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

Synonyms:

commiseration, condolence, sympathy, tenderness. compassion, mercy,

Pity is a feeling of grief or pain aroused by the weakness, misfortunes, or distresses of others, joined with a desire to help or relieve. Sympathy (feeling or suffering with) implies some degree of equality, kindred, or union; pity is for what is weak or unfortunate, and so far, at least, inferior to ourselves; hence, pity is often resented where sympathy would be welcome. We have sympathy with one in joy or grief, in pleasure or pain, pity only for those in suffering or need; we may have sympathy with the struggles of a giant or the triumphs of a conqueror; we are moved with pity for the captive or the slave. Pity may be only in the mind, but mercy does something for those who are its objects. Compassion, like pity, is exercised only with respect to the suffering or unfortunate, but combines with the tenderness of pity the dignity of sympathy and the active quality of mercy. Commiseration is as tender as compassion, but more remote and hopeless; we have commiseration for sufferers whom we can not reach or can not relieve. Condolence is the expression of sympathy. Compare MERCY.

Antonyms:

barbarity, ferocity, harshness, pitilessness, severity, brutality, hard-heartedness, inhumanity, rigor, sternness, cruelty, hardness, mercilessness, ruthlessness, truculence.

Prepositions:

Pity on or upon that which we help or spare; pity for that which we merely contemplate; "have pity upon me, O ye my friends," Job xix, 21; "pity for a horse o'erdriven," TENNYSON In Memoriam lxii, st. 1.

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PLANT.

Synonyms:

seed, seed down, set, set out, sow.

We set or set out slips, cuttings, young trees, etc., tho we may also be said to plant them; we plant corn, potatoes, etc., which we put in definite places, as in hills, with some care; we sow wheat or other small grains and seeds which are scattered in the process. Tho by modern agricultural machinery the smaller grains are almost as precisely planted as corn, the old word for broadcast scattering is retained. Land is seeded or seeded down to grass.

Antonyms:

eradicate, extirpate, root up, uproot, weed out.

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PLEAD.

Synonyms:

advocate, ask, beseech, implore, solicit, argue, beg, entreat, press, urge.

To plead for one is to employ argument or persuasion, or both in his behalf, usually with earnestness or importunity; similarly one may be said to plead for himself or for a cause, etc., or with direct object, to plead a case; in legal usage, pleading is argumentative, but in popular usage, pleading always implies some appeal to the feelings. One argues a case solely on rational grounds and supposably with fair consideration of both sides; he advocates one side for the purpose of carrying it, and under the influence of motives that may range all the way from cold self-interest to the highest and noblest impulses; he pleads a cause, or pleads for a person with still more intense feeling. Beseech, entreat, and implore imply impassioned earnestness, with direct and tender appeal to personal considerations. Press and urge imply more determined or perhaps authoritative insistence. Solicit is a weak word denoting merely an attempt to secure one's consent or cooperation, sometimes by sordid or corrupt motives.

Prepositions:

Plead with the tyrant for the captive; plead against the oppression or the oppressor; plead to the indictment; at the bar; before the court; in open court.

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PLEASANT.

Synonyms:

agreeable, good-natured, kindly, pleasing, attractive, kind, obliging, pleasurable.

That is pleasing from which pleasure is received, or may readily be received, without reference to any action or intent in that which confers it; as, a pleasing picture; a pleasing landscape. Whatever has active qualities adapted to give pleasure is pleasant; as, a pleasant breeze; a pleasant (not a pleasing) day. As applied to persons, pleasant always refers to a disposition ready and desirous to please; one is pleasant, or in a pleasant mood, when inclined to make happy those with whom he is dealing, to show kindness and do any reasonable favor. In this sense pleasant is nearly akin to kind, but kind refers to act or intent, while pleasant stops with the disposition; many persons are no longer in a pleasant mood if asked to do a troublesome kindness. Pleasant keeps always something of the sense of actually giving pleasure, and thus surpasses the meaning of good-natured; there are good-natured people who by reason of rudeness and ill-breeding are not pleasant companions. A pleasing face has good features, complexion, expression, etc.; a pleasant face indicates a kind heart and an obliging disposition, as well as kindly feelings in actual exercise; we can say of one usually good-natured, "on that occasion he did not meet me with a pleasant face." Pleasant, in the sense of gay, merry, jocose (the sense still retained in pleasantry), is now rare, and would not be understood outside of literary circles. Compare AMIABLE; COMFORTABLE; DELIGHTFUL.

Antonyms:

arrogant, displeasing, glum, ill-humored, repelling, austere, dreary, grim, ill-natured, repulsive, crabbed, forbidding, harsh, offensive, unkind, disagreeable, gloomy, hateful, repellent, unpleasant.

Prepositions:

Pleasant to, with, or toward persons, about a matter.

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PLENTIFUL.

Synonyms:

abounding, bountiful, generous, plenteous, abundant, complete, large, profuse, adequate, copious, lavish, replete, affluent, enough, liberal, rich, ample, exuberant, luxuriant, sufficient, bounteous, full, overflowing, teeming.

Enough is relative, denoting a supply equal to a given demand. A temperature of 70 deg. Fahrenheit is enough for a living-room; of 212 deg. enough to boil water; neither is enough to melt iron. Sufficient, from the Latin, is an equivalent of the Saxon enough, with no perceptible difference of meaning, but only of usage, enough being the more blunt, homely, and forcible word, while sufficient is in many cases the more elegant or polite. Sufficient usually precedes its noun; enough usually and preferably follows. That is ample which gives a safe, but not a large, margin beyond a given demand; that is abundant, affluent, bountiful, liberal, plentiful, which is largely in excess of manifest need. Plentiful is used of supplies, as of food, water, etc.; as, "a plentiful rain," Ps. lxviii, 9. We may also say a copious rain; but copious can be applied to thought, language, etc., where plentiful can not well be used. Affluent and liberal both apply to riches, resources; liberal, with especial reference to giving or expending. (Compare synonyms for ADEQUATE.) Affluent, referring especially to riches, may be used of thought, feeling, etc. Neither affluent, copious, nor plentiful can be used of time or space; a field is sometimes called plentiful, not with reference to its extent, but to its productiveness. Complete expresses not excess or overplus, and yet not mere sufficiency, but harmony, proportion, fitness to a design, or ideal. Ample and abundant may be applied to any subject. We have time enough, means that we can reach our destination without haste, but also without delay; if we have ample time, we may move leisurely, and note what is by the way; if we have abundant time, we may pause to converse with a friend, to view the scenery, or to rest when weary. Lavish and profuse imply a decided excess, oftenest in the ill sense. We rejoice in abundant resources, and honor generous hospitality; lavish or profuse expenditure suggests extravagance and wastefulness. Luxuriant is used especially of that which is abundant in growth; as, a luxuriant crop.

Antonyms:

deficient, inadequate, narrow, scanty, small, drained, insufficient, niggardly, scarce, sparing, exhausted, mean, poor, scrimped, stingy, impoverished, miserly, scant, short, straitened.

Preposition:

Plentiful in resources.

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POETRY.

Synonyms:

meter, numbers, poesy, song, metrical composition, poem, rime, verse.

Poetry is that form of literature that embodies beautiful thought, feeling, or action in melodious, rhythmical, and (usually) metrical language, in imaginative and artistic constructions. Poetry in a very wide sense may be anything that pleasingly addresses the imagination; as, the poetry of motion. In ordinary usage, poetry is both imaginative and metrical. There may be poetry without rime, but hardly without meter, or what in some languages takes its place, as the Hebrew parallelism; but poetry involves, besides the artistic form, the exercise of the fancy or imagination in a way always beautiful, often lofty or even sublime. Failing this, there may be verse, rime, and meter, but not poetry. There is much in literature that is beautiful and sublime in thought and artistic in construction, which is yet not poetry, because quite devoid of the element of song, whereby poetry differs from the most lofty, beautiful, or impassioned prose. Compare METER.

Antonyms:

prosaic speech, prosaic writing, prose.

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POLITE.

Synonyms:

accomplished, courtly, genteel, urbane, civil, cultivated, gracious, well-behaved, complaisant, cultured, obliging, well-bred, courteous, elegant, polished, well-mannered.

A civil person observes such propriety of speech and manner as to avoid being rude; one who is polite (literally polished) observes more than the necessary proprieties, conforming to all that is graceful, becoming, and thoughtful in the intercourse of refined society. A man may be civil with no consideration for others, simply because self-respect forbids him to be rude; but one who is polite has at least some care for the opinions of others, and if polite in the highest and truest sense, which is coming to be the prevailing one, he cares for the comfort and happiness of others in the smallest matters. Civil is a colder and more distant word than polite; courteous is fuller and richer, dealing often with greater matters, and is used only in the good sense. Courtly suggests that which befits a royal court, and is used of external grace and stateliness without reference to the prompting feeling; as, the courtly manners of the ambassador. Genteel refers to an external elegance, which may be showy and superficial, and the word is thus inferior to polite or courteous. Urbane refers to a politeness that is genial and successful in giving others a sense of ease and cheer. Polished refers to external elegancies of speech and manner without reference to spirit or purpose; as, a polished gentleman or a polished scoundrel; cultured refers to a real and high development of mind and soul, of which the external manifestation is the smallest part. Complaisant denotes a disposition to please or favor beyond what politeness would necessarily require.

Antonyms:

awkward, clownish, ill-mannered, insulting, uncouth, bluff, coarse, impertinent, raw, unmannerly, blunt, discourteous, impolite, rude, unpolished, boorish, ill-behaved, impudent, rustic, untaught, brusk, ill-bred, insolent, uncivil, untutored.

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POLITY.

Synonyms:

constitution, policy, form or system of government.

Polity is the permanent system of government of a state, a church, or a society; policy is the method of management with reference to the attainment of certain ends; the national polity of the United States is republican; each administration has a policy of its own. Policy is often used as equivalent to expediency; as, many think honesty to be good policy. Polity used in ecclesiastical use serves a valuable purpose in distinguishing that which relates to administration and government from that which relates to faith and doctrine; two churches identical in faith may differ in polity, or those agreeing in polity may differ in faith. Compare LAW.

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PORTION.

Synonyms:

lot, parcel, part, proportion, share.

When any whole is divided into parts, any part that is allotted to some person, thing, subject or purpose is called a portion, tho the division may be by no fixed rule or relation; a father may divide his estate by will among his children so as to make their several portions great or small, according to his arbitrary and unreasonable caprice. When we speak of a part as a proportion, we think of the whole as divided according to some rule or scale, so that the different parts bear a contemplated and intended relation or ratio to one another; thus, the portion allotted to a child by will may not be a fair proportion of the estate. Proportion is often used where part or portion would be more appropriate. Compare PART.

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POVERTY.

Synonyms:

beggary, distress, mendicancy, pauperism, privation, destitution, indigence, need, penury, want.

Poverty denotes strictly lack of property or adequate means of support, but in common use is a relative term denoting any condition below that of easy, comfortable living; privation denotes a condition of painful lack of what is useful or desirable, tho not to the extent of absolute distress; indigence is lack of ordinary means of subsistence; destitution is lack of the comforts, and in part even of the necessaries of life; penury is especially cramping poverty, possibly not so sharp as destitution, but continuous, while that may be temporary; pauperism is such destitution as throws one upon organized public charity for support; beggary and mendicancy denote poverty that appeals for indiscriminate private charity.

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POWER.

Synonyms:

ability, competency, expertness, readiness, aptitude, dexterity, faculty, skill, capability, efficacy, force, strength, capacity, efficiency, might, susceptibility, cleverness, energy, qualification, talent. cogency,

Power is the most general term of this group, including every quality, property, or faculty by which any change, effect, or result is, or may be, produced; as, the power of the legislature to enact laws, or of the executive to enforce them; the power of an acid to corrode a metal; the power of a polished surface to reflect light. Ability is nearly coextensive with power, but does not reach the positiveness and vigor that may be included in the meaning of power, ability often implying latent, as distinguished from active power; we speak of an exertion of power, but not of an exertion of ability. Power and ability include capacity, which is power to receive; but ability is often distinguished from capacity, as power that may be manifested in doing, as capacity is in receiving; one may have great capacity for acquiring knowledge, and yet not possess ability to teach. Efficiency is active power to effect a definite result, the power that actually does, as distinguished from that which may do. Competency is equal to the occasion, readiness prompt for the occasion. Faculty is an inherent quality of mind or body; talent, some special mental ability. Dexterity and skill are readiness and facility in action, having a special end; talent is innate, dexterity and skill are largely acquired. Our abilities include our natural capacity, faculties, and talents, with all the dexterity, skill, and readiness that can be acquired. Efficacy is the power to produce an intended effect as shown in the production of it; as, the efficacy of a drug. Efficiency is effectual agency, competent power; efficiency is applied in mechanics as denoting the ratio of the effect produced to the power expended in producing it; but this word is chiefly used of intelligent agents as denoting the quality that brings all one's power to bear promptly and to the best purpose on the thing to be done. Compare ADDRESS; DEXTERITY; SKILFUL.

Antonyms:

awkwardness, helplessness, inability, incompetence, stupidity, dulness, imbecility, inaptitude, inefficiency, unskilfulness, feebleness, impotence, incapacity, maladroitness, weakness.

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PRAISE.

Synonyms:

acclaim, approbation, compliment, laudation, acclamation, approval, encomium, panegyric, adulation, cheering, eulogy, plaudit, applause, cheers, flattery, sycophancy.

Praise is the hearty approval of an individual, or of a number or multitude considered individually, and is expressed by spoken or written words; applause, the spontaneous outburst of many at once. Applause is expressed in any way, by stamping of feet, clapping of hands, waving of handkerchiefs, etc., as well as by the voice; acclamation is the spontaneous and hearty approval of many at once, and strictly by the voice alone. Thus one is chosen moderator by acclamation when he receives a unanimous viva voce vote; we could not say he was nominated by applause. Acclaim is the more poetic term for acclamation, commonly understood in a loftier sense; as, a nation's acclaim. Plaudit is a shout of applause, and is commonly used in the plural; as, the plaudits of a throng. Applause is also used in the general sense of praise. Approbation is a milder and more qualified word than praise; while praise is always uttered, approbation may be silent. "Approbation speaks of the thing or action.... Praise is always personal." A. W. AND J. C. HARE Guesses at Truth first series, p. 549. [MACM. '66.] Acceptance refers to an object or action; approbation may refer to character or natural traits. Approval always supposes a testing or careful examination, and frequently implies official sanction; approbation may be upon a general view. The industry and intelligence of a clerk win his employer's approbation; his decision in a special instance receives his approval. Praise is always understood as genuine and sincere, unless the contrary is expressly stated; compliment is a light form of praise that may or may not be sincere; flattery is insincere and ordinarily fulsome praise.

Antonyms:

abuse, contempt, hissing, repudiation, animadversion, denunciation, ignominy, scorn, blame, disapprobation, obloquy, slander, censure, disapproval, reproach, vilification, condemnation, disparagement, reproof, vituperation.

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PRAY.

Synonyms:

ask, bid, entreat, invoke, request, beg, call upon, implore, petition, supplicate. beseech, conjure, importune, plead,

To pray, in the religious sense, is devoutly to address the Supreme Being with reverent petition for divine grace or any favor or blessing, and in the fullest sense with thanksgiving and praise for the divine goodness and mercy; the once common use of the word to express any earnest request, as "I pray you to come in," is now rare, unless in writings molded on older literature, or in certain phrases, as "Pray sit down;" even in these "please" is more common; "I beg you" is also frequently used, as expressing a polite humility of request. Beseech and entreat express great earnestness of petition; implore and supplicate denote the utmost fervency and intensity, supplicate implying also humility. Compare ASK; PLEAD.

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PRECARIOUS.

Synonyms:

doubtful, hazardous, risky, unsettled, dubious, insecure, unassured, unstable, equivocal, perilous, uncertain, unsteady.

Uncertain is applied to things that human knowledge can not certainly determine or that human power can not certainly control; precarious originally meant dependent on the will of another, and now, by extension of meaning, dependent on chance or hazard, with manifest unfavorable possibility verging toward probability; as, one holds office by a precarious tenure, or land by a precarious title; the strong man's hold on life is uncertain, the invalid's is precarious.

Antonyms:

actual, immutable, real, steady, undeniable, assured, incontestable, settled, strong, undoubted, certain, infallible, stable, sure, unquestionable. firm,

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PRECEDENT.

Synonyms:

antecedent, case, instance, pattern, authority, example, obiter dictum, warrant.

A precedent is an authoritative case, example, or instance. The communism of the early Christians in Jerusalem is a wonderful example or instance of Christian liberality, but not a precedent for the universal church through all time. Cases decided by irregular or unauthorized tribunals are not precedents for the regular administration of law. An obiter dictum is an opinion outside of the case in hand, which can not be quoted as an authoritative precedent. Compare CAUSE; EXAMPLE.

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PREDESTINATION.

Synonyms:

fate, foreknowledge, foreordination, necessity.

Predestination is a previous determination or decision, which, in the divine action, reaches on from eternity. Fate is heathen, an irresistible, irrational power determining all events with no manifest connection with reason or righteousness; necessity is philosophical, a blind something in the nature of things binding the slightest action or motion in the chain of inevitable, eternal sequence; foreordination and predestination are Christian, denoting the rational and righteous order or decree of the supreme and all-wise God. Foreknowledge is simply God's antecedent knowledge of all events, which some hold to be entirely separable from his foreordination, while others hold foreordination to be inseparably involved in foreknowledge.

Antonyms:

accident, choice, freedom, independence, chance, free agency, free will, uncertainty.

Prepositions:

Predestination of believers to eternal life.

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PREJUDICE.

Synonyms:

bias, preconception, presumption, partiality, prepossession, unfairness.

A presumption (literally, a taking beforehand) is a partial decision formed in advance of argument or evidence, usually grounded on some general principle, and always held subject to revision upon fuller information. A prejudice or prepossession is grounded often on feeling, fancy, associations, etc. A prejudice against foreigners is very common in retired communities. There is always a presumption in favor of what exists, so that the burden of proof is upon one who advocates a change. A prepossession is always favorable, a prejudice always unfavorable, unless the contrary is expressly stated. Compare INJURY.

Antonyms:

certainty, conviction, evidence, reason, conclusion, demonstration, proof, reasoning.

Prepositions:

Against; rarely, in favor of, in one's favor.

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PRETENSE.

Synonyms:

affectation, disguise, pretext, simulation, air, dissimulation, ruse, subterfuge, assumption, excuse, seeming, trick, cloak, mask, semblance, wile. color, pretension, show,

A pretense, in the unfavorable, which is also the usual sense, is something advanced or displayed for the purpose of concealing the reality. A person makes a pretense of something for the credit or advantage to be gained by it; he makes what is allowed or approved a pretext for doing what would be opposed or condemned; a tricky schoolboy makes a pretense of doing an errand which he does not do, or he makes the actual doing of an errand a pretext for playing truant. A ruse is something (especially something slight or petty) employed to blind or deceive so as to mask an ulterior design, and enable a person to gain some end that he would not be allowed to approach directly. A pretension is a claim that is or may be contested; the word is now commonly used in an unfavorable sense. Compare ARTIFICE; HYPOCRISY.

Antonyms:

actuality, frankness, ingenuousness, reality, sincerity, candor, guilelessness, openness, simplicity, truth. fact, honesty,

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PREVENT.

Synonyms:

anticipate, forestall, obviate, preclude.

The original sense of prevent, to come before, act in advance of, which is now practically obsolete, was still in good use when the authorized version of the Bible was made, as appears in such passages as, "When Peter was come into the house, Jesus prevented him" (i. e., addressed him first), Matt. xvii, 25; "Thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness" (i. e., by sending the blessings before the desire is formulated or expressed), Ps. xxi, 3. Anticipate is now the only single word usable in this sense; to forestall is to take or act in advance in one's own behalf and to the prejudice of another or others, as in the phrase "to forestall the market." But to anticipate is very frequently used in the favorable sense; as, his thoughtful kindness anticipated my wish (i. e., met the wish before it was expressed): or we say, "I was about to accost him when he anticipated me" (by speaking first); or one anticipates a payment (by making it before the time); in neither of these cases could we use forestall or prevent. To obviate (literally, to stop the way of or remove from the way), is to prevent by interception, so that something that would naturally withstand or disturb may be kept from doing so; to preclude, (literally, to close or shut in advance) is to prevent by anticipation or by logical necessity; walls and bars precluded the possibility of escape; a supposition is precluded; a necessity or difficulty is obviated. Prevent, which at first had only the anticipatory meaning, has come to apply to the stopping of an action at any stage, the completion or conclusion only being thought of as negatived by anticipation; the enemy passed the outworks and were barely prevented from capturing the fortress. Compare HINDER; PROHIBIT.

Preposition:

He was prevented by illness from joining the expedition.

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PREVIOUS.

Synonyms:

antecedent, foregoing, front, preceding, anterior, former, introductory, preliminary, earlier, forward, precedent, prior.

Antecedent may denote simple priority in time, implying no direct connection between that which goes before and that which follows; as, the striking of one clock may be always antecedent to the striking of another with no causal connection between them. Antecedent and previous may refer to that which goes or happens at any distance in advance, preceding is limited to that which is immediately or next before; an antecedent event may have happened at any time before; the preceding transaction is the one completed just before the one with which it is compared; a previous statement or chapter may be in any part of the book that has gone before; the preceding statement or chapter comes next before without an interval. Previous often signifies first by right; as, a previous engagement. Foregoing is used only of that which is spoken or written; as, the foregoing statements. Anterior, while it can be used of time, is coming to be employed chiefly with reference to place; as the anterior lobes of the brain. Prior bears exclusive reference to time, and commonly where that which is first in time is first also in right; as, a prior demand. Former is used of time, or of position in written or printed matter, not of space in general. We can say former times, a former chapter, etc., but not the former part of a garden; we should say the front part of the garden, the forward car of a train. Former has a close relation, or sharp contrast, with something following; the former always implies the latter, even when not fully expressed, as in Acts i, 1, and Eccles. vii, 10.

Antonyms:

after, consequent, hind, hindmost, latter, subsequent, concluding, following, hinder, later, posterior, succeeding.

Preposition:

Such was the state of things previous to the revolution. [Previous to is often used adverbially, in constructions where previously to would be more strictly correct; as, these arrangements were made previous to my departure.]

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PRICE.

Synonyms:

charge, cost, expenditure, expense, outlay, value, worth.

The cost of a thing is all that has been expended upon it, whether in discovery, production, refinement, decoration, transportation, or otherwise, to bring it to its present condition in the hands of its present possessor; the price of a thing is what the seller asks for it. In regular business, as a rule, the seller's price on his wares must be more than their cost to him; when goods are sold, the price the buyer has paid becomes their cost to himself. In exceptional cases, when goods are sold at cost, the seller's price is made the same as the cost of the goods to him, the cost to the seller and the cost to the buyer becoming then identical. Price always implies that an article is for sale; what a man will not sell he declines to put a price on; hence the significance of the taunting proverb that "every man has his price." Value is the estimated equivalent for an article, whether the article is for sale or not; the market value is what it would bring if exposed for sale in the open market; the intrinsic value is the inherent utility of the article considered by itself alone; the market value of an old and rare volume may be very great, while its intrinsic value may be practically nothing. Value has always more reference to others' estimation (literally, what the thing will avail with others) than worth, which regards the thing in and by itself; thus, intrinsic value is a weaker expression than intrinsic worth. Charge has especial reference to services, expense to minor outlays; as, the charges of a lawyer or physician; traveling expenses; household expenses.

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PRIDE.

Synonyms:

arrogance, ostentation, self-exaltation, assumption, presumption, self-respect, conceit, reserve, superciliousness, disdain, self-complacency, vainglory, haughtiness, self-conceit, vanity. insolence, self-esteem,

Haughtiness thinks highly of itself and poorly of others. Arrogance claims much for itself and concedes little to others. Pride is an absorbing sense of one's own greatness; haughtiness feels one's own superiority to others; disdain sees contemptuously the inferiority of others to oneself. Presumption claims place or privilege above one's right; pride deems nothing too high. Insolence is open and rude expression of contempt and hostility, generally from an inferior to a superior, as from a servant to a master or mistress. In the presence of superiors overweening pride manifests itself in presumption or insolence; in the presence of inferiors, or those supposed to be inferior, pride manifests itself by arrogance, disdain, haughtiness, superciliousness, or in either case often by cold reserve. (See RESERVE under MODESTY.) Pride is too self-satisfied to care for praise; vanity intensely craves admiration and applause. Superciliousness, as if by the uplifted eyebrow, as its etymology suggests (L. supercilium, eyebrow, from super, over and cilium, eyelid), silently manifests mingled haughtiness and disdain. Assumption quietly takes for granted superiority and privilege which others would be slow to concede. Conceit and vanity are associated with weakness, pride with strength. Conceit may be founded upon nothing; pride is founded upon something that one is, or has, or has done; vanity, too, is commonly founded on something real, tho far slighter than would afford foundation for pride. Vanity is eager for admiration and praise, is elated if they are rendered, and pained if they are withheld, and seeks them; pride could never solicit admiration or praise. Conceit is somewhat stronger than self-conceit. Self-conceit is ridiculous; conceit is offensive. Self-respect is a thoroughly worthy feeling; self-esteem is a more generous estimate of one's own character and abilities than the rest of the world are ready to allow. Vainglory is more pompous and boastful than vanity. Compare EGOTISM; OSTENTATION.

Antonyms:

humility, meekness, modesty, self-abasement, self-distrust. lowliness,

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PRIMEVAL.

Synonyms:

aboriginal, indigenous, patriarchal, primitive, ancient, native, primal, primordial, autochthonic, old, primary, pristine, immemorial, original, prime, uncreated.

Aboriginal (L. ab, from, origo, origin) signifies pertaining to the aborigines or earliest known inhabitants of a country in the widest sense, including not merely human beings but inferior animals and plants as well. Autochthonic (Gr. autos, self, and chthōn, earth) signifies sprung from the earth, especially from the soil of one's native land. Primeval (L. primum, first, and aevum, age), signifies strictly belonging to the first ages, earliest in time, but often only the earliest of which man knows or conceives, immemorial. Aboriginal, autochthonic, and primeval combine the meanings of ancient and original; aboriginal inhabitants, autochthonic races, primeval forests. Prime and primary may signify either first in time, or more frequently first in importance; primary has also the sense of elementary or preparatory; we speak of a prime minister, a primary school. Primal is chiefly poetic, in the sense of prime; as, the primal curse. Primordial is first in an order of succession or development; as, a primordial leaf. Primitive frequently signifies having the original characteristics of that which it represents, as well as standing first in time; as, the primitive church. Primitive also very frequently signifies having the original or early characteristics without remoteness in time. Primeval simplicity is the simplicity of the earliest ages; primitive simplicity may be found in retired villages now. Pristine is an elegant word, used almost exclusively in a good sense of that which is original and perhaps ancient; as, pristine purity, innocence, vigor. That which is both an original and natural product of a soil or country is said to be indigenous; that which is actually produced there is said to be native, though it may be of foreign extraction; humming-birds are indigenous to America; canaries may be native, but are not indigenous. Immemorial refers solely to time, independently of quality, denoting, in legal phrase, "that whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary;" as, an immemorial custom; an immemorial abuse. Compare OLD.

Antonyms:

adventitious, foreign, late, new, recent. exotic, fresh, modern, novel,

Compare synonyms for NEW.

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PROFIT.

Synonyms:

advantage, expediency, proceeds, service, avail, gain, receipts, usefulness, benefit, good, return, utility, emolument, improvement, returns, value.

The returns or receipts include all that is received from an outlay or investment; the profit is the excess (if any) of the receipts over the outlay; hence, in government, morals, etc., the profit is what is really good, helpful, useful, valuable. Utility is chiefly used in the sense of some immediate or personal and generally some material good. Advantage is that which gives one a vantage-ground, either for coping with competitors or with difficulties, needs, or demands; as to have the advantage of a good education; it is frequently used of what one has beyond another or secures at the expense of another; as, to have the advantage of another in an argument, or to take advantage of another in a bargain. Gain is what one secures beyond what he previously possessed. Benefit is anything that does one good. Emolument is profit, return, or value accruing through official position. Expediency has respect to profit or advantage, real or supposed, considered apart from or perhaps in opposition to right, in actions having a moral character. Compare UTILITY.

Antonyms:

damage, detriment, harm, injury, ruin, destruction, disadvantage, hurt, loss, waste.

Prepositions:

The profit of labor; on capital; in business.

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PROGRESS.

Synonyms:

advance, development, improvement, proficiency, advancement, growth, increase, progression. attainment,

Progress (L. pro, forward, gradior, go) is a moving onward or forward, whether in space or in the mental or moral realm, and may be either mechanical, individual, or social. Attainment, development, and proficiency are more absolute than the other words of the group, denoting some point of advantage or of comparative perfection reached by forward or onward movement; we speak of attainments in virtue or scholarship, proficiency in music or languages, the development of new powers or organs; proficiency includes the idea of skill. Advance may denote either a forward movement or the point gained by forward movement, but always relatively with reference to the point from which the movement started; as, this is a great advance. Advance admits the possibility of retreat; progress (L. progredi, to walk forward) is steady and constant forward movement, admitting of pause, but not of retreat; advance suggests more clearly a point to be reached, while progress lays the emphasis upon the forward movement; we may speak of slow or rapid progress, but more naturally of swift advance. Progress is more frequently used of abstractions; as, the progress of ideas; progression fixes the attention chiefly upon the act of moving forward. In a thing good in itself all advance or progress is improvement; there is a growing tendency to restrict the words to this favorable sense, using increase indifferently of good or evil; one may say without limitation, "I am an advocate of progress."

Antonyms:

check, delay, falling off, retrogression, stop, decline, falling back, relapse, stay, stoppage.

Prepositions:

The progress of truth; progress in virtue; toward perfection; from a lower to a higher state.

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PROHIBIT.

Synonyms:

debar, forbid, inhibit, preclude, disallow, hinder, interdict, prevent.

To prohibit is to give some formal command against, and especially to make some authoritative legal enactment against. Debar is said of persons, disallow of acts; one is debarred from anything when shut off, as by some irresistible authority or necessity; one is prohibited from an act in express terms; he may be debarred by silent necessity. An act is disallowed by the authority that might have allowed it; the word is especially applied to acts which are done before they are pronounced upon; thus, a government may disallow the act of its commander in the field or its admiral on the high seas. Inhibit and interdict are chiefly known by their ecclesiastical use. As between forbid and prohibit, forbid is less formal and more personal, prohibit more official and judicial, with the implication of readiness to use such force as may be needed to give effect to the enactment; a parent forbids a child to take part in some game or to associate with certain companions; the slave-trade is now prohibited by the leading nations of the world. Many things are prohibited by law which can not be wholly prevented, as gambling and prostitution; on the other hand, things may be prevented which are not prohibited, as the services of religion, the payment of debts, or military conquest. That which is precluded need not be prohibited. Compare ABOLISH; HINDER; PREVENT.

Antonyms:

allow, empower, let, require, authorize, enjoin, license, sanction, command, give consent, order, suffer, consent to, give leave, permit, tolerate, direct, give permission, put up with, warrant.

Prepositions:

An act is prohibited by law; a person is prohibited by law from doing a certain act. Prohibit was formerly construed, as forbid still is, with the infinitive, but the construction with from and the verbal noun has now entirely superseded the older usage.

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PROMOTE.

Synonyms:

advance, encourage, forward, prefer, raise, aid, exalt, foster, push, urge forward, assist, excite, further, push on, urge on. elevate, foment, help,

To promote (L. pro, forward, and moveo, move) is to cause to move forward toward some desired end or to raise to some higher position, rank, or dignity. We promote a person by advancing, elevating, or exalting him to a higher position or dignity. A person promotes a scheme or an enterprise which others have projected or begun, and which he encourages, forwards, furthers, pushes, or urges on, especially when he acts as the agent of the prime movers and supporters of the enterprise. One who excites a quarrel originates it; to promote a quarrel is strictly to foment and urge it on, the one who promotes keeping himself in the background. Compare ABET; QUICKEN.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for ABASE; ALLAY.

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PROPITIATION.

Synonyms:

atonement, expiation, reconciliation, satisfaction.

Atonement (at-one-ment), originally denoting reconciliation, or the bringing into agreement of those who have been estranged, is now chiefly used, as in theology, in the sense of some offering, sacrifice, or suffering sufficient to win forgiveness or make up for an offense; especially and distinctively of the sacrificial work of Christ in his humiliation, suffering and death. Expiation is the enduring of the full penalty of a wrong or crime. Propitiation is an offering, action, or sacrifice that makes the governing power propitious toward the offender. Satisfaction in this connection denotes the rendering a full legal equivalent for the wrong done. Propitiation appeases the lawgiver; satisfaction meets the requirements of the law.

Antonyms:

alienation, curse, penalty, reprobation, vengeance, chastisement, estrangement, punishment, retribution, wrath. condemnation, offense,

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PROPITIOUS.

Synonyms:

auspicious, benignant, favorable, gracious, kindly, benign, clement, friendly, kind, merciful.

That which is auspicious is of favorable omen; that which is propitious is of favoring influence or tendency; as, an auspicious morning; a propitious breeze. Propitious applies to persons, implying kind disposition and favorable inclinations, especially toward the suppliant; auspicious is not used of persons.

Antonyms:

adverse, forbidding, ill-disposed, repellent, unfriendly, antagonistic, hostile, inauspicious, unfavorable, unpropitious.

Preposition:

May heaven be propitious to the enterprise.

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PROPOSAL.

Synonyms:

bid, offer, overture, proposition.

An offer or proposal puts something before one for acceptance or rejection, proposal being the more formal word; a proposition sets forth truth (or what is claimed to be truth) in formal statement. The proposition is for consideration, the proposal for action; as, a proposition in geometry, a proposal of marriage; but proposition is often used nearly in the sense of proposal when it concerns a matter for deliberation; as, a proposition for the surrender of a fort. A bid is commercial and often verbal; as, a bid at an auction; proposal is used in nearly the same sense, but is more formal. An overture opens negotiation or conference, and the word is especially used of some movement toward reconciliation; as, overtures of peace.

Antonyms:

acceptance, denial, disapproval, refusal, rejection, repulse.

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PROPOSE.

Synonym:

purpose.

In its most frequent use, propose differs from purpose in that what we purpose lies in our own mind, as a decisive act of will, a determination; what we propose is offered or stated to others. In this use of the word, what we propose is open to deliberation, as what we purpose is not. In another use of the word, one proposes something to or by himself which may or may not be stated to others. In this latter sense propose is nearly identical with purpose, and the two words have often been used interchangeably. But in the majority of cases what we purpose is more general, what we propose more formal and definite; I purpose to do right; I propose to do this specific thing because it is right. In the historic sentence, "I propose to move immediately on your works," purpose would not have the same sharp directness.

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PROTRACT.

Synonyms:

continue, delay, elongate, lengthen, procrastinate, defer, draw out, extend, postpone, prolong.

To protract is to cause to occupy a longer time than is usual, expected, or desirable. We defer a negotiation which we are slow to enter upon; we protract a negotiation which we are slow to conclude; delay may be used of any stage in the proceedings; we may delay a person as well as an action, but defer and protract are not used of persons. Elongate is not used of actions or abstractions, but only of material objects or extension in space; protract is very rarely used of concrete objects or extension in space; we elongate a line, protract a discussion. Protract has usually an unfavorable sense, implying that the matter referred to is already unduly long, or would be so if longer continued; continue is neutral, applying equally to the desirable or the undesirable. Postpone implies a definite intention to resume, as defer also does, though less decidedly; both are often used with some definite limitation of time; as, to postpone till, until, or to a certain day or hour. One may defer, delay, or postpone a matter intelligently and for good reason; he procrastinates through indolence and irresolution. Compare HINDER.

Antonyms:

abbreviate, conclude, curtail, hurry, reduce, abridge, contract, hasten, limit, shorten.

Prepositions:

To protract a speech by verbosity, through an unreasonable time, to, till, or until a late hour.

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PROVERB.

Synonyms:

adage, axiom, maxim, saw, aphorism, byword, motto, saying, apothegm, dictum, precept, truism.

The proverb or adage gives homely truth in condensed, practical form, the adage often pictorial. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick" is a proverb; "The cat loves fish, but dares not wet her feet," is an adage. Both the proverb and the adage, but especially the latter, are thought of as ancient and widely known. An aphorism partakes of the character of a definition; it is a summary statement of what the author sees and believes to be true. An apothegm is a terse statement of what is plain or easily proved. The aphorism is philosophical, the apothegm practical. A dictum is a statement of some person or school, on whom it depends for authority; as, a dictum of Aristotle. A saying is impersonal, current among the common people, deriving its authority from its manifest truth or good sense; as, it is an old saying, "the more haste, the worse speed." A saw is a saying that is old, but somewhat worn and tiresome. Precept is a command to duty; motto or maxim is a brief statement of cherished truth, the maxim being more uniformly and directly practical; "God is love" may be a motto, "Fear God and fear naught," a maxim. The precepts of the Sermon on the Mount will furnish the Christian with invaluable maxims or mottoes. A byword is a phrase or saying used reproachfully or contemptuously.

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PROWESS.

Synonyms:

bravery, gallantry, intrepidity, courage, heroism, valor.

Bravery, courage, heroism, and intrepidity may be silent, spiritual, or passive; they may be exhibited by a martyr at the stake. Prowess and valor imply both daring and doing; we do not speak of the prowess of a martyr, a child, or a passive sufferer. Valor meets odds or perils with courageous action, doing its utmost to conquer at any risk or cost; prowess has power adapted to the need; dauntless valor is often vain against superior prowess. Courage is a nobler word than bravery, involving more of the deep, spiritual, and enduring elements of character; such an appreciation of peril as would extinguish bravery may only intensify courage, which is resistant and self-conquering; courage applies to matters in regard to which valor and prowess can have no place, as submission to a surgical operation, or the facing of censure or detraction for conscience' sake. Compare BRAVE; FORTITUDE.

Antonyms:

cowardice, cowardliness, effeminacy, fear, pusillanimity, timidity.

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PRUDENCE.

Synonyms:

care, discretion, judgment, carefulness, forecast, judiciousness, caution, foresight, providence, circumspection, forethought, wisdom. consideration, frugality,

Prudence may be briefly defined as good judgment and foresight, inclining to caution and frugality in practical affairs. Care may respect only the present; prudence and providence look far ahead and sacrifice the present to the future, prudence watching, saving, guarding, providence planning, doing, preparing, and perhaps expending largely to meet the future demand. Frugality is in many cases one form of prudence. In a besieged city prudence will reduce the rations, providence will strain every nerve to introduce supplies and to raise the siege. Foresight merely sees the future, and may even lead to the recklessness and desperation to which prudence and providence are so strongly opposed. Forethought is thinking in accordance with wise views of the future, and is nearly equivalent to providence, but it is a more popular and less comprehensive term; we speak of man's forethought, God's providence. Compare CARE; FRUGALITY; WISDOM.

Antonyms:

folly, imprudence, rashness, thoughtlessness, heedlessness, indiscretion, recklessness, wastefulness. improvidence, prodigality,

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PURCHASE.

Synonyms:

acquire, barter for, get, procure, secure. bargain for, buy, obtain,

Buy and purchase are close synonyms, signifying to obtain or secure as one's own by paying or promising to pay a price; in numerous cases the two words are freely interchangeable, but with the difference usually found between words of Saxon and those of French or Latin origin. The Saxon buy is used for all the homely and petty concerns of common life, the French purchase is often restricted to transactions of more dignity; yet the Saxon word buy is commonly more emphatic, and in the higher ranges of thought appeals more strongly to the feelings. One may either buy or purchase fame, favor, honor, pleasure, etc., but when our feelings are stirred we speak of victory or freedom as dearly bought. "Buy the truth, and sell it not" (Prov. xxiii, 23) would be greatly weakened by the rendering "Purchase the truth, and do not dispose of it." Compare BUSINESS; GET; PRICE; SALE.

Antonyms:

barter, dispose of, exchange, put to sale, sell.

Prepositions:

Purchase at a price; at a public sale; of or from a person; for cash; with money; on time.

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PURE.

Synonyms:

absolute, guiltless, simple, unmixed, chaste, holy, spotless, unpolluted, classic, immaculate, stainless, unspotted, classical, incorrupt, true, unstained, clean, innocent, unadulterated, unsullied, clear, mere, unblemished, untainted, continent, perfect, uncorrupted, untarnished, genuine, real, undefiled, upright, guileless, sheer, unmingled, virtuous.

That is pure which is free from mixture or contact with anything that weakens, impairs, or pollutes. Material substances are called pure in the strict sense when free from foreign admixture of any kind; as, pure oxygen; the word is often used to signify free from any defiling or objectionable admixture (the original sense); we speak of water as pure when it is bright, clear, and refreshing, tho it may contain mineral salts in solution; in the medical and chemical sense, only distilled water (aqua pura) is pure. In moral and religious use pure is a strong word, denoting positive excellence of a high order; one is innocent who knows nothing of evil, and has experienced no touch of temptation; one is pure who, with knowledge of evil and exposure to temptation, keeps heart and soul unstained. Virtuous refers primarily to right action; pure to right feeling and motives; as, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God," Matt. v, 8. Compare FINE; INNOCENT.

Antonyms:

adulterated, foul, indecent, obscene, tainted, defiled, gross, indelicate, polluted, tarnished, dirty, immodest, lewd, stained, unchaste, filthy, impure, mixed, sullied, unclean.

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PUT.

Synonyms:

deposit, lay, place, set.

Put is the most general term for bringing an object to some point or within some space, however exactly or loosely; we may put a horse in a pasture, or put a bullet in a rifle or into an enemy. Place denotes more careful movement and more exact location; as, to place a crown on one's head, or a garrison in a city. To lay is to place in a horizontal position; to set is to place in an upright position; we lay a cloth, and set a dish upon a table. To deposit is to put in a place of security for future use; as, to deposit money in a bank; the original sense, to lay down or let down (quietly), is also common; as, the stream deposits sediment.

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QUEER.

Synonyms:

anomalous, erratic, odd, strange, bizarre, extraordinary, peculiar, uncommon, comical, fantastic, preposterous, unique, crotchety, funny, quaint, unmatched, curious, grotesque, ridiculous, unusual, droll, laughable, singular, whimsical. eccentric, ludicrous,

Odd is unmated, as an odd shoe, and so uneven, as an odd number. Singular is alone of its kind; as, the singular number. What is singular is odd, but what is odd may not be singular; as, a drawerful of odd gloves. A strange thing is something hitherto unknown in fact or in cause. A singular coincidence is one the happening of which is unusual; a strange coincidence is one the cause of which is hard to explain. That which is peculiar belongs especially to a person as his own; as, Israel was called Jehovah's "peculiar people," i. e., especially chosen and cherished by him; in its ordinary use there is the implication that the thing peculiar to one is not common to the majority nor quite approved by them, though it may be shared by many; as, the Shakers are peculiar. Eccentric is off or aside from the center, and so off or aside from the ordinary and what is considered the normal course; as, genius is commonly eccentric. Eccentric is a higher and more respectful word than odd or queer. Erratic signifies wandering, a stronger and more censorious term than eccentric. Queer is transverse or oblique, aside from the common in a way that is comical or perhaps slightly ridiculous. Quaint denotes that which is pleasingly odd and fanciful, often with something of the antique; as, the quaint architecture of medieval towns. That which is funny is calculated to provoke laughter; that which is droll is more quietly amusing. That which is grotesque in the material sense is irregular or misshapen in form or outline or ill-proportioned so as to be somewhat ridiculous; the French bizarre is practically equivalent to grotesque.

Antonyms:

common, familiar, normal, regular, customary, natural, ordinary, usual.

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QUICKEN.

Synonyms:

accelerate, drive on, hasten, promote, advance, expedite, hurry, speed, despatch, facilitate, make haste, urge, drive, further, press forward, urge on.

To quicken, in the sense here considered, is to increase speed, move or cause to move more rapidly, as through more space or with, a greater number of motions in the same time. To accelerate is to increase the speed of action or of motion. A motion whose speed increases upon itself is said to be accelerated, as the motion of a falling body, which becomes swifter with every second of time. To accelerate any work is to hasten it toward a finish, commonly by quickening all its operations in orderly unity toward the result. To despatch is to do and be done with, to get a thing off one's hands. To despatch an enemy is to kill him outright and quickly; to despatch a messenger is to send him in haste; to despatch a business is to bring it quickly to an end. Despatch is commonly used of single items. To promote a cause is in any way to bring it forward, advance it in power, prominence, etc. To speed is really to secure swiftness; to hasten is to attempt it, whether successfully or unsuccessfully. Hurry always indicates something of confusion. The hurried man forgets dignity, appearance, comfort, courtesy, everything but speed; he may forget something vital to the matter in hand; yet, because reckless haste may attain the great object of speed, hurry has come to be the colloquial and popular word for acting quickly. To facilitate is to quicken by making easy; to expedite is to quicken by removing hindrances. A good general will improve roads to facilitate the movements of troops, hasten supplies and perfect discipline to promote the general efficiency of the force, despatch details of business, expedite all preparations, in order to accelerate the advance and victory of his army.

Antonyms:

check, clog, delay, drag, hinder, impede, obstruct, retard.

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QUOTE.

Synonyms:

cite, extract, plagiarize, repeat. excerpt, paraphrase, recite,

To quote is to give an author's words, either exactly, as in direct quotation, or in substance, as in indirect quotation; to cite is, etymologically, to call up a passage, as a witness is summoned. In citing a passage its exact location by chapter, page, or otherwise, must be given, so that it can be promptly called into evidence; in quoting, the location may or may not be given, but the words or substance of the passage must be given. In citing, neither the author's words nor his thought may be given, but simply the reference to the location where they may be found. To quote, in the proper sense, is to give credit to the author whose words are employed. To paraphrase is to state an author's thought more freely than in indirect quotation, keeping the substance of thought and the order of statement, but changing the language, and commonly interweaving more or less explanatory matter as if part of the original writing. One may paraphrase a work with worthy motive for homiletic, devotional, or other purposes (as in the metrical versions of the Psalms), or he may plagiarize atrociously in the form of paraphrase, appropriating all that is valuable in another's thought, with the hope of escaping detection by change of phrase. To plagiarize is to quote without credit, appropriating another's words or thought as one's own. To recite or repeat is usually to quote orally, tho recite is applied in legal phrase to a particular statement of facts which is not a quotation; a kindred use obtains in ordinary speech; as, to recite one's misfortunes.

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RACY.

Synonyms:

flavorous, lively, pungent, spicy, forcible, piquant, rich, spirited.

Racy applies in the first instance to the pleasing flavor characteristic of certain wines, often attributed to the soil from which they come. Pungent denotes something sharply irritating to the organs of taste or smell, as pepper, vinegar, ammonia; piquant denotes a quality similar in kind to pungent but less in degree, stimulating and agreeable; pungent spices may be deftly compounded into a piquant sauce. As applied to literary products, racy refers to that which has a striking, vigorous, pleasing originality; spicy to that which is stimulating to the mental taste, as spice is to the physical; piquant and pungent in their figurative use keep very close to their literal sense.

Antonyms:

cold, flat, insipid, stale, tasteless, dull, flavorless, prosy, stupid, vapid.

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RADICAL.

Synonyms:

complete, ingrained, perfect, constitutional, innate, positive, entire, native, primitive, essential, natural, thorough, extreme, organic, thoroughgoing, fundamental, original, total.

The widely divergent senses in which the word radical is used, by which it can be at some time interchanged with any word in the above list, are all formed upon the one primary sense of having to do with or proceeding from the root (L. radix); a radical difference is one that springs from the root, and is thus constitutional, essential, fundamental, organic, original; a radical change is one that does not stop at the surface, but reaches down to the very root, and is entire, thorough, total; since the majority find superficial treatment of any matter the easiest and most comfortable, radical measures, which strike at the root of evil or need, are apt to be looked upon as extreme.

Antonyms:

conservative, incomplete, palliative, slight, tentative, inadequate, moderate, partial, superficial, trial.

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RARE.

Synonyms:

curious, odd, scarce, unique, extraordinary, peculiar, singular, unparalleled, incomparable, precious, strange, unprecedented, infrequent, remarkable, uncommon, unusual.

Unique is alone of its kind; rare is infrequent of its kind; great poems are rare; "Paradise Lost" is unique. To say of a thing that it is rare is simply to affirm that it is now seldom found, whether previously common or not; as, a rare old book; a rare word; to call a thing scarce implies that it was at some time more plenty, as when we say food or money is scarce. A particular fruit or coin may be rare; scarce applies to demand and use, and almost always to concrete things; to speak of virtue, genius, or heroism as scarce would be somewhat ludicrous. Rare has the added sense of precious, which is sometimes, but not necessarily, blended with that above given; as, a rare gem. Extraordinary, signifying greatly beyond the ordinary, is a neutral word, capable of a high and good sense or of an invidious, opprobrious, or contemptuous signification; as, extraordinary genius; extraordinary wickedness; an extraordinary assumption of power; extraordinary antics; an extraordinary statement is incredible without overwhelming proof.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for GENERAL; NORMAL; USUAL.

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REACH.

Synonyms:

arrive, attain, come to, enter, gain, get to, land.

To reach, in the sense here considered, is to come to by motion or progress. Attain is now oftenest used of abstract relations; as, to attain success. When applied to concrete matters, it commonly signifies the overcoming of hindrance and difficulty; as, the storm-beaten ship at length attained the harbor. Come is the general word for moving to or toward the place where the speaker or writer is or supposes himself to be. To reach is to come to from a distance that is actually or relatively considerable; to stretch the journey, so to speak, across the distance, as, in its original meaning, one reaches an object by stretching out the hand. To gain is to reach or attain something eagerly sought; the wearied swimmer reaches or gains the shore. One comes in from his garden; he reaches home from a journey. To arrive is to come to a destination, to reach a point intended or proposed. The European steamer arrives in port, or reaches the harbor; the dismantled wreck drifts ashore, or comes to land. Compare ATTAIN.

Antonyms:

depart, go, go away, leave, set out, set sail, start, weigh anchor. embark,

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REAL.

Synonyms:

actual, demonstrable, genuine, true, authentic, developed, positive, unquestionable, certain, essential, substantial, veritable.

Real (L. res, a thing) signifies having existence, not merely in thought, but in fact, or being in fact according to appearance or claim; denoting the thing as distinguished from the name, or the existent as opposed to the non-existent. Actual has respect to a thing accomplished by doing, real to a thing as existing by whatever means or from whatever cause, positive to that which is fixed or established, developed to that which has reached completion by a natural process of unfolding. Actual is in opposition to the supposed, conceived, or reported, and furnishes the proof of its existence in itself; real is opposed to feigned or imaginary, and is capable of demonstration; positive, to the uncertain or doubtful; developed, to that which is undeveloped or incomplete. The developed is susceptible of proof; the positive precludes the necessity for proof. The present condition of a thing is its actual condition; ills are real that have a substantial reason; proofs are positive when they give the mind certainty; a plant is developed when it has reached its completed stage. Real estate is land, together with trees, water, minerals, or other natural accompaniments, and any permanent structures that man has built upon it. Compare AUTHENTIC.

Antonyms:

conceived, feigned, illusory, supposed, unreal, fabulous, fictitious, imaginary, supposititious, untrue, fanciful, hypothetical, reported, theoretical, visionary.

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REASON, v.

Synonyms:

argue, debate, discuss, establish, question, contend, demonstrate, dispute, prove, wrangle. controvert,

To reason is to examine by means of the reason, to prove by reasoning, or to influence or seek to influence others by reasoning or reasons. Persons may contend either from mere ill will or self-interest, or from the highest motives; "That ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints," Jude 3. To argue (L. arguo, show) is to make a matter clear by reasoning; to discuss (L. dis, apart, and quatio, shake) is, etymologically, to shake it apart for examination and analysis. Demonstrate strictly applies to mathematical or exact reasoning; prove may be used in the same sense, but is often applied to reasoning upon matters of fact by what is called probable evidence, which can give only moral and not absolute or mathematical certainty. To demonstrate is to force the mind to a conclusion by irresistible reasoning; to prove is rather to establish a fact by evidence; as, to prove one innocent or guilty. That which has been either demonstrated or proved so as to secure general acceptance is said to be established. Reason is a neutral word, not, like argue, debate, discuss, etc., naturally or necessarily implying contest. We reason about a matter by bringing up all that reason can give us on any side. A dispute may be personal, fractious, and petty; a debate is formal and orderly; if otherwise, it becomes a mere wrangle.

Prepositions:

We reason with a person about a subject, for or against an opinion; we reason a person into or out of a course of action; or we may reason down an opponent or opposition; one reasons from a cause to an effect.

* * * * *

REASON, n.

Synonyms:

account, cause, end, motive, principle, aim, consideration, ground, object, purpose. argument, design,

While the cause of any event, act, or fact, as commonly understood, is the power that makes it to be, the reason of or for it is the explanation given by the human mind; but reason is, in popular language, often used as equivalent to cause, especially in the sense of final cause. In the statement of any reasoning, the argument may be an entire syllogism, or the premises considered together apart from the conclusion, or in logical strictness the middle term only by which the particular conclusion is connected with the general statement. But when the reasoning is not in strict logical form, the middle term following the conclusion is called the reason; thus in the statement "All tyrants deserve death; Caesar was a tyrant; Therefore Caesar deserved death," "Caesar was a tyrant" would in the strictest sense be called the argument; but if we say "Caesar deserved death because he was a tyrant," the latter clause would be termed the reason. Compare CAUSE; REASON, v.; MIND; REASONING.

Prepositions:

The reason of a thing that is to be explained; the reason for a thing that is to be done.

* * * * *

REASONING.

Synonyms:

argument, argumentation, debate, ratiocination.

Argumentation and debate, in the ordinary use of the words, suppose two parties alleging reasons for and against a proposition; the same idea appears figuratively when we speak of a debate or an argument with oneself, or of a debate between reason and conscience. Reasoning may be the act of one alone, as it is simply the orderly setting forth of reasons, whether for the instruction of inquirers, the confuting of opponents, or the clear establishment of truth for oneself. Reasoning may be either deductive or inductive. Argument or argumentation was formerly used of deductive reasoning only. With the rise of the inductive philosophy these words have come to be applied to inductive processes also; but while reasoning may be informal or even (as far as tracing its processes is concerned) unconscious, argument and argumentation strictly imply logical form. Reasoning, as denoting a process, is a broader term than reason or argument; many arguments or reasons may be included in a single chain of reasoning.

* * * * *

REBELLIOUS.

Synonyms:

contumacious, mutinous, uncontrollable, disobedient, refractory, ungovernable, insubordinate, seditious, unmanageable. intractable,

Rebellious signifies being in a state of rebellion (see REBELLION under REVOLUTION), and is even extended to inanimate things that resist control or adaptation to human use. Ungovernable applies to that which successfully defies authority and power; unmanageable to that which resists the utmost exercise of skill or of skill and power combined; rebellious, to that which is defiant of authority, whether successfully or unsuccessfully; seditious, to that which partakes of or tends to excite a rebellious spirit, seditious suggesting more of covert plan, scheming, or conspiracy, rebellious more of overt act or open violence. While the unmanageable or ungovernable defies control, the rebellious or seditious may be forced to submission; as, the man has an ungovernable temper; the horses became unmanageable; he tamed his rebellious spirit. Insubordinate applies to the disposition to resist and resent control as such; mutinous, to open defiance of authority, especially in the army, navy, or merchant marine. A contumacious act or spirit is contemptuous as well as defiant. Compare OBSTINATE; REVOLUTION.

Antonyms:

compliant, docile, manageable, subservient, controllable, dutiful, obedient, tractable, deferential, gentle, submissive, yielding.

Prepositions:

Rebellious to or against lawful authority.

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RECORD.

Synonyms:

account, enrolment, instrument, register, archive, entry, inventory, roll, catalogue, enumeration, memorandum, schedule, chronicle, history, memorial, scroll. document, inscription, muniment,

A memorial is any object, whether a writing, a monument, or other permanent thing that is designed or adapted to keep something in remembrance. Record is a word of wide signification, applying to any writing, mark, or trace that serves as a memorial giving enduring attestation of an event or fact; an extended account, chronicle, or history is a record; so, too, may be a brief inventory or memorandum; the inscription on a tombstone is a record of the dead; the striae on a rock-surface are the record of a glacier's passage. A register is a formal or official written record, especially a series of entries made for preservation or reference; as, a register of births and deaths. Archives, in the sense here considered, are documents or records, often legal records, preserved in a public or official depository; the word archives is also applied to the place where such documents are regularly deposited and preserved. Muniments (L. munio, fortify) are records that enable one to defend his title. Compare HISTORY; STORY.

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RECOVER.

Synonyms:

be cured or healed, heal, recuperate, restore, be restored, reanimate, regain, resume, cure, recruit, repossess, retrieve.

The transitive use of recover in the sense of cure, heal, etc., as in 2 Kings v, 6, "That thou mayest recover him of his leprosy," is now practically obsolete. The chief transitive use of recover is in the sense to obtain again after losing, regain, repossess, etc.; as, to recover stolen goods; to recover health. The intransitive sense, be cured, be restored, etc., is very common; as, to recover from sickness, terror, or misfortune.

Antonyms:

die, fail, grow worse, relapse, sink.

Prepositions:

From; rarely of; (Law) to recover judgment against, to recover damages of or from a person.

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REFINEMENT.

Synonyms:

civilization, cultivation, culture, elegance, politeness.

Civilization applies to nations, denoting the sum of those civil, social, economic, and political attainments by which a community is removed from barbarism; a people may be civilized while still far from refinement or culture, but civilization is susceptible of various degrees and of continued progress. Refinement applies either to nations or individuals, denoting the removal of what is coarse and rude, and a corresponding attainment of what is delicate, elegant, and beautiful. Cultivation, denoting primarily the process of cultivating the soil or growing crops, then the improved condition of either which is the result, is applied in similar sense to the human mind and character, but in this usage is now largely superseded by the term culture, which denotes a high development of the best qualities of man's mental and spiritual nature, with especial reference to the esthetic faculties and to graces of speech and manner, regarded as the expression of a refined nature. Culture in the fullest sense denotes that degree of refinement and development which results from continued cultivation through successive generations; a man's faculties may be brought to a high degree of cultivation in some specialty, while he himself remains uncultured even to the extent of coarseness and rudeness. Compare HUMANE; POLITE.

Antonyms:

barbarism, brutality, coarseness, rudeness, savagery, boorishness, clownishness, grossness, rusticity, vulgarity.

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REFUTE.

Synonyms:

confound, confute, disprove, overthrow, repel.

To refute and to confute are to answer so as to admit of no reply. To refute a statement is to demonstrate its falsity by argument or countervailing proof; confute is substantially the same in meaning, tho differing in usage. Refute applies either to arguments and opinions or to accusations; confute is not applied to accusations and charges, but to arguments or opinions. Refute is not now applied to persons, but confute is in good use in this application; a person is confuted when his arguments are refuted.

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RELIABLE.

Synonyms:

trustworthy, trusty.

The word reliable has been sharply challenged, but seems to have established its place in the language. The objection to its use on the ground that the suffix -able can not properly be added to an intransitive verb is answered by the citation of such words as "available," "conversable," "laughable," and the like, while, in the matter of usage, reliable has the authority of Coleridge, Martineau, Mill, Irving, Newman, Gladstone, and others of the foremost of recent English writers. The objection to the application of reliable to persons is not sustained by the use of the verb "rely," which is applied to persons in the authorized version of the Scriptures, in the writings of Shakespeare and Bacon, and in the usage of good speakers and writers. Trusty and trustworthy refer to inherent qualities of a high order, trustworthy being especially applied to persons, and denoting moral integrity and truthfulness; we speak of a trusty sword, a trusty servant; we say the man is thoroughly trustworthy. Reliable is inferior in meaning, denoting merely the possession of such qualities as are needed for safe reliance; as, a reliable pledge; reliable information. A man is said to be reliable with reference not only to moral qualities, but to judgment, knowledge, skill, habit, or perhaps pecuniary ability; a thoroughly trustworthy person might not be reliable as a witness on account of unconscious sympathy, or as a security by reason of insufficient means. A reliable messenger is one who may be depended on to do his errand correctly and promptly; a trusty or trustworthy messenger is one who may be admitted to knowledge of the views and purposes of those who employ him, and who will be faithful beyond the mere letter of his commission. We can speak of a railroad-train as reliable when it can be depended on to arrive on time; but to speak of a reliable friend would be cold, and to speak of a warrior girding on his reliable sword would be ludicrous.

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RELIGION.

Synonyms:

devotion, godliness, morality, piety, theology, faith, holiness, pietism, righteousness, worship.

Piety is primarily filial duty, as of children to parents, and hence, in its highest sense, a loving obedience and service to God as the Heavenly Father; pietism often denotes a mystical, sometimes an affected piety; religion is the reverent acknowledgment both in heart and in act of a divine being. Religion, in the fullest and highest sense, includes all the other words of this group. Worship may be external and formal, or it may be the adoring reverence of the human spirit for the divine, seeking outward expression. Devotion, which in its fullest sense is self-consecration, is often used to denote an act of worship, especially prayer or adoration; as, he is engaged in his devotions. Morality is the system and practise of duty as required by the moral law, consisting chiefly in outward acts, and thus may be observed without spiritual rectitude of heart; morality is of necessity included in all true religion, which involves both outward act and spiritual service. Godliness (primarily godlikeness) is a character and spirit like that of God. Holiness is the highest, sinless perfection of any spirit, whether divine or human, tho often used for purity or for consecration. Theology is the science of religion, or the study and scientific statement of all that the human mind can know of God. Faith, strictly the belief and trust which the soul exercises toward God, is often used as a comprehensive word for a whole system of religion considered as the object of faith; as, the Christian faith; the Mohammedan faith.

Antonyms:

atheism, godlessness, irreligion, sacrilege, ungodliness, blasphemy, impiety, profanity, unbelief, wickedness.

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RELUCTANT.

Synonyms:

averse, disinclined, loath, slow, backward, indisposed, opposed, unwilling.

Reluctant (L. re, back, and lucto, strive, struggle) signifies struggling against what one is urged or impelled to do, or is actually doing; averse (L. a, from, and verto, turn) signifies turned away as with dislike or repugnance; loath (AS. lath, evil, hateful) signifies having a repugnance, disgust, or loathing for, tho the adjective loath is not so strong as the verb loathe. A dunce is always averse to study; a good student is disinclined to it when a fine morning tempts him out; he is indisposed to it in some hour of weariness. A man may be slow or backward in entering upon that to which he is by no means averse. A man is loath to believe evil of his friend, reluctant to speak of it, absolutely unwilling to use it to his injury. A legislator may be opposed to a certain measure, while not averse to what it aims to accomplish. Compare ANTIPATHY.

Antonyms:

desirous, disposed, eager, favorable, inclined, willing.

* * * * *

REMARK.

Synonyms:

annotation, comment, note, observation, utterance.

A remark is a saying or brief statement, oral or written, commonly made without much premeditation; a comment is an explanatory or critical remark, as upon some passage in a literary work or some act or speech in common life. A note is something to call attention, hence a brief written statement; in correspondence, a note is briefer than a letter. A note upon some passage in a book is briefer and less elaborate than a comment. Annotations are especially brief notes, commonly marginal, and closely following the text. Comments, observations, or remarks may be oral or written, comments being oftenest written, and remarks oftenest oral. An observation is properly the result of fixed attention and reflection; a remark may be the suggestion of the instant. Remarks are more informal than a speech.

* * * * *

REND.

Synonyms:

break, cleave, mangle, rive, sever, sunder, burst, lacerate, rip, rupture, slit, tear.

Rend and tear are applied to the separating of textile substances into parts by force violently applied (rend also to frangible substances), tear being the milder, rend the stronger word. Rive is a wood-workers' word for parting wood in the way of the grain without a clean cut. To lacerate is to tear roughly the flesh or animal tissue, as by the teeth of a wild beast; a lacerated wound is distinguished from a wound made by a clean cut or incision. Mangle is a stronger word than lacerate; lacerate is more superficial, mangle more complete. To burst or rupture is to tear or rend by force from within, burst denoting the greater violence; as, to burst a gun; to rupture a blood-vessel; a steam-boiler may be ruptured when its substance is made to divide by internal pressure without explosion. To rip, as usually applied to garments or other articles made by sewing or stitching, is to divide along the line of a seam by cutting or breaking the stitches; the other senses bear some resemblance or analogy to this; as, to rip open a wound. Compare BREAK.

Antonyms:

heal, mend, reunite, secure, sew, solder, stitch, unite, weld. join,

* * * * *

RENOUNCE.

Synonyms:

abandon, disavow, disown, recant, repudiate, abjure, discard, forswear, refuse, retract, deny, disclaim, recall, reject, revoke.

Abjure, discard, forswear, recall, recant, renounce, retract, and revoke, like abandon, imply some previous connection. Renounce (L. re, back, and nuntio, bear a message) is to declare against and give up formally and definitively; as, to renounce the pomps and vanities of the world. Recant (L. re, back, and canto, sing) is to take back or deny formally and publicly, as a belief that one has held or professed. Retract (L. re, back, and traho, draw) is to take back something that one has said as not true or as what one is not ready to maintain; as, to retract a charge or accusation; one recants what was especially his own, he retracts what was directed against another. Repudiate (L. re, back, or away, and pudeo, feel shame) is primarily to renounce as shameful, hence to divorce, as a wife; thus in general to put away with emphatic and determined repulsion; as, to repudiate a debt. To deny is to affirm to be not true or not binding; as, to deny a statement or a relationship; or to refuse to grant as something requested; as, his mother could not deny him what he desired. To discard is to cast away as useless or worthless; thus, one discards a worn garment; a coquette discards a lover. Revoke (L. re, back, and voco, call), etymologically the exact equivalent of the English recall, is to take back something given or granted; as, to revoke a command, a will, or a grant; recall may be used in the exact sense of revoke, but is often applied to persons, as revoke is not; we recall a messenger and revoke the order with which he was charged. Abjure (L. ab, away, and juro, swear) is etymologically the exact equivalent of the Saxon forswear, signifying to put away formally and under oath, as an error, heresy, or evil practise, or a condemned and detested person. A man abjures his religion, recants his belief, abjures or renounces his allegiance, repudiates another's claim, renounces his own, retracts a false statement. A person may deny, disavow, disclaim, disown what has been truly or falsely imputed to him or supposed to be his. He may deny his signature, disavow the act of his agent, disown his child; he may repudiate a just claim or a base suggestion. A native of the United States can not abjure or renounce allegiance to the Queen of England, but will promptly deny or repudiate it. Compare ABANDON.

Antonyms:

acknowledge, assert, cherish, defend, maintain, proclaim, uphold, advocate, avow, claim, hold, own, retain, vindicate.

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REPENTANCE.

Synonyms:

compunction, contriteness, regret, self-condemnation, contrition, penitence, remorse, sorrow.

Regret is sorrow for any painful or annoying matter. One is moved with penitence for wrong-doing. To speak of regret for a fault of our own marks it as slighter than one regarding which we should express penitence. Repentance is sorrow for sin with self-condemnation, and complete turning from the sin. Penitence is transient, and may involve no change of character or conduct. There may be sorrow without repentance, as for consequences only, but not repentance without sorrow. Compunction is a momentary sting of conscience, in view either of a past or of a contemplated act. Contrition is a subduing sorrow for sin, as against the divine holiness and love. Remorse is, as its derivation indicates, a biting or gnawing back of guilt upon the heart, with no turning of heart from the sin, and no suggestion of divine forgiveness.

Antonyms:

approval, content, obduracy, self-complacency, comfort, hardness, obstinacy, self-congratulation, complacency, impenitence, self-approval, stubbornness.

Prepositions:

Repentance of or in heart, or from the heart; repentance for sins; before or toward God; unto life.

* * * * *

REPORT.

Synonyms:

account, narrative, rehearsal, rumor, story, description, recital, relation, statement, tale. narration, record,

Account carries the idea of a commercial summary. A statement is definite, confined to essentials and properly to matters within the personal knowledge of the one who states them; as, an ante-mortem statement. A narrative is a somewhat extended and embellished account of events in order of time, ordinarily with a view to please or entertain. A description gives especial scope to the pictorial element. A report (L. re, back, and porto, bring), as its etymology implies, is something brought back, as by one sent to obtain information, and may be concise and formal or highly descriptive and dramatic. Compare ALLEGORY; HISTORY; RECORD.

* * * * *

REPROOF.

Synonyms:

admonition, chiding, disapproval, reprimand, animadversion, comment, objurgation, reproach, blame, condemnation, rebuke, reproval, censure, criticism, reflection, upbraiding. check, denunciation, reprehension,

Blame, censure, and disapproval may either be felt or uttered; comment, criticism, rebuke, reflection, reprehension, and reproof are always expressed. The same is true of admonition and animadversion. Comment and criticism may be favorable as well as censorious; they imply no superiority or authority on the part of him who utters them; nor do reflection or reprehension, which are simply turning the mind back upon what is disapproved. Reprehension is supposed to be calm and just, and with good intent; it is therefore a serious matter, however mild, and is capable of great force, as expressed in the phrase severe reprehension. Reflection is often from mere ill feeling, and is likely to be more personal and less impartial than reprehension; we often speak of unkind or unjust reflections. Rebuke, literally a stopping of the mouth, is administered to a forward or hasty person; reproof is administered to one intentionally or deliberately wrong; both words imply authority in the reprover, and direct expression of disapproval to the face of the person rebuked or reproved. Reprimand is official censure formally administered by a superior to one under his command. Animadversion is censure of a high, authoritative, and somewhat formal kind. Rebuke may be given at the outset, or in the midst of an action; animadversion, reflection, reprehension, reproof, always follow the act; admonition is anticipatory, and meant to be preventive. Check is allied to rebuke, and given before or during action; chiding is nearer to reproof, but with more of personal bitterness and less of authority. Compare CONDEMN; REPROVE.

Antonyms:

applause, approval, encomium, eulogy, panegyric, praise. approbation, commendation,

* * * * *

REPROVE.

Synonyms:

admonish, condemn, reprimand, blame, expostulate with, reproach, censure, find fault with, take to task, chasten, rebuke, upbraid, check, remonstrate with, warn. chide, reprehend,

To censure is to pronounce an adverse judgment that may or may not be expressed to the person censured; to reprove is to censure authoritatively, openly, and directly to the face of the person reproved; to rebuke is to reprove with sharpness, and often with abruptness, usually in the midst of some action or course of action deemed censurable; to reprimand is to reprove officially; to blame is a familiar word signifying to pass censure upon, make answerable, as for a fault; blame and censure apply either to persons or acts; reprove and rebuke are applied chiefly, and reprimand exclusively to persons. To reproach is to censure openly and vehemently, and with intense personal feeling as of grief or anger; as, to reproach one for ingratitude; reproach knows no distinction of rank or character; a subject may reproach a king or a criminal judge. To expostulate or remonstrate with is to mingle reasoning and appeal with censure in the hope of winning one from his evil way, expostulate being the gentler, remonstrate the severer word. Admonish is the mildest of reproving words, and may even be used of giving a caution or warning where no wrong is implied, or of simply reminding of duty which might be forgotten. Censure, rebuke, and reprove apply to wrong that has been done; warn and admonish refer to anticipated error or fault. When one is admonished because of wrong already done, the view is still future, that he may not repeat or continue in the wrong. Compare CONDEMN; REPROOF.

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