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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:

abrogate, cancel, overthrow, shatter, upset, annul, destroy, shake, unsettle, weaken.

Prepositions:

Confirm a statement by testimony; confirm a person in a belief.

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CONGRATULATE.

Synonym:

felicitate.

To felicitate is to pronounce one happy or wish one joy; to congratulate is to express hearty sympathy in his joys or hopes. Felicitate is cold and formal. We say one felicitates himself; tho to congratulate oneself, which is less natural, is becoming prevalent.

Antonyms:

condole with, console.

Prepositions:

Congratulate one on or upon his success.

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CONQUER.

Synonyms:

beat, humble, overthrow, subject, checkmate, master, prevail over, subjugate, crush, overcome, put down, surmount, defeat, overmaster, reduce, vanquish, discomfit, overmatch, rout, win, down, overpower, subdue, worst.

To defeat an enemy is to gain an advantage for the time; to vanquish is to win a signal victory; to conquer is to overcome so effectually that the victory is regarded as final. Conquer, in many cases, carries the idea of possession; as, to conquer respect, affection, peace, etc. A country is conquered when its armies are defeated and its territory is occupied by the enemy; it may be subjected to indemnity or to various disabilities; it is subjugated when it is held helplessly and continuously under military control; it is subdued when all resistance has died out. An army is defeated when forcibly driven back; it is routed when it is converted into a mob of fugitives. Compare BEAT.

Antonyms:

capitulate, fail, fly, lose, retire, submit, surrender, cede, fall, forfeit, resign, retreat, succumb, yield.

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CONSCIOUS.

Synonyms:

advised, assured, certain, cognizant, sensible, apprised, aware, certified, informed, sure.

One is aware of that which exists without him; he is conscious of the inner workings of his own mind. Sensible may be used in the exact sense of conscious, or it may partake of both the senses mentioned above. One may be sensible of his own or another's error; he is conscious only of his own. A person may feel assured or sure of something false or non-existent; what he is aware of, still more what he is conscious of, must be fact. Sensible has often a reference to the emotions where conscious might apply only to the intellect; to say a culprit is sensible of his degradation is more forcible than to say he is conscious of it.

Antonyms:

cold, dead, deaf, ignorant, insensible, unaware, unconscious.

Preposition:

On the stormy sea, man is conscious of the limitation of human power.

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CONSEQUENCE.

Synonyms:

consequent, end, issue, outgrowth, sequel, effect, event, outcome, result, upshot.

Effect is the strongest of these words; it is that which is directly produced by the action of an efficient cause; we say, "Every effect must have an adequate cause" (compare CAUSE). In regard to human actions, effect commonly relates to intention; as, the shot took effect, i. e., the effect intended. A consequence is that which follows an act naturally, but less directly than the effect. The motion of the piston is the effect, and the agitation of the water under the paddle-wheels a consequence of the expansion of steam in the cylinder. The result is, literally, the rebound of an act, depending on many elements; the issue is that which flows forth directly; we say the issue of a battle, the result of a campaign. A consequent commonly is that which follows simply in order of time, or by logical inference. The end is the actual outcome without determination of its relation to what has gone before; it is ordinarily viewed as either the necessary, natural, or logical outcome, any effect, consequence, or result being termed an end; as, the end of such a course must be ruin. The event (L. e, out, and venio, come) is primarily exactly the same in meaning as outcome; but in use it is more nearly equivalent to upshot signifying the sum and substance of all effects, consequences, and results of a course of action. Compare ACCIDENT; CAUSE; CIRCUMSTANCE; END; EVENT.

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CONSOLE.

Synonyms:

comfort, condole with, encourage, sympathize with.

One condoles with another by the expression of kindly sympathy in his trouble; he consoles him by considerations adapted to soothe and sustain the spirit, as by the assurances and promises of the gospel; he encourages him by the hope of some relief or deliverance; he comforts him by whatever act or word tends to bring mind or body to a state of rest and cheer. We sympathize with others, not only in sorrow, but in joy. Compare ALLEVIATE; PITY.

Antonyms:

annoy, distress, disturb, grieve, hurt, sadden, trouble, wound.

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CONTAGION.

Synonym:

infection.

Infection is frequently confused with contagion, even by medical men. The best usage now limits contagion to diseases that are transmitted by contact with the diseased person, either directly by touch or indirectly by use of the same articles, by breath, effluvia, etc. Infection is applied to diseases produced by no known or definable influence of one person upon another, but where common climatic, malarious, or other wide-spread conditions are believed to be chiefly instrumental.

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CONTINUAL.

Synonyms:

ceaseless, incessant, regular, uninterrupted, constant, invariable, unbroken, unremitting, continuous, perpetual, unceasing, unvarying.

Continuous describes that which is absolutely without pause or break; continual, that which often intermits, but as regularly begins again. A continuous beach is exposed to the continual beating of the waves. A similar distinction is made between incessant and ceaseless. The incessant discharge of firearms makes the ceaseless roar of battle. Constant is sometimes used in the sense of continual; but its chief uses are mental and moral.

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CONTRACT.

Synonyms:

agreement, cartel, engagement, pledge, arrangement, compact, obligation, promise, bargain, covenant, pact, stipulation.

All these words involve at least two parties, tho an engagement or promise may be the act of but one. A contract is a formal agreement between two or more parties for the doing or leaving undone some specified act or acts, and is ordinarily in writing. Mutual promises may have the force of a contract. A consideration, or compensation, is essential to convert an agreement into a contract. A contract may be oral or written. A covenant in law is a written contract under seal. Covenant is frequent in religious usage, as contract is in law and business. Compact is essentially the same as contract, but is applied to international agreements, treaties, etc. A bargain is a mutual agreement for an exchange of values, without the formality of a contract. A stipulation is a single item in an agreement or contract. A cartel is a military agreement for the exchange of prisoners or the like.

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CONTRAST.

Synonyms:

compare, differentiate, discriminate, oppose.

To compare (L. con, together, and par, equal) is to place together in order to show likeness or unlikeness; to contrast (L. contra, against, and sto, stand) is to set in opposition in order to show unlikeness. We contrast objects that have been already compared. We must compare them, at least momentarily, even to know that they are different. We contrast them when we observe their unlikeness in a general way; we differentiate them when we note the difference exactly and point by point. We distinguish objects when we note a difference that may fall short of contrast; we discriminate them when we classify or place them according to their differences.

Preposition:

We contrast one object with another.

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CONVERSATION.

Synonyms:

chat, communion, converse, intercourse, colloquy, confabulation, dialogue, parley, communication, conference, discourse, talk.

Conversation (Latin con, with) is, etymologically, an interchange of ideas with some other person or persons. Talk may be wholly one-sided. Many brilliant talkers have been incapable of conversation. There may be intercourse without conversation, as by looks, signs, etc.; communion is of hearts, with or without words; communication is often by writing, and may be uninvited and unreciprocated. Talk may denote the mere utterance of words with little thought; thus, we say idle talk, empty talk, rather than idle or empty conversation. Discourse is now applied chiefly to public addresses. A conference is more formal than a conversation. Dialog denotes ordinarily an artificial or imaginary conversation, generally of two persons, but sometimes of more. A colloquy is indefinite as to number, and generally somewhat informal. Compare BEHAVIOR.

Prepositions:

Conversation with friends; between or among the guests; about a matter.

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CONVERT.

Synonyms:

disciple, neophyte, proselyte.

The name disciple is given to the follower of a certain faith, without reference to any previous belief or allegiance; a convert is a person who has come to one faith from a different belief or from unbelief. A proselyte is one who has been led to accept a religious system, whether with or without true faith; a convert is always understood to be a believer. A neophyte is a new convert, not yet fully indoctrinated, or not admitted to full privileges. The antonyms apostate, pervert, and renegade are condemnatory names applied to the convert by those whose faith he forsakes.

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CONVEY.

Synonyms:

carry, give, remove, shift, transmit, change, move, sell, transfer, transport.

Convey, transmit, and transport all imply delivery at a destination; as, I will convey the information to your friend; air conveys sound (to a listener); carry does not necessarily imply delivery, and often does not admit of it. A man carries an appearance, conveys an impression, the appearance remaining his own, the impression being given to another; I will transmit the letter; transport the goods. A horse carries his mane and tail, but does not convey them. Transfer may or may not imply delivery to another person; as, items may be transferred from one account to another or a word transferred to the following line. In law, real estate, which can not be moved, is conveyed by simply transferring title and possession. Transport usually refers to material, transfer, transmit, and convey may refer to immaterial objects; we transfer possession, transmit intelligence, convey ideas, but do not transport them. In the case of convey the figurative sense now predominates. Compare CARRY.

Antonyms:

cling to, hold, keep, possess, preserve, retain.

Prepositions:

Convey to a friend, a purchaser, etc.; convey from the house to the station; convey by express, by hand, etc.

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CONVOKE.

Synonyms:

assemble, call together, convene, muster, call, collect, gather, summon.

A convention is called by some officer or officers, as by its president, its executive committee, or some eminent leaders; the delegates are assembled or convened in a certain place, at a certain hour. Convoke implies an organized body and a superior authority; assemble and convene express more independent action; Parliament is convoked; Congress assembles. Troops are mustered; witnesses and jurymen are summoned.

Antonyms:

adjourn, disband, dismiss, dissolve, scatter, break up, discharge, disperse, prorogue, separate.

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CRIMINAL.

Synonyms:

abominable, flagitious, immoral, sinful, vile, culpable, guilty, iniquitous, unlawful, wicked, felonious, illegal, nefarious, vicious, wrong.

Every criminal act is illegal or unlawful, but illegal or unlawful acts may not be criminal. Offenses against public law are criminal; offenses against private rights are merely illegal or unlawful. As a general rule, all acts punishable by fine or imprisonment or both, are criminal in view of the law. It is illegal for a man to trespass on another's land, but it is not criminal; the trespasser is liable to a civil suit for damages, but not to indictment, fine, or imprisonment. A felonious act is a criminal act of an aggravated kind, which is punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary or by death. A flagitious crime is one that brings public odium. Vicious refers to the indulgence of evil appetites, habits, or passions; vicious acts are not necessarily criminal, or even illegal; we speak of a vicious horse. That which is iniquitous, i. e., contrary to equity, may sometimes be done under the forms of law. Ingratitude is sinful, hypocrisy is wicked, but neither is punishable by human law; hence, neither is criminal or illegal. Compare SIN.

Antonyms:

innocent, lawful, meritorious, right, just, legal, moral, virtuous.

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DAILY.

Synonym:

diurnal.

Daily is the Saxon and popular, diurnal the Latin and scientific term. In strict usage, daily is the antonym of nightly as diurnal is of nocturnal. Daily is not, however, held strictly to this use; a physician makes daily visits if he calls at some time within each period of twenty-four hours. Diurnal is more exact in all its uses; a diurnal flower opens or blooms only in daylight; a diurnal bird or animal flies or ranges only by day: in contradistinction to nocturnal flowers, birds, etc. A diurnal motion exactly fills an astronomical day or the time of one rotation of a planet on its axis, while a daily motion is much less definite.

Antonyms:

nightly, nocturnal.

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DANGER.

Synonyms:

hazard, insecurity, jeopardy, peril, risk.

Danger is exposure to possible evil, which may be either near and probable or remote and doubtful; peril is exposure to imminent and sharply threatening evil, especially to such as results from violence. An invalid may be in danger of consumption; a disarmed soldier is in peril of death. Jeopardy is nearly the same as peril, but involves, like risk, more of the element of chance or uncertainty; a man tried upon a capital charge is said to be put in jeopardy of life. Insecurity is a feeble word, but exceedingly broad, applying to the placing of a dish, or the possibilities of a life, a fortune, or a government. Compare HAZARD.

Antonyms:

defense, immunity, protection, safeguard, safety, security, shelter.

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DARK.

Synonyms:

black, dusky, mysterious, sable, somber, dim, gloomy, obscure, shadowy, swart, dismal, murky, opaque, shady, swarthy.

Strictly, that which is black is absolutely destitute of color; that which is dark is absolutely destitute of light. In common speech, however, a coat is black, tho not optically colorless; the night is dark, tho the stars shine. That is obscure, shadowy, or shady from which the light is more or less cut off. Dusky is applied to objects which appear as if viewed in fading light; the word is often used, as are swart and swarthy, of the human skin when quite dark, or even verging toward black. Dim refers to imperfection of outline, from distance, darkness, mist, etc., or from some defect of vision. Opaque objects, as smoked glass, are impervious to light. Murky is said of that which is at once dark, obscure, and gloomy; as, a murky den; a murky sky. Figuratively, dark is emblematic of sadness, agreeing with somber, dismal, gloomy, also of moral evil; as, a dark deed. Of intellectual matters, dark is now rarely used in the old sense of a dark saying, etc. See MYSTERIOUS; OBSCURE.

Antonyms:

bright, crystalline, glowing, lucid, shining, brilliant, dazzling, illumined, luminous, transparent, clear, gleaming, light, radiant, white.

Compare synonyms for LIGHT.

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DECAY.

Synonyms:

corrupt, decompose, molder, putrefy, rot, spoil.

Rot is a strong word, ordinarily esteemed coarse, but on occasion capable of approved emphatic use; as, "the name of the wicked shall rot," Prov. x, 7; decay and decompose are now common euphemisms. A substance is decomposed when resolved into its original elements by any process; it is decayed when resolved into its original elements by natural processes; it decays gradually, but may be instantly decomposed, as water into oxygen and hydrogen; to say that a thing is decayed may denote only a partial result, but to say it is decomposed ordinarily implies that the change is complete or nearly so. Putrefy and the adjectives putrid and putrescent, and the nouns putridity and putrescence, are used almost exclusively of animal matter in a state of decomposition, the more general word decay being used of either animal or vegetable substances.

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DECEPTION.

Synonyms:

craft, dissimulation, finesse, lie, cunning, double-dealing, fraud, lying, deceit, duplicity, guile, prevarication, deceitfulness, fabrication, hypocrisy, trickery, delusion, falsehood, imposition, untruth.

Deceit is the habit, deception the act; guile applies to the disposition out of which deceit and deception grow, and also to their actual practise. A lie, lying, or falsehood, is the uttering of what one knows to be false with intent to deceive. The novel or drama is not a lie, because not meant to deceive; the ancient teaching that the earth was flat was not a lie, because not then known to be false. Untruth is more than lack of accuracy, implying always lack of veracity; but it is a somewhat milder and more dignified word than lie. Falsehood and lying are in utterance; deceit and deception may be merely in act or implication. Deception may be innocent, and even unintentional, as in the case of an optical illusion; deceit always involves injurious intent. Craft and cunning have not necessarily any moral quality; they are common traits of animals, but stand rather low in the human scale. Duplicity is the habitual speaking or acting with intent to appear to mean what one does not. Dissimulation is rather a concealing of what is than a pretense of what is not. Finesse is simply an adroit and delicate management of a matter for one's own side, not necessarily involving deceit. Compare ARTIFICE; FICTION; FRAUD; HYPOCRISY.

Antonyms:

candor, frankness, honesty, simplicity, truth, fair dealing, guilelessness, openness, sincerity, veracity.

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DEFENSE.

Synonyms:

apology, guard, rampart, shelter, bulwark, justification, resistance, shield, fortress, protection, safeguard, vindication.

The weak may speak or act in defense of the strong; none but the powerful can assure others of protection. A defense is ordinarily against actual attack; protection is against possible as well as actual dangers. We speak of defense against an assault, protection from the cold. Vindication is a triumphant defense of character and conduct against charges of error or wrong. Compare APOLOGY.

Antonyms:

abandonment, betrayal, capitulation, desertion, flight, surrender.

Prepositions:

Defense against assault or assailants; in law, defense to an action, from the testimony.

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DEFILE.

Synonyms:

befoul, corrupt, pollute, spoil, sully, tarnish, contaminate, infect, soil, stain, taint, vitiate.

The hand may be defiled by a touch of pitch; swine that have been wallowing in the mud are befouled. Contaminate and infect refer to something evil that deeply pervades and permeates, as the human body or mind. Pollute is used chiefly of liquids; as, water polluted with sewage. Tainted meat is repulsive; infected meat contains germs of disease. A soiled garment may be cleansed by washing; a spoiled garment is beyond cleansing or repair. Bright metal is tarnished by exposure; a fair sheet is sullied by a dirty hand. In figurative use, defile may be used merely in the ceremonial sense; "they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled," John xviii, 28; contaminate refers to deep spiritual injury. Pollute has also a reference to sacrilege; as, to pollute a sanctuary, an altar, or an ordinance. The innocent are often contaminated by association with the wicked; the vicious are more and more corrupted by their own excesses. We speak of a vitiated taste or style; fraud vitiates a title or a contract.

Antonyms:

clean, cleanse, disinfect, hallow, purify, sanctify, wash.

Prepositions:

The temple was defiled with blood; defiled by sacrilegious deeds.

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DEFINITION.

Synonyms:

comment, description, exposition, rendering, commentary, explanation, interpretation, translation.

A definition is exact, an explanation general; a definition is formal, a description pictorial. A definition must include all that belongs to the object defined, and exclude all that does not; a description may include only some general features; an explanation may simply throw light upon some point of special difficulty. An exposition undertakes to state more fully what is compactly given or only implied in the text; as, an exposition of Scripture. Interpretation is ordinarily from one language into another, or from the language of one period into that of another; it may also be a statement giving the doubtful or hidden meaning of that which is recondite or perplexing; as, the interpretation of a dream, a riddle, or of some difficult passage. Definition, explanation, exposition, and interpretation are ordinarily blended in a commentary, which may also include description. A comment is upon a single passage; a commentary may be the same, but is usually understood to be a volume of comments.

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DELEGATE.

Synonyms:

deputy, legate, proxy, representative, substitute.

These words agree in designating one who acts in the place of some other or others. The legate is an ecclesiastical officer representing the Pope. In strict usage the deputy or delegate is more limited in functions and more closely bound by instructions than a representative. A single officer may have a deputy; many persons combine to choose a delegate or representative. In the United States informal assemblies send delegates to nominating conventions with no legislative authority; representatives are legally elected to Congress and the various legislatures, with lawmaking power.

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DELIBERATE.

Synonyms:

confer, consult, meditate, reflect, consider, debate, ponder, weigh.

An individual considers, meditates, ponders, reflects, by himself; he weighs a matter in his own mind, and is sometimes said even to debate with himself. Consult and confer always imply two or more persons, as does debate, unless expressly limited as above. Confer suggests the interchange of counsel, advice, or information; consult indicates almost exclusively the receiving of it. A man confers with his associates about a new investment; he consults his physician about his health; he may confer with him on matters of general interest. He consults a dictionary, but does not confer with it. Deliberate, which can be applied to a single individual, is also the word for a great number, while consult is ordinarily limited to a few; a committee consults; an assembly deliberates. Deliberating always carries the idea of slowness; consulting is compatible with haste; we can speak of a hasty consultation, not of a hasty deliberation. Debate implies opposing views; deliberate, simply a gathering and balancing of all facts and reasons. We consider or deliberate with a view to action, while meditation may be quite purposeless.

Prepositions:

We deliberate on or upon, also about or concerning a matter: the first two are preferable.

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DELICIOUS.

Synonyms:

dainty, delightful, exquisite, luscious, savory.

That is delicious which affords a gratification at once vivid and delicate to the senses, especially to those of taste and smell; as, delicious fruit; a delicious odor; luscious has a kindred but more fulsome meaning, inclining toward a cloying excess of sweetness or richness. Savory is applied chiefly to cooked food made palatable by spices and condiments. Delightful may be applied to the higher gratifications of sense, as delightful music, but is chiefly used for that which is mental and spiritual. Delicious has a limited use in this way; as, a delicious bit of poetry; the word is sometimes used ironically for some pleasing absurdity; as, this is delicious! Compare DELIGHTFUL.

Antonyms:

acrid, loathsome, nauseous, repulsive, unpalatable, unsavory. bitter,

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DELIGHTFUL.

Synonyms:

acceptable, delicious, pleasant, refreshing, agreeable, grateful, pleasing, satisfying, congenial, gratifying, pleasurable, welcome.

Agreeable refers to whatever gives a mild degree of pleasure; as, an agreeable perfume. Acceptable indicates a thing to be worthy of acceptance; as, an acceptable offering. Grateful is stronger than agreeable or gratifying, indicating whatever awakens a feeling akin to gratitude. A pleasant face and pleasing manners arouse pleasurable sensations, and make the possessor an agreeable companion; if possessed of intelligence, vivacity, and goodness, such a person's society will be delightful. Criminals may find each other's company congenial, but scarcely delightful. Satisfying denotes anything that is received with calm acquiescence, as substantial food, or established truth. That is welcome which is received with joyful heartiness; as, welcome tidings. Compare BEAUTIFUL; CHARMING; DELICIOUS.

Antonyms:

depressing, hateful, miserable, painful, woful, disappointing, horrible, mournful, saddening, wretched. distressing, melancholy,

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DELUSION.

Synonyms:

error, fallacy, hallucination, illusion, phantasm.

A delusion is a mistaken conviction, an illusion a mistaken perception or inference. An illusion may be wholly of the senses; a delusion always involves some mental error. In an optical illusion the observer sees either what does not exist, or what exists otherwise than as he sees it, as when in a mirage distant springs and trees appear close at hand. We speak of the illusions of fancy or of hope, but of the delusions of the insane. A hallucination is a false image or belief which has nothing, outside of the disordered mind, to suggest it; as, the hallucinations of delirium tremens. Compare DECEPTION; INSANITY.

Antonyms:

actuality, certainty, fact, reality, truth, verity.

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DEMOLISH.

Synonyms:

destroy, overthrow, overturn, raze, ruin.

A building, monument, or other structure is demolished when reduced to a shapeless mass; it is razed when leveled with the ground; it is destroyed when its structural unity is gone, whether or not its component parts remain. An edifice is destroyed by fire or earthquake; it is demolished by bombardment; it is ruined when, by violence or neglect, it has become unfit for human habitation. Compare ABOLISH; BREAK.

Antonyms:

build, construct, create, make, repair, restore.

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DEMONSTRATION.

Synonyms:

certainty, consequence, evidence, inference, conclusion, deduction, induction, proof.

Demonstration, in the strict and proper sense, is the highest form of proof, and gives the most absolute certainty, but can not be applied outside of pure mathematics or other strictly deductive reasoning; there can be proof and certainty, however, in matters that do not admit of demonstration. A conclusion is the absolute and necessary result of the admission of certain premises; an inference is a probable conclusion toward which known facts, statements, or admissions point, but which they do not absolutely establish; sound premises, together with their necessary conclusion, constitute a demonstration. Evidence is that which tends to show a thing to be true; in the widest sense, as including self-evidence or consciousness, it is the basis of all knowledge. Proof in the strict sense is complete, irresistible evidence; as, there was much evidence against the accused, but not amounting to proof of guilt. Moral certainty is a conviction resting on such evidence as puts a matter beyond reasonable doubt, while not so irresistible as demonstration. Compare HYPOTHESIS; INDUCTION.

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DESIGN.

Synonyms:

aim, final cause, object, proposal, device, intent, plan, purpose, end, intention, project, scheme.

Design refers to the adaptation of means to an end, the correspondence and coordination of parts, or of separate acts, to produce a result; intent and purpose overleap all particulars, and fasten on the end itself. Intention is simply the more familiar form of the legal and philosophical intent. Plan relates to details of form, structure, and action, in themselves; design considers these same details all as a means to an end. The plan of a campaign may be for a series of sharp attacks, with the design of thus surprising and overpowering the enemy. A man comes to a fixed intention to kill his enemy; he forms a plan to entrap him into his power, with the design of then compassing his death; as the law can not read the heart, it can only infer the intent from the evidences of design. Intent denotes a straining, stretching forth toward an object; purpose simply the placing it before oneself; hence, we speak of the purpose rather than the intent or intention of God. We hold that the marks of design in nature prove it the work of a great Designer. Intention contemplates the possibility of failure; purpose looks to assured success; intent or intention refers especially to the state of mind of the actor; purpose to the result of the action. Compare AIM; CAUSE; IDEA; MODEL.

Prepositions:

The design of defrauding; the design of a building; a design for a statue.

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DESIRE.

Synonyms:

appetency, concupiscence, hankering, proclivity, appetite, coveting, inclination, propensity, aspiration, craving, longing, wish.

Inclination is the mildest of these terms; it is a quiet, or even a vague or unconscious, tendency. Even when we speak of a strong or decided inclination we do not express the intensity of desire. Desire has a wide range, from the highest objects to the lowest; desire is for an object near at hand, or near in thought, and viewed as attainable; a wish may be for what is remote or uncertain, or even for what is recognized as impossible. Craving is stronger than hankering; hankering may be the result of a fitful and capricious appetite; craving may be the imperious and reasonable demand of the whole nature. Longing is a reaching out with deep and persistent demand for that which is viewed as now distant but at some time attainable; as, the captive's longing for release. Coveting ordinarily denotes wrong desire for that which is another's. Compare APPETITE.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for ANTIPATHY.

Prepositions:

The desire of fame; a desire for excellence.

* * * * *

DESPAIR.

Synonyms:

desperation, despondency, discouragement, hopelessness.

Discouragement is the result of so much repulse or failure as wears out courage. Discouragements too frequent and long continued may produce a settled hopelessness. Hopelessness is negative, and may result from simple apathy; despondency and despair are more emphatic and decided. Despondency is an incapacity for the present exercise of hope; despair is the utter abandonment of hope. Despondency relaxes energy and effort and is always attended with sadness or distress; despair may produce a stony calmness, or it may lead to desperation. Desperation is energized despair, vigorous in action, reckless of consequences.

Antonyms:

anticipation, confidence, encouragement, expectation, hopefulness, assurance, courage, expectancy, hope, trust. cheer, elation,

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DEXTERITY.

Synonyms:

adroitness, aptitude, cleverness, expertness, readiness, skill.

Adroitness (F. a, to, and droit, right) and dexterity (L. dexter, right, right-hand) might each be rendered "right-handedness;" but adroitness carries more of the idea of eluding, parrying, or checking some hostile movement, or taking advantage of another in controversy; dexterity conveys the idea of doing, accomplishing something readily and well, without reference to any action of others. We speak of adroitness in fencing, boxing, or debate; of dexterity in horsemanship, in the use of tools, weapons, etc. Aptitude (L. aptus, fit, fitted) is a natural readiness, which by practise may be developed into dexterity. Skill is more exact to line, rule, and method than dexterity. Dexterity can not be communicated, and, oftentimes can not even be explained by its possessor; skill to a very great extent can be imparted; "skilled workmen" in various trades are numbered by thousands. Compare ADDRESS; CLEVER; POWER; SKILFUL.

Prepositions:

Dexterity of hand, of movement, of management; with the pen; in action, in manipulating men; at cards.

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DICTION.

Synonyms:

expression, phrase, style, vocabulary, language, phraseology, verbiage, wording.

An author's diction is strictly his choice and use of words, with no special reference to thought; expression regards the words simply as the vehicle of the thought. Phrase and phraseology apply to words or combinations of words which are somewhat technical; as, in legal phraseology; in military phrase. Diction is general; wording is limited; we speak of the diction of an author or of a work, the wording of a proposition, of a resolution, etc. Verbiage never bears this sense (see CIRCUMLOCUTION.) The language of a writer or speaker may be the national speech he employs; as, the English or French language; or the word may denote his use of that language; as, the author's language is well (or ill) chosen. Style includes diction, expression, rhetorical figures such as metaphor and simile, the effect of an author's prevailing tone of thought, of his personal traits—in short, all that makes up the clothing of thought in words; thus, we speak of a figurative style, a frigid or an argumentative style, etc., or of the style of Macaulay, Prescott, or others. An author's vocabulary is the range of words which he brings into his use. Compare LANGUAGE.

* * * * *

DIE.

Synonyms:

cease, decline, expire, perish, decease, depart, fade, wither.

Die, to go out of life, become destitute of vital power and action, is figuratively applied to anything which has the appearance of life.

Where the dying night-lamp flickers.

TENNYSON Locksley Hall st. 40.

An echo, a strain of music, a tempest, a topic, an issue, dies. Expire (literally, to breathe out) is a softer word for die; it is used figuratively of things that cease to exist by reaching a natural limit; as, a lease expires; the time has expired. To perish (literally, in Latin, to go through, as in English we say, "the fire goes out") is oftenest used of death by privation or exposure; as, "I perish with hunger," Luke xv, 17; sometimes, of death by violence. Knowledge and fame, art and empires, may be said to perish; the word denotes utter destruction and decay.

Antonyms:

be born, come into being, flourish, rise again, begin, come to life, grow, rise from the dead, be immortal, exist, live, survive.

Prepositions:

To die of fever; by violence; rarely, with the sword, famine, etc. (Ezek. vii, 15); to die for one's country; to die at sea; in one's bed; in agony; die to the world.

* * * * *

DIFFERENCE.

Synonyms:

contrariety, discrimination, distinction, inequality, contrast, disparity, divergence, unlikeness, disagreement, dissimilarity, diversity, variation, discrepancy, dissimilitude, inconsistency, variety.

Difference is the state or quality of being unlike or the amount of such unlikeness. A difference is in the things compared; a discrimination is in our judgment of them; a distinction is in our definition or description or mental image of them. Careful discrimination of real differences results in clear distinctions. Disparity is stronger than inequality, implying that one thing falls far below another; as, the disparity of our achievements when compared with our ideals. Dissimilarity is between things sharply contrasted; there may be a difference between those almost alike. There is a discrepancy in accounts that fail to balance. Variety involves more than two objects; so, in general, does diversity; variation is a difference in the condition or action of the same object at different times. Disagreement is not merely the lack, but the opposite, of agreement; it is a mild word for opposition and conflict; difference is sometimes used in the same sense.

Antonyms:

agreement, harmony, likeness, sameness, uniformity, consonance, identity, resemblance, similarity, unity.

Prepositions:

Difference between the old and the new; differences among men; a difference in character; of action; of style; (less frequently) a difference (controversy) with a person; a difference of one thing from (incorrectly to) another.

* * * * *

DIFFICULT.

Synonyms:

arduous, hard, onerous, toilsome, exhausting, laborious, severe, trying.

Arduous (L. arduus, steep) signifies primarily so steep and lofty as to be difficult of ascent, and hence applies to that which involves great and sustained exertion and ordinarily for a lofty aim; great learning can only be won by arduous toil. Hard applies to anything that resists our endeavors as a scarcely penetrable mass resists our physical force. Anything is hard that involves tax and strain whether of the physical or mental powers. Difficult is not used of that which merely taxes physical force; a dead lift is called hard rather than difficult; breaking stone on the road would be called hard rather than difficult work; that is difficult which involves skill, sagacity, or address, with or without a considerable expenditure of physical force; a geometrical problem may be difficult to solve, a tangled skein to unravel; a mountain difficult to ascend. Hard may be active or passive; a thing may be hard to do or hard to bear. Arduous is always active. That which is laborious or toilsome simply requires the steady application of labor or toil till accomplished; toilsome is the stronger word. That which is onerous (L. onus, a burden) is mentally burdensome or oppressive. Responsibility may be onerous even when it involves no special exertion.

Antonyms:

easy, facile, light, pleasant, slight, trifling, trivial.

* * * * *

DIRECTION.

Synonyms:

aim, bearing, course, inclination, tendency, way.

The direction of an object is the line of motion or of vision toward it, or the line in which the object is moving, considered from our own actual or mental standpoint. Way, literally the road or path, comes naturally to mean the direction of the road or path; conversationally, way is almost a perfect synonym of direction; as, which way did he go? or, in which direction? Bearing is the direction in which an object is seen with reference to another, and especially with reference to the points of the compass. Course is the direction of a moving object; inclination, that toward which a stationary object leans; tendency, the direction toward which anything stretches or reaches out; tendency is stronger and more active than inclination. Compare AIM; CARE; ORDER; OVERSIGHT.

* * * * *

DISCERN.

Synonyms:

behold, discriminate, observe, recognize, descry, distinguish, perceive, see.

What we discern we see apart from all other objects; what we discriminate we judge apart; what we distinguish we mark apart, or recognize by some special mark or manifest difference. We discriminate by real differences; we distinguish by outward signs; an officer is readily distinguished from a common soldier by his uniform. Objects may be dimly discerned at twilight, when yet we can not clearly distinguish one from another. We descry (originally espy) what is difficult to discover. Compare DISCOVER; LOOK.

* * * * *

DISCOVER.

Synonyms:

ascertain, detect, disclose, ferret out, find out, descry, discern, expose, find, invent.

Of human actions or character, detect is used, almost without exception, in a bad sense; discover may be used in either the good or the bad sense, oftener in the good; he was detected in a fraud; real merit is sure to be discovered. In scientific language, detect is used of delicate indications that appear in course of careful watching; as, a slight fluttering of the pulse could be detected. We discover what has existed but has not been known to us; we invent combinations or arrangements not before in use; Columbus discovered America; Morse invented the electric telegraph. Find is the most general word for every means of coming to know what was not before certainly known. A man finds in the road some stranger's purse, or finds his own which he is searching for. The expert discovers or detects an error in an account; the auditor finds the account to be correct. Compare DISCERN.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for HIDE.

* * * * *

DISEASE.

Synonyms:

affection, disorder, indisposition, sickness, ailment, distemper, infirmity, unhealthiness, complaint, illness, malady, unsoundness.

Disease is the general term for any deviation from health; in a more limited sense it denotes some definite morbid condition; disorder and affection are rather partial and limited; as, a nervous affection; a disorder of the digestive system. Sickness was generally used in English speech and literature, till the close of the eighteenth century at least, for every form of physical disorder, as abundantly appears in the English Bible: "Jesus went about ... healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people," Matt. iv, 23; "Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died," 2 Kings xiii, 14. There is now, in England, a tendency to restrict the words sick and sickness to nausea, or "sickness at the stomach," and to hold ill and illness as the only proper words to use in a general sense. This distinction has received but a very limited acceptance in the United States, where sick and sickness have the earlier and wider usage. We speak of trifling ailments, a slight indisposition, a serious or a deadly disease; a slight or severe illness; a painful sickness. Complaint is a popular term, which may be applied to any degree of ill health, slight or severe. Infirmity denotes a chronic or lingering weakness or disability, as blindness or lameness.

Antonyms:

health, robustness, soundness, strength, sturdiness, vigor.

* * * * *

DISPARAGE.

Synonyms:

belittle, depreciate, discredit, underestimate, carp at, derogate from, dishonor, underrate, decry, detract from, lower, undervalue.

To decry is to cry down, in some noisy, public, or conspicuous manner. A witness or a statement is discredited; the currency is depreciated; a good name is dishonored by unworthy conduct; we underestimate in our own minds; we may underrate or undervalue in statement to others. These words are used, with few exceptions, of things such as qualities, merits, attainments, etc. To disparage is to belittle by damaging comparison or suggestion; it is used only of things. A man's achievements are disparaged, his motives depreciated, his professions discredited; he himself is calumniated, slandered, etc. Compare SLANDER.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for PRAISE.

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DISPLACE.

Synonyms:

confuse, derange, disturb, mislay, remove, crowd out, disarrange, jumble, misplace, unsettle.

Objects are displaced when moved out of the place they have occupied; they are misplaced when put into a place where they should not be. One may know where to find what he has misplaced; what he has mislaid he can not locate.

Antonyms:

adjust, assort, dispose, order, put in order, set in order, array, classify, group, place, put in place, sort.

* * * * *

DO.

Synonyms:

accomplish, carry out, discharge, perform, achieve, carry through, effect, perpetrate, actualize, commit, execute, realize, bring about, complete, finish, transact, bring to pass, consummate, fulfil, work out.

Do is the one comprehensive word which includes this whole class. We may say of the least item of daily work, "It is done," and of the grandest human achievement, "Well done!" Finish and complete signify to bring to an end what was previously begun; there is frequently the difference in usage that finish is applied to the fine details and is superficial, while complete is comprehensive, being applied to the whole ideal, plan, and execution; as, to finish a statue; to complete a scheme of philosophy. To discharge is to do what is given in charge, expected, or required; as, to discharge the duties of the office. To fulfil is to do or to be what has been promised, expected, hoped, or desired; as, a son fulfils a father's hopes. Realize, effect, execute, and consummate all signify to embody in fact what was before in thought. One may realize that which he has done nothing to bring about; he may realize the dreams of youth by inheriting a fortune; but he can not effect his early designs except by doing the utmost that is necessary to make them fact. Effect includes all that is done to accomplish the intent; execute refers rather to the final steps; consummate is limited quite sharply to the concluding act. An officer executes the law when he proceeds against its violators; a purchase is consummated when the money is paid and the property delivered. Execute refers more commonly to the commands of another, effect and consummate to one's own designs; as, the commander effected the capture of the fort, because his officers and men promptly executed his commands. Achieve—to do something worthy of a chief—signifies always to perform some great and generally some worthy exploit. Perform and accomplish both imply working toward the end; but perform always allows a possibility of not attaining, while accomplish carries the thought of full completion. In Longfellow's lines, "Patience; accomplish thy labor," etc., perform could not be substituted without great loss. As between complete and accomplish, complete considers rather the thing as done; accomplish, the whole process of doing it. Commit, as applied to actions, is used only of those that are bad, whether grave or trivial; perpetrate is used chiefly of aggravated crimes or, somewhat humorously, of blunders. A man may commit a sin, a trespass, or a murder; perpetrate an outrage or a felony. We finish a garment or a letter, complete an edifice or a life-work, consummate a bargain or a crime, discharge a duty, effect a purpose, execute a command, fulfil a promise, perform our daily tasks, realize an ideal, accomplish a design, achieve a victory. Compare TRANSACT; TRANSACTION.

Antonyms:

baffle, defeat, fail, mar, miss, ruin, come short, destroy, frustrate, miscarry, neglect, spoil.

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DOCILE.

Synonyms:

amenable, manageable, pliant, teachable, compliant, obedient, submissive, tractable, gentle, pliable, tame, yielding.

One who is docile is easily taught; one who is tractable is easily led; one who is pliant is easily bent in any direction; compliant represents one as inclined or persuaded to agreement with another's will. Compare DUTY.

Antonyms:

determined, inflexible, opinionated, self-willed, wilful, dogged, intractable, resolute, stubborn, unyielding. firm, obstinate,

* * * * *

DOCTRINE.

Synonyms:

article of belief, belief, precept, teaching, article of faith, dogma, principle, tenet.

Doctrine primarily signifies that which is taught; principle, the fundamental basis on which the teaching rests. A doctrine is reasoned out, and may be defended by reasoning; a dogma rests on authority, as of direct revelation, the decision of the church, etc. A doctrine or dogma is a statement of some one item of belief; a creed is a summary of doctrines or dogmas. Dogma has commonly, at the present day, an offensive signification, as of a belief arrogantly asserted. Tenet is simply that which is held, and is applied to a single item of belief; it is a neutral word, neither approving nor condemning; we speak of the doctrines of our own church; of the tenets of others. A precept relates not to belief, but to conduct. Compare FAITH; LAW.

* * * * *

DOGMATIC.

Synonyms:

arrogant, doctrinal, magisterial, positive, authoritative, domineering, opinionated, self-opinionated, dictatorial, imperious, overbearing, systematic.

Dogmatic is technically applied in a good sense to that which is formally enunciated by adequate authority; doctrinal to that which is stated in the form of doctrine to be taught or defended. Dogmatic theology, called also "dogmatics," gives definite propositions, which it holds to be delivered by authority; systematic theology considers the same propositions in their logical connection and order as parts of a system; a doctrinal statement is less absolute in its claims than a dogmatic treatise, and may be more partial than the term systematic would imply. Outside of theology, dogmatic has generally an offensive sense; a dogmatic statement is one for which the author does not trouble himself to give a reason, either because of the strength of his convictions, or because of his contempt for those whom he addresses; thus dogmatic is, in common use, allied with arrogant and kindred words.

* * * * *

DOUBT, v.

Synonyms:

distrust, mistrust, surmise, suspect.

To doubt is to lack conviction. Incompleteness of evidence may compel one to doubt, or some perverse bias of mind may incline him to. Distrust may express simply a lack of confidence; as, I distrust my own judgment; or it may be nearly equivalent to suspect; as, I distrusted that man from the start. Mistrust and suspect imply that one is almost assured of positive evil; one may distrust himself or others; he suspects others. Mistrust is now rarely, if ever, used of persons, but only of motives, intentions, etc. Distrust is always serious; mistrust is often used playfully. Compare SUPPOSE. Compare synonyms for DOUBT, n.

Antonyms:

believe, depend on, depend upon, rely on, rely upon, trust. confide in,

* * * * *

DOUBT, n.

Synonyms:

disbelief, incredulity, perplexity, suspense, distrust, indecision, question, suspicion, hesitancy, irresolution, scruple, unbelief, hesitation, misgiving, skepticism, uncertainty.

Doubt is a lack of conviction that may refer either to matters of belief or to matters of practise. As regards belief, while doubt is lack of conviction, disbelief is conviction, to the contrary; unbelief refers to a settled state of mind, generally accompanied with opposition of heart. Perplexity is active and painful; doubt may be quiescent. Perplexity presses toward a solution; doubt may be content to linger unresolved. Any improbable statement awakens incredulity. In theological usage unbelief and skepticism have a condemnatory force, as implying wilful rejection of manifest truth. As regards practical matters, uncertainty applies to the unknown or undecided; doubt implies some negative evidence. Suspense regards the future, and is eager and anxious; uncertainty may relate to any period, and be quite indifferent. Misgiving is ordinarily in regard to the outcome of something already done or decided; hesitation, indecision, and irresolution have reference to something that remains to be decided or done, and are due oftener to infirmity of will than to lack of knowledge. Distrust and suspicion apply especially to the motives, character, etc., of others, and are more decidedly adverse than doubt. Scruple relates to matters of conscience and duty.

Antonyms:

assurance, certainty, conviction, determination, resolution, belief, confidence, decision, persuasion, resolve.

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DRAW.

Synonyms:

allure, drag, haul, induce, lure, tow, attract, entice, incline, lead, pull, tug.

One object draws another when it moves it toward itself or in the direction of its own motion by the exertion of adequate force, whether slight or powerful. To attract is to exert a force that tends to draw, tho it may produce no actual motion; all objects are attracted toward the earth, tho they may be sustained from falling. To drag is to draw against strong resistance; as, to drag a sled over bare ground, or a carriage up a steep hill. To pull is to exert a drawing force, whether adequate or inadequate; as, the fish pulls on the line; a dentist pulls a tooth. To tug is to draw, or try to draw, a resisting object with a continuous straining motion; as, to tug at the oar. To haul is to draw somewhat slowly a heavy object; as, to haul a seine; to haul logs. One vessel tows another. In the figurative sense, attract is more nearly akin to incline, draw to induce. We are attracted by one's appearance, drawn to his side. Compare ALLURE; ARRAY; INFLUENCE.

Antonyms:

alienate, estrange, rebuff, reject, repel, repulse.

See synonyms for DRIVE.

Prepositions:

To draw water from or out of the well; draw the boat through the water, to the shore; draw air into the lungs; draw with cords of love; the wagon is drawn by horses, along the road, across the field, over the stones, through the woods, to the barn.

* * * * *

DREAM.

Synonyms:

day-dream, fantasy, reverie, trance, fancy, hallucination, romance, vision.

A dream is strictly a train of thoughts, fantasies, and images passing through the mind during sleep; a vision may occur when one is awake, and in clear exercise of the senses and mental powers; vision is often applied to something seen by the mind through supernatural agency, whether in sleep or wakefulness, conceived as more real and authoritative than a dream; a trance is an abnormal state, which is different from normal sleep or wakefulness. A reverie is a purposeless drifting of the mind when awake, under the influence of mental images; a day-dream that which passes before the mind in such condition. A fancy is some image presented to the mind, often in the fullest exercise of its powers. Hallucination is the seeming perception of non-existent objects, as in insanity or delirium. In the figurative sense, we speak of dreams of fortune, visions of glory, with little difference of meaning except that the vision is thought of as fuller and more vivid. We speak of a trance of delight when the emotion almost sweeps one away from the normal exercise of the faculties.

Antonyms:

certainty, fact, reality, realization, substance, verity.

* * * * *

DRESS.

Synonyms:

apparel, clothes, garb, habit, uniform, array, clothing, garments, raiment, vestments, attire, costume, habiliments, robes, vesture.

Clothing denotes the entire covering of the body, taken as a whole; clothes and garments view it as composed of separate parts. Clothes, clothing, and garments may be used of inner or outer covering; all the other words in the list (with possible rare exceptions in the case of raiment) refer to the outer garments. Array, raiment, and vesture are archaic or poetic; so, too, is habit, except in technical use to denote a lady's riding-dress. The word vestments is now rare, except in ecclesiastical use. Apparel and attire are most frequently used of somewhat complete and elegant outer clothing, tho Shakespeare speaks of "poor and mean attire." Dress may be used, specifically, for a woman's gown, and in that sense may be either rich or shabby; but in the general sense it denotes outer clothing which is meant to be elegant, complete, and appropriate to some social or public occasion; as, full dress, court dress, evening dress, etc. Dress has now largely displaced apparel and attire. Garb denotes the clothing characteristic of some class, profession, or the like; as, the garb of a priest. Costume is chiefly used for that which befits an assumed character; as, a theatrical costume; we sometimes speak of a national costume, etc.

Antonyms:

bareness, dishabille, exposure, nakedness, nudity, undress. disarray,

* * * * *

DRIVE.

Synonyms:

compel, propel, repel, resist, thrust, impel, push, repulse, ride, urge on.

To drive is to move an object with some force or violence before or away from oneself; it is the direct reverse of draw, lead, etc. A man leads a horse by the halter, drives him with whip and rein. One may be driven to a thing or from it; hence, drive is a synonym equally for compel or for repel or repulse. Repulse is stronger and more conclusive than repel; one may be repelled by the very aspect of the person whose favor he seeks, but is not repulsed except by the direct refusal or ignoring of his suit. A certain conventional modern usage, especially in England, requires us to say that we drive in a carriage, ride upon a horse; tho in Scripture we read of riding in a chariot (2 Kings ix, 16; Jer. xvii, 25, etc.); good examples of the same usage may be found abundantly in the older English. The propriety of a person's saying that he is going to drive when he is simply to be conveyed in a carriage, where some one else, as the coachman, does all the driving, is exceedingly questionable. Many good authorities prefer to use ride in the older and broader sense as signifying to be supported and borne along by any means of conveyance. Compare BANISH; COMPEL; INFLUENCE.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for DRAW.

Prepositions:

Drive to market; to despair; drive into exile; from one's presence; out of the city; drive by, with, or under the lash; drive by or past beautiful estates; along the beach; beside the river; through the park; across the field; around the square; to the door; into the barn; out of the sunshine.

* * * * *

DUPLICATE.

Synonyms:

copy, facsimile, likeness, reproduction, counterpart, imitation, replica, transcript.

A copy is as nearly like the original as the copyist has power to make it; a duplicate is exactly like the original; a carbon copy of a typewritten document must be a duplicate; we may have an inaccurate copy, but never an inaccurate duplicate. A facsimile is like the original in appearance; a duplicate is the same as the original in substance and effect; a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence is not a duplicate. A facsimile of a key might be quite useless; a duplicate will open the lock. A counterpart exactly corresponds to another object, but perhaps without design, while a copy is intentional. An imitation is always thought of as inferior to the original; as, an imitation of Milton. A replica is a copy of a work of art by the maker of the original. In law, a copy of an instrument has in itself no authority; the signatures, as well as other matters, may be copied; a duplicate is really an original, containing the same provisions and signed by the same persons, so that it may have in all respects the same force and effect; a transcript is an official copy, authenticated by the signature of the proper officer, and by the seal of the appropriate court. While strictly there could be but one duplicate, the word is now extended to an indefinite number of exact copies. Reproduction is chiefly applied to living organisms.

Antonyms:

archetype, model, original, pattern, prototype.

* * * * *

DUTY.

Synonyms:

accountability, function, office, right, business, obligation, responsibility, righteousness.

Etymologically, duty is that which is owed or due; obligation, that to or by which one is bound; right, that which is correct, straight, or in the direct line of truth and goodness; responsibility, that for which one must answer. Duty and responsibility are thought of as to some person or persons; right is impersonal. One's duty may be to others or to himself; his obligations and responsibilities are to others. Duty arises from the nature of things; obligation and responsibility may be created by circumstances, as by one's own promise, or by the acceptance of a trust, etc. We speak of a parent's duty, a debtor's obligation; or of a child's duty of obedience, and a parent's responsibility for the child's welfare. Right is that which accords with the moral system of the universe. Righteousness is right incarnated in action. In a more limited sense, right may be used of what one may rightly claim, and so be the converse of duty. It is the creditor's right to demand payment, and the debtor's duty to pay. Compare BUSINESS.

* * * * *

EAGER.

Synonyms:

animated, desirous, glowing, importunate, longing, anxious, earnest, hot, intense, vehement, ardent, enthusiastic, impatient, intent, yearning, burning, fervent, impetuous, keen, zealous.

One is eager who impatiently desires to accomplish some end; one is earnest with a desire that is less impatient, but more deep, resolute, and constant; one is anxious with a desire that foresees rather the pain of disappointment than the delight of attainment. One is eager for the gratification of any appetite or passion; he is earnest in conviction, purpose, or character. Eager usually refers to some specific and immediate satisfaction, earnest to something permanent and enduring; the patriotic soldier is earnest in his devotion to his country, eager for a decisive battle.

Antonyms:

apathetic, cool, indifferent, regardless, unconcerned, calm, dispassionate, negligent, stolid, uninterested, careless, frigid, phlegmatic, stony, unmindful, cold, heedless, purposeless, stupid, unmoved.

Prepositions:

Eager for (more rarely after) favor, honor, etc.; eager in pursuit.

* * * * *

EASE.

Synonyms:

easiness, expertness, facility, knack, readiness.

Ease in the sense here considered denotes freedom from conscious or apparent effort, tax, or strain. Ease may be either of condition or of action; facility is always of action; readiness is of action or of expected action. One lives at ease who has no pressing cares; one stands at ease, moves or speaks with ease, when wholly without constraint. Facility is always active; readiness may be active or passive; the speaker has facility of expression, readiness of wit; any appliance is in readiness for use. Ease of action may imply merely the possession of ample power; facility always implies practise and skill; any one can press down the keys of a typewriter with ease; only the skilled operator works the machine with facility. Readiness in the active sense includes much of the meaning of ease with the added idea of promptness or alertness. Easiness applies to the thing done, rather than to the doer. Expertness applies to the more mechanical processes of body and mind; we speak of the readiness of an orator, but of the expertness of a gymnast. Compare COMFORTABLE; DEXTERITY; POWER.

Antonyms:

annoyance, difficulty, irritation, trouble, vexation, awkwardness, discomfort, perplexity, uneasiness, worry. constraint, disquiet,

* * * * *

EDUCATION.

Synonyms:

breeding, discipline, learning, study, cultivation, information, nurture, teaching, culture, instruction, reading, training, development, knowledge, schooling, tuition.

Education (L. educere, to lead or draw out) is the systematic development and cultivation of the mind and other natural powers. "Education is the harmonious development of all our faculties. It begins in the nursery, and goes on at school, but does not end there. It continues through life, whether we will or not.... 'Every person,' says Gibbon, 'has two educations, one which he receives from others, and one more important, which he gives himself.'" JOHN LUBBOCK The Use of Life ch. vii, p. 111. [MACM. '94.] Instruction, the impartation of knowledge by others (L. instruere, to build in or into) is but a part of education, often the smallest part. Teaching is the more familiar and less formal word for instruction. Training refers not merely to the impartation of knowledge, but to the exercising of one in actions with the design to form habits. Discipline is systematic and rigorous training, with the idea of subjection to authority and perhaps of punishment. Tuition is the technical term for teaching as the business of an instructor or as in the routine of a school; tuition is narrower than teaching, not, like the latter word, including training. Study is emphatically what one does for himself. We speak of the teaching, training, or discipline, but not of the education or tuition of a dog or a horse. Breeding and nurture include teaching and training, especially as directed by and dependent upon home life and personal association; breeding having reference largely to manners with such qualities as are deemed distinctively characteristic of high birth; nurture (literally nourishing) having more direct reference to moral qualities, not overlooking the physical and mental. Knowledge and learning tell nothing of mental development apart from the capacity to acquire and remember, and nothing whatever of that moral development which is included in education in its fullest and noblest sense; learning, too, may be acquired by one's unaided industry, but any full education must be the result in great part of instruction, training, and personal association. Study is emphatically what one does for himself, and in which instruction and tuition can only point the way, encourage the student to advance, and remove obstacles; vigorous, persevering study is one of the best elements of training. Study is also used in the sense of the thing studied, a subject to be mastered by study, a studious pursuit. Compare KNOWLEDGE; REFINEMENT; WISDOM.

Antonyms:

ignorance, illiteracy.

Compare synonyms for IGNORANT.

* * * * *

EFFRONTERY.

Synonyms:

assurance, boldness, hardihood, insolence, audacity, brass, impudence, shamelessness.

Audacity, in the sense here considered, is a reckless defiance of law, decency, public opinion, or personal rights, claims, or views, approaching the meaning of impudence or shamelessness, but always carrying the thought of the personal risk that one disregards in such defiance; the merely impudent or shameless person may take no thought of consequences; the audacious person recognizes and recklessly braves them. Hardihood defies and disregards the rational judgment of men. Effrontery (L. effrons, barefaced, shameless) adds to audacity and hardihood the special element of defiance of considerations of propriety, duty, and respect for others, yet not to the extent implied in impudence or shamelessness. Impudence disregards what is due to superiors; shamelessness defies decency. Boldness is forward-stepping courage, spoken of with reference to the presence and observation of others; boldness, in the good sense, is courage viewed from the outside; but the word is frequently used in an unfavorable sense to indicate a lack of proper sensitiveness and modesty. Compare ASSURANCE; BRAVE.

Antonyms:

bashfulness, diffidence, sensitiveness, shyness, coyness, modesty, shrinking, timidity.

* * * * *

EGOTISM.

Synonyms:

conceit, self-assertion, self-confidence, self-esteem, egoism, self-conceit, self-consciousness, vanity.

Egoism is giving the "I" undue supremacy in thought; egotism is giving the "I" undue prominence in speech. Egotism is sometimes used in the sense of egoism, or supreme regard for oneself. Self-assertion is the claim by word, act, or manner of what one believes to be his due; self-conceit is an overestimate of one's own powers or deserts. Conceit is a briefer expression for self-conceit, with always an offensive implication; self-conceit is ridiculous or pitiable; conceit arouses resentment. There is a worthy self-confidence which springs from consciousness of rectitude and of power equal to demands. Self-assertion at times becomes a duty; but self-conceit is always a weakness. Self-consciousness is the keeping of one's thoughts upon oneself, with the constant anxious question of what others will think. Vanity is an overweening admiration of self, craving equal admiration from others; self-consciousness is commonly painful to its possessor, vanity always a source of satisfaction, except as it fails to receive its supposed due. Self-esteem is more solid and better founded than self-conceit; but is ordinarily a weakness, and never has the worthy sense of self-confidence. Compare ASSURANCE; PRIDE.

Antonyms:

bashfulness, humility, self-forgetfulness, unobtrusiveness, deference, modesty, shyness, unostentatiousness. diffidence, self-distrust,

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EMBLEM.

Synonyms:

attribute, figure, image, sign, symbol, token, type.

Emblem is the English form of emblema, a Latin word of Greek origin, signifying a figure beaten out on a metallic vessel by blows from within; also, a figure inlaid in wood, stone, or other material as a copy of some natural object. The Greek word symbolon denoted a victor's wreath, a check, or any object that might be compared with, or found to correspond with another, whether there was or was not anything in the objects compared to suggest the comparison. Thus an emblem resembles, a symbol represents. An emblem has some natural fitness to suggest that for which it stands; a symbol has been chosen or agreed upon to suggest something else, with or without natural fitness; a sign does actually suggest the thing with or without reason, and with or without intention or choice. A symbol may be also an emblem; thus the elements of bread and wine in the Lord's Supper are both appropriate emblems and his own chosen symbols of suffering and death. A statement of doctrine is often called a symbol of faith; but it is not an emblem. On the other hand, the same thing may be both a sign and a symbol; a letter of the alphabet is a sign which indicates a sound; but letters are often used as mathematical, chemical, or astronomical symbols. A token is something given or done as a pledge or expression of feeling or intent; while the sign may be unintentional, the token is voluntary; kind looks may be signs of regard; a gift is a token; a ring, which is a natural emblem of eternity, and also its accepted symbol, is frequently given as a token of friendship or love. A figure in the sense here considered is something that represents an idea to the mind somewhat as a form is represented to the eye, as in drawing, painting, or sculpture; as representing a future reality, a figure may be practically the same as a type. An image is a visible representation, especially in sculpture, having or supposed to have a close resemblance to that which it represents. A type is in religion a representation of a greater reality to come; we speak of one object as the type of the class whose characteristics it exhibits, as in the case of animal or vegetable types. An attribute in art is some accessory used to characterize a figure or scene; the attribute is often an emblem or symbol; thus the eagle is the attribute of St. John as an emblem of lofty spiritual vision. Compare SIGN.

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EMIGRATE.

Synonyms:

immigrate, migrate.

To migrate is to change one's dwelling-place, usually with the idea of repeated change, or of periodical return; it applies to wandering tribes of men, and to many birds and animals. Emigrate and immigrate carry the idea of a permanent change of residence to some other country or some distant region; the two words are used distinctively of human beings, and apply to the same person and the same act, according to the side from which the action is viewed.

Prepositions:

A person emigrates from the land he leaves, and immigrates to the land where he takes up his abode.

* * * * *

EMPLOY.

Synonyms:

call, engage, engross, hire, make use of, use, use up.

In general terms it may be said that to employ is to devote to one's purpose, to use is to render subservient to one's purpose; what is used is viewed as more absolutely an instrument than what is employed; a merchant employs a clerk; he uses pen and paper; as a rule, use is not said of persons, except in a degrading sense; as, the conspirators used him as a go-between. Hence the expression common in some religious circles "that God would use me" is not to be commended; it has also the fault of representing the human worker as absolutely a passive and helpless instrument; the phrase is altogether unscriptural; the Scripture says, "We are laborers together with (co-workers with) God." That which is used is often consumed in the using, or in familiar phrase used up; as, we used twenty tons of coal last winter; in such cases we could not substitute employ. A person may be employed in his own work or in that of another; in the latter case the service is always understood to be for pay. In this connection employ is a word of more dignity than hire; a general is employed in his country's service; a mercenary adventurer is hired to fight a tyrant's battles. It is unsuitable, according to present usage, to speak of hiring a pastor; the Scripture, indeed, says of the preacher, "The laborer is worthy of his hire;" but this sense is archaic, and hire now implies that the one hired works directly and primarily for the pay, as expressed in the noun "hireling;" a Pastor is properly said to be called, or when the business side of the transaction is referred to, engaged, or possibly employed, at a certain salary.

Prepositions:

Employ in, on, upon, or about a work, business, etc.; for a purpose; at a stipulated salary.

* * * * *

END, v.

Synonyms:

break off, close, conclude, expire, quit, terminate, cease, complete, desist, finish, stop, wind up.

That ends, or is ended, of which there is no more, whether or not more was intended or needed; that is closed, completed, concluded, or finished which has come to an expected or appropriate end. A speech may be ended almost as soon as begun, because of the speaker's illness, or of tumult in the audience; in such a case, the speech is neither closed, completed, nor finished, nor, in the strict sense, concluded. An argument may be closed with nothing proved; when an argument is concluded all that is deemed necessary to prove the point has been stated. To finish is to do the last thing there is to do; as, "I have finished my course," 2 Tim. iv, 7. Finish has come to mean, not merely to complete in the essentials, but to perfect in all the minute details, as in the expression "to add the finishing touches." The enumeration is completed; the poem, the picture, the statue is finished. To terminate may be either to bring to an arbitrary or to an appropriate end; as, he terminated his remarks abruptly; the spire terminates in a cross. A thing stops that comes to rest from motion; or the motion stops or ceases when the object comes to rest; stop frequently signifies to bring or come to a sudden and decided cessation of motion, progress, or action of any kind. Compare DO; TRANSACT.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for BEGIN.

* * * * *

END, n.

Synonyms:

accomplishment, effect, limit, achievement, expiration, outcome, bound, extent, period, boundary, extremity, point, cessation, finale, purpose, close, finis, result, completion, finish, termination, conclusion, fulfilment, terminus, consequence, goal, tip, consummation, intent, utmost, design, issue, uttermost.

The end is the terminal part of a material object that has length; the extremity is distinctively the terminal point, and may thus be but part of the end in the general sense of that word; the extremity is viewed as that which is most remote from some center, or some mean or standard position; the southern end of South America includes all Patagonia, the southern extremity or point is Cape Horn. Tip has nearly the same meaning as extremity, but is said of small or slight and tapering objects; as, the tip of the finger; point in such connections is said of that which is drawn out to exceeding fineness or sharpness, as the point of a needle, a fork, or a sword; extremity is said of something considerable; we do not speak of the extremity of a needle. Terminus is chiefly used to designate the end of a line of travel or transportation: specifically, the furthermost station in any direction on a railway, or by extension the town or village where it is situated. Termination is the Latin and more formal word for the Saxon end, but is chiefly used of time, words, undertakings, or abstractions of any kind. Expiration signifies the coming to an end in the natural course of things; as, the expiration of a year, or of a lease; it is used of things of some consequence; we do not ordinarily speak of the expiration of an hour or of a day. Limit implies some check to or restraint upon further advance, right, or privilege; as, the limits of an estate (compare BOUNDARY). A goal is an end sought or striven for, as in a race. For the figurative senses of end and its associated words, compare the synonyms for the verb END; also for AIM; CONSEQUENCE; DESIGN.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for BEGINNING.

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ENDEAVOR, v.

Synonyms:

attempt, essay, strive, try, undertake.

To attempt is to take action somewhat experimentally with the hope and purpose of accomplishing a certain result; to endeavor is to attempt strenuously and with firm and enduring purpose. To attempt expresses a single act; to endeavor, a continuous exertion; we say I will endeavor (not I will attempt) while I live. To attempt is with the view of accomplishing; to essay, with a view of testing our own powers. To undertake is to accept or take upon oneself as an obligation, as some business, labor, or trust; the word often implies complete assurance of success; as, I will undertake to produce the witness. To strive suggests little of the result, much of toil, strain, and contest, in seeking it; I will strive to fulfil your wishes, i. e., I will spare no labor and exertion to do it. Try is the most comprehensive of these words. The original idea of testing or experimenting is not thought of when a man says "I will try." To attempt suggests giving up, if the thing is not accomplished at a stroke; to try implies using other means and studying out other ways if not at first successful. Endeavor is more mild and formal; the pilot in the burning pilot-house does not say "I will endeavor" or "I will attempt to hold the ship to her course," but "I'll try, sir!"

Antonyms:

abandon, give up, omit, throw away, dismiss, let go, overlook, throw over, drop, neglect, pass by, throw up.

* * * * *

ENDEAVOR, n.

Synonyms:

attempt, effort, essay, exertion, struggle, trial.

Effort denotes the voluntary putting forth of power to attain or accomplish some specific thing; it reaches toward a definite end; exertion is a putting forth of power without special reference to an object. Every effort is an exertion, but not every exertion is an effort. Attempt is more experimental than effort, endeavor less strenuous but more continuous. An effort is a single act, an endeavor a continued series of acts; an endeavor is sustained and enduring, and may be lifelong; we do not have a society of Christian Attempt, or of Christian Effort, but of Christian Endeavor. A struggle is a violent effort or strenuous exertion. An essay is an attempt, effort, or endeavor made as a test of the powers of the one who makes it. Compare ENDEAVOR, v.

* * * * *

ENDURE.

Synonyms:

abide, bear, brook, submit to, sustain, afford, bear up under, permit, suffer, tolerate, allow, bear with, put up with, support, undergo.

Bear is the most general of these words; it is metaphorically to hold up or keep up a burden of care, pain, grief, annoyance, or the like, without sinking, lamenting, or repining. Allow and permit involve large concession of the will; put up with and tolerate imply decided aversion and reluctant withholding of opposition or interference; whispering is allowed by the school-teacher who does not forbid nor censure it; one puts up with the presence of a disagreeable visitor; a state tolerates a religion which it would be glad to suppress. To endure is to bear with strain and resistance, but with conscious power; endure conveys a fuller suggestion of contest and conquest than bear. One may choose to endure the pain of a surgical operation rather than take anesthetics; he permits the thing to come which he must brace himself to endure when it comes. To afford is to be equal to a pecuniary demand, i. e., to be able to bear it. To brook is quietly to put up with provocation or insult. Abide combines the senses of await and endure; as, I will abide the result. Compare ABIDE; SUPPORT.

Antonyms:

break, despair, fail, fall, give out, sink, surrender, break down, droop, faint, falter, give up, succumb, yield.

* * * * *

ENEMY.

Synonyms:

adversary, antagonist, competitor, foe, opponent, rival.

An enemy in private life is one who is moved by hostile feeling with active disposition to injure; but in military language all who fight on the opposite side are called enemies or collectively "the enemy," where no personal animosity may be implied; foe, which is rather a poetical and literary word, implies intensely hostile spirit and purpose. An antagonist is one who opposes and is opposed actively and with intensity of effort; an opponent, one in whom the attitude of resistance is the more prominent; a competitor, one who seeks the same object for which another is striving; antagonists in wrestling, competitors in business, opponents in debate may contend with no personal ill will; rivals in love, ambition, etc., rarely avoid inimical feeling. Adversary was formerly much used in the general sense of antagonist or opponent, but is now less common, and largely restricted to the hostile sense; an adversary is ordinarily one who not only opposes another in fact, but does so with hostile spirit, or perhaps out of pure malignity; as, the great Adversary. Compare synonyms for AMBITION.

Antonyms:

abettor, accessory, accomplice, ally, friend, helper, supporter.

Prepositions:

He was the enemy of my friend in the contest.

* * * * *

ENMITY.

Synonyms:

acrimony, bitterness, ill will, malignity, animosity, hatred, malevolence, rancor, antagonism, hostility, malice, spite.

Enmity is the state of being an enemy or the feeling and disposition characterizing an enemy (compare ENEMY). Animosity denotes a feeling more active and vehement, but often less enduring and determined, than enmity. Enmity distinctly recognizes its object as an enemy, to be met or dealt with accordingly. Hostility is enmity in action; the term hostilities between nations denotes actual armed collision. Bitterness is a resentful feeling arising from a belief that one has been wronged; acrimony is a kindred feeling, but deeper and more persistent, and may arise from the crossing of one's wishes or plans by another, where no injustice or wrong is felt. Antagonism, as between two competing authors or merchants, does not necessarily imply enmity, but ordinarily suggests a shade, at least, of hostile feeling. Malice is a disposition or intent to injure others, for the gratification of some evil passion; malignity is intense and violent enmity, hatred, or malice. Compare synonyms for ACRIMONY; ANGER; HATRED.

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