Showing posts from September, 2018


Rhapsody [ RAP-suh'-dee ][ noun ]MEANING :1. (n.) an instrumental piece of music irregular in form and suggestive of improvisation
2. (n.) a state of ecstasy
3. (n.) a literary creation in a lofty styleUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The pianist received a standing ovation from the audience for his rendition of a rhapsody.


Incendiary [ in-SEN-dee-er-ee][ noun, adjective ]MEANING :1. (adj.) related to the illegal act of setting fire to property
2. (adj.) capable of fiery combustion
3. (adj.) causing dissension, hatred or anger; inflammatory
4. (adj.) tending to arouse the senses
1. (n.) a person who deliberately sets fire to property
2. (n.) a bomb or grenade that explodes giving out intense heat

They were arrested after police discovered incendiary devices in their car.


Ensue [ en-SOO ][ intransitive verb ]MEANING :1. to follow as a consequence
2. to follow in order or successionUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The principal warned the students that if they did not obey the rules punishment would ensue.


Crotchet [ KROCH-it ][ noun ]MEANING :1. an eccentric, fancy or whimsical notion
2. a small hook-like process
3. a quarter note
4. a curved surgical instrument with a hookUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :She was often ridiculed because of her crotchets.


Derelict [ DER-uh-likt ][ noun, adjective ]MEANING :1. (adj.) deserted, run-down or abandoned esp. by the owner
2. (adj.) negligent or delinquent
3. (n.) a property that has been deserted or abandoned by its owner
4. (n.) a vagrant or homeless person
5. (n.) a nautical vessel esp. a ship that been abandoned in the open sea by the crewUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The derelict man spent the weekend at the homeless shelter.


Macabre [ muh’-KAH-bruh’, -KAHB, -KAH-ber ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. gruesome; ghastly; horrifying
2. of, or pertaining to death or its ghastly aspect
3. representing or suggesting death itself

Usage Example 1:

The macabre series of murders rocked the nation.


Asinine [ AS-uh'-nahyn ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. foolish, silly or stupid
2. pertaining to an assUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :His asinine statements embarrassed the audience.


Abomination [ uh'-bom-uh'-NEY-shuh'n ][ noun ]MEANING :1. abhorrence, detestation or disgust
2. the cause of abhorrence or wickednessUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :In my heart of hearts, I think unenforceable laws such as these are abominations that bring the entire legal system into disrepute.


Pragmatic [ prag-MAT-ik  ][ noun, adjective ]MEANING :1. (adj.) practical or matter-of-fact
2. (adj.) pertaining to facts and actual incidents
3. (n.) practical sanctionsUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The government has devised a pragmatic solution to the problem of the steep rise in food prices.


Filial [ FIL-ee-uh' l ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. pertaining to a child or offspring
2. pertaining to a series of generations succeeding the parental generationUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The sailor was overwhelmed with the display of filial affection.


Elicit [ i-LIS-it ][ transitive verb ]MEANING :to bring out, educe, evoke or arrive atUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :His work elicited enormous public interest.


Blithe [ blahyth', blahyth ][ noun ]MEANING :1. happy, merry or light-hearted
2. carefree, casual or lacking concernUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :She shows a blithe disregard for danger.


Karaoke [ kar-ee-OH-kee ][ noun, adjective ]MEANING :An act where a person sings along a music video with the lyrics of the song being displayed on a screenUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :She took up karaoke to overcome her stage fright.


Cognizant [ KOG-nuh'-zuh' nt, KON-uh'- ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. conscious, aware or mindfulUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Statesmen must be cognizant of the political boundaries within which they work.


Malefactor [ MAL-uh’-fak-ter ][ noun ]MEANING :1. a criminal, evildoer, felon, or one who harms anotherUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Due to insufficient evidence the malefactor was acquitted by the court.


Piecemeal [ PEES-meel ][ adjective, adverb ]MEANING :1. (adj.) done bit by bit or in stages
2. (adj.) accomplished gradually
3. (adv.) into pieces or fragments
4.(adv.) piece by piece or one piece at a timeUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The village is slowly being killed off by piecemeal development.


Bowdlerize [ BOHD-luh'-rahyz ][ transitive verb ]MEANING :1. to expurgate by removing passages or parts of passages considered objectionable
2. derived from Thomas Bowdler English editor of an expurgated version of Shakespeare's works; British spelling: bowdleriseUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The editor of the magazine had the article bowdlerized because of the lurid descriptions that it contained.


Junta [ HOO’ N-tuh’, JUHN , HUHN  ][ noun ]MEANING :1. a council, committee or assembly for governmental purposes
2. a group of military officers that rule a country after seizing control and power
3. a juntoUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :As government forces suffered defeat after defeat, the military junta needed a scapegoat.


Epicure [ EP-i-kyoo' r ][ noun ]MEANING :1. a connoisseur of food and wine
2. one who enjoys sensual pleasure and livingUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :They see themselves as epicures—delighting in food that is properly prepared.


Precept [ PREE-sept ][ noun ]MEANING :1. a commandment or order issued with the intention of prescribing conduct
2. a warrant or directiveUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Children learn far more by example than by precept.


Escapade [ ES-kuh'-peyd, es-kuh'-PEYD ][ noun ]MEANING :1. a wild prank or rash adventure
2. an escape from captivity, confinement, control or restraintUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :His escapades were well known across the office.


Dinghy [ DING-gee ][ noun ]MEANING :1. any small boat for use as a tender or lifeboat
2. an inflatable life raft
3. a small rowing or sailing boatUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :They rowed the dinghy to the centre of the lake to do their fishing.


Bivouac [ biv-oo-ak, biv-wak ][ noun, intransitive verb ]MEANING :1. (n.) a temporary military encampment having practically no shelter
2. (n.) the place that is used to set up such camps
3. (intr.v.) to encamp or take shelter in a bivouac
4. (tr.v.) to provide with shelter temporarilyUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The troops decided to vacate the bivouacs after facing heavy enemy fire.


Kempt [ kempt ][ adjective ]MEANING :well-groomed or tidyUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :She was looking as thoroughly kempt as ever.


Modicum [ MOD-i-kuh’ m ][ adjective ]MEANING :a moderate or small amountUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :All it would take is a bit of gumption and a modicum of courage.


Brackish [ BRAK-ish ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. salty, saline or briny
2. nauseating, repulsive or distastefulUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Preferring calm conditions, seahorses are often found near brackish water where salt and fresh water mix.


Xiphoid [ ZIF-oid ][ noun, adjective ]MEANING :1. (adj.) sword shaped
2. (n.) the xiphisternumUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The boy picked up a xiphoid piece of wood to practice for his role of the Indian emperor.


Placid [ PLAS-id ][ adjective ]MEANING :1. peaceful, tranquil or serene
2. complacentUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :His placid nature seemed to calm the frenzied crowd.


Doddering [ dod-er-ing ][ adjective ]MEANING :tremble or totter, typically because of old age.USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Am I mistaken in thinking you still want to stand around talking like a doddering fool?


Frivolity [ fri-VOL-i-tee ][ noun ]MEANING :1. triviality, silliness or lightness
2. frippery, bagatelle or something has little or no importanceUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Some reporters who covered this story described it in tones of frivolity and amusement.

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