Word List 9
Abridge ( a·bridge ) verb; to condense or shorten.
The audio book was available in a full-length version on 12 cassette tapes or an abridged version on six.
Most dictionaries are abridged ; they don't contain all the words, just the ones most commonly used.
Synonyms: condense, shorten, abbreviate, reduce
Antonyms: unabridged, lengthen, prolong
Admonish ( ad·mon·ish ) verb; to warn or scold.
We were admonished for watching too much television and told to go play outside instead.
The minister gave an admonition (noun) to his parishioners to change their sinful ways.
Synonyms: warn, discourage, caution, caution, reprove
Antonyms: encourage, promote
Bedlam (bed·lam) noun; a place having much noise, confusion, and chaos – insane asylum
The childcare center had accepted too many applicants and hadn't filled enough supervising positions; hence it was bedlam —children running everywhere unattended.
Bedlam is an old-fashioned term for an insane asylum or sanatorium.
Synonyms: chaos, pandemonium, sanatorium
Antonyms : order
Bombastic (bom·bastic) adjective; arrogant or pompous speech or writing
The journalists bombastic article made his opinion clear and suggested that few were as qualified as he to comment.
The television journalist was considered a bombast (noun); he ranted and harangued on political issues as if his opinion was the only one that mattered.
Synonyms: fustian, ranting, pompous, pretentious, declamatory, orotund, tumid, turgid
Antonyms : humble, humility
Caustic (caus·tic) adjective; capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away
Steve's caustic comments were hurtful and surprising; I had no idea he felt so much anger towards me.
The caustic chemicals in the chemistry lab had warnings to use properly.
Synonyms: corrosive, burning, acerbic, acid, acrid, bitter, blistering, sulfurous, virulent, vitriolic, erosive
Antonyms : pleasant, constructive
Convoluted (con·vo·lut·ed) adjective; having many overlapping or intertwined parts, complex
Many people find roadmaps convoluted and difficult to read.
The plot of the mystery was so convoluted , it was a challenge to make sense of what was going on.
Synonyms: deformed, twisted, turned, intricate, knotty, labyrinthine, tangled, tortuous
Antonyms : straight, simple
7) Diffident (dif·fi·dent) adjective; lacking or marked by a lack of self-confidence; shy and timid.
Superman's alias, Clark Kent , was known for his diffidence (noun).
Mark tried to get over his diffident nature through a public speaking class.
Synonyms: shy, timid, reserved, bashful, timorous, cautious
Antonyms : outgoing, garrulous, talkative, confident
Disparate (dis·pa·rate) adjective; containing or composed of dissimilar or opposing elements
The singer's CD received mixed reviews; it contained such disparate kinds of songs: jazz, folk, pop, punk, that listeners didn't know what to make of it.
The trans-Atlantic flight was composed of many disparate cultures and ethnicities.
Synonyms: different, heterogeneous
Antonyms : same, homogeneous
9) Emulate (em·u·late) verb; to strive to equal or excel, especially through imitation
Jess strove to emulate his mentor and boss, who not only taught him his job but also emphasized good relationships with customers.
It is said that emulation (noun) is the highest form of flattery.
Synonyms: imitate, copy, simulate
10) Febrile (feb·rile) adjective; characterized by a fever
The patient's febrile reaction was caused by an allergy to medicine.
Synonyms: fever, febricity, pyrexia, feverishness
11) Glower (glow·er) verb; to look or stare angrily or sullenly
The first week of introducing a new kitten to the other cats in our house was a challenge; although there was no fighting, they sat at opposite ends of the room and glowered at each other.
Synonyms: glare, glower
12) Hubris (hu·bris) noun; overbearing pride, presumption or arrogance
Many classics of western literature involve a hero whose hubris destroys his life.
Galen's hubris was legendary; he clearly thought very highly of his talents and often boasted that he could do anything.
Synonyms: pride, arrogance
Antonyms : humbleness, humility
13) Impetuous (im·pet·u·ous) adjective; a sudden and forceful energy or emotion; impulsive and passionate
“Oh you impetuous man!” the heroine exclaimed as the hero drew her close for an impulsive kiss.
Carrie's impetuous nature sometimes got her into trouble as she went with her whims without thinking of possible consequences.
The impetuous waves crashed forcefully into the New England shoreline.
Synonyms : impulsive, capricious
Antonym : planned
14) Inundate (in·un·date) verb; to cover with water; to overwhelm as if with a flood
After the hard rains, the plains were inundated with flood waters.
During tax season, accountants face an inundation of tax returns.
Synonyms: overflow, deluge, flood, overwhelm, submerge,
15) Malodorous (mal·o·dor·ous) adjective; unpleasant smelling; foul.
The malodorous smell of the abandoned house was overwhelming; the police had to cover their noses as they entered.
Rotten eggs have a malodorous smell that is not quickly forgotten.
Synonyms: fetid, foul, noisome, putrid, stinking, odoriferous, rancid, sour, alliaceous
Antonyms : fragrant, perfumed, scented, aromatic, redolent
16) Obdurate ( ob·du·rate) adjective; stubbornly inflexible, hardened against feeling
The boss was known for his obdurate nature; he would not accept work absences under any circumstances—including when an employee's child was sick or if s/he had a death in the family. Ebeneezer Scrooge is a classic example of obduration (noun).
Synonyms: stubborn, obstinate, inflexible, unbending, unyielding, impenitent, callous, unfeeling, intractable
Antonyms : flexible, easy-going, compassionate
17) Quandary ( quan·da·ry) noun; A state of uncertainty or perplexity
There is great complexity and perplexity in negotiating relationships with hostile dictators; many world leaders are frustrated by this quandary .
Galen was faced with a quandary : should he have peanut butter or turkey sub for lunch.
Synonyms: predicament, plight, dilemma
18) Pervasive (per·va·sive) adjective; having the quality or tendency to pervade or permeate
A pervading theory among scientists is that live follows and evolutionary course.
The somber attitude was pervasive at the funeral.
The smell of her perfume wafted through the room permeating (verb)all space.
Synonyms: permeate, permeating, permeative
19) Poignant (poign·ant) adjective; keenly distressing to the mind or feelings; Profoundly moving; touching; piercing, incisive.
The poignant ending of the sad movie brought tears to the eyes of viewers.
Andrea was greatly disturbed by the poignancy that her parents were getting divorced.
Synonyms: affecting, painful, touching, distressing
Antonyms : unmoving, painless
20) Repugnant (re·pug·nant) adjective; arousing disgust or aversion; offensive or repulsive: morally repugnant behavior
Although Vince was a jock and popular, Betty found his behavior on their date repugnant ; he had no manners, made crude jokes, and was a general jerk.
Synonyms: abhorrent, detestable, obscene, offensive, repulsive
Antonym : inoffensive
21) Sedentary (sed·en·tar·y) adjective; Characterized by much sitting or little exercise; staying in one place
Obesity is becoming a major national health problem because many Americans lead sedentary lives and consume too much fattening food.
The mother worried that her son was becoming too sedentary over the summer; she tried to think of ways to get him involved in activities and off the couch.
Antonyms : active, migratory
22) Staid (staid) adjective; characterized by sedate dignity and often a strait-laced sense of propriety; sober. Fixed; permanent
We expect our presidents to exhibit a staid quality within their personalities and leadership.
Few things are staid or fixed in life; most can or will be changed.
Synonyms: sober, fixed, permanent
Antonyms : mutable, changeable
23) Tawdry (taw·dry) adjective; Gaudy and cheap in nature or appearance Shameful or indecent
The young woman's tawdry clothing and behavior were shameful and embarrassing to her parents.
Synonyms: brassy, cheap, flashy, garish, gaudy, meretricious, tacky, trashy
Antonyms : refined, sophisticated, tasteful
24) Temperate (tem·per·ate) adjective; free from extremes, exercising moderation and self-restraint:
Coastal areas are known for their temperate climates; it never gets too hot or too cold.
Carol's temperateness allowed her to work with even the most difficult people; she never let their obdurate natures upset her.
Synonyms: mild, moderate, restrained, good-natured, amiable
Antonyms : hot-tempered, irascible, obdurate, choleric
25) Wily (wi·ly) adj. wi·li·er, wi·li·est wil i·ly adv. wil i·ness n Full of wiles; cunning.
Although Wily E. Coyote is known for his crafty tricks against Road Runner, despite his cunning name, Road Runner usually wins their feud.
Synonyms: crafty, cunning, dodgy, foxy, guileful, knavish, slick, sly, tricky,
Antonyms : artless, gullible, innocent, naive