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GRE Barrons 3726 wrd

Complete list of GRE Barrons words with sentences, synonyms, antonyms.

QuestionAnswer
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)
Aberrant (adj) 1) Straying from moral standard 2) Diverging from normal type His aberrant behavior at the party can only be ascribed to his over-indulgence in alcohol. syn: Devious, Divergent, Straying ant: Steadfast rel: Aberrance (n), Aberrancy (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)
Abject (adj) Sunk to a low condition, Degraded Within a space of five years, the Orchard family was transformed from a state of plentiful extravagance to one of abject poverty. syn: Sordid, Squalid ant: None rel: Abjectly (adv), Abjectness (n)
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
Abolish (v) Cancel, Put an end to Abraham Lincoln was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in the United States. syn: Obliterate, Purge ant: None rel: Abolishable (adj), Abolisher (n), Abolition (n), Abolitionism (n), Abolitionist (n), Abolishment (n)
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)
Aboriginal (adj) Being the first or the earliest of its kind in a region The people of this region are supposed to be descendents of an aboriginal civilization that existed here more than 2500 years ago and was destroyed by the invasion of Huns. syn: Primitive
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)
Abrasive (adj & n) 1) Tending to graze the skin or hurt a person 2) causing annoyance or dislike 3) (Substance) capable of rubbing or grinding Beneath his rather abrasive exterior personality, he hides a heart of gold; a fact which very few people are aware of.
Abridge (v) Condense or shorten This abridged version of Crime and Punishment is actually more engrossing than the complete version, and also quite well-written. syn: None ant: None rel: Abridgement (n)
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
Absolve (v) Pardon (an offense) According to Hindu mythology, a person can be absolved of all sins if he breathes his last at the Indian town of Varanasi. syn: Exculpate, Exonerate ant: None rel: None
Abstain (v) Refrain, Withhold from participation The opposition party has decided to abstain from participating in the parliamentary proceedings for the day in protest of the proposed Taxation Bill. syn: Refrain ant: None rel: Abstainer (n), Abstaining (adj)
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)
Abstinence (n) Restraint from eating or drinking The month of Ramzaan is a period of abstinence for Mohammedan, during which they are allowed to eat just one frugal meal in a day. syn: Abstemiousness, Sobriety, Temperance ant: None rel: Abstinency (n), Abstinent
Abstract (adj) Theoretical, Not concrete It was a rather abstract discussion on the problem of adolescent crime, without much reference to actual cases. syn: Transcendent, Obscure ant: None rel: Abstractly (adv), Abstractness (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)
Accessible (adj) Easy to approach; Obtainable, Reachable Because of its rough shoreline from all sides, the island was accessible only by a small row boat. syn: None ant: None rel: Accessibility (n), Accessibly (adv)
Accessory (n & adj) Additional object, useful but not essential The car was shorn of all accessories and was a very basic model. syn: Auxiliary, Subsidiary, Confederate ant: None rel: None
Acclaim (v & n) Applaud, Annce with great approval "(1) Naipauls new book has been widely acclaimed as his finest work on India in over 30 years. (2) The film received considerable critical acclaim." syn: Applaud ant: Execrate, Billingsgate rel: Acclamation
Acclimatize (v) Adjust to climate or environment; Adapt They lived in London for three years but never really got acclimatized to the cold and gloomy weather. syn: Accustom, Conform ant: None rel: Acclimation (n), Acclimate (v)
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)
Accomplice (n) Partner in crime The police concluded that the murder could not have been committed without the help of at least once accomplice. syn: Cohort, Conspirator ant: None rel: None
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
Accrue (v) To increase by addition. Also, to come as a gain or an additional advantage. (1) The interest on this bank account has accrued to an amount greater than the principal. (2) Many benefits accrue to the society from free medical services provided.
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. The acolytes of the religious leader were gathered in large numbers at the airport to welcome him. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Acoustics (n) Science of sound or quality that makes a room easy or hard to hear in The acoustics of this theater are so good that you do not need any electronic microphones to hear the smallest of sounds of an orchestra. syn: None ant: None rel: Acoustic (adj)
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)
Acquittal (n) Deliverance from a charge Despite a strong circumstantial evidence against him, he was acquitted by the court of law presumably because of his excellent political connections. syn: Exoneration, Vindication, Amnesty ant: Conviction rel: Acquittance
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)
Actuarial (adj) Calculating, Pertaining to insurance statistics He has a degree in Actuarial studies and is hence seeking an employment in insurance and finance companies. syn: None ant: None rel: Actuary (n)
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)
Acuity (n) Sharpness Her acuity of mind at the age of eighty is simply amazing; she can recall what many people of fifty would tend to forget. syn: None ant: None rel: None
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
Adage (n) Wise saying, prov The adage Pride goes before a Fall best describes the state of the Indian cricketers who have been charged of match-fixing. syn: None ant: None rel: Maxim
Adamant (adj) Inflexible, unyielding I tried to persuade her to accompany me to the store, but she was adamant on staying at home and watching television. syn: Unyielding, Inflexible ant: Flexible, Docile, Yielding, Compliant rel: Adamantine (adj)
Adapt (v) To become suitable for different conditions, To change according to the situation Try as he might, he could not adapt to the idea of having a woman as his boss. syn: Conform ant: None rel: Adaptability (n), Adaptation (n), Adapter (n), Adaptable
Addendum (n) Addition, Appendix to book The script of the documentary mentioned in chapter 2 of the report is given as an addendum to this report. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Addiction (n) Compulsive, habitual need Addiction to the Internet is proving to be a problem for parents of many children in urban India. syn: Obsession ant: None rel: Addict (n & v), Addictive (adj)
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
Adept (adj & n) Expert or thoroughly skilled You do not need an MBA degree to be adept at the art of selling if you have the ability to persuade people. syn: Proficient, Accomplished ant: None rel: None
Adhere (v) Stick, To continue to follow or remain loyal to The doctor has advised him to strictly adhere to the prescribed regimen; otherwise there is a danger of relapse of the illness. syn: Cohere ant: Detach rel: Adherent (adj & n), Adherence (n)
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 At the Etos chain of restaurants, you pay a fixed price for a meal and can eat ad lib. syn: None ant: None rel: None
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
Adroit (adj) Highly skilled in the use of hands or in the exercise of mental faculties The seasoned politician was adroit at turning social occasions to his advantage. syn: Deft, Dexterous, Ingenious ant: Maladroit, Awkward rel: Adroitly (adv), Adroitness (n
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)
Adversary (n) Opponent, enemy The thought of watching the old adversaries fight it out in the boxing ring pulled a huge crowd to the stadium. syn: Antagonist ant: None rel: Adversarial (adj)
Adverse (adj) Unfavorable, hostile The story of the ill-treatment of a former employee by the company director led to a lot of adverse publicity for the company. syn: Antipathetic ant: (Adversity) : Prosperity rel: Adversely (adv), Adversity (n)
Advocate (v & n) 1) Urge, plead for 2) Support 3) One who pleads for another (1) The noted economist in his speech to the cabinet strongly advocated a reduction in agricultural subsidies. (2) Mr. Higgins is a staunch advocate for prison reforms. syn: Patron
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
Affable (adj) Easy to approach and converse with, Courteous Because of his affable and helpful nature, Charles soon became very popular in the organization. syn: Obliging ant: None rel: Affability (n), Affably (adv)
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)
Affidavit (n) Written statement under oath The accused has sworn in an affidavit to the court that he did not even know the victim, let alone shared an apartment with him. syn: Substantiation ant: None rel: None
Affiliation (n) Joining, associating with (persons as members, societies as branches) The fast growth of the company was in large measure because of its affiliations with several flourishing companies. syn: Alliance, Confederation ant: Dissociation
Affinity (n) 1) Tendency of (thing or person) to be attracted towards something 2) Kinship He feels a strong affinity for her but is too shy to disclose it. syn: Alliance ant: Aversion rel: None
Affirmation (n) Positive assertion, confirmation, solemn pledge by one who refuses to take an oath He has sent a written affirmation that he would attend the party. syn: Avowal ant: Negation rel: Affirm (v), Affirmable (adj), Affirmatory (adj)
Affix (v) Attach or add on, fasten You will need to affix an additional stamp to this envelop as it looks a little too bulky. syn: None ant: None rel: None
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
Affluence (n) Abundance, wealth The way he dresses himself and the expensive bike he rides make it obvious that he belongs to a very affluent family. syn: Prosperity ant: (Affluent) : Destitute rel: Affluent (adj & n), Affluently (adv)
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
Agape (adj) Openmouthed with wonder or expectation The children were agape with excitement as they watched the film. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Agenda (n) Items of business at a meeting The question of the voluntary retirement scheme is high on the agenda of the next annual general meeting. syn: Schedule ant: None rel: None
Agglomeration (n) Collection, heap The posh colony is surrounded by an agglomeration of slums and pavement dwellings. syn: Accretion, Aggregation ant: None rel: Agglomerate (v, adj & n), Agglomerative (adj)
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)
Aggrandize (v) 1) Increase or intensify 2) Raise in power, wealth, rank or honor He is willing to dupe his own brother for his personal aggrandizement. syn: Inflate, Applaud ant: None rel: Aggrandizement (n)
Aggregate (adj, n & Ve) 1) Collected into one body 2) Sum total 3) Collect together, unite Despite the promotional campaign, the revenue generated this year has aggregated to an amount much less than that of the previous year. syn: None ant: None
Aghast (adj) Horrified "She was aghast when she was told of her husbands huge gambling debts." syn: Appalled, Astonished, Overwhelmed ant: None rel: None
Agility (n) Quick movement, nimbleness The commandos moved with remarkable agility in their mission to save the hostages as they knew that they had very little time on their hands. syn: Deftness ant: None rel: Agile (adj), Agilely (adv)
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)
Agnostic (n & adj) One who is skeptical of the existence or knowability of a god or any ultimate reality He is a confirmed agnostic and refuses to enter the church or any place related to religion. syn: Dubious, Heathen, Infidel ant: None rel: Agnosticism (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
Agoraphobia (n) The fear of open spaces "Agoraphobia comes from the Latin word agora which means a market place." syn: None ant: None rel: Agoraphobic (adj & n)
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 rel: None
Alchemy (n) A science in the middle ages that was concerned with finding a way to convert all metals into gold. Bentrix, the fifteenth century king of Belize, spent a lot of money on Alchemists who he believed could convert all his possessions into gold.
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
Alias (n & adv) An assumed name He carried out a series of frauds under several different aliases. 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
Alienate (v) Make hostile; separate The introduction of mechanized operations in this factory has led to the alienation of many workers. syn: Estrange ant: Harmonize rel: Alien (adj & n)
Alimony (n) Payments made to an ex-spouse after divorce In the first judgement of its kind from this court, the judge directed the lady to pay an alimony to her disabled husband whom she had divorced. syn: Subsistence, Livelihood 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
Allege (v) State without proof Without having any evidence, how can you allege that Mr. Smith was a German spy? syn: Aver ant: None rel: Allegation (n), Allegedly (adv), Alleged (adj)
Allegory (n) A story in which characters and images represent abstract ideas, Apologue O. Henry was famous for his allegorical style of writing; all his stories depict characters who represent various shades of moral and social values. syn: Fable, Myth, Parable
Alleviate (v) Make less burdensome or severe, lessen Though the destruction was significant, the natural disaster helped alleviate the tension between the two by bringing them together against a common cause. syn: Mitigate, Palliate ant: Worsen, Exacerbate
Allocate (v) Assign, devote (to person or purpose) "Now that Ive finished all the work allocated to me, let me help you with yours." syn: Assign ant: None rel: Allocable (adj), Allocation (n)
Alloy (n) 1) A mixture as of metals 2) Make a mixture Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper. syn: Amalgam ant: None rel: None
Allude (v) To make a direct or casual mention Though he did not directly allude to the former President in his address, it was obvious who he was referring to. syn: Intimate, Insinuate, Connote ant: None rel: Allusion (n), Allusive (adj), Allusively (adv)
Allure (v & n) Attract, Tempt, Personal charm Finally, it was the allure of foreign travel that made me say yes to the job. syn: Entice, Glamour, Seductiveness ant: None rel: Allurement (n)
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)
Aloft (adv) Upward "From the skull-and-crossbones flag flying aloft, it was easy to make out that the ship was a pirates vessel." syn: Superior ant: None rel: None
Aloof (adj & adver) 1) Distant, Unsympathetic 2) Apart, Reserved Since the death of his wife, he has become all the more aloof from his family and friends. syn: Indifferent, Remote ant: Gregarious rel: Aloofly (adv), Aloofness (n)
Altercation (n) Noisy quarrel The classroom was a scene of wild altercation amongst the students, with chalk pieces flying all over, when the principal suddenly stepped in. syn: Confrontation, Feud ant: None rel: None
Altruistic (adj) Unselfishly generous; Concerned for others His altruistic gestures like donatiions are only a sham for his otherwise illegal businesses. syn: Philanthropic, Munificent, Bountiful, Charitable ant: Selfish[(Altruism) : Avarice, Miserliness, Cupid
Amalgamate (v) Combine; Unite in one body The new media company was formed by the amalgamation of an advertising agency and a public relations company. syn: Adulterate ant: None rel: Amalgamation (n)
Amass (v) To collect in great amounts He could not give any explanation to the Intelligence Team as to how he had amassed such a fortune in a short span of four years. syn: Accumulate, Compile ant: Separate rel: None
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
Amazon (n) A large, strong or athletic woman That tall Amazonian lady who is now his boss was once a basketball player for her college. syn: Virago ant: None rel: Amazonian (adj)
Ambidextrous (adj) Capable of using either hand with equal ease "Hes an ambidextrous person, writing with his left hand but doing all other work with his right." syn: None ant: None rel: Ambidexterity (n), Ambidextrousness (n), Ambidextrously (adv)
Ambient (adj) Surrounding, encompassing on all sides Her room had an extremely religious ambience, with burning incense and portraits of Jesus all over. syn: None ant: None rel: Ambience (n)
Ambiguous (adj) Unclear or doubtful in meaning I could not gather much from his ambiguous statements on what he intends to do with the lottery prize-money. syn: Dubious, Anomalous ant: Clear rel: Ambiguously (adv), Ambiguousness (n)
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
Ambivalence (n) 1) Simultaneous attraction towards and repulsion from an object, person or action 2) Indecisiveness "I have a rather ambivalent attitude towards this city; Im neither too happy nor too troubled staying here." rel: Ambivalency (n), Ambivalent (adj)
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
Ambrosia (n) Anything exquisitely gratifying in taste or smell When you are extremely thirsty and not have had anything to drink for a long time, a glass of plain water seems like sheer ambrosia. syn: None ant: None rel: Ambrosial (adj)
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 (
Amend (v) Correct; Change, generally for the better After making suitable amendments in the document, the chief gave it to the stenographer for typing. syn: None ant: None rel: Amendment (n)
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
Amnesty (n & v) 1) General Pardon esp. for political offence 2) Given amnesty to As a gesture of peace and goodwill, the President has decided to grant amnesty to the prisoners of the 1998 war. syn: Acquittal, Liberation ant: None rel: None
Amok (adv) In a state of rage If public spending runs amok like this, our currency will soon lose its value. syn: Amuck ant: None rel: None
Amphibian (adj & n) Able to live both on land and in water The turtle is an amphibian creature, being able to survive both on land as well as water. syn: None ant: None rel: Amphibia (n)
Ample (adj) Abundant You need not hurry, we have ample time. syn: Lavish, Copious, Exuberant ant: None rel: Ampleness (n), Amply (adv)
Amplify (v) Enlarge, To increase in size, effect etc. by explaining in greater detail He amplified his statements about the extent of poverty in the country by showing a lot of photographs he had taken over the past year. syn: Augment, Embellish ant: Decrease
Amputate (v) Cut off part of body The doctor was left with no option but to amputate her damaged leg. syn: None ant: None rel: Amputation (n), Amputator (n)
Amulet (n) Thing worn as charm against evil The old fakir gave him an amulet saying that wearing it would bring prosperity to him. syn: Gewgaw, Talisman, Fetish ant: None rel: None
Anachronism (n) Something or someone misplaced in time In this age of synthesized sounds and techno-music, the sound of this old guitar appears so anachronistic. syn: Incongruity ant: None rel: Anachronistic adj), Anachronic (adj)
Analgesic (adj & n) Causing insensitivity to pain, Relieving pain "You dont need any strong medicine for this bruise, any mild analgesic will do." syn: Narcotic ant: None rel: Analgesia (n)
Analogous (adj) Similar, parallel The movement of planets around the sun is analogous to the movement of particles in an atom. syn: Homogeneous ant: None rel: Analogously (adv), Analogousness, Analogue (n), Analogy (n), Analogize (v)
Anarchy (n) State of lawlessness because of absence of a governing body; State of disorder With the untimely and sudden demise of the Prime Minister, the small country was thrown into a state of anarchy and turmoil. syn: Pandemonium, Furor, Turmoil
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
Anecdote (n) Short account of an amusing or interesting event "The story of his getting lost in the jungle is perhaps the most amusing anecdote Ive ever heard." syn: Allegory, Parable, Fabale ant: None rel: Anecdotal (adj)
Anemia (n) Condition in which blood lacks red corpuscles Though the doctor has diagnosed her weakness as simple anemia, I fell we should get a second opinion. syn: None ant: None rel: Anemic (adj), Anemically (adv)
Anesthetic (n & adj) Substance that removes sensation with or without loss of consciousness The anesthesia administered by the doctor had immediate effect and he fell asleep almost instantly. rel: Anesthetize (v), Anesthetist, Anesthetization (n), Anesthesia (n)
Anguish (n) Acute pain; Extreme suffering The young woman was in a state of utter anguish over her missing child of four years. syn: Woe, Agony ant: None rel: Anguished (adj)
Angular (adj) 1) Sharp-cornered 2) Stiff in manner "The cheekbones on her sharp, angular face are very clearly visible; theres no way you cannot notice her." syn: Jagged ant: None rel: Angularity (n), Angularly (adv)
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)
Animated (adj) Lively Viv gets all animated and excited talking about his new dot-com venture. syn: Blithe, Vivacious, Gleeful ant: None rel: Animate (v), Animatedly (adv), Animation (n), Animator (n)
Animosity (n) Active enmity, Bitterness The bitter animosity between the two clans has its roots in a property feud over a hundred years old. syn: Animus, Asperity, Rancor, Enmity ant: Camaraderie, Conviviality rel: None
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
Annihilate (v) Destroy largely or completely The earthquake that struck western India in early 2001 annihilated entire villages in the state of Gujarat. syn: Slaughter, Eradicate ant: None rel: Annihilator (n)
Annotate (v) Make or provide explanatory notes "The English teacher has prescribed us an annotated edition of Shakespeares Macbeth, which contains notes on the play written by a renowned Oxford professor." syn: Explicate, Elucidate rel: Annotatable (adj)
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
Anoint (v) (1) Apply ointment or oil to (esp. as religious ceremony at baptism) (2) To appoint as the leader or king "Akbars anointment as the king of medieval India coincided with the beginning of the industrial revolution in Europe." syn: Consecrate, Asperse
Anomalous (adj) Abnormal; Irregular The unexpected results of the research are either because of some statistical anomaly, or we have been making the wrong assumptions all along. syn: Aberrant, Peculiar ant: Regular, Normal rel: Anomalously (adv),Anomaly (n)
Anonymous (adj) State of being nameless The public official agreed to talk to the press about the corruption in the telecommunications department on conditions of anonymity. syn: None ant: Signed rel: Anonymity (n), Anonymousness (n), Anonymously (adv)
Antagonistic (adj) Opposed His one small thoughtless remark led to the beginning of a deep-rooted antagonism between the two friends. syn: Hostile, Adversary, Inimical ant: None rel: Antagonist (n), Antagonism (n), Antagonize (v)
Antecedent (adj & n) 1) Previous (to) 2) Preceding events or circumstances that influence what comes later History has shown that a small, insignificant event proves to be the antecedent to a historical event of much larger significance. syn: Elapsed, Preceding
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
Anthropologist (n) Student of the history and science of humankind Ian Jefferson, the noted anthropologist, is currently involved in the excursions in Africa, where fossils of an unknown humanoid form have been found. rel: Anthropology (n), Anthropological (adj)
Anthropomorphic (adj) Having human form or characteristics Fossils of the humanoid form that have been excavated have several anthropomorphic structures, yet it is obvious that they are not human fossils as their skulls are so different. syn: Humanoid, Anthropoid
Anticlimax (n) Letdown in thought or emotion The much hyped visit of the Microsoft officials to the company ended in an anticlimax when they left within fifteen minutes without stating much. syn: None ant: None rel: Anticlimactic (adj)
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)
Antiquated (adj) Outdated, Old-fashioned The judicial system in this country is badly in need of reforms because many of the laws are antiquated and no longer relevant. syn: Obsolete, Ancient, Antediluvian ant: None rel: Antique (n)
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)
Apathy (n) Insensitivity to suffering, Without feeling Many literate people in India have developed an apathy to the Indian democratic system, choosing to not exercise their right to vote during elections. syn: Phlegm
Aperture (n) Opening, Hole in the camera through which light can pass This camera has a very small aperture, the reason why the photographs have come out so clear. syn: Chasm ant: None rel: None
Aphasia (n) Loss of ability to use or understand speech The parents were startled to see signs of aphasia in their three-year old son, and rushed him to a speech therapist. syn: None ant: None rel: Aphasic (adj & n)
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
Apiary (n) A place where bees are kept He has a small apiary in his backyard from which he gets himself a regular supply of high quality honey. syn: None ant: None rel: Apiarist (n)
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 which can happen in the future. pertaining to the end of the world Time and again we hear of apocalyptic prophesies in which people predict the end of the world. 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) = a sudden loss of sensation
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 (v) Dismay; Shock I was appalled at the sight of the rich businessman treating his lowly employee with such disdain and disregard. syn: Nauseate, Outrage ant: None rel: Appalling (adj)
Apparition (n) 1) Appearance, usually of something unexpected or unusual or supernatural such as a ghost, wraith 2) Something remarkable or startling He beliefs that what he saw last night was an apparition of his father who had passed away. syn: Specter, Phantom
Appease (v) Try to conciliate or bribe by making concessions I tried my best to appease the child by offering him toffees, but he continued to howl at the top of his voice. syn: Pacify ant: Agitate rel: None
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)
Appraise (v) Estimate the value of something, Assess, Evaluate A team of experts has left for Gujarat to appraise the damage done by the massive earthquake. rel: Appraisal (n), Appraisement (n), Appraiser (n), Appraisable (adj), Appraisive (adj)
Appreciation (n) (1) Be thankful for (2) Increase in worth (2) Because of the poor law and order situation in the state of Bihar, the value of real estate has hardly appreciated in the last ten years. syn: Admiration ant: Diminution rel: Appreciative (adj)
Apprehension (n) 1) Anxiety about the future, Expectation of something unpleasant 2) Arrest (1) My apprehension that he would be a slow learner was obviously incorrect; he has picked up the lessons faster than most of his classmates have. syn: Perceive
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
Appropriate (v & adj) 1) Suitable or proper 2) To take exclusive possession of something without authority 3) To set aside for a particular purpose, Allocate The senior officer has been charged with the appropriation of government funds. syn: Apropos
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
Aptitude (n) Natural ability and skill, Talent She showed great aptitude for learning music, so her parents decided to send her to the Cambridge School of Music in Britain. syn: Propensity ant: None 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
Arachnid (n) Member of the class to which spiders belong Even though the creature has several legs and moves just like a spider, it seems to large to belong to the arachnid family. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Arbiter (n) Person with power to decide a matter in dispute To pacify the dispute between the two groups at the beach, my father played the role of an arbiter to perfection. syn: Judge, Umpire ant: None rel: None
Arbitrary (adj) Derived from mere opinion or random choice, Unreasonable Though his decision seemed rather arbitrary at the time, it proved to be among the best decisions of his life. syn: Capricious, Discretionary rel: Arbitrarily (adv) Arbitrate (v)
Arboreal (adj) Of, pertaining to or like a tree or trees, inhabiting or frequenting trees Even though this creature belongs to the monkey family, it is not really arboreal and prefers to spend most of its time on the ground. rel: Arboreous (adj)
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 ant: None rel: Arcaded (adj)
Arcane (adj) Mysterious, secret, hidden In the last one year, he has picked up some arcane knowledge of the field of transcendentalism, which he says has given him greater powers of self-control. syn: Confidential, Privy, Intimate
Archaic (adj) "1) Of early period 2) (Of words etc) no longer in ordinary use (e.g., Methinks, thee, thou)" The teacher has the habit of using archaic expressions in his conversation with the students. syn: Antiquated, Antediluvian, Antique ant: New, Modern
Archetype (n) Original model Though he looks like an archtypical corporate executive in that formal suit, his manners betray an unsophisticated and rustic personality. syn: Prototype ant: None rel: Archetypical (adj), Archetypal (adj)
Archives (n) 1) Public records 2) Place where public records are kept All the records pertaining to the development of this village are kept in the local archive. syn: Annals ant: None rel: Archivist (n)
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
Arduous (adj) Hard to achieve or overcome, energetic Because he was assigned the rather arduous task of shoveling the snow in the college ground, he was absolutely exhausted at the end of the day. syn: Strenuous, Laborious, Exhausting
Argot (n) Jargon, slang, colloquial language Both the smugglers talked in a strange argot, which could be understood only by the members of their own group. syn: None ant: None rel: None
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
Arid (adj) Dry and barren Finding an oasis in the arid landscape of a desert is among the most remarkable features of Mother Nature. syn: Droughty, Desiccated, Parched ant: None rel: Aridity (n), Aridness (n), Aridly (adv)
Aristocracy (n) 1) Government by the best or most outstanding citizens 2) Class of nobles "2) As soon as he was elected Senator, he became a part of the towns aristocracy and high society." syn: Gentlefolk
Armageddon (n) A great final decisive conflict The story of Ramayana in Indian mythology culminates in a great Armageddon between the forces of good and evil. syn: None ant: None rel: None
Aromatic (adj & n) Fragrant, pleasantly pungent The peculiar pungent flavor of this stew comes from the use of an aromatic Indian herb in its cooking. syn: Pungent, Odoriferous, Piquant ant: Putrid rel: Aroma (n), Aromatically (adv)
Arraign (v) To accuse, Indict, Find fault with The Speaker arraigned the member of parliament for using improper language during the conduct of parliamentary proceedings. syn: Incriminate, Inculpate, Impeach, Censure ant: None rel: Arraignment (n)
Array (v & n) 1) Draw up in order 2) Imposing or well-ordered series of persons or things The investigation into the railways scam brought to the surface an array of most amazing and shameful facts about the misdeeds of the former Railway minister. syn: Muste
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 (n) Pride, haughtiness Even though he is no longer the chief of the company, his arrogance is still intact and he still tries to boss around. syn: Haughtiness, Contumely, Insolence, Loftiness ant: Humility 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
Articulate (v & adj) 1) To express thoughts and feelings clearly 2) To speak or pronce clearly and carefully 1) Though he finds it very difficult to articulate his feelings to anyone, he opens up with me and shares all his distress. syn: Eloquent
Artifacts (n) Any object made by human work, esp. of an ancient time The tools and other artifacts found in the excavations outside the city indicate the existence of a developed society in this region about 1500 years ago. syn: None ant: 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 (n) A manually skilled worker The government has decided to exhibit at the National Exhibition the handicrafts made by the tribal artisans of this area. syn: Adept, Contriver, Artificer ant: None 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 (adj & n) 1) Practicing self-denial 2) One who practices self-denial He spent the final few years of his life as an ascetic; removed from all worldly happenings and living with the bare essentials. syn: Austere ant: None 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 (adj) Ash-colored; Deadly pale As soon as he realized that he had been trapped and could not escape, his face turned ashen with fear and horror. syn: Anemic, Wan, Pallid ant: None rel: Ash (n)
Asinine (adj) Pertaining to asses, Foolish I never expected him to come up with such an asinine remark in the class; he looks quite intelligent! syn: Ridiculous, Absurd ant: None rel: Asininity (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
Askew (adv) Crookedly; Slanted; At an angle A closer look showed that the apparently straight line joining the two points was not exactly straight but slightly askew. syn: Gnarled, Awry, Distorted ant: Straight 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 (v) State strongly or positively; Insist on or demand recognition of (rights, claims, etc.) Although he was found guilty, he continued to assert that he was innocent and had been falsely indicted. syn: Aver, Asservate, Contend ant: None 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 (2) To make oneself a part of another culture. (2) Even after staying there for years, the Roddin family was not able to assimilate itself to the big city culture. syn: Grasp
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)
Assumption (n) Something taken for granted, Believing something without having proof My assumption that workers in Germany would behave similarly to workers in India was proven wrong when I went on an industrial tour to Germany. syn: Conjecture, Surmise ant: None
Astral (adj) Relating to the stars He is a firm believer in astrology, and considers the astral and planetary positions to be the most important factor in determining the fate of a person. syn: Planetary, Celestial ant: None rel: None
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."
Astronomical (adj) Enormous in size or extensive The government has spent an astronomical amount of money in this rehabilitation program, yet the results are not really evident as yet. syn: Celestial, Astral rel: Astronomy (n), Astronomer (n), Astronomically (adv)
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)
Asunder (adv) Into separate pieces The wooden boat was torn asunder on the rocks.
Asylum (n) Protection or place for shelter Being chased away by their own countrymen, the Armenians took asylum in a neighboring country. syn: Sanatorium
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.
Atheistic (adj) Denying the existence of god "Being a confirmed atheist, he refused to participate in the religious ceremonies during his sisters wedding." syn: Agnostic, Dubious, Infidel rel: Atheist (n), Atheism (n)
Atone (v) Pay for He tried to atone for his unpleasant remarks by sending her some flowers, but she returned them with disdain. syn: Compensate, Retaliate rel: Atonement (n)
Atrocity (n) Extreme wickedness, Cruel deeds ( esp. during war) The atrocities committed by the Nazis on the Jews pale in comparison to those perpetrated by the Chinese regime on those who dared to rebel against the government. syn: Sabotage, Vandalism
Atrophied (adj) Wasted, emaciated Fearing an atrophy of the mind because of the boring and repetitive job, Simpson set out to seek some recreation that could utilize his creativity. rel: Atrophy (n & v)
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
Attest (v) Give witness, or to testify The certificate required an attestation by a senior company official, without which the government secretary refused to accept it. syn: Assert, Affirm rel: Attestor (n), Attestation (n), Attested (adj)
Attrition (n) Gradual wearing out "Repeated attacks from our armed forces led to the attrition of the enemys strength. The enemy finally gave up." syn: Abrasion rel: Attritional (adj)
Atypical (adj) Abnormal He has worked in various fields and departments, doing different kinds of jobs, hence his resume is rather atypical. ant: Normal rel: Atypically (adv)
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.
Augment (v) Increase or become greater I am desperately looking for a late evening, part time job to augment my meager earnings from this one. syn: Magnify, Bloat ant: Retrench rel: Augmentation (n), Augmentative (adj)
Augur (v) Foretell, Be a sign of something in the future "The rain at the beginning of the year augurs well for this years harvest." syn: Prognosis, Conjecture ant: Propitiate rel: Augury (n)
Augur (v) To foretell or indicate on issue beforehand Finding this place to stay in this faraway area really augurs well for us; we should be reaching our destination within the next two days. syn: Prognosticate rel: Augury (n)
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)
Aureole (n) Bright disc around the head of a saint In the mythological comics that I read as a child, a Divine being or any religious person was always depicted with an aureole on the head. syn: Halo
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)
Authenticate (v) To prove genuine Though there is no way that I can authenticate this painting as a Salvador Dali, it looks very much to be a Dali original. syn: Substantiate ant: (Authentic) : Spurious, Ersatz, Bogus
Authoritarian (adj & n) favoring obedience to authority as opposite to individual liberty My father has told me of the authoritarian nature of his father, and how he rebelled against it to start life on his own. syn: Peremptory, Autarchic, Autocratic, Despotic
Authoritative (adj) Possessing or claiming authority In an authoritative tone, the principal asked the boys to leave the hostel common room in a single file. rel: Authoritatively (adv), Authoritativeness (n)
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
Automaton (n) The mechanism that imitates actions of human beings The instructor made it clear that he did not want the recruits to work like automatons, but apply their minds to the job in creative ways.
Autonomous (adj) Self-governing The Vatican is an autonomous region within the city of Rome, having its own set of rules and regulations and code of conduct. syn: Unfettered, Autarchic, Sovereign ant: Dependent rel: Autonomy (n), Autonomist (n), Autonomic (adj)
Autopsy (n) Postmortem examination, Personal inspection The autopsy carried out on the victim has confirmed that the cause of the death was arsenic poisoning. syn: Anatomy
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
Avarice (n) Greed for gain His avarice for quick gains became the single biggest factor for the failure of the company. syn: Cupidity ant: Altruism rel: Avaricious
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)
Avert (v) 1) To prevent 2) To turn away eyes from (1) The accident could be averted only because of the alertness of the young shepherd; had he not reported the missing fishplates in time, the train would almost certainly have derailed.
Avid (adj) Eager and enthusiastic Being an avid admirer of the rock band, he was ready to travel in the heat for over six hours to be at their rock concert. syn: Fervent, Zealous ant: Loath rel: Avidity (n), Avidly (adv)
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.
Avow (v) To declare openly Though in the beginning, he denied all the charges of corruption against him, he has now avowed his involvement in the fraud case. syn: Divulge rel: Avowable (adj), Avowal (n), Avowedly (adv)
Awe (n & v) Wonder, Surprise The children are in absolute awe of the magician who can make chocolates and toys appear out of thin air. syn: Veneration, Esteem, Reverence rel: Awesome (n), Awfulness (n), Awful (adj), Awfully (adv)
Awry (adv & adj) 1) Crookedly 2) Distorted, Crooked Though a learned man, his clothes are often so hopelessly awry that anyone can assume him to have come from a slum. syn: Amiss, Astray
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)
Babble (v & n) (1) To talk quickly and unclearly. Difficult to understand. (2) A sound like that of a steam running gently over rounded stones I patiently tried to understand her, but I had no idea what she was babbling about. syn: Gibberish, Twaddle, Patter
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
Badger (v & n) 1) Irritate, Persuade by asking repeatedly 2) Grey-coated strong-jawed nocturnal mammal Although the children continuously badgered him to make him agree to their small wishes, he remained quite calm and unperturbed. syn: (1) Hector, Pester
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
Baffle (v) To surprise and confuse to the extent that effective action is not possible I was completely baffled at her sudden change of attitude towards me; for some strange reason, she was not ready to even talk to me. syn: Bewilder, Confound, Perplex
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.
Bait (n & v) Food or other material used to attract an animal or fish (and figuratively, a person also) in order to catch it. Hence,to offer as a bait. In addition to a hefty increase in salary, the company offered him a car as a bait. syn: Inducement, Decoy
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
Banal (adj) Very ordinary, Boring What looked like a rather banal idea to begin with for a cola advertisement, soon took the shape of one of the most amazing TV commercials of all times. syn: Insipid, Mediocre, Prosaic, Hackneyed ant: Original
Bandy (v) To discuss The idea was bandied around the conference table for over forty minutes, before finally being dropped.
Bane (n) The cause of ruin or destruction, The source of irreparable harm The untimely drought has proved to be a bane for families living in these villages, bringing with it misery and hunger. syn: Affliction, Malediction, Calamity ant: Boon, Blessing
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
Barb (n) 1) Pointed comment 2) Sharp projection from fishhook "Provoked by his friends continuous barbs at him for losing in the first round of the tournament, Michael flung his tennis racket at Gerome." syn: Spur, Cusp
Barefaced (adj) 1) Shameless, Bold 2) Unconcealed "It wasnt difficult to see through his barefaced lies; but no one had the guts to challenge his words." syn: (1) Blatant, Audacious (2) Obvious
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
Barrage (n) Barrier laid down by artillery fire Trapped in a barrage of firing from all sides, the valiant young soldier fought with all his might till his last breath. syn: Torpedo
Barrister (n) A lawyer; Counselor-at-law After completing his law degree next year, he hopes to join his father, a noted barrister, as an assistant. syn: Attorney, Solicitor
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)
Befuddle (v) To confuse It was apparent from the befuddled expression on his face that he had not understood a word of what I had explained. syn: Baffle, Muddle, Bewilder
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
Behemoth (n) Huge creature or monster The bureaucracy in India has turned into a virtual behemoth employing about twice as many people as are required to run things efficiently.
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
Belch (v & n) 1) Send out wind noisily from stomach through mouth. Also send out from an opening or funnel 2) Act of belching After devouring the large, sumptuous meal, the ovlown man let out a loud belch.
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 (v) To cause to appear small or unimportant, Disparage Being extremely jealous by nature, Sue tried her best to belittle the achievement of her younger sister in front of their parents. syn: Ridicule, Denigrate ant: Vaunt rel: Belittlement (n)
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)
Belligerent (adj & n) 1) (Nation, party or person) waging regular war as recognized by the law of nations 2) Any opponent engaged in conflict The protesters of the Anti-Evacuation Bill were in a belligerent mood. syn: Combat, Martial
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, usu. at the end of church service. Also, any kind of blessing His casual suggestion proved to be a benediction for me as I got cured of my allergy by following his advice. syn: Invocation, Petition ant: Anathema rel: Benedictory (adj)
Benefactor (n) A person who works for the good of others or who donates money for a good purpose The formation of this school for the blind was possible only because of the contribution of an unknown benefactor, who donated a sum of $100,000. syn: Patron
Beneficent (adj) Kindly, Generous Thanks to his beneficent uncle, who offered to bear his entire tuition fees, he was able to complete an MBA degree and get this plum job. syn: Benevolent, Munificent, Altruistic, Bountiful ant: Baleful
Beneficiary (n) A person entitled to benefits of a policy "No one could ever have imagined that Mr. Adamson could be among the beneficiaries in Ms. Kents will." syn: Inheritor, Heir, Scion
Benevolent (adj) Inclined to help others, Generous "The benevolent chairman of the company offered to sponsor the education of the child whose father had been crippled in an accident in the companys premises." syn: Beneficent, Magnanimous ant: Malevolent, Miserly
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
Bequeath (v) Leave to someone by means of a will The industrialist bequeathed his entire wealth to a charitable trust, wishing that the money should be used for constructing schools and hospitals for the needy. rel: Bequest (n) = That which is bequeathed
Berate (v) To scold strongly The minister publicly berated the journalist, accusing him of publishing a false report about him in the newspaper. syn: Castigate, Decry, Censure ant: Eulogize
Bereavement (n) The state of being deprived of something valuable. Also, the death of a close relative or friend. Having lost his 20-year old son in an accident, the mill-owner could never get over his bereavement. syn: Anguish, Dolor rel: Bereave (v)
Bereft (adj) Lacking Even as he heard the harsh judgement against him, his face was bereft of any expression of dejectedness.
Berserk (n & adj) Out of control and violent As soon as the young film star who had created a sensation in his debut film stepped on the stage, the crowd went absolutely berserk with joy and enthusiasm. syn: Frenzied ant: Sane
Beseech (v) Ask or plead earnestly "His mother beseeched him to have breakfast before leaving, but he wouldnt listen and left in a hurry." syn: Adjure, Implore rel: Beseeching (adj)
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)
Besmirch (v) To soil or discolor. Also, to damage the reputation or honor of a person The newspaper article about his secret love affair outside his marriage has totally besmirched his reputation. syn: Slander, Denigrate, Calumniate
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)
Bestial (adj) Inhuman, Cruel, Like a beast The unspeakable bestiality perpetrated by the Nazis on the Jews in the concentration camps will always remain a blot on the history of mankind. syn: Feral, Untamed ant: Noble rel: Bestiality (n), Bestialize (v)
Bestow (v) Confer (thing) (up) on (person) as gift After the retirement of Dr. Paul Mettle, the Chancellorship of the university was bestowed upon Dr. Clive Harris, who had once been a student of Dr. Mettle. syn: Impart, Furnish
Bask (v) To take pleasure in warmth My grandfather likes to spend most of his daytime basking in the sunshine in our garden.
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
Bawdy (adj) Indecent, Obscene Though most people in the group found his bawdy jokes in very poor taste, there were those who enjoyed themselves to the hilt. syn: Obscene, Vulgar, Indecent, Ribald rel: Bawdily (adv), Bawdiness (n)
Bayou (n) A small sluggish offshoot of river (smaller than a tributary) A narrow bayou flowed near the dwellings, adding to the charm of the peaceful rural environment. syn: Inlet, Cove, Lagoon, Firth
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
Bedlam (n) A place or activity filled with chaos and commotion, Noisy and unruly activity "The scene in the childrens room when their mother returned was one of complete bedlam and disorder."
Bedraggled (adj) Thoroughly wet His bedraggled appearance made it obvious that he had been caught in the pouring rain.
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."
Betroth (v) To become engaged to marry They remained betrothed for nearly two years before formally tying the knot. syn: Espouse rel: Betrothed (adj & n), Betrothal (n)
Bevel (n) A slanting edge or surface The beveled edge of this picture frame makes the picture in it looks bigger than it actually is. syn: Oblique, Cant
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
Bewilder (v) Surprise and confuse, to such an extent that normal thinking is not possible The news of the military coup sent waves of shock and bewilderment all over the country. syn: Baffle, Befuddle, Confound, Perplex rel: Bewilderment (n),
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)
Bicker (v) Quarrel, Fight The annual session of the Responsible Party at Cape Town was marked by constant bickering amongst the members over the most trivial issues. syn: Squabble, Contend
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.
Bifurcated (adj) Forked All of a sudden, the river bifurcated into two streams flowing separate ways, and we had no idea which one to take. rel: Bifurcate (v)
Bigotry (n) Hostile and obstinate prejudice against a group, race, religion Analysts believe that the resurgence of bigotry and hatred between the members of the two religions has been fuelled by some narrow-minded politicians. syn: Prejudice, Dogmatism, Racism
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
Bistro (n) Small bar or restaurant At the end of the street was a small bistro, serving cheap wine and meals, and I could hear loud and raucous voices coming from inside it.
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.
Bizarre (adj) Fantastic, Noticeably odd or strange "I dont have any explanation for her bizarre behavior at last nights party, though Im sure that she is quite apologetic about it." syn: Grotesque
Blanch (v) To make or become white or pale, bleach, whiten "Morris visibly blanched when he heard the news of his mothers unexpected demise." 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
Blasphemous (adj) Showing lack of respect (usu.) to God or religion Because of his supposedly blasphemous remarks against Islam, Salman Rushdie had to stay in hiding for several years. syn: Profane, Impious, Sacrilegious rel: Blasphemy (n), Blaspheme (v)
Blatant (adj) Very obvious; Loudly offensive Critics have attacked the book as a blatant distortion of facts in order to please the powers-that-be in the state of India. syn: Conspicuous, Obtrusive, Overt rel: Blatantly (adv), Blatancy (n)
Bleak (adj) Cheerless, Dull, Hopeless His blood pressure has fallen to such a low level that the doctors feel that chances of survival are bleak. syn: Desolate, Melancholy
Blighted (adj) Destroyed, Badly affected by a disease His knee injury blighted his chances of participating in the tennis tournament. rel: Blight (v)
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
Bloated (adj) Puffed or swollen He had been brought up in a luxurious and pampered environment, which was the main reason behind his bloated ego and wasteful ways. syn: Pompous, Magisterial rel: Bloat (v)
Blubber (v) To cry in a noisy and childish way The infant started blubbering as soon as his mother moved out of his sight. syn: Lard, Tallow
Bludgeon (n & v) 1) Heavy headed stick 2) To strike repeatedly with a heavy stick The police has located the thick metal rod with which the boy was mercilessly bludgeoned to death. syn: Cudgel
Blurt (v) Speak up impulsively Venesa was amazed when one evening, just after they had supper, Alberto blurted out that he loved her.
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.
Bode (v) To be a sign of the things to come in the future The latest statistics published by the Indian Industrial Index do not bode well for the Indian textile industry for the year 2001-02. rel: Boding (n)
Bogus (adj) Not authentic, Fictitious The market research report he presented to the company was a completely bogus one; it later came to light that he had made up the figures himself. syn: Counterfeit, Fraudulent, Spurious ant: Authentic
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
Bohemian (adj & n) Socially unconventional (person) esp. artist or writer, of free and easy habits. The actress, with her new-found fame, started leading a Bohemian life,in total contrast to her conventional upbringing. syn: Unorthodox, Nonconformist, Eccentric
Boisterous (adj) Rough and Violent (usu. of human behavior) I thought him to be a rather calm and composed person, so his boisterous behavior at the party last night took me by complete surprise. syn: Turbulent, Riotous, Raucous ant: Peaceful
Bolster (v) To add in support of, To strengthen Bolstered by the reinforcements sent in by the headquarters, the troops attacked the enemy with a renewed vigor. syn: Facilitate ant: Undermine
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
Boorish (adj) Rude, harsh and insensitive Being accustomed to a gentle and polite environment, she was utterly revolted by the sheer boorishness of the kidnappers. syn: Brusque ant: Suave rel: Boor (n), Boorishness (n), Boorishly (adv)
Bootleg (v & adj) To make, carry, or sell alcohol illegally. Hence, such illegal alcohol or other items The police has seized 1000 cases of bootlegged whisky from that wine store. rel: Bootlegger (n)
Botch (v & n) To make, express or perform in a clumsy manner, To fail because of carelessness or clumsiness In her eagerness to perform well on the stage, she became so nervous that she nearly botched up her recitation. syn: Bungle, Foozle, Stumble
Boudoir (n) "A womans dressing room, bedroom or private sitting room" She was so authoritative that even her husband had to think twice before entering her personal boudoir.
Bounty (n) (1) A sum of money paid as a reward (2) Generosity (3) A huge amount (1) The police has offered a bounty to anyone who provides information about the criminal.(2) This school for disabled children is totally dependent on this hospitals bounty.
Bourgeois (n & adj) Member of middle class, Person of conventional middle-class ideas Though he himself was once a part of it, he now openly despises the bourgeois society finding it too unsophisticated and possessive. rel: Bourgeoisie (n)
Bout (n) (1) A brief period of illness or involvement in an activity (2) A boxing or wrestling match (1)He has been constantly suffering from periodic bouts of depression.(2) People tuned in to the much hyped bout between Tyson and Johnson.
Bovine (adj) Belonging to the cattle family, Cow-like. Also, dull and slow (like a cow) "He was a gentle, rather bovine person, leading a quiet life and not interfering with anyone elses."
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.
Brandish (v) To hold something high in the air in a threatening or excited way Suddenly, the bearded man brandished a gun so that it was visible to all the passengers, and commanded all the people present in the aircraft to sit with their heads lowered.
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)
Bravado (n) A show of bravery, usu. done to gain attention and admiration In an act of sheer bravado, she walked up to the vice-principal and slapped him tightly on the face. syn: Pretension, Braggadocio
Brawn (n) Muscular strength In Indian movies, the henchmen to the villain are usually big brawny men who hardly have a mind of their own. rel: Brawny (adj), Brawniness (n)
Brazen (adj) Shameless, Done without any attempt to be hidden With brazen disregard for the code of conduct, the two players decided to spend the evening in a bar and got drunk. rel: Brazenly (adv), Brazenness (n)
Breach (n & v) 1) Breaking a law, promise, agreement, or relationship 2) An opening in a wall or fence (1) In a clear breach of authority, he decided to take the official vehicle to attend the wedding of his friends daughter. syn: Cleft, Chasm, Rupture
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 (n & v) The leather straps used by a rider to control a horse. Hence, to control (usu. a horse with a bridle) (1) Sarah saddled and bridled her mare before taking it into the woods.(2) Though he tried hard, he could not bridle his emotions.
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
Brittle (adj & n) Easily broken, Delicate The brittle layer of ice that covered the pond broke as soon as the stone hit the surface. syn: Fragile ant: Ductile, Malleable rel: Brittly (adv), Brittleness (n)
Broach (v) Bring up (a topic) in a conversation, To make a start Before I broached the topic of a rise in salary, I made sure that he was in a good mood. 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.
Brochure (n) Pamphlet, booklet etc Printed on high quality, glossy paper, the company brochure showcases all the achievements of the company as well as its products and services. syn: Pamphlet
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
Brood (v) To think deeply and seriously "Theres no point in brooding over what has happened, you need to make a fresh start with enthusiasm."
Brood (n) A group of young birds or young children, usu. belonging to the same family The lady arrived at the ball with her brood of seven children, much to the amusement of everybody present.
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
Bucolic (adj & n) Pertaining to a village or the countryside The large windmill stood out as a symbol of modernity in the typically bucolic scene of the peasants harvesting their fields. syn: Pastoral, Rustic ant: Urban
Buffoonery (n) Silly acts done to make people laugh, Clowning I did not at all find his buffoonery amusing, though there were quite a few people laughing uproariously at his acts.
Bugbear (n) A particular thing that annoys or upsets an individual Untidiness is a particular bugbear for her; she cannot stand the sight of a person who dresses shabbily. syn: Bogy
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.
Bulwark (n) A defensive wall of stone, earth. built as protection against enemy. Protects against unpleasant situations During those difficult days when her husband used to beat her,her faith in God proved to be a bulwark for her. syn: Fortification, Palisade
Bumptious (adj) Offensively conceited and over-confident His bumptiousness and boasting about himself made him the most unpopular and detested figure in the organization.
Bungle (v) 1) Clumsy work 2) Fail to accomplish Leading by two sets and in a winning position in the third, Agassi totally bungled up the game and lost with a score of 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 3-6, 1-6. syn: Botch, Stumble
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 (adj) Having health and vigor, Plump and rosy "He fell in love with the buxom girl at the florists counter, not aware that she herself owned the store." syn: Comely
Cabal (n) A secret association of persons (usually) plotting a conspiracy It was later brought to light that the two junior officers arrested on charges of spying were a part of a large cabal within the ministry.
Cache (n) A secret hiding place. Hence, the cache memory in a computer. For two weeks, the Polish general Kirovoski hid in a cache below his bunkers, fearing an attack from the Germans.
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 Because of a cacophonous gathering of teenagers at the restaurant, I could not hear my cellular phone ring. 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."
Cadaver (n) Dead body, Corpse As a part of their course in medicine, the students are supposed to dissect a cadaver and identify the various parts of the human anatomy. ant: (Cadaverous) : Obese
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."
Cajole (v) Persuade or soothe by flattery or deceit I tried to cajole the teacher to allow me to take the exam at a later date, but she would have none of it and sternly told me that I would lose marks if I did not appear. syn: Coax, Wheedle
Calamity (n) A great disaster, A sudden event causing great loss and suffering An earthquake of high intensity is perhaps the worst natural calamity as it can bring about large scale destruction of life without any warning whatsoever. syn: Misery, Catastrophe
Calcify (v) Harden by deposit of calcium salts Stalagmites and stalactites, those strange looking rock structures found in caves, are formed as a result of the calcification of water over thousands of years. syn: Petrify
Caldron (n) Large boiling-vessel At the night-shelter, a man was preparing a thick soup in a huge caldron for the hundreds of poor people in the shelter.
Caliber (n) (1) Measurement (2) Ability, Quality "(1) This bolt will not open with this wrench, please give me one of higher caliber. (2) This essay is of such high caliber that its difficult to believe that a seventh grade student could have written it."
Calligraphy (n) Beautiful handwriting His essay stood out not because of its content but because of his artistic calligraphy on the answer sheet. ant: Scribbling
Callous (adj) Unkind, Hard, Unfeeling, Without sympathy The new supervisor, by not visiting the injured worker at the hospital, has shown a callous disregard towards the well-being of the workers. syn: Apathetic, Indurate ant: Compassionate, Sympathetic
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
Camaraderie (n) Friendliness, mutual trust, and good will amongst friends or co-workers The camaraderie and friendliness between the players of the two countries totally belied the hostility that exists between the two countries at a diplomatic level. ant: Animosit
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.
Camouflage (n & v) That which acts as a disguise, or helps to conceal. The soldiers hastily covered their helmets with leaves and other foliage, but this did not prove a good enough camouflage and they were soon spotted by the enemy.
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.
Candor (n) Open-mindedness, impartiality, free from malice The interview panel was impressed with his candor when he admitted that he had once been found guilty of misconduct at high school. syn: Frankness, Candidness ant: Artifice
Canine (adj & n) Related to Dogs. Also, one of the four sharp pointed teeth between incisors and molars Though both of them belong to the family of canines, wolves and dogs exhibit very different character when it comes to interacting with other animals.
Canker (n) An ulcer (sore), as of the mouth. Also, anything which corrodes, corrupts or destroys The Prime Minister, in his speech on television, has said that violence is a canker in our society which must be avoided at all costs.
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
Canon (n) A law, rule or decree "His shameless flirtation at the party with Mr. Dominiques wife flouted all canons of respectable behavior."
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
Caption (n) Words above or below a picture, newspaper article etc. meant to give an explanation The caption below the photograph stated that it had been taken in 1952; however, the model of the car shown in the photograph was clearly of a much later year.
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.
Carat (n) Measure of weight for precious stones, Measure of purity of gold A one-carat diamond weighs 0.2 grams.
Cardinal (adj) Fundamental, Most important Just as the athlete was well on his way to victory, he made the cardinal error of looking back, lost his balance, and fell. syn: Chief
Cardiologist (n) Doctor specializing in the heart His family physician has referred him to a cardiologist, saying that chest pain should never be taken lightly.
Careen (v) Move forward rapidly while making sudden movements from side to side. The driver tried hard to stop the bus but it careened out of control and skidded into a ditch. syn: Lurch
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.
Caricature (n & v) Distortion, Amusing representation of person or thing by over-emphasis on characteristic traits The caricature of the President in the newspaper yesterday, which portrayed as a caged chimpanzee, offended many people. syn: Burlesque, Imitation
Carnage (n) Destruction of life, Great slaughter The locality where the bomb exploded was a scene of dreadful carnage and destruction; even the journalists were repelled at the sight of it.
Carnal (adj) Of the flesh, physical (esp. sexual) The sages in ancient India were said be in complete control of their carnal desires. syn: Sensual ant: Spiritual
Carnivorous (adj) Feeding on flesh, Meat-eating The piranha is a carnivorous fish, with teeth sharp enough to pierce the toughest of skins. ant: Vegetarian
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
Carousel (n) (1) A merry-go-round (2) The luggage conveyor belt in an airport (1) At the amusement park, the carousel that has seats in the shape of animals and that moves as if in a gallop, is among the most popular attractions for children.
Carp (v) Find fault, Complain continuously and unnecessarily While most people carp about getting junk mail on their computers, there are those who actually feel good about receiving it. syn: Cavil ant: Acquiesce
Carp (n) A large freshwater fish The fisherman found a large, overgrown carp in his net, and considered it to be his prize catch.
Carrion (n) Dead and decaying flesh Near the top of the hill we were met with the blood-curdling sight of a large group of vultures feeding ravenously on the carrion of a deer.
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.
Cartography (n) The science of making maps and charts Despite repeated attempts, cartographers have found it very difficult to depict this region on a map because of its difficult terrain and steep cliffs.
Cascade (n & v) Steep waterfall, Anything that flows or pours downwards The fast flowing stream cascaded down the sharp cliff, forming a picturesque waterfall.
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
Casualty (n) A person hurt in an accident or killed or wounded in battle. Also, a place in a hospital where such a person is treated. The train met with an accident near the town, but thankfully, there were no casualties.
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.
Cataclysm (n) A violent upheaval, disaster Not having any check on their expenditure and relying heavily on debt, many Latin American countries are on the brink of economic cataclysm. syn: Fiasco, Catastrophe
Catalyst (n) Agent which brings about a chemical change while it remains unaffected. Any thing that causes changes to happen, without taking part in those changes. My meeting with an astrologer proved to be the catalyst and I put in my papers the subsequent day.
Catapult (n & v) A device that can push or throw something at high speed. Hence, to be pushed in such a way It was the movie Zanjeer that really catapulted the Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan to the top of the charts.
Cataract (n) (1) Large waterfall, Downpour of rain (2) Eye-complaint causing partial blindness (2) He showed the first symptoms of cataract about a year ago, and now he can barely see.
Catastrophe (n) An unexpected, disastrous event that causes great suffering The fire accident at the cinema was a catastrophe waiting to happen; the theater owners had totally disregarded fire-safety norms in the construction of the building. syn: Calamity
Catcall (n & v) Loud shout of disapproval The restless crowd let out a series of catcalls when the actor failed to remember his dialogue at a crucial point in the play.
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.
Categorical (adj) Without exceptions, Unqualified, Absolute The industrialist has categorically denied that he had tried to bribe the government official in order to win the contract.
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.
Catharsis (n) Outlet to emotion provided by witnessing an event such as a musical show. Hence, any strong flow of feelings that provides a relief The comedy provided the perfect catharsis for all of us, after we had gone through a week of college examinations.
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
Caulk (v) Make watertight by filling in cracks The mason caulked the water chamber by filling in cement in all the cracks that were beginning to develop at the bottom.
Causal (adj) Of the nature of cause and effect Sociologists all over the world have tried to establish a causal relationship between violence on the TV screen and violence in real life.
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
Cauterize (v) To burn the surface of living tissue to destroy infection or stop bleeding. As soon as they brought him to the dispensary, the doctor decided to cauterize the wound so that the infection would not spread.
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
Cede (v) Yield to, Surrender formally China ceded Hong Kong to Britain after the Opium War. syn: Admit, Grant
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
Celestial (adj) (1) Of the sky or heaven (2) Divinely beautiful (1) Asteroids are celestial bodies that form a belt between Mars and Jupiter, and are considered to have originated by the explosion of what had originally been a planet. syn: Divine
Celibate (n & adj) Not married, Bound or resolved not to marry To please the goddess, the poor farmer took the oath of celibacy and never married all his life. ant: Married
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.
Cerebral (adj) Pertaining to the brain. Also, intellectual The film was too cerebral for me; I could not understand most of it.
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 The blue colored aircraft soon merged with the cerulean sky, and it was impossible to spot its flight from the ground. syn: Azure
Cessation (n) A temporary stoppage As soon as he saw the white flag, the general ordered a complete cessation of firing. syn: Pause ant: Beginning
Chafe (v) (1) To rub so as to wear away. (2) To become impatient or annoyed (1) The bracelet was so tight that it chafed my wrist, so I was forced to remove it. (2) The passengers were beginning to chafe at the delay in their flight. syn: (1) Abrade.
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
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.
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.
Chalet (n) Cottage, small hut in a camp etc. The Millers own that chalet on the hill, and often come here in summers on a holiday.
Chalice (n) A gold or silver ornamental cup, usu. used to hold wine Seated at the head of the table, the host raised his chalice high in the air and toasted to the well being of all present.
Champion (v & n) To fight for a cause, defend strongly. Hence, someone who champions a cause Professor Clarke of the Cambridge University is among the strongest champions of constitutional reforms in the country today.
Chaotic (adj) In utter disorder Though the idea of the business was good, his chaotic way of managing things ultimately led to its closure. ant: Orderly
Chaperon (n & v) One who accompanies, usu. a younger or weaker person At the age of twelve, he hates being chaperoned by his mother to school each day.
Charade (n) Something easily seen as false and untrue, hoax It was easy to see that his illness was just a charade -- he was perfectly all right and wanted to avoid going to the concert.
Charisma (n) Divine Gift, Great popular charm "As a popular film actor, his charisma can help him win the elections, but whether hell be able to deliver the goods as the mayor is totally another matter."
Charlatan (n) A pretender to knowledge or ability. As soon as people in one locality would realize that the miracle doctor was a charlatan, he would quickly pack his bags and move to another area. syn: Quack, Mountebank
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
Chasm (n) Gap, Break of continuity, Wide difference of feeling, interests between persons In India, over the decades, along with the standard of life, the chasm between the wealth levels of the rich and poor has also widened. syn: Abyss, Fissure, Void
Chassis (n) Base-frame of motor-car In the accident, the main body of the car was ripped from its chassis and landed in an explosion of broken glass and flying metal.
Chaste (adj) Pure in taste or style. Also, moral I was impressed with the simplicity of the architecture of the monument, the walls had simple, elegant designs and a few chaste lines. ant: Impure, Wanton
Chasten (v) To correct or discipline through punishment. Also to moderate, soften Used to riding his motorcycle at a great speed in the past, he is now considerably chastened after the accident he has had. ant: Reward
Chastise (v) Punish or blame severely, esp. by beating The Security and Exchange Commission has chastised the management of several Fortune 1000 companies for deliberately inflating the value of their stock by giving unsubstantiated statements to the press.
Chateau (n) A castle or large house in France The Silicon Valley tycoon has just bought a large chateau just outside Paris, where he plans to spend his vacations.
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.
Chauvinism (n) (1) Excessive,often unreasonable admiration for ones country (2) Unreasonable belief that the sex to which one belongs is better than the other. In a very chauvinistic remark,the actor said that he will always earn more than whoever he will marry.
Checkered (adj) Marked by changes in fortune Hes had quite a checkered career, starting as a humble clerk and rising to the position of a general manager, quitting his job to start his own firm, now, after the failure of his venture, hes back to seeking a job.
Cherubic (adj) Angelic, Innocent-looking, Very pretty, esp. for a child "The young widow came to the party with her two cherubic children, a boy and a girl, both of them the cutest little creatures Ive ever seen."
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.
Chisel (n & v) Steel-edged tool with square beveled end for shaping wood With his miraculous set of hammer and chisel, the master sculptor transformed the ordinary piece of rock into the most exquisite statue of Lord Buddha.
Chivalrous (adj) Courteous, Honorable "There was hardly a woman at the ball who was not impressed by the Italians perfectly crafted features and his chivalrous manners." syn: Gallant
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
Choreography (n) Art of representing dances in written symbols, Arrangement of dances In a marvelous display of artistic choreography, the classical dancers from South India presented a wonderful spectacle of Kathakali dance at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Chortle (v) A laugh of pleasure and satisfaction, Chuckle "I think the way he chortled at your suggestion was rather rude; I didnt see anything funny in your suggestion."
Chronic (adj) Lingering, Lasting (of disease), Inveterate Being a chronic patient of asthma, he has to carry an inhaler with him wherever he goes. syn: Severe, Intense
Chronicle (n & v) Record of events in order of time, To make such a record "Todays newspaper has carried a chronicle of all the events leading to the impeachment motion of the President."
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.
Cinch (n) An easy or sure thing "With an impressive series of victories behind him this season, and his opponents weakness on clay courts, Sampras victory in the second round of the French Open was expected to be a cinch."
Cipher (n) (1) A system of writing in code (2) A person of no importance or influence (1) With regular practice, the two friends developed a system of writing in cipher which could only be understood by the two of them.
Circuitous (adj) Roundabout, Indirect I could never understand why he uses such circuitous language to convey something as simple as this -- I wonder if anybody can comprehend what he says. ant: Direct
Circumlocution (n) Evasive talk, A round-about expression, Use of many words where few would do "Though the spokesperson of the political party is considered a master at the art of circumlocution, even he was at a loss for words asked about his partys supporting the
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.
Circumvent (v) To avoid or defeat by going round something In his Independence Day speech, the Prime Minister totally circumvented the delicate issue of bilateral relations with our neighboring country, and spoke only of the achievements of his government.
Cistern (n) Reservoir or water tank The overhead cistern which supplies water to the two apartments was choked, because of which we did not have any water yesterday.
Citadel (n) (1) Fortress (one guarding or dominating a city) (2) Any secure place Seeing that he was in danger of being captured by the enemy forces, the king hurriedly retreated to his citadel on the hill.
Cite (v) To mention or quote, usu. as an example The concluding part of the report on development in Asian countries cites the example of Indonesia, which has been able to make considerable economic progress despite severe difficulties within the economy.
Clairvoyance (n) Having the power to see mentally what is happening or exists out of sight. Acute perception, esp. of what is not ordinarily discernible As if gifted with clairvoyance, I had a feeling that the meeting would be a failure. 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.
Clamor (n & v) Loud, confused noise To make such noise There was no way I could have heard her voice above the loud clamor of the children playing in the field.
Clandestine (adj) Done secretly In a clandestine operation that came to light only when the bank opened the following day, a daring group of robbers stole over million worth of cash and precious stones. syn: Surreptitious ant: Overt
Clangor (n) Succession of loud, clanging noises A clangor of loud bells and gongs could be heard from an Indian temple nearby, as devotees had made a long queue that extended till the parking lot.
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
Clasp (v & n) Fasten, Encircle, Hold closely Anything that clasps The enormous gorilla clasped his neck with his bare hands, and he could not even let out a shriek. syn: Embrace
Claustrophobia (n) Fear of being locked up in a small enclosed space "Im feeling rather claustrophobic in this small room, so Im going out for a stroll in the park."
Cleave (v) Split, chop, break or come apart The butcher expertly cleaved the large piece of meat into small, edible pieces with his sharp knife.
Cleft (n) A crack, split or fissure "However hard they are trying to behave normally as if nothing has happened, the cleft in their friendship since last Sundays incident is unmistakable."
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
Cliché (n) Phrase dulled in meaning by repetition However cliched this may sound to everyone here, honesty, for me, will always remain the best policy. ant: Novelty
Clientele (n) Those who use the services of a business "The eminent tax consultants clientele consisted of the rich and famous of the Chicago high society."
Climactic (adj) Relating to the climax or the highest point With the two teams tied at 95 points each and just 5 minutes remaining, the basketball match was poised for a climactic finish.
Climatic (adj) Relating to the climate The progress of this region has been hampered because of very harsh climactic conditions -- the average temperature in this area is over 40 degree Celsius.
Clique (n) A small and exclusive coterie of persons, group of persons united by common interest Though the four industrialists were fierce competitors of each other, they were also the members of an exclusive clique that helped anti-government activists.
Clod (n) A lump or mass, esp. of clay. Also clumsy, stupid, awkward person He buried the treasure in a remote corner of the field and marked the spot with a harmless-looking clod of mud.
Cloister (v & n) To shut oneself away from the world, Live in or as if in a monastery or a convent For over three years, he lived a cloistered life in the Himalayas, trying to discover the secrets of life. syn: Sequester, Seclude
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
Coagulate (v) Change from a liquid to a solid state The coagulation of blood on its impact with air is a perfect example of how the human body has built-in defense mechanisms to protect itself. syn: Congeal ant: Dissipate
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
Coalition (n) A temporary collaboration between political parties to attain specific ends The two political parties, ideologically opposite to each other, came together to form a coalition government; no one thought that this alliance would last long.
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.
Coddle (v) To pamper, Treat protectively, or as a child Mrs. Robinson, the rich lady next door, coddles her little puppy as if it were her own child, feeding it with the choicest of cookies and keeping it in a specially designed kennel. syn: Mollycoddle
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.
Codify (v) Arrange as a code, Classify The message was received in a codified format, and it took the secret service nearly a week to completely decipher it.
Coerce (v) To make someone do something by force She had to coerce her little daughter to swallow the bitter medicine. syn: Compel
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.
Cognitive (adj) Having to do with knowing or receiving, Related to the mental processes The accident has severely impaired his cognitive abilities -- there are times when he is not even able to recognize his own brother.
Cognizant (adj) Being aware of or having knowledge of something The court was shocked to discover that the key witness had been cognizant about the identity of the culprit throughout the proceedings of the case, despite taking an oath in court. ant: Ignorant
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
Cohere (v) Stick together, remain united, Be consistent Even though the story had various sub-plots, the film had been so well-directed that the narration never lacked coherence.
Cohesion (n) Sticking together, Tendency to remain united According to the experts, the main reason for the remarkable performance of the Australian cricket team in recent times is its cohesion as a team at all times. ant: Independence
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.
Collaborate (v) Work together, Cooperate The film has been made as an Indo-American collaboration; while the producer and most of the cast is Indian, the technical crew is almost entirely American.
Collage (n) Work of art put together from fragments The landscape of the area presented a beautiful collage of various geographical features -- green hills, a river flowing across, a waterfall and also a patch of dry, rocky land.
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.
Collateral (n) (1) Property pledged against a debt (2) Additional, but with less importance (1) In order to get a loan for paying your tuition fees, you will need to provide a collateral worth at least twice the amount of loan to the bank.
Colloquial (adj) Language in ordinary, informal usage. Not used in formal language Many expressions in English which have only been used colloquially so far, are now being accepted as a part of the formal English language. ant: Polished
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.
Colossal (adj) Gigantic, Huge "The losses suffered by the company over the last several years have accumulated to a colossal figure of over ten million dollars; theres no way that the economic fortune of the company can be revived." syn: Gargantuan
Comatose (adj) (1) In a coma, deeply unconscious (2) Extremely sleepy and inactive (1) She has been rendered comatose ever since she heard the news of the demise of his 20-year old son. syn: (2) Torpid ant: Alert
Combustible (adj) Capable of or used for burning He had no idea that the liquid in the bucket was combustible, so was totally taken aback when it burst into flames as soon as he accidentally dropped cigarette ash into it.
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
Commandeer (v) To seize for military service Fearing that our vehicle could be commandeered because of the war-like situation building up, we decided to hide it in our farmhouse which was unlikely to be searched.
Commemorate (v) To honor a memory through a ceremony Indians commemorate Mahatma Gandhi by observing a two-minute silence on January 30, the day the Father of the Nation was assassinated.
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.
Commiserate (v) To feel or express sorrow or compassion, to condole with The Prime Minister has said that he commiserates with those who have lost their dear ones in the explosion, and affirmed that the terrorists behind the dreadful act will not be spared.
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
Communal (adj) (1) Shared by all members of a group (2) Related to, or based on, racial, religious, or language groups (1) This room serves as a communal living room for all the inhabitants of this infirmary; all of them gather here every evening to watch the tel
Communion (n) Sharing or exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings on a religious issue He considered his frequent visits to the shrine at the top of the hill as his way of communion with the Almighty.
Compatible (adj) Able to exist together, harmonious Though they had known each other for over a year, it was only after they got married that they realized that their ideas were just not compatible with each other. ant: Incompatible
Compelling (adj) Overpowering, Irresistible in effect His blood-stained shirt proved to be the decisive and compelling evidence against him, and the judge had no difficulty in declaring him guilty.
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
Compensatory (adj) Repaying, Making up for Since he had come to the office on Sunday, he was granted a compensatory leave on Tuesday.
Complacent (adj) Pleased with oneself, smug Winning the earlier rounds with ease had made him quite complacent, which proved to be the major reason for his loss in the semi-finals. ant: Dissatisfied
Complaisant (adj) Willing to please others, that is, obliging and gracious His complaisance makes him very popular in the neighborhood -- he is always willing to run errands for others. syn: Amiable ant: Obdurate
Complement (n & v) That which completes "The two brothers made a good team as they perfectly complemented each others abilities -- while Frank was good at reasoning and analyzing things, Joe was adept at putting plans into action." syn: Eulogize ant: Disparage(me
Compliant (adj) Action in accordance with request, Conformity in fulfilling requirements All the cars manufactured in India since April 2000 comply with the Euro-II emission standards for pollution control. ant: Adamant
Complicity (n) Involvement in wrong doing While it was obvious from the beginning that the notorious swindler was involved in the fraudulent shares case, the complicity of the reputed stock broker in the same case came as a shock to most people.
Comport (v) Behave (oneself) in a stated way "She comported herself with great dignity at her husbands funeral." syn: Accord
Composure (n) Mental calmness, a steady, unworried state of the mind "She was a picture of absolute grace and composure at her husbands funeral -- remarkably concealing the turmoil within herself."
Compromise (n & v) Settlement by mutual concession, Adjustment of conflicting opinions The negotiations between the players and management continued for over two weeks before a compromise could be reached between the two parties, with the players agreeing to partic
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
Concave (adj) With outline or surface curved like interior of circle or sphere He was shocked to see his distorted reflection in the mirror, before he realized that he was looking into a concave mirror. ant: Convex
Concede (v) To admit as correct, often unwillingly. Also, to provide a right, allow With great reluctance, the manager conceded that he had been wrong in assuming that the customer would make the payment in time.
Conceit (n) Too high a notion of oneself "She is so full of conceit that she regards everybody elses opinion as incorrect, and thinks that only she is right."
Concentric (adj) Having a common center Concentric circles are two circles which have the same center, and thus can never intersect each other.
Conception (n) A general idea or understanding. Also, the act of forming such idea Even after being duped by him, she still believes in her conception that people are basically good.
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
Concierge (n) A person who looks after the entrance to a block of flats or a hotel As per my usual routine, I locked my apartment, came down the stairs, handed the apartment key to the concierge, and left for my work.
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
Concise (adj) Expressing a lot in few words, Brief and to-the-point The question paper clearly asked for clear and concise answers, so you were bound to lose marks for giving such meaninglessly lengthy and descriptive answers. syn: Terse, Pithy, Succinct
Conclave (n) A private meeting or secret assembly The final decision about the merger of the company was taken at a secret conclave held yesterday at an undisclosed venue and attended by the chairman and a select team from the top management.
Concoct (v) (1) Make up of mixed ingredients (2) To invent so as to deceive (1) He quickly mixed a few liquids and came up with a purple-colored concoction, which I did not have the heart to drink. (2) When asked by the teacher about the delay in submitting his
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."
Concur (v) (1) Happen together, Coincide (2) Agree, Have the same opinion (1) No one had expected that the two highly improbable events would concur, so their occurrence at the same time took astronomers all over the world by complete surprise. (2) I concur wit
Concussion (v) Brain damage caused by a heavy blow or shock, usually temporary The doctor has diagnosed his injury as a mild concussion, and has advised complete rest for at least a week.
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
Condiment (n) Thing used to give flavor to food, Seasoning The Kashmiri dish had several peculiar spices and herbs added as condiments, giving it the most exquisite aroma and flavor.
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."
Condone (v) Forgive, Pardon, Overlook "To condone a childs nagging and demanding behavior as mere childishness is a sure way of spoiling the child." ant: Decry, Dence
Condor (n) Large American vulture The National Geographic team camped in the Peruvian Andes for nearly a week before it could photograph a huge condor swooping down on its prey.
Conducive (adj) Likely to yield the desired result, Helping to make something happen The lawlessness and backwardness that prevails in this state is just not conducive to economic development. ant: Counteract
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?"
Confidant (n) Person trusted with private affairs His most trusted confidant, with whom he had unhesitatingly shared all his secrets, betrayed him and led to his ruin.
Confine (v) To keep within limits, Restrict The disease is now no longer confined to the poor, ignorant people; it has been reported even in the upper class society.
Confiscate (v) Seize with authority The police has confiscated his passport to prevent him from leaving the country.
Conflagration (n) Great and destructive fire. Also, 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.
Conform (v) To obey or act in accordance with established rules "In an age when Indian women were expected to blindly conform to their husbands wishes, she took the audacious step of having an affair outside her marriage."
Confound (v) To confuse by being unexpected The master batsman, by anncing his desire to retire at the prime of his career, has confounded the entire nation. syn: Perplex, Discomfit
Confront (v) To face bravely or threateningly I had barely stepped out of the airport in the unfamiliar African country when a group of tough looking men confronted me and asked me if I wished to change my dollars to the local currency.
Confute (v) To prove to be wrong The latest findings in the field of human genetics had effectively confuted the theory that racism stems from genetic differences between human beings. syn: Disprove.
Congeal (v) To change from a fluid to a solid, harden Due to the sudden fall in temperature, the molten liquid began to congeal and form round yellow spots all over the surface of the white sheet. syn: Solidify, Coagulate
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.
Congenital (adj) Existing from birth (usu. a disease) "That twisted thumb of his is a congenital defect - theres nothing that doctors can do about it."
Conglomerate (n) (1) A large business organization comprising several distinct companies (2) Mass of different materials gathered together (1) The three banks have decided to merge and form the largest financial conglomerate in the world.
Congruent (adj) Having the same shape and size as another or each other The exteriors of the two adjacent buildings have such congruent designs that I always get confused and enter the wrong one.
Conifer (n) Cone-bearing plant Coniferous trees on the hills have narrow, pointed leaves called needles so that the snow which falls on them can easily slip off.
Conjecture (n & v) Formation of opinion without sufficient grounds, Guessing My conjecture that the company would find itself in financial difficulties came true sooner than I had thought. ant: Certainty
Conjugal (adj) Pertaining to marriage The prison allows conjugal visits thrice a week, when you can see a number of women outside the prison gates waiting to meet their prisoner husbands. syn: Connubial
Conjure (v) To cause to appear as if by magic, To practice magic. Also, to create in the mind As soon as he came on to the stage, the magician conjured up a packet of toffees from his hat, and threw the toffees at the children to their utter delight. My visit to
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.
Connoisseur (n) An expert on a subject, such as art or music, A person having deep knowledge on a particular subject "Im no connoisseur of wines, but I know a good one when I taste one."
Connotation (n) Suggested or implied meaning of an expression "It was not appropriate for him to have used the word shrewd to describe his predecessor -- that word has a distinctly negative connotation."
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.
Conscientious (adj) (1) Showing great seriousness of purpose (2) Scrupulous, Obedient to conscience (1) I took a conscientious decision to visit my ailing grand uncle at least once a week, knowing that he had no children who could take care of him. (2) The old cab dri
Conscript (v) Summon for compulsory military service Some countries have a law by which as soon as a man turns 18, he is conscripted to serve in the army for a minimum period of two years.
Consecrate (v) (1) To dedicate to sacred or religious use (2) To devote to a specific cause She consecrated her whole life to the service of the poor and the destitute. ant: Desecrate
Consensus (n) A general agreement of opinion in a group Even after discussing the issue for over three hours, the committee could not reach a consensus on who should lead the expedition.
Consequential (adj) Important, Significant The committee took nearly two months to prepare its report on the next step in economic reforms, but nothing consequential has emerged from it. ant: Nugatory
Conservatory (n) (1) A glass-house for growing plants (2) School of the fine arts (especially music or drama) Being very fond of plants and greenery, he spends nearly three hours each day in the specially constructed conservatory adjacent to his room. ant: Wastrel
Consign (v) (1) Deliver officially, Hand over (2) Entrust something to someone (1) The goods have been consigned to you by a Lufthansa flight and should reach you by Friday. (2) After being implicated in a case of drug peddling, he was consigned to prison was si
Console (v) To give comfort in times of sadness I tried to console Liz on her break up with her boyfriend, but she seems to have gotten over it pretty fast.
Consolidate (v) Combine into one whole, Unify. Also, strengthen Conventional business logic says that before a company can embark on a growth path, it should concentrate on consolidating its area of operations.
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
Consort (v) To spend time in the company of (usu. used in a derogatory sense) The actor is such a perfectionist that he has been consorting with drug addicts over the past few weeks to prepare himself for his next movie, in which he plays one of them.
Conspicuous (adj) Clearly visible, Striking to the eye, Remarkable Her extraordinary height made her the most conspicuous person in the room.
Conspiracy (n) Treacherous plot, Combination for unlawful purpose He was aghast to read the file, which revealed that there was a conspiracy against him to keep him out of the committee. ant: Caucus
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.
Constituent (n & adj) Any of the parts that form a whole. Hence, being such a part The basic constituents of this mixture are ethyl alcohol and mint oil; the other ingredients are present in very small quantities.
Constraint (n) "Anything that limits or restricts ones freedom of action" Because of the severe financial constraints on the company, the management decided to impose cost-cutting measures for everyone concerned.
Construe (v) To explain or interpret in a particular way He construed her blank stare as boredom and stopped telling her about his new bike. ant: Misconstrue
Consummate (adj & v) Complete, Perfect, Accomplish By winning the election from an area which is far away from his usual constituency, he has proved himself to be a consummate politician.
Contagion (n) (1) Communication of disease from body to body (2) Any harmful influence that spreads from person to person (1) Thinking that the disease may be contagious, she decided not to attend her classes till she was cured.
Contaminate (v) Pollute, Infect The residents of the colony have complained to the civic authorities about the contaminated water supply, because of which several children in the colony have been taken ill. ant: Purify
Contemplate (v) Think deeply, Plan, Consider The government is contemplating levying an additional surcharge on income tax to contribute to a disaster management fund, a decision that is bound to raise a lot of objections. syn: Ruminate ant: (Contemplated) : Rando
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.
Contemporary (adj) Belonging to the present time, Modern. Also, co-existent with someone Although written hundreds of years ago, the Bhagwad Gita, an Indian religious epic, has a message that is very relevant in the contemporary world.
Contempt (n) Utter lack of respect, Feeling that something or someone is completely worthless or unimportant Her rude and authoritative nature was visible even as she was a child -- she used to treat her governess and other maid servants with utter contempt and d
Contend (v) (1) To struggle or compete against difficulties (2) To claim or state strongly (1) As if driving on the hills by night was not enough, the driver had to contend against heavy rains and stormy conditions.(2) The lawyer strongly contended that his clie
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
Contingent (adj) Dependent on, Conditional, Accidental "Success of the Indian cricket team in its forthcoming series against Australia is almost totally contingent on the effectiveness of its bowlers -- unless they perform well, theres no way India can win."
Contingent (n) Group that makes up part of a gathering As a matter of convention, the march past of teams at the opening ceremony of the Olympics is always led by the contingent from Greece, followed by the contingent from the host country.
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.
Contraband (adj) Smuggled, illegal goods The police caught him red handed as he was trying to smuggle contraband currency into the country.
Contraption (n) An awkward or old fashioned machine or device, esp. one that has not been of much use since long "If I had any idea how to use this strange mechanical contraption, I wouldnt be asking you for help."
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
Contrived (adj) Forced, Artificial, Not spontaneous "Even though he speaks with an accent, theres nothing contrived about his behavior -- I can vouch for his genuineness."
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.
Contusion (n) Bruise, Injure by blow without breaking skin My motorcycle skidded into a ditch on the highway, and I suffered a large contusion on my right shoulder.
Conundrum (n) Riddle, Any confusing situation "The interpretation of dreams remains a conundrum for psychoanalysts -- despite all the research that has gone into it, theres no acceptable model which can explain the phenomenon of dreams." syn: Enigma
Convene (v) To assemble for a meeting. Also, to call for such an assembly The meeting has apparently been convened to declare the best performers for the year, but I suspect that the principal intends to make other important anncements.
Convention (n) (1) Formal assembly (2) Social or moral custom, Established practice "(1) The International Astronomers convention will be held at the planetarium on Saturday, 24 February. (2) As a matter of convention, you are supposed to wear formal dark colored c
Converge (v) Approach, Tend to meet, Come together The two streams of water approach each other from different directions, and finally converge near this town to form this river.
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."
Converse (adj) Opposite, Contrary Even though he tried to convince us that his is a not-for-profit organization, the impression we got was just the converse.
Convert (n) Person converted to religious faith or life He was born a Hindu but became a convert to Buddhism at the age of twenty-two.
Convex (adj) Curving outward The normal magnifying glass is just a convex lens which makes an object looks larger than its actual size if viewed from a close distance. ant: Concave
Conviction (n) (1) Proving or finding guilty (2) A strong belief "(1) He has a long record of previous convictions for stealing on impulse; the first time he did it was when he was just fourteen. (2) He said it with so much conviction that theres no way I can doubt
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
Convoluted (adj) Coiled, Twisted Instead of the straight route that I usually take for my office, my colleague took me through a much longer, convoluted route. syn: Complicated
Copious (adj) Plentiful This vocabulary building software makes copious use of sentences to make the students understand the meaning of difficult words. syn: Abundant, Profuse ant: Scarcity
Coquette (n) A woman who behaves flirtatiously That flirtatious smile of hers is not meant just for you; she has a habit of behaving coquettishly towards all the members of the club.
Cordial (adj) Gracious, Warm and friendly The two families had perfectly cordial relations till about five years ago, but since then they have been involved in a property dispute which has made them bitter enemies.
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.
Cornucopia (n) Horn overflowing with fruit and grain, A symbol of abundance Having laid out a cornucopia of almost every kind of dish that the guests could possibly want, the hostess was very pleased with herself.
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.
Corporal (adj) Of the human body, Physical The principal had strictly warned the teachers against any kind of corporal punishment, yet Mr. Francis beat up the boy rather mercilessly with a wooden ruler.
Corporeal (adj) Tangible, Of or for the human body His stint in the army had taught his to live with a minimum of corporeal needs -- physical luxuries and comforts meant little to him. syn: Material
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
Corroborate (v) To support or strengthen an idea or opinion The fourth witness for the prosecution strongly corroborated what the earlier witnesses had stated, and the jury was quite convinced that the accused was indeed guilty of the crime. ant: Controvert
Corrode (v) Destroy by chemical action, Wear away The metal sheet that covered the garden had corroded because of the effects of rain and sunshine, and the garden was itself in a ruin.
Corrugated (adj) Wrinkled, Formed of wavelike folds A corrugated sheet of asbestos will not only prove stronger in the long run, it will also help water to drain through its grooves more easily.
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
Cosmic (adj) Pertaining to the universe. Also, extremely large Some people believe that what happens in their lives is influenced by great cosmic forces, over which they have no control.
Cosmopolitan (adj) (1) Consisting of people from various parts of the world (2) Broad-minded, showing wide experience of different people and places (1) Mumbai, the largest commercial center of India, is a cosmopolitan city where people from all parts of India have s
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 The Speaker of the Parliament has given a stern warning to all the members that he will no longer countenance such absenteeism from Parliamentary proceedings.
Countenance (n) Expression of the face I could see from her dismayed countenance that she was quite upset about not accompanying his husband on the tour. 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.
Coup (n) Violent or illegal change in government, Highly successful action or sudden attack In what is being seen as a diplomatic coup, the finance ministers of the two countries have agreed to sign on an agreement involving the sale of armaments.
Coup d etat (n) A political coup leading to a sudden overthrow of a government by force and violence "The coup detat took the monarch totally by surprise, as his own guards suddenly aimed their guns at him and the army general took charge of the kingdom."
Couple (v) Fasten, Link, Join, Unite High inflation coupled with poor industrial growth has severely hurt the economy in the last two quarters.
Courtly (adj) Dignified and polite Her courtly manners and pleasant way of speaking soon made her a very popular figure in the classroom.
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."
Covenant (n & v) Formal agreement between two or more people or groups Though the landlord said that a formal agreement was not required, I insisted that we sign a written covenant. syn: Pact, Contract, Treaty
Covert (adj) Secret, Hidden, Not openly shown or admitted He was assigned to a unit in the army that specialized in covert military operations, and such was the secrecy surrounding his work that even his wife was not aware of where he was posted. ant: Overt
Covetous (adj) "Too eager for wealth or property or someone elses possessions" "The poor farmers little children looked covetously at the beautiful toys and other goodies on display at the village fair." syn: Avaricious
Cow (v) To control by threat or violence "Fear of unemployment has cowed the workers into unconditional acceptance of the companys plans."
Cower (v) To bend low and move back because of fear At the sight of the ferocious dog, the cat cowered and ran for cover. syn: Cringe
Coy (adj) (Pretending to be) shy or embarrassed When asked about her ambitions in life, the shy teenager coyly answered that she wished to be a film actress. ant: Bold
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.
Crass (adj) Very unrefined, Grossly insensible Though he was sincerely apologetic for his crass behavior at the party, she was not willing to forgive him saying that it was not the first time he had talked so rudely to her. ant: Refined
Cravat (n) "A mans scarf, often worn in the open neck of a shirt in place of a necktie" He came dressed in a stylish cravat, instead of his usual sedate tie, and was looking handsome in a matching suit.
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
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.
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.
Credibility (n) The quality of deserving belief and trust Ever since we came to know about his achievements in the difficult markets of eastern Africa, his credibility among the company workers has increased tremendously.
Credo/Creed (n) A formal statement of beliefs The chairman insisted that each and every employee in the company should treat customer satisfaction as the most important credo of the company. syn: Creed
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.
Crescendo (n) Increase in the volume or intensity in a musical passage, Climax "In the last few weeks, criticism against the Womens Bill has reached a crescendo and only a formal statement by the Prime Minister can help to curb it." ant: Diminuendo
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
Cretin (n) Mentally underdeveloped person Looking at the exceedingly senseless behavior of my classmates, I felt at times that I belonged to a class of cretins.
Crevasse (n) A deep, open crack, esp. in thick ice Tragedy struck the Himalayan expedition on the sixth day, when one of the members slipped and fell into a crevasse.
Crevice (n) A narrow crack or opening, esp. in rock With remarkable speed, the snake slithered into a small crevice between the rocks.
Cringe (v) (1) To bend in fear (2) To behave without self-respect in front of someone in a superior politician (1) The little dog knows that its owner is angry with it and cringes in fear in a corner. (2) The photograph which showed him cringing in front of the
Criterion (n) Principle, Standard that a thing is judged by The main criterion for evaluating the performance of a car is the capacity of its engine.
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.
Crotchety (adj) Bad tempered Old Mr. Wilson turned crotchety at the very sight of Dennis, though the mischievous little boy was only too eager to spend time with him.
Crusty (adj) Having a harsh, rough exterior or a curt, rough manner The journalist was rather disappointed at the crusty attitude of the socialite; he had expected to get an exciting interview with her but she answered all his questions in monosyllables.
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."
Cryptic (adj) Mysterious, Hidden, Secret I could not figure out anything from the cryptic responses she gave to my questions. ant: Candid
Cubicle (n) Small chamber in an office etc. All the employees in the company are assigned to an independent cubicle, equipped with a computer and a telephone.
Cuisine (n) Style of cooking I could never adjust my taste buds to French cuisine, though I believe that some of the dishes are considered absolute delicacies.
Cul-de-sac (n) A blind alley, a passage or place with only one outlet The police hunt for the absconding criminal in the streets of Rome ended in a cul-de-sac; it was reported that he was seen in a bar in Germany.
Culinary (adj) Relating to cooking Though I cannot boast about my culinary skills, I can definitely cook a decent meal for both of us.
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
Culminate (v) Attain the highest point, Climax, End My arguments with my boss worsened with each passing day, and it all culminated in my being fired from the job.
Culpable (adj) Deserving blame for a wrongdoing Holding the CEO of the company culpable for all that had happened, the judge ruled that the ultimate responsibility for all the operations of the company rested with him.
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.
Cumbersome (adj) Heavy, Clumsy, Unwieldy The task appeared quite cumbersome to begin with, but once we got down to doing it. It was completed with relative ease.
Cumulative (adj) Growing by addition The cumulative effect of using all these pesticides and fertilizers could be disastrous for the soil.
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
Curtail (v) Shorten, Deprive of My father has decided to slowly curtail his business operations, as he knows that neither my brother nor I am interested in doing the business. ant: Lengthen
Curtsy (n) Feminine salutation made by bending knees and lowering body Before being taken to the royal palace for an official visit, the school children were taught how to properly curtsy to the Queen.
Cygnet (n) A young swan The beautiful cygnet ruffled its white feathers in the water.in a few weeks she would turn into a graceful swan.
Cynic (n) A person who distrusts human motives and intentions at all times A series of bitter experiences with those whom he thought were his friends had turned him into a hard-boiled cynic; he was not ready to trust any individual. ant: Trust
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.
Dabble (v) (1) Splash, Wet (oneself) (2) Work in a non-serious manner (1) The little girls playfully dabbled their feet in the fast flowing river. (2) He dabbled in fashion designing for a while, then deciding that he did not have the flair for it, took to purs
Daft (adj.) Silly, foolish It was a rather daft of him to drive at such high speed in wet weather; his stupidity could have cost him his life.
Dainty (adj.) (1) Pretty and delicate (2) Difficult to please (1) The dainty little girl had been brought up in such a protected environment that even at the age of 14, she found it difficult to cross the road by herself. (2) As a child, I used to be a very dai
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 "Dont dally over the question you cannot solve, just move on to the next question."
Dank (adj.) Unpleasantly wet and cold As we moved further down the cave, the atmosphere became cooler and more dank, suggesting that a source of water was not far away. ant: Dry
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 (adj.) Cowardly and bullying In the most dastardly act of cruelty, the terrorist group blindly fired on the wedding party, not sparing even the infants. syn: Cowardly ant: Heroic
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.
Daunt (v) To discourage, intimidate or frighten Though he has appeared twice for the GRE, getting a low score both the times, he is not daunted and is preparing to take the exam for the third time.
Dauntless (adj.) Persevering, Bold Exhausted in the battle which had now continued for over three months, the valiant soldiers went on fighting dauntlessly till the two nations decided to call a truce. syn: Intrepid ant: Timid
Dawdle (v & n) To waste time in doing nothing, Act of dawdling; A dawdling person The office was closed and I had nothing to do, so I lazily dawdled in front of the television all morning. syn: Idle
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
Deadlock (v & n) A situation in which agreement in an argument cannot be reached because neither side will change its demands or accept any of the demands of the other side. The negotiations between the disputing parties reached a deadlock when neither was willin
Deadpan (n) Expressionless (face) He had the remarkable ability to narrate the funniest of incidents with the most deadpan expression on his face.
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. While the elder son of the family had left all worldly possessions for spiritual enlightenment, the younger son had fallen into bad company and had been debauche
Debilitate (v) Enfeeble, to weaken She never really recovered from the shock of the death of her husband, and gradually debilitated into a poor shadow of her former robust self. ant: Strengthen
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
Debris (n) Scattered fragments, Wreckage In a tragic accident, six children were killed when they were buried under the debris of the school building which partially collapsed because of faulty construction. syn: Rubble
Debunk (v) To show that something is not as good as or not as true as it appears In his article, the scientist has tried to debunk the widespread belief that the experiments in genetic cloning could lead to the creation of human life in a laboratory.
Debutante (n) Woman performer performing before public for first time For a debutante, her dance performance was amazingly graceful; it was difficult to believe that it was the first time she was performing for an audience.
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
Decapitate (v) (1) Behead (esp. as legal punishment) (2) Dismiss abruptly from office (1) Since the bodies were found decapitated, the police found it very difficult to identify them.
Decelerate (v) Make slower The doctor said that his hectic pace of life was the main reason for the stress he was facing, and advised him to decelerate and take things easier.
Deciduous (adj.) Falling off as of leaves, Shed leaves periodically or normally The park was lined by series of deciduous trees, and it being autumn, there were hardly any leaves on them.
Decimate (v) To destroy or kill a large proportion of If this cholera epidemic is not contained within the next few days, it can decimate the entire population of all these adjoining villages. syn: Massacre, Slaughter
Decipher (v) Interpret secret code so as to understand it, Decode Not being able to decipher the coded message they had intercepted, the German army officers decided to take the help of an expert from Italy, who was known for his encoding and deciphering skills.
Decomposition (n) Decay When the corpse was found by the police, decomposition had just begun to set in and the detective could establish the time of the murder.
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
Decoy (n & v) Something or someone used to trick or confuse others into doing something, Bait "The gang of thieves used an innocent looking young girl as a decoy to gain entry into their victims households."
Decrepit (adj.) Worn out by age, Enfeebled with age, Wasted I found the former football coach in a rather decrepit condition, living all by himself in a small house and wearing shabby clothes. ant: Youthful
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
Deducible (adj.) Derived by reasoning "From the facts youve given to me, it is not deducible whether this investment is worthwhile; I will need more information."
Deface (v) To mar, disfigure or spoil something Harold was fined for defacing the library books. syn: Disfigure
Defame (v) "Harm someones reputation, or speak ill of" A group of Hindu fundamentalists has charged that the film defamed their religion, and have hence sought a ban on the exhibition of the film.
Default (v & n) 1) Fail to act or appear 2) That which exists or happens on its own, if not intentionally changed (1) If you default on returning the payment on time, you are liable to pay a fine. (2) The computer program takes ABC as a default name for a user,
Defeatist (n) Pessimist, Person who expects to lose or fail and therefore does not really try This defeatist attitude will get you nowhere; start believing in yourself and do not give up.
Defection (n) Desertion, Falling away from allegiance to party or duty In order to curb the unhealthy political practice of people frequently leaving one political party to join another, the government is planning to implement an anti-defection law.
Defer (v) 1) Give in respectfully, Submit 2) Put off, Postpone, Delay till later, Exempt temporarily (2) The board meeting has been deferred till next Tuesday as the chairman is not well.
Deference (n) "Compliance with advice, Courteous regard for anothers wish" In deference to Indian custom, they had to take off their shoes before entering the temple. ant: Contempt
Defiance (n) Refusal to yield, Open disobedience, Resistance Though the underarm bowling action was not in defiance to any rule in the Book of Cricket Laws, it was so unusual that no one had thought that it would actually be used by a player in an official cricke
Defile (v) Pollute, Spoil the beauty of something A number of concrete structures had sprung up on the hills, defiling the beautiful landscape and the greenery. syn: Befoul, Desecrate ant: Purify
Definitive (adj.) Final, Complete Though I do not have a definitive solution to your problem, I think you can go through this document as it provides a temporary means of support. syn: Decisive, Unconditional
Deflect (v) Bend aside, Turn aside The little girl very cleverly deflected my question about the occupation of her father, asking me instead about the gadget in my hand. syn: Deviate
Defoliate (v) To remove leaves, usu. by action of chemicals etc. Fearing that the disease that had struck a part of his crop might spread to the entire field, the farmer decided to defoliate a large part of his crop.
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.
Deft (adj.) Neat, Skillful Under the deft management of Mr. Steinwood, our company has registered a growth in sales of over 30
Defunct (adj.) Dead, No longer in use or existence Since we purchased this new washing machine which has a built in drier, our old machine has been lying defunct in the attic.
Degenerate (adj. & n) 1) Become worse, Deteriorate 2) Degenerate person or animal What started off as a fine meaningful film inexplicably degenerated into a senseless potboiler.
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
Dehydrate (v) Remove water from, Dry out, Lose water After walking in the sun for nearly an hour, I was feeling quite dehydrated and was desperately looking for water to drink.
Deify (v) Turn into a god, Idolize, Regard as a god In South India, film actors are deified to such an extent that one actress even has a temple exclusively devoted to her.
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."
Delectable (adj.) Delightful, Delicious For her most delectable performance in this unusual film about a mother and her spastic daughter, Florina Campbell, playing the daughter, has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress category.
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.
Deliberate (v & adj.) 1) Consider, Think carefully 2) Intentional, Fully considered (1) Mr. Bowler has asked me to deliberate over the proposal for a few days before giving a definitive answer.(2) Slowly and deliberately, he poured gasoline over the dossier of docu
Delineate (v) Portray, Depict, Sketch As a good manager, you should be able to clearly delineate the tasks for all your subordinates.
Delirium (n) Mental disorder marked by confusion, Great excitement Because of the high fever, he has now been in a state of delirium for quite some time, mumbling incoherently even when he is asleep.
Deliverance (n) Release or rescue Each year, hundreds of people gather in this church on Good Friday to pray to the Lord for deliverance from their sins.
Delude (v) Mislead, fool, dupe, gull The thieves deluded the old woman into thinking that they had been sent by the telephone department to set right the faulty line. syn: Cozen, Deceive
Deluge (n & v) Flood, Rush, Inundation He let out a deluge of swear words at the peon for spilling ink on his shirt.
Delve (v) Dig, Investigate "I had told you that delving into his past would be futile; hes got a very clean record behind him."
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
Demean (v) Degrade, Humiliate "Several womens organizations have severely criticized this advertisement, saying that it is demeaning to the dignity of women."
Demeanor (n) Behavior, outward bearing or manner There was nothing in his demeanor to suggest that he had been upset by the news of the stock market crash. syn: Mien, Deportment.
Demented (adj.) Insane, driven mad She is so secretive that trying to get anything out of her can make any normal person demented.
Demolition (n) Destruction The government has ordered to demolish all the unauthorized buildings and shops in the area.
Demur (v & n) To express disagreement or refusal to do something I requested the professor to defer the last date for submitting the thesis, but he demurred saying that he has given enough time for completion of the report. syn: Staid
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."
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
Denizen (n) Inhabitant, occupant. Also, an alien admitted to the rights of citizenship, a naturalized citizen Rupert is among the longest-serving denizens in this organization; he has been around for ever since I can remember.
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
Dence (v) Condemn, Criticize "The governments decision to raise the income tax by as much as 10
Depict (v) Portray, Present in drawing or colors M.F. Husain, the noted Indian painter, has depicted an Indian film actress as an Indian goddess in a series of his paintings.
Deplete (v) Reduce, Exhaust, Empty out He has depleted all the money that he had borrowed from me, and is now back again asking for more.
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
Deploy (v) Spread out (troops) in an extended line, bring into effective action The general has called for the deployment of troops along the international boundary, fearing an attack from the other side.
Deportation (n) Official removal of a person from a country According to the laws of this country, a foreigner who has sought asylum in the country cannot be deported to his country till his case has been decided, which can take upto a year.
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
Depose (v) Dethrone, Remove from office Margaret Thatcher was deposed as a leader of the British Conservative Party in 1991.
Deposition (n) A written testimony given under oath, a sworn statement. His deposition provided to the court clearly stated that his company had never conducted any overseas business, even though the records seized from the company premises reveal a different story
Depravity (n) Extreme corruption, Wickedness, Moral perversion In an act of utter depravity, he betrayed his brother at the hands of the criminal for a sum of ant: Goodness
Deprecate (v) Express disapproval of, Protest against The teacher gave the boys a deprecating glance and told them to be quiet.
Depreciate (v) Lessen in value Over the last fifteen months, the value of the Canadian dollar has depreciated by nearly 20
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
Deranged (n) Insane, Disturbed Working in the lunatic asylum as a security guard took its toll on him and he himself became a little deranged after he retired.
Derelict (adj. & n) Abandoned, Negligent, Abandoned property or forsaken person Forgotten by his relatives and having no children, his last few years were spent in misery as a derelict.
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
Derivative (adj. & n) Unoriginal, Derived from another source His paintings are terrible derivatives of the works of great masters such as Dali and Rembrandt.
Dermatologist (n) One who studies the skin and its diseases Since the blisters on his left hand had begun to itch badly, he finally decided to consult a dermatologist.
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
Desecrate (v) Deprive of sacred character; Outrage The tribal chief ruled that the foreigner, by clicking a photograph of their deity, had desecrated their religion and would be punished. syn: Sully ant: Consecrate
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
Desolate (adj. & v) 1) Lonely, Left alone, A barren state 2) Depopulate, make wretched The sudden demise of her husband left her in a desolate state, until her younger daughter came to live with her.
Desperado (n) A desperate criminal or law breaker Knowing that there were not too many places to hide, the desperado forcibly entered an apartment, took its inmates captive, and threatened to kill them if he was hunted by the police.
Despise (v) Look on with scorn, Regard as worthless or distasteful I really despise the way he blindly goes after money; I can never think of being so materialistic.
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
Despondent (adj.) Depressed, Gloomy Why are you looking so despondent? Cheer up!
Despot (n) A Harsh and absolute ruler, Tyrant As opposed to his predecessor who was a cruel despot, the new king was kind and concerned about the welfare of his people.
Destitute (adj.) Extremely poor, Without resources The heavy losses he incurred on the share market as well as in his own business left him destitute and impoverished; he had no option but to plead before his elder brother for a loan. ant: Affluent
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.
Deterrent (adj. & n) Something that discourages, Hindrance Advocates of capital punishment have often argued that the fear of death can prove to be a deterrent against crime, so it should not be altogether done away with in our legal system.
Detonate (v) To cause to explode The police are not ready to accept the theory that the bomb was detonated from a distant location by a remote device.
Detract (v) To take away, To make something less valuable or less deserving of admiration She is so naturally beautiful that the heavy make-up only detracts from her beauty.
Detrimental (adj.) Harmful, Damaging That smoking is harmful is a well known fact, what is not so well known that it is detrimental even to the life of the unborn child or the fetus.
Deviate (v) Turn away from, Depart, Diverge The residents of this hostel are expected to strictly adhere to the routine laid out for them, and not deviate from it in any respect.
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.
Devise (v & n) Think up, Invent, Plan Within two weeks, the team of professionals drawn from various fields was able to devise a comprehensive plan for tackling the problem of rising pollution levels in the city.
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.
Devotee (n) Enthusiastic follower Devotees of Lord Ganesha, the Indian God, gather on the banks of this river in July every year and celebrate the festival with great religious fervor.
Devout (adj.) Religious, Pious Being a devout Muslim, he makes it a point to offer his prayers five times a day despite his busy schedule. ant: Impious
Dexterous (adj.) Deft, Neat-handed, Mentally adroit, Skillful With a few dexterous strokes of his paintbrush, the master artist, performing as if he were a magician, transformed the sickly looking figure on the canvas into an imperious prince.
Diabolical (adj.) Devilish, Atrociously cruel or wicked The boy could no longer tolerate the diabolical treatment meted out to him by his master, and ran away. syn: Fiendish ant: Seraphic
Diagnosis (n) "Identification of disease by means of patients symptoms" The doctor has made an initial diagnosis, but has also asked me to take the opinion of a specialist.
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 val attack, Denunciation "As expected, the opposition leader launched a diatribe against the governments finance policies almost as soon as he started his speech." syn: Inveigh ant: Praise
Dichotomy (n) Split, Division into two The dichotomy between what he says and what he does is sometimes so glaring that I sometimes wonder whether he is mentally a little fragile.
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
Diffuse (v & adj.) 1) Send forth, Spread out 2) Not concise, not concentrated, Rambling In addition to being a source of information, the Internet can also be an excellent means of diffusion of learning and education across geographical borders.
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
Dilapidated (adj.) In poor condition because of age and/or lack of care Except for the dilapidated old chair that was still intact, most of the other furniture in the room was broken or had simply wasted away.
Dilate (v) Expand, Widen, Enlarge, Make or become wider The pupils of the eye become small as soon as light falls on them, whereas darkness makes them dilate. ant: Narrow
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
Dilemma (n) Problem, Argument forcing opponent to choose one of two alternatives Now that I have got another offer of employment, which sounds as good as the earlier one, I am in a dilemma as to which one to choose.
Dilettante (n) Person who dabbles in a subject for pleasure, An amateur Twenty year ago, she had started off as a dilettante, occasionally playing the violin at informal gatherings; today she is among the most acknowledged exponents of the instrument. ant: Profess
Diligence (n) Steadiness of effort, Persistent hard work The lawyer diligently pursued the case for nearly three months, discovering in the process certain startling facts about the death of the old doctor.
Dilute (v & adj.) Make less concentrated, Reduce in strength by adding water or other solvent; Weakened The company took a series of measures, including an anncement on television, to dilute the public fears about the safety of its new drug.
Diminutive (adj. & n) Remarkably small The baby monkey gathered the peanuts in its diminutive hands, not able to pick up more than two or three, and obediently gave them to its mother. syn: Exiguous.
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."
Diorama (n) Representation of scene with three dimensional figures, viewed through a window etc. The museum in Paris has a spectacular diorama of the storming of the Bastille prison.
Dire (adj.) Dreadful, Calamitous The rogue threatened the family of dire consequences if they reported the kidnapping to the police.
Dirge (n) A song or a poem of grief or of lamentation for the dead. As soon as the hospital authorities formally annced the passing away of the head of state, the television and radio stations in the country started playing a mournful dirge. syn: An elegy, A
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
Disarray (n) Disorderly or untidy state The extensive destruction to property because of the earthquake has caused complete disarray in the central budget for the next financial year; the government will have to find new ways to generate funds for the rehabilitat
Disavow (v) To refuse to claim knowledge of or responsibility for something The company was quick to disavow the rumor that it had plans to take over a loss-making production unit. syn: Abnegation
Disband (v) Dissolve, Disperse The day the three-member team was supposed to disband after the completion of the task came the news that they had been assigned another project and would have to work together for another three months. ant: Rally
Disburse (v) Pay out The 2nd working day of each month was the official day for the disbursement of wages, and it was also the day when the attendance in the factory was at a maximum.
Discernible (adj.) Distinguishable, Perceivable There is no discernible difference between these two paintings, and had you not told me, I could never have made out which one was the fake.
Disclaim (v) Disown, Rence legal claim to The management has disclaimed all responsibility for the accident in the factory, saying that the worker who was injured had come to the factory in an intoxicated state.
Disclose (v) Make known Unlike any other murder mystery, the identity of the killer is disclosed right at the beginning in this book, yet it makes for engrossing reading because of the way the detective goes about unraveling the motive and the method of the murde
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
Discourse (v & n) Speak or write in length on a subject. Also, any formal discussion. Many TV channels telecast a religious discourse in the morning, in which a religious spokesperson speaks about the benefits of spiritual pursuit.
Discredit (v & n) Defame, Destroy confidence in, Disbelieve However hard his employers tried to discredit him for his achievements, the prospective employed recognized his worth and offered him a plum job.
Discreet (adj.) Tactful in dealing with others. Also, done quietly, without coming in notice of others "Someone discreetly passed a note into my hand as I was reading my speech; I dont think anyone in the crowd would have noticed." syn: Prudent, Judicious
Discrepancy (n) Lack of consistency, Difference There was a minor discrepancy in the report he submitted to me on the performance of the company, but I let it pass because the overall presentation of the report was excellent.
Discrete (adj.) Separate, Individually distinct The veteran industrialist divided his company into three discrete divisions, which would be independently handled by each of his three sons. ant: Continuous
Discriminate (v) To be prejudiced, Unreasonably favor one side It hurt her bitterly when she realized that her parents discriminated between her brother and her, punishing here more severely for a similar fault.
Discriminating (adj.) Able to observe fine points or differences Indian marketers have now learnt that the consumers have become very discriminating, and a poor quality product will not sell however well it has been marketed.
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
Disdain (n & v) View with scorn or contempt With utter disdain for his feelings, she tore the card he had given to her into shreds.
Disembark (v) Go ashore, Unload cargo from a ship The captain of the ship requested all the passengers to wait for his signal before beginning to disembark from the ship.
Disenfranchise (v) Deprive of a civil right The Parliament is considering the passing of a law that will disenfranchise all those who have a proven criminal record, making them illegible to vote in the elections.
Disengage (v & n) Separate, Disconnect Over the last few weeks, ever since I have heard that the company may be closing down I have become rather disengaged from my work. syn: Uncouple
Disfigure (v) Mar beauty of, Deform The statue excavated at the archeological site has only been slightly disfigured despite being buried under the earth for over a thousand years. syn: Deface
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.
Disgruntled (adj.) Discontented, Moody, Sulky "I dont see a reason why you are so disgruntled with your job; you get such a good salary!"
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.
Dishearten (v) Discourage, Cause to lose courage or hope "Please dont be disheartened with your low GRE score; we know you have the potential to do well so you can always try again."
Disheveled (adj.) Untidy, Unkempt Visiting his residence early in the morning, I was a little surprised to find him in a disheveled state as he is usually so well dressed when I see him in the office. ant: Tidy
Disinclination (n) Absence of liking or willingness I expressed my disinclination to continue as the secretary of the housing society, saying that I had been too involved in my personal work to handle the job well.
Disingenuous (adj.) Lacking sincerity, Frankness or simplicity, Not straightforward The salesman was clearly being disingenuous, giving me the impression that the car was of 1998 make whereas I clearly knew that it was of an earlier make. syn: Deceitful
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.
Disjoint (v) To Dislocate, Disconnect He could only give a rather sketchy and disjointed account of the incident, despite the fact that he had seen it with his own eyes. ant: Connect
Dislodge (v) Remove, Turn out With his excellent series of scores in recent matches, Steve Waugh of Australia has dislodged Sachin Tendulkar of India from the position of the best batsman in the world.
Dismantle (v) Take apart The engineers dismantled the engine of the large vehicle to see what the problem was, and found that a valve was missing.
Dismember (v) Cut into small parts In the gruesome murder case, the murderer had killed his victim, dismembered the body, and buried each part of the body in a separate location on the field.
Disparage (v) To speak or treat with disrespect or contempt The teacher disparaged him in front of the whole class, saying that he was a good for nothing syn: Belittle. ant: Complement, Eulogize
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 (v & n) 1) Send off to a destination 2) Speed and effectiveness (1) The goods were dispatched from the port on Tuesday, and should arrive at the destination by Sunday. (2) The children finished their assignments with great dispatch, since their teacher h
Dispel (v) Scatter, Drive away, Cause to vanish If I had any doubts about his sincerity towards his job, they were dispelled when I saw him working for nearly 24 hours at a stretch in order to complete the assignment I had given to him.
Disperse (v) Throw or send in different directions When the protesters did not disperse even after the police had used tear gas, the administration had no option but to resort to firing in the air. syn: Scatter ant: Focus
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.
Dissection (n) Analysis, Cutting apart in order to examine Though the dissection of animals in biological experiments has contributed a lot to the field of medicine by telling us about the internal organs, many people still object to the cutting up of animals for t
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.
Dissent (v & n) 1) To think differently or disagree2) Difference of opinion Though he did not express dissent, I could see that he was not fully in agreement with the plan that the CEO had proposed. ant: Concur
Dissertation (n) Detailed discourse on a subject, esp. as submitted for higher degree in university For his doctoral degree, he plans to do a dissertation on What caused the Dotcom Doom?
Dissident (n) Rebellious, Person who disagrees with and criticizes the group to which he/she belongs Because of the unpopularity of the new leader in the political party, a number of its members had turned dissidents, which was a cause for worry for the leadership
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.
Dissipate (v) Squander, Waste, Scatter, Disperse Having spent two years in the same job, his enthusiasm had dissipated because the work was rather repetitive and monotonous. ant: Coagulate, Economize
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
Dissuade (v) Persuade not to do, Discourage I tried my best to dissuade him from going out in the harsh weather, but he did not listen to me and left for the club. ant: Exhort
Distant (adj.) Reserved or aloof, Far away from At first he appears to be quite distant and aloof, unconcerned about the people around him, but as you get to know him better, you realize that he is a very sensitive and caring person. ant: Proximate
Distend (v) Expand, Swell out Quite paradoxically, malnutrition in children causes their stomach to distend and they look quite well fed when they are actually starving. ant: Diminish
Distil (v) Extract the essence, Purify, Refine After going through a lot of websites, I managed to distil a lot of basic information about the various forms of oriental meditation, as required for my project.
Distinction (n) Making of a difference, honor, contrast, discrimination The government has clearly said that it will not make any distinction between these terrorist killings and cases of murder.
Distort (v) Twist out of shape This report is far removed from reality -- it gives a rather distorted picture of what actually happened on the battlefield.
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.
Distraught (adj.) Much agitated, Upset "Ive never seen him so nervous and distraught -- it looks as if the documents he cannot find must have contained something very important."
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."
Diurnal (adj.) Of or in the day, Of the daytime Being next to a desert, this town is marked by severe temperature fluctuation; while the diurnal temperature here is very high, nights are quite cold.
Diva (n) A famous female opera singer Madonna, the famous pop diva, has just released her latest album, which has songs quite unlike what she has sung in the past.
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.
Diverge (v) Vary, Go in different directions from the same point Now that he has established his reputation as a theater actor, his career has diverged dramatically from what he had set out to be -- a management consultant.
Diverse (adj.) Differing in some characteristics, Various The garden had a rich and diverse variety of flowers growing in it; the whole appearance was very colorful.
Diversion (n) Deflecting, Act of turning aside Since the road was closed because of some repair work, we were forced to take a diversion.
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
Divine (v & adj.) 1) Guess or discover by inspiration 2) From or like God, or a god, devoted to god, superhumanly excellent "(1) I divined from his cheerful expression that he had come with good news. (2) The expression on the monks face was one of divine peac
Divulge (v) Reveal or disclose You had promised you would not divulge my secret to anyone, then how did she get to know about it?
Docile (adj.) Submissive, Meek, Teachable, Easily Manageable My pet dog looks rather ferocious but it is actually quite docile and eager to make friends if you approach him correctly. syn: Amenable, Tractable. ant: Truculent
Doctrine (n) Teachings in general, Body of instruction "Mahatma Gandhis doctrine of Satyagraha, or request for the truth, is hardly followed by people protesting for their rights in modern day India."
Doff (v) To take off, as clothing or a hat The well dressed gentleman smartly doffed his hat as he passed the two ladies. syn: Remove ant: Don
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.
Dogma (n) Doctrine(s) put forward by authority, expected to be accepted without any doubts Even though his father has been a priest all his life, Stew strongly disapproves of all the dogma related to the Church and the Christian religion. syn: Principle ant:
Doldrums (n) Dullness, Lifelessness, Low spirit Having lost most of his savings in the stock market crash, his finances were in the doldrums as a large part of his salary went into paying off the loan he had taken to construct a house.
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
Dolt (n) Stupid person, Dull fellow, Blockhead "He was trying to take the large sofa down the stairs all by himself -- Ive never seen a dolt like him!" ant: Clever
Domicile (v & n) 1) Establish, Settle, Dwell 2) Home, Dwelling place Since he had not reported his change of domicile to the job consultants, the letter offering him the job could not reach his address.
Domineer (v) Rule over tyrannically He has such a domineering wife that she does not let him go anywhere without her permission.
Don (v & n) 1) Put on 2) Spanish title prefixed to Christian name As soon as the two ladies had passed him, the old gentleman quickly donned his hat back on his head. ant: Doff
Dormant (adj.) Inactive, Lethargic, Latent The volcano had remained dormant for over a hundred years, and most people thought it will never burst again. ant: Alert
Dossier (n) File of documents on a subject He clearly remembers putting the dossier containing all the documents in his briefcase, but now he cannot seem to find it.
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
Douse (v) To drench a body in a liquid To give a realistic touch to the movie, they doused the brand new Mercedes in petrol and set it on fire.
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
Downcast (adj.) (1) Directed downwards (2) Dejected (1) They stood with their eyes downcast as their instructor scolded them for their sloppiness on the field. (2) I found him quite downcast at not having got through the interview; I knew that he was desperately
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.
Drab (adj.) Dull, Lacking color, Cheerless The drab expression on her face suddenly changed to one of absolute joy as she imagined the person walking towards her was her husband who had been missing for over three days.
Draconian (adj.) Extremely severe, Rigorous, Harsh, Cruel The functioning of the Indian judicial system is hampered by a number of draconian laws, some of them so unnecessary that they have not been used in over fifty years.
Drawl (n & v) A slow manner of speaking in which the words are unnecessarily lengthened She speaks with such a lazy drawl that you have to be really patient to listen to her.
Dreary (adj.) Lacking interest and tending to cause a feeling of sadness They had not had any sun in over a week now, and the whole atmosphere was rather gray and dreary.
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.
Drivel (n & v) 1) Nonsense, Foolishness 2) Talk childishly or idiotically, or fritter away I cannot listen to your senseless drivel about the virtues of being patient; I do not have the time for it! ant: Sense
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
Drone (n & v) A low continuous noise that does not change its tone The lecturer went on talking about the technical subject in such a drone that almost everyone in the class was feeling sleepy.
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.
Drudgery (n) Menial work Electronic information retrieval will remove much of the drudgery of research and leave time for the more interesting work.
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.
Dumbfound (v) Strike dumb The teacher was dumbfounded when she saw the student standing on the table in front of the class. syn: Confound
Dunce (n) Person slow at learning "He was such a dunce in school that its really hard to believe that he has got admission into Harvard University." syn: Dullard
Dupe (n & v) 1) Someone easily fooled 2) To cheat someone The company had a vicious plan of duping thousands of innocent villagers of their hard-earned, meager savings by showing them illusions of enormous returns on their investments.
Duplicity (n) Trickery, deceitfulness, double-dealing, dishonesty His duplicity became evident when we found out that the company he had been talking about existed only on paper. syn: Chicanery, Subterfuge.
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.
Dwindle (v) Become gradually smaller, Shrink, Reduce With the passage of time, my interest in the project dwindled as things were not moving in the direction I had imagined they would. ant: Increase
Dynamic (adj. & n) Energetic, Vigorously active I remember him as a young and dynamic manager who was ever ready to take on any challenge, and was always bubbling with enthusiasm.
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.
Eccentric (adj) Something that is out of the usual or socially accepted, unconventional The old man is known for his eccentric habit of sporting the most unusual and peculiar clothes.
Ecclesiastical, Ecclesiastic (adj) Of or relating to the church or god, that which is not bound by the constraints of earthly parameters. (1) The ecclesiastical history Rome is of great importance in the study of Christianity. (2) Having pursued material and commercial gains all his
Eclectic (adj) Composed of elements drawn from disparate sources The master composer has drawn inspiration from a variety of eclectic sources -- from the folk music of Eastern India to the rhythms of Persian music. ant: Dogmatic, Uniform
Eclipse (v) To do or be much better than; cause to seem less important, clever, famous etc. by comparison "At the party, Marys beauty was eclipsed by her sisters accomplishments as the latter was the most sought after at the party."
Eclipse (n) Loss of fame, power, success etc., Decline "The eclipse of the kings reign began with the infighting amongst the nobles, and within a decade, the mighty dynasty had collapsed."
Ecologist (n) A person concerned with the interrelationship between living organisms and their environment Botanists have described the merciless cutting of trees as a massive ecological loss.
Economy (n) Efficiency or conciseness in using something Ever since the consumer markets have taken a plunge, most companies are trying to economize on their functioning so as to cut costs and increase profits. ant: Dissipation
Ecstasy (n) An overwhelming feeling of happiness Sandra was ecstatic on being voted as the prettiest girl of her college. syn: Rapture
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
Eddy (n & v) Swirling current of water, air etc. Hence, to move round-and-round The cyclone caused serious destruction as it eddied around the village in a whirling motion.
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.
Edify (v) To instruct or benefit, especially spiritually or morally. Be an uplifting influence upon Attending the spiritual conference has proved to be a most edifying experience for her as she has learned to remain calm and unnerved even in stressful situatio
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
Eerie (adj) Dangerous and unfamiliar, Weird so as to evoke fear The strange and scary sounds coming from the jungle created an eerie atmosphere in the camp. syn: Eldritch
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
Effectual (adj) Able to produce a desired effect, Effective "Measures to provide employment have not been very effectual as nearly one-third of the towns population is still jobless." ant: Ineffectual
Effeminate (adj) Not manly, womanish, feminine "Andys effeminate ways and high-pitched voice have made him the laughingstock of the office." ant: Virile
Effervescent (adj) Full of life, Bubbling with enthusiasm Her joviality and effervescence can instantly raise the spirits of a dejected person.
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.
Effigy (n) Human figure made of wood, paper etc A wooden effigy of the sheriff, that portrayed him as Hitler, was burnt in the market place by the angry masses.
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 Andrew is an ardent egalitarian involved in a constant battle against discrimination between castes and sexes.
Egoism (n) Excessive interest in oneself, Thinking only of personal interests, Selfishness "Harrys egoistic nature surfaced when he picked out the ripest berries for him to eat and left the rest for his little brother."
Egotism (n) Talking too much about oneself, Belief that one is superior to all others She in unpopular for her egotistic habits of constantly boasting about her achievements in academic and sports.
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.
Elated (adj) Overjoyed, In high spirits The team was elated after winning the match with a narrow margin. ant: Crestfallen
Eldritch (adj) Weird, Unnatural and fearsome "Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeares Macbeth, is as eldritch as the witches portrayed in the play." syn: Hideous, Eerie
Elegy (n) A poem of lamentation for the dead or for something lost Elton John wrote a touching elegy for Princess Diana after her death in a car accident. syn: Dirge, Threnody
Elicit (v) Draw out (information, facts etc.) by discussion The president elicits the opinions of his ministers to be able to pass fair laws. ant: Stifle
Elixir (n) Something with magical powers to cure No ointment, no balm could cure the pain in his arm, but the touch of her soft hand proved to be an elixir for the pain. syn: Panacea
Ellipsis (n) Omission of words from a text or from a sentence, esp. without disturbing the meaning With intelligent use of ellipsis he condensed his long-drawn essay into a short and precise one.
Elliptical (adj) (1) Oval (as in an elliptical orbit) (2) Having an implied meaning and hence difficult to understand (usu. speech or written text) (1) The earth does not follow a circular, but an elliptical path in its revolution around the sun. (2) The unfamiliar
Elope (v) To run away secretly with the intention of getting married Susan chose to elope with her lover as her parents were against their marriage.
Eloquence (n) Expressiveness, Persuasive speech She is an eloquent speaker and thus, will make a good lawyer.
Elucidate (v) Explain, Clarify The professor elucidated upon the theory by giving simple examples. ant: Obfuscate
Elusive (adj) Difficult to find or remember "Hes been elusive ever since he joined his new job as he is constantly travelling from one city to another."
Emaciated (adj) Thin and wasted, esp. from hunger or illness She has begun to look emaciated and weak after the frequent bouts of fever, which have killed her appetite. ant: Stout
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.
Emancipate (v) To set free, e.g. from bondage or from a country, to free from legal, social, political or moral restraint The slaves were overwhelmed by their emancipation from imprisonment after nine years. ant: Enslave
Emasculate (v) To take away all the strength and weakness from The Egyptian pharos tortured and emasculated the slaves reducing them to the plane of lowly creatures.
Embargo (n & v) Ban on commerce or other activity The government has decided to lift the embargo on wheat imports from Europe to deal with the shortage of grains in the country. syn: Moratorium
Embark (v) Commence, Go on board a boat or airplane (1) John embarked on a career only after completing his graduation from the Harvard University. (2) We embarked the aircraft at Amsterdam and disembarked at New York after eight hours.
Embed (v) Enclose, Place firmly in something We embedded seashells in the sand all around our sandcastle.
Embellish (v) To beautify by adding ornamental features Her ordinary white hat looked beautiful after being embellished with pink roses. syn: Adorn ant: Disfigure
Embezzle (v) "To steal money that has been placed in ones care" After the theft, Tony resigned from the post of treasurer on being falsely accused of embezzlement.
Embrace (v & n) Hug, Adopt or espouse, Accept readily, Encircle (1) She embraced her son gently to make him feel secure. (2) She gave up Islam and embraced Christianity after marrying John.
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
Embroider (v) Decorate with needlework, Ornament with fancy or fictitious details (1) She used colorful threads and embroidered her handkerchief with flowers. (2) Al embroidered the truth with such exaggerations that it eventually became a lie.
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.
Embryonic (adj) Undeveloped, In a very early stage of growth Poultry farms place the eggs into incubators to hasten the growth of the embryo into chicken. syn: Rudimentary
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.
Emeritus (adj) Retired from active service but retained in an honorary position. After retirement Samuel was retained in the university as an emeritus professor because of his vast teaching experience and also because of the unavailability of good teachers in his
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."
Emissary (n) Agent, Messenger During times of war, the most trusted officials are appointed as emissaries for transfer of messages between the home country and the battle grounds.
Emollient (n) Soothing or softening, esp. to the skin. Hence, anything that soothes "Its paradoxical that while the sting of the honey bee can be so painful, the honey it produces acts as an effective emollient for dry and parched skin." ant: Irritating
Empathy (n) "Ability to identify with anothers feelings, ideas etc." Having been through a trauma of similar kind, I could well empathize with her.
Empirical (adj) Based on experience and observations, not on bookish facts Having extensively traveled himself, Albert is the right person to offer wise and empirical advice on camping and trekking.
Empyrean (adj) Heavenly, Celestial Margaret radiated an empyrean look dressed up as an angel for the costume ball.
Emulate (v) Imitate, To try to do as well as (or better than) another person "At the college festival, Baileys act in which he emulated the actor Jim Carrey was a huge hit; in fact, at times Bailey was better than the actor himself."
Enamored (adj) Blindly in love, Charmed Rebecca was so enamored by her fiance that she completely overlooked the flaws in his character. syn: Fascinated
Encephalic (adj) Of pertaining to, the brain. Meningitis is an encephalic disease caused by the inflammation of the membranes enveloping the brain. syn: Cephalic
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 The new supermarket is located in an enclave within the marketplace.
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
Encompass (v) Surround "The institutes activities encompass academics as well as a variety of sports."
Encroach (v) Intrude, To take more than what is justified "The balcony of his new home encroached on his neighbors land and thus had to be demolished."
Encumber (v) Burden, To make action or movement difficult "The companys performance is poor as it is encumbered with heavy liabilities incurred during times of recession."
Endearment (n) An expression of fondness and love To the amusement of all present at the party, she visibly blushed as her fiance whispered sweet endearments into her ear.
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
Endorse (v) Approve, Support "After reading Julias impressive resume, the manager endorsed her application for the post of secretary."
Endure (v) To bear hardships for a long period of time, Survive under adversity Ever since the floods destroyed the crops, our family has endured very troubled times.
Energize (v) Invigorate, Make forceful and active The cool and refreshing orange juice energized the football players for the second half of the game.
Enervate (v) To deprive of nerve, force or strength The students were enervated and weary after the history examination, which was tough as well as lengthy. syn: Unnerve, Debilitate, Enfeeble ant: Invigorate, Fortify
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.
Engross (v) Occupy fully, Absorb He was so engrossed in preparing for his speech that he even forgot to eat.
Enhance (v) Increase, Improve "Passing the examination with flying colors has enhanced Williams chances of getting a good job."
Enigma (n) Puzzle, Mystery, Anything that is difficult to understand "Despite the security, the thiefs ability to break into the museum without being caught remains an enigma to the police."
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
Enrapture (v) To fill with great joy The whole crowd in the stadium was enraptured by the performance of Sachin Tendulkar, hitting fours and sixes in almost every over.
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
Ensemble (n) (1) Thing viewed as a whole (2) The entire cast of a play, ballet etc. "(1) All being in shades of grey, Lindas coat, hat and shoes together made an excellent ensemble. (2) The entire ensemble of the play including the director makes a great team and
Entail (v) To make necessary, Involve Writing a book entails a lot of research and hard work.
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.
Enthrall (v) To hold the complete interest and attention of someone "We were so enthralled by grandmothers stories that we stayed awake listening to her all night." syn: Captivate
Entice (v) To persuade someone to do something (usu. by offering something pleasant), Attract, Tempt My friends came over with tickets for the theatre and enticed me away from the housework.
Entity (n) Real being Germany was divided into two countries after the war and no longer remained one single entity.
Entomology (n) Study of insects Entomology tells us that all insects have antennae which act as feelers and helps them search for food.
Entrance (v) To fill with great wonder and delight The children were entranced by the clever stunts performed by the acrobats at the circus. ant: Egress
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
Entrench (v) To establish firmly in a position "The prime ministers entrenched political ideas and the inability to change with the times is inhibiting the growth of the nation."
Entrepreneur (n) Businessperson, Someone who takes initiative and risks for commercial gains A good entrepreneur while reaping profits has to be prepared to bear heavy losses as well.
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.
Enunciate (v) Speak or pronce clearly and distinctly An actor must be able to enunciate his lines properly so that the audience can understand him clearly. syn: Articulate
Eon (n) A very long period of time The ruins of the Indus Valley civilization were excavated only after an eon of its destruction.
Epaulet (n) The decorative part on the shoulder of a uniform "The beautiful epaulet has added grandeur to the naval officers uniform."
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
Epic (n) Long heroic poem or similar work of art The Mahabharata is one of the most renowned epics based on the history of ancient India.
Epic (adj) Full of brave action and excitement We listened intently as the mountaineers described to us their adventurous epic journey to the south pole.
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.
Epilogue (n) Short speech at conclusion of dramatic work The play concluded with an epilogue recited by the director telling us about the message delivered by the play. ant: Prologue
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.
Epitaph (n) "A short statement in the memory of a dead person, usu. as an inscription on the persons gravestone" "The epitaph inscribed on Daniels gravestone described him as a man who was admired and loved by all."
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."
Epitome (n) Perfect example or embodiment Charlotte has become the epitome of good manners after her return from the finishing school.
Epoch (n) A long period of time, esp. as marked by events During the epoch of the Mughal rule, beautiful historical monuments were built in India.
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.
Equestrian (adj) Of, or pertaining to riding on horseback Everybody knew that the king loved his horse and was fond of riding it; after the death of the king, the most skillful sculptor of the country made an equestrian statue of the king.
Equilibrium (n) A state of balance between opposing forces After a steep rise, inflation is now finally reached a state of equilibrium and goods have become less expensive.
Equinox (n) Period of equal days or nights The spring equinox is over and summer is approaching when the days will become longer and the nights shorter. ant: Solstice
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
Ergonomics (n) Study of work and its environment in order to achieve maximum efficiency The promoters conducted an ergonomic survey before g to building a hotel at the planned site.
Erode (v) To wear or be worn away gradually All dwellings near the sea are being broken down because of the coast, which is gradually being eroded by the lapping waves.
Erratic (adj) Odd, Unpredictable Tommy is a very erratic tennis player whose game is never steady. ant: Consistent
Erroneous (adj) Mistaken, Incorrect Annie misunderstood the concept for the annual play and kept giving rather erroneous ideas and suggestions to the teacher.
Erudite (adj) Learned, Scholarly Confucius was a very erudite philosopher whose quotes are remembered and referred to by the whole world. ant: Ignorant
Escalate (v) (1) To become more serious, intensify (2) To make or become higher or greater (1) The government policy of mechanizing industries has only escalated unemployment. (2) The award for the best director of the year has escalated him to a new stature alto
Escapade (n) A wild and dangerous act of adventure "The students escapade of jumping over the school walls and venturing into the forest has landed them into deep trouble with the principal."
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.
Esoteric (adj) Unusual, Mysterious, Known only to a select few Kemp has somewhat an esoteric taste in dress; except for her close friends, no one in the class likes the kind of dresses she puts on. ant: Exoteric
Espionage (n) The act of spying "The soldier broke into the commandos office but was arrested for espionage before he could lay his hands on any secret information."
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."
Estranged (adj) Separated, Alienated Once a loving couple, Daisy and Nick are now estranged due to petty differences.
Eternal (adj) Lasting for ever, Without beginning or end The eternal beauty of nature has been and will always be the favorite subject for poets. ant: Ephemeral
Ethereal (adj) Of unearthly lightness and delicacy; like a spirit or a fairy She looked almost ethereal dressed as a fairy for the fancy dress party. ant: Tangible
Ethnic (adj) Relating to racial, tribal, or national group That restaurant serves delicious ethnic food and the stewards are even dressed as Afghans are.
Ethnology (n) The scientific study of different races of human beings Ethnology is a fascinating subject, which enlightens us about the innumerable human races existing in this world.
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.
Eulogy (n) Expression of high praise, usu. of a person Our school has a eulogy dedicated to its great founder, which the students sing everyday after prayers. ant: Malignancy, Denunciation
Euphemism (n) Mild word(s) substituted for improper or blunt one/s. "Derek improvised on Steves harsh speech, prepared for the seminar by making euphemistic changes."
Euphony (n) Pleasant or sweet sounding Her voice is soft and euphonious and appealing to the ear when she sings. ant: Cacophony, Discord
Euphoria (n) Feeling of great happiness, pride and excitement I was euphoric after reading the results of the talent contest, which revealed that I had stood first. ant: Discomfort
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
Evasive (adj) (1) Not frank and direct, hesitant to reveal the truth. (2) Intended to avoid danger "(1) She was being rather evasive and was evidently trying to protect her brother from their mothers scolding. (2) After escaping from the kidnappers, his evasion
Evenhanded (adj) Impartial, Fair This judge is renowned for handing out evenhanded justice.
Evict (v) To forcibly make someone leave a house or property under law The landlord evicted the tenants from the house who had been illegally occupying it for the last fourteen years.
Evince (v) To show clearly, Indicate, Reveal The x-ray evinced a fracture of her anklebone. syn: Manifest, Display ant: Conceal
Evocative (adj) That which brings up emotions and/or memories The last scene of the movie was very evocative and most of us were in tears.
Ewe (n) Female sheep "The farmers ewe has just given birth to an adorable little lamb."
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.
Exacerbate (v) Make worse, aggravate "Their quarrel was only exacerbated by Marias intervention and ended in a physical fight."
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.
Exalt (v) (1) To praise highly (2) To raise a person to a high rank (1) The doctors exalted Andrea for her voluntary services. (2) The nun was exalted to the position of Mother Superior. syn: Extol ant: Pillory
Exasperate (v) To annoy or make extremely angry, To test the patience of someone Mr. Jones is exasperated by the continuos meddling of his neighbors into his household. syn: Vex, Nettle ant: Placate
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.
Excerpt (n) Selection from a large piece of work like a book, musical composition etc. I chose to recite an excerpt from the famous novel Gone with the Wind for the elocution contest.
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.
Excise (v) To remove by cutting out It was an eight hour long surgery when the doctors excised the tumor from her brain.
Exclaim (v) To speak up or cry out loudly and suddenly She exclaimed with joy when her name was annced as the winner of the beauty contest.
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
Exculpate (v) Free from blame After the investigations were over Darrel was proved innocent and exculpated by the judge. syn: Exonerate ant: Excuse
Excursion (n) Short journey made for pleasure, usu. by a group of persons We had to carry our tents for the excursion organized by the club to the rain forests.
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. (2) Sam is execrable for all the pain he has caused his parents all through their lives. syn: Ab
Execute (v) (1) To kill as a lawful punishment (2) To put into effect, Carry out (1) The jury passed an order for the execution of the criminal who was convicted for murder.(2) The committee finally executed the plans after the chairperson sanctioned it.
Exemplary (n) Serving as a model, Outstanding "Abrahams contribution to the flood victims has been exemplary, as many people have followed him in doing the same."
Exemplify (v) Serve as an example of, Embody The quality of the products exemplifies the poor condition of the machinery in the factory.
Exempt (adj & v) Not subject to a duty or obligation. Hence, to make something or someone exempt. For their noble services, all doctors are exempted from any kind of taxes payable to the government.
Exertion (n) Effort, Doing much physical work She practiced all day for the long jump finals and ultimately collapsed because of over exertion.
Exhaustive (adj) Thorough, Comprehensive I made an exhaustive study of the tough algebra problems before beginning to solve them. ant: Indefatigable
Exhilaration (n) Excitement and Cheer The scientist was exhilarated after finally completing the experiment successfully.
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
Exhume (v) Dig up, bring something hidden or uncertain to light. After burial, the dead body of Mrs. Wilson had to be exhumed again for further investigation of her murder. ant: Inter
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
Exodus (n) Departure on a large scale The mass exodus of the audience during the interval indicated how boring the movie was.
Exonerate (v) To free from charges, clear from accusation He was exonerated by the police after the detective found out who the real robber was. syn: Absolve, Exculpate, Vindicate ant: Incarcerate
Exorbitant (adj) Excessive, Much more than reasonable The silk shirts were so exorbitantly priced that no common man could ever afford to buy it. ant: Moderate
Exorcize (v) Drive out evil spirits She was accused of practicing witchcraft and an exorcist was called to drive the evil spirits out of her.
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.
Exotic (adj) Not usually found in a place, strange, rare She returned from the countryside and brought back rather exotic fruits for her grandparents.
Expansive (adj) (1) An outgoing and sociable person (2) Large and splendid (1) He was reserved at first but after some time became quite expansive and comfortable at the party. (2) The expansive shore of this beach is filled with some beautiful looking shells.
Expatriate (v & n) To drive a person from his native land, exile. Hence, a person living in a foreign country The tribal people living here are expatriates who were driven out of their land by foreigners. syn: Deport
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
Expertise (n) Specialized knowledge, Expert skill Despite not having a degree, she was appointed as a teacher for her expertise in needlework.
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
Expletive (n) A meaningless word used for swearing or expressing a violent feeling, Curse It was a strange expletive he muttered with anger when Samantha called to say that she would not be coming. syn: Imprecation
Explicate (v) To explain, usu. a work of literature, in detail "The professor tried to explicate Shakespeares Macbeth to the class in simplified terms."
Explicit (adj) Totally clear, Definite The chef gave his assistant very explicit instructions regarding the ingredients to be used for the new dish.
Exploit (v) To make use of something or someone, usually unjustly As a result of exploitation without proper nourishment, the land has now lost its fertility.
Exploit (n) A brave and successful act The courageous exploits of Alexander the Great are a very interesting part of history.
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
Exposure (n) (1) Risk, Particularly of being exposed to disease or to the elements (2) Unmasking, Act of laying something open (1) They went trekking up the mountain peak risking exposure to the extreme cold. (2) The journalist threatened him with public exposure
Expropriate (v) "To take away someone elses property" The State expropriated all land more than an acre possessed by a single owner.
Expunge (v) Delete, Rub out or remove from a list, book etc. While rechecking, I expunged the unnecessary details from my essay before submitting it. syn: Cancel, Remove ant: Perpetuate
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
Extant (adj) Still in existence, surviving, not lost or destroyed (usu. related to something written, painted etc.) "Leonard da Vincis famous painting Mona Lisa is still extant and in very good condition at the Louvre museum." ant: Destroyed
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
Extort (v) Take money by threats etc. He has been accused of extorting money from shopkeepers by showing them a gun.
Extradite (v) To deliver a suspect, prisoner or fugitive to the authority of some other state, country etc. The police had to extradite this prisoner who knew how to break free of almost all the prisons in this city.
Extraneous (adj) Not essential, Not directly related to something, Irrelevant I omitted all the extraneous details while explaining the gist of the matter to him. syn: Superfluous, Extrinsic ant: Essential
Extrapolate (v) To guess the future from known facts Many astrologists convince us of their credibility by merely extrapolating from the answers of the questions they ask.
Extricate (v) Free, Disentangle "The bird managed to extricate herself from the hunters net and fly away."
Extrinsic (adj) External, Not an essential part of something "Our neighbors house has merely extrinsic beauty and is rather dirty from within." syn: Extraneous ant: Intrinsic, Inherent
Extrovert (n) A person interested in spending time with others. Also, a person of a cheery disposition Alice is a very shy girl as opposed to her sister who is a complete extrovert. ant: Introvert
Extrude (v) Force or push out That man was extruded out of the queue when he tried to barge in between.
Exuberance (n) Overflowing abundance, Joyful enthusiasm, Flamboyance The first rains after the drought had the peasants exuberant and dancing with joy.
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
Fabricate (v) Build, Manufacture Being a large order, the manufacturer agreed to fabricate the product according to the specifications of the buying house.
Façade (n) Front, Superficial or false appearance (1) The fa\xe7ade of this building is rather impressive but its interior is very shabby. (2) She was in tears on being let down by her best friend but had to smile and put up a façade in front of everybody.
Facer (n) Sudden great difficulty "The sudden loss in his business was like a facer amidst his fathers illness."
Facet (n) (1) Small plane surface (of a gem) (2) Any aspect that needs to be considered (1) This diamond is a beautifully cut piece and all its facets dazzle brilliantly. (2) Albert is a true gentleman whose good manners is only one facet of his personality.
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
Facilitate (v) Help bring about, Make less difficult The electronic typewriter has facilitated speedy documentation.
Facsimile (n & v) Exact copy, To make such a copy We have installed a facsimile machine for instant duplication of papers in both our offices.
Faction (n) Self-interested party or group esp. in politics The ruling political party has now split up into factions, which are fighting amongst themselves to serve their personal interests. syn: Clique
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.
Faculty (n) 1) Mental or bodily powers 2) Teaching staff 3) Liberty to do something given by law (1) The old man is still in command of his faculties and can read and comprehend very clearly. (2) The science faculty of our school comprises of teachers from all o
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.
Fallible (adj) Liable to make mistakes, to be misled or to be wrong It is impossible for anybody to be perfect, as every human being is fallible.
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
Falter (v) Waver or lose courage He was honest and thus never faltered in his resolve to prove his innocence. syn: Hesitate
Fanaticism (n) Excessive zeal, Extreme devotion to a belief She is a health food fanatic and eats lots of green vegetables for all her meals.
Fanciful (adj) Indulging in fancies She is a fanciful poet who loves to write about her dreams. syn: Whimsical, Capricious
Fanfare (n) Call by bugles or trumpets Trumpeters were ushered, as the prince was to be married with a lot of fanfare.
Farce (n) Broad comedy, Mockery This is a farcical play, which entertains as well as mocks the politicians of our country.
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
Fatalism (n) The doctrine that all things and events are predetermined and hence unalterable Henry is a fatalist who feels that he is destined to be poor even if he works hard.
Fathom (v) Measure the depth of, Get to the bottom of Nobody could fathom why Bob and Pete would hurt each other after being best of friends. syn: Investigate, Comprehend
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
Fauna (n) Animals of a period or region "The fauna parks of Australia have kangaroo and wombats, which are not found anywhere else in the world."
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
Feasible (adj) Possible, Reasonable The promoters conducted a survey to study the feasibility of the project before investing their money in it. syn: Plausible ant: Impracticable, Implausible
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
Feign (v) To simulate or represent in fiction She feigned unconsciousness to attract the attention of her cousins who were busy in their own work. syn: Pretend
Feint (adj) A sham attack made to divert attention, a deceptive appearance or movement The boxer struck the actual blow after a feint attack which confused his opponent
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 "1) The doctor examined the felon and advised that it be removed by surgery. 2) She was scared of her stepmothers felony and ran away from home."
Feral (adj) Not domestic, Wild Dogs and cats are not feral and most commonly preferred as pets by people.
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
Fervent (adj) Ardent, Hot Pamella is a fervent believer in equal remuneration for women in all the fields of labor.
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.
Fester (v) To develop pus, suppurate. Also, to be a continuing source of resentment, rage or irritation The wound festered spreading poison in his blood and so his arm had to be amputated.
Festive (adj) Joyous, Celebratory Christmas is the season of festivity when everyone is in the highest of spirits.
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
Fetish (n) An object of unreasonable affection or reverence Selia is too fetish about her cat and even takes her along to parties.
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."
Fiasco (n) Total failure The new actors forgot their dialogues and thus the play proved to be a fiasco.
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
Fictitious (adj) Imaginary, not genuine The characters in this novel are purely fictitious and created just to entertain the readers.
Fidelity (n) Loyalty The counsellor emphasized on the importance of fidelity for a healthy marriage.
Figment (n) Invention, Imaginary thing Jane thought she heard someone knocking her door at midnight, but it was only a figment of her imagination.
Figurative (adj) Not literal, of pictorial or sculptural representation The professor simplified the tough lines of the poem by explaining it figuratively to the class. syn: Metaphorical
Figurine (n) Small ornamental statuette A beautiful brass figurine of a horse decorated the mantel in her drawing room.
Filch (v) To steal, pilfer The shopkeeper filched the rich customer by pricing his products at double their value.
Filial (adj) Of or befitting a son or daughter The young boy showered filial love and attention on the old man who had no child.
Filibuster (n & v) 1) A person who indulges in unauthorized warfare against foreign state esp. by prolonged speaking 2) Delay or prevent the passing of a law by making a long speech 2) Even thought the report was ready, the party annced that they would filibuster t
Finale (n) Last movement of instrumental composition The orchestra was performed brilliantly and concluded the show with an enchanting finale. syn: Conclusion
Finesse (n & v) 1) Delicate skill, strategy 2) Achieve by finesse We were impressed by the finesse with which the sculptor carved out the ice statue.
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
Finicky (adj) Needing much attention to detail The neat and tidy home of Mrs. Andrews reveals how finicky she is about cleanliness.
Firebrand (n) A person or thing that brings trouble Judy is the firebrand of our class and is always getting us into trouble with our teachers. 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.
Fissure (n & v) 1) Long and narrow opening made esp. by cracking or splitting 2) To split or crack The glacier melted in the summer and seeping in and out of the fissures, it finally flowed into the river. syn: Crevice
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
Flaccid (adj) Hanging loose or wrinkled, drooping, lacking vigor Her grey hair and flaccid skin made Mary look much older than she actually was. syn: Flabby ant: Taut, Turgid
Flagrant (adj) Glaring, Notorious, Scandalous (of offence or offender). Conspicuously bad Jason is a flagrant liar and does not hesitate before talking ill about anyone. syn: Egregious
Flail (n & v) An instrument for thrashing grain by hand; to heat, to whip 1) The farmer used a flail to separate the grains out of the crops. 2) The jockey flailed the horse hard to make it run faster.
Flamboyant (adj) Gorgeously colored, nicely decorated It was impossible to miss out Steve who was dressed in a flamboyant orange shirt for the party. syn: Ornate ant: Restrained
Flaunt (v) Display ostentatiously She came to college flaunting her new silver watch. 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. ant: Hide
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.
Fleece (n & v) 1) Wool coat of a sheep 2) To rob or plunder 1) The cattle grazer shaved the white fleece off his sheep and sold it to the merchants. 2) The robbers on the highway fleeced us off our watches and jewelry.
Flick (n & v) 1) Light stroke as with a whip 2) Strike or move with a flick 1) He took a towel and flicked the cigarette ash off the towel. 2) We stood horrified as the snake flicked its tongue in and out of its mouth.
Flighty (adj) Fickle, guided by whim or fancy No one takes Danny seriously as he is rather flighty and keeps changing his mind every now and then. syn: Crotchety, capricious
Flinch (v) Hesitate, give way She is not the sorts to flinch in the face of a problem but deals with it courageously. ant: Extol
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.
Flora (n) Plants of a region or era Holland is famous for its flora, especially the tulips.
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
Flounder (v & n) 1) Struggle and thrash about, Proceed clumsily or falter 2) Flat-fish esp. of small edible species 1) He floundered in the water trying to save his life, as he did not know how to swim. 2) The fishermen made good money after selling the flounder
Flourish (v & n) 1) Grow well, Prosper, Decorate with ornaments 2) Ornament of flowing curves about letter or word in handwriting 1) His business flourished after he changed his marketing strategies. 2) The Christmas tree looked gorgeous flourished with gold and
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.
Fluctuate (v) Waver, Shift His feelings fluctuated between fear and excitement as he got ready for scuba diving. syn: Vacillate
Fluency (n) Smoothness of speech She is French but her fluency in English and German is remarkable. ant: Hesitance
Fluke (n & v) 1) Unlikely occurrence, Stroke of fortune 2) Make fluke 1) He is not a good golfer and the winning stroke was only a fluke.
Fluster (v & n) 1) Confuse with drink 2) Agitation 1) Fred was flustered after the drink and began to fumble over his words. 2) The club members were flustered by the constant disagreement over trivial issues.
Flux (n & v) 1) Series of changes 2) Flow copiously, make fluid 1) The future plans of the company are unsettled and everything is still in a state of flux. 2) The glue had become rather thick so I added a little water to it to make it flux.
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.
Foible (n) "Minor (usually harmless) fault or weakness in a persons character, short coming" No matter how strong and wise a man is, he does have little foibles. syn: Feeble
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.
Foliage (n) Masses of leaves The soldiers were dressed in brown and green uniforms that would camouflage them in the foliage of the forest.
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
Foolhardy (adj) Delighting in needless risks Despite knowing about the poor future of his business he is being foolhardy and borrowing more money to invest in it.
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.
Forage (n & v) Search for food or supplies or a raid to capture such provisions, rummage. Also, to strip off possessions by plundering and seizing The poor children had been living on the streets, foraging for rubbles and sleeping rough. syn: Pillage, Despoil,
Forbearance (n) Patience Her forbearance was rewarded and she finally got a good raise in her salary.
Ford (n & v) 1) Place where a river can be crossed on foot 2) To cross water by wading or with vehicle "1) The trekkers dipped their sticks in the water to see if it were fordable otherwise they would have to swim across to the other side. 2) The hunters jeep
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
Forensic (adj) Suitable to debate or courts of law "There was no apparent proof of the old mans murder; but the forensic examination revealed a large quantity of poison in his stomach, which proved that the man did not die a natural death."
Foreshadow (v) Give an indication beforehand, Portend The dark clouds foreshadowed heavy rains in the next hour. syn: Prefigure
Foresight (n) Ability to foresee future happenings, Prudence He had the foresight to invest his money in a business that would reap him long-term profits.
Forestall (v) Prevent by taking action in advance "Our teammates played intelligently and forestalled the opponents constant efforts to shoot another basket and win the match."
Forgo (v) Give up, go without "Harolds seniors advised him that it would be unwise to forgo this opportunity of going to New York for training." syn: Relinquish
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
Formidable (adj) To be dreaded or viewed with respect The formidable voice of our principle brings silence in the assembly hall instantly.
Forsake (v) "Withdraw ones help" When her friends did not turn up Janet felt that they had forsaken her in her hour of need. syn: Abandon, Rence
Forswear (v) Swear falsely The witness accepted the bribe offered by the lawyer and agreed to forswear in court.
Forte (n, adj & adv) "1) A persons strong point or special talent. Also part of sword or blade from hilt to middle 2) Performed loud(ly) and then immediately soft(ly)" 1) His ability to convince people is his forte that acts as an advantage over the other sale
Forthright (n, adv & adj) 1) Outspoken, Straightforward, Frank 2) In a direct manner 3) Going straight, unswerving "1) Tina hurt the feelings of Jane by being rather forthright about her dislike for Janes new dress. 2) The teacher made the rules of discipline clear
Fortitude (n) Courage in pain or adversity "His wifes fortitude helped Lionel to pull through the times of financial crisis."
Fortuitous (adj) Accidental, By chance "Bettys and mine was a fortuitous meeting at the camp but we ended up becoming the best of friends." ant: Unfortunate
Foster (v) Encourage, Promote growth of The government hopes that its new foreign policies will foster friendly relations with its neighboring countries. ant: Scotch, Stymie
Founder (n & v) 1) Person who establishes (an organization, business) 2) Fall completely, give way 1) Mohammed was the founder of the religion of Islam. 2) 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
Frail (n & adj) 1) Rush basket for packing figs, raisins etc 2) In weak health, morally week 1) The vendor sold his dry fruits in pretty frail. 2) The frail old lady passed away after falling down the stairs. syn: Fragile
Franchise (n & v) 1) Right granted by authority, Right to vote, Business licensed to sell a product in a particular territory, Citizenship 2) To grant such rights 1) Our company has obtained the franchise to sell a renowned beverage in the entire Eastern region of
Frantic (adj) Distraught with rage, pain, grief etc He was frantic with worry after discovering that his car was missing from the parking lot of the theatre.
Fraudulent (adj) Guilty of (esp. cheating) He obtained the money to buy a new watch by fraudulent means and was caught.
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
Frenzy (n & v) 1) Temporary insanity, excitement 2) Drive to frenzy 1) He was in a state of frenzy after discovering that all his money had been stolen from the cupboard. 2) The music was very loud and there was frenzied activity at the party.
Fresco (n) Method of painting on plaster, and such painting 1) The walls of the church are frescoed with designs of beautiful colors. 2) The caves of Ajanta and Ellora in India are famous for the frescoes painted on its walls.
Fret (n & v) 1) Ornamental pattern made of continuous combinations of straight lines 2) To be annoyed or vexed 1) The fret is a design that requires accuracy of measurements when created. 2) She is still fretting about her parents turning up late for her danc
Friction (n) Rubbing of two bodies While camping we tried to get sparks of fire by the friction of stones.
Frigid (adj) Intensely cold, Unresponsive 1) The frigidity of the hill station had our hands and feet numb. 2) She responded to my greeting with just a frigid smile and walked away.
Fritter (v & n) 1) To waste or squander little by little 2) Piece of fried batter often containing (a slice of) fruit, meat etc. 1) She frittered away her time reading magazines, which had nothing but gossip in them. 2) The specialty of this restaurant is its mo
Frivolous (adj) Lacking in seriousness, Self-indulgently carefree Gary is a frivolous and senseless man who thinks about nothing but parties and merriment.
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.
Frugal (adj) Careful, sparingly used or supplied Despite his richness he still has frugal habits and does not believe in unnecessary expenses.
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
Frustrate (v) "Discontented through inability to achieve ones desires" His constant failure to make profits frustrated him. syn: Baffle ant: Abet
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
Fugitive (adj & n) 1) Fleeing, Running away, Occasional 2) One who flees esp. from danger 1) The fugitive tried his best to leave the country after committing the crime but was eventually caught by the police.
Fulcrum (n) Support on which a lever rests The children fell off the seesaw as its fulcrum gave away.
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
Fundamental (adj & n) Of the groundwork, Primary, Essential The fundamental principle of tennis is to watch the ball carefully before taking a position to strike it.
Furlough (n & v) 1) Leave of absence 2) Grant or spend furlough Her boss, for extending her holiday beyond her furlough, fired Julie.
Furor (n) Enthusiastic admiration, frenzy, great excitement The furor of the children at the playground after class is an amusing sight.
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
Fusion (n) Blending of different things into one The musical piece performed by the guitarist was a fusion of eastern and western melodies.
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.
Futile (adj) Useless, Hopeless, Ineffectual None of the medicines were working and the doctor knew that all efforts to revive the patient were futile.
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."
Gait (n) Manner of walking or running, Speed He has a rather stiff way of walking, and everyone can see that his wife just does not approve of his gait.
Galaxy (n) Large, Isolated system of stars, such as the milky way, Any collection of brilliant personalities Present in the concert hall that night, as a mark of respect to the departed musician, was a whole galaxy of stars from the acting and musical professio
Gale (n) Windstorm, Gust of wind The mild breeze suddenly turned into a fierce gale, and people on the street were seen rushing for shelter.
Gall (n & v) 1) Mental soreness, or excrescence produced by insect, fungus etc 2) Injure by rubbing, humiliate etc After a galling defeat against Germany in the opening match of the Football World Cup, Spain will have to really play well in its forthcoming ma
Gallant (adj.) (1) Brave, Not showing fear under dangerous situations (2) Polite and kind, esp. towards women "(1) The queen of Jhansi gallantly fought against the British forces till her last breath, and made herself immortal in the annals of the history of the
Galvanize (v) Stimulate by shock, Stir up, Revitalize The stirring speech by the young brigadier has really galvanized the forces, and they are now all set for another day of hard battle.
Gambit (n) (1) A remark intended to start a conversation (2) A clever piece of action intended to gain an advantage and usu. Involving some risk "(1) He raised the interviewers expectations with a witty gambit, but his later performance in the interview made it
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.
Gamut (n) Entire range or series In his short acting career of just 8 years, Peter Sellers played an entire gamut of roles, from the haughty aristocrat to the humble peasant, to perfection.
Gangrene (n & v) Decomposition or decay of body tissue To corrupt It was over 24 hours since he got the wound, and since there was no treatment, gangrene was beginning to set in.
Gape (v & n) Open widely, Stare open-mouthed I gaped at her in surprise, as I had thought that she had left for Australia the previous week.
Garbled (v) Of something said or written in a confused way, sometimes deliberately, giving a false impression of the facts Though there was nothing wrong with the fax machine, I could not read anything as the message was totally garbled.
Gargantuan (adj.) Huge, Enormous The amount of his debts, along with the interest on them, had mounted to such gargantuan proportions that only a miracle could have saved him from being absolutely bankrupt.
Garish (adj.) Over-bright in color, Gaudy I think his garish trousers are very poorly chosen; he should have worn something more sober for this solemn occasion.
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.
Garnish (v & n) 1) Decorate, Embellish, usu. a dish before serving it 2) Serve notice on a person The dish was tastefully garnished with parsley and mushrooms, and the aroma was so good that I could not wait to bite into it.
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.
Garrote (n & v) Cord, wire or a metal collar used to strangle a victim Hence, to execute or kill by strangulation Deep gashes around the neck of the corpse clearly indicated that the victim had been garroted to death.
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
Gavel (n & v) Hammerlike tool, usu. used by judges in the court The judge banged his gavel loudly on the table in front of him, and commanded the court to maintain order and decorum. syn: Mallet
Gawk (v & n) 1) Stare foolishly, Look in open-mouthed awe 2) Awkward or bashful person Too shocked to react, the two boys stood gawking at the strange creature in front of them.
Gelid (adj.) Ice-cold Her lips had turned gelid in the icy weather and she found it difficult to speak. syn: Chilly
Genealogy (n) Record of descent from ancestors, Pedigree As evidence, the lawyer produced a certified genealogy of the accused in court, which clearly showed that the accused was a direct descendent of the Earl of Burrough.
Generality (n) Applicability to whole class of instances I asked him a very specific question, but he preferred to answer it with a string of bland generalities.
Generate (v) Cause, Produce, Create The current cricket series between India and Australia has generated a lot of interest in the media as it comes after a rather troubled phase for Indian cricket.
Generic (adj.) Characteristic of an entire class or species "To describe his play as a comedy would be too generic; I would classify it more as political satire."
Genesis (n) Beginning, Origin The director said at the press conference that the genesis of his latest blockbuster was a dream that he had had when he was just eight years old, and which he vividly recalls even now.
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."
Genre (n) Particular variety of art or literature "His music stands apart from his contemporaries as it cannot be classified as belonging to any particular genre -- and thats also the biggest reason for his popularity even today."
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."
Germane (adj.) Relevant, Pertinent to the matter "He did not consider the journalists question was germane to the main issue of the press conference, and chose to ignore it." syn: Appropriate, Apposite
Germinal (adj.) In the earliest stage of development, Creative or productive of new ideas We call this division the Germinal Department since the people here are highly creative and responsible for most of the big ideas that our advertising agency has come up wit
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.
Gestate (v) To carry inborn young in the uterus until birth. Also, to develop gradually in the mind He let the idea gestate in his mind for a good four months before finally deciding to act on it.
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.
Ghastly (adj. & adv.) Horrible(y), frightful(ly) She wanted to get the ghastly episode, when she was chased by a group of robbers on the street, out of her as soon as possible, but just could not get herself to do it.
Ghoul (n) An evil spirit Though I do not believe in them, I remember I used to marvel at the stories of ghosts and ghouls as a child.
Gibberish (n) Unintelligent speech None of what he said made any sense to me; I think it was all utter gibberish.
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.
Giddy (adj. & v) Light-hearted, Dizzy, to make or become giddy Watching the little children on the merry-go-round for so long made her feel dizzy, and she decided to go back to her room.
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.
Gingerly (adv. & adj.) Very carefully, prudent He gingerly picked up the crystal bowl from the shelf and showed it to her fiance, holding it tightly.
Girth (n) The distance around something, Circumference. Also, measurement of a person around the waist The doctor sternly advised him to start exercising, and also to have a check on his diet, if he wished to control his fast-expanding girth.
Gist (n) Essence of a matter The gist of the entire incident is that our friend here may soon find himself out of job, he informed us, summing up the whole situation.
Glacial (adj.) Like a glacier, Extremely cold Everyone in the school, including the teachers, was terrified of the glacial stare of the principal.
Glade (n) Open space in a forest They were relieved to find a small glade in the midst of the thick forest, and decided to light a fire and pitch camp there.
Glaring (adj.) Highly conspicuous, Harshly bright "What a glaring mistake youve made by not filling out this form!"
Glaze (v & n) 1) Cover with a thin and shiny surface, become glassy 2) Substance used to glaze I saw my reflection in the glazed surface of the new, metallic car, and observed that my tie was not straight.
Glean (v) To collect facts etc. by patient effort From what I managed to glean from them out of all their vague statements, they are indeed planning to start a new company. syn: Gather, Accumulate, Cull.
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."
Glimmer (v & n) Shine erratically, Twinkle Hence, any feeble or wavering light Soon, the glimmering lights of the city were visible in the far distance. The small glimmer of hope that was there evaporated when the doctor informed us that her blood pressure was f
Glisten (v) To shine by reflecting light from a wet, oily, or smooth surface Beads of sweat glistened on his forehead as he desperately tried to fix the fault with his car.
Glitch (n) A minor problem or fault because of which success is not possible Everything seemed to be moving smoothly in the process of the company formation, till we met with an unexpected glitch : one of the to be directors was still a minor and so legally cou
Gloat (v & n) To experience or express a strong, selfish and often malicious delight. Hence, such a feeling or expression of such delight In all their statements to the press prior to the test series against India, the Australians had gloated that their oppone
Glossary (n) Brief explanation of words used in the text For the definitions of all the technical terms in this essay, please refer to the glossary at the end.
Glossy (adj. & n) Smooth and shining I was tempted to buy the magazine because of its glossy appearance and the attractive photograph on the cover.
Glower (v) To stare or scowl (at) The teacher glowered at him when he meekly informed her that he had not done the homework.
Glut (v & n) Feed or satisfy to the full, Overload (usu. with food) The glut of media coverage to the growth of the dot com industry had too much of reporting and very little of analysis. syn: Gorge, Cloy
Gnarled (adj.) Twisted, rugged He fell down on the small bush with gnarled branches and thorns, and tore his shirt as a result.
Gnome (n) A small, undersized male character in fairy tales, usu. one with not-so-good intentions. Also, a person with sinister influence He grew up listening to lots of fairy tales, and still tries to characterize people around him as gnomes and elves, fairie
Goad (v & n) Urge someone to continue or perform, Persuade It is doubtful that the pressure of the environmentalists will be sufficient to goad the developing nations into using less fossil fuels.
Gorge (n & v) (1) A deep valley with steep sides (2) Feed greedily, Stuff oneself (3) Contents of stomach (1) The only way to go across the gorge was by a narrow, rickety wooden bridge.(2) He spent most of the day sitting in front of the television and gorging
Gory (adj.) Violent and involving bloodshed The TV report about the sordid incident left out all the gory details and gave a rather toned-down version of the story.
Gouge (v & n) To make a hole using some pointed tool, or to dig out something using the finger He accidentally drove his car into a pointed rod jutting out of the wall and gouged a hole in the back of his car.
Gourmand (adj. & n) Gluttonous, epicure, person who takes excessive pleasure in food and drink The owner of this hotel is a real gourmand; each night you can find him at the restaurant trying out some dishes especially prepared for him. syn: Gourmet
Gourmet (n) Connoisseur of food and drink Though these dishes have been prepared keeping the gourmet in mind, we are confident that even the uninitiated visitor to the restaurant would love them. syn: Gourmand
Grandeur (n) Great beauty or power, Impressiveness, Majesty Even if you have heard about it and seen its photographs a hundred times, you are bound to be awed by the sheer grandeur of the Taj Mahal.
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.
Grandiose (adj.) Pretentious, high-flown, ridiculously exaggerated, impressive The grandiose plans that he had for his Internet venture collapsed with the crash of the Internet share prices on the stock market.
Granulate (v) Form into grains The company has re-launched its finely powdered coffee as granulated coffee, and plans to spend a huge amount on advertising the re-launch.
Graphic (adj. & n) (1) Very clear and powerful (2) Related to drawing or painting (1) The TV channel was showing the procedures during a heart surgery in graphic detail, which my mother was just not able to get herself to see. (2) He is the Chief Graphic Designe
Grapple (v & n) To come to terms with, Tackle, Get a grip on something The family has been trying to grapple with the truth of the sudden demise of their sole-bread earner, but not with much success.
Grate (v) (1) Make an unpleasant sound so as to annoy (2) Rub together so as to reduce to small particles or a smaller size (1) As if the heavy metal sound of that rock group is not jarring enough, the voice of the lead vocalist really begins to grate on you a
Gratify (v) To please While I was really gratified at the news of my qualifying for the engineering degree course, there was also a bit of sadness at the thought of leaving school.
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
Gravity (n) 1) Seriousness 2) Attractive force by which bodies tend to center of earth (1) It was a good six hours before the gravity of the situation was really understood by the administration.
Greenhorn (n) An inexperienced person He was a bit of a greenhorn when it came to speaking in public, and his inexperience showed when he addressed the gathering at the club. syn: Simpleton
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.
Grievance (n) Cause of complaint Because the defect in the product could not be detected in time, the company is now flooded with grievances from customers complaining about the problem with the product.
Grimace (n & v) A facial distortion to show feeling of hurt or physical pain She grimaced with pain as she tried to stand up from her hospital bed, having fractured her ankle in a bicycle accident.
Grisly (adj.) Inspiring fear or horror The police has just unearthed a case of grisly murder, in which the victim has been burnt alive after being tied to a pole. syn: Gruesome
Gristle (n) Tough, inedible part of animal flesh, esp. in meat My grandfather does not have a strong set of teeth, so he cannot eat meat if there is any gristle in it.
Grotesque (n & adj.) Extremely ugly or unpleasant, Ridiculously unpleasant, Distorted In trying to appear half her age by putting on make-up and wearing tights, the middle-aged woman ended up looking grotesque. syn: Bizarre, Ludicrous
Grouse (v & n) 1) To complain, Fuss 2) Wild bird with feathered feet "Hes always complaining about something or the other; when its not the weather, the policies of the government becomes the subject of his grouse."
Grovel (v) To behave in an excessively humble or submissive way. Also, to be prostrate in humility or fear. He made it clear in the meeting that instead of groveling to the wishes of the owner of the company, he would rather submit his resignation. syn: Truckl
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.
Gruel (n & v) Liquid food made by boiling oatmeal etc The prisoners were served an extremely tasteless meal of rice, barley and gruel.
Grueling (adj.) Extremely tiring and difficult, and demanding great effort and determination In the finals of the Wimbledon championship, Sampras defeated Agassi in a grueling five-setter, which went on for over five hours.
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."
Gruff (adj.) Rough-mannered Though the doctor was quite brilliant, his gruff manner of speaking put off most of his patients and his practice never really picked up.
Gubernatorial (adj.) Of or having to do with the governor or the office of the governor As part of his gubernatorial benefits, he is entitled to a plush bungalow even after he retires from active life.
Guffaw (n & v) To laugh in a loud and rude manner, Such boisterous laughter At his stupid remark, Peter let out a loud guffaw.
Guile (n) Treachery, Deceit, Cunning I thought of him as a very simple and honest person; I could never have expected such guile from him.
Guise (n) External appearance, costume The police officer entered the casino under the guise of a wealthy businessman, and was soon ushered to the central playing table.
Gullible (adj.) Easily cheated or duped, stupid Gullible foreign tourists to India are often duped by unscrupulous travel agents. syn: Credulous
Gustatory (adj.) Affecting the sense of taste Since he had a bad cold, his gustatory senses were impaired and he could not enjoy the wonderful meal laid out for him.
Gusto (n) Enjoyment with which something is done The students enjoyed themselves to the hilt at the picnic, eating, dancing, and making merry with gusto.
Gyrate (v) To turn round and round on a fixed point, usu. while dancing The ballet dancer gracefully gyrated on her left toe with her hands raised high in the air, much to the appreciation from the audience.
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
Hackneyed (adj) Too common because of overuse For several years now, Indian film makers have not been able to think beyond the hackneyed love stories and revenge dramas. syn: Trite ant: Original
Haggard (adj & n) Tired and weary, usu. because of old age, Looking rather worn out Working so hard in such a difficult conditions has taken its toll on him; he has started to look rather haggard now as compared to his youth, when he was among the most handsome
Haggle (v & n) Argue about prices, such arguments or quarrels The shopkeepers in this market are quite rigid about the prices, so you will not be able to gain much by haggling.
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
Hallowed (adj) Blessed, Holy Every year, thousand of Muslims from all over the world visit the hallowed city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, where the shrine of Prophet Mohammed is situated. syn: Consecrated
Hallucination (n) To see/hear/feel something that is not actually present What you saw this morning was not a hallucination -- Russell Crow is actually in our town for a brief, unannced visit. syn: Delusion
Halting (adj) Hesitant, Faltering His speech was slow and halting, as if his mind were somewhere else.
Hamper (n & v) 1) Consignment of eatables, wines etc 2) To cause difficulty in movement or activity (1) They gifted a hamper of dry fruits, sweets and chocolates to us on the occasion of our anniversary.(2) Poor infrastructure has been the single largest factor
Haphazard (n, adj & adv) Random, by chance, casual The haphazard and unplanned growth of concrete structures has totally marred the natural beauty of this hill station. ant: Deliberate
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
Harass (v) To annoy by repeated attacks The naughty little children harassed their governess with their never-ending stream of questions.
Harbinger (n & v) 1) A person or thing showing that something is going to happen or is on its way 2) To annce approach of such thing "The nomination of the noted economist to the position of the countrys finance minister was seen by most people as the harbinger of
Harbor (n & v) 1) To have in mind, Keep in mind for a long period of time 2) To provide a place to hide 3) Place of shelter for ships "(1) However much they may blame me for the defeat of our team, I do not harbor any guilt as I dont think I did anything wrong.
Hardy (adj & n) Sturdy, Robust, Able to stand inclement weather Despite the cold weather, a few hardy people had still ventured out for a picnic.
Harlequin (n & adj) A clown or buffoon, Any person who dresses up in bright colored funny clothing The court jester was dressed in a bright orange colored robe with matching boots, looking very much the harlequin he was supposed to behave as. syn: Comedian
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.
Harrowing (adj) Causing great suffering and anxiety in the mind, Distressing, Traumatic "Theyve just been through a harrowing experience when their car was stopped by some ruffians on the highway and all their belongings were looted." syn: Agonizing
Haughty (adj) Arrogant and unfriendly, Thinking oneself to be superior to others She had been brought up in a pampered atmosphere, and as a result was haughty and disrespectful, very much a spoilt of brat. ant: Servile
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
Hazardous (adj) Which contains risk or danger The laboratory assistant warned us about being careful with the hazardous chemical in the flask, explaining that it was concentrated nitric acid and could be really dangerous if spilt. syn: Dangerous
Hazy (adj) Slightly obscure, Unclear, Uncertain "(1) Everything appeared hazy because of the heavy fog. (2) Im a bit hazy about the program; what are we supposed to do next?" syn: Cloudy
Headlong (adj & adv) With great speed and without thinking, Rash He could not see the train because of the fog and crashed his car headlong into it.
Headstrong (adj) Violently self-willed He is very headstrong and will not listen to anyone; let him take his own decision.
Heathen (adj & n) An unenlightened or irreligious person; specifically one who is neither Christian nor Jewish, nor Mohammedan The intolerant British general treated Indians as heathens and disapproved of their religious functions and festivals. syn: Pagan
Heckle (v & n) Interrupt a speaker with aggressive questions, Question persistently in order to confuse or discomfort a person Irritated by the continuous heckling from a group of students in the back rows and not having answers to their pointed questions, the
Hector (n & v) Bully, Torment by words When persuasion did not work, he tried to hector the laborers into signing the deal with the management.
Hedonism (n) Doctrine that pleasure is the chief good He is a confirmed hedonist, and believes in enjoying life to the fullest while it lasts. ant: (Hedonist) : Puritan
Heed (v & n) Pay attention to, or consider Careful attention Had I heeded to your warnings a year ago, I would not have landed in the mess I am in today.
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
Heinous (adj) Utterly wicked or shameful They confessed to having committed the heinous offense of selling the military secrets to the enemy agent. syn: Atrocious
Heist (n) A violent robbery, usu. of valuable property In a daring -million jewelry heist, the robbers managed to get past the security guard by drugging him and then entered the exhibition area
Herbivorous (adj) Feeding on plants or grains As a general rule, herbivorous animals like deer and elephants are milder and more gentle than their carnivorous counterparts such as tigers and wolves.
Heresy (n) Opinion contrary to accepted beliefs, The holding of such belief or opinion The defense minister dismissed as pure heresy the news that some enemy agents have infiltrated into the ranks of the national army. syn: Dissent, Nonconformity, Schism
Hermetic (adj) Airtight, protected from external agencies The child-like, innocent soul led a hermetic existence all on his own, totally oblivious of the wicked ways of the world. ant: Permeable
Hermitage (n) Home of a religious person, removed from the society The ascetic went from door to door begging for alms, and retreated to his secluded hermitage as night fell.
Heterodox (adj) Not accepting or holding religious doctrine, unorthodox, unconventional Because of their heterodox views about their own religion, they were despised by many members of their own community.
Heterogeneous (adj) 1) Diverse in character 2) Mixed The class is a heterogeneous mix of students from all corners of the country, and from all strata of society. ant: Homogeneous, Uniform
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). Such findings or procedure More and more schools are now adopting a heuristic approach to learning, in which the s
Heyday (n) Time of greatest success "During his heyday, when he was among the most respected businessmen of the society, he earned more than a day; now he doesnt earn that much in a month."
Hiatus (n) An opening, gap a break in the chain The cinema theater has resumed screening movies again, after a six-month hiatus, during which it majorly renovated its facilities. ant: Nexus, Connection
Hidebound (adj) Narrow minded The accounts department in most companies is rather hidebound -- it just sticks to the rules without any deviation. syn: Conservative
Hierarchy (n) 1) Organization with grades ranked one above the other 2) Priestly government organized in successive grades Within a short span of ten years, he had reached the top of the organizational hierarchy, working his way up the corporate ladder with dilige
Highbrow (adj & n) Serious, and intended for intelligent, educated people. Such people Seeing that there were very few buyers for the highbrow literary books and classics he was trying to sell, he has now switched over to selling the more popular fiction and fash
Hilarity (n) Cheerful laughter The gathering at the club had an atmosphere of mirth and hilarity, thanks to the merry jokes of the old sailor. syn: Cheerfulness
Hindrance (n) Obstruction, prevention or obstacle "Hes never considered his disability a hindrance, though the people around him make him feel he is different."
Hirsute (adj) Rough with hair or bristles, Hairy He used to sport a clean-shaven look earlier, but I think he now looks better ever since he decided to have a hirsute face. syn: Pilose ant: Bald
Histrionic (adj & n) Behaving or done in a too theatrical way, esp. in showing feelings that are insincere or pretended "She put on a shameless display of histrionics at her former husbands funeral -- everyone knows how much pain and suffering she had caused him wh
Hoard (v & n) Accumulate or store for future use. Such storage or accumulation As the rumor spread that curfew was about to be imposed in the city, people panicked and started to hoard foodstuff in huge quantities. ant: Lavish
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."
Hoax (v & n) Deceive, or cheat a person, esp. as a joke Hence, any humorous or mischievous deception The telephone call about the bomb threat turned out to be a hoax; no bomb was found on the plane and because of the delay, I missed my connecting flight.
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.
Holster (n) A leather pistol-case that can be worn on belt or under arm Before the robber could react, the sheriff had pulled his gun out of its holster and aimed at him.
Homage (n) A formal public honor or tribute to someone Paying homage to the former President who had passed away, the Senator said that the President had been a source of constant inspiration to him.
Homely (adj) (1) Very plain and simple, in a pleasing way (2) Ugly, Not attractive or good looking (1) The room did not offer any luxuries but was homely and comfortable.(2) She considered herself too homely to be ever able to get a date for herself.
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.
Homogeneous (adj) Consisting of parts of the same kind This village has had very little interaction with the outside world, and as a result its population has remained quite homogenous over the past five decades. ant: Heterogeneous, Variegated
Hone (v) To sharpen, Make something suitable for its purpose For three years, he honed his skills in archery by practicing in his backyard before attempting to participate in the Olympic Games. ant: Blunt
Hoodwink (v) Deceive, Cheat By making some false anncements to the press, he managed to hoodwink a large number of people into investing in his company, and as soon as he had collected a five hundred thousand dollars, he disappeared without a trace. syn: Delude
Horde (n) A large, noisy and excited crowd Hordes of angry young people surrounded the residence of the controller of examinations, accusing him of discrepancies in the examination system.
Hors d`oeuvre (n) An extra dish served as an appetizer before a meal He had stuffed himself with the hors d`oeuvres served at the party, and did not have the appetite for the main course.
Horticultural (n) The art of cultivation of gardens The horticultural show attracted a large number of amateur garden enthusiasts, and some of the flower decorations on display were most pleasing to look at.
Hostility (n) Unfriendliness, State of warfare I tried hard to bring about an understanding between them, but their hostility had increased to such an extent that they simply refused to talk to each other. syn: Enmity
Hovel (n) An small shed or house in miserable condition The house was little more than a hovel and totally inhospitable.
Hover (v & n) (1) Hang about in the air, or wait at a nearby place (2) Remain in an undecided state Several suspicious looking characters hovered around at the port, and as night fell, they started their illegal operations under cover of darkness.
Hubris (n) An arrogant pride It was nothing but hubris that led him to believe that he could take on the world champion in the boxing ring; he was knocked out in four minutes flat.
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
Hue (n) (1) Variety of color (2) Loud cry of disapproval "(1) Adding a tinge of orange color to the palette gave the mixture a brilliant golden hue, just the shade the painter was looking for.(2) The farmers lobby made a loud hue and cry in front of the Parl
Humane (adj) Marked by kindness or consideration In an extremely humane gesture, the popular movie star has decided to bear the entire cost of treatment of one of his fans aged twelve years who is suffering from cancer. syn: Thoughtfulness
Humdrum (adj & n) Lacking excitement, Dull, Ordinary My new assignment involved a lot of travelling and was full of action, starkly in contrast to the previous one in which I had a very humdrum routine, sitting at my desk and working from 9 to 6. syn: Too ordin
Humid (adj) Damp, Moist "It is not the heat but the humidity that gets very difficult to bear, as people can be sweating profusely as they go about their days work."
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
Hurtle (v) To move very fast, usu. in a dangerous way The children hurtled down the hill on their bicycles, thrilled at the speed and the freedom.
Hybrid (n & adj) A mixture of two different things, usu. of a better quality than the individual things Agricultural scientists in that laboratory have tried some crazy experiments -- like when they tried to grow a hybrid of tomato and potato, calling it pomato
Hyperbole (n) Exaggerated statement not meant to be taken literally His hyperbolic speech about how well the economy has performed may have won him a lot of applause, but he himself knows quite well that not all of what he said is as good as it sounds. ant: Under
Hypochondria (n) State of constantly imagining that one is ill All the three doctors whom she consulted diagnosed her condition as an acute case of hypochondria, telling her that her illness was just in her imagination.
Hypocrisy (n) Pretending to believe or feel something when actually one does not do so He accused her of hypocrisy in front of the entire class -- saying that she only made a display of sympathy for the poor and not actually feeling anything for them.
Hypothetical (adj) Based on assumptions or hypotheses, Supposed "The spokesperson of the party dismissed the journalists question about the possibility of the party merging with another regional party, describing it as purely hypothetical and having no basis." syn:
Iconoclast (n) A person who does not respect conventional ideas, who attacks established beliefs or customs "Though he is modern, we cannot call him an iconoclast because he still respects his culture and traditions, and his fathers conventional ideas."
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.
Idyllic (adj) "Relating to a pleasant (almost ideal) phase of ones life, usu. in a peaceful, non-urban environment" The doctor advised me to spend a week on a hill station, saying that the idyllic setting would be a big relief for me from the stressful environme
Ignite (v) To cause to burn, To catch fire Because of the high temperature and atmospheric pressure in the underground oil rig, the fuel can sometimes ignite on its own. ant: Extinguish
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
Illustrious (adj) Famous, Widely admired Who can forget the illustrious name of Mother Teresa, whose selfless service to mankind even got her the Noble Prize for peace. ant: Lazy
Imbecile (n) Mentally weak, foolish "He used to be one of the most intelligent boys of the class, but the accident he met with a month back has made him an imbecile; he cant even solve a simple arithmetic question now."
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.
Imbue (v) Fill with feelings, qualities or opinions As the eldest son in the family, he was imbued with a deep sense of responsibility when his father passed away.
Immaculate (adj) Spotless, Clean and unspoiled He came for the meeting dressed in an immaculate brown suit, in stark contrast with the casual jeans and T-shirts that I usually saw him in. syn: Stainless, Untainted ant: Sullied
Immanent (adj) Inborn, Inherent "Hes never been to an acting school -- his skills in acting are totally immanent."
Immense (adj) Extremely large in size or degree All his teachers had asked him to give up as he was very weak in studies; but within a month he showed an immense improvement in his studies and passed the exam with flying colors.
Imminent (adj) About to happen shortly, That which cannot be delayed or avoided The tension along the border of the two countries had risen significantly over the past few months, and some analysts were predicting that a full scale war was imminent. syn: Impendi
Immobile (adj) That which cannot move or be moved Both plants and animals are living and many of their biological processes are similar, but one significant difference between them is that whereas animals can move from one place to another, plants are immobile.
Immune (adj) Unable to be harmed because of special properties in oneself. Also, specially protected "Though people often criticize his way of ruling, he doesnt get perturbed by such criticisms; he seems to be immune to all sorts of criticisms." ant: Susceptib
Immure (v) Imprison, Shut someone away from home The hostages were immured in a dark, poorly-ventilated room, and as the days passed, their hopes of release grew fainter. syn: Incarcerate ant: Liberate
Immutable (adj) That which cannot be changed, Unchangeable There are certain things that can be changed according to the situations and needs, but some of the things are so immutable that they have to be accepted as they are. ant: Mutable, Changeable
Impair (v) To weaken or worsen He was very efficient and hardworking, but prolonged illness has badly impaired his efficiency, he cannot even do half the amount of work he used to.
Impale (v) To pierce or fix with a pointed object The cruel hunters had impaled the dead deer with spears, and held their kill high up in the air as if in celebration.
Impalpable (adj) Which cannot be felt, touched or understood I was surprised to learn that earthquakes are a very frequent phenomenon and occur in our country almost every day, but most of them are so small in magnitude that they are totally impalpable. ant: Palpa
Impartial (adj) Not biased, Fair Even though the murderer was his son, the king gave his judgement absolutely impartially, stating that his son should get the punishment he deserved. ant: Partial, Biased
Impassable (adj) Which cannot be traveled over or crossed The smaller route we used to take to reach the station was impassable because of heavy rain the previous night, so we had to take the longer route. ant: Accessible
Impasse (n) "Point at which its not possible to move or develop further, Deadlock" The negotiations were not getting anywhere and the two parties were heading towards a state of impasse, neither willing to compromise on their basic terms.
Impassive (adj) Dull and expressionless. Also, without feeling While all the others were celebrating their victory over their rivals, Don alone stood impassive, showing no expressions. syn: Stolid, Stoical, Imperturbable ant: Demonstrative
Impeccable (adj) Flawless, Free from blame or fault Though people believed him to be of an impeccable character, nobody knew that he had once been a petty thief, and had often been to prison.
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
Impede (v) To get in the way of or slow down movement of As soon as it was known that the trains had met with an accident, a rescue team was sent to the spot, but the rescue operation was impeded by heavy rainfall and bad weather. ant: Assist
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."
Impending (adj) About to happen soon, Approaching As soon as the residents of the apartment heard there was a possibility of an impending earthquake, they rushed down the building and gathered in an open ground. syn: Imminent
Impenetrable (adj) Not able to be pierced or entered, Beyond understanding The impenetrable darkness inside the cave prevented us from entering it; it was just not possible for us to see anything and move forward. syn: Inscrutable, Impervious ant: Penetrable
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
Imperative (adj) Absolutely necessary, Urgent, Critically important The matter was so imperative that the chairman called an urgent meeting of all the senior managers as soon as he heard about it. ant: Trivial
Imperceptible (adj) Not noticeable because of smallness or slightness "The movement of the magicians hand was barely imperceptible to any of us in the audience, but it was a good enough signal for his assistant to come on the stage."
Imperial (adj) Like an emperor, Related to an empire or a ruler There was a time when Britain was an imperial power, ruling over almost the whole world. ant: Common
Imperious (adj) Commanding, Expecting obedience While he himself is quite humble and obedient, he wife is equally imperious; she demands obedience from all. syn: Domineering, Haughty ant: Obsequious
Impermeable (adj) That does not permit the passage of fluids The boots are made of an impermeable material so that no liquid can pass through it and infect the skin. syn: Impervious ant: Porous
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.
Impervious (adj) Not allowing anything to pass through, Incapable of being damaged or distressed Totally impervious to the harsh criticism from most parts of the world, the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan went ahead with the demolition of Buddhist statues in their c
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
Impetus (n) That which encourages action, Incentive, Moving force "After the long days hard work, the campaigners were very tired and had decided to give up, but seeing the TV cameras being trained towards them gave them a fresh impetus, and they started campaig
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.
Impish (adj) Mischievous The little child gave me an impish smile as he mischievously ran away with the candy lying on my table. syn: Naughty ant: Beatific
Implacable (adj) Incapable of being pacified, That which cannot be satisfied or soothed "On her fathers funeral, Stella was implacable and continuously in tears; everyone present knew how attached she had been to her father." syn: Fastidious
Implausible (adj) Unlikely, Not seeming true "Though in the beginning the task assigned to us looked implausible, we soon realized that with good and hard-working people, it was possible to carry out, and could be completed within a weeks time." ant: Feasible
Implement (v) Put into effect, Carry out The circular states that even though our suggestions are accepted by the committee, they will be implemented only after a month.
Implicate (v) "To prove someones involvement, usu. in an unlawful act" "Though Thorne has denied all the charges of his involvement in his brothers murder, one of the witnesses claims to have a letter implicating his involvement in the same."
Implication (n) Something hinted at or suggested, Something implied Though she never said so directly, I got a feeling from her words that her implication was that they might be headed for a divorce.
Implicit (adj) (1) Understood, but not directly stated (2) Complete and unquestioning (1) It is in the final stanza of the poem that the poet has conveyed his implicit feelings about the injustice of the British rule.(2) I have implicit trust in him -- I know tha
Implore (v) Beg earnestly for He is very sorry for being so rude to her in the party; now he has decided to go to her and implore her forgiveness. syn: Entreat
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.
Imposter (n) Someone who assumes a false identity The whole village believed him to be a policeman, and it was only after a year when he was arrested by the police that they came to know that he was an imposter. syn: Swindler
Impotent (adj) Weak, Powerless, Lacking in sexual power While he was asked to take a small dosage of the medicine to improve his vitality, he was warned against its over-dosage, which could have an adverse effect, and make him impotent. ant: Virile, Powerful
Impound (v) To take possession by law, confiscate legally His passport has been impounded by the police so that he cannot leave the country till he is cleared of the charges of financial irregularities.
Impoverished (adj) Poor Most poor people in India are unable to rise above their impoverished states because of lack of awareness, illiteracy, and a tendency of wealth to attract wealth. syn: Penurious, Indigent, Impecunious
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
Impregnable (adj) That which cannot be entered or taken by force It was because of the negligence and unfaithfulness of his own people that his great kingdom, which was otherwise impregnable, was taken by force by his rival.
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
Impressionable (adj) Easily influenced It is important to make a child learn something at an impressionable age, rather than at an age when he cannot be influenced and his ideas cannot be changed.
Impromptu (adj) Done without preparation Though caught unawares when he was asked by the principal to deliver an impromptu vote of thanks at the end of the performance, he managed himself commendably and spoke really well. ant: Rehearsed
Impropriety (n) An act which is not proper or suitable in the circumstances To yawn in public without covering your mouth is considered to be a social impropriety. syn: Indecency
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.
Improvise (v) To do or make something on the spur of the moment, as the situation arises The actor has a great talent for improvising a scene as the shooting is on; many of his best scenes have several unrehearsed nuances in them.
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
Impunity (n) Acting without any fear of punishment The terrorists struck with impunity, totally without fear of the security forces, and decimated human lives and property at will. ant: Liability
Inadvertent (adv) By accident, Done without intention Though his mother thought that Parkins had broken the flower-vase purposely, his father knew that he inadvertently hit the vase while playing in the hall.
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
Inane (adj) Extremely stupid, Senseless At first his remarks seemed totally inappropriate and even inane, but slowly I began to see the thread of logic and reasoning in what he was saying. syn: Vacuous ant: Wise
Inanimate (adj) Not living, lifeless It was amazing to see how the magician could make some of the inanimate objects, like tables and chairs, move as if they were living. ant: Lively
Inarticulate (adj) Not expressed clearly, Unclear speech When it comes to expressing his emotions, he is hopelessly inarticulate and just cannot convey what he wants to.
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.
Incandescent (adj) Glowing with heat, Shining brightly, Strikingly bright On the morning of the wedding, she had an incandescent glow on her face that expressed her quiet confidence and her inner beauty.
Incantation (n) Singing or chanting of magic spells, Magical formula The old woman practiced witchcraft, and was often heard reciting incantations, which she believed would keep the evil spirits away.
Incapacitate (v) Disable, Render incapable or unfit The worker badly hurt his right leg in the accident and was incapacitated for nearly six months.
Incarcerate (v) Imprison, To keep someone away from routine life, as if in prison Not even six months had passed since he was released from incarceration when he was charged of another robbery and sent back to prison. syn: Immure ant: Unfetter
Incarnate (adj) In physical form, rather than in the form of an idea With the kind of inhuman tratment they meted out to the prisoners of war, the Nazi generals can only be described as devils incarnate.
Incarnation (n) Act of assuming a human body and human nature The old saint believes that in his previous incarnation, he was a king, and that in his next birth, he will be a king again. syn: Embodiment, Personification
Incendiary (adj & n) Designed to cause fire. Hence, tending to cause trouble or rouse passions The police had arrested three persons, carrying some incendiary devices; they had planned to blow up the theater. syn: Seditious (adj), Arsonist, Agitator (n) ant: Bene
Incense (v) Annoy, Make angry She was incensed by his rude and mean behavior at the party, now she has decided to break with him. syn: Infuriate ant: Pacify, Soothe
Incentive (n) An encouraging force, Motivating power "At the time when the whole world seemed to have discouraged her, just a three-word phrase from her father, Dont give up, acted as an incentive for her to start her career once again."
Inception (n) Beginning The boys had been working very hard on the project since its inception, but now that they are near its completion, they are a bit tired. ant: Termination
Incessant (adj) Continuous over a long period of time, Unstopping "Weve been facing incessant rainfall for the last three days and many areas in the town are flooded." syn: Uninterrupted ant: Interrupted
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
Incidental (adj) Happening or existing in connection with something else that is more important The company was not supposed to give him any traveling allowance for his personal work, however, he was entitled to receive the incidental expenses of the business trips
Incinerate (v) Reduce to ashes, Consume by fire "In the poem Chicago, the poet calls the city of Chicago the incinerator of the nation, where all the rubbish is brought and finally burnt causing lot of pollution in the atmosphere."
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
Incisive (adj) Going directly to the main point of the matter that is being considered I did not have much idea of the controversy raging around the construction of the dam until I saw the incisive documentary on the subject telecast on BBC a few days back. syn:
Incite (v) Arouse to action, Provoke The policeman, instead of preventing the crime, was seen as himself inciting the criminal elements to indulge in the illegal activities. syn: Goad
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
Incline (n & v) Bend, Slope, Slant In the beginning, I was determined and had decided to go to Shimla, but his constant arguments inclined me to change my mind and I stayed back. ant: Decline
Incognito (adj & adv) With a hidden identity, Assuming a false identity Fearing that she would be hounded by the press as well as the general public, the famed Hollywood actress decided to travel to India incognito.
Incoherent (adj) Displaying inability to express oneself clearly, Without suitable links between ideas and thoughts The disease has got worse and is now affecting his brain making him completely incoherent; he can not even express his feelings in words.
Incompatible (adj) Not suitable to be together with another thing or person In any case, both the suggestions cannot be implemented together, they are mutually so incompatible that the implementation of one would prevent that of the other. ant: Suitable, Compatible
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.
Inconsequential (adj) Insignificant, Unimportant The students realized that the cultural program they were planning to organize was not so big an event and that it was too inconsequential to invite the President as the chief guest on the occasion, so they invited their
Inconsistency (n) State of being self-contradictory, Lack of uniformity or steadiness Whatever the witness said in the stand today is inconsistent with his previous statement; he did not confess seeing the murderer in his first statement, but now he says that he was w
Incontrovertible (adj) Impossible to disprove, Not open to question Despite what seemed like incontrovertible evidence against her, Ms. Gourd maintained that she was not involved in the burglary at the Denshaw residence.
Incorporate (v) Introduce something into a larger whole, Combine, Unite Initially they had refused even to listen to his suggestions, but after much persuasion, when he managed to present his views to them, they decided to incorporate his suggestions in their plan.
Incorporeal (adj) Lacking a material body He is a master at writing ghost stories, and his latest story is about a mysterious incorporeal being, not visible to anyone, frequently visiting a patient on his death bed.
Incorrigible (adj) Very bad and beyond correction, Incurably bad or depraved Greg is such an incorrigible liar that in spite of being punished several times for lying, he just refuses to speak the truth. ant: Curable
Incredible (adj) Too strange to be believed After three years of research, the scientist came up with an incredible theory that the dinosaurs had not originated on the earth but were alien beings.
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
Increment (n) An increase in value, usu. monetary value The company, being satisfied and happy with his sincere and hard work, decided that there should be an increment in his monthly wages. ant: Decrease
Incriminate (V) Charge with crime, Accuse Though everybody knew that Walter was the only person who could kill his brother, but there being no incriminating evidence against him, the court had to acquit him. syn: Implicate
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
Incubate (v) (1) Keep eggs warm till they are hatched (2) Plan an idea over a period of time The couple incubated the idea of opening a development center for children with disabilities for several months between themselves, and finally decided to move ahead with
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.
Incumbent (n) A person who holds an office or performs official duties The incumbent Prime Minister will face some difficult times as soon as he takes charge : the biggest problem he faces is to reconcile the conflicting interests of the various coalition members.
Incur (v) "Bring on one-self, Receive something as a result of ones actions" Since there were no experienced employees and the Managing Director himself was a beginner, the company incurred heavy losses in the first year.
Incursion (n) Hostile invasion, Sudden attack As soon as the army came to know about the incursion of the enemy into their territory, they came into action and pushed them back bravely.
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
Indelible (adj) That cannot be rubbed out, Not able to be erased Those years of my early childhood, when my father did not have enough money to send my brother to school, taught me the value of money and have left an indelible impression on me.
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."
Indentation (n) A space into which something can fit into or which has been made by cutting into something In the classical format of writing a letter, each paragraph must begin with an indentation; but in the contemporary format, you may begin a paragraph immediate
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.
Indeterminate (adj) Uncertain, Not clearly fixed, Indefinite Although the club has decided to go ahead with the proposed trip to Ireland, the date for the trip is still indeterminate; the moment it is finalised, all the members will be informed. ant: Determinate, Def
Indict (v) Make a formal accusation against, to charge with a wrong, offense or short coming Three people have been indicted by the judge for manufacturing and selling spurious medicines.
Indifferent (adj) Unmoved, Unconcerned While the whole class was listening to the lecture with interest and attention, Steven was sitting quite indifferently. ant: Concerned
Indigenous (adj) Originating or belonging naturally to a particular place, Native The botanists were surprised to see that, in spite of different weather conditions of India and Siberia, the plant which was considered indigenous to Siberia, was also found in India.
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
Indignant (n) Expressing or feeling anger at an injustice In spite of his unfair dismissal from the office, he did not express his indignation over it; he quietly left the office without saying a word.
Indignity (n) Insulting treatment, A situation in which one feels offended or not respected Bruce had to suffer the indignity of being called a sissy in front of his girl-friend, and he was too shocked to react. syn: Embarrassment
Indiscriminate (adj) Not thinking or planning in advance, and suffering harm as a result. Also, choosing at random and without any logic The indiscriminate felling of trees on the slopes of those mountains in order to extract the mineral resources from the mountains is
Indisposed (adj) (1) Not feeling well (2) Not willing to do something (1) She rang up saying that she is indisposed and will not be coming for the class today. (2) For fear of being called a coward, Jason did not express his indisposition to the plan of not attendi
Indisputable (adj) That cannot be questioned, Beyond doubt "With the huge successes of Russel Crowes previous three films, and his Oscar nomination, his position as one of the leading Hollywood stars is indisputable." syn: Indubitable
Indissoluble (adj) That which cannot be separated or broken up (or dissolved), Lasting The bond of friendship between the two friends had seemed indissoluble while they were at college, so it is a little hard to believe that they have not even kept in touch with each
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
Induce (v) Persuade, Bring about, Prevail on The only job of the institute, famous for preparing candidates for interviews, was to induce enough confidence in the candidates to be able to face any situation with a cool mind.
Indulgent (adj) (1) Allowing others to do or have what they want (2) Someone who allows oneself to have whatever one wishes (1) I have not known a more indulgent father than him, he lets his two children have whatever they wish. ant: Abstemious
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.
Industrious (adj) Diligent, Hard-working The success of the company can be attributed to the hard work of its employees; they are so industrious that they often work from morning to evening without even taking a break. ant: Slothful
Inebriated (adj) Consuming too much alcohol, Totally drunk Though in the beginning he was somewhat in his senses, but as he took one drink after the other, he was so inebriated that his friends had to drop him at his place. syn: Intoxicated ant: (Inebriation) : S
Ineffable (adj) Too wonderful to be described in words, Which cannot be expressed in speech My joy at having been selected for the job from among twenty candidates was ineffable; I just did not have the words to describe it. syn: Indescribable, Inexpressible
Ineffectual (adj) Not effective, Unable to produce the desired results He tried his best to come out of the whirpool, but all his efforts proved to be ineffectual as the current of the water was too strong to be opposed. ant: Effective, Efficient
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."
Inept (adj) Lacking skill, Unsuited, Incompetent Had it not been for the clumsy handling of the situation by the inept vice-president, we would surely have won the deal.
Inequity (n) Unfairness Unable to withstand the inequity of being discriminated against because of his abnormally small height, the young man decided to leave the city and lead a secluded life in a place where no one would recognize him.
Inert (adj) Lacking the strength or power to move, Inactive "That dog has been lying inert in that position for more than an hour now, I think somethings seriously wrong with it." syn: Sluggish, Slow ant: Active
Inevitable (adj) Unavoidable, Certain to happen Since both the parties envied each other, an argument was inevitable when both were called together for the conference. ant: Uncertain
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
Infallible (adj) Incapable of being wrong, That which cannot fail In defense of himself, he said that his memory is not infallible and he may not have correctly recalled each and every word of what the priest had told him. syn: Unerring
Infamous (adj) Known for negative reasons, Notorious Other than the infamous Monica Lewinsky affair which had almost cost him the presidency, Bill Clinton had a reasonably illustrious eight years in office. ant: Eminent
Infantile (adj) Childish, Immature I had never expected such infantile behavior from you all -- I thought you were grown ups! syn: Puerile ant: Mature
Infer (v) To make a judgement based on something, Form an opinion from something Nothing was clearly evident from his reply, but from what we could infer from it, he was not really interested in the deal.
Infernal (adj) (1) Extremely unpleasant, Terrible (2) Like, or related to, hell (1) For almost a week after the earthquake destroyed the city, the survivors were living in infernal conditions in small, ill-equipped tents that were just not sufficient to protect
Infidelity (n) Not being faithful (esp. in marriage) Looking at the many infidelities he has committed in their eight years of marriage, I am not surprised that they have decided to separate.
Infiltrate (v) To go into or pass through something without being noticed Showing extraordinary courage, the young soldier managed to infiltrate the enemy camp, gather some vital information, and return to the army headquarters.
Infinitesimal (n) Very small The doctor affirmed that the drug contained only an infinitesimal amount of alcohol and will not in way harm the child. ant: Significant
Infirmity (n) Weakness of the body or mind The old man had come to the clinic in an advanced stage of infirmity; he was so weak that he could not walk properly even with the help of a stick.
Inflated (adj) Increased to a high level, sometimes falsely The lawyer said that the accused had artificially inflated the value of his buiding so that he could claim a higher amount of insurance money. syn: Pompous ant: Slothful, Minimized
Influx (n) (1) Sudden arrival in great numbers (2) Inflow The last decade has seen an unprecedented influx of people from the villages into this city, leading to the many problems that the city is facing. ant: (Inebriation) : Sobriety
Infraction (n) Breaking of a rule or law, Violation "The judge decreed that the executives action was an infraction of his authority and made the company liable for penalty." syn: Infringement
Infringe (v) To go against a law or take over the right of another The Delhi traffic police has designated certain areas in the city as Zero-tolerance Zones where even a minor infringement of the traffic rules is liable to be punished.
Infuriate (v) To make extremely angry, Enrage Not able to hide his infuriation at the delay in the bank, the old man lashed out against the functioning of the bank. ant: Pacify
Ingenious (adj) Clever, Resourceful, esp. at making or inventing things Because of financial constraints, they had to think of ingenious ways to promote their film, which included staging street plays near the theaters where the film was being screened. syn: Adro
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
Ingest (v) To swallow food etc. She is not able to ingest a medicine pill by swallowing it, so the doctor had no option but to give her an injection.
Ingrained (adj) Deeply established, Firmly rooted The belief that the role of a married woman is restricted to being a good house keeper is still ingrained in traditional Indian society. syn: Inveterate
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.
Inherent (adj) Present naturally as a part of something, Not thought of as separate Setting up a business vesture has some inherent financial risks, but the rewards are also accordingly greater. syn: Intrinsic ant: Extrinsic
Inhibit (v) Prevent, Restrict, Hold back Being exposed to an environment of intense competition in an early age can inhibit the natural growth of a child, and can even lead to severe learning disabilities. syn: Forbid, Prohibit ant: Encourage, Catalyze
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
Initiate (v) (1) Begin, Originate (2) Introduce someone into a group, club etc. After facing a lot of pressure from several lobbies, the government has finally initiated an inquiry into the Herschelle murder case, in which the son of a former senator is supposedl
Inkling (n) Hint, Slight knowledge or suggestion Though he had said that he would be coming to Detroit, I have no inkling of his exact plans as to when he is reaching here.
Innate (adj) That which someone was born with, Inborn He has a remarkable innate sense of direction; he can find his way in an unfamiliar place without any difficulty.
Innocuous (adj) Harmless, Not injurious What began as an innocuous interest in listening to rock music soon took the shape of a dangerous obsession, so much so that he has now been complaining of problems in hearing. ant: Malignant
Innovation (n) Change, Introduction of something new The 3M company is known for its high innovation abilities -- all the employees are geared towards inventing or creating something unique which can be marketed as a new product.
Innuendo (n) An unpleasant and indirect remark That newspaper article seems to be planted by his opponents -- it contains several unfair and unproven innuendoes about him, most of them relating to his personal life. syn: Insinuation
Inopportune (adj) Untimely, Unsuitable because of poor timing, Poorly chosen "Donalds shoulder injury has come at the most inopportune time for the South African cricket team, as they are scheduled to play an important series against Australia next month."
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.
Inquisition (n) An inquiry, usu., without much regard to the rights of the people being questioned The player accused of match fixing was subjected to an inquisition by the intelligence agency, which lasted for over eight hours.
Insatiable (adj) Not easily satisfied, Inordinately greedy He could go to any extent to fulfil his insatiable appetite for power -- without any concern for the welfare of the people around him. syn: Unquenchable
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
Insidious (adj) Secretly harmful, Causing harm gradually and without being noticed The insidious disease has afflicted him for the past several years and has been harming his internal organs without his even getting to know about it. syn: Crafty, Deceitful
Insight (n) (1) Clear understanding of something (2) The ability to understand the true nature of a situation The programme on migratory birds telecast last night on the Discovery Channel gave a wonderful insight into the amazing direction sense of these birds.
Insinuate (v) To suggest slightly or indirectly, hint. Also to introduce or work gradually in a subtle or indirect way. "The chairmans speech at the Annual General Meeting of the company had the explosive insinuation that the president of the company has been sec
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
Insolent (adj) Rude, Showing disrespectfulness Enraged at the insolent and offensive behavior of the two students, the teacher walked out of the class. syn: Impudent ant: Courteous
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.
Insomnia (n) Sleeplessness, Inability to sleep After suffering for almost eight years, he was finally cured of insomnia by an Ayurvedic medicine, and is now able to have a souond sleep.
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.
Instigate (v) (1) To provoke or encourage to do something wrong (2) Start or be responsible for starting The parents of the child have threatened to instigate legal proceedings against the school for neglecting their child. syn: Incite
Insubordinate (adj) Intentionally disobedient, Not willing to take orders Despite repeated scoldings from the teacher for being extremely insubordinate, Yusuf continued to be stubbornly disobedient. ant: Docile
Insubstantial (adj) Lacking substance, Insignificant The plot of the film was hopelessly insubstantial -- even I could have written a more interesting story than this. ant: Significant
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
Insurgent (adj) "Rising in active revolt, A person fighting against authority in ones own country" The insurgents have threatened to split the party if their demand for changing the party vice president is not met within a week.
Insurmountable (adj) Overwhelming, Unbeatable The finance minister faces an insurmountable task in balancing the interests of the economy with those of his political stability. syn: Insuperable ant: Vincible
Insurrection (n) Organized rebellion against the authority This African country has seen so many instances of attempts of an insurrection that the news that the President faced yet another coup did not come as a surprise to them.
Intangible (adj) That cannot be touched or felt, yet is real, and therefore difficult to explain The benefits that you would get from this investment probably seem a little intangible as you do not get them immediately, but they are for real nevertheless. syn: Imp
Integral (None) Complete, Necessary for completeness "The unity of the citizens of a country is an integral part in the countrys overall development and progress."
Integrate (v) Make whole, Combine, Make into one unit Despite coming from a totally different culture, he has been able to remarkably integrate himself into the Japanese society. ant: Segregate
Integrity (n) Having strong moral principles, Uprightness, Honesty I think he was finally chosen over all the others because of his unflinching integrity, something that none of the other candidates seem to have. syn: Soundness ant: Improbity
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.
Intellect (n) Reasoning, Higher mental powers Only if he had made use of his intellect while investing in that property, he would not have suffered such a heavy loss. syn: Understanding
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.
Interloper (n) Intruder, Person who interferes in any activity without proper authoroty or permission The interloper managed to not only get past the security at the concert gates, he even tried to climb on to the stage and deliver a speech to the audience.
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
Intermittent (adj) Periodic, On and off Though the weather bulletin on TV had predicted intermittent rainfall for the entire day, it has been continuously raining ever since I woke up this morning. ant: Constant
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,
Interrogate (v) Question closely, Cross-examine Though he was interrogated by the Intellignece Bureau for over six hours, he managed to answer all questions with ease, without crumbling under the pressure.
Intervene (v) Come between, Occur in the meantime Being a guest in the household, I did not feel it would be right to intervene in the family argument.
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
Intimate (adj) (1) Having a very close and personal, often sexual, relationship (2) Expert, Detailed and obtained after a lot of research or experience (1) The girl could communicate everything to her parents only because they shared a very intimate relationship
Intimate (v) To suggest or indicate, Make clear ones opinion without stating it directly We never received any intimation of his willingness to take up this job, so we assumed that he would not be interested.
Intimidate (v) Frighten, Inspire with fear The poor old man was intimidated into refraining from giving evidence against the gang of bank robbers.
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
Intrepid (adj) Fearless, Brave The young, intrepid air force officer bravely took his aircraft over the enemy camp, and before the enemy could react, came back after dropping two bombs on the camp. ant: Cowardly, Craven
Intricate (adj) Complex, Knotty, Perplexingly entangled The spider has spun an intricate web between the two walls; the fine threads of which gleamed because of the dew that had fallen on it. syn: Obscure
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.
Introvert (n) One who is introspective, Inclined to think more about oneself He is a terrible introvert; it is very difficult to draw him into a conversation, but once he gets drawn, he shows remarkable intellignece. ant: Extrovert
Intrude (v) Trespass, Enter as an uninvited person Though one of the basic tenets of journalism is to not intrude into the personal lives of people, there are hardly any journalists who follow this principle.
Intuition (n) Immediate insight, Power of knowing without reasoning, Immediate apprehension by sense The student had a very strong intuition that he had failed the exam, which was proved correct when the teacher annced the results in class. ant: Ratiocination
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
Invalidate (v) To prove wrong, Make something legally incorrect "The expert lawyer had no difficulty in invalidating the witness feeble claim that he had seen the victim leave his house at midnight of the night the murder happened." ant: Validate, Attest
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.
Invincible (adj) Unconquerable The company seemed invincible for as long as it was being headed by the young and dynamic chairman, but since he has been replaced by the former vice president, labor and production troubles have had a devastating impact on its result
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
Invocation (n) Prayer for help, Calling upon as a reference or support "When invocations to the state governer for granting amnesty to the prisoner condemned to death did not work, the prisoners wife took her pleadings to the President of the country."
Iota (n) Very small quantity "Im absolutely convinced that the plan you have proposed will not work -- I dont even have an iota of doubt that the plan is doomed to failure."
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
Irate (adj) Very angry A number of irate customers called up the shopkeeper saying that the washing machines they had purchased over the previous few days were defective.
Iridescent (adj) Showing colors like those of rainbow, Changing color with position. Watching the sun set into the sea, along with the iridescent play of changing colors of the sea, is one of the most beautiful sights of nature.
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
Ironic (adj) Resulting in an unexpected and contrary outcome It is ironic that while a large number of goods are now cheaper to produce than before, fewer people can afford to buy them.
Irony (n) "Hidden sarcasm or satire, Expression of ones meaning by language of opposite or different tendency" There was a distinct element of irony in his voice when he said that he owed all that he had achieved to the ways of the corporate world.
Irrational (adj) Illogical, Not endowed with reason, Insane "Though he seems pretty convinced, I think his decision to leave the company to start a business of his own is rather irrational as I dont believe he has the financial acumen to run a business on his own."
Irreconcilable (adj) Incompatible, Not able to be resolved The judge granted them a divorce on grounds of irreconciliable differences.
Irrefutable (adj) Indisputable, Inconvertible, Undeniable On the basis of the irrefutable evidence provided by the lawyer to the court, the judge had no option but to release the accused without any convictions.
Irrelevant (adj) Not applicable, Unrelated, Not to the point The teacher scolded the students to concentrate on their studies and not spend time on irrational things. ant: Pertinent, Relevant
Irremediable (adj) That cannot be remedied, Incurable Even the doctors consider it nothing short of a miracle that he has been cured of the disease that they themselves had considered as irremediable and given up hope. syn: Uncorrectable ant: Curable
Irreparable (adj) Not able to be corrected or repaired, That cannot be rectified However hard the government may try to help the victims of the Gujarat earthquake, the loss to the thousands of families whose members perished in the quake is totally irreparable.
Irrepressible (adj) Unable to be restrained or held back The irrepressible Mr. Yadav, one of the most vocal members of Parliament, had started shouting slogans against the budgetary proposals even before the finance minister began his budget speech.
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
Itinerary (n) Route, Record of travel, Plan of a trip Even though the itinerary was made well in advance, the executive could not stick to the original plan because of a last minute contingency.
Jabber (n & v) Talk quickly or unintelligibly I could not make a word out of his continuous, nonsensical jabbering about the current pop-music scene; even if I were interested in it, I would not have understood anything because he talks just too fast. syn: Bab
Jade (n & v) A green colored precious stone, esp. popular in China and the Eastern countries The expensive Chinese jade-studded vase was auctioned for syn: Surfeit
Jaded (adj.) Lacking or losing interest because of over-exposure Initially I used to be very excited about the thought of flying, but frequent air-travel soon made me jaded about it. ant: Stimulated
Jargon (n) Mode of speech familiar to only a particular group or profession. Also, translucent, colorless or smoky variety of zircon Since he is computer illiterate, he cannot understand the computer jargon the professionals use in their talk. syn: Argot, Vern
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
Jaunt (v & n) To go on trip, excursion, journey for pleasure The students were jubilant when the teacher told them that they would be going on a jaunt to the Bird Sanctuary; never before had they been on such a trip. syn: Junket, Pilgrimage
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
Jeopardize (v) Endanger, put at risk Your inability to speak fluently may jeopardize your chances of getting through the interview; you must improve your conversational skills. syn: Imperil, Venture
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) Dropping of 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, Di
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."
Jostle (v & n) To knock or push against, collision As soon as the match was over, the angry crowd rushed and jostled the players as they were returning to the pavilion; the security had to interfere for the safety of the players who could have been injured.
Joust (n & v) A combat, tournament, a personal combat or competition. Hence, to engage in such combat, To compete The two game shows, launched on separate TV channels almost simultaneously, jousted for a while for the top position, till the one on the Star Cha
Jovial (adj.) Good-natured, Merry The children were in a jovial mood when they were told about the picnic the school was going to take them on. syn: Convivial, Jocose, Jocular, Jocund, Blithe
Jubilation (n) Rejoicing There was much jubilation in the classroom when the teacher annced that all the students had cleared the final examination. syn: Exultation, Triumph, Ecstasy
Judder (v & n) Shake noisily or violently The car juddered noisily for a while on the rocky road, when suddenly, one of the wheels came off. syn: Wobble
Judicious (adj.) Sound in judgement, Wise, Sensible With judicious use of the resources available to it, the company was soon able to get back to the path of growth. syn: Prudent, Expedient
Juggernaut (n) (1) A large, powerful force or organization that is difficult to stop 2) A huge, heavy truck (1) The large mass of people protesting against the government order marched towards the supreme court, soon taking the shape of an unstoppable juggernaut as
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
Juvenile (n) Related to a young person not old enough to be an adult The increasing incidence of juveniles trying to behave like adults and taking to a life of crime and immorality has shook the social pillars of our society.
Juxtapose (v) To put dissimilar things next to each other so as to compare or complete a whole Placing the two designs in juxtaposition with each other really brings out the differences between them.
Kaleidoscope (n) Tube in which patterns are made by the reflection in mirrors of colored pieces of glass, Any such colorful patterns (1) The Indian bazaar was a kaleidoscope of bright colors, enchanting smells, and pleasant sounds. (2) From the top of the building, I
Keel (v & n) 1) To cause to turn or tilt 2) Lowest longitudinal timber of vessel, on which framework of the whole is built up (1) He had drunk so much the previous night that he just keeled over when he tried to stand up. syn: Stumble, Totter, Plunge
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
Kennel (n) A small, usu. wooden shelter for a dog She shouted at the little poodle for jumping about the house noisily and the poor dog sulked and went to its kennel.
Kernel (n) Central or vital part of a nut or the whole seed While the edible kernels of the almonds were collected in the jar, the hard shells were thrown out. syn: Core
Killjoy (n) One who throws gloom over social enjoyment "Dont be such a killjoy, come and join the party!" syn: Sourpuss
Kindle (v) 1) Start a fire 2) Inspire (2) Though he tried his best to deliver an eloquent speech, he failed to kindle much interest among the audience. syn: Provoke, Bestir
Kindred (n & adj.) (For a person) who has the same opinions, feelings, and interest as you While the majority of the audience found the classical violin concert too boring, a small group of kindred spirits were enjoying themselves to the hilt. syn: Allied, Germ
Kitsch (n) Works of art or decorative objects that are ugly or worthless The walls of his drawing-room were covered with worthless art objects and paintings that were pure kitsch; it was obvious that his artistic sense was pretty pathetic.
Kleptomaniac (n & adj.) Person who has a compulsive desire to steal "The people thought him to be a thief when they caught him red-handed while trying to steal jewels, but he was actually a kleptomaniac who himself didnt know what he was doing." syn: Pilferer
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
Kudos (n) Honor, Glory, Praise He loved the kudos that came with his profession as and actor, and thought that these sincere expressions of praise were good enough to keep him going. syn: Adulation, Applause, Commendation
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
Labyrinth (n) A very completed and irregular structure with many passages The new building constructed to house the Labor Department has a labyrinth of corridors and passages; it is almost impossible not to get lost in that maze.
Lacerate (v) Tear (esp. flesh or tissues) He received eleven stitches after his face was badly lacerated in the accident. syn: Mangle.
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
Lackey (n & v) 1) A dutiful and honest servant 2) Behave like an honest and dutiful servant Though Ronaldo is his cousin, Jamie treats him like a lackey and orders him to do all his work from washing his clothes to shining his shoes.
Lackluster (n) Very dull or deficient Everyone in the hall was disappointed by the lackluster performance of the noted actor in the play.
Laconic (adj.) Tense or brief in the use of words, concise The actor was known for giving very laconic answers to interviewers, so everyone was surprised when he spoke to the journalist at length about his early life and his influences. syn: Pithy, Succinct an
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.
Lair (n & v) "Sheltered place where a wild animal usually sleeps or rests. Hence, any persons hiding place" "When the police came to know that the cottage was actually a thieves lair during the night, they decided to stage a raid at 2 a.m. in order to arrest
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
Lambast (v) To criticize severely The much-publicized movie which was released last weekend has been lambasted by the critics for its rank bad direction and poor editing.
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.
Lament (n & v) To express sorrow, Regret While he laments the decline in the quality of the Indian film music, he also believes that change is inevitable and has to be accepted. syn: Dirge (n)
Lance (n & v) (1) A long thin pole with a pointed end, used as a weapon by horseriders (2) To cut the skin with a sharp tool so as to release infected matter (1) The gladiator raised his lance high in the air and struck the lion with all his might, as a hush d
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
Lanky (adj.) Lean and tall "His lanky frame totally betrays his enormous capacity for food; its amazing how he manages to remain so thin after eating so much." syn: Gaunt
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
Larceny (n) "Illegal taking away of anothers personal goods with intent to convert them to ones own use" The court directed him to a six-months sentence on charges of larceny, but he kept on insisting that he had not committed the theft he was accused of.
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
Latent (adj.) Hidden, Concealed His acting abilities remained latent for over two years while he was working as a clapper boy at the studio, till a director spotted him performing all by himself in a small corner in front of the mirror. ant: Obvious
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,
Lax (adj.) Lacking attention or severity While most of the government policies are made for the benefit of the people, the laxity of government officials in implementing these policies often becomes the biggest reason for the disappointment of the people fro
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
Lectern (n) Stand with a sloping top to hold books, papers etc. to be read from Before commencing her speech, the speaker carefully arranged her papers on the lectern, getting a feel of the audience at the same time.
Leery (adj.) Suspicious, Cautious I have always been leery of that company peon; sometimes I feel as if he is a spy planted by our competing firm trying to know all our company secrets. syn: Wary
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
Leitmotif (n) A recurring theme or idea usually associated with a person or set of persons The director of the movie has made good use of a piece of music as a leitmotif; the music plays in the background everytime the two protagonists in the movie come face to fa
Leniency (n) Mildness, Not being strict The farmer pleaded in front of the landlord for leniency on the grounds of his poverty, but the landlord strictly imposed a fine of a hundred shillings as a penalty for not paying the loan on time.
Lesion (n) Injury, Damage, A morbid change in the structure of organs in human body The X-ray revealed severe lesions to the left side of the lower rib cage, and the doctor immediately decided on operating the patient.
Lethal (adj.) Causing death, Deadly He was arrested by the police for carrying lethal weapons like knives and dagger with him.
Lethargic (adj.) Feeling unwilling and unable to do anything It is not unusual for most people to feel a little lethargic after a heavy meal, specially on a warm afternoon. syn: Lazy ant: Awake, Vigorous
Levitate (v) (Cause to) rise and float in air Some people believe that by the ancient Indian art of Tantra, it is possible to levitate a small object merely by the action of thought waves and not applying any physical force to the object.
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
Lewd (adj.) Indecent and obscene He has been accused of making lewd and suggestive remarks about one of the female employees. syn: Indecent, Worthless
Lexicographer (n) Compiler of a dictionary This dictionary has a long list of lexicographers at the beginning, all of whom have contributed to the making of this dictionary.
Liable (adj.) (1) Being legally responsible for something (2) Very likely to happen (1) If found guilty, Morris will be liable to pay damages to the extent of over . (2) The captain of the team is liable to be sacked if the team keeps on performin
Liaison (n) Communication with a number of groups so as to enable the exchange of information amongst them His excellent skills at maintaining and pursuing contacts made him the ideal candidate for the job of a liaison officer for the company.
Libel (n & v) "A false or malicious written statement, usually published, that damages a persons reputation. Also, the act of making such statements" The statements mentioned in your article are libel; they can defame his clean reputation.
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
Limber (n, adj. & v) Flexible, easily manageable To be a good dancer, one must have a limber body that can move with flexibility. ant: Rigid
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
Linchpin (n) That holds or links various parts together (person or thing) During the financial crisis in the family, the grandmother proved to be the linchpin who held the entire family together in her firm but gentle grip.
Lineage (n) "The members of a persons family who are directly related to that person and who lived a long time before him or her" Ever since he discovered that he comes from a royal lineage, his behavior has been rather amusing; he has been acting as if he were
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.
Linger (v) 1) Put off departure because of reluctance to go 2) Loiter or pass time "He wanted everything to be done as soon as possible; he didnt want any work to be lingering on for years."
Linguistic (adj.) Pertaining to language Recognizing that their daughter had a flair for the languages, they decided to put her in a linguistic class at a very early age.
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.
Lionize (v) Treat as a celebrity The first person to win one million dollars on the TV game show became an overnight celebrity and was lionized by the press as well as the public. ant: Denigrade
Liquidate (v) (1) To cause a business to close because of lack of funds, so that its assets can be sold to pay off its debts (2) To kill or make powerless (1) The company had accumulated such heavy losses that even after it was officially liquidated and all its as
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
Listless (adj.) Lacking in spirit or energy On a dull and listless Sunday afternoon, with nothing much to do, I decided to visit the scientific museum, something I had been planning for a long time. ant: Fervid
Litany (n) (1) A long list of unpleasant things, particularly things that are repeated (2) A form of Christian prayer (1) He was ready with a litany of excuses to explain his absence from the class the previous day, some of them quite hilarious and unbelievable
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
Litigation (n) Lawsuit In order to avoid the proceedings of a lengthy and expensive litigation, the company decided to settle the case out-of-court by negotiating with the aggrieved party.
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.
Livid (adj.) (1) Furiously angry (2) Of an unpleasant purple or dark blue color, usu. of scars on the skin (1) The rude behavior of his junior made him livid, and he slapped him in front of the whole staff.(2) He had a long livid scar across his forehead where
Loath (adj.) Very reluctant, Unwilling I am loath to giving you any advice on this subject as I am myself quite ignorant about it. syn: Averse; disinclined ant: Avid
Loathe (v) Regard with disgust He has always loathed his elder brother since childhood, but now that he has become mature, he not only likes him but also obeys him. syn: Abominate
Lofty (adj.) High, or with strong principles, standards, and ideals His lofty ambitions of making quick money on the stock market were wiped out in a moment when the market badly crashed, and he was forced to sell his stock at a loss. syn: Elevated, Grandiose
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.
Longevity (n) Long life Mr. Shwarz has turned hundred today, and the secret of his longevity is regular exercise and well balanced diet.
Loom (n & v) (1) Appear suddenly (often in a threatening way or shape) (2) Apparatus for weaving yarn or thread (1) The fear of unemployment loomed large on their heads as one company after the other collapsed because of poor demand conditions.
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
Lore (n) Body of traditions and knowledge on a subject "(1) That there lives an old woman on the moon is a part of the lore of many traditions, passed on from one generation to the next as an old grandmas tale."
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.
Lucrative (adj.) Profitable, Yielding gain Even though the proposal of opening a branch at Dorking seems to be lucrative right now, the Director knows that it would not make any profit in the long run. ant: Unprofitable
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.
Ludicrous (adj.) Foolish or causing laughter because unreasonable or unsuitable 1) It was a ludicrous idea to go for trekking when it was raining heavily.2) The ludicrous idea of his opening a shop in a remote area, away from civilization made us laugh. syn: Ridi
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
Lumber (v & n) 1) Move in clumsy blundering noisy way 2) Disused articles of furniture His relaxed way of walking reminds me of the unconcerned lumbering of an elephant -- look at how clumsily he puts each foot forward. ant: Glide
Luminary (n) 1) Natural light-giving body, esp. sun or moon 2) Person having much intellectual Mr. Harlett is a famous luminary in the field of medicine; he has also won several awards for his contribution to this field.
Luminous (adj.) Shining, Emitting light It is advisable to wear luminous clothes while riding at nights so that they are visible even in a dim light. syn: Bright
Lunge (n & v) (1) Quick forward dive or reach (2) Long rope with which horse-breaker holds horse while he makes it canter in circle They were arguing over something when all of a sudden he got irritated and lunged towards her with a knife. syn: Plunge, Rush
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
Lurk (v) To wait or move in a secret way so that you cannot be seen esp. when you are about to attack someone or do something wrong The secret agent was lurking about in the corridors of the court when he was arrested by the police.
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
Luster (n & v) Gloss, The brightness of a shining surface Over the years, though the actress has lost some of the luster she used to have in her heydays, the grace and the poise is still very much there. syn: Brilliance, Refulgence
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
Macabre (adj) Horrifying, Causing shock, disgust, or fear In a macabre incident that came to light just yesterday, a man has been living with the dead body of her wife for the last three years, having preserved the body as the Egyptians used to.
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.
Machiavellian (adj) Any behavior involving schemes and deceitfulness The public soon became aware of his Machiavellian tactics to win the election, and condemned his deceitful methods. syn: Cunning
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?
Maelstrom (n) A great whirlpool, thus any turmoil of wide-reaching influence. {Maelstrom is the name of a massive whirlpool off the west-coast of Norway} Though it started with a few countries, the whole world was gradually caught in the maelstrom of the Second Wo
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.
Magnitude (n) Greatness, Extent, Largeness, Importance Taking into consideration the magnitude of the problem, the members of the team decided to take it into priority, and held a meeting to discuss it.
Maim (v) Injure so badly that the injured part no longer works as it should Though he could survive the accident he met with last month, it has maimed for life; he will never be able to walk again. syn: Mutilate
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
Maladroit (adj) Awkward in movement or unskilled in behavior or action All the staff believed that the chairman was a skilled and an experienced man, but his maladroit handling of the conference proved them wrong. syn: Clumsy, Bungling
Malady (n) A disease or a problem in a system of organization Almost all the plants in the garden were believed to be affected with the same malady; their leaves had turned yellow and there were several brown patches on them.
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
Malcontent (adj & n) Discontented (person) esp. with existing state of affairs While most of the members of the committee are satisfied with the working of the management, there are some malcontents who keep on complaining, and create a lot of trouble.
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
Malevolent (adj) Desirous of evil to others/ something arising out of ill-will I could never imagine that she was capable of such malevolence towards a person -- the way in which she cursed him and spoke ill of him was unbelievable! syn: Malice; Spiteful
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.
Malicious (adj) Hateful, Spiteful His adversaries tried all sorts of malicious tricks to ruin his hard earned repute and popularity among the masses, but each time he managed to come out unscathed only because of his enormous goodwill.
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
Malinger (v) To feign or pretend illness so as to escape duty He often finds excuses for not doing his duty. Even the other day when he was complaining of severe headache, I understood that he was actually malingering.
Malleable (adj) Capable of being shaped by pounding The malleability of these metals makes them more useful than other metals; they can easily be pounded to give any shape. ant: Brittle
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.
Mammoth (n & adj) Huge, gigantic, enormous The police of Mumbai has launched a mammoth operation involving hundreds of policemen to curb the growing menace of the underworld in the city. syn: Huge
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.
Mandate (n & v) Judicial or legal command from superior It was mandatory for everyone to sign the attendance register as soon as he enters the office failing of which could lead to the suspension of his service.
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.
Mangle (v) To tear, hack with repeated blows The body of the victim was so badly mangled that it was impossible to identify it; perhaps the murderer had done it purposely with an axe. syn: Lacerate
Maniacal (adj) Raging mad, Insane I could hear maniacal screaming coming out of the hospital room, and immediately knew that something was terribly wrong with the child. ant: Sane
Manifest (adj & v) 1) Evident, Visible, Clear 2) Show plainly to eye or mind, display He knew that he would not be spared for the crime he had committed; the fear of being punished was manifest on his face. syn: Obvious ant: Obscure
Manifesto (n) Declaration, Statement of policy The party manifesto released yesterday makes the usual election promises -- free education, improving health care facilities, removal of poverty, and so on.
Manipulate (v) Handle, treat esp. with skill (material, thing, question) "He was very skilled in such therapy, and he carefully manipulated the boys dislocated shoulder back into its place."
Manna (n) Food provided by god (in the Bible). Hence, food which is beneficial or has a very pleasant taste We were all extremely hungry after working in the sun for so long -- so the lunch provided by the old man, however tasteless, was still manna from heave
Marinate (v) To soak a food in liquid before cooking You need to marinate the fish in vinegar for about half an hour in order to get that peculiar pungent taste.
Marital (adj) Pertaining to marriage They have lived in marital bliss for over forty years, perfectly at peace with each other, and he says the main reason for this has been that there has never been any expectation from either side. syn: Nuptial
Maritime (adj) Bordering on the sea, Nautical Titanic, which was considered to be the biggest and the safest vessel ever built by man was envied and admired by other maritime nations, who themselves could not make such ship.
Marked (adj) 1) Noticeable or pronced 2) Targeted for vengeance Since the day he has joined the tuition classes, there has been a marked improvement in his studies; he scored higher marks in the test this week than in the same a fortnight back.
Marred (adj) Damaged, Disfigured The fact that the movie had no resemblance to what actually happened had marred the otherwise beautiful movie.
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.
Marsupial (adj & n) One of a family of mammals that nurse their offspring in a pouch Like the kangaroo, the koala too is a marsupial animal that carries its young one in a pouch.
Martial (adj) Suitable for or appropriate to warfare As soon as the Martial law was imposed, the army came into action and spread everywhere with automatic weapons and shotguns.
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.
Martyr (n & v) 1) One who voluntarily suffers death for his or her religion or cause 2) Put to death as martyr The whole country paid homage to the martyrs who had sacrificed their lives for the country during the war.
Masochism (n) Pleasure in suffering physical or mental pain No one knows what made him become a masochist, he moves around in streets with a whip in his hand, hitting himself every now and then; he seems to derive pleasure out of it.
Masticate (v) To grind to a pulp before swallowing Most cudding animals bring out swallowed food back to their mouth and masticate it before swallowing again. syn: Chew
Materialism (n) Preoccupation with physical comforts and things The article vehemently argues that we have become a self-centered society, preoccupied with materialism and out of touch with each other.
Maternal (adj) Of or like a mother The little child has been longing for maternal love; he had lost his mother on the day he was born.
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
Maul (v & n) 1) Handle roughly or carelessly 2) (esp. of animals) to hurt badly by tearing the flesh It took three months for the hunter to recover fully after being mauled by a lion; he received sutures almost all over his body.
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
Maxim (n) A general truth drawn from science or experience, Principle or rule "Though he often preaches the maxim honesty is the best policy, he himself is a corrupt politician."
Meager (adj) Scanty, Inadequate "It is a silly idea to start a business with such a meager amount in hand; youd better think over it again."
Meander (n & v) 1) (Of rivers) to flow slowly, with many turns 2) Wander in a slow and an aimless way It is our usual habit of meandering down to the park in the night after the dinner; it also is a good exercise.
Meddlesome (adj) (Of person or behavior) interfering "What a meddlesome neighbor he is! Doesnt mind his own business, but always wants to know what is going on in our house, and give his unwanted advice."
Mediate (v) Settle a dispute through the services of an outsider The prolonged dispute between the management and the union had to be settled through the mediation of a third party.
Mediocre (adj) Of middling quality, neither good nor bad After making some brilliant films early on in his career, the director came up with some rather mediocre and forgettable stuff. ant: Superior
Meditation (n) Exercising the mind in (esp. religious) contemplation, Thought With increasing research taking place on the human mind, the utility of meditation as a powerful healing tool is becoming more and more important.
Medley (n, adj & v) A mixture of various things He ended the concert with a medley of about twenty of his most popular songs, spanning his career of over fifteen years.
Meek (adj) Quiet and obedient It is his meek and mild nature that people take advantage of, and he readily carries out their orders.
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
Melancholy (n & adj) 1) (Habitual or constitutional tendency to) sadness and depression 2) (Of person) sad, gloomy 3) (Of thing) depressing, saddening 3) The melancholy news of the brutal massacre of thousands of innocent civilians soon spread all over the world.
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
Memento (n) Token, Object serving as reminder Not knowing if I would get another chance to visit the Pyramids in Egypt, I decided to buy miniature versions of the massive structures to take back as a memento.
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
Menagerie (n) Collection of wild or strange animals for exhibition Michael Jackson, the legendary singer, owns a private menagerie of zebras, llamas and giraffes.
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.
Menial (adj & n) Suitable for servants, Lowly, Mean "Though he is a an educated man, he doesnt consider it below his dignity to do a menial job as that of polishing shoes or washing clothes."
Mentor (n) Experienced and trusted advisor If you want to succeed in the film industry, the first thing you need to do is to find for yourself a mentor who can lead you to the right people.
Mercenary (adj & n) 1) Working merely for money 2) Hired soldier in foreign service His lust for money has made him nothing short of a mercenary -- you can get anything done from him by just paying him enough money.
Mercurial (adj & n) 1) Capricious, Changing, Fickle 2) Lively 3) Of the planet mercury Nobody trusts him because of his mercurial nature; he is so fickle-minded that at one moment he decides something and the very next moment he changes his mind.
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
Merger (n) Combining or merging of two companies etc. into one The merger of these two companies will result in the formation of the second largest trading company in this continent.
Mesmerize (v) To hold complete attention of, Hypnotize Everyone expected the play to be the usual rendition of Othello at the Shakespearean festival of plays, everyone in the audience was totally mesmerized by the brilliant and unusual portrayal of the title chara
Metamorphose (v) To change ones form completely It is indeed amazing how an ugly looking cocoon metamorphoses into a beautiful butterfly.
Metaphor (n) Application of name or descriptive term or phrase to an object or action to which it is imaginatively but not literally applicable In the film, the polluted river is a metaphor for reckless urbanization and mindless industrialization.
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.
Methodical (adj) Doing things carefully, using an ordered system He had very methodically arranged all the files on the shelves, and never had any difficulty in finding any particular file. ant: Slovenly
Meticulous (adj) Excessively careful, Painstaking His drawings show how meticulously he has worked on them, taking pain all these days; I am sure they will be selected for the exhibition. ant: Remiss
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.
Metropolis (n) Large city Within a decade, the city of Bangalore in India has transformed into a booming metropolis, from what used to be called the retirement paradise to one where most technology companies are now situated.
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
Microcosm (n) Small world, Miniature representation For the nationwide survey on consumer spending behavior, the respondents were very carefully chosen to create a microcosm of the Indian society.
Migrant (adj) Changing its habitat, Wandering The whole tribe had to migrate to a different place with its cattle in search of food and water.
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.
Militant (adj & n) Engaged in warfare The militants shot dead two members of the family of the minister, and kidnapped his son; they are now demanding the release of two of their associates who were arrested by the police. ant: Pacifist
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
Mince (v & n) (1) Cut or chop into small pieces (2) [Mince words] To say things indirectly so as to not upset others (1) The recipe requires you to finely mince two pounds of tender lamb meat. (2) The party spokesperson did not mince words in his statement to
Minion (n) A favored servant or dependent (used mostly in derogatory sense) In his irrational desire to be close to her, he has reduced himself to the state of a minion -- she can get done anything she wants from him. ant: Master
Miniscule (adj & n) Extremely small "I have a miniscule amount of money left in my bank account; its not even enough to pay for my this months bills."
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.
Minute (n) Extremely small He wanted everything to be in perfect order; he would not spare anybody for even a minute flaw in the arrangement. ant: Perennial
Minutiae (n) Small, unimportant details Instead of thinking and wasting time on the minutiae, let us first concentrate on the broad outlines of the project.
Mirage (n) 1) Optical illusion caused by atmospheric conditions, esp. appearance of sheet of water in desert 2) A dream, hope, or wish that cannot come true "For me, going to the US is a distant mirage; I dont think I can ever achieve this dream of mine."
Mire (v & n) Stick in swampy ground, or in difficulties Unable to mange his finances properly, he finds himself mired in debts with several bills to pay. syn: Bog; Slough
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."
Miscellany (n) Mixture of writings on various subjects, esp. a collection of writings on different subject or by different writers He is fond of collecting short stories by different authors; now he has become the youngest man to have a miscellany of more than ten
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.
Misconstrue (v) Put wrong construction on (word, action), or mistake a person When I said that I was looking for a job, he misconstrued it to mean that I was currently unemployed; what I meant was that I was looking for a change of job.
Misdemeanor (n) Minor crime or mistake Not having paid any attention to studies all the year long, he now has to pay for his misdemeanors by constantly being worried about the forthcoming exams.
Miserly (adj) Stingy, Mean "Though he has no dearth of money but because of his miserly attitude, he doesnt even bother to dress up well while going out for a party." ant: Benevolent
Misgivings (n) Doubts, or fear, esp. about a future event When he was served food by the tribesman, he looked at the strange dish with misgivings; he was afraid of eating it.
Mishap (n) Unlucky accident There had been many cases of serious and unlucky accidents on the route we were following, but we were lucky that our journey passed without any mishap.
Misnomer (n) 1) Use of wrong name 2) Wrong use of name or term It would be misnomer to call such a shabby place a mansion, it is more like a hut.
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.
Mitigate (v) Reduce severity of; soften or lessen He tried all sorts of liniments and balms, but nothing could mitigate the pain in his shoulder. syn: Alleviate ant: Intensify
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.
Mobile (adj & n) 1) Movable, Not fixed 2) Light structure of metal, plastic, cardboard etc that may be hung so as to turn freely He used to stay at home the whole day doing nothing, but now that he has a car, he has become quite mobile, going out as often as he
Mock (v & n) (1) Ridicule, To make fun of (2) Artificial, but similar to the original "(1) It was very rude of you to mock him at his way of speaking; perhaps youre not aware that he suffers from a congenital speech defect. (2) So youve never been to Italy? s
Mode (n) Prevailing style, Manner "Hes now become a successful businessman, and his success has changed the whole mode of his life; he now enjoys every comfort that he has always longed for."
Modicum (n) A small quantity or portion of something, esp. of good quality like truth "If you had a modicum of common sense, you wouldnt have made such a blunder."
Modulate (v) Tone down in intensity, Regulate, Change from one key to another He complimented her for her wonderful modulation of speech, and said that she would become an excellent TV anchor.
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
Molt (v & n) Shed or cast off hair or feathers Our dog is molting again, his hair is all over the house.
Molten (adj) In a liquid state, because of great heat "Deep down below the earths surface is a core of molten mass of various metals, which sometimes emerges from the surface in the form of volcanic lava."
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
Momentum (n) The force that keeps an object moving, or an event progressing after the initial start Though the Movement for a Moralistic Society was launched with a lot of fanfare and with a flurry of activity, it failed to gather momentum and is now hardly opera
Monarchy (n) Government under a single ruler, A kingdom Till very recently, Nepal used to be a monarchy ruled by a king, and even now, the King is the most revered figure in the small Himalayan nation.
Monastic (adj) Related to monks or monasteries Disillusioned with life and shunned by friends, he started leading a monastic life in a small cottage beside a church on the outskirts of the city.
Monetary (adj) Pertaining to money Even though she does not get much monetary benefit from this job of caring for disabled children, what keeps her going is the immense satisfaction she derives from the work.
Monolithic (adj) Too large and uninteresting, and unwilling or unable to be changed The Indian economy had been, for a very long time, a cluster of monolithic, state-run organizations which had accumulated huge losses over the years. ant: Multifarious
Monotheism (n) The doctrine or belief that there is only one god Unlike Hindus who believe in polytheism and worship various gods and goddesses, Christians believe in the monotheism that there is only one god, Jesus Christ.
Monotony (n) Sameness leading to boredom "Their routine was the same every day, with only one visit to the childrens park on Saturdays to break the monotony."
Monumental (adj) 1) Of or serving as a monument 2) Massive and permanent "(2) Though a section of the media had described the Prime Ministers signing of the agreement as a monumental mistake at that time, it has been proved in the long run that it had been a wise d
Mope (v & n) Be unhappy and listless "Theres no point in sitting at home and moping if youve lost one game -- youll always get another chance to do better."
Morass (n) 1) A marsh 2) Anything that perplexes or slows things up, as a difficult situation The project is being delayed because of a mindless morass of rules and regulations, some of which are absolutely absurd.
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.
Morbid (adj) Given to unpleasant thought, Interested in unpleasant subjects, esp. death Deathclock.com, a website that tells you by some crazy calculations how many more seconds you have left on the earth, is a rather morbid concept, even though some people ma
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
Mores (n) Conventions, Moral standards, Customs "Even though he is known for not following social mores and customs, he should have at least been dressed properly for his sisters wedding."
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
Morose (adj) Ill-humored, sullen, melancholy Usually when he comes home he is quite happy and cheerful, but yesterday, after he came form office, he seemed quite tired and morose. ant: Jocose
Mortician (n) A person who arranges funerals Having worked as a mortician for so many years at the local cemetery, he looks at death a lot more matter-of-factly that most individuals. syn: Undertaker
Mortify (v) 1) To humiliate greatly 2) To discipline the body by fasting etc (1) To the great mortification of the organizers of the show, the maverick pop singer made several derogatory remarks against the local government.
Mosaic (adj, n & v) (Form or work or art) in which pictures or patterns are produced by joining together small pieces of stone, glass etc. The city of Mumbai presents a diverse cultural and social mosaic to the tourist, due to the influx of several different et
Mote (n) A small particle, e.g. dust particle A mote of dust got into her eye, causing her severe discomfort during the examination.
Motif (n) An underlying theme or the main element of any work of art, Any recurring design, feature or melody While all the curtains inside the house were plain and without any design, the curtain at the entrance was with a flower motif.
Motley (adj & n) Made up of different colors, diverse element or unrelated persons A motley crowd of pavement dwellers, fruit sellers, small shopkeepers, and other passers-by soon gathered around the site of the accident.
Mottled (adj) Patterned with irregular patches of colors "He often wears a mottled jacket that doesnt go well with his personality; he must opt for a plain, single-colored jacket."
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
Muddle (v) Confuse, bewilder esp. with drink He has drunk a lot, and now he is muddled about the names of his friends; he addressed Richards as Willy and Mike as Santo.
Muggy (adj) Unpleasantly warm and humid I just hate the hot and muggy climate of this city; the weather in my hometown is so much more pleasant and cooler.
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
Multiplicity (n) State of being numerous, Manifold variety Just ten years ago, Indian car buyers had hardly any options to choose from; today the multiplicity of car models available in the market is truly amazing.
Mundane (adj) Worldly as opposed to spiritual, Of the universe He has always followed the path of spirituality, and mundane matters like clothing and eating are of no interest to him. ant: Extraordinary
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
Mural (adj & n) Wall painting The painter made a mark for himself in painting murals; the walls of some of the most prestigious buildings in the city are adorned by his murals.
Murky (adj) Dark, Gloomy Being quite sharp as well as eager to become rich, he was driven to the murky world of drug peddling and other big-city crimes.
Muse (v & n) To think about something carefully and for a long time Sitting in his armchair with a cup of tea in his hand, he began to muse about starting his own business when suddenly a shriek disturbed all his thoughts.
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."
Musty (adj) Stale, Spoiled by age The cottage had been empty for many years; when the burglar broke open the door and entered the room, he found it filled with musty smell.
Mutate (v) To change shape completely and irreversibly Lank has remarkably mutated from an awkward young teenager to a sophisticated young man.
Muted (adj) Silent, Muffled, Toned down Though the idea was fantastic, it received a muted response from the members; now I can take it for granted that it would never be accepted by them. syn: Deaden
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
Myriad (adj & n) Very large number There was a time when the town had not even a single bar or hotel, but now, after two years, myriad bars and hotels are opening in the town.
Nadir (n) Place or time of greatest depression His defeat at the hands of an upstart politician in 1993 marked the nadir of his political career, since then, his fortunes have been on the upswing. syn: Underneath ant: Zenith, Apex, Pinnacle
Naïve (adj) Quality of being unsophisticated, Simplicity As an absolute fresher in the corporate world, I was too naive to understand the finer points of corporate diplomacy and what went on behind those closed top management doors. syn: Artlessness, Gullibil
Narcissism (n) Abnormal self-love or excessive self-admiration With the kind of time she spends in front of the mirror, I sometimes feel there is too much of a narcissistic element in her. syn: Complacency, Immodesty, Egotism
Narrative (n & adj) A story or description of events told in first person By linguistic standards, The Rainmaker by John Grisham is a remarkable novel because not only has it been written in a narrative style (with the protagonist being the narrator) but it also u
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
Nauseate (v) 1) Cause to become sick 2) Fill with disgust The atmosphere in and around the hospital after the explosion was so nauseating that the patients could not swallow food. syn: Sicken
Nautical (adj) Pertaining to ships or navigation The party had a nautical theme -- the host was dressed up like a sailor, the entire ambience was that of a ship, and the guests were treated as if they were the passengers of a luxury cruise. syn: Marine, Navigati
Navigable (adj) Affording passage for ships During summers, this river becomes too shallow to be navigable, so the boats ply only from September to March. syn: Dirigible, Passable, Negotiable
Nebulous (adj) Vague, Hazy, Cloudy Nothing was clear from his nebulous ideas, and we decided not to take them into consideration. syn: Indistinct, Turbid, Obscure ant: Distinct, Clear
Necropolis (n) Large cemetery (esp. in ancient cities) The archeologist, while excavating the ruins of the ancient city, came across a necropolis, and saw that along with the dead, the inhabitants used to also bury all earthly belongings of the deceased person.
Nefarious (adj) Wicked, Extremely immoral In a shocking revelation, three reputed doctors were found to be involved in the nefarious activity of smuggling human organs out of the hospital for their commercial gains. syn: Iniquitous, Vile, Vicious ant: Angelic, V
Negate (v) To cause something to lose effect and therefore become useless The heavy rain negated all their efforts to set the tent upright; they finally gave up and waited for the rain to stop. syn: Counteract, Annul ant: Affirm
Negligence (n) Lack of proper care or attention He could not pass the examination because of his negligence towards studies; he was often seen sleeping in his room when he should have been studying. syn: Delinquency, Dereliction, Laxity
Nemesis (n) (1) A cause of punishment or defeat that cannot be avoided (2) A fierce opponent "(1) The financial scandal involving the armament purchase deal proved to the Prime Ministers political nemesis at the subsequent elections -- his party had to suffer a
Neologism (n) a newly coined word As communication is getting speedier with the popularity of the e-mail, a number of colloquial neologisms have been coined and assimilated into the dictionary of the present computer-savvy generation.
Neophyte (n) A beginner Despite being a neophyte in the field of stock markets, he has an amazing ability to predict the trend in the prices of stocks and has soon gained a reputation for himself as a market analyst. syn: Tyro, Fledgling, Novitiate ant: Veteran
Nepotism (n) "Undue favor in appointing ones relatives to office" "As a result of the rampant nepotism among the owners of this company, many of the employees are distant relatives and other members of the owners family."
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
Nestle (v) To make oneself comfortable in a nice and pleasant place "After the long days work he finally took a cup of tea and nestled down in his favorite armchair in front of the TV." syn: Snuggle, Nuzzle
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."
Neutral (adj & n) 1) Impartial, Not supporting one side over another 2) Having features or characteristics that are not easily noticeable My former classmate tried his best to make me take his side when I was called upon to settle his dispute with a colleague, b
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. Manoj Kothari.
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
Nifty (adj) Smart, stylish His nifty way of talking and dressing has made him a point of attraction in every party he attends. syn: Chick
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
Nihilism (n) Rejection of all religious and moral principles After swinging in his political ideologies from the extreme left to the extreme right, and being disappointed by both, he has now become a confirmed nihilist, saying that all ideologies are worthless.
Nip (v & n) "1) Stop somethings growth or development 2) Squeeze sharply 3) A pinch or sharp squeeze 4) Check to growth caused by coldness of air" In a hurry, he nipped his finger in the wedge on the door, and cried out in pain. syn: Chomp, Prune
Nirvana (n) A high spiritual state that brings freedom from all worries "Moving out of her parents house and staying on her own in the residential campus of the university was like attaining nirvana for her as she was free to do whatever she wanted."
Nocturnal (adj) 1) Done at night 2) Active at night Though both the leopard and the panther hunt in the same manner, the only difference is that while the leopard hunts during the day, the panther is nocturnal. ant: Daily
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
Nomadic (adj) Wandering from place to place The Gypsies, because of their nomadic lifestyle, do not stay at any place for more than a few months. syn: Bohemian, Itinerant, Vagabond
Nomenclature (n) Systematic naming of things Since he was not familiar with the nomenclature used in computer hardware, he could not make any sense of what the computer engineer said. syn: Catalogue
Nominal (adj) Existing in name only, but not in reality; Virtually nothing Since the purpose is so noble, the chartered accountant has decided to charge them only a nominal sum as his retainership fee. 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
Nonchalance (n) Indifference, Lack of concern, Composure "Im always amazed at how he manages to remain so nonchalant before the exam; I always turn into a nervous wreck." syn: Insouciance, Composure
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 (adj & n) Very ordinary, Having nothing exciting about it Within an year, he managed to make his website from a nondescript entity on the Internet to among the most well known in the US. syn: Prosaic, Prosy
Nonentity (n) 1) Person of no importance or ability 2) Non existence When he had come to this meeting last year, Mr. Robbins, who recently sold his software company for a whopping million, was an absolute nonentity; now he is among the most sought after perso
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
Nostalgia (n) Feeling of fondness for something in the past, Longing for the past In a nostalgic mood, my grandfather recalled all sorts of dresses he used to wear in his childhood.
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: (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.
Novelty (n) New or unusual thing or occurrence For the poor residents of the isolated Indian village, finding a team of foreigners amongst them was an absolute novelty and many of them were afraid to come near the strange-looking, white-skinned people. syn: Inn
Novice (n) Beginner, or inexperienced person He is a novice at this stage, but will be experienced within a couple of months. syn: Neophyte
Noxious (adj) Harmful The Government has strictly warned the factory owners against throwing noxious chemicals in the river as it would contaminate the water causing great loss to the aquatic life. syn: Baneful, Deleterious, Virulent
Nuance (n) Slight shade of difference in meaning or color, Subtle distinction The sentences formed from the words in this list help convey the nuances of the meanings of each word. syn: Hue, Brilliance
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."
Nubile (adj) Young and attractive (woman), Marriageable James Bond, the fictional secret agent created by Ian Fleming, is the archtypical macho man who loves to play with danger and is surrounded by nubile young women at most times.
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
Nullify (v) To make invalid The solution was boiled to nullify the effect of the reagent in it, which could have caused the reaction to occur spontaneously. syn: Invalidate, Annul, Void
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."
Nuptial (adj & n) Related to marriage They decided to get married in a small church outside the city, and the young priest who performed the nuptial rites said that it was the first time that he had officiated at a wedding.
Nurture (n & v) 1) Bringing up 2) Nourish 3) Educate 4) Foster Though he is not their son, he has been nurtured by them as their own son. syn: Pabulum, Sustenance
Nutrient (adj & n) (Substance) serving as or providing nourishment It is advisable to wash the vegetable before cutting so that the valuable nutrients required by our body do not get washed away. syn: Sustenance, Nourishment
Nuzzle (v) Press or rub gently with the nose "As a wake-up call, my little dog comes on my bed and nuzzles my feet each morning at 7 o clock sharp."
Oaf (n) Stupid person He must be an absolute oaf to have done such a silly thing!
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.
Obese (adj) Very fat, Fat to the extent of unhealthiness He was already a little plump, so his doctor strictly advised him to stay away from fatty foods if he did not want to become obese. syn: Corpulent ant: Slim
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
Obituary (n) "A formal anncement of someones death (in a newspaper etc.)" Her family decided to publish an obituary notice in the local newspaper to inform all the relatives and friends about her sudden demise.
Objective (adj) Not influenced by personal emotions, Fair and just "Since I have been closely involved with the formation of this company, it is difficult for me to do an objective assessment of the companys position; its better if an outsider does the assessment.
Objective (n) Goal, Aim The company has set a long-term objective of doubling its turnover every three years for the next fifteen years.
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
Obligatory (adj) Binding, Required to be done according to the rules or the law It is obligatory on anyone entering a Gurudwara, the religious place of the Sikhs, to cover their head with a piece of cloth. syn: Compulsory, Mandatory ant: Optional
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
Obliterate (v) Destroy completely The Nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima during the second world war obliterated the whole city. syn: Raze ant: Originate
Oblivious (adj) Not paying any attention, Being totally ignorant about something Totally oblivious to the commotion around him, the young student was absorbed in listening to his walkman on the train.
Obnoxious (adj) Extremely unpleasant or offensive She found his crude and suggestive jokes absolutely obnoxious and walked out of the room in a huff. syn: Odious ant: Delightful
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.
Obscure (adj & v) Difficult to understand, Not well known. Hence, to make something obscure The small village he comes from is so obscure that it not even marked on this atlas. ant: Evident, Clear
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:
Obsessive (adj) Overpowered by the thought of something, continually thinking about the same thing The thought of becoming an airplane pilot has so obsessively overpowered the young boy that he cannot think of anything but flying a plane.
Obsolete (adj) No longer useful, Completely outdated With the advent of electric bulbs and emergency lights, the use of gas lamps became obsolete. syn: Disused, Discarded ant: Novel, Contemporary
Obstinate (adj) "Refusing to change ones stand, Stubborn, Inflexible" "In spite of his fathers repeated advice to him to become a doctor, he remained obstinate about joining the Army." syn: Adamant, Obdurate, Recalcitrant, Refractory ant: Malleable, Yielding
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
Occult (adj) Magical and mysterious, Hidden from knowledge Everyone in the village believed that he had some occult powers; the villagers had seen him chanting hymns and talking to someone who he says is an evil spirit. ant: Manifest
Ocular (adj) Of the eyes He has been suffering from an ocular disease, which went unnoticed all these days, and now that he has lost one of his eyes, he has decided to meet Dr. Modi, a renowned eye specialist.
Ode (n) A long poem addressed to a person or thing His poem he recited at the school farewell was an ode to the glorious days we all had at school, and brought emotional memories flooding in front of us.
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,
Odor (n) A smell, esp. an unpleasant one A strong odor of cooking gas was coming from the kitchen, so I went there to investigate.
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
Odyssey (n) Long and eventful journey The odyssey of Gulliver in which he finds himself among Giants and Lilliputian creatures, has been one of the most popular adventurous stories among children.
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."
Offend (v) To hurt the feelings of someone She likes her kitchen to be neat and clean, the very sight of anything kept in disarray offends her.
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
Offhand (adj) Casual, Done without prior thought Since I was in a hurry, I had an offhand talk with him on the proposal; we did not finalize anything. ant: Deliberate
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
Ogle (v) To look at with great interest, esp., sexual interest That group of spoilt and perverted teenagers does nothing but ogle at the girls going to college every day.
Ogre (n) A frightening person, A very ugly and large person When he was a child, his mother had instilled in him the fear of the police, and he still regards a policeman as some kind of an ogre out to get him.
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
Oleander (n) Flowering shrub of the Mediterranean regions Botanists have recently found that oleander shrubs have certain medicinal value for curing many diseases, and they are now trying to find the regions where these shrubs normally grow.
Olfactory (adj) Concerning the sense of smell He damaged his olfactory nerve in an accident because of which he cannot smell anything.
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.
Ominous (adj) Indicating that something bad is going to happen, Giving a warning The computer has been making an ominous sound all the day, we cannot say when it would stop working. syn: Portentous
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."
Omnipotent (adj) Having enough power to be able to do anything that is desired. Though he behaves as if he were omnipotent, he is fit for nothing and regarded as a useless and unwanted person who boasts of too much and does nothing.
Omnipresent (adj) Present everywhere and at the same time The omnipresence of the mosquitoes prevented us from sleeping, we had to spend the whole night looking for something that could drive away the mosquitoes. syn: Ubiquitous
Omniscient (adj) Having or seeming to have unlimited knowledge, or knowing everything The subject is so vast that it is impossible for even the most intelligent person to be omniscient in it.
Omnivorous (adj) Eating both plant and animal food Unlike herbivorous and carnivorous animals that feed on plants and other animals respectively, an omnivorous animal can feed on both plants as well as animals.
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.
Onslaught (n) A fierce and sudden attack The Nuclear onslaught on Hiroshima by America during the second world war caused great loss to both property and life.
Onus (n) Responsibility for doing something After the sad demise of his father, now the onus of looking after the family is on him since he is the eldest of all the brothers.
Onyx (n) Stone like marble with colors in layers She was wearing an expensive onyx brooch at the party.
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.
Opaque (adj) (1) Through which light cannot pass (2) Difficult to understand The spokesperson made such an opaque statement that no one, including the members of his own party, could understand it. ant: Transparent
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.
Opinionated (adj) "Too sure that ones opinions are the only ones right" Though he is knowledgeable, most students find him too opinionated; and this overconfidence of his made him quite unpopular with the students.
Opportune (adj) Timely, Well-chosen, Coming/happening at the right time This lottery prize could not have come at a more opportune time for me; I was severely in need of some money to repair my house.
Opportunist (n) "Individual who does all to meet ones own ends by taking advantage of circumstances" Politicians all over the world are known for being opportunistic, but Ron Keeler appears to be refreshingly different as he has been working with the same zeal for
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
Optician (n) Maker and seller of eyeglasses The optician showed me all types of eyeglasses he had in his store, but none of them fitted me too well.
Optimist (n) A person who looks at all things with a positive frame of mind, Who thinks that whatever happens will be for good He says he did very well in the examination, and so is quite optimistic about getting a good rank. ant: Pessimist
Optimum (adj) Most favorable, Most likely to bring success A catalyst needs an optimum temperature to act; it fails to carryout the required reaction if the temperature is too high or too low.
Optional (adj) Which may be freely chosen or not chosen, Not obligatory These questions in red are optional; it is not compulsory for you to answer them. ant: Obligatory, Mandatory
Opulence (n) Great wealth The way he dresses up and spends money lavishly clearly indicates his opulent family background. syn: Luxuriousness ant: Penury
Opus (n) A great work of art The opera director plans to release his grand musical opus with a lot of fanfare at the Sydney Opera House this summer.
Oracle (n) Person or thing considered able to give wise, reliable guidance His father has been an oracle for him, guiding and advising him at every stage of his life.
Orator (n) An effective public speaker A crowd of over six thousand people had turned out at the stadium to hear the master orator speak.
Ordain (v) (1) To make someone a leader, usu. a religious leader, or a priest (2) To order or command (1) He was ordained the priest of this church in 1995, and because of his excellent sermons, has attracted a large number of new parishioners to the church.(2)
Ordeal (n) A difficult or harsh experience The boy went through a terrible ordeal when his father died in the accident.
Ordinance (n) An authoritative order or direction Though the ordinance governing e-commerce officially came into effect in 1999, there has hardly been any follow-up action to it and so the laws remain largely unimplemented.
Ordnance (n) Military weapons, ammunition, combat vehicles etc. "The Ordnance factory, because of its high-security nature, has been taken over by the government and from now onwards, all weapons in the country will only be manufactured and sold under governments
Orgy (n) A wild and unrestrained indulgence, as in a party with large quantities of food, alcohol, etc. (1) A drunken orgy went on in the hostel room last night, and most of those who were there still have a bad hangover. (2) The raucous mob broke into a wild
Oriental (n) Belonging to the eastern part of the world, esp. East Asia Dr. Lowe specializes in acupuncture, an Oriental therapy which originated in China, and is planning to spend a few months in Beijing learning advanced form of the technique. ant: Occidental
Orientation (n) A position or direction This course in Mass Communication has a very practical orientation, and students are required to undertake part-time internships with various media and other communication-related organizations through out the year.
Orifice (n) An opening or hole A flood of water rushed out of the orifice in the wall.
Ornate (adj) Excessively or elaborately decorated, Not simple While the common people lived in simple houses made of wood or mud, the head of the town lived in a house built in an ornate style, decorated with flowers and leaves. ant: Unadorned
Ornithology (n) Study of birds He has done a few courses in ornithology at college, so his knowledge about these birds is bound to be more than yours.
Orthodox (adj) Traditional, Conservative in belief "While her mother, who herself is modern, has no objection in sending her out to work, her father holds an orthodox view and doesnt approve of her going out to work." ant: Modern, Unconventional
Oscillate (v) To keep moving regularly from side to side, as in the pendulum of a pendulum-clock For the last few days, my mood has been oscillating between one of extreme joy at finishing school and going to college, and of intense depression at the thought of se
Osmosis (n) The gradual passing of a liquid through a thin layer or membrane. Hence, the way in which information or knowledge spreads through people. He was never taught how to draw; he picked up the art by osmosis merely by watching other children draw.
Ossicle (n) A little bone or bone like part The chicken was not very well cooked; there were a few tiny ossicles in the gravy that was supposed to be boneless.
Ossify (v) "Change or harden into bone. Hence, to become hard and unchanging in ones ideas" "The chairmans thinking has been ossified because of the success of the company over the last few years, but now his fixed ideas on distribution may no longer hold good.
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.
Ostracize (v) To exclude from a group or not accept in a group Because of his involvement in various antisocial activities, the residents of the locality decided to ostracize him out of their locality.
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.
Oust (v) To force someone out of a place or position, Drive out The director ousted the manager from the company for his misbehavior with his colleagues.
Outlandish (adj) Strange and unusual and difficult to accept or like The designs which were considered to be outlandish a couple of years before have come into existence nowadays and people accept them now.
Outmoded (adj) No longer in vogue, Old-fashioned The computer language COBOL is quite outmoded in writing computer programs -- no one uses it any longer. ant: Contemporary
Outskirts (n) Fringes, Outer borders The gypsies did not get the permission to enter the city, so set up their camp in the outskirts.
Outstrip (v) To be or become greater in amount, degree or success than (something or someone) Though he is a hard-working man but if he wants to be on the top, he must outstrip hard-work.
Outwit (v) To obtain an advantage over (someone) by acting more cleverly and often by using a trick For four years he stayed in the jail planning a way to escape, and in the fifth year, he managed to outwit, the otherwise prudent, jail authorities and escape.
Ovation (n) Enthusiastic clapping or applause, A joyful expression of public approval The young hero was received with an ecstatic ovation by the crowd after winning the best actor award; the whole auditorium echoed with their clapping.
Overalls (n) A garment used to cover the whole body, used esp. by workers The painter forgot to wear his overalls before painting and spoiled his clothes.
Ovearing (adj) Bossy and arrogant His wife has such an ovearing personality that he hardly has any say in the functioning of the household.
Overt (adj) Open to view, Not secret The dead body had no overt signs of injury which could be taken into consideration for any action against the man who was alleged to have beaten him to death. ant: Covert
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.
Pacifist (n) One opposed to force, A person who does not believe in wars An increasing number of young people are turning pacifists these days -- condemning war and spreading the message of peace. ant: Militarist
Pacify (v) (1) Soothe, Make calm or quiet (2) Bring peace to a warring area She was furious with him for coming late to the party, however, he managed to pacify her. syn: Console, Appease ant: Annoy
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
Pagan (n) A person who does not believe in religion, or does not believe any fixed religion He says that he has absolutely no faith in God and calls himself a pagan. syn: Heathen
Pageant (n) A spectacular public show, procession or exhibition Many Indians are now protesting against the popular beauty pageants as they feel the show is a waste of money and time.
Painstaking (adj) "Taking great care, Very thorough with ones work" Most tennis stars would admit that it took them years of painstaking practice to reach this position. ant: Remiss
Palate (n) (1) The roof of the mouth (2) A taste or liking for something (2) I do not have the palate for such rich and heavy food; some plain roast chicken would be good enough for me.
Palaver (n) Unnecessary inconvenience and trouble He created a lot of fuss and palaver when he lost his driving license. syn: Banter
Palette (n) The board on which a painter mixes colors Most good painters usually mix colors directly on the pain board rather than on the palette.
Pall (v) Become uninteresting or unattractive, Grow tiresome (esp. because of repeated or over use) When I was young, flying used to excite me a lot, but now that I travel so frequently, the pleasure of air travel has totally palled.
Pall (n) Something dark or heavy which covers or seems to cover A pall of smoke hung over the garage as one of the cars being repaired had caught fire.
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
Palpable (adj) Tangible, That which can be easily felt by the senses His parents could guess the good news without his telling them as his excitement was palpable. ant: Intangible
Palpate (v) Examine medically by touch As the doctor palpated his stomach, he could feel a small lump which he doubted could be a tumor.
Palpitate (v) To tremble. Also, (of the heart) to beat fast and regularly He knew that he would be severely punished for the mistake he had made, he could feel his heart palpitating with fear. syn: Pulsate, Tremble
Paltry (adj) (1) Insignificant, Petty, Worthless (2) Nasty and ungenerous Despite getting a scholarship, he had to take a student loan as the scholarship amount was paltry. syn: Contemptible ant: Significant, Munificent
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
Panacea (n) Something that will cure all troubles, Universal remedy It was not a doctor but an audience which proved to be a panacea for her depression; she wanted to talk to someone and share her feelings.
Panache (n) With great style and skill, Doing difficult things without too much effort He used to solve problems with such panache that the company decided to appoint him the official trouble shooter.
Pandemic (adj) A widespread disease. Hence, anything widespread Corruption is a pandemic problem in India, spread across all levels, specially the government bureaucracy. ant: Endemic
Pandemonium (n) A scene or state of utter chaos and disorder The movie theater became a scene of sheer pandemonium when somebody from the audience loudly shouted that there was a bomb in the theater. ant: Calm
Pander (v) To cater to the (usu. unpleasant or undesirable) wishes of others Her father sternly warned her that she had been pandered to long enough, and should not expect that all her wishes would be fulfilled.
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.
Panorama (n) A complete view of a wide stretch of land, Any general representation in words or pictures The spot is situated nearly 2500 meters above sea level and gives a spectacular panoramic view of the mountain range.
Pantheon (n) A temple dedicated to all gods. Hence, all the gods (of a religion or society) thought of as together One of the most revered gods in the Hindu pantheon of deities is Lord Ganesha - the elephant god.
Papyrus (n) Ancient paper made from stem of the papyrus plant Most of the ancient vedic scripts have been written on papyrus.
Parable (n) A short, simple story teaching a moral lesson "The film has a beautiful innocence about it, hardly seen in todays cinema, as it is based on a simple parable about a four-year old caught between quarreling parents." syn: Allegory
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.
Paradox (n) A statement with opposing ideas, thus seeming impossible It is a paradox that farms in the western region get so less rain yet give the maximum yield of rice. syn: Ambiguous
Paragon (n) A model of excellence and perfection Even though he makes so many blunders in every work he does, he believes that he is a paragon in handling a work. ant: Wastrel
Paramount (adj) Most important The public relations department of a company has many responsibilities, but dealing with the press is of paramount importance. ant: Trivial
Paranoia (n) A state of the mind in which the sufferer believes that he/she is being purposely mistreated, or is a person of great power and influence After a failed attempt to kidnap him, he started feeling paranoid and refused to move out of his house. ant: Sa
Paraphernalia (n) Equipment, Miscellaneous small objects The telephone mechanic came to his house equipped with a new telephone set and all other paraphernalia required to install the phone.
Paraphrase (n & v) Restatement in different (usu. easier) words of something that has been said or written The lawyer did not say anything new; he merely paraphrased the words spoken by the witness in a way that added a new dimension to the case.
Parch (v) To become dried and wrinkled because of heat Due to the lack of rains, the farms were parched and became useless for farming. ant: Wet
Pare (v) Cut away the outer covering or the skin He pared off the apple skin before serving it to me.
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."
Pariah (n) A social outcast, A person not accepted by the society Ever since it was discovered that he has been beating his wife, he has been treated as a pariah in the community, with no one willing to speak to him. ant: Favorite
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 and analysis was expectedly rather parochial, being restricted to events and happenings in the nearby are
Parody (n & v) Humorous imitation, Spoof It seems as if the film makers lost interest during the making of the film, and so the film appears to be a parody of what it was meant to be. syn: Travesty
Paroxysm (n) A sudden and violent outburst or fit As soon as she was declared the winner of the beauty contest, she went into paroxysms of delight and absolute joy. syn: Spasm
Parry (v & n) To turn aside or keep away a blow, Deflect In the boxing competition, he managed to parry a few blows of the world champion but could not sustain the series of blows for long. ant: Discuss
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 ant: Extravagant
Partial (adj) (1) Incomplete (2) Showing favor to one side in an unfair way (3) Having a liking for something (1) Despite there being extra workers, the work could only be partially completed because of frequent power cuts (2) John gets good marks in the class t
Partisan (adj) Showing strong support for one party, person, plan etc. and dislike for any others Umpires in a cricket match are often accused of being partisan towards the home side. syn: Prejudiced
Partition (v & n) Divide into parts If the communal wars and tension escalate, the country will no longer remain in one piece and might have to be partitioned. ant: Union
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.
Passive (adj) Not active, Dull, Suffering without opposition "The landlord dominates him because he is too passive and does not retaliate to the landlords threats." syn: Impassive ant: Active
Pastoral (adj) Of country life (used usually to highlight the charming and innocent aspects of rural life) The resort was situated in an enchantingly pastoral setting -- I could see little children playing by the pool and shepherds overlooking their grazing sheep
Patent (adj) (1) Easy to see, Obvious (2) Protected from being copied or sold by those who do not have a right to do so (1) His statement was a patent lie and the judge could see through it.(2) The scientist applied for a patent on his new invention to protect
Pathetic (adj) (1) Causing sadness or pity (2) Useless, Absolutely unsuccessful The sight of the villagers after the long drought was pathetic, most people looking famished and sick. ant: Cruel
Pathological (adj) (1) Pertaining to disease (2) Unreasonable and unnatural (2) He suffers from a pathological fear of fire.
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
Patriarch (n) An old and much respected man, Ruler of a family or tribe In many parts of the country, after the death of a man, his eldest son becomes the patriarch, all the members of the family are supposed to respect him and accept his decisions.
Patrician (n & adj) A nobleman, Aristocratic person He was born into a patrician Yorkshire family, kept in a protected environment, and received education by a private tutor. ant: Plebian
Patronize (v) (1) Support, Extend favor to (2) Act superior towards someone Though there are a number of restaurants to choose from in this area, I have always patronized the Gazebo. syn: Encourage ant: Boycott
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
Pauper (n) Very poor person Despite the unexpected income, he is still a pauper when compared to his rich friends. syn: Penurious ant: Opulent
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.
Pectoral (adj) Of, in or on the chest Years of hard work in the mines have developed his pectoral muscles so much that they are now visible even over his clothes.
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 once dec
Pedestrian (adj) Ordinary, Unimaginative, Lacking in any special qualities The album is so long and pedestrian that it can never become a hit like his previous titles.
Pediatrician (n) "A doctor who specializes in childrens diseases" Most parents in the locality wanted to give their children a perfect treatment, so they took them to Dr. Luther who was a well known pediatrician.
Pedigree (n) The set of people of animals from which a person or animal is descended Despite his impressive pedigree, he has a very unimpressive personality -- it is hard to believe that he has such royal ancestors behind him. syn: Ancestry
Peerless (adj) Having no equal, Incomparable Her peerless beauty is universally acclaimed and is evident from the numerous beauty titles she has won. ant: Compatible
Pejorative (adj) Expressing disapproval, Suggesting that something or someone is of little value or importance For some people patriotic songs have become pejorative nowadays, but there are certain people who still hold the opinion that these songs are most valuabl
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
Pelt (v) To attack by throwing stones etc. quickly and repeatedly. Also, to run very fast The police had to take evasive action when the crowd turned violent and began pelting stones at them.
Penchant (n) Strong inclination, Liking His penchant for gambling is a cause of worry for his father as they have already lost a lot of money. ant: Detachment
Pendant (n) Hanging ornament attached to necklace He wore a golden necklace with a diamond pendant hanging at the centre.
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.
Penitent (adj) Extremely sorry and repentant He looked genuinely penitent at having broken the windshield of my car, so I decided to excuse him. syn: Contrite ant: Unrepentant
Penitentiary (n) A prison, esp. a state or federal one The federal penitentiary is situated around 30 miles from the town in a secluded spot, and is heavily guarded 24 hours a day.
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
Per se (adv) Considered alone, Taken individually I bear no grudge against the principal per se, but the rules of the school are just not conducive to the creation of a good learning environment.
Perceptible (adj) That which can be noticed or perceived Though the increase in pain was hardly perceptible initially, it increased later in the day and hurt me a lot.
Perceptive (adj) Showing an unusually good ability to notice and understand She is so perceptive that even while looking at your face, she can understand the slightest deviation in your thought as soon as it comes into your mind. syn: Insightful
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.
Perdition (n) Utter loss and destruction, total ruin The devastating earthquake has brought utter perdition to the people living in the Kutch area of western India.
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
Perennial (adj) Lasting long or for ever, Flowing through all seasons We thought that the power cuts were temporary and would end but we have now realized that this is a perennial problem and will never end. ant: Temporary
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
Perfunctory (adj) Done without thought, interest or concern, Superficial He confessed that he had only had a perfunctory look at my report and requested me to let him keep it for some more time. ant: Pre-planned, Deliberated
Perilous (adj) Very dangerous, Risky The father was worried because it was not easy for his young son of fourteen to make such a perilous journey across the mountains; he knew that there was some danger or the other at every step.
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
Peripheral (adj) Not central, Marginal, Relatively unimportant The problem of power cut was so important that we decided not to bother about the other peripheral issues. ant: Central
Periphery (n) Edge, Especially of a round surface A factory is usually set up at the periphery of a plot rather than in the middle as this allows easier access from outside. ant: Centre
Perjury (n) Telling a lie while under oath, Swearing to a statement known to be false The court found him guilty of perjury when he could not substantiate his statement made earlier in the witness box.
Permeable (adj) Allowing liquids or gases to pass through Gas permeable contact lenses are better for the eyes as they allow necessary moisture to pass through them and reach the eyes. syn: Penetrable, Porous ant: Hermetic
Permissive (adj) Allowing a great deal of freedom, or too much freedom The new age companies are very permissive where employees are allowed to work whenever they feel like.
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.
Perpetual (adj) Lasting forever, Anything that continues endlessly Though many dot-com companies claim that the current shortage of funds is a temporary phenomenon and will end soon, most analysts feel that this problem is perpetual. syn: Infinite, Eternal ant:
Perplex (v) To confuse or trouble someone by being difficult to understand The AIDS virus has continued to perplex top scientists who have been unable to understand the virus properly or find a cure.
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
Personable (adj) Attractive, Handsome Being a personable young man, he has always been a point of attraction for young ladies, who like to be in his company. syn: Comely
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 (adj) Having a great ability to judge and understand things My perspicacious grandfather had invested in this land near thirty years ago when its value was hardly anything, today the value has multiplied manifold and is paying rich dividends to us. syn:
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
Pertinent (adj) Suitable, Connected directly with something, Relevant The arguments he put forward in favor of the topic given to the group during the group-discussion were not at all pertinent to the topic; he was regarded as a dull and careless candidate. syn:
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
Peruse (v) Read thoroughly or carefully The doctor took nearly fifteen minutes in carefully perusing my medical reports before writing something on his prescription.
Pervasive (adj) Widespread, Spread throughout every part The latest financial scandal in the country has shown that corruption is among the most pervasive phenomena of our times -- no one can be expected to be untouched by it.
Perverse (adj) Purposely behaving in a manner that is incorrect, unreasonable, or unacceptable. Also, annoying and awkward He got a perverse delight when he heard that his old rival at school was now having a tough time finding a job.
Pesky (adj) Troublesome, Causing annoyance The pesky little child is such a menace that none of the governesses employed by his parents has stayed interview he job for long. syn: Irksome
Pessimism (n) Tendency to believe that things will not work out, or to expect the worst possible result, Think negatively Even though he did his exams very well, he is so pessimistic that he does not expect that he will pass. syn: Gloominess ant: Optimism
Pestilence (n) Deadly epidemic disease All the doctors of the city are stunned by this raging pestilence that has struck the city hospitals, in which around fifty infants have died within six hours of being born.
Petite (adj) Small and attractive (used for a woman or girl) Unlike her other unattractive and tall friends, her latest friend was petite and charming.
Petrify (v) To put (someone) in a state of shock or fear rendering him/her unable to move The audience stood petrified when they realized that the elephant coming towards them was not in control.
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.
Petty (adj) Of little importance, Very small, Also, small-minded (of a person) Most unsuccessful marriages are a result of petty and insignificant issues which crop up in our daily life rather than big problems. syn: Minor, Trivial ant: Grave
Petulant (adj) Showing ill-temper over unimportant things, Childishly fussy We were surprised by his petulant refusal to accompany us to the beach; on previous occasions, he had always been too eager to go. syn: Peevish, Testy
Phantasmagoria (n) A confused, dreamlike changing scene of different things, real or imagined The movie has been directed by the renowned painter, and instead of being a piece of artistic excellence as it was meant to be, it has turned out to be a confusing phantasmago
Phenomena (n) Observable facts, events or behavior Psychologists say that discrimination against the girl child in some developing countries is not a recent phenomenon but that it has been going on for many generations now.
Phenomenal (adj) Very unusual, Extraordinary The rise of the software industry has been phenomenal. No industry has grown like this in such a short span.
Philanderer (n) A man who flirts with women without any serious intentions, A playboy His reputation as a philanderer is badly obstructing his search for a wife; no woman is willing to believe that he can be serious about one woman. syn: Lecher
Philanthropist (n) Lover of mankind, Doer of good Because of his philanthropic nature, he has devoted most of his lifetime to the service of mankind, and even now that he is on his death-bed, he wants to do something for mankind.
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.
Phlegmatic (adj) Calm and unexcited, Not showing much reaction One of the hallmarks of a good batsman in cricket is a calm and phlegmatic temperament which would help him to concentrate amidst numerous distractions. syn: Apathy ant: Effusive
Phobia (n) A strong and unnatural fear Studies have shown that most children with working parents usually have a phobia about staying alone at nights.
Phoenix (n) Symbol of immortality or rebirth. A mythological bird, that after living five or six centuries in Arabian desert burnt itself and rose from the ashes. After being out of action for nearly six years, the once popular actor has again risen like the ph
Phoney (adj) Not real, fake We thought he was reliable till we realized that he had given us a phoney address. ant: Real
Physiological (adj) Pertaining to the science of the function of living organisms The reasons for such disabilities are purely physiological; it has got nothing to do with either genetics or psychology.
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
Picket (n & v) A person or thing placed at the entrance to stop others from moving in. Hence, that which guards the entrance to a house, office etc. "The police formed a picket to prevent the mob from entering the Chief Justices bungalow."
Piecemeal (adj & adv) One part at a time, Gradually Instead of moving ahead with the entire project all at once, it is better if we move in a piecemeal fashion, taking up one thing at a time.
Piety (n) Religious devotion, Godliness, Piousness Her piety and devotion to the Lord has helped her tide over times of intense crises.
Piffle (n) Foolish, nonsensical talk "Instead of talking such piffles, why dont we talk something sensible?"
Pigment (n) Coloring matter To get an orange color, try adding the red pigment to the yellow one.
Pilfer (v) To steal in small quantities Though in the beginning he used to pilfer from shops and departmental stores, which went unnoticed, now he has taken to somewhat bigger thefts and robberies. syn: Filch
Pillage (v & n) Loot and plunder The marauders went on a spree of murder and pillage, spreading utter mayhem in the village. syn: Despoil
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 (2) To have a strong desire for something which is out of reach (1) This man once used to be strong and highly enthusiastic, but he has been gradually pining away after the acc
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.
Pinnacle (n) The highest point or degree Once considered the pinnacle of achievement in athletics, running the mile in under four minutes is now common. syn: Apex ant: Nadir
Pioneer (n & v) First mover, Someone who is the first to do something, thus making it easier for others to follow Though there have been many people who have achieved success in making flying machines, most people consider the Wright brothers as the pioneers in
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 (adj) Expressed in few carefully chosen words, Concise In his short and pithy speech, lasting just under ten minutes, he managed to effectively drive home to the audience the importance of the research going on in the laboratory. syn: Terse ant: Prolix
Pittance (n) A small amount of money given as allowance or wage Despite working so hard, he is only paid a pittance.
Pivotal (adj) Of prime importance, Crucial, Vital In any project, the role of a team leader is pivotal as he is the one who has to guide his team members and ensure that work is completed. ant: Trivial
Placate (v) To cause to stop feeling angry, Pacify The landlord was very angry with me for not paying him the rent in time, I somehow managed to placate him saying that I would pay him the rent, with interest, the next month. syn: Appease, Conciliate ant: Exas
Placebo (n) Harmless substance given to soothe or comfort Seeing that the patient was quite shaken because of the accident, the doctor administered him a placebo in order to soothe his nerves.
Placid (adj) Calm and peaceful, Not easily excited The reflection of the hills in the clear and placid water of the pond made a beautiful sight. syn: Undisturbed; Tranquil ant: Irascible
Plagiarism (n) "Theft of anothers ideas or writings passed off as original" Though the local music directors have been accused of plagiarism by international music directors, the truth is that music directors, both international as well as local have been inspired
Plaintiff (n) Person who brings a charge against someone (called the defendant) in a court of law Seeing that no relevant evidence was forthcoming, the plaintiff had no option but to take back the case. syn: Complainant
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
Plaque (n) A flat plate fixed to a wall etc. on which something is written In appreciation of his effective leadership, the company management handed him a plaque with words of praise and gratitude inscribed on it when he retired.
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
Platonic (adj) A friendly relationship between a man and a woman, lacking sexual feelings On being accused of having an affair with his co-star, the actor made it clear that his relationship with his co-star was platonic and nothing more than that.
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.
Plausible (adj) Having a show of truth but open to doubt, Seemingly reasonable Though the suggestions he has given to the committee sound plausible, we cannot be sure that they are reasonable and will be bring good effect. ant: Implausible
Plebeian (adj) Of the lower social classes, Of the common people It was extremely impolite of him to describe his opponent as coming from plebeian origins; his remark is bound to decrease his popularity among the common people. ant: Patrician
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.
Plethora (n) An amount which is more than is required, Abundant supply It is sad to note that on one hand there are universities which have no money for even the essential books and on the other hand there are private libraries with plethora of unused books. ant
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
Plight (n) Condition or state, usu. a bad one I was shocked to see the plight of the orphans in the famine hit area, most of whom had no clothes to wear or food to eat.
Plumage (n) Feathers of a bird The male peacock displayed its colorful plumage with pride.
Plumb (v) To examine very carefully so as to understand fully Scientists are trying to plumb the deep mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle, in the Atlantic Ocean, which is believed to be a place where no one has returned from. ant: Horizontal
Plummet (v) Fall sharply or suddenly The house rentals have plummeted in recent months because there is an excess of houses and very few people to live in them. syn: Plunge
Pneumatic (adj) Containing, or worked by air Most cars now have pneumatic brakes that operate by air pressure instead of mechanical ones.
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.
Podium (n) Pedestal, Raised platform Even though he was speaking from the podium, nobody from the audience could see him as the light was dim.
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.
Poignant (adj) Deeply moving, Producing a sharp feeling of sadness or pity Meeting her quite out of the blue brought back poignant memories of the happy days we had spent together while in college.
Polarize (v) Split into opposite extremes or camps With their divide-and-rule policy, the British managed to effectively polarize the Indian community on lines of religion.
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.
Pommel (v) Beat or pound with fists, Hit repeatedly The much awaited heavyweight boxing match hardly lasted five minutes, with the powerful German boxer pommelling his Swede opponent with a volley of powerful blows.
Pompous (adj) Thinking oneself to be very important, and behaving accordingly He was humble and down to earth till the recent award that he got made him pompous and arrogant.
Ponderous (adj) Slow and awkward because of huge size and weight His wife constantly keeps chiding him for his slow and ponderous manner of walking. syn: Cumbersome, Unwieldy
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.
Pore (v) Study attentively, Ponder, Scrutinize Even though he had spent the whole night poring over various dictionaries, he could not find the meaning of the word he was looking for.
Porous (adj) Allowing liquid to pass through, Full of pores (small holes) The vessel in which we had stored the water was porous and so all the water leaked out in an hour. ant: Impermeable
Portals (n) Door or entrance, esp. an imposing one A strange confidence, something he had never felt before, seemed to overpower him as he entered the portals of the impressive building where he was supposed to assume charge.
Portend (v) Be a sign of warning for a future event According to an old Indian superstition, the twitching of the eye muscles portend that something unfortunate is going to happen. syn: Presage
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.
Posthumous (adj) "Occurring after ones death" For the supreme sacrifice of his life in the battlefield, the government has decided to posthumously award him the highest military honor of the country.
Postprandial (adj) After lunch or dinner A postprandial walk in the park near our house is a regular part of our routine.
Postulate (n & v) Something taken as true, though not proved "Euclids Fifth postulate was taken as a standard in geometry for many decades, before it was finally disproved by some German mathematicians in the early nineteenth century." ant: Verify
Posy (n) A small bunch of flowers The little girl carried a small posy of chrysanthemums in her hand and presented it to the chief guest. syn: Bouquet; Nosegay
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.
Potent (adj) Powerful, Persuasive, Greatly influential The medicine prescribed by the doctor proved to be a potent remedy for my lingering throat pain; the pain was gone within few hours of taking the medicine. syn: Mighty ant: Inept, Inefficient, Impotent
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.
Potion (n) Mixture of liquid used as medicine or poison To tackle the dangerous disease, the village physician developed a potion using the locally available herbs and spring water which proved to be very effective.
Pounce (v) To jump suddenly so as to grasp Using the advantage of the dim light, the lion went close to the deer and before the deer could realize it, pounced on it.
Pout (n & v) A facial expression in which the lips are pushed forward so as to show displeasure or attract attention The pampered little child has developed the bad habit of pouting and sitting in a corner whenever she does not get what she asks for.
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.
Practical (adj) Based on experience and actual actions rather than ideas, Useful By agreeing to talk to the dissidents, he has taken a very practical approach to solve the crisis. syn: Pragmatic ant: Impractical, Theoretical
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
Prance (v) To jump about like a horse, To move quickly and happily It was amusing to see the forty-year old rock star prancing about the stage like a fourteen-year old.
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.
Preamble (n) Introductory statement, Preliminary statement in speech or writing In the preamble to the speech itself, he made it clear that he would not be speaking as a representative of the team, but would be expressing his individual opinions.
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
Precedent (n) Previous case taken as example for subsequent cases or as justification. Also, anything that comes before or prior to something else By agreeing to resign as soon as the defense deal scandal was exposed, the defense minister has set a good precedent.
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 not only is he a vegetarian, he also is an important member of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals.
Precinct (n) (1) Space enclosed by walls or other boundaries of a place or building (2) A division of a town or city for political or legal purposes (2) The latest police records released last week show that incidents of violent crimes in these two adjoining prec
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
Precipice (n) Vertical or steep face of a rock, cliff, or mountain The two neighboring countries have often reached the edge of the precipice in the past -- and have been involved in a full fledged war as many as four times in the last forty years.
Precipitate (adj) Rash, Premature, Hasty Instead of acting with a precipitate haste, had he done it thoughtfully and with more care, he would have succeeded. syn: Inconsiderate
Precipitate (v) (1) Throw downwards or forward with great force (2) To make something happen sooner than expected (1) The raging bull banged against him with great force and precipitated him down the hill. (2) The financial scandal involving some top ministers and p
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
Precise (adj) Exact, Accurately expressed I do not know the precise time when the train is scheduled to arrive, but I know that it is approximately around 8 in the morning. syn: Punctilious ant: Inaccurate, Indefinite
Preclude (v) To render impossible, prevent The terms and conditions of this transaction preclude him from contacting the potential buyers directly, he is bound by contract to approach the buyers through the agency. syn: Preempt ant: Conclude
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.
Precursor (n) Something that comes before another and leads to it or develops into it, Forerunner German rockets used during the Second World War as weapons were a precursor to the modern day space rockets. syn: Harbinger, Progenitor
Predator (adj) Creature that seizes and devours another animal, Person who robs or exploits other In the forests, tame animals like deer and rabbits have to be constantly on guard against predators like lions and tigers. ant: Prey
Predecessor (n) Former holder of any office or position The new President of the company is a die-hard optimist, in stark contrast to his predecessor, who was known for his pessimism.
Predicament (n) Difficult or unpleasant situation Having accidentally accepted two invitations for the same evening, he was in a real predicament as to which one to attend. syn: Dilemma
Predilection (n) A preference or bias in favor of something Even though he had been hurt badly twice in bull-fight, he enjoys it even now; he seems to have predilection for such dangerous sport. syn: Inclination
Predispose (v) To influence someone in advance He had come to the meeting predisposed for a fight and was just not ready to listen to any reasoning.
Preeminent (adj) Outstanding, Superior to all others in having certain qualities Though it is a small country, Japan has been preeminent in the field of technology; few other countries are as advanced as Japan is.
Preempt (v) To remove any reason for doing something by taking action in advance, To make something ineffective or needless By himself going to the Chief Manager and apologizing for his lapse, the junior manager preempted the possibility of his immediate boss co
Preen (v) Make oneself tidy in appearance She spends hours in front of the mirror each day, preening herself and applying various creams on her face.
Prefatory (adj) Acting as preface or introduction In his prefatory remarks before the speech, he sincerely thanked the chairman of the company for allowing him to speak on the occasion. ant: Conclusive
Prejudice (n & v) An unfair and unfavorable feeling against someone, An unreasonable opinion about someone His deep rooted prejudice against members of that particular community is probably the only factor that goes against him in his selection for the post. ant:
Prelude (n) Something followed by something larger or more important The anncements made by the finance minister in the Parliament today are being seen as a prelude to a series of more important anncements to follow in the next few days. syn: Forerunner ant: A
Premeditated (adj) Planned in advance, and done on purpose The police have so far been working on the theory that the murder attempt was a premeditated one, but new evidence suggests that the attempt was made without any previous planning.
Premise (n) A statement on which some reasoning is based The basic premise of his argument is that the tapes that have been given to the court as evidence have been doctored.
Premonition (n) A feeling that something unpleasant is going to happen, Forewarning He had a sudden premonition that the room in which they were having a conversation might have a hidden microphone, so signalled to his partner to lower his voice. syn: Presage
Prenatal (adj) Happening before a child is born Most doctors are now convinced that proper prenatal care for the expectant mother is perhaps the most important factor determining the health of the newly born baby.
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
Preposterous (adj) Absurd, Ridiculous, Totally unreasonable The army chief has dismissed as preposterous the allegations that kickbacks had been paid by the army to certain suppliers of weapons in the defense deals. ant: Realistic
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.
Presage (n) To be a warning signal of something before it happens The sky was suddenly abuzz with a large number of birds flying in all directions, a presage of the massive storm that was to follow soon. syn: Augury, Foreboding, Premonition, Presentiment
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
Presumptuous (adj) Unduly confident, Showing disrespect towards others because of an overly high opinion of oneself It was extremely presumptuous on his part to hold a press conference and annce himself as the winner of the elections, even before the results of one s
Pretentious (adj) Falsely claiming to have importance or artistic value His claim of having complete information about the share market was clearly pretentious; he was not able to answer any of my questions on the trends in the market. ant: Modest, Unassuming
Preternatural (adj) Outside the ordinary course of nature He seemed to be blessed with the preternatural ability to predict the outcome of almost all cricket matches.
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."
Prevail (v) (1) To exist or be widespread (2) To gain victory or control. Also, to persuade (1) Though people believe that witchcraft does not exist nowadays, but there are certain villages where witchcraft and black magic still prevails.(2) Agassi prevailed ove
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
Prey (n) Target of a hunt, Victim The vulture managed to get a firm grip on its prey and carried it away in its claws. ant: Predator
Prim (adj) Very precise and formal, and easily offended by rudeness She considers herself too prim and proper to be seen by an outsider in a nightie. syn: Prudish ant: Improper, Prior
Primordial (adj) Existing at or from the beginning, Original The planet Jupiter contains large amounts of the primordial gas and dust out of which the solar system was formed. syn: Primal Primeval, Rudimentary ant: Modish, Modern
Pristine (adj) Pure and unharmed, Fresh and clean We spent a wonderful weekend in the pristine surroundings of a hill resort, far from the dust and grime of the big city. ant: Filthy
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
Probation (n) The process of assessing the suitability of a person for a job over a period of time, till the person is confirmed As he was not experienced, the employer decided to appoint him on probation for three months before confirming his job.
Probe (v & n) Explore, search or examine The government has decided to entrust the probe of the financial scandal to the Central Intelligence Agency.
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
Proclivity (n) A strong natural liking or tendency towards something His proclivity for good food and wine is well known, but not many are aware that he also has a passion for racehorses. syn: Inclination, Propensity ant: Avoidance, Aversion
Procrastinate (v) To defer or delay an action without good reason "Ive procrastinated writing this letter long enough; it is high time that I wrote it." ant: Expedite
Proctor (n & v) Invigilator, A person appointed to ensure that students do not cheat during an examination The students took full advantage of the leniency of the proctor during the examination, and indulged in rampant irregularities.
Prod (v) To push or press with urgency, Poke In order to make sure that the crab was dead, he prodded it with a blunt cane. syn: Goad
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
Prodigy (n) A person, esp., a child, who shows extraordinary abilities The parents of the prodigy proudly informed the TV journalist that the child had learned how to perform complicated mathematical operations at the age of five.
Profane (adj) (1) Showing disrespect for God and for holy things (2) Socially unacceptable and shocking (1) The Muslim clerics ordained that the writer should be banished from the country for his profane writings.(2) The song has been banned on all radio and TV
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
Profound (adj) Deep, Very strongly felt, Absolute "There was such a profound silence in the hall that one could even hear ones own heart beat." ant: Frivolous, Superfluous
Profuse (adj) Overabundant, Excessive The bleeding from the wound he suffered on his knee was so profuse that the doctor had to apply multiple layers of ointment and bandage in order to stop it. ant: Scarce
Progenitor (n) A person or thing of the past, from which someone or something is descended Karl Marx is widely regarded as the progenitor of communism. syn: Forebear, Precursor ant: Descendant
Progeny (n) Children, Offspring He totally left out his progeny from his will, but that did not come as a surprise to those who knew his four children closely.
Prognosis (n) Prediction, foreknowledge (usually used in medical terms; thus, a medical prognosis is the art of foretelling the cause of a disease) The business magazine has reported a gloomy prognosis for the economy in the forthcoming year in its latest issue.
Proliferate (v) To grow or reproduce rapidly The business of Medical Transcription which was not at all heard of a few years back, has now proliferated to such an extent that most students opt for a carrier as an MT as soon as they come out of school. syn: Burgeon,
Prolific (adj) Abundantly fruitful He was among the most prolific music composers in Hindi cinema, having composed the music in over 500 films. ant: Infertile, Desolate
Prolix (adj) Using too many words to say a simple thing, Tiringly long and wordy The author had a very prolix style of writing in the first book he had written three years ago, but in his latest book released this month, he has remarkable altered his style by b
Prolog (n) Introduction (to a poem or play) In the prolog to the play itself, the writer has made it amply clear that the incidents depicted in the play have been drawn from real life incidents, but modified for theatrical reproduction. ant: Epilog
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."
Prominent (adj) Easily noticeable, Sticking out, Of great importance "The house he has built now is in a prominent place, you cant just miss it even if you are in a hurry." syn: Conspicuous, Distinguished ant: Inconspicuous
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
Prompt (v) To cause or urge, Provoke I had decided to remain silent throughout the investigation, but his constantly annoying remarks prompted me to speak.
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
Prone (adj) "(1) Likely to be affected or to suffer from something (2) Lying on ones front, face downwards" Unlike his younger brother Thorne, who is immune to cold and fever, Alpin is quite prone to such diseases; he often complains of headache and body pain
Propagate (v) To rapidly multiply in number, Spread Some recent media reports have propagated the theory that the huge financial scandal that has rocked the nation must have originated right at the top. syn: Disseminate, Diffuse, Proliferate
Propel (v) To move, push, or drive forward The rigid stance of the leaders of both the feuding nations will only propel the two countries closer towards war.
Propensity (n) Inclination, Tendency He seems to have a natural propensity to get into trouble. syn: Proclivity
Prophetic (adj) Foretelling the future The astrological forecast for my zodiac sign published in the newspaper this Sunday has proved amazingly prophetic -- not only have I got this job offer, but I have also patched up a dispute with an old friend.
Prophylactic (adj & n) Tending to protect against or ward off something, esp. disease. Many superstitious Indians believe that smearing the front wall of their house with some mud and cow dung can prove to be prophylactic.
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
Proponent (n) A person who supports or advocates in favor of something Mr. Tata had been one of the leading proponents of a free market economy in India, at a time when the economic policies were steeped in the principles of socialism. ant: Opponent
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.
Proprietary (adj) Privately owned or controlled Since one of the two partners have decided to quit the partnership, the firm will now be reduced to a proprietary concern.
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.
Propulsive (adj) Driving forward The heroic innings by the captain himself proved to be the propulsive force for the entire team, which was now playing for a victory. syn: Propellant
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
Protégé (n) Person receiving protection and support from a more powerful person After an initial period of dissonance, Jim has now been accepted by the master boxer as his protégé, and is being rigorously trained for the forthcoming championship.
Protocol (n) Set of rules that govern proper and correct behavior at a formal level, usu. concerning diplomatic relations between two nations In a breach of accepted protocol, the diplomat himself stepped out of the gates of the Embassy building to see of the lad
Prototype (n) Original work used as a model by others Though a prototype of this aircraft was ready nearly six years ago, it has taken a final shape only now after being put to strenuous testing.
Protract (v) To prolong a stipulated time period, usu. without good reason After a period of protracted negotiations between the two parties which lasted for over four months, the suppliers decided to back out without giving any good reason. syn: Defer ant: Sho
Protrude (v) Stick out, Thrust forth She was very conscious of her protruding front teeth, often regretting the fact that her parents could not afford to put braces on her when she was young.
Provenance (n) Origin or place of origin The document did not give any indication of its provenance, though we suspected that it had originated in either India or one of her neighboring countries.
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
Provocative (adj) Arousing strong feelings, esp. anger or attraction Her wildly provocative speech was enough to send the crowds baying for the arrest of the errant official. syn: Instigating, Inciting ant: (Provoke) : Mollify
Prowess (n) Extraordinary ability or skill He was admitted to the college purely on the basis of his sporting prowess -- he does not have a great academic record in school. syn: Valor, Gallantry
Proximity (n) Nearness in space, time etc With the emergence of instant communication in the form of e-mail and easy accessibility with an expanding transportation network, geographical proximity is no longer an important criterion for choosing a business associat
Prude (n) A person who is easily shocked by anything rude, improper or indecent The producer of the film has described the censor board officials as a bunch of prudes, who cannot distinguish between artistic depiction of sexuality and plain vulgarity. syn: Pr
Prudent (adj) Cautious, Careful It was because of their sheer carelessness that the prisoner managed to escape from the jail; the jail authorities need to be more prudent. syn: Sagacious, Discreet ant: Temerarious
Prune (v) Cut away, Trim The long and dense bushes in the garden need to be pruned to give them a better appearance.
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.
Pseudonym (n) Fictitious name instead of the actual one, used esp. by a writer "To conceal his identity, Akram Baig wrote all his poems under the pseudonym of Awara."
Psyche (n) The mind, or the deepest thoughts feelings, or beliefs of a person or a group A tendency to avoid conflict is deeply embedded in the psyche of these people, hence this is a very peace-loving community.
Pudgy (adj) Short and fat The chairman of the company was a pudgy little man, very confident of himself and absolutely not conscious of his large girth. syn: Tubby
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 The winners of international beauty pageants like Miss Universe and Miss World are increasingly being decided on the basis of the presence of minds of the finalists, rather than their pulchritude or manner or walking. ant: Ug
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
Pulmonary (adj) Of, or having an effect on, the lungs The pulmonary artery is perhaps the most important artery in the human body, carrying oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the heart.
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.
Pulverize (v) Crush or grind into dust When he learned that an important ingredient of the medicine was pulverized bone of shark, he just refused to have the medicine as he was a vegetarian.
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
Pundit (n) Authority on a subject, Learned person, Expert The director of that institute is a former army major, and a defense policy pundit, so he is often called in TV news discussions on issues related to defense.
Pungent (adj) Biting or sharp in taste or smell, Very strongly felt and expressed The article is full of pungent and critical remarks about the ways in which the Indian film industry relies on the underworld for finance. syn: Caustic
Punitive (adj) Intended as punishment, Very severe The principal has decided to take punitive action against the teacher who was found guilty of physically punishing the child. syn: Punishing, Retributive ant: Rewarding
Puny (adj) Insignificant, Small and weak Though the market share of this brand of TV is still a puny 2.5
Purchase (n) (1) The act of buying (2) Firm grasp or footing (2) The wrestler from Armenia never let his opponent from Hungary get any purchase on the bout, and comprehensively beat him within 15 minutes of the start.
Purgatory (n) Any place or time of great suffering The parents of the child who was kidnapped for ransom have gone through purgatory for the last few days, and as of now, their ordeal seems likely to continue for some time.
Purge (v) Remove or get rid of something unwanted, Free from blame or guilt, Cleanse or purify The new police commissioner has publicly vowed to purge the city of the underworld elements, but it is not going to be an easy task.
Purist (n) A person too careful on correctness, as in matters of language, pronunciation, heritage etc. "Purists are aghast at the mayors decision to beautify the city by demolishing some of the old buildings."
Purloin (v) To steal The girl next who used to sit next to me at school had this most annoying habit of purloining my pencils and erasers. syn: Filch
Purport (v & n) To claim to be, Have an appearance of being They purport the voices on tape to be of the party treasurer and an unknown foreigner, a supplier of arms, who is trying to bribe the treasurer.
Purse (v) To fold the lips together as an expression of disapproval "Dont you have any manners, Pete? asked the teacher with pursed lips."
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 The government of the country has been accused of being pusillanimous for refusing to send its troops to the area of conflict as part of the international army. 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
Putrefy (v) To decay, Rot The murder had taken place nearly a month back, and the body had putrefied almost beyond recognition. syn: Decompose
Quack (n, adj & v) Ignorant pretender to skill esp. in medicine or surgery As soon as it became obvious that the person pretending to be a doctor was actually a quack, with no qualifications whatsoever, the villagers chased him out of the village. syn: Preten
Quadruped (n & adj) Four-footed animal The giraffe is among the tallest quadrupeds known to man. syn: Creature, Vertebrate, Invertebrate
Quaff (v) Drink quickly He had quaffed three glasses of whisky a little too quickly, and the effects were clearly showing. syn: Imbibe
Quagmire (n) 1) Soft wet boggy land 2) Complex or dangerous situation from which it is difficult to free oneself (2) A number of rural poor are caught in a quagmire of desperate poverty, from which it is nearly impossible for them to get out. syn: Swamp, Slough
Quail (n & v) 1) A migratory bird 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 he showed that it could be done and surprised everyone. syn: Antiquated, Baroqu
Qualm (n) Momentary faint or sick feeling, sinking of heart "He seemed to have absolutely no qualms about stealing money from his fathers wallet, something I could never have imagined." syn: Compunction, Demur, Remorse, Scruple, Twinge
Quandary (n) Practical dilemma, or a difficult situation He has received offers of admission from two equally well reputed universities, and he is in a quandary as to which one to accept. syn: Dilemma, Predicament, Muddle, Pickle
Quarantine (v & n) To isolate a person or animals to prevent spread of infection The zoo authorities have decided to quarantine the two monkeys who have been found to be infected with a deadly virus. syn: Isolate
Quarry (n & v) 1) Victim, Object of a hunt 2) Excavation made by taking stone for building from its bed The tiger pursued its quarry until it was thoroughly exhausted, and then easily overpowered it. syn: Excavation, Crater
Queasy (adj) A feeling of sickness in the stomach As soon as she entered the market where meat was being sold, she started feeling queasy and expressed her desire to be excused. syn: Nauseated, Nauseous
Quell (v) Forcibly put an end to, Overpower The armed forced were able to successfully quell three attempts by the enemy forces to capture the peak. syn: Suppress, Subdue, Quash ant: Foment
Quench (v) To satisfy thirst by having a drink (in particular), To satisfy (in general) "Its been a long time since he was a student, but his thirst for knowledge has still not been quenched." syn: Gorge, Assuage, Satiate
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
Query (n & v) 1) An inquiry or a question esp. expressing doubt or objection 2) Put a question The minister had no answer to the insistent queries of the journalists on the multi-million-dollar deal of the government, in which several irregularities had been e
Quibble (n & v) Unsubstantial or purely val argument etc One could quibble about a few scenes which could have been better picturised, but overall, it was a very impressive production. syn: Equivocation, Prevaricate, Sophism
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
Quintessence (n) 1) The most essential part or any substance 2) A perfect example "This music is quintessentially Floyd; I could make this out from a miles distance." syn: Crux, Gist
Quip (n & v) An amusing and clever remark In one of the lighter moments in the intense discussion, the noted journalist quipped that politicians of the state seem to have a flair for getting into trouble. syn: Quibble, Deride
Quirk (n) "Something strange or unexpected, or an unusual feature of someones personality" By a strange quirk of fate, this is the third time that the two of us have found ourselves travelling in the same compartment of the train. syn: Flavor, Temperament, Es
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
Quiver (n & v) 1) Case for holding arrows 2) Tremble, Shake (2) The hostel residents quivered with fear at the sight of the warden, who was extremely strict in imposing discipline in the hostel. syn: Vibrate, Tremor, Shudder
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
Rabble (n) A large, noisy uncontrolled group of people The entry of a teacher into the classroom has a miraculous effect on the class -- from a disorganized rabble, it is immediately transformed into a portrait of civility.
Rabid (adj) Violent, Expressing strong feelings The group of protestors outside the town hall was turning rabid, so the police had to fire gas shells in order to prevent the break-out of violence. syn: Furious, Fanatical ant: Complaisant
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 That part of the town is inhabited by various anti-social elements and petty criminals -- because of its raffishness, most respected people hardly ever venture into the area. syn: Tawdry ant: August
Rail (v) (1) To complain angrily, Use abusive language (2) To enclose, esp. using railings The passengers in the train railed against the railway authorities for not providing adequate security measures in the train. syn: Scold, Rant
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
Rally (v & n) (1) A public meeting of a large group of people (2) To come together for a common cause, To get together to provide support (3) To return to a better condition (4) A car pr motorcycle race, usu. over "(1) The opposition leaders election rally hel
Ramble (v & n) Wander aimlessly, Walk for pleasure and without definite route He was arrested by the Police for rambling about in the town during the Curfew. syn: Saunter, Wander
Rambunctious (adj) Wild or uncontrollable in conduct Because of his rambunctious behavior, even the doctors of the hospital are afraid to go near him to give him an injection; he is known to have bitten a nurse twice in the process of getting an injection. syn: Unru
Ramification (n) The possible results of an action "He has a very single-minded approach, I dont think he has considered all the ramifications of his decision." syn: Divergence
Ramp (n & v) An artificial slope The government has directed the construction of ramps alongside the stairs at the entrance of all public buildings, to make access easy for the disabled and those on a wheelchair.
Rampant (adj) Growing in profusion, Unrestrained The rampant violence has made the otherwise peaceful city a place to fear of. syn: Prevailing
Ramshackle (adj) Falling apart Next to the coconut grove stood a small ramshackle hut in poor condition, and it was obvious that nobody had been living there for several years now. syn: Rickety
Rancid (adj) Tasting or smelling unpleasant because of being stale If you do not refrigerate these vegetables, they will turn rancid within a day and will go waste. syn: Pungent
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
Rant (v & n) Talk excitedly, often in a foolish or angry way He has been ranting about the need to reform the institute for a long time now, not realizing that no one is really interested in listening to him. syn: Rave
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
Rapport (n) (esp. useful) communication, (harmonious) relationship, or connection "The secret of this organizations success is that its owner shares an excellent personal rapport with each of the employees, irrespective of their position in the company." syn: E
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
Rationale (n) Fundamental reason or justification, Grounds for an action Most physicists across the world believe that the rationale behind using CNG kits in car is flawed as the carbon monoxide levels produced by CNG kits are almost the same as those produced by
Rationalize (v) (1) To give an explanation for something, usu. based on reason and logic (2) To make more effective (the functioning of a company etc.) He tried to rationalize his failure by thinking that he did the best under the circumstances, but the disappointme
Raucous (adj) Harsh and shrill "The teachers voice could just not be heard over the raucous shouting by the boys in the classroom." syn: Hoarse, Strident, Cacophonous ant: Meek
Rave (n & v) 1) Overwhelmingly favorable review 2) Wild-pleasure loving person 3) Talk wildly or furiously He raves about tiger-shooting as if he were a born hunter and has been hunting for a long time. syn: Jabber, Babble
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
Ravenous (adj) Extremely hungry The ravenous cries of the infant kept the whole family awake, but they had not even a single penny to buy milk for the baby. syn: Voracious, Rapacious ant: Sated, Satisfied
Raze (v) Destroy completely In order to set up a resort, the young businessman decided to raze the slum to the ground.
Reactionary (adj & n) (Person) tending to oppose change or seeking to return to former system With the success of the economic reforms, the reactionary voices opposing the reforms have been completely silenced. syn: Diehard
Realm (n) Kingdom, Field or sphere "No one in his realm could ever raise voice against him; he was such a cruel king that he didnt even spare his brother from being beaten to death over a trivial issue." syn: Province, Domain
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
Rebuttal (n) Response with contrary evidence In an effective rebuttal of the allegations made by the opposition leader, the Prime Minister himself provided evidence in the Parliament that the allegations had been baseless. syn: Refutation
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
Recant (v) Withdraw and reject (esp. opinion or statement) The company chief has asked him to provide a written recantation of this earlier statement, in which he has accused the company of issuing him worthless shares. syn: Rescind, Countermand
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
Recast (v & n) Fashion again, Put into new form The sculptor was asked to recast the broken hand of the statue.
Receptive (adj) Quick or willing to receive ideas, Suggestions etc A rigid mind can never be creative, whereas a receptive mind can accumulate ideas and suggestions and this are creative. syn: Sympathetic, Sensorial ant: Preoccupied
Recession (n) Temporary decline in economic activity or prosperity After performing remarkably well for the past six years or so, the American economy is now showing the signs of a definite recession. syn: Stagnation
Recidivism (n) A tendency to repeat criminal acts and persistently relapse into anti-social behavior The only obstacle in the way of his success is his recidivism. During the last one year, he has been arrested four times for being involved in antisocial activities
Recipient (adj & n) 1) Receiving, Receptive 2) Person who receives something All the recipients of the award were received cordially by the organizers; they were to be awarded for their overall contribution in the field of Medicine.
Reciprocal (adj & n) In return, Expressing mutual action or relation The contract clearly said that unless otherwise specified, the terms and conditions were reciprocal, equally affecting both the parties. syn: Mutual
Recluse (adj & n) (Person) given to or living in isolation, esp. as religious discipline He has lived in forests during the period of his recluse, but now he no longer wants to live isolated from the society. syn: Anchorite
Reconcile (v) Make friendly after estrangement Though they had a bitter exchange of words yesterday, Sam has somehow managed to reconcile with Brad and both of them are going for a movie today. syn: Convince, Persuade ant: Estrange, Dissever
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
Reconnaissance (n) A survey, esp. a military, geological or engineering one, a preliminary survey made by anyone for any purpose The delegation is here to make a reconnaissance of the Paramilitary troops just to see how they adapt to different climatic conditions. syn
Recount (v) Narrate or tell in detail As I recounted the story of my life to her, it became obvious from her reactions that she was not interested, so I decided not to continue.
Recourse (n) Resorting to help when in trouble Most constitutional experts were of the opinion that the constitutional framework of the country did not offer a recourse for the unlikely political development. syn: Access
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.
Rectify (v) Set right, Correct It took them two months to build a working model of the project, and yet another month to rectify a small flaw which otherwise could have made the project a failure. syn: Ameliorate ant: Err
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
Recuperate (v) Recover, Restore from exhaustion, Illness etc. He was advised to take complete bed-rest for three months, but he recuperated so soon that within a month, he started playing his favorite game. syn: Revive
Recurrent (adj) Occurring again and again When the earthquake hit the city on the first day, nobody knew that it could hit the city again, but the recurrence of the earthquake on the second and third day caused panic among the people. syn: Incessant, Pleonastic,
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
Redundant (adj) Unnecessary, Something which is no longer useful The reduction of prices in the modern color TV systems have made the old black and white TV systems redundant as almost all buyers now prefer the new system. syn: Otiose, Superfluous
Reek (v) Smell unpleasantly His mouth was reeking of tobacco so badly that I could not talk to him even for a minute. syn: Pervade, Emanate
Refraction (n) Bending of a ray of light Rainbow is formed by the refraction of rays by water droplets suspended in the atmosphere after a rainy day.
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
Refrain (v & n) 1) Abstain from doing something 2) Recurring phrase or line esp. at end of stanzas He has been a chain-smoker for four years, but now he has decided to refrain from smoking. syn: 1) Abstain 2) Chorus
Refurbish (v) Renovate, Make bright by polishing "Robins bike was badly smashed by a car. But now it looks like a new bike and the credit goes to his mechanic who refurbished it so well." syn: Renovate
Refute (v) To prove wrong The latest findings related to the human genome project have strongly refuted the earlier notion that the number of genes in the human body is many times more than that in the body of a smaller animal like a rat. syn: Disavowal ant:
Regal (adj) Of or by kings Though he moved around and socialized with the middle class crowd, his regal attitude was a clear indication that he belonged to a royal family. syn: Royal ant: Common
Regale (v) Entertain with food or with talk etc. Having spent a life full of adventure and being widely traveled, he regales his four grandchildren every evening with fascinating stories about his travels. syn: Indulge
Regatta (n) A boat race or races I had never seen a boat in my life before, but the very first regatta I participated in, won me the first prize.
Regime (n) Method or system of government "The policies made during the military governors regime were undemocratic, so the newly elected Prime Minister decided to change them." syn: Reign, Jurisdiction
Regimen (n) A systematic plan, a prescribed system esp. that of a patient as prescribed by a doctor During wars, the soldiers have to follow a strict regimen that includes getting up early in the morning and sleeping at the prescribed hours.
Regurgitate (v) 1) Bring (swallowed food) back into the mouth 2) Cast out again (1) Some animals regurgitate their swallowed food in order to feed their young. syn: Disgorge
Rehabilitate (v) Restore to proper condition "The young boys group decided to organize a rehabilitation program for the people suffering from Leprosy, so as to place them better in the society." ant: Recidivate
Reimburse (v) Repay The government has asked the companies to reimburse the customers for the amount overcharged by them. syn: Indemnify, Remunerate
Reiterate (v) Say or do again or repeatedly 1) Though he had already told the whole story to the lawyer personally, the lawyer asked him to reiterate it in the court. 2) Despite many requests asking him to change his policies, the president has reiterated his deci
Rejoinder (n) Reply You cannot hope to win an argument with her, she has a ready rejoinder for almost everything. syn: Retort
Rejuvenate (v) Make young again Corporates have realized that it is important to rejuvenate their employees who lead a busy and highly stressed life, by providing them with timely vacations. syn: Enliven, Reinvigorate ant: Age
Relegate (v) Banish to an inferior position The film director is now fully occupied with his new project in which he is directing an international starcast, and so his earlier project which was not shaping up too well has been relegated to the backburner. syn: E
Relent (v) Become less stern, Abandon harsh intention Her parents were initially unwilling to let her go to the party, but ultimately relented on the condition that she would be back by eleven.
Relevant (adj) Pertinent, Referring to the case in hand The points he put forth were in no way relevant to the topic, but he still continued to argue over them. syn: Pertinent, Germane ant: Irrelevant, Impertinent
Relic (n) An object, tradition, or system that has survived from the past The archeologists are thrilled at having found some relics dating back to the stone age among the findings dug up near Teheran in Iran. syn: Memento
Relinquish (v) Give up, Abandon The kidnapper had been adamant all these days, but now he seems to have relinquished his plan and we hope he would surrender soon. syn: Surrender ant: Perpetuate, Persevere
Relish (n & v) To like or enjoy Having just bought the latest album of my favorite rock band, I relished the thought of listening to it as soon as I would reach home. syn: Savor ant: Dislike
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
Reminiscence (n) Recollection or remembrance of past things Even at the age of sixty his power of reminiscence is so good that he can easily recall the incidents that took place during his childhood. syn: Memoirs
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
Remnant (n) Small remaining quantity or piece or number of persons or things During one of the excavations, the archaeologists found several remnants of pre-historic vessels. syn: Residue
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
Remorse (n) 1) Bitter regret for wrong committed2) Reluctant to inflict pain or be cruel The tragic loss caused by his mistake filled the great emperor Ashoka with remorse and he decided to make up for it by devoting his entire life to propagate peace and non-vi
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
Rend (v) To tear apart with violence Suddenly, a loud scream of a woman in distress rended the air and broke the silence of the night. syn: Split
Rendition (n) A performance of a play or a piece of music, Interpretation of a piece of writing etc. "I dont like the original song as much as I like the Beatles rendition of it."
Renegade (n) A deserter, Traitor The party could not believe that the man it had been relying upon for so many years could turn out be a renegade, and desert the party. syn: Turncoat, Quisling, Apostate
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.
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
Renovate (v) Restore to good condition It took seven months for the renovation of the theatre that caught fire last year, now it looks better than it used to a year ago.
Renown (n) Fame, Celebrity, High distinction Winning the noble prize has made the hardly known scientist a renowned person all over the world. syn: Eminence
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
Repeal (v & n) To abolish, Cancel a previously valid law or regulation When the government took the decision to repeal the rather antiquated Foreign Exchange Regulation Act in India, exporters gave a sigh of relief. syn: Cancel, Abrogate, Rescind
Repel (v) 1) Drive away, Force something unwanted away 2) To cause strong dislike or disgust (1) Similar poles of a magnet repel each other. (2) I was repelled by the crass and vulgar jokes they were cracking. syn: Confront ant: 1) Attract
Repercussion (n) Recoil after impact He took the silly action in haste and now he is facing the repercussion of his step. syn: Reveration
Repertoire (n) List of works of music, Drama etc. Finally, the dramatist prepared a repertoire, according to which the plays were to be performed on the stage.
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
Replenish (v) Fill up again The long journey without any breaks had exhausted the oil in our car, so we decided to replenish the oil tank at the first available gas station. syn: Inflate
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
Replica (n) "Copy, or duplicate of the original artists picture etc." Most of the paintings that are sold on various internet auction sites are not original paintings but cheap replicas of the original. syn: Transcript, Clone
Repository (n) 1) Place where things are stored or may be found 2) Recipient of confidences or secrets (1) His library is a repository of all the information that you can possibly need on the Second World War. syn: Coffer
Reprehensible (adj) Deserving blame, Not acceptable Describing the act of the official as utterly reprehensible, the minister has stated that he will ensure that the official gets the punishment he deserves. syn: Blameworthy, Culpable, Derelict
Repress (v) Restrain, Crush, Oppress, Check With great difficulty, she managed to repress her emotions for some time, but soon burst into tears when she could not contain herself any longer. syn: Quell
Reprieve (v & n) Temporary stay He was to be executed last month, but the execution was reprieved because of his ill-health. syn: Mitigation
Reprimand (n & v) Reprove 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
Reprise (n) Musical repetition, Repeat performance, Recurrent action The album ends with a reprisal of the first number performed by a different set of artistes.
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
Repugnance (n) A feeling of disgust, Extreme unpleasantness The thought of cheating in an exam is hardly repugnant to most youngsters of today; given a chance, most would indulge in unfair practices in an exam. syn: Contrariety, Inconsistency
Repulsion (n) A reaction of disgust He felt a moment of repulsion when he saw the disfigured face of the child, but then was filled with sympathy. syn: Repugnance, Aversion ant: Attraction
Reputable (adj) Respectable The article has been written by one of the most reputable journalists in the country; the facts in it cannot be challenged. syn: Estimable
Reputed (adj) Supposed He is widely reputed to be a secret agent for the government, though officially, he has the job of a public relations officer in the labor department. syn: Putative
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
Rescind (v) Cancel Under severe pressure from various environmental lobbies, the government was forced to rescind its earlier decision of constructing a second dam over the river. syn: Repudiate, Countermand
Resentment (n) Bitterness, Displeasure Gregoryev was beaten by the policeman for no fault of his. When he was taken to the magistrate, his face showed the sign of sullen resentment. syn: Indignation
Residue (n) Remainder, what is left of remains over While the useful product was taken out and kept in the container, the residue was thrown into the dustbin. syn: Remnant
Resigned (adj) "Accepting ones fate, Patiently submissive" Realizing that he could not win the argument with his son, he retired to his room with a resigned look on his face. syn: Quiescent, Tranquil
Resilient (adj) Having the power of springing back Her power of resilience is amazing; she has often tided over periods of uncertainty and adversity without showing signs of flinching. syn: Elastic ant: Rigid, Inflexible
Resolution (n) (1) Intentions that one formulates mentally for boldness and firmness of purpose (2) Separation into parts (3) Determination (1) He has prepared his list of new year resolutions, and like each year, quitting smoking is at the top of the list.(2) He d
Resonant (adj & n) Echoing, Resounding, continuing to sound As soon as he addressed the audience in his deep and resonant voice, a hush descended on the entire hall. syn: Sepulchral, Reverating
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
Resplendent (adj) Dazzlingly or gloriously bright To welcome the newly crowned Olympic hero, the airport was resplendent with bright lighting and decoration. syn: Dazzling, Glorious, Brilliant
Responsiveness (n) State of reacting readily to appeals, orders etc. Despite his heavy workload, he amazed us by his responsiveness to our queries.
Restitution (n) Restoring or of thing to proper owner The Indian government has demanded that the famous diamond Kohinoor should be restituted back to India from Britain, where it was taken to be kept in a museum nearly 200 years back. syn: Reparation, Indemnificat
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
Restraint (n) Self-control, Any controlling force or restriction Despite being provoked many times by the enemy, the Government displayed extraordinary restraint and maturity by not initiating a war. syn: Bridle, Curb, Halter
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.
Resurgence (n) Revival of ideas, beliefs etc to an active state after a period of inactivity "Despite the British government being so rigid and powerful against the mutiny in 1857, able national heroes like Mahatma Gandhi led the resurgence of the independent Movem
Resurrect (v) To bring back into use, existence or fashion The books and writings of Hitler are still kept in a guarded safe in Germany, as the government fears that the spread of these writings may lead to the resurrection of Nazism in Germany. syn: Revive, Resu
Resuscitate (v) To bring back to life For a moment it seemed that his heartbeat had stopped, but the doctors managed to miraculously resuscitate him. syn: Revive, Revivify
Retaliation (n) A revengeful measure, An action in response to a previous (usu. hurting) action When Iraq burnt the Irani oil fields in 1981, Iran bombed the major cities of Iraq in retaliation. syn: Requital, Vengeance, Reprisal
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
Retort (n) Quick sharp reply, often rude When asked whether he would be moving to Amsterdam for his new job, he retorted that it was none of his business. syn: Riposte, Repartee
Retract (v) "Withdraw, Take back ones words etc." In a war, steps are usually taken after careful planning and discussion as it is difficult to retract once a step is taken. syn: Annul, Counteract, Negate
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
Retribution (n) A deserved punishment for wrongdoings Most people considered his illness as divine retribution for a life of crime. syn: Penalty, Chastisement
Retrieve (v) Recover, Find and bring in, Regain possession of Despite being a computer expert, he was unable to retrieve the important data from the now dysfunctional computer.
Retroactive (adj) Having an effect on the past as well as on the future The government annced that the new legislation would come into effect retroactively, from April 1, 2000. syn: Retrospective
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
Retrospective (adj) Looking back on the past, Applying to the past When we look back in retrospection, we realize that we had made many mistakes which could have been avoided.
Revelry (n) Wild and noisy merry-making The team was so thrilled on winning the match that they indulged in revelry all through the night. syn: Bacchanalia, Carousal, Carnival
Reverent (adj) Respectful, Showing great admiration and respect The charisma and good will of the great Dalai Lama is evident from the reverence shown by his disciples. syn: Devout, Solemn ant: Flippant, Frivolous
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
Revert (v) To go back to something, Reconsider Unable to generate any profits from the newly developed marketing plan, the management decided to revert to the old, tried-and-tested plan syn: Recur
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
Revoke (v) Cancel, To put an end to On being informed of the large scale misuse of the newly framed policy, the minister decided to revoke the policy. syn: Retract, Rescind, Repeal, Annul ant: Validate, Renew
Revulsion (n) A feeling of being deeply shocked and revolted He was treated so badly by his employer that a feeling of revulsion was expected though nobody could have imagined that it would lead to such extreme steps. syn: Gorge
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.
Rhetoric (n) Art of communicating in a way that persuades or influence people. Also, the words used for such communication Unlike in the past, the general public is no longer swayed by mere rhetoric from the politicians asking for votes, and expects them to perfo
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
Riddle (v) Pierce with holes, Permeate or spread throughout The chemical reactor had a riddled membrane inside to allow small particles and moisture to pass through it. syn: Perforate
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
Rife (adj) Of something widespread and common (usu. something bad) Despite the excellent medical facilities, the city was rife with disease because of poor hygienic and sanitary conditions. syn: Epidemic
Rift (n) Gap, Narrow opening The earthquake created a rift in the mountain which served as an ideal gateway for people to travel to places on the other side of the mountain. syn: Cleft, Fissure
Rigid (adj) Stiff and unyielding, Strict, Hard and unbending Despite the miserable results of his decisions, the captain of the team is still rigid over his policies. syn: Unyielding ant: Limber
Rigorous (adj) (1) Careful, thorough, and exact (2) Severe, Harsh, Demanding 1) The importers in US are so conscious about the quality of goods that they send their experts all over the world for rigorous inspection of the goods before importing them. 2) To quali
Rile (v) To annoy and irritate The uncaring and rude manner of the salesman in dealing with the customers riled the customers no end, and some of them decided to complain to the store manager. syn: Vex ant: Gratify
Riposte (n) Quick and witty reply, often unfriendly "You cant win by answering back at her -- shes too sharp and biting in her riposte." syn: Retort, Repartee, Sally
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.
Risqué (adj) Mildly indecent, bordering on impropriety He had a rather risqué manner of narrating the incidents, even though the incidents themselves were not really indecent. syn: Ribald ant: Decorous, Virtuous
Riven (adj) Split violently apart The new TV soap opera traces the story of two business families riven by jealousy and hatred.
Riveting (adj) "Absorbing, Engrossing, Holding ones attention" The Austria vs. Romania football match telecast on TV last night made for riveting viewing; the two teams were tied at 2-2 till the final moments of the game when the Romanians struck the decisive goa
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
Robust (adj) Strong, Not slender or delicate. Also, forceful and effective 1) To tackle the bad road conditions, Fiat has come out with a new robust suspension, which can handle the pot holes without any damage. 2) None, but only a giant could move his robust b
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
Romp (v & n) To play noisily and roughly with lots of running and jumping After the picnic, the kids were still in their merry mood when they romped home. syn: Frolic, Rollick
Rosary (n) A string of beads used for counting prayers A noble looking person opened the door, and I could make out that he was a religious person as he had a rosary in his hand and was saying his prayers under his breath.
Roster (n) List or plan showing turns of duty for individuals or companies The personnel manager has asked for the attendance roster of all the people in the finance department. syn: Catalogue
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
Rote (n) Repetition, Learning by memory rather than by understanding Most students feel that subjects like History do not need any understanding and that they have to be learnt by rote.
Rotund (adj) Fat and round He is absolutely not conscious about his rotund figure, though children sometimes snigger at him behind his back for being so fat. syn: Spherical ant: Slim
Rousing (adj) Lively, Stirring, That makes people excited and eager On completion of his excellent speech, Stephen Hawking was rightly given a rousing ovation by the thrilled crowd.
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
Rubble (n) Broken fragments of a constructed building that has been demolished or destroyed The devastating earthquake in Gujrat, India reduced all the big multistory buildings and small slum houses like rubble.
Rubric (n) A set of rules or explanations in an examination paper or a book, Instructions The rubric was printed in a very small font, and I had difficulty reading and following the instructions.
Ruckus (n) A noisy and confusing situation, A scene of heated argument The ruckus created by the accident led to a major traffic jam, which lasted for quite a few hours. syn: Rumpus
Ruddy (adj) Reddish, Having a healthy red color The teenager had a ruddy and healthy look about her, and I could make out that she came form a good family. syn: Florid, Rubicund, Rufescent ant: Pallid, Sallow
Rudimentary (adj) Not developed, Elementary, At the simplest level The first wheel created in the early 14th century was quite rudimentary and limited in its functionality syn: Elementary, Fundamental ant: Developed, Advanced
Rue (v) To be very sorry about, Regret, Mourn, Repent I still rue the day I took the decision to join this company -- at that time, I had the choice of joining the other, now more successful, company. syn: Lament
Ruffian (n) An unpleasant and violent man, Bully, Scoundrel Troubled by the increasing crime in the area, the society has decided to get rid of the local ruffians, who they feel are responsible for the problems. syn: Barbarian
Ruffle (v) To disturb peace, Trouble or upset The antisocial elements tried to ruffle the tranquility of the monastery by dividing the inhabitants on the basis of their origin. syn: Torment, Annoy
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,
Rummage (v & n) Ransack, Thoroughly search I thoroughly rummaged through my room to find the missing key, but there was no sign of it.
Rumpus (n) Angry dispute, Brawl At least five people were seriously injured last night in a rumpus between two gangs. syn: Uproar, Ruckus, Schemozzle
Rupture (v & n) To break or burst, Develop a tear He had been complaining of severe pain in his knee for some time now, and the doctor diagnosed it as ruptured ligament.
Ruse (adj) Trick to deceive an opponent "The Trojan Horse was a ruse developed by the Kings strategists to trick the enemy into letting their soldiers inside their kingdom." syn: Stratagem
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
Rustic (adj) Pertaining to the village or rural people, Having a simple and unspoiled character Though he shifted from village to the town four years ago, but even now his accent clearly shows his rusticity. syn: Rural, Pastoral, Agrarian ant: Urban, Sophisti
Rustle (v & n) To make slight sounds like paper, dry leaves etc. moving or being rubbed together Even though we could not see the snake in the garden, we could hear it rustling in the grass. syn: Murmur, Whisper, Sigh
Ruthless (adj) Pitiless, Cruel, Showing no mercy The Nazis were so ruthless in their behavior towards the Jews that even today their victims who are still alive are undergoing therapy to forget the terror. syn: Savage, Virulent, Unrelenting ant: Merciful
Sabotage (v & n) "To intentionally prevent the success of an enemys plan by damaging / destroying buildings or equipment" This is the third attempt by the terrorists to sabotage the nuclear power plant; this time they almost succeeded. syn: Thwart
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.
Saccharine (adj) Unpleasantly sweet, Too polite Most Indian films are far removed from reality -- they are either grotesquely violent or unnaturally saccharine. syn: Luscious
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
Sacrilegious (adj) Disrespectful towards holy places or objects. Any disrespectful act towards something revered The Sikh community considers it sacrilegious for a person to enter a Gurudwara, their place of worship, without covering their head. syn: Blasphemous, Ir
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
Sadist (n) Someone who gains pleasure from cruelty or by causing pain to others In the movie, Jack Nicholson plays a jailer with Sadistic tendencies - he derives pleasure from inflicting the most cruel torture on prisoners. ant: Kind, Philanthropist
Saga (n) A descriptive tale about a particular place, time in history, group of people etc. His eyes were filled with tears when he heard the saga of the children who had drowned in the mill pond on the fateful night of fifth November. syn: Legend
Sagacious (adj) Wise, Showing great understanding or judgement He is well known for his sagacity; people come to him even from faraway places to solve all their disputes. syn: Sapient ant: Stupid
Salacious (adj) Causing strong sexual feelings in an unpleasant or shocking way Perturbed by increasing instances of ruffians passing salacious comments to the passing college girls near the college gate, the principal decided to call the police. syn: Obscene, La
Salamander (n) A kind of long tailed amphibian (belonging to the lizard family). Also, a person who can endure great heat Because of Global warming, it is evident that the time will come when only a salamander, which can endure great heat, would be able to survive
Salient (adj) Standing out most noticeably or importantly The salient features of the Titanic were a large Parisian Cafe, a swimming pool, a ball room and Playing courts, which made it a subject of envy and admiration of the Maritime nations. syn: Prominent a
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
Salvage (v & n) Rescue/Save from loss or damage (usu. goods or property) With great difficulty, they managed to salvage all their important documents from the debris of their house destroyed by the earthquake. syn: Extricate, Emancipate ant: Intricate
Salvation (n) That which saves or preserves from danger, destruction, or failure. Also, the state of being saved from the power and effect of evil The map you gave me proved to be my salvation; I would surely have got lost in the forest if I did not have the map w
Salve (v & n) To make less painful. Also, an ointment to soothe pain He salved his sprained ankle by applying the ointment which was prepared from herbs and believed to have an immediate effect. syn: Emollient, Liniment, Unguent
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
Sanctimonious (adj) Self-righteous, Thinking that one is right and others are not Tired of the sanctimonious lectures from her elder sister on almost everything, Daisy lashed out at her in front of their mother. syn: Hypocritical, Deceitful ant: Sincere
Sanction (n & v) (1) Formal or official approval (2) An official action (like stopping of trade) taken by one country against another (1) The state government has finally sanctioned the construction of a separate building to house the Literacy Mission; till now,
Sanctity (n) Holiness, Sacredness Gungaram believed in the sanctity of life; for him, all life was sacred and thus whenever he saw a creature on the road, he would just shove it aside lest someone should kill it. syn: Devoutness, Piety ant: Profanity
Sanctuary (n) A place of shelter or protection (esp. for birds and animals) The Government of India has decided to set up a wild life sanctuary for the protection of tiger which is on the brink of extinction. syn: Tabernacle
Sanctum (n) A holy place inside a temple. Also, a private place where one can be quiet and alone The sanctum of the Lotus Temple provides a peaceful atmosphere for the people seeking mental peace.
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 Moved by the cries and miseries of the victims of the war, the great emperor Ashoka decided to give up his sanguinary acts and lead a peaceful life. syn: Sanguine
Sanguine (adj) Hopeful, Expecting a positive outcome She is pretty sanguine about her chances of getting the job; she says she had a very good interview and the panel seemed impressed with her. syn: Optimistic ant: Pessimistic
Sap (v) Weaken, Diminish in strength and vigor , Undermine The prolonged illness immediately after the accident gradually sapped all his strength. syn: Subvert, Debilitate, Enervate, Deplete ant: Fortify, Energize
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
Sarcasm (n) Biting or hurting remarks, Criticism by saying something while meaning the opposite Jacob knew very well that Goran had managed to stand first in the class only by using unfair means in the exam, so the note of sarcasm in his voice was evident when h
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.
Sated (adj) Having had more of something than one can easily have at one time Sated with drink, he had to be dragged into his hostel room. syn: Satiate, Glut, Cloy
Satiate (v) Fully satisfy Even after the company had doubled its production of the hugely successful game, the demand for the product could not be satiated. syn: Accomplish
Satire (n) Any piece of work (writing etc.) meant to bring out the misdeeds or foolishness of others in an amusing manner "The Unknown Citizen is a satire on the life of modern man in which the poet has made fun of the way a modern man behaves without taking in
Saturate (v) To fill completely (usu. with a liquid) so that no more can be held. Soak thoroughly Hit on the shoulder by a stray bullet in the police firing, his shirt was saturated in blood. syn: Impregnate, Satiate, Surfeit
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
Saunter (v) Walk in a leisurely way or without a destination, Stroll slowly The old man was last seen sauntering in the park in an aimless sort of way, and since then, there is no sign of him. syn: Promenade, Tramp
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
Savor (v) Enjoy slowly, Relish His victory was hard-earned, and he savored every moment of it. ant: Insipid
Savvy (n) Practical knowledge and know-how The new CEO does not have much technical savvy, and totally depends on us to operate his computer.
Scab (n) A hard and rough outer covering, esp. which forms on a wound as blood clots A large, thick scab now covered his knee, three days after the fall he had had.
Scabbard (n) Case for a sword blade, Sheath He was attacked from behind as soon as he put his sword back into the scabbard. syn: Quiver
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
Scald (v & n) To burn (the skin) with hot liquid When he tried to cook for the first time, he dropped a pot of steaming stew on himself and badly scalded his legs. syn: Blister, Singe
Scale (v) Climb, Ascend The master batsman has scaled new heights with each innings he has played. syn: Surmount ant: Descend
Scalpel (n) A small, sharp knife used by doctors in operations The doctor urged the nurse for the scalpel at the operating table.
Scamper (v) To run quickly, usu. playfully or in fright The rabbits scampered away behind the bushes as I approached them. syn: Sprint, Hasten, Scurry
Scapegoat (n) Someone who bears the blame for others Though the entire team must be blamed for the shameful defeat, the media is bound to make the captain and the team manager scapegoats and insist on their removal. syn: Victim
Scathing (adj) Harsh and severe, Bitterly cruel in judgement "The governments decision to sell rice at Rs.2 per kg in the state has come in for scathing criticism by most analysts, who feel that this is a populist decision taken just to gather votes." syn: Morda
Scavenge (v) Hunt through discarded materials for usable items, Search, especially for food They have furnished their house almost entirely by scavenging from the local rubbish dump -- they even managed to find an old refrigerator in working condition.
Schematic (adj) Relating to an outline or diagram, Using a system of symbols They prepared a schematic representation of the distribution of various elements present in the area.
Schism (n) Split or separation, usu. between parts originally of the same group The schism within the political party effectively sealed its chances of winning the elections. syn: Cleft, Fissure ant: Union
Schizophrenia (n) A mental disorder marked by lack of connection between thoughts, feelings and action He has been suffering from Schizophrenia for the last one year. He often holds his left hand with his right, and cries out saying that someone is pulling his arm.
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
Scoff (v & n) Make fun of, Ridicule Nearly fifty years ago, my grandfather had predicted that typewriters would be replaced by electronic word processors, and his peers had scoffed at this idea. syn: Taunt, Gibe, Mock
Scorch (v) (1) To burn slightly, so as to change color or complexion (2) To dry up and die (for plants) Not used to being in the sun for long, he came back from the trek with his skin badly scorched. syn: 1) Shrivel 2) Excoriate, Condemn
Scour (v) (1) To thoroughly search for something (2) To clean or remove by hard rubbing with a rough material (1) I have scoured all the shops in this market for a bowler hat, but have not found one. (2) The plates will be easy to wash, but the saucepans will
Scourge (v & n) To hit severely with a whip or lash. Also, to punish severely He scourged the horse so badly that the marks of the whip are still visible on its back. syn: Flog ant: Reward
Scout (v) To go around looking for something We scouted the entire area for any evidence of the missing horse, but it was nowhere to be seen.
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.
Scrimp (v) To save money slowly and with difficulty He earned very little and lived hand to mouth, but somehow he managed to scrimp a little money to buy a gift for his wife on Christmas.
Scrounge (v) To obtain something without paying or working for it, usu. by persuading others "He has the irritating habit of scrounging for cigarettes from others; I dont think he ever buys them himself." syn: Forage, Raid
Scrumptious (adj) Delicious, Very tasty The food served in the party was so scrumptious that it would make even a frugal-eater a glutton. syn: Toothsome ant: Insipid, Unsavory
Scruple (n & v) Moral principles that prevent a person from doing something wrong, Conscience. Hence, to check oneself from doing a wrong thing He never felt any scruples in borrowing money from others even when he knew that he could not return the money by th
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
Scrutinize (v) Examine closely and critically I have carefully scrutinized every page of the newspaper, but have not found the advertisement you had mentioned. syn: Contemplate ant: Ignore
Scuffle (n & v) A brief, disorderly fight Though not seriously, but both the boys were hurt in a scuffle, that resulted from a small altercation between them. syn: Melee, Fracas
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
Scurry (v) Move fast, in short, quick steps The little children playing in the garden quickly scurried away to their homes when the saw the garden approaching them threateningly. syn: Scuttle
Scuttle (v) "(1) Run with short, rapid steps (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. syn: Scurry
Scythe (n & v) A tool with a sharp, curved blade used for cutting grain or long grass. Hence, to cut (usu. with a sharp edged object) During the monsoons, the residents decided to scythe the grass in their locality completely to prevent vicious creatures from t
Seamy (adj) Unpleasant and improper because of being rough and immoral The respected gentry of the society were seldom seen in this part of the town because of its seamy reputation. syn: Sordid, Unwholesome ant: Decent, Elevated
Sear (v) To burn with a sudden powerful blast of heat. Also, to dry up because of heat A small spark in the gas-godown seared the whole godown into the air, luckily there was no one in or near the godown who was hurt. syn: Cauterize
Seasoned (adj) Experienced Being a seasoned diplomat, Mr. Lopez always knew exactly what to say to the press in the foreign country about the political developments in his home country. syn: Veteran, Habituated ant: uNovice, Fledgling, Naive
Secede (v) To withdraw from membership of an organization etc. The regional political party decided to secede from the coalition at the center, leading to a political crisis in the country. syn: Mutiny, Revolt
Seclude (v) Isolate, Place away from the rest For three months, the aspiring dancer secluded himself from his friends and all other activities, and concentrated on practicing his dancing skills. syn: Quarantine, Ostracize
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
Sect (n) Separate religious body, usu. with a limited membership People from almost all the sects had gathered to pay homage to the noble man who had sacrificed his life for the welfare of the people, irrespective of their castes and religions. syn: Denomina
Secular (adj) Having nothing to do with religion or church matters, Not religious This schools believes in developing a secular attitude in children, encouraging them to make up their own minds about religion. syn: Temporal ant: Clerical
Sedate (adj) Not showing any hurry or excitement, Calm and composed The doctor sternly advised him to get some exercise as the sedate and sedentary life he was leading might lead to various disorders. ant: Excited
Sedate (v) To cause to become sleepy or calm The medicine was so sedative that as soon as he took it he fell asleep. syn: Tranquilize
Sedentary (adj) Done by sitting down, staying at one place or not moving Tired of his sedentary lifestyle, he was eagerly looking forward to the trekking expedition he had planned with his friends long ago. ant: Active
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
Seedy (adj) Having a dirty and disreputable appearance He took me to a seedy-looking bar in a remote corner of the city, and I could see several disreputable characters around me. syn: Decrepit
Seethe (v) To be very angry, agitated or excited They seethed with anger and frustration when the election results were annced, knowing fully well that some electoral malpractice must have taken place.
Segregate (v) To separate or keep apart The veterinarian decided to segregate the diseased sheep from the rest of the flock, fearing that the disease may spread. syn: Isolate, Sequester, Seclude ant: Unite, Associate, Combine
Seismic (adj) Pertaining to earthquakes According to a geologist, the region around the river is very prone to seismic activity, and even though no earthquake has occurred here in the last five hundred years, has requested the government not to go ahead with the
Semantics (n) The study of the meanings of words and other parts of a language Instead of fussing over the semantics of this legal terminology, let us try and find a solution to this problem.
Semblance (n) The outward appearance of something, Resemblance After the devastating earthquake nearly three months ago, this city is now returning to a semblance of normalcy. syn: Mien, Analogy
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.
Seminary (n) An educational institution, esp. one for training priests In the sixteenth century Europe, so many young people wanted to be priests that the seminaries could just not accommodate them.
Senile (adj) Of, or caused by, old age (esp. the weakness of mind or body arising from old age) She has been painstakingly caring for her senile mother-in-law, who is completely bed-ridden and not able to stand without help. syn: Feeble ant: Robust, Hardy
Sensual (adj) Devoted to the pleasures of the body (rather than the mind), Of the senses For many people with a sweet tooth, eating chocolate can be a sensual experience. syn: Voluptuous ant: Spiritual
Sensuous (adj) Appealing to the senses, From which bodily pleasure can be derived The luxurious silk bedspread gave a very sensual feel to the room. syn: Luscious, Voluptuous, Seductive ant: Prudish, Chaste, Moderate
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
Sentient (adj) Capable of feeling "It is difficult for any sentient person to understand how a murderer can so ruthlessly take someone elses life." syn: Cognizant
Sentinel (n) Sentry, Guard "They decided to post a sentinel at the entrance of the actors residence after the housebreak attempt." syn: Patrol, Sentry
Sepulchral (adj) Suggesting death, or places where the death are buried The horror film began with the camera moving around the dark and gloomy walls of a sepulchral old house, with haunting music in the background and a cemetery visible in the distance.
Sequestered (adj) Quiet and hidden, Away from the crowded areas A week before the final hearing of the case, the judge decided to sequester the jury in a house rented specially for this purpose away from the city, so that the members can reach a consensus without an
Seraphic (adj) Like an angel, Very kind or beautiful A little girl peeped through the curtain, giving me a seraphic smile as I waited at the door. syn: Angelic, Sublime ant: Diabolical
Serenade (n & v) "Evening song or instrumental music sung or played by lover at his ladys window" "He spent an entire morning preparing a serenade to sing for his girlfriend on the Valentines Day."
Serendipity (n) Gift for finding valuable or desirable things by accident, Accidental good fortune or luck The actress said that her joining films was sheer serendipity -- she was spotted by a producer as she was crossing the road in front of her college.
Serene (adj) Calm and peaceful The three days we spent in the serene and peaceful environment of the charming hill station has totally rejuvenated us. syn: Tranquil, Placid, Sedate ant: Tremulous
Serpentine (adj) Winding and twisting, Following a path full of curves No one had expected the movie to be such a big hit - even three weeks after its release, there were serpentine queues of people trying to get a ticket outside the theatres. syn: Tortuous
Serrated (adj) Toothed, Having a series of small projections You will need a serrated knife to cut this piece of meat, a normal kitchen knife will not do.
Servile (adj) Behaving like a slave, Being completely controlled by another I was totally put off seeing him behave in that servile manner in front of the party President -- I always thought he was more self-respecting than that. syn: Obsequious, Cringing ant:
Sever (v) Cut, Separate. Also, to break off or end a relationship When she came to know about the illegal activities of her uncle, she decided to sever all ties with him, having no links whatsoever. syn: Disengage
Severity (adj) Harshness, Intensity The severity of the punishment given to him did not match the seriousness of the crime -- he deserved at least ten years in jail instead of the four years he got away with. syn: Acrimony, Astringency, Sarcasm
Shackle (n & v) Something used to tie up the limbs so as to prevent movement. Hence, anything that prevents movement Shackled for many years because of government regulations and a system of licenses and permits, the Indian economy began to cut loose in the mid-
Sham (n & v) Something that is not what it appears, Pretence I am quite convinced that his illness was just a sham to save himself from doing the physical exercises, he is looking absolutely fit now that he has been excused. syn: Feign, Simulate
Shambles (n) A place of utter disorder or confusion Because of the unexpected and unseasonal rains, our plans of going for a hike were all in a shambles.
Shard (n) Broken piece of glass, pottery etc. He accidentally stepped on a small shard of glass when he was playing barefoot in the garden; the shard could only be removed by surgery.
Sheath (n) An outer covering, usu. for a sword or knife The electrician secured the copper wire with a plastic sheath so that no current could pass through. syn: Quiver, Scabbard
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
Shimmer (v) Shine with a flickering light, Glimmer The small shimmering light in the distance appeared to them as a beacon of hope, as they had thought themselves lost in the forest. syn: Glimmer
Shirk (v) Avoid (responsibility, work etc.) I have always considered him to be a very responsible person, so I was very surprised when the boss accused him of shirking from responsibilities. syn: Malinger
Shoddy (adj) Of poor quality, Inferior The shoddy performance of the Indian cricketers against the Australians was the main reason for the Indian debacle in the recent test series. syn: Counterfeit, Pretentious ant: Superior
Shrewd (adj) Very clever and practical, Having good judgement He was known for his shrewdness in the college. Nobody could play a trick on him, but he could do it with anybody he wanted to. syn: Astute, Sagacious, Judicious ant: Obtuse
Shrivel (v) To dry out and become smaller I forgot to put the apples in the refrigerator so they became all shriveled and dried, so I had no option but to throw them away. syn: Wrinkle ant: Dilate, Expand
Sibling (n) Brother or sister He was the eldest of the four siblings, two brothers and two sisters.
Sidle (v) To move uncertainly or with fear "He tried to quietly sidle into the classroom without catching the teachers attention, but got caught just as he was about to take his seat in the back row."
Sift (v) (1) Separate into finer and coarser parts, as with a sieve (2) To subject to close examination (1) While the other children were busy playing on the beach, making sand castles and having fun, Rosette sat in a corner silently sifting the sand through
Silhouette (n & v) A dark shape seen against a light background, An outline They recorded her interview with a bright light directly behind her so that only her silhouette was visible; her identity was well concealed.
Silo (n) Pit or tower for storing grain or cement or radioactive waste The silo was filled a week ago and now the rats have eaten and emptied half of the grain stored in it. syn: Elevator
Simian (adj) Belonging to the monkey family The creature had distinct simian features -- the face of a monkey and a long bushy tail, but the surprising part was that it was unable to climb a tree. syn: Primate, Neanderthal
Simile (n) Comparison of one thing with another As easy as ABC is a frequently used simile. syn: Parity, Reciprocity
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
Simplistic (adj) Too simple (to be effective), Very basic "That is too simplistic an explanation for this strange phenomenon - I am sure theres something more complex at work." syn: Elementary
Simulate (v) Imitate, To give the appearance of The teacher beautifully explained the concept of the solar system to the children; he simulated in the classroom, the movements of the various planets through a specially constructed model of the planetary system.
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.
Singe (v & n) Burn slightly or superficially The dog went too near the fireplace and singed its fur. syn: Blister
Sinister (adj) Evil, Wicked, Threatening Who could ever imagine that there lies a sinister brain behind his polite and benevolent behavior. syn: Minacious ant: Gracious, Beneficent
Sinuous (adj) Twisting like a snake, Full of curves, Winding They led the prisoners on the sinuous path through the trees, and even if they were not blindfolded, they could never have remembered the winding route. syn: Circuitous, Serpentine
Siphon (v) To draw off or remove "Taking advantage of the trust placed in him by his cousin, the dishonest Mr. Hoyden managed to siphon a huge sum of money from his cousins business into his personal account." ant: Install, Deposit
Skeptic (n) Person who doubts or questions persistently, Not easily convinced Though most analysts have welcomed the budget with great enthusiasm describing it as a pathbreaking budget, there are some skeptics who are not convinced and believe that the economy w
Sketchy (adj) Not having many details Too shocked to even speak properly, she only managed to give a sketchy account of the murder attempt on her.
Skew (v & n) Distort, Twist "As soon as the gas is filled in the bulb, its end is skewed to close so as to make sure that the gas doesnt leak out." syn: Askew, Askance
Skiff (n) Small, light sailboat or rowboat When the crew of the ship came to know that the ship was going to sink, they decided to lower down the skiffs and send as many passengers as possible. syn: Dinghy, Canoe
Skimp (v) Provide or use less than what is required, Live very economically The old couple had no choice but to skimp on meals, clothes and wherever possible in order to live within their means.
Skittish (adj) Nervous or easily frightened The selling trend in technology stocks just shows how skittish investors are about the impact of an economic downturn. syn: Capricious, Frivolous
Skulk (v) Move secretly, Hide Jeannie thought she heard someone skulking behind the bushes, and decided to investigate. syn: Lurk
Slacken (v) Reduce in activity, Loosen Because of the political uncertainty in the country, economic activity has also slackened for the last three months. syn: Mitigate, Retard ant: Tighten
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
Slander (n & v) Defamation, Intentionally false and malicious statements After the rather malicious article about her, the actress has taken the extreme step of suing the magazine for slander. syn: Calumny, Scandal
Sleazy (adj) Cheap and poor looking, Disreputable A number of sleazy massage parlors have sprung up on the east end of the town. syn: Shoddy ant: Substantial
Slight (v & n) To insult, Treat with disrespect She felt slighted when her husband did not bother to introduce her to the person he was taking to, and complained about it later to him. syn: Snub
Slipshod (adj) Careless, Not thorough, Done without much attention The tailor had stitched my suit in a very slipshod manner and I was very uncomfortable wearing it at the meeting. syn: Messy, Slovenly
Slither (v) "To move ones body in a sliding or twisting manner" I caught a glimpse of the snake quickly slithering away behind the wall, and now there is no sign of it. syn: Insinuate
Slothful (adj) Lazy, Unwilling to work I had always thought of elephants as rather slothful creatures, so was surprised to learn that they could run so fast. syn: Indolent ant: Industrious
Slough (n) Swampy (wet and muddy) land, marsh. Also, a state of despair or hopelessness, from which it is difficult to get out In recent times, he has often been slipping into the slough of despair and self-pity, not being able to get out of it for hours togeth
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
Sludge (n) Soft mud or other dirty matter which settles at the bottom of a liquid To get to their destination, they had to walk in knee-deep sludge for nearly a mile.
Sluggish (adj) Slow and lazy "The dog remains active only while feeding, the other times, it remains sluggish and doesnt even bark at strangers." syn: Lethargic, Torpid, Indolent ant: Quick, Industrious, Assiduous, Diligent
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.
Slur (v & n) (1) Speak unclearly, Mumble (2) To make unfair or insulting remarks (1) Having drunk too much, the words came out in a slur when he tried to tell me his address, and I could barely manage to understand it. syn: Traduce, Disparage
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
Smirk (v & n) To smile in a self-satisfied way, often at the misfortune of others As he watched the TV report in his hideout on the bomb explosion, the terrorist who was responsible for it gave a self-satisfied smirk. syn: Grimace
Smite (v) To hit hard and suddenly, Have a powerful, sudden effect on Most people were smitten by the scourge of unemployment in the recession hit 1930s in the USA. syn: Torment, Lambaste, Bruise
Smolder (v) Burn without flame, Burn inwardly or in a suppressed or unseen way When we reached the spot nearly six hours after the accident, the grass where the car had burst into flames was still smoldering.
Smother (v) (1) To cover the surface of something (2) To prevent the development or continued existence of something or someone (1) During the rains, the city is smothered with pools of water. (2) The latest outburst of violence has smothered any chance of a pea
Smug (adj) Too pleased with oneself, Overly self-satisfied Feeling very smug at having helped the blind man cross the street, he did not see the bicycle coming towards him and crashed into it. syn: Complacent
Snare (n & v) A trap for catching animals. Hence, any situation which can trap or deceive It was amazing to see how the clever spider snared its prey into its web and finally caught it. syn: 1) Pitfall, Decoy 2) Enmesh, Entangle, Ensnare
Snicker (v) To laugh quietly or to oneself in a disrespectful way The bully of the class snickered at the little boy who had dared to challenge him in front of the class.
Snide (adj) Expressing disapproval in an unpleasant or rude way Because of his drunken behavior the previous evening, he became the target of quite a few snide remarks at the office. syn: Slanderous, Derogatory, Insinuating, Libellous, Vicious
Snipe (v) (1) To shoot or fire from a hidden position (2) To say unpleasant or nasty things (2) The hassled minister sniped at the media people who had surrounded him and pestered him with questions.
Snitch (v) To inform secretly. Also, to steal by taking quickly "Ill never forgive him for snitching to my boss that I have been playing games on the office computer, when he has been doing the same." syn: Squeal, Tattle
Snivel (v) Cry in a miserable and complaining way After being beaten by his sister, the child came sniveling to his mother. syn: Pule, Whine
Snuggle (v) To settle into a warm and comfortable position Each night, her little puppy snuggles beside her on the bed as merrily goes off to sleep. syn: Cuddle, Fondle
Sobriety (n) The state of being sober, Moderation After having four large drinks, he was hardly expected to be in a state of sobriety, so he surprised everyone by delivering the perfect speech even in that state. syn: Solemnity ant: Inebriation, Carousal
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
Solace (n & v) Comfort in grief or anxiety, Consolation People who take to drinking as a source of solace hardly realize that this habit itself could one day become the cause of their anxiety and grief. syn: Console ant: Griev, Sadden
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
Solemnity (n) Seriousness, Gravity Being a responsible person, he undertakes each and every project with great solemnity. syn: Austerity, Sobriety, Severity ant: Levity
Solicit (v) Request earnestly, Seek Being my subordinate, he often comes to me to solicit my advice on any matter pertaining to the office we work in. syn: Supplicate, Beseech ant: Veto
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
Soliloquy (n) Talking to oneself The actor was speaking so softly that all his dialogues appeared as if they were soliloquies. syn: Monolog
Solitude (n) State of being alone or solitary After two or three months of hard work, I love to spend a weekend of solitude in a faraway place. syn: Seclusion ant: Inattention
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
Somber (adj) Sad and serious, Gloomy, Depressing, Dark The film ended on a rather somber note, with the lead actress dying of cancer and her beloved left brooding and longing for her. syn: Dismal ant: Gay
Somnambulist (n) Sleepwalker, Walking or performing other action during sleep "Unlike other somnambulists, he doesnt just walk in his sleep, but runs all around the house shouting, catch me if you can."
Somnolent (adj) Causing sleep His voice had such a somnolent quality to it that most students found it difficult to remain awake through the class.
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
Sophisticated (adj) Worldly-wise, Experienced in understanding the ways of society Though he hails from a village, his sophisticated behavior has amazed us all, and now we suspect that he has previously lived in the city. syn: Refined ant: Loutish, Rustic
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
Sophomore (n) A second-year high school or college student in the US "Being a sophomore, he can participate in neither the freshers party nor the farewell, for both of these are meant for the first and the final year students respectively." ant: Mature
Soporific (adj) Sleep-inducing, Marked by sleepiness "To make sure that he doesnt disturb anybody during the night, as he is used to, the doctor decided to give the patient a soporific medicine." syn: Sedative, Narcotic, Hypnotic, Tranquil ant: Energizer, Stimul
Sordid (adj) (1) In very poor condition (2) Wicked and dishonorable The sordid tale of him being duped and killed by his brother soon spread all over the town, and the culprit was immediately handed over to the police. syn: (1) Abject, Squalid (2) Vile ant: M
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.
Southpaw (n) A left-handed person Though Alex is a southpaw, he can work as well with his right hand.
Spa (n) Place with a curative mineral spring The doctor advised him to visit a spa in south India, where the water had an almost magical quality to cure any kind of skin disease. syn: Sauna
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
Spar (v) Fight with fists, esp. for practice. Also, to exchange words as if in a quarrel (but usu. friendly) What started as a friendly sparring of words soon became a full fledged fistfight, and poor Arnold had blood flowing out of his nose in no time. syn:
Sparse (adj) Not thick, Thinly scattered This is an extremely dry region; the sparse vegetation here consists only of thorny bushes and shrubs. syn: Meager, Scanty
Spartan (adj) Avoiding luxury and comfort, Sternly disciplined His spartan attitude to life has been a matter of worry for his wife who had always lived a life of luxury and comfort before marriage. syn: Austere
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.
Spatial (adj) Relating to space He was diagnosed as having spatial disability; he had difficulty in figuring out where things were in relation to other things.
Spatula (n) Broad-bladed instrument used for spreading or mixing It is a common precautionary practice among the students doing practicals in the laboratory to use a spatula for mixing or spreading chemicals, to make sure that their hands remain clean and unharm
Spawn (v & n) (1) To lay eggs (usu. used for fish and other water animals) (2) To bring into existence The business of Medical Transcription is doing so well that the Institute of Medical Transcription has decided to spawn nearly twenty different centers all o
Specious (adj) Seemingly good, right or true but actually not so The logic that credit card retailers use to sell their product can only be described as specious, because even though it brings a lot of convenience, it can make a user a habitual spender and ridden
Specter (n) Something that is unseen and imagined and causes fear. Literally, a ghost The horrible specter of communal riots still looms large over the country; it needs a small incident to spark violence in the name of religion.
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
Spiel (n) Fast talk, meant to persuade Even before the salesman could begin his well-rehearsed spiel about his product, she banged the door on him.
Spike (v) To make stronger by adding alcohol, or to add flavor or interest He spikes his speeches with large doses of earthy humor, which adds to his popularity among the rural masses. syn: Stake, Impale
Spike (n & v) A long and pointed metallic object The walls of his mansion had large pointed spikes all over them to prevent any intruder from entering. syn: Dowel, Skewer
Spinster (n) An unmarried woman, usu. of past marriageable age Though she is the eldest of all her sisters, she prefers to remain a spinster till all her sisters get married.
Spite (v & n) To annoy or harm someone intentionally. Hence, the desire to do this. It was most rude of him to openly spite his son-in-law for being poor. syn: 1) Malevolence, Rancour 2) Beset, Thwart ant: Gratify, Appease
Splay (v) To spread out or expand In one graceful movement, the ballerina bent backwards, almost touching the ground with her head, and splayed her arms wide. syn: Widen ant: Condense, Contract, Curtail
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
Splice (v) Fasten together, Unite The Scout spliced the pieces of ropes so well that it became almost impossible to segregate them. ant: Separate, Sever
Splurge (v & n) To overspend He splurged all the money he had in buying a camera without even thinking that the same camera could have been bought for a lower price. syn: Celebrate, Indulge
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
Spontaneous (adj) Happening naturally, without any external influence, Unplanned As soon as she ended her wonderful little speech, the entire crowd spontaneously got up from their seats and gave her a thunderous applause. syn: Candid, Impromptu, Unprententious ant
Spoof (n & v) Depiction of something serious in a humorous way "On Fools Day, the TV channel played a spoof on its viewers by including in its news bulletin a report on the finding of life on Mars." syn: Parody
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 when he meant dont miss your hi
Sporadic (adj) Occurring irregularly The 12-hour curfew was marked by sporadic incidents of violence, but other than that it was largely peaceful. syn: Intermittent, Spasmodic ant: Frequent, Continual, Continuous
Sprightly (adj) Lively, full of energy My maternal grandfather is a sprightly old man of seventy, who loves to joke around and even share a beer with his teenaged grandchildren. ant: Languid
Spry (adj) Vigorously active, Lively He was amazingly spry for a man of seventy years. syn: Agile, Nimble ant: Torpid, Lethargic, Sluggish
Spurious (adj) Not genuine, False, Counterfeit, Forged He faces the charge of manufacturing and selling spurious medicines, an accusation that can land him in prison for several years. syn: Apocryphal ant: Authentic, Genuine
Spurn (v) To reject or decline with disdain She spurned all his offers of help, and preferred to carry the entire baggage herself. syn: Rence
Squabble (n & v) Minor quarrel, esp. over something unimportant Though it all started with a squabble on a petty issue, it soon turned into a major property dispute. syn: Bickering
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
Squander (v) Spend money, time etc. wastefully Only an absolute fool could have squandered all his savings on playing the stock market. syn: Dissipate ant: Stint
Squat (v & n) (1) To sit in a low crouching position with the knees bent (2) To live in an empty dwelling without having the authority to do so (1) Five or six people were squatting by the fire to protect themselves from the cold when the police reached the sp
Squeal (v & n) To make a long, very high pitched sound or cry. Hence, such a sound The child showed no fear when he first saw the doctor, but when the doctor applied tincture of iodine on his wound, he squealed in pain. syn: Shriek
Squeamish (adj) Easily offended, shocked or disgusted Being really squeamish, she just could not stand the sight of the butcher cutting the meat and left the market in a hurry. syn: Dainty, Finical
Squirm (v) To twist the body about, esp. from shame, nervousness, or discomfort The newly-appointed secretary messed up his speech, and the President seated next to him was seen squirming with embarrassment. syn: Wriggle, Writhe, Contort
Squirt (v) To force out a liquid in a thin stream The naughty children of the class often pestered the meek teacher, and yesterday, when they squirted some ink on his back, he became really furious and decided to complain to the principal. syn: Surge, Spurt
Stagnant (adj) Motionless, Dull, Not moving or progressing The health authorities have warned the people not to let stagnant water gather in their premises, as such water pools are fertile grounds for mosquitoes to breed. syn: Quiescent, Torpid, Phlegmatic ant:
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
Stalemate (n) Deadlock, A no-win situation The discussions between the two warring groups reached a stalemate as neither was willing to relent on their basic demands. syn: Deadlock
Stalwart (adj) Strong in mind or body, Determined Denis Ladlee, one of the stalwarts of Australian cricket and a great fast bowler, set up a cricketing academy after retiring from the game. syn: Robust, Vigorous
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.
Statute (n) Law enacted by the legislature By passing this statute, the government has effectively overruled the earlier regulation regarding control of exchange rates in the country. syn: Enactment, Decree, Ordinance
Steadfast (adj) Firm and unchanging, Loyal The three friends have remained steadfast through the years, sharing their joys and sorrows, and helping each other in times of need. syn: Unwavering ant: Capricious
Steep (v) To fill with, Soak, Saturate. Hence, to be completely surrounded by something "The main reason for the failure of the companys new venture was that all the managers running the new company had been drawn from the older one, and they were steeped in t
Stellar (adj) (1) Pertaining to the stars (2) Excellent, Outstanding "(2) Helga Hawthorne, the budding young starlet, has come up with a stellar performance in the new film released yesterday, and I wont be surprised if she is nominated for an Oscar for this rol
Stem (v) Check the flow of something The new government has resolved to stem the increasing instances of illegal immigration into the country. syn: Trunk, Column
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
Stereotype (n & v) Fixed and unvarying representation. Hence, to regard as an example of a general type "Far from being he stereotypical housewife as he thought his girlfriends mother to be, Mrs. Levine runs an advertising agency all by herself." syn: Archetype
Stifle (v) (1) To be unable to breathe comfortably, To choke (2) To suppress, Prevent from happening or developing The workers trapped in the factory after the leakage of gas stifled to death as there were no safety outlets and the factory had hardly any ventil
Stigma (n) Feeling of disgrace or dishonor "Many Indians believe that being left-handed is a stigma, and if they see that their child is tending to be so, they even use force to make the child normal." syn: Humiliation, Contempt
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 (n) An assigned portion of work As per the rules of the navy, every naval officer has to complete a six-month overseas stint before being promoted to the rank of a Commander. syn: Allotment
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
Stipend (n) Fixed periodical money allowance for work done As a management trainee, he drew a sum of per month as stipend, and as soon as he was confirmed, he started drawing a salary of per month. syn: Gratuity, Subsidy ant: Gratuity
Stipulate (v) To set necessary conditions, To specify The law in this country stipulates that syn: Bargain, Contract
Stoic (n) Unmoved by joy or grief, Not showing any feelings The Wimbledon champion is known for being amazingly restrained in display of emotions -- he is equally stoical in victory as he is in defeat. syn: Impassive, Solid ant: Passionate
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
Stooge (n) A person who habitually does what another person wants The newly appointed managing director of the company is widely regarded as a stooge of the chairperson of the company, and is hardly expected to take any independent decisions. syn: Dummy
Straddle (v) "(1) To be or happen on either side of something, rather than on just one side or in the middle. (2) To be undecided on an issue, or to not let ones opinion be known" (1) Since the Indian lady was wearing a sari, she sat behind her husband on the mot
Strafe (v) To attack with gunfire from a low-flying aircraft The expert airman took his aircraft low, strafed the enemy squadron with a powerful machine gun, and swooped back high into the air within a few seconds. syn: Rummage, Ransack
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
Strait-jacket (n) Something which prevents free development Over the years, the master politician has refused to be fitted into an ideological straitjacket, shrewdly altering his stance according to changing public opinions.
Strangle (v) To kill by pressing on the throat with bare hands or by a rope etc. The psychic killer uses a Guitar-string to strangle his victims, the marks of the string are clearly visible on their necks. syn: Asphyxiate, Throttle, Garrote
Strapping (adj) Tall and healthy, Big and strong Many western movies used to end with the handsome and strapping cowboy riding his horse away from the camera towards the horizon, after performing some brave deeds or fighting against evil forces. syn: Buxom
Stratagem (n) A clever plan to deceive or to take advantage He thought he had hit upon a clever stratagem to beat the competition, but his boss pointed out several flaws in his plan. syn: Artifice
Stratify (v) Divide into classes, Arrange in separate levels Rural India is a highly stratified society, with clear distinctions between various castes and classes.
Strew (v) Distribute randomly, Scatter irregularly and all over As the wind blew, the sheets of paper strewed in all the directions; it took us more than half an hour to collect them and arrange them in order. syn: Disseminate, Scatter ant: Collect, Gather
Striated (adj) Having narrow stripes or colors Instead of choosing a plain shirt, he opted for a striated one for the party. syn: Ribbed ant: Plain
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
Strife (n) Conflict, Struggle The Missionaries of Peace arrived with medicines, food, and other essential items in the strife-torn region, where the lives of hundreds of innocent people had been ravaged because of the war. syn: Altercation, Discord
Stringent (adj) Strict and severe, Making difficult demands Alarmed by the falling attendance levels in the college, the principal decided to impose stringent measures to ensure that students attend all classes. syn: Rigourous, Acrimonious, Severe ant: Lenient
Strut (v & n) To walk proudly and stiffly, while trying to look important The lanky youth eagerly strutted around the dance floor, trying to attract the attention of the group of girls standing on the opposite side of the dance hall. syn: Prance, Swagger
Studied (adj) Thoughtful, Not spontaneous, Deliberate The lawyer read out the contents of the will slowly and rather dramatically, with a studied pause before each startling revelation. syn: Deliberate, Concious ant: Haphazard, Incautious
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
Stupefy (v) To take by surprise, Stun, Amaze The people on the beach watched stupefied as the huge shark suddenly emerged out of the water and grabbed the unfortunate swimmer in its huge jaws. syn: Daunt, Astonish, Overwhelm, Intimidate, Dazzle
Stupor (n) State of senselessness, Daze He had been awake for nearly 24 hours, and there was still work to be done, so he tried to shake off his stupor by repeated cups of strong coffee. syn: Coma
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
Stymie (v) To prevent from taking action His obstinate refusal to hand over to us the documents effectively stymied our efforts of gathering evidence against the wrong-doers. syn: Thwart ant: Foster
Suave (adj) Having smooth and polished manners The suave young Vice-President of the company is smart enough to be a model, instead he has preferred to make great strides in the corporate world. syn: Unctuous, Voluble ant: Boorish
Subjugate (v) Defeat and make obedient, Bring under control Through their policy of Divide-and-Rule, the British imperialists effectively subjugated the possibility of any uprising against them. syn: Vanquish ant: Surrender, Yield
Sublime (adj) Causing deep feelings of wonder, joy etc. This collection contains a sampling of the wide variety of poetry written in the last fifty years -- from the absolute sublime to the absolute trash. syn: Majestic, Virtuous
Subliminal (adj) Below the level of conscious awareness They decided that the Prime Minister would be interviewed with a backdrop of industry and rice field, sending the subliminal message to the people that he cared for workers and farmers. syn: Psyche, Essence
Submissive (adj) Too willing to agree and obey, Timid If you expect to find a quiet and submissive wife who would obey all your wishes in this city, you might end up searching all your life. syn: Meek, Amenable, Docile ant: Recalcitrant, Dominant, Unyielding
Subordinate (adj, n & v) Occupying a lower rank, Inferior, Submissive His subordinates are rather upset at him because he is very bad at delegating work; he wants to do everything himself. syn: Insignificant ant: Superior
Subpoena (n & v) A written order to attend a court of law He has been subpoenaed thrice to testify before the judge in the court, but each time he has chosen to ignore the subpoena. syn: Citation, Summons
Subservient (adj) "(1) Behaving like a slave, Tending to obey others wishes. (2) Of lesser importance" Even though the small country is politically independent, it has no choice but to remain subservient to the wishes and demands of its powerful neighbor. syn: (1)
Subside (v) Settle down, Become less, Grow quiet He strictly warned him that if he did not take the medicine in time, the pain would not subside. syn: Recede
Subsidiary (adj & n) Related to, but of lesser importance than, the main work, plan etc. In addition to the main condition imposed by the company to him for giving him the job, there are some subsidiary conditions too. syn: Auxialiary, Ancillary, Appurtenant
Subsidy (n) Direct financial aid by government After the severe criticism against them, the finance minister has decided to cut back on the subsidies he has granted to the public sector. syn: Subvention
Subsistence (n) Existence, Means of support, Livelihood "Most people in these villages are landless peasants, working on others fields and rearing cattle for subsistence." syn: Endurance, Sustenance, Continuance
Substantiate (v) Establish the truth of something by giving proof, Verify, Support His allegation against the manager of the team became a matter of embarrassment for him as he could not come up with any evidence to substantiate his claim that the manager was partial
Subsume (v) Bring or include under a particular classification Soldiers from different countries have been subsumed into the UN Peace Keeping Force.
Subterfuge (n) A secret trick or dishonest way of doing something When he did not succeed in getting the property by straight-forward methods, he resorted to the use of subterfuge to obtain it. syn: Deception, Chicanery, Duplicity
Subtle (adj) Not easy to notice, understand or explain, Done quietly and without catching any attention "She would be absolutely devastated by the news of her sons death, well have to break the news to her really subtly." syn: Perspicacious ant: Conspicuous
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.
Succinct (adj) Expressed in few words He tried to persuade her with all his flattery, but instead of wasting time with him, she gave him a direct and succinct no for an answer. syn: Pithy, Laconic ant: vose, Garrulous
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.
Succulent (adj) Juicy, Tasteful He was biting into a succulent mango as his younger sister watched with longing eyes. syn: Epicurean ant: Unsavory
Succumb (v) Give in to something or someone, Yield, To stop opposing. Also, to die He was still alive when the ambulance arrived, but when he was taken to the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries. syn: Concede ant: Impede
Suffrage (n) The right to vote in the national elections India has a system of Universal Adult Suffrage, wherein all citizens above the age of 18 have the right to vote in the general elections. syn: Ballot
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
Sullen (adj) (1) Silently resentful or angry (2) Gloomy, Unpleasant His innocent face expressed sullen resentment over his arrest for no fault of his. syn: Morose, Vexatious ant: Jocose
Sully (v) To spoil or reduce the image of something Hansie Cronje was known to be one of the best cricketers of the world, but the match-fixing scandal has sullied his reputation. syn: Defile, Desecrate
Sultry (adj) Hot and sweaty, Sweltering I can never imagine how the cricketers manage to play the game for the whole day in such hot and sultry conditions. syn: Humid, Sweltering ant: Hyperborean
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
Superficial (adj) On the surface, Shallow, Not thorough or complete I could see that his interest in my paintings was only superficial, he was clearly preoccupied with something else in his mind. syn: Hypocritical, Tame ant: Profound, Basic
Superfluous (adj) Unnecessary, Excessive, Not needed or wanted The editor asked him to rewrite the article, making it crisper and more precise, and said that the second paragraph could almost entirely be deleted as it was superfluous. syn: Redundant ant: (Superflu
Superimpose (v) Place over something else "In a clear case of fraud, they had superimposed a picture of someone elses body with that of her face, apparently to bring disrepute to her." syn: Carpet
Supersede (v) To take the place of someone or something, Replace The decision of the top management to supersede the general manager with a relatively inexperienced manager seems rather arbitrary. 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)
Supplant (v) To put something in place of something else, often unfairly or improperly In the recent general elections, the issue of terrorism emerged as the most important issue, supplanting even the very significant issue of unemployment. syn: Usurp
Supple (adj) Of a flexible body, Bending easily and gracefully "Hes not supple enough to touch his toes by bending forwards without bending his knees." syn: Pliant ant: Stubborn, Stiff, Inflexible
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
Surge (n & v) A sudden, powerful, forward movement "Despite strong opposition, the young soldier surged ahead into the enemy camp, dodging the opponents bullets and simultaneously firing from his powerful gun." syn: Torrent, Upsurge
Surly (adj) Rude, Having poor manners, Ill-tempered The contrast between the two brothers was stark : while the elder brother was gentle, polite and respectful, the younger one was uncouth, surly, and rather aloof. syn: Curt, Boorish ant: Amiable, Amicable
Surmise (v & n) To guess or reach some conclusion without having proof. Hence, such a conclusion From her bad temper, I could surmise that she had had another fight with her husband. syn: Conjecture
Surmount (v) Overcome, Succeed in tackling a tough situation The unstinting support of his wife and other well wishers helped him surmount the difficult phase when he did not have a good job and was not earning enough. syn: Conquer
Surreal (adj) Having a strange, dreamlike, unreal quality His paintings have a surreal quality to them -- nothing seems realistic and yet they seem to depict the ups and downs of life.
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
Surrogate (adj) Substitute, Something or someone used in place of another "Since she had no children of her own, she considered her sisters son as her own surrogate child." syn: Alternate, Ersatz
Surveillance (n) A close watch kept on someone or something His involvement in drug-dealing and other anti-social activities has forced the local police to keep him under surveillance. syn: Vigilance ant: Imprudence, Temerity, Folly
Susceptible (adj) Easily influenced, Sensitive Because of his susceptibility to cold and fever, we do not want him to go on the excursion as the weather would be very cold. syn: Prone ant: Immune
Sustenance (n) Means of support. Also, nourishment Neglected by his parents, he began to increasingly depend on his friends for emotional sustenance. syn: Subsistence
Suture (n & v) Stitches sewn to hold the cut edges of a wound. Also, the material used in sewing The doctor put eighteen sutures on the deep wound on his forehead, which he got while trying to learn to ride a bicycle.
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
Swaddle (v) To wrap tightly in many coverings Because it was bitterly cold and their heating was not functioning, they had to swaddle the baby in several blankets to keep her warm. syn: Swathe
Swagger (v & n) Walk or behave with aggressive over-confidence. Hence, such manner of walking Almost everyone in the class has been put off by his irritating swagger -- his Mr. Knowall attitude will not take him very far. syn: Saunter, Prance
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.
Swanky (adj) Very fashionable or expensive On her sixteenth birthday, her father, a big business tycoon, gifted her with a swanky new Porsche.
Swarm (v & n) To move in a large crowd or mass A large number of admirers and fans swarmed the young actor as soon as he stepped out of the car. syn: Throng, Multitude
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
Swelter (v) To be oppressed or troubled by great heat The players were sweltering in the oppressive heat in the stadium; the temperature had gone up to nearly 40 degrees. syn: Perspire
Swerve (v) Turn sharply or suddenly to one side To escape being hit by the truck coming from the other side, he sharply swerved his car to the left and hit the mountain wall. syn: Deviate, Dodge
Swill (v) (1) To wash by pouring water over or through something (2) Drink greedily and carelessly (1) The dentist handed me a glass of water to swill my mouth out with it. (2) He swilled down the mug of beer in a single, large gulp.
Swindle (v) To cheat, To get money by fraudulent means The treasurer of the society has been accused of swindling the society out of hundreds of dollars over the past three years. syn: Defraud, Cozen
Swingeing (adj) Very severe in its force or intensity Because of these unexpected costs, we will need to make swingeing cuts in the budget.
Swipe (n & v) A forceful and sweeping stroke or blow. Also, an attack in words In his exit interview with the Personnel Manager, he took a swipe at the top management of the company for its arbitrary handling of people and not thinking about their welfare. sy
Swivel (v) To turn around quickly (as if) on a central point The company President was seated with his back to me when I entered his cabin, and as he swiveled his chair to face me, I gasped in surprise. syn: Fulcrum
Swoon (v) To faint, To experience deep joy, desire etc. as if fainting The powerful emotional family drama has left most traditional Indian women swooning over the TV serial. syn: Collapse
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.
Sylvan (adj) Of the woods or countryside, Rural We spent a wonderful weekend at his farmhouse, which is situated in sylvan surroundings next to the hillock, with a small stream of water flowing nearby and lot of greenery around. syn: Rustic, Bucolic, Idyllic,
Symbiosis (n) A condition in which two living things have a mutually dependent and beneficial relationship The relationship between the earthworm and the garden is symbiotic -- the garden provides a home for the earthworm, while the earthworm provides manure for t
Symmetrical (adj) Having both sides exactly alike The beauty of the Taj Mahal is embellished by its absolute symmetry -- the left side of the monument seems like a mirror image of the right. syn: Congruent
Synchronize (v) To happen at the same time or the same speed The two families always synchronized their vacations so that they could go out together.
Syndrome (n) A pattern of qualities, events etc. typical of a certain condition Executive stress is increasingly becoming a worrying syndrome for the corporate world -- a large number of executives are not able to cope with the rigorous demands of a tough work li
Synthesis (n) The combining of distinct parts into a whole His latest album of fusion instrumental music is a brilliant synthesis of Indian ragas, Egyptian rhythms and Carribean calypso. syn: Integration
Tacit (adj) Understood without being directly expressed "The Prime Minister could not won the vote of confidence without the help of Mr. Kilmer and his partymen, so its quite certain that he had the tacit support of Mr. Kilmer throughout the proceedings." syn
Taciturn (adj) Silent, Reserved in speech He was a reserved and taciturn person when he had joined this institution, but within two years his transformation into an outspoken extrovert is amazing. ant: Garrulous
Tacky (adj) 1) Slightly sticky 2) Showing poor taste or style "(1) Dont touch the door, the paint on it is still tacky. (2) The play had very poor production values : incoherent dialogues, tacky costumes, shoddy sets."
Tactile (adj) Pertaining to the sense of touch. If something is tactile, it has a surface that is very attractive or pleasant to touch. The company has launched a newly developed exterior paint that has a very high tactile quality : when you touch a wall that ha
Taint (n & v) 1) Spot, Trace of decay or corruption 2) Be infected or corrupted His political image which was considered to be very clean was tainted when it was revealed that he had close links with the underworld.
Talisman (n) 1) Charm to bring good luck and avert misfortune 2) Thing capable of working wonders Gandhiji spread the Talisman of peace, non-violence and love all over the country and it worked wonders, even the British Empire had to fall into its charm and yield
Talon (n) Claw of bird The eagle bends its pointed talons inwards while it lands on its feet and extends them outwards while clasping a prey.
Tangential (adj) Having only an indirect connection or importance The arguments put forth against the project were rather tangential; many a times, I could not even see their link with our basic idea.
Tangible (adj) Able to be touched, Not elusive or visionary There was no tangible proof against him that could account for his involvement in the murder, so he was acquitted by the court. syn: Definite, Palpable ant: Ethereal
Tanner (n) Person who turns animal hides into leather When the bull died, its owner sold the skin at the local tannery which was known for its high quality leather manufacturing.
Tantalize (v) To tease or torment by showing something desired that is kept out of reach The tantalizing smell of the food being cooked in the kitchen prevented us from studying; we were eager to taste the new dish.
Tantamount (adj) Having the same value "The judge observed that the witnesss persistent refusal to answer the lawyers questions would be tantamount to acknowledgement of guilt of the accused." ant: Unequal
Tantrum (n) A sudden outburst of childish bad behavior or temper The child threw a tantrum the moment she entered the toy store; she would only settle for the most expensive doll on display and nothing less. syn: Caprice, Petulance
Tardy (adj) Slow to act or move or happen The manager was apologetic for the tardy reply to our letter and promised that such delays would never happen in future. syn: Laggard, Sluggish ant: Punctual
Taut (adj) Stretched tight Do not make the guitar strings too taut, they might break. ant: Flaccid
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
Tedious (adj) Boring, tiring, and uninteresting Almost all the students fell asleep after the long and tedious lecture by the Principal. syn: Irksome, Tiresome
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
Temper (v & n) 1) Bring down to a desired level, Reduce, Modify 2) Habitual or temporary disposition of mind (1) His enthusiasm for motor racing was not tempered even after he had a bad crash in which he almost died.(2) I was in a very bad temper because the pe
Temperament (n) Characteristic frame of mind, Disposition, Emotional excess It greatly depends on your temperament how you react to the criticisms and praises you receive from common people.
Temperate (adj) Moderate, Self-restrained He practices self-control and such temperate habits have kept him away from alcohol and other narcotics. syn: Abstemious
Tempestuous (adj) Stormy, Impassioned, Violent "The tempestuous wind caused a great destruction, with almost all the roofs blown up.She gave a tempestuous speech in the Parliament on the issue of womens lib."
Tempo (n) 1) The speed at which music is or should be played 2) The rate or pattern of movement, work or activity The real heroes present on the Titanic were the bandsmen who, in spite of being aware of their end, kept on playing the music at a fast tempo.
Temporal (adj) 1) Pertaining to the present life or of this world 2) Of or pertaining to or limited by time To most people, temporal power and wealth are bigger motivations than spiritual enlightenment. ant: Spiritual; Ecclesiastical
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
Tenement (n) Dwelling house, rented flat or room The landlord politely told her that there was no room left in his tenement to rent out to her.
Tenet (n) A principle or belief held by a person, religious group, etc., esp. one that forms part of a larger system of beliefs The destruction of Buddhist statues by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan goes against the basic tenets of Islam, which preaches tole
Tensile (adj) Capable of being drawn out or stretched The main advantage of using cotton for making garments is its tensility, which makes it much easier to stretch than, say, wool.
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
Tenure (n) 1) Holding of an office 2) Time during which such an office is held As a manager, he has been very popular during his tenure in the office, so the managing director has asked him to hold the same position for another two years, giving him a raise in
Tepid (adj) Lukewarm, Slightly He had been complaining of sore-throat for a couple of days, when his mother advised him to gargle his throat with tepid salt-water, but to make sure that the water is not too hot.
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
Termination (n) End, Limitation While the bus starts from East Kalur, it terminates at South Monter making six stops in between. ant: Beginning, Initiation
Terminology (n) 1) Terms used in a science or art 2) Science of proper use of terms Totally unfamiliar with computer terminology, she gave an utterly confused look when he asked her to click on the mouse.
Terrestrial (adj & n) Of the earth or land Though it has four legs and behaves very much like other terrestrial animals, the hippopotamus cannot exactly be classified as a terrestrial because if prefers to spend most of its time in water.
Terse (adj) (Of a speaker or style of speaking) using as few words as possible, sometimes in a way that seems rude All these times she had been very polite and responsive to him, but her terse reply last evening made him believe that she did not want to talk t
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
Testy (adj) Irritable, short-tempered I got a rather testy reply on the phone; the operator must be having a real bad day. syn: Impatient; Touchy; Peevish
Tether (n & v) 1) Rope, chain, halter by which grazing animal is confined 2) Tie with a rope He tethered the animal with a rope, but in the morning, he found that the animal was missing with its tether.
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.
Thematic (adj) Relating to a unifying motif or idea Even though it is titled a Dictionary of Music, the terms explained in it have been arranged thematically, in order of various styles of music, rather than alphabetically as is the norm in a dictionary.
Theocracy (n) Government run by religious leaders Some of the Arab countries are totally theocratic states, where the religious leaders are in absolute command.
Theoretical (adj) Concerned with knowledge but not with its practical application Theoretical knowledge itself is of no use with its practical application in real life.
Therapeutic (adj & n) Curative, of the healing art Laughing is considered to be one of the easiest therapeutic exercises that can cure many diseases.
Thespian (adj & n) Connected with acting and theater. Also, a famous actor or actress with a lot of experience Ashok Kumar, one of the greatest thespians of Indian cinema who started his career with silent films, has been selected for the prestigious Golden Lotus
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
Thrifty (adj) Careful about money, Economical While Alex is very spendthrift and spends money in recklessly, his brother Stew is quite thrifty and spends only when it is necessary. ant: Prodigal
Thrive (v) To develop well and be healthy, strong, or successful All his friends considered him lucky that he had inherited a thriving business, but he was not too happy at the thought of getting something so flourishing with such ease. syn: Prosper, Flourish
Throes (n) Violent pain She kept crying the whole night in the throes of pain, struggling with an arthritic attack.
Thwart (v, adv & adj) To prevent from happening The untimely and unexpected rains thwarted the hopes of farmers of getting a good yield this year.
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.
Timidity (n) Lack of self-confidence or courage His timidity always kept him off the stage, but now he has developed enough self-confidence to participate in any program that requires him to be on the stage. ant: Dauntlessness
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
Tirade (n) 1) Long vehement speech esp. of censure 2) Long passage of declamation "The angry looking woman rushed into the vice-chancellors office and launched an offensive tirade against the universitys unfair system of minority reservations."
Titanic (adj) Of great size, strength, power, strength etc. The Mahabharata, a great Indian epic, culminates with a titanic battle between the forces of good --represented by the Pandavas and supported by Lord Krishna -- and those of evil, represented by the Kau
Titillate (v) To excite intentionally but only a little It became a habit with them to indulge in titillating gossip every evening after their class was over.
Titular (adj & n) Existing only in name; Also, of or having to do with a little He is only a titular head of the family, but his wife holds all the real power.
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
Tome (n) A volume forming a part of a large work; Also, any book, esp. a large, heavy one His project report was the most voluminous tome that I had ever seen -- it looked more like an encyclopedia than a dissertation.
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
Topography (n) Physical features of a region The topography of this small region varies markedly from that of the rest of the state -- while most of the state is a fertile alluvial plain, this region has extreme desert-like conditions.
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:
Torrent (n) Rushing stream, Flood What started as a slow trickle of inquiries soon changed into a torrent of questions, with the phone ringing every minute, making the operator very difficult to handle the queries.
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
Torso (n) Trunk of statue with head and limbs missing, human trunk The police has so far been able to recover only the torso of the murdered person, and till such time that the head is also found, they are not making any guesses about the identity of the victi
Tortuous (adj) Full of twists or turns Instead of the direct route, he told us to take a tortuous route that took us an hour more to reach than the direct route would have taken.
Totalitarian (adj) Of a regime in which no rival parties or loyalties are permitted, every citizen in such a system is subject to the power of the state, which exercises complete control over all areas of life. The Second World War ended the fascist regimes of German
Totter (v) Move unsteadily, Sway Being old and weak, she could not move with steady steps, but the old woman somehow tottered down the stairs when she heard a scream.
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.
Touchy (adj) Offended or annoyed, Too sensitive "Shes very touchy about her small height; make sure that you do not say anything that can hurt her feelings." syn: Sensitive, Irascible
Tousle (v) Make untidy by ruffling The little boy was absolutely delighted when the President affectionately tousled his hair on his visit to the orphanage. syn: Disheveled ant: Groom
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
Toxic (adj) Poisonous The chemical had such a high level of toxicity that it was advised not to use it inside a closed chamber and without proper care.
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
Trajectory (n) The curved path that an object follows after being thrown into the air The natural trajectory for any object thrown into the air is a parabola, or an inverted U-shaped path.
Tranquility (n) Calmness, Peace The village was a scene of immense tranquility and unhurriedness, far removed from the hectic and troubled pace of life in the city.
Transcend (v) To surpass, Exceed ordinary limits, To be superior in all respects The underlying message of the film is that love can transcend all barriers.
Transcribe (v) To record (something written or spoken) by writing it down His only job in the office was to transcribe the tape recordings of the meetings and conversations, and enter them into the database.
Transgression (n) Violation of a law, Sin The commander said in a loud voice that anyone who tried to transgress the orders shall be severely punished.
Transient (adj & n) 1) Passing away quickly, not lasting 2) Temporary visitor, worker etc Being centered around a cluster of small villages, this city has a large transient population of daily-wage workers who come to work in the city from the adjoining villages.
Transition (n) Change from one place or state or act or set of circumstances to another His transition from a soft spoken individual to a foul-mouthed rabble rouser was absolute during the two years that he spent at the institute.
Translucent (adj) Allowing some light through so that objects can be seen through it but not very clearly "Berthas skin has a translucent quality so that you can almost see the veins under it."
Transmogrify (v) To transform usually with absurd or grotesque effect In the movie Night of the Werewolf, the transmogrification of a normal looking person to a ferocious werewolf has been shown with chilling special effects.
Transmute (v) Change, Convert to something different and better The shabby village that I had left nearly ten years ago for greener pastures had totally transmuted itself into a magnificent little town, with all the amenities that one can hope for.
Transparent (adj) Permitting light to pass through freely The bag she was carrying was literally transparent; you could clearly see everything kept in it, without even opening it. ant: Opaque
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.
Traumatic (adj) Pertaining to an injury caused by violence Most of the patients in the asylum are those who have witnessed traumatic events like murder and rape, which could possibly be the reason for their mental disturbance.
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
Traverse (v & n) To move or travel through (an area or a period of time) The recently released novel of the Indian writer Vikram Seth traverses the history of an Indian family from the state of Bengal over three generations.
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
Treatise (n) Literary composition dealing more or less systematically with definite subject He is in the process of writing a treatise on Indian criminal law in six volumes, and he says that when it is complete, it will be the most comprehensive work on the India
Trek (v & n) 1) To walk a long distance, usually over land such as hills, mountains or forests 2) Such journey The group decided to go trekking over the mountains covering a distance of nearly eight miles.
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
Tribute (n) 1) Tax or money paid periodically by one state or ruler to another in acknowledgement of submission or as price of peace or protection 2) Contribution, esp. thing done, said etc, as mark of respect By observing a two-minute silence, the entire nation
Trifling (adj) Trivial, Unimportant It is no use arguing over such a trifling matter, instead we should discuss the matters of importance and priority. syn: Trivial
Trigger (n & v) 1) Movable device for releasing spring or catch and so setting mechanism in action 2) To cause (something bad) to start (1) The finger prints on the gun clearly indicate that it was John who pulled the trigger and shot Brad. (2) The ugly dispute
Trinket (n) Cheap or low quality ornament, jewel etc. worn on the person They knew that they were not expected to buy expensive gifts for the girls, so decided to buy little fashionable trinkets to be worn as earrings.
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
Trivial (adj) Unimportant, Trifling Though it was a trivial issue, they went on discussing it over and again as if their lives depended on it. syn: Trifling
Troglodyte (n) A person who lives in a cave. Hence, any person who lives a secluded life Computer programming may be a paying profession, but it can turn you into a troglodyte being occupied with your computer the whole day and with little contact with people.
Troubadour (n) Medieval romantic poet Martino Goji was one of the troubadours of the thirteenth century; he had written more than three hundred love poems.
Trough (n) Long narrow container or vessel for holding water or feeding farm animals The farmer was annoyed to see that the trough which was usually filled with water for his oxen, was filled with mud and filth.
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
Trudge (v & n) To walk slowly with a lot of effort, esp. over a difficult surface We trudged along with our backpacks to the top of the hill, hoping to reach their before sunrise, so that we could get a good view.
Truism (n) Self-evident or indisputable truth While many traditional sayings like honesty is the best policy are open to debate in modern times, certain truisms such as prevention is better than cure will always hold good.
Truncate (v & adj) 1) Cut the top off 2) Ending abruptly as if cut from the top Since the time was not enough and the exams were fast approaching, the teacher had to truncate the syllabus; she taught only the important lessons which covered most of the questions.
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.
Trundle (n & v) Roll along, move along heavily on wheels We trundled along the rough road in our rickety car, not knowing when we would get to the gas station.
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.
Tryst (n & v) Meeting, appointment. Hence, to make or arrange a meeting or an appointment I had not expected her to keep her tryst with me in the park, so I was pleasantly surprised to find her waiting for me when I reached there, a good ten minutes before the
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
Turmoil (n & v) 1) State of confusion, uncertainty 2) To agitate, trouble "She couldnt react, and her mind was in complete turmoil when she saw the dead-body in her bedroom; she had never seen the victim before and there was no one in the house except her six mo
Turncoat (n) Traitor, Deserter The Party President has surprised everyone by anncing that their party will not accept as its member a turncoat from another political party. syn: Renegade; Apostate
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.
Tycoon (n) Wealthy leader Though he has now become a business tycoon and has all the comforts of life, he still remembers the day he used to sell tobacco in the streets and lived hand to mouth.
Typhoon (n) A violent wind which has a circular movement The meteorological department has sent out a warning to all fishermen about the possibility of a typhoon hitting the shore within the next 48 hours.
Tyranny (n) Despotic or cruel exercise of power, Oppression Unable to bear the tyrannical rules and regulations at the hostel, young Vivian thought of escaping in the dark of the night.
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
Ubiquitous (adj) Existing or being everywhere at the same time Foreign tourists to India are constantly pestered by the ubiquitous commission agents, ever willing to escort them to a hotel or a tourist spot where they get a commission. syn: Omnipresent
Ulterior (adj) Hidden or kept secret The reason he wants to join us, he says, is to help us, but we suspect he may be having some ulterior motive behind this. syn: Shrouded, Obscured
Ultimate (adj) Final, Beyond which no other exists or is possible Though he has been acting in serials and commercial advertisements for many years, his ultimate aim is to become a superstar on the big screen. ant: Incipient
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
Unaccountable (adj) That cannot be explained, Unreasonable or mysterious For some unaccountable reason, he has never been nabbed by the police despite such clear cut evidence against him.
Unanimity (n) Complete agreement The council of ministers was in complete unanimity about the need for the imposition of emergency, but the president would have none of it. syn: Concord, Consensus ant: Discord
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
Unassuming (adj) Not showing a wish to be noticed or given special treatment In spite of being the best actor, he likes spending time with common people; people love him for his unassuming nature. syn: Unblushing, Unsophisticated, Modest
Unbridled (adj) Not controlled and too active "1) Though he is pure at heart, his unbridled tongue has often involved him in quarrels.2) His unbridled lust for money has made him so satanic that he can even cut someones throat for the sake of money." syn: Riotou
Uncanny (adj) Seemingly supernatural or mysterious Though the two of them had always lived in separate continents, Derek in New Zealand had an uncanny resemblance with my cousin George, who lives in Scotland. syn: Grotesque, Freakish ant: Wary
Unconscionable (adj) Unreasonable in degree or amount Though I had written to him long back and asked him to reply soon, he took an unconscionable time to reply me. syn: Unscrupulous, Wanton
Uncouth (adj) Not having good manners, Awkward or impolite in speech and behavior He was an uncouth young man when he first came to the town, but he has become so sophisticated in last four years that no one can ever imagine that he hails from a village. syn: D
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
Underlying (adj) Fundamental, the basis of The underlying principle behind learning new words is to develop an interest in vocabulary, and ultimately a passion for words.
Undermine (v) "Injure persons reputation, influence etc" "Sheas ability as a singer has often been undermined because of her more successful sister, though many people now feel that Shea has always been more gifted of the two." syn: Incapacitate ant: Strengthen,
Underscore (n & v) Emphasize The detection of a virus in the computer has underscored the importance of keeping proper back-ups of all important files.
Undulating (adj) Moving with a wavelike motion For miles on end, all that the eyes could see were the undulating sand dunes.
Unearth (v) Dig up, Discover something, Bring to light "The only person who could unearth the secret of Freds involvement in the Linda murder case was Mr. Johnson, who was once a very good friend of Freds." syn: Discover ant: Inter, Conceal
Unequivocal (adj) Completely clear, Allowing no possibility of doubt The salesboy tried to persuade the old man to buy goods from him, but had to give up when the old man told him unequivocally that he would not buy anything from him. syn: Unambiguous, Evident, Obv
Unerringly (adv) Without failing, esp. while hitting something or reaching the right point He was awarded the Best Shooter award for his unerring aim by which he repeatedly hit the center of the target. syn: Infallibly
Unexceptionable (adj) Beyond criticism, that with which no fault can be found The principal remarked that her presentation was flawless and quite unexceptionable; there was nothing in it which could be subject to a questioning. syn: Immutable
Unfettered (adj) "Not limited by rules or any other peoples suffering" "The batsmans flamboyant innings was quite unfettered of the rule book of cricketing shots; many of the shots he played were quite innovative." syn: Emancipate, Liberate ant: Fettered
Unflappable (adj) Remaining calm in a crisis Even while the crew members were running for their lives, the captain remained unflappable in his cabin, thinking of an alternative.
Unfrock (v) To strip a priest or minister of church authority The minister was unfrocked in public for his involvement in the scandal.
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
Unhinged (adj) Mentally unsettled or unbalanced He was terribly unhinged by the ship wreck, all the members of his family were travelling by it and none of them could survive. ant: Unperturbed
Uniformity (n) Sameness The uniformity of the articles clearly indicates that they are made by the same craftsman, no one could make out even a small variation between any two of them. syn: Accord, Monotony ant: (Uniform) : Eclectic
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
Uninhibited (adj) "Free in ones behavior and feelings, Without embarrassment or too much control" It was among the most uninhibited discussions on the topic that has ever been seen on TV.
Unique (adj & n) Being the only one of its kind A unique feature of this cellular phone is that it can be plugged on to a laptop computer, and used to connect to the Internet even without the use of a modem. syn: Extraordinary ant: Common, Ordinary
Unkempt (adj) Uncared for in appearance It was ten in the morning when I reached his place and met him; he looked so unkempt that I could make out that he had just got out of bed. syn: Disheveled ant: Tidy
Unmitigated (adj) (Esp. of something bad or unsuccessful) total, esp. lacking any good or positive points The much publicized comeback film of the superstar proved to be an unmitigated disaster at the box office. syn: Consummate
Unobtrusive (adj) Unobjectionable He tried to slip into the classroom unobtrusively without catching the attention of the lecturer, but was not successful in his intentions. syn: Unobscured, Unobtainable, Unobstructed
Unprecedented (adj) Never having happened before The judge said in his final analysis that the judgement he had just delivered was unprecedented in his long legal career, and that he had never come across a case as complex as this one. syn: Unique
Unravel (v) To solve "No one has so far been able to unravel the mystery of Bermuda Triangle, in the Atlantic Ocean, under the influence of which anything that comes, sinks to the bottom." syn: Resolve, Render
Unrequited (adj) Not reciprocated He had helped her on several occasions before, and his favors had always gone unrequited -- she had not even bothered to thank him.
Unruly (adj) Not easily controlled or disciplined It was not possible for the nurse alone to control the unruly patient; he behaved in such an uncontrolled manner that she had to take help of two other nurses in order to give him an injection. syn: Riotous, Un
Unscathed (adj) Without suffering any injury We were surprised to see that even after the head-to-head collision between a car and a van, the driver of the van died on the spot while the car driver came out unscathed. ant: Wounded
Unsightly (adj) Unpleasing to the sight Though she has the attractive features and good communication skills, the reason she could never be a model is an unsightly scar on her left cheek. syn: Hideous ant: Attractive
Untenable (adj) (Of a position esp. in an argument) impossible to defend or show to be reasonable The government has already stretched to the limits the reclamation of land from the sea, any more reclamation would be untenable. syn: Untended, Unthatched, Untemper
Unwarranted (adj) Unwelcome and done without good reason His unwarranted intrusion in our premises forced us to lodge a complaint against him with the local police station. syn: Flimsy
Unwieldy (adj) Awkward to move or control because of its shape size or weight, bulky Of all the furniture, this particular piece is so unwieldy that it is just impossible to move it inside the room. syn: Ponderous ant: Adroit
Unwitting (adj) Without knowing or planning He said that he sincerely regretted any inconvenience which he may unwittingly have caused. syn: Ignorant, Oblivious, Incognizant ant: Intentional
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
Uproarious (adj) Marked by commotion, Extremely funny, Very noisy The Parliament was a scene of uproarious commotion when the scandal was first exposed by a group of journalists at a press conference. syn: Turbulent, Tumultuous, Riotous
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
Uptight (adj) Tending to be angry and unfriendly because worried, nervous etc. She is extremely uptight about the thought of travelling alone for the first time.
Urbane (adj) Refined or elegant in manner The urbanity in his behavior is due to the fact that he has been brought up and taught in a royal atmosphere. syn: Unctuous, Voluble ant: Inept
Usurp (v) "Seize anothers power or rank" It was his greed for power for which he killed his brother and usurped his kingdom. syn: Confiscate, Expropriate
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.
Utopia (n) Imaginary place with perfect social and political system The new Prime Minister clearly overreached himself when he promised in his speech to the nation that he will lead the country to Utopia during his tenure. syn: Paradise
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
Vagabond (adj, n & v) 1) Having no fixed habitation 2) A wanderer 3) Wander about As a social worker she decided to adopt the vagabond children living on the streets; now these children have a house and a purpose for living. syn: Vagrant
Vagrant (adj & n) Homeless wanderer A number of vagrants and drunkards frequent this side of the town after dark; it is not too safe to come here at that time. syn: Roving, Strolling, Vagabond
Valedictory (adj & n) 1) Having to do with leave-taking or farewell 2) A parting address In his valedictory address to the members of the society, he expressed his satisfaction as having spent a glorious two decades with the society. ant: Salutory
Valid (adj) Logically convincing, Sound, Legally acceptable Since the officer suspected that the passport was forged, he questioned the validity of the passport.
Valor (n) Personal courage The soldier fought bravely in the battle, and in recognition of his exemplary valor in the battlefield, he was awarded Paramveer Chakra.
Vanguard (n) Foremost part of army or fleet advancing or ready to do so The families who arrived this week were only the vanguard of what turned into a flood of refugees. ant: Echelon
Vantage (n) 1) Position giving an advantage 2) A point of view He is very selfish and least bothered about others; he does things which from his vantage-point yield him profit.
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
Veer (v & n) 1) Change in direction (esp. of wind) 2) Change of direction In order to save the cyclist, the car-driver sharply veered the car to the left hitting the electric pole.
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.
Velocity (n) Quickness or rate of motion or action The driver was driving the car at such a high velocity that he lost control over it near the corner of the road. syn: Speed, Pace
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
Vendetta (n) A long and violent dispute between different people or families The vendetta between the two families continued for over two decades, before it was finally resolved because of the broadmindedness of the younger generation.
Vendor (n) One who sells Every morning when it was time for the fruit-vendor to come, the children gathered in the street with money to buy fruits from him.
Veneer (n & v) 1) Thin layer, Superficial cover 2) To cover so as to give a glossy appearance 1) Everybody believed him to be a noble man, but who knew that beneath that veneer of kindness, there lied a cruel murderer.
Venerable (adj) Deserving high respect because of character, religious or historical importance The venerable actor has been given a special lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the Indian film industry. ant: (Venerate) : Pillory (Veneration) : Deri
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.
Venison (n) "Deers flesh as food" The government has put ban on the killing of deer; getting venison, which is believed to be more delicious and nutritious than mutton, beef or chicken, has become impossible nowadays.
Venom (n) Poisonous fluid secreted by serpents, scorpion etc Though the venom secreted by Cobra is highly poisonous and can kill the victim within a few minutes of biting, it also has some medicinal values. It is used for making medicines to cure snake-bite.
Vent (n & v) "1) A small opening, Outlet 2) Express ones feelings (esp. unfairly)" The poor man tried hard the whole day but could not find a job; in the evening when he returned home, he was so frustrated that he vented his anger on his child.
Ventriloquist (n) Someone who can make his or her voice seem to come from another person or thing Wherever the ventriloquist goes, he carries his dummy puppet with him, projecting his voice onto it and making it appear as if it were talking.
Venturesome (adj) Bold, ready to take risk Max is a bold man and likes taking risks, and it is his this venturesome nature that has made him an accomplished man today.
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
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.
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.
viage (n) Use of many words without necessity His essay had been significantly edited, and all the viage was removed. syn: vosity; Prolixity
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
Verdant (adj) (Of grass etc) lush green colored The institute has a well kept, verdant lawn with lush green grass, beautiful flowers and also a small pond to add to the glorious setting. syn: Vendure ant: Faded
Verge (n & v) 1) Extreme edge or border 2) Incline downwards or in specified direction It was only after it was discovered that the tiger was on the verge of extinction that the government has taken several steps to preserve the species. syn: Brink
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."
Vernacular (adj & n) "1) (Of language, idiom, word) of ones native country 2) The language or dialect of a country" Though in the office he is a good orator and speaks pure English, the moment he joins his friends from his village, he lapses into his vernacular lan
Vernal (adj) Of or occurring in spring season Spring had just begun, and the garden was full of little buds of vernal flowers.
Versatile (adj) Having many talents, Capable of working in many fields The film industry is so much crowded and competitive nowadays that only a versatile actor can stay in it; the actor must be able to show his talent in every field from acting to dancing to acti
Vertex (n) Highest point He decided to retire from active politics at the vertex of his political career, saying that he had no more distinctions to achieve. syn: Summit
Vertigo (n) Condition with sensation of whirling and tendency to lose balance Since she suffers from vertigo, she could not look down from the eighteenth floor of the building. syn: Dizziness
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
Vestibule (n) A wide passage or small room just inside the outer door of a (public) building through which all other rooms are reached. The receptionist asked me to wait in the vestibule before the official would call me in. syn: Porch
Vestige (n) Trace, small remaining amount There is now not even a vestige of doubt that the culprit has to be the security guard.
Vex (v) Anger by slight or petty annoyance, irritate This problem had been vexing me for over two weeks now, and the solution came in one sudden flash of inspiration.
Viable (adj) Practical or workable, Capable of maintaining life Since no seats were available in either of the two trains, the only viable alternative I had was to fly.
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.
Vie (v) Strive for superiority With an increase in supply and subdued demand, car dealers are vying with each other to attract customers by offering huge discounts.
Vigilance (n) Watchfulness The police are after the serial killer who has killed thirty people in last two weeks; they have also asked the public to remain vigilant especially in the night, when the chances of his attack are more. syn: Circumspection
Vigor (n) Active strength or force of mind or body Even though he is sixty five, he possesses such a surprising vigor that he can cover a distance of five miles without even taking a short break. syn: Vitality, Vim ant: Languor
Vilify (v) To defame or degrade (something or someone) by saying or writing unpleasant things When it was discovered that he had been operating as a spy, he was vilified in the press as being a traitor. syn: Malign; Traduce; Denigrate; Calumniate
Vindicate (v) To clear of blame or accusation The manager was accused of receiving bribe, but after the investigation, he was vindicated by the reports of the committee and asked to join the office. syn: Exculpate; Exonerate: justify ant: Calumniate
Vindictive (adj) Having or showing a desire to harm someone because you think that they have harmed you "His lodging a complaint to the police against Brooks was a purely vindictive act, done in retaliation to the Brookes article in the school magazine." syn: Mali
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
Virtual (adj) For practical purpose though not in name or according to strict definition He had virtually given up all hopes of finding a job in the city when he got a call from the personnel manager of the company.
Virtue (n) Goodness, Moral excellence, Good quality Because of his good character, kind heart and generous nature, people often call him man of the highest virtue. ant: (Virtuous) : Nefarious
Virtuoso (n) Highly skilled person It was his interest in music that brought him to India, where he learnt Sitar, and now, after fifteen years of practice, he has become a Sitar virtuoso.
Virulent (adj) (Of a poison) very powerful, quick-acting, and dangerous to life or health The latest attack by the powerful computer virus is perhaps the most virulent ever, it has the capacity to permanently damage the hard disks of the computer.
Visage (n) The face, countenance or look of a person Amongst all the cheerful and smiling faces in the photograph, his grim visage stood out rather awkwardly. syn: Appearance
Visceral (adj) (1) Based on deep feeling and emotional reactions rather than on reason or thought (2) Pertaining to the large internal organs of the human body (1) In the interview, the actor states that his approach to acting has always been visceral, based on w
Viscous (adj) Sticky, glutinous As soon as the scientist poured the chemical into the beaker, the watery liquid in it became thick and viscous.
Visionary (adj & n) A person with the ability to correctly predict how the future will unfold He must have been quite a visionary for having thought of a global network of computers way back in 1975, when the Internet was totally unheard of.
Vital (adj & n) Very necessary, of the greatest importance The manager considered the support of his staff vital for the success of his project; he knew that without their cooperation he alone could not even think of it.
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
Vivacious (adj) (esp. of a woman or girl) attractively full of energy and enthusiasm The two sisters were in stark contrast to each other -- while Liz was vivacious and outgoing, Janet was quiet and brooding. ant: Torpidity
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.
Volatile (adj & n) 1) Of a quickly changing nature, esp. easily becoming angry or dangerous 2) Such substance Immediately after the demolition of the temple, the situation in the town turned volatile, and the police had to be called in to control the angry crowd.
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
Voluminous (adj) Consisting of many volumes, Long and detailed Her first letter home from the hostel was a huge, voluminous missive, but by the time she finished her two years, she used to write home only on postcards.
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
Vortex (n) A mass of air or water than spins around very fast and pulls objects into its empty center "As soon as the news of their teams defeat at the hands of the underdogs came in, the entire room was sucked into a vortex of gloom." syn: Whirlwind, Whirlpoo
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."
Vulnerable (adj) Susceptible to (physical or mental) wounds, injury As a child, he was a little too vulnerable to injuries, and had to visit the doctor often for treatment of cuts and wounds.
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.
Wacky (adj) Unusual in a pleasing and exciting or silly way At the informal brainstorming session, the advertising agency executives came up with a number of ideas, some very practical and others absolutely wacky. syn: Crazy
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
Waft (v & n) Move gently by wind or waves The rudderless boat gently wafted on the river for a few miles and then drifted into the vast sea.
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.
Waive (v) Give up temporarily, Yield The chief ordered his comrades to waive their arguments and do as were asked to. ant: Persevere, Perpetuate, Pursue
Wallow (v & n) Roll about in mud, water etc Immediately after the rain, the children started wallowing in the mud; when they returned home in the evening, all their clothes were in mud.
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
Wane (v & n) 1) Decrease in size or splendor 2) Lose power or vigor or importance or repute 3) Process of waning The magazine was at the peak of its popularity in 1999, but its popularity has now begun to wane. ant: Improve, Rise
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
Warped (adj) Twisted, bent He has a rather warped attitude towards life; he thinks the only person he is answerable to in life is he himself. syn: Distorted, Disfigured
Warrant (n & v) 1) Thing or person that authorizes (person in) action 2) Serve as warrant for, Justify The Prime Minister has clearly said that India is not in favor of using nuclear weapon at present, but may use it if situation so warrants.
Warranty (n) Assurance by seller The washing machine comes with a warranty that covers it for all mechanical defects for a period of one year.
Wary (adj) Very cautious, not completely trusting or certain Having had a bad experience with some start-up ventures, he was quite wary of saying yes to another similar offer he was getting. ant: Unwary, Negligent
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.
Wean (v) "1) To introduce (a baby or young animal) to the habit of eating ordinary food instead of mothers milk 2) To cause to leave some habit 3) To cause to grow up under the influence of something" "The mother started to wean her baby when it was hardly fo
Weather (v) To successfully deal with a difficult situation or problem As a small, new company, they have done well to successfully weather the economic recession.
Welsh (v, adj & n) "Avoid paying ones debts, break an agreement" None of his friends trusts him; he makes a promise one day and just welshes on it the next day.
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
Whiff (n & v) 1) A short-lasting smell or movement (of air, scent etc.) 2) Blow or puff lightly We were greeted by a whiff of fresh air as soon as we stepped out of the air-conditioned theater.
Whimsical (adj) Unusual and strange in an amusing or annoying way He tried his best to make himself heard in the meeting, but everyone discarded his ideas as being impractical and whimsical. syn: Fantastic, Capricious
Whine (n & v) Long-drawn complaining cry (as) of a child or dog At first, nothing could be heard from underneath the rubble, but then a painful whine of a little child could clearly be heard.
Whinny (v & n) Give a gentle or joyful neigh (of a horse) The young horse whinnied on to the streets of the town, carefree and unconcerned.
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."
Whittle (v & n) 1) Slice off pieces from, to reduce by continual and gradual process 2) Long knife esp. the one used by butchers The butcher took out his whittle, whetted it on the stone and slaughtered the animal. syn: Trim, Carve
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 (v & n) 1) Show bodily or mental pain or distress by slight start or loss of composure 2) Roller for moving textile fabric through dyeing The little child winced in pain as the doctor inserted the needle of the syringe into his soft flesh.
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
Wishy-washy (adj) Weak in color, character etc; lacking in spirit "Theyre just a group of wishy-washy individuals, having no great ambitions in life nor having any ideologies."
Wisp (n) A delicate or thin piece or line of something A wisp of grass was sticking to her hair, which he gently brushed away.
Wistful (adj) Sad and longing Visiting the school building after nearly twenty years brought a flood of memories, some extremely sweet and some rather wistful. ant: Glad, Joyful
Wither (v) 1) Make or become dry or shriveled 2) Deprive of or lose vigor or freshness or importance Even the flowers which remain tender all year long wither in such a cold weather. syn: Languish ant: Expand, Dilate, Unfold
Withhold (v) Refrain from putting into action Though he had all the information about various terrorist activities, he withheld it from the police for a long time; when he revealed it, and by the time police could come into action, it was too late. ant: Furnish,
Withstand (v) Stand up against, Oppose "Though they were sixty and the enemy had more than five hundred soldiers, they withstood the enemys attack and continued to occupy their territory." syn: Resist ant: Yield, Surrender
Witless (adj) Foolish, Idiotic It was extremely witless of him to let the car go without noting the registration number. ant: Astute
Witticism (n) Witty remark Woody Allen has a reputation for making films that are full of witticisms.
Wizardry (n) The art of performing magic Using some high class technical wizardry, computer scientists have been able to bring the long dead actor back to life on the big screen. syn: Sorcery
Wizened (adj) Shriveled, Wrinkled or Dried-up in appearance (chiefly of a person or his face or look) Though he feels and believes himself to be a young man of twenty five, the wizened marks on his forehead, cheeks, and neck clearly indicate that he is considera
Woe (n) Deep, Inconsolable grief, Affliction, Suffering Tears ran down her cheeks as he narrated his tale of woe and misery.
Worldly (adj) Engrossed in matters of this earth, Not spiritual He is a man who practices spirituality in his life; instead of running after wealth and other worldly comforts, he looks for self-realization and the God within him. ant: Spiritual, Incorporeal
Wraith (n) Ghost, Spectral apparition of a living person After the death of her husband she was psychologically disturbed for a while, imagining that the wraith of her husband was with her all the time. ant: Materiality
Wrangle (v & n) Argue or quarrel noisily The property wrangle between the two brothers continued for well over a year, and it was finally settled when their elderly uncle intervened.
Wrath (n) Strong, fierce anger He decided to fudge the numbers on his report card in order to escape the wrath of his father. syn: Indignation, Fury ant: Tranquility, Calmness
Wreathe (v & n) Encircle, wind round something The atmosphere over the city is perpetually wreathed in smoke.
Wrench (n & v) To pull hard and often violently with a twisting or turning movement "The big bully wrenched the box of sweets from the little childs hands, leaving him crying in distress."
Writhe (v & n) Twist or roll oneself in pain It is not easy to quit drugs; I have often seen people, who try to do so, writhing on the ground in pain.
Wry (adj) Finding a difficult situation amusing The only good part about the present situation is that it could have been worse, he said with a wry smile.
Xenophobia (n) The fear of strangers Germany was swept with a wave of xenophobia for several years, but now that it has opened its doors to foreigners from all over the world, the situation has remarkably changed. syn: # ant: #
Xyloid (adj) Of or resembling wood The statue was a xyloid structure, made of the finest quality wood. syn: # ant: #
Yank (v) To pull something forcefully with a quick movement He tried hard to open the door but it would not budge, so he yanked out the latch with all his force.
Yardstick (n) A standard to judge something "If the yardstick of success is taken as a persons popularity, he would be among the most successful people in the city."
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
Yield (n & v) 1) Amount produced; crop; income or investment 2) Give in, surrender Despite great pressure from the landlord to give up the occupied land, he did not yield. syn: Harvest ant: Impede, Counter, Counteract
Yoke (n & v) "1) Piece of timber wood to fit on an animals shoulder 2) To unite, or couple" (1) A bullock cart, with two oxen attached to a yoke and pulling a carriage, has been the traditional means of transport in the Indian villages for the past several de
Yokel (n) A rustic person Despite coming from a sophisticated and learned family, the famed artist could even play the role of a village yokel to perfection. syn: Boor, Hayseed, Hick, Bumpkin
Yore (n) Of time past, In the long-forgotten days In the days of yore, when the postal service had not evolved and telephone had not even been dreamt of, carrier pigeons used to be a popular means of communication.
Zany (n & adj) Crazy, Surprising or uncontrolled in an amusing way This advertising agency is known for its zany TV commercials, all of them one crazier than the other. ant: Sane, Sensible
Zeal (n) Great enthusiasm or eagerness He prepared for the exams with a determined zeal, and it was this enthusiasm that helped him come out with flying colors. syn: Fervor ant: (Zealous) : Refractory
Zealot (adj) Having very strong opinions about something The religious zealots of the country are at work again, spreading fanaticism and communal tension in the name of religion.
Zeitgeist (n) A general set of ideas, beliefs, feelings, etc. which are typical of a particular period of history The period film set in the pre-Independence India beautifully reflects the then zeitgeist of the country : communal harmony in general, but seeds of d
Zenith (n) Summit, Highest point, Point of heavens directly above observer The magazine was at the zenith of its popularity in 1999, but its popularity has since then declined. syn: Apex ant: Nadir
Zephyr (n) Soft and gentle breeze It was very hot during the day, but as soon as the sun set, a cool zephyr began to blow.
Zombie (n) 1) Corpse said to be revived by witchcraft 2) Dull or apathetic person (2) He is fit for nothing, he spends the whole day in front of TV like a zombie.
Created by: 503746070