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Showing posts from October, 2012

Innocuous

Innocuous [ i-NOK-yoo-uh’ s ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. not harmful or injurious
2. inoffensive, insipid, uninspiring or not stimulatingUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :It was surprising that the diplomat's innocuous remarks caused such consternation.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :By using an innocuous virus derived from HIV, scientists at the California Institute of Technology have developed a new way of giving animals genes from other organisms to produce specific traits.

Obdurate

Obdurate [ OB-doo-rit, -dyoo’- ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding.
2. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitentUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :His obdurate innings saved the match for his team.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :A difficult aspect of Louis Boudin's legacy is illustrated by his obdurate attempt to join the first convention of the International Workers of the World, known as the "Wobblies", on June 27, 1905, in Chicago.

Restive

Restive [ RES-tiv ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. unruly, uneasy or impatient
2. balky or refusing to budgeUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The restive class gave the teacher a headache.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :However, journalists will still not be allowed to travel to the restive region of Tibet and other restricted areas without getting special permission from local authorities, Liu said.

Slaked

Slaked [ sleyk ][ transitive verb ]MEANING :1. (tr.v.) to quench or satiate a desire or craving
2. (tr.v.) to rejuvenate or invigorate
3. (tr.v.) to disintegrate lime by hydrating it
4. (tr.v.) to curb or diminish
5. (intr.v.) to cause lime to undergo slaking by hydration
6. (intr.v.) to abate or curbUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :He slaked his thirst by drinking an entire bottle of cold water.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :This unstable material is then "slaked" in a water bath (a violent chemical reaction during which the rock turns to lime putty).

Raze

Raze [ reyz ][ transitive verb ]MEANING :1. destroy, demolish or tear down
2. (archaic) to erase, scrape off or shave offUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The illegal constructions were razed to the ground.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :New York's original Pennsylvania Station, a similarly grand, classically-inspired structure, was razed in 1964.

Prodigal

Prodigal [ PROD-i-guh’ l ][ noun, adjective ]MEANING :1. (n.) extravagance, a wasteful luxuriant or spendthrift
2. (adj.) extravagant, wasteful or lavishUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The prodigal heir to the Duchy of Brentword was famous for his debts.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Now the folks from whom we borrowed to buy all that oil and all those cars, electronics and clothes are coming to buy the country we inherited. We are prodigal sons, and the day of reckoning approaches.

Limpid

Limpid [ LIM-pid ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. transparent, crystal clear
2. lucid and simple
3. calm, serene or free of stressUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The limpid pool offered a clear view of the moss-covered bed.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Her mad scene is notable for limpid phrasing and crystalline high notes but most of all for long stretches of otherworldly calm, punctuated by an outburst of deranged laughter and one gut-wrenching scream.

Sapient

Sapient [ SEY-pee-uh’ nt ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. sagacious, wise or shrewd
2. pertaining to or of humans viz. homo sapiensUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :His sapient inputs made the presentation a success.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :As Andrei Piontkovsky, a sapient Russian commentator, points out, an alliance between Russia and China would be like one between a rabbit and a boa constrictor, with Russia as the lapine element.

Nonpareil

Nonpareil [ non-puh’-REL ][ noun, adjective ]MEANING :1. (adj.) not having any equal
2. (n.) someone or something that has no equalUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Harold Robbins is widely regarded as a nonpareil among best selling novelists.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :That's what you get when two colossal clubs unfurl the talents of Trezeguet, Del Piero, Rui Costa, Shevchenko, Filippo Inzaghi and Paolo Maldini, that dark-eyed nonpareil of a defender.

Malodorous

Malodorous [ mal-OH-der-uh’ s ][ adjective ]MEANING :having a foul, offensive or bad smellUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The malodorous garbage vat nearby made us cross the road.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Eddie Ortega, the director of Del Rio's Community Health Service Center, said there's an unusually high number of the malodorous creatures running around these days.

Retort

Retort [ ri-TAWRT ][ intransitive verb, transitive verb ]MEANING :1. (tr.v.) to answer back or retaliate
2. (intr. v.) to pay back or reply in a caustic manner
(n.) a reply, retort or an instance of retortingUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :He retorted in a sarcastic tone.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :This was a verbal retort on a visceral scale.

Precipice

Precipice [ PRES-uh’-pis ][ noun ]MEANING :1. a very steep, vertical cliff
2. a perilous or dangerous predicament or situationUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Successfully climbing the precipice was every rock climbers dream.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :AIG said the company was "disappointed" that competitors were trying to take advantage of the situation, stressing that the mortgage losses that left AIG's parent company on a financial precipice had not undercut policyholders' surplus.

Prattle

Prattle [ PRAT-l ][ noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]MEANING :1. (intr. v.) to talk or chatter in silly, childish manner
2. (tr. v.) to chatter, speak childishly or babble
3. (n.) silly talk or a chattering soundUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :She prattled till they asked her to stop talking.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :We prattle about the beautiful scenery, the warm hospitality shown by everyone we meet and the progress the Kurds are making in rebuilding their nation.

Quiescent

Quiescent [ kwee-ES-uh’ nt, kwahy- ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. inactive, motionless or quiet
2. not showing symptoms or causing any troubleUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :He was a quiescent child who loved to daydream.
USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :But the 662-mile-wide (1,066-kilometer-wide) moon hasn't always been quiescent. Billions of years ago tectonic forces produced an enormous rift similar to the East African Rift Valley on Earth, Nimmo said.