(word, part of speech, related words or phrases, example sentence)
to run away with something
related words: go off with, make away with, make off with, run off with
*Harold absconded with Nancy’s new cell phone.
to help to reach a settlement to a dispute by considering all the facts
related words: mediate, intercede
*Sally was asked to arbitrate a disagreement between her two best friends.
to weaken the effects, strength, or size of something
related words: reduce in strength, decrease in strength or size
*My doctor suggested I take aspirin to attenuate my fever.
to split or divide into two parts or branches that go in separate directions
related words: branch, diverge
*The road bifurcates into two directions one mile ahead.
relating to the countryside or the pleasant aspects of country life
related words: pastoral, provincial , rustic
*Veronica grew up in a bucolic little town filled with valleys and hills.
impulsive and quickly changeable; acting on a whim, sudden changes in behavior
related words: impulsive
*Jeff’s teacher told him to settle down and stop being so capricious.
the use of tricks to deceive someone (usually to get their money)
related words: shenanigans, trickery
*Some politicians use chicanery to help them win elections.
too trusting, too willing to believe something without evidence
related words: naive, too trustful, unquestioning, gullible, unwary
*Credulous individuals will believe anything they are told.
a strong or forceful verbal attack against someone or something; abusive speech
related words: harangue, (verbal) attack, tirade
*The politician’s diatribe against global warming contained no credible evidence.
to pretend or conceal one’s feelings in order to deceive
related words: feign, pretend, fake, masquerade
*Mary chose to dissemble her political beliefs to avoid an argument with Tom.
very harsh, cruel, or strict
related words: harsh; severe, strict, tough, extreme, drastic, stringent
*Too often, draconian measures are taken to win wars.
native to or constantly present in a particular location or geographic area
related words: constantly present
*Malaria is endemic to many tropical countries.
the distinctive spirit or principles of a culture or era in history
related words: atmosphere
*Many adventurous people live by the ethos of "YOLO” (you only live once).
to make something worse or increase in severity
related words: aggravate, worsen
*Yelling exacerbates a heated conversation by increasing the hostility.
stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for doubt
related words: clear, plain, straightforward
*Most recipes give explicit instructions.
elaborately or excessively intricate or complicated; flowery
related words: fancy, embellished, extravagant, flamboyant
*The teacher advised using simpler, less florid language when writing.
irritable and quarrelsome; hard to manage or control
related words: cranky, irritable, petulant, testy
*When the police arrived at the demonstration, the crowd became fractious.
careful with spending money, avoiding waste
related words: careful, prudent, restraint
*Alex was frugal with his money, but when it came to his family, he was very generous
the period of development of an embryo, idea or plan
related words: development, incubation, formation
*The baby was born prematurely at 28 weeks gestation.
a sly or cunning intelligence; the ability to skillfully deceive
related words: cunning, craft, wiliness, deviousness
*Her grandfather was a simple, honest man, totally lacking in guile.
the dominance of one country or social group over another
related words: authority, control, supremacy, sovereignty
*The president of the company has hegemony over her employees.
related words: arrogance, pride, haughtiness
*His hubris would be his downfall.
impulsive; acting or done quickly and without thought or care.
related words: impulsive, hot-headed, overhasty, heedless
*It is easy to be impetuous when you want something really badly.
to attack as false or wrong; to dispute the truth, validity, or honesty of something
related words: challenge, call into question, question
*The mayor leaked news of his opponent’s arrest to the media to impugn his character.
to gain favor with someone by using flattery or trying to please them
related words: manipulate, exploit
*I am not willing to ingratiate myself by telling a bunch of lies.
a revolt or rebellion; an uprising against an authoritative body
related words: revolt, rebellion, uprising, mutiny, revolution
*During their insurrection, several convicts held the prison doctor hostage.
exercising good judgment or common sense in practical matters
related words: wise, sensible, prudent
*The students needed judicious planning to complete their science projects on time.
associated with, relating to, or resulting from motion
related words: active, animated, energetic
*Every moving object contains kinetic energy.
to make fun of; criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm
related words: mock, parody, satirize
*His cartoons mercilessly lampoon politicians.
a weakness or lack of energy
related words: lethargy, listlessness, sluggishness
*After the long race, Jack experienced a feeling of lassitude.
humor or frivolity; treating of a serious matter with humor or lack of respect
related words: vivacity, gaiety, jocularity, hilarity, frivolity, mirth, joviality
*My English teacher always uses levity in her lessons to make the class less formal.
a plot or scheme to get one’s way
related words: intrigue, plot
*The burglars needed to devise a clever machination or else they would be caught.
to pretend to be ill to avoid duties and responsibilities
related words: pretend, feign, fake
*Children will sometimes malinger in order to stay home from school.
lying, untruthful, deceitful
related words: lying, untruthful, deceitful, false, dissembling, duplicitous, perjured
*A mendacious politician will say anything to get your vote.
a person who dislikes people
related words: hater
*My aunt is a misanthrope who will not even talk to the members of her own family.
to make less severe or harsh
related words: alleviate, diminish, lessen, weaken, lighten, ease, assuage, palliate, relieve
*The United Nations will try to mitigate a crisis between two countries.
someone who is new at something; a newcomer
related words: beginner, novice, newcomer; initiate, fledgling
*I am a neophyte when it comes to working with most software programs.
overly obedient or excessively submissive; too willing to please
related words: servile, ingratiating, sycophantic, fawning
*The salesman was obsequious and I did not feel comfortable buying a car from him.
apparent but not certain
related words: apparent, outward, superficial, professed, supposed, alleged, purported
*His ostensible function was as an interpreter but he was really a spy.
to mitigate or lessen; make less severe
related words: alleviate, ease, relieve, soothe, assuage, diminish, decrease, blunt, deaden
*This cream should palliate the itching caused by your contact with poison oak.
a person who is rejected; an outcast
related words: outcast, persona non grata, leper, undesirable, informal: black sheep
*Jason’s bad temper makes him a pariah with other students.
expressing contempt or disapproval
related words: disparaging, derogatory, denigrating, deprecatory, defamatory
*A pejorative remark usually brings about an angry response from the listener.
to diffuse or spread throughout
related words: pervade, spread through, fill, diffuse through, penetrate, pass through, suffuse
*Cigarette smoke permeated everywhere and made the entire house smell bad.
a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something
related words: diatribe, invective, rant, tirade, broadside, attack, harangue, condemnation
*The candidate wrote a polemic that mocked his rival’s lack of ethics.
to be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
related words: be evasive, beat around the bush, hedge, sidestep (the issue), equivocate, waffle
*When you prevaricate, you make a complicated situation worse than it already is.
to take something that does not belong to you; to steal something
related words: steal, thieve, rob, take, snatch, pilfer, loot, appropriate
*Natalie’s best friend tried to purloin her favorite necklace.
exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical
related words: idealistic, impractical, romantic, starry-eyed, unrealistic, unworldly
*Henry knew running for class president was a quixotic idea.
resistant; stubbornly resistant to authority or control
related words: uncooperative, intractable, insubordinate, defiant, rebellious, headstrong
*The soldiers became recalcitrant and refused to follow orders.
a quick witty or critical reply to a question or remark
related words: answer, reply, response, retort, riposte, counter; informal: comeback
*The rapper made a rude rejoinder to the music critics
to reject as untrue, unfounded, or unjust; to refuse to support
related words: deny, contradict, controvert, rebut, dispute, dismiss, brush aside
*The company repudiated any claims of negligence despite the facts.
the most important or prominent
related words: important, main, principal, major, chief, primary
*The price of the car was the most salient factor in her decision not to buy it.
related words: exalted, elevated, lofty, glorious, superb, wonderful, marvelous, splendid
*After the sublime meal, we gave the chef our compliments.
a musical rhythm (accenting a normally weak beat)
related words: accented rhythm
*Syncopation is a characteristic of jazz.
hardly touching a matter; peripheral; beside the point
related words: off the point, miss the mark, barely related
*My history teacher frequently rambles off onto a tangential topic.
a long, angry speech of criticism or accusation
related words: diatribe, harangue, rant, denunciation, broadside, criticism, tongue-lashing
*The police arrested Jack after he refused to end his tirade outside the courthouse.
to find fault with (someone); scold; criticize
related words: reprimand, rebuke, admonish, chastise, chide, scold, berate, take to task
*Jim will often upbraid his brother for spending too much time playing video games.
to blame or insult (someone) in strong or violent language
related words: scold, revile, upbraid, criticize
*To vituperate someone can be as bad as assaulting them physically.
filled with bitter criticism or malice
related words: acrimonious, rancorous, bitter, caustic, spiteful, savage
*The students exchanged vitriolic words before the fight broke out.
a cruel or violent action done without concern for the rights, feelings, or safety of others
related words: deliberate, willful, malicious, spiteful, wicked, cruel
*Jessie was accused of wanton cruelty toward his neighbor’s dog.
a fear of foreigners or strangers from other places
related words: racism, racialism, racial hatred, ethnocentrism, ethnocentricity
*My dog’s xenophobia causes him to bark at everyone he does not know.