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

abet, approve, countenance, impel, instigate, applaud, cheer, encourage, incite, urge on.

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REQUITE.

Synonyms:

avenge, punish, remunerate, revenge, compensate, quit, repay, reward, pay, reciprocate, retaliate, satisfy, pay off, recompense, return, settle with.

To repay or to retaliate, to punish or to reward, may be to make some return very inadequate to the benefit or injury received, or the right or wrong done; but to requite (according to its etymology) is to make so full and adequate a return as to quit oneself of all obligation of favor or hostility, of punishment or reward. Requite is often used in the more general sense of recompense or repay, but always with the suggestion, at least, of the original idea of full equivalent; when one speaks of requiting kindness with ingratitude, the expression gains force from the comparison of the actual with the proper and appropriate return. Compare PAY.

Antonyms:

absolve, excuse, forgive, overlook, pass over, acquit, forget, neglect, pardon, slight.

Preposition:

To requite injury with injury is human, but not Christian.

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REST.

Synonyms:

calm, pause, quietness, slumber, calmness, peace, quietude, stay, cessation, peacefulness, recreation, stillness, ease, quiescence, repose, stop, intermission, quiet, sleep, tranquillity.

Ease denotes freedom from cause of disturbance, whether external or internal. Quiet denotes freedom from agitation, or especially from annoying sounds. Rest is a cessation of activity especially of wearying or painful activity. Recreation is some pleasing activity of certain organs or faculties that affords rest to other parts of our nature that have become weary. Repose is a laying down, primarily of the body, and figuratively a similar freedom from toil or strain of mind. Repose is more complete than rest; a pause is a momentary cessation of activity; a black-smith finds a temporary rest while the iron is heating, but he does not yield to repose; in a pause of battle a soldier rests on his arms; after the battle the victor reposes on his laurels. Sleep is the perfection of repose, the most complete rest; slumber is a light and ordinarily pleasant form of sleep. In the figurative sense, rest of mind, soul, conscience, is not mere cessation of activity, but a pleasing, tranquil relief from all painful and wearying activity; repose is even more deep, tranquil, and complete.

Antonyms:

agitation, disturbance, movement, stir, tumult, commotion, excitement, restlessness, strain, unrest, disquiet, motion, rush, toil, work.

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RESTIVE.

Synonyms:

balky, impatient, rebellious, restless, fidgety, intractable, recalcitrant, skittish, fractious, mulish, refractory, stubborn, fretful, mutinous, resentful, unruly, frisky, obstinate, restiff, vicious.

Balky, mulish, obstinate, and stubborn are synonyms of restive only in an infrequent if not obsolete use; the supposed sense of "tending to rest," "standing stubbornly still," is scarcely supported by any examples, and those cited to support that meaning often fail to do so. The disposition to offer active resistance to control by any means whatever is what is commonly indicated by restive in the best English speech and literature. Dryden speaks of "the pampered colt" as "restiff to the rein;" but the rein is not used to propel a horse forward, but to hold him in, and it is against this that he is "restiff." A horse may be made restless by flies or by martial music, but with no refractoriness; the restive animal impatiently resists or struggles to break from control, as by bolting, flinging his rider, or otherwise. With this the metaphorical use of the word agrees, which is always in the sense of such terms as impatient, intractable, rebellious, and the like; a people restive under despotism are not disposed to "rest" under it, but to resist it and fling it off.

Antonyms:

docile, manageable, passive, quiet, tractable, gentle, obedient, peaceable, submissive, yielding.

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RESTRAIN.

Synonyms:

abridge, constrain, hold in, keep under, bridle, curb, keep, repress, check, hinder, keep back, restrict, circumscribe, hold, keep down, suppress, confine, hold back, keep in, withhold.

To restrain is to hold back from acting, proceeding, or advancing, either by physical or moral force. Constrain is positive; restrain is negative; one is constrained to an action; he is restrained from an action. Constrain refers almost exclusively to moral force, restrain frequently to physical force, as when we speak of putting one under restraint. To restrain an action is to hold it partially or wholly in check, so that it is under pressure even while it acts; to restrict an action is to fix a limit or boundary which it may not pass, but within which it is free. To repress, literally to press back, is to hold in check, and perhaps only temporarily, that which is still very active; it is a feebler word than restrain; to suppress is finally and effectually to put down; suppress is a much stronger word than restrain; as, to suppress a rebellion. Compare ARREST; BIND; KEEP.

Antonyms:

aid, arouse, encourage, free, incite, release, animate, emancipate, excite, impel, let loose, set free.

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RETIREMENT.

Synonyms:

loneliness, privacy, seclusion, solitude.

In retirement one withdraws from association he has had with others; we speak of the retirement of a public man to private life, tho he may still be much in company. In seclusion one shuts himself away from the society of all except intimate friends or attendants; in solitude no other person is present. While seclusion is ordinarily voluntary, solitude may be enforced; we speak of the solitude rather than the seclusion of a prisoner. As "private" denotes what concerns ourselves individually, privacy denotes freedom from the presence or observation of those not concerned or whom we desire not to have concerned in our affairs; privacy is more commonly temporary than seclusion; we speak of a moment's privacy. There may be loneliness without solitude, as amid an unsympathizing crowd, and solitude without loneliness, as when one is glad to be alone.

Antonyms:

association, companionship, company, converse, fellowship, society.

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REVELATION.

Synonyms:

apocalypse, disclosure, manifestation.

Revelation (L. re, back, and velum, veil), literally an unveiling, is the act or process of making known what was before secret or hidden, or what may still be future. Apocalypse (Gr. apo, from, and kalypto, cover), literally an uncovering, comes into English as the name of the closing book of the Bible. The Apocalypse unveils the future, as if to the very gaze of the seer; the whole gospel is a disclosure of the mercy of God; the character of Christ is a manifestation of the divine holiness and love; all Scripture is a revelation of the divine will. Or we might say that nature is a manifestation of the divine character and will, of which Scripture is the fuller and more express revelation.

Antonyms:

cloud, concealment, mystery, shrouding, cloudiness, hiding, obscuration, veiling.

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REVENGE.

Synonyms:

avenging, retaliation, retribution, vengeance. requital,

Revenge is the act of making return for an injury done to oneself by doing injury to another person. Retaliation and revenge are personal and often bitter. Retaliation may be partial; revenge is meant to be complete, and may be excessive. Vengeance, which once meant an indignant vindication of justice, now signifies the most furious and unsparing revenge. Revenge emphasizes more the personal injury in return for which it is inflicted, vengeance the ill desert of those upon whom it is inflicted. A requital is strictly an even return, such as to quit one of obligation for what has been received, and even if poor or unworthy is given as complete and adequate. Avenging and retribution give a solemn sense of exact justice, avenging being more personal in its infliction, whether by God or man, and retribution the impersonal visitation of the doom of righteous law. Compare AVENGE; HATRED; REQUITE.

Antonyms:

compassion, forgiveness, mercy, pardon, pity, reconciliation. excuse, grace,

Prepositions:

To take revenge upon the enemy, for the injury.

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REVOLUTION.

Synonyms:

anarchy, insurrection, revolt, confusion, lawlessness, riot, disintegration, mutiny, sedition, disorder, rebellion, tumult. insubordination,

The essential idea of revolution is a change in the form of government or constitution, or a change of rulers, otherwise than as provided by the laws of succession, election, etc.; while such change is apt to involve armed hostilities, these make no necessary part of the revolution. The revolution by which Dom Pedro was dethroned, and Brazil changed from an empire to a republic, was accomplished without a battle, and almost without a shot. Anarchy refers to the condition of a state when human government is superseded or destroyed by factions or other causes. Lawlessness is a temper of mind or condition of the community which may result in anarchy. Confusion, disorder, riot, and tumult are incidental and temporary outbreaks of lawlessness, but may not be anarchy. Insubordination is individual disobedience. Sedition is the plotting, rebellion the fighting, against the existing government, but always with the purpose of establishing some other government in its place. When rebellion is successful it is called revolution; but there may be revolution without rebellion; as, the English Revolution of 1688. A revolt is an uprising against existing authority without the comprehensive views of change in the form or administration of government that are involved in revolution. Anarchy, when more than temporary disorder, is a proposed disintegration of society, in which it is imagined that social order might exist without government. Slaves make insurrection; soldiers or sailors break out in mutiny; subject provinces rise in revolt. Compare SOCIALISM.

Antonyms:

authority, domination, government, obedience, sovereignty, command, dominion, law, order, submission, control, empire, loyalty, rule, supremacy.

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REVOLVE.

Synonyms:

roll, rotate, turn.

Any round body rolls which continuously touches with successive portions of its surface successive portions of another surface; a wagon-wheel rolls along the ground. To rotate is said of a body that has a circular motion about its own center or axis; to revolve is said of a body that moves in a curving path, as a circle or an ellipse, about a center outside of itself, so as to return periodically to the same relative position that it held at some previous time. A revolving body may also either rotate or roll at the same time; the earth revolves around the sun, and rotates on its own axis; in popular usage, the earth is often said to revolve about its own axis, or to have a daily "revolution," but rotate and "rotation" are the more accurate terms. A cylinder over which an endless belt is drawn is said to roll as regards the belt, tho it rotates as regards its own axis. Any object that is in contact with or connected with a rolling body is often said to roll; as, the car rolls smoothly along the track. Objects whose motion approximates or suggests a rotary motion along a supporting surface are also said to roll; as, ocean waves roll in upon the shore, or the ship rolls in the trough of the sea. Turn is a conversational and popular word often used vaguely for rotate or revolve, or for any motion about a fixed point, especially for a motion less than a complete "rotation" or "revolution;" a man turns his head or turns on his heel; the gate turns on its hinges.

Antonyms:

bind, chafe, grind, slide, slip, stand, stick.

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RIDDLE, n.

Synonyms:

conundrum, enigma, paradox, problem, puzzle.

Conundrum, a word of unknown origin, signifies some question or statement in which some hidden and fanciful resemblance is involved, the answer often depending upon a pun; an enigma is a dark saying; a paradox is a true statement that at first appears absurd or contradictory; a problem is something thrown out for solution; puzzle (from oppose) referred originally to the intricate arguments by which disputants opposed each other in the old philosophic schools. The riddle is an ambiguous or paradoxical statement with a hidden meaning to be guessed by the mental acuteness of the one to whom it is proposed; the riddle is not so petty as the conundrum, and may require much acuteness for its answer; a problem may require simply study and scholarship, as a problem in mathematics; a puzzle may be in something other than verbal statement, as a dissected map or any perplexing mechanical contrivance. Both enigma and puzzle may be applied to any matter difficult of answer or solution, enigma conveying an idea of greater dignity, puzzle applying to something more commonplace and mechanical; there are many dark enigmas in human life and in the course of providence; the location of a missing object is often a puzzle.

Antonyms:

answer, axiom, explanation, proposition, solution.

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RIGHT, n.

Synonyms:

claim, franchise, liberty, prerogative, exemption, immunity, license, privilege.

A right is that which one may properly demand upon considerations of justice, morality, equity, or of natural or positive law. A right may be either general or special, natural or artificial. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are the natural and inalienable rights of all men; rights of property, inheritance, etc., are individual and special, and often artificial, as the right of inheritance by primogeniture. A privilege is always special, exceptional, and artificial; it is something not enjoyed by all, or only to be enjoyed on certain special conditions, a peculiar benefit, favor, advantage, etc. A privilege may be of doing or avoiding; in the latter case it is an exemption or immunity; as, a privilege of hunting or fishing; exemption from military service; immunity from arrest. A franchise is a specific right or privilege granted by the government or established as such by governmental authority; as, the elective franchise; a railroad franchise. A prerogative is an official right or privilege, especially one inherent in the royal or sovereign power; in a wider sense it is an exclusive and peculiar privilege which one possesses by reason of being what he is; as, reason is the prerogative of man; kings and nobles have often claimed prerogatives and privileges opposed to the inherent rights of the people. Compare DUTY; JUSTICE.

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RISE.

Synonyms:

arise, ascend, emanate, flow, issue, proceed, spring.

To rise is to move up or upward whether slowly or quickly, whether through the least or greatest distance; the waves rise; the mists rise; the river rises after heavy rains; as said of persons, to rise is to come to an erect position after kneeling, sitting, reclining, or lying down; as, to rise from a sick-bed; my friend rose as I entered; the guests rose to depart; so a deliberative assembly or a committee is said to rise when it breaks up a session; a sun or star rises when to our apprehension it comes above the horizon and begins to go up the sky. To ascend is to go far upward, and is often used in a stately sense; as, Christ ascended to heaven. The shorter form rise is now generally preferred to the longer form arise, except in poetic or elevated style. The sun rises or arises; the river springs at a bound from the foot of the glacier and flows through the lands to the ocean. Smoke issues from a chimney and ascends toward the sky. Light and heat emanate from the sun.

Antonyms:

decline, descend, drop, fall, go down, set, settle, sink.

Prepositions:

Rise from slumber; rise to duty; rise at the summons; we rose with the lark.

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ROBBER.

Synonyms:

bandit, depredator, freebooter, pirate, brigand, despoiler, highwayman, plunderer, buccaneer, footpad, marauder, raider, burglar, forager, pillager, thief.

A robber seeks to obtain the property of others by force or intimidation; a thief by stealth and secrecy. In early English thief was freely used in both senses, as in Shakespeare and the Authorized Version of the English Bible, which has "two thieves" (Matt. xxvii, 38), where the Revised Version more correctly substitutes "two robbers."

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ROYAL.

Synonyms:

august, kingly, majestic, princely, kinglike, magnificent, munificent, regal.

Royal denotes that which actually belongs or pertains to a monarch; the royal residence is that which the king occupies, royal raiment that which the king wears. Regal denotes that which in outward state is appropriate for a king; a subject may assume regal magnificence in residence, dress, and equipage. Kingly denotes that which is worthy of a king in personal qualities, especially of character and conduct; as, a kingly bearing; a kingly resolve. Princely is especially used of treasure, expenditure, gifts, etc., as princely munificence, a princely fortune, where regal could not so well be used and royal would change the sense. The distinctions between these words are not absolute, but the tendency of the best usage is as here suggested.

Antonyms:

beggarly, contemptible, mean, poor, servile, slavish, vile.

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RUSTIC.

Synonyms:

agricultural, coarse, pastoral, uncouth, artless, countrified, plain, unpolished, awkward, country, rude, unsophisticated, boorish, hoidenish, rural, untaught, bucolic, inelegant, sylvan, verdant. clownish, outlandish,

Rural and rustic are alike derived from the Latin rus, country, and may be alike defined as pertaining to, characteristic of, or dwelling in the country; but in usage rural refers especially to scenes or objects in the country, considered as the work of nature; rustic refers to their effect upon man or to their condition as affected by human agency; as, a rural scene; a rustic party; a rustic lass. We speak, however, of the rural population, rural simplicity, etc. Rural has always a favorable sense; rustic frequently an unfavorable one, as denoting a lack of culture and refinement; thus, rustic politeness expresses that which is well-meant, but awkward; similar ideas are suggested by a rustic feast, rustic garb, etc. Rustic is, however, often used of a studied simplicity, an artistic rudeness, which is pleasing and perhaps beautiful; as, a rustic cottage; a rustic chair. Pastoral refers to the care of flocks, and to the shepherd's life with the pleasing associations suggested by the old poetic ideal of that life; as, pastoral poetry. Bucolic is kindred to pastoral, but is a less elevated term, and sometimes slightly contemptuous.

Antonyms:

accomplished, cultured, polished, refined, urbane, city-like, elegant, polite, urban, well-bred.

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SACRAMENT.

Synonyms:

ceremony, eucharist, observance, rite, solemnity. communion, Lord's Supper, ordinance, service,

Any religious act, especially a public act, viewed as a means of serving God is called a service; the word commonly includes the entire series of exercises of a single occasion of public worship. A religious service ordained as an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace is called a sacrament. Ceremony is a form expressing reverence, or at least respect; we may speak of religious ceremonies, the ceremonies of polite society, the ceremonies of a coronation, an inauguration, etc. An observance has more than a formal obligation, reaching or approaching a religious sacredness; a stated religious observance, viewed as established by authority, is called an ordinance; viewed as an established custom, it is a rite. The terms sacrament and ordinance, in the religious sense, are often used interchangeably; the ordinance derives its sacredness from the authority that ordained it, while the sacrament possesses a sacredness due to something in itself, even when viewed simply as a representation or memorial. The Lord's Supper is the Scriptural name for the observance commemorating the death of Christ; the word communion is once applied to it (1 Cor. x, 16), but not as a distinctive name; at an early period, however, the name communion was so applied, as denoting the communing of Christians with their Lord, or with one another. The term eucharist describes the Lord's Supper as a thanksgiving service; it is also called by preeminence the sacrament, as the ratifying of a solemn vow of consecration to Christ.

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SAGACIOUS.

Synonyms:

able, intelligent, perspicacious, sensible, acute, keen, quick of scent, sharp, apt, keen-sighted, quick-scented, sharp-witted, clear-sighted, keen-witted, rational, shrewd, discerning, judicious, sage, wise.

Sagacious refers to a power of tracing the hidden or recondite by slight indications, as by instinct or intuition; it is not now applied to mere keenness of sense-perception. We do not call a hound sagacious in following a clear trail; but if he loses the scent, as at the edge of a stream, and circles around till he strikes it again, his conduct is said to be sagacious. In human affairs sagacious refers to a power of ready, far-reaching, and accurate inference from observed facts perhaps in themselves very slight, that seems like a special sense; or to a similar readiness to foresee the results of any action, especially upon human motives or conduct—a kind of prophetic common sense. Sagacious is a broader and nobler word than shrewd, and not capable of the invidious sense which the latter word often bears; on the other hand, sagacious is less lofty and comprehensive than wise in its full sense, and more limited to matters of direct practical moment. Compare ASTUTE; WISDOM.

Antonyms:

absurd, futile, obtuse, silly, sottish, undiscerning, dull, ignorant, senseless, simple, stupid, unintelligent. foolish, irrational,

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SALE.

Synonyms:

bargain, barter, change, deal, exchange, trade.

A bargain is strictly an agreement or contract to buy and sell, tho the word is often used to denote the entire transaction and also as a designation for the thing sold or purchased. Change and exchange are words of wider signification, applying only incidentally to the transfer of property or value; a change secures something different in any way or by any means; an exchange secures something as an equivalent or return, tho not necessarily as payment for what is given. Barter is the exchange of one commodity for another, the word being used generally with reference to portable commodities. Trade in the broad sense may apply to vast businesses (as the book-trade), but as denoting a single transaction is used chiefly in regard to things of moderate value, when it becomes nearly synonymous with barter. Sale is commonly, and with increasing strictness, limited to the transfer of property for money, or for something estimated at a money value or considered as equivalent to so much money in hand or to be paid. A deal in the political sense is a bargain, substitution, or transfer for the benefit of certain persons or parties against all others; as, the nomination was the result of a deal; in business it may have a similar meaning, but it frequently signifies simply a sale or exchange, a dealing; as, a heavy deal in stocks.

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SAMPLE.

Synonyms:

case, exemplification, instance, example, illustration, specimen.

A sample is a portion taken at random out of a quantity supposed to be homogeneous, so that the qualities found in the sample may reasonably be expected to be found in the whole; as, a sample of sugar; a sample of cloth. A specimen is one unit of a series, or a fragment of a mass, all of which is supposed to possess the same essential qualities; as, a specimen of coinage, or of architecture, or a specimen of quartz. No other unit or portion may be exactly like the specimen, while all the rest is supposed to be exactly like the sample. An instance is a sample or specimen of action. Compare EXAMPLE.

Antonyms:

abnormality, aggregate, exception, monstrosity, total, whole.

* * * * *

SATISFY.

Synonyms:

cloy, fill, sate, suffice, content, glut, satiate, surfeit.

To satisfy is to furnish just enough to meet physical, mental, or spiritual desire. To sate or satiate is to gratify desire so fully as for a time to extinguish it. To cloy or surfeit is to gratify to the point of revulsion or disgust. Glut is a strong but somewhat coarse word applied to the utmost satisfaction of vehement appetites and passions; as, to glut a vengeful spirit with slaughter; we speak of glutting the market with a supply so excessive as to extinguish the demand. Much less than is needed to satisfy may suffice a frugal or abstemious person; less than a sufficiency may content one of a patient and submissive spirit. Compare PAY; REQUITE.

Antonyms:

check, disappoint, restrain, starve, straiten, deny, refuse, restrict, stint, tantalize.

Prepositions:

Satisfy with food, with gifts, etc.; satisfy one (in the sense of make satisfaction) for labors and sacrifices; satisfy oneself by or upon inquiry.

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SCHOLAR.

Synonyms:

disciple, learner, pupil, savant, student.

The primary sense of a scholar is one who is being schooled; thence the word passes to denote one who is apt in school work, and finally one who is thoroughly schooled, master of what the schools can teach, an erudite, accomplished person: when used without qualification, the word is generally understood in this latter sense; as, he is manifestly a scholar. Pupil signifies one under the close personal supervision or instruction of a teacher or tutor. Those under instruction in schools below the academic grade are technically and officially termed pupils. The word pupil is uniformly so used in the Reports of the Commissioner of Education of the United States, but popular American usage prefers scholar in the original sense; as, teachers and scholars enjoyed a holiday. Those under instruction in Sunday-schools are uniformly designated as Sunday-school scholars. Student is applied to those in the higher grades or courses of study, as the academic, collegiate, scientific, etc. Student suggests less proficiency than scholar in the highest sense, the student being one who is learning, the scholar one who has learned. On the other hand, student suggests less of personal supervision than pupil; thus, the college student often becomes the private pupil of some instructor in special studies. For disciple, etc., compare synonyms for ADHERENT.

Antonyms:

dunce, fool, idiot, idler, ignoramus, illiterate person.

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SCIENCE.

Synonyms:

art, knowledge.

Knowledge of a single fact, not known as related to any other, or of many facts not known as having any mutual relations or as comprehended under any general law, does not reach the meaning of science; science is knowledge reduced to law and embodied in system. The knowledge of various countries gathered by an observant traveler may be a heterogeneous medley of facts, which gain real value only when coordinated and arranged by the man of science. Art always relates to something to be done, science to something to be known. Not only must art be discriminated from science, but art in the industrial or mechanical sense must be distinguished from art in the esthetic sense; the former aims chiefly at utility, the latter at beauty. The mechanic arts are the province of the artisan, the esthetic or fine arts are the province of the artist; all the industrial arts, as of weaving or printing, arithmetic or navigation, are governed by exact rules. Art in the highest esthetic sense, while it makes use of rules, transcends all rule; no rules can be given for the production of a painting like Raffael's "Transfiguration," a statue like the Apollo Belvedere, or a poem like the Iliad. Science does not, like the mechanic arts, make production its direct aim, yet its possible productive application in the arts is a constant stimulus to scientific investigation; the science, as in the case of chemistry or electricity, is urged on to higher development by the demands of the art, while the art is perfected by the advance of the science. Creative art seeking beauty for its own sake is closely akin to pure science seeking knowledge for its own sake. Compare KNOWLEDGE; LITERATURE.

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SECURITY.

Synonyms:

bail, earnest, gage, pledge, surety.

The first four words agree in denoting something given or deposited as an assurance of something to be given, paid, or done. An earnest is of the same kind as that to be given, a portion of it delivered in advance, as when part of the purchase-money is paid, according to the common expression, "to bind the bargain." A pledge or security may be wholly different in kind from that to be given or paid, and may greatly exceed it in value. Security may be of real or personal property—anything of sufficient value to make the creditor secure; a pledge is always of personal property or chattels. Every pawnshop contains unredeemed pledges; land, merchandise, bonds, etc., are frequently offered and accepted as security. A person may become security or surety for another's payment of a debt, appearance in court, etc.; in the latter case, he is said to become bail for that person; the person accused gives bail for himself. Gage survives only as a literary word, chiefly in certain phrases; as, "the gage of battle."

Prepositions:

Security for the payment of a debt; security to the state, for the prisoner, in the sum of a thousand dollars.

* * * * *

SELF-ABNEGATION.

Synonyms:

self-control, self-devotion, self-renunciation, self-denial, self-immolation, self-sacrifice.

Self-control is holding oneself within due limits in pleasures and duties, as in all things else; self-denial, the giving up of pleasures for the sake of duty. Self-renunciation surrenders conscious rights and claims; self-abnegation forgets that there is anything to surrender. There have been devotees who practised very little self-denial with very much self-renunciation. A mother will care for a sick child with complete self-abnegation, but without a thought of self-denial. Self-devotion is heart-consecration of self to a person or cause with readiness for any needed sacrifice. Self-sacrifice is the strongest and completest term of all, and contemplates the gift of self as actually made. We speak of the self-sacrifice of Christ, where any other of the above terms would be feeble or inappropriate.

Antonyms:

self-gratification, selfishness, self-seeking, self-will. self-indulgence,

* * * * *

SEND.

Synonyms:

cast, despatch, emit, impel, propel, dart, discharge, fling, lance, sling, delegate, dismiss, forward, launch, throw, depute, drive, hurl, project, transmit.

To send is to cause to go or pass from one place to another, and always in fact or thought away from the agent or agency that controls the act. Send in its most common use involves personal agency without personal presence; according to the adage, "If you want your business done, go; if not, send;" one sends a letter or a bullet, a messenger or a message. In all the derived uses this same idea controls; if one sends a ball into his own heart, the action is away from the directing hand, and he is viewed as the passive recipient of his own act; it is with an approach to personification that we speak of the bow sending the arrow, or the gun the shot. To despatch is to send hastily or very promptly, ordinarily with a destination in view; to dismiss is to send away from oneself without reference to a destination; as, to dismiss a clerk, an application, or an annoying subject. To discharge is to send away so as to relieve a person or thing of a load; we discharge a gun or discharge the contents; as applied to persons, discharge is a harsher term than dismiss. To emit is to send forth from within, with no reference to a destination; as, the sun emits light and heat. Transmit, from the Latin, is a dignified term, often less vigorous than the Saxon send, but preferable at times in literary or scientific use; as, to transmit the crown, or the feud, from generation to generation; to transmit a charge of electricity. Transmit fixes the attention more on the intervening agency, as send does upon the points of departure and destination.

Antonyms:

bring, convey, give, hold, receive, carry, get, hand, keep, retain.

Prepositions:

To send from the hand to or toward (rarely at) a mark; send to a friend by a messenger or by mail; send a person into banishment; send a shell among the enemy.

* * * * *

SENSATION.

Synonyms:

emotion, feeling, perception, sense.

Sensation is the mind's consciousness due to a bodily affection, as of heat or cold; perception is the cognition of some external object which is the cause or occasion of the sensation; the sensation of heat may be connected with the perception of a fire. While sensations are connected with the body, emotions, as joy, grief, etc., are wholly of the mind. "As the most of them [the sensations] are positively agreeable or the opposite, they are nearly akin to those emotions, as hope or terror, or those passions, as anger and envy, which are acknowledged by all to belong exclusively to the spirit, and to involve no relation whatever to matter or the bodily organism. Such feelings are not infrequently styled sensations, though improperly." PORTER Human Intellect Sec. 112, p. 128. [S. '90.] Feeling is a general term popularly denoting what is felt, whether through the body or by the mind alone, and includes both sensation and emotion. A sense is an organ or faculty of sensation or of perception.

* * * * *

SENSIBILITY.

Synonyms:

feeling, impressibility, sensitiveness, susceptibility.

Sensibility in the philosophical sense, denotes the capacity of emotion or feeling, as distinguished from the intellect and the will. (Compare synonyms for SENSATION.) In popular use sensibility denotes sometimes capacity of feeling of any kind; as, sensibility to heat or cold; sometimes, a peculiar readiness to be the subject of feeling, especially of the higher feelings; as, the sensibility of the artist or the poet; a person of great or fine sensibility. Sensitiveness denotes an especial delicacy of sensibility, ready to be excited by the slightest cause, as displayed, for instance, in the "sensitive-plant." Susceptibility is rather a capacity to take up, receive, and, as it were, to contain feeling, so that a person of great susceptibility is capable of being not only readily but deeply moved; sensitiveness is more superficial, susceptibility more pervading. Thus, in physics, the sensitiveness of a magnetic needle is the ease with which it may be deflected, as by another magnet; its susceptibility is the degree to which it can be magnetized by a given magnetic force or the amount of magnetism it will hold. So a person of great sensitiveness is quickly and keenly affected by any external influence, as by music, pathos, or ridicule, while a person of great susceptibility is not only touched, but moved to his inmost soul.

Antonyms:

coldness, hardness, insensibility, numbness, unconsciousness. deadness,

Prepositions:

The sensibility of the organism to atmospheric changes.

* * * * *

SEVERE.

Synonyms:

austere, inflexible, rigorous, uncompromising, hard, morose, stern, unmitigated, harsh, relentless, stiff, unrelenting, inexorable, rigid, strict, unyielding.

That is severe which is devoid of all softness, mildness, tenderness, indulgence or levity, or (in literature and art) devoid of unnecessary ornament, amplification, or embellishment of any kind; as, a severe style; as said of anything painful, severe signifies such as heavily taxes endurance or resisting power; as, a severe pain, fever, or winter. Rigid signifies primarily stiff, resisting any effort to change its shape; a corpse is said to be rigid in death; hence, in metaphorical sense, a rigid person or character is one that resists all efforts to change the will or course of conduct; a rigid rule or statement is one that admits of no deviation. Rigorous is nearly akin to rigid, but is a stronger word, having reference to action or active qualities, as rigid does to state or character; a rigid rule may be rigorously enforced. Strict (L. stringo, bind) signifies bound or stretched tight, tense, strenuously exact. Stern unites harshness and authority with strictness or severity; stern, as said even of inanimate objects, suggests something authoritative or forbidding. Austere signifies severely simple or temperate, strict in self-restraint or discipline, and similarly unrelenting toward others. We speak of austere morality, rigid rules, rigorous discipline, stern commands, severe punishment, harsh speech or a harsh voice, hard requirements, strict injunctions, and strict obedience. Strict discipline holds one exactly and unflinchingly to the rule; rigorous discipline punishes severely any infraction of it. The austere character is seldom lovely, but it is always strong and may be grand, commanding, and estimable.

Antonyms:

affable, easy, gentle, lenient, pliable, sweet, tractable, bland, genial, indulgent, mild, soft, tender, yielding.

* * * * *

SHAKE.

Synonyms:

agitate, jar, quake, shiver, totter, brandish, joggle, quaver, shudder, tremble, flap, jolt, quiver, sway, vibrate, fluctuate, jounce, reel, swing, wave, flutter, oscillate, rock, thrill, waver.

A thing is shaken which is subjected to short and abruptly checked movements, as forward and backward, up and down, from side to side, etc. A tree is "shaken with a mighty wind;" a man slowly shakes his head. A thing rocks that is sustained from below; it swings if suspended from above, as a pendulum, or pivoted at the side, as a crane or a bridge-draw; to oscillate is to swing with a smooth and regular returning motion; a vibrating motion may be tremulous or jarring. The pendulum of a clock may be said to swing, vibrate, or oscillate; a steel bridge vibrates under the passage of a heavy train; the term vibrate is also applied to molecular movements. Jolting is a lifting from and letting down suddenly upon an unyielding surface; as, a carriage jolts over a rough road. A jarring motion is abruptly and very rapidly repeated through an exceedingly limited space; the jolting of the carriage jars the windows. Rattling refers directly to the sound produced by shaking. To joggle is to shake slightly; as, a passing touch joggles the desk on which one is writing. A thing trembles that shakes perceptibly and with an appearance of uncertainty and instability, as a person under the influence of fear; a thing shivers when all its particles are stirred with a slight but pervading tremulous motion, as a human body under the influence of cold; shuddering is a more pronounced movement of a similar kind, in human beings often the effect of emotional or moral recoil; hence, the word is applied by extension to such feelings even when they have no such outward manifestation; as, one says, "I shudder at the thought." To quiver is to have slight and often spasmodic contractile motions, as the flesh under the surgeon's knife. Thrill is applied to a pervasive movement felt rather than seen; as, the nerves thrill with delight; quiver is similarly used, but suggests somewhat more of outward manifestation. To agitate in its literal use is nearly the same as to shake, tho we speak of the sea as agitated when we could not say it is shaken; the Latin agitate is preferred in scientific or technical use to the Saxon shake, and especially as applied to the action of mechanical contrivances; in the metaphorical use agitate is more transitory and superficial, shake more fundamental and enduring; a person's feelings are agitated by distressing news; his courage, his faith, his credit, or his testimony is shaken. Sway applies to the movement of a body suspended from above or not firmly sustained from below, and the motion of which is less pronounced than swinging, smoother than vibrating, and not necessarily constant as oscillating; as, the swaying of a reed in the wind. Sway used transitively especially applies to motions of grace or dignity; brandish denotes a threatening or hostile motion; a monarch sways the scepter; the ruffian brandishes a club. To reel or totter always implies liability to fall; reeling is more violent than swaying, tottering more irregular; a drunken man reels; we speak of the tottering step of age or infancy. An extended mass which seems to lack solidity or cohesion is said to quake; as, a quaking bog. Quaver is applied almost exclusively to tremulous sounds of the human voice. Flap, flutter, and fluctuate refer to wave-like movements, flap generally to such as produce a sharp sound; a cock flaps his wings; flutter applies to a less pronounced and more irregular motion; a captive bird or a feeble pulse flutters. Compare FLUCTUATE.

* * * * *

SHELTER.

Synonyms:

cover, guard, protect, shield, defend, harbor, screen, ward.

Anything is covered over which something is completely extended; a vessel is covered with a lid; the head is covered with a hat. That which covers may also defend or protect; thus, troops interposed between some portion of their own army and the enemy are often called a covering party. To shelter is to cover so as to protect from injury or annoyance; as, the roof shelters from the storm; woods shelter from the heat. To defend (L. defendere, to strike away) implies the actual, protect (L. protegere, to cover before) implies the possible use of force or resisting power; guard implies sustained vigilance with readiness for conflict; we defend a person or thing against actual attack; we guard or protect against possible assault or injury. A powerful person may protect one who is weak by simply declaring himself his friend; he defends him by some form of active championship. An inanimate object may protect, as a garment from cold; defend is used but rarely, and by somewhat violent metaphor, in such connection. Protect is more complete than guard or defend; an object may be faithfully guarded or bravely defended in vain, but that which is protected is secure. To shield is to interpose something over or before that which is assailed, so as to save from harm, and has a comparatively passive sense; one may guard another by standing armed at his side, defend him by fighting for him, or shield him from a missile or a blow by interposing his own person. Harbor is generally used in an unfavorable sense; confederates or sympathizers harbor a criminal; a person harbors evil thoughts or designs. See CHERISH. Compare synonyms for HIDE; DEFENSE.

Antonyms:

betray, expel, expose, give up, refuse, reject, surrender. cast out,

Prepositions:

Shelter under a roof from the storm; in the fortress, behind or within the walls, from attack.

* * * * *

SIGN.

Synonyms:

emblem, mark, presage, symbol, token, indication, note, prognostic, symptom, type. manifestation, omen, signal,

A sign (L. signum) is any distinctive mark by which a thing may be recognized or its presence known, and may be intentional or accidental, natural or artificial, suggestive, descriptive, or wholly arbitrary; thus, a blush may be a sign of shame; the footprint of an animal is a sign that it has passed; the sign of a business house now usually declares what is done or kept within, but formerly might be an object having no connection with the business, as "the sign of the trout;" the letters of the alphabet are signs of certain sounds. While a sign may be involuntary, and even unconscious, a signal is always voluntary, and is usually concerted; a ship may show signs of distress to the casual observer, but signals of distress are a distinct appeal for aid. A symptom is a vital phenomenon resulting from a diseased condition; in medical language a sign is an indication of any physical condition, whether morbid or healthy; thus, a hot skin and rapid pulse are symptoms of pneumonia; dulness of some portion of the lungs under percussion is one of the physical signs. Compare AUGUR; CHARACTERISTIC; EMBLEM.

* * * * *

SIN.

Synonyms:

crime, fault, misdeed, vice, criminality, guilt, offense, viciousness, delinquency, ill-doing, transgression, wickedness, depravity, immorality, ungodliness, wrong, evil, iniquity, unrighteousness, wrong-doing.

Sin is any lack of holiness, any defect of moral purity and truth, whether in heart or life, whether of commission or omission. "All unrighteousness is sin," 1 John v, 17. Transgression, as its etymology indicates, is the stepping over a specific enactment, whether of God or man, ordinarily by overt act, but in the broadest sense, in volition or desire. Sin may be either act or state; transgression is always an act, mental or physical. Crime is often used for a flagrant violation of right, but in the technical sense denotes specific violation of human law. Guilt is desert of and exposure to punishment because of sin. Depravity denotes not any action, but a perverted moral condition from which any act of sin may proceed. Sin in the generic sense, as denoting a state of heart, is synonymous with depravity; in the specific sense, as in the expression a sin, the term may be synonymous with transgression, crime, offense, misdeed, etc., or may denote some moral activity that could not be characterized by terms so positive. Immorality denotes outward violation of the moral law. Sin is thus the broadest word, and immorality next in scope; all crimes, properly so called, and all immoralities, are sins; but there may be sin, as ingratitude, which is neither crime, transgression, nor immorality; and there may be immorality which is not crime, as falsehood. Compare CRIMINAL.

Antonyms:

blamelessness, goodness, integrity, rectitude, sinlessness, excellence, holiness, morality, right, uprightness, godliness, innocence, purity, righteousness, virtue.

Compare synonyms for VIRTUE.

* * * * *

SING.

Synonyms:

carol, chant, chirp, chirrup, hum, warble.

To sing is primarily and ordinarily to utter a succession of articulate musical sounds with the human voice. The word has come to include any succession of musical sounds; we say the bird or the rivulet sings; we speak of "the singing quality" of an instrument, and by still wider extension of meaning we say the teakettle or the cricket sings. To chant is to sing in solemn and somewhat uniform cadence; chant is ordinarily applied to non-metrical religious compositions. To carol is to sing joyously, and to warble (kindred with whirl) is to sing with trills or quavers, usually also with the idea of joy. Carol and warble are especially applied to the singing of birds. To chirp is to utter a brief musical sound, perhaps often repeated in the same key, as by certain small birds, insects, etc. To chirrup is to utter a somewhat similar sound; the word is often used of a brief, sharp sound uttered as a signal to animate or rouse a horse or other animal. To hum is to utter murmuring sounds with somewhat monotonous musical cadence, usually with closed lips; we speak also of the hum of machinery, etc.

* * * * *

SKEPTIC.

Synonyms:

agnostic, deist, doubter, infidel, unbeliever. atheist, disbeliever, freethinker,

The skeptic doubts divine revelation; the disbeliever and the unbeliever reject it, the disbeliever with more of intellectual dissent, the unbeliever (in the common acceptation) with indifference or with opposition of heart as well as of intellect. Infidel is an opprobrious term that might once almost have been said to be geographical in its range. The Crusaders called all Mohammedans infidels, and were so called by them in return; the word is commonly applied to any decided opponent of an accepted religion. The atheist denies that there is a God; the deist admits the existence of God, but denies that the Christian Scriptures are a revelation from him; the agnostic denies either that we do know or that we can know whether there is a God.

Antonyms:

believer, Christian.

* * * * *

SKETCH.

Synonyms:

brief, draft, outline, plan, design, drawing, picture, skeleton.

A sketch is a rough, suggestive presentation of anything, whether graphic or literary, commonly intended to be preliminary to a more complete or extended treatment. An outline gives only the bounding or determining lines of a figure or a scene; a sketch may give not only lines, but shading and color, but is hasty and incomplete. The lines of a sketch are seldom so full and continuous as those of an outline, being, like the shading or color, little more than indications or suggestions according to which a finished picture may be made; the artist's first representation of a sunset, the hues of which change so rapidly, must of necessity be a sketch. Draft and plan apply especially to mechanical drawing, of which outline, sketch, and drawing are also used; a plan is strictly a view from above, as of a building or machine, giving the lines of a horizontal section, originally at the level of the ground, now in a wider sense at any height; as, a plan of the cellar; a plan of the attic. A mechanical drawing is always understood to be in full detail; a draft is an incomplete or unfinished drawing; a design is such a preliminary sketch as indicates the object to be accomplished or the result to be attained, and is understood to be original. One may make a drawing of any well-known mechanism, or a drawing from another man's design; but if he says, "The design is mine," he claims it as his own invention or composition. In written composition an outline gives simply the main divisions, and in the case of a sermon is often called a skeleton; a somewhat fuller suggestion of illustration, treatment, and style is given in a sketch. A lawyer's brief is a succinct statement of the main facts involved in a case, and of the main heads of his argument on points of law, with reference to authorities cited; the brief has none of the vagueness of a sketch, being sufficiently exact and complete to form, on occasion, the basis for the decision of the court without oral argument, when the case is said to be "submitted on brief." Compare DESIGN.

* * * * *

SKILFUL.

Synonyms:

accomplished, apt, dexterous, happy, proficient, adept, clever, expert, ingenious, skilled, adroit, deft, handy, practised, trained.

Skilful signifies possessing and using readily practical knowledge and ability, having alert and well-trained faculties with reference to a given work. One is adept in that for which he has a natural gift improved by practise; he is expert in that of which training, experience, and study have given him a thorough mastery; he is dexterous in that which he can do effectively, with or without training, especially in work of the hand or bodily activities. In the case of the noun, "an expert" denotes one who is "experienced" in the fullest sense, a master of his branch of knowledge. A skilled workman is one who has thoroughly learned his trade, though he may be naturally quite dull; a skilful workman has some natural brightness, ability, and power of adaptation, in addition to his acquired knowledge and dexterity. Compare CLEVER; DEXTERITY; POWER.

Antonyms:

awkward, clumsy, inexpert, shiftless, unskilled, untrained. bungling, helpless, maladroit, unhandy, untaught,

Prepositions:

Skilful at or in a work, with a pen or tool of any kind.

* * * * *

SLANDER.

Synonyms:

asperse, decry, disparage, revile, backbite, defame, libel, traduce, calumniate, depreciate, malign, vilify.

To slander a person is to utter a false and injurious report concerning him; to defame is specifically and directly to attack one's reputation; to defame by spoken words is to slander, by written words, to libel. To asperse is, as it were, to bespatter with injurious charges; to malign is to circulate studied and malicious attacks upon character; to traduce is to exhibit one's real or assumed traits in an odious light; to revile or vilify is to attack with vile abuse. To disparage is to represent one's admitted good traits or acts as less praiseworthy than they would naturally be thought to be, as for instance, by ascribing a man's benevolence to a desire for popularity or display. To libel or slander is to make an assault upon character and repute that comes within the scope of law; the slander is uttered, the libel written, printed, or pictured. To backbite is to speak something secretly to one's injury; to calumniate is to invent as well as utter the injurious charge. One may "abuse," "assail," or vilify another to his face; he asperses, calumniates, slanders, or traduces him behind his back.

Antonyms:

defend, eulogize, extol, laud, praise, vindicate.

* * * * *

SLANG.

Synonyms:

cant, colloquialism, vulgarism, vulgarity.

A colloquialism is an expression not coarse or low, and perhaps not incorrect, but below the literary grade; educated persons are apt to allow themselves some colloquialisms in familiar conversation, which they would avoid in writing or public speaking. Slang, in the primary sense, denotes expressions that are either coarse and rude in themselves or chiefly current among the coarser and ruder part of the community; there are also many expressions current in special senses in certain communities that may be characterized as slang; as, college slang; club slang; racing slang. In the evolution of language many words originally slang are adopted by good writers and speakers, and ultimately take their place as accepted English. A vulgarism is an expression decidedly incorrect, and the use of which is a mark of ignorance or low breeding. Cant, as used in this connection, denotes the barbarous jargon used as a secret language by thieves, tramps, etc. Compare DICTION; LANGUAGE.

* * * * *

SLOW.

Synonyms:

dawdling, dilatory, gradual, lingering, slack, delaying, drowsy, inactive, moderate, sluggish, deliberate, dull, inert, procrastinating, tardy.

Slow signifies moving through a relatively short distance, or with a relatively small number of motions in a given time; slow also applies to that which is a relatively long while in beginning or accomplishing something; a watch or a clock is said to be slow when its indications are behind those of the standard time. Tardy is applied to that which is behind the proper or desired time, especially in doing a work or arriving at a place. Deliberate and dilatory are used of persons, tho the latter may be used also of things, as of a stream; a person is deliberate who takes a noticeably long time to consider and decide before acting or who acts or speaks as if he were deliberating at every point; a person is dilatory who lays aside, or puts off as long as possible, necessary or required action; both words may be applied either to undertaking or to doing. Gradual (L. gradus, a step) signifies advancing by steps, and refers to slow but regular and sure progression. Slack refers to action that seems to indicate a lack of tension, as of muscle or of will, sluggish to action that seems as if reluctant to advance.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for NIMBLE.

* * * * *

SNEER.

Synonyms:

fling, gibe, jeer, mock, scoff, taunt.

A sneer may be simply a contemptuous facial contortion, or it may be some brief satirical utterance that throws a contemptuous side-light on what it attacks without attempting to prove or disprove; a depreciatory implication may be given in a sneer such as could only be answered by elaborate argument or proof, which would seem to give the attack undue importance:

Who can refute a sneer?

PALEY Moral Philosophy bk. v, ch. ix.

A fling is careless and commonly pettish; a taunt is intentionally insulting and provoking; the sneer is supercilious; the taunt is defiant. The jeer and gibe are uttered; the gibe is bitter, and often sly or covert; the jeer is rude and open. A scoff may be in act or word, and is commonly directed against that which claims honor, reverence, or worship. Compare BANTER.

Preposition:

Only an essentially vicious mind is capable of a sneer at virtue.

* * * * *

SOCIALISM.

Synonyms:

collectivism, communism, fabianism.

Socialism, as defined by its advocates, is a theory of civil polity that aims to secure the reconstruction of society, increase of wealth, and a more equal distribution of the products of labor through the public collective ownership of land and capital (as distinguished from property), and the public collective management of all industries. Its aim is extended industrial cooperation; socialism is a purely economic term, applying to landownership and productive capital. Many socialists call themselves collectivists, and their system collectivism. Communism would divide all things, including the profits of individual labor, among members of the community; many of its advocates would abolish marriage and the family relation. Anarchism is properly an antonym of socialism, as it would destroy, by violence if necessary, all existing government and social order, leaving the future to determine what, if anything, should be raised upon their ruins.

* * * * *

SOUND.

Synonyms:

noise, note, tone.

Sound is the sensation produced through the organs of hearing or the physical cause of this sensation. Sound is the most comprehensive word of this group, applying to anything that is audible. Tone is sound considered as having some musical quality or as expressive of some feeling; noise is sound considered without reference to musical quality or as distinctly unmusical or discordant. Thus, in the most general sense noise and sound scarcely differ, and we say almost indifferently, "I heard a sound," or "I heard a noise." We speak of a fine, musical, or pleasing sound, but never thus of a noise. In music, tone may denote either a musical sound or the interval between two such sounds, but in the most careful usage the latter is now distinguished as the "interval," leaving tone to stand only for the sound. Note in music strictly denotes the character representing a sound, but in loose popular usage it denotes the sound also, and becomes practically equivalent to tone. Aside from its musical use, tone is chiefly applied to that quality of the human voice by which feeling is expressed; as, he spoke in a cheery tone; the word is similarly applied to the voices of birds and other animals, and sometimes to inanimate objects. As used of a musical instrument, tone denotes the general quality of its sounds collectively considered.

* * * * *

SPEAK.

Synonyms:

announce, converse, discourse, say, articulate, declaim, enunciate, talk, chat, declare, express, tell, chatter, deliver, pronounce, utter.

To utter is to give forth as an audible sound, articulate or not. To talk is to utter a succession of connected words, ordinarily with the expectation of being listened to. To speak is to give articulate utterance even to a single word; the officer speaks the word of command, but does not talk it. To speak is also to utter words with the ordinary intonation, as distinguished from singing. To chat is ordinarily to utter in a familiar, conversational way; to chatter is to talk in an empty, ceaseless way like a magpie.

Prepositions:

Speak to (address) a person; speak with a person (converse with him); speak of or about a thing (make it the subject of remark); speak on or upon a subject; in parliamentary language, speak to the question.

* * * * *

SPEECH.

Synonyms:

address, dissertation, oration, speaking, discourse, harangue, oratory, talk, disquisition, language, sermon, utterance.

Speech is the general word for utterance of thought in language. A speech may be the delivering of one's sentiments in the simplest way; an oration is an elaborate and prepared speech; a harangue is a vehement appeal to passion, or a speech that has something disputatious and combative in it. A discourse is a set speech on a definite subject, intended to convey instruction. Compare CONVERSATION; DICTION; LANGUAGE.

Antonyms:

hush, silence, speechlessness, stillness, taciturnity.

* * * * *

SPONTANEOUS.

Synonyms:

automatic, impulsive, involuntary, voluntary, free, instinctive, unbidden, willing.

That is spontaneous which is freely done, with no external compulsion and, in human actions, without special premeditation or distinct determination of the will; that is voluntary which is freely done with distinct act of will; that is involuntary which is independent of the will, and perhaps in opposition to it; a willing act is not only in accordance with will, but with desire. Thus voluntary and involuntary, which are antonyms of each other, are both partial synonyms of spontaneous. We speak of spontaneous generation, spontaneous combustion, spontaneous sympathy, an involuntary start, an unbidden tear, voluntary agreement, willing submission. A babe's smile in answer to that of its mother is spontaneous; the smile of a pouting child wheedled into good humor is involuntary. In physiology the action of the heart and lungs is called involuntary; the growth of the hair and nails is spontaneous; the action of swallowing is voluntary up to a certain point, beyond which it becomes involuntary or automatic. In the fullest sense of that which is not only without the will but distinctly in opposition to it, or compulsory, involuntary becomes an antonym, not only of voluntary but of spontaneous; as, involuntary servitude. A spontaneous outburst of applause is of necessity an act of volition, but so completely dependent on sympathetic impulse that it would seem frigid to call it voluntary, while to call it involuntary would imply some previous purpose or inclination not to applaud.

* * * * *

SPY.

Synonyms:

detective, emissary, scout.

The scout and the spy are both employed to obtain information of the numbers, movements, etc., of an enemy. The scout lurks on the outskirts of the hostile army with such concealment as the case admits of, but without disguise; a spy enters in disguise within the enemy's lines. A scout, if captured, has the rights of a prisoner of war; a spy is held to have forfeited all rights, and is liable, in case of capture, to capital punishment. An emissary is rather political than military; sent rather to secretly influence opponents than to bring information concerning them; so far as he does the latter, he is not only an emissary, but a spy.

* * * * *

STAIN.

Synonyms:

blot, discolor, dishonor, soil, sully, tinge, color, disgrace, dye, spot, tarnish, tint.

To color is to impart a color desired or undesired, temporary or permanent, or, in the intransitive use, to assume a color in any way; as, he colored with shame and vexation. To dye is to impart a color intentionally and with a view to permanence, and especially so as to pervade the substance or fiber of that to which it is applied. To stain is primarily to discolor, to impart a color undesired and perhaps unintended, and which may or may not be permanent. Thus, a character "dyed in the wool" is one that has received some early, permanent, and pervading influence; a character stained with crime or guilt is debased and perverted. Stain is, however, used of giving an intended and perhaps pleasing color to wood, glass, etc., by an application of coloring-matter which enters the substance a little below the surface, in distinction from painting, in which coloring-matter is spread upon the surface; dyeing is generally said of wool, yarn, cloth, or similar materials which are dipped into the coloring liquid. Figuratively, a standard or a garment may be dyed with blood in honorable warfare; an assassin's weapon is stained with the blood of his victim. To tinge is to color slightly, and may also be used of giving a slight flavor, or a slight admixture of one ingredient or quality with another that is more pronounced.

* * * * *

STATE.

Synonyms:

affirm, aver, declare, predicate, set forth, allege, avouch, depose, pronounce, specify, assert, avow, express, propound, swear, asseverate, certify, inform, protest, tell, assure, claim, maintain, say, testify.

To state (L. sto, stand) is to set forth explicitly, formally, or particularly in speech or writing. Assert (L. ad, to, and sero, bind) is strongly personal, signifying to state boldly and positively what the one making the statement has not attempted and may not attempt to prove. Affirm has less of egotism than assert (as seen in the word self-assertion), coming nearer to aver. It has more solemnity than declare, and more composure and dignity than asseverate, which is to assert excitedly. In legal usage, affirm has a general agreement with depose and testify; it differs from swear in not invoking the name of God. To assure is to state with such authority and confidence as the speaker feels ought to make the hearer sure. Certify is more formal, and applies rather to written documents or legal processes. Assure, certify, inform, apply to the person; affirm, etc., to the thing. Assert is combative; assure is conciliatory. I assert my right to cross the river; I assure my friend it is perfectly safe. To aver is to state positively what is within one's own knowledge or matter of deep conviction. One may assert himself, or assert his right to what he is willing to contend for; or he may assert in discussion what he is ready to maintain by argument or evidence. To assert without proof is always to lay oneself open to the suspicion of having no proof to offer, and seems to arrogate too much to one's personal authority, and hence in such cases both the verb assert and its noun assertion have an unfavorable sense; we say a mere assertion, a bare assertion, his unsupported assertion; he asserted his innocence has less force than he affirmed or maintained his innocence. Affirm, state, and tell have not the controversial sense of assert, but are simply declarative. To vindicate is to defend successfully what is assailed. Almost every criminal will assert his innocence; the honest man will seldom lack means to vindicate his integrity.

Antonyms:

contradict, controvert, disprove, gainsay, refute, retract, contravene, deny, dispute, oppose, repudiate, waive.

* * * * *

STEEP.

Synonyms:

abrupt, high, precipitous, sharp, sheer.

High is used of simple elevation; steep is said only of an incline where the vertical measurement is sufficiently great in proportion to the horizontal to make it difficult of ascent. Steep is relative; an ascent of 100 feet to the mile on a railway is a steep grade; a rise of 500 feet to the mile makes a steep wagon-road; a roof is steep when it makes with the horizontal line an angle of more than 45 deg.. A high mountain may be climbed by a winding road nowhere steep, while a little hill may be accessible only by a steep path. A sharp ascent or descent is one that makes a sudden, decided angle with the plane from which it starts; a sheer ascent or descent is perpendicular, or nearly so; precipitous applies to that which is of the nature of a precipice, and is used especially of a descent; abrupt is as if broken sharply off, and applies to either acclivity or declivity. Compare HIGH.

Antonyms:

easy, flat, gentle, gradual, horizontal, level, low, slight.

* * * * *

STORM.

Synonyms:

agitation, disturbance, tempest.

A storm is properly a disturbance of the atmosphere, with or without rain, snow, hail, or thunder and lightning. Thus we have rain-storm, snow-storm, etc., and by extension, magnetic storm. A tempest is a storm of extreme violence, always attended with some precipitation, as of rain, from the atmosphere. In the moral and figurative use, storm and tempest are not closely discriminated, except that tempest commonly implies greater intensity. We speak of agitation of feeling, disturbance of mind, a storm of passion, a tempest of rage.

Antonyms:

calm, fair weather, hush, peace, serenity, stillness, tranquillity.

* * * * *

STORY.

Synonyms:

account, legend, narrative, recital, relation, anecdote, myth, novel, record, tale. incident, narration,

A story is the telling of some series of connected incidents or events, whether real or fictitious, in prose or verse, orally or in writing; or the series of incidents or events thus related may be termed a story. In children's talk, a story is a common euphemism for a falsehood. Tale is nearly synonymous with story, but is somewhat archaic; it is used for an imaginative, legendary, or fictitious recital, especially if of ancient date; as, a fairy tale; also, for an idle or malicious report; as, do not tell tales; "where there is no tale-bearer, the strife ceaseth." Prov. xxvi, 20. An anecdote tells briefly some incident, assumed to be fact. If it passes close limits of brevity, it ceases to be an anecdote, and becomes a narrative or narration. A traditional or mythical story of ancient times is a legend. A history is often somewhat poetically called a story; as, the story of the American civil war. Compare ALLEGORY; FICTION; HISTORY.

Antonyms:

annals, biography, chronicle, history, memoir.

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STUPIDITY.

Synonyms:

apathy, insensibility, slowness, stupefaction, dulness, obtuseness, sluggishness, stupor.

Stupidity is sometimes loosely used for temporary dulness or partial stupor, but chiefly for innate and chronic dulness and sluggishness of mental action, obtuseness of apprehension, etc. Apathy may be temporary, and be dispelled by appeal to the feelings or by the presentation of an adequate motive, but stupidity is inveterate and commonly incurable. Compare APATHY; IDIOCY; STUPOR.

Antonyms:

acuteness, brilliancy, keenness, sagacity, alertness, cleverness, quickness, sense, animation, intelligence, readiness, sensibility.

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STUPOR.

Synonyms:

apathy, fainting, stupefaction, syncope, asphyxia, insensibility, swoon, torpor, coma, lethargy, swooning, unconsciousness.

Stupor is a condition of the body in which the action of the senses and faculties is suspended or greatly dulled—weakness or loss of sensibility. The apathy of disease is a mental affection, a state of morbid indifference; lethargy is a morbid tendency to heavy and continued sleep, from which the patient may perhaps be momentarily aroused. Coma is a deep, abnormal sleep, from which the patient can not be aroused, or is aroused only with difficulty, a state of profound insensibility, perhaps with full pulse and deep, stertorous breathing, and is due to brain-oppression. Syncope or swooning is a sudden loss of sensation and of power of motion, with suspension of pulse and of respiration, and is due to failure of heart-action, as from sudden nervous shock or intense mental emotion. Insensibility is a general term denoting loss of feeling from any cause, as from cold, intoxication, or injury. Stupor is especially profound and confirmed insensibility, properly comatose. Asphyxia is a special form of syncope resulting from partial or total suspension of respiration, as in strangulation, drowning, or inhalation of noxious gases.

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SUBJECTIVE.

Synonym:

objective.

Subjective and objective are synonyms in but one point of view, being, for the most part, strictly antonyms. Subjective signifies relating to the subject of mental states, that is, to the person who experiences them; objective signifies relating to the object of mental states, that is, to something outside the perceiving mind; in brief phrase it may be said that subjective relates to something within the mind, objective to something without. A mountain, as a mass of a certain size, contour, color, etc., is an objective fact; the impression our mind receives, the mental picture it forms of the mountain, is subjective. But this subjective impression may become itself the object of thought (called "subject-object"), as when we compare our mental picture of the mountain with our idea of a plain or river. The direct experiences of the soul, as joy, grief, hope, fear, are purely subjective; the outward causes of these experiences, as prosperity, bereavement, disappointment, are objective. That which has independent existence or authority apart from our experience or thought is said to have objective existence or authority; thus we speak of the objective authority of the moral law. Different individuals may receive different subjective impressions from the same objective fact, that which to one is a cause of hope being to another a cause of fear, etc. The style of a writer is called objective when it derives its materials mainly from or reaches out toward external objects; it is called subjective when it derives its materials mainly from or constantly tends to revert to the personal experience of the author. Compare INHERENT.

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SUBSIDY.

Synonyms:

aid, bounty, indemnity, reward, support, allowance, gift, pension, subvention, tribute. bonus, grant, premium,

A subsidy is pecuniary aid directly granted by government to an individual or commercial enterprise, or money furnished by one nation to another to aid it in carrying on war against a common enemy. A nation grants a subsidy to an ally, pays a tribute to a conqueror. An indemnity is in the nature of things limited and temporary, while a tribute might be exacted indefinitely. A nation may also grant a subsidy to its own citizens as a means of promoting the public welfare; as, a subsidy to a steamship company. The somewhat rare term subvention is especially applied to a grant of governmental aid to a literary or artistic enterprise. Governmental aid to a commercial or industrial enterprise other than a transportation company is more frequently called a bounty than a subsidy; as, the sugar bounty. The word bounty may be applied to almost any regular or stipulated allowance by a government to a citizen or citizens; as, a bounty for enlisting in the army; a bounty for killing wolves. A bounty is offered for something to be done; a pension is granted for something that has been done.

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SUBVERT.

Synonyms:

destroy, overthrow, ruin, supplant, extinguish, overturn, supersede, suppress.

To subvert is to overthrow from or as from the very foundation; utterly destroy; bring to ruin. The word is now generally figurative, as of moral or political ruin. To supersede implies the putting of something that is wisely or unwisely preferred in the place of that which is removed; to subvert does not imply substitution. To supplant is more often personal, signifying to take the place of another, usually by underhanded means; one is superseded by authority, supplanted by a rival. Compare ABOLISH.

Antonyms:

conserve, keep, perpetuate, preserve, sustain, uphold.

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SUCCEED.

Synonyms:

achieve, attain, flourish, prevail, prosper, thrive, win.

A person succeeds when he accomplishes what he attempts, or attains a desired object or result; an enterprise or undertaking succeeds that has a prosperous result. To win implies that some one loses, but one may succeed where no one fails. A solitary swimmer succeeds in reaching the shore; if we say he wins the shore we contrast him with himself as a possible loser. Many students may succeed in study; a few win the special prizes, for which all compete. Compare FOLLOW.

Antonyms:

be defeated, come short, fail, fall short, lose, miss, miscarry.

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SUGGESTION.

Synonyms:

hint, implication, innuendo, insinuation, intimation.

A suggestion (L. sub, under, and gero, bring) brings something before the mind less directly than by formal or explicit statement, as by a partial statement, an incidental allusion, an illustration, a question, or the like. Suggestion is often used of an unobtrusive statement of one's views or wishes to another, leaving consideration and any consequent action entirely to his judgment, and is hence, in many cases, the most respectful way in which one can convey his views to a superior or a stranger. A suggestion may be given unintentionally, and even unconsciously, as when we say an author has "a suggestive style." An intimation is a suggestion in brief utterance, or sometimes by significant act, gesture, or token, of one's meaning or wishes; in the latter case it is often the act of a superior; as, God in his providence gives us intimations of his will. A hint is still more limited in expression, and is always covert, but frequently with good intent; as, to give one a hint of danger or of opportunity. Insinuation and innuendo are used in the bad sense; an insinuation is a covert or partly veiled injurious utterance, sometimes to the very person attacked; an innuendo is commonly secret as well as sly, as if pointing one out by a significant nod (L. in, in, to, and nuo, nod).

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SUPERNATURAL.

Synonyms:

miraculous, preternatural, superhuman.

The supernatural (super, above) is above or superior to the recognized powers of nature; the preternatural (preter, beyond) is aside from or beyond the recognized results or operations of natural law, often in the sense of inauspicious; as, a preternatural gloom. Miraculous is more emphatic and specific than supernatural, as referring to the direct personal intervention of divine power. Some hold that a miracle, as the raising of the dead, is a direct suspension and even violation of natural laws by the fiat of the Creator, and hence is, in the strictest sense, supernatural; others hold that the miracle is simply the calling forth of a power residing in the laws of nature, but not within their ordinary operation, and dependent on a distinct act of God, so that the miraculous might be termed "extranatural," rather than supernatural. All that is beyond human power is superhuman; as, prophecy gives evidence of superhuman knowledge; the word is sometimes applied to remarkable manifestations of human power, surpassing all that is ordinary.

Antonyms:

common, commonplace, everyday, natural, ordinary, usual.

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SUPPORT.

Synonyms:

bear, cherish, keep, maintain, sustain, carry, hold up, keep up, prop, uphold.

Support and sustain alike signify to hold up or keep up, to prevent from falling or sinking; but sustain has a special sense of continuous exertion or of great strength continuously exerted, as when we speak of sustained endeavor or a sustained note; a flower is supported by the stem or a temple-roof by arches; the foundations of a great building sustain an enormous pressure; to sustain life implies a greater exigency and need than to support life; to say one is sustained under affliction is to say more both of the severity of the trial and the completeness of the upholding than if we say he is supported. To bear is the most general word, denoting all holding up or keeping up of any object, whether in rest or motion; in the derived senses it refers to something that is a tax upon strength or endurance; as, to bear a strain; to bear pain or grief. To maintain is to keep in a state or condition, especially in an excellent and desirable condition; as, to maintain health or reputation; to maintain one's position; to maintain a cause or proposition is to hold it against opposition or difficulty. To support may be partial, to maintain is complete; maintain is a word of more dignity than support; a man supports his family; a state maintains an army or navy. To prop is always partial, signifying to add support to something that is insecure. Compare ABET; ENDURE; KEEP.

Antonyms:

abandon, break down, demolish, destroy, let go, throw down, betray, cast down, desert, drop, overthrow, wreck.

Prepositions:

The roof is supported by, on, or upon pillars; the family was supported on or upon a pittance, or by charity.

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SUPPOSE.

Synonyms:

conjecture, deem, guess, imagine, surmise, think.

To suppose is temporarily to assume a thing as true, either with the expectation of finding it so or for the purpose of ascertaining what would follow if it were so. To suppose is also to think a thing to be true while aware or conceding that the belief does not rest upon any sure ground, and may not accord with fact; or yet again, to suppose is to imply as true or involved as a necessary inference; as, design supposes the existence of a designer. To conjecture is to put together the nearest available materials for a provisional opinion, always with some expectation of finding the facts to be as conjectured. To imagine is to form a mental image of something as existing, tho its actual existence may be unknown, or even impossible. To think, in this application, is to hold as the result of thought what is admitted not to be matter of exact or certain knowledge; as, I do not know, but I think this to be the fact: a more conclusive statement than would be made by the use of conjecture or suppose. Compare DOUBT; HYPOTHESIS.

Antonyms:

ascertain, be sure, conclude, discover, know, prove.

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SURRENDER.

Synonyms:

abandon, cede, give over, relinquish, alienate, give, give up, sacrifice, capitulate, give oneself up, let go, yield.

To surrender is to give up upon compulsion, as to an enemy in war, hence to give up to any person, passion, influence, or power. To yield is to give place or give way under pressure, and hence under compulsion. Yield implies more softness or concession than surrender; the most determined men may surrender to overwhelming force; when one yields, his spirit is at least somewhat subdued. A monarch or a state cedes territory perhaps for a consideration; surrenders an army, a navy, or a fortified place to a conqueror; a military commander abandons an untenable position or unavailable stores. We sacrifice something precious through error, friendship, or duty, yield to convincing reasons, a stronger will, winsome persuasion, or superior force. Compare ABANDON.

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SYNONYMOUS.

Synonyms:

alike, equivalent, like, similar, correspondent, identical, same, synonymic. corresponding, interchangeable,

Synonymous (Gr. syn, together, and onyma, name) strictly signifies being interchangeable names for the same thing, or being one of two or more interchangeable names for the same thing; to say that two words are synonymous is strictly to say they are alike, equivalent, identical, or the same in meaning; but the use of synonymous in this strict sense is somewhat rare, and rather with reference to statements than to words.

To say that we are morally developed is synonymous with saying that we have reaped what some one has suffered for us.

H. W. BEECHER Royal Truths p. 294. [T. & F. '66.]

In the strictest sense, synonymous words scarcely exist; rarely, if ever, are any two words in any language equivalent or identical in meaning; where a difference in meaning can not easily be shown, a difference in usage commonly exists, so that the words are not interchangeable. By synonymous words (or synonyms) we usually understand words that coincide or nearly coincide in some part of their meaning, and may hence within certain limits be used interchangeably, while outside of those limits they may differ very greatly in meaning and use. It is the office of a work on synonyms to point out these correspondences and differences, that language may have the flexibility that comes from freedom of selection within the common limits, with the perspicuity and precision that result from exact choice of the fittest words to express each shade of meaning outside of the common limits. To consider synonymous words identical is fatal to accuracy; to forget that they are similar, to some extent equivalent, and sometimes interchangeable, is destructive of freedom and variety.

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SYSTEM.

Synonyms:

manner, method, mode, order, regularity, rule.

Order in this connection denotes the fact or result of proper arrangement according to the due relation or sequence of the matters arranged; as, these papers are in order; in alphabetical order. Method denotes a process, a general or established way of doing or proceeding in anything; rule, an authoritative requirement or an established course of things; system, not merely a law of action or procedure, but a comprehensive plan in which all the parts are related to each other and to the whole; as, a system of theology; a railroad system; the digestive system; manner refers to the external qualities of actions, and to those often as settled and characteristic; we speak of a system of taxation, a method of collecting taxes, the rules by which assessments are made; or we say, as a rule the payments are heaviest at a certain time of year; a just tax may be made odious by the manner of its collection. Regularity applies to the even disposition of objects or uniform recurrence of acts in a series. There may be regularity without order, as in the recurrence of paroxysms of disease or insanity; there may be order without regularity, as in the arrangement of furniture in a room, where the objects are placed at varying distances. Order commonly implies the design of an intelligent agent or the appearance or suggestion of such design; regularity applies to an actual uniform disposition or recurrence with no suggestion of purpose, and as applied to human affairs is less intelligent and more mechanical than order. The most perfect order is often secured with least regularity, as in a fine essay or oration. The same may be said of system. There is a regularity of dividing a treatise into topics, paragraphs, and sentences, that is destructive of true rhetorical system. Compare HABIT; HYPOTHESIS.

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