambent glow on her face when I saw her after her engagement; it was clear that she was in love.
Languid (adj.) Lacking energy, effort or enthusiasm, Dull His job in Denver was rather unexciting, and when he found it really difficult to pass the languid days, he decided to look for another job. syn: Sluggish, Faint, Torpid
Languish (v) To exist with difficulty or in an unpleasant situation, usu. over a long period of time While he was languishing in jail, his former colleagues who had played a dirty trick on him made merry with all his wealth.
Languor (n) Faintness, Fatigue Though I do not regret moving to Mumbai with its fast pace of life and all the opportunities, I sometimes miss the relaxed languor of the days spent back in the village, when one could have a long siesta in the hot summer afternoon
Lapidary (adj. & n) 1) Concerned with stones (engraved on stones) 2) A workman who cuts, engraves or polishes precious stones Being an excellent craftsman, he did not find it very difficult to find employment as a lapidary at the jewelry store, and now his employ
Larder (n) Room or cupboard for storing meat and other provisions She was shocked to discover that a rat had gone into the larder and had destroyed most of the food items stored there.
Largess (n) Money or gifts given generously "The revival of this organization for the care of the blind has been possible only because of the millionaires largess; had he not donated the huge amount, we would have no other option but to close down."
Lascivious (adj.) Having or arousing sexual desires The college ruffians spent most of their time bullying the juniors, or passing lewd and lascivious comments at the girls. syn: Lustful, Salacious
Lassitude (n) Tiredness, State of weariness or fatigue "They reached the camp after a hard days trek in a state of absolute lassitude, and immediately fell asleep." syn: Languor ant: Strength
Lateral (adj. & n) Pertaining to the sides of an object or to sideways movement He somehow managed to get past the eyes of the roving sentry, moved laterally along the walls of the prison for some distance, till he reached the spot from where the wall could be s
Latitude (n) 1) Freedom to act or behave as a person wants to 2) Distance from the equator, measured in degrees They did not give me much latitude while performing on the job as I was just asked to follow the orders, and this made me feel rather restricted.
Laud (n & v) Praise While I was expecting that the principal would be enraged at my complaint against the teacher, I was more than pleasantly surprised when he lauded me for having the courage to speak up. ant: Inveigh
Lavish (adj. & v) Very generous or expensive, More than required (in terms of expense or generosity) The house of the millionaire was lavishly decorated for the party; it was going to be a big party as his only son was returning from Canada. syn: Extravagant,
Leaven (n & v) Substance added to dough to produce fermentation. Also, to cause to rise or grow lighter or to ferment (1) The yeast added to the dough to leaven it did not have any visible effect as the cake was absolutely flat and did not rise at all. (2) He l
Legacy (n) Material or immaterial thing handed down by predecessor Stephen was happy to receive a small legacy from his distant relative, and with the amount of the legacy, he decided to buy a small boat for himself as he was very fond of fishing.
Legerdemain (n) Skill in using the hands to perform conjuring tricks etc The opposition has accused the Finance Minister of indulging in financial legerdemain, stating that the budget is nothing but a clever jugglery of figures to make them sound good. syn: Sleight
Levity (n) Lack of seriousness, esp. during a serious occasion, Lightness In sharp contrast to his brother who is always serious and sober, Jim always has an air of levity about him and is full of mirth and laughter. syn: Frivolity ant: Solemnity
Levy (n & v) An amount of money payable to the government, usu. as a tax or a surcharge. Hence, to annce such a charge The authorities have decided to levy an additional duty of 3
Libertine (n & adj.) A person who lives an irresponsible and free life Because of his reputation as a libertine and an insincere person, he found it difficult to get a proposal for marriage from anyone.
Licentious (adj.) Disregarding accepted rules or conventions, Behaving immorally esp. towards women He was severely reprimanded in the court for his licentious behavior, and was warned that if he were caught a second time, he would be put behind bars. syn: Lascivi
Limn (v) Paint (picture), Depict In its latest report, the Human Rights Commission has limned a very poor picture of the condition of destitute children in Pakistan. syn: Portray
Limpid (adj.) Transparent, Clear and simple, as in style of writing With his clear and limpid style of writing, the author has managed to convey a rather technical subject in a way that can be easily understood by the person on the street. syn: Lucid ant: Tu
Lineament (n) Distinctive features or characteristics (esp. of the face) He described the lineaments of his face to me over the phone so that I could recognize him when we met at the fair.
Liniment (n) A liquid to relieve pain and stiffness (usually made of oil or containing alcohol) He rubbed his shoulder with this liniment to relieve the ache he had been suffering from since morning.
Lissome (adj.) Moving with ease and grace The writer has compared the lissome movements of the ballet dancer to the graceful movements of a deer. syn: Supple; Lithe; Agile
Literati (n) People of learned class, who know a lot about literature She managed to make a mark with the literati of the country with her third novel, and soon she was being hailed as among the best writers alive in Britain.
Lithe (adj.) Flexible, Supple The lithe and graceful movements of the gymnast were widely applauded by everyone present in the hall. ant: Stiff
Littoral (n & adj.) Part of the country along the coast, The shoreline, Of or on the shore The Indian state of Kerala is known for its littoral beauty -- it has among the most beautiful coastline in the country with magnificent beaches and lots of greenery.
Liturgy (n) The prescribed forms or rituals for worship in any religion Every religion has its own set of liturgies for offering prayer; while some comprise elaborate gestures, others include silently closing the eyes.
Loath unwillingness to do something contrary to your custom; unwilling, reluctant
Loiter (v) Hang around or move about without any purpose "The Citizens Park was a favorite place for the rowdy teenagers, where they used to loiter about in the evenings and cause a lot of trouble."
Loll (v) "Let (ones head or limbs) rest lazily on something, Sit in a relaxed informal or uncontrolled way" Though in the office he always sits in a poised posture, at home he just lolls about in the armchair.
Lope (v & n) Gallop slowly At the Kenyan wildlife safari, we were lucky to catch a glimpse of a huge lion loping casually across the landscape.
Loquacious (adj.) Overly talkative They complemented each other very well : while he was quite and reticent, preferring to speak only when required, she was loquacious and crispy, always ready to start a conversation. syn: Chattering ant: Reticent, Taciturn
Lout (n & v) Clumsy and rough mannered person His loutish behavior in the class was a cause for concern for all the teachers, who were genuinely surprised at such behavior knowing that the child came from a very respectable family. syn: Clown ant: (Loutish)
Lucid (adj.) Easily understood, Clear While his brother writes in an unclear and clumsy way, Sam himself is known for his lucid style of writing.
Lucubrate (v) To study laboriously He lucubrated deep into the night for his examination the next day, as a result of which he was so sleepy during the exam that he could not answer the questions properly.
Lugubrious (adj.) Very sad or mournful He always bears a lugubrious look on his face, as if he has just lost something very precious. syn: Doleful ant: Gay
Lull (v & n) 1) To cause to feel sleepy, calm, or safe 2) Intermission in storm or any activity "(1) The gentle breeze soon lulled him to a deep, dreamless sleep.(1) The ministers speech lulled the people into believing that everything was all right with the
Lurid (adj.) Wild, Sensational, Gruesome The press has covered the gruesome murder of the budding actress in depth, giving all the lurid details about the whole incident. syn: Ghastly, Terrible ant: Dull
Luscious (adj.) Richly sweet in taste or smell The garden was full of luscious mangoes hanging from the branches of the trees, and little Johnny could not resist the temptation of breaking into the garden to get some of them. syn: Cloying
Luxuriant (adj.) Growing profusely and abundantly "These hills were once covered with luxuriant forests, but now have become bare because of mans greed." syn: Prolific, Florid
Macerate (v) To reduce a solid substance to pulp by soaking in liquid When the police recovered the dead body nearly twenty days after the murder, it was so badly macerated that it was impossible to recognize the victim.
Machinations (n) An act that is a part of a scheme or plot, Clever scheming The deal between the management and the union leader was clearly not a straight forward one -- who knows what machinations lay behind this deal?
Magnanimous (adj) Generous, Great-hearted esp. towards an enemy "Even though he won the match comprehensively, Pete Sampras was magnanimous in his victory, praising his opponents efforts to stay in the game." syn: High-souled
Magnate (n) Person of prominence or influence The beggar you see asking for alms in the streets was once a well-known shipping magnate who earned a lot of money but lost everything in a ship-wreck.
Mala fide (adv & adj) Treacherous, in or with bad faith Right from day one, I had a feeling that in joining the company, his intentions were mala fide -- and I was proved right when it was discovered that he had been passing on our company secrets to a rival organ
Malaise (n) Uneasiness, Vague feeling of ill health These suicides committed by farmers is a symptom of a deeper and a more general malaise in the society.
Malapropism (n) 1) Incorrect use of words of similar sound in a sentence or phrase so as to render them comical or nonsensical 2) Such a phrase or sentence In his speech, the speaker committed a hilarious malapropism when he read the word MARITAL (related to marriag
Malediction (n) Curse The malediction of the witch-doctor seemed to be taking effect -- he was developing ugly looking rashes all over his face and back. syn: Imprecation
Malefactor (n) A person who does a wrong act Though he was caught red-handed while unscrewing a nut from the railway track, he cannot be called a malefactor because he did not do it with an intention of causing an accident; had he known that it could cause a seriou
Malfeasance (n) (An example of) dishonest and illegal behavior, esp. by a person in authority The top officials involved in the cases of malpractice and malfeasance will soon be investigated by the CBI, and if they are proved guilty, they will be punished.
Malign (v & adj) 1) Speak evil of, defame 2) Injurious There are certain harmless tumors which can be treated easily, but the malignancy of a few tumors makes it impossible for the doctors to treat them. syn: Slander ant: Eulogize
Malodorous (adj) Evil-smelling, Foul-smelling The biggest drawback of that house we went to see was that it was situated next to a malodorous drain making it almost impossible to breathe.
Mammon (n) (An ancient god of) wealth, considered as attracting too much respect and admiration, often wrongly Ultimately, forces of Mammon got the better of him and he agreed to do their illegal work for a huge sum of money.
Mandarin (n) High official For many years, the Indian economy was under the strangle-hold of the mandarins in the government offices as everything was regulated through the channels of bureaucracy.
Mange (n) A skin disease affecting domestic animals The dog has been suffering from mange for last one month; now there are hardly any hair left on its body.
Marshal (v) 1) Arrange in due order (persons, soldiers, thoughts etc) 2) Take up position in due arrangement 1) The minister is to deliver his first speech tomorrow; he knows that to make a good and effective speech, he needs to marshal his thoughts clearly.
Martinet (n) A person who demands total, often unreasoning, obedience to rules and orders The new hostel warden has the reputation of being a ruthless martinet, and he will not tolerate even the slightest infringement of the rules.
Matrix (n) Mould in which a thing is cast or shaped "Many of the changes taking place within the matrix of the Indian society are such that would have been unthinkable even ten years ago."
Maudlin (adj & n) Feeling sad and sentimental about life, esp. after consuming alcohol She had never seen him getting emotional, so was quite taken aback when at the party, after getting drunk till he was maudlin, he shared all his miseries and problems with her
Maverick (n) Independent-minded person, often to the extent of being unusually different My grandfather was a bit of a maverick; when he was seventeen, he left behind a flourishing family business and caught a ship to America all on his own, and with hardly any m
Mawkish (adj) (Of people or behavior) expressing love and admiration in a silly perhaps false way The first half of he movie is engrossing, but thereafter it becomes mawkishly sentimental and unconvincing. syn: Maudlin ant: Unsentimental
Mein (adj) Bearing, Demeanor Old Mr. Gonzalves was a man with a forbidding mein -- he hardly had any friends and no one in the locality was too comfortable talking to him. syn: Deportment
Mélange (n) Mixture, a group of different things or people Unlike the first one that just talked about his own philosophy of life, his second book presents an interesting mélange of ideas from different philosophies. syn: Medley, Olio
Mellifluous (adj) (Of words, music or voice) sweetly or smoothly flowing She charmed everyone present at the gathering with her sweet and mellifluous voice. syn: Melodious ant: Cacophonous, Raucous
Menage (n) Members of a household, a domestic establishment The veterinary doctor was greeted into the house by a wailing cat and a droopy dog, and the rest of the menage in the house consisted of one more cat, two more dogs, a few squirrels and pigeons, apart
Mendacious (adj) Lying, untruthful None of his statement were very believable; some were downright mendacious. syn: Dishonest ant: Veracious, Truthful
Mendicancy (n) Beggary The crops failed for the third year in succession, and the poor farmers were forced to lead a life of mendicancy.
Meretricious (adj) Showy but of little value, Falsely attractive The rural women at the village fair came dressed in their Sunday best, which comprised bright, colorful skirts and shiny, meretricious jewelry. syn: Tawdry; Gaudy
Mete (v & n) To cause someone to suffer (punishment, bad treatment etc) Unable to bear the physical punishment being meted out to them regularly by the new teacher, the students decided to complain to the principal.
Metier (n) "Ones trade or profession, ones forte" After trying out various activities like painting and music, Nora finally found her true metier in photography.
Mettle (n) The will to continue bravely in spite of difficulties Even though he fell down and badly hurt his knee, he showed his mettle and continued to run in the race. syn: Natural ardor
Miasma (n) 1) Unpleasant or unwholesome air, unhealthy environment 2) An evil and weakening influence After he lost his only son in an accident, he seemed to sink into a miasma of bitterness and despair. ant: (Miasmic) : Salubrious
Milieu (n) "Environment, esp. a persons social surroundings" Having been brought up in a protected family environment, she found it difficult to adjust herself in the unfamiliar milieu of a nuclear family.
Militate (v) To fight against Your laziness and carelessness will militate against your chances of getting through the exams.
Minatory (adj) Threatening, An intention to hurt The tiger had a terrifyingly minatory look in its eyes, and had it not been caged, most people would have fainted. syn: Menacing
Ministration (n) Serving, attending to Despite the ministrations of all the nurses and the best doctors, the child could not be saved; he succumbed to head injury.
Mirth (n) Merriment, laughter Amidst the mirth and laughter at the college farewell party, everyone could feel a pang of sadness at having to part ways.
Misanthrope (n) One who hates mankind He must be quite a misanthrope to make such negative statements about the future of mankind -- he says that in the next thousand years, humans will become cannibals.
Misapprehension (n) Misunderstanding "I had been under the misapprehension that Walton was Wilkins brother; it is only a couple of weeks before that John himself told me that Walton was his friend."
Mischance (n) Bad luck Though he had worked hard to top the examination, but it was by sheer mischance that he could not make it.
Missive (n) A letter, usu. a formal or official one He sent his comments on and objections to the proposal submitted to him by the committee in an impressive eight-page missive, but forgot to put a stamp on the envelope.
Mite (n) Very small amount Though she is severely criticized by all her colleagues, she does not care a mite for them.
Mnemonic (adj & n) Pertaining to memory, Something used to remember something more difficult Perhaps the most common use of mnemonics is the word VIBGYOR, used to remember the colors of the rainbow : Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red.
Modus vivendi (n) Compromise between opposing parting, pact, treaty Though both the neighbors have been fighting for many years, they have now made an effort to reach some kind of modus vivendi so that their children live peacefully.
Mollify (v) To soothe or calm He bought a new necklace and her favorite flowers for her, but could not mollify his wife who was angry with him for not coming in time. syn: Pacify; Assuage ant: Nettle, Provoke
Momentous (adj) Having great importance "It was a momentous occasion for Indian cricket when India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, but since then, Indias record in the sport has been largely dismal." ant: Unimportant
Monolithic* (adj) Too large and uninteresting, and unwilling or unable to be changed. ant: Multifarious
Moratorium (n) Legal, or official delay (of payment, building etc) Considering the illegal construction of shops and houses in the area, the state government has declared a moratorium on the construction of new shops for the period of two years.
Mordant (adj & n) (esp. of the way of expressing thoughts) cruel and cutting "If he has used such words of criticism, that was a rather mordant remark -- hes known for being careful and gentle with words." syn: Satcartic; Caustic
Moribund (adj) Not active or successful, About to close down The Commerce Ministry has hired an external consultant to plan the revival of the moribund public sector company, which has hardly produced anything for two years now. ant: Living
Mortify* (v) (2) To discipline the body by fasting etc
Mountebank (n) A quack who uses cheap tricks to gain attention; a charlatan He managed to befool the innocent villagers dwellers under the garb of religion, but his own greed and overconfidence exposed him as a mountebank, and the villagers did not waste any time i
Multifarious (adj) Having great variety The club offered multifarious recreational options to its members, including a swimming pool, squash and tennis courts, billiards and pool tables and a small skating rink. ant: Monolithic
Munificent (adj) Extremely generous (used for both gift and giver); over-magnanimous "Though he is not very rich, he has been extremely munificent in donating a substantial sum of money to the Prime Ministers Relief Fund" ant: Miserly, Paltry
Muster (v) Gather, Assemble (esp. soldiers) "As soon as the general got the news of the enemys approaching the border, he mustered his troops to plan the attack."
Mutinous (adj) Unruly, Rebellious "During the late teens, when friends play a very important role in a youngsters life, there is the strongest possibility of the youth becoming mutinous -- hence, the role of the parents during these years is crucial."
Muzzy (adj) (Of a person) confused and unable to think clearly because of tiredness, illness, alcohol or drugs, or (of a situation, plans, language, etc.) He received a severe blow on his head, felt muzzy and fell to the ground; it took him several minutes to
Myopic (adj) Short sighted, Lacking foresight It was quite myopic of the company managing director to accept the terms of the contract; it may prove profitable in the short term, but in the long run, it is bound to prove a burden. ant: Farsighted
Nascent (adj) Coming into being, beginning to be One of his earliest learnings in the corporate world was to not let a nascent problem grow big; he learn that it was important to nip a problem in the bud. ant: Fading
Natty (adj) Neatly or smartly dressed Garcias arrived for the reception nattily dressed in a black tuxedo, looking every bit the handsome model that he actually was. syn: Spruce, Smug
Nemesis* (n) (1) A cause of punishment or defeat that cannot be avoided "(1) The financial scandal involving the armament purchase deal proved to the Prime Ministers political nemesis at the subsequent elections..."
Nescient (adj & n) Lacking knowledge, Totally ignorant The main reason for the population explosion in rural India is that the people are by-and-large totally nescient about matters related to contraception and childbirth, hence most of the pregnancies are unwant
Nettle (v & n) 1) To make someone angry esp. for a short time 2) A type of plant growing profusely on waste land and covered with stinging hairs (1) In the famous comic strip Dennis the Menace, the character of Mr. Wilson is being constantly nettled by the litt
Neuralgia (n) Sharp pain in the nerves "Hes been suffering from a neuralgic pain for the last three months because of which he cannot turn his neck to the left."
Nexus (n) Connection "The close and dangerous nexus between religion and politics, that often leads to riots and destruction in this country, has been clearly brought to light in this well researched book written by the eminent sociologist, Dr. Jones."
Nicety (n) Small details that are visible only after careful observation The merger of the two companies could have taken place nearly two months ago, had the accountants and legal experts from both sides not spent so long arguing about financial and legal nice
Niggard (n & adj) Miser "Such a niggardly donation of a hundred dollars for a cause as huge as this just does not befit his high social status; I never knew he was such a miser." syn: Stingy, Parsimonious, Penurious, Skinflint / ant: Generous
Niggle (v) (1) To pay too much attention to small details, esp. when finding faults (2) To worry someone, usu. for a long time, and not very seriously (1) Since the bill sent to him was exceeding what it should have been according to his calculation, he niggled
Noisome (adj) Very unpleasant, Offensive, Harmful I could not bear the noisome stench coming from the slaughter house and quickly retreated to my car. syn: Unwholesome, Noxious, Putrid, Malodorous, Fetid ant: Beneficial
Nominal (adj) (1) Existing in name only, but not in reality (2) Virtually nothing "(2) Since the purpose is so noble, the chartered accountant has decided to charge them only a nominal sum as his retainership fee." (1) syn: Titular
Nonage (n) Being under age He could not get the license because of his nonage, had he been above eighteen, he would have got it. syn: Infancy, Adolescence
Noncommittal (adj) Not expressing (or refusing to express) a clear opinion I can hardly come to any conclusion whether she is interested in joining us because her answer to me was very noncommittal. syn: Neutral, Unpledged, Undecided
Nonconformist (n) A person who behaves and thinks in a way that is different from other people "The outrageous way in which she had dressed up and was behaving at the party made me feel that she is quite a nonconformist; I dont think she will be suitable for this job
Nondescript* syn: Prosaic, Prosy
Nonpareil (adj & n) Unrivalled or unique (person or thing) Sir Donald Bradman was the batsman nonpareil -- no other batsman has been able to come anywhere near his record average of 99.96 in test cricket in the last fifty years. syn: Peerless
Nonplus (n & v) State of utter surprise, Not knowing how to react Not expecting such personal questions at the interview, he was totally nonplussed by the questions put to him by the young and attractive interviewer. syn: Perplex, Mystify, Thwart
Notoriety (n) The state of being notorious "He achieved notoriety in the neighborhood for being the rudest and the most ill-behaved teenager around." syn: Esteem / ant: (of Notorious): Angelic, Eminent
Nous (n) Good judgement and practical ability Even at that tender age, he had the business nous to buy property just before the prices went up.
Nub (n) The most important or basic part of something "Though I can roughly explain the difficulties we are facing, even Im not aware of the nub of the problem."
Nugatory (adj) Having no worth or meaning, not valid A closer look at my compensation package revealed that many of the allowances were merely nugatory and did not mean much to me, even though the overall salary was pretty good. syn: Invalid, Futile, Trivial an
Numinous (adj) Indicating presence of divinity "The numinous atmosphere at a sacred place like the Kaaba in Mecca or the church at Vatican city can almost make a non-believer convinced about the existence of God."
Obdurate (adj) "Fixed in ones beliefs and thoughts, Stubborn" "Despite all my requests, she remained obdurate that she wouldnt cross the border with me, so I had to leave her alone and move on." syn: Intractable, Obstinate, Recalcitrant ant: Yielding, Docile
Obeisance (n) An act or respect or obedience such as a bow or curtsy Anybody who did not bow his head in obeisance to the queen was immediately banished from court.
Obfuscate (v) Confuse, Make it difficult to understand, perhaps intentionally When she saw that she was losing the argument, she tried to obfuscate the main issue by talking about rather irrelevant things. syn: Darken, Stupefy, Obscure ant: Clarify, Enlighten
Oblation (n) Offering made to god The oblations made by the devotees at the temple at Tirupati in South India amount to an average of Rs. 1,000,000 a day, which is approximately equal to
Oblique (adj) (1) Indirect (2) Slanting, Inclined (1) In his first address as the President of the society, he made several oblique references to the inefficiency of his predecessor, though he never named him directly. ant: Direct
Obliquity (n) Deviation from what is morally correct or from sound thinking, Crooked conduct When he was a child, his uncaring father and mild mannered mother never bothered to correct his obliquities, and his minor offences slowly took the shape of criminal condu
Obscurantism (n) Intentional opposition to the truth being known The courageous young lawyer created a sensation in the court when he charged the renowned industrialist of obscurantism by bribing the witness and using other dishonest means to stifle the truth.
Obsequious (adj) Too eager to serve or obey, without caring for loss of self-respect The obsequiousness displayed by some workers of the party towards the party president was so embarrassing that the president was himself feeling ashamed. syn: Toady, Servile ant:
Obstreperous (adj) Noisy and unruly The atmosphere in the pub that night was unusually noisy and obstreperous, it looked as if everyone present had had too much to drink. syn: Boisterous ant: Harmonious
Obtrude (v) "Push (oneself or ones idea) forward, Stick out" She said that she had no intentions of obtruding on our privacy, but could not refrain herself from giving us some advice. syn: Extrude
Obtuse (adj) (1) Slow at understanding, Dull-witted (2) Blunt or rounded, not sharp (1) His answers in the class are at times so obtuse that I sometimes feel he has a serious mental deficiency. ant: Subtle
Obviate (v) (1) Make unnecessary or redundant (2) To remove from the way (usu., a difficulty) The use of E-mail has obviated the use of telegram which was believed to be the fastest way of communicating; people can now send any message all over the world within
Occidental (adj) Belonging to the western part of the world, esp. Europe and the Americas As opposed to the oriental culture which pays a lot of importance to the niceties of showing courtesy and making pleasant conversation, the occidental people, especially the A
Odious (adj) Very unpleasant, hateful "In the movie, Anthony Hopkins plays the odious character of a psychic killer and has come up with a chilling portrayal of the role, sure to send a shiver down everyones spine." syn: Repulsive, Obnoxious ant: Delightful,
Odoriferous (adj) Having or emitting a smell, esp. an agreeable one, Fragrant The residence of the perfume seller was remarkably odoriferous; I came back with hundreds of pleasant smells tickling my nose. syn: Aromatic
Offal (n) The organs inside an animal which are eaten as food "After he had removed the offal from the dead camels body, the meat seller left the carcass to rot in the desert."
Offertory (n) Collection of money at a religious service The amount collected as offertory at the Easter service at the church was sufficient to provide a good meal to a hundred poor people. syn: Oblation
Officious (adj) Interfering, Offering service or advice that is not wanted The founder of the company was quite upset by the officious attitude of the investor -- there was hardly a decision of his that the investor approved of. syn: Meddlesome, Obtrusive
Oleaginous (adj) 1) Producing oil, oily, fatty 2) Extremely polite, kind or helpful in a false way that is intended to benefit oneself (2) The owner of the company just loves flattery, and Spitz, with his oleaginous ways, has made use of this weakness of his boss t
Oligarchy (n) Government by a privileged few Instead of being a democracy that it was set out to be, the North African country was reduced to an oligarchy in which only a privileged few people had all the powers in their hands.
Omnibus (n) A book containing several works of the same writer "Les Fauves is an Omnibus written by John Tolemy, an eminent writer of early 19th century; the book has been widely acknowledged."
Onerous (adj) Difficult to do or needing a lot of effort In those days, the onerous job of clearing forests was given to the criminals with a bad record.
Opalescent (adj) Having softly-shining and quickly-changing display of colors From outer space, the earth appears a brilliant green-and-blue opalescent sphere; the glorious reflection of sun rays by the ocean waters making it a most spectacular sight.
Opiate (n) Anything bringing relaxation or sleep She had not slept for nearly two days since her husband had a heart attack, so the doctors decided to give her a mild opiate.
Opprobrious (adj) Showing great disrespect The students of this class are notorious for being disrespectful, and in a recent outrageously opprobrious incident, they went to the extent of drawing an owlish caricature of one of the teachers on the blackboard just befo
Ordain (v) (2) To order or command ("(2) The new hostel warden has ordained that the gates of the hostel will henceforth close at 9 p.m., and those not in by then will have to pay a fine." syn: Decree)
Ordinance* (n) An authoritative order or direction
Ordnance* (n) Military weapons, ammunition, combat vehicles etc.
Ostensible (adj) Seeming or pretending, but not necessarily true, Apparent The ostensible reason behind his death was his illness, but the real reason was his money for which his brother himself killed him. ant: Obvious
Ostentatious (adj) "Showy, Unnecessarily displaying ones resources (wealth or knowledge)" "The wedding reception of the corporate tycoons son was nothing but an ostentatious display of wealth and glamour; I was not impressed in the least."
Osteopath (n) A person who attempts to heal diseases by manipulation of affected parts of the body "The pain in my neck had been bothering me for a couple of years, finally I decided to go to the osteopath who carefully manipulated my damaged neck."
Otiose (adv) Not required, serving no practical purpose "This room in the house is very much otiose -- we havent used it for the last several years, so you can easily move in here." syn: Redundant
Oubliette (n) A dungeon with only a single opening (at the top or through a trapdoor) With great difficulty, the hostage managed to escape from the oubliette through the only opening it had -- a trapdoor on the roof through which he had been brought in.
Ovearing (adj) Bossy and arrogant His wife has such an ovearing personality that he hardly has any say in the functioning of the household.
Overture (n) (1) Approach made with the aim of starting a discussion, a friendly approach or proposal (2) A musical introduction to a longer piece of music Though he tried his best by making overtures of friendship to her, she gave no response at all.
Overweening (adj) Too proud or sure of oneself, arrogant "Samantas overweening pride and arrogance has made her very unpopular. She is not liked in the society she lives in." syn: Presumptuous, Haughty ant: Modest
Overwrought (adj) Too excited or agitated because of nervousness Stage-fear has always been his weakness, the moment he steps on the stage, he feels so overwrought that starts stammering.
Paean (n) Song of praise or joy The song, specially composed by the master musician on the occasion of the new millennium, was a paean to world peace and prosperity in the new century. ant: Dirge
Palaver (n) Unnecessary inconvenience and trouble He created a lot of fuss and palaver when he lost his driving license. syn: Banter
Pall (v) Become uninteresting or unattractive, Grow tiresome (esp. because of repeated or over use) "... pleasure of air travel has totally palled. (n) Something dark or heavy which covers or seems to cover "A pall of smoke."
Palliative (n) A drug that reduces pain or discomfort, but does not cure. Hence, anything that makes a problem seem less serious but does not solve it altogether Psychologists have found that for some people suffering from depression, going on a shopping spree can
Pallid (adj) Unusually or unhealthily pale, Dull and lifeless Because of her prolonged illness, she was looking unusually pallid yesterday. syn: Wan ant: Ruddy, Rubicund
Paltry* (2) Nasty and ungenerous syn: Contemptible
Pan (v) Criticize harshly Though the novel won a lot of critical acclaim, the film based on it was badly panned by the critics. syn: Reprimand ant: Appreciate
Panegyric (n) A speech or piece of writing in praise of somebody He is a real patriot, though he himself has not participated in the battle for freedom, he often writes panegyric on martyrs who fought not for their own sake but for the sake of millions of their co
Panoply (n) A wide range or collection of different things the modern doctor has a whole panoply of drugs and medicines to choose from for various illnesses, unlike in the past when the number of medicines that could be prescribed was severely limited.
Paradigm (n) (1) A very clear or typical example of something (2) A model or set of ideas fixed in ones mind "He might proclaim himself to be the paradigm of morality, but I know for a fact that he is as corrupt as one can be."
Paregoric (n & adj) A kind of soothing and comforting medicine "His fathers kind words came as a paregoric to his distressed soul, after he had been cheated by someone he considered to be his best friend."
Parity (n) Equality "The United Nations is passing an amendment to ensure that developing countries are given social parity with developed countries."
Parlance (n) A particular manner of speech or use of words Not familiar with technical parlance, he could not make head or tail of what the computer programmers were talking about. syn: Dialect
Parley (n & v) To hold talks, esp. at a diplomatic level, usu. between warring nations to make peace The third round of diplomatic parleys between the foreign ministers of the two countries is currently in process, but there seems to be no meltdown in the tough
Parlous (adj) In a bad, dangerous, or uncertain condition "My finances have been in a parlous condition for the last few months now, and however much I may want to, I just cant think of buying a car right now." syn: Perilous
Parochial (adj) Confined to narrow range, Interested in, or dealing only with things directly connected to oneself "Since it was a local newspaper, its content was rather parochial, being restricted to events and happenings in the nearby area."
Paroxysm* a sudden outburst or fit; a spasm, convulsion
Parsimonious (adj) Being excessively cautious in spending money, Stingy "He has become rather parsimonious since he got married; earlier he used to be quite large hearted but now he thinks twice before reaching for his wallet." syn: Miser, Niggard
Parvenu (n) A person who has risen above his social class by acquiring new found wealth, An upstart For the second consecutive year, the World Billiards championship has been won by a parvenu outsider.
Pathos (n) Tender sorrow, Pity. The quality in art or literature that produces these feelings The master storyteller had crafted a beautiful tale of the sufferings of a man stricken in love; the pathos of the young man had been brought out by a wonderful play o
Patina (n) Green crust on old bronze work. Hence, any smooth and thin layer that forms a covering Even though the exam hall was air conditioned, a patina of sweat was clearly visible on the foreheads of many candidates who were struggling with the tough questio
Paucity (n) Shortage, Scarcity Because of the severe paucity of foreign exchange in the country, the finance minister has decided to devalue the currency by nearly 25
Peaked (adj) Looking sick or pale "She often looks fresh and lively even after the long days hard work, but today she is looking a bit peaked."
Peccadillo (n) Slight, unimportant fault, Minor mistake He blamed his wife for their son going astray, saying that she had always overlooked his peccadilloes when he was a child, never bothering to correct him.
Peculate (v) "Take for ones own use, often fraudulently" He has lodged a criminal complaint with the police against Peter, alleging that Peter has fraudulently peculated his apartment without even informing him. syn: Embezzle
Pecuniary (adj) Pertaining to money Even though the pecuniary benefits were not very high in the job, he derived a lot of satisfaction from the work and saw no reason to leave it.
Pedagogue (n) A teacher who is too formal and uninteresting "The new teacher is too much of a pedagogue -- paying too much importance on the outdated approach of learning by rote." syn: Pedant
Pedant (n) (1) Scholar who overemphasizes book learning or technicalities (2) Any person who gives too much importance to minute details and unimportant rules "The students despised his pedantic ways of teaching, and so were pleasantly surprised when he..."
Pellucid (adj) Transparent, Very clear, Easy to understand The water in the nearby river has now become polluted and muddy, but there was a time when it was quite pellucid. syn: Limpid ant: Opaque
Pendent (adj) Hanging down suspended "The monkeys were busy frittering around the trees and one of them was even pendent upside down with its tail."
Pensive (adj) Deeply thoughtful and sober, Serious The visitor stopped laughing as soon as he realized that the mood in the house was pensive and a serious discussion was going on. syn: Somber
Penurious (adj) Very poor His inveterate habit of gambling has reduced him to the penurious state he finds himself in. syn: Pauper, Mendicant ant: Opulent
Percolate (v) To pass slowly through a material that has small holes in it The syrup is percolated through the wire mesh filter to remove foreign particles.
Peregrination (n) A long and wandering journey, esp. in foreign lands His peregrinations lasted for about eight years during which he visited as many as seventy different countries, but now he is back in New Jersey and has decided on leading a settled life.
Peremptory (adj) Not open to debate, That which must be obeyed at once "The young army lieutenant knew very well that the instructions of the general were peremptory, and yet decided to go against them." syn: Decisive; Absolute; Dictatorial; Imperious
Perfidious (adj) Disloyal The judge described his actions as perfidious to the interests of the country and ordered the police to seize his passport so that he could not travel out of the country. syn: Treacherous ant: Faithful
Perforate (v) Pierce, Put a hole through The original wooden cabinet had no holes in it so we had to perforate it at the corners to let the cables pass through it.
Perforce (adv) Because it is necessary They had to perforce take a longer route as the shorter one was closed because of some construction work taking place on it. syn: Necessarily
Peripatetic (adj) Travelling from place to place He leads a peripatetic existence in his job of a management consultant, having to travel all over the world on different projects all round the year. syn: Itinerant
Pernicious (adj) Destructive, very injurious, extremely harmful Though horror movies are gaining much importance nowadays and the young generation is liking it too, the same can have a pernicious effect on children. ant: Benign
Perpetrate (v) To do something wrong or criminal, To be guilty of something, Commit an offense The bank manager has been accused of perpetrating a financial fraud to the tune of nearly , and might face a trial very soon.
Perquisite (n) Any gain above the stipulated salary The perquisites offered to him by the company as part of his remuneration package include a luxury car, a fully furnished apartment, and a personal bodyguard.
Persiflage (n) Light, amusing conversation, usu. concerned with other people The three retired friends met each morning in the park and amused themselves by indulging in persiflage and by narrating jokes to each other. syn: Banter, Badinage, Raillery
Personage (n) A famous or important person His reception was attended by some of the most prominent personages of the town, including the mayor and the town judge.
Perspicacious (a) A great ability to judge/understand things ("My perspicacious grandfather invested in this land years ago ... today the value has multiplied manifold ..." syn: Discernment rel: Perspicacity "Only two synonyms? I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!")
Perspicuous (adj) Clearly expressed, Expressing things clearly The perspicuous presentation by the young scientist has clarified all my doubts about what cloning of humans is all about. syn: Transparent
Pert (adj) (1) Disrespectful in an amusing way (2) Neat and stylish (2) She has grown up into a pert young lady, wooed by a number of young men in her college. syn: Impudent, Flippant
Pertinacious (adj) Holding to an opinion in a very determined way, Stubborn, Persistent She was being unreasonably pertinacious about going to that particular hair dresser; I could see no reason for her insistence in doing so when there were so many others located cl
Perturb (v) Disturb greatly, Throw into confusion The news that he had failed in the test again perturbed him greatly and he was unable to work the whole day. syn: Agitate
Pettifogging (adj) Worrying about small and unimportant details I am stuck with an amazingly pettifogging boss; she constantly worries about unnecessary details and asks me hundreds of irrelevant questions.
Petulant* (adj) Showing ill-temper over unimportant things, Childishly fussy. syn: Peevish, Testy
Phantasmagoria* (n) A confused, dreamlike changing scene of different things, real or imagined.
Philistine (n) Narrow-minded person, Uncultured and exclusively interested in material gain "I had always thought of them as a bunch of narrow-minded philistines, so I was pleasantly surprised to find them avidly engrossed in the serious and meaningful documentary."
Picayune (adj) Of little value or importance In comparison to the massive losses suffered by him on the stock markets, my loss because of the slight fall in dividends seems pretty picayune -- I should thank my stars I did not invest in shares. syn: Worthless; pe
Piffle (n) Foolish, nonsensical talk "Instead of talking such piffles, why dont we talk something sensible?"
Pillory (v) To attack with words, esp. in a way which leads to disrespectful treatment by others Pilloried by the media for coming up with a shoddy film, he is now working hard to make his next film a success both for the critics as well as the masses. ant: Ven
Pine* (v) (1) To gradually lose strength and enthusiasm because of grief or illness "(1) This man once used to be strong and highly enthusiastic, but he has been gradually pining away after the accident."
Pinion (v) To prevent the movement of (a person) by holding tightly The goons pinioned the old man to the wall, and snatched all his belongings.
Piquant (adj) (1) Having a pleasant, sharp flavor (2) Pleasantly exciting to the mind A piquant situation arose when Rogers, who used to bully me when we were together at school, was forced to turn to me for help as I was in a position of authority. ant: Bland
Pique (n & v) "Irritation, Resentment, Hurting ones pride" Piqued by her rude behavior, he left the room in haste, and promised that he would never come again.
Pitfall (n) Unexpected danger or difficulty Most companies have realized that in any project, despite careful planning, some pitfalls are bound to come up and are unavoidable.
Pithy* ant: Prolix
Plaintive (adj) Sorrowful, Expressing sadness As soon as the news of the death of the premier broke out, the national TV channels started telecasting plaintive instrumental music and religious discourses. syn: Melancholic, Morose ant: Jocose
Plangent (adj) Loud and mournful The night guard calls out the hour in his plangent voice each night, every hour, with amazing regularity. syn: Resonant
Platitude (n) Uninteresting or commonplace remark or statement His speech had nothing new; it was full of the usual platitudes about the glorious achievements of Indian democracy. syn: Bromide, Cliche
Plaudit (n) Enthusiastic praise, Applause After being constantly panned by the critics for his cold and stony performances, the actor has received a lot of plaudits for his remarkably warm portrayal of an aging professor.
Plenary (adj) Complete, Fully-attended (meeting etc.) The central hall of the Parliament was packed for the plenary session in which the President was scheduled to deliver an important speech. syn: Absolute
Plenitude (n) Abundance, Completeness There are times when the traders have to bear with the problem of plenitude -- when the stocks in hand become too much to adequately handle for the trader. ant: Paucity, Dearth
Pleonasm (n) Superfluous use of words The commentator has a good voice, but because of his pleonasm, is not very popular -- people like commentators who are pithy and incisive.
Pliant (adj) Flexible, Willing to change and be changed I am quite pliant about my schedule tomorrow -- you can fix up the appointment as per your convenience. syn: Amenable, Docile ant: Stubborn, Unyielding, Obdurate
Podiatrist (n) Doctor who treats ailments of the feet When my foot infection showed no signs of recovery after the treatment, I concluded that a general doctor may not be able to help me and I should visit a podiatrist.
Pogrom (n) An organized killing of large number of people "The pogrom of the Jewish community by the Nazis during the Second World War will go down as among the most shameful episodes of human history."
Polemic (n) val attack on a belief or opinion; Also, Dispute, art of carrying on arguments. As soon as he started his speech, he launched into a rather harsh polemic on his political opponents, calling them cheats and frauds. syn: Diatribe ant: (Polemical) : C
Politic (adj) Well-judged, and likely to benefit ("All his friends and relatives took him for a useless man, but he made such a politic move in the field of business, that they now believe him to be a well-judged and wise man." syn: Expedient, Prudent, Judicious)
Poltroon (adj) Thorough coward The navigator of the bus proved to be an absolute poltroon and ran away as soon as he saw that the journey might prove to be difficult. syn: Craven; Caitiff; Pusillanimous ant: Brave
Polyglot (adj & n) Speaking or writing several languages Well versed in six languages, the new secretary of this department is quite a polyglot. syn: Multilingual
Polymath (n) Person who knows a great deal about many subjects Leonardo de Vinci was among the greatest polymaths who ever lived, being well versed in painting, sculpture, science, architecture and several other faculties.
Pontificate (v) "Stating things in a manner which suggests that ones opinion is the only correct one" "I dont like visiting his place because his father has a very annoying habit of pontificating on almost every subject, without letting you have a word in the conver
Pontoon (n) A kind of a flat bottomed boat During heavy rush season, the villagers usually tie a set of pontoons together side by side and use it as a bridge to cross the river.
Porcine (adj) Of or like a pig The way he was greedily gobbling up his food he very much resembled the porcine creatures who live on filth and garbage outside our colony.
Portentous (adj) (1) Ominous (2) Self-important (2) His thesis is well researched, but the only problem is that it sometimes goes into unnecessary portentous philosophizing. syn: (1) Foreboding (2) Pompous
Portly (adj) Slightly fat. Also, Stately in manner The bridegroom was a jovial looking young man, not exactly fat but portly, and had a very pleasing smile. syn: Stout; Plump; Dignified; Impressive
Poseur (n) Person who pretends to be cleverer or more artistic than he/she really is We thought he was genuinely knowledgeable about the subject but was soon exposed to be a poseur when he failed to answer any of our questions with confidence.
Posterity (n) People of the future, Coming generations Thanks to the digitalization of data storage, the greatest works of the twentieth century in art, literature, music, and cinema can be preserved for posterity.
Postprandial (adj) After lunch or dinner A postprandial walk in the park near our house is a regular part of our routine.
Potable (adj) Suitable for drinking The municipality water is not safe for drinking and has to be purified to make it potable. syn: Drinkable
Potboiler (n) A book, article etc. of low quality produced in haste to gain quick money Most Hindi movies are typical run-of-the-mill potboilers, either action packed revenge dramas or mushy love stories.
Potentate (n) A person who has great power or authority The army general took over the reins of power in the country and became the potentate ruler, and has remained so ever since for the last eighteen months.
Practicable (adj) That which can be successfully done or used, though not yet tried The reason for most of the dot-com companies closing down is lack of an implementation strategy and not the absence of a practicable concept.
Pragmatic (adj) Concerned with actual results rather than thoughts or ideas "Unlike his predecessor who was extremely ideological, the new CEO is pragmatic and focussed on results." syn: Practical ant: Impractical, Theoretical
Prattle (v) Babble, Talk in childish or artless fashion I just hate this radio channel -- the DJs just go on prattling without uselessly playing any music.
Precarious (adj) Dangerous, Not firm and steady, Unsafe "He had planned to start a new business when his financial situation was stable; but now that his financial situation seems to be a bit precarious, he has dropped the plan." ant: Secure
Precept (n) A rule on which any conduct or action is based "He firmly believes in the Buddhist precept of not harming any living being, so ..."
Preciosity (n) Extreme refinements or affectation of style, speech or taste The principal of this institute talks with such fictitious preciosity that one cannot trust a word of what he says. syn: Fastidiousness ant: Vulgarism
Precipitous (adj) (1) Steep (2) Hasty "(1) It was a precipitous drop from the top of the cliff; theres no way that the shepherd could have survived the fall. (2) She realized that her earlier decision to get married had been precipitous, and so the marriage had been
Precis (n) Summary, Concise summing up of main points The teacher liked her essay so much that he asked her to write a precis of it, which he intended to circulate to all the other students. syn: Abstract
Precocious (adj) Advanced in development, Prematurely developed in mind or body "His precocious memory surprised everybody; he could remember even the toughest of words of English even at the age of five."
Prelude* (n) Something followed by something larger or more important syn: Forerunner
Preponderant (adj) Being superior in weight, force, intensity etc. Music plays a preponderant role in all the movies of the director, as he believes that a short piece of background music can create a variety of emotions in the minds of the audience. syn: Dominant
Prerogative (n) A special right or privilege Membership of clubs in the city has largely remained a prerogative of the privileged few -- those who belong to the super-rich category.
Prescient (adj) Able to imagine or guess what will probably happen A friend of my father had the prescience to predict the emergence of a network of computers all over the world, long before the Internet became a household term. syn: Clairvoyant
Presentiment (n) Feeling something will happen, Vague expectation As soon as she woke up that fateful day, she had a presentiment that something bad is going to happen. syn: Premonition, Presage
Pretext (n) Excuse, A reason given for an action which is not the real reason, but to hide the real reason "She often visits her aunts house on the pretext of seeing her, but in fact she wants to see her son, who is a tall and smart boy of seventeen."
Prevaricate (v) To hide the truth by not answering questions correctly The party spokesperson was not able to answer even a single question properly, all his answers seemed to be prevaricating statements revealing little. syn: Quibble ant: (Prevarication) : Veraci
Privation (n) A lack or loss of the comforts or necessities of life They are quite used to a life of misery and privation, and do not have any expectations from the new government. syn: Deprivation
Probity (n) Absolute honesty Everyone knows him to be an absolutely honest and incorruptible person, so it is sad that he has been asked to prove his probity in the court. ant: Corruptibility, Turpitude
Proctor* Invigilator
Prodigal (adj) Carelessly wasteful, as of money, time or strength He regrets the day he let her daughter have a credit card; she is so prodigal that he goes for shopping almost every alternate day. syn: Extravagant, Profligate ant: Thrifty, Niggardly
Prodigious (adj) Amazing, Magnificently large or powerful He has got such a prodigious memory that even now, at the age of seventy, he can recall the formulae he had studied in his school days. syn: Enormous ant: Infinitesimal, Minute
Profligate (adj & n) (1) Recklessly wasteful, esp. of money (2) Wicked and immoral (1) Coming from a conservative family that believed in spending money cautiously, she was shocked to see the profligacy in the huge household. syn: (1) Prodigal, Spendthrift (2)Lice
Prolix (adj) Using too many words to say a simple thing, Tiringly long and wordy The author had a very prolix style of writing ..."
Promenade (n & v) A leisurely walk or ride, usu. for amusement "The couple was on a leisurely and unhurried promenade in the park, when the husbands cellphone rang and the devastating information came in."
Promontory (n) Point of high land jutting out into sea etc "The doctors beautiful bungalow is situated on the promontory overlooking the cliffs, and his backdoor opens out into a panoramic view of the sea." syn: Headland; Ness ant: Depression
Promulgate (v) (1) To bring into effect a doctrine or law, Make known to the public, (2) Distribute or spread The government has decided to promulgate a legislation by which all foreign currency brought into the country will have to converted into local currency wi
Propinquity (n) Nearness, Similarity The propinquity of their houses made it possible for the lovers to meet often without their parents getting to know about it. syn: Kinship ant: Distance, Remoteness
Propitiate (v) To win the favor of To propitiate the restless audience, the organizers requested the superstar, who was the chief guest of the show, to perform on the stage till the main performer arrived. ant: Auger
Propitious (adj) Advantageous, Favorable, Fortunate The car broke down almost as soon as they had reached the outskirts of the town -- it was hardly a propitious start to their journey. syn: Advantageous ant: Unfavorable, Fell
Propound (v) Put forth for analysis, Propose It was the Greek astronomer Ptolemy who first propounded the theory that the earth moved round the sun, and not vice versa.
Propriety (n) Correctness of conduct, Rightness Even in the most forward societies, a live-in relationship between a younger man and an older woman is seen as flouting the norms of social propriety.
Prorogue (v) To halt a series of meetings etc. until a stated date The judge has decided to prorogue further hearings of the case till the time that some fresh concrete evidence is found.
Prosaic (adj) Dull and unimaginative, Unromantic "I just dont believe that the person who used to give such an eloquent and fluent speech is delivering such a prosaic speech today; Im sure he is not well." syn: Factual ant: Romantic, Imaginative
Proscribe (v) (1) To forbid or prevent someone from doing something (2) To state publicly that a person is outside the protection of law (1) The court has proscribed him from leaving the country till further notice, directing the police to seize his passport. syn
Proselyte (n) A person who has been brought over to a new party, opinion or esp. religious belief Higgins is one of the more recent proselytes to our party, prior to this he was with the Democrats.
Prostrate (adj & v) (1) Stretched out full on ground, esp. in worship (2) Having lost all strength, courage and ability to act (1) The people were lying prostrate in front of the huge idol of the deity.(2) Rescuers found him prostrate with exhaustion and cold near
Protean (adj) Variable, Readily assuming different shapes or forms He is among the most protean actors on the Indian screen, having essayed a wide variety of roles including ones in which he had to play a dwarf, and another one in which he was a transvestite. s
Providence (n) An act of Gods mercy or kindness, A stroke of destiny "My meeting with him was sheer providence -- it just happened that he used to know one of my classmates, who casually mentioned my interest in this field to him one day."
Provident (adj) Careful and sensible in providing for future needs, esp. by saving for future use "Because of his limited income and the high cost of living, the young couple could not save much even though they intended to be provident and save for the future."
Provisional (adj) Suitable at the moment, but likely to be changed, For the time being The official transcript of marks has not been issued by the university as yet, so the college has agreed to give him a provisional marksheet. ant: Permanent
Prurient (adj) Having or arising from lewd or sexual thoughts The probe by the journalist brought to the fore certain prurient details about his personal life, causing the senator a great deal of embarrassment.
Puerile (adj) Childish, Immature I find their sense of humor extremely puerile; we used to crack these kind of jokes back when we were in high school. ant: Mature
Pugnacious (adj) Quarrelling, Disposed to fight Having constantly being bullied by his two elder brothers as a child, he grew up to be an extremely pugnacious teenager, as if wanting to take revenge for the insults he had suffered when he was younger. syn: Bellige
Pulchritude* (n) Beauty, esp. of a woman
Pullulate (v) Develop or grow in abundance Various institutes providing courses in computers and information technology have pullulated all over the country in the past few years, however, the credibility of most of these is suspect. syn: Teeming
Pulpit (n) The raised enclosure (in a Church etc.) from where the Priest or speaker addresses the gathering Even before the speaker could take his place behind the pulpit, a section of the crowd started shouting slogans against him.
Punctilious (adj) Laying stress on niceties of conduct or form, Minutely attentive to fine points The punctilious deputy editor has done a great job with this article -- it contained a number of mistakes when I read it in the morning, but they have now all been corr
Purist (n) A person too careful on correctness, as in matters of language, pronunciation, heritage etc.
Purulent (adj) Of or containing pus The limbs of the soldiers were full of purulent sores, but he was thankful to have survived without food or water in the harsh desert for two days.
Purvey (v) To supply items of use, esp. food This group of villages has been known in the past to purvey food and essential items to army soldiers in times of war.
Pusillanimous* (adj) Weak and coward, Afraid of taking the slightest risk syn: Craven; Caitiff; Poltroon a
Putative (adj) Commonly reputed or supposed to be Though there are many stories of people having sighted the putative yeti, no concrete evidence has ever emerged of its existence. ant: Undisputed
Quaff (v) Drink quickly He had quaffed three glasses of whisky a little too quickly, and the effects were clearly showing. syn: Imbibe
Quail (v) (2) To feel or show fear; to move away from something because of fear (2) He was quailing with fear as the results of the exam were being read out in class. syn: Cower, Cringe, Tremble, Blanch
Quaint (adj) Attractive or piquant in virtue of unfamiliar esp. old-fashioned "His idea to use hardened paper instead of wood to make the pedestal seemed rather quaint at first, but ..." syn: Antiquated, Baroque
Querulous (adj) Complaining, Whining In sharp contrast to her brother who is always cheerful and friendly, Sue is always gloomy and querulous. syn: Peevish, Petulant, Carping ant: Satisfied, Amenable
Quiescent (adj) Motionless, silent, dormant After the furore over the elections and the induction of the new government, the political situation in the country is now relatively quiescent. syn: Motionless, Inert ant: Active
Quisling (n) Person co-operating with enemy The major general has denied the charges that he was a quisling in the recent war and has passed on military secrets to the enemy, saying that he is a victim of a conspiracy. syn: Renegade, Apostate
Quixotic (adj) Visionary Idealistic but impractical His idea of sailing around the world in a small boat is the latest addition to the series of quixotic ideas he has always been coming up with. syn: Visionary ant: Practicable
Quorum (n) Fixed number of members necessary to conduct the meeting The annual general meeting of the company had to be adjourned when three of the board members left, and the quorum of seven people could not be reached.
Quotidian (adj & n) Daily, that which occurs every day Listening to the news on the radio at 8 p.m. has been a part of his quotidian routine for the past several years now. ant: Extraordinary
Raconteur (n) A person who is skilled at narrating stories, jokes etc. "He not only knows hundreds of jokes but is also a skilled raconteur ; he can keep you entertained for hours together."
Raffish* (adj) Disreputable syn: Tawdry; Riff-raff ant: August
Raillery (n) Good natured joking, banter 1) His raillery proved to be a great relief to the group when they were all mourning over losing their crucial match.2) His raillery has always prevented his, otherwise tense relations, from being broken up. syn: Persifla
Rake (n & v) A person who lives an irresponsible and immoral life usu. despite being of a high social position He has been a rake all his life, but now, at the age of forty, he has become a responsible father and understands his duty towards not only his fami
Rancor (n) Bitterness, Hatred It was very gracious of him to say that he bore no rancor against them despite being cheated by them. syn: Malevolence, Spitefulness ant: Benevolence, Regard
Random (n & adj) 1) Without definite purpose, Plan or aim 2) Made or done etc. at random "We were surprised to see that even though the magician had picked up four cards randomly, they were all Kings." syn: Haphazard ant: Contemplated
Rankle (v) Irritate, Give intermittent or constant pain The fact that he did not get a promotion when it was due, but his junior did, still rankles with him a lot, and he has finally decided to have a word with the company president. syn: Fester ant: Assuage
Rapacious (adj) An extortionate or covetous person, subsisting on prey In an act of rapacious greed and inhumanity, the group of ruffians started looting and plundering the houses that had been hit by the earthquake. syn: Harpy, Predatory ant: Sated
Rapprochement (n) Re-establishment of harmonious relations (esp. between states) After a long strained relationship, the two states finally decided to come together for a rapprochement. syn: Reconciliation
Rapt (adj) Giving complete attention, or showing total involvement While all the other children of the class were listening to the teacher with rapt attention as she gave details of the forthcoming examination, Alan was busy making a sketch on his notebook.
Rarefied (adj) With little oxygen. Also, limited As we went up the mountain, the air became more and more rarefied and it was increasingly difficult to breathe.
Rasp (n) A harsh sound, as that of metal rubbing against metal "After pushing hard for nearly ten minutes, the creaky and rusty door finally opened with a loud rasp."
Ratify (v) Approve formally Mr. Portan has claimed to have discovered a herb that could convert water into oil, but his discovery has not been ratified as it lacks scientific basis. syn: Confirm ant: Abrogate, Negate
Ravel (v & n) 1) Entangle or become entangled or knotted 2) Tangle, knot or loose end The tape got stuck in the audio equipment and got all raveled up. syn: Tangle ant: Knit
Rebuff (n & v) 1) Rejection of one who makes advances, proffers help or sympathy, shows interest or curiosity, makes request etc. 2) Give such rejection to someone "The executive approached the manager with a lucrative proposal but the manager rebuffed him sayi
Rebuke (v & n) 1) Scold harshly, Criticize severely 2) Scolding or being scolded The commander rebuked the cadet for not holding the flag properly during the parade. syn: Reprimand, Reprove ant: Applaud, Eulogize
Recalcitrant (adj & n) (Person) objecting to restraint or obstinately disobedient "He is among the most recalcitrant children Ive ever seen, simply refusing to do anything that I ask him to do." syn: Obstinate; Obdurate ant: Yielding, Docile, Tractable
Recapitulate (v) Go over main points or headings of, Go briefly through again Just before the exam, he thought it better to recapitulate the notes he had prepared before. syn: Summarize
Recondite (adj) Not known by many people, Difficult to understand In his presentation, the young scientist beautifully brought out the basic concepts and the implications of the genome project, a rather recondite subject for the common man. syn: Abstruse
Recreant (adj & n) Cowardly and unfaithful He has lost many friends because of his recreant nature; everybody knows that he has never helped his friends in need. syn: Renegade ant: Gallant
Recrimination (n) An accusation made in answer to an accusation The peace talks came to an abrupt halt, and ended up being a series of accusations and recriminations. syn: Countercharge
Recrudesce (v) (Of sore, disease, etc.) renew activity, break out again The administration is quite perturbed about the recrudescence of communal riots in some areas of the country.
Rectitude (n) Undeviating adherence to moral correctness He leads a responsible and moral life; his rectitude cannot be challenged. syn: Integrity
Recumbent (adj) Leaning, lying down He was not in the least amused when the sleepy passenger next to him on the bus became increasingly recumbent on his shoulder, making it difficult for him to sit properly. syn: Reclining
Redolent (adj) 1) Smelling strongly 2) Reminiscent or suggestive of something (1) The mountain air was redolent with the fresh scent of pine trees. (2) The atmosphere in the hall during the class reunion was redolent with the memories of the times when they were
Redoubtable (adj) Formidable, Causing fear Though he has an easy run up to the quarter finals of the Wimbledon championship, he now has to contend with the redoubtable second seed, Pat Rafter. syn: Stalwart
Redress (v & n) Reparation for wrong Though he will finally get legal redress in the case, it can in no way make up for the severe loss he has suffered. syn: Readjust ant: Injury
Refractory (adj & n) (1) Impossible or difficult to control or correct (2) Substance esp. resistant to heat, corrosion etc (1) Bringing up the child all by her herself, the lady was rather upset because of the refractory ways of her five year old, and decided to co
Rejoinder (n) Reply You cannot hope to win an argument with her, she has a ready rejoinder for almost everything. syn: Retort
Remedial (adj) Pertaining to something curative or corrective The patient had tried almost all the remedial measures, but none could cure the disease he was suffering from. syn: Salutary
Remiss (adj) Careless in matters requiring attention The reason he could not do well in the exam is his remissness; he has always been careless and casual in his studies. syn: Negligent ant: Painstaking
Remission (n) Pardon or forgiveness, usu. for braking religious laws or rules He has now become a regular church goer, perhaps to ask for remission for having led a life of greed and corruption. syn: Acquittal, Exoneration, Indulgence
Remonstrate (v) Protest earnestly A huge crowd had gathered in front of the office of the party to remonstrate against the decision of the party president to resign. syn: Plead, Expostulate
Remunerative (adj) Compensating, Rewarding As soon as he came to know that the new job was more remunerative than the previous one, he quickly resigned from his previous office and joined the new one. syn: Lucrative
Rence (v & n) 1) Consent formally to abandon 2) Refuse to recognize any longer 3) Refuse to resign right or position esp. as heir or trustee Accepting the train accident as his moral responsibility, the minister decided to rence his position in the cabinet. s
Renege (v) Fail to keep a promise or argument The seller made it clear that once the dealer had signed the agreement, there was no way he could renege on the deal.
Reparable (adj) Capable of being repaired The condition of the car was so bad after the accident that it seemed impossible to repair it. syn: Remediable
Repartee (n) Quick, amusing answers in a conversation I loved that part of the play which had the exchange of witty of repartee between the lawyer and the witness. syn: Riposte
Repast (n) Meal, Feast "The doctor advised him to give at least four hours of gap between any two repasts so that he doesnt complain of indigestion" syn: Banquet
Repine (v) Be discontented She was repined by the thought of having to stay in a small apartment when they move to the large metropolis. syn: Fret ant: Placate
Replete (adj) Filled to the brim or to the point of being stuffed The comedy was replete with crass, double-meaning dialogues, and after a while it became rather distasteful. syn: Lavish ant: Devoid
Reprimand (n & v) Reprove (disapproval or criticism) severely The young executive, because of whom the deal could not be signed, was reprimanded in front of the staff by the manager. syn: Rebuke, Castigate
Reprisal (n) An act of retaliation or revenge "His decision to expel the official was in reprisal for the insult he had once suffered when he was a subordinate under the official." syn: Requital, Vengeance
Reproach (v & n) 1) Express disapproval or disappointment 2) Thing that brings disgrace or discredit There is no need for you to reproach yourself for the accident, it was clearly not your mistake! syn: Censure, Reprimand
Reprobate (adj & n) A wicked, corrupt or immoral person The old reprobate is perpetually drink; I believe he starts to drink in the early evening and continues late into the night. syn: Miscreant, Scoundrel
Reprove (v) Scold (person conduct etc.) She gently reproved her husband for having forgotten to take the car keys yet again. syn: Censure, Rebuke
Repudiate (v) To refuse to accept as true Now that the evidence has clearly surfaced implicating him, he can no longer repudiate the allegation that he accepted a bribe. syn: Disown, Disavow ant: Accept
Requisite (adj & n) 1) Required by circumstances 2) Necessary requirement It is mandatory for everyone to fill up the requisition form before borrowing a book from the library. syn: Imperative, Indispensable
Requite (v) To give or do something in retune for something else It is a mistaken belief that requited love can sustain a long-term relationship. syn: Compensate, Reimburse, Remunerate
Respite (n & v) 1) Interval of rest or relief 2) Delay permitted in the discharge of an obligation or suffering of a penalty 3) Grant respite to The power came back soon afterwards, but there was still no respite from the intense heat. syn: Cessation, Hiatus
Restive (adj) Restless and uneasy The audience was getting restive as the curtain did not rise even twenty minutes after the stipulated time. syn: Unruly; Refractory ant: Patient
Resumption (n) Taking up again, Beginning after a pause We were waiting for the resumption of the film after the interval, when a loud explosion was heard from the lobby of the cinema theater.
Retentive (adj) Able to hold things (esp., in the mind), Not forgetful His high scores in subjects like history is because of his excellent retention capacity. Most people require at least five revisions for a chapter which he manages to remember in two.
Reticent (adj) Shy and reserved, Not expressing as much as is known or felt His promotion surprised all as his reticent attitude was considered by most as incompetence. syn: Bashful, Demure, Timid ant: Voluble
Retinue (n) A group of followers and attendants accompanying an important person The king arrived in the town with his huge retinue of elephants, horse riders and several marching soldiers. syn: Assemblage, Corps
Retrench (v) Economize, Cut down expenses Alarmed by the continuous loss of profits, most big banks are taking major retrenchment steps like offering voluntary retirement schemes to its employees. ant: Augment
Retrogress (v) To go back to an earlier and worse state Under his abject leadership, the state has retrogressed into a condition of utter chaos and anarchy. ant: Progress
Reverie (n) Day dream, Dreaming pleasant thoughts while being awake He was in one of his usual reverie when my phone call reminded him of the realities and the problems that he was facing. syn: Cogitation
Revile (v) "To criticize severely, Express ones disapproval about someone or something in strong language" The politicians tainted in the latest scandal to hit the Indian political scene have been widely reviled by the public as well as the press. syn: Vituper
Revivify (v) Restore to strength, life or activity After being down in the dumps for nearly seven years, his cricketing career was suddenly revivified when he got a call from the selection authorities to play for the country once again. syn: Revive, Resuscitate
Rhapsodize (v) To speak or write in an overly enthusiastic manner, Express great excitement or approval He rhapsodized about his meeting with the superstar actor when he won a competition that made the meeting possible.
Ribald (adj) Rudely humorous in an insensitive, and often indecent, way The theatrical troupe visiting the village is known for its ribald and earthy sense of humor, and hence its shows are a big hit with the rustic rural populace. syn: Blasphemous, Scurrilous
Rider (n) Amendment or clause added to an official declaration or judgement The stock option plan for the employees came with the rider that the employee had to complete four years of service with the company in order to encash the stocks. syn: Amendment
Risible (adj) Laughable The attempts of the screen actress to host a TV quiz show were utterly risible -- her inept handling of the show made her a laughing stock of the people.
Riven (adj) Split violently apart The new TV soap opera traces the story of two business families riven by jealousy and hatred.
Rivulet (n) Small stream The intense heat and the pressure of the examination made rivulets of sweat running down his face and neck. syn: Tributary, Estuary
Rodomontade (n) Bragging, Boastful talk or behavior We were thoroughly bored with his endless rodomontade about his exploits when he was in Canada -- and he never realized that his boastful talk was making him a laughing stock of the people. syn: Braggadocio
Rollicking (adj) Noisy and merry "Despite the wardens warnings, the students showed no intention of getting out of their rollicking mood and putting an end to the party." syn: Boisterous
Rostrum (n) Platform for speech-making or for a music conductor to conduct the orchestra As the master composer stood up to take his place on the rostrum, a hush descended on the large crowd gathered to see him perform. syn: Pulpit
Rout (v & n) To defeat completely and drive away 1) The enemy was routed so badly by our brave soldiers that they would never think of an attack again.2) The planned strategy and superior strength of our army led to the rout of the enemy. syn: Vanquish, Stam
Ruminate (v) (1) To think deeply and over a period of time (2) Chew over and over (of cattle etc.) The candidate said that he would need some time to ruminate over the job offer, and requested the company personnel manager to wait for his response. syn: Ponder,
Rumpus (n) Angry dispute, Brawl At least five people were seriously injured last night in a rumpus between two gangs. syn: Uproar, Ruckus, Schemozzle
Russet (adj & n) Of a reddish-brown or golden-brown color The maple trees that dotted the park had shed most of their russet leaves, and the entire park had a reddish-brown look to it. syn: Burnished
Sabulous (adj) Sandy, Full of sand He had been playing in the mud since morning, and when he returned home with his sabulous clothes, his mother scolded him.
Sacerdotal (adj) Of or pertaining to priests Robinson has served the church as a priest for ten years, and he is very conscious about his sacerdotal image. ant: Lay
Sacrosanct (adj) Most sacred or revered, and hence not to be harmed (often used humorously) "He is willing to put in late hours of work on weekdays, but weekends are sacrosanct for him -- dont expect him to do any work on weekends." syn: Consecrated, Venerated
Sallow (adj) Of pale and unhealthy yellowish color I could make out from her sallow complexion and pale eyes that she had again not been well; I sternly advised her to see a doctor. syn: Wan, Pallid ant: Ruddy
Sally (n) (1) A quick attack and return to position of defence (2) A lively or witty remark or answer (1) The brave young soldier made an audacious sally into the enemy camp, and came back after successfully detonating a powerful bomb in the camp. syn: (1) So
Salubrious (adj) Good for the health. Also, desirable or respectable The doctor advised him that in order to quickly recover from his illness, he should move to more salubrious surroundings away from the grime and dust of the city. syn: Wholesome, Salutary ant: B
Salutary (adj) Tending to improve, Beneficial Driving when drunk was his usual habit, but the accident he met with last month proved to be a salutary lesson for him; he has now given up drinking. syn: Curative, Remedial ant: Valedictory
Salvo (n) Firing of several guns at once. Also, any sudden outburst As soon as the President arrived at the ceremonial site, he was given a welcome with a salvo of gunfire. syn: Volley
Sangfroid (n) Calmness in danger or difficulty Showing great sangfroid amidst the other panic-stricken people, Sanders managed to pull out the two children out of the burning hut.
Sanguinary* (adj) Full of bloodshed, Marked by much wounding and killing
Sanguine* (adj) Hopeful, Expecting a positive outcome syn: Optimistic ant: Pessimistic
Sapient (adj) Wise Because of his sapience, he is well known in not only his own village, but also the neighboring villages; people come to him with problems to find a favorable solution. syn: Sagacious ant: Ignorant, Obtuse
Sardonic (adj) Seeming to regard oneself as too important to consider a matter, person etc. seriously He always regards my worries with a sardonic smirk -- as if my problems are not problems at all. syn: Scornful, Sneering ant: Sincere
Sartorial (adj) "Pertaining to mens clothes and tailoring" Her sartorial sense is truly admirable - I have never seen her wearing any mismatched clothes.
Saturnine (adj) Gloomy and sad, Solemn He tried his best to enliven the saturnine atmosphere in the room by narrating, a funny incident, but the gloom was too predominant to be dispelled. ant: Cheerful
Savior-faire (n) Polished and tactful manners, ability to say and do the right thing Because of his savior-faire, he is admired by the office staff and considered to be the best leader. syn: Poise, Diplomacy
Scabrous (adj) Unpleasant because of association with shocking or unpleasant subjects The novel has rather shocking and scabrous descriptions, and is best avoided if you do not wish to strain your nerves. syn: Risque
Scintilla (n) An insignificant amount "Theres not even a scintilla of doubt in my mind that the culprit is Higgins." syn: Trace, Iota
Scintillate (v) Sparkle, Flash, Twinkle. Also, to be full of life and wittiness The audience sat spellbound throughout his scintillating speech, in which the veteran actor described his early days of struggle and misery. syn: Glisten, Twinkle
Scourge* (v & n) To hit severely with a whip or lash. Also, to punish severely syn: Flog ant: Reward
Screed (n) A long and uninteresting speech or piece of writing He has read screeds and screeds on the subject, but has not been able to find the precise information he is looking for.
Scrupulous (adj) (1) Careful to the narrowest detail, Extremely thorough (2) Honest, Conscientious The doctor sternly advised him to be absolutely scrupulous in taking his medicines on time. syn: Punctilious, Finical ant: Unscrupulous
Scurrilous (adj) Making or containing very rude, improper, and usu. incorrect remarks about someone The seething dispute between the new captain and the former captain of the team has been brought out in the open with the ex-captain making some scurrilous comments
Scuttle* (v) (2) To sink (ones ship) intentionally to prevent the enemy from capturing it "(2) The projected costs were so high that the company board decided to scuttle the expansion plans."
Secrete (v) (1) To produce (usu. a liquid substance) from the surface (2) Hide away This tree is known to secrete an oily substance in summer, which, according to some researchers can help in finding a cure for AIDS. syn: Swelter
Sedition (n) Words or actions inciting people to disobey the government, Agitation directed against the authority The court has found the three people who had published and distributed malicious information against the government guilty of sedition, and has confi
Sedulous (adj) Showing careful attention and perseverance I have never seen him study for his exams as sedulously as this; it appears Dennis has finally realized the importance of studies. syn: Assiduous ant: Lazy
Seminal (adj) Creative, giving rise to new developments He played a seminal role in the establishment of the business, but had to leave before the returns started coming in.
Sententious (adj) Trying to appear wise, moralistic and important The book appears to be very sententious when you read its outer jacket and the back cover, but as you read it, you find that there is very little substance as it is far removed from practicality. syn
Shibboleth (n) A slogan or principle, usu. one which was once widely accepted but is not very relevant in the present times While many of the older teachers are still clinging on to the old shibboleths of learning by rote, the new ones are adopting a more scientifi
Shiftless (adj) Lazy and inefficient, Lacking the will to succeed This shiftlessness will not get you anywhere, get up and go to work! syn: Indolent, Slothful ant: Industrious, Diligent, Assiduous
Simper (v) Smirk, Smile in a deliberate manner The dull student could not understand the question and only smiled back at the teacher in a simpering way. syn: Grimace
Sine qua non (L) (adj) A necessary and essential condition, That which must exist for something else to be true An interest in children, along with lots of patience, are the sine qua nons for being a good teacher. syn: Indispensable
Sinecure (n) Well-paid position with little responsibility His new job is a real sinecure - for a salary of all he has to do each day is to verify some computer records with some information recorded from different offices of the company. syn: Capacity
Sinew (n) Means of strength or support After the long trek, he just did not have the sinew to go to the beach to call his younger brother.
Slake (v) "Quench, Satisfy someones thirst with a drink" After a long game of golf, the two business tycoons decided to slake their thirst with a mug of beer. syn: Propitiate, Sate, Mollify, Placate
Slovenly (adj) Careless and untidy, very carelessly done "Ive often told my roommate that he needs to do something about his slovenly habits, but her refuses to listen and still keeps his possessions in the most untidy way." syn: Frowzy ant: Methodical
Sluice (n & v) An artificial waterway equipped with a valve or gate for regulating the flow. Hence, to come in streams (as if from a sluice) A torrent of gushing water sluiced across the fields as the dam suddenly burst open.
Smattering (n) A small amount, Slight knowledge I had studied French back in college for a semester, so knew a smattering of it, but not enough to have a conversation with a Frenchman. syn: Shred
Sobriquet (n) An unofficial name or title, A nickname Students just love to call their teachers with interesting sobriquets most of which are based on some peculiarity of the teacher.
Sodden (adj) Soaked, Heavy because of being wet, Soggy Her thick coat quickly became sodden as she was caught in heavy rain without an umbrella. syn: Humid
Sojourn (n & v) Temporary stay I can never forget my sojourn in the city of Kentucky, where I was holed up in a hotel for over three weeks with nothing much to do. syn: Repose
Solecism (n) Mistake in the use of language, Any social blunder We could have won their trust, but just because of his solecism, the conducive conversation soon became an argument. syn: Faux pas
Solicitous (adj) "Anxious about a persons welfare or comfort" The manager is so solicitous for the welfare of the staff, that he often goes out of way to help the employees. syn: Anxious ant: Apathetic, Indifferent
Solvent (adj) Able to pay all debts He is under so much debt that even if he sells off his house, he will not be able to become solvent. ant: Bankrupt
Sonorous (adj) Loud-sounding (in a pleasant way) The anchor person at the award presentation ceremony made a mark for herself with her sonorous voice, and was widely appreciated by one and all. syn: Resonant
Sophistry (n) Clever and subtle, but misleading reasoning In an obvious case of sophistry, the minister is trying to explain the irrational decision to grant more subsidies as being done for the general good of the people. syn: Sophism
Sotto voce (adj & adv) Under the breath, privately Though the remark was made sotto voce, I was able to figure out that he was greatly pained at her decision.
Spangle (n & v) Small metallic piece sewn to clothing for ornamentation. Hence, covered and sparkling, as if with spangles The hillside was spangled with tiny yellow flowers. syn: Sequin
Spasmodic (adj) Characterized by fitfulness, Not continuous or regular Other than a few spasmodic attempts at jogging, he has hardly ever exercised. syn: Intermittent, Sporadic
Spate (n) Sudden flood or strong outburst, A large number or amount Because of the poor lighting facilities on the highway, there has been a spate of accidents in the last one month.
Spendthrift (n) Someone who wastes money recklessly "Had he not been a spendthrift, he could have saved his fathers hard-earned money and utilized it in something better, but now he will have to beg for money." syn: Prodigal, Profligate ant: Thrifty
Splenetic (adj) Ill-tempered, Easily angered Because of his splenetic nature, nobody argues with him, nobody knows when he would get angered. syn: Bilious, Irascible, Choleric ant: Pleasant, Temperate
Spoliation (n) Plunder, Violent and intentional destruction The destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan has been described as an act of shameless spoliation done with the intention of attracting world attention. syn: Pillage, Despoil
Spoonerism (n) Accidental interchange of the initial letters of two words, usu. with a funny result "The term spoonerism comes from the Rev. William Spooner, who was known for muddling up words; he said dont hiss your mystery classes ..."
Squalid (adj) Dirty and unpleasant Despite several complaints by the patients regarding the squalid condition of the hospital, no action has yet been taken to improve the prevalent condition. syn: Sordid, Abject ant: Splendid, Pleasant, Tidy
Staid (adj) Serious and dull, Uninteresting, Sober The marketing manager of the newspaper realized that the newspaper was perceived as a rather staid source of information, and has hence recommended that it should be made more colorful and lively to interest y
Stanch (v) To check the flow of (usu.) blood Bill pressed hard on the wound to stanch the flow of blood, but the blood kept oozing out.
Stentorian (adj) Extremely loud, With a powerful voice The little children were rather scared of the new Science teacher because of his booming, stentorian voice, but as they interacted with him, they found him to be extremely likable and friendly. syn: Thunderous
Stilted (adj) Very formal and unnatural (usu. of a style of writing or speaking) The Hindi film was a dubbed version of a successful Hollywood movie, and the dialogues sounded rather stifled and unnatural because they had been translated word for word from the o
Stint (v) To set limits to, Give too small an amount of The company chairman has been accused of stinting on matters of safety of the workers in the factory. syn: Confine ant: Squander
Stolid (adj) Showing no excitement, Not reacting The new principal of our school is a very serious, stolid old man, much in contrast with his predecessor who was fun-loving and jovial. syn: Impassive, Stoic
Straggle (v) To move or spread untidily and in small numbers or amounts Eight months after their homes were devastated by the powerful earthquake, some residents of the area are slowly straggling back to their villages in the hope of rebuilding their lives, but m
Stricture (n) (1) Adverse criticism, Expression of blame. (2) Something that severely restricts (1) The Taliban authorities in Afghanistan were unmoved in their decision to destroy the Buddhist statues, despite severe strictures from the rest of the world. (2) The
Strident (adj) (1) Harsh-sounding (2) Forceful (1) His ideas on religion were rather harsh, and when he expressed them in his strident voice, they came across even harsher.(2) Unfazed by the strident criticism of his new book, the flamboyant author has just annce
Stultify (v) To prevent something from developing into its best possible state The Indian economy is still suffering from the stultifying effects of years of government control and regulation. syn: Invalidate, Nullify ant: Enlighten, Validate
Stygian (adj) Dark and gloomy A pall of Stygian gloom descended on the small town when local tennis champion lost in the semi finals of Wimbledon, after leading in two sets and having a great run of games till then. syn: Murky, Infernal
Subsume (v) Bring or include under a particular classification Soldiers from different countries have been subsumed into the UN Peace Keeping Force.
Subvention (n) A grant of money, esp. from the government or a foundation Thanks to a generous subvention from the World Bank, the charitable trust for the care of the disabled has managed to sustain itself for past several years. syn: Subsidy
Subversive (adj & n) 1) Tending to overthrow, Destructive 2) Person seeking to overthrow or destroy The military government of the country has managed to effectively overpower the subversive elements within its ranks, who were out to grab power by staging a coup.
Succor (n & v) Aid given at time of need or difficulty Help has been pouring in from all directions to provide succor the victims of the massive earthquake.
Suffuse (v) To spread over or throughout In a voice suffused with passion, he narrated the story of his life to a captive audience. syn: Pervade, Impregnate
Sumptuary (adj) Pertaining to actions meant to regulate expenditure The series of sumptuary measures imposed by the top management of the company to cut costs have proved successful; the net profit of the company has increased by 18
Sumptuous (adj) Rich and costly, Luxurious Even by his luxurious standards, the meal at the party was extremely sumptuous -- steaming platters of meat, rich desserts, and countless bottles of wine. syn: Extravagant, Grandiose ant: Spartan, Ascetic
Superannuated (adj) Retired on account of age, esp. with a pension. Also, too old to be useful or efficient His kind of music became outdated long ago -- why are you still so interested in that superannuated musician? syn: Obsolete, Outdated ant: Novel, Recent
Supercilious (adj) Having a superior attitude, Arrogant I never like eating in this restaurant as the waiters here seem to have a rather supercilious attitude -- it almost seems as if they are doing you a great favor by serving you. syn: Haughty, Cavalier, Condescen
Supersede* (v) To take the place of someone or something, Replace syn: Invert, Swap
Supine (adj) (1) Lying face upwards. (2) Having no interest or enthusiasm (1) My room-mate in the hostel has a most peculiar habit of studying for hours together while lying supine; he can stay in that position, without moving, for practically the whole day.(2)
Supplicate (v) Ask humbly for something, To beg for help Being out of job for nearly three months, he was forced to supplicate to his elder brother for help, something he had resolved he would never do. syn: Entreat, Beseech, Implore ant: Command
Supposition (n) A guess, Hypothesis, The act of supposing or guessing The proctor has made it clear that he is not going to take any action against anybody on the basis of mere supposition, but if he has clear evidence, the penalty for misbehavior will be quick and
Suppurate (v) To form pus The battlefield portrayed a sorry picture of soldiers with suppurating wounds left untreated because of lack of medical supplies. syn: Fester
Surfeit (v & n) Stuff oneself, Indulge in excess drinking or eating. Hence, too much or more than is needed "We had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year, and in the absence of significant demand, weve had a surfeit of tomatoes this year -- weve been forced to sel
Surreptitious (adj) Secretive, Done or acquired by stealth In the darkness of the night, the band of thieves surreptitiously made their way into the large warehouse and stole a large number of valuable items. syn: Clandestine, Furtive
Suzerain (n) Person in control (esp. of a country or state) The dishonest king was in power for just eight months, but while in power, misused his suzerainty to the extreme and gathered as much of wealth as possible for himself.
Svelte (adj) Slender and graceful Though they never mention it anywhere, it is an unwritten rule in the airline industry that the air hostesses have to be svelte and attractive. syn: Slim, Scrawny, Gaunt, Emaciated ant: Obese, Corpulent, Stout
Swank (v & n) To talk or behave in an overly self confident way. Hence, such talk or behavior It was not difficult to see that underneath the swank and show of confidence, he was extremely nervous.
Swarthy (adj) Having a dark complexion Despite her swarthy complexion, she made it to Miss Universe Contest, while all her bright-complexioned friends had to stand and watch. syn: Dusky
Swathe (v) Wrap with layers of covering As soon as he was brought into the hospital, the doctors asked the nurses to swathe him in bandages as the bleeding was quite profuse. syn: Swaddle
Swingeing (adj) Very severe in its force or intensity Because of these unexpected costs, we will need to make swingeing cuts in the budget.
Sybarite (n) Person who is excessively fond of comfort and luxury I wonder where he gets the money to lead such a sybaritic lifestyle -- he drives expensive cars, wears the choicest of clothes and watches, and goes to the costliest restaurants. syn: Hedonist an
Sycophant (n) A flatterer, A person who praises insincerely in order to get personal gains In the last one year of his tenure, the Chief Minister had been surrounded by sycophants and yes-men, and this became the main cause for his downfall. syn: Toady
Syllogism (n) A reasoned argument in which there are two statements which must lead to a third statement All birds lay eggs, a parrot is a bird, therefore a parrot lays eggs is an example of a syllogism.
Tautological (adj) Needlessly repetitious "Please revert back at the earliest is perhaps the most frequently used tautological expression in business communication; the word revert implies back."
Tawdry (adj & n) Showy but worthless Though the jewelry she wears is tawdry, she boasts of it as if it were worth a million dollars. syn: Meretricious ant: Elegant
Temerity (n) Rashness, foolish confidence Though he is not experienced and has joined the office only a couple of weeks before, he has the temerity of asking for an increment in his pay. syn: Audacity ant: Prudence
Temporize (v) To act so as to gain time, to delay The company management is temporizing over the decision about the merger, hoping that the stock market would recover and they will be able to get a better deal if they wait.
Tenacious (adj) Holding firm to a course of action, esp. in a courageous way, Not easily letting go or accepting defeat "By the time he was twenty six, he was caught in the tenacious grip of organized crime; he could not see any way to get out of it." syn: Adhesive
Tendentious (adj) Expressing or supporting a particular course of action which many people disagree with The book was so tendentious that it changed his attitude towards life; he has not only given up bad habits but also decided to live a solitary life, away from al
Tenderfoot (n) Inexperienced person The fact that he is a political tenderfoot is evident from his clumsy and sometimes inappropriate speeches. syn: Fledgling
Tentative (adj & n) 1) Done by way of trial, experimental 2) Hesitant, Not fully worked out or developed, Not definite or positive 3) Experimental proposal or theory Though they are not certain of where the trekking group should go, they have made a tentative plan
Tenuous (adj) 1) (Of something non-physical) having little meaning or strength 2) Very thin The connection between the novel and the movie is quite tenuous and it cannot be said that the movie is based on the novel. syn: Flimsy ant: Substantial
Termagant (n & adj) A scolding, abusive or bullying woman In the movie, Jenice Williams plays the role of a termagant old woman who picks up a fight at the smallest pretext, and this role is most unlike her kind and gentle nature in real life. syn: Quarrelsome
Testator (n) A person who has made a will The greedy middle-aged man discouraged his father from becoming a legal testator, knowing that if the old man died intestate (without making a will), his entire property would pass on to him. ant: Intestate
Teutonic (adj & n) Of the Germanic people or their languages Though his Teutonic accent was a clear indication that he was a German, he insisted that he had never even been to Germany.
Threadbare (adj) (1) Having been used so much that it is no longer effective or interesting (2) Of clothes, that are torn because of being overworn (1) He came up with a series of excuses for his not passing the exam -- each of them more threadbare and unoriginal t
Threnody (n) A song of lamentation, A funeral song "I recognized the womens song as an old traditional threnody that I had heard many years ago in my village when an old patriarch had passed away." syn: Dirge; Elegy
Timbre (n) Peculiar or distinctive character or tone His cellular phone has a very distinctive timbre -- you can make out that it is his phone ringing even amidst the ringing of a number of phones.
Timorous (adj) Fearful, Demonstrating fear, Easily alarmed The mouse is a rather timorous creature; it rushes into its hole at the slightest hint of a disturbance. syn: Timid
Toady (n & v) 1) A false admirer or a flatterer 2) To behave servilely to or fawn upon He is a real toady; you will often see him flattering his boss; and the motive behind all this is to get a promotion. syn: Sycophant
Toothsome (adj) Delicious, pleasant to eat The toothsome dishes served at the party were so appetizing that even though I had been dieting, I tasted each of them one by one. syn: Scrumptious
Torpid (adj & n) Dull and slow The teacher was having a difficult time explaining the concept to the students as the whole class was feeling sleepy and torpid, after staying up the previous night till late because of a class party. syn: Lifeless; Languid ant:
Torrid (adj) (Esp. of weather) very hot They were totally exhausted after the long journey, and the torrid weather conditions did not help matters as they had been sweating all afternoon.
Torsion (n) Twisting, esp. of one end of body while the other end is held fixed The mechanic informed me that the noise in the car was coming from a slight torsion in the axle rod, and if this was not set back to its original shape without delay, the axle might
Touchstone (n) Standard or criterion by which something is judged In the last ten years, the touchstone of success for a large scale business enterprise has changed from how much it has earned to what its value is in the share markets.
Tout (v & n) (1) Pester possible customers with requests (for orders) (2) Person employed for such job (2) Tourists to India are repeatedly warned by their well-wishers to beware the touts in the areas of tourist interest, who can give false information witho
Tract (n) 1) A short piece of writing, esp. on a religious or political subject 2) A large area of land "My Country and My People is a political tract, written by J.B. Nayak, in which he has tried to bring out ones feelings and responsibilities, as a political
Tractable (adj) Submissive, Easily manageable I was quite apprehensive about my first night as a baby-sitter, but thankfully, the little girl happened to be quite tractable and easily agreed to whatever I asked her to do. syn: Amenable, Docile, Pliant ant: Frowa
Traduce (v) To criticize (something or someone) very negatively, esp. to make other people think badly of them The movie had been prompted with a lot of hype on television so expectations were quite high, but once it was released, it was badly traduced by the cr
Traipse (n & v) To walk laboriously or unwillingly from one place to another I traipsed the whole day around the university campus, but could not find the cafeteria that my friend had talked about. syn: Trudge
Trappings (n) All the things that are part of or are typical of a particular job, situation or event As a retired army general, he was still entitled to all the trappings of his former position, which included a chauffeur-driven car and bodyguards.
Travail (n & v) A difficulties experienced in a particular situation He narrated his travails with tears in his eyes, but I was still not convinced about his sob-stories. syn: Trauma
Travesty (v & n) 1) Make (person or thing) ridiculous (intentionally or not) 2) Absurd or inferior imitation. Also, mockery They described the court judgement as a travesty of justice, saying that the judge had almost definitely been bribed or was biased against
Tremulous (adj) Trembling, Wavering, Shaking His voice on the phone was tremulous as he spoke to his ex-lover after a period of nearly eight years. syn: Quivering ant: Serene
Trenchant (adj) (of comments, policies etc) strong and effective The new TV program has been a subject of trenchant criticism from all sections, so much so that its producers are considering taking it off the air and relaunching it later with some changes. ant: O
Trepidation (n) Fear or anxiety about what is going to happen Even though Geoff had done his exams very well, he waited for the results in a state of trepidation; he remembered one of his friends who, in spite of doing well in the examination, had failed. ant: Cour
Tripartite (adj) Consisting of three parts The three states have entered into a tripartite agreement over the sharing of the water of this river.
Tripe (n) Worthless or stupid talks, ideas, writings etc. "His father said, Why do you read and write such tripe? Why cant you do something useful and sensible."
Trite (adj) Expressed too frequently to be interesting or seem sincere "Hes known for his lively and interesting speeches, so no one could imagine why his speech was so trite and dull." syn: Banal; Vapid ant: Original
Troubadour* (n) Medieval romantic poet
Trousseau (n) "Brides collection of clothing etc. to begin married life" "Coming from a poor family, the brides trousseau comprised a few pieces of clothing, a little jewelry, and sundry items of make-up."
Truckle (v & n) To yield or submit obsequiously The meek stall owner was nearly shaking with fear, and easily truckled under the pressure applied by the interrogators revealing all that he had seen the other night. syn: Cringe; Fawn; Grovel
Truculent (adj) Defiant and aggressive "Weve known him to be rather aggressive, but his truculence in that meeting was unusually severe -- he was not willing to listen to anything we had to say." syn: Hostile; Belligerent ant: Docile
Truncheon (n) Short, thick stick carried as a weapon To make sure that there is no casualty, the police are strictly ordered not to open firing, however, if the situation worsens they can disperse the crowd with tear gas or charge them with truncheons.
Truss (n & v) To tie roughly and tightly with a rope to prevent from escaping The robbers gagged and trussed the entire family on the bathroom floor, before escaping with the valuables.
Tumid (adj) Swollen The lower portion of her left eye became badly tumid when an insect bit her last night, and the swelling just refuses to go. syn: Bulging; Protruding; Tumescent
Tumult (n) Loud noise, esp. that produced by an excited crowd, or a state of confusion As soon as it was annced that there was a bomb in the theater, the whole crowd started running, falling over each other in a tumult of confusion and fear. ant: Repose
TurBid (adj) Muddy and cloudy (of liquids) The excessive growth of algae in the pond has made its otherwise clean water turbid; it is no more suitable for any purpose other than washing. syn: Disordered
Turbulence (n) State of violent agitation The last hundred years of the British rule was a turbulent period in Indian history, when the struggle for independence rose to a feverish pitch and thousands of freedom fighters willingly sacrificed themselves for the sake
TurGid (adj) Unnaturally puffed out; Also, pompous and bombastic, as language, style etc. The story written by him is very turgid; as soon as you read the first two pages, you feel so bored that you decide not to read it again. syn: Swollen, Distended ant: De
Turpitude (n) Wickedness A story of utter moral turpitude has come to light in the Indian state of Bihar, where a landlord held a poor peasant as a prisoner in a small hut, keeping him chained to a wall all the time. syn: Vileness; Depravity ant: Probity
Tussle (n & v) Dispute, A strong argument After a long tussle between the former husband and wife over the custody of the child, the court finally decided to grant the custody to the mother.
Tutelage (n) Advice or teaching about how to do something The group of seven young men traveled a distance of over thousand miles to reach Morin to gain knowledge under the tutelage of Saint Morins.
Tyro (n) A beginner, novice They considered him too much of a tyro to be entrusted with such a crucial task, but he surprised them by thinking of a plan which none of them had thought of despite their vast experience. syn: Neophyte; Fledgling ant: Expert
Ululate (v) To howl as a dog or a wolf, To wail The wild ululation of a pack of wolves suddenly broke the silence of the night, and we were scared out of our wits.
Umbrage (n) To feel upset or annoyed usually because you feel that someone has been rude or shown a lack of respect to you "Id never expected that she would take umbrage to what I thought were such harmless remarks." syn: Grudge, Vexation, Pique
Unassailable (adj) That which is not subject to question, or attack With sixteen victories in a row, the Australian cricket team was looking quite unassailable, but they were finally vanquished at the hands of the Indians, considered absolute underdogs. syn: Invinci
Unctuous (adj) Full of unpleasantly insincere kindness, interest etc. Most people at the funeral were overflowing with unctuous sympathy for the young widow, except for a few friends of hers whose grief appeared genuine. syn: Obsequious
Ungainly (adj) Not graceful, Awkward in movement His wife keeps chiding him for his awkward and ungainly gait, but he is not in the least bothered. syn: Awkward, Uncouth, Unwieldy, Lubberly, Lumpish ant: Graceful
Unguent (n) Soft substance used as a lubricant or oil To protect her skin from the chilling effect of the wind, she was advised to use a moisturizing unguent on her face. syn: Emollient, Balm
Unimpeachable (adj) Blameless and exemplary Though the evidence comes from an unimpeachable source, the matter needs to be looked into again for more proof. syn: Irrefutable, Unassailable
Upbraid (v) To speak angrily to (someone) because they have done something wrong The senior police official upbraided all the inspectors and constables at the police station for not having maintained proper records at the station. syn: Dence, Reprehend, Inculpa
Upshot (n) Outcome, Final issue, Conclusion, General effect The problem has been discussed several times but there has been no upshot of the discussions; the committee is going to hold another meeting now. syn: Consequence
Usury (n) Lending of money at excessively high rate of interest The poor peasants in rural India often became the victims of the usury of the rich money lenders, who lent the money at exorbitant rates of interest.
Vacillate (v) To be continually changing from one opinion or feeling to another He could not make his mind up whether to take up the job, and because of this vacillation he missed a golden opportunity. syn: Oscillate, Waver, Fluctuate ant: Resolve
Vacuous (adj) Showing absence of thought or feeling His failure in the group-discussion can be attributed to his vacuousness; he just did not know enough about the topic to speak on it. syn: Inane; Expressionless ant: Insightful
valize (v) Put into words Though Gregor knew who had committed the murder, but being an illiterate dumb old man, he could not valize it.
Vapid (adj) Dull, Spiritless Most of the websites have a spectacular looking home page, but when it comes to content, they are absolutely vapid and unexciting. syn: Insipid; Banal; Trite; Jejune ant: Spirited
Variegated (adj) Having irregular patches of colors "While the flowers in Stubbs garden are single colored, the flowers in Mebbins garden are variegated with brown and green spots." syn: Heterogeneous ant: Homogenous
vatim (adv & adj) 1) In exactly the same words 2) Word for word She had an amazing memory, and could recall vatim the conversations she had had with the principal.
Vehement (adj) Showing or caused by strong feeling In spite of his long and vehement speech to make people understand the plight of their country, he could not get the support of people, who had no will or feeling for freedom.
Venal (adj) Corrupt, capable of being bought for money or bribed The venality of the players has badly affected the spirit of sports; most of the players nowadays require money more than they require name, and thus cheat not only their teams but also their cou
Venial (adj) (Fault or mistake) or slight importance and therefore forgivable The judge ruled out any serious punishment for such a venial crime as of unscrewing a nut, and asked the culprit to pay for the damages and go home.
Veracity (n) Truth, Honesty With as many as three witnesses giving evidence against her, the veracity of her claim was in serious doubt. syn: True; Accurate ant: Mendacious
Verisimilitude (n) Appearance of truth, Close resemblance to reality "The verisimilitude of the wax statues at the museum of Madame Tussauds in London is truly amazing -- the statues are so life like that many people mistake them for being real."
Vernal (adj) Of or occurring in spring season Spring had just begun, and the garden was full of little buds of vernal flowers.
Verve (n) A strong feeling of life, great energy and enthusiasm Her performance in the play was full of great energy and verve. syn: Vigor, Energy, Enthusiasm
Vestige (n) Trace, small remaining amount There is now not even a vestige of doubt that the culprit has to be the security guard.
viage (n) Use of many words without necessity His essay had been significantly edited, and all the viage was removed. syn: vosity; Prolixity
Viands (n) Article(s) of food He ate his meal sloppily, and small viands were still sticking to his moustache when he came back to the office. syn: Victuals
Vicarious (adj) Related to the feeling of enjoyment etc. felt by a person due to his imagined participation in an experience not his own Though Bard himself cannot play football, he gets vicarious pleasure by watching his friends playing it; had he not been a hand
Vicissitude (n) Sudden, unexpected change of circumstances or luck (esp. from good to bad) The vicissitudes of his business life has made him a pauper; there was a time when he was known to be one of the top businessmen.
Virile (adj) Having the full amount of strength and forceful qualities expected of a man Unlike his brother who is short, shy and an effeminate with girlish characters, Mathew is tall, bold and virile. ant: Effeminate, Impotent
Visceral* (2) Pertaining to the large internal organs of the human body.
Vitiate (v) Impair the quality or efficiency of The cordial atmosphere in the room was vitiated by an unexplained outburst of anger by one of those present, and presumably directed against the vice president of the company.
Vituperate (v) To severely abuse in words "It was totally unlike him to criticize the chairman in such vituperative words -- Ive always thought of him to be mild and gentle." syn: Revile
Vociferous (adj) Noisy, loud and unruly The teacher tried her best to control the vociferous children, but they went on talking loudly and even shouting at times. syn: Boisterous, Obstreperous
Vogue (n) The popular fashion or custom at a certain usu. not lasting time Wearing a bandanna around the head used to be in vogue at one time, now it is considered terribly old-fashioned.
Volition (n) "Use of ones own will in making a decision etc." It was not his father who wanted him to be a doctor, he opted for this career of his own volition
Voluble (adj) 1) (Of a person) talking a lot 2) (Of speech) expressed with many words The UN Secretary General has volubly praised the actions taken by the government of this country to improve the lot of the disabled in the country. syn: Loquacious ant: Retic
Voluptuous (adj) Gratifying the senses The aircraft has large, voluptuous seats in the business class, but the ones in the economy class are rather uncomfortable.
Voracious (adj) Greedy in eating He has a voracious appetite -- he can eat alone for one meal what the four of us together eat. ant: Generous
vose (adj) Using or expressed in more words than are necessary Most people avoid him because of his vosity while speaking; once he starts something, he speaks at length, using as many words as he can without even recognizing the need of them. ant: Sententiou
Vouchsafe (v) Give or grant (something) esp. to someone considered to be less important "The vice principal vouchsafed the information regarding the principals illness to all the teachers in the staff room."
Vulpine (adj) Crafty and cunning like a fox No one in the company likes her because of her vulpine nature; she is widely known as The Fox in the organization.
Waffle (v & n) Talk or write meaninglessly and at great length Even though the students were asked to give direct and short answers, he went on waffling on the paper. syn: Equivocate
Waif (n) Homeless child or animal As a social worker he decided to build a hostel to give a bed for the night to waif and strays, who themselves had no one to look after.
Wan (adj) Pale or faint (usually due to illness or fatigue) I can never forget the wan face of the little child looking at me out of the window with fear and longing in his eyes. syn: Pallid, Sallow ant: Glistening, Beaming
Wangle (v & n) Obtain or arrange by using trickery or scheming I tried my best to wangle my way out of accepting the post of secretary of the committee, but the pressure from all those present was overwhelming.
Wanton (adj , n & v) Showing complete lack of purpose or care He was rather disturbed because of the wanton ways of his only son, who was just not willing to accept any responsibility in the family business. syn: Sportive, Capricious ant: Prudish, Discreet
Warble (v & n) Sing, esp. with a gentle tone as certain birds do "Though she doesnt have a great voice, she is very fond of singing; I often hear her warbling in the bathroom." syn: Babble
Wastrel (n) "A good for nothing person, a person who doesnt make use of his abilities or the opportunities that are offered" He had hoped that after doing an MBA his son would make a good use of his education and bring good name to his family, but his son proved
Waylay (v) To wait for and stop (someone) esp. in order to attack or talk to him On his way to the bank, he was waylaid by two unidentified men who tried to snatch the bag from him; but he somehow managed to overpower them, and escaped.
Welter (v & n) A large number of things, usu. unorganized The report raises a welter of questions, but hardly provides any answers. syn: Wallow, Turmoil
Wheedle (v) Persuade by flattery "She knew that he was angry with her and wouldnt take her with him, but with her flattery, she managed to wheedle him into taking her to the party."
Wherewithal (n) Things needed for a purpose (esp. money) He would like to buy a Mercedes, but being a poor man, he lacks the wherewithal for it.
Whet (v & n) 1) Sharpen or by rubbing 2) Stimulate (appetite, interest or desire) 3) Small quantity of something taken to create appetite The knife was not sharp enough for the purpose, so he decided to whet it on a piece of stone before slaughtering the goat
Whit (n) Least possible amount "Though in the opinion of common people, he must resign immediately, but he doesnt care a whit for their opinion and has never given it a thought."
Wile (n & v) To lure or entice someone It did not take long for me to see through his wile, and to realize that the property agent was up to no good. syn: Artifice
Wilful (adj) For which compulsion or ignorance or accident cannot be pleaded as excuse "His not attending the class despite the teachers specially telling him to do so was a wilful act of disobedience."
Willy-nilly (adv & adj) Willingly or unwillingly "At times he makes a fuss about lending me his bike, but willy-nilly always relents."
Wince* (2) Roller for moving textile fabric through dyeing
Windfall (n) Unexpected lucky event Winning the lottery of a million dollars has truly come as a windfall for him, he had never thought he could ever get so rich.
Winkle (n & v) Extract, pull out "The police tried their best, but even after using third-degree torture, could not winkle the truth out of him."
Winnow (v) Sift, Separate good parts from bad (in wind or air current) "Its taken me three days to go through all the CVs that we received in response to our ad, and have winnowed down the number to a short-list of fifteen."
Winsome (adj) (Of person or his or her appearance, manner smile etc) Charming, attractive, bright ("She managed to thoroughly impress everyone at the party with her charming manner, pleasant voice, and of course, her winsome smile." syn: Charming)
Wrangle (v & n) Argue or quarrel noisily
Xyloid (adj) Of or resembling wood The statue was a xyloid structure, made of the finest quality wood. syn: # ant: #
Yen (n) A strong desire His yen for money is the cause of his criminal inclinations; he can do anything for money. ant: Loath, Abhor, Disgust
Created by: jvstrf
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