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Ad hominem

Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason:


Debaters should avoid ad hominem arguments that question their
opponents' motives.
1. directed against a person rather than against his arguments
2. based on or appealing to emotion rather than reason

Apogee

noun) The farthest or highest point; the apex. Synonyms:summit,


height, peak, climax, pinnacle, zenith, acme Usage:It took many years
for the industry to reach its apogee, but only a few more for it to
become defunct.

apropos

(adjective) Being at once opportune and to the point.


Synonyms:relevant, timely Usage:His book about safe investment,
published right before the stock market crash, was more apropos than
he expected.

argot

(noun) A specialized vocabulary or set of idioms used by a particular


group. Synonyms:jargon, lingo, patois, vernacular, slang, cant
Usage:He was a natural linguist, and he kept notebooks, making a
scientific study of the workers' slang or argot, until he could talk quite
intelligibly.

Banal

(adjective) Drearily commonplace and often predictable; trite.


Synonyms:stock, threadbare, hackneyed, old-hat, well-worn, tired
Usage:By his twelfth book, his plots had become downright banal.

blandishment

(noun) Flattery intended to persuade.


Synonyms:cajolery, palaver
Usage:Not even his favorite daughter's blandishment could persuade
him to submit to her whims.

bode

(verb) To be an omen of. Synonyms:augur, portend, foreshadow,


presage, foretell Usage:Her hesitation at his proposal boded trouble in
their future.

chicanery

(noun) Deception by trickery or sophistry.guileThe trial revealed a


world of crime, corruption and political chicanery.

churl

(noun) A rude, boorish person. Synonyms:boor, barbarian, peasant


Usage:He is a drunken, brawling, perilous churl, as you may find to
your cost.

circumspect

Heedful of circumstances and potential consequences; prudent.


Watchful, discreet, wary, cautious.

denizen

(noun) An inhabitant; a resident.


Synonyms:dweller
Usage:I wandered through the empty streets, looking for a single
denizen of this hamlet, but found not one.

encomium

(noun) A formal expression of praise; a tribute.


Synonyms:eulogy, paean, panegyric
Usage:We stand humbled by his heroics, and cannot help feeling that

this encomium is inadequate to extol his virtue.


ecumenical

(adjective) Of worldwide scope or applicability.


Synonyms:universal
Usage:The movement against violence is intended to be an ecumenical
one, applicable to all nations.

Exculpate

(verb) To clear of guilt or blame.


Synonyms:acquit, assoil, exonerate, discharge, clear
Usage:He was exculpated from the charge when the real criminal
confessed.

foible

A minor weakness or failing of character. Synonyms:fault, defect,


imperfection Usage:His father's foibles did not prevent his son from
loving and honoring him.

gibe

(noun) A derisive or provoking remark. Synonyms:barb, dig, shot


Usage:The referee heard the gibes from the crowd, but, ever the
professional, ignored them.

Gossamer

(adjective) Seer, light, delicate, or tenuous.etherealTasting cotton candy


for the first time, the child was thrilled by the gossamer treat.

imbroglio

(noun) A difficult or intricate situation; an entanglement.


Synonyms:embroilment
Usage:And then there's a general imbroglio, everyone standing up and
the kid hollering and the dog barking.

impel

(verb) To urge or force (a person) to an action; constrain or motivate.


Synonyms:compel, drive, push, inspire, instigate, goad Usage:I don't
consider myself an activist, but I was impelled by recent events to take
a stand on this issue.

imprimatur (m
pr
-m
tr, -m

1. Official approval or license to print or publish, especially under


conditions of censorship.
2.
a. Official approval; sanction.
b. A mark of official approval: a directive bearing the imprimatur of
high officials.

t
r)
n.
insouciant

(adjective) Marked by blithe unconcern. Synonyms:casual, nonchalant


Usage:He showed an insouciant disregard for cold weather, wearing
only a T-shirt in the show.

instigate

(verb) Provoke or stir up.


Synonyms:incite
Usage:The violence was instigated by ex-members of the secret police.

inured

(adjective) Made tough by habitual exposure. Synonyms:hardened


Usage:Doctors become inured to death.

inviolate

(adjective) Free from violation, injury, desecration, or outrage.


Synonyms:intact, whole, untouched, undisturbed, unsullied, unpolluted,
unstained, undefiled
Usage:The old America had only one foreign policy, and that was to

hold inviolate the Monroe doctrine.


iota

noun) A very small amount; a bit. Synonyms:scintilla, shred, smidgeon,


whit Usage:There was not an iota of truth to that tale.

jejune

(adjective) Not interesting; dull. Synonyms:insipid Usage:The jejune


novel was full of trite phrases and dull banter that went on for pages at
a time, but I nevertheless read it from cover to cover.

jibe

(verb) To be in accord; agree. Synonyms:correspond, match Usage:I


expected to find some discrepancies in the books, but your figures jibe
with mine.

ken

(noun) Range of what one can know or understand.


Synonyms:cognizance Usage:This level of mathematics is beyond my
ken.

lacuna

1. An empty space or a missing part; a gap: "self-centered in opinion,


with curious lacunae of astounding ignorance" (Frank Norris).
2. Anatomy A cavity, space, or depression, especially in a bone,
containing cartilage or bone cells.

Laggard

(noun) Someone who takes more time than necessary; someone who
lags behind.
Synonyms:dawdler, trailer, poke
Usage:He was such a laggard that his friends were already paying the
bill by the time he reached the caf.

Languid

(adjective) Lacking energy or vitality; weak.


Synonyms:lackadaisical, languorous
Usage:He gave a languid wave of the hand to signify his indifference.

lascivious

(adjective) Given to or expressing lust; lecherous.


Synonyms:libidinous, lustful, lewd
Usage:Frustrated by his constant lascivious comments, she decided to
report him to the supervisor.

maudlin

(adjective) Effusively or tearfully sentimental.


Synonyms:bathetic, mawkish, schmaltzy, mushy
Usage:When the farewells were in danger of becoming maudlin, he
judged that it was time to leave.

Maven

A person who has special knowledge or experience; an expert.

mellifluous

(adjective) Pleasing to the ear.


Synonyms:mellisonant, dulcet, sweet
Usage:Her mellifluous voice could make him agree to anything.

mire

noun) An area of wet, soggy, muddy ground; a bog. Synonyms:morass,


quag, quagmire Usage:At last he came to a part of the road where the
wheels sank half-way into the mire, and the more the horses pulled, the
deeper sank the wheels.

Pallid

(adjective) Having an abnormally pale or wan complexion.pasty,


colorless, ashenIn the gray of the morning the two students, pallid and
haggard from anxiety, met at the medical college.

penurious

(adjective) Unwilling to spend money; stingy.


Synonyms:parsimonious
Usage:When solicited for a donation, the penurious man began to
extend a nickel, but, thinking twice, withdrew it.

Per se

Of, in, or by itself or oneself; intrinsically.

prevaricate

: (verb) To stray from or evade the truth; equivocate.


Synonyms:beat around the bush, palter, tergiversate
Usage:At the press conference, the politician continued to prevaricate
on the issue rather than provide a direct answer.

Onerous

adjective
1. (of a task, duty, or responsibility) involving an amount of effort
and difficulty that is oppressively burdensome.
"he found his duties increasingly onerous"
synonyms:burdensome, arduous, strenuous, difficult, hard,
severe, heavy, back-breaking, oppressive, weighty, uphill,
challenging, formidable, laborious, Herculean, exhausting,
tiring, taxing, demanding, punishing, grueling, exacting,
wearing, wearisome, fatiguing;
archaictoilsome
"the job had become onerous"
antonyms:effortless, easy
Law
involving heavy obligations.
"an onerous lease"

orphic

(adjective) Having an import not apparent to the senses nor obvious to


the intelligence; beyond ordinary understanding. Synonyms:occult,
mysterious, mystical, secret Usage:The orphic symbols on the tome
could only be deciphered by the blind wizard.

ostracise

Definition: (verb) Expel from a community or group.


Synonyms:banish, blackball, cast out, shun, ban
Usage:I have been ostracized by my teammates ever since I
accidentally scored the winning goal for our opponents in the
championship game.

pusillanimous

Definition: (adjective) Lacking courage; cowardly.


Synonyms:spineless, craven
Usage:Why, you pusillanimous piece of dirt, you'd run with your tail
between your legs if I said boo!

quaff

(verb) To swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one draught.


Synonyms:gulp, swig Usage:Recently returned to port, the sailors
quaffed their ale with gusto.

quiescence

noun) A state of quiet (but possibly temporary) inaction.


Synonyms:dormancy Usage:The volcano erupted after centuries of
quiescence.

Rebarbative

Tending to irritate; repellent: "He became rebarbative, prickly, spiteful".

recalcitrant

(adjective) Marked by stubborn resistance to and defiance of authority


or guidance. Synonyms:refractory Usage:Neither could he mobilize his
army to go forth to war, nor could he punish his recalcitrant subjects.

recrudescent

- the revival of an unfortunate situation after a period of abatement;


"the patient presented with a case of recrudescent gastralgia"

redolence

(noun) A pleasingly sweet olfactory property.


Synonyms:bouquet, fragrance
Usage:The moonlight and the redolence of flowers made the garden a
romantic spot.

sere

(adjective) Dried up or withered. S


ynonyms:shriveled
Usage:The desert was edged with sere vegetation.

specious

1. Having the ring of truth or plausibility but actually fallacious: a


specious argument.
2. Deceptively attractive.

Splenetic

(adjective) Affected or marked by ill humor or irritability.


Synonyms:bristly, prickly, waspish
Usage:The splenetic tone of the complaint letter made James dread
meeting its author in person.

Supine

(adjective) Inactive, passive, or inert, especially from indolence or


indifference.
Synonyms:lethargic, passive, apathetic, listless
Usage:No other colony showed such supine, selfish helplessness in
allowing her own border citizens to be mercilessly harried.

Sycophant

(noun) A servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering


influential people. Synonyms:crawler, toady, lackey Usage:The
sycophant erupted into laughter before the mayor had even finished the
joke.

tawdry

(adjective) Tastelessly showy.


Synonyms:flashy, garish, gaudy, gimcrack, loud, meretricious, tacky,
tatty, trashy, brassy, cheap
Usage:It was a tawdry affair, all Cupids and cornucopias, like a thirdrate wedding-cake.

termagent

(noun) A quarrelsome, scolding woman.


Synonyms:shrew
Usage:His aunt was such a termagant that he dreaded her annual visit.

turpitude

(noun) A corrupt or depraved or degenerate act or practice.

Synonyms:depravity
Usage:Seeing the various turpitudes of modern society shook her faith
in humanity.
vacuous

(adjective) Devoid of intelligence. Synonyms:asinine, fatuous, inane,


mindless Usage:The interviewer could tell by the candidate's vacuous
comments that he was not qualified for the position.

vitriolic

(adjective) Bitterly scathing; caustic.


Synonyms:acid, blistering, venomous, acrid, acerbic, bitter, virulent
Usage:The critic showed no mercy in writing the most vitriolic review
of her career.

wizened

(adjective) Lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness.


Synonyms:shrunken, withered, shriveled
Usage:The wizened face of the man of law was twisted into a wrinkled
smile.

zealot

Definition: (noun) An immoderate, fanatical, or extremely zealous


adherent to a cause, especially a religious one.
Synonyms:drumbeater, partisan
Usage:Jane, who had dabbled in vegetarianism during high school,
became an environmental zealot while in college.

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