Simplistic (adjective)

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simplistic (adjective)

  • Variants: simplistically (adverb)
  • Definition: oversimplified; avoiding or ignoring complexities
  • Synonym: unsophisticated, naive
  • Antonym: sophisticated, complicated
  • His simplistic plan for economic improvement failed to account for foreign investment and the GNP.

incredulous (adjective)

  • Variants: incredulously (adverb); incredulousness (noun)
  • Definition: unwilling or unable to believe; showing disbelief
  • Synonym: skeptical
  • Antonym: credulous, gullible
  • The politician’s lavish promises provoked incredulous responses rather than the admiration he sought.

ascetic (adjective)

  • Variants: ascetically (adverb)
  • Definition: Reflecting self-denial (as in religious discipline); choosing minimal comforts
  • Synonyms: austere, Spartan
  • Antonym: self-indulgent, hedonistic
  • Her modest room reflected the ascetic values she advocated.

vicarious (adjective)

  • vicariously (adverb), vicariousness (noun)
  • Definition: Experienced through someone else rather than first hand; endured as substitute for someone else; delegated
  • synonym: second-hand [experience]
  • antonym: actual [experience]
  • Because she loved her son, she found vicarious pleasure in his tremendous successes.

allocation (noun)

  • Variants: allocate (verb), allocatable (adjective); allocator (noun)
  • Definition: the act of setting aside for a special purpose; designation
  • Synonym: allotment, apportionment
  • Antonym: abandonment
  • Sentence: The mayor insisted the park district include an allocation of land in order to build a playground.
  • The mayor insisted the parked district allocate land for a playground.

admonish (transitive verb)

  • Variants: admonishment (noun)
  • Definition: To caution, criticize, or counsel gently against
  • Synonym: chastise, reproach, rebuke
  • Antonym: approve, commend, praise
  • The anti-tobacco lobbyist admonished the President for his inability to quit smoking.

presumptuous (adjective)

  • presumptuously (adv.), presumptuousness (noun)
  • overconfident, excessively forward, taking too much for granted
  • Syn: arrogant
  • Ant: humble, modest
  • Darcy’s presumptuous manner understandably offends Elizabeth Bennet.

subversive (adjective,noun)

  • variants: subvert (verb), subversively (adverb)
  • Definition: tending or seeking to subvert, overthrow or destroy (an established government, institution, belief, etc)
  • Synonym: rebellious, disloyal
  • Antonym: loyal, faithful
  • Sentence: The Canadian government—indeed, the majority of Canadian citizens—believed the Nisei to be subversive operatives.

vacuous (adjective)

  • Variants: vacuously (adverb)
  • Definition: without contents, empty
  • Synonym: bare, blank, devoid
  • Antonym: full, abundant
  • Sentence: When the class looked at her with vacuous stares, the teacher knew the lesson had failed.

avocation (noun)

  • Variants: avocational (adjective)
  • Definition: something a person does in addition to a principal occupation, especially for pleasure
  • Synonym: pastime, hobby
  • Antonym: job, occupation
  • Sentence: Oddly enough, the math teacher’s avocation was the study of Old Norse epics.

impetus (noun)

  • Variants:
  • Definition: a moving force; impulse, stimulus
  • Synonym: encouragement, incentive, motivation
  • Antonym: hindrance, block
  • Sentence: Dr. Martin Luther King’s speeches were the impetus behind the civil rights movement.

reticent (adjective)

  • Variants: reticently (adverb), reticence (noun)
  • Definition: inclined to keep one’s thoughts and feelings to oneself, secretive, quiet
  • Synonym: reluctant, restrained, reserved
  • Antonym: communicative, forward, unrestrained
  • Sentence: The reticent student hid in the back row, unwilling to participate in the class discussion.

physiognomy (noun)

  • Variants: physiognomic (adj), physiognomically (adv)
  • Definition: The features of somebody’s face especially used as indicators of character or temperament.
  • Synonym: aspect, look, visage
  • Antonym: none
  • Sentence: In Great Expectations, Pip is frightened by the convict, for his physiognomy is menacing.

insipid (adjective)

  • Variants: insipidness (noun), insipidly (adverb)
  • Definition: without distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities
  • Synonym: bland, dull
  • Antonym: exhilarating
  • Sentence: Cauliflower’s insipid taste requires cheese or spices to make it palatable.

tedium (noun)

  • Variants: tedious (adjective), tediously (adverb)
  • Definition: quality or condition of being wearisome or boring
  • Synonym: dullness, monotony
  • Antonym: entertainment, excitement, diversion
  • Sentence: In order to take the tedium out of exercise, aerobic instructors rely on loud, exciting music.

cajole (verb)

  • Variants: cajolery(noun), cajolingly(adverb)
  • Definition: to persuade by flattery or promises
  • Synonym: wheedle, coax, flatter
  • Antonym: bully, force, repel
  • Sentence: The boy cajoled her into giving him some of her cookies.

blasé (adjective)

  • Variants: none
  • Definition: not impressed or worried by something, usually because of previous experience
  • Synonym: unconcerned, nonchalant
  • Antonym: uptight, worried
  • Sentence: Paris Hilton’s blasé attitude towards spending money is typical of the very wealthy: they do not have to worry about paying bills.

indolent (adjective)

  • Variants: indolence (n), indolently (adv)
  • Definition: Lethargic and not showing any interest. Also describes a disease that is slow to develop and causes no pain.
  • Synonym: sluggish, apathetic, lazy
  • Antonym: industrious, productive
  • Sentence: It is difficult to move from summer’s indolence to the necessary productivity of the school year.

choleric (adjective)

  • Variants: choler (noun)*, cholerically (adverb)
  • *NOT cholera—that’s a disease!
  • Definition: showing or tending to show anger or irritation
  • Synonym: bad-tempered, irascible
  • Antonym: phlegmatic, impassive
  • Sentence: Ivan Ilyich’s choleric manner intimidates his family.

phlegmatic (adjective)

  • Variants: phlegmatically (adverb)
  • Definition: unemotional, difficult to excite to action or display of emotion
  • synonym: indifferent, undemonstrative
  • antonym: energetic, lively
  • Sentence: Obasan’s phlegmatic approach to life irritates the crusading Emily.

impasse (noun )

  • Variants: none
  • Definition: predicament from which there is no escape; impassible road or way
  • Synonym: stalemate, deadlock
  • Antonym: progress
  • Sentence: After days of deliberation, the jury reached an impasse, necessitating a new trial.

adulation (noun)

  • Variants: adulate (verb)
  • Definition: excessive flattery or adoration
  • Synonym: obsequiousness, sycophancy
  • Antonym: insult, offense
  • Sentence: Robert Pattinson is the object of young girls’ adulation.

censure (noun, verb)

  • Variants: censure (transitive verb)
  • Definition: judgment involving condemnation
  • Synonym: rebuke, reproach
  • Antonym: honor, acclamation
  • Sentence: Following the lawyer’s emotional outburst, the judge had no choice but to censure him.

dissimulation (noun)

  • Variants: dissimulate (verb), dissimulative (adjective), dissimulator (noun)
  • Definition: act of deceiving/concealing true feelings and intentions
  • synonym: deception, deceit, disguise, dissembling
  • antonym: frankness, honesty, truthfulness
  • Sentence: As he becomes more desperately ill, Ivan Ilyich finds dissimulation more difficult, and his family is frightened by the anger he reveals.

droll (adjective)

  • variants: droller, drollest (more adjectives), drolly (adverb)
  • definition: humorous, amusing in an odd way
  • synonym: amusing, clownish, comical
  • antonym: serious
  • sentence: The professor entertained the class with his droll impersonations of literary characters.

expectorate (verb)

  • variants: expectoration (noun), expectorant (noun)
  • definition: to expel matter, esp. phlegm
  • synonym: flush out, eject
  • antonym: inject, inhale, consume
  • sentence: The doctor instructed the patient to expectorate regularly to speed healing.

surfeit (noun)

  • variants: surfeiter (I have never seen this!)
  • definition: too great an amount or supply; excess; overindulgence, esp. in food or drink
  • synonym: satiate, excess, surplus
  • antonym: deficit, insufficiency
  • sentence: In the child’s opinion, his plate held a surfeit of vegetables.

corroborate (trans. verb)

  • variants: corroboration, corroborative, corroborant
  • definition: to make more certain the validity of, confirm, support
  • synonym: confirm, support, substantiate
  • antonym: contradict
  • Sentence: To corroborate the rumor about Malfoy, the trio made a Polyjuice potion.

morose (adjective)

  • variants: moroseness, morosely
  • definition: ill-tempered, gloomy, sullen
  • synonym: glum, gloomy, depressed
  • antonym: happy, cheerful
  • sentence: The students were morose when the teacher returned their tests.

auspicious (adjective)

  • variants: auspiciously (adv), auspiciousness (n)
  • definition: favored by fortune
  • synonym: fortunate, prosperous
  • antonym: ominous, unfortunate
  • Sentence: The couple was married on 09/09/09, as they believed the date to be an auspicious one.

vigilance (noun)

  • variants: vigilant (adjective) vigilantly (adverb)
  • definition: keenly watchful to detect danger; wary
  • synonym: observant, attentive
  • antonym: negligent, careless
  • Sentence: The watchmen needed to remain vigilant to protect their camp from any surprise attacks.

recourse (noun)

  • variants: none
  • definition: that which one turns to for help in desperation
  • synonym: refuge, resort
  • antonym:
  • sentence: Is Sonia’s only recourse prostitution, and is Raskolnikov’s only recourse confession?

equivocal (adjective)

  • variants: equivocalness (n), equivocally (adv), equivocation (n)
  • definition: allowing the possibility of multiple meanings, susceptible to double interpretations
  • synonym: ambiguous, dubious, questionable, suspicious
  • antonym: unquestionable, definite, clear
  • sentence: Svidrigailov’s conversation is equivocal; Raskolnikov cannot figure out his true intentions.

dubious (adjective)

  • variants: dubiously (adverb), dubiousness (noun)
  • definition: full of doubt or uncertainty
  • synonym: doubtful, questionable, unsure
  • antonym: certain, definite, sure, trustworthy
  • sentence: He enjoyed the dubious distinction of having the lowest GPA of the graduating class.

corporeal (adjective)

  • variants: corporeality (noun); corporeally (adverb)
  • definition: the physical body; material or physical rather than spiritual
  • synonym: bodily, physical
  • antonym: mental, spiritual
  • sentence: The doctor examined the corporeal remains for clues to its identity.

chasten (verb)

  • variants: chastener (n)
  • definition: to punish in order to correct or make better; chastise; subdue; refine as to make purer
  • synonym: punish, discipline, correct
  • antonym: commend, praise
  • Sentence: The sadistic headmaster chastened errant students with a leather strap.

resolute (adjective)

  • variants: resolutely (adverb), resoluteness (noun)
  • definition: having or showing a fixed, firm purpose; determined; unwavering
  • synonym: faithful, unyielding
  • antonym: uncertain, unsure
  • sentence: The Second Apparition advises Macbeth to be “bloody, bold and resolute” for only a man not of woman born can harm him.

languid (adjective)

  • variants: languidness (n), languidly (adv)
  • definition: without vigor or vitality; without spirit or interest
  • synonym: weak; listless; indifferent; sluggish
  • antonym: energetic, lively
  • sentence: His languid movements annoyed the movie director, who envisioned a violent, wild scene.

dissolute (adjective)

  • variants: dissolutely(adverb), dissoluteness (noun)
  • definition: dissipated and immoral; debauched
  • synonym: debauched, depraved, degenerate
  • antonym: decent, upright, moral
  • sentence: Svidrigailov’s reputation for dissolute behavior disgusts Dunya.

extol (verb)

  • variants: extoller (n); extolment (n)
  • definition: to praise highly; laud
  • synonym: praise, laud, acclaim
  • antonym: disparage, denigrate
  • sentence: Many journalists extol the virtues of our President.

amorous (adjective)

  • variants: amorousness (n), amorously (adv)
  • definition: full of love, showing love or sexual desire
  • synonym: passionate, ardent
  • antonym: detached, unloving
  • sentence: The amorous behavior displayed in high school hallways is often disturbing.

scrupulous (adjective)

  • variants: [from scruple] scrupulously (adv), scrupulousness (n);
  • definition: extremely careful to do the precisely right, proper or correct thing in every last detail; obsessively hesitant in deciding what is morally right
  • synonym: careful, conscientious, meticulous
  • antonym: careless, rash
  • sentence: The scrupulous student double-checked all his essay’s quotations to avoid plagiarism.

ponderous (adjective)

  • variants: ponderously (adverb), ponderousness (noun)
  • definition: very heavy; unwieldy because of weight
  • synonym: heavy, weighty, dull and labored
  • antonym: light
  • sentence: Marley’s Ghost tells Ebenezer Scrooge that the chain Scrooge bears is a ponderous one.

brevity (noun)

  • related: brief (adjective), briefly (adverb)
  • definition: the quality of being brief or concise
  • synonym: conciseness, terseness
  • antonym: length
  • sentence: “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

deportment (noun)

  • variants: deport (verb)
  • definition: the manner of conducting or bearing oneself
  • synonym: manner, bearing, posture, behavior
  • antonym: none
  • sentence: Because she was a mature 12 year old, the girl’s deportment did not accurately reflect her age.

prodigal (adjective)

  • variants: prodigally (adverb), prodigality (noun)
  • definition: exceedingly, recklessly wasteful
  • synonym: wasteful, extravagant
  • antonym: cautious, thrifty
  • sentence: The prodigal shopper saved no money for the gas she desperately needed for her return home.

intercession (noun)

  • related: intercede (verb), intercessional (adjective)
  • definition: the act of interceding, pleading or prayer on behalf of another
  • synonym: intervention, mediation
  • antonym: none
  • sentence: The marriage counselor’s intercession was necessary for the fighting couple.

solicitous (adjective)

  • variants: solicitously (adverb), solicitude (noun)
  • definition: showing care, attention or concern
  • synonym: attentive, considerate
  • antonym: uncaring, unconcerned
  • sentence: Although it was second semester senior year, she maintained a solicitous attitude towards her grades.

primeval (adjective)

  • variants:
  • definition: of the earliest times or ages
  • synonym: primordial, primal, primitive
  • antonym: modern
  • sentence: Sally walked in the primeval forest, where ancient groves awed her.

deprecate (transitive verb)

  • related: deprecatingly (adverb), deprecation (noun)
  • definition: to feel and express disapproval of
  • synonym: denounce, denigrate
  • antonym: approve, praise
  • sentence: The staunch Republican deprecated the policies of the Democratic Congress.

capitulate (verb)

  • variants: capitulation (noun)
  • definition: to surrender, especially on conditions agreed upon
  • synonym: acquiesce, submit, yield
  • antonym: stand firm, remain resolute
  • sentence: The class proposed watching a movie, and the exhausted teacher willingly capitulated.

sardonic (adjective)

  • variants: sardonically (adverb)
  • definition: bitterly ironic, derisively mocking
  • synonym: scornful, satirical, caustic
  • antonym: respectful
  • sentence: Despite his thirst for knowledge, the tough teenager maintained a sardonic attitude towards school when he was with his friends.

furtive (adjective)

  • related: furtively (adverb), furtiveness (noun)
  • definition: done by stealth
  • synonym: secretive, sly, surreptitious
  • antonym: open, direct
  • sentence: Modestly lowering her eyes, the girl continued to shoot furtive glances towards the handsome new student.

ethereal (adjective)

  • variants: ethereally (adverb); etherealize (verb)
  • definition: light, delicate; heavenly
  • synonym: unearthly, airy
  • antonym: earthly, substantial
  • sentence: The singer’s ethereal voice made me think of heaven.

confound (verb)

  • variants: confounded (adjective)
  • definition: to mix up or lump together indiscriminately; to make feel confused; to damn: used as a mild oath
  • synonym: puzzle, confuse
  • antonym: clarify
  • sentence: The rapid-fire delivery of the lecture confounded all the students.

wry (adjective)

  • related: wryly (adverb), wryness (noun)
  • definition: made by twisting or distorting the features (a wry face); dry, ironic (as in humor)
  • synonym: ironic, cynical
  • antonym: straight-forward
  • sentence: Her wry expression signaled her amusement with the awkward situation.
  • sentence: Taking his words at face value, the audience misunderstood his wry remarks.

veracity (noun)

  • variants: veraciously (adverb); veracious (adjective)
  • definition: habitual truthfulness; honesty
  • synonym: truth
  • antonym: dishonesty, false
  • sentence: The man’s known veracity made him a reliable witness.

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