Showing posts from January, 2013


Pittance  [  PIT-ns  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. a scanty or meagre allowance or remuneration 2. a small monetary sum   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The fact that government employees in this country receive a pittance as salaries is probably the likely cause for corruption in the bureaucracy.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The long-suffering shareholders of Northern Rock will likely receive a pittance in compensation in the wake of Chancellor Alistair Darling's announcement yesterday that the beleaguered mortgage lender is to be taken into temporary public ownership.


Hubris  [  HYOO-bris, HOO-  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   arrogance, insolence or excessive pride or self-confidence   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   His hubris was the cause of his downfall.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   There is a kind of hubris in this withdrawal, as though being depressed were a way of saying, "this imperfect, difficult world is not good enough for me.


Umbrage  [  UHM-brij  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. offence, displeasure or resentment 2. foliage of trees that cast shadows and provide shade 3. a hint or indication of doubt or hostility   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The umbrage should not go unpunished.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Everybody gets annoyed at some point and hearing other people's tales of umbrage can be pretty entertaining.


Impute  [  im-PYOOT  ]   [  transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. to ascribe, assign, attribute or credit 2. to blame, charge with, accuse   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   He was imputed to complete the task.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The difficulty is that it's very hard to impute any precise financial figure for benefits to a city. 


Reminiscence  [  rem-uh’-NIS-uh’ ns  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. recollection of certain ideas that may have been known in a prior existence 2. a remembrance, recollection or memory of something experienced in the past 3. one that reminds of or is suggestive of another   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   His reminiscence of past happenings spooked his family.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   It might seem quite natural for the elderly to often slip happily into reminiscence but living in the past could indicate dissatisfactionwith the present, says psychologists. 


Reproach  [  ri-PROHCH  ]   [  transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. (tr. v.) to blame, rebuke or reprove 2. (tr. v.) to disgrace or discredit 3. (n.) an instance or cause of shame 4. (n.) blame or disapproval   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   She was reproached for leaving the cage door open.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   I do remember, however, that in the meeting on the 13th he stressed that the treatment of the Muslim civilians in Srebrenica will be such as to put the Serbian side beyond any reproach even by the non-benevolent media. Wishing all our patrons a Happy Republic Day!


Versatile  [  VUR-suh-tahyl or, especially Amr., -tl  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. capable of changing, adapting or multi-tasking 2. reversible or capable of turning backwards and forwards 3. serving a number of varied functions and uses   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   Her versatile songs were very well known.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Water is nature's most versatile tool.


Deranged  [  di-REYNJD  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. insane, mad or mentally disturbed 2. disordered, disarranged or unbalanced   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The deranged lady was admitted to the mental asylum so that she would not harm herself or others.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   He hides when he sees the deranged Maxtible heading in the opposite direction.


Paradox  [  PAR-uh’-doks  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. one that is self-contradictory or absurd, yet true 2. one that exhibits contradictory qualities 3. an assertion that contradicts itself or may seem to do so although it has been deduced or based on logic   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   Her writings were a paradox which swayed between two extremes like a pendulum.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   It is a tragic paradox that people who have exceptional educational skills should be without avenues for upward social and economic mobility.


Superficial  [  soo-per-FISH-uh’ l  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. being close to or pertaining to the surface 2. shallow, apparent or not profound 3. trivial or not substantial   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The superficial layer is made of fine sheets made of pressed wood.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The book, published this week, urges people to reject the superficial temptations offered by contemporary culture.


polemic  [  puh’-LEM-ik, poh-  ]   [  noun, adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. (n.) a debate, controversy or argument 2. (n.) one who is controversial or polemic 3. (adj.) controversial, debatable or argumentative 4. (adj.) pertaining to or of a dispute or controversy   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The polemic was noisy, involving a lot of jargon.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.


Pathos  [  PEY-thos, -thohs, -thaws  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. an emotion or sentiment of sorrow or sympathy 2. a quality that evokes sadness or pity   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The air was rife with pathos as mourners started to arrive for the funeral.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   What is less surprising is to learn that a particularly deadly form of kamikaze aircraft, a piloted rocket that could reach speeds of 880kph, was given the name "Ohka" falling cherry blossom, a name whose poetic pathos and imagery of youthful sacrifice was lost on the US sailors at whom it was aimed.


Tryst  [  trist, trahyst  ]   [  noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. (n.) an appointment or meeting or a place for such a meeting 2. (tr.v.) to fix up a meeting 3. (intr.v.) to agree for an appointment or meeting   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The garden became famous as it was their chosen place for a tryst.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The Finns retreat to their havens every midsummer, for their tryst with nature.


Retroactive  [  re-troh-AK-tiv  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   influencing, having an effect or applicable to something that happened over a period prior to its enactment   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The riots were blamed on the retroactive speech.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   They are taking help of both Indian and Canadian law firms to file suits against Canada's ministry of citizenship and immigration for "announcing retroactive rules affecting their chances.


Psyche  [  sahyk  ]   [  noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. (tr. v.) to put into the right psychological frame of mind 2. (tr. v.) to intimidate or undermine the confidence of by using psychological means 3. (tr. v.) to anticipate a person's intentions 4. (intr. v.) to become mentally deranged 5. (n.) the mental or psychological make up of a person   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   He lost the game because his opponent psyched him into missing his shot.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Comprising the army, air force and navy, the Israeli Defence Force, to give it its official name, has a fundamental place in the national psyche. 


Waif  [  weyf  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. a street child or one with no home or friends 2. unclaimed property or a lost pet animal   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The old woman took pity on the hungry waif and bought him a burger.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   I dined in some of the world’s finest restaurants, something a waif, was not destined to do. 


Taint  [  teynt  ]   [  noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. (tr.v.) to corrupt, contaminate or spoil 2. (tr.v.) to effect as though causing a disease 3. (intr.v.) to contaminate or affect with decay 4. (n.) a moral spot or stain 5. (n.) a touch or influence that infects   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The money was considered to be tainted because of money laundering accusation.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The whole thing was badly tainted when he was injured playing for England at the last World Cup, said Macdonald. 


Warmonger  [  WAWR-muhng-ger, -mong-  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   one who advocates war   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   She was branded a warmonger due to her habit of inciting her friends against each other.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The U.S. and South Korean warmongers would be well advised to stop acting rashly, properly understanding who their rival is.


Genealogy  [  jee-nee-OL-uh'- jee, -AL-, jen-ee-  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. an account or record of one's derivation, descent, lineage or ancestry 2. a study of lineage or descent 3. one's lineage or ancestry   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   His genealogy was taken into consideration before he was made Viscount Trelgate by His Majesty, the King.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   There's a maplike memory board from the Congo that charts genealogy.


Impudent  [  im-pyuh'-duh'nt  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. impertinent 2. brazenly disrespectful   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   His impudent answers angered his teacher.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The world campaign against Germany in respect of the Jewish affair is an impudent speculation on our fear or on our world-famous sentimental soft-heartedness.


Kismet  [  KIZ-mit, -met, KIS-  ] [  noun  ] MEANING : fate, luck or destiny USAGE EXAMPLE 1 : Despite being well educated, he remained unemployed for a long time proving that getting a good job was not in his kismet. USAGE EXAMPLE 2 : The enchanting sound of the kora (African harp) played by Jali Fily Cissokho and the Eastern European tunes of Kismet could be heard in the Pitt Rivers, further enhancing the experience of exploring the ground floor collections by torchlight.


Scintillate  [  SIN-tl-eyt  ]   [  transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. (tr.v.) to sparkle, shimmer or flash 2. (tr.v.) to twinkle or gleam like the stars (tr.v) to be animated, witty or brilliant (intr.v.) to gleam, shimmer or sparkle   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   Her dress scintillated in the evening lights.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   It is a delightful mix of young dancers who scintillate with their synchronised steps," Neha Jha, who saw the performance in Mumbai, said.


Sacrosanct  [  SAK-roh-sangkt  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. hallowed, holy or sacred 2. one that is uninfringeable or inviolable   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   All the sacrosanct objects were kept in a safe and rarely displayed to the public.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   In the run-up to the March presidential elections, Putin refused repeated calls to seek a constitutional amendment allowing him to run for a third consecutive term, saying the constitution was sacrosanct.


Construe  [  v. kuh'n-STROO or, especially Brit., KON-stroo; n. KON-stroo  ]   [  noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. (tr. v.) to explain the meaning or intention of 2. (tr. v.) to interpret or deduce by inference 3. (tr. v.) to analyze the syntax of or to arrange syntactically words or phrases 4. (intr. v.) to be subject to grammatical analysis 5. (n.) an interpretation or translation 3.(n.) the act of explaining   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   People construed that he was antisocial by the glowering look on his face.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   A minute ago, you alluded to the fact that the new version of "The Truth" could conceivably be construed as a breakup ballad between two men.


Myriad  [  MIR-ee-uh’ d  ]   [  noun, adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. (n.) an enormous or incalculable number 2. (n.) (archaic) ten thousand 3. (adj.) incalculable, indefinite or innumerable 4. (adj.) multifaceted   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The myriad number of stars in the sky continued to twinkle brightly.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Computer users have a tendency to hoard, reluctant to cull the myriad files on their machines.


Tumult  [  TOO-muh'lt, TYOO-  ]   [  noun  ]   MEANING :   1. commotion or noise created by a mob 2. a violent uprising, riot or revolt 3. a turbulent or violent mental outburst   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   The police were called to control the tumult caused by the protestors.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   The gods approve the depth, and not the tumult, of the soul. 


Toady  [  TOH-dee  ]   [  noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb  ]   MEANING :   1. (n.) a sycophant or one who flatters other people in order to gain favours 2.(tr.v.) to act or behave like a sycophant or toady 3. (intr.v.) to flatter someone in the hope of gaining favours   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   He was considered to be the toady of the mafia boss.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   In the pavilion, Prince Philip is staring out at the scenes of celebration while a toady whispers into his ear.


Chivalrous  [  SHIV-uh'l-ruh's  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. possessing qualities like gallantry, honour, courage and courtesy 2. characterized by being considerate and courteous to women 3. being gracious and honourable to a defeated foe   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   His friends advised him to be chivalrous and play the gentleman when out on a date.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   Generally, it's safe to say that deep down, most women do appreciate chivalrous gentlemen.


Eclectic  [  i-KLEK-tik  ]   [  adjective  ]   MEANING :   1. selecting from a variety of sources or styles 2. made up of a selection from different sources 3. adopting individual elements from a variety of sources   USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :   Being a fashion designer, he adopted an eclectic dress code that was popular with the youth.   USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :   In typical Malkovich style, his clothes balance between classic and eclectic. Wishing our patrons a memorable year ahead!

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