Showing posts from July, 2012


Suborn  [  suh’-BAWRN  ]   [  transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   To persuade someone to commit perjury   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The politician tried to suborn witnesses to cover up for his son's murder charge.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Vikram Chandra doesn't show his policemen as to be so politicised as to suborn justice for political ends. 


Quip  [  kwip  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. a clever and witty saying 2. a sarcastic remark   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The comedian's quip about a particular actor's acting abilities made the audience roar with laughter.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Amidst the ongoing debate about OBC quotas, many would quip, "Girls must be given reservation".


Jaunty  [  JAWN-tee, JAHN-  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   having self confidence, carefree and buoyant   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The HR manager was impressed with the applicant's jaunty mannerisms.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   While some parts of the book are jaunty and upbeat, others are deliberate and thought-provoking. 


Preposterous  [  pri-POS-ter-uh’ s, -truh’ s  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   contrary to common sense, nature, or reason   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   In the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, most Indians find it preposterous that their government wishes to continue its dialogue with Pakistan.


Pert  [  purt  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. saucy, bold or impudent 2. vivacious, stylish or chic 3. lively or stimulating   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The sales girl gave the customer a pert look which intrigued him.


Pedagogue  [  PED-uh’-gog, -gawg  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   a strict or formal educator or teacher   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   He was a brilliant pedagogue and his classes were always packed to capacity.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   All claim of having teaching staff with high pedagogue skills. 


Jaded  [  JEY-did  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   wearied, bored, dulled or fatigued   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The educated urban youth in Mumbai is so jaded that they find even rave parties unexciting.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Variously described as jaded and lacking belief in their futures—"a burned generation," as Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi put it—they are increasingly leaving for Europe and elsewhere.


Ingrate  [  IN-greyt  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   a thankless, ungrateful person   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   His behaviour was likened to that of an ingrate.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   And should some commoner dare to disrespect him—fail to obey an order or bump into his sword—the samurai has the right (rarely invoked) to kill the ingrate on the spot.


Inclement  [  in-KLEM-uh’ nt  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. stormy, rough 2. unmerciful   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   During inclement weather, it is advisable not to venture out to sea.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   In the event of inclement conditions, all employees will make a good faith effort to report to work on time.


Gibberish  [  JIB-er-ish, GIB-  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. unintelligible language 2. talk or writing that contains a lot of pretentious or technical words   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The wounded soldier was barely conscious and was talking gibberish.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   His clothes were practically burned from his body. He was just talking gibberish.


Presage  [  n. PRES-ij; v. PRES-ij, pri-SEYJ  ]   [  noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. (n.) an omen, prediction or intuition 2. (tr. v.) to predict, warn or foretell 3. (intr. v.) to have a premonition or to foretell   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   Hearing the presage sent chills down everyone's spines.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Our members also have wider concerns that the new council will presage further cuts in funding for physical sciences and the early haemorrhage of key staff from the research councils concerned.


Armistice  [  AHR-muh'-stis  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   a mutual decision to stop fighting temporarily   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The armistice announced between the rebel group and government forces enabled civilians to relocate to safe areas.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The Koreas are still formally at war because their 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.


Churlish  [  CHUR-lish  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   mean and impolite   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   It would be churlish not to applaud the visiting team's resounding victory.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Leading academician Zamiruddin told the Hindustan Times that the decision was "churlish and thoughtless" unless the government replaced the rhymes with equally popular and easy-to-learn Indian ones.


Surfeit  [  SUR-fit  ]   [  verb  ]   MEANING :   1. (n.) over-indulgence 2. (v.) to supply or feed in excess   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   In every Indian wedding, one can expect a surfeit of rich, spicy food.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Having lived without democracy for 30 years, Afghans suddenly face a surfeit of it.


Eclat  [  ey-KLAH; Fr. ey-kla*  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. showy display; publicity 2. brilliant performance or success 3. acclaim; renown   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   Dan Brown's “The Da Vinci code” was received with great eclat by critics and booklovers.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   By McGonagall's own account, the poem was '... received with eclat and [he] was pronounced by the Press the Poet Laureate of the Tay Bridge...'.


Flagrant  [  FLEY-gruh' nt  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   evidently unpleasant; shockingly bad   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   Flagrant errors in the case of air traffic controllers can lead to disaster in the skies.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   After years of being outraged at the Bush administration's flagrant disregard for FISA, Congress now is poised to give the president even greater powers to spy on our phone calls and emails, added Connell.


Ululate  [  UHL-yuh'-leyt, YOOL-  ]   [  intransitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. to howl like a dog or a wolf; to hoot like an owl 2. to mourn or wail loudly and shrilly   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The puppy's death made the little boy ululate.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   In the movie Rudali, the actress ululated but did not experience any melancholy.


panacea  [  pan-uh’-SEE-uh’  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   a remedy for all ills or diseases   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   Roadside quacks in Mumbai seem to have a panacea for all ailments.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The disclosure from Kay-Tee Khaw, a professor of gerontology at Cambridge University, was a disturbing reminder that all drugs come with risks attached - even those that have acquired a reputation for being a panacea.


odoriferous  [  oh-duh’-RIF-er- uh’ s  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. diffusing, yielding or giving off an odour 2. morally offensive   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   Cooking this particular type of fish is difficult because of its odoriferous nature.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Small discs of cattle blood and odoriferous gel are covered with a membrane to mimic skin, and then mosquitoes are released into the olfactometer.


tipple  [  TIP-uh'l  ]   [  noun, transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. (n.) intoxicating liquor 2. (n.) a device that tilts a freight car to discharge its contents 3. (tr. v.) to drink liquor 4. (tr. v.) to sip at a cup of liquor   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   They stopped over at the pub for a tipple after the hard day's work.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   For two weeks in the run-up to her historic win, the Iron Lady stuck rigidly to an Atkins-style regime which included 28 eggs per week, steak, salad, and her favourite tipple, whisky.


isthmus  [  IS-muh's  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. a narrow strip of land which has water on both sides and connects two larger masses of land   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The Isthmus of Panama is a narrow tract of land that links North America with South America.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Periander, ruler of the city-state of Corinth, built a stone track across the isthmus, so ships could be dragged overland.


swarthy  [  SWAWR-th'ee, -thee  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   possessing a dark colour or complexion   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   His swarthy complexion made him stand out in the crowd.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   We get rice and beans from a charity called Care Myanmar, drinking water from the sky and fish from this creek, said Maung Oo, a swarthy 51-year-old, as he stared at monsoon floodwaters lapping against his makeshift bamboo and tarpaulin hut.


odium  [   OH-dee-uh'm   ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. (n.) detestation or extreme hatred 2. (n.) opprobrium or disgrace that has been brought upon oneself by a hateful action   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The extremist leader brought public odium upon himself by delivering a blasphemous speech.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The vast majority of these people want nothing more than the American dream of working hard, making money, spending money, educating their kids, and living in peace and protection from the odium of governments that are not free.

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