tagHow ToWords of the Week 09

Words of the Week 09


Whenever I read, I keep a pencil handy and I underline words that I don’t know and dog ear the page so that I can go back and look them up in the dictionary. I have always been interested in etymology and even took Latin for three years. I hope that these words can help all of us in our writings. Be sure to check out your dictionary for additional usages of the words and spellings associated with changing the word from adjective to adverb to noun … etc.


Pronounced: spleen-NET-tick

Meaning: Marked by morose bad temper, sullen malevolence, or spiteful, peevish anger.

Example: The splenetic critic gave the musical a scathing review.

* * * * *


Pronounced: en-SIP-pid

Meaning: Dull, uninteresting, commonplace.

Example: Jed could hardly bear listening to the sportscaster’s insipid comments.

* * * * *


Pronounced: ki-MARE-eh-kal

Meaning: Unreal and existing only as the product of a wild unrestrained imagination.

Example: Many video games pit the player against chimerical monsters.

* * * * *


Pronounced: fuh-SILL-ih-tay-tore

Meaning: One that makes something easier or less difficult.

Example: As a teacher, Mr. Logan considers himself a facilitator of learning rather than a dispenser of information.

* * * * *


Pronounced: FAIR-o-moan

Meaning: A chemical substance that is produced by an animal and serves as a specific stimulus to other individuals of the same species for one or more behavioral responses.

Example: When attacked by another beetle, the defensive beetle emitted a repellent pheromone.

* * * * *


Pronounced: joo-DIH-shuss

Meaning: Directed or governed by sound, usually dispassionate judgment, characterized by discretion.

Example: Jane’s mom saw to it that her summer activities were a judicious mixture of chores and amusement.

* * * * *


Pronounced: HOKES

Meaning: An act intended to trick or dupe; a piece of trickery.

Example: Sarah forwarded the e-mail message, unaware she was participating in a hoax.

* * * * *


Pronounced: uh-LOOF

Meaning: Removed or distant, either physically or spiritually and usually by choice and with indifference to the feelings, opinions or interests of others.

Example: Greg’s aloof personality discouraged his gregarious colleagues.

* * * * *


Pronounced: GEE-yo-teen

Meaning: A machine for beheading by means of a heavy ax or blade that slides down in vertical guides.

Example: The guillotine was considered a merciful means of capital punishment when it was invented.

* * * * *


Pronounced: bam-BOO-zull

Meaning: Conceal one’s true motives from someone, especially by elaborately feigning good intentions so as to gain an end or achieve an advantage; to mislead or hoodwink.

Example: Gavin tried to bamboozle his neighbor into offering her garage for his party by saying how much it needed a good airing out.

* * * * *


Pronounced: ahb-STREP-err-uss

Meaning: Stubbornly defiant; resisting control or restraint, often with a show of noisy disorder.

Example: The noisy diner was asked to leave but became obstreperous and had to be escorted out of the restaurant.

* * * * *


Pronounced: DIZZ-mull

Meaning: Marked by gloom, dejection, somberness or depression of spirits.

Example: The children who forgot their gloves spent a dismal recess looking out the window at the snow.

* * * * *


Pronounced: VORE-tecks

Meaning: A rapidly spinning current of water.

Example: The toy sailboat got caught in the vortex and spun wildly as the bathtub drained.

* * * * *


Pronounced: LOOP

Meaning: A small magnifying glass used by jewelers and watchmakers.

Example: At his jewelry store, Arlo always wears a loupe on a chain around his neck.

* * * * *


Pronounced: TAH-sit-turn

Meaning: Habitually silent; temperamentally disinclined or reluctant to talk or converse.

Example: Mrs. Gibbons found it challenging to draw the taciturn boy into class discussions.

* * * * *


Pronounced: in-VISS-sidge

Meaning: Have a mental picture in advance of realization.

Example: Benjamin could scarcely envisage the scale of the project, so he broke it down into smaller, more manageable units.

* * * * *


Pronounced: MAH-di-kum

Meaning: A small portion; a limited quantity or amount.

Example: Bernie displayed not even a modicum of modesty as he bragged about his hole-in-one.

* * * * *


Pronounced: KERR-chiff

Meaning: a square of cloth usually folded and worn by women as a head covering.

Example: Before Eileen went out to tend to her garden, she put on a blue and white kerchief.

* * * * *


Pronounced: KWAG-myer

Meaning: A complex or precarious position where disengagement is difficult.

Example: In his position as protocol officer, Russell often found himself in a quagmire of delicate relationships.

* * * * *


Pronounced: RAYTH

Meaning: An apparition of exact likeness of a living person usually seen just before that person’s death.

Example: The wraith of a person shortly to die is a firm article in the creed of Scottish superstition.

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