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English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions
by James Champlin Fernald
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Antonyms:

chaos, derangement, disarrangement, disorder, irregularity. confusion,

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TACITURN.

Synonyms:

close, mute, reticent, speechless, dumb, reserved, silent, uncommunicative.

Dumb, mute, silent and speechless refer to fact or state; taciturn refers to habit and disposition. The talkative person may be stricken dumb with surprise or terror; the obstinate may remain mute; one may be silent through preoccupation of mind or of set purpose; but the taciturn person is averse to the utterance of thought or feeling and to communication with others, either from natural disposition or for the occasion. One who is silent does not speak at all; one who is taciturn speaks when compelled, but in a grudging way that repels further approach. Reserved suggests more of method and intention than taciturn, applying often to some special time or topic; one who is communicative regarding all else may be reserved about his business. Reserved is thus closely equivalent to uncommunicative, but is a somewhat stronger word, often suggesting pride or haughtiness, as when we say one is reserved toward inferiors. Compare PRIDE.

Antonyms:

communicative, free, garrulous, loquacious, talkative, unreserved.

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TASTEFUL.

Synonyms:

artistic, delicate, esthetic, fastidious, nice, chaste, delicious, esthetical, fine, tasty. dainty, elegant, exquisite,

Elegant (L. elegans, select) refers to that assemblage of qualities which makes anything choice to persons of culture and refinement; it refers to the lighter, finer elements of beauty in form or motion, especially denoting that which exhibits faultless taste and perfection of finish. That which is elegant is made so not merely by nature, but by art and culture; a woodland dell may be beautiful or picturesque, but would not ordinarily be termed elegant. Tasteful refers to that in which the element of taste is more prominent, standing, as it were, more by itself, while in elegant it is blended as part of the whole. Tasty is an inferior word, used colloquially in a similar sense. Chaste (primarily pure), denotes in literature and art that which is true to the higher and finer feelings and free from all excess or meretricious ornament. Dainty and delicate refer to the lighter and finer elements of taste and beauty, dainty tending in personal use to an excessive scrupulousness which is more fully expressed by fastidious. Nice and delicate both refer to exact adaptation to some standard; the bar of a balance can be said to be nicely or delicately poised; as regards matters of taste and beauty, delicate is a higher and more discriminating word than nice, and is always used in a favorable sense; a delicate distinction is one worth observing; a nice distinction may be so, or may be overstrained and unduly subtle; fine in such use, is closely similar to delicate and nice, but (tho capable of an unfavorable sense) has commonly a suggestion of positive excellence or admirableness; a fine touch does something; fine perceptions are to some purpose; delicate is capable of the single unfavorable sense of frail or fragile; as, a delicate constitution. Esthetic or esthetical refers to beauty or the appreciation of the beautiful, especially from the philosophic point of view. Exquisite denotes the utmost perfection of the elegant in minute details; we speak of an elegant garment, an exquisite lace. Exquisite is also applied to intense keenness of any feeling; as, exquisite delight; exquisite pain. See BEAUTIFUL; DELICIOUS; FINE.

Antonyms:

clumsy, displeasing, grotesque, inartistic, rough, coarse, distasteful, harsh, inharmonious, rude, deformed, fulsome, hideous, meretricious, rugged, disgusting, gaudy, horrid, offensive, tawdry.

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TEACH.

Synonyms:

discipline, give instruction, inform, nurture, drill, give lessons, initiate, school, educate, inculcate, instill, train, enlighten, indoctrinate, instruct, tutor.

To teach is simply to communicate knowledge; to instruct (originally, to build in or into, put in order) is to impart knowledge with special method and completeness; instruct has also an authoritative sense nearly equivalent to command. To educate is to draw out or develop harmoniously the mental powers, and, in the fullest sense, the moral powers as well. To train is to direct to a certain result powers already existing. Train is used in preference to educate when the reference is to the inferior animals or to the physical powers of man; as, to train a horse; to train the hand or eye. To discipline is to bring into habitual and complete subjection to authority; discipline is a severe word, and is often used as a euphemism for punish; to be thoroughly effective in war, soldiers must be disciplined as well as trained. To nurture is to furnish the care and sustenance necessary for physical, mental, and moral growth; nurture is a more tender and homelike word than educate. Compare EDUCATION.

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TEMERITY.

Synonyms:

audacity, heedlessness, presumption, foolhardiness, over-confidence, rashness, hardihood, precipitancy, recklessness, hastiness, precipitation, venturesomeness.

Rashness applies to the actual rushing into danger without counting the cost; temerity denotes the needless exposure of oneself to peril which is or might be clearly seen to be such. Rashness is used chiefly of bodily acts, temerity often of mental or social matters; there may be a noble rashness, but temerity is always used in a bad sense. We say it is amazing that one should have had the temerity to make a statement which could be readily proved a falsehood, or to make an unworthy proposal to one sure to resent it; in such use temerity is often closely allied to hardihood, audacity, or presumption. Venturesomeness dallies on the edge of danger and experiments with it; foolhardiness rushes in for want of sense, heedlessness for want of attention, rashness for want of reflection, recklessness from disregard of consequences. Audacity, in the sense here considered, denotes a dashing and somewhat reckless courage, in defiance of conventionalities, or of other men's opinions, or of what would be deemed probable consequences; as, the audacity of a successful financier. Compare EFFRONTERY.

Antonyms:

care, circumspection, cowardice, hesitation, timidity, wariness. caution,

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TERM.

Synonyms:

article, denomination, member, phrase, condition, expression, name, word.

Term in its figurative uses always retains something of its literal sense of a boundary or limit. The articles of a contract or other instrument are simply the portions into which it is divided for convenience; the terms are the essential statements on which its validity depends—as it were, the landmarks of its meaning or power; a condition is a contingent term which may become fixed upon the happening of some contemplated event. In logic a term is one of the essential members of a proposition, the boundary of statement in some one direction. Thus, in general use term is more restricted than word, expression, or phrase; a term is a word that limits meaning to a fixed point of statement or to a special class of subjects, as when we speak of the definition of terms, that is of the key-words in any discussion; or we say, that is a legal or scientific term. Compare BOUNDARY; DICTION.

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TERSE.

Synonyms:

brief, concise, neat, short, compact, condensed, pithy, succinct. compendious, laconic, sententious,

Anything short or brief is of relatively small extent. That which is concise (L. con-, with, together, and caedo, cut) is trimmed down, and that which is condensed (L. con-, with, together, and densus, thick) is, as it were, pressed together, so as to include as much as possible within a small space. That which is compendious (L. com-, together, and pendo, weigh) gathers the substance of a matter into a few words, weighty and effective. The succinct (L. succinctus, from sub-, under, and cingo, gird; girded from below) has an alert effectiveness as if girded for action. The summary is compacted to the utmost, often to the point of abruptness; as, we speak of a summary statement or a summary dismissal. That which is terse (L. tersus, from tergo, rub off) has an elegant and finished completeness within the smallest possible compass, as if rubbed or polished down to the utmost. A sententious style is one abounding in sentences that are singly striking or memorable, apart from the context; the word may be used invidiously of that which is pretentiously oracular. A pithy utterance gives the gist of a matter effectively, whether in rude or elegant style.

Antonyms:

diffuse, lengthy, long, prolix, tedious, verbose, wordy.

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TESTIMONY.

Synonyms:

affidavit, attestation, deposition, proof, affirmation, certification, evidence, witness.

Testimony, in legal as well as in common use, signifies the statements of witnesses. Deposition and affidavit denote testimony reduced to writing; the deposition differs from the affidavit in that the latter is voluntary and without cross-examination, while the former is made under interrogatories and subject to cross-examination. Evidence is a broader term, including the testimony of witnesses and all facts of every kind that tend to prove a thing true; we have the testimony of a traveler that a fugitive passed this way; his footprints in the sand are additional evidence of the fact. Compare DEMONSTRATION; OATH.

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THEREFORE.

Synonyms:

accordingly, consequently, then, whence, because, hence, thence, wherefore.

Therefore, signifying for that (or this) reason, is the most precise and formal word for expressing the direct conclusion of a chain of reasoning; then carries a similar but slighter sense of inference, which it gives incidentally rather than formally; as, "All men are mortal; Caesar is a man; therefore Caesar is mortal;" or, "The contract is awarded; then there is no more to be said." Consequently denotes a direct result, but more frequently of a practical than a theoretic kind; as, "Important matters demand my attention; consequently I shall not sail to-day." Consequently is rarely used in the formal conclusions of logic or mathematics, but marks rather the freer and looser style of rhetorical argument. Accordingly denotes correspondence, which may or may not be consequence; it is often used in narration; as, "The soldiers were eager and confident; accordingly they sprang forward at the word of command." Thence is a word of more sweeping inference than therefore, applying not merely to a single set of premises, but often to all that has gone before, including the reasonable inferences that have not been formally stated. Wherefore is the correlative of therefore, and whence of hence or thence, appending the inference or conclusion to the previous statement without a break. Compare synonyms for BECAUSE.

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THRONG.

Synonyms:

concourse, crowd, host, jam, mass, multitude, press.

A crowd is a company of persons filling to excess the space they occupy and pressing inconveniently upon one another; the total number in a crowd may be great or small. Throng is a word of vastness and dignity, always implying that the persons are numerous as well as pressed or pressing closely together; there may be a dense crowd in a small room, but there can not be a throng. Host and multitude both imply vast numbers, but a multitude may be diffused over a great space so as to be nowhere a crowd; host is a military term, and properly denotes an assembly too orderly for crowding. Concourse signifies a spontaneous gathering of many persons moved by a common impulse, and has a suggestion of stateliness not found in the word crowd, while suggesting less massing and pressure than is indicated by the word throng.

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TIME.

Synonyms:

age, duration, epoch, period, sequence, term, date, eon, era, season, succession, while.

Sequence and succession apply to events viewed as following one another; time and duration denote something conceived of as enduring while events take place and acts are done. According to the necessary conditions of human thought, events are contained in time as objects are in space, time existing before the event, measuring it as it passes, and still existing when the event is past. Duration and succession are more general words than time; we can speak of infinite or eternal duration or succession, but time is commonly contrasted with eternity. Time is measured or measurable duration.

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TIP.

Synonyms:

cant, dip, incline, list, slope, careen, heel over, lean, slant, tilt.

To tilt or tip is to throw out of a horizontal position by raising one side or end or lowering the other; the words are closely similar, but tilt suggests more of fluctuation or instability. Slant and slope are said of things somewhat fixed or permanent in a position out of the horizontal or perpendicular; the roof slants, the hill slopes. Incline is a more formal word for tip, and also for slant or slope. To cant is to set slantingly; in many cases tip and cant might be interchanged, but tip is more temporary, often momentary; one tips a pail so that the water flows over the edge; a mechanic cants a table by making or setting one side higher than the other. A vessel careens in the wind; lists, usually, from shifting of cargo, from water in the hold, etc. Careening is always toward one side or the other; listing may be forward or astern as well. To heel over is the same as to careen, and must be distinguished from "keel over," which is to capsize.

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TIRE.

Synonyms:

exhaust, fatigue, harass, jade, wear out, weary. fag,

To tire is to reduce strength in any degree by exertion; one may be tired just enough to make rest pleasant, or even unconsciously tired, becoming aware of the fact only when he ceases the exertion; or, on the other hand, he may be, according to the common phrase, "too tired to stir;" but for this extreme condition the stronger words are commonly used. One who is fatigued suffers from a conscious and painful lack of strength as the result of some overtaxing; an invalid may be fatigued with very slight exertion; when one is wearied, the painful lack of strength is the result of long-continued demand or strain; one is exhausted when the strain has been so severe and continuous as utterly to consume the strength, so that further exertion is for the time impossible. One is fagged by drudgery; he is jaded by incessant repetition of the same act until it becomes increasingly difficult or well-nigh impossible; as, a horse is jaded by a long and unbroken journey.

Antonyms:

invigorate, refresh, relax, relieve, repose, rest, restore. recreate,

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TOOL.

Synonyms:

apparatus, implement, machine, utensil, appliance, instrument, mechanism, weapon.

A tool is something that is both contrived and used for extending the force of an intelligent agent to something that is to be operated upon. Those things by which pacific and industrial operations are performed are alone properly called tools, those designed for warlike purposes being designated weapons. An instrument is anything through which power is applied and a result produced; in general usage, the word is of considerably wider meaning than tool; as, a piano is a musical instrument. Instrument is the word usually applied to tools used in scientific pursuits; as, we speak of a surgeon's or an optician's instruments. An implement is a mechanical agency considered with reference to some specific purpose to which it is adapted; as, an agricultural implement; implements of war. Implement is a less technical and artificial term than tool. The paw of a tiger might be termed a terrible implement, but not a tool. A utensil is that which may be used for some special purpose; the word is especially applied to articles used for domestic or agricultural purposes; as, kitchen utensils; farming utensils. An appliance is that which is or may be applied to the accomplishment of a result, either independently or as subordinate to something more extensive or important; every mechanical tool is an appliance, but not every appliance is a tool; the traces of a harness are appliances for traction, but they are not tools. Mechanism is a word of wide meaning, denoting any combination of mechanical devices for united action. A machine in the most general sense is any mechanical instrument for the conversion of motion; in this sense a lever is a machine; but in more commonly accepted usage a machine is distinguished from a tool by its complexity, and by the combination and coordination of powers and movements for the production of a result. A chisel by itself is a tool; when it is set so as to be operated by a crank and pitman, the entire mechanism is called a machine; as, a mortising-machine. An apparatus may be a machine, but the word is commonly used for a collection of distinct articles to be used in connection or combination for a certain purpose—a mechanical equipment; as, the apparatus of a gymnasium; especially, for a collection of appliances for some scientific purpose; as, a chemical or surgical apparatus; an apparatus may include many tools, instruments, or implements. Implement is for the most part and utensil is altogether restricted to the literal sense; instrument, machine, and tool have figurative use, instrument being used largely in a good, tool always in a bad sense; machine inclines to the unfavorable sense, as implying that human agents are made mechanically subservient to some controlling will; as, an instrument of Providence; the tool of a tyrant; a political machine.

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TOPIC.

Synonyms:

division, issue, motion, proposition, subject, head, matter, point, question, theme.

A topic (Gr. topos, place) is a head of discourse. Since a topic for discussion is often stated in the form of a question, question has come to be extensively used to denote a debatable topic, especially of a practical nature—an issue; as, the labor question; the temperance question. In deliberative assemblies a proposition presented or moved for acceptance is called a motion, and such a motion or other matter for consideration is known as the question, since it is or may be stated in interrogative form to be answered by each member with a vote of "aye" or "no;" a member is required to speak to the question; the chairman puts the question. In speaking or writing the general subject or theme may be termed the topic, tho it is more usual to apply the latter term to the subordinate divisions, points, or heads of discourse; as, to enlarge on this topic would carry me too far from my subject; a pleasant drive will suggest many topics for conversation.

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TRACE.

Synonyms:

footmark, impression, remains, token, trail, footprint, mark, remnant, track, vestige. footstep, memorial, sign,

A memorial is that which is intended or fitted to bring to remembrance something that has passed away; it may be vast and stately. On the other hand, a slight token of regard may be a cherished memorial of a friend; either a concrete object or an observance may be a memorial. A vestige is always slight compared with that whose existence it recalls; as, scattered mounds containing implements, weapons, etc., are vestiges of a former civilization. A vestige is always a part of that which has passed away; a trace may be merely the mark made by something that has been present or passed by, and that is still existing, or some slight evidence of its presence or of the effect it has produced; as, traces of game were observed by the hunter. Compare CHARACTERISTIC.

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TRANSACT.

Synonyms:

accomplish, carry on, do, perform, act, conduct, negotiate, treat.

There are many acts that one may do, accomplish, or perform unaided; what he transacts is by means of or in association with others; one may do a duty, perform a vow, accomplish a task, but he transacts business, since that always involves the agency of others. To negotiate and to treat are likewise collective acts, but both these words lay stress upon deliberation with adjustment of mutual claims and interests; transact, while it may depend upon previous deliberation, states execution only. Notes, bills of exchange, loans, and treaties are said to be negotiated, the word so used covering not merely the preliminary consideration, but the final settlement. Negotiate has more reference to execution than treat; nations may treat of peace without result, but when a treaty is negotiated, peace is secured; the citizens of the two nations are then free to transact business with one another. Compare DO.

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TRANSACTION.

Synonyms:

act, action, affair, business, deed, doing, proceeding.

One's acts or deeds may be exclusively his own; his transactions involve the agency or participation of others. A transaction is something completed; a proceeding is or is viewed as something in progress; but since transaction is often used to include the steps leading to the conclusion, while proceedings may result in action, the dividing line between the two words becomes sometimes quite faint, tho transaction often emphasizes the fact of something done, or brought to a conclusion. Both transactions and proceedings are used of the records of a deliberative body, especially when published; strictly used, the two are distinguished; as, the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London give in full the papers read; the Proceedings of the American Philological Association give in full the business done, with mere abstracts of or extracts from the papers read. Compare ACT; BUSINESS.

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TRANSCENDENTAL.

Synonyms:

a priori, intuitive, original, primordial, transcendent.

Intuitive truths are those which are in the mind independently of all experience, not being derived from experience nor limited by it, as that the whole is greater than a part, or that things which are equal to the same thing are equal to one another. All intuitive truths or beliefs are transcendental. But transcendental is a wider term than intuitive, including all within the limits of thought that is not derived from experience, as the ideas of space and time. "Being is transcendental.... As being can not be included under any genus, but transcends them all, so the properties or affections of being have also been called transcendental." K.-F. Vocab. Philos. p. 530. "Transcendent he [Kant] employed to denote what is wholly beyond experience, being neither given as an a posteriori nor a priori element of cognition—what therefore transcends every category of thought." K.-F. Vocab. Philos. p. 531. Transcendental has been applied in the language of the Emersonian school to the soul's supposed intuitive knowledge of things divine and human, so far as they are capable of being known to man. Compare MYSTERIOUS.

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TRANSIENT.

Synonyms:

brief, fleeting, fugitive, short, ephemeral, flitting, momentary, temporary, evanescent, flying, passing, transitory.

Transient and transitory are both derived from the same original source (L. trans, over, and eo, go), denoting that which quickly passes or is passing away, but there is between them a fine shade of difference. A thing is transient which in fact is not lasting; a thing is transitory which by its very nature must soon pass away; a thing is temporary (L. tempus, time) which is intended to last or be made use of but a little while; as, a transient joy; this transitory life; a temporary chairman. Ephemeral (Gr. epi, on, and hemera, day) literally lasting but for a day, often marks more strongly than transient exceeding brevity of duration; it agrees with transitory in denoting that its object is destined to pass away, but is stronger, as denoting not only its certain but its speedy extinction; thus that which is ephemeral is looked upon as at once slight and perishable, and the word carries often a suggestion of contempt; man's life is transitory, a butterfly's existence is ephemeral; with no solid qualities or worthy achievements a pretender may sometimes gain an ephemeral popularity. That which is fleeting is viewed as in the act of passing swiftly by, and that which is fugitive (L. fugio, flee) as eluding attempts to detain it; that which is evanescent (L. evanesco, from e, out, and vanus, empty, vain) as in the act of vanishing even while we gaze, as the hues of the sunset.

Antonyms:

abiding, eternal, immortal, lasting, perpetual, undying, enduring, everlasting, imperishable, permanent, persistent, unfading.

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UNION.

Synonyms:

coalition, conjunction, juncture, unification, combination, junction, oneness, unity.

Unity is oneness, the state of being one, especially of that which never has been divided or of that which can not be conceived of as resolved into parts; as, the unity of God or the unity of the human soul. Union is a bringing together of things that have been distinct, so that they combine or coalesce to form a new whole, or the state or condition of things thus brought together; in a union the separate individuality of the things united is never lost sight of; we speak of the union of the parts of a fractured bone or of the union of hearts in marriage. But unity can be said of that which is manifestly or even conspicuously made up of parts, when a single purpose or ideal is so subserved by all that their possible separateness is lost sight of; as, we speak of the unity of the human body, or of the unity of the church. Compare ALLIANCE; ASSOCIATION; ATTACHMENT; HARMONY; MARRIAGE.

Antonyms:

analysis, disconnection, disunion, divorce, separation, contrariety, disjunction, division, schism, severance. decomposition, dissociation,

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USUAL.

Synonyms:

accustomed, everyday, general, ordinary, public, common, familiar, habitual, prevailing, regular, customary, frequent, normal, prevalent, wonted.

Usual (L. usus, use, habit, wont) signifies such as regularly or often recurs in the ordinary course of events, or is habitually repeated in the life of the same person. Ordinary (L. ordo, order) signifies according to an established order, hence of everyday occurrence. In strictness, common and general apply to the greater number of individuals in a class; but both words are in good use as applying to the greater number of instances in a series, so that it is possible to speak of one person's common practise or general custom, tho ordinary or usual would in such case be preferable. Compare GENERAL; NORMAL.

Antonyms:

exceptional, infrequent, rare, strange, unparalleled, extraordinary, out-of-the-way, singular, uncommon, unusual.

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UTILITY.

Synonyms:

advantage, expediency, serviceableness, avail, profit, use, benefit, service, usefulness.

Utility (L. utilis, useful) signifies primarily the quality of being useful, but is somewhat more abstract and philosophical than usefulness or use, and is often employed to denote adaptation to produce a valuable result, while usefulness denotes the actual production of such result. We contrast beauty and utility. We say of an invention, its utility is questionable, or, on the other hand, its usefulness has been proved by ample trial, or I have found it of use; still, utility and usefulness are frequently interchanged. Expediency (L. ex, out, and pes, foot; literally, the getting the foot out) refers primarily to escape from or avoidance of some difficulty or trouble; either expediency or utility may be used to signify profit or advantage considered apart from right as the ground of moral obligation, or of actions that have a moral character, expediency denoting immediate advantage on a contracted view, and especially with reference to avoiding danger, difficulty, or loss, while utility may be so broadened as to cover all existence through all time, as in the utilitarian theory of morals. Policy is often used in a kindred sense, more positive than expediency but narrower than utility, as in the proverb, "Honesty is the best policy." Compare PROFIT.

Antonyms:

disadvantage, futility, inadequacy, inutility, uselessness, folly, impolicy, inexpediency, unprofitableness, worthlessness.

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VACANT.

Synonyms:

blank, leisure, unfilled, untenanted, void, empty, unemployed, unoccupied, vacuous, waste.

That is empty which contains nothing; that is vacant which is without that which has filled or might be expected to fill it; vacant has extensive reference to rights or possibilities of occupancy. A vacant room may not be empty, and an empty house may not be vacant. Vacant, as derived from the Latin, is applied to things of some dignity; empty, from the Saxon, is preferred in speaking of slight, common, or homely matters, tho it may be applied with special force to the highest; we speak of empty space, a vacant lot, an empty dish, an empty sleeve, a vacant mind, an empty heart, an empty boast, a vacant office, a vacant or leisure hour. Void and devoid are rarely used in the literal sense, but for the most part confined to abstract relations, devoid being followed by of, and having with that addition the effect of a prepositional phrase; as, the article is devoid of sense; the contract is void for want of consideration. Waste, in this connection, applies to that which is made so by devastation or ruin, or gives an impression of desolation, especially as combined with vastness, probably from association of the words waste and vast: waste is applied also to uncultivated or unproductive land, if of considerable extent; we speak of a waste track or region, but not of a waste city lot. Vacuous refers to the condition of being empty or vacant, regarded as continuous or characteristic.

Antonyms:

brimful, busy, filled, inhabited, overflowing, brimmed, crammed, full, jammed, packed, brimming, crowded, gorged, occupied, replete.

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VAIN.

Synonyms:

abortive, futile, shadowy, unsatisfying, baseless, idle, trifling, unserviceable, bootless, inconstant, trivial, unsubstantial, deceitful, ineffectual, unavailing, useless, delusive, nugatory, unimportant, vapid, empty, null, unprofitable, visionary, fruitless, profitless, unreal, worthless.

Vain (L. vanus, empty) keeps the etymological idea through all changes of meaning; a vain endeavor is empty of result, or of adequate power to produce a result, a vain pretension is empty or destitute of support, a vain person has a conceit that is empty or destitute of adequate cause or reason. That which is bootless, fruitless, or profitless fails to accomplish any valuable result; that which is abortive, ineffectual, or unavailing fails to accomplish a result that it was, or was supposed to be, adapted to accomplish. That which is useless, futile, or vain is inherently incapable of accomplishing a specified result. Useless, in the widest sense, signifies not of use for any valuable purpose, and is thus closely similar to valueless and worthless. Fruitless is more final than ineffectual, as applying to the sum or harvest of endeavor. That which is useless lacks actual fitness for a purpose; that which is vain lacks imaginable fitness. Compare VACANT; OSTENTATION; PRIDE.

Antonyms:

adequate, effective, powerful, solid, useful, advantageous, efficient, profitable, sound, valid, beneficial, expedient, real, substantial, valuable, competent, potent, serviceable, sufficient, worthy.

Compare synonyms for UTILITY.

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VENAL.

Synonyms:

hireling, mercenary, purchasable, salable.

Venal (L. venalis, from venum, sale) signifies ready to sell one's influence, vote, or efforts for money or other consideration; mercenary (L. mercenarius, from merces, pay, reward) signifies influenced chiefly or only by desire for gain or reward; thus, etymologically, the mercenary can be hired, while the venal are openly or actually for sale; hireling (AS. hyrling, from hyr) signifies serving for hire or pay, or having the spirit or character of one who works or of that which is done directly for hire or pay. Mercenary has especial application to character or disposition; as, a mercenary spirit; mercenary motives—i. e., a spirit or motives to which money is the chief consideration or the moving principle. The hireling, the mercenary, and the venal are alike in making principle, conscience, and honor of less account than gold or sordid considerations; but the mercenary and venal may be simply open to the bargain and sale which the hireling has already consummated; a clergyman may be mercenary in making place and pay of undue importance while not venal enough to forsake his own communion for another for any reward that could be offered him. The mercenary may retain much show of independence; hireling service sacrifices self-respect as well as principle; a public officer who makes his office tributary to private speculation in which he is interested is mercenary; if he receives a stipulated recompense for administering his office at the behest of some leader, faction, corporation, or the like, he is both hireling and venal; if he gives essential advantages for pay, without subjecting himself to any direct domination, his course is venal, but not hireling. Compare PAY; VENIAL.

Antonyms:

disinterested, honest, incorruptible, public-spirited, generous, honorable, patriotic, unpurchasable.

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VENERATE.

Synonyms:

adore, honor, respect, revere, reverence.

In the highest sense, to revere or reverence is to hold in mingled love and honor with something of sacred fear, as for that which while lovely is sublimely exalted and brings upon us by contrast a sense of our unworthiness or inferiority; to revere is a wholly spiritual act; to reverence is often, tho not necessarily, to give outward expression to the reverential feeling; we revere or reverence the divine majesty. Revere is a stronger word than reverence or venerate. To venerate is to hold in exalted honor without fear, and is applied to objects less removed from ourselves than those we revere, being said especially of aged persons, of places or objects having sacred associations, and of abstractions; we venerate an aged pastor, the dust of heroes or martyrs, lofty virtue or self-sacrifice, or some great cause, as that of civil or religious liberty; we do not venerate God, but revere or reverence him. We adore with a humble yet free outflowing of soul. Compare VENERATION.

Antonyms:

contemn, detest, dishonor, scoff at, slight, despise, disdain, disregard, scorn, spurn.

* * * * *

VENERATION.

Synonyms:

adoration, awe, dread, reverence.

Awe is inspired by that in which there is sublimity or majesty so overwhelming as to awaken a feeling akin to fear; in awe, considered by itself, there is no element of esteem or affection, tho the sense of vastness, power, or grandeur in the object is always present. Dread is a shrinking apprehension or expectation of possible harm awakened by any one of many objects or causes, from that which is overwhelmingly vast and mighty to that which is productive of momentary physical pain; in its higher uses dread approaches the meaning of awe, but with more of chilliness and cowering, and without that subjection of soul to the grandeur and worthiness of the object that is involved in awe. Awe is preoccupied with the object that inspires it; dread with apprehension of personal consequences. Reverence and veneration are less overwhelming than awe or dread, and suggest something of esteem, affection, and personal nearness. We may feel awe of that which we can not reverence, as a grandly terrible ocean storm; awe of the divine presence is more distant and less trustful than reverence. Veneration is commonly applied to things which are not subjects of awe. Adoration, in its full sense, is loftier than veneration, less restrained and awed than reverence, and with more of the spirit of direct, active, and joyful worship. Compare ESTEEM; VENERATE.

Antonyms:

contempt, disdain, dishonor, disregard, scorn.

* * * * *

VENIAL.

Synonyms:

excusable, pardonable, slight, trivial.

Venial (L. venia, pardon) signifies capable of being pardoned, and, in common use, capable of being readily pardoned, easily overlooked. Aside from its technical ecclesiastical use, venial is always understood as marking some fault comparatively slight or trivial. A venial offense is one readily overlooked; a pardonable offense requires more serious consideration, but on deliberation is found to be susceptible of pardon. Excusable is scarcely applied to offenses, but to matters open to doubt or criticism rather than direct censure; so used, it often falls little short of justifiable; as, I think, under those circumstances, his action was excusable. Protestants do not recognize the distinction between venial and mortal sins. Venial must not be confounded with the very different word VENAL. Compare VENAL.

Antonyms:

inexcusable, inexpiable, mortal, unpardonable, unjustifiable.

* * * * *

VERACITY.

Synonyms:

candor, honesty, reality, truthfulness, frankness, ingenuousness, truth, verity.

Truth is primarily and verity is always a quality of thought or speech, especially of speech, as in exact conformity to fact. Veracity is properly a quality of a person, the habit of speaking and the disposition to speak the truth; a habitual liar may on some occasions speak the truth, but that does not constitute him a man of veracity; on the other hand, a person of undoubted veracity may state (through ignorance or misinformation) what is not the truth. Truthfulness is a quality that may inhere either in a person or in his statements or beliefs. Candor, frankness, honesty, and ingenuousness are allied with veracity, and verity with truth, while truthfulness may accord with either. Truth in a secondary sense may be applied to intellectual action or moral character, in the former case becoming a close synonym of veracity; as, I know him to be a man of truth.

Antonyms:

deceit, duplicity, falsehood, fiction, lie, deception, error, falseness, guile, mendacity, delusion, fabrication, falsity, imposture, untruth.

Compare synonyms for DECEPTION.

* * * * *

VERBAL.

Synonyms:

literal, oral, vocal.

Oral (L. os, the mouth) signifies uttered through the mouth or (in common phrase) by word of mouth; verbal (L. verbum, a word) signifies of, pertaining to, or connected with words, especially with words as distinguished from the ideas they convey; vocal (L. vox, the voice) signifies of or pertaining to the voice, uttered or modulated by the voice, and especially uttered with or sounding with full, resonant voice; literal (L. litera, a letter) signifies consisting of or expressed by letters, or according to the letter, in the broader sense of the exact meaning or requirement of the words used; what is called "the letter of the law" is its literal meaning without going behind what is expressed by the letters on the page. Thus oral applies to that which is given by spoken words in distinction from that which is written or printed; as, oral tradition; an oral examination. By this rule we should in strictness speak of an oral contract or an oral message, but verbal contract and verbal message, as indicating that which is by spoken rather than by written words, have become so fixed in the language that they can probably never be changed; this usage is also in line with other idioms of the language; as, "I give you my word," "a true man's word is as good as his bond," "by word of mouth," etc. A verbal translation may be oral or written, so that it is word for word; a literal translation follows the construction and idiom of the original as well as the words; a literal translation is more than one that is merely verbal; both verbal and literal are opposed to free. In the same sense, of attending to words only, we speak of verbal criticism, a verbal change. Vocal has primary reference to the human voice; as, vocal sounds, vocal music; vocal may be applied within certain limits to inarticulate sounds given forth by other animals than man; as, the woods were vocal with the songs of birds; oral is never so applied, but is limited to articulate utterance regarded as having a definite meaning; as, an oral statement.

* * * * *

VICTORY.

Synonyms:

achievement, conquest, success, triumph. advantage, mastery, supremacy,

Victory is the state resulting from the overcoming of an opponent or opponents in any contest, or from the overcoming of difficulties, obstacles, evils, etc., considered as opponents or enemies. In the latter sense any hard-won achievement, advantage, or success may be termed a victory. In conquest and mastery there is implied a permanence of state that is not implied in victory. Triumph, originally denoting the public rejoicing in honor of a victory, has come to signify also a peculiarly exultant, complete, and glorious victory. Compare CONQUER.

Antonyms:

defeat, disappointment, failure, miscarriage, retreat, destruction, disaster, frustration, overthrow, rout.

* * * * *

VIGILANT.

Synonyms:

alert, cautious, on the lookout, wary, awake, circumspect, sleepless, watchful, careful, on the alert, wakeful, wide-awake.

Vigilant implies more sustained activity and more intelligent volition than alert; one may be habitually alert by reason of native quickness of perception and thought, or one may be momentarily alert under some excitement or expectancy; one who is vigilant is so with thoughtful purpose. One is vigilant against danger or harm; he may be alert or watchful for good as well as against evil; he is wary in view of suspected stratagem, trickery, or treachery. A person may be wakeful because of some merely physical excitement or excitability, as through insomnia; yet he may be utterly careless and negligent in his wakefulness, the reverse of watchful; a person who is truly watchful must keep himself wakeful while on watch, in which case wakeful has something of mental quality. Watchful, from the Saxon, and vigilant, from the Latin, are almost exact equivalents; but vigilant has somewhat more of sharp definiteness and somewhat more suggestion of volition; one may be habitually watchful; one is vigilant of set purpose and for direct cause, as in the presence of an enemy. Compare ALERT.

Antonyms:

careless, heedless, inconsiderate, oblivious, drowsy, inattentive, neglectful, thoughtless, dull, incautious, negligent, unwary.

* * * * *

VIRTUE.

Synonyms:

chastity, honesty, probity, truth, duty, honor, purity, uprightness, excellence, integrity, rectitude, virtuousness, faithfulness, justice, righteousness, worth, goodness, morality, rightness, worthiness.

Virtue (L. virtus, primarily manly strength or courage, from vir, a man, a hero) is, in its full sense, goodness that is victorious through trial, perhaps through temptation and conflict. Goodness, the being morally good, may be much less than virtue, as lacking the strength that comes from trial and conflict, or it may be very much more than virtue, as rising sublimely above the possibility of temptation and conflict—the infantile as contrasted with the divine goodness. Virtue is distinctively human; we do not predicate it of God. Morality is conformity to the moral law in action, whether in matters concerning ourselves or others, whether with or without right principle. Honesty and probity are used especially of one's relations to his fellow men, probity being to honesty much what virtue in some respects is to goodness; probity is honesty tried and proved, especially in those things that are beyond the reach of legal requirement; above the commercial sense, honesty may be applied to the highest truthfulness of the soul to and with itself and its Maker. Integrity, in the full sense, is moral wholeness without a flaw; when used, as it often is, of contracts and dealings, it has reference to inherent character and principle, and denotes much more than superficial or conventional honesty. Honor is a lofty honesty that scorns fraud or wrong as base and unworthy of itself. Honor rises far above thought of the motto that "honesty is the best policy." Purity is freedom from all admixture, especially of that which debases; it is chastity both of heart and life, but of the life because from the heart. Duty, the rendering of what is due to any person or in any relation, is, in this connection, the fulfilment of moral obligation. Rectitude and righteousness denote conformity to the standard of right, whether in heart or act; righteousness is used especially in the religious sense. Uprightness refers especially to conduct. Virtuousness is a quality of the soul or of action; in the latter sense it is the essence of virtuous action. Compare INNOCENT; JUSTICE; RELIGION.

Antonyms:

evil, vice, viciousness, wickedness, wrong.

Compare synonyms for SIN.

* * * * *

WANDER.

Synonyms:

deviate, diverge, go astray, range, rove, swerve, digress, err, ramble, roam, stray, veer.

To wander (AS. windan, wind) is to move in an indefinite or indeterminate way which may or may not be a departure from a prescribed way; to deviate (L. de, from, and via, a way) is to turn from a prescribed or right way, physically, mentally, or morally, usually in an unfavorable sense; to diverge (L. di, apart, and vergo, incline, tend) is to turn from a course previously followed or that something else follows, and has no unfavorable implication; to digress (L. di, apart, aside, and gradior, step) is used only with reference to speaking or writing; to err is used of intellectual or moral action, and of the moral with primary reference to the intellectual, an error being viewed as in some degree due to ignorance. Range, roam, and rove imply the traversing of considerable, often of vast, distances of land or sea; range commonly implies a purpose; as, cattle range for food; a hunting-dog ranges a field for game. Roam and rove are often purposeless, and always without definite aim. To swerve or veer is to turn suddenly from a prescribed or previous course, and often but momentarily; veer is more capricious and repetitious; the horse swerves at the flash of a sword; the wind veers; the ship veers with the wind. To stray is to go in a somewhat purposeless way aside from the regular path or usual limits or abode, usually with unfavorable implication; cattle stray from their pastures; an author strays from his subject; one strays from the path of virtue. Stray is in most uses a lighter word than wander. Ramble, in its literal use, is always a word of pleasant suggestion, but in its figurative use always somewhat contemptuous; as, rambling talk.

* * * * *

WAY.

Synonyms:

alley, course, lane, path, route, avenue, driveway, pass, pathway, street, bridle-path, highroad, passage, road, thoroughfare, channel, highway, passageway, roadway, track.

Wherever there is room for one object to pass another there is a way. A road (originally a rideway) is a prepared way for traveling with horses or vehicles, always the latter unless the contrary is expressly stated; a way suitable to be traversed only by foot-passengers or by animals is called a path, bridle-path, or track; as, the roads in that country are mere bridle-paths. A road may be private; a highway or highroad is public, highway being a specific name for a road legally set apart for the use of the public forever; a highway may be over water as well as over land. A route is a line of travel, and may be over many roads. A street is in some center of habitation, as a city, town, or village; when it passes between rows of dwellings the country road becomes the village street. An avenue is a long, broad, and imposing or principal street. Track is a word of wide signification; we speak of a goat-track on a mountain-side, a railroad-track, a race-track, the track of a comet; on a traveled road the line worn by regular passing of hoofs and wheels in either direction is called the track. A passage is between any two objects or lines of enclosure, a pass commonly between mountains. A driveway is within enclosed grounds, as of a private residence. A channel is a waterway. A thoroughfare is a way through; a road or street temporarily or permanently closed at any point ceases for such time to be a thoroughfare. Compare AIR; DIRECTION.

* * * * *

WISDOM.

Synonyms:

attainment, insight, prudence, depth, judgment, reason, discernment, judiciousness, reasonableness, discretion, knowledge, sagacity, enlightenment, learning, sense, erudition, prescience, skill, foresight, profundity, understanding. information,

Enlightenment, erudition, information, knowledge, learning, and skill are acquired, as by study or practise. Insight, judgment, profundity or depth, reason, sagacity, sense, and understanding are native qualities of mind, tho capable of increase by cultivation. The other qualities are on the border-line. Wisdom has been defined as "the right use of knowledge," or "the use of the most important means for attaining the best ends," wisdom thus presupposing knowledge for its very existence and exercise. Wisdom is mental power acting upon the materials that fullest knowledge gives in the most effective way. There may be what is termed "practical wisdom" that looks only to material results; but in its full sense, wisdom implies the highest and noblest exercise of all the faculties of the moral nature as well as of the intellect. Prudence is a lower and more negative form of the same virtue, respecting outward and practical matters, and largely with a view of avoiding loss and injury; wisdom transcends prudence, so that while the part of prudence is ordinarily also that of wisdom, cases arise, as in the exigencies of business or of war, when the highest wisdom is in the disregard of the maxims of prudence. Judgment, the power of forming decisions, especially correct decisions, is broader and more positive than prudence, leading one to do, as readily as to refrain from doing; but judgment is more limited in range and less exalted in character than wisdom; to say of one that he displayed good judgment is much less than to say that he manifested wisdom. Skill is far inferior to wisdom, consisting largely in the practical application of acquired knowledge, power, and habitual processes, or in the ingenious contrivance that makes such application possible. In the making of something perfectly useless there may be great skill, but no wisdom. Compare ACUMEN; ASTUTE; KNOWLEDGE; MIND; PRUDENCE; SAGACIOUS; SKILFUL.

Antonyms:

absurdity, folly, imbecility, miscalculation, senselessness, error, foolishness, imprudence, misjudgment, silliness, fatuity, idiocy, indiscretion, nonsense, stupidity.

Compare synonyms for ABSURD; IDIOCY.

* * * * *

WIT.

Synonyms:

banter, fun, joke, waggery, burlesque, humor, playfulness, waggishness, drollery, jest, pleasantry, witticism. facetiousness, jocularity, raillery,

Wit is the quick perception of unusual or commonly unperceived analogies or relations between things apparently unrelated, and has been said to depend upon a union of surprise and pleasure; it depends certainly on the production of a diverting, entertaining, or merrymaking surprise. The analogies with which wit plays are often superficial or artificial; humor deals with real analogies of an amusing or entertaining kind, or with traits of character that are seen to have a comical side as soon as brought to view. Wit is keen, sudden, brief, and sometimes severe; humor is deep, thoughtful, sustained, and always kindly. Pleasantry is lighter and less vivid than wit. Fun denotes the merry results produced by wit and humor, or by any fortuitous occasion of mirth, and is pronounced and often hilarious.

Antonyms:

dulness, seriousness, sobriety, solemnity, stolidity, stupidity. gravity,

* * * * *

WORK.

Synonyms:

achievement, doing, labor, product, action, drudgery, occupation, production, business, employment, performance, toil. deed, exertion.

Work is the generic term for any continuous application of energy toward an end; work may be hard or easy. Labor is hard and wearying work; toil is straining and exhausting work. Work is also used for any result of working, physical or mental, and has special senses, as in mechanics, which labor and toil do not share. Drudgery is plodding, irksome, and often menial work. Compare ACT; BUSINESS.

Antonyms:

ease, leisure, recreation, relaxation, repose, rest, vacation. idleness,

* * * * *

YET.

Synonyms:

besides, further, hitherto, now, still, thus far.

Yet and still have many closely related senses, and, with verbs of past time, are often interchangeable; we may say "while he was yet a child," or "while he was still a child." Yet, like still, often applies to past action or state extending to and including the present time, especially when joined with as; we can say "he is feeble as yet," or "he is still feeble," with scarcely appreciable difference of meaning, except that the former statement implies somewhat more of expectation than the latter. Yet with a negative applies to completed action, often replacing a positive statement with still; "he is not gone yet" is nearly the same as "he is here still." Yet has a reference to the future which still does not share; "we may be successful yet" implies that success may begin at some future time; "we may be successful still" implies that we may continue to enjoy in the future such success as we are winning now.

* * * * *

YOUTHFUL.

Synonyms:

adolescent, callow, childlike, immature, puerile, boyish, childish, girlish, juvenile, young.

Boyish, childish, and girlish are used in a good sense of those to whom they properly belong, but in a bad sense of those from whom more maturity is to be expected; childish eagerness or glee is pleasing in a child, but unbecoming in a man; puerile in modern use is distinctly contemptuous. Juvenile and youthful are commonly used in a favorable and kindly sense in their application to those still young; youthful in the sense of having the characteristics of youth, hence fresh, vigorous, light-hearted, buoyant, may have a favorable import as applied to any age, as when we say the old man still retains his youthful ardor, vigor, or hopefulness; juvenile in such use would belittle the statement. Young is distinctively applied to those in the early stage of life or not arrived at maturity. Compare NEW.

Antonyms:

Compare synonyms for OLD.



SUGGESTIONS TO THE TEACHER.

The following exercises have been prepared expressly and solely to accompany the preceding text in which the distinctions of synonyms have been carefully pointed out. It is not expected, intended, or desired that the questions should be answered or the blanks in the examples supplied offhand. In such study nothing can be worse than guesswork. Hence, leading questions have been avoided, and the order of synonyms given in Part I. has frequently been departed from or reversed in Part II.

To secure the study of Part I. before coming into class, pupils should not be allowed to open it during recitation, unless on rare occasions to settle doubtful or disputed points. The very best method will be found to be to have the examples included in the lesson, with any others that may be added, copied on the blackboard before recitation, and no books brought into class.

The teacher should make a thorough study of the subject, not only mastering what is given in Part I., but going beyond the necessarily brief statements there given, and consulting the ultimate authorities—the best dictionaries and the works of the best speakers and writers. For the latter purpose a good cyclopedia of quotations, like the Hoyt, will be found very helpful. The teacher should so study out the subject as to be distinctly in advance of the class and able to speak authoritatively. Such independent study will be found intensely interesting, and can be made delightful and even fascinating to any intelligent class.

In answer to questions calling for definitive statement, the teacher should insist upon the very words of the text, unless the pupil can give in his own words what is manifestly as good. This will often be found not easy to do. Definition by synonym should be absolutely forbidden.

Reasonable questions should be encouraged, but the class should not be allowed to become a debating society. The meaning of English words is not a matter of conjecture, and all disputed points should be promptly referred to the dictionary—usually to be looked up after the recitation, and considered, if need be, at the next recitation. The majority of them will not need to be referred to again, as the difficulties will simply represent an inferior usage which the dictionary will brush aside. One great advantage of synonym study is to exterminate colloquialisms.

The class should be encouraged to bring quotations from first-class authors with blanks to be filled, such quotations being held authoritative, though not infallible; also quotations from the best newspapers, periodicals, speeches, etc., with words underlined for criticism, such quotations being held open to revision upon consultation of authorities. The change of usage, whereby that may be correct to-day which would not have been so at an earlier period, should be carefully noted, but always upon the authority of an approved dictionary.

The examples have been in great part selected from the best literature, and all others carefully prepared for this work. Hence, an appropriate word to fill each blank can always be found by careful study of the corresponding group of synonyms. In a few instances, either of two words would appropriately fill a blank and yield a good sense. In such case, either should be accepted as correct, but the resulting difference of meaning should be clearly pointed out.



PART II.

QUESTIONS AND EXAMPLES.

* * * * *

ABANDON (page 1).

QUESTIONS.

1. To what objects or classes of objects does abandon apply? abdicate? cede? quit? resign? surrender? 2. Is abandon used in the favorable or unfavorable sense? desert favorable or unfavorable? forsake? 3. What does abandon commonly denote of previous relationship? forsake?

EXAMPLES.

The soldiers —— his standard in such numbers that the commander found it necessary to —— the enterprise.

France was compelled to —— Alsace and Lorraine to Germany.

In the height of his power Charles V. —— the throne.

Finding resistance vain, the defenders agreed to —— the fortress.

To the surprise of his friends, Senator Conkling suddenly —— his office.

At the stroke of the bell, the men instantly —— work.

* * * * *

ABASE (page 2).

QUESTIONS.

1. How does abase differ from debase? humble from humiliate? degrade from disgrace?

EXAMPLES.

To provide funds, the king resolved to —— the coinage.

He came from the scene of his disgrace, haughty and defiant, —— but not ——.

The officer who had —— himself by cowardice was —— to the ranks.

Only the base in spirit will —— themselves before wealth, rank, and power.

The messenger was so —— that no heed was paid to his message.

* * * * *

ABASH (page 3).

QUESTIONS.

1. What has the effect to make one abashed? 2. How does confuse differ from abash? 3. What do we mean when we say that a person is mortified? 4. Give an instance of the use of mortified where abashed could not be substituted. Why could not the words be interchanged? 5. Can one be daunted who is not abashed? 6. Is embarrass or mortify the stronger word? Give instances.

EXAMPLES.

The peasant stood —— in the royal presence.

The numerous questions —— the witness.

The speaker was —— for a moment, but quickly recovered himself.

At the revelation of such depravity, I was utterly ——.

When sensible of his error, the visitor was deeply ——.

* * * * *

ABBREVIATION (page 4).

QUESTIONS.

1. Is an abbreviation always a contraction? 2. Is a contraction always an abbreviation? Give instances. 3. Can we have an abbreviation of a book, paragraph, or sentence? What can be abbreviated? and what abridged?

EXAMPLES.

The treatise was already so brief that it did not admit of ——.

The —— Dr. is used both for Doctor and Debtor.

F. R. S. is an —— of the title "Fellow of the Royal Society."

* * * * *

ABET (page 4).

QUESTIONS.

1. Abet, incite, instigate: which of these words are used in a good and which in a bad sense? 2. How does abet differ from incite and instigate as to the time of the action? 3. Which of the three words apply to persons and which to actions? Give instances of the use of abet; instigate; incite.

EXAMPLES.

To further his own schemes, he —— the viceroy to rebel against the king.

To —— a crime may be worse than to originate it, as arguing less excitement and more calculation and cowardice.

The prosecution was evidently malicious, —— by envy and revenge.

And you that do —— him in this kind Cherish rebellion, and are rebels all.

* * * * *

ABHOR (page 5).

QUESTIONS.

1. Which is the stronger word, abhor or despise? 2. What does abhor denote? 3. How does Archbishop Trench illustrate the difference between abhor and shun? 4. What does detest express? 5. What does loathe imply? Is it physical or moral in its application? 6. Give illustrations of the appropriate uses of the above words.

EXAMPLES.

He had sunk to such degradation as to be utterly —— by all good men.

Such weakness can only be ——.

Talebearers and backbiters are everywhere ——.

—— that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

* * * * *

ABIDE (page 5).

QUESTIONS.

1. What limit of time is expressed by abide? by lodge? by live, dwell, reside? 2. What is the meaning of sojourn? 3. Should we say one is stopping or staying at a hotel? and why? 4. Give examples of the extended, and of the limited use of abide.

EXAMPLES.

One generation passeth away and another generation cometh, but the earth —— forever.

And there were in the same country shepherds —— in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

So great was the crowd of visitors that many were compelled to —— in the neighboring villages.

He is —— at the Albemarle.

He has —— for forty years in the same house.

By faith he —— in the land of promise, as in a strange country.

* * * * *

ABOLISH (page 6).

QUESTIONS.

1. Is abolish used of persons or material objects? 2. Of what is it used? Give examples. 3. What does annihilate signify? Is it stronger or weaker than abolish? 4. What terms do we use for doing away with laws, and how do those terms differ among themselves? 5. What are the differences between overthrow, suppress, and subvert? especially between the last two of those words? 6. How does prohibit differ from abolish? 7. What word do we especially use of putting an end to a nuisance? 8. What other words of this class are especially referred to? 9. Give some antonyms of abolish.

EXAMPLES.

The one great endeavor of Buddhism is to —— sorrow.

Modern science seems to show conclusively that matter is never ——.

The law, which had long been —— by the revolutionists, was at last —— by the legislature.

The ancient statute was found to have been —— by later enactments, though never formally ——.

The Supreme Court —— the adverse decision of the inferior tribunal.

Even in a republic, sedition should be promptly ——, or it may result in the —— of free institutions.

From the original settlement of Vineland, New Jersey, the sale of intoxicating liquor has been ——.

* * * * *

ABOMINATION (page 7).

QUESTIONS.

1. To what was abomination originally applied? 2. Does it refer to a state of mind or to some act or other object of thought? 3. How does abomination differ from aversion or disgust? 4. How does an abomination differ from an offense? from crime in general?

EXAMPLES.

After the ship began to pitch and roll, we could not look upon food without ——.

It is time that such a —— should be abated.

Capital punishment was formerly inflicted in England for trivial ——.

In spite of their high attainments in learning and art, the foulest —— were prevalent among the Greeks and Romans of classic antiquity.

* * * * *

ABRIDGMENT (page 7).

QUESTIONS.

1. How does an abridgment differ from an outline or a synopsis? from an abstract or digest? 2. How does an abstract or digest differ from an outline or a synopsis? 3. Does an analysis of a treatise deal with what is expressed, or with what is implied? 4. What words may we use to express a condensed view of a subject, whether derived from a previous publication or not?

EXAMPLES.

The New Testament may be regarded as an —— of religion.

There are several excellent —— of English literature.

An —— of the decision of the court was published in all the leading papers.

The publishers determined to issue an —— of their dictionary.

Such —— as U. S. for United States should be rarely used, unless in hasty writing or technical works.

* * * * *

ABSOLUTE (page 8).

QUESTIONS.

1. What does absolute in the strict sense denote? supreme? 2. To what are these words in such sense properly applied? 3. How are they used in a modified sense? 4. Is arbitrary ever used in a good sense? What is the chief use? Give examples. 5. How does autocratic differ from arbitrary? both these words from despotic? despotic from tyrannical? 6. Is irresponsible good or bad in its implication? arbitrary? imperative? imperious? peremptory? positive? authoritative?

EXAMPLES.

God alone is —— and ——.

The Czar of Russia is an —— ruler.

—— power tends always to be —— in its exercise.

On all questions of law in the United States the decision of the —— Court is —— and final.

Learning of the attack on our seamen, the government sent an —— demand for apology and indemnity.

Man's —— will and —— intellect have given him dominion over all other creatures on the earth, so that they are either subjugated or exterminated.

* * * * *

ABSOLVE (page 9).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is the original sense of absolve? 2. To what does it apply? 3. What is its special sense when used with reference to sins? 4. How does it differ from acquit? forgive? justify? pardon? 5. What are the chief antonyms of absolve?

EXAMPLES.

No power under heaven can —— a man from his personal responsibility.

When the facts were known, he was —— of all blame.

* * * * *

ABSORB (page 9).

QUESTIONS.

1. When is a fluid said to be absorbed? 2. Is the substance of the absorbing body changed by that which it absorbs? Give instances. 3. How does consume differ from absorb? 4. Give instances of the distinctive uses of engross, swallow, imbibe, and absorb in the figurative sense. 5. What is the difference between absorb and emit? absorb and radiate?

EXAMPLES.

Tho the fuel was rapidly —— within the furnace, very little heat was —— from the outer surface.

In setting steel rails special provision must be made for their expansion under the influence of the heat that they ——.

Jip stood on the table and barked at Traddles so persistently that he may be said to have —— the conversation.

* * * * *

ABSTINENCE (page 10).

QUESTIONS.

1. How does abstinence differ from abstemiousness? from self-denial? 2. What is temperance regarding things lawful and worthy? regarding things vicious and injurious? 3. What is the more exact term for the proper course regarding evil indulgences?

EXAMPLES.

He was so moderate in his desires that his —— seemed to cost him no ——.

Among the Anglo-Saxons the idea of universal and total —— from all intoxicants is little more than a century old.

* * * * *

ABSTRACT, v.; ABSTRACTED (page 10, 11).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is the difference between abstract and separate? between discriminate and distinguish?[C] 2. How does abstract, when said of the mind, differ from divert? from distract? 3. How do abstracted, absorbed, and preoccupied differ from absent-minded? 4. Can one who is preoccupied be said to be listless or thoughtless? one who is absent-minded?

EXAMPLES.

He was so —— with these perplexities as to be completely —— of his surroundings.

The busy student may be excused if ——; in the merely —— or —— it is intolerable.

The power to —— one idea from all its associations and view it alone is the —— mark of a philosophical mind.

Numerous interruptions in the midst of —— occupations had made him almost ——.

[C] NOTE. See these words under DISCERN as referred to at the end of the paragraph on ABSTRACT in Part I. The pupil should be instructed, in all cases, to look up and read over the synonyms referred to by the words in small capitals at the end of the paragraph in Part I.

* * * * *

ABSURD (page 11).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is the difference between absurd and paradoxical? 2. What are the distinctions between irrational, foolish, and silly? 3. What is the especial implication in unreasonable? 4. How do monstrous and preposterous compare with absurd? 5. What is the especial element common to the ludicrous, the ridiculous, and the nonsensical? 6. What are some chief antonyms of absurd?

EXAMPLES.

A statement may be disproved by deducing logically from it a conclusion that is ——.

Carlyle delighted in —— utterances.

The —— hatred of the Jews in the Middle Ages led the populace to believe the most —— slanders concerning them.

I attempted to dissuade him from the —— plan, but found him altogether ——; many of his arguments were so —— as to be positively ——.

* * * * *

ABUSE (page 12).

QUESTIONS.

1. To what does abuse apply? 2. How does abuse differ from damage (as in the case of rented property, e. g.)? 3. How does abuse differ from harm? 4. What words of this group are used in a bad sense? 5. Is reproach good or bad? 6. How do persecute and oppress differ? 7. Do misemploy, misuse, and pervert apply to persons or things? To which does abuse apply?

EXAMPLES.

The tenant shall not —— the property beyond reasonable wear.

—— intellectual gifts make the dangerous villain.

In his rage he began to —— and —— all who had formerly been his friends.

To be —— for doing right can never really —— a true man.

In no way has man —— his fellow man more cruelly than by —— him for his religious belief.

* * * * *

ACCESSORY, n. (page 13).

QUESTIONS.

1. Which words of this group are used in a good, and which in a bad sense? 2. Which are indifferently either good or bad? 3. To what does ally generally apply? colleague? 4. How does an associate compare in rank with a principal? 5. Is assistant or attendant the higher word? How do both these words compare with associate? 6. In what sense are follower, henchman, and retainer used? partner? 7. What is the legal distinction between abettor and accessory? 8. To what is accomplice nearly equivalent? Which is the preferred legal term?

EXAMPLES.

The Senator differed with his —— in this matter.

The baron rode into town with a great array of armed ——.

France and Russia seem to have become firm ——.

The —— called to the —— for a fresh bandage.

All persons, but especially the young, should take the greatest care in the choice of their ——.

As he was not present at the actual commission of the crime, he was held to be only an —— and not an ——.

* * * * *

ACCIDENT (page 14).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is the difference between accident and chance? 2. How does incident differ from both? 3. What is the special significance of fortune? 4. How does it differ in usage from chance? 5. How are accident, misadventure, and mishap distinguished?

EXAMPLES.

Gambling clings almost inseparably to games of ——.

Bruises and contusions are regarded as ordinary —— of the cavalry service.

The prudent man is careful not to tempt —— too far.

The misplacement of the switch caused a terrible ——.

Great thoughts and high purposes keep one from being greatly disturbed by the little —— of daily life.

* * * * *

ACQUAINTANCE (page 15).

QUESTIONS.

1. What does acquaintance between persons imply? 2. How does acquaintance differ from companionship? acquaintance from friendship? from intimacy? 3. How does fellowship differ from friendship?

EXAMPLES.

A public speaker becomes known to many persons whom he does not know, but who are ready promptly to claim —— with him.

The —— of life must bring us into —— with many who can not be admitted within the inner circle of ——.

The —— of school and college life often develop into the most beautiful and enduring ——.

Between those most widely separated by distance of place and time, by language, station, occupation, and creed, there may yet be true —— of soul.

* * * * *

ACRIMONY (page 15).

QUESTIONS.

1. How does acerbity differ from asperity? asperity from acrimony? 2. How is acrimony distinguished from malignity? malignity from virulence? 3. What is implied in the use of the word severity?

EXAMPLES.

A certain —— of speech had become habitual with him.

To this ill-timed request, he answered with sudden ——.

A constant sense of injustice may deepen into a settled ——.

This smooth and pleasing address veiled a deep ——.

Great —— will be patiently borne if the sufferer is convinced of its essential justice.

* * * * *

ACT (page 16).

QUESTIONS.

1. How is act distinguished from action? from deed? 2. Which of the words in this group necessarily imply an external effect? Which may be wholly mental?

EXAMPLES.

He who does the truth will need no instruction as to individual ——s.

—— is the truth of thought.

The —— is done.

* * * * *

ACTIVE (page 17).

QUESTIONS.

1. With what two sets of words is active allied? 2. How does active differ from busy? from industrious? 3. How do active and restless compare? 4. To what sort of activity does officious refer? 6. What are some chief antonyms of active?

EXAMPLES.

Being of an —— disposition and without settled purpose or definite occupation, she became —— as a hornet.

He had his —— days and hours, but could never be properly said to be ——.

An —— attendant instantly seized upon my baggage.

The true student is —— from the mere love of learning, independently of its rewards.

* * * * *

ACUMEN (page 18).

QUESTIONS.

1. How do sharpness, acuteness, penetration, and insight compare with acumen? 2. What is the special characteristic of acumen? To what order of mind does it belong? 3. What is sagacity? Is it attributed to men or brutes? 4. What is perspicacity? 5. What is shrewdness? Is it ordinarily good or evil? 6. Give illustrations of the uses of the above words as regards the possessors of the corresponding qualities.

EXAMPLES.

The treatise displays great critical ——.

The Indians had developed a practical —— that enabled them to follow a trail by scarcely perceptible signs almost as unerringly as the hound by scent.

* * * * *

ADD (page 18).

QUESTIONS.

1. How is add related to increase? How does it differ from multiply? 2. What does augment signify? Of what is it ordinarily used? 3. To what does amplify apply? 4. In what ways may a discourse or treatise be amplified?

EXAMPLES.

Care to our coffin —— a nail no doubt; And every grin, so merry, draws one out.

—— up at night, what thou hast done by day; And in the morning what thou hast to do.

* * * * *

ADDRESS, v. (page 19).

QUESTIONS.

1. What does accost always signify? greet? hail? 2. How does salute differ from accost or greet? address? 3. What is it to apostrophize?

EXAMPLES.

The pale snowdrop is springing To —— the glowing sun.

—— to the Chief who in triumph advances.

His faithful dog —— the smiling guest.

—— ye heroes! heaven-born band! Who fought and died in freedom's cause.

* * * * *

ADDRESS, n. (page 20).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is address in the sense here considered? 2. What is tact? 3. What qualities are included in address?

EXAMPLES.

And the tear that is wiped with a little —— May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.

The —— of doing doth expresse No other but the doer's willingnesse.

I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking; I could wish —— would invent some other custom of entertainment.

* * * * *

ADEQUATE (page 21).

QUESTIONS.

1. What do adequate, commensurate, and sufficient alike signify? How does commensurate specifically differ from the other two words? Give examples. 2. To what do adapted, fit, suitable, and qualified refer? 3. Is satisfactory a very high recommendation of any work? Why? 4. Is able or capable the higher word? Illustrate.

EXAMPLES.

We know not of what we are —— till the trial comes.

Indeed, left nothing —— for your purpose untouched, slightly handled, in discourse.

* * * * *

ADHERENT (page 21).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is an adherent? 2. How does an adherent differ from a supporter? from a disciple? 3. How do both the above words differ from ally? 4. Has partisan a good or a bad sense, and why? 5. Is it well to speak of a supporter as a backer?

EXAMPLES.

Also of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away ——s after them.

Woman is woman's natural ——.

Self-defense compelled the European nations to be ——s against Napoleon.

The deposed monarch was found to have a strong body of ——s.

* * * * *

ADJACENT (page 22).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is the difference between adjacent and adjoining? contiguous? conterminous? 2. What distance is implied in near? neighboring? 3. What does next always imply? 4. Give antonyms of adjacent; near.

EXAMPLES.

Stronger by weakness, wiser men become, As they draw —— to their eternal home.

* * * * *

ADMIRE (page 23).

QUESTIONS.

1. In what sense was admire formerly used? What does it now express? 2. How does admire compare with revere? venerate? adore? Give instances of the use of these words.

EXAMPLES.

The beautiful are sure to be ——.

Henceforth the majesty of God ——; Fear him, and you have nothing else to fear.

I value Science—none can prize it more, It gives ten thousand motives to ——: Be it religious, as it ought to be, The heart it humbles, and it bows the knee.

* * * * *

ADORN (page 23).

QUESTIONS.

1. How does adorn differ from ornament? from garnish? from deck or bedeck? from decorate?

EXAMPLES.

At church, with meek and unaffected grace, His looks —— the venerable place.

The red breast oft, at evening hours, Shall kindly lend his little aid, With hoary moss, and gathered flowers, To —— the ground where thou art laid.

* * * * *

AFFRONT (page 24).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is it to affront? 2. How does affront compare with insult? with tease? annoy?

EXAMPLES.

It is safer to —— some people than to oblige them; for the better a man deserves, the worse they will speak of him.

Oh, rather give me commentators plain, Who with no deep researches —— the brain.

The petty desire to —— is simply a perversion of the human love of power.

They rushed to meet the —— foe.

* * * * *

AGENT (page 24).

QUESTIONS.

1. How does agent in the philosophical sense compare with mover or doer? 2. What different sense has it in business usage?

EXAMPLES.

That morality may mean anything, man must be held to be a free ——.

The —— declined to take the responsibility in the absence of the owner.

* * * * *

AGREE (page 25).

QUESTIONS.

1. How do concur and coincide differ in range of meaning? How with reference to expression in action? 2. How does accede compare with consent? 3. Which is the most general word of this group?

EXAMPLES.

A woman's lot is made for her by the love she ——.

My poverty, but not my will, ——.

* * * * *

AGRICULTURE (page 25).

QUESTIONS.

1. What does agriculture include? How does it differ from farming? 2. What is gardening? floriculture? horticulture?

EXAMPLES.

Loan oft loses both itself and friend; And borrowing dulls the edge of ——.

A field becomes exhausted by constant ——.

* * * * *

AIM (page 26).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is an aim? How does it differ from mark? from goal? 2. How do end and object compare? 3. To what does aspiration apply? How does it differ in general from design, endeavor, or purpose? 4. How does purpose compare with intention? 5. What is design?

EXAMPLES.

In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn For miserable —— that end with self.

O yet we trust that somehow good Will be the final —— of ill.

How quickly nature falls into revolt, When gold becomes her ——.

It is not ——, but ambition that is the mother of misery in man.

* * * * *

AIR (page 27).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is air in the sense here considered? 2. How does air differ from appearance? 3. What is the difference between expression and look? 4. What is the sense of bearing? carriage? 5. How does mien differ from air? 6. What does demeanor include?

EXAMPLES.

I never, with important ——, In conversation overbear.

Vice is a monster of so frightful ——, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen.

Grief fills the room up of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, Puts on his pretty ——, repeats his words.

* * * * *

AIRY (page 27).

QUESTIONS.

1. How does airy agree with and differ from aerial? Give instances of the uses of the two words. 2. What does ethereal signify? sprightly? 3. Are lively and animated used in the favorable or unfavorable sense?

EXAMPLES.

—— tongues that syllable men's names, on sands and shores and desert wildernesses.

The —— mold Incapable of stain, would soon expel Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire, Victorious.

Society became my glittering bride, And —— hopes my children.

Soft o'er the shrouds —— whispers breathe, That seemed but zephyrs to the train beneath.

* * * * *

ALARM (page 28).

QUESTIONS.

1. What is the derivation and distinctive meaning of alarm? 2. What do affright and fright express? Give an illustration of the contrasted terms. 3. How are apprehension, disquietude, dread, and misgiving related to the danger that excites them? 4. What are consternation, dismay, and terror, and how are they related to the danger? 5. What is timidity?

* * * * *

ALERT (page 28).

QUESTIONS.

1. To what do alert, wide-awake, and ready refer? 2. How does ready differ from alert? from prepared? 3. What does prompt signify? 4. What is the secondary meaning of alert?

EXAMPLES.

To be —— for war is one of the most effectual ways of preserving peace.

He who is not —— to-day will be less so to-morrow.

Thus ending loudly, as he would o'erleap His destiny, —— he stood.

* * * * *

ALIEN, a. & n. (page 29).

QUESTIONS.

1. How does alien differ from foreign? 2. Is a foreigner by birth necessarily an alien? 3. Are the people of one country while residing in their own land foreigners or aliens to the people of other lands? 4. How can one residing in a foreign country cease to be an alien in that country? 5. How do foreign and alien differ in their figurative use?

EXAMPLES.

By —— hands thy dying eyes were closed . . . By —— hands thy humble grave adorned By strangers honored and by strangers mourned.

What is religion? Not a —— inhabitant, nor something —— to our nature, which comes and takes up its abode in the soul.

—— from the commonwealth of Israel and —— from the covenants of promise.

* * * * *

ALIKE (page 30).

QUESTIONS.

1. How does alike compare with similar? with identical? 2. What is the distinction often made between equal and equivalent? 3. What is the sense of analogous? (Compare synonyms for ANALOGY.) 4. In what sense is homogeneous used?

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