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List of Synonyms and Antonyms

Use this list of Synonyms and Antonyms in English for Grade 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 elementary, middle school and high school students and kids to learn commonly used synonyms and antonyms.


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Note: Antonyms appear in italics

A Words

Abate reduce, decrease, diminish; increase

Abhor detest, despise

Abject wretched, miserable, despicable

Abjure to swear to give up, avoid, repudiate

Abortive fruitless, failing, useless

Abrogate abolish, repeal by law

Absolve to set free from guilt, exonerate

Abstemious moderate in eating or drinking, sparing; gluttonous

Abstract theoretical; substantive

Abysmal of low quality, bottomless

Acclaim applause, admiration

Acclimate to become accustomed to new surroundings, adapt

Accolade praise, approval; reprimand

Acme peak, pinnacle, zenith; nadir

Acquiesce to give consent by remaining silent, accede

Acrid bitter, sharp

Acrimonious bitter, caustic

Acumen quickness in seeing and understanding, keen insight, shrewdness

Adage maxim, proverb, familiar saying

Adamant stubborn, unyielding; flexible

Adjudicate settle, judge

Adroit skillful, clever; clumsy

Adulation excessive praise, slavish flatter

Adversary opponent, enemy foe; ally

Advocate to speak or write in favor of, recommend publicly

Aegis shield, protection, sponsorship

Affable gracious, friendly; withdrawn

Afflict to cause pain or suffering, distress

Affluent rich; impoverished

Alacrity briskness, quick willingness, speed; lethargy

Allay calm, soothe; agitate

Alleged reported, supposed

Alleviate ease, lighten; exacerbate

Allusion indirect reference, slight or incidental mention of something

Aloof distant, apart, reserved; outgoing, gregarious

Altercation quarrel, dispute, fight

Altruism unselfishness, philanthropy; cupidity, avarice

Ambiguous vague, indefinite; specific

Ameliorate improve, relieve; exacerbate

Amicable friendly, peaceful; belligerent

Amnesty a general pardon

Amoral unable to distinguish between right and wrong; moral

Anarchy chaos, disorder

Anathema something greatly detested, a curse

Animosity ill will, hostility; friendship

Anomaly irregularity, abnormality

Antediluvian old fashioned, before the flood; modern

Antipathy dislike, distaste, hate

Antiseptic preventing infection by stopping the growth of disease germs, sterile, barren

Antitheses exact opposite

Apathetic unemotional, indifferent; concerned

Apropos fittingly, opportunely

Arbiter judge, referee

Arbitrary whimsical, dictatorial

Archaic out of date, ancient, old-fashioned

Arrears unpaid debts

Ascertain discover, verify

Ascetic severe

Asinine foolish, silly, stupid

Asperity harshness of temper

Assiduous devoted, busy, attentive

Assimilate to take in and make part of oneself, absorb

Assuage soothe; irritate

Atonement amends, expiation

Atrophy to waste away, degenerate

Atypical uncharacteristic, abnormal; conforming

Audacity boldness, daring

Augment to enlarge, increase

Auspicious with signs of success, favorable

Austere severe, harsh; adorned

Avarice greed, passion for riches; altruism, philanthropy

Avid eager

Avocation minor occupation, hobby

B Words

Badger to pester, nag, annoy

Baffle to hinder someone by being too hard to understand, perplex

Balk to refuse to move, frustrate

Banal trivial, meaningless from overuse, commonplace

Barrister lawyer, attorney, solicitor

Bauble trinket; jewel, gem

Bedlam confusion, uproar

Belated late, delayed; timely

Belittle to make seem less important, trivialize; intensify

Belligerent warlike, hostile; peaceful

Benediction blessing; curse

Beneficent kind

Benign kindly, harmless, gentle; malignant

Bequest legacy, gift

Besiege surround, hem in

Besmirch to dim the reputation, soil, stain

Bestial beastly, brutal; civilized

Bias prejudice

Bigoted narrow-minded, prejudiced

Bizarre odd, peculiar, strange

Blasphemy abuse or contempt for God, profanity

Blatant loud, showy, conspicuous

Bliss happiness, pleasure; hell

Bogus fake, counterfeit; genuine

Bona fide genuine; bogus

Boorish rude, bad-mannered, polite

Brash impudent; polite, respectful

Brawn bulk, muscles

Bucolic rural, rustic; urbane

Buff follower, fan devotee

Bulwark protection

Bumptious arrogant

Burgeon grow, flourish; stifle

C Words

Cabal clique

Cacophony harsh sound, discord; harmony

Cadaver corpse, body

Cajole coax, wheedle

Callous unfeeling; sensitive

Calumny false accusation, slander; accolade

Candor honesty, openness, frankness; deceit

Capitulate surrender; resist

Capricious flighty, unpredictable, erratic; constant

Captious quarrelsome, argumentative; accepting

Carnage slaughter, bloodshed

Carnivorous using animals as food, meat-eating; herbivorous

Castigate to correct by punishing, chastise

Caustic sarcastic, biting, acrimonious; mild

Celerity speed, rapidity; sluggishness

Censure to criticize, rebuke; approve

Cessation stop; continuance

Chagrin feeling of disappointment, humiliation

Charlatan a fraud, pretender; authenticity

Chicanery trickery, underhandedness; straight-forwardness

Chronic lasting a long time, habitual; fleeting

Circuitous roundabout; direct

Circumspect cautious, prudent; impulsive

Clandestine secret, undercover; aboveboard

Cliche banality, platitude; originality

Coalesce merge, join; split

Cogent forceful, convincing, persuasive; ineffective

Cognizant having knowledge of, aware; ignorant

Comatose unconscious

Commiserate pity, sympathize with

Commodious large, spacious; cramped

Complacent smug, self-satisfied; discontented

Compunction remorse, regret

Conciliate soothe, reconcile; exacerbate

Concoct to prepare by mixing with a variety of ingredients, devise, invent

Condone excuse, pardon; begrudge

Congenial having similar tastes and interests, kindred; incompatible

Conjecture opinion, guess; documentation

Connoisseur an expert; dilettante

Connubial having to do with marriage, conjugal

Controversial open to argument, debatable, disputed

Copious ample, abundant, plentiful; scarce

Corpulent fat, obese; slender, lean

Corroborate to make more certain, confirm, support

Countermand to cancel an order, withdraw

Coup revolution, overturn

Covert secret, hidden; open, aboveboard

Credence belief, credit

Criterion standard test, model

Cryptic having a hidden meaning, secret, obscure

Culpable deserving blame, guilty; innocent

Cumbersome hard to manage, clumsy, unwieldy

Cupidity greed, avarice; altruism

Cursory not thorough, hasty; comprehensive

Curtail shorten, reduce, lessen; expand

Cynical doubting the sincerity and goodness of others, sneering, sarcastic

D Words

Dearth great scarcity, shortage; abundance

Debacle sudden downfall or collapse, disaster

Debilitate to make feeble, weaken; strengthen

Debonair genial, courteous

Decadence growing worse, decline, decay

Decapitate behead

Decorum good taste in speech or dress, fitness

Decrepit old and feeble, worn-out; hale, healthy

Deduce to reach a conclusion by reasoning, infer

Defame to speak evil of, malign; honor

Degrade to bring into dishonor, corrupt

Deleterious causing harm, injurious; salubrious

Delve to search carefully for information, excavate

Demeanor behavior, manner

Demur object, disapprove

Demure artificially proper, coy, reserved

Denounce condemn; praise

Deplete reduce, lessen; replenish

Deplorable regrettable, wretched

Depraved corrupt, perverted, debased

Deride scorn, ridicule

Derogatory lowering in honor or estimation, disparaging; uplifting

Desolate devastated, barren, solitary, dreary

Despot absolute ruler, oppressor

Destitute impoverished; affluent

Desultory jumping from one thing to another without aim or method, unconnected

Deter prevent, stop

Devious trick, roundabout

Devout religious, pious, sincere

Dextrous skillful, clever, deft; clumsy

Diatribe bitter speech directed at someone or something, denunciation

Diffident shy; assertive

Digress diverge, swerve, stray

Dilettante dabbler, amateur

Diminutive tiny, small

Discern to see clearly, distinguish

Disciple believer in the thought and teaching of a leader, follower

Disconsolate sad, dejected; elated, cheerful

Discord disagreement; harmony, concord

Discreet cautious, prudent; imprudent

Disdain scorn, contempt

Disgruntled in bad humor, discontented; happy, satisfied

Disheveled rumpled, messed; tidy

Dismantle to take apart, strip

Disparage to speak slightingly of, belittle, discredit; praise

Disparity inequality, difference; similitude

Disperse scatter; assemble

Dissent disagreement; agreement

Distraught crazed, distracted

Diverse varied; alike

Divulge to make known, reveal

Docile obedient, tame; disruptive

Dogmatic opinionated, stubborn

Doleful very sad, mournful, dismal; exultant

Dormant in a state of rest or inactivity, asleep; active

Dupe one who is easily deceived or tricked, scapegoat

Duplicity trickery, deceitfulness

Duress use of force, compulsion

Dwindle to shrink, diminish; increase

E Words

Eccentric unusual, odd; predictable

Edifice a large or impressive building, structure

Effectuate cause

Efficacy effectiveness

Effrontery shameless boldness, insolence

Egotistical vain, conceited; modest, unpretentious

Egregious remarkably bad, outrageous, flagrant

Elapse to slip away, pass

Elicit to draw forth, evoke

Emanate to come forth, emit

Embryonic undeveloped, in the early stages, immature

Emend to free from errors, correct

Eminent outstanding, distinguished, noteworthy

Emulate to strive to equal, imitate

Encomium a formal expression of high praise, eulogy

Enervate to weaken, unnerve; bolster, support

Engender produce, create

Enhance to make greater in quality or importance, upgrade; degrade

Enigma baffling problem or person, riddle

Enmity hostility, hatred; friendship, amity

Ennui feeling of weariness from lack of interest, boredom; euphoria

Enormity great size of a problem, immensity

Entourage group of attendants, retinue, followers

Ephemeral shortlived, transitory; permanent

Epithet insult

Epitome person or thing that represents the best, embodiment

Equitable just, valid; unfair

Erudite scholarly, learned

Esoteric understood only by a select few, secret, private; public

Esthetic showing an appreciation of beauty in nature or art, artistic

Evince show manifest, display

Exacerbate worsen, aggravate; ameliorate

Excoriate denounce violently, abrade

Exemplary outstanding

Exhort to advise earnestly, urge

Exonerate to free from blame, absolve; persecute

Expedite hasten; prolong

Exploit to make unfair or selfish use of, utilize

Expunge to remove completely, erase

Extenuating making the seriousness of an offense seem less, weakening

Extinct no longer existing, superseded

Extol to praise highly, commend; criticize

Extortion obtaining something by threats of force, extraction

Extraneous foreign, unessential, outside

Extrinsic not essential, external; intrinsic

Extrovert one who tends to act rather than think, uninhibited; introvert

Exultation great rejoicing, triumph

F Words

Fabricate to make up, invent; document

Facade outward appearance, face

Facetious being shyly humorous, witty

Facile easily done, adept; difficult

Fallacious logically unsound, misleading, deceptive

Fallible error-prone; perfect

Falter to draw back, waver; persevere

Fastidious dainty in taste, particular, choosy

Fatuous foolish, silly; rational

Feasible can be carried out easily, practicable; impossible

Feckless futile, ineffective

Feisty touch, excitable, captious; phlegmatic

Fervid full of strong feeling, spirited; phlegmatic

Fervor passion

Fester to cause soreness or pain, rankle; heal

Fiasco a complete or ridiculous failure, breakdown

Fiat an authoritative order or command, decree

Fickle whimsical, capricious

Fiduciary held in trust, trustee

Flabbergasted speechless

Flagrant shocking, egregious, notorious, scandalous; respectful

Flamboyant striking, ornate; simple

Fledgling beginner, novice; expert, authority

Florid rosy, ruddy

Fluctuate to rise and fall, change; stabilize

Formidable hard to overcome, dreaded; welcomed

Fortuitous happening by chance, accidental; premeditated

Fracas noisy quarrel or fight, uproar

Fray a brawl, fight, battle

Frenetic excessively excited, frenzied; calm

Fretful peevish, worried, agitated; happy

Frugal avoiding waste, thrifty, economical; prodigal

Frustrate to prevent from accomplishing, thwart, foil; encourage

Fulsome so much as to be disgusting, overdone

Furtive secretive, stealthy

Futile worthless, useless, abortive; effective, fruitful

G Words

Galvanize to stir into action, arouse

Garbled confused; clear, intelligible

Gargantuan enormous, gigantic; miniscule

Garrulous talking too much, wordy; reticent

Gaudy cheap and showy, ostentatious; decorous

Gaunt having a starved look, emaciated; rotund

Germane to the point, pertinent; irrelevant

Gesticulate to the point wildly, gesture

Gist main point, essence

Glean to gather information little by little, learn

Gratuity a present in return for favors, tip

Grave serious, solemn; jocular

Gregarious fond of being with others, outgoing; withdrawn

Grisly frightful, horrible

Grotesque odd or unnatural in shape or appearance, bizarre; simplex

Grueling tiring, exhausting; exhilarating, refreshing

Guile crafty deceit, cunning

Gullible naive, unsophisticated; skeptical

H Words

Habitat home, environs

Hackneyed overused, trite; fresh, original

Halcyon calm, peaceful; riotous

Hapless unlucky, unfortunate

Harass to trouble by repeated attacks, persecute

Harbinger advance notice, forerunner

Haven place of shelter and safety, sanctuary

Havoc great destruction, ruin

Hedonistic pleasure-seeking, indulgent; ascetic

Heinous wicked, hateful, despicable

Herculean powerful, challenging

Heterogeneous different in kind, unlike, varied; homogeneous

Hirsute hairy

Hoary old, ancient; newborn

Hoax a mischievous trick, dupe

Homogeneous same similar; heterogeneous

Hyperbole exaggeration

Hypotheses something assumed because it seems like a true explanation, theory

I Words

Idyllic simple, charming

Ignominious shameful, disgraceful

Ilk class, kind, sort

Imbibe to drink, absorb

Immaterial unimportant; relevant, pertinent

Imminent about to happen, threaten

Immutable permanent; changing, flexible

Impassive unmoved, emotionless; emotional

Impeach accuse of wrongdoing, charge

Impeccable irreproachable, faultless; imperfect

Impede to stand in the way of, hinder, obstruct

Imperceptible gradual, subtle

Imperturbable not easily disturbed, calm; excitable

Impetuous acting with rash energy, hasty; deliberate

Impious not showing reverence for God, wicked

Implacable unable to be appeased, unyielding

Implement to carry out a mission, enact, accomplish

Imply to mean without saying, suggest

Importune to annoy with pressing demands, plead

Impregnable unyielding

Impromptu spontaneous, off-hand; rehearsed

Improvident wasteful

Inadvertent lax careless; planned, intentional

Inane foolish, silly; sensible

Inanimate lifeless, dull; lively, animated

Incessant unceasing

Incipient just beginning, commencing

Inclement rough, stormy

Incognito concealing name or position, disguised

Incoherent disconnected, confused; coordinated

Incompatible not able to live or work together peaceable, antagonistic

Incorrigible too firmly fixed in bad ways to be reformed, depraved; reparable

Incriminate to accuse of a crime, implicate

Incumbent office-holder

Indict to charge formally with a crime, accuse

Indifferent uncaring, neutral; concerned

Indigent poor, needy; affluent

Indolent lazy, idle; industrious

Indulgent giving in to another's whims or wishes, lenient

Inept awkward, inappropriate

Inevitable unavoidable, imminent

Inexorable unyielding, relentless; flexible

Ingenious good at inventing, clever

Ingratiate to bring oneself into favor, accept

Inhibit to hold back, restrain

Innocuous harmless; injurious

Innovative creative; stagnant

Innuendo insinuation, hint

Inordinate much too great, excessive

Insatiable that cannot be satisfied, greedy; appeasable

Insidious working secretly or subtlety, wily, shy

Insipid boring, bland; exciting

Insolent boldly rude, insulting

Integral necessary to make something complete, essential

Interminable endless, unceasing; terminative

Intransigent uncompromising, stubborn/ flexible

Intrepid very brave, fearless; cowardly, timorous

Intrinsic essential, inherent; extrinsic

Inundate to flood, deluge

Invalidate to make useless, nullify

Invective violent attack in words, abuse

Inveterate deeply rooted, habitual

Irascible easily angered, irritable

Irate angry, enraged, furious, indignant

Irrevocable cannot be revoked, final

Itinerant traveling, wandering, nomadic

Itinerary route of travel, plan

J Words

Jeopardize to put in danger, risk, imperil; protect

Jostle to crowd against, shove, push; restrain

Jubilant showing joy, rejoicing; depressed

Judicious wise, sensible; intemperate

Jurisdiction territory over which authority extends, control

Juxtapose put side by side, adjoin; separate

L Words

Laceration a deep cut, wound

Lackluster dull, boring, uninspired; stimulating

Laconic expressing much in few words, concise, pithy; garrulous, verbose

Lampoon to ridicule, satirize

Landmark the high point or turning point of a period, historic

Larceny theft

Latent lying hidden and undeveloped, potential; active, operational

Laudable praiseworthy, commendable

Lax careless, remiss, negligent, slack; strict, exact

Legacy money or property left to someone in a will, bequest

Lethal causing death, fatal

Lethargy drowsiness, indifference, apathy; enthusiasm

Levity gaiety, frivolity; seriousness, sobriety

Liaison a working relationship, intercommunication

Lithe flexible, supple, limber; stiff

Litigation lawsuit

Livid discolored by a bruise, pallid

Loquacious talkative, garrulous; laconic

Lucid clear, sane, rational; opaque

Lucrative profitable, remunerative

Ludicrous absurd, laughable

Lugubrious very sad, mournful

Lurid sensational, startling

M Words

Magnanimous generous in overlooking insult or injury, noble

Maim to cripple, disable, mutilate

Maladjusted poorly-adapted

Malady disease, ailment, sickness

Malcontent dissatisfied, rebellious

Malevolent vicious, evil; benevolent

Malignant having an evil influence, harmful; benign

Malingerer one who pretends to be ill in order to escape work, shirker; martyr

Malleable pliable, yielding, adaptable; rigid

Mammoth gigantic, enormous

Mandate an authoritative order, directive

Mandatory authoritatively required, obligatory

Manifold having various forms, diverse

Martial warlike, soldierly; peacelike

Martinet strict disciplinarian, stickler

Matriarch mother

Maxim a statement of a general truth, precept

Meander to wander aimlessly, roam; settle

Mediate interpose, intervene, settle

Meditate to think deeply and continuously, reflect, ponder

Mendacious false, lying; honest

Menial fit for servants, low servile

Mentor advisor, teacher

Metamorphosis change, transformation

Meticulous careful about details, scrupulous; careless, sloppy

Mien way of conducting oneself, manner, bearing

Milieu surroundings, environment

Militant ready and willing to fight, combative; peaceful

Miniscule rather small, tiny, minute

Mitigate lessen; exacerbate

Modish fashionable, stylish; outmoded, passe

Morbid gruesome, unhealthy, diseased; wholesome

Moribund dying, failing; lively, prospering

Motivate arouse, incite

Mundane ordinary, earthy; spiritual

Murky obscure with smoke or mist, gloomy

Myopic near-sighted

N Words

Nadir the lowest point, bottom, zenith

Naive foolishly simple, childlike, ingenuous; sophisticated, artful

Nebulous cloudy, vague; clear, definite

Nefarious very wicked, villainous, vicious; saintly

Neophyte beginner, novice; professional

Nirvana perfection, heaven, utopia

Noisome foul-smelling, offensive, toxic

Nomadic wandering, itinerant

Nonchalant indifferent, casual; concerned

Nondescript hard to describe, unrecognizable

Nostalgia yearning for the past, homesickness

Noxious harmful to health or morals, pernicious

Nuance subtlety

O Words

Obese very fat, corpulent, stout; slender

Obfuscate confuse, bewilder

Obliterate to blot out, erase, destroy

Oblivion forgetfulness

Obscure unclear, clouded, ambiguous; obvious, transparent

Obsequious excessively willing to serve or obey, fawning, servile

Obsolete no longer in use or practice, old-fashioned; serviceable

Obviate to make unnecessary, prevent, eliminate

Occult hidden, mysterious

Odious hateful, disgusting; pleasurable

Officious offering unwanted advice, meddlesome; aloof

Ominous threatening, sinister, menacing

Omnipotent all-powerful

Onerous burdensome, laborious,, oppressive; inconsequential

Opulent wealthy, abundant, luxuriant

Orthodox standard; unconventional

Ostensible on the surface, apparent

Ostentatious showy, pretentious; decorous, conservative

Ostracize to banish, shut out, bar

Oust to force out, eject, dispossess

Overt without attempt at concealment, open; surreptitious

P Words

Pacify to make peaceful, tranquilize, placate; enrage

Palatable tasty, savory; disagreeable

Palliate to cover up, excuse, extenuate

Paltry petty, trifling, insignificant

Panacea cure-all

Pandemonium scene of wild disorder, noise, confusion

Paramount dominant, chief, supreme; trivial

Parasite one who lives at the expense of others, leech, sponge

Pariah someone despised or rejected by others, outcast

Parochial narrow, limited, provincial

Parsimonious miserly, stingy; generous, altruistic

Pathetic pitiful

Paucity scarcity, dearth, insufficiency; abundance

Penitent regretful; unrepentant

Pensive expressing deep thoughtfulness with some sadness, contemplative

Perfidious treacherous; faithful

Perfunctory superficial, indifferent; thorough, comprehensive

Pernicious injurious, fatal; harmless

Perpetrate to do something evil or criminal, commit

Persevere to continue to do something in spite of difficulty, persist

Peruse study, examine

Perverse persisting in error or fault, contrary

Phlegmatic sluggish, dull, apathetic; excitable

Pivotal important, crucial; trivial, trifling

Plaintiff one who brings suit in a court of law, complainant; defendant

Plausible seemingly true, acceptable; incredible

Plethora overabundance, excess; dearth

Plunder rob, lot

Poignant sharp or biting to the smell or taste, piercing, moving

Ponder ruminate, reflect, consider

Potent convincing, authoritative

Pragmatic practical; unrealistic

Precipitate to cause to happen before expected, hasten; deter

Preclude prevent

Preeminent excelling others, dominant, surpassing

Premonition a forewarning, presentiment

Prestigious illustrious, influential

Pretext excuse, fabrication

Prevaricate to turn aside from the truth, equivocate

Procrastinate to defer, postpone

Profound deep, insightful; superficial, trivial

Profuse flowing, generous, lavish; limited, scant

Prolific producing many young or much fruit, abounding; barren, infertile

Promulgate to publish or make known officially, spread

Propensity natural inclination, tendency

Propitious favorably inclined, auspicious; unfavorable

Proponent supporter

Propriety correctness, properness; inappropriateness

Prosaic matter-of-fact, commonplace, dull; poetic

Provincial naive, unsophisticated; worldly

Provocative exciting, stimulating; tiresome

Proximity nearness, closeness; distance

Prudent sensible, discreet; foolhardy extravagant

Pugnacious quarrelsome, belligerent; peaceable

Q Words

Qualm scruple of conscience, uneasiness, misgiving

Quandary state of perplexity, dilemma

Quell to put an end to, overcome

Quintessence pure essence, model

R Words

Rabid unreasonably extreme, fanatical

Rambunctious noisy,, unruly, boisterous; calm

Rancor bitter resentment, ill will; amity

Rapacious grasping, greedy

Raucous harsh-sounding, hoarse; mellifluous

Raze to tear down, destroy

Rebuke to express disapproval of, scold

Recant to withdraw a previous opinion, statement, renounce

Recondite profound, concealed, esoteric

Redress to set right, remedy

Redundant not needed, superfluous

Refute to show something to be false or incorrect, deny; confirm

Rehabilitate to restore to a good condition, reinstate

Relevant to the point, pertinent, irrelevant

Remiss negligent, inattentive, slack in meeting one's responsibilities; careful

Remorse sadness, regret

Remote distant, secluded; nearby

Remuneration reward, payment

Renegade deserter, traitor; loyalist, patriot

Repent to feel sorry for having done wrong, regret

Replenish refill

Replete abundantly supplied, filled

Reprehensible wicked, blameworthy

Repress to prevent from acting, subdue

Reprimand to disapprove severely, scold; praise

Repudiate to refuse to accept, disown

Repugnant distasteful, objectionable

Repulse to drive back, repel; attract, allure

Rescind repeal, cancel

Residue remainder

Respite time of relief and rest, reprieve

Reticent reserved in speech, silent; garrulous, verbose, loquacious

Retract withdraw, recede

Revere worship, honor; defame

Revile to abuse with words, scold

Rigor strength, thoroughness

Ritual a system of rites, ceremony

Rue to be sorry for, regret

Rural characteristic of the country as opposed to the city, countrified; urban

S Words

Sagacious wise, shrewd; unintelligent

Salient standing out, prominent; hidden, unnoticeable

Salubrious healthful

Salutary beneficial, wholesome, harmful

Sardonic bitterly sarcastic, scornful, mocking

Satire sarcasm, ridicule

Saturate to fill full, soak

Scanty minimal, inadequate; sufficient, copious

Schism a division into hostile groups, split

Scoff jeer, deride, ridicule

Scowl to look angry by lowering the eyebrows, frown; smile

Scrupulous conscientious, punctilious; careless, negligent

Scrutinize examine, study; glance

Scurrilous abusive in an indecent way, foul

Sedate calm, serious; nervous

Sensual indulging too much in the pleasure of the senses, lustful, lewd; abstinent

Servile yielding through fear or lack of spirit, subservient

Simian apelike, monkeylike

Simulate to put on a false appearance, pretend

Sinuous wavy, bending

Site location

Skirmish a brief fight, conflict

Slovenly careless, untidy

Smug too pleased with one's own goodness or cleverness, complacent

Sojourn a brief stay, vacation

Solace comfort or relief, consolation

Solicit seek, entreat

Soliloquy talking to oneself, monologue

Somber gloomy, melancholy; cheerful

Sordid dirty, contemptible

Spontaneous impromptu, voluntary; rehearsed

Sporadic occurring in scattered instances, occasional; continual

Spurious false, illegitimate; genuine

Squander to spend foolishly, waste; preserve

Squeamish easily socked, prudish, queasy

Stagnant inactive, dull, sluggish; active, flowing

Stigma mark of disgrace, stain

Stipulate to demand as a condition of agreement, contract

Stoic one who remains calm and represses his feelings, impassive

Strident shrill, grating, cacophonous; mellifluous

Stringent severe, harsh, strict, rigorous; lax, lenient

Stymie to thwart, frustrate, hinder

Subservient slavishly polite and obedient, submissive

Subterfuge trick or excuse used to escape something unpleasant, deception

Subtle artful, crafty, deft; obvious

Succinct expressed briefly and clearly, concise; verbose

Succulent juicy; dry

Succumb to give way, yield, die; persevere

Sullen showing bad humor or anger, gloomy, sulky

Sultry hot and moist, torrid

Supercilious scornful, haughty

Superfluous more than is needed, unnecessary

Surfeit too much, excess; shortage, dearth

Surmise to infer, guess

Surreptitious secret, stealthy, clandestine; authorized, overt

T Words

Taciturn silent, reticent; garrulous

Taint trace of decay, stain

Tangible that which can be touched, real, actual; indefinite

Tantalize to torment by holding out hopes that are repeatedly disappointed, tease

Taut tightly drawn, tense; lax, relaxed

Temerity foolish boldness, recklessness; cautiousness

Temper moderate, soften; incite

Tenable defensible; untenable

Tenacious holding firmly, cohesive, persistent

Tentative provisional, experimental; final

Terse concise, succinct; long-winded

Tether leach, rope

Therapy curative treatment, rehabilitation

Thespian an actor, tragedian

Throng a crowd, mob

Thwart to hinder, obstruct, foil

Timorous fearful, afraid; brave

Titanic enormous; miniscule

Torpid sluggish, lethargic; energetic

Totalitarian dictatorial

Toxic poisonous; harmless

Tractable docile, manageable; rebellious

Traduce slander

Transgression sin

Transient fleeting, temporary, ephemeral; permanent

Transpire to come to pass, happen

Tremulous quivering, fearful; dauntless

Trenchant keen, penetrating, incisive

Trite stale ideas of language, hackneyed; original, fresh

Truncated shortened, abbreviated; unabridged

Turbulent disorderly, unruly, boisterous; peaceful

Tyro amateur, beginner, novice; professional

U Words

Ubiquitous everywhere at the same time, widespread

Ultimate most remote or distant, farthest, final

Unconscionable unscrupulous, unreasonable, excessive

Unctuous oily in speech or manner, glib

Unilateral affecting one side only, unilineal; bilateral, reciprocal

Unkempt untidy, messy, slovenly; meticulous

Urbane polished, suave; unsophisticated

Usurp to take and hold by force or without right, supplant

Utopia an ideal place, heaven, nirvana

V Words

Vacillate to show indecision, hesitate, waver

Valor bravery, courage; fear, cowardice

Vehement acting with great force, passionate, violent

Vendetta a blood feud, revenge

Veneer a thin surface layer, gloss

Venerable worthy of respect, impressive

Venom poison, spite, malice

Verbose wordy, prolix; terse, succinct

Vestige a sign of something which has once existed, trace

Vexatious annoying

Viable workable, practical

Vicarious taking the place of another thing or person, substitute

Vindicate to clear from criticism, absolve; implicate

Virile manly, masculine; effeminate

Virulent bitterly hostile, poisonous

Vitriolic sarcastic, caustic

Vivacious full of life, spirited; dull, inanimate

Vociferous clamorous, noisy

Volatile changeable, fickle

Voluble talkative, glib, garrulous; taciturn, reticent

Voluminous massive in terms of writing, large, bulky; meager, spare

Voracious greedy in eating, gluttonous, insatiable

Vulnerable open to criticism or attack, weakened; protected, invulnerable

W Words

Wan sickly, pale

Wane to decline in power or importance, abate, subside; wax, increase, revise

Warranty promise, pledge, authorization

Wheedle to persuade by flattery, coax; dissuade

Whet to sharpen, stimulate

Willful stubborn; flexible

Wince to draw back suddenly as in pain, flinch

Wrest take by force, usurp

Z Words

Zealous enthusiastic, fervent

Zenith highest point, summit, peak; nadir


To Use other lessons in our Language Arts go to out Language Arts Index page