obdurate: /'ɒbdjʊrɪt/;/'ɑbdərɪt/ a. Syn. stubborn; inflexible hardened in wrongdoing or wickedness; not giving in to persuasion He was obdurate in his refusal to listen to our complaints. Show more sentences
obfuscate: /'ɒbfʌskeɪt/ v. Syn. confuse; muddle confuse; muddle; cause confusion; make needlessly complex Was the president's spokesman trying to clarify the Whitewater mystery, or was he trying to obfuscate the issue so the voters would never figure out what went on?.
oblique: /ə'bli:k/ a. Syn. inclined having slanting or sloping direction, course, or position; inclined Casting a quick, oblique glance at the reviewing stand, the sergeant ordered the company to march. Show more sentences
obsequious: /əb'si:kwɪəs/ a. slavishly attentive; attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery Helen liked to be served by people who behaved as if they respected themselves; nothing irritated her more than an excessively obsequious waiter or a fawning salesclerk. Show more sentences
obstreperous: /əb'strɛpərəs/ a. noisily aggressive; making great noise or outcry What do you do when an obstreperous horde of drunken policemen goes carousing through your hotel, crashing into potted plants and singing vulgar songs?. Show more sentences
obtuse: /əb'tju:s/;/əb'tu:s/ a. Syn. stupid lacking in insight or discernment; stupid What can you do with somebody who's so obtuse that he can't even tell that you're insulting him?. Show more sentences
odious: /'oʊdɪəs/ a. Syn. hateful; vile hateful; arousing strong dislike, aversion, or intense displeasure Cinderella's ugly stepsisters had the odious habit of popping their zits in public. Show more sentences
officious: /ə'fɪʃəs/ a. marked by excessive eagerness in offering unwanted services or advice to others Judy wanted to look over the new computer models on her own, but the officious salesman kept on butting in with "helpful" advice until she was ready to walk out of the store. Show more sentences
ostensible: /ɒ'stɛnsɪb(ə)l/ a. Syn. apparent put forth or held out as real, actual, or intended; proper or intended to be shown Although the ostensible purpose of this expedition is to discover new lands, we are really interested in finding new markets for our products. Show more sentences
palliate: /'pælɪeɪt/ v. lessen violence of disease; moderate intensity; gloss over with excuses Not content merely to palliate the patient's sores and cankers, the researcher sought a means of wiping out the disease. Show more sentences
pallid: /'pælɪd/ a. Syn. pale; wan abnormally pale; lacking intensity of color or luminousness Because his job required that he work at night and sleep during the day, he had an exceptionally pallid complexion. Show more sentences
panacea: /pænə'sɪə/ n. remedy for all diseases, evils, or difficulties; a cure-all The rich youth cynically declared that the panacea for all speeding tickets was a big enough bribe. Show more sentences
paragon: /'pærəgən/;/'pærəgɒn/ n. Syn. model model of excellence or perfection; peerless example Mr. Brumby's paragon is shocked at the other's inaptitude for examination.
pariah: /'pærɪə/ n. Syn. untouchable social outcast; person who is rejected from society or home Shortly Tom came upon the juvenile pariah of the village, Huckleberry Finn, son of the town drunkard. Show more sentences
parsimony: /'pɑrsɪmənɪ/;/-moʊnɪ/ n. extreme care in spending money; reluctance to spend money unnecessarily Because her father wouldn't let her buy a new iPhone, Annie accused him of parsimony. Show more sentences
pathos: /'peɪθɒs/ n. Syn. pity tender sorrow; pity; quality in art or literature that produces these feelings The quiet tone of pathos that ran through the novel never degenerated into the maudlin or the overly sentimental. Show more sentences
paucity: /'pɔ:sɪtɪ/ n. Syn. scarcity scarcity; smallness of number; fewness They closed the restaurant because the paucity of customers made it uneconomical to operate. Show more sentences
pejorative: /pɪ'dʒɒrətɪv/ a. tending to make or become worse; disparaging or belittling Instead of criticizing Clinton's policies, the Republicans made pejorative remarks about his character.
pellucid: /pɪ'lju:sɪd/ a. Syn. transparent; limpid transparent; limpid; easy to understand After reading these stodgy philosophers, I find Bertrand Russell's pellucid style very enjoyable. Show more sentences
perfidious: /pə'fɪdɪəs/ a. Syn. treacherous; disloyal tending to betray; disloyal; faithless When Caesar realized that Brutus had betrayed him, he reproached his perfidious friend. Show more sentences
perfunctory: /pə'fʌŋktərɪ/ a. Syn. superficial done routinely and with little interest or care; acting with indifference; showing little interest or care I introduced myself, and at my name his perfunctory manner changed; I knew he heard me before. Show more sentences
pernicious: /pə'nɪʃəs/ a. Syn. deadly very destructive; tending to cause death or serious injury; deadly Crack cocaine has had a pernicious effect on urban society: it has destroyed families, turned children into drug dealers, and increased the spread of violent crimes. Show more sentences
pertinacious: /pɜrtɪ'neɪʃəs/;/-tn'eɪʃəs/ a. Syn. stubborn; persistent stubbornly or perversely persistent; unyielding; obstinate He is bound to succeed because his pertinacious nature will not permit him to quit. Show more sentences
pithy: /'pɪθɪ/ a. Syn. concise precisely meaningful; forceful and brief While other girls might have gone on and on about how un-cool Elton was, Liz summed it up in one pithy remark: "He's bogus!" Show more sentences
platitude: /'plætɪtju:d/;/-tu:d/ n. dullness; insipidity of thought; commonplace statement; lack of originality In giving advice to his son, old Polonius expressed himself only in same platitude; every word out of his mouth was a commonplace.
plethora: /'plɛθərə/ n. Syn. excess; overabundance excess; over-fullness in any respect; superabundance She offered a plethora of excuses for her shortcomings.
portent: /'pɔ:tɛnt/ n. Syn. sign; omen; forewarning omen; forewarning; something that portends an event about to occur, especially unfortunate or evil event He regarded the black cloud as a portent of evil. Show more sentences
precocious: /prɪ'koʊʃəs/ a. advanced in development; appearing or developing early Listening to the grown-up way the child discussed serious topics, we couldn't help remarking how precocious she was. Show more sentences
primeval: /praɪ'mi:v(ə)l/ a. Syn. ancient; primitive ancient; primitive; belonging to the first or earliest age; original or ancient The archaeologist claimed that the skeleton was primeval origin, though in fact it was the remains of a modern day monkey. Show more sentences
proclivity: /prə'klɪvɪtɪ/ n. Syn. inclination inclination; natural tendency; readiness; facility of learning Watching the two-year-old boy voluntarily put away his toys, I was amazed by his proclivity for neatness.
promulgate: /'prɒməlgeɪt/ v. Syn. announce proclaim doctrine or law; make known by official publication During an interview with ABC News, Barack Obama said Republican attempted to promulgate, falsely, his Muslim connections. Show more sentences
propensity: /prə'pɛnsɪtɪ/ n. Syn. tendency; predilection natural inclination; tendency or preference; predilection Convinced of his own talent, Sol has an unfortunate propensity to belittle the talents of others. Show more sentences
propitious: /prə'pɪʃəs/ a. Syn. favorable; fortunate; advantageous presenting favorable circumstances; fortunate; advantageous Chloe consulted her horoscope to see whether Tuesday would be a propitious day to dump her boyfriend. Show more sentences
prosaic: /proʊ'zeiɪk/ a. Syn. factual dull and unimaginative; matter-of-fact; factual Though the ad writers came up with an original way to publicize the product, the head office rejected it for a more prosaic, ordinary slogan. Show more sentences
proscribe: /proʊ'skraɪb/;/proʊ-/ v. Syn. banish; outlaw command against; banish; outlaw Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus united to proscribe all those who had conspired against Julius Caesar. Show more sentences
protean: /'proʊtɪɛn, 'proʊti:n/ a. Syn. versatile versatile; able to take on many shapes; readily taking on varied shapes A remarkably protean actor, Alec Guinness could take on any role.
prurient: /'prʊərɪənt/ a. having or causing lustful thoughts and desires; having eager desire for something Aroused by his prurient impulses, the dirty old man leered at the sweet young thing and offered to give her a sample of his "prowess.".
puerile: /'pjʊəraɪl/;/-rəl/ a. Syn. childish childish; belonging to childhood; immature His puerile pranks sometimes offended his more mature friends. Show more sentences
pulchritude: /'pʌlkrɪtju:d/ n. Syn. beauty; comeliness great physical beauty and appeal; attractive moral excellence; moral beauty I do not envy the judges who have to select this year's Miss America from this collection of female pulchritude.
punctilious: /pʌŋk'tɪlɪəs/ a. marked by precise accordance with details Percy is punctilious about observing the rules of etiquette whenever Miss Manners invites him to stay. Show more sentences
quagmire: /'kwɒgmaɪə(r)/ n. soft wet boggy land; complex or dangerous situation from which it is difficult to free oneself Up to her knees in mud, Myra wondered how on earth she was going to extricate herself from this quagmire. Show more sentences
querulous: /'kwɛrʊləs/ a. Syn. fretful; whining habitually complaining; expressing complaint or grievance Even the most agreeable toddlers can begin to act querulous if they miss their nap. Show more sentences
quixotic: /kwɪk'sɒtɪk/ a. idealistic without regard to practicality Constantly coming up with quixotic, unworkable schemes to save the world, Simon has his heart in the right place, but his head somewhere in the clouds. Show more sentences
rancor: /'ræŋkə(r)/ n. Syn. enmity; hatred bitter, long-lasting resentment; deep-seated ill will; hatred Thirty years after the war, she could not let go of the past but was still consumed with rancor against the foe. Show more sentences
rebuke: /rɪ'bju:k/ v. Syn. admonish; scold scold harshly; criticize severely No matter how sharply I rebuke Huck for his misconduct, he never talks back but just stand there like a stump. Show more sentences
recalcitrant: /rɪ'kælsɪtrənt/ a. obstinately stubborn; determined to resist authority Which animal do you think is more recalcitrant, a pig or a mule?. Show more sentences
rectitude: /'rɛktɪtju:d/;/-tu:d/ n. Syn. uprightness uprightness; moral virtue; correctness of judgment The Eagle Scout was a model of rectitude.
replete: /rɪ'pli:t/ a. filled to brim or to point of being stuffed; abundantly supplied The movie star's memoir was replete with juicy details about the love life of half of Hollywood. Show more sentences
reprobate: /'rɛproʊbeɪt/ n. person hardened in sin; person without moral scruples I cannot understand why he has so many admirers if he is the reprobate you say he is. Show more sentences
reprove: /rɪ'pru:v/ v. Syn. censure; rebuke voice or convey disapproval of; rebuke; find fault with The principal would severely reprove the students whenever they talked in the halls. Show more sentences
repudiate: /rɪ'pju:dɪeɪt/ v. Syn. disown disown; refuse to acknowledge; reject validity or authority of On separating from Tony, Tina announced that she would repudiate all debts incurred by her soon-to-be ex-husband. Show more sentences
rescind: /rɪ'sɪnd/ v. Syn. cancel; annul; repeal cancel; make void; repeal or annul To change or rescind is justified only when re-estimate of all of the available facts.
restive: /'rɛstɪv/ a. impatient under restraint or opposition; resisting control; difficult to control Waiting impatiently in line to see Santa Claus, even the best-behaved children grow restive and start to fidget. Show more sentences
ribald: /'rɪbəld/ a. Syn. wanton; tasteless coarse or indecent; humorously vulgar or offensive He sang a ribald song that offended many of the more prudish listeners. Show more sentences
rife: /raɪf/ a. Syn. current excessively abundant or numerous; in widespread existence, practice, or use In the face of the many rumors of scandal, which are rife at the moment, it is best to remain silent. Show more sentences
ruse: /ru:z/ n. Syn. trick; stratagem trick; use of artifice or trickery; deceptive maneuver, especially to avoid capture Police believe the ruse is attractive to criminal gangs because the profits are similar to those made by trafficking drugs, but with less punitive penalties. Show more sentences
sacrosanct: /'sækroʊsæŋkt/ a. Syn. inviolable regarded as sacred and inviolable The brash insurance salesman invaded the sacrosanct privacy of the office of the president of the company.
sagacity: /sə'gæsətɪ/ n. quality of being sagacious; quickness or acuteness of sense perceptions; keenness of discernment; shrewdness She was half sorry her sagacity had miscarried, and half glad that Tom had stumbled into obedient conduct for once. Show more sentences
salient: /'seɪlɪənt/ a. Syn. prominent prominent or protruding; projecting outwardly; moving by leaps or springs One of the salient features of that newspaper is its excellent editorial page. Show more sentences
sanctimonious: /sæŋktɪ'moʊnɪəs/ a. Syn. hypocritical excessively or hypocritically pious; possessing sanctity; sacred; holy; saintly; religious What we need to do is not fool ourselves and remain sanctimonious about the issue of doping in baseball. Show more sentences
sanguine: /'sæŋgwɪn/ a. Syn. cheerful; hopeful; ruddy cheerfully confident; optimistic; of healthy reddish color; ruddy Let us not be too sanguine about the outcome; something could go wrong. Show more sentences
scurrilous: /'skʌrɪləs/ n. Syn. obscene; indecent obscene; indecent; expressing offensive reproach Your scurrilous remarks are especially offensive because they are untrue.
serendipity: /sɛrən'dɪpɪtɪ/ n. gift for finding valuable or desirable things by accident; accidental good fortune or luck Many scientific discoveries are a matter of serendipity.
servile: /'sɜrvaɪl/;/'sɛrvl/ a. Syn. slavish; cringing slavish; suitable to slave or servant; relating to servitude or forced labor Constantly fawning on his employer, humble Uriah Heap was a servile creature. Show more sentences
solicitous: /sə'lɪsɪtəs/ a. Syn. worried; concerned worried or concerned; full of desire; expressing care or concern The employer was very solicitous about the health of her employees as replacements were difficult to get. Show more sentences
somnolent: /'sɒmnələnt/ a. half asleep; inclined to drowsiness; tending to induce sleep The heavy meal and the overheated room made us all somnolent and indifferent to the speaker. Show more sentences
spurious: /'spjʊərɪəs/ a. Syn. false; counterfeit; forged; illogical false; counterfeit; forged; illogical Natasha's claim to be the lost heir of the Romanoffs was spurious: the only thing Russian about her was the vodka she drank!. Show more sentences
staid: /steɪd/ a. Syn. serious; sedate sober; serious, organized, and professional; characterized by dignity and propriety Her conduct during the funeral ceremony was staid and solemn. Show more sentences
stolid: /'stɒlɪd/ a. Syn. dull; impassive dull; impassive; having or revealing little emotion or sensibility The earthquake shattered Stuart's usual stolid demeanor; trembling, he crouched on the no longer stable ground. Show more sentences
stupefy: /'stju:pɪfaɪ/;/'stu:-/ v. make senseless or dizzy; be mystery or bewildering to Disapproving of drugs in general, Laura refused to take sleeping pills or any other medicine that might stupefy her. Show more sentences
surfeit: /'sɜrfɪt/ v. eat until excessively full; be more than full; feed someone to excess Every Thanksgiving we surfeit with an overabundance of holiday treats. Show more sentences
surmise: /sə'maɪz/ v. Syn. guess guess; infer something without sufficiently conclusive evidence I surmise that he will be late for this meeting because of the traffic issue. Show more sentences
surreptitious: /sʌrəp'tɪʃəs/ a. Syn. secret; furtive; sneaky; hidden secret; done or made by stealth, or without proper authority; made or introduced fraudulently Hoping to discover where his mom had hidden the Christmas presents, Timmy took a surreptitious peek into the master bedroom closet. Show more sentences
sycophant: /'sɪkəfænt/ n. Syn. bootlicker; flatterer one who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people; bootlicker; yes man Fed up with the toadies and flunkies who made up his entourage, the star cried, "Get out, all of you! I'm sick of sycophant!"
tacit: /'tæsɪt/ a. indicated or understood without expressed directly; not speaking; silent We have a tacit agreement based on only a handshake. Show more sentences
taciturn: /'tæsɪtə:n/ a. Syn. silent silent or reserved in speech; saying little; not inclined to speak or converse The stereotypical cowboy is a taciturn soul, answering lengthy questions with a "Yep" or "Nope.". Show more sentences
tantamount: /'tæntəmaʊnt/ a. equivalent in effect or value Though Rudy claimed his wife was off visiting friends, his shriek of horror when she walked into the room was tantamount to a confession that he believed she was dead. Show more sentences
temerity: /tɪ'mɛrɪtɪ/ n. Syn. boldness; rashness boldness; rashness; foolhardy disregard of danger Do you have the temerity to argue with me?. Show more sentences
tenuous: /'tɛnjʊəs/ a. Syn. thin; rare; slim long and thin; slender; having little substance The allegiance of our allies is held by rather tenuous ties; we all should see it's in dangerous. Show more sentences
timorous: /'tɪmərəs/ a. Syn. fearful fearful; demonstrating fear; weakly hesitant His timorous manner betrayed the fear he felt at the moment. Show more sentences
torpid: /'tɔ:pɪd/ a. having lost motion, or the power of exertion and feeling; numb; benumbed The two ships becalmed on a torpid sea, I believed to be marine phantoms. Show more sentences
tractable: /'træktəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. docile easily managed or controlled; governable; easily handled or worked; docile Although Susan seemed a tractable young woman, she had a stubborn streak of independence. Show more sentences
transient: /'trænsɪənt, 'trɑr-/;/trænʃnt/ a. Syn. momentary; temporary; transitory momentary; temporary; staying for short time Lexy's joy at finding the perfect Christmas gift for Phil was transient, she still had to find presents for the cousins and Uncle Bob. Show more sentences
transmute: /træns'mju:t, trɑr-/ v. Syn. convert; transform change from one form, nature, substance, or state into another; transform He was unable to transmute his dreams into actualities. Show more sentences
trenchant: /'trɛntʃənt/ a. Syn. incisive; keen forceful, effective, and vigorous; sharp or keen I am afraid of his trenchant wit for it is so often sarcastic. Show more sentences
truculent: /'trukjələnt, 'trʌkjʊlənt/ a. Syn. belligerent disposed to fight; belligerent; aggressively hostile The bully was initially truculent but eventually stopped picking fights at the least provocation. Show more sentences
turgid: /'tɜrdʒɪd/ a. Syn. swollen; distended swollen; distended; excessively ornate or complex in style or language The turgid river threatened to overflow the levees and flood the countryside. Show more sentences
turpitude: /'tɜrpɪtju:d/;/-tu:d/ n. Syn. depravity depravity; corrupt, depraved, or degenerate act A visitor may be denied admittance to this country if she has been guilty of moral turpitude. Show more sentences
ubiquitous: /ju:'bɪkwɪtəs/ a. Syn. omnipresent being or existing everywhere; omnipresent That Christmas "The Little Drummer Boy" seemed ubiquitous; we heard the tune everywhere. Show more sentences
unctuous: /'ʌŋktjʊəs/ a. Syn. oily; bland oily; composed of oil or fat; characterized by affected, exaggerated, or insincere earnestness Uriah Heep disguised his nefarious actions by unctuous protestations of his "humility.". Show more sentences
upbraid: /ʌp'breɪd/ v. Syn. reprimand; criticize; scold severely criticize; reprimand; reprove sharply Not only did Miss Minchin upbraid Ermengarde for her disobedience, but she hung her up by her braids from a coat rack in the classroom. Show more sentences
usurp: /'jʊzəp/ v. Syn. appropriate seize and hold power or rights of another by force or without legal authority The revolution ended when the victorious rebel general succeeded in his attempt to usurp the throne. Show more sentences
vacillate: /'væsɪleɪt/ v. Syn. waver; fluctuate sway unsteadily from one side to the other; oscillate The big boss likes his people to be decisive: when he asks you for your opinion, whatever you do, don't vacillate. Show more sentences
vacuous: /'vækjʊəs/ a. Syn. empty; inane empty; showing lack of thought or intelligence; vacant The vacuous remarks of the politician annoyed the audience, who had hoped to hear more than empty platitudes. Show more sentences
vapid: /'væpɪd/ a. Syn. dull dull and unimaginative; lacking taste or flavor "Boring!" said Jessica, as she suffered through yet another vapid lecture about Dead White Male Poets.
variegated: /'vɛərɪgeɪtɪd/ a. streaked, spotted, or marked with a variety of color; very colorful Without her glasses, Gretchen saw the fields of tulips as a variegated blur. Show more sentences
venerate: /'vɛnəreɪt/ v. treat with great respect and deference; consider hallowed or be in awe of In Tibet today, the common people still venerate their traditional spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Show more sentences
veracity: /və'ræsɪti/ n. Syn. truthfulness truthfulness; unwillingness to tell lies Asserting his veracity, young George Washington proclaimed, "Father, I cannot tell a lie!" Show more sentences
verdant: /'vɜrdənt/ a. green; full of juice in vegetation Monet's paintings of the verdant meadows were symphonies in green. Show more sentences
vex: /vɛks/ v. Syn. annoy; distress annoy; disturb, especially by minor irritations; be a mystery or bewildering to Please try not to vex your mother; she is doing the best she can.
vicarious: /vɪ'kɛərɪəs/ a. acting as substitute; done by deputy; experienced at secondhand Many people get a vicarious thrill at the movies by imagining they are the characters on the screen. Show more sentences
vicissitude: /vɪ'sɪsɪtud/ n. change, especially in one's life or fortunes; regular change or succession of one thing to another; alternation Humbled by life's vicissitude, the last emperor of China worked as a lowly gardener in the palace over which he had once ruled. Show more sentences
vilify: /'vɪlɪfaɪ/ v. Syn. slander debase; degrade; spread negative information about Waging a highly negative campaign, the candidate attempted to vilify his opponent's reputation.
viscous: /'vɪskəs/ a. Syn. sticky; gluey sticky; gluey; having high resistance to flow Melted tar is a viscous substance. Show more sentences
vitriolic: /vɪtrɪ'ɒlɪk/ a. Syn. corrosive; sarcastic harsh or corrosive in tone; sarcastic; bitterly scathing Any time that a simple request for evidence results in vitriolic personal attacks, or an attempt to censor, with no attempt to address the issue. Show more sentences
wanton: /'wɒnt(ə)n/;/wɔ:ntən/ a. Syn. unrestrained; unchaste unrestrained; willfully malicious; immoral or unchaste Pointing to the stack of bills, Sheldon criticized Sarah for her wanton expenditures. Show more sentences
winsome: /'wɪnsəm/ a. Syn. agreeable; gracious; engaging agreeable; gracious; charming, often in childlike or naive way By her winsome manner, she made herself liked by everyone who met her. Show more sentences
wistful: /'wɪstfəl/ a. full of wishful yearning or longing; sadly thoughtful With a last wistful glance at the happy couples dancing in the hall, Sue headed back to her room to study for her exam. Show more sentences
zenith: /'zɛnɪθ/ n. Syn. summit point directly overhead in sky; summit When the sun was at its zenith, the glare was not as strong as at sunrise and sunset. Show more sentences
zephyr: /'zɛfə(r)/ n. gentle breeze; west wind; any of various soft light fabrics, yarns, or garments A blessing on a hot day in zephyr form, something to lift birds and kites and make sailboats cut beautifully through the water. Show more sentences