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

Synonyms:

accident, chance, danger, jeopardy, risk, casualty, contingency, fortuity, peril, venture.

Hazard is the incurring the possibility of loss or harm for the possibility of benefit; danger may have no compensating alternative. In hazard the possibilities of gain or loss are nearly balanced; in risk the possibility of loss is the chief thought; the foolhardy take great risks in mere wantonness; in chance and venture the hope of good predominates; we speak of a merchant's venture, but of an insurance company's risk; one may be driven by circumstances to run a risk; he freely seeks a venture; we speak of the chance of winning, the hazard or risk of losing. Accidents are incalculable; casualties may be to a certain extent anticipated; death and wounds are casualties of battle, certain to happen to some, but uncertain as to whom or how many. A contingency is simply an indeterminable future event, which may or may not be attended with danger or risk. See ACCIDENT; DANGER.

Antonyms:

assurance, necessity, protection, safety, surety. certainty, plan, safeguard, security,

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HEALTHY.

Synonyms:

hale, hygienic, sanitary, vigorous, healthful, salubrious, sound, well, hearty, salutary, strong, wholesome.

Healthy is most correctly used to signify possessing or enjoying health or its results; as, a healthy person; a healthy condition. Healthful signifies promotive of health, tending or adapted to confer, preserve, or promote health; as, a healthful climate. Wholesome food in a healthful climate makes a healthy man. With healthful are ranged the words hygienic, salubrious, salutary, sanitary, and wholesome, while the other words are associated with healthy. Salubrious is always used in the physical sense, and is chiefly applied to air or climate. Salutary is now chiefly used in the moral sense; as, a salutary lesson.

Antonyms:

delicate, failing, ill, unsound, worn, diseased, fainting, sick, wasted, worn down, emaciated, fragile, unhealthy, weak, worn out. exhausted, frail,

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HELP.

Synonyms:

abet, befriend, foster, succor, uphold. aid, cooperate, second, support, assist, encourage, stand by, sustain,

Help expresses greater dependence and deeper need than aid. In extremity we say "God help me!" rather than "God aid me!" In time of danger we cry "help! help!" rather than "aid! aid!" To aid is to second another's own exertions. We can speak of helping the helpless, but not of aiding them. Help includes aid, but aid may fall short of the meaning of help. In law to aid or abet makes one a principal. (Compare synonyms for ACCESSORY.) To cooperate is to aid as an equal; to assist implies a subordinate and secondary relation. One assists a fallen friend to rise; he cooperates with him in helping others. Encourage refers to mental aid, as uphold now usually does; succor and support, oftenest to material assistance. We encourage the timid or despondent, succor the endangered, support the weak, uphold those who else might be shaken or cast down. Compare ABET; PROMOTE.

Antonyms:

counteract, discourage, oppose, resist, thwart, withstand.

Prepositions:

Help in an enterprise with money; help to success; against the enemy.

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HERETIC.

Synonyms:

dissenter, heresiarch, non-conformist, schismatic.

Etymologically, a heretic is one who takes or chooses his own belief, instead of the belief of his church; hence, a heretic is one who denies commonly accepted views, or who holds opinions contrary to the recognized standard or tenets of any established religious, philosophical, or other system, school, or party; the religious sense of the word is the predominant one; a schismatic is primarily one who produces a split or rent in the church. A heretic differs in doctrine from the religious body with which he is connected; a schismatic differs in doctrine or practise, or in both. A heretic may be reticent, or even silent; a schismatic introduces divisions. A heresiarch is the author of a heresy or the leader of a heretical party, and is thus at once a heretic and a schismatic. With advancing ideas of religious liberty, the odious sense once attached to these words is largely modified, and heretic is often used playfully. Dissenter and non-conformist are terms specifically applied to English subjects who hold themselves aloof from the Church of England; the former term is extended to non-adherents of the established church in some other countries, as Russia.

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HETEROGENEOUS.

Synonyms:

confused, mingled, unhomogeneous, conglomerate, miscellaneous, unlike, discordant, mixed, variant, dissimilar, non-homogeneous, various.

Substances quite unlike are heterogeneous as regards each other. A heterogeneous mixture is one whose constituents are not only unlike in kind, but unevenly distributed; cement is composed of substances such as lime, sand, and clay, which are heterogeneous as regards each other, but the cement is said to be homogeneous if the different constituents are evenly mixed throughout, so that any one portion of the mixture is exactly like any other. A substance may fail of being homogeneous and yet not be heterogeneous, in which case it is said to be non-homogeneous or unhomogeneous; a bar of iron that contains flaws, air-bubbles, etc., or for any other reason is not of uniform structure and density throughout, tho no foreign substance be mixed with the iron, is said to be non-homogeneous. A miscellaneous mixture may or may not be heterogeneous; if the objects are alike in kind, but different in size, form, quality, use, etc., and without special order or relation, the collection is miscellaneous; if the objects differ in kind, such a mixture is also, and more strictly, heterogeneous; a pile of unassorted lumber is miscellaneous; the contents of a school-boy's pocket are commonly miscellaneous and might usually be termed heterogeneous as well. See COMPLEX.

Antonyms:

alike, homogeneous, identical, like, pure, same, similar, uniform.

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HIDE.

Synonyms:

bury, cover, entomb, overwhelm, suppress, cloak, disguise, inter, screen, veil. conceal, dissemble, mask, secrete.

Hide is the general term, including all the rest, signifying to put out of sight or beyond ready observation or approach; a thing may be hidden by intention, by accident, or by the imperfection of the faculties of the one from whom it is hidden; in their games, children hide the slipper, or hide themselves from each other; a man unconsciously hides a picture from another by standing before it, or hides a thing from himself by laying something else over it. Even an unconscious object may hide another; as, a cloud hides the sun, or a building hides some part of the prospect by intervening between it and the observer's position. As an act of persons, to conceal is always intentional; one may hide his face in anger, grief, or abstraction; he conceals his face when he fears recognition. A house is hidden by foliage; the bird's nest is artfully concealed. Secrete is a stronger word than conceal, and is used chiefly of such material objects as may be separated from the person, or from their ordinary surroundings, and put in unlooked-for places; a man conceals a scar on his face, but does not secrete it; a thief secretes stolen goods; an officer may also be said to secrete himself to watch the thief. A thing is covered by putting something over or around it, whether by accident or design; it is screened by putting something before it, always with some purpose of protection from observation, inconvenience, attack, censure, etc. In the figurative use, a person may hide honorable feelings; he conceals an evil or hostile intent. Anything which is effectually covered and hidden under any mass or accumulation is buried. Money is buried in the ground; a body is buried in the sea; a paper is buried under other documents. Whatever is buried is hidden or concealed; but there are many ways of hiding or concealing a thing without burying it. So a person may be covered with wraps, and not buried under them. Bury may be used of any object, entomb and inter only of a dead body. Figuratively, one may be said to be buried in business, in study, etc. Compare IMMERSE; PALLIATE.

Antonyms:

admit, disclose, exhume, manifest, show, advertise, discover, expose, promulgate, tell, avow, disinter, lay bare, publish, uncover, betray, divulge, lay open, raise, unmask, confess, exhibit, make known, reveal, unveil.

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HIGH.

Synonyms:

elevated, exalted, noble, steep, towering, eminent, lofty, proud, tall, uplifted.

Deep, while an antonym of high in usage, may apply to the very same distance simply measured in an opposite direction, high applying to vertical distance measured from below upward, and deep to vertical distance measured from above downward; as, a deep valley nestling between high mountains. High is a relative term signifying greatly raised above any object, base, or surface, in comparison with what is usual, or with some standard; a table is high if it exceeds thirty inches; a hill is not high at a hundred feet. That is tall whose height is greatly in excess of its breadth or diameter, and whose actual height is great for an object of its kind; as, a tall tree; a tall man; tall grass. That is lofty which is imposing or majestic in height; we term a spire tall with reference to its altitude, or lofty with reference to its majestic appearance. That is elevated which is raised somewhat above its surroundings; that is eminent which is far above them; as, an elevated platform; an eminent promontory. In the figurative sense, elevated is less than eminent, and this less than exalted; we speak of high, lofty, or elevated thoughts, aims, etc., in the good sense, but sometimes of high feelings, looks, words, etc., in the invidious sense of haughty or arrogant. A high ambition may be merely selfish; a lofty ambition is worthy and noble. Towering, in the literal sense compares with lofty and majestic; but in the figurative sense, its use is almost always invidious; as, a towering passion; a towering ambition disregards and crushes all opposing considerations, however rational, lovely, or holy. Compare STEEP.

Antonyms:

base, degraded, dwarfed, inferior, low, mean, short, stunted. deep, depressed,

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HINDER.

Synonyms:

baffle, clog, foil, obstruct, retard, balk, counteract, frustrate, oppose, stay, bar, delay, hamper, prevent, stop, block, embarrass, impede, resist, thwart. check, encumber, interrupt,

To hinder is to keep from action, progress, motion, or growth, or to make such action, progress, motion, or growth later in beginning or completion than it would otherwise have been. An action is prevented by anything that comes in before it to make it impossible; it is hindered by anything that keeps it from either beginning or ending so soon as it otherwise would, or as expected or intended. It is more common, however, to say that the start is delayed, the progress hindered. An action that is hindered does not take place at the appointed or appropriate time; that which is prevented does not take place at all; to hinder a thing long enough may amount to preventing it. A railroad-train may be hindered by a snow-storm from arriving on time; it may by special order be prevented from starting. To retard is simply to make slow by any means whatever. To obstruct is to hinder, or possibly to prevent advance or passage by putting something in the way; to oppose or resist is to hinder, or possibly to prevent by directly contrary or hostile action, resist being the stronger term and having more suggestion of physical force; obstructed roads hinder the march of an enemy, tho there may be no force strong enough to oppose it; one opposes a measure, a motion, an amendment, or the like; it is a criminal offense to resist an officer in the discharge of his duty; the physical system may resist the attack of disease or the action of a remedy. Compare CONQUER; IMPEDIMENT; OBSTRUCT.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for QUICKEN.

Prepositions:

Hinder one in his progress; from acting promptly; by opposition.

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HISTORY.

Synonyms:

account, biography, muniment, record, annals, chronicle, narration, register, archives, memoir, narrative, story. autobiography, memorial, recital,

History is a systematic record of past events. Annals and chronicles relate events with little regard to their relative importance, and with complete subserviency to their succession in time. Annals are yearly records; chronicles follow the order of time. Both necessarily lack emphasis, selection, and perspective. Archives are public records, which may be annals, or chronicles, or deeds of property, etc. Memoirs generally record the lives of individuals or facts pertaining to individual lives. A biography is distinctively a written account of one person's life and actions; an autobiography is a biography written by the person whose life it records. Annals, archives, chronicles, biographies, and memoirs and other records furnish the materials of history. History recounts events with careful attention to their importance, their mutual relations, their causes and consequences, selecting and grouping events on the ground of interest or importance. History is usually applied to such an account of events affecting communities and nations, tho sometimes we speak of the history of a single eminent life. Compare RECORD.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for FICTION.

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HOLY.

Synonyms:

blessed, devoted, hallowed, saintly, consecrated, divine, sacred, set apart.

Sacred is applied to that which is to be regarded as inviolable on any account, and so is not restricted to divine things; therefore in its lower applications it is less than holy. That which is sacred may be made so by institution, decree, or association; that which is holy is so by its own nature, possessing intrinsic moral purity, and, in the highest sense, absolute moral perfection. God is holy; his commands are sacred. Holy may be applied also to that which is hallowed; as, "the place whereon thou standest is holy ground," Ex. iii, 5. In such use holy is more than sacred, as if the very qualities of a spiritual or divine presence were imparted to the place or object. Divine has been used with great looseness, as applying to anything eminent or admirable, in the line either of goodness or of mere power, as to eloquence, music, etc., but there is a commendable tendency to restrict the word to its higher sense, as designating that which belongs to or is worthy of the Divine Being. Compare PERFECT; PURE.

Antonyms:

abominable, cursed, polluted, unconsecrated, unholy, wicked, common, impure, secular, unhallowed, unsanctified, worldly.

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HOME.

Synonyms:

abode, dwelling, habitation, hearthstone, ingleside, domicil, fireside, hearth, house, residence.

Abode, dwelling, and habitation are used with little difference of meaning to denote the place where one habitually lives; abode and habitation belong to the poetic or elevated style. Even dwelling is not used in familiar speech; a person says "my house," "my home," or more formally "my residence." Home, from the Anglo-Saxon, denoting originally a dwelling, came to mean an endeared dwelling as the scene of domestic love and happy and cherished family life, a sense to which there is an increasing tendency to restrict the word—desirably so, since we have other words to denote the mere dwelling-place; we say "The wretched tenement could not be called home," or "The humble cabin was dear to him as the home of his childhood."

Home's not merely four square walls, Tho with pictures hung and gilded; Home is where affection calls— Where its shrine the heart has builded.

Thus the word comes to signify any place of rest and peace, and especially heaven, as the soul's peaceful and eternal dwelling-place.

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HONEST.

Synonyms:

candid, frank, ingenuous, true, equitable, genuine, just, trustworthy, fair, good, sincere, trusty, faithful, honorable, straightforward, upright.

One who is honest in the ordinary sense acts or is always disposed to act with careful regard for the rights of others, especially in matters of business or property; one who is honorable scrupulously observes the dictates of a personal honor that is higher than any demands of mercantile law or public opinion, and will do nothing unworthy of his own inherent nobility of soul. The honest man does not steal, cheat, or defraud; the honorable man will not take an unfair advantage that would be allowed him, or will make a sacrifice which no one could require of him, when his own sense of right demands it. One who is honest in the highest and fullest sense is scrupulously careful to adhere to all known truth and right even in thought. In this sense honest differs from honorable as having regard rather to absolute truth and right than to even the highest personal honor. Compare CANDID; JUSTICE.

Antonyms:

deceitful, faithless, hypocritical, perfidious, unfaithful, dishonest, false, lying, traitorous, unscrupulous, disingenuous, fraudulent, mendacious, treacherous, untrue.

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HORIZONTAL.

Synonyms:

even, flat, level, plain, plane.

Horizontal signifies in the direction of or parallel to the horizon. For practical purposes level and horizontal are identical, tho level, as the more popular word, is more loosely used of that which has no especially noticeable elevations or inequalities; as, a level road. Flat, according to its derivation from the Anglo-Saxon flet, a floor, applies to a surface only, and, in the first and most usual sense, to a surface that is horizontal or level in all directions; a line may be level, a floor is flat; flat is also applied in a derived sense to any plane surface without irregularities or elevations, as a picture may be painted on the flat surface of a perpendicular wall. Plane applies only to a surface, and is used with more mathematical exactness than flat. The adjective plain, originally the same word as plane, is now rarely used except in the figurative senses, but the original sense appears in the noun, as we speak of "a wide plain." We speak of a horizontal line, a flat morass, a level road, a plain country, a plane surface (especially in the scientific sense). That which is level may not be even, and that which is even may not be level; a level road may be very rough; a slope may be even.

Antonyms:

broken, inclined, rolling, rugged, sloping, hilly, irregular, rough, slanting, uneven.

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HUMANE.

Synonyms:

benevolent, compassionate, human, pitying, benignant, forgiving, kind, sympathetic, charitable, gentle, kind-hearted, tender, clement, gracious, merciful, tender-hearted.

Human denotes what pertains to mankind, with no suggestion as to its being good or evil; as, the human race; human qualities; we speak of human achievements, virtues, or excellences, human follies, vices, or crimes. Humane denotes what may rightly be expected of mankind at its best in the treatment of sentient beings; a humane enterprise or endeavor is one that is intended to prevent or relieve suffering. The humane man will not needlessly inflict pain upon the meanest thing that lives; a merciful man is disposed to withhold or mitigate the suffering even of the guilty. The compassionate man sympathizes with and desires to relieve actual suffering, while one who is humane would forestall and prevent the suffering which he sees to be possible. Compare MERCY; PITIFUL; PITY.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for BARBAROUS.

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HUNT.

Synonyms:

chase, hunting, inquisition, pursuit, search.

A hunt may be either the act of pursuing or the act of seeking, or a combination of the two. A chase or pursuit is after that which is fleeing or departing; a search is for that which is hidden; a hunt may be for that which is either hidden or fleeing; a search is a minute and careful seeking, and is especially applied to a locality; we make a search of or through a house, for an object, in which connection it would be colloquial to say a hunt. Hunt never quite loses its association with field-sports, where it includes both search and chase; the search till the game is hunted out, and the chase till it is hunted down. Figuratively, we speak of literary pursuits, or of the pursuit of knowledge; a search for reasons; the chase of fame or honor; hunt, in figurative use, inclines to the unfavorable sense of inquisition, but with more of dash and aggressiveness; as, a hunt for heresy.

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HYPOCRISY.

Synonyms:

affectation, formalism, pretense, sanctimony, cant, pharisaism, sanctimoniousness, sham. dissimulation, pietism,

Pretense (L. praetendo) primarily signifies the holding something forward as having certain rights or claims, whether truly or falsely; in the good sense, it is now rarely used except with a negative; as, there can be no pretense that this is due; a false pretense implies the possibility of a true pretense; but, alone and unlimited, pretense commonly signifies the offering of something for what it is not. Hypocrisy is the false pretense of moral excellence, either as a cover for actual wrong, or for the sake of the credit and advantage attaching to virtue. Cant (L. cantus, a song), primarily the singsong iteration of the language of any party, school, or sect, denotes the mechanical and pretentious use of religious phraseology, without corresponding feeling or character; sanctimoniousness is the assumption of a saintly manner without a saintly character. As cant is hypocrisy in utterance, so sanctimoniousness is hypocrisy in appearance, as in looks, tones, etc. Pietism, originally a word of good import, is now chiefly used for an unregulated emotionalism; formalism is an exaggerated devotion to forms, rites, and ceremonies, without corresponding earnestness of heart; sham (identical in origin with shame) is a trick or device that puts one to shame, or that shamefully disappoints expectation or falsifies appearance. Affectation is in matters of intellect, taste, etc., much what hypocrisy is in morals and religion; affectation might be termed petty hypocrisy. Compare DECEPTION.

Antonyms:

candor, genuineness, ingenuousness, sincerity, truth, frankness, honesty, openness, transparency, truthfulness.

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HYPOCRITE.

Synonyms:

cheat, deceiver, dissembler, impostor, pretender.

A hypocrite (Gr. hypokrites, one who answers on the stage, an actor, especially a mimic actor) is one who acts a false part, or assumes a character other than the real. Deceiver is the most comprehensive term, including all the other words of the group. The deceiver seeks to give false impressions of any matter where he has an end to gain; the dissembler or hypocrite seeks to give false impressions in regard to himself. The dissembler is content if he can keep some base conduct or evil purpose from being discovered; the hypocrite seeks not merely to cover his vices, but to gain credit for virtue. The cheat and impostor endeavor to make something out of those they may deceive. The cheat is the inferior and more mercenary, as the thimble-rig gambler; the impostor may aspire to a fortune or a throne. Compare HYPOCRISY.

Antonyms:

The antonyms of hypocrite are to be found only in phrases embodying the adjectives candid, honest, ingenuous, sincere, true, etc.

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HYPOTHESIS.

Synonyms:

conjecture, scheme, supposition, system, guess, speculation, surmise, theory.

A hypothesis is a statement of what is deemed possibly true, assumed and reasoned upon as if certainly true, with a view of reaching truth not yet surely known; especially, in the sciences, a hypothesis is a comprehensive tentative explanation of certain phenomena, which is meant to include all other facts of the same class, and which is assumed as true till there has been opportunity to bring all related facts into comparison; if the hypothesis explains all the facts, it is regarded as verified; till then it is regarded as a working hypothesis, that is, one that may answer for present practical purposes. A hypothesis may be termed a comprehensive guess. A guess is a swift conclusion from data directly at hand, and held as probable or tentative, while one confessedly lacks material for absolute certainty. A conjecture is more methodical than a guess, while a supposition is still slower and more settled; a conjecture, like a guess, is preliminary and tentative; a supposition is more nearly final; a surmise is more floating and visionary, and often sinister; as, a surmise that a stranger may be a pickpocket. Theory is used of the mental coordination of facts and principles, that may or may not prove correct; a machine may be perfect in theory, but useless in fact. Scheme may be used as nearly equivalent to theory, but is more frequently applied to proposed action, and in the sense of a somewhat visionary plan. A speculation may be wholly of the brain, resting upon no facts worthy of consideration; system is the highest of these terms, having most of assurance and fixity; a system unites many facts, phenomena, or doctrines into an orderly and consistent whole; we speak of a system of theology, of the Copernican system of the universe. Compare SYSTEM.

Antonyms:

certainty, demonstration, discovery, evidence, fact, proof.

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IDEA.

Synonyms:

apprehension, design, impression, plan, archetype, fancy, judgment, purpose, belief, fantasy, model, sentiment, conceit, ideal, notion, supposition, concept, image, opinion, theory, conception, imagination, pattern, thought.

Idea is in Greek a form or an image. The word signified in early philosophical use the archetype or primal image which the Platonic philosophy supposed to be the model or pattern that existing objects imperfectly embody. This high sense has nearly disappeared from the word idea, and has been largely appropriated by ideal, tho something of the original meaning still appears when in theological or philosophical language we speak of the ideas of God. The present popular use of idea makes it to signify any product of mental apprehension or activity, considered as an object of knowledge or thought; this coincides with the primitive sense at but a single point—that an idea is mental as opposed to anything substantial or physical; thus, almost any mental product, as a belief, conception, design, opinion, etc., may now be called an idea. Compare FANCY; IDEAL.

Antonyms:

actuality, fact, reality, substance.

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IDEAL.

Synonyms:

archetype, model, pattern, prototype, standard. idea, original,

An ideal is that which is conceived or taken as the highest type of excellence or ultimate object of attainment. The archetype is the primal form, actual or imaginary, according to which any existing thing is constructed; the prototype has or has had actual existence; in the derived sense, as in metrology, a prototype may not be the original form, but one having equal authority with that as a standard. An ideal may be primal, or may be slowly developed even from failures and by negations; an ideal is meant to be perfect, not merely the thing that has been attained or is to be attained, but the best conceivable thing that could by possibility be attained. The artist's ideal is his own mental image, of which his finished work is but an imperfect expression. The original is the first specimen, good or bad; the original of a master is superior to all copies. The standard may be below the ideal. The ideal is imaginary, and ordinarily unattainable; the standard is concrete, and ordinarily attainable, being a measure to which all else of its kind must conform; as, the standard of weights and measures, of corn, or of cotton. The idea of virtue is the mental concept or image of virtue in general; the ideal of virtue is the mental concept or image of virtue in its highest conceivable perfection. Compare EXAMPLE; IDEA.

Antonyms:

accomplishment, action, doing, fact, practise, achievement, attainment, embodiment, incarnation, reality, act, development, execution, performance, realization.

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IDIOCY.

Synonyms:

fatuity, foolishness, incapacity, stupidity. folly, imbecility, senselessness,

Idiocy is a state of mental unsoundness amounting almost or quite to total absence of understanding. Imbecility is a condition of mental weakness, which may or may not be as complete as that of idiocy, but is at least such as to incapacitate for the serious duties of life. Incapacity, or lack of legal qualification for certain acts, necessarily results from imbecility, but may also result from other causes, as from insanity or from age, sex, etc.; as, the incapacity of a minor to make a contract. Idiocy or imbecility is weakness of mind, while insanity is disorder or abnormal action of mind. Folly and foolishness denote a want of mental and often of moral balance. Fatuity is sometimes used as equivalent to idiocy, but more frequently signifies conceited and excessive foolishness or folly. Stupidity is dulness and slowness of mental action which may range all the way from lack of normal readiness to absolute imbecility. Compare INSANITY.

Antonyms:

acuteness, brilliancy, common sense, sagacity, soundness, astuteness, capacity, intelligence, sense, wisdom.

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IDLE.

Synonyms:

inactive, inert, slothful, trifling, unoccupied, indolent, lazy, sluggish, unemployed, vacant.

Idle in all uses rests upon its root meaning, as derived from the Anglo-Saxon idel, which signifies vain, empty, useless. Idle thus denotes not primarily the absence of action, but vain action—the absence of useful, effective action; the idle schoolboy may be very actively whittling his desk or tormenting his neighbors. Doing nothing whatever is the secondary meaning of idle. One may be temporarily idle of necessity; if he is habitually idle, it is his own fault. Lazy signifies indisposed to exertion, averse to labor; idleness is in fact; laziness is in disposition or inclination. A lazy person may chance to be employed in useful work, but he acts without energy or impetus. We speak figuratively of a lazy stream. The inert person seems like dead matter (characterized by inertia), powerless to move; the sluggish moves heavily and toilsomely; the most active person may sometimes find the bodily or mental powers sluggish. Slothful belongs in the moral realm, denoting a self-indulgent aversion to exertion. "The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth," Prov. xxvi, 15. Indolent is a milder term for the same quality; the slothful man hates action; the indolent man loves inaction. Compare VAIN.

Antonyms:

active, busy, diligent, employed, industrious, occupied, working.

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IGNORANT.

Synonyms:

ill-informed, unenlightened, unlearned, untaught, illiterate, uninformed, unlettered, untutored. uneducated, uninstructed, unskilled,

Ignorant signifies destitute of education or knowledge, or lacking knowledge or information; it is thus a relative term. The most learned man is still ignorant of many things; persons are spoken of as ignorant who have not the knowledge that has become generally diffused in the world; the ignorant savage may be well instructed in matters of the field and the chase, and is thus more properly untutored than ignorant. Illiterate is without letters and the knowledge that comes through reading. Unlettered is similar in meaning to illiterate, but less absolute; the unlettered man may have acquired the art of reading and writing and some elementary knowledge; the uneducated man has never taken any systematic course of mental training. Ignorance is relative; illiteracy is absolute; we have statistics of illiteracy; no statistics of ignorance are possible.

Antonyms:

educated, learned, sage, skilled, trained, well-informed, wise. instructed,

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IMAGINATION.

Synonyms:

fancy, fantasy, phantasy.

The old psychology treated of the Reproductive Imagination, which simply reproduces the images that the mind has in any way acquired, and the Productive Imagination which modifies and combines mental images so as to produce what is virtually new. To this Reproductive Imagination President Noah Porter and others have given the name of phantasy or fantasy (many psychologists preferring the former spelling). Phantasy or fantasy, so understood, presents numerous and varied images, often combining them into new forms with exceeding vividness, yet without any true constructive power, but with the mind adrift, blindly and passively following the laws of association, and with reason and will in torpor; the mental images being perhaps as varied and as vivid, but also as purposeless and unsystematized as the visual images in a kaleidoscope; such fantasy (often loosely called imagination) appears in dreaming, reverie, somnambulism, and intoxication. Fantasy in ordinary usage simply denotes capricious or erratic fancy, as appears in the adjective fantastic. Imagination and fancy differ from fantasy in bringing the images and their combinations under the control of the will; imagination is the broader and higher term, including fancy; imagination is the act or power of imaging or of reimaging objects of perception or thought, of combining the products of knowledge in modified, new, or ideal forms—the creative or constructive power of the mind; while fancy is the act or power of forming pleasing, graceful, whimsical, or odd mental images, or of combining them with little regard to rational processes of construction; imagination in its lower form. Both fancy and imagination recombine and modify mental images; either may work with the other's materials; imagination may glorify the tiniest flower; fancy may play around a mountain or a star; the one great distinction between them is that fancy is superficial, while imagination is deep, essential, spiritual. Wordsworth, who was the first clearly to draw the distinction between the fancy and the imagination, states it as follows:

To aggregate and to associate, to evoke and to combine, belong as well to the imagination as to the fancy; but either the materials evoked and combined are different; or they are brought together under a different law, and for a different purpose. Fancy does not require that the materials which she makes use of should be susceptible of changes in their constitution from her touch; and where they admit of modification, it is enough for her purpose if it be slight, limited, and evanescent. Directly the reverse of these are the desires and demands of the imagination. She recoils from everything but the plastic, the pliant, and the indefinite. She leaves it to fancy to describe Queen Mab as coming:

'In shape no bigger than an agate stone On the forefinger of an alderman.'

Having to speak of stature, she does not tell you that her gigantic angel was as tall as Pompey's Pillar; much less that he was twelve cubits or twelve hundred cubits high; or that his dimensions equalled those of Teneriffe or Atlas; because these, and if they were a million times as high, it would be the same, are bounded. The expression is, 'His stature reached the sky!' the illimitable firmament!—When the imagination frames a comparison, ... a sense of the truth of the likeness from the moment that it is perceived grows—and continues to grow—upon the mind; the resemblance depending less upon outline of form and feature than upon expression and effect, less upon casual and outstanding than upon inherent and internal properties.[B]

Poetical Works, Pref. to Ed. of 1815, p. 646, app. [T. & H. '51.]

So far as actual images are concerned, both fancy and imagination are limited to the materials furnished by the external world; it is remarkable that among all the representations of gods or demigods, fiends and demons, griffins and chimaeras, the human mind has never invented one organ or attribute that is not presented in human or animal life; the lion may have a human head and an eagle's wings and claws, but in the various features, individually, there is absolutely nothing new. But imagination can transcend the work of fancy, and compare an image drawn from the external world with some spiritual truth born in the mind itself, or infuse a series of images with such a spiritual truth, molding them as needed for its more vivid expression.

The imagination modifies images, and gives unity to variety; it sees all things in one.... There is the epic imagination, the perfection of which is in Milton; and the dramatic, of which Shakspeare is the absolute master.

COLERIDGE Table Talk June 23, '34.

Fancy keeps the material image prominent and clear, and works not only with it, but for it; imagination always uses the material object as the minister of something greater than itself, and often almost loses the object in the spiritual idea with which she has associated it, and for which alone she values it. Fancy flits about the surface, and is airy and playful, sometimes petty and sometimes false; imagination goes to the heart of things, and is deep, earnest, serious, and seeks always and everywhere for essential truth. Fancy sets off, variegates, and decorates; imagination transforms and exalts. Fancy delights and entertains; imagination moves and thrills. Imagination is not only poetic or literary, but scientific, philosophical, and practical. By imagination the architect sees the unity of a building not yet begun, and the inventor sees the unity and varied interactions of a machine never yet constructed, even a unity that no human eye ever can see, since when the machine is in actual motion, one part may hide the connecting parts, and yet all keep the unity of the inventor's thought. By imagination a Newton sweeps sun, planets, and stars into unity with the earth and the apple that is drawn irresistibly to its surface, and sees them all within the circle of one grand law. Science, philosophy, and mechanical invention have little use for fancy, but the creative, penetrative power of imagination is to them the breath of life, and the condition of all advance and success. See also FANCY; IDEA.

[B] The whole discussion from which the quotation is taken is worthy of, and will well repay, careful study.

* * * * *

IMMEDIATELY.

Synonyms:

at once, instanter, presently, straightway, directly, instantly, right away, this instant, forthwith, now, right off, without delay.

The strong and general human tendency to procrastination is shown in the progressive weakening of the various words in this group. Immediately primarily signifies without the intervention of anything as a medium, hence without the intervention of any, even the briefest, interval or lapse of time. By and by, which was once a synonym, has become an antonym of immediately, meaning at some (perhaps remote) future time. Directly, which once meant with no intervening time, now means after some little while; presently no longer means in this very present, but before very long. Even immediately is sliding from its instantaneousness, so that we are fain to substitute at once, instantly, etc., when we would make promptness emphatic. Right away and right off are vigorous conversational expressions in the United States.

Antonyms:

after a while, by and by, hereafter, in the future, some time.

* * * * *

IMMERSE.

Synonyms:

bury, dip, douse, duck, immerge, plunge, sink, submerge.

Dip is Saxon, while immerse is Latin for the same initial act; dip is accordingly the more popular and commonplace, immerse the more elegant and dignified expression in many cases. To speak of baptism by immersion as dipping now seems rude; tho entirely proper and usual in early English. Baptists now universally use the word immerse. To dip and to immerse alike signify to bury or submerge some object in a liquid; but dip implies that the object dipped is at once removed from the liquid, while immerse is wholly silent as to the removal. Immerse also suggests more absolute completeness of the action; one may dip his sleeve or dip a sponge in a liquid, if he but touches the edge; if he immerses it, he completely sinks it under, and covers it with the liquid. Submerge implies that the object can not readily be removed, if at all; as, a submerged wreck. To plunge is to immerse suddenly and violently, for which douse and duck are colloquial terms. Dip is used, also, unlike the other words, to denote the putting of a hollow vessel into a liquid in order to remove a portion of it; in this sense we say dip up, dip out. Compare synonyms for BURY.

Preposition:

The object is immersed in water.

* * * * *

IMMINENT.

Synonyms:

impending, threatening.

Imminent, from the Latin, with the sense of projecting over, signifies liable to happen at once, as some calamity, dangerous and close at hand. Impending, also from the Latin, with the sense of hanging over, is closely akin to imminent, but somewhat less emphatic. Imminent is more immediate, impending more remote, threatening more contingent. An impending evil is almost sure to happen at some uncertain time, perhaps very near; an imminent peril is one liable to befall very speedily; a threatening peril may be near or remote, but always with hope that it may be averted.

Antonyms:

chimerical, doubtful, problematical, unexpected, unlikely. contingent, improbable,

* * * * *

IMPEDIMENT.

Synonyms:

bar, clog, encumbrance, obstacle, barrier, difficulty, hindrance, obstruction.

Difficulty makes an undertaking otherwise than easy. That which rests upon one as a burden is an encumbrance. An impediment is primarily something that checks the foot or in any way makes advance slow or difficult; an obstacle is something that stands across the way, an obstruction something that is built or placed across the way. An obstruction is always an obstacle, but an obstacle may not always be properly termed an obstruction; boxes and bales placed on the sidewalk are obstructions to travel; an ice-floe is an obstacle to navigation, and may become an obstruction if it closes an inlet or channel. A hindrance (kindred with hind, behind) is anything that makes one come behind or short of his purpose. An impediment may be either what one finds in his way or what he carries with him; impedimenta was the Latin name for the baggage of a soldier or of an army. The tendency is to view an impediment as something constant or, at least for a time, continuous; as, an impediment in one's speech. A difficulty or a hindrance may be either within one or without; a speaker may find difficulty in expressing himself, or difficulty in holding the attention of restless children. An encumbrance is always what one carries with him; an obstacle or an obstruction is always without. To a marching soldier the steepness of a mountain path is a difficulty, loose stones are impediments, a fence is an obstruction, a cliff or a boulder across the way is an obstacle; a knapsack is an encumbrance.

Antonyms:

advantage, aid, assistance, benefit, help, relief, succor.

* * * * *

IMPUDENCE.

Synonyms:

assurance, impertinence, intrusiveness, presumption, boldness, incivility, officiousness, rudeness, effrontery, insolence, pertness, sauciness. forwardness,

Impertinence primarily denotes what does not pertain or belong to the occasion or the person, and hence comes to signify interference by word or act not consistent with the age, position, or relation of the person interfered with or of the one who interferes; especially, forward, presumptuous, or meddlesome speech. Impudence is shameless impertinence. What would be arrogance in a superior becomes impertinence or impudence in an inferior. Impertinence has less of intent and determination than impudence. We speak of thoughtless impertinence, shameless impudence. Insolence is literally that which is against custom, i. e., the violation of customary respect and courtesy. Officiousness is thrusting upon others unasked and undesired service, and is often as well-meant as it is annoying. Rudeness is the behavior that might be expected from a thoroughly uncultured person, and may be either deliberate and insulting or unintentional and even unconscious. Compare ARROGANCE; ASSURANCE; EFFRONTERY; PERTNESS.

Antonyms:

bashfulness, diffidence, lowliness, modesty, coyness, humility, meekness, submissiveness.

Prepositions:

The impudence of, or impudence from, a subordinate to a superior.

* * * * *

INCONGRUOUS.

Synonyms:

absurd, ill-matched, inharmonious, conflicting, inapposite, irreconcilable, contradictory, inappropriate, mismatched, contrary, incommensurable, mismated, discordant, incompatible, repugnant, discrepant, inconsistent, unsuitable.

Two or more things that do not fit well together, or are not adapted to each other, are said to be incongruous; a thing is said to be incongruous that is not adapted to the time, place, or occasion; the term is also applied to a thing made up of ill-assorted parts or inharmonious elements. Discordant is applied to all things that jar in association like musical notes that are not in accord; inharmonious has the same original sense, but is a milder term. Incompatible primarily signifies unable to sympathize or feel alike; inconsistent means unable to stand together. Things are incompatible which can not exist together in harmonious relations, and whose action when associated tends to ultimate extinction of one by the other. Inconsistent applies to things that can not be made to agree in thought with each other, or with some standard of truth or right; slavery and freedom are inconsistent with each other in theory, and incompatible in fact. Incongruous applies to relations, unsuitable to purpose or use; two colors are incongruous which can not be agreeably associated; either may be unsuitable for a person, a room, or an occasion. Incommensurable is a mathematical term, applying to two or more quantities that have no common measure or aliquot part.

Antonyms:

accordant, agreeing, compatible, consistent, harmonious, suitable.

Preposition:

The illustrations were incongruous with the theme.

* * * * *

INDUCTION.

Synonyms:

deduction, inference.

Deduction is reasoning from the general to the particular; induction is reasoning from the particular to the general. Deduction proceeds from a general principle through an admitted instance to a conclusion. Induction, on the other hand, proceeds from a number of collated instances, through some attribute common to them all, to a general principle. The proof of an induction is by using its conclusion as the premise of a new deduction. Thus what is ordinarily known as scientific induction is a constant interchange of induction and deduction. In deduction, if the general rule is true, and the special case falls under the rule, the conclusion is certain; induction can ordinarily give no more than a probable conclusion, because we can never be sure that we have collated all instances. An induction is of the nature of an inference, but while an inference may be partial and hasty, an induction is careful, and aims to be complete. Compare DEMONSTRATION; HYPOTHESIS.

* * * * *

INDUSTRIOUS.

Synonyms:

active, busy, employed, occupied, assiduous, diligent, engaged, sedulous.

Industrious signifies zealously or habitually applying oneself to any work or business. Busy applies to an activity which may be temporary, industrious to a habit of life. We say a man is busy just now; that is, occupied at the moment with something that takes his full attention. It would be ridiculous or satirical to say, he is industrious just now. But busy can be used in the sense of industrious, as when we say he is a busy man. Diligent indicates also a disposition, which is ordinarily habitual, and suggests more of heartiness and volition than industrious. We say one is a diligent, rather than an industrious, reader of the Bible. In the use of the nouns, we speak of plodding industry, but not of plodding diligence. Compare ACTIVE; INDUSTRY.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for IDLE.

* * * * *

INDUSTRY.

Synonyms:

application, diligence, labor, persistence, assiduity, effort, pains, sedulousness. attention, exertion, patience, constancy, intentness, perseverance,

Industry is the quality, action, or habit of earnest, steady, and continued attention or devotion to any useful or productive work or task, manual or mental. Assiduity (L. ad, to, and sedeo, sit), as the etymology suggests, sits down to a task until it is done. Diligence (L. diligo, love, choose) invests more effort and exertion, with love of the work or deep interest in its accomplishment; application (L. ad, to, and plico, fold) bends to its work and concentrates all one's powers upon it with utmost intensity; hence, application can hardly be as unremitting as assiduity. Constancy is a steady devotion of heart and principle. Patience works on in spite of annoyances; perseverance overcomes hindrances and difficulties; persistence strives relentlessly against opposition; persistence has very frequently an unfavorable meaning, implying that one persists in spite of considerations that should induce him to desist. Industry is diligence applied to some avocation, business, or profession. Labor and pains refer to the exertions of the worker and the tax upon him, while assiduity, perseverance, etc., refer to his continuance in the work.

Antonyms:

changeableness, idleness, inconstancy, neglect, remissness, fickleness, inattention, indolence, negligence, sloth.

* * * * *

INFINITE.

Synonyms:

absolute, illimitable, limitless, unconditioned, boundless, immeasurable, measureless, unfathomable, countless, innumerable, numberless, unlimited, eternal, interminable, unbounded, unmeasured.

Infinite (L. in, not, and finis, limit) signifies without bounds or limits in any way, and may be applied to space, time, quantity, or number. Countless, innumerable, and numberless, which should be the same as infinite, are in common usage vaguely employed to denote what it is difficult or practically impossible to count or number, tho perhaps falling far short of infinite; as, countless leaves, the countless sands on the seashore, numberless battles, innumerable delays. So, too, boundless, illimitable, limitless, measureless, and unlimited are loosely used in reference to what has no apparent or readily determinable limits in space or time; as, we speak of the boundless ocean. Infinite space is without bounds, not only in fact, but in thought; infinite time is truly eternal. Compare synonyms for ETERNAL.

Antonyms:

bounded, finite, measurable, restricted, small, brief, limited, moderate, shallow, transient, circumscribed, little, narrow, short, transitory. evanescent,

* * * * *

INFLUENCE.

Synonyms:

actuate, draw, impel, induce, move, stir, compel, drive, incite, instigate, persuade, sway, dispose, excite, incline, lead, prompt, urge.

To influence (L. in, in or into, and fluo, flow) is to affect, modify, or act upon by physical, mental, or moral power, especially in some gentle, subtle, and gradual way; as, vegetation is influenced by light; every one is influenced to some extent by public opinion; influence is chiefly used of power acting from without, tho it may be used of motives regarded as forces acting upon the will. Actuate refers solely to mental or moral power impelling one from within. One may influence, but can not directly actuate another; but one may be actuated to cruelty by hatred which another's misrepresentation has aroused. Prompt and stir are words of mere suggestion toward some course of action; dispose, draw, incline, influence, and lead refer to the use of mild means to awaken in another a purpose or disposition to act. To excite is to arouse one from lethargy or indifference to action. Incite and instigate, to spur or goad one to action, differ in the fact that incite may be to good, while instigate is always to evil (compare ABET). To urge and impel signify to produce strong excitation toward some act. We are urged from without, impelled from within. Drive and compel imply irresistible influence accomplishing its object. One may be driven either by his own passions or by external force or urgency; one is compelled only by some external power; as, the owner was compelled by his misfortunes to sell his estate. Compare COMPEL; DRIVE.

Antonyms:

deter, dissuade, impede, prevent, restrain, retard. discourage, hinder, inhibit,

Prepositions:

Actuated to crime by revenge.

* * * * *

INHERENT.

Synonyms:

congenital, indispensable, innate, native, essential, indwelling, inseparable, natural, immanent, infixed, internal, subjective. inborn, ingrained, intrinsic, inbred, inhering, inwrought,

Inherent signifies permanently united as an element or original quality, naturally existent or incorporated in something so as to have become an integral part. Immanent is a philosophic word, to denote that which dwells in or pervades any substance or spirit without necessarily being a part of it, and without reference to any working out (compare SUBJECTIVE). That which is inherent is an inseparable part of that in which it inheres, and is usually thought of with reference to some outworking or effect; as, an inherent difficulty. God is said to be immanent (not inherent) in the universe. Frequently intrinsic and inherent can be interchanged, but inherent applies to qualities, while intrinsic applies to essence, so that to speak of intrinsic excellence conveys higher praise than if we say inherent excellence. Inherent and intrinsic may be said of persons or things; congenital, inborn, inbred, innate, apply to living beings. Congenital is frequent in medical and legal use with special application to defects; as, congenital idiocy. Innate and inborn are almost identical, but innate is preferred in philosophic use, as when we speak of innate ideas; that which is inborn, congenital, or innate may be original with the individual, but that which is inbred is inherited. Ingrained signifies dyed in the grain, and denotes that which is deeply wrought into substance or character.

Antonyms:

accidental, extrinsic, outward, superficial, supplemental, casual, fortuitous, subsidiary, superfluous, transient, external, incidental, superadded, superimposed, unconnected.

* * * * *

INJURY.

Synonyms:

blemish, disadvantage, hurt, loss, prejudice, damage, evil, impairment, mischief, wrong. detriment, harm, injustice, outrage,

Injury (L. in, not, and jus, juris, right, law) signifies primarily something done contrary to law or right; hence, something contrary to some standard of right or good; whatever reduces the value, utility, beauty, or desirableness of anything is an injury to that thing; of persons, whatever is so done as to operate adversely to one in his person, rights, property, or reputation is an injury; the word is especially used of whatever mars the integrity of the body or causes pain; as, when rescued from the wreck his injuries were found to be very slight. Injury is the general term including all the rest. Damage (L. damnum, loss) is that which occasions loss to the possessor; hence, any impairment of value, often with the suggestion of fault on the part of the one causing it; damage reduces value, utility, or beauty; detriment (L. deterere, to rub or wear away) is similar in meaning, but far milder. Detriment may affect value only; damage always affects real worth or utility; as a rule, the slightest use of an article by a purchaser operates to its detriment if again offered for sale, tho the article may have received not the slightest damage. Damage is partial; loss is properly absolute as far as it is predicated at all; the loss of a ship implies that it is gone beyond recovery; the loss of the rudder is a damage to the ship; but since the loss of a part still leaves a part, we may speak of a partial or a total loss. Evil commonly suggests suffering or sin, or both; as, the evils of poverty, the social evil. Harm is closely synonymous with injury; it may apply to body, mind, or estate, but always affects real worth, while injury may concern only estimated value. A hurt is an injury that causes pain, physical or mental; a slight hurt may be no real harm. Mischief is disarrangement, trouble, or harm usually caused by some voluntary agent, with or without injurious intent; a child's thoughtless sport may do great mischief; wrong is harm done with evil intent. An outrage combines insult and injury. Compare synonyms for BLEMISH; CRIMINAL; INJUSTICE.

Antonyms:

advantage, benefit, boon, improvement, service, amelioration, blessing, help, remedy, utility.

Prepositions:

The injury of the cause; an injury to the structure; injury by fire; by or from collision, interference, etc.

* * * * *

INJUSTICE.

Synonyms:

grievance, injury, unfairness, unrighteousness, wrong. iniquity,

Injustice is a violation or denial of justice, an act or omission that is contrary to equity or justice; as, the injustice of unequal taxes. In legal usage a wrong involves injury to person, property, or reputation, as the result of evil intent; injustice applies to civil damage or loss, not necessarily involving injury to person or property, as by misrepresentation of goods which does not amount to a legal warranty. In popular usage, injustice may involve no direct injury to person, property, interest, or character, and no harmful intent, while wrong always involves both; one who attributes another's truly generous act to a selfish motive does him an injustice. Iniquity, in the original sense, is a want of or a deviation from equity; but it is now applied in the widest sense to any form of ill-doing. Compare synonyms for CRIMINAL; SIN.

Antonyms:

equity, faithfulness, impartiality, lawfulness, righteousness, fairness, honesty, integrity, rectitude, uprightness. fair play, honor, justice, right,

* * * * *

INNOCENT.

Synonyms:

blameless, guiltless, inoffensive, spotless, clean, harmless, pure, stainless, clear, immaculate, right, upright, faultless, innocuous, righteous, virtuous. guileless, innoxious, sinless,

Innocent, in the full sense, signifies not tainted with sin; not having done wrong or violated legal or moral precept or duty; as, an innocent babe. Innocent is a negative word, expressing less than righteous, upright, or virtuous, which imply knowledge of good and evil, with free choice of the good. A little child or a lamb is innocent; a tried and faithful man is righteous, upright, virtuous. Immaculate, pure, and sinless may be used either of one who has never known the possibility of evil or of one who has perfectly and triumphantly resisted it. Innocent is used of inanimate substances in the sense of harmless; as, an innocent remedy, that is, one not dangerous, even if not helpful. Innocent, in a specific case, signifies free from the guilt of a particular act, even tho the total character may be very evil; as, the thief was found to be innocent of the murder. See CANDID; PURE.

Antonyms:

Compare synonyms for CRIMINAL.

* * * * *

INQUISITIVE.

Synonyms:

curious, meddlesome, peeping, scrutinizing, inquiring, meddling, prying, searching. intrusive,

An inquisitive person is one who is bent on finding out all that can be found out by inquiry, especially of little and personal matters, and hence is generally meddlesome and prying. Inquisitive may be used in a good sense, tho in such connection inquiring is to be preferred; as, an inquiring mind. As applied to a state of mind, curious denotes a keen and rather pleasurable desire to know fully something to which one's attention has been called, but without the active tendency that inquisitive implies; a well-bred person may be curious to know, but will not be inquisitive in trying to ascertain, what is of interest in the affairs of another.

Antonyms:

apathetic, heedless, indifferent, unconcerned, uninterested. careless, inattentive,

Prepositions:

Inquisitive about, concerning, in regard to, regarding trifles.

* * * * *

INSANITY.

Synonyms:

aberration, delirium, frenzy, madness, alienation, dementia, hallucination, mania, craziness, derangement, lunacy, monomania.

Of these terms insanity is the most exact and comprehensive, including in its widest sense all morbid conditions of mind due to diseased action of the brain or nervous system, but in its more frequent restricted use applied to those forms in which the mental disorder is persistent, as distinguished from those in which it is temporary or transient. Craziness is a vague popular term for any sort of disordered mental action, or for conduct suggesting it. Lunacy originally denoted intermittent insanity, supposed to be dependent on the changes of the moon (L. luna): the term is now applied in general and legal use to any form of mental unsoundness except idiocy. Madness is the old popular term, now less common, for insanity in its widest sense, but with suggestion of excitement, akin to mania. In the derived sense, lunacy denotes what is insanely foolish, madness what is insanely desperate. Derangement is a common euphemism for insanity. Delirium is always temporary, and is specifically the insanity of disease, as in acute fevers. Dementia is a general weakening of the mental powers: the word is specifically applied to senile insanity, dotage. Aberration is eccentricity of mental action due to an abnormal state of the perceptive faculties, and is manifested by error in perceptions and rambling thought. Hallucination is the apparent perception of that which does not exist or is not present to the senses, as the seeing of specters or of reptiles in delirium tremens. Monomania is mental derangement as to one subject or object. Frenzy and mania are forms of raving and furious insanity. Compare synonyms for DELUSION; IDIOCY.

Antonyms:

clearness, good sense, lucidity, rationality, sanity.

* * * * *

INTERPOSE.

Synonyms:

arbitrate, intercept, intermeddle, meddle, intercede, interfere, interrupt, mediate.

To interpose is to place or come between other things or persons, usually as a means of obstruction or prevention of some effect or result that would otherwise occur, or be expected to take place. Intercede and interpose are used in a good sense; intermeddle always in a bad sense, and interfere frequently so. To intercede is to come between persons who are at variance, and plead with the stronger in behalf of the weaker. One may interpose with authority; he intercedes by petition. To intermeddle is to thrust oneself into the concerns of others with a petty officiousness; meddling commonly arises from idle curiosity; "every fool will be meddling," Prov. xx, 3; to interfere is to intrude into others' affairs with more serious purpose, with or without acknowledged right or propriety. Intercept is applied to an object that may be seized or stopped while in transit; as, to intercept a letter or a messenger; interrupt is applied to an action which might or should be continuous, but is broken in upon (L. rumpere, to break) by some disturbing power; as, the conversation was interrupted. One who arbitrates or mediates must do so by the request or at least with the consent of the contending parties; the other words of the group imply that he steps in of his own accord.

Antonyms:

avoid, keep aloof, keep out, retire, stand back, hold aloof, keep away, let alone, stand aside, stand off, hold off, keep clear, let be, stand away, withdraw.

Prepositions:

Interpose between the combatants; in the matter.

* * * * *

INVOLVE.

Synonyms:

complicate, embroil, implicate, include, embarrass, entangle, imply, overwhelm.

To involve (L. in, in, and volvo, roll) is to roll or wind up with or in so as to combine inextricably or inseparably, or nearly so; as, the nation is involved in war; the bookkeeper's accounts, or the writer's sentences are involved. Involve is a stronger word than implicate, denoting more complete entanglement. As applied to persons, implicate is always used in an unfavorable sense, and involve ordinarily so; but implicate applies only to that which is wrong, while involve is more commonly used of that which is unfortunate; one is implicated in a crime, involved in embarrassments, misfortunes, or perplexities. As regards logical connection that which is included is usually expressly stated; that which is implied is not stated, but is naturally to be inferred; that which is involved is necessarily to be inferred; as, a slate roof is included in the contract; that the roof shall be water-tight is implied; the contrary supposition involves an absurdity. See COMPLEX.

Antonyms:

disconnect, distinguish, explicate, extricate, remove, separate. disentangle,

* * * * *

JOURNEY.

Synonyms:

excursion, pilgrimage, transit, trip, expedition, tour, travel, voyage.

A journey (F. journee, from L. diurnus, daily) was primarily a day's work; hence, a movement from place to place within one day, which we now describe as "a day's journey;" in its extended modern use a journey is a direct going from a starting-point to a destination, ordinarily over a considerable distance; we speak of a day's journey, or the journey of life. Travel is a passing from place to place, not necessarily in a direct line or with fixed destination; a journey through Europe would be a passage to some destination beyond or at the farther boundary; travel in Europe may be in no direct course, but may include many journeys in different directions. A voyage, which was formerly a journey of any kind, is now a going to a considerable distance by water, especially by sea; as, a voyage to India. A trip is a short and direct journey. A tour is a journey that returns to the starting-point, generally over a considerable distance; as, a bridal tour, or business tour. An excursion is a brief tour or journey, taken for pleasure, often by many persons at once; as, an excursion to Chautauqua. Passage is a general word for a journey by any conveyance, especially by water; as, a rough passage across the Atlantic; transit, literally the act of passing over or through, is used specifically of the conveyance of passengers or merchandise; rapid transit is demanded for suburban residents or perishable goods. Pilgrimage, once always of a sacred character, retains in derived uses something of that sense; as, a pilgrimage to Stratford-on-Avon.

Prepositions:

A journey from Naples to Rome; through Mexico; across the continent; over the sea; a journey into Asia; among savages; by land, by rail, for health, on foot, on the cars, etc.

* * * * *

JUDGE.

Synonyms:

arbiter, arbitrator, justice, referee, umpire.

A judge, in the legal sense, is a judicial officer appointed or elected to preside in courts of law, and to decide legal questions duly brought before him; the name is sometimes given to other legally constituted officers; as, the judges of election; in other relations, any person duly appointed to pass upon the merits of contestants or of competing articles may be called a judge; as, the judges at an agricultural fair, or at a race-track; in the widest sense, any person who has good capacity for judging is called a judge; as, a person is said to be a judge of pictures, or a good judge of a horse, etc. In most games the judge is called an umpire; as, the umpire of a game of ball or cricket. A referee is appointed by a court to decide disputed matters between litigants; an arbitrator is chosen by the contending parties to decide matters in dispute without action by a court. In certain cases an umpire is appointed by a court to decide where arbitrators disagree. Arbiter, with its suggestion of final and absolute decision, has come to be used only in a high or sacred sense; as, war must now be the arbiter; the Supreme Arbiter of our destinies. The judges of certain courts, as the United States Supreme Court, are technically known as justices.

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JUSTICE.

Synonyms:

equity, impartiality, legality, rightfulness, fairness, integrity, rectitude, truth, fair play, justness, right, uprightness, faithfulness, law, righteousness, virtue. honor, lawfulness,

In its governmental relations, human or divine, justice is the giving to every person exactly what he deserves, not necessarily involving any consideration of what any other may deserve; equity (the quality of being equal) is giving every one as much advantage, privilege, or consideration as is given to any other; it is that which is equally right or just to all concerned; equity is equal justice and is thus a close synonym for fairness and impartiality, but it has a philosophical and legal precision that those words have not. In legal proceedings cases arise for which the law has not adequately provided, or in which general provisions, just in the main, would work individual hardship. The system of equity, devised to supply the insufficiencies of law, deals with cases "to which the law by reason of its universality can not apply." "Equity, then, ... is the soul and spirit of all law; positive law is construed and rational law is made by it." BLACKSTONE bk. iii, ch. 27, p. 429. In personal and social relations justice is the rendering to every one what is due or merited, whether in act, word, or thought; in matters of reasoning, or literary work of any kind, justice is close, faithful, unprejudiced, and unbiased adherence to essential truth or fact; we speak of the justice of a statement, or of doing justice to a subject. Integrity, rectitude, right, righteousness and virtue denote conformity of personal conduct to the moral law, and thus necessarily include justice, which is giving others that which is their due. Lawfulness is an ambiguous word, meaning in its narrower sense mere legality, which may be very far from justice, but in its higher sense signifying accordance with the supreme law of right, and thus including perfect justice. Justness refers rather to logical relations than to practical matters; as, we speak of the justness of a statement or of a criticism. See JUDGE, n.

Antonyms:

dishonesty, inequity, partiality, unlawfulness, untruth, favoritism, injustice, unfairness, unreasonableness, wrong.

Prepositions:

The justice of the king; to or for the oppressed.

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KEEP.

Synonyms:

carry, defend, hold, preserve, retain, carry on, detain, maintain, protect, support, celebrate, fulfil, obey, refrain, sustain, conduct, guard, observe, restrain, withhold.

Keep, signifying generally to have and retain in possession, is the terse, strong Saxon term for many acts which are more exactly discriminated by other words. We keep, observe, or celebrate a festival; we keep or hold a prisoner in custody; we keep or preserve silence, keep the peace, preserve order—preserve being the more formal word; we keep or maintain a horse, a servant, etc.; a man supports his family; we keep or obey a commandment; keep or fulfil a promise. In the expressions to keep a secret, keep one's own counsel, keep faith, or keep the faith, such words as preserve or maintain could not be substituted without loss. A person keeps a shop or store, conducts or carries on a business; he keeps or carries a certain line of goods; we may keep or restrain one from folly, crime, or violence; we keep from or refrain from evil, ourselves. Keep in the sense of guard or defend implies that the defense is effectual. Compare CELEBRATE; RESTRAIN.

Prepositions:

Keep in hand, in mind, in or within the house; from evil; out of mischief; keep to the subject; keep for a person, an occasion, etc.

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KILL.

Synonyms:

assassinate, despatch, massacre, put to death, slay. butcher, execute, murder, slaughter,

To kill is simply to deprive of life, human, animal, or vegetable, with no suggestion of how or why. Assassinate, execute, murder, apply only to the taking of human life; to murder is to kill with premeditation and malicious intent; to execute is to kill in fulfilment of a legal sentence; to assassinate is to kill by assault; this word is chiefly applied to the killing of public or eminent persons through alleged political motives, whether secretly or openly. To slay is to kill by a blow, or by a weapon. Butcher and slaughter apply primarily to the killing of cattle; massacre is applied primarily and almost exclusively to human beings, signifying to kill them indiscriminately in large numbers; to massacre is said when there is no chance of successful resistance; to butcher when the killing is especially brutal; soldiers mown down in a hopeless charge are said to be slaughtered when no brutality on the enemy's part is implied. To despatch is to kill swiftly and in general quietly, always with intention, with or without right.

Prepositions:

To kill with or by sword, famine, pestilence, care, grief, etc.; killed for his money, by a robber, with a dagger.

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KIN.

Synonyms:

affinity, blood, descent, kind, race, alliance, consanguinity, family, kindred, relationship. birth,

Kind is broader than kin, denoting the most general relationship, as of the whole human species in mankind, humankind, etc.; kin and kindred denote direct relationship that can be traced through either blood or marriage, preferably the former; either of these words may signify collectively all persons of the same blood or members of the same family, relatives or relations. Affinity is relationship by marriage, consanguinity is relationship by blood. There are no true antonyms of kin or kindred, except those made by negatives, since strangers, aliens, foreigners, and foes may still be kin or kindred.

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KNOWLEDGE.

Synonyms:

acquaintance, erudition, learning, recognition, apprehension, experience, light, scholarship, cognition, information, lore, science, cognizance, intelligence, perception, wisdom. comprehension, intuition,

Knowledge is all that the mind knows, from whatever source derived or obtained, or by whatever process; the aggregate of facts, truths, or principles acquired or retained by the mind, including alike the intuitions native to the mind and all that has been learned respecting phenomena, causes, laws, principles, literature, etc. There is a tendency to regard knowledge as accurate and systematic, and to a certain degree complete. Information is knowledge of fact, real or supposed, derived from persons, books, or observation, and is regarded as casual and haphazard. We say of a studious man that he has a great store of knowledge, or of an intelligent man of the world, that he has a fund of varied information. Lore is used only in poetic or elevated style, for accumulated knowledge, as of a people or age, or in a more limited sense for learning or erudition. We speak of perception of external objects, apprehension of intellectual truth. Simple perception gives a limited knowledge of external objects, merely as such; the cognition of the same objects is a knowledge of them in some relation; cognizance is the formal or official recognition of something as an object of knowledge; we take cognizance of it. Intuition is primary knowledge antecedent to all teaching or reasoning, experience is knowledge that has entered directly into one's own life; as, a child's experience that fire will burn. Learning is much higher than information, being preeminently wide and systematic knowledge, the result of long, assiduous study; erudition is recondite learning secured only by extraordinary industry, opportunity, and ability. Compare ACQUAINTANCE; EDUCATION; SCIENCE; WISDOM.

Antonyms:

ignorance, inexperience, misconception, rudeness, illiteracy, misapprehension, misunderstanding, unfamiliarity.

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LANGUAGE.

Synonyms:

barbarism, expression, patois, vernacular, dialect, idiom, speech, vocabulary. diction, mother tongue, tongue,

Language (F. langage < L. lingua, the tongue) signified originally expression of thought by spoken words, but now in its widest sense it signifies expression of thought by any means; as, the language of the eyes, the language of flowers. As regards the use of words, language in its broadest sense denotes all the uttered sounds and their combinations into words and sentences that human beings employ for the communication of thought, and, in a more limited sense, the words or combinations forming a means of communication among the members of a single nation, people, or race. Speech involves always the power of articulate utterance; we can speak of the language of animals, but not of their speech. A tongue is the speech or language of some one people, country, or race. A dialect is a special mode of speaking a language peculiar to some locality or class, not recognized as in accordance with the best usage; a barbarism is a perversion of a language by ignorant foreigners, or some usage akin to that. Idiom refers to the construction of phrases and sentences, and the way of forming or using words; it is the peculiar mold in which each language casts its thought. The great difficulty of translation is to give the thought expressed in one language in the idiom of another. A dialect may be used by the highest as well as the lowest within its range; a patois is distinctly illiterate, belonging to the lower classes; those who speak a patois understand the cultured form of their own language, but speak only the degraded form, as in the case of the Italian lazzaroni or the former negro slaves in the United States. Vernacular, from the Latin, has the same general sense as the Saxon mother tongue, of one's native language, or that of a people; as, the Scriptures were translated into the vernacular. Compare DICTION.

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LARGE.

Synonyms:

abundant, coarse, gigantic, long, ample, colossal, grand, massive, big, commodious, great, spacious, broad, considerable, huge, vast, bulky, enormous, immense, wide. capacious, extensive,

Large denotes extension in more than one direction, and beyond the average of the class to which the object belongs; we speak of a large surface or a large solid, but of a long line; a large field, a large room, a large apple, etc. A large man is a man of more than ordinary size; a great man is a man of remarkable mental power. Big is a more emphatic word than large, but of less dignity. We do not say that George Washington was a big man.

Antonyms:

brief, limited, minute, scanty, small, diminutive, little, narrow, short, tiny, inconsiderable, mean, paltry, slender, trifling, infinitesimal, microscopic, petty, slight, trivial. insignificant,

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LAW.

Synonyms:

canon, economy, legislation, principle, code, edict, mandate, regulation, command, enactment, order, rule, commandment, formula, ordinance, statute. decree, jurisprudence, polity,

Law, in its ideal, is the statement of a principle of right in mandatory form, by competent authority, with adequate penalty for disobedience; in common use, the term is applied to any legislative act, however imperfect or unjust. Command and commandment are personal and particular; as, the commands of a parent; the ten commandments. An edict is the act of an absolute sovereign or other authority; we speak of the edict of an emperor, the decree of a court. A mandate is specific, for an occasion or a purpose; a superior court issues its mandate to an inferior court to send up its records. Statute is the recognized legal term for a specific law; enactment is the more vague and general expression. We speak of algebraic or chemical formulas, municipal ordinances, military orders, army regulations, ecclesiastical canons, the rules of a business house. Law is often used, also, for a recognized principle, whose violation is attended with injury or loss that acts like a penalty; as, the laws of business; the laws of nature. In more strictly scientific use, a natural law is simply a recognized system of sequences or relations; as, Kepler's laws of planetary distances. A code is a system of laws; jurisprudence is the science of law, or a system of laws scientifically considered, classed, and interpreted; legislation, primarily the act of legislating, denotes also the body of statutes enacted by a legislative body. An economy (Gr. oikonomia, primarily the management of a house) is any comprehensive system of administration; as, domestic economy; but the word is extended to the administration or government of a state or people, signifying a body of laws and regulations, with the entire system, political or religious, especially the latter, of which they form a part; as, the code of Draco, Roman jurisprudence, British legislation, the Mosaic economy. Law is also used as a collective noun for a system of laws or recognized rules or regulations, including not only all special laws, but the principles on which they are based. The Mosaic economy is known also as the Mosaic law, and we speak of the English common law, or the law of nations. Polity (Gr. politeia, from polis, a city) signifies the form, constitution, or method of government of a nation, state, church, or other institution; in usage it differs from economy as applying rather to the system, while economy applies especially to method, or to the system as administered; an economy might be termed a polity considered with especial reference to its practical administration, hence commonly with special reference to details or particulars, while polity has more reference to broad principles.

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LIBERTY.

Synonyms:

emancipation, freedom, independence, license.

In general terms, it may be said that freedom is absolute, liberty relative; freedom is the absence of restraint, liberty is primarily the removal or avoidance of restraint; in its broadest sense, it is the state of being exempt from the domination of others or from restricting circumstances. Freedom and liberty are constantly interchanged; the slave is set at liberty, or gains his freedom; but freedom is the nobler word. Independence is said of states or nations, freedom and liberty of individuals; the independence of the United States did not secure liberty or freedom to its slaves. Liberty keeps quite strictly to the thought of being clear of restraint or compulsion; freedom takes a wider range, applying to other oppressive influences; thus, we speak of freedom from annoyance or intrusion. License is, in its limited sense, a permission or privilege granted by adequate authority, a bounded liberty; in the wider sense, license is an ignoring and defiance of all that should restrain, and a reckless doing of all that individual caprice or passion may choose to do—a base and dangerous counterfeit of freedom. Compare ALLOW; PERMISSION.

Antonyms:

captivity, imprisonment, oppression, slavery, compulsion, necessity, serfdom, superstition, constraint, obligation, servitude, thraldom.

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LIGHT.

Synonyms:

blaze, gleam, glow, shimmer, flame, gleaming, illumination, shine, flare, glimmer, incandescence, shining, flash, glistening, luster, sparkle, flicker, glistering, scintillation, twinkle, glare, glitter, sheen, twinkling.

Light, strictly denoting a form of radiant energy, is used as a general term for any luminous effect discernible by the eye, from the faintest phosphorescence to the blaze of the noonday sun. A flame is both hot and luminous; if it contains few solid particles it will yield little light, tho it may afford intense heat, as in the case of a hydrogen-flame. A blaze is an extensive, brilliant flame. A flare is a wavering flame or blaze; a flash is a light that appears and disappears in an instant; as, a flash of lightning; the flash of gunpowder. The glare and glow are steady, the glare painfully bright, the glow subdued; as, the glare of torches; the glow of dying embers. Shine and shining refer to a steady or continuous emission of light; sheen is a faint shining, usually by reflection. Glimmer, glitter, and shimmer denote wavering light. We speak of the glimmer of distant lamps through the mist; of the shimmer of waves in sunlight or moonlight. A gleam is not wavering, but transient or intermittent; a sudden gleam of light came through the half-open door; a glitter is a hard light; as, the glitter of burnished arms. A sparkle is a sudden light, as of sparks thrown out; scintillation is the more exact and scientific term for the actual emission of sparks, also the figurative term for what suggests such emission; as, scintillations of wit or of genius. Twinkle and twinkling are used of the intermittent light of the fixed stars. Glistening is a shining as from a wet surface. Illumination is a wide-spread, brilliant light, as when all the windows of a house or of a street are lighted. The light of incandescence is intense and white like that from metal at a white heat.

Antonyms:

blackness, darkness, dusk, gloominess, shade, dark, dimness, gloom, obscurity, shadow.

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LIKELY.

Synonyms:

apt, conceivable, liable, probable, credible, conjectural, presumable, reasonable.

Apt implies a natural fitness or tendency; an impetuous person is apt to speak hastily. Liable refers to a contingency regarded as unfavorable; as, the ship was liable to founder at any moment. Likely refers to a contingent event regarded as very probable, and usually, tho not always, favorable; as, an industrious worker is likely to succeed. Credible signifies readily to be believed; as, a credible narrative; likely in such connection is used ironically to signify the reverse; as, a likely story! A thing is conceivable of which the mind can entertain the possibility; a thing is conjectural which is conjectured as possible or probable without other support than a conjecture, or tentative judgment; a thing is presumable which, from what is antecedently known, may betaken for granted in advance of proof. Reasonable in this connection signifies such as the reason can be satisfied with, independently of external grounds for belief or disbelief; as, that seems a reasonable supposition. Compare APPARENT.

Antonyms:

doubtful, improbable, questionable, unreasonable. dubious, incredible, unlikely,

* * * * *

LISTEN.

Synonyms:

attend, hark, harken, hear, heed, list.

Between listen and hear is a difference like that between the words look and see. (Compare synonyms for LOOK.) To hear is simply to become conscious of sound, to listen is to make a conscious effort or endeavor to hear. We may hear without listening, as words suddenly uttered in an adjoining room; or we may listen without hearing, as to a distant speaker. In listening the ear is intent upon the sound; in attending the mind is intent upon the thought, tho listening implies some attention to the meaning or import of the sound. To heed is not only to attend, but to remember and observe. Harken is nearly obsolete.

Antonyms:

be deaf to, ignore, neglect, scorn, slight.

Prepositions:

We listen for what we expect or desire to hear; we listen to what we actually do hear; listen for a step, a signal, a train; listen to the debate.

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LITERATURE.

Synonyms:

belles-lettres, literary productions, publications, books, literary works, writings.

Literature is collective, including in the most general sense all the written or printed productions of the human mind in all lands and ages, or in a more limited sense, referring to all that has been published in some land or age, or in some department of human knowledge; as, the literature of Greece; the literature of the Augustan age; the literature of politics or of art. Literature, used absolutely, denotes what has been called "polite literature" or belles-lettres, i. e., the works collectively that embody taste, feeling, loftiness of thought, and purity and beauty of style, as poetry, history, fiction, and dramatic compositions, including also much of philosophical writing, as the "Republic" of Plato, and oratorical productions, as the orations of Demosthenes. In the broad sense, we can speak of the literature of science; in the narrower sense, we speak of literature and science as distinct departments of knowledge. Literature is also used to signify literary pursuits or occupations; as, to devote one's life to literature. Compare KNOWLEDGE; SCIENCE.

* * * * *

LOAD, n.

Synonyms:

burden, charge, encumbrance, incubus, pack, cargo, clog, freight, lading, weight.

A burden (from the Anglo-Saxon byrthen, from the verb beran, bear) is what one has to bear, and the word is used always of that which is borne by a living agent. A load (from the Anglo-Saxon lād, a way, course, carrying, or carriage) is what is laid upon a person, animal, or vehicle for conveyance, or what is customarily so imposed; as, a two-horse load. Weight measures the pressure due to gravity; the same weight that one finds a moderate load when in his full strength becomes a heavy burden in weariness or weakness. A ship's load is called distinctively a cargo, or it may be known as freight or lading. Freight denotes merchandise in or for transportation and is used largely of transportation or of merchandise transported by rail, which is, in commercial language, said to be "shipped." A load to be fastened upon a horse or mule is called a pack, and the animal is known as a pack-horse or pack-mule.

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LOCK.

Synonyms:

bar, catch, fastening, hook, bolt, clasp, hasp, latch.

A bar is a piece of wood or metal, usually of considerable size, by which an opening is obstructed, a door held fast, etc. A bar may be movable or permanent; a bolt is a movable rod or pin of metal, sliding in a socket and adapted for securing a door or window. A lock is an arrangement by which an enclosed bolt is shot forward or backward by a key, or other device; the bolt is the essential part of the lock. A latch or catch is an accessible fastening designed to be easily movable, and simply to secure against accidental opening of the door, cover, etc. A hasp is a metallic strap that fits over a staple, calculated to be secured by a padlock; a simple hook that fits into a staple is also called a hasp. A clasp is a fastening that can be sprung into place, to draw and hold the parts of some enclosing object firmly together, as the clasp of a book.

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