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

Synonyms:

fable, fiction, illustration, metaphor, parable, simile.

In modern usage we may say that an allegory is an extended simile, while a metaphor is an abbreviated simile contained often in a phrase, perhaps in a word. The simile carries its comparison on the surface, in the words as, like, or similar expressions; the metaphor is given directly without any note of comparison. The allegory, parable, or fable tells its story as if true, leaving the reader or hearer to discover its fictitious character and learn its lesson. All these are, in strict definition, fictions; but the word fiction is now applied almost exclusively to novels or romances. An allegory is a moral or religious tale, of which the moral lesson is the substance, and all descriptions and incidents but accessories, as in "The Pilgrim's Progress." A fable is generally briefer, representing animals as the speakers and actors, and commonly conveying some lesson of practical wisdom or shrewdness, as "The Fables of AEsop." A parable is exclusively moral or religious, briefer and less adorned than an allegory, with its lesson more immediately discernible, given, as it were, at a stroke. Any comparison, analogy, instance, example, tale, anecdote, or the like which serves to let in light upon a subject may be called an illustration, this word in its widest use including all the rest. Compare FICTION; STORY.

Antonyms:

chronicle, fact, history, narrative, record.

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ALLEVIATE.

Synonyms:

abate, lighten, reduce, remove, assuage, mitigate, relieve, soften. lessen, moderate,

Etymologically, to alleviate is to lift a burden toward oneself, and so lighten it for the bearer; to relieve is to lift it back from the bearer, nearly or quite away; to remove is to take it away altogether. Alleviate is thus less than relieve; relieve, ordinarily, less than remove. We alleviate, relieve or remove the trouble; we relieve, not alleviate, the sufferer. Assuage is, by derivation, to sweeten; mitigate, to make mild; moderate, to bring within measure; abate, to beat down, and so make less. We abate a fever; lessen anxiety; moderate passions or desires; lighten burdens; mitigate or alleviate pain; reduce inflammation; soften, assuage, or moderate grief; we lighten or mitigate punishments; we relieve any suffering of body or mind that admits of help, comfort, or remedy. Alleviate has been often confused with allay. Compare ALLAY.

Antonyms:

aggravate, embitter, heighten, intensify, make worse. augment, enhance, increase, magnify,

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ALLIANCE.

Synonyms:

coalition, confederation, fusion, partnership, compact, federation, league, union. confederacy,

Alliance is in its most common use a connection formed by treaty between sovereign states as for mutual aid in war. Partnership is a mercantile word; alliance chiefly political or matrimonial. Coalition is oftenest used of political parties; fusion is now the more common word in this sense. In an alliance between nations there is no surrender of sovereignty, and no union except for a specified time and purpose. League and alliance are used with scarcely perceptible difference of meaning. In a confederacy or confederation there is an attempt to unite separate states in a general government without surrender of sovereignty. Union implies so much concession as to make the separate states substantially one. Federation is mainly a poetic and rhetorical word expressing something of the same thought, as in Tennyson's "federation of the world," Locksley Hall, l. 128. The United States is not a confederacy nor an alliance; the nation might be called a federation, but prefers to be styled a federal union.

Antonyms:

antagonism, disunion, enmity, schism, separation, discord, divorce, hostility, secession, war.

Prepositions:

Alliance with a neighboring people; against the common enemy; for offense and defense; alliance of, between, or among nations.

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ALLOT.

Synonyms:

appoint, destine, give, portion out, apportion, distribute, grant, select, assign, divide, mete out, set apart. award,

Allot, originally to assign by lot, applies to the giving of a definite thing to a certain person. A portion or extent of time is allotted; as, I expect to live out my allotted time. A definite period is appointed; as, the audience assembled at the appointed hour. Allot may also refer to space; as, to allot a plot of ground for a cemetery; but we now oftener use select, set apart, or assign. Allot is not now used of persons. Appoint may be used of time, space, or person; as, the appointed day; the appointed place; an officer was appointed to this station. Destine may also refer to time, place, or person, but it always has reference to what is considerably in the future; a man appoints to meet his friend in five minutes; he destines his son to follow his own profession. Assign is rarely used of time, but rather of places, persons, or things. We assign a work to be done and assign a man to do it, who, if he fails, must assign a reason for not doing it. That which is allotted, appointed, or assigned is more or less arbitrary; that which is awarded is the due requital of something the receiver has done, and he has right and claim to it; as, the medal was awarded for valor. Compare APPORTION.

Antonyms:

appropriate, deny, resume, seize, confiscate, refuse, retain, withhold.

Prepositions:

Allot to a company for a purpose.

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ALLOW.

Synonyms:

admit, consent to, let, sanction, tolerate, concede, grant, permit, suffer, yield.

We allow that which we do not attempt to hinder; we permit that to which we give some express authorization. When this is given verbally it is called permission; when in writing it is commonly called a permit. There are establishments that any one will be allowed to visit without challenge or hindrance; there are others that no one is allowed to visit without a permit from the manager; there are others to which visitors are admitted at specified times, without a formal permit. We allow a child's innocent intrusion; we concede a right; grant a request; consent to a sale of property; permit an inspection of accounts; sanction a marriage; tolerate the rudeness of a well-meaning servant; submit to a surgical operation; yield to a demand or necessity against our wish or will, or yield something under compulsion; as, the sheriff yielded the keys at the muzzle of a revolver, and allowed the mob to enter. Suffer, in the sense of mild concession, is now becoming rare, its place being taken by allow, permit, or tolerate. Compare PERMISSION.

Antonyms:

deny, disapprove, protest, reject, withstand. disallow, forbid, refuse, resist,

See also synonyms for PROHIBIT.

Prepositions:

To allow of (in best recent usage, simply to allow) such an action; allow one in such a course; allow for spending-money.

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ALLOY.

Synonyms:

admixture, adulteration, debasement, deterioration.

Alloy may be either some admixture of baser with precious metal, as for giving hardness to coin or the like, or it may be a compound or mixture of two or more metals. Adulteration, debasement, and deterioration are always used in the bad sense; admixture is neutral, and may be good or bad; alloy is commonly good in the literal sense. An excess of alloy virtually amounts to adulteration; but adulteration is now mostly restricted to articles used for food, drink, medicine, and kindred uses. In the figurative sense, as applied to character, etc., alloy is unfavorable, because there the only standard is perfection.

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ALLUDE.

Synonyms:

advert, indicate, intimate, point, signify, hint, insinuate, mention, refer, suggest. imply,

Advert, mention, and refer are used of language that more or less distinctly utters a certain thought; the others of language from which it may be inferred. We allude to a matter slightly, perhaps by a word or phrase, as it were in byplay; we advert to it when we turn from our path to treat it; we refer to it by any clear utterance that distinctly turns the mind or attention to it; as, marginal figures refer to a parallel passage; we mention a thing by explicit word, as by naming it. The speaker adverted to the recent disturbances and the remissness of certain public officers; tho he mentioned no name, it was easy to see to whom he alluded. One may hint at a thing in a friendly way, but what is insinuated is always unfavorable, generally both hostile and cowardly. One may indicate his wishes, intimate his plans, imply his opinion, signify his will, suggest a course of action. Compare SUGGESTION.

Preposition:

The passage evidently alludes to the Jewish Passover.

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ALLURE.

Synonyms:

attract, captivate, decoy, entice, lure, tempt, cajole, coax, draw, inveigle, seduce, win.

To allure is to draw as with a lure by some charm or some prospect of pleasure or advantage. We may attract others to a certain thing without intent; as, the good unconsciously attract others to virtue. We may allure either to that which is evil or to that which is good and noble, by purpose and endeavor, as in the familiar line, "Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way," GOLDSMITH Deserted Village, l. 170. Lure is rather more akin to the physical nature. It is the word we would use of drawing on an animal. Coax expresses the attraction of the person, not of the thing. A man may be coaxed to that which is by no means alluring. Cajole and decoy carry the idea of deceiving and ensnaring. To inveigle is to lead one blindly in. To tempt is to endeavor to lead one wrong; to seduce is to succeed in winning one from good to ill. Win may be used in either a bad or a good sense, in which latter it surpasses the highest sense of allure, because it succeeds in that which allure attempts; as, "He that winneth souls is wise," Prov. xi, 30.

Antonyms:

chill, damp, deter, dissuade, drive away, repel, warn.

Prepositions:

Allure to a course; allure by hopes; allure from evil to good.

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ALSO.

Synonyms:

as well, in addition, likewise, too, as well as, in like manner, similarly, withal. besides,

While some distinctions between these words and phrases will appear to the careful student, yet in practise the choice between them is largely to secure euphony and avoid repetition. The words fall into two groups; as well as, besides, in addition, too, withal, simply add a fact or thought; also (all so), in like manner, likewise, similarly, affirm that what is added is like that to which it is added. As well follows the word or phrase to which it is joined. We can say the singers as well as the players, or the players, and the singers as well.

Antonyms:

but, nevertheless, on the contrary, yet. in spite of, notwithstanding, on the other hand,

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ALTERNATIVE.

Synonyms:

choice, election, option, pick, preference, resource.

A choice may be among many things; an alternative is in the strictest sense a choice between two things; oftener it is one of two things between which a choice is to be made, and either of which is the alternative of the other; as, the alternative of surrender is death; or the two things between which there is a choice may be called the alternatives; both Mill and Gladstone are quoted as extending the meaning of alternative to include several particulars, Gladstone even speaking of "the fourth and last of these alternatives." Option is the right or privilege of choosing; choice may be either the right to choose, the act of choosing, or the thing chosen. A person of ability and readiness will commonly have many resources. Pick, from the Saxon, and election, from the Latin, picture the objects before one, with freedom and power to choose which he will; as, there were twelve horses, among which I could take my pick. A choice, pick, election, or preference is that which suits one best; an alternative is that to which one is restricted; a resource, that to which one is glad to betake oneself.

Antonyms:

compulsion, necessity.

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AMASS.

Synonyms:

accumulate, collect, heap up, hoard up, store up. aggregate, gather, hoard, pile up,

To amass is to bring together materials that make a mass, a great bulk or quantity. With some occasional exceptions, accumulate is applied to the more gradual, amass to the more rapid gathering of money or materials, amass referring to the general result or bulk, accumulate to the particular process or rate of gain. We say interest is accumulated (or accumulates) rather than is amassed; he accumulated a fortune in the course of years; he rapidly amassed a fortune by shrewd speculations. Goods or money for immediate distribution are said to be collected rather than amassed. They may be stored up for a longer or shorter time; but to hoard is always with a view of permanent retention, generally selfish. Aggregate is now most commonly used of numbers and amounts; as, the expenses will aggregate a round million.

Antonyms:

disperse, divide, portion, spend, waste. dissipate, parcel, scatter, squander,

Prepositions:

Amass for oneself; for a purpose; from a distance; with great labor; by industry.

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AMATEUR.

Synonyms:

connoisseur, critic, dilettante, novice, tyro.

Etymologically, the amateur is one who loves, the connoisseur one who knows. In usage, the term amateur is applied to one who pursues any study or art simply from the love of it; the word carries a natural implication of superficialness, tho marked excellence is at times attained by amateurs. A connoisseur is supposed to be so thoroughly informed regarding any art or work as to be able to criticize or select intelligently and authoritatively; there are many incompetent critics, but there can not, in the true sense, be an incompetent connoisseur. The amateur practises to some extent that in regard to which he may not be well informed; the connoisseur is well informed in regard to that which he may not practise at all. A novice or tyro may be a professional; an amateur never is; the amateur may be skilled and experienced as the novice or tyro never is. Dilettante, which had originally the sense of amateur, has to some extent come to denote one who is superficial, pretentious, and affected, whether in theory or practise.

Preposition:

An amateur in art.

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AMAZEMENT.

Synonyms:

admiration, awe, confusion, surprise, astonishment, bewilderment, perplexity, wonder.

Amazement and astonishment both express the momentary overwhelming of the mind by that which is beyond expectation. Astonishment especially affects the emotions, amazement the intellect. Awe is the yielding of the mind to something supremely grand in character or formidable in power, and ranges from apprehension or dread to reverent worship. Admiration includes delight and regard. Surprise lies midway between astonishment and amazement, and usually respects matters of lighter consequence or such as are less startling in character. Amazement may be either pleasing or painful, as when induced by the grandeur of the mountains, or by the fury of the storm. We can say pleased surprise, but scarcely pleased astonishment. Amazement has in it something of confusion or bewilderment; but confusion and bewilderment may occur without amazement, as when a multitude of details require instant attention. Astonishment may be without bewilderment or confusion. Wonder is often pleasing, and may be continuous in view of that which surpasses our comprehension; as, the magnitude, order, and beauty of the heavens fill us with increasing wonder. Compare PERPLEXITY.

Antonyms:

anticipation, composure, expectation, preparation, steadiness, calmness, coolness, indifference, self-possession, stoicism.

Preposition:

I was filled with amazement at such reckless daring.

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AMBITION.

Synonyms:

aspiration, competition, emulation, opposition, rivalry.

Aspiration is the desire for excellence, pure and simple. Ambition, literally a going around to solicit votes, has primary reference to the award or approval of others, and is the eager desire of power, fame, or something deemed great and eminent, and viewed as a worthy prize. The prizes of aspiration are virtue, nobility, skill, or other high qualities. The prizes of ambition are advancement, fame, honor, and the like. There is a noble and wise or an ignoble, selfish, and harmful ambition. Emulation is not so much to win any excellence or success for itself as to equal or surpass other persons. There is such a thing as a noble emulation, when those we would equal or surpass are noble, and the means we would use worthy. But, at the highest, emulation is inferior as a motive to aspiration, which seeks the high quality or character for its own sake, not with reference to another. Competition is the striving for something that is sought by another at the same time. Emulation regards the abstract, competition the concrete; rivalry is the same in essential meaning with competition, but differs in the nature of the objects contested for, which, in the case of rivalry, are usually of the nobler sort and less subject to direct gaging, measurement, and rule. We speak of competition in business, emulation in scholarship, rivalry in love, politics, etc.; emulation of excellence, success, achievement; competition for a prize; rivalry between persons or nations. Competition may be friendly, rivalry is commonly hostile. Opposition is becoming a frequent substitute for competition in business language; it implies that the competitor is an opponent and hinderer.

Antonyms:

carelessness, contentment, humility, indifference, satisfaction.

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AMEND.

Synonyms:

advance, correct, meliorate, rectify, ameliorate, emend, mend, reform, better, improve, mitigate, repair. cleanse, make better, purify,

To amend is to change for the better by removing faults, errors, or defects, and always refers to that which at some point falls short of a standard of excellence. Advance, better, and improve may refer either to what is quite imperfect or to what has reached a high degree of excellence; we advance the kingdom of God, improve the minds of our children, better the morals of the people. But for matters below the point of ordinary approval we seldom use these words; we do not speak of bettering a wretched alley, or improving a foul sewer. There we use cleanse, purify, or similar words. We correct evils, reform abuses, rectify incidental conditions of evil or error; we ameliorate poverty and misery, which we can not wholly remove. We mend a tool, repair a building, correct proof; we amend character or conduct that is faulty, or a statement or law that is defective. A text, writing, or statement is amended by the author or by some adequate authority; it is often emended by conjecture. A motion is amended by the mover or by the assembly; a constitution is amended by the people; an ancient text is emended by a critic who believes that what seems to him the better reading is what the author wrote. Compare ALLEVIATE.

Antonyms:

aggravate, debase, harm, mar, tarnish, blemish, depress, impair, spoil, vitiate. corrupt, deteriorate, injure,

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AMIABLE.

Synonyms:

agreeable, engaging, lovable, pleasing, attractive, gentle, lovely, sweet, benignant, good-natured, loving, winning, harming, kind, pleasant, winsome.

Amiable combines the senses of lovable or lovely and loving; the amiable character has ready affection and kindliness for others, with the qualities that are adapted to win their love; amiable is a higher and stronger word than good-natured or agreeable. Lovely is often applied to externals; as, a lovely face. Amiable denotes a disposition desirous to cheer, please, and make happy. A selfish man of the world may have the art to be agreeable; a handsome, brilliant, and witty person may be charming or even attractive, while by no means amiable. The engaging, winning, and winsome add to amiability something of beauty, accomplishments, and grace. The benignant are calmly kind, as from a height and a distance. Kind, good-natured people may be coarse and rude, and so fail to be agreeable or pleasing; the really amiable are likely to avoid such faults by their earnest desire to please. The good-natured have an easy disposition to get along comfortably with every one in all circumstances. A sweet disposition is very sure to be amiable, the loving heart bringing out all that is lovable and lovely in character.

Antonyms:

acrimonious, crusty, hateful, ill-tempered, surly, churlish, disagreeable, ill-conditioned, morose, unamiable, crabbed, dogged, ill-humored, sour, unlovely, cruel, gruff, ill-natured, sullen,

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AMID.

Synonyms:

amidst, amongst, betwixt, mingled with, among, between, in the midst of, surrounded by.

Amid or amidst denotes surrounded by; among or amongst denotes mingled with. Between (archaic or poetic, betwixt) is said of two persons or objects, or of two groups of persons or objects. "Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen," Gen. xiii, 9; the reference being to two bodies of herdmen. Amid denotes mere position; among, some active relation, as of companionship, hostility, etc. Lowell's "Among my Books" regards the books as companions; amid my books would suggest packing, storing, or some other incidental circumstance. We say among friends, or among enemies, amidst the woods, amid the shadows. In the midst of may have merely the local meaning; as, I found myself in the midst of a crowd; or it may express even closer association than among; as, "I found myself in the midst of friends" suggests their pressing up on every side, oneself the central object; so, "where two or three are met together in my name, there am I in the midst of them," Matt. xviii, 20; in which case it would be feebler to say "among them," impossible to say "amid them," not so well to say "amidst them."

Antonyms:

afar from, away from, beyond, far from, outside, without.

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AMPLIFY.

Synonyms:

augment, dilate, expand, extend, unfold, develop, enlarge, expatiate, increase, widen.

Amplify is now rarely used in the sense of increase, to add material substance, bulk, volume, or the like; it is now almost wholly applied to discourse or writing, signifying to make fuller in statement, whether with or without adding matter of importance, as by stating fully what was before only implied, or by adding illustrations to make the meaning more readily apprehended, etc. The chief difficulty of very young writers is to amplify, to get beyond the bare curt statement by developing, expanding, unfolding the thought. The chief difficulty of those who have more material and experience is to condense sufficiently. So, in the early days of our literature amplify was used in the favorable sense; but at present this word and most kindred words are coming to share the derogatory meaning that has long attached to expatiate. We may develop a thought, expand an illustration, extend a discussion, expatiate on a hobby, dilate on something joyous or sad, enlarge a volume, unfold a scheme, widen the range of treatment.

Antonyms:

abbreviate, amputate, condense, cut down, reduce, summarize, abridge, "boil down," curtail, epitomize, retrench, sum up.

Prepositions:

To amplify on or upon the subject is needless. Amplify this matter by illustrations.

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ANALOGY.

Synonyms:

affinity, likeness, relation, similarity, coincidence, parity, resemblance, simile, comparison, proportion, semblance, similitude.

Analogy is specifically a resemblance of relations; a resemblance that may be reasoned from, so that from the likeness in certain respects we may infer that other and perhaps deeper relations exist. Affinity is a mutual attraction with or without seeming likeness; as, the affinity of iron for oxygen. Coincidence is complete agreement in some one or more respects; there may be a coincidence in time of most dissimilar events. Parity of reasoning is said of an argument equally conclusive on subjects not strictly analogous. Similitude is a rhetorical comparison of one thing to another with which it has some points in common. Resemblance and similarity are external or superficial, and may involve no deeper relation; as, the resemblance of a cloud to a distant mountain. Compare ALLEGORY.

Antonyms:

disagreement, disproportion, dissimilarity, incongruity, unlikeness.

Prepositions:

The analogy between (or of) nature and revelation; the analogy of sound to light; a family has some analogy with (or to) a state.

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ANGER.

Synonyms:

animosity, fury, offense, rage, choler, impatience, passion, resentment, displeasure, indignation, peevishness, temper, exasperation, ire, pettishness, vexation, fretfulness, irritation, petulance, wrath.

Displeasure is the mildest and most general word. Choler and ire, now rare except in poetic or highly rhetorical language, denote a still, and the latter a persistent, anger. Temper used alone in the sense of anger is colloquial, tho we may correctly say a hot temper, a fiery temper, etc. Passion, tho a word of far wider application, may, in the singular, be employed to denote anger; "did put me in a towering passion," SHAKESPEARE Hamlet act v, sc. 2. Anger is violent and vindictive emotion, which is sharp, sudden, and, like all violent passions, necessarily brief. Resentment (a feeling back or feeling over again) is persistent, the bitter brooding over injuries. Exasperation, a roughening, is a hot, superficial intensity of anger, demanding instant expression. Rage drives one beyond the bounds of prudence or discretion; fury is stronger yet, and sweeps one away into uncontrollable violence. Anger is personal and usually selfish, aroused by real or supposed wrong to oneself, and directed specifically and intensely against the person who is viewed as blameworthy. Indignation is impersonal and unselfish displeasure at unworthy acts (L. indigna), i. e., at wrong as wrong. Pure indignation is not followed by regret, and needs no repentance; it is also more self-controlled than anger. Anger is commonly a sin; indignation is often a duty. Wrath is deep and perhaps vengeful displeasure, as when the people of Nazareth were "filled with wrath" at the plain words of Jesus (Luke iv, 28); it may, however, simply express the culmination of righteous indignation without malice in a pure being; as, the wrath of God. Impatience, fretfulness, irritation, peevishness, pettishness, petulance, and vexation express the slighter forms of anger. Irritation, petulance, and vexation are temporary and for immediate cause. Fretfulness, pettishness, and peevishness are chronic states finding in any petty matter an occasion for their exercise. Compare ACRIMONY; ENMITY; HATRED.

Antonyms:

amiability, leniency, mildness, peacefulness, charity, lenity, patience, self-control, forbearance, long-suffering, peace, self-restraint. gentleness, love, peaceableness,

Prepositions:

Anger at the insult prompted the reply. Anger toward the offender exaggerates the offense.

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ANIMAL.

Synonyms:

beast, fauna, living organism, sentient being. brute, living creature,

An animal is a sentient being, distinct from inanimate matter and from vegetable life on the one side and from mental and spiritual existence on the other. Thus man is properly classified as an animal. But because the animal life is the lowest and rudest part of his being and that which he shares with inferior creatures, to call any individual man an animal is to imply that the animal nature has undue supremacy, and so is deep condemnation or utter insult. The brute is the animal viewed as dull to all finer feeling; the beast is looked upon as a being of appetites. To call a man a brute is to imply that he is unfeeling and cruel; to call him a beast is to indicate that he is vilely sensual. We speak of the cruel father as a brute to his children; of the drunkard as making a beast of himself. So firmly are these figurative senses established that we now incline to avoid applying brute or beast to any creature, as a horse or dog, for which we have any affection; we prefer in such cases the word animal. Creature is a word of wide signification, including all the things that God has created, whether inanimate objects, plants, animals, angels, or men. The animals of a region are collectively called its fauna.

Antonyms:

angel, man, mind, soul, substance (material), inanimate object, matter, mineral, spirit, vegetable.

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ANNOUNCE.

Synonyms:

advertise, give notice (of), proclaim, reveal, circulate, give out, promulgate, say, communicate, herald, propound, spread abroad, declare, make known, publish, state, enunciate, notify, report, tell.

To announce is to give intelligence of in some formal or public way. We may announce that which has occurred or that which is to occur, tho the word is chiefly used in the anticipative sense; we announce a book when it is in press, a guest when he arrives. We advertise our business, communicate our intentions, enunciate our views; we notify an individual, give notice to the public. Declare has often an authoritative force; to declare war is to cause war to be, where before there may have been only hostilities; we say declare war, proclaim peace. We propound a question or an argument, promulgate the views of a sect or party, or the decision of a court, etc. We report an interview, reveal a secret, herald the coming of some distinguished person or great event. Publish, in popular usage, is becoming closely restricted to the sense of issuing through the press; we announce a book that is to be published.

Antonyms:

bury, cover (up), hush, keep secret, suppress, conceal, hide, keep back, secrete, withhold.

Prepositions:

The event was announced to the family by telegraph.

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ANSWER.

Synonyms:

rejoinder, repartee, reply, response, retort.

A verbal answer is a return of words to something that seems to call for them, and is made to a charge as well as to a question; an answer may be even made to an unspoken implication or manifestation; see Luke v, 22. In a wider sense, anything said or done in return for some word, action, or suggestion of another may be called an answer. The blow of an enraged man, the whinny of a horse, the howling of the wind, the movement of a bolt in a lock, an echo, etc., may each be an answer to some word or movement. A reply is an unfolding, and ordinarily implies thought and intelligence. A rejoinder is strictly an answer to a reply, tho often used in the general sense of answer, but always with the implication of something more or less controversial or opposed, tho lacking the conclusiveness implied in answer; an answer, in the full sense, to a charge, an argument, or an objection is adequate, and finally refutes and disposes of it; a reply or rejoinder may be quite inadequate, so that one may say, "This reply is not an answer;" "I am ready with an answer" means far more than "I am ready with a reply." A response is accordant or harmonious, designed or adapted to carry on the thought of the words that called it forth, as the responses in a liturgical service, or to meet the wish of him who seeks it; as, the appeal for aid met a prompt and hearty response. Repartee is a prompt, witty, and commonly good-natured answer to some argument or attack; a retort may also be witty, but is severe and may be even savage in its intensity.

Prepositions:

An answer in writing, or by word of mouth, to the question.

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ANTICIPATE.

Synonyms:

apprehend, forecast, hope, expect, foretaste, look forward to.

To anticipate may be either to take before in fact or to take before in thought; in the former sense it is allied with prevent; in the latter, with the synonyms above given. This is coming to be the prevalent and favorite use. We expect that which we have good reason to believe will happen; as, a boy expects to grow to manhood. We hope for that which we much desire and somewhat expect. We apprehend what we both expect and fear. Anticipate is commonly used now, like foretaste, of that which we expect both with confidence and pleasure. In this use it is a stronger word than hope, where often "the wish is father to the thought." I hope for a visit from my friend, tho I have no word from him; I expect it when he writes that he is coming; and as the time draws near I anticipate it with pleasure. Compare ABIDE; PREVENT.

Antonyms:

despair of, doubt, dread, fear, recall, recollect, remember. distrust,

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ANTICIPATION.

Synonyms:

antepast, expectation, foresight, hope, apprehension, foreboding, foretaste, presentiment, expectancy, forecast, forethought, prevision.

Expectation may be either of good or evil; presentiment almost always, apprehension and foreboding always, of evil; anticipation and antepast, commonly of good. Thus, we speak of the pleasures of anticipation. A foretaste may be of good or evil, and is more than imaginary; it is a part actually received in advance. Foresight and forethought prevent future evil and secure future good by timely looking forward, and acting upon what is foreseen. Compare ANTICIPATE.

Antonyms:

astonishment, despair, dread, fear, surprise, consummation, doubt, enjoyment, realization, wonder.

* * * * *

ANTIPATHY.

Synonyms:

abhorrence, disgust, hatred, repugnance, antagonism, dislike, hostility, repulsion, aversion, distaste, opposition, uncongeniality. detestation,

Antipathy, repugnance, and uncongeniality are instinctive; other forms of dislike may be acquired or cherished for cause. Uncongeniality is negative, a want of touch or sympathy. An antipathy to a person or thing is an instinctive recoil from connection or association with that person or thing, and may be physical or mental, or both. Antagonism may result from the necessity of circumstances; opposition may spring from conflicting views or interests; abhorrence and detestation may be the result of religious and moral training; distaste and disgust may be acquired; aversion is a deep and permanent dislike. A natural antipathy may give rise to opposition which may result in hatred and hostility. Compare ACRIMONY; ANGER; ENMITY; HATRED.

Antonyms:

affinity, attraction, fellow-feeling, kindliness, sympathy. agreement, congeniality, harmony, regard,

Prepositions:

Antipathy to (less frequently for or against) a person or thing; antipathy between or betwixt two persons or things.

* * * * *

ANTIQUE.

Synonyms:

ancient, old-fashioned, quaint, superannuated. antiquated,

Antique refers to an ancient, antiquated to a discarded style. Antique is that which is either ancient in fact or ancient in style. The reference is to the style rather than to the age. We can speak of the antique architecture of a church just built. The difference between antiquated and antique is not in the age, for a Puritan style may be scorned as antiquated, while a Roman or Renaissance style may be prized as antique. The antiquated is not so much out of date as out of vogue. Old-fashioned may be used approvingly or contemptuously. In the latter case it becomes a synonym for antiquated; in the good sense it approaches the meaning of antique, but indicates less duration. We call a wide New England fireplace old-fashioned; a coin of the Caesars, antique. Quaint combines the idea of age with a pleasing oddity; as, a quaint gambrel-roofed house. Antiquated is sometimes used of persons in a sense akin to superannuated. The antiquated person is out of style and out of sympathy with the present generation by reason of age; the superannuated person is incapacitated for present activities by reason of age. Compare OLD.

Antonyms:

fashionable, fresh, modern, modish, new, recent, stylish.

* * * * *

ANXIETY.

Synonyms:

anguish, disquiet, foreboding, perplexity, apprehension, disturbance, fretfulness, solicitude, care, dread, fretting, trouble, concern, fear, misgiving, worry.

Anxiety is, according to its derivation, a choking disquiet, akin to anguish; anxiety is mental; anguish may be mental or physical; anguish is in regard to the known, anxiety in regard to the unknown; anguish is because of what has happened, anxiety because of what may happen. Anxiety refers to some future event, always suggesting hopeful possibility, and thus differing from apprehension, fear, dread, foreboding, terror, all of which may be quite despairing. In matters within our reach, anxiety always stirs the question whether something can not be done, and is thus a valuable spur to doing; in this respect it is allied to care. Foreboding, dread, etc., commonly incapacitate for all helpful thought or endeavor. Worry is a more petty, restless, and manifest anxiety; anxiety may be quiet and silent; worry is communicated to all around. Solicitude is a milder anxiety. Fretting or fretfulness is a weak complaining without thought of accomplishing or changing anything, but merely as a relief to one's own disquiet. Perplexity often involves anxiety, but may be quite free from it. A student may be perplexed regarding a translation, yet, if he has time enough, not at all anxious regarding it.

Antonyms:

apathy, calmness, confidence, light-heartedness, satisfaction, assurance, carelessness, ease, nonchalance, tranquillity.

Prepositions:

Anxiety for a friend's return; anxiety about, in regard to, or concerning the future.

* * * * *

APATHY.

Synonyms:

calmness, indifference, quietness, stoicism, composure, insensibility, quietude, tranquillity, immobility, lethargy, sluggishness, unconcern, impassibility, phlegm, stillness, unfeelingness.

Apathy, according to its Greek derivation, is a simple absence of feeling or emotion. There are persons to whom a certain degree of apathy is natural, an innate sluggishness of the emotional nature. In the apathy of despair, a person gives up, without resistance or sensibility, to what he has fiercely struggled to avoid. While apathy is want of feeling, calmness is feeling without agitation. Calmness is the result of strength, courage, or trust; apathy is the result of dulness or weakness. Composure is freedom from agitation or disturbance, resulting ordinarily from force of will, or from perfect confidence in one's own resources. Impassibility is a philosophical term applied to the Deity, as infinitely exalted above all stir of passion or emotion. Unfeelingness, the Saxon word that should be the exact equivalent of apathy, really means more, a lack of the feeling one ought to have, a censurable hardness of heart. Indifference and insensibility designate the absence of feeling toward certain persons or things; apathy, entire absence of feeling. Indifference is a want of interest; insensibility is a want of feeling; unconcern has reference to consequences. We speak of insensibility of heart, immobility of countenance. Stoicism is an intentional suppression of feeling and deadening of sensibilities, while apathy is involuntary. Compare CALM; REST; STUPOR.

Antonyms:

agitation, disturbance, feeling, sensibility, sympathy, alarm, eagerness, frenzy, sensitiveness, turbulence, anxiety, emotion, fury, storm, vehemence, care, excitement, passion, susceptibility, violence. distress,

Prepositions:

The apathy of monastic life; apathy toward good.

* * * * *

APIECE.

Synonyms:

distributively, each, individually, separately, severally.

There is no discernible difference in sense between so much apiece and so much each; the former is the more common and popular, the latter the more elegant expression. Distributively is generally used of numbers and abstract relations. Individually emphasizes the independence of the individuals; separately and severally still more emphatically hold them apart. The signers of a note may become jointly and severally responsible, that is, each liable for the entire amount, as if he had signed it alone. Witnesses are often brought separately into court, in order that no one may be influenced by the testimony of another. If a company of laborers demand a dollar apiece, that is a demand that each shall receive that sum; if they individually demand a dollar, each individual makes the demand.

Antonyms:

accumulatively, confusedly, indiscriminately, together, unitedly. collectively, en masse, synthetically,

* * * * *

APOLOGY.

Synonyms:

acknowledgment, defense, excuse, plea, confession, exculpation, justification, vindication.

All these words express one's answer to a charge of wrong or error that is or might be made. Apology has undergone a remarkable change from its old sense of a valiant defense—as in Justin Martyr's Apologies for the Christian faith—to its present meaning of humble confession and concession. He who offers an apology admits himself, at least technically and seemingly, in the wrong. An apology is for what one has done or left undone; an excuse may be for what one proposes to do or leave undone as well; as, one sends beforehand his excuse for not accepting an invitation; if he should fail either to be present or to excuse himself, an apology would be in order. An excuse for a fault is an attempt at partial justification; as, one alleges haste as an excuse for carelessness. Confession is a full acknowledgment of wrong, generally of a grave wrong, with or without apology or excuse. Plea ranges in sense from a prayer for favor or pardon to an attempt at full vindication. Defense, exculpation, justification, and vindication are more properly antonyms than synonyms of apology in its modern sense, and should be so given, but for their connection with its historic usage. Compare CONFESS; DEFENSE.

Antonyms:

accusation, charge, condemnation, injury, offense, censure, complaint, imputation, insult, wrong.

Prepositions:

An apology to the guest for the oversight would be fitting.

* * * * *

APPARENT.

Synonyms:

likely, presumable, probable, seeming.

The apparent is that which appears; the word has two contrasted senses, either of that which is manifest, visible, certain, or of that which merely seems to be and may be very different from what is; as, the apparent motion of the sun around the earth. Apparent kindness casts a doubt on the reality of the kindness; apparent neglect implies that more care and pains may have been bestowed than we are aware of. Presumable implies that a thing may be reasonably supposed beforehand without any full knowledge of the facts. Probable implies that we know facts enough to make us moderately confident of it. Seeming expresses great doubt of the reality; seeming innocence comes very near in meaning to probable guilt. Apparent indicates less assurance than probable, and more than seeming. A man's probable intent we believe will prove to be his real intent; his seeming intent we believe to be a sham; his apparent intent may be the true one, tho we have not yet evidence on which to pronounce with certainty or even with confidence. Likely is a word with a wide range of usage, but always implying the belief that the thing is, or will be, true; it is often used with the infinitive, as the other words of this list can not be; as, it is likely to happen. Compare EVIDENT.

Antonyms:

doubtful, dubious, improbable, unimaginable, unlikely.

Prepositions:

(When apparent is used in the sense of evident): His guilt is apparent in every act to all observers.

* * * * *

APPEAR.

Synonyms:

have the appearance or semblance, look, seem.

Appear and look refer to what manifests itself to the senses; to a semblance or probability presented directly to the mind. Seem applies to what is manifest to the mind on reflection. It suddenly appears to me that there is smoke in the distance; as I watch, it looks like a fire; from my knowledge of the locality and observation of particulars, it seems to me a farmhouse must be burning.

Antonyms:

be, be certain, real, or true, be the fact, exist.

Prepositions:

Appear at the front; among the first; on or upon the surface; to the eye; in evidence, in print; from reports; near the harbor; before the public; in appropriate dress; with the insignia of his rank; above the clouds; below the surface; under the lee; over the sea; through the mist; appear for, in behalf of, or against one in court.

* * * * *

APPENDAGE.

Synonyms:

accessory, addition, appurtenance, concomitant, accompaniment, adjunct, attachment, extension, addendum, appendix, auxiliary, supplement.

An adjunct (something joined to) constitutes no real part of the thing or system to which it is joined, tho perhaps a valuable addition; an appendage is commonly a real, tho not an essential or necessary part of that with which it is connected; an appurtenance belongs subordinately to something by which it is employed, especially as an instrument to accomplish some purpose. A horse's tail is at once an ornamental appendage and a useful appurtenance; we could not call it an adjunct, tho we might use that word of his iron shoes. An attachment in machinery is some mechanism that can be brought into optional connection with the principal movement; a hemmer is a valuable attachment of a sewing-machine. An extension, as of a railroad or of a franchise, carries out further something already existing. We add an appendix to a book, to contain names, dates, lists, etc., which would encumber the text; we add a supplement to supply omissions, as, for instance, to bring it up to date. An appendix may be called an addendum; but addendum may be used of a brief note, which would not be dignified by the name of appendix; such notes are often grouped as addenda. An addition might be matter interwoven in the body of the work, an index, plates, editorial notes, etc., which might be valuable additions, but not within the meaning of appendix or supplement. Compare ACCESSORY; AUXILIARY.

Antonyms:

main body, original, total, whole.

Prepositions:

That which is thought of as added we call an appendage to; that which is looked upon as an integral part is called an appendage of.

* * * * *

APPETITE.

Synonyms:

appetency, impulse, lust, propensity, craving, inclination, passion, relish, desire, liking, proclivity, thirst, disposition, longing, proneness, zest.

Appetite is used only of the demands of the physical system, unless otherwise expressly stated, as when we say an appetite for knowledge; passion includes all excitable impulses of our nature, as anger, fear, love, hatred, etc. Appetite is thus more animal than passion; and when we speak of passions and appetites as conjoined or contrasted, we think of the appetites as wholly physical and of the passions as, in part at least, mental or spiritual. We say an appetite for food, a passion for fame. Compare DESIRE.

Antonyms:

antipathy, disgust, distaste, indifference, repugnance, aversion, dislike, hatred, loathing, repulsion. detestation, disrelish,

Compare ANTIPATHY.

Preposition:

He had an insatiable appetite for the marvellous.

* * * * *

APPORTION.

Synonyms:

allot, appropriate, deal, distribute, grant, appoint, assign, dispense, divide, share.

To allot or assign may be to make an arbitrary division; the same is true of distribute or divide. That which is apportioned is given by some fixed rule, which is meant to be uniform and fair; as, representatives are apportioned among the States according to population. To dispense is to give out freely; as, the sun dispenses light and heat. A thing is appropriated to or for a specific purpose (to which it thus becomes proper, in the original sense of being its own); money appropriated by Congress for one purpose can not be expended for any other. One may apportion what he only holds in trust; he shares what is his own. Compare ALLOT.

Antonyms:

cling to, consolidate, gather together, receive, collect, divide arbitrarily, keep together, retain.

Prepositions:

Apportion to each a fair amount; apportion the property among the heirs, between two claimants; apportion according to numbers, etc.

* * * * *

APPROXIMATION.

Synonyms:

approach, likeness, neighborhood, resemblance, contiguity, nearness, propinquity, similarity.

In mathematics, approximation is not guesswork, not looseness, and not error. The process of approximation is as exact and correct at every point as that by which an absolute result is secured; the result only fails of exactness because of some inherent difficulty in the problem. The attempt to "square the circle" gives only an approximate result, because of the impossibility of expressing the circumference in terms of the radius. But the limits of error on either side are known, and the approximation has practical value. Outside of mathematics, the correct use of approximation (and the kindred words approximate and approximately) is to express as near an approach to accuracy and certainty as the conditions of human thought or action in any given case make possible. Resemblance and similarity may be but superficial and apparent; approximation is real. Approach is a relative term, indicating that one has come nearer than before, tho the distance may yet be considerable; an approximation brings one really near. Nearness, neighborhood, and propinquity are commonly used of place; approximation, of mathematical calculations and abstract reasoning; we speak of approach to the shore, nearness to the town, approximation to the truth.

Antonyms:

difference, distance, error, remoteness, unlikeness, variation.

Prepositions:

The approximation of the vegetable to the animal type.

* * * * *

ARMS.

Synonyms:

accouterments, armor, harness, mail, weapons.

Arms are implements of attack; armor is a defensive covering. The knight put on his armor; he grasped his arms. With the disuse of defensive armor the word has practically gone out of military use, but it is still employed in the navy, where the distinction is clearly preserved; any vessel provided with cannon is an armed vessel; an armored ship is an ironclad. Anything that can be wielded in fight may become a weapon, as a pitchfork or a paving-stone; arms are especially made and designed for conflict.

* * * * *

ARMY.

Synonyms:

armament, forces, military, soldiers, array, host, multitude, soldiery, force, legions, phalanx, troops.

An army is an organized body of men armed for war, ordinarily considerable in numbers, always independent in organization so far as not to be a constituent part of any other command. Organization, unity, and independence, rather than numbers are the essentials of an army. We speak of the invading army of Cortes or Pizarro, tho either body was contemptible in numbers from a modern military standpoint. We may have a little army, a large army, or a vast army. Host is used for any vast and orderly assemblage; as, the stars are called the heavenly host. Multitude expresses number without order or organization; a multitude of armed men is not an army, but a mob. Legion (from the Latin) and phalanx (from the Greek) are applied by a kind of poetic license to modern forces; the plural legions is preferred to the singular. Military is a general word for land-forces; the military may include all the armed soldiery of a nation, or the term may be applied to any small detached company, as at a fort, in distinction from civilians. Any organized body of men by whom the law or will of a people is executed is a force; the word is a usual term for the police of any locality.

* * * * *

ARRAIGN.

Synonyms:

accuse, charge, impeach, prosecute, censure, cite, indict, summon.

Arraign is an official word; a person accused of crime is arraigned when he is formally called into court, the indictment read to him, and the demand made of him to plead guilty or not guilty; in more extended use, to arraign is to call in question for fault in any formal, public, or official way. One may charge another with any fault, great or trifling, privately or publicly, formally or informally. Accuse is stronger than charge, suggesting more of the formal and criminal; a person may charge a friend with unkindness or neglect; he may accuse a tramp of stealing. Censure carries the idea of fault, but not of crime; it may be private and individual, or public and official. A judge, a president, or other officer of high rank may be impeached before the appropriate tribunal for high crimes; the veracity of a witness may be impeached by damaging evidence. A person of the highest character may be summoned as defendant in a civil suit; or he may be cited to answer as administrator, etc. Indict and arraign apply strictly to criminal proceedings, and only an alleged criminal is indicted or arraigned. One is indicted by the grand jury, and arraigned before the appropriate court.

Antonyms:

acquit, discharge, exonerate, overlook, release, condone, excuse, forgive, pardon, set free.

Prepositions:

Arraign at the bar, before the tribunal, of or for a crime; on or upon an indictment.

* * * * *

ARRAY.

Synonyms:

army, collection, line of battle, parade, arrangement, disposition, order, show, battle array, exhibition, order of battle, sight.

The phrase battle array or array of battle is archaic and poetic; we now say in line or order of battle. The parade is for exhibition and oversight, and partial rehearsal of military manual and maneuvers. Array refers to a continuous arrangement of men, so that all may be seen or reviewed at once. This is practically impossible with the vast armies of our day. We say rather the disposition of troops, which expresses their location so as to sustain and support, though unable to see or readily communicate with each other. Compare DRESS.

* * * * *

ARREST.

Synonyms:

apprehend, detain, restrain, stop, capture, hold, secure, take into custody, catch, make prisoner, seize, take prisoner.

The legal term arrest carries always the implication of a legal offense; this is true even of arresting for debt. But one may be detained by process of law when no offense is alleged against him, as in the case of a witness who is held in a house of detention till a case comes to trial. One may be restrained of his liberty without arrest, as in an insane asylum; an individual or corporation may be restrained by injunction from selling certain property. In case of an arrest, an officer may secure his prisoner by fetters, by a locked door, or other means effectually to prevent escape. Capture is commonly used of seizure by armed force; as, to capture a ship, a fort, etc. Compare HINDER; OBSTRUCT.

Antonyms:

discharge, dismiss, free, liberate, release, set free.

Prepositions:

Arrested for crime, on suspicion, by the sheriff; on, upon, or by virtue of a warrant; on final process; in execution.

* * * * *

ARTIFICE.

Synonyms:

art, craft, finesse, invention, stratagem, blind, cunning, fraud, machination, subterfuge, cheat, device, guile, maneuver, trick, contrivance, dodge, imposture, ruse, wile.

A contrivance or device may be either good or bad. A cheat is a mean advantage in a bargain; a fraud, any form of covert robbery or injury. Imposture is a deceitful contrivance for securing charity, credit, or consideration. A stratagem or maneuver may be of the good against the bad, as it were a skilful movement of war. A wile is usually but not necessarily evil.

E'en children followed with endearing wile.

GOLDSMITH Deserted Village, l. 184.

A trick is often low, injurious, and malicious; we say a mean trick; the word is sometimes used playfully with less than its full meaning. A ruse or a blind may be quite innocent and harmless. An artifice is a carefully and delicately prepared contrivance for doing indirectly what one could not well do directly. A device is something studied out for promoting an end, as in a mechanism; the word is used of indirect action, often, but not necessarily directed to an evil, selfish, or injurious end. Finesse is especially subtle contrivance, delicate artifice, whether for good or evil. Compare FRAUD.

Antonyms:

artlessness, frankness, ingenuousness, openness, sincerity, candor, guilelessness, innocence, simplicity, truth. fairness, honesty,

* * * * *

ARTIST.

Synonyms:

artificer, artisan, mechanic, operative, workman.

Artist, artificer and artisan are all from the root of art, but artist holds to the esthetic sense, while artificer and artisan follow the mechanical or industrial sense of the word (see ART under SCIENCE). Artist thus comes only into accidental association with the other words of this group, not being a synonym of any one of them and having practically no synonym of its own. The work of the artist is creative; that of the artisan mechanical. The man who paints a beautiful picture is an artist; the man who makes pin-heads all day is an artisan. The artificer is between the two, putting more thought, intelligence, and taste into his work than the artisan, but less of the idealizing, creative power than the artist. The sculptor, shaping his model in clay, is artificer, as well as artist; patient artisans, working simply by rule and scale, chisel and polish the stone. The man who constructs anything by mere routine and rule is a mechanic. The man whose work involves thought, skill, and constructive power is an artificer. The hod-carrier is a laborer; the bricklayer is a mechanic; the master mason is an artificer. Those who operate machinery nearly self-acting are operatives.

* * * * *

ASK.

Synonyms:

beg, crave, entreat, petition, request, solicit, beseech, demand, implore, pray, require, supplicate.

One asks what he feels that he may fairly claim and reasonably expect; "if a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father," Luke xi, 11; he begs for that to which he advances no claim but pity. Demand is a determined and often an arrogant word; one may rightfully demand what is his own or his due, when it is withheld or denied; or he may wrongfully demand that to which he has no claim but power. Require is less arrogant and obtrusive than demand, but is exceedingly strenuous; as, the court requires the attendance of witnesses. Entreat implies a special earnestness of asking, and beseech, a still added and more humble intensity; beseech was formerly often used as a polite intensive for beg or pray; as, I beseech you to tell me. To implore is to ask with weeping and lamentation; to supplicate is to ask, as it were, on bended knees. Crave and request are somewhat formal terms; crave has almost disappeared from conversation; request would seem distant between parent and child. Pray is now used chiefly of address to the Supreme Being; petition is used of written request to persons in authority; as, to petition the legislature to pass an act, or the governor to pardon an offender.

Antonyms:

claim, deny, enforce, exact, extort, insist, refuse, reject. command,

Prepositions:

Ask a person for a thing; ask a thing of or from a person; ask after or about one's health, welfare, friends, etc.

* * * * *

ASSOCIATE.

Synonyms:

accomplice, coadjutor, comrade, fellow, mate, ally, colleague, confederate, friend, partner, chum, companion, consort, helpmate, peer.

An associate as used officially implies a chief, leader, or principal, to whom the associate is not fully equal in rank. Associate is popularly used of mere friendly relations, but oftener implies some work, enterprise, or pursuit in which the associated persons unite. We rarely speak of associates in crime or wrong, using confederates or accomplices instead. Companion gives itself with equal readiness to the good or evil sense, as also does comrade. One may be a companion in travel who would not readily become an associate at home. A lady advertises for a companion; she would not advertise for an associate. Peer implies equality rather than companionship; as, a jury of his peers. Comrade expresses more fellowship and good feeling than companion. Fellow has almost gone out of use in this connection, except in an inferior or patronizing sense. Consort is a word of equality and dignity, as applied especially to the marriage relation. Compare ACCESSORY; ACQUAINTANCE; FRIENDSHIP.

Antonyms:

antagonist, foe, hinderer, opponent, opposer, rival, stranger. enemy,

Prepositions:

These were the associates of the leader in the enterprise.

* * * * *

ASSOCIATION.

Synonyms:

alliance, confederacy, familiarity, lodge, club, confederation, federation, participation, community, conjunction, fellowship, partnership, companionship, connection, fraternity, society, company, corporation, friendship, union.

We speak of an alliance of nations, a club of pleasure-seekers, a community of Shakers, a company of soldiers or of friends, a confederacy, confederation, federation, or union of separate states under one general government, a partnership or company of business men, a conjunction of planets. The whole body of Freemasons constitute a fraternity; one of their local organizations is called a lodge. A corporation or company is formed for purposes of business; an association or society (tho also incorporated) is for learning, literature, benevolence, religion, etc. Compare ASSOCIATE; ACQUAINTANCE; FRIENDSHIP.

Antonyms:

disintegration, independence, isolation, separation, solitude.

Prepositions:

An association of scholars for the advancement of knowledge; association with the good is ennobling.

* * * * *

ASSUME.

Synonyms:

accept, arrogate, postulate, put on, affect, claim, presume, take, appropriate, feign, pretend, usurp.

The distinctive idea of assume is to take by one's own independent volition, whether well or ill, rightfully or wrongfully. One may accept an obligation or assume an authority that properly belongs to him, or he may assume an obligation or indebtedness that could not be required of him. He may assume authority or office that is his right; if he assumes what does not belong to him, he is said to arrogate or usurp it. A man may usurp the substance of power in the most unpretending way; what he arrogates to himself he assumes with a haughty and overbearing manner. One assumes the robes or insignia of office by putting them on, with or without right. If he takes to himself the credit and appearance of qualities he does not possess, he is said to affect or feign, or to pretend to, the character he thus assumes. What a debater postulates he openly states and takes for granted without proof; what he assumes he may take for granted without mention. A favorite trick of the sophist is quietly to assume as true what would at once be challenged if expressly stated. What a man claims he asserts his right to take; what he assumes he takes.

* * * * *

ASSURANCE.

Synonyms:

arrogance, boldness, impudence, self-confidence, assertion, confidence, presumption, self-reliance, assumption, effrontery, self-assertion, trust.

Assurance may have the good sense of a high, sustained confidence and trust; as, the saint's assurance of heaven. Confidence is founded upon reasons; assurance is largely a matter of feeling. In the bad sense, assurance is a vicious courage, with belief of one's ability to outwit or defy others; the hardened criminal is remarkable for habitual assurance. For the calm conviction of one's own rectitude and ability, self-confidence is a better word than assurance; self-reliance expresses confidence in one's own resources, independently of others' aid. In the bad sense assurance is less gross than impudence, which is (according to its etymology) a shameless boldness. Assurance is in act or manner; impudence may be in speech. Effrontery is impudence defiantly displayed. Compare FAITH; PRIDE.

Antonyms:

bashfulness, consternation, distrust, hesitancy, shyness, confusion, dismay, doubt, misgiving, timidity.

* * * * *

ASTUTE.

Synonyms:

acute, discerning, penetrating, sharp, clear-sighted, discriminating, penetrative, shrewd, crafty, keen, perspicacious, subtile, cunning, knowing, sagacious, subtle.

Acute, from the Latin, suggests the sharpness of the needle's point; keen, from the Saxon, the sharpness of the cutting edge. Astute, from the Latin, with the original sense of cunning has come to have a meaning that combines the sense of acute or keen with that of sagacious. The astute mind adds to acuteness and keenness an element of cunning or finesse. The astute debater leads his opponents into a snare by getting them to make admissions, or urge arguments, of which he sees a result that they do not perceive. The acute, keen intellect may take no special advantage of these qualities; the astute mind has always a point to make for itself, and seldom fails to make it. A knowing look, air, etc., in general indicates practical knowledge with a touch of shrewdness, and perhaps of cunning; in regard to some special matter, it indicates the possession of reserved knowledge which the person could impart if he chose. Knowing has often a slightly invidious sense. We speak of a knowing rascal, meaning cunning or shrewd within a narrow range, but of a knowing horse or dog, in the sense of sagacious, implying that he knows more than could be expected of such an animal. A knowing child has more knowledge than would be looked for at his years, perhaps more than is quite desirable, while to speak of a child as intelligent is altogether complimentary.

Antonyms:

blind, idiotic, shallow, stolid, undiscerning, dull, imbecile, short-sighted, stupid, unintelligent.

* * * * *

ATTACHMENT.

Synonyms:

adherence, devotion, friendship, regard, adhesion, esteem, inclination, tenderness, affection, estimation, love, union.

An attachment is a feeling that binds a person by ties of heart to another person or thing; we speak of a man's adherence to his purpose, his adhesion to his party, or to anything to which he clings tenaciously, tho with no special tenderness; of his attachment to his church, to the old homestead, or to any persons or objects that he may hold dear. Affection expresses more warmth of feeling; we should not speak of a mother's attachment to her babe, but of her affection or of her devotion. Inclination expresses simply a tendency, which may be good or bad, yielded to or overcome; as, an inclination to study; an inclination to drink. Regard is more distant than affection or attachment, but closer and warmer than esteem; we speak of high esteem, kind regard. Compare ACQUAINTANCE; APPENDAGE; FRIENDSHIP; LOVE; UNION.

Antonyms:

alienation, aversion, distance, estrangement, repugnance, animosity, coolness, divorce, indifference, separation, antipathy, dislike, enmity, opposition, severance.

Prepositions:

Attachment of a true man to his friends; attachment to a leader for his nobility of character; the attachments between two persons or things; attachment by muscular fibers, or by a rope, etc.

* * * * *

ATTACK, v.

Synonyms:

assail, beset, combat, invade, assault, besiege, encounter, set upon, beleaguer, charge, fall upon, storm.

To attack is to begin hostilities of any kind. A general invades a country by marching in troops; he attacks a city by drawing up an army against it; he assaults it by hurling his troops directly upon its defenses. Assail and assault, tho of the same original etymology, have diverged in meaning, so that assault alone retains the meaning of direct personal violence. One may assail another with reproaches; he assaults him with a blow, a brandished weapon, etc. Armies or squadrons charge; combat and encounter may be said of individual contests. To beset is to set around, or, so to speak, to stud one's path, with menaces, attacks, or persuasions. To besiege and beleaguer are the acts of armies. To encounter is to meet face to face, and may be said either of the attacking or of the resisting force or person, or of both.

Antonyms:

aid, cover, protect, shelter, support, uphold, befriend, defend, resist, shield, sustain, withstand.

Prepositions:

We were attacked by the enemy with cannon and musketry.

* * * * *

ATTACK, n.

Synonyms:

aggression, incursion, invasion, onslaught, assault, infringement, onset, trespass. encroachment, intrusion,

An attack may be by word; an aggression is always by deed. An assault may be upon the person, an aggression is upon rights, possessions, etc. An invasion of a nation's territories is an act of aggression; an intrusion upon a neighboring estate is a trespass. Onslaught signifies intensely violent assault, as by an army or a desperado, tho it is sometimes used of violent speech.

Antonyms:

defense, repulsion, resistance, retreat, submission, surrender.

Prepositions:

The enemy made an attack upon (or on) our works.

* * * * *

ATTAIN.

Synonyms:

accomplish, arrive at, gain, master, reach, achieve, compass, get, obtain, secure, acquire, earn, grasp, procure, win.

A person may obtain a situation by the intercession of friends, he procures a dinner by paying for it. Attain is a lofty word, pointing to some high or desirable result; a man attains the mountain summit, he attains honor or learning as the result of strenuous and earnest labor. Even that usage of attain which has been thought to refer to mere progress of time carries the thought of a result desired; as, to attain to old age; the man desires to live to a good old age; we should not speak of his attaining his dotage. One may attain an object that will prove not worth his labor, but what he achieves is in itself great and splendid; as, the Greeks at Marathon achieved a glorious victory. Compare DO; GET; REACH.

Antonyms:

abandon, fail, forfeit, give up, let go, lose, miss.

* * * * *

ATTITUDE.

Synonyms:

pose, position, posture.

Position as applied to the arrangement or situation of the human body or limbs may denote that which is conscious or unconscious, of the living or the dead; but we do not speak of the attitude, pose, or posture of a corpse; unless, in some rare case, we might say the body was found in a sitting posture, where the posture is thought of as assumed in life, or as, at first glance, suggesting life. A posture is assumed without any special reference to expression of feeling; as, an erect posture, a reclining posture; attitude is the position appropriate to the expression of some feeling; the attitude may be unconsciously taken through the strength of the feeling; as, an attitude of defiance; or it may be consciously assumed in the attempt to express the feeling; as, he assumed an attitude of humility. A pose is a position studied for artistic effect, or considered with reference to such effect; the unconscious posture of a spectator or listener may be an admirable pose from an artist's standpoint.

* * * * *

ATTRIBUTE, v.

Synonyms:

ascribe, associate, connect, impute, refer. assign, charge,

We may attribute to a person either that which belongs to him or that which we merely suppose to be his. We attribute to God infinite power. We may attribute a wrong intent to an innocent person. We may attribute a result, rightly or wrongly, to a certain cause; in such case, however, attribute carries always a concession of uncertainty or possible error. Where we are quite sure, we simply refer a matter to the cause or class to which it belongs or ascribe to one what is surely his, etc. Many diseases formerly attributed to witchcraft are now referred to the action of micro-organisms. We may attribute a matter in silent thought; we ascribe anything openly in speech or writing; King Saul said of the singing women, "They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands." We associate things which may have no necessary or causal relation; as, we may associate the striking of a clock with the serving of dinner, tho the two are not necessarily connected. We charge a person with what we deem blameworthy. We may impute good or evil, but more commonly evil.

Antonyms:

deny, disconnect, dissociate, separate, sever, sunder.

Prepositions:

It is uncharitable to attribute evil motives to (archaic unto) others.

* * * * *

ATTRIBUTE, n.

Synonyms:

property, quality.

A quality (L. qualis, such)—the "suchness" of anything, according to the German idiom—denotes what a thing really is in some one respect; an attribute is what we conceive a thing to be in some one respect; thus, while attribute may, quality must, express something of the real nature of that to which it is ascribed; we speak of the attributes of God, the qualities of matter. "Originally 'the attributes of God' was preferred, probably, because men assumed no knowledge of the actual qualities of the Deity, but only of those more or less fitly attributed to him." J. A. H. MURRAY. Ṃ Holiness is an attribute of God; the attributes of many heathen deities have been only the qualities of wicked men joined to superhuman power. A property (L. proprius, one's own) is what belongs especially to one thing as its own peculiar possession, in distinction from all other things; when we speak of the qualities or the properties of matter, quality is the more general, property the more limited term. A quality is inherent; a property may be transient; physicists now, however, prefer to term those qualities manifested by all bodies (such as impenetrability, extension, etc.), general properties of matter, while those peculiar to certain substances or to certain states of those substances (as fluidity, malleability, etc.) are termed specific properties; in this wider use of the word property, it becomes strictly synonymous with quality. Compare CHARACTERISTIC; EMBLEM.

Antonyms:

being, essence, nature, substance.

* * * * *

AUGUR.

Synonyms:

betoken, divine, foretell, predict, prognosticate, bode, forebode, portend, presage, prophesy.

"Persons or things augur; persons only forebode or presage; things only betoken or portend." CRABB English Synonymes. We augur well for a voyage from past good fortune and a good start; we presage success from the stanchness of the ship and the skill of the captain. We forebode misfortune either from circumstances that betoken failure, or from gloomy fancies for which we could not give a reason. Dissipation among the officers and mutiny among the crew portend disaster. Divine has reference to the ancient soothsayers' arts (as in Gen. xliv, 5, 15), and refers rather to reading hearts than to reading the future. We say I could not divine his motive, or his intention.

Antonyms:

assure, demonstrate, establish, make sure, settle, calculate, determine, insure, prove, warrant.

Prepositions:

I augur from all circumstances a prosperous result; I augur ill of the enterprise; "augurs ill to the rights of the people," THOMAS JEFFERSON Writings vol. ii, p. 506. [T. & M. '53.] I augur well, or this augurs well, for your cause.

* * * * *

AUTHENTIC.

Synonyms:

accepted, certain, original, sure, accredited, current, real, true, authoritative, genuine, received, trustworthy, authorized, legitimate, reliable, veritable.

That is authentic which is true to the facts; that is genuine which is true to its own claims; as, authentic history; genuine money.

A 'genuine' work is one written by the author whose name it bears; an 'authentic' work is one which relates truthfully the matters of which it treats. For example, the apocryphal Gospel of St. Thomas is neither 'genuine' nor 'authentic.' It is not 'genuine,' for St. Thomas did not write it; it is not 'authentic,' for its contents are mainly fables and lies.

TRENCH On the Study of Words lect. vi, p. 189. [W. J. W.]

Authentic is, however, used by reputable writers as synonymous with genuine, tho usually where genuineness carries a certain authority. We speak of accepted conclusions, certain evidence, current money, genuine letters, a legitimate conclusion or legitimate authority, original manuscripts, real value, received interpretation, sure proof, a true statement, a trustworthy witness, a veritable discovery.

Antonyms:

apocryphal, counterfeit, exploded, false, spurious, baseless, disputed, fabulous, fictitious, unauthorized.

* * * * *

AUXILIARY.

Synonyms:

accessory, ally, coadjutor, helper, promoter, aid, assistant, confederate, mercenary, subordinate.

An auxiliary is a person or thing that helps in a subordinate capacity. Allies unite as equals; auxiliaries are, at least technically, inferiors or subordinates. Yet the auxiliary is more than a mere assistant. The word is oftenest found in the plural, and in the military sense; auxiliaries are troops of one nation uniting with the armies, and acting under the orders, of another. Mercenaries serve only for pay; auxiliaries often for reasons of state, policy, or patriotism as well. Compare ACCESSORY; APPENDAGE.

Antonyms:

antagonist, hinderer, opponent, opposer.

Prepositions:

The auxiliaries of the Romans; an auxiliary in a good cause; an auxiliary to learning.

* * * * *

AVARICIOUS.

Synonyms:

close, greedy, niggardly, penurious, sordid, covetous, miserly, parsimonious, rapacious, stingy.

Avaricious and covetous refer especially to acquisition, miserly, niggardly, parsimonious, and penurious to expenditure. The avaricious man has an eager craving for money, and ordinarily desires both to get and to keep, the covetous man to get something away from its possessor; tho one may be made avaricious by the pressure of great expenditures. Miserly and niggardly persons seek to gain by mean and petty savings; the miserly by stinting themselves, the niggardly by stinting others. Parsimonious and penurious may apply to one's outlay either for himself or for others; in the latter use, they are somewhat less harsh and reproachful terms than niggardly. The close man holds like a vise all that he gets. Near and nigh are provincial words of similar import. The rapacious have the robber instinct, and put it in practise in some form, as far as they dare. The avaricious and rapacious are ready to reach out for gain; the parsimonious, miserly, and niggardly prefer the safer and less adventurous way of avoiding expenditure. Greedy and stingy are used not only of money, but often of other things, as food, etc. The greedy child wishes to enjoy everything himself; the stingy child, to keep others from getting it.

Antonyms:

bountiful, free, generous, liberal, munificent, prodigal, wasteful.

Preposition:

The monarch was avaricious of power.

* * * * *

AVENGE.

Synonyms:

punish, retaliate, revenge, vindicate, visit.

Avenge and revenge, once close synonyms, are now far apart in meaning. To avenge is to visit some offense with punishment, in order to vindicate the righteous, or to uphold and illustrate the right by the suffering or destruction of the wicked. "And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian," Acts vii, 24. To revenge is to inflict harm or suffering upon another through personal anger and resentment at something done to ourselves. Avenge is unselfish; revenge is selfish. Revenge, according to present usage, could not be said of God. To retaliate may be necessary for self-defense, without the idea of revenge. Compare REVENGE.

Prepositions:

Avenge on or upon (rarely, avenge oneself of) a wrong-doer.

* * * * *

AVOW.

Synonyms:

knowledge, aver, confess, own, profess, testify, admit, avouch, declare, proclaim, protest, witness.

Acknowledge, admit, and declare refer either to oneself or to others; all the other words refer only to one's own knowledge or action. To avow is to declare boldly and openly, commonly as something one is ready to justify, maintain, or defend. A man acknowledges another's claim or his own promise; he admits an opponent's advantage or his own error; he declares either what he has seen or experienced or what he has received from another; he avers what he is sure of from his own knowledge or consciousness; he gives his assurance as the voucher for what he avouches; he avows openly a belief or intention that he has silently held. Avow and avouch take a direct object; aver is followed by a conjunction: a man avows his faith, avouches a deed, avers that he was present. Avow has usually a good sense; what a person avows he at least does not treat as blameworthy, criminal, or shameful; if he did, he would be said to confess it; yet there is always the suggestion that some will be ready to challenge or censure what one avows; as, the clergyman avowed his dissent from the doctrine of his church. Own applies to all things, good or bad, great or small, which one takes as his own. Compare CONFESS; STATE.

Antonyms:

contradict, deny, disavow, disclaim, disown, ignore, repudiate.

* * * * *

AWFUL.

Synonyms:

alarming, direful, frightful, majestic, solemn, appalling, dread, grand, noble, stately, august, dreadful, horrible, portentous, terrible, dire, fearful, imposing, shocking, terrific.

Awful should not be used of things which are merely disagreeable or annoying, nor of all that are alarming and terrible, but only of such as bring a solemn awe upon the soul, as in the presence of a superior power; as, the awful hush before the battle. That which is awful arouses an oppressive, that which is august an admiring reverence; we speak of the august presence of a mighty monarch, the awful presence of death. We speak of an exalted station, a grand mountain, an imposing presence, a majestic cathedral, a noble mien, a solemn litany, a stately march, an august assembly, the awful scene of the Judgment Day.

Antonyms:

base, contemptible, inferior, paltry, beggarly, despicable, lowly, undignified, commonplace, humble, mean, vulgar.

* * * * *

AWKWARD.

Synonyms:

boorish, clumsy, rough, unhandy, bungling, gawky, uncouth, unskilful. clownish, maladroit, ungainly,

Awkward, from awk (kindred with off, from the Norwegian), is off-ward, turned the wrong way; it was anciently used of a back-handed or left-handed blow in battle, of squinting eyes, etc. Clumsy, on the other hand (from clumse, also through the Norwegian), signifies benumbed, stiffened with cold; this is the original meaning of clumsy fingers, clumsy limbs. Thus, awkward primarily refers to action, clumsy to condition. A tool, a vehicle, or the human frame may be clumsy in shape or build, awkward in motion. The clumsy man is almost of necessity awkward, but the awkward man may not be naturally clumsy. The finest untrained colt is awkward in harness; a horse that is clumsy in build can never be trained out of awkwardness. An awkward statement has an uncomfortable, and perhaps recoiling force; a statement that contains ill-assorted and incongruous material in ill-chosen language is clumsy. We speak of an awkward predicament, an awkward scrape. An awkward excuse commonly reflects on the one who offers it. We say the admitted facts have an awkward appearance. In none of these cases could clumsy be used. Clumsy is, however, applied to movements that seem as unsuitable as those of benumbed and stiffened limbs. A dancing bear is both clumsy and awkward.

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