Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   
Website logo - Click to go to Home page




Project Gutenberg's English Synonyms and Antonyms, by James Champlin Fernald

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net


Title: English Synonyms and Antonyms
       With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions

Author: James Champlin Fernald

Release Date: May 21, 2009 [EBook #28900]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ENGLISH SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS ***




Produced by Jan-Fabian Humann, Stephen Blundell and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net






English Synonyms
and Antonyms


A Practical and Invaluable Guide to Clear and
Precise Diction for Writers, Speakers, Students,
Business and Professional Men
Connectives of
English Speech

"The work is likely to prove of great value to all writers."—Washington Evening Star.

"The book will receive high appreciation from thoughtful students who seek the most practical help."—Grand Rapids Herald.

"It is written in a clear and pleasing style and so arranged that but a moment's time is needed to find any line of the hundreds of important though small words which this book discusses."—Chattanooga Times.

"Its practical reference value is great, and it is a great satisfaction to note the care and attention to detail and fine shades of meaning the author has bestowed upon the words he discusses."—Church Review, Hartford.

"A work of great practical helpfulness to a large class of people."—Louisville Courier-Journal.

"This is one of the most useful books for writers, speakers, and all who care for the use of language, which has appeared in a long time."—Cumberland Presbyterian, Nashville.

"It is a book of great value to all who take any interest in correct and elegant language."—Methodist, Baltimore.

"This work is a welcome aid to good writing and good speech. It is worthy the close study of all who would cultivate finished style. Its admirable arrangement and a good index make it easy for reference."—Christian Observer.

"His book has some excellent qualities. In the first place, it is absolutely free from dogmatic assertion; in the second place, it contains copious examples from good authors, which should guide aright the person investigating any word, if he is thoroughly conversant with English."—The Sun, New York.


STANDARD EDUCATIONAL SERIES

ENGLISH SYNONYMS
AND ANTONYMS

WITH NOTES ON THE
CORRECT USE OF PREPOSITIONS
Designed as a Companion for the Study
and as a
Text-Book for the Use of Schools

BY

JAMES C. FERNALD, L.H.D.

Editor of Synonyms, Antonyms, and Prepositions in the Standard Dictionary
NINETEENTH EDITION

FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY

NEW YORK AND LONDON


Copyright, 1896, by FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY.

Registered at Stationers' Hall, London, Eng.
Printed in the United States

Transcriber's Note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note, whilst a list of significant amendments can be found at the end of the text. Inconsistent hyphenation and conflicting variant spellings have been standardised, except where used for emphasis. The following linked table, covering the main body of the text, has been added for convenience.

A B C D E F G H I J K L
M N O P Q R S T U V W Y

CONTENTS.

PAGE
Prefacevii
Part I.
Synonyms, Antonyms and Prepositions1
Part II.
Questions and Answers377
Index509

[vii]

PREFACE.

The English language is peculiarly rich in synonyms, as, with such a history, it could not fail to be. From the time of Julius Cæsar, Britons, Romans, Northmen, Saxons, Danes, and Normans fighting, fortifying, and settling upon the soil of England, with Scotch and Irish contending for mastery or existence across the mountain border and the Channel, and all fenced in together by the sea, could not but influence each other's speech. English merchants, sailors, soldiers, and travelers, trading, warring, and exploring in every clime, of necessity brought back new terms of sea and shore, of shop and camp and battlefield. English scholars have studied Greek and Latin for a thousand years, and the languages of the Continent and of the Orient in more recent times. English churchmen have introduced words from Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, through Bible and prayer-book, sermon and tract. From all this it results that there is scarcely a language ever spoken among men that has not some representative in English speech. The spirit of the Anglo-Saxon race, masterful in language as in war and commerce, has subjugated all these various elements to one idiom, making not a patchwork, but a composite language. Anglo-Saxon thrift, finding often several words that originally expressed the same idea, has detailed them to different parts of the common territory or to different service, so that we have an almost unexampled variety of words, kindred in meaning but distinct in usage, for expressing almost every shade of human thought.

Scarcely any two of such words, commonly known as synonyms, are identical at once in signification and in use. They have certain common ground within which they are interchangeable; but outside of that each has its own special province, within which any other word comes as an intruder. From these two qualities arises the great value of synonyms as contributing to beauty and effectiveness of expression. As interchangeable, they make possible that freedom and variety by which the diction of an accomplished writer or speaker differs from the wooden uniformity of a legal document. As distinct and specific, they enable a master of style to choose in every instance the one term that is the most[viii] perfect mirror of his thought. To write or speak to the best purpose, one should know in the first place all the words from which he may choose, and then the exact reason why in any case any particular word should be chosen. To give such knowledge in these two directions is the office of a book of synonyms.

Of Milton's diction Macaulay writes:

"His poetry acts like an incantation. Its merit lies less in its obvious meaning than in its occult power. There would seem, at first sight, to be no more in his words than in other words. But they are words of enchantment. No sooner are they pronounced, than the past is present and the distant near. New forms of beauty start at once into existence, and all the burial places of the memory give up their dead. Change the structure of the sentence; substitute one synonym for another, and the whole effect is destroyed. The spell loses its power; and he who should then hope to conjure with it would find himself as much mistaken as Cassim in the Arabian tale, when he stood crying, 'Open Wheat,' 'Open Barley,' to the door which obeyed no sound but 'Open Sesame.' The miserable failure of Dryden in his attempt to translate into his own diction some parts of the 'Paradise Lost' is a remarkable instance of this."

Macaulay's own writings abound in examples of that exquisite precision in the choice of words, which never seems to be precise, but has all the aspect of absolute freedom. Through his language his thought bursts upon the mind as a landscape is seen instantly, perfectly, and beautifully from a mountain height. A little vagueness of thought, a slight infelicity in the choice of words would be like a cloud upon the mountain, obscuring the scene with a damp and chilling mist. Let anyone try the experiment with a poem like Gray's "Elegy," or Goldsmith's "Traveller" or "Deserted Village," of substituting other words for those the poet has chosen, and he will readily perceive how much of the charm of the lines depends upon their fine exactitude of expression.

In our own day, when so many are eager to write, and confident that they can write, and when the press is sending forth by the ton that which is called literature, but which somehow lacks the imprint of immortality, it is of the first importance to revive the study of synonyms as a distinct branch of rhetorical culture. Prevalent errors need at times to be noted and corrected, but the teaching of pure English speech is the best defense against all that is inferior, unsuitable, or repulsive. The most effective condemnation of an objectionable word or phrase is that it is not found in scholarly works, and a student who has once learned the rich stores of vigorous, beautiful, exact, and expressive words that make up our noble language, is by that very fact put beyond the reach of all temptation to linguistic corruption.[ix]

Special instruction in the use of synonyms is necessary, for the reason that few students possess the analytical power and habit of mind required to hold a succession of separate definitions in thought at once, compare them with each other, and determine just where and how they part company; and the persons least able to do this are the very ones most in need of the information. The distinctions between words similar in meaning are often so fine and elusive as to tax the ingenuity of the accomplished scholar; yet when clearly apprehended they are as important for the purposes of language as the minute differences between similar substances are for the purposes of chemistry. Often definition itself is best secured by the comparison of kindred terms and the pointing out where each differs from the other. We perceive more clearly and remember better what each word is, by perceiving where each divides from another of kindred meaning; just as we see and remember better the situation and contour of adjacent countries, by considering them as boundaries of each other, rather than by an exact statement of the latitude and longitude of each as a separate portion of the earth's surface.

The great mass of untrained speakers and writers need to be reminded, in the first place, that there are synonyms—a suggestion which they would not gain from any precision of separate definitions in a dictionary. The deplorable repetition with which many slightly educated persons use such words as "elegant," "splendid," "clever," "awful," "horrid," etc., to indicate (for they can not be said to express) almost any shade of certain approved or objectionable qualities, shows a limited vocabulary, a poverty of language, which it is of the first importance to correct. Many who are not given to such gross misuse would yet be surprised to learn how often they employ a very limited number of words in the attempt to give utterance to thoughts and feelings so unlike, that what is the right word on one occasion must of necessity be the wrong word at many other times. Such persons are simply unconscious of the fact that there are other words of kindred meaning from which they might choose; as the United States surveyors of Alaska found "the shuddering tenant of the frigid zone" wrapping himself in furs and cowering over a fire of sticks with untouched coal-mines beneath his feet.

Such poverty of language is always accompanied with poverty of thought. One who is content to use the same word for widely different ideas has either never observed or soon comes to forget that there is any difference between the ideas; or perhaps he retains[x] a vague notion of a difference which he never attempts to define to himself, and dimly hints to others by adding to his inadequate word some such phrase as "you see" or "you know," in the helpless attempt to inject into another mind by suggestion what adequate words would enable him simply and distinctly to say. Such a mind resembles the old maps of Africa in which the interior was filled with cloudy spaces, where modern discovery has revealed great lakes, fertile plains, and mighty rivers. One main office of a book of synonyms is to reveal to such persons the unsuspected riches of their own language; and when a series of words is given them, from which they may choose, then, with intelligent choice of words there comes of necessity a clearer perception of the difference of the ideas that are to be expressed by those different words. Thus, copiousness and clearness of language tend directly to affluence and precision of thought.

Hence there is an important use for mere lists of classified synonyms, like Roget's Thesaurus and the works of Soule and Fallows. Not one in a thousand of average students would ever discover, by independent study of the dictionary, that there are fifteen synonyms for beautiful, twenty-one for beginning, fifteen for benevolence, twenty for friendly, and thirty-seven for pure. The mere mention of such numbers opens vistas of possible fulness, freedom, and variety of utterance, which will have for many persons the effect of a revelation.

But it is equally important to teach that synonyms are not identical and to explain why and how they differ. A person of extensive reading and study, with a fine natural sense of language, will often find all that he wants in the mere list, which recalls to his memory the appropriate word. But for the vast majority there is needed some work that compares or contrasts synonymous words, explains their differences of meaning or usage, and shows in what connections one or the other may be most fitly used. This is the purpose of the present work, to be a guide to selection from the varied treasures of English speech.

This work treats within 375 pages more than 7500 synonyms. It has been the study of the author to give every definition or distinction in the fewest possible words consistent with clearness of statement, and this not merely for economy of space, but because such condensed statements are most easily apprehended and remembered.

The method followed has been to select from every group of synonyms one word, or two contrasted words, the meaning of which[xi] may be settled by clear definitive statement, thus securing some fixed point or points to which all the other words of the group may be referred. The great source of vagueness, error, and perplexity in many discussions of synonyms is, that the writer merely associates stray ideas loosely connected with the different words, sliding from synonym to synonym with no definite point of departure or return, so that a smooth and at first sight pleasing statement really gives the mind no definite resting-place and no sure conclusion. A true discussion of synonyms is definition by comparison, and for this there must be something definite with which to compare. When the standard is settled, approximation or differentiation can be determined with clearness and certainty. It is not enough to tell something about each word. The thing to tell is how each word is related to others of that particular group. When a word has more than one prominent meaning, the synonyms for one signification are treated in one group and a reference is made to some other group in which the synonyms for another signification are treated, as may be seen by noting the synonyms given under APPARENT, and following the reference to EVIDENT.

It has been impossible within the limits of this volume to treat in full all the words of each group of synonyms. Sometimes it has been necessary to restrict the statement to a mere suggestion of the correct use; in some cases only the chief words of a group could be considered, giving the key to the discussion, and leaving the student to follow out the principle in the case of other words by reference to the definitive statements of the dictionary. It is to be hoped that at some time a dictionary of synonyms may be prepared, giving as full a list as that of Roget or of Soule, with discriminating remarks upon every word. Such a work would be of the greatest value, but obviously beyond the scope of a text-book for the class-room.

The author has here incorporated, by permission of the publishers of the Standard Dictionary, much of the synonym matter prepared by him for that work. All has been thoroughly revised or reconstructed, and much wholly new matter has been added.

The book contains also more than 3700 antonyms. These are valuable as supplying definition by contrast or by negation, one of the most effective methods of defining being in many cases to tell what a thing is not. To speakers and writers antonyms are useful as furnishing oftentimes effective antitheses.

Young writers will find much help from the indication of the correct use of prepositions, the misuse of which is one of the most[xii] common of errors, and one of the most difficult to avoid, while their right use gives to style cohesion, firmness, and compactness, and is an important aid to perspicuity. To the text of the synonyms is appended a set of Questions and Examples to adapt the work for use as a text-book. Aside from the purposes of the class-room, this portion will be found of value to the individual student. Excepting those who have made a thorough study of language most persons will discover with surprise how difficult it is to answer any set of the Questions or to fill the blanks in the Examples without referring to the synonym treatment in Part I., or to a dictionary, and how rarely they can give any intelligent reason for preference even among familiar words. There are few who can study such a work without finding occasion to correct some errors into which they have unconsciously fallen, and without coming to a new delight in the use of language from a fuller knowledge of its resources and a clearer sense of its various capabilities.

West New Brighton, N. Y., Sept. 4, 1896.


PART I.


BOOKS OF REFERENCE.

Crabb's "English Synonymes Explained." [H.]

Soule's "Dictionary of English Synonyms." [L.]

Smith's "Synonyms Discriminated." [Bell.]

Graham's "English Synonyms." [A.]

Whateley's "English Synonyms Discriminated." [L. & S.]

Campbell's "Handbook of Synonyms." [L. & S.]

Fallows' "Complete Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms." [F. H. R.]

Roget's "Thesaurus of English Words." [F. & W. Co.]

Trench's "Study of English Words." [W. J. W.]

Richard Grant White, "Words and their Uses," and "Every Day English." [H. M. & Co.]

Geo. P. Marsh, "Lectures on the English Language," and "Origin and History of the English Language." [S.]

Fitzedward Hall, "False Philology." [S.]

Maetzner's "English Grammar," tr. by Grece. [J. M.]

The Synonyms of the Century and International Dictionaries have also been consulted and compared.

The Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary has been used as the authority throughout.

ABBREVIATIONS USED.

A.D. Appleton & Co.K.-F.Krauth-Fleming
AS.Anglo-Saxon"Vocabulary of Philosophy." 
Bell; B. & S.Bell & SonsL.Latin; Lippincott & Co.
F.FrenchL. & S.Lee & Shepard
F. H. R.Fleming H. RevellM.Murray's New English Dictionary
F. & W. Co.Funk & Wagnalls Co.Macm.Macmillan & Co.
G.GermanS.Chas. Scribner's Sons
Gr.GreekSp.Spanish
H.Harper & Bros.T. & F.Ticknor & Fields
H. M. & Co.Houghton, Mifflin & Co.T. & H.Troutman & Hayes
It.ItalianT. & M.Taylor, Walton & Maberley
J. M.John MurrayW. J. W.W. J. Widdleton

[1]

PART I.

SYNONYMS, ANTONYMS AND PREPOSITIONS.


ABANDON.

Synonyms:

abdicate,desert,leave,resign,
abjure,discontinue,quit,retire from,
cast off,forego,recant,retract,
cease,forsake,relinquish,surrender,
cede,forswear,renounce,vacate,
depart from,give up,repudiate,withdraw from.

Abandon is a word of wide signification, applying to persons or things of any kind; abdicate and resign apply to office, authority, or power; cede to territorial possessions; surrender especially to military force, and more generally to any demand, claim, passion, etc. Quit carries an idea of suddenness or abruptness not necessarily implied in abandon, and may not have the same suggestion of finality. The king abdicates his throne, cedes his territory, deserts his followers, renounces his religion, relinquishes his titles, abandons his designs. A cowardly officer deserts his ship; the helpless passengers abandon it. We quit business, give up property, resign office, abandon a habit or a trust. Relinquish commonly implies reluctance; the fainting hand relinquishes its grasp; the creditor relinquishes his claim. Abandon implies previous association with responsibility for or control of; forsake implies previous association with inclination or attachment, real or assumed; a man may abandon or forsake house or friends; he abandons an enterprise; forsakes God. Abandon is applied to both good and evil action; a thief abandons his designs, a man his principles. Forsake, like abandon, may be used either in the favorable or unfavorable sense; desert is always unfavorable,[2] involving a breach of duty, except when used of mere localities; as, "the Deserted Village." While a monarch abdicates, a president or other elected or appointed officer resigns. It was held that James II. abdicated his throne by deserting it.

Antonyms:

adopt,defend,occupy,seek,
advocate,favor,prosecute,support,
assert,haunt,protect,undertake,
cherish,hold,pursue,uphold,
claim,keep,retain,vindicate.
court,maintain,

ABASE.

Synonyms:

bring low,depress,dishonor,lower,
cast down,discredit,humble,reduce,
debase,disgrace,humiliate,sink.
degrade,

Abase refers only to outward conditions. "Exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high." Ezek. xxi, 26. Debase applies to quality or character. The coinage is debased by excess of alloy, the man by vice. Humble in present use refers chiefly to feeling of heart; humiliate to outward conditions; even when one is said to humble himself, he either has or affects to have humility of heart. To disgrace may be to bring or inflict odium upon others, but the word is chiefly and increasingly applied to such moral odium as one by his own acts brings upon himself; the noun disgrace retains more of the passive sense than the verb; he disgraced himself by his conduct; he brought disgrace upon his family. To dishonor a person is to deprive him of honor that should or might be given. To discredit one is to injure his reputation, as for veracity or solvency. A sense of unworthiness humbles; a shameful insult humiliates; imprisonment for crime disgraces. Degrade may refer to either station or character. An officer is degraded by being reduced to the ranks, disgraced by cowardice; vile practises degrade; drunkenness is a degrading vice. Misfortune or injustice may abase the good; nothing but their own ill-doing can debase or disgrace them.

Antonyms:

advance,elevate,honor,raise,
aggrandize,exalt,promote,uplift.
dignify,

[3]

ABASH.

Synonyms:

bewilder,daunt,embarrass,mortify,
chagrin,discompose,humble,overawe,
confound,disconcert,humiliate,shame.
confuse,dishearten,

Any sense of inferiority abashes, with or without the sense of wrong. The poor are abashed at the splendor of wealth, the ignorant at the learning of the wise. "I might have been abashed by their authority." Gladstone Homeric Synchron., p. 72. [H. '76.] To confuse is to bring into a state of mental bewilderment; to confound is to overwhelm the mental faculties; to daunt is to subject to a certain degree of fear. Embarrass is a strong word, signifying primarily hamper, hinder, impede. A solitary thinker may be confused by some difficulty in a subject, or some mental defect; one is embarrassed in the presence of others, and because of their presence. Confusion is of the intellect, embarrassment of the feelings. A witness may be embarrassed by annoying personalities, so as to become confused in statements. To mortify a person is to bring upon him a painful sense of humiliation, whether because of his own or another's fault or failure. A pupil is confused by a perplexing question, a general confounded by overwhelming defeat. A hostess is discomposed by the tardiness of guests, a speaker disconcerted by a failure of memory. The criminal who is not abashed at detection may be daunted by the officer's weapon. Sudden joy may bewilder, but will not abash. The true worshiper is humbled rather than abashed before God. The parent is mortified by the child's rudeness, the child abashed at the parent's reproof. The embarrassed speaker finds it difficult to proceed. The mob is overawed by the military, the hypocrite shamed by exposure. "A man whom no denial, no scorn could abash." Fielding Amelia bk. iii, ch. 9, p. 300. [B. & S. '71.] Compare CHAGRIN; HINDER.

Antonyms:

animate,cheer,encourage,rally,
buoy,embolden,inspirit,uphold.

ABATE.

Synonyms:

decline,ebb,mitigate,reduce,
decrease,lessen,moderate,subside.
diminish,lower,

The storm, the fever, the pain abates. Interest declines. Misfortunes may be mitigated, desires moderated, intense anger[4] abated, population decreased, taxes reduced. We abate a nuisance, terminate a controversy, suppress a rebellion. See ALLEVIATE.

Antonyms:

aggravate,enhance,foment,rage,
amplify,enlarge,increase,raise,
continue,extend,magnify,revive.
develop,

Prepositions:

Abate in fury; abated by law.


ABBREVIATION.

Synonyms:

abridgment,contraction.

An abbreviation is a shortening by any method; a contraction is a reduction of size by the drawing together of the parts. A contraction of a word is made by omitting certain letters or syllables and bringing together the first and last letters or elements; an abbreviation may be made either by omitting certain portions from the interior or by cutting off a part; a contraction is an abbreviation, but an abbreviation is not necessarily a contraction; rec't for receipt, mdse. for merchandise, and Dr. for debtor are contractions; they are also abbreviations; Am. for American is an abbreviation, but not a contraction. Abbreviation and contraction are used of words and phrases, abridgment of books, paragraphs, sentences, etc. Compare ABRIDGMENT.


ABET.

Synonyms:

advocate,countenance,incite,sanction,
aid,embolden,instigate,support,
assist,encourage,promote,uphold.

Abet and instigate are now used almost without exception in a bad sense; one may incite either to good or evil. One incites or instigates to the doing of something not yet done, or to increased activity or further advance in the doing of it; one abets by giving sympathy, countenance, or substantial aid to the doing of that which is already projected or in process of commission. Abet and instigate apply either to persons or actions, incite to persons only; one incites a person to an action. A clergyman will advocate the claims of justice, aid the poor, encourage the[5] despondent, support the weak, uphold the constituted authorities; but he will not incite to a quarrel, instigate a riot, or abet a crime. The originator of a crime often instigates or incites others to abet him in it, or one may instigate or incite others to a crime in the commission of which he himself takes no active part. Compare HELP.

Antonyms:

baffle,deter,dissuade,hinder,
confound,disapprove,expose,impede,
counteract,disconcert,frustrate,obstruct.
denounce,discourage,

ABHOR.

Synonyms:

abominate,dislike,loathe,scorn,
despise,hate,nauseate,shun.
detest,

Abhor is stronger than despise, implying a shuddering recoil, especially a moral recoil. "How many shun evil as inconvenient who do not abhor it as hateful." Trench Serm. in Westm. Abbey xxvi, 297. [M.] Detest expresses indignation, with something of contempt. Loathe implies disgust, physical or moral. We abhor a traitor, despise a coward, detest a liar. We dislike an uncivil person. We abhor cruelty, hate tyranny. We loathe a reptile or a flatterer. We abhor Milton's heroic Satan, but we can not despise him.

Antonyms:

admire,crave,esteem,love,
approve,desire,like,relish.
covet,enjoy,

ABIDE.

Synonyms:

anticipate,dwell,remain,stop,
await,endure,reside,tarry,
bear,expect,rest,tolerate,
bide,inhabit,sojourn,wait,
confront,live,stay,watch.
continue,lodge,

To abide is to remain continuously without limit of time unless expressed by the context: "to-day I must abide at thy house," Luke xix, 5; "a settled place for thee to abide in forever," 1 Kings viii, 13; "Abide with me! fast falls the eventide," Lyte Hymn. Lodge, sojourn, stay, tarry, and wait always imply a limited time; lodge, to pass the night; sojourn, to remain[6] temporarily; live, dwell, reside, to have a permanent home. Stop, in the sense of stay or sojourn, is colloquial, and not in approved use. Compare ENDURE; REST.

Antonyms:

abandon,forfeit,migrate,reject,
avoid,forfend,move,resist,
depart,journey,proceed,shun.

Prepositions:

Abide in a place, for a time, with a person, by a statement.


ABOLISH.

Synonyms:

abate,eradicate,prohibit,stamp out,
abrogate,exterminate,remove,subvert,
annihilate,extirpate,repeal,supplant,
annul,nullify,reverse,suppress,
destroy,obliterate,revoke,terminate.
end,overthrow,set aside,

Abolish, to do away with, bring absolutely to an end, especially as something hostile, hindering, or harmful, was formerly used of persons and material objects, a usage now obsolete except in poetry or highly figurative speech. Abolish is now used of institutions, customs, and conditions, especially those wide-spread and long existing; as, to abolish slavery, ignorance, intemperance, poverty. A building that is burned to the ground is said to be destroyed by fire. Annihilate, as a philosophical term, signifies to put absolutely out of existence. As far as our knowledge goes, matter is never annihilated, but only changes its form. Some believe that the wicked will be annihilated. Abolish is not said of laws. There we use repeal, abrogate, nullify, etc.: repeal by the enacting body, nullify by revolutionary proceedings; a later statute abrogates, without formally repealing, any earlier law with which it conflicts. An appellate court may reverse or set aside the decision of an inferior court. Overthrow may be used in either a good or a bad sense; suppress is commonly in a good, subvert always in a bad sense; as, to subvert our liberties; to suppress a rebellion. The law prohibits what may never have existed; it abolishes an existing evil. We abate a nuisance, terminate a controversy. Compare CANCEL; DEMOLISH; EXTERMINATE.

Antonyms:

authorize,establish,reinstate,revive,
cherish,institute,renew,set up,
confirm,introduce,repair,support,
continue,legalize,restore,sustain.
enact,promote,

[7]

ABOMINATION.

Synonyms:

abhorrence,curse,hatred,plague,
abuse,detestation,horror,shame,
annoyance,disgust,iniquity,villainy,
aversion,evil,nuisance,wickedness.
crime,execration,offense,

Abomination (from the L. ab omen, a thing of ill omen) was originally applied to anything held in religious or ceremonial aversion or abhorrence; as, "The things which are highly esteemed among men are abomination in the sight of God." Luke xvi, 15. The word is oftener applied to the object of such aversion or abhorrence than to the state of mind that so regards it; in common use abomination signifies something very much disliked or loathed, or that deserves to be. Choice food may be an object of aversion and disgust to a sick person; vile food would be an abomination. A toad is to many an object of disgust; a foul sewer is an abomination. As applied to crimes, abomination is used of such as are especially brutal, shameful, or revolting; theft is an offense; infanticide is an abomination.

Antonyms:

affection,blessing,enjoyment,joy,
appreciation,delight,esteem,satisfaction,
approval,desire,gratification,treat.
benefit,

ABRIDGMENT.

Synonyms:

abbreviation,compend,epitome,summary,
abstract,compendium,outline,synopsis.
analysis,digest,

An abridgment gives the most important portions of a work substantially as they stand. An outline or synopsis is a kind of sketch closely following the plan. An abstract or digest is an independent statement of what the book contains. An analysis draws out the chief thoughts or arguments, whether expressed or implied. A summary is the most condensed statement of results or conclusions. An epitome, compend, or compendium is a condensed view of a subject, whether derived from a previous publication or not. We may have an abridgment of a dictionary, but not an analysis, abstract, digest, or summary. We may have an epitome of religion, a compendium of English literature, but not an abridgment. Compare ABBREVIATION.


[8]

ABSOLUTE.

Synonyms:

arbitrary,compulsory,haughty,peremptory,
arrogant,controlling,imperative,positive,
authoritative,despotic,imperious,supreme,
autocratic,dictatorial,irresponsible,tyrannical,
coercive,dogmatic,lordly,unconditional,
commanding,domineering,overbearing,unequivocal.
compulsive,exacting,

In the strict sense, absolute, free from all limitation or control, and supreme, superior to all, can not properly be said of any being except the divine. Both words are used, however, in a modified sense, of human authorities; absolute then signifying free from limitation by other authority, and supreme exalted over all other; as, an absolute monarch, the supreme court. Absolute, in this use, does not necessarily carry any unfavorable sense, but as absolute power in human hands is always abused, the unfavorable meaning predominates. Autocratic power knows no limits outside the ruler's self; arbitrary power, none outside the ruler's will or judgment, arbitrary carrying the implication of wilfulness and capriciousness. Despotic is commonly applied to a masterful or severe use of power, which is expressed more decidedly by tyrannical. Arbitrary may be used in a good sense; as, the pronunciation of proper names is arbitrary; but the bad sense is the prevailing one; as, an arbitrary proceeding. Irresponsible power is not necessarily bad, but eminently dangerous; an executor or trustee should not be irresponsible; an irresponsible ruler is likely to be tyrannical. A perfect ruler might be irresponsible and not tyrannical. Authoritative is used always in a good sense, implying the right to claim authority; imperative, peremptory, and positive are used ordinarily in the good sense; as, an authoritative definition; an imperative demand; a peremptory command; positive instructions; imperious signifies assuming and determined to command, rigorously requiring obedience. An imperious demand or requirement may have in it nothing offensive; it is simply one that resolutely insists upon compliance, and will not brook refusal; an arrogant demand is offensive by its tone of superiority, an arbitrary demand by its unreasonableness; an imperious disposition is liable to become arbitrary and arrogant. A person of an independent spirit is inclined to resent an imperious manner in any one, especially in one whose superiority is not clearly recognized. Commanding is always used in a good[9] sense; as, a commanding appearance; a commanding eminence. Compare DOGMATIC; INFINITE; PERFECT.

Antonyms:

accountable,constitutional,gentle,lowly,responsible,
complaisant,contingent,humble,meek,submissive,
compliant,docile,lenient,mild,yielding.
conditional,ductile,limited,

ABSOLVE.

Synonyms:

acquit,exculpate,forgive,pardon,
clear,exempt,free,release,
discharge,exonerate,liberate,set free.

To absolve, in the strict sense, is to set free from any bond. One may be absolved from a promise by a breach of faith on the part of one to whom the promise was made. To absolve from sins is formally to remit their condemnation and penalty, regarded as a bond upon the soul. "Almighty God ... pardoneth and absolveth all those who truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel." Book of Common Prayer, Declar. of Absol. To acquit of sin or crime is to free from the accusation of it, pronouncing one guiltless; the innocent are rightfully acquitted; the guilty may be mercifully absolved. Compare PARDON.

Antonyms:

accuse,charge,condemn,impeach,obligate,
bind,compel,convict,inculpate,oblige.

Preposition:

One is absolved from (rarely of) a promise, a sin, etc.


ABSORB.

Synonyms:

consume,engross,suck up,take in,
drink in,exhaust,swallow,take up.
drink up,imbibe,swallow up,

A fluid that is absorbed is taken up into the mass of the absorbing body, with which it may or may not permanently combine. Wood expands when it absorbs moisture, iron when it absorbs heat, the substance remaining perhaps otherwise substantially unchanged; quicklime, when it absorbs water, becomes a new substance with different qualities, hydrated or slaked lime. A substance is consumed which is destructively appropriated by some other substance, being, or agency, so that it ceases to exist or to be recognized as existing in its original condition; fuel is consumed in the fire, food in the body; consume is also applied to whatever is removed from the market for individual use; as, silk and woolen goods are consumed. A great talker engrosses the conversation. A credulous person swallows the most preposterous[10] statement. A busy student imbibes or drinks in knowledge; he is absorbed in a subject that takes his whole attention. "I only postponed it because I happened to get absorbed in a book." Kane Grinnell Exped. ch. 43, page 403. [H. '54.]

Antonyms:

cast out,dissipate,emit,put forth,shoot forth,
disgorge,distract,exude,radiate,throw off,
disperse,eject,give up,send out,vomit.

Prepositions:

Plants absorb moisture from the air; the student is absorbed in thought; nutriment may be absorbed into the system through the skin.


ABSTINENCE.

Synonyms:

abstemiousness,frugality,self-denial,sobriety,
continence,moderation,self-restraint,temperance.
fasting,self-control,

Abstinence from food commonly signifies going without; abstemiousness, partaking moderately; abstinence may be for a single occasion, abstemiousness is habitual moderation. Self-denial is giving up what one wishes; abstinence may be refraining from what one does not desire. Fasting is abstinence from food for a limited time, and generally for religious reasons. Sobriety and temperance signify maintaining a quiet, even temper by moderate indulgence in some things, complete abstinence from others. We speak of temperance in eating, but of abstinence from vice. Total abstinence has come to signify the entire abstaining from intoxicating liquors.

Antonyms:

drunkenness,greed,reveling,sensuality,
excess,intemperance,revelry,wantonness.
gluttony,intoxication,self-indulgence,

Preposition:

The negative side of virtue is abstinence from vice.


ABSTRACT, v.

Synonyms:

appropriate,distract,purloin,steal,
detach,divert,remove,take away,
discriminate,eliminate,separate,withdraw.
distinguish,

The central idea of withdrawing makes abstract in common speech a euphemism for appropriate (unlawfully), purloin, steal. In mental processes we discriminate between objects by distinguishing their differences; we separate some one element from all that does not necessarily belong to it, abstract it, and view it alone. We may separate two ideas, and hold both in mind in[11] comparison or contrast; but when we abstract one of them, we drop the other out of thought. The mind is abstracted when it is withdrawn from all other subjects and concentrated upon one, diverted when it is drawn away from what it would or should attend to by some other interest, distracted when the attention is divided among different subjects, so that it can not be given properly to any. The trouble with the distracted person is that he is not abstracted. Compare DISCERN.

Antonyms:

add,complete,fill up,restore,unite.
combine,conjoin,increase,strengthen,

Prepositions:

The purse may be abstracted from the pocket; the substance from the accidents; a book into a compend.


ABSTRACTED.

Synonyms:

absent,heedless,listless,preoccupied,
absent-minded,inattentive,negligent,thoughtless.
absorbed,indifferent,oblivious,

As regards mental action, absorbed, abstracted, and preoccupied refer to the cause, absent or absent-minded to the effect. The man absorbed in one thing will appear absent in others. A preoccupied person may seem listless and thoughtless, but the really listless and thoughtless have not mental energy to be preoccupied. The absent-minded man is oblivious of ordinary matters, because his thoughts are elsewhere. One who is preoccupied is intensely busy in thought; one may be absent-minded either through intense concentration or simply through inattention, with fitful and aimless wandering of thought. Compare ABSTRACT.

Antonyms:

alert,on hand,ready,wide-awake.
attentive,prompt,thoughtful,

ABSURD.

Synonyms:

anomalous,ill-considered,ludicrous,ridiculous,
chimerical,ill-judged,mistaken,senseless,
erroneous,inconclusive,monstrous,stupid,
false,incorrect,nonsensical,unreasonable,
foolish,infatuated,paradoxical,wild.
ill-advised,irrational,preposterous,

That is absurd which is contrary to the first principles of reasoning; as, that a part should be greater than the whole is absurd. A paradoxical statement appears at first thought contradictory or absurd, while it may be really true. Anything is irrational[12] when clearly contrary to sound reason, foolish when contrary to practical good sense, silly when petty and contemptible in its folly, erroneous when containing error that vitiates the result, unreasonable when there seems a perverse bias or an intent to go wrong. Monstrous and preposterous refer to what is overwhelmingly absurd; as, "O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two," Shakespeare 1 King Henry IV, act ii, sc. 4. The ridiculous or the nonsensical is worthy only to be laughed at. The lunatic's claim to be a king is ridiculous; the Mother Goose rimes are nonsensical. Compare INCONGRUOUS.

Antonyms:

certain,incontrovertible,rational,substantial,
consistent,indisputable,reasonable,true,
demonstrable,indubitable,sagacious,undeniable,
demonstrated,infallible,sensible,unquestionable,
established,logical,sound,wise.
incontestable,

ABUSE.

Synonyms:

aggrieve,impose on oroppress,ruin,
damage,upon,persecute,slander,
defame,injure,pervert,victimize,
defile,malign,prostitute,vilify,
disparage,maltreat,rail at,violate,
harm,misemploy,ravish,vituperate,
ill-treat,misuse,reproach,wrong.
ill-use,molest,revile,

Abuse covers all unreasonable or improper use or treatment by word or act. A tenant does not abuse rented property by "reasonable wear," though that may damage the property and injure its sale; he may abuse it by needless defacement or neglect. It is possible to abuse a man without harming him, as when the criminal vituperates the judge; or to harm a man without abusing him, as when the witness tells the truth about the criminal. Defame, malign, rail at, revile, slander, vilify, and vituperate are used always in a bad sense. One may be justly reproached. To impose on or to victimize one is to injure him by abusing his confidence. To persecute one is to ill-treat him for opinion's sake, commonly for religious belief; to oppress is generally for political or pecuniary motives. "Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy," Deut. xxiv, 14. Misemploy, misuse, and pervert are commonly applied to objects rather than to persons. A dissolute youth misemploys his time, misuses his money[13] and opportunities, harms his associates, perverts his talents, wrongs his parents, ruins himself, abuses every good gift of God.

Antonyms:

applaud,conserve,favor,protect,sustain,
benefit,consider,laud,regard,tend,
care for,eulogize,panegyrize,respect,uphold,
cherish,extol,praise,shield,vindicate.

ACCESSORY.

Synonyms:

abetter or abettor,associate,companion,henchman,
accomplice,attendant,confederate,participator,
ally,coadjutor,follower,partner,
assistant,colleague,helper,retainer.

Colleague is used always in a good sense, associate and coadjutor generally so; ally, assistant, associate, attendant, companion, helper, either in a good or a bad sense; abetter, accessory, accomplice, confederate, almost always in a bad sense. Ally is oftenest used of national and military matters, or of some other connection regarded as great and important; as, allies of despotism. Colleague is applied to civil and ecclesiastical connections; members of Congress from the same State are colleagues, even though they may be bitter opponents politically and personally. An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court is near in rank to the Chief Justice. A surgeon's assistant is a physician or medical student who shares in the treatment and care of patients; a surgeon's attendant is one who rolls bandages and the like. Follower, henchman, retainer are persons especially devoted to a chief, and generally bound to him by necessity, fee, or reward. Partner has come to denote almost exclusively a business connection. In law, an abettor (the general legal spelling) is always present, either actively or constructively, at the commission of the crime; an accessory never. An accomplice is usually a principal; an accessory never. If present, though only to stand outside and keep watch against surprise, one is an abettor, and not an accessory. At common law, an accessory implies a principal, and can not be convicted until after the conviction of the principal; the accomplice or abettor can be convicted as a principal. Accomplice and abettor have nearly the same meaning, but the former is the popular, the latter more distinctively the legal term. Compare APPENDAGE; AUXILIARY.

Antonyms:

adversary,chief,foe,leader,principal,
antagonist,commander,hinderer,opponent,rival.
betrayer,enemy,instigator,opposer,

[14]

Prepositions:

An accessory to the crime; before or after the fact; the accessories of a figure in a painting.


ACCIDENT.

Synonyms:

adventure,contingency,happening,misfortune,
calamity,disaster,hazard,mishap,
casualty,fortuity,incident,possibility.
chance,hap,misadventure,

An accident is that which happens without any one's direct intention; a chance that which happens without any known cause. If the direct cause of a railroad accident is known, we can not call it a chance. To the theist there is, in strictness, no chance, all things being by divine causation and control; but chance is spoken of where no special cause is manifest: "By chance there came down a certain priest that way," Luke x, 31. We can speak of a game of chance, but not of a game of accident. An incident is viewed as occurring in the regular course of things, but subordinate to the main purpose, or aside from the main design. Fortune is the result of inscrutable controlling forces. Fortune and chance are nearly equivalent, but chance can be used of human effort and endeavor as fortune can not be; we say "he has a chance of success," or "there is one chance in a thousand," where we could not substitute fortune; as personified, Fortune is regarded as having a fitful purpose, Chance as purposeless; we speak of fickle Fortune, blind Chance; "Fortune favors the brave." The slaughter of men is an incident of battle; unexpected defeat, the fortune of war. Since the unintended is often the undesirable, accident tends to signify some calamity or disaster, unless the contrary is expressed, as when we say a fortunate or happy accident. An adventure is that which may turn out ill, a misadventure that which does turn out ill. A slight disturbing accident is a mishap. Compare EVENT; HAZARD.

Antonyms:

appointment,decree,intention,ordainment,preparation,
calculation,fate,law,ordinance,provision,
certainty,foreordination,necessity,plan,purpose.

Prepositions:

The accident of birth; an accident to the machinery.


[15]

ACQUAINTANCE.

Synonyms:

association,experience,fellowship,intimacy,
companionship,familiarity,friendship,knowledge.

Acquaintance between persons supposes that each knows the other; we may know a public man by his writings or speeches, and by sight, but can not claim acquaintance unless he personally knows us. There may be pleasant acquaintance with little companionship; and conversely, much companionship with little acquaintance, as between busy clerks at adjoining desks. So there may be association in business without intimacy or friendship. Acquaintance admits of many degrees, from a slight or passing to a familiar or intimate acquaintance; but acquaintance unmodified commonly signifies less than familiarity or intimacy. As regards persons, familiarity is becoming restricted to the undesirable sense, as in the proverb, "Familiarity breeds contempt;" hence, in personal relations, the word intimacy, which refers to mutual knowledge of thought and feeling, is now uniformly preferred. Friendship includes acquaintance with some degree of intimacy, and ordinarily companionship, though in a wider sense friendship may exist between those who have never met, but know each other only by word and deed. Acquaintance does not involve friendship, for one may be well acquainted with an enemy. Fellowship involves not merely acquaintance and companionship, but sympathy as well. There may be much friendship without much fellowship, as between those whose homes or pursuits are far apart. There may be pleasant fellowship which does not reach the fulness of friendship. Compare ATTACHMENT; FRIENDSHIP; LOVE. As regards studies, pursuits, etc., acquaintance is less than familiarity, which supposes minute knowledge of particulars, arising often from long experience or association.

Antonyms:

ignorance,ignoring,inexperience,unfamiliarity.

Prepositions:

Acquaintance with a subject; of one person with another; between persons.


ACRIMONY.

Synonyms:

acerbity,harshness,severity,tartness,
asperity,malignity,sharpness,unkindness,
bitterness,moroseness,sourness,virulence.
causticity,

[16]Acerbity is a sharpness, with a touch of bitterness, which may arise from momentary annoyance or habitual impatience; asperity is keener and more pronounced, denoting distinct irritation or vexation; in speech asperity is often manifested by the tone of voice rather than by the words that are spoken. Acrimony in speech or temper is like a corrosive acid; it springs from settled character or deeply rooted feeling of aversion or unkindness. One might speak with momentary asperity to his child, but not with acrimony, unless estrangement had begun. Malignity is the extreme of settled ill intent; virulence is an envenomed hostility. Virulence of speech is a quality in language that makes the language seem as if exuding poison. Virulence is outspoken; malignity may be covered with smooth and courteous phrase. We say intense virulence, deep malignity. Severity is always painful, and may be terrible, but carries ordinarily the implication, true or false, of justice. Compare ANGER; BITTER; ENMITY.

Antonyms:

amiability,gentleness,kindness,smoothness,
courtesy,good nature,mildness,sweetness.

ACT, n.

Synonyms:

accomplishment,execution,movement,
achievement,exercise,operation,
action,exertion,performance,
consummation,exploit,proceeding,
deed,feat,transaction,
doing,motion,work.
effect,

An act is strictly and originally something accomplished by an exercise of power, in which sense it is synonymous with deed or effect. Action is a doing. Act is therefore single, individual, momentary; action a complex of acts, or a process, state, or habit of exerting power. We say a virtuous act, but rather a virtuous course of action. We speak of the action of an acid upon a metal, not of its act. Act is used, also, for the simple exertion of power; as, an act of will. In this sense an act does not necessarily imply an external effect, while an action does. Morally, the act of murder is in the determination to kill; legally, the act is not complete without the striking of the fatal blow. Act and deed are both used for the thing done, but act refers to the power put forth, deed to the result accomplished; as, a voluntary act, a bad deed. In connection with other words act is more usually qualified by the use of another noun, action by an adjective preceding; we may say a kind act, though oftener an act of kindness,[17] but only a kind action, not an action of kindness. As between act and deed, deed is commonly used of great, notable, and impressive acts, as are achievement, exploit, and feat.

Festus: We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths.

Bailey Festus, A Country Town, sc. 7.

A feat exhibits strength, skill, personal power, whether mental or physical, especially the latter; as, a feat of arms, a feat of memory. An exploit is a conspicuous or glorious deed, involving valor or heroism, usually combined with strength, skill, loftiness of thought, and readiness of resource; an achievement is the doing of something great and noteworthy; an exploit is brilliant, but its effect may be transient; an achievement is solid, and its effect enduring. Act and action are both in contrast to all that is merely passive and receptive. The intensest action is easier than passive endurance.

Antonyms:

cessation,immobility,inertia,quiet,suffering,
deliberation,inaction,passion,[A]repose,suspension.
endurance,inactivity,quiescence,rest,

[A] In philosophic sense.


ACTIVE.

Synonyms:

agile,energetic,officious,sprightly,
alert,expeditious,prompt,spry,
brisk,industrious,quick,supple,
bustling,lively,ready,vigorous,
busy,mobile,restless,wide awake.
diligent,nimble,

Active refers to both quickness and constancy of action; in the former sense it is allied with agile, alert, brisk, etc.; in the latter, with busy, diligent, industrious. The active love employment, the busy are actually employed, the diligent and the industrious are habitually busy. The restless are active from inability to keep quiet; their activity may be without purpose, or out of all proportion to the purpose contemplated. The officious are undesirably active in the affairs of others. Compare ALERT; ALIVE; MEDDLESOME.

Antonyms:

dull,inactive,lazy,slow,
heavy,indolent,quiescent,sluggish,
idle,inert,quiet,stupid.

Prepositions:

Active in work, in a cause; for an object, as for justice; with persons or instrumentalities; about something, as about other people's business.


[18]

ACUMEN.

Synonyms:

acuteness,insight,perspicacity,sharpness,
cleverness,keenness,sagacity,shrewdness.
discernment,penetration,

Sharpness, acuteness, and insight, however keen, and penetration, however deep, fall short of the meaning of acumen, which implies also ability to use these qualities to advantage. There are persons of keen insight and great penetration to whom these powers are practically useless. Acumen is sharpness to some purpose, and belongs to a mind that is comprehensive as well as keen. Cleverness is a practical aptitude for study or learning. Insight and discernment are applied oftenest to the judgment of character; penetration and perspicacity to other subjects of knowledge. Sagacity is an uncultured skill in using quick perceptions for a desired end, generally in practical affairs; acumen may increase with study, and applies to the most erudite matters. Shrewdness is keenness or sagacity, often with a somewhat evil bias, as ready to take advantage of duller intellects. Perspicacity is the power to see clearly through that which is difficult or involved. We speak of the acuteness of an observer or a reasoner, the insight and discernment of a student, a clergyman, or a merchant, the sagacity of a hound, the keenness of a debater, the shrewdness of a usurer, the penetration, perspicacity, and acumen of a philosopher.

Antonyms:

bluntness,dulness,obtuseness,stupidity.

ADD.

Synonyms:

adjoin,annex,augment,extend,make up,
affix,append,cast up,increase,subjoin,
amplify,attach,enlarge,join on,sum up.

To add is to increase by adjoining or uniting: in distinction from multiply, which is to increase by repeating. To augment a thing is to increase it by any means, but this word is seldom used directly of material objects; we do not augment a house, a farm, a nation, etc. We may enlarge a house, a farm, or an empire, extend influence or dominion, augment riches, power or influence, attach or annex a building to one that it adjoins or papers to the document they refer to, annex a clause or a codicil, affix a seal or a signature, annex a territory, attach a condition to a promise. A speaker may amplify a discourse by a fuller treatment[19] throughout than was originally planned, or he may append or subjoin certain remarks without change of what has gone before. We cast up or sum up an account, though add up and make up are now more usual expressions.

Antonyms:

abstract,diminish,lessen,remove,withdraw.
deduct,dissever,reduce,subtract,

Preposition:

Other items are to be added to the account.


ADDICTED.

Synonyms:

abandoned,devoted,given over,inclined,
accustomed,disposed,given up,prone,
attached,given,habituated,wedded.

One is addicted to that which he has allowed to gain a strong, habitual, and enduring hold upon action, inclination, or involuntary tendency, as to a habit or indulgence. A man may be accustomed to labor, attached to his profession, devoted to his religion, given to study or to gluttony (in the bad sense, given over, or given up, is a stronger and more hopeless expression, as is abandoned). One inclined to luxury may become habituated to poverty. One is wedded to that which has become a second nature; as, one is wedded to science or to art. Prone is used only in a bad sense, and generally of natural tendencies; as, our hearts are prone to evil. Abandoned tells of the acquired viciousness of one who has given himself up to wickedness. Addicted may be used in a good, but more frequently a bad sense; as, addicted to study; addicted to drink. Devoted is used chiefly in the good sense; as, a mother's devoted affection.

Antonyms:

averse,disinclined,indisposed,unaccustomed.

Preposition:

Addicted to vice.


ADDRESS, v.

Synonyms:

cost,approach,hail,speak to,
apostrophize,court,salute,woo.
appeal,greet,

To accost is to speak first, to friend or stranger, generally with a view to opening conversation; greet is not so distinctly limited, since one may return another's greeting; greet and hail may imply but a passing word; greeting may be altogether silent; to hail is to greet in a loud-voiced and commonly hearty and joyous[20] way, as appears in the expression "hail fellow, well met." To salute is to greet with special token of respect, as a soldier his commander. To apostrophize is to solemnly address some person or personified attribute apart from the audience to whom one is speaking; as, a preacher may apostrophize virtue, the saints of old, or even the Deity. To appeal is strictly to call for some form of help or support. Address is slightly more formal than accost or greet, though it may often be interchanged with them. One may address another at considerable length or in writing; he accosts orally and briefly.

Antonyms:

avoid,elude,overlook,pass by,
cut,ignore,pass,shun.

Prepositions:

Address the memorial to the legislature; the president addressed the people in an eloquent speech; he addressed an intruder with indignation.


ADDRESS, n.

Synonyms:

adroitness,discretion,manners,readiness,
courtesy,ingenuity,politeness,tact.
dexterity,

Address is that indefinable something which enables a man to gain his object without seeming exertion or contest, and generally with the favor and approval of those with whom he deals. It is a general power to direct to the matter in hand whatever qualities are most needed for it at the moment. It includes adroitness and discretion to know what to do or say and what to avoid; ingenuity to devise; readiness to speak or act; the dexterity that comes of practise; and tact, which is the power of fine touch as applied to human character and feeling. Courtesy and politeness are indispensable elements of good address. Compare SPEECH.

Antonyms:

awkwardness,clumsiness,ill-breeding,stupidity,
boorishness,fatuity,ill manners,unmannerliness,
clownishness,folly,rudeness,unwisdom.

Prepositions:

Address in dealing with opponents; the address of an accomplished intriguer; an address to the audience.


[21]

ADEQUATE.

Synonyms:

able,competent,fitted,satisfactory,
adapted,equal,fitting,sufficient,
capable,fit,qualified,suitable.
commensurate,

Adequate, commensurate, and sufficient signify equal to some given occasion or work; as, a sum sufficient to meet expenses; an adequate remedy for the disease. Commensurate is the more precise and learned word, signifying that which exactly measures the matter in question. Adapted, fit, suitable, and qualified refer to the qualities which match or suit the occasion. A clergyman may have strength adequate to the work of a porter; but that would not be a fit or suitable occupation for him. Work is satisfactory if it satisfies those for whom it is done, though it may be very poor work judged by some higher standard. Qualified refers to acquired abilities; competent to both natural and acquired; a qualified teacher may be no longer competent, by reason of ill health. Able and capable suggest general ability and reserved power, able being the higher word of the two. An able man will do something well in any position. A capable man will come up to any ordinary demand. We say an able orator, a capable accountant.

Antonyms:

disqualified,inferior,unequal,unsatisfactory,useless,
inadequate,insufficient,unfit,unsuitable,worthless.
incompetent,poor,unqualified,

Prepositions:

Adequate to the demand; for the purpose.


ADHERENT.

Synonyms:

aid,ally,disciple,partisan,supporter.
aider,backer,follower,

An adherent is one who is devoted or attached to a person, party, principle, cause, creed, or the like. One may be an aider and supporter of a party or church, while not an adherent to all its doctrines or claims. An ally is more independent still, as he may differ on every point except the specific ground of union. The Allies who overthrew Napoleon were united only against him. Allies are regarded as equals; adherents and disciples are followers. The adherent depends more on his individual judgment, the disciple is more subject to command and instruction; thus we say the disciples rather than the adherents of Christ. Partisan has[22] the narrow and odious sense of adhesion to a party, right or wrong. One may be an adherent or supporter of a party and not a partisan. Backer is a sporting and theatrical word, personal in its application, and not in the best usage. Compare ACCESSORY.

Antonyms:

adversary,betrayer,enemy,opponent,traitor.
antagonist,deserter,hater,renegade,

Prepositions:

Adherents to principle; adherents of Luther.


ADHESIVE.

Synonyms:

cohesive,gummy,sticky,viscous.
glutinous,sticking,viscid,

Adhesive is the scientific, sticking or sticky the popular word. That which is adhesive tends to join itself to the surface of any other body with which it is placed in contact; cohesive expresses the tendency of particles of the same substance to hold together. Polished plate glass is not adhesive, but such plates packed together are intensely cohesive. An adhesive plaster is in popular language a sticking-plaster. Sticky expresses a more limited, and generally annoying, degree of the same quality. Glutinous, gummy, viscid, and viscous are applied to fluid or semi-fluid substances, as pitch or tar.

Antonyms:

free,inadhesive,loose,separable.

Preposition:

The stiff, wet clay, adhesive to the foot, impeded progress.


ADJACENT.

Synonyms:

abutting,bordering,contiguous,neighboring,
adjoining,close,coterminous,next,
attached,conterminous,near,nigh.
beside,

Adjacent farms may not be connected; if adjoining, they meet at the boundary-line. Conterminous would imply that their dimensions were exactly equal on the side where they adjoin. Contiguous may be used for either adjacent or adjoining. Abutting refers rather to the end of one building or estate than to the neighborhood of another. Buildings may be adjacent or adjoining that are not attached. Near is a relative word, places being called near upon the railroad which would elsewhere be deemed remote. Neighboring always implies such proximity that the inhabitants[23] may be neighbors. Next views some object as the nearest of several or many; next neighbor implies a neighborhood.

Antonyms:

detached,disconnected,disjoined,distant,remote,separate.

Preposition:

The farm was adjacent to the village.


ADMIRE.

Synonyms:

adore,delight in,extol,respect,venerate,
applaud,enjoy,honor,revere,wonder.
approve,esteem,love,

In the old sense of wonder, admire is practically obsolete; the word now expresses a delight and approval, in which the element of wonder unconsciously mingles. We admire beauty in nature and art, delight in the innocent happiness of children, enjoy books or society, a walk or a dinner. We approve what is excellent, applaud heroic deeds, esteem the good, love our friends. We honor and respect noble character wherever found; we revere and venerate it in the aged. We extol the goodness and adore the majesty and power of God.

Antonyms:

abhor,contemn,detest,execrate,ridicule,
abominate,despise,dislike,hate,scorn.

Preposition:

Admire at may still very rarely be found in the old sense of wonder at.


ADORN.

Synonyms:

beautify,decorate,garnish,illustrate,
bedeck,embellish,gild,ornament.
deck,

To embellish is to brighten and enliven by adding something that is not necessarily or very closely connected with that to which it is added; to illustrate is to add something so far like in kind as to cast a side-light upon the principal matter. An author embellishes his narrative with fine descriptions, the artist illustrates it with beautiful engravings, the binder gilds and decorates the volume. Garnish is on a lower plane; as, the feast was garnished with flowers. Deck and bedeck are commonly said of apparel; as, a mother bedecks her daughter with silk and jewels. To adorn and to ornament alike signify to add that which makes anything beautiful and attractive, but ornament is more exclusively on the material plane; as, the gateway was ornamented with delicate[24] carving. Adorn is more lofty and spiritual, referring to a beauty which is not material, and can not be put on by ornaments or decorations, but seems in perfect harmony and unity with that to which it adds a grace; if we say, the gateway was adorned with beautiful carving, we imply a unity and loftiness of design such as ornamented can not express. We say of some admirable scholar or statesman, "he touched nothing that he did not adorn."

At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorned the venerable place.

Goldsmith Deserted Village, l. 178.

Antonyms:

deface,deform,disfigure,mar,spoil.

Preposition:

Adorn his temples with a coronet.


AFFRONT.

Synonyms:

aggravate,exasperate,offend,vex,
annoy,insult,provoke,wound.
displease,irritate,tease,

One may be annoyed by the well-meaning awkwardness of a servant, irritated by a tight shoe or a thoughtless remark, vexed at some careless neglect or needless misfortune, wounded by the ingratitude of child or friend. To tease is to give some slight and perhaps playful annoyance. Aggravate in the sense of offend is colloquial. To provoke, literally to call out or challenge, is to begin a contest; one provokes another to violence. To affront is to offer some defiant offense or indignity, as it were, to one's face; it is somewhat less than to insult. Compare PIQUE.

Antonyms:

conciliate,content,gratify,honor,please.

AGENT.

Synonyms:

actor,factor,means,operator,promoter.
doer,instrument,mover,performer,

In strict philosophical usage, the prime mover or doer of an act is the agent. Thus we speak of man as a voluntary agent, a free agent. But in common usage, especially in business, an agent is not the prime actor, but only an instrument or factor, acting under orders or instructions. Compare CAUSE.

Antonyms:

chief,inventor,originator,principal.

Prepositions:

An agent of the company for selling, etc.


[25]

AGREE.

Synonyms:

accede,admit,coincide,concur,
accept,approve,combine,consent,
accord,assent,comply,harmonize.
acquiesce,

Agree is the most general term of this group, signifying to have like qualities, proportions, views, or inclinations, so as to be free from jar, conflict, or contradiction in a given relation. To concur is to agree in general; to coincide is to agree in every particular. Whether in application to persons or things, concur tends to expression in action more than coincide; we may either concur or coincide in an opinion, but concur in a decision; views coincide, causes concur. One accepts another's terms, complies with his wishes, admits his statement, approves his plan, conforms to his views of doctrine or duty, accedes or consents to his proposal. Accede expresses the more formal agreement, consent the more complete. To assent is an act of the understanding; to consent, of the will. We may concur or agree with others, either in opinion or decision. One may silently acquiesce in that which does not meet his views, but which he does not care to contest. He admits the charge brought, or the statement made, by another—admit always carrying a suggestion of reluctance. Assent is sometimes used for a mild form of consent, as if agreement in the opinion assured approval of the decision.

Antonyms:

contend,demur,disagree,oppose,
contradict,deny,dispute,protest,
decline,differ,dissent,refuse.

Prepositions:

I agree in opinion with the speaker; to the terms proposed; persons agree on or upon a statement of principles, rules, etc.; we must agree among ourselves.


AGRICULTURE.

Synonyms:

cultivation,gardening,kitchen-gardening,
culture,horticulture,market-gardening,
farming,husbandry,tillage.
floriculture,

Agriculture is the generic term, including at once the science, the art, and the process of supplying human wants by raising the products of the soil, and by the associated industries; farming is the practise of agriculture as a business; there may be theoretical agriculture, but not theoretical farming; we speak of the science of agriculture, the business of farming; scientific agriculture[26] may be wholly in books; scientific farming is practised upon the land; we say an agricultural college rather than a college of farming. Farming refers to the cultivation of considerable portions of land, and the raising of the coarser crops; gardening is the close cultivation of a small area for small fruits, flowers, vegetables, etc., and while it may be done upon a farm is yet a distinct industry. Gardening in general, kitchen-gardening, the cultivation of vegetables, etc., for the household, market-gardening, the raising of the same for sale, floriculture, the culture of flowers, and horticulture, the culture of fruits, flowers, or vegetables, are all departments of agriculture, but not strictly nor ordinarily of farming; farming is itself one department of agriculture. Husbandry is a general word for any form of practical agriculture, but is now chiefly poetical. Tillage refers directly to the work bestowed upon the land, as plowing, manuring, etc.; cultivation refers especially to the processes that bring forward the crop; we speak of the tillage of the soil, the cultivation of corn; we also speak of land as in a state of cultivation, under cultivation, etc. Culture is now applied to the careful development of any product to a state of perfection, especially by care through successive generations; the choice varieties of the strawberry have been produced by wise and patient culture; a good crop in any year is the result of good cultivation.


AIM.

Synonyms:

aspiration,endeavor,intention,tendency.
design,goal,mark,
determination,inclination,object,
end,intent,purpose,

The aim is the direction in which one shoots, or sometimes that which is aimed at. The mark is that at which one shoots; the goal, that toward which one runs. All alike indicate the direction of endeavor. The end is the point at which one expects or hopes to close his labors; the object, that which he would grasp as the reward of his labors. Aspiration, design, endeavor, purpose, referring to the mental acts by which the aim is attained, are often used as interchangeable with aim. Aspiration applies to what are viewed as noble aims; endeavor, design, intention, purpose, indifferently to the best or worst. Aspiration has less of decision than the other terms; one may aspire to an object, and yet lack the fixedness of purpose by which alone it can be attained. Purpose is stronger than intention. Design especially denotes the[27] adaptation of means to an end; endeavor refers to the exertions by which it is to be attained. One whose aims are worthy, whose aspirations are high, whose designs are wise, and whose purposes are steadfast, may hope to reach the goal of his ambition, and will surely win some object worthy of a life's endeavor. Compare AMBITION; DESIGN.

Antonyms:

aimlessness,heedlessness,negligence,purposelessness,
avoidance,neglect,oversight,thoughtlessness.
carelessness,

AIR.

Synonyms:

appearance,demeanor,manner,sort,
bearing,expression,mien,style,
behavior,fashion,port,way.
carriage,look,

Air is that combination of qualities which makes the entire impression we receive in a person's presence; as, we say he has the air of a scholar, or the air of a villain. Appearance refers more to the dress and other externals. We might say of a travel-soiled pedestrian, he has the appearance of a tramp, but the air of a gentleman. Expression and look especially refer to the face. Expression is oftenest applied to that which is habitual; as, he has a pleasant expression of countenance; look may be momentary; as, a look of dismay passed over his face. We may, however, speak of the look or looks as indicating all that we look at; as, he had the look of an adventurer; I did not like his looks. Bearing is rather a lofty word; as, he has a noble bearing; port is practically identical in meaning with bearing, but is more exclusively a literary word. Carriage, too, is generally used in a good sense; as, that lady has a good carriage. Mien is closely synonymous with air, but less often used in a bad sense. We say a rakish air rather than a rakish mien. Mien may be used to express some prevailing feeling; as, "an indignant mien." Demeanor goes beyond appearance, including conduct, behavior; as, a modest demeanor. Manner and style are, in large part at least, acquired. Compare BEHAVIOR.


AIRY.

Synonyms:

aerial,ethereal,frolicsome,joyous,lively,
animated,fairylike,gay,light,sprightly.

Aerial and airy both signify of or belonging to the air, but airy also describes that which seems as if made of air; we speak[28] of airy shapes, airy nothings, where we could not well say aerial; ethereal describes its object as belonging to the upper air, the pure ether, and so, often, heavenly. Sprightly, spiritlike, refers to light, free, cheerful activity of mind and body. That which is lively or animated may be agreeable or the reverse; as, an animated discussion; a lively company.

Antonyms:

clumsy,heavy,ponderous,sluggish,wooden.
dull,inert,slow,stony,

ALARM.

Synonyms:

affright,disquietude,fright,solicitude,
apprehension,dread,misgiving,terror,
consternation,fear,panic,timidity.
dismay,

Alarm, according to its derivation all'arme, "to arms," is an arousing to meet and repel danger, and may be quite consistent with true courage. Affright and fright express sudden fear which, for the time at least, overwhelms courage. The sentinel discovers with alarm the sudden approach of the enemy; the unarmed villagers view it with affright. Apprehension, disquietude, dread, misgiving, and solicitude are in anticipation of danger; consternation, dismay, and terror are overwhelming fear, generally in the actual presence of that which is terrible, though these words also may have an anticipative force. Timidity is a quality, habit, or condition, a readiness to be affected with fear. A person of great timidity is constantly liable to needless alarm and even terror. Compare FEAR.

Antonyms:

assurance,calmness,confidence,repose,security.

Prepositions:

Alarm was felt in the camp, among the soldiers, at the news.


ALERT.

Synonyms:

active,lively,prepared,vigilant,
brisk,nimble,prompt,watchful,
hustling,on the watch,ready,wide-awake.

Alert, ready, and wide-awake refer to a watchful promptness for action. Ready suggests thoughtful preparation; the wandering Indian is alert, the trained soldier is ready. Ready expresses more life and vigor than prepared. The gun is prepared; the man is ready. Prompt expresses readiness for appointment or[29] demand at the required moment. The good general is ready for emergencies, alert to perceive opportunity or peril, prompt to seize occasion. The sense of brisk, nimble is the secondary and now less common signification of alert. Compare ACTIVE; ALIVE; NIMBLE; VIGILANT.

Antonyms:

drowsy,dull,heavy,inactive,slow,sluggish,stupid.

ALIEN, a.

Synonyms:

conflicting,distant,inappropriate,strange,
contradictory,foreign,irrelevant,unconnected,
contrary,hostile,opposed,unlike.
contrasted,impertinent,remote,

Foreign refers to difference of birth, alien to difference of allegiance. In their figurative use, that is foreign which is remote, unlike, or unconnected; that is alien which is conflicting, hostile, or opposed. Impertinent and irrelevant matters can not claim consideration in a certain connection; inappropriate matters could not properly be considered. Compare ALIEN, n.; CONTRAST, v.

Antonyms:

akin,apropos,germane,proper,
appropriate,essential,pertinent,relevant.

Prepositions:

Such a purpose was alien to (or from) my thought: to preferable.


ALIEN, n.

Synonyms:

foreigner,stranger.

A naturalized citizen is not an alien, though a foreigner by birth, and perhaps a stranger in the place where he resides. A person of foreign birth not naturalized is an alien, though he may have been resident in the country a large part of a lifetime, and ceased to be a stranger to its people or institutions. He is an alien in one country if his allegiance is to another. The people of any country still residing in their own land are, strictly speaking, foreigners to the people of all other countries, rather than aliens; but alien and foreigner are often used synonymously.

Antonyms:

citizen,fellow-countryman,native-born inhabitant,
countryman,native,naturalized person.

Prepositions:

Aliens to (more rarely from) our nation and laws; aliens in our land, among our people.


[30]

ALIKE.

Synonyms:

akin,equivalent,kindred,same,
analogous,homogeneous,like,similar,
equal,identical,resembling,uniform.

Alike is a comprehensive word, signifying as applied to two or more objects that some or all qualities of one are the same as those of the other or others; by modifiers alike may be made to express more or less resemblance; as, these houses are somewhat (i. e., partially) alike; or, these houses are exactly (i. e., in all respects) alike. Cotton and wool are alike in this, that they can both be woven into cloth. Substances are homogeneous which are made up of elements of the same kind, or which are the same in structure. Two pieces of iron may be homogeneous in material, while not alike in size or shape. In geometry, two triangles are equal when they can be laid over one another, and fit, line for line and angle for angle; they are equivalent when they simply contain the same amount of space. An identical proposition is one that says the same thing precisely in subject and predicate. Similar refers to close resemblance, which yet leaves room for question or denial of complete likeness or identity. To say "this is the identical man," is to say not merely that he is similar to the one I have in mind, but that he is the very same person. Things are analogous when they are similar in idea, plan, use, or character, tho perhaps quite unlike in appearance; as, the gills of fishes are said to be analogous to the lungs in terrestrial animals.

Antonyms:

different,dissimilar,distinct,heterogeneous,unlike.

Prepositions:

The specimens are alike in kind; they are all alike to me.


ALIVE.

Synonyms:

active,breathing,live,quick,
alert,brisk,lively,subsisting,
animate,existent,living,vivacious.
animated,existing,

Alive applies to all degrees of life, from that which shows one to be barely existing or existent as a living thing, as when we say he is just alive, to that which implies the very utmost of vitality and power, as in the words "he is all alive," "thoroughly alive." So the word quick, which began by signifying "having life," is now mostly applied to energy of life as shown in swiftness of action. Breathing is capable of like contrast. We say of a dying[31] man, he is still breathing; or we speak of a breathing statue, or "breathing and sounding, beauteous battle," Tennyson Princess can. v, l. 155, where it means having, or seeming to have, full and vigorous breath, abundant life. Compare ACTIVE; ALERT; NIMBLE.

Antonyms:

dead,defunct,dull,lifeless,
deceased,dispirited,inanimate,spiritless.

Prepositions:

Alive in every nerve; alive to every noble impulse; alive with fervor, hope, resolve; alive through all his being.


ALLAY.

Synonyms:

alleviate,compose,quiet,still,
appease,mollify,soothe,tranquilize.
calm,pacify,

Allay and alleviate are closely kindred in signification, and have been often interchanged in usage. But, in strictness, to allay is to lay to rest, quiet or soothe that which is excited; to alleviate, on the other hand, is to lighten a burden. We allay suffering by using means to soothe and tranquilize the sufferer; we alleviate suffering by doing something toward removal of the cause, so that there is less to suffer; where the trouble is wholly or chiefly in the excitement, to allay the excitement is virtually to remove the trouble; as, to allay rage or panic; we alleviate poverty, but do not allay it. Pacify, directly from the Latin, and appease, from the Latin through the French, signify to bring to peace; to mollify is to soften; to calm, quiet, or tranquilize is to make still; compose, to place together, unite, adjust to a calm and settled condition; to soothe (originally to assent to, humor) is to bring to pleased quietude. We allay excitement, appease a tumult, calm agitation, compose our feelings or countenance, pacify the quarrelsome, quiet the boisterous or clamorous, soothe grief or distress. Compare ALLEVIATE.

Antonyms:

agitate,excite,kindle,rouse,stir up.
arouse,fan,provoke,stir,

ALLEGE.

Synonyms:

adduce,asseverate,claim,maintain,produce,
advance,assign,declare,offer,say,
affirm,aver,introduce,plead,state.
assert,cite,

To allege is formally to state as true or capable of proof, but without proving. To adduce, literally to lead to, is to bring the[32] evidence up to what has been alleged. Adduce is a secondary word; nothing can be adduced in evidence till something has been stated or alleged, which the evidence is to sustain. An alleged fact stands open to question or doubt. To speak of an alleged document, an alleged will, an alleged crime, is either to question, or at least very carefully to refrain from admitting, that the document exists, that the will is genuine, or that the crime has been committed. Alleged is, however, respectful; to speak of the "so-called" will or deed, etc., would be to cast discredit upon the document, and imply that the speaker was ready to brand it as unquestionably spurious; alleged simply concedes nothing and leaves the question open. To produce is to bring forward, as, for instance, papers or persons. Adduce is not used of persons; of them we say introduce or produce. When an alleged criminal is brought to trial, the counsel on either side are accustomed to advance a theory, and adduce the strongest possible evidence in its support; they will produce documents and witnesses, cite precedents, assign reasons, introduce suggestions, offer pleas. The accused will usually assert his innocence. Compare STATE.


ALLEGIANCE.

Synonyms:

devotion,fealty,loyalty,obedience,subjection.
faithfulness,homage,

Allegiance is the obligation of fidelity and obedience that an individual owes to his government or sovereign, in return for the protection he receives. The feudal uses of these words have mostly passed away with the state of society that gave them birth; but their origin still colors their present meaning. A patriotic American feels an enthusiastic loyalty to the republic; he takes, on occasion, an oath of allegiance to the government, but his loyalty will lead him to do more than mere allegiance could demand; he pays homage to God alone, as the only king and lord, or to those principles of right that are spiritually supreme; he acknowledges the duty of obedience to all rightful authority; he resents the idea of subjection. Fealty is becoming somewhat rare, except in elevated or poetic style. We prefer to speak of the faithfulness rather than the fealty of citizen, wife, or friend.

Antonyms:

disaffection,disloyalty,rebellion,sedition,treason.

Prepositions:

We honor the allegiance of the citizen to the government; the government has a right to allegiance from the citizen.


[33]

ALLEGORY.

Synonyms:

fable,fiction,illustration,metaphor,parable,simile.

In modern usage we may say that an allegory is an extended simile, while a metaphor is an abbreviated simile contained often in a phrase, perhaps in a word. The simile carries its comparison on the surface, in the words as, like, or similar expressions; the metaphor is given directly without any note of comparison. The allegory, parable, or fable tells its story as if true, leaving the reader or hearer to discover its fictitious character and learn its lesson. All these are, in strict definition, fictions; but the word fiction is now applied almost exclusively to novels or romances. An allegory is a moral or religious tale, of which the moral lesson is the substance, and all descriptions and incidents but accessories, as in "The Pilgrim's Progress." A fable is generally briefer, representing animals as the speakers and actors, and commonly conveying some lesson of practical wisdom or shrewdness, as "The Fables of Æsop." A parable is exclusively moral or religious, briefer and less adorned than an allegory, with its lesson more immediately discernible, given, as it were, at a stroke. Any comparison, analogy, instance, example, tale, anecdote, or the like which serves to let in light upon a subject may be called an illustration, this word in its widest use including all the rest. Compare FICTION; STORY.

Antonyms:

chronicle,fact,history,narrative,record.

ALLEVIATE.

Synonyms:

abate,lighten,reduce,remove,
assuage,mitigate,relieve,soften.
lessen,moderate,

Etymologically, to alleviate is to lift a burden toward oneself, and so lighten it for the bearer; to relieve is to lift it back from the bearer, nearly or quite away; to remove is to take it away altogether. Alleviate is thus less than relieve; relieve, ordinarily, less than remove. We alleviate, relieve or remove the trouble; we relieve, not alleviate, the sufferer. Assuage is, by derivation, to sweeten; mitigate, to make mild; moderate, to bring within measure; abate, to beat down, and so make less. We abate a fever; lessen anxiety; moderate passions or desires; lighten burdens; mitigate or alleviate pain; reduce inflammation;[34] soften, assuage, or moderate grief; we lighten or mitigate punishments; we relieve any suffering of body or mind that admits of help, comfort, or remedy. Alleviate has been often confused with allay. Compare ALLAY.

Antonyms:

aggravate,embitter,heighten,intensify,make worse.
augment,enhance,increase,magnify,

ALLIANCE.

Synonyms:

coalition,confederation,fusion,partnership,
compact,federation,league,union.
confederacy,

Alliance is in its most common use a connection formed by treaty between sovereign states as for mutual aid in war. Partnership is a mercantile word; alliance chiefly political or matrimonial. Coalition is oftenest used of political parties; fusion is now the more common word in this sense. In an alliance between nations there is no surrender of sovereignty, and no union except for a specified time and purpose. League and alliance are used with scarcely perceptible difference of meaning. In a confederacy or confederation there is an attempt to unite separate states in a general government without surrender of sovereignty. Union implies so much concession as to make the separate states substantially one. Federation is mainly a poetic and rhetorical word expressing something of the same thought, as in Tennyson's "federation of the world," Locksley Hall, l. 128. The United States is not a confederacy nor an alliance; the nation might be called a federation, but prefers to be styled a federal union.

Antonyms:

antagonism,disunion,enmity,schism,separation,
discord,divorce,hostility,secession,war.

Prepositions:

Alliance with a neighboring people; against the common enemy; for offense and defense; alliance of, between, or among nations.


ALLOT.

Synonyms:

appoint,destine,give,portion out,
apportion,distribute,grant,select,
assign,divide,mete out,set apart.
award,

Allot, originally to assign by lot, applies to the giving of a definite thing to a certain person. A portion or extent of time is allotted;[35] as, I expect to live out my allotted time. A definite period is appointed; as, the audience assembled at the appointed hour. Allot may also refer to space; as, to allot a plot of ground for a cemetery; but we now oftener use select, set apart, or assign. Allot is not now used of persons. Appoint may be used of time, space, or person; as, the appointed day; the appointed place; an officer was appointed to this station. Destine may also refer to time, place, or person, but it always has reference to what is considerably in the future; a man appoints to meet his friend in five minutes; he destines his son to follow his own profession. Assign is rarely used of time, but rather of places, persons, or things. We assign a work to be done and assign a man to do it, who, if he fails, must assign a reason for not doing it. That which is allotted, appointed, or assigned is more or less arbitrary; that which is awarded is the due requital of something the receiver has done, and he has right and claim to it; as, the medal was awarded for valor. Compare APPORTION.

Antonyms:

appropriate,deny,resume,seize,
confiscate,refuse,retain,withhold.

Prepositions:

Allot to a company for a purpose.


ALLOW.

Synonyms:

admit,consent to,let,sanction,tolerate,
concede,grant,permit,suffer,yield.

We allow that which we do not attempt to hinder; we permit that to which we give some express authorization. When this is given verbally it is called permission; when in writing it is commonly called a permit. There are establishments that any one will be allowed to visit without challenge or hindrance; there are others that no one is allowed to visit without a permit from the manager; there are others to which visitors are admitted at specified times, without a formal permit. We allow a child's innocent intrusion; we concede a right; grant a request; consent to a sale of property; permit an inspection of accounts; sanction a marriage; tolerate the rudeness of a well-meaning servant; submit to a surgical operation; yield to a demand or necessity against our wish or will, or yield something under compulsion; as, the sheriff yielded the keys at the muzzle of a revolver, and allowed the mob to enter. Suffer, in the sense of mild concession, is now becoming rare, its[36] place being taken by allow, permit, or tolerate. Compare PERMISSION.

Antonyms:

deny,disapprove,protest,reject,withstand.
disallow,forbid,refuse,resist,

See also synonyms for PROHIBIT.

Prepositions:

To allow of (in best recent usage, simply to allow) such an action; allow one in such a course; allow for spending-money.


ALLOY.

Synonyms:

admixture,adulteration,debasement,deterioration.

Alloy may be either some admixture of baser with precious metal, as for giving hardness to coin or the like, or it may be a compound or mixture of two or more metals. Adulteration, debasement, and deterioration are always used in the bad sense; admixture is neutral, and may be good or bad; alloy is commonly good in the literal sense. An excess of alloy virtually amounts to adulteration; but adulteration is now mostly restricted to articles used for food, drink, medicine, and kindred uses. In the figurative sense, as applied to character, etc., alloy is unfavorable, because there the only standard is perfection.


ALLUDE.

Synonyms:

advert,indicate,intimate,point,signify,
hint,insinuate,mention,refer,suggest.
imply,

Advert, mention, and refer are used of language that more or less distinctly utters a certain thought; the others of language from which it may be inferred. We allude to a matter slightly, perhaps by a word or phrase, as it were in byplay; we advert to it when we turn from our path to treat it; we refer to it by any clear utterance that distinctly turns the mind or attention to it; as, marginal figures refer to a parallel passage; we mention a thing by explicit word, as by naming it. The speaker adverted to the recent disturbances and the remissness of certain public officers; tho he mentioned no name, it was easy to see to whom he alluded. One may hint at a thing in a friendly way, but what is insinuated is always unfavorable, generally both hostile and cowardly. One may indicate his wishes, intimate his plans, imply[37] his opinion, signify his will, suggest a course of action. Compare SUGGESTION.

Preposition:

The passage evidently alludes to the Jewish Passover.


ALLURE.

Synonyms:

attract,captivate,decoy,entice,lure,tempt,
cajole,coax,draw,inveigle,seduce,win.

To allure is to draw as with a lure by some charm or some prospect of pleasure or advantage. We may attract others to a certain thing without intent; as, the good unconsciously attract others to virtue. We may allure either to that which is evil or to that which is good and noble, by purpose and endeavor, as in the familiar line, "Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way," Goldsmith Deserted Village, l. 170. Lure is rather more akin to the physical nature. It is the word we would use of drawing on an animal. Coax expresses the attraction of the person, not of the thing. A man may be coaxed to that which is by no means alluring. Cajole and decoy carry the idea of deceiving and ensnaring. To inveigle is to lead one blindly in. To tempt is to endeavor to lead one wrong; to seduce is to succeed in winning one from good to ill. Win may be used in either a bad or a good sense, in which latter it surpasses the highest sense of allure, because it succeeds in that which allure attempts; as, "He that winneth souls is wise," Prov. xi, 30.

Antonyms:

chill,damp,deter,dissuade,drive away,repel,warn.

Prepositions:

Allure to a course; allure by hopes; allure from evil to good.


ALSO.

Synonyms:

as well,in addition,likewise,too,
as well as,in like manner,similarly,withal.
besides,

While some distinctions between these words and phrases will appear to the careful student, yet in practise the choice between them is largely to secure euphony and avoid repetition. The words fall into two groups; as well as, besides, in addition, too, withal, simply add a fact or thought; also (all so), in like manner, likewise, similarly, affirm that what is added is like that to which it is added. As well follows the word or phrase to which it is[38] joined. We can say the singers as well as the players, or the players, and the singers as well.

Antonyms:

but,nevertheless,on the contrary,yet.
in spite of,notwithstanding,on the other hand,

ALTERNATIVE.

Synonyms:

choice,election,option,pick,preference,resource.

A choice may be among many things; an alternative is in the strictest sense a choice between two things; oftener it is one of two things between which a choice is to be made, and either of which is the alternative of the other; as, the alternative of surrender is death; or the two things between which there is a choice may be called the alternatives; both Mill and Gladstone are quoted as extending the meaning of alternative to include several particulars, Gladstone even speaking of "the fourth and last of these alternatives." Option is the right or privilege of choosing; choice may be either the right to choose, the act of choosing, or the thing chosen. A person of ability and readiness will commonly have many resources. Pick, from the Saxon, and election, from the Latin, picture the objects before one, with freedom and power to choose which he will; as, there were twelve horses, among which I could take my pick. A choice, pick, election, or preference is that which suits one best; an alternative is that to which one is restricted; a resource, that to which one is glad to betake oneself.

Antonyms:

compulsion,necessity.

AMASS.

Synonyms:

accumulate,collect,heap up,hoard up,store up.
aggregate,gather,hoard,pile up,

To amass is to bring together materials that make a mass, a great bulk or quantity. With some occasional exceptions, accumulate is applied to the more gradual, amass to the more rapid gathering of money or materials, amass referring to the general result or bulk, accumulate to the particular process or rate of gain. We say interest is accumulated (or accumulates) rather than is amassed; he accumulated a fortune in the course of years; he rapidly amassed a fortune by shrewd speculations. Goods or money for immediate distribution are said to be collected rather[39] than amassed. They may be stored up for a longer or shorter time; but to hoard is always with a view of permanent retention, generally selfish. Aggregate is now most commonly used of numbers and amounts; as, the expenses will aggregate a round million.

Antonyms:

disperse,divide,portion,spend,waste.
dissipate,parcel,scatter,squander,

Prepositions:

Amass for oneself; for a purpose; from a distance; with great labor; by industry.


AMATEUR.

Synonyms:

connoisseur,critic,dilettante,novice,tyro.

Etymologically, the amateur is one who loves, the connoisseur one who knows. In usage, the term amateur is applied to one who pursues any study or art simply from the love of it; the word carries a natural implication of superficialness, tho marked excellence is at times attained by amateurs. A connoisseur is supposed to be so thoroughly informed regarding any art or work as to be able to criticize or select intelligently and authoritatively; there are many incompetent critics, but there can not, in the true sense, be an incompetent connoisseur. The amateur practises to some extent that in regard to which he may not be well informed; the connoisseur is well informed in regard to that which he may not practise at all. A novice or tyro may be a professional; an amateur never is; the amateur may be skilled and experienced as the novice or tyro never is. Dilettante, which had originally the sense of amateur, has to some extent come to denote one who is superficial, pretentious, and affected, whether in theory or practise.

Preposition:

An amateur in art.


AMAZEMENT.

Synonyms:

admiration,awe,confusion,surprise,
astonishment,bewilderment,perplexity,wonder.

Amazement and astonishment both express the momentary overwhelming of the mind by that which is beyond expectation. Astonishment especially affects the emotions, amazement the intellect. Awe is the yielding of the mind to something supremely[40] grand in character or formidable in power, and ranges from apprehension or dread to reverent worship. Admiration includes delight and regard. Surprise lies midway between astonishment and amazement, and usually respects matters of lighter consequence or such as are less startling in character. Amazement may be either pleasing or painful, as when induced by the grandeur of the mountains, or by the fury of the storm. We can say pleased surprise, but scarcely pleased astonishment. Amazement has in it something of confusion or bewilderment; but confusion and bewilderment may occur without amazement, as when a multitude of details require instant attention. Astonishment may be without bewilderment or confusion. Wonder is often pleasing, and may be continuous in view of that which surpasses our comprehension; as, the magnitude, order, and beauty of the heavens fill us with increasing wonder. Compare PERPLEXITY.

Antonyms:

anticipation,composure,expectation,preparation,steadiness,
calmness,coolness,indifference,self-possession,stoicism.

Preposition:

I was filled with amazement at such reckless daring.


AMBITION.

Synonyms:

aspiration,competition,emulation,opposition,rivalry.

Aspiration is the desire for excellence, pure and simple. Ambition, literally a going around to solicit votes, has primary reference to the award or approval of others, and is the eager desire of power, fame, or something deemed great and eminent, and viewed as a worthy prize. The prizes of aspiration are virtue, nobility, skill, or other high qualities. The prizes of ambition are advancement, fame, honor, and the like. There is a noble and wise or an ignoble, selfish, and harmful ambition. Emulation is not so much to win any excellence or success for itself as to equal or surpass other persons. There is such a thing as a noble emulation, when those we would equal or surpass are noble, and the means we would use worthy. But, at the highest, emulation is inferior as a motive to aspiration, which seeks the high quality or character for its own sake, not with reference to another. Competition is the striving for something that is sought by another at the same time. Emulation regards the abstract, competition the concrete; rivalry is the same in essential meaning with competition, but differs in the nature of the objects contested for, which, in[41] the case of rivalry, are usually of the nobler sort and less subject to direct gaging, measurement, and rule. We speak of competition in business, emulation in scholarship, rivalry in love, politics, etc.; emulation of excellence, success, achievement; competition for a prize; rivalry between persons or nations. Competition may be friendly, rivalry is commonly hostile. Opposition is becoming a frequent substitute for competition in business language; it implies that the competitor is an opponent and hinderer.

Antonyms:

carelessness,contentment,humility,indifference,satisfaction.

AMEND.

Synonyms:

advance,correct,meliorate,rectify,
ameliorate,emend,mend,reform,
better,improve,mitigate,repair.
cleanse,make better,purify,

To amend is to change for the better by removing faults, errors, or defects, and always refers to that which at some point falls short of a standard of excellence. Advance, better, and improve may refer either to what is quite imperfect or to what has reached a high degree of excellence; we advance the kingdom of God, improve the minds of our children, better the morals of the people. But for matters below the point of ordinary approval we seldom use these words; we do not speak of bettering a wretched alley, or improving a foul sewer. There we use cleanse, purify, or similar words. We correct evils, reform abuses, rectify incidental conditions of evil or error; we ameliorate poverty and misery, which we can not wholly remove. We mend a tool, repair a building, correct proof; we amend character or conduct that is faulty, or a statement or law that is defective. A text, writing, or statement is amended by the author or by some adequate authority; it is often emended by conjecture. A motion is amended by the mover or by the assembly; a constitution is amended by the people; an ancient text is emended by a critic who believes that what seems to him the better reading is what the author wrote. Compare ALLEVIATE.

Antonyms:

aggravate,debase,harm,mar,tarnish,
blemish,depress,impair,spoil,vitiate.
corrupt,deteriorate,injure,

[42]

AMIABLE.

Synonyms:

agreeable,engaging,lovable,pleasing,
attractive,gentle,lovely,sweet,
benignant,good-natured,loving,winning,
harming,kind,pleasant,winsome.

Amiable combines the senses of lovable or lovely and loving; the amiable character has ready affection and kindliness for others, with the qualities that are adapted to win their love; amiable is a higher and stronger word than good-natured or agreeable. Lovely is often applied to externals; as, a lovely face. Amiable denotes a disposition desirous to cheer, please, and make happy. A selfish man of the world may have the art to be agreeable; a handsome, brilliant, and witty person may be charming or even attractive, while by no means amiable. The engaging, winning, and winsome add to amiability something of beauty, accomplishments, and grace. The benignant are calmly kind, as from a height and a distance. Kind, good-natured people may be coarse and rude, and so fail to be agreeable or pleasing; the really amiable are likely to avoid such faults by their earnest desire to please. The good-natured have an easy disposition to get along comfortably with every one in all circumstances. A sweet disposition is very sure to be amiable, the loving heart bringing out all that is lovable and lovely in character.

Antonyms:

acrimonious,crusty,hateful,ill-tempered,surly,
churlish,disagreeable,ill-conditioned,morose,unamiable,
crabbed,dogged,ill-humored,sour,unlovely,
cruel,gruff,ill-natured,sullen,

AMID.

Synonyms:

amidst,amongst,betwixt,mingled with,
among,between,in the midst of,surrounded by.

Amid or amidst denotes surrounded by; among or amongst denotes mingled with. Between (archaic or poetic, betwixt) is said of two persons or objects, or of two groups of persons or objects. "Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen," Gen. xiii, 9; the reference being to two bodies of herdmen. Amid denotes mere position; among, some active relation, as of companionship, hostility, etc. Lowell's "Among my Books" regards the books as companions; amid my books would suggest packing, storing, or some other incidental circumstance. We say among friends, or among enemies, amidst the woods, amid the shadows. In the[43] midst of may have merely the local meaning; as, I found myself in the midst of a crowd; or it may express even closer association than among; as, "I found myself in the midst of friends" suggests their pressing up on every side, oneself the central object; so, "where two or three are met together in my name, there am I in the midst of them," Matt. xviii, 20; in which case it would be feebler to say "among them," impossible to say "amid them," not so well to say "amidst them."

Antonyms:

afar from,away from,beyond,far from,outside,without.

AMPLIFY.

Synonyms:

augment,dilate,expand,extend,unfold,
develop,enlarge,expatiate,increase,widen.

Amplify is now rarely used in the sense of increase, to add material substance, bulk, volume, or the like; it is now almost wholly applied to discourse or writing, signifying to make fuller in statement, whether with or without adding matter of importance, as by stating fully what was before only implied, or by adding illustrations to make the meaning more readily apprehended, etc. The chief difficulty of very young writers is to amplify, to get beyond the bare curt statement by developing, expanding, unfolding the thought. The chief difficulty of those who have more material and experience is to condense sufficiently. So, in the early days of our literature amplify was used in the favorable sense; but at present this word and most kindred words are coming to share the derogatory meaning that has long attached to expatiate. We may develop a thought, expand an illustration, extend a discussion, expatiate on a hobby, dilate on something joyous or sad, enlarge a volume, unfold a scheme, widen the range of treatment.

Antonyms:

abbreviate,amputate,condense,cut down,reduce,summarize,
abridge,"boil down,"curtail,epitomize,retrench,sum up.

Prepositions:

To amplify on or upon the subject is needless. Amplify this matter by illustrations.


ANALOGY.

Synonyms:

affinity,likeness,relation,similarity,
coincidence,parity,resemblance,simile,
comparison,proportion,semblance,similitude.

Analogy is specifically a resemblance of relations; a resemblance[44] that may be reasoned from, so that from the likeness in certain respects we may infer that other and perhaps deeper relations exist. Affinity is a mutual attraction with or without seeming likeness; as, the affinity of iron for oxygen. Coincidence is complete agreement in some one or more respects; there may be a coincidence in time of most dissimilar events. Parity of reasoning is said of an argument equally conclusive on subjects not strictly analogous. Similitude is a rhetorical comparison of one thing to another with which it has some points in common. Resemblance and similarity are external or superficial, and may involve no deeper relation; as, the resemblance of a cloud to a distant mountain. Compare ALLEGORY.

Antonyms:

disagreement,disproportion,dissimilarity,incongruity,unlikeness.

Prepositions:

The analogy between (or of) nature and revelation; the analogy of sound to light; a family has some analogy with (or to) a state.


ANGER.

Synonyms:

animosity,fury,offense,rage,
choler,impatience,passion,resentment,
displeasure,indignation,peevishness,temper,
exasperation,ire,pettishness,vexation,
fretfulness,irritation,petulance,wrath.

Displeasure is the mildest and most general word. Choler and ire, now rare except in poetic or highly rhetorical language, denote a still, and the latter a persistent, anger. Temper used alone in the sense of anger is colloquial, tho we may correctly say a hot temper, a fiery temper, etc. Passion, tho a word of far wider application, may, in the singular, be employed to denote anger; "did put me in a towering passion," Shakespeare Hamlet act v, sc. 2. Anger is violent and vindictive emotion, which is sharp, sudden, and, like all violent passions, necessarily brief. Resentment (a feeling back or feeling over again) is persistent, the bitter brooding over injuries. Exasperation, a roughening, is a hot, superficial intensity of anger, demanding instant expression. Rage drives one beyond the bounds of prudence or discretion; fury is stronger yet, and sweeps one away into uncontrollable violence. Anger is personal and usually selfish, aroused by real or supposed wrong to oneself, and directed specifically and intensely against the person who is viewed as blameworthy. Indignation is impersonal and unselfish displeasure at unworthy acts (L. indigna), i. e.,[45] at wrong as wrong. Pure indignation is not followed by regret, and needs no repentance; it is also more self-controlled than anger. Anger is commonly a sin; indignation is often a duty. Wrath is deep and perhaps vengeful displeasure, as when the people of Nazareth were "filled with wrath" at the plain words of Jesus (Luke iv, 28); it may, however, simply express the culmination of righteous indignation without malice in a pure being; as, the wrath of God. Impatience, fretfulness, irritation, peevishness, pettishness, petulance, and vexation express the slighter forms of anger. Irritation, petulance, and vexation are temporary and for immediate cause. Fretfulness, pettishness, and peevishness are chronic states finding in any petty matter an occasion for their exercise. Compare ACRIMONY; ENMITY; HATRED.

Antonyms:

amiability,gentleness,long-suffering,patience,peacefulness,
charity,leniency,love,peace,self-control,
forbearance,lenity,mildness,peaceableness,self-restraint.

Prepositions:

Anger at the insult prompted the reply. Anger toward the offender exaggerates the offense.


ANIMAL.

Synonyms:

beast,fauna,living organism,sentient being.
brute,living creature,

An animal is a sentient being, distinct from inanimate matter and from vegetable life on the one side and from mental and spiritual existence on the other. Thus man is properly classified as an animal. But because the animal life is the lowest and rudest part of his being and that which he shares with inferior creatures, to call any individual man an animal is to imply that the animal nature has undue supremacy, and so is deep condemnation or utter insult. The brute is the animal viewed as dull to all finer feeling; the beast is looked upon as a being of appetites. To call a man a brute is to imply that he is unfeeling and cruel; to call him a beast is to indicate that he is vilely sensual. We speak of the cruel father as a brute to his children; of the drunkard as making a beast of himself. So firmly are these figurative senses established that we now incline to avoid applying brute or beast to any creature, as a horse or dog, for which we have any affection; we prefer in such cases the word animal. Creature is a word of wide signification, including all the things that God[46] has created, whether inanimate objects, plants, animals, angels, or men. The animals of a region are collectively called its fauna.

Antonyms:

angel,man,mind,soul,substance (material),
inanimate object,matter,mineral,spirit,vegetable.

ANNOUNCE.

Synonyms:

advertise,give notice (of),proclaim,reveal,
circulate,give out,promulgate,say,
communicate,herald,propound,spread abroad,
declare,make known,publish,state,
enunciate,notify,report,tell.

To announce is to give intelligence of in some formal or public way. We may announce that which has occurred or that which is to occur, tho the word is chiefly used in the anticipative sense; we announce a book when it is in press, a guest when he arrives. We advertise our business, communicate our intentions, enunciate our views; we notify an individual, give notice to the public. Declare has often an authoritative force; to declare war is to cause war to be, where before there may have been only hostilities; we say declare war, proclaim peace. We propound a question or an argument, promulgate the views of a sect or party, or the decision of a court, etc. We report an interview, reveal a secret, herald the coming of some distinguished person or great event. Publish, in popular usage, is becoming closely restricted to the sense of issuing through the press; we announce a book that is to be published.

Antonyms:

bury,cover (up),hush,keep secret,suppress,
conceal,hide,keep back,secrete,withhold.

Prepositions:

The event was announced to the family by telegraph.


ANSWER.

Synonyms:

rejoinder,repartee,reply,response,retort.

A verbal answer is a return of words to something that seems to call for them, and is made to a charge as well as to a question; an answer may be even made to an unspoken implication or manifestation; see Luke v, 22. In a wider sense, anything said or done in return for some word, action, or suggestion of another may be called an answer. The blow of an enraged man, the whinny of a horse, the howling of the wind, the movement of a bolt in a lock, an echo, etc., may each be an answer to some word[47] or movement. A reply is an unfolding, and ordinarily implies thought and intelligence. A rejoinder is strictly an answer to a reply, tho often used in the general sense of answer, but always with the implication of something more or less controversial or opposed, tho lacking the conclusiveness implied in answer; an answer, in the full sense, to a charge, an argument, or an objection is adequate, and finally refutes and disposes of it; a reply or rejoinder may be quite inadequate, so that one may say, "This reply is not an answer;" "I am ready with an answer" means far more than "I am ready with a reply." A response is accordant or harmonious, designed or adapted to carry on the thought of the words that called it forth, as the responses in a liturgical service, or to meet the wish of him who seeks it; as, the appeal for aid met a prompt and hearty response. Repartee is a prompt, witty, and commonly good-natured answer to some argument or attack; a retort may also be witty, but is severe and may be even savage in its intensity.

Prepositions:

An answer in writing, or by word of mouth, to the question.


ANTICIPATE.

Synonyms:

apprehend,forecast,hope,
expect,foretaste,look forward to.

To anticipate may be either to take before in fact or to take before in thought; in the former sense it is allied with prevent; in the latter, with the synonyms above given. This is coming to be the prevalent and favorite use. We expect that which we have good reason to believe will happen; as, a boy expects to grow to manhood. We hope for that which we much desire and somewhat expect. We apprehend what we both expect and fear. Anticipate is commonly used now, like foretaste, of that which we expect both with confidence and pleasure. In this use it is a stronger word than hope, where often "the wish is father to the thought." I hope for a visit from my friend, tho I have no word from him; I expect it when he writes that he is coming; and as the time draws near I anticipate it with pleasure. Compare ABIDE; PREVENT.

Antonyms:

despair of,distrust,doubt,dread,fear,recall,recollect,remember.

[48]

ANTICIPATION.

Synonyms:

antepast,expectation,foresight,hope,
apprehension,foreboding,foretaste,presentiment,
expectancy,forecast,forethought,prevision.

Expectation may be either of good or evil; presentiment almost always, apprehension and foreboding always, of evil; anticipation and antepast, commonly of good. Thus, we speak of the pleasures of anticipation. A foretaste may be of good or evil, and is more than imaginary; it is a part actually received in advance. Foresight and forethought prevent future evil and secure future good by timely looking forward, and acting upon what is foreseen. Compare ANTICIPATE.

Antonyms:

astonishment,despair,dread,fear,surprise,
consummation,doubt,enjoyment,realization,wonder.

ANTIPATHY.

Synonyms:

abhorrence,disgust,hatred,repugnance,
antagonism,dislike,hostility,repulsion,
aversion,distaste,opposition,uncongeniality.
detestation,

Antipathy, repugnance, and uncongeniality are instinctive; other forms of dislike may be acquired or cherished for cause. Uncongeniality is negative, a want of touch or sympathy. An antipathy to a person or thing is an instinctive recoil from connection or association with that person or thing, and may be physical or mental, or both. Antagonism may result from the necessity of circumstances; opposition may spring from conflicting views or interests; abhorrence and detestation may be the result of religious and moral training; distaste and disgust may be acquired; aversion is a deep and permanent dislike. A natural antipathy may give rise to opposition which may result in hatred and hostility. Compare ACRIMONY; ANGER; ENMITY; HATRED.

Antonyms:

affinity,attraction,fellow-feeling,kindliness,sympathy.
agreement,congeniality,harmony,regard,

Prepositions:

Antipathy to (less frequently for or against) a person or thing; antipathy between or betwixt two persons or things.


ANTIQUE.

Synonyms:

ancient,old-fashioned,quaint,superannuated.
antiquated,

Antique refers to an ancient, antiquated to a discarded style.[49] Antique is that which is either ancient in fact or ancient in style. The reference is to the style rather than to the age. We can speak of the antique architecture of a church just built. The difference between antiquated and antique is not in the age, for a Puritan style may be scorned as antiquated, while a Roman or Renaissance style may be prized as antique. The antiquated is not so much out of date as out of vogue. Old-fashioned may be used approvingly or contemptuously. In the latter case it becomes a synonym for antiquated; in the good sense it approaches the meaning of antique, but indicates less duration. We call a wide New England fireplace old-fashioned; a coin of the Cæsars, antique. Quaint combines the idea of age with a pleasing oddity; as, a quaint gambrel-roofed house. Antiquated is sometimes used of persons in a sense akin to superannuated. The antiquated person is out of style and out of sympathy with the present generation by reason of age; the superannuated person is incapacitated for present activities by reason of age. Compare OLD.

Antonyms:

fashionable,fresh,modern,modish,new,recent,stylish.

ANXIETY.

Synonyms:

anguish,disquiet,foreboding,perplexity,
apprehension,disturbance,fretfulness,solicitude,
care,dread,fretting,trouble,
concern,fear,misgiving,worry.

Anxiety is, according to its derivation, a choking disquiet, akin to anguish; anxiety is mental; anguish may be mental or physical; anguish is in regard to the known, anxiety in regard to the unknown; anguish is because of what has happened, anxiety because of what may happen. Anxiety refers to some future event, always suggesting hopeful possibility, and thus differing from apprehension, fear, dread, foreboding, terror, all of which may be quite despairing. In matters within our reach, anxiety always stirs the question whether something can not be done, and is thus a valuable spur to doing; in this respect it is allied to care. Foreboding, dread, etc., commonly incapacitate for all helpful thought or endeavor. Worry is a more petty, restless, and manifest anxiety; anxiety may be quiet and silent; worry is communicated to all around. Solicitude is a milder anxiety. Fretting or fretfulness is a weak complaining without thought of accomplishing or changing anything, but merely as a relief to one's own disquiet. Perplexity often involves anxiety, but may be quite free from it.[50] A student may be perplexed regarding a translation, yet, if he has time enough, not at all anxious regarding it.

Antonyms:

apathy,calmness,confidence,light-heartedness,satisfaction,
assurance,carelessness,ease,nonchalance,tranquillity.

Prepositions:

Anxiety for a friend's return; anxiety about, in regard to, or concerning the future.


APATHY.

Synonyms:

calmness,indifference,quietness,stoicism,
composure,insensibility,quietude,tranquillity,
immobility,lethargy,sluggishness,unconcern,
impassibility,phlegm,stillness,unfeelingness.

Apathy, according to its Greek derivation, is a simple absence of feeling or emotion. There are persons to whom a certain degree of apathy is natural, an innate sluggishness of the emotional nature. In the apathy of despair, a person gives up, without resistance or sensibility, to what he has fiercely struggled to avoid. While apathy is want of feeling, calmness is feeling without agitation. Calmness is the result of strength, courage, or trust; apathy is the result of dulness or weakness. Composure is freedom from agitation or disturbance, resulting ordinarily from force of will, or from perfect confidence in one's own resources. Impassibility is a philosophical term applied to the Deity, as infinitely exalted above all stir of passion or emotion. Unfeelingness, the Saxon word that should be the exact equivalent of apathy, really means more, a lack of the feeling one ought to have, a censurable hardness of heart. Indifference and insensibility designate the absence of feeling toward certain persons or things; apathy, entire absence of feeling. Indifference is a want of interest; insensibility is a want of feeling; unconcern has reference to consequences. We speak of insensibility of heart, immobility of countenance. Stoicism is an intentional suppression of feeling and deadening of sensibilities, while apathy is involuntary. Compare CALM; REST; STUPOR.

Antonyms:

agitation,disturbance,feeling,sensibility,sympathy,
alarm,eagerness,frenzy,sensitiveness,turbulence,
anxiety,emotion,fury,storm,vehemence,
care,excitement,passion,susceptibility,violence.
distress,

Prepositions:

The apathy of monastic life; apathy toward good.


[51]

APIECE.

Synonyms:

distributively,each,individually,separately,severally.

There is no discernible difference in sense between so much apiece and so much each; the former is the more common and popular, the latter the more elegant expression. Distributively is generally used of numbers and abstract relations. Individually emphasizes the independence of the individuals; separately and severally still more emphatically hold them apart. The signers of a note may become jointly and severally responsible, that is, each liable for the entire amount, as if he had signed it alone. Witnesses are often brought separately into court, in order that no one may be influenced by the testimony of another. If a company of laborers demand a dollar apiece, that is a demand that each shall receive that sum; if they individually demand a dollar, each individual makes the demand.

Antonyms:

accumulatively,confusedly,indiscriminately,together,unitedly.
collectively,en masse,synthetically,

APOLOGY.

Synonyms:

acknowledgment,defense,excuse,plea,
confession,exculpation,justification,vindication.

All these words express one's answer to a charge of wrong or error that is or might be made. Apology has undergone a remarkable change from its old sense of a valiant defense—as in Justin Martyr's Apologies for the Christian faith—to its present meaning of humble confession and concession. He who offers an apology admits himself, at least technically and seemingly, in the wrong. An apology is for what one has done or left undone; an excuse may be for what one proposes to do or leave undone as well; as, one sends beforehand his excuse for not accepting an invitation; if he should fail either to be present or to excuse himself, an apology would be in order. An excuse for a fault is an attempt at partial justification; as, one alleges haste as an excuse for carelessness. Confession is a full acknowledgment of wrong, generally of a grave wrong, with or without apology or excuse. Plea ranges in sense from a prayer for favor or pardon to an attempt at full vindication. Defense, exculpation, justification, and vindication are more properly antonyms than synonyms of apology in its modern sense, and should be so given, but for[52] their connection with its historic usage. Compare CONFESS; DEFENSE.

Antonyms:

accusation,charge,condemnation,injury,offense,
censure,complaint,imputation,insult,wrong.

Prepositions:

An apology to the guest for the oversight would be fitting.


APPARENT.

Synonyms:

likely,presumable,probable,seeming.

The apparent is that which appears; the word has two contrasted senses, either of that which is manifest, visible, certain, or of that which merely seems to be and may be very different from what is; as, the apparent motion of the sun around the earth. Apparent kindness casts a doubt on the reality of the kindness; apparent neglect implies that more care and pains may have been bestowed than we are aware of. Presumable implies that a thing may be reasonably supposed beforehand without any full knowledge of the facts. Probable implies that we know facts enough to make us moderately confident of it. Seeming expresses great doubt of the reality; seeming innocence comes very near in meaning to probable guilt. Apparent indicates less assurance than probable, and more than seeming. A man's probable intent we believe will prove to be his real intent; his seeming intent we believe to be a sham; his apparent intent may be the true one, tho we have not yet evidence on which to pronounce with certainty or even with confidence. Likely is a word with a wide range of usage, but always implying the belief that the thing is, or will be, true; it is often used with the infinitive, as the other words of this list can not be; as, it is likely to happen. Compare EVIDENT.

Antonyms:

doubtful,dubious,improbable,unimaginable,unlikely.

Prepositions:

(When apparent is used in the sense of evident): His guilt is apparent in every act to all observers.


APPEAR.

Synonyms:

have the appearance or semblance,look,seem.

Appear and look refer to what manifests itself to the senses; to a semblance or probability presented directly to the mind. Seem[53] applies to what is manifest to the mind on reflection. It suddenly appears to me that there is smoke in the distance; as I watch, it looks like a fire; from my knowledge of the locality and observation of particulars, it seems to me a farmhouse must be burning.

Antonyms:

be,be certain, real, or true,be the fact,exist.

Prepositions:

Appear at the front; among the first; on or upon the surface; to the eye; in evidence, in print; from reports; near the harbor; before the public; in appropriate dress; with the insignia of his rank; above the clouds; below the surface; under the lee; over the sea; through the mist; appear for, in behalf of, or against one in court.


APPENDAGE.

Synonyms:

accessory,addition,appurtenance,concomitant,
accompaniment,adjunct,attachment,extension,
addendum,appendix,auxiliary,supplement.

An adjunct (something joined to) constitutes no real part of the thing or system to which it is joined, tho perhaps a valuable addition; an appendage is commonly a real, tho not an essential or necessary part of that with which it is connected; an appurtenance belongs subordinately to something by which it is employed, especially as an instrument to accomplish some purpose. A horse's tail is at once an ornamental appendage and a useful appurtenance; we could not call it an adjunct, tho we might use that word of his iron shoes. An attachment in machinery is some mechanism that can be brought into optional connection with the principal movement; a hemmer is a valuable attachment of a sewing-machine. An extension, as of a railroad or of a franchise, carries out further something already existing. We add an appendix to a book, to contain names, dates, lists, etc., which would encumber the text; we add a supplement to supply omissions, as, for instance, to bring it up to date. An appendix may be called an addendum; but addendum may be used of a brief note, which would not be dignified by the name of appendix; such notes are often grouped as addenda. An addition might be matter interwoven in the body of the work, an index, plates, editorial notes, etc., which might be valuable additions, but not[54] within the meaning of appendix or supplement. Compare ACCESSORY; AUXILIARY.

Antonyms:

main body,original,total,whole.

Prepositions:

That which is thought of as added we call an appendage to; that which is looked upon as an integral part is called an appendage of.


APPETITE.

Synonyms:

appetency,impulse,lust,propensity,
craving,inclination,passion,relish,
desire,liking,proclivity,thirst,
disposition,longing,proneness,zest.

Appetite is used only of the demands of the physical system, unless otherwise expressly stated, as when we say an appetite for knowledge; passion includes all excitable impulses of our nature, as anger, fear, love, hatred, etc. Appetite is thus more animal than passion; and when we speak of passions and appetites as conjoined or contrasted, we think of the appetites as wholly physical and of the passions as, in part at least, mental or spiritual. We say an appetite for food, a passion for fame. Compare DESIRE.

Antonyms:

antipathy,detestation,dislike,distaste,indifference,repugnance,
aversion,disgust,disrelish,hatred,loathing,repulsion.

Compare ANTIPATHY.

Preposition:

He had an insatiable appetite for the marvellous.


APPORTION.

Synonyms:

allot,appropriate,deal,distribute,grant,
appoint,assign,dispense,divide,share.

To allot or assign may be to make an arbitrary division; the same is true of distribute or divide. That which is apportioned is given by some fixed rule, which is meant to be uniform and fair; as, representatives are apportioned among the States according to population. To dispense is to give out freely; as, the sun dispenses light and heat. A thing is appropriated to or for a specific purpose (to which it thus becomes proper, in the original sense of being its own); money appropriated by Congress for one purpose can not be expended for any other. One may apportion what he only holds in trust; he shares what is his own. Compare ALLOT.[55]

Antonyms:

cling to,consolidate,gather together,receive,
collect,divide arbitrarily,keep together,retain.

Prepositions:

Apportion to each a fair amount; apportion the property among the heirs, between two claimants; apportion according to numbers, etc.


APPROXIMATION.

Synonyms:

approach,likeness,neighborhood,resemblance,
contiguity,nearness,propinquity,similarity.

In mathematics, approximation is not guesswork, not looseness, and not error. The process of approximation is as exact and correct at every point as that by which an absolute result is secured; the result only fails of exactness because of some inherent difficulty in the problem. The attempt to "square the circle" gives only an approximate result, because of the impossibility of expressing the circumference in terms of the radius. But the limits of error on either side are known, and the approximation has practical value. Outside of mathematics, the correct use of approximation (and the kindred words approximate and approximately) is to express as near an approach to accuracy and certainty as the conditions of human thought or action in any given case make possible. Resemblance and similarity may be but superficial and apparent; approximation is real. Approach is a relative term, indicating that one has come nearer than before, tho the distance may yet be considerable; an approximation brings one really near. Nearness, neighborhood, and propinquity are commonly used of place; approximation, of mathematical calculations and abstract reasoning; we speak of approach to the shore, nearness to the town, approximation to the truth.

Antonyms:

difference,distance,error,remoteness,unlikeness,variation.

Prepositions:

The approximation of the vegetable to the animal type.


ARMS.

Synonyms:

accouterments,armor,harness,mail,weapons.

Arms are implements of attack; armor is a defensive covering. The knight put on his armor; he grasped his arms. With the disuse of defensive armor the word has practically gone out of military use, but it is still employed in the navy, where the distinction[56] is clearly preserved; any vessel provided with cannon is an armed vessel; an armored ship is an ironclad. Anything that can be wielded in fight may become a weapon, as a pitchfork or a paving-stone; arms are especially made and designed for conflict.


ARMY.

Synonyms:

armament,forces,military,soldiers,
array,host,multitude,soldiery,
force,legions,phalanx,troops.

An army is an organized body of men armed for war, ordinarily considerable in numbers, always independent in organization so far as not to be a constituent part of any other command. Organization, unity, and independence, rather than numbers are the essentials of an army. We speak of the invading army of Cortes or Pizarro, tho either body was contemptible in numbers from a modern military standpoint. We may have a little army, a large army, or a vast army. Host is used for any vast and orderly assemblage; as, the stars are called the heavenly host. Multitude expresses number without order or organization; a multitude of armed men is not an army, but a mob. Legion (from the Latin) and phalanx (from the Greek) are applied by a kind of poetic license to modern forces; the plural legions is preferred to the singular. Military is a general word for land-forces; the military may include all the armed soldiery of a nation, or the term may be applied to any small detached company, as at a fort, in distinction from civilians. Any organized body of men by whom the law or will of a people is executed is a force; the word is a usual term for the police of any locality.


ARRAIGN.

Synonyms:

accuse,charge,impeach,prosecute,
censure,cite,indict,summon.

Arraign is an official word; a person accused of crime is arraigned when he is formally called into court, the indictment read to him, and the demand made of him to plead guilty or not guilty; in more extended use, to arraign is to call in question for fault in any formal, public, or official way. One may charge another with any fault, great or trifling, privately or publicly, formally or informally. Accuse is stronger than charge, suggesting more of the formal and criminal; a person may charge a[57] friend with unkindness or neglect; he may accuse a tramp of stealing. Censure carries the idea of fault, but not of crime; it may be private and individual, or public and official. A judge, a president, or other officer of high rank may be impeached before the appropriate tribunal for high crimes; the veracity of a witness may be impeached by damaging evidence. A person of the highest character may be summoned as defendant in a civil suit; or he may be cited to answer as administrator, etc. Indict and arraign apply strictly to criminal proceedings, and only an alleged criminal is indicted or arraigned. One is indicted by the grand jury, and arraigned before the appropriate court.

Antonyms:

acquit,discharge,exonerate,overlook,release,
condone,excuse,forgive,pardon,set free.

Prepositions:

Arraign at the bar, before the tribunal, of or for a crime; on or upon an indictment.


ARRAY.

Synonyms:

army,collection,line of battle,parade,
arrangement,disposition,order,show,
battle array,exhibition,order of battle,sight.

The phrase battle array or array of battle is archaic and poetic; we now say in line or order of battle. The parade is for exhibition and oversight, and partial rehearsal of military manual and maneuvers. Array refers to a continuous arrangement of men, so that all may be seen or reviewed at once. This is practically impossible with the vast armies of our day. We say rather the disposition of troops, which expresses their location so as to sustain and support, though unable to see or readily communicate with each other. Compare DRESS.


ARREST.

Synonyms:

apprehend,detain,restrain,stop,
capture,hold,secure,take into custody,
catch,make prisoner,seize,take prisoner.

The legal term arrest carries always the implication of a legal offense; this is true even of arresting for debt. But one may be detained by process of law when no offense is alleged against him, as in the case of a witness who is held in a house of detention till a case comes to trial. One may be restrained of his liberty without arrest, as in an insane asylum; an individual or corporation[58] may be restrained by injunction from selling certain property. In case of an arrest, an officer may secure his prisoner by fetters, by a locked door, or other means effectually to prevent escape. Capture is commonly used of seizure by armed force; as, to capture a ship, a fort, etc. Compare HINDER; OBSTRUCT.

Antonyms:

discharge,dismiss,free,liberate,release,set free.

Prepositions:

Arrested for crime, on suspicion, by the sheriff; on, upon, or by virtue of a warrant; on final process; in execution.


ARTIFICE.

Synonyms:

art,craft,finesse,invention,stratagem,
blind,cunning,fraud,machination,subterfuge,
cheat,device,guile,maneuver,trick,
contrivance,dodge,imposture,ruse,wile.

A contrivance or device may be either good or bad. A cheat is a mean advantage in a bargain; a fraud, any form of covert robbery or injury. Imposture is a deceitful contrivance for securing charity, credit, or consideration. A stratagem or maneuver may be of the good against the bad, as it were a skilful movement of war. A wile is usually but not necessarily evil.

E'en children followed with endearing wile.

Goldsmith Deserted Village, l. 184.

A trick is often low, injurious, and malicious; we say a mean trick; the word is sometimes used playfully with less than its full meaning. A ruse or a blind may be quite innocent and harmless. An artifice is a carefully and delicately prepared contrivance for doing indirectly what one could not well do directly. A device is something studied out for promoting an end, as in a mechanism; the word is used of indirect action, often, but not necessarily directed to an evil, selfish, or injurious end. Finesse is especially subtle contrivance, delicate artifice, whether for good or evil. Compare FRAUD.

Antonyms:

artlessness,fairness,guilelessness,ingenuousness,openness,sincerity,
candor,frankness,honesty,innocence,simplicity,truth.

ARTIST.

Synonyms:

artificer,artisan,mechanic,operative,workman.

Artist, artificer and artisan are all from the root of art, but artist holds to the esthetic sense, while artificer and artisan follow the mechanical or industrial sense of the word (see ART under SCIENCE).[59] Artist thus comes only into accidental association with the other words of this group, not being a synonym of any one of them and having practically no synonym of its own. The work of the artist is creative; that of the artisan mechanical. The man who paints a beautiful picture is an artist; the man who makes pin-heads all day is an artisan. The artificer is between the two, putting more thought, intelligence, and taste into his work than the artisan, but less of the idealizing, creative power than the artist. The sculptor, shaping his model in clay, is artificer, as well as artist; patient artisans, working simply by rule and scale, chisel and polish the stone. The man who constructs anything by mere routine and rule is a mechanic. The man whose work involves thought, skill, and constructive power is an artificer. The hod-carrier is a laborer; the bricklayer is a mechanic; the master mason is an artificer. Those who operate machinery nearly self-acting are operatives.


ASK.

Synonyms:

beg,crave,entreat,petition,request,solicit,
beseech,demand,implore,pray,require,supplicate.

One asks what he feels that he may fairly claim and reasonably expect; "if a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father," Luke xi, 11; he begs for that to which he advances no claim but pity. Demand is a determined and often an arrogant word; one may rightfully demand what is his own or his due, when it is withheld or denied; or he may wrongfully demand that to which he has no claim but power. Require is less arrogant and obtrusive than demand, but is exceedingly strenuous; as, the court requires the attendance of witnesses. Entreat implies a special earnestness of asking, and beseech, a still added and more humble intensity; beseech was formerly often used as a polite intensive for beg or pray; as, I beseech you to tell me. To implore is to ask with weeping and lamentation; to supplicate is to ask, as it were, on bended knees. Crave and request are somewhat formal terms; crave has almost disappeared from conversation; request would seem distant between parent and child. Pray is now used chiefly of address to the Supreme Being; petition is used of written request to persons in authority; as, to petition the legislature to pass an act, or the governor to pardon an offender.

Antonyms:

claim,command,deny,enforce,exact,extort,insist,refuse,reject.

[60]

Prepositions:

Ask a person for a thing; ask a thing of or from a person; ask after or about one's health, welfare, friends, etc.


ASSOCIATE.

Synonyms:

accomplice,coadjutor,comrade,fellow,mate,
ally,colleague,confederate,friend,partner,
chum,companion,consort,helpmate,peer.

An associate as used officially implies a chief, leader, or principal, to whom the associate is not fully equal in rank. Associate is popularly used of mere friendly relations, but oftener implies some work, enterprise, or pursuit in which the associated persons unite. We rarely speak of associates in crime or wrong, using confederates or accomplices instead. Companion gives itself with equal readiness to the good or evil sense, as also does comrade. One may be a companion in travel who would not readily become an associate at home. A lady advertises for a companion; she would not advertise for an associate. Peer implies equality rather than companionship; as, a jury of his peers. Comrade expresses more fellowship and good feeling than companion. Fellow has almost gone out of use in this connection, except in an inferior or patronizing sense. Consort is a word of equality and dignity, as applied especially to the marriage relation. Compare ACCESSORY; ACQUAINTANCE; FRIENDSHIP.

Antonyms:

antagonist,enemy,foe,hinderer,opponent,opposer,rival,stranger.

Prepositions:

These were the associates of the leader in the enterprise.


ASSOCIATION.

Synonyms:

alliance,confederacy,familiarity,lodge,
club,confederation,federation,participation,
community,conjunction,fellowship,partnership,
companionship,connection,fraternity,society,
company,corporation,friendship,union.

We speak of an alliance of nations, a club of pleasure-seekers, a community of Shakers, a company of soldiers or of friends, a confederacy, confederation, federation, or union of separate states under one general government, a partnership or company of business men, a conjunction of planets. The whole body of Freemasons constitute a fraternity; one of their local organizations is called a lodge. A corporation or company is formed for[61] purposes of business; an association or society (tho also incorporated) is for learning, literature, benevolence, religion, etc. Compare ASSOCIATE; ACQUAINTANCE; FRIENDSHIP.

Antonyms:

disintegration,independence,isolation,separation,solitude.

Prepositions:

An association of scholars for the advancement of knowledge; association with the good is ennobling.


ASSUME.

Synonyms:

accept,arrogate,postulate,put on,
affect,claim,presume,take,
appropriate,feign,pretend,usurp.

The distinctive idea of assume is to take by one's own independent volition, whether well or ill, rightfully or wrongfully. One may accept an obligation or assume an authority that properly belongs to him, or he may assume an obligation or indebtedness that could not be required of him. He may assume authority or office that is his right; if he assumes what does not belong to him, he is said to arrogate or usurp it. A man may usurp the substance of power in the most unpretending way; what he arrogates to himself he assumes with a haughty and overbearing manner. One assumes the robes or insignia of office by putting them on, with or without right. If he takes to himself the credit and appearance of qualities he does not possess, he is said to affect or feign, or to pretend to, the character he thus assumes. What a debater postulates he openly states and takes for granted without proof; what he assumes he may take for granted without mention. A favorite trick of the sophist is quietly to assume as true what would at once be challenged if expressly stated. What a man claims he asserts his right to take; what he assumes he takes.


ASSURANCE.

Synonyms:

arrogance,boldness,impudence,self-confidence,
assertion,confidence,presumption,self-reliance,
assumption,effrontery,self-assertion,trust.

Assurance may have the good sense of a high, sustained confidence and trust; as, the saint's assurance of heaven. Confidence is founded upon reasons; assurance is largely a matter of feeling. In the bad sense, assurance is a vicious courage, with belief of one's ability to outwit or defy others; the hardened criminal is[62] remarkable for habitual assurance. For the calm conviction of one's own rectitude and ability, self-confidence is a better word than assurance; self-reliance expresses confidence in one's own resources, independently of others' aid. In the bad sense assurance is less gross than impudence, which is (according to its etymology) a shameless boldness. Assurance is in act or manner; impudence may be in speech. Effrontery is impudence defiantly displayed. Compare FAITH; PRIDE.

Antonyms:

bashfulness,consternation,distrust,hesitancy,shyness,
confusion,dismay,doubt,misgiving,timidity.

ASTUTE.

Synonyms:

acute,discerning,penetrating,sharp,
clear-sighted,discriminating,penetrative,shrewd,
crafty,keen,perspicacious,subtile,
cunning,knowing,sagacious,subtle.

Acute, from the Latin, suggests the sharpness of the needle's point; keen, from the Saxon, the sharpness of the cutting edge. Astute, from the Latin, with the original sense of cunning has come to have a meaning that combines the sense of acute or keen with that of sagacious. The astute mind adds to acuteness and keenness an element of cunning or finesse. The astute debater leads his opponents into a snare by getting them to make admissions, or urge arguments, of which he sees a result that they do not perceive. The acute, keen intellect may take no special advantage of these qualities; the astute mind has always a point to make for itself, and seldom fails to make it. A knowing look, air, etc., in general indicates practical knowledge with a touch of shrewdness, and perhaps of cunning; in regard to some special matter, it indicates the possession of reserved knowledge which the person could impart if he chose. Knowing has often a slightly invidious sense. We speak of a knowing rascal, meaning cunning or shrewd within a narrow range, but of a knowing horse or dog, in the sense of sagacious, implying that he knows more than could be expected of such an animal. A knowing child has more knowledge than would be looked for at his years, perhaps more than is quite desirable, while to speak of a child as intelligent is altogether complimentary.

Antonyms:

blind,idiotic,shallow,stolid,undiscerning,
dull,imbecile,short-sighted,stupid,unintelligent.

[63]

ATTACHMENT.

Synonyms:

adherence,devotion,friendship,regard,
adhesion,esteem,inclination,tenderness,
affection,estimation,love,union.

An attachment is a feeling that binds a person by ties of heart to another person or thing; we speak of a man's adherence to his purpose, his adhesion to his party, or to anything to which he clings tenaciously, tho with no special tenderness; of his attachment to his church, to the old homestead, or to any persons or objects that he may hold dear. Affection expresses more warmth of feeling; we should not speak of a mother's attachment to her babe, but of her affection or of her devotion. Inclination expresses simply a tendency, which may be good or bad, yielded to or overcome; as, an inclination to study; an inclination to drink. Regard is more distant than affection or attachment, but closer and warmer than esteem; we speak of high esteem, kind regard. Compare ACQUAINTANCE; APPENDAGE; FRIENDSHIP; LOVE; UNION.

Antonyms:

alienation,aversion,distance,estrangement,repugnance,
animosity,coolness,divorce,indifference,separation,
antipathy,dislike,enmity,opposition,severance.

Prepositions:

Attachment of a true man to his friends; attachment to a leader for his nobility of character; the attachments between two persons or things; attachment by muscular fibers, or by a rope, etc.


ATTACK, v.

Synonyms:

assail,beset,combat,invade,
assault,besiege,encounter,set upon,
beleaguer,charge,fall upon,storm.

To attack is to begin hostilities of any kind. A general invades a country by marching in troops; he attacks a city by drawing up an army against it; he assaults it by hurling his troops directly upon its defenses. Assail and assault, tho of the same original etymology, have diverged in meaning, so that assault alone retains the meaning of direct personal violence. One may assail another with reproaches; he assaults him with a blow, a brandished weapon, etc. Armies or squadrons charge; combat and encounter may be said of individual contests. To beset is to set around, or, so to speak, to stud one's path, with menaces, attacks, or persuasions. To besiege and beleaguer are[64] the acts of armies. To encounter is to meet face to face, and may be said either of the attacking or of the resisting force or person, or of both.

Antonyms:

aid,cover,protect,shelter,support,uphold,
befriend,defend,resist,shield,sustain,withstand.

Prepositions:

We were attacked by the enemy with cannon and musketry.


ATTACK, n.

Synonyms:

aggression,incursion,invasion,onslaught,
assault,infringement,onset,trespass.
encroachment,intrusion,

An attack may be by word; an aggression is always by deed. An assault may be upon the person, an aggression is upon rights, possessions, etc. An invasion of a nation's territories is an act of aggression; an intrusion upon a neighboring estate is a trespass. Onslaught signifies intensely violent assault, as by an army or a desperado, tho it is sometimes used of violent speech.

Antonyms:

defense,repulsion,resistance,retreat,submission,surrender.

Prepositions:

The enemy made an attack upon (or on) our works.


ATTAIN.

Synonyms:

accomplish,arrive at,gain,master,reach,
achieve,compass,get,obtain,secure,
acquire,earn,grasp,procure,win.

A person may obtain a situation by the intercession of friends, he procures a dinner by paying for it. Attain is a lofty word, pointing to some high or desirable result; a man attains the mountain summit, he attains honor or learning as the result of strenuous and earnest labor. Even that usage of attain which has been thought to refer to mere progress of time carries the thought of a result desired; as, to attain to old age; the man desires to live to a good old age; we should not speak of his attaining his dotage. One may attain an object that will prove not worth his labor, but what he achieves is in itself great and splendid; as, the Greeks at Marathon achieved a glorious victory. Compare DO; GET; REACH.

Antonyms:

abandon,fail,forfeit,give up,let go,lose,miss.

[65]

ATTITUDE.

Synonyms:

pose,position,posture.

Position as applied to the arrangement or situation of the human body or limbs may denote that which is conscious or unconscious, of the living or the dead; but we do not speak of the attitude, pose, or posture of a corpse; unless, in some rare case, we might say the body was found in a sitting posture, where the posture is thought of as assumed in life, or as, at first glance, suggesting life. A posture is assumed without any special reference to expression of feeling; as, an erect posture, a reclining posture; attitude is the position appropriate to the expression of some feeling; the attitude may be unconsciously taken through the strength of the feeling; as, an attitude of defiance; or it may be consciously assumed in the attempt to express the feeling; as, he assumed an attitude of humility. A pose is a position studied for artistic effect, or considered with reference to such effect; the unconscious posture of a spectator or listener may be an admirable pose from an artist's standpoint.


ATTRIBUTE, v.

Synonyms:

ascribe,associate,connect,impute,refer.
assign,charge,

We may attribute to a person either that which belongs to him or that which we merely suppose to be his. We attribute to God infinite power. We may attribute a wrong intent to an innocent person. We may attribute a result, rightly or wrongly, to a certain cause; in such case, however, attribute carries always a concession of uncertainty or possible error. Where we are quite sure, we simply refer a matter to the cause or class to which it belongs or ascribe to one what is surely his, etc. Many diseases formerly attributed to witchcraft are now referred to the action of micro-organisms. We may attribute a matter in silent thought; we ascribe anything openly in speech or writing; King Saul said of the singing women, "They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands." We associate things which may have no necessary or causal relation; as, we may associate the striking of a clock with the serving of dinner, tho the two are not necessarily connected. We charge a person with what we deem blameworthy. We may impute good or evil, but more commonly evil.[66]

Antonyms:

deny,disconnect,dissociate,separate,sever,sunder.

Prepositions:

It is uncharitable to attribute evil motives to (archaic unto) others.


ATTRIBUTE, n.

Synonyms:

property,quality.

A quality (L. qualis, such)—the "suchness" of anything, according to the German idiom—denotes what a thing really is in some one respect; an attribute is what we conceive a thing to be in some one respect; thus, while attribute may, quality must, express something of the real nature of that to which it is ascribed; we speak of the attributes of God, the qualities of matter. "Originally 'the attributes of God' was preferred, probably, because men assumed no knowledge of the actual qualities of the Deity, but only of those more or less fitly attributed to him." J. A. H. Murray. [M.] Holiness is an attribute of God; the attributes of many heathen deities have been only the qualities of wicked men joined to superhuman power. A property (L. proprius, one's own) is what belongs especially to one thing as its own peculiar possession, in distinction from all other things; when we speak of the qualities or the properties of matter, quality is the more general, property the more limited term. A quality is inherent; a property may be transient; physicists now, however, prefer to term those qualities manifested by all bodies (such as impenetrability, extension, etc.), general properties of matter, while those peculiar to certain substances or to certain states of those substances (as fluidity, malleability, etc.) are termed specific properties; in this wider use of the word property, it becomes strictly synonymous with quality. Compare CHARACTERISTIC; EMBLEM.

Antonyms:

being,essence,nature,substance.

AUGUR.

Synonyms:

betoken,divine,foretell,predict,prognosticate,
bode,forebode,portend,presage,prophesy.

"Persons or things augur; persons only forebode or presage; things only betoken or portend." Crabb English Synonymes. We augur well for a voyage from past good fortune and a good start; we presage success from the stanchness of the ship and the skill[67] of the captain. We forebode misfortune either from circumstances that betoken failure, or from gloomy fancies for which we could not give a reason. Dissipation among the officers and mutiny among the crew portend disaster. Divine has reference to the ancient soothsayers' arts (as in Gen. xliv, 5, 15), and refers rather to reading hearts than to reading the future. We say I could not divine his motive, or his intention.

Antonyms:

assure,demonstrate,establish,make sure,settle,
calculate,determine,insure,prove,warrant.

Prepositions:

I augur from all circumstances a prosperous result; I augur ill of the enterprise; "augurs ill to the rights of the people," Thomas Jefferson Writings vol. ii, p. 506. [T. & M. '53.] I augur well, or this augurs well, for your cause.


AUTHENTIC.

Synonyms:

accepted,certain,original,sure,
accredited,current,real,true,
authoritative,genuine,received,trustworthy,
authorized,legitimate,reliable,veritable.

That is authentic which is true to the facts; that is genuine which is true to its own claims; as, authentic history; genuine money.

A 'genuine' work is one written by the author whose name it bears; an 'authentic' work is one which relates truthfully the matters of which it treats. For example, the apocryphal Gospel of St. Thomas is neither 'genuine' nor 'authentic.' It is not 'genuine,' for St. Thomas did not write it; it is not 'authentic,' for its contents are mainly fables and lies.

Trench On the Study of Words lect. vi, p. 189. [W. J. W.]

Authentic is, however, used by reputable writers as synonymous with genuine, tho usually where genuineness carries a certain authority. We speak of accepted conclusions, certain evidence, current money, genuine letters, a legitimate conclusion or legitimate authority, original manuscripts, real value, received interpretation, sure proof, a true statement, a trustworthy witness, a veritable discovery.

Antonyms:

apocryphal,counterfeit,exploded,false,spurious,
baseless,disputed,fabulous,fictitious,unauthorized.

AUXILIARY.

Synonyms:

accessory,ally,coadjutor,helper,promoter,
aid,assistant,confederate,mercenary,subordinate.

An auxiliary is a person or thing that helps in a subordinate[68] capacity. Allies unite as equals; auxiliaries are, at least technically, inferiors or subordinates. Yet the auxiliary is more than a mere assistant. The word is oftenest found in the plural, and in the military sense; auxiliaries are troops of one nation uniting with the armies, and acting under the orders, of another. Mercenaries serve only for pay; auxiliaries often for reasons of state, policy, or patriotism as well. Compare ACCESSORY; APPENDAGE.

Antonyms:

antagonist,hinderer,opponent,opposer.

Prepositions:

The auxiliaries of the Romans; an auxiliary in a good cause; an auxiliary to learning.


AVARICIOUS.

Synonyms:

close,greedy,niggardly,penurious,sordid,
covetous,miserly,parsimonious,rapacious,stingy.

Avaricious and covetous refer especially to acquisition, miserly, niggardly, parsimonious, and penurious to expenditure. The avaricious man has an eager craving for money, and ordinarily desires both to get and to keep, the covetous man to get something away from its possessor; tho one may be made avaricious by the pressure of great expenditures. Miserly and niggardly persons seek to gain by mean and petty savings; the miserly by stinting themselves, the niggardly by stinting others. Parsimonious and penurious may apply to one's outlay either for himself or for others; in the latter use, they are somewhat less harsh and reproachful terms than niggardly. The close man holds like a vise all that he gets. Near and nigh are provincial words of similar import. The rapacious have the robber instinct, and put it in practise in some form, as far as they dare. The avaricious and rapacious are ready to reach out for gain; the parsimonious, miserly, and niggardly prefer the safer and less adventurous way of avoiding expenditure. Greedy and stingy are used not only of money, but often of other things, as food, etc. The greedy child wishes to enjoy everything himself; the stingy child, to keep others from getting it.

Antonyms:

bountiful,free,generous,liberal,munificent,prodigal,wasteful.

Preposition:

The monarch was avaricious of power.


[69]

AVENGE.

Synonyms:

punish,retaliate,revenge,vindicate,visit.

Avenge and revenge, once close synonyms, are now far apart in meaning. To avenge is to visit some offense with punishment, in order to vindicate the righteous, or to uphold and illustrate the right by the suffering or destruction of the wicked. "And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian," Acts vii, 24. To revenge is to inflict harm or suffering upon another through personal anger and resentment at something done to ourselves. Avenge is unselfish; revenge is selfish. Revenge, according to present usage, could not be said of God. To retaliate may be necessary for self-defense, without the idea of revenge. Compare REVENGE.

Prepositions:

Avenge on or upon (rarely, avenge oneself of) a wrong-doer.


AVOW.

Synonyms:

knowledge,aver,confess,own,profess,testify,
admit,avouch,declare,proclaim,protest,witness.

Acknowledge, admit, and declare refer either to oneself or to others; all the other words refer only to one's own knowledge or action. To avow is to declare boldly and openly, commonly as something one is ready to justify, maintain, or defend. A man acknowledges another's claim or his own promise; he admits an opponent's advantage or his own error; he declares either what he has seen or experienced or what he has received from another; he avers what he is sure of from his own knowledge or consciousness; he gives his assurance as the voucher for what he avouches; he avows openly a belief or intention that he has silently held. Avow and avouch take a direct object; aver is followed by a conjunction: a man avows his faith, avouches a deed, avers that he was present. Avow has usually a good sense; what a person avows he at least does not treat as blameworthy, criminal, or shameful; if he did, he would be said to confess it; yet there is always the suggestion that some will be ready to challenge or censure what one avows; as, the clergyman avowed his dissent from the doctrine of his church. Own applies to all things, good or bad, great or small, which one takes as his own. Compare CONFESS; STATE.

Antonyms:

contradict,deny,disavow,disclaim,disown,ignore,repudiate.

[70]

AWFUL.

Synonyms:

alarming,direful,frightful,majestic,solemn,
appalling,dread,grand,noble,stately,
august,dreadful,horrible,portentous,terrible,
dire,fearful,imposing,shocking,terrific.

Awful should not be used of things which are merely disagreeable or annoying, nor of all that are alarming and terrible, but only of such as bring a solemn awe upon the soul, as in the presence of a superior power; as, the awful hush before the battle. That which is awful arouses an oppressive, that which is august an admiring reverence; we speak of the august presence of a mighty monarch, the awful presence of death. We speak of an exalted station, a grand mountain, an imposing presence, a majestic cathedral, a noble mien, a solemn litany, a stately march, an august assembly, the awful scene of the Judgment Day.

Antonyms:

base,contemptible,inferior,paltry,
beggarly,despicable,lowly,undignified,
commonplace,humble,mean,vulgar.

AWKWARD.

Synonyms:

boorish,clumsy,rough,unhandy,
bungling,gawky,uncouth,unskilful.
clownish,maladroit,ungainly,

Awkward, from awk (kindred with off, from the Norwegian), is off-ward, turned the wrong way; it was anciently used of a back-handed or left-handed blow in battle, of squinting eyes, etc. Clumsy, on the other hand (from clumse, also through the Norwegian), signifies benumbed, stiffened with cold; this is the original meaning of clumsy fingers, clumsy limbs. Thus, awkward primarily refers to action, clumsy to condition. A tool, a vehicle, or the human frame may be clumsy in shape or build, awkward in motion. The clumsy man is almost of necessity awkward, but the awkward man may not be naturally clumsy. The finest untrained colt is awkward in harness; a horse that is clumsy in build can never be trained out of awkwardness. An awkward statement has an uncomfortable, and perhaps recoiling force; a statement that contains ill-assorted and incongruous material in ill-chosen language is clumsy. We speak of an awkward predicament, an awkward scrape. An awkward excuse commonly reflects on the one who offers it. We say the admitted facts have an[71] awkward appearance. In none of these cases could clumsy be used. Clumsy is, however, applied to movements that seem as unsuitable as those of benumbed and stiffened limbs. A dancing bear is both clumsy and awkward.

Antonyms:

adroit,clever,dexterous,handy,skilful.

Prepositions:

The raw recruit is awkward in action; at the business.


AXIOM.

Synonym:

truism.

Both the axiom and the truism are instantly seen to be true, and need no proof; but in an axiom there is progress of thought, while the truism simply says the same thing over again, or says what is too manifest to need saying. The axiom that "things which are equal to the same thing are equal to one another" unfolds in the latter part of the sentence the truth implied in the first part, which might have been overlooked if not stated. In the truism that "a man can do all he is capable of," the former and the latter part of the sentence are simply identical, and the mind is left just where it started. Hence the axiom is valuable and useful, while the truism is weak and flat, unless the form of statement makes it striking or racy, as "all fools are out of their wits." Compare PROVERB.

Antonyms:

absurdity,contradiction,demonstration,nonsense,paradox,sophism.

BABBLE.

Synonyms:

blab,cackle,gabble,murmur,prattle,
blurt,chat,gossip,palaver,tattle,
blurt out,chatter,jabber,prate,twaddle.

Most of these words are onomatopoetic. The cackle of a hen, the gabble of a goose, the chatter of a magpie, the babble of a running stream, as applied to human speech, indicate a rapid succession of what are to the listener meaningless sounds. Blab and blurt (commonly blurt out) refer to the letting out of what the lips can no longer keep in; blab, of a secret; blurt out, of passionate feeling. To chat is to talk in an easy, pleasant way, not without sense, but without special purpose. Chatting is the practise of adults, prattling that of children. To prate is to talk idly,[72] presumptuously, or foolishly, but not necessarily incoherently. To jabber is to utter a rapid succession of unintelligible sounds, generally more noisy than chattering. To gossip is to talk of petty personal matters, as for pastime or mischief. To twaddle is to talk feeble nonsense. To murmur is to utter suppressed or even inarticulate sounds, suggesting the notes of a dove, or the sound of a running stream, and is used figuratively of the half suppressed utterances of affection or pity, or of complaint, resentment, etc. Compare SPEAK.

Prepositions:

Babies babble for the moon; the crowd babbles of a hero; the sick man babbles of home.


BANISH.

Synonyms:

ban,dismiss,evict,expatriate,ostracize,
discharge,drive out,exile,expel,oust.
dislodge,eject,

Banish, primarily to put under ban, to compel by authority to leave a place or country, perhaps with restriction to some other place or country. From a country, a person may be banished, exiled, or expatriated; banished from any country where he may happen to be, but expatriated or exiled only from his own. One may expatriate or exile himself; he is banished by others. Banish is a word of wide import; one may banish disturbing thoughts; care may banish sleep. To expel is to drive out with violence or rudeness, and so often with disgrace.

Prepositions:

Cataline was banished from Rome; John the Apostle was banished to Patmos.


BANK.

Synonyms:

beach,bound,brink,edge,margin,shore,
border,brim,coast,marge,rim,strand.

Bank is a general term for the land along the edge of a water course; it may also denote a raised portion of the bed of a river, lake, or ocean; as, the Banks of Newfoundland. A beach is a strip or expanse of incoherent wave-worn sand, which is often pebbly or full of boulders; we speak of the beach of a lake or ocean; a beach is sometimes found in the bend of a river. Strand is a more poetic term for a wave-washed shore, especially as a place for landing or embarking; as, the keel grates on the strand.[73] The whole line of a country or continent that borders the sea is a coast. Shore is any land, whether cliff, or sand, or marsh, bordering water. We do not speak of the coast of a river, nor of the banks of the ocean, tho there may be banks by or under the sea. Edge is the line where land and water meet; as, the water's edge. Brink is the place from which one may fall; as, the river's brink; the brink of a precipice; the brink of ruin.


BANTER.

Synonyms:

badinage,derision,jeering,raillery,sarcasm,
chaff,irony,mockery,ridicule,satire.

Banter is the touching upon some fault, weakness, or fancied secret of another in a way half to pique and half to please; badinage is delicate, refined banter. Raillery has more sharpness, but is usually good-humored and well meant. Irony, the saying one thing that the reverse may be understood, may be either mild or bitter. All the other words have a hostile intent. Ridicule makes a person or thing the subject of contemptuous merriment; derision seeks to make the object derided seem utterly despicable—to laugh it to scorn. Chaff is the coarse witticism of the streets, perhaps merry, oftener malicious; jeering is loud, rude ridicule, as of a hostile crowd or mob. Mockery is more studied, and may include mimicry and personal violence, as well as scornful speech. A satire is a formal composition; a sarcasm may be an impromptu sentence. The satire shows up follies to keep people from them; the sarcasm hits them because they are foolish, without inquiring whether it will do good or harm; the satire is plainly uttered; the sarcasm is covert.


BARBAROUS.

Synonyms:

atrocious,brutal,merciless,uncivilized,
barbarian,cruel,rude,uncouth,
barbaric,inhuman,savage,untamed.

Whatever is not civilized is barbarian; barbaric indicates rude magnificence, uncultured richness; as, barbaric splendor, a barbaric melody. Barbarous refers to the worst side of barbarian life, and to revolting acts, especially of cruelty, such as a civilized man would not be expected to do; as, a barbarous deed. We may, however, say barbarous nations, barbarous tribes, without implying anything more than want of civilization and culture. Savage[74] is more distinctly bloodthirsty than barbarous. In this sense we speak of a savage beast and of barbarous usage.

Antonyms:

civilized,cultured,elegant,humane,polite,tender,
courtly,delicate,graceful,nice,refined,urbane.

BARRIER.

Synonyms:

bar,bulwark,obstruction,rampart,
barricade,hindrance,parapet,restraint,
breastwork,obstacle,prohibition,restriction.

A bar is something that is or may be firmly fixed, ordinarily with intent to prevent entrance or egress; as, the bars of a prison cell; the bars of a wood-lot. A barrier obstructs, but is not necessarily impassable. Barrier is used of objects more extensive than those to which bar is ordinarily applied. A mountain range may be a barrier to exploration; but a mass of sand across the entrance to a harbor is called a bar. Discovered falsehood is a bar to confidence. Barricade has become practically a technical name for an improvised street fortification, and, unless in some way modified, is usually so understood. A parapet is a low or breast-high wall, as about the edge of a roof, terrace, etc., especially, in military use, such a wall for the protection of troops; a rampart is the embankment surrounding a fort, on which the parapet is raised; the word rampart is often used as including the parapet. Bulwark is a general word for any defensive wall or rampart; its only technical use at present is in nautical language, where it signifies the raised side of a ship above the upper deck, topped by the rail. Compare BOUNDARY; IMPEDIMENT.

Antonyms:

admittance,opening,road,transit,
entrance,passage,thoroughfare,way.

Prepositions:

A barrier to progress, against invasion; a barrier between nations.


BATTLE.

Synonyms:

action,combat,encounter,passage of arms,
affair,conflict,engagement,skirmish,
bout,contest,fight,strife.

Conflict is a general word which describes opponents, whether individuals or hosts, as dashed together. One continuous conflict between entire armies is a battle. Another battle may be fought upon the same field after a considerable interval; or a new battle[75] may follow immediately, the armies meeting upon a new field. An action is brief and partial; a battle may last for days. Engagement is a somewhat formal expression for battle; as, it was the commander's purpose to avoid a general engagement. A protracted war, including many battles, may be a stubborn contest. Combat, originally a hostile encounter between individuals, is now used also for extensive engagements. A skirmish is between small detachments or scattered troops. An encounter may be either purposed or accidental, between individuals or armed forces. Fight is a word of less dignity than battle; we should not ordinarily speak of Waterloo as a fight, unless where the word is used in the sense of fighting; as, I was in the thick of the fight.

Antonyms:

armistice,concord,peace,suspension of hostilities,truce.

Prepositions:

A battle of giants; battle between armies; a battle for life, against invaders; a battle to the death; the battle of (more rarely at) Marathon.


BEAT.

Synonyms:

bastinado,chastise,overcome,spank,thrash,
batter,conquer,pommel,strike,vanquish,
belabor,cudgel,pound,surpass,whip,
bruise,defeat,scourge,switch,worst.
castigate,flog,smite,

Strike is the word for a single blow; to beat is to strike repeatedly, as a bird beats the air with its wings. Others of the above words describe the manner of beating, as bastinado, to beat on the soles of the feet; belabor, to inflict a comprehensive and exhaustive beating; cudgel, to beat with a stick; thrash, as wheat was beaten out with the old hand-flail; to pound (akin to L. pondus, a weight) is to beat with a heavy, and pommel with a blunt, instrument. To batter and to bruise refer to the results of beating; that is battered which is broken or defaced by repeated blows on the surface (compare synonyms for SHATTER); that is bruised which has suffered even one severe contusion. The metaphorical sense of beat, however, so far preponderates that one may be very badly bruised and battered, and yet not be said to be beaten, unless he has got the worst of the beating. To beat a combatant is to disable or dishearten him for further fighting. Hence beat becomes[76] the synonym for every word which implies getting the advantage of another. Compare CONQUER.

Antonyms:

fail,fall,get the worst of,go down,go under,surrender.

Almost all antonyms in this class are passive, and can be formed indefinitely from the conquering words by the use of the auxiliary be; as, be beaten, be defeated, be conquered, etc.

Prepositions:

Beat with a stick over the head; beat by a trick; out of town; beat to the ground; into submission.


BEAUTIFUL.

Synonyms:

attractive,charming,exquisite,handsome,
beauteous,comely,fair,lovely,
bewitching,delightful,fine,picturesque,
bonny,elegant,graceful,pretty.

The definition of beauty, "perfection of form," is a good key to the meaning of beautiful, if we understand "form" in its widest sense. There must also be harmony and unity, and in human beings spiritual loveliness, to constitute an object or a person really beautiful. Thus, we speak of a beautiful landscape, a beautiful poem. But beautiful implies also, in concrete objects, softness of outline and delicacy of mold; it is opposed to all that is hard and rugged, hence we say a beautiful woman, but not a beautiful man. Beautiful has the further limit of not transcending our powers of appreciation. Pretty expresses in a far less degree that which is pleasing to a refined taste in objects comparatively small, slight, and dainty; as, a pretty bonnet; a pretty girl. That is handsome which is not only superficially pleasing, but well and harmoniously proportioned, with usually the added idea that it is made so by art, breeding, or training; as, a handsome horse; a handsome house. Handsome is a term far inferior to beautiful; we may even say a handsome villain. Fair denotes what is bright, smooth, clear, and without blemish; as, a fair face. The word applies wholly to what is superficial; we can say "fair, yet false." In a specific sense, fair has the sense of blond, as opposed to dark or brunette. One who possesses vivacity, wit, good nature, or other pleasing qualities may be attractive without beauty. Comely denotes an aspect that is smooth, genial, and wholesome, with a certain fulness of contour and pleasing symmetry, tho falling[77] short of the beautiful; as, a comely matron. That is picturesque which would make a striking picture.

Antonyms:

awkward,frightful,grotesque,repulsive,uncouth,
clumsy,ghastly,hideous,shocking,ungainly,
deformed,grim,horrid,ugly,unlovely,
disgusting,grisly,odious,unattractive,unpleasant.

Prepositions:

Beautiful to the eye; beautiful in appearance, in spirit; "beautiful for situation," Ps. xlviii, 2; beautiful of aspect, of its kind.


BECAUSE.

Synonyms:

as,for,inasmuch as,since.

Because, literally by-cause, is the most direct and complete word for giving the reason of a thing. Since, originally denoting succession in time, signifies a succession in a chain of reasoning, a natural inference or result. As indicates something like, coordinate, parallel. Since is weaker than because; as is weaker than since; either may introduce the reason before the main statement; thus, since or as you are going, I will accompany you. Often the weaker word is the more courteous, implying less constraint; for example, as you request it, I will come, rather than I will come because you request it. Inasmuch as is a formal and qualified expression, implying by just so much, and no more; thus, inasmuch as the debtor has no property, I abandon the claim. For is a loose connective, giving often mere suggestion or indication rather than reason or cause; as, it is morning, for (not because) the birds are singing.

Antonyms:

altho,however,nevertheless,notwithstanding,yet.

Compare synonyms for BUT; NOTWITHSTANDING.


BECOMING.

Synonyms:

befitting,congruous,fit,meet,seemly,
beseeming,decent,fitting,neat,suitable,
comely,decorous,graceful,proper,worthy.

That is becoming in dress which suits the complexion, figure, and other qualities of the wearer, so as to produce on the whole a pleasing effect. That is decent which does not offend modesty or propriety. That is suitable which is adapted to the age, station, situation, and other circumstances of the wearer; coarse, heavy[78] boots are suitable for farm-work; a juvenile style of dress is not suitable for an old lady. In conduct much the same rules apply. The dignity and gravity of a patriarch would not be becoming to a child; at a funeral lively, cheery sociability would not be decorous, while noisy hilarity would not be decent; sumptuous display would not be suitable for a poor person. Fit is a compendious term for whatever fits the person, time, place, occasion, etc.; as, a fit person; a fit abode; a fit place. Fitting, or befitting, is somewhat more elegant, implying a nicer adaptation. Meet, a somewhat archaic word, expresses a moral fitness; as, meet for heaven. Compare BEAUTIFUL.

Antonyms:

awkward,ill-fitting,indecent,unbecoming,unseemly,
ill-becoming,improper,indecorous,unfit,unsuitable.

Prepositions:

The dress was becoming to the wearer. Such conduct was becoming in him.


BEGINNING.

Synonyms:

arising,inauguration,origin,source,
commencement,inception,outset,spring,
fount,initiation,rise,start.
fountain,opening,

The Latin commencement is more formal than the Saxon beginning, as the verb commence, is more formal than begin. Commencement is for the most part restricted to some form of action, while beginning has no restriction, but may be applied to action, state, material, extent, enumeration, or to whatever else may be conceived of as having a first part, point, degree, etc. The letter A is at the beginning (not the commencement) of every alphabet. If we were to speak of the commencement of the Pacific Railroad, we should be understood to refer to the enterprise and its initiatory act; if we were to refer to the roadway we should say "Here is the beginning of the Pacific Railroad." In the great majority of cases begin and beginning are preferable to commence and commencement as the simple, idiomatic English words, always accurate and expressive. "In the beginning was the word," John i, 1. An origin is the point from which something starts or sets out, often involving, and always suggesting causal connection; as, the origin of evil; the origin of a nation, a government, or a family. A source is that which furnishes a first and continuous supply, that which flows forth freely or may be readily recurred to; as, the source of a river; a source of knowledge; a source of inspiration;[79] fertile land is a source (not an origin) of wealth. A rise is thought of as in an action; we say that a lake is the source of a certain river, or that the river takes its rise from the lake. Motley wrote of "The Rise of the Dutch Republic." Fount, fountain, and spring, in their figurative senses, keep close to their literal meaning. Compare CAUSE.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for END.


BEHAVIOR.

Synonyms:

action,breeding,conduct,deportment,manner,
bearing,carriage,demeanor,life,manners.

Behavior is our action in the presence of others; conduct includes also that which is known only to ourselves and our Maker. Carriage expresses simply the manner of holding the body, especially in sitting or walking, as when it is said of a lady "she has a fine carriage." Bearing refers to the bodily expression of feeling or disposition; as, a haughty bearing; a noble bearing. Demeanor is the bodily expression, not only of feelings, but of moral states; as, a devout demeanor. Breeding, unless with some adverse limitation, denotes that manner and conduct which result from good birth and training. Deportment is behavior as related to a set of rules; as, the pupil's deportment was faultless. A person's manner may be that of a moment, or toward a single person; his manners are his habitual style of behavior toward or before others, especially in matters of etiquette and politeness; as, good manners are always pleasing.

Prepositions:

The behavior of the pastor to or toward his people, on or upon the streets, before the multitude, or in the church, with the godly, or with the worldly, was alike faultless.


BEND.

Synonyms:

bias,curve,diverge,mold,submit,twist,
bow,deflect,incline,persuade,turn,warp,
crook,deviate,influence,stoop,twine,yield.

In some cases a thing is spoken of as bent where the parts make an angle; but oftener to bend is understood to be to draw to or through a curve; as, to bend a bow. To submit or yield is to bend the mind humbly to another's wishes. To incline or influence is to bend another's wishes toward our own; to persuade is to[80] draw them quite over. To warp is to bend silently through the whole fiber, as a board in the sun. To crook is to bend irregularly, as a crooked stick. Deflect, deviate, and diverge are said of any turning away; deviate commonly of a slight and gradual movement, diverge of a more sharp and decided one. To bias is to cut across the texture, or incline to one side; in figurative use always with an unfavorable import. Mold is a stronger work than bend; we may bend by a superior force that which still resists the constraint; as, a bent bow; we mold something plastic entirely to some desired form.


BENEVOLENCE.

Synonyms:

almsgiving,charity,kind-heartedness,munificence,
beneficence,generosity,kindliness,philanthropy,
benignity,good-will,kindness,sympathy,
bounty,humanity,liberality,unselfishness.

According to the etymology and original usage, beneficence is the doing well, benevolence the wishing or willing well to others; but benevolence has come to include beneficence, and to displace it. We should not now speak of benevolence which did not help, unless where there was no power to help; even then we should rather say good-will or sympathy. Charity, which originally meant the purest love for God and man (as in 1 Cor. xiii), is now almost universally applied to some form of almsgiving, and is much more limited in meaning than benevolence. Benignity suggests some occult power of blessing, such as was formerly ascribed to the stars; we may say a good man has an air of benignity. Kindness and tenderness are personal; benevolence and charity are general. Kindness extends to all sentient beings, whether men or animals, in prosperity or in distress. Tenderness especially goes out toward the young, feeble, and needy, or even to the dead. Humanity is so much kindness and tenderness toward man or beast as it would be inhuman not to have; we say of some act of care or kindness, "common humanity requires it." Generosity is self-forgetful kindness in disposition or action; it includes much besides giving; as, the generosity of forgiveness. Bounty applies to ample giving, which on a larger scale is expressed by munificence. Liberality indicates broad, genial kindly views, whether manifested in gifts or otherwise. We speak of the bounty of a generous host, the liberality or munificence of the founder of a college, or of the liberality of a theologian toward the holders of conflicting[81] beliefs. Philanthropy applies to wide schemes for human welfare, often, but not always, involving large expenditures in charity or benevolence. Compare MERCY.

Antonyms:

barbarity,greediness,ill-will,malignity,self-seeking,
brutality,harshness,inhumanity,niggardliness,stinginess,
churlishness,illiberality,malevolence,selfishness,unkindness.

Prepositions:

Benevolence of, on the part of, or from the wealthy, to or toward the poor.


BIND.

Synonyms:

compel,fetter,oblige,restrict,shackle,
engage,fix,restrain,secure,tie.
fasten,

Binding is primarily by something flexible, as a cord or bandage drawn closely around an object or group of objects, as when we bind up a wounded limb. We bind a sheaf of wheat with a cord; we tie the cord in a knot; we fasten by any means that will make things hold together, as a board by nails, or a door by a lock. The verbs tie and fasten are scarcely used in the figurative sense, tho, using the noun, we speak of the ties of affection. Bind has an extensive figurative use. One is bound by conscience or honor; he is obliged by some imperious necessity; engaged by his own promise; compelled by physical force or its moral equivalent.

Antonyms:

free,loose,set free,unbind,unfasten,unloose,untie.

Prepositions:

Bind to a pillar; unto an altar; to a service; bind one with chains or in chains; one is bound by a contract; a splint is bound upon a limb; the arms may be bound to the sides or behind the back; bind a wreath about, around, or round the head; twigs are bound in or into fagots; for military purposes, they are bound at both ends and in the middle; one is bound by a contract, or bound under a penalty to fulfil a contract.


BITTER.

Synonyms:

acerb,acidulous,caustic,pungent,stinging,
acetous,acrid,cutting,savage,tart,
acid,acrimonious,harsh,sharp,vinegarish,
acidulated,biting,irate,sour,virulent.

Acid, sour, and bitter agree in being contrasted with sweet, but[82] the two former are sharply distinguished from the latter. Acid or sour is the taste of vinegar or lemon-juice; bitter that of quassia, quinine, or strychnine. Acrid is nearly allied to bitter. Pungent suggests the effect of pepper or snuff on the organs of taste or smell; as, a pungent odor. Caustic indicates the corroding effect of some strong chemical, as nitrate of silver. In a figurative sense, as applied to language or character, these words are very closely allied. We say a sour face, sharp words, bitter complaints, caustic wit, cutting irony, biting sarcasm, a stinging taunt, harsh judgment, a tart reply. Harsh carries the idea of intentional and severe unkindness, bitter of a severity that arises from real or supposed ill treatment. The bitter speech springs from the sore heart. Tart and sharp utterances may not proceed from an intention to wound, but merely from a wit recklessly keen; cutting, stinging, and biting speech indicates more or less of hostile intent, the latter being the more deeply malicious. The caustic utterance is meant to burn, perhaps wholesomely, as in the satire of Juvenal or Cervantes. Compare MOROSE.

Antonyms:

dulcet,honeyed,luscious,nectared,saccharine,sweet.

BLEACH, v.

Synonyms:

blanch,make white,whiten,whitewash.

To whiten is to make white in general, but commonly it means to overspread with white coloring-matter. Bleach and blanch both signify to whiten by depriving of color, the former permanently, as linen; the latter either permanently (as, to blanch celery) or temporarily (as, to blanch the cheek with fear). To whitewash is to whiten superficially, especially by false approval.

Antonyms:

blacken,color,darken,dye,soil,stain.

BLEMISH.

Synonyms:

blot,defacement,disgrace,injury,spot,
blur,defect,dishonor,reproach,stain,
brand,deformity,fault,smirch,stigma,
crack,dent,flaw,soil,taint,
daub,disfigurement,imperfection,speck,tarnish.

Whatever mars the beauty or completeness of an object is a blemish, whether original, as squinting eyes, or the result of accident or disease, etc., as the pits of smallpox. A blemish is superficial; a flaw or taint is in structure or substance. In the moral[83] sense, we speak of a blot or stain upon reputation; a flaw or taint in character. A defect is the want or lack of something; fault, primarily a failing, is something that fails of an apparent intent or disappoints a natural expectation; thus a sudden dislocation or displacement of geological strata is called a fault. Figuratively, a blemish comes from one's own ill-doing; a brand or stigma is inflicted by others; as, the brand of infamy.


BLOW.

Synonyms:

box,concussion,disaster,misfortune,stripe,
buffet,cuff,knock,rap,stroke,
calamity,cut,lash,shock,thump.

A blow is a sudden impact, as of a fist or a club; a stroke is a sweeping movement; as, the stroke of a sword, of an oar, of the arm in swimming. A shock is the sudden encounter with some heavy body; as, colliding railway-trains meet with a shock; the shock of battle. A slap is given with the open hand, a lash with a whip, thong, or the like; we speak also of the cut of a whip. A buffet or cuff is given only with the hand; a blow either with hand or weapon. A cuff is a somewhat sidelong blow, generally with the open hand; as, a cuff or box on the ear. A stripe is the effect or mark of a stroke. In the metaphorical sense, blow is used for sudden, stunning, staggering calamity or sorrow; stroke for sweeping disaster, and also for sweeping achievement and success. We say a stroke of paralysis, or a stroke of genius. We speak of the buffets of adverse fortune. Shock is used of that which is at once sudden, violent, and prostrating; we speak of a shock of electricity, the shock of an amputation, a shock of surprise. Compare BEAT.


BLUFF.

Synonyms:

abrupt,brusk,impolite,rough,
blunt,coarse,inconsiderate,rude,
blustering,discourteous,open,uncivil,
bold,frank,plain-spoken,unmannerly.

Bluff is a word of good meaning, as are frank and open. The bluff man talks and laughs loudly and freely, says and does whatever he pleases with fearless good nature, and with no thought of annoying or giving pain to others. The blunt man says things which he is perfectly aware are disagreeable, either from a defiant indifference to others' feelings, or from the pleasure of tormenting.

Antonyms:

bland,courteous,genial,polished,polite,refined,reserved,urbane.

[84]

BODY.

Synonyms:

ashes,clay,dust,frame,system,
carcass,corpse,form,remains,trunk.

Body denotes the entire physical structure, considered as a whole, of man or animal; form looks upon it as a thing of shape and outline, perhaps of beauty; frame regards it as supported by its bony framework; system views it as an assemblage of many related and harmonious organs. Body, form, frame, and system may be either dead or living; clay and dust are sometimes so used in religious or poetic style, tho ordinarily these words are used only of the dead. Corpse and remains are used only of the dead. Corpse is the plain technical word for a dead body still retaining its unity; remains may be used after any lapse of time; the latter is also the more refined and less ghastly term; as, friends are invited to view the remains. Carcass applies only to the body of an animal, or of a human being regarded with contempt and loathing. Compare COMPANY.

Antonyms:

intellect,intelligence,mind,soul,spirit.

BOTH.

Synonyms:

twain,two.

Both refers to two objects previously mentioned, or had in mind, viewed or acting in connection; as, both men fired at once; "two men fired" might mean any two, out of any number, and without reference to any previous thought or mention. Twain is a nearly obsolete form of two. The two, or the twain, is practically equivalent to both; both, however, expresses a closer unity. We would say both men rushed against the enemy; the two men flew at each other. Compare EVERY.

Antonyms:

each,either,every,neither,none,no one,not any.

BOUNDARY.

Synonyms:

barrier,confines,limit,margin,
border,edge,line,term,
bound,enclosure,marches,termination,
bourn,frontier,marge,verge.
bourne,landmark,

The boundary was originally the landmark, that which marked off one piece of territory from another. The bound is the[85] limit, marked or unmarked. Now, however, the difference between the two words has come to be simply one of usage. As regards territory, we speak of the boundaries of a nation or of an estate; the bounds of a college, a ball-ground, etc. Bounds may be used for all within the limits, boundary for the limiting line only. Boundary looks to that which is without; bound only to that which is within. Hence we speak of the bounds, not the boundaries, of a subject, of the universe, etc.; we say the students were forbidden to go beyond the bounds. A barrier is something that bars ingress or egress. A barrier may be a boundary, as was the Great Wall of China. Bourn, or bourne, is a poetical expression for bound or boundary. A border is a strip of land along the boundary. Edge is a sharp terminal line, as where river or ocean meets the land. Limit is now used almost wholly in the figurative sense; as, the limit of discussion, of time, of jurisdiction. Line is a military term; as, within the lines, or through the lines, of an army. Compare BARRIER; END.

Antonyms:

center,citadel,estate,inside,interior,land,region,territory.

Prepositions:

The boundaries of an estate; the boundary between neighboring territories.


BRAVE.

Synonyms:

adventurous,courageous,fearless,undaunted,
bold,daring,gallant,undismayed,
chivalric,dauntless,heroic,valiant,
chivalrous,doughty,intrepid,venturesome.

The adventurous man goes in quest of danger; the bold man stands out and faces danger or censure; the brave man combines confidence with resolution in presence of danger; the chivalrous man puts himself in peril for others' protection. The daring step out to defy danger; the dauntless will not flinch before anything that may come to them; the doughty will give and take limitless hard knocks. The adventurous find something romantic in dangerous enterprises; the venturesome may be simply heedless, reckless, or ignorant. All great explorers have been adventurous; children, fools, and criminals are venturesome. The fearless and intrepid possess unshaken nerves in any place of danger. Courageous is more than brave, adding a moral element: the courageous man steadily encounters perils to which he may be keenly sensitive, at the call of duty; the gallant are brave in a dashing, showy, and[86] splendid way; the valiant not only dare great dangers, but achieve great results; the heroic are nobly daring and dauntless, truly chivalrous, sublimely courageous. Compare FORTITUDE.

Antonyms:

afraid,cringing,fearful,pusillanimous,timid,
cowardly,faint-hearted,frightened,shrinking,timorous.

BREAK.

Synonyms:

bankrupt,crack,destroy,rive,shatter,split,
burst,crush,fracture,rupture,shiver,sunder,
cashier,demolish,rend,sever,smash,transgress.

To break is to divide sharply, with severance of particles, as by a blow or strain. To burst is to break by pressure from within, as a bombshell, but it is used also for the result of violent force otherwise exerted; as, to burst in a door, where the door yields as if to an explosion. To crush is to break by pressure from without, as an egg-shell. To crack is to break without complete severance of parts; a cracked cup or mirror may still hold together. Fracture has a somewhat similar sense. In a fractured limb, the ends of the broken bone may be separated, tho both portions are still retained within the common muscular tissue. A shattered object is broken suddenly and in numerous directions; as, a vase is shattered by a blow, a building by an earthquake. A shivered glass is broken into numerous minute, needle-like fragments. To smash is to break thoroughly to pieces with a crashing sound by some sudden act of violence; a watch once smashed will scarcely be worth repair. To split is to cause wood to crack or part in the way of the grain, and is applied to any other case where a natural tendency to separation is enforced by an external cause; as, to split a convention or a party. To demolish is to beat down, as a mound, building, fortress, etc.; to destroy is to put by any process beyond restoration physically, mentally, or morally; to destroy an army is so to shatter and scatter it that it can not be rallied or reassembled as a fighting force. Compare REND.

Antonyms:

attach,bind,fasten,join,mend,secure,solder,unite,weld.

Prepositions:

Break to pieces, or in pieces, into several pieces (when the object is thought of as divided rather than shattered); break with a friend; from or away from a suppliant; break into a house; out of prison; break across one's knee; break through a hedge; break in upon one's retirement; break over the rules; break on or upon the shore, against the rocks.


[87]

BRUTISH.

Synonyms:

animal,brutal,ignorant,sensual,swinish,
base,brute,imbruted,sottish,unintellectual,
beastly,carnal,insensible,stolid,unspiritual,
bestial,coarse,lascivious,stupid,vile.

A brutish man simply follows his animal instincts, without special inclination to do harm; the brutal have always a spirit of malice and cruelty. Brute has no special character, except as indicating what a brute might possess; much the same is true of animal, except that animal leans more to the side of sensuality, brute to that of force, as appears in the familiar phrase "brute force." Hunger is an animal appetite; a brute impulse suddenly prompts one to strike a blow in anger. Bestial, in modern usage, implies an intensified and degrading animalism. Any supremacy of the animal or brute instincts over the intellectual and spiritual in man is base and vile. Beastly refers largely to the outward and visible consequences of excess; as, beastly drunkenness. Compare ANIMAL.

Antonyms:

elevated,exalted,great,intellectual,noble,
enlightened,grand,humane,intelligent,refined.

BURN.

Synonyms:

blaze,char,flame,incinerate,set fire to,
brand,consume,flash,kindle,set on fire,
cauterize,cremate,ignite,scorch,singe.

To burn is to subject to the action of fire, or of intense heat so as to effect either partial change or complete combustion; as, to burn wood in the fire; to burn one's hand on a hot stove; the sun burns the face. One brands with a hot iron, but cauterizes with some corrosive substance, as silver nitrate. Cremate is now used specifically for consuming a dead body by intense heat. To incinerate is to reduce to ashes; the sense differs little from that of cremate, but it is in less popular use. To kindle is to set on fire, as if with a candle; ignite is the more learned and scientific word for the same thing, extending even to the heating of metals to a state of incandescence without burning. To scorch and to singe are superficial, and to char usually so. Both kindle and burn have an extensive figurative use; as, to kindle strife; to burn with wrath, love, devotion, curiosity. Compare LIGHT.

Antonyms:

cool,extinguish,put out,smother,stifle,subdue.

[88]

Prepositions:

To burn in the fire, burn with fire; burn to the ground, burn to ashes; burn through the skin, or the roof; burn into the soil, etc.


BUSINESS.

Synonyms:

affair,commerce,handicraft,trading,
art,concern,job,traffic,
avocation,craft,occupation,transaction,
barter,duty,profession,vocation,
calling,employment,trade,work.

A business is what one follows regularly; an occupation is what he happens at any time to be engaged in; trout-fishing may be one's occupation for a time, as a relief from business; business is ordinarily for profit, while the occupation may be a matter of learning, philanthropy, or religion. A profession implies scholarship; as, the learned professions. Pursuit is an occupation which one follows with ardor. An avocation is what calls one away from other work; a vocation or calling, that to which one is called by some special fitness or sense of duty; thus, we speak of the gospel ministry as a vocation or calling, rather than a business. Trade or trading is, in general, the exchanging of one thing for another; in the special sense, a trade is an occupation involving manual training and skilled labor; as, the ancient Jews held that every boy should learn a trade. A transaction is a single action, whether in business, diplomacy, or otherwise; affair has a similar, but lighter meaning; as, this little affair; an important transaction. The plural affairs has a distinctive meaning, including all activities where men deal with one another on any considerable scale; as, a man of affairs. A job is a piece of work viewed as a single undertaking, and ordinarily paid for as such. Trade and commerce may be used as equivalents, but trade is capable of a more limited application; we speak of the trade of a village, the commerce of a nation. Barter is the direct exchange of commodities; business, trade, and commerce are chiefly transacted by means of money, bills of exchange, etc. Business, occupation, etc., may be what one does independently; employment may be in the service of another. Work is any application of energy to secure a result, or the result thus secured; thus, we speak of the work of God. Art in the industrial sense is a system of rules and accepted methods for the accomplishment of some practical result; as, the art of printing; collectively, the arts. A craft is some occupation requiring technical skill or manual dexterity,[89] or the persons, collectively, engaged in its exercise; as, the weaver's craft.

Prepositions:

The business of a druggist; in business with his father; doing business for his father; have you business with me? business in New York; business about, concerning, or in regard to certain property.


BUT.

Synonyms:

and,however,notwithstanding,that,
barely,just,only,tho,
besides,merely,provided,unless,
except,moreover,save,yet.
further,nevertheless,still,

But ranges from the faintest contrast to absolute negation; as, I am willing to go, but (on the other hand) content to stay; he is not an honest man, but (on the contrary) a villain. The contrast may be with a silent thought; as, but let us go (it being understood that we might stay longer). In restrictive use, except and excepting are slightly more emphatic than but; we say, no injury but a scratch; or, no injury except some painful bruises. Such expressions as "words are but breath" (nothing but) may be referred to the restrictive use by ellipsis. So may the use of but in the sense of unless; as, "it never rains but it pours." To the same head must be referred the conditional use; as, "you may go, but with your father's consent" (i. e., "provided you have," "except that you must have," etc.). "Doubt but" is now less used than the more logical "doubt that." But never becomes a full synonym for and; and adds something like, but adds something different; "brave and tender" implies that tenderness is natural to the brave; "brave but tender" implies that bravery and tenderness are rarely combined. For the concessive use, compare NOTWITHSTANDING.


BY.

Synonyms:

by dint of,by means of,through,with.

By refers to the agent; through, to the means, cause, or condition; with, to the instrument. By commonly refers to persons; with, to things; through may refer to either. The road having become impassable through long disuse, a way was opened by pioneers with axes. By may, however, be applied to any object which is viewed as partaking of action and agency; as, the metal[90] was corroded by the acid; skill is gained by practise. We speak of communicating with a person by letter. Through implies a more distant connection than by or with, and more intervening elements. Material objects are perceived by the mind through the senses.


CABAL.

Synonyms:

combination,confederacy,crew,gang,
conclave,conspiracy,faction,junto.

A conspiracy is a combination of persons for an evil purpose, or the act of so combining. Conspiracy is a distinct crime under common, and generally under statutory, law. A faction is more extensive than a conspiracy, less formal in organization, less definite in plan. Faction and its adjective, factious, have always an unfavorable sense. Cabal commonly denotes a conspiracy of leaders. A gang is a company of workmen all doing the same work under one leader; the word is used figuratively only of combinations which it is meant to stigmatize as rude and mercenary; crew is used in a closely similar sense. A conclave is secret, but of larger numbers, ordinarily, than a cabal, and may have honorable use; as, the conclave of cardinals.


CALCULATE.

Synonyms:

account,consider,enumerate,rate,
cast,count,estimate,reckon,
compute,deem,number,sum up.

Number is the generic term. To count is to number one by one. To calculate is to use more complicated processes, as multiplication, division, etc., more rapid but not less exact. Compute allows more of the element of probability, which is still more strongly expressed by estimate. We compute the slain in a great war from the number known to have fallen in certain great battles; compute refers to the present or the past, estimate more frequently to the future; as, to estimate the cost of a proposed building. To enumerate is to mention item by item; as, to enumerate one's grievances. To rate is to estimate by comparison, as if the object were one of a series. We count upon a desired future; we do not count upon the undesired. As applied to the present, we reckon or count a thing precious or worthless. Compare ESTEEM.

Prepositions:

It is vain to calculate on or upon an uncertain result.


[91]

CALL, v.

Synonyms:

bawl,cry (out),roar,shriek,
bellow,ejaculate,scream,vociferate,
clamor,exclaim,shout,yell.

To call is to send out the voice in order to attract another's attention, either by word or by inarticulate utterance. Animals call their mates, or their young; a man calls his dog, his horse, etc. The sense is extended to include summons by bell, or any signal. To shout is to call or exclaim with the fullest volume of sustained voice; to scream is to utter a shriller cry; to shriek or to yell refers to that which is louder and wilder still. We shout words; in screaming, shrieking, or yelling there is often no attempt at articulation. To bawl is to utter senseless, noisy cries, as of a child in pain or anger. Bellow and roar are applied to the utterances of animals, and only contemptuously to those of persons. To clamor is to utter with noisy iteration; it applies also to the confused cries of a multitude. To vociferate is commonly applied to loud and excited speech where there is little besides the exertion of voice. In exclaiming, the utterance may not be strikingly, tho somewhat, above the ordinary tone and pitch; we may exclaim by mere interjections, or by connected words, but always by some articulate utterance. To ejaculate is to throw out brief, disconnected, but coherent utterances of joy, regret, and especially of appeal, petition, prayer; the use of such devotional utterances has received the special name of "ejaculatory prayer." To cry out is to give forth a louder and more excited utterance than in exclaiming or calling; one often exclaims with sudden joy as well as sorrow; if he cries out, it is oftener in grief or agony. In the most common colloquial usage, to cry is to express grief or pain by weeping or sobbing. One may exclaim, cry out, or ejaculate with no thought of others' presence; when he calls, it is to attract another's attention.

Antonyms:

be silent,be still,hark,hearken,hush,list,listen.

CALM.

Synonyms:

collected,imperturbable,sedate,still,
composed,peaceful,self-possessed,tranquil,
cool,placid,serene,undisturbed,
dispassionate,quiet,smooth,unruffled.

That is calm which is free from disturbance or agitation; in the physical sense, free from violent motion or action; in the mental[92] or spiritual realm, free from excited or disturbing emotion or passion. We speak of a calm sea, a placid lake, a serene sky, a still night, a quiet day, a quiet home. We speak, also, of "still waters," "smooth sailing," which are different modes of expressing freedom from manifest agitation. Of mental conditions, one is calm who triumphs over a tendency to excitement; cool, if he scarcely feels the tendency. One may be calm by the very reaction from excitement, or by the oppression of overpowering emotion, as we speak of the calmness of despair. One is composed who has subdued excited feeling; he is collected when he has every thought, feeling, or perception awake and at command. Tranquil refers to a present state, placid, to a prevailing tendency. We speak of a tranquil mind, a placid disposition. The serene spirit dwells as if in the clear upper air, above all storm and shadow.

The star of the unconquered will,
He rises in my breast,
Serene, and resolute, and still,
And calm, and self-possessed.

Longfellow Light of Stars st. 7.

Antonyms:

agitated,excited,frenzied,passionate,ruffled,violent,
boisterous,fierce,furious,raging,stormy,wild,
disturbed,frantic,heated,roused,turbulent,wrathful.

CANCEL.

Synonyms:

abolish,discharge,nullify,rescind,
abrogate,efface,obliterate,revoke,
annul,erase,quash,rub off or out,
blot out,expunge,remove,scratch out,
cross off or out,make void,repeal,vacate.

Cancel, efface, erase, expunge, and obliterate have as their first meaning the removal of written characters or other forms of record. To cancel is, literally, to make a lattice by cross-lines, exactly our English cross out; to efface is to rub off, smooth away the face, as of an inscription; to erase is to scratch out, commonly for the purpose of writing something else in the same space; to expunge, is to punch out with some sharp instrument, so as to show that the words are no longer part of the writing; to obliterate is to cover over or remove, as a letter, as was done by reversing the Roman stylus, and rubbing out with the rounded end what had been written with the point on the waxen tablet. What has been canceled, erased, expunged, may perhaps still be traced; what is obliterated is gone forever, as if it had never been. In[93] many establishments, when a debt is discharged by payment, the record is canceled. The figurative use of the words keeps close to the primary sense. Compare ABOLISH.

Antonyms:

approve,enact,establish,perpetuate,reenact,uphold,
confirm,enforce,maintain,record,sustain,write.

CANDID.

Synonyms:

aboveboard,honest,open,truthful,
artless,impartial,simple,unbiased,
fair,ingenuous,sincere,unprejudiced,
frank,innocent,straightforward,unreserved,
guileless,naive,transparent,unsophisticated.

A candid statement is meant to be true to the real facts and just to all parties; a fair statement is really so. Fair is applied to the conduct; candid is not; as, fair treatment, "a fair field, and no favor." One who is frank has a fearless and unconstrained truthfulness. Honest and ingenuous unite in expressing contempt for deceit. On the other hand, artless, guileless, naive, simple, and unsophisticated express the goodness which comes from want of the knowledge or thought of evil. As truth is not always agreeable or timely, candid and frank have often an objectionable sense; "to be candid with you," "to be perfectly frank," are regarded as sure preludes to something disagreeable. Open and unreserved may imply unstudied truthfulness or defiant recklessness; as, open admiration, open robbery. There may be transparent integrity or transparent fraud. Sincere applies to the feelings, as being all that one's words would imply.

Antonyms:

adroit,cunning,diplomatic,intriguing,sharp,subtle,
artful,deceitful,foxy,knowing,shrewd,tricky,
crafty,designing,insincere,maneuvering,sly,wily.

Prepositions:

Candid in debate; candid to or toward opponents; candid with friend or foe; to be candid about or in regard to the matter.


CAPARISON.

Synonyms:

accouterments,harness,housings,trappings.

Harness was formerly used of the armor of a knight as well as of a horse; it is now used almost exclusively of the straps and appurtenances worn by a horse when attached to a vehicle; the animal is said to be "kind in harness." The other words apply to the ornamental outfit of a horse, especially under saddle. We[94] speak also of the accouterments of a soldier. Caparison is used rarely and somewhat slightingly, and trappings quite contemptuously, for showy human apparel. Compare ARMS; DRESS.


CAPITAL.

Synonyms:

chief city,metropolis,seat of government.

The metropolis is the chief city in the commercial, the capital in the political sense. The capital of an American State is rarely its metropolis.


CARE.

Synonyms:

anxiety,concern,oversight,trouble,
attention,direction,perplexity,vigilance,
caution,forethought,precaution,wariness,
charge,heed,prudence,watchfulness,
circumspection,management,solicitude,worry.

Care concerns what we possess; anxiety, often, what we do not; riches bring many cares; poverty brings many anxieties. Care also signifies watchful attention, in view of possible harm; as, "This side up with care;" "Take care of yourself;" or, as a sharp warning, "Take care!" Caution has a sense of possible harm and risk only to be escaped, if at all, by careful deliberation and observation. Care inclines to the positive, caution to the negative; care is shown in doing, caution largely in not doing. Precaution is allied with care, prudence with caution; a man rides a dangerous horse with care; caution will keep him from mounting the horse; precaution looks to the saddle-girths, bit and bridle, and all that may make the rider secure. Circumspection is watchful observation and calculation, but without the timidity implied in caution. Concern denotes a serious interest, milder than anxiety; as, concern for the safety of a ship at sea. Heed implies attention without disquiet; it is now largely displaced by attention and care. Solicitude involves especially the element of desire, not expressed in anxiety, and of hopefulness, not implied in care. A parent feels constant solicitude for his children's welfare, anxiety as to dangers that threaten it, with care to guard against them. Watchfulness recognizes the possibility of danger, wariness the probability. A man who is not influenced by caution to keep out of danger may display great wariness in the midst of it. Care has also the sense of responsibility, with possible control, as expressed in charge, management,[95] oversight; as, these children are under my care; send the money to me in care of the firm. Compare ALARM; ANXIETY; PRUDENCE.

Antonyms:

carelessness,heedlessness,indifference,negligence,oversight,remissness,
disregard,inattention,neglect,omission,recklessness,slight.

Prepositions:

Take care of the house; for the future; about the matter.


CAREER.

Synonyms:

charge,flight,passage,race,
course,line of achievement,public life,rush.

A career was originally the ground for a race, or, especially, for a knight's charge in tournament or battle; whence career was early applied to the charge itself.

If you will use the lance, take ground for your career.... The four horsemen met in full career.

Scott Quentin Durward ch. 14, p. 194. [D. F. & CO.]

In its figurative use career signifies some continuous and conspicuous work, usually a life-work, and most frequently one of honorable achievement. Compare BUSINESS.


CARESS.

Synonyms:

coddle,embrace,fondle,pamper,
court,flatter,kiss,pet.

To caress is less than to embrace; more dignified and less familiar than to fondle. A visitor caresses a friend's child; a mother fondles her babe. Fondling is always by touch; caressing may be also by words, or other tender and pleasing attentions.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for AFFRONT.

Prepositions:

Caressed by or with the hand; caressed by admirers, at court.


CARICATURE.

Synonyms:

burlesque,extravaganza,mimicry,take-off,
exaggeration,imitation,parody,travesty.

A caricature is a grotesque exaggeration of striking features or peculiarities, generally of a person; a burlesque treats any subject in an absurd or incongruous manner. A burlesque is written or acted; a caricature is more commonly in sketch or picture. A parody changes the subject, but keeps the style; a travesty keeps[96] the subject, but changes the style; a burlesque does not hold itself to either subject or style; but is content with a general resemblance to what it may imitate. A caricature, parody, or travesty must have an original; a burlesque may be an independent composition. An account of a schoolboys' quarrel after the general manner of Homer's Iliad would be a burlesque; the real story of the Iliad told in newspaper style would be a travesty. An extravaganza is a fantastic composition, musical, dramatic, or narrative. Imitation is serious; mimicry is either intentionally or unintentionally comical.


CARRY.

Synonyms:

bear,convey,move,sustain,transmit,
bring,lift,remove,take,transport.

A person may bear a load either when in motion or at rest; he carries it only when in motion. The stooping Atlas bears the world on his shoulders; swiftly moving Time carries the hour-glass and scythe; a person may be said either to bear or to carry a scar, since it is upon him whether in motion or at rest. If an object is to be moved from the place we occupy, we say carry; if to the place we occupy, we say bring. A messenger carries a letter to a correspondent, and brings an answer. Take is often used in this sense in place of carry; as, take that letter to the office. Carry often signifies to transport by personal strength, without reference to the direction; as, that is more than he can carry; yet, even so, it would not be admissible to say carry it to me, or carry it here; in such case we must say bring. To lift is simply to raise from the ground, tho but for an instant, with no reference to holding or moving; one may be able to lift what he could not carry. The figurative uses of carry are very numerous; as, to carry an election, carry the country, carry (in the sense of capture) a fort, carry an audience, carry a stock of goods, etc. Compare CONVEY; KEEP; SUPPORT.

Antonyms:

drop,fall under,give up,let go,shake off,throw down,throw off.

Prepositions:

To carry coals to Newcastle; carry nothing from, or out of, this house; he carried these qualities into all he did; carry across the street, over the bridge, through the woods, around or round the corner; beyond the river; the cable was carried under the sea.


[97]

CATASTROPHE.

Synonyms:

calamity,denouement,mischance,mishap,
cataclysm,disaster,misfortune,sequel.

A cataclysm or catastrophe is some great convulsion or momentous event that may or may not be a cause of misery to man. In calamity, or disaster, the thought of human suffering is always present. It has been held by many geologists that numerous catastrophes or cataclysms antedated the existence of man. In literature, the final event of a drama is the catastrophe, or denouement. Misfortune ordinarily suggests less of suddenness and violence than calamity or disaster, and is especially applied to that which is lingering or enduring in its effects. In history, the end of every great war or the fall of a nation is a catastrophe, tho it may not be a calamity. Yet such an event, if not a calamity to the race, will always involve much individual disaster and misfortune. Pestilence is a calamity; a defeat in battle, a shipwreck, or a failure in business is a disaster; sickness or loss of property is a misfortune; failure to meet a friend is a mischance; the breaking of a teacup is a mishap.

Antonyms:

benefit,boon,favor,pleasure,prosperity,
blessing,comfort,help,privilege,success.

Preposition:

The catastrophe of a play; of a siege; rarely, to a person, etc.


CATCH.

Synonyms:

apprehend,comprehend,grasp,overtake,snatch,
capture,discover,grip,secure,take,
clasp,ensnare,gripe,seize,take hold of.
clutch,entrap,lay hold of (on, upon),

To catch is to come up with or take possession of something departing, fugitive, or illusive. We catch a runaway horse, a flying ball, a mouse in a trap. We clutch with a swift, tenacious movement of the fingers; we grasp with a firm but moderate closure of the whole hand; we grip or gripe with the strongest muscular closure of the whole hand possible to exert. We clasp in the arms. We snatch with a quick, sudden, and usually a surprising motion. In the figurative sense, catch is used of any act that brings a person or thing into our power or possession; as, to catch a criminal in the act; to catch an idea, in the sense of apprehend or comprehend. Compare ARREST.

[98]

Antonyms:

fail of,give up,lose,release,throw aside,
fall short of,let go,miss,restore,throw away.

Prepositions:

To catch at a straw; to catch a fugitive by the collar; to catch a ball with the left hand; he caught the disease from the patient; the thief was caught in the act; the bird in the snare.


CAUSE.

Synonyms:

actor,causality,designer,occasion,precedent,
agent,causation,former,origin,reason,
antecedent,condition,fountain,originator,source,
author,creator,motive,power,spring.

The efficient cause, that which makes anything to be or be done, is the common meaning of the word, as in the saying "There is no effect without a cause." Every man instinctively recognizes himself acting through will as the cause of his own actions. The Creator is the Great First Cause of all things. A condition is something that necessarily precedes a result, but does not produce it. An antecedent simply precedes a result, with or without any agency in producing it; as, Monday is the invariable antecedent of Tuesday, but not the cause of it. The direct antonym of cause is effect, while that of antecedent is consequent. An occasion is some event which brings a cause into action at a particular moment; gravitation and heat are the causes of an avalanche; the steep incline of the mountain-side is a necessary condition, and the shout of the traveler may be the occasion of its fall. Causality is the doctrine or principle of causes, causation the action or working of causes. Compare DESIGN; REASON.

Antonyms:

consequence,development,end,fruit,outcome,product,
creation,effect,event,issue,outgrowth,result.

Prepositions:

The cause of the disaster; cause for interference.


CEASE.

Synonyms:

abstain,desist,give over,quit,
bring to an end,discontinue,intermit,refrain,
come to an end,end,leave off,stop,
conclude,finish,pause,terminate.

Strains of music may gradually or suddenly cease. A man quits work on the instant; he may discontinue a practise gradually;[99] he quits suddenly and completely; he stops short in what he may or may not resume; he pauses in what he will probably resume. What intermits or is intermitted returns again, as a fever that intermits. Compare ABANDON; DIE; END; REST.

Antonyms:

begin,enter upon,initiate,originate,set going,set on foot,
commence,inaugurate,institute,set about,set in operation,start.

Preposition:

Cease from anger.


CELEBRATE.

Synonyms:

commemorate,keep,observe,solemnize.

To celebrate any event or occasion is to make some demonstration of respect or rejoicing because of or in memory of it, or to perform such public rites or ceremonies as it properly demands. We celebrate the birth, commemorate the death of one beloved or honored. We celebrate a national anniversary with music and song, with firing of guns and ringing of bells; we commemorate by any solemn and thoughtful service, or by a monument or other enduring memorial. We keep the Sabbath, solemnize a marriage, observe an anniversary; we celebrate or observe the Lord's Supper in which believers commemorate the sufferings and death of Christ.

Antonyms:

contemn,dishonor,forget,neglect,profane,
despise,disregard,ignore,overlook,violate.

Prepositions:

We celebrate the day with appropriate ceremonies; the victory was celebrated by the people, with rejoicing.


CENTER.

Synonyms:

middle,midst.

We speak of the center of a circle, the middle of a room, the middle of the street, the midst of a forest. The center is equally distant from every point of the circumference of a circle, or from the opposite boundaries on each axis of a parallelogram, etc.; the middle is more general and less definite. The center is a point; the middle may be a line or a space. We say at the center; in the middle. Midst commonly implies a group or multitude of surrounding objects. Compare synonyms for AMID.

Antonyms:

bound,boundary,circumference,perimeter,rim.

[100]

CHAGRIN.

Synonyms:

confusion,discomposure,humiliation,shame,
disappointment,dismay,mortification,vexation.

Chagrin unites disappointment with some degree of humiliation. A rainy day may bring disappointment; needless failure in some enterprise brings chagrin. Shame involves the consciousness of fault, guilt, or impropriety; chagrin of failure of judgment, or harm to reputation. A consciousness that one has displayed his own ignorance will cause him mortification, however worthy his intent; if there was a design to deceive, the exposure will cover him with shame.

Antonyms:

delight,exultation,glory,rejoicing,triumph.

Prepositions:

He felt deep chagrin at (because of, on account of) failure.


CHANGE, v.

Synonyms:

alter,exchange,shift,transmute,
commute,metamorphose,substitute,turn,
convert,modify,transfigure,vary,
diversify,qualify,transform,veer.

To change is distinctively to make a thing other than it has been, in some respect at least; to exchange to put or take something else in its place; to alter is ordinarily to change partially, to make different in one or more particulars. To exchange is often to transfer ownership; as, to exchange city for country property. Change is often used in the sense of exchange; as, to change horses. To transmute is to change the qualities while the substance remains the same; as, to transmute the baser metals into gold. To transform is to change form or appearance, with or without deeper and more essential change; it is less absolute than transmute, tho sometimes used for that word, and is often used in a spiritual sense as transmute could not be; "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind," Rom. xii, 2. Transfigure is, as in its Scriptural use, to change in an exalted and glorious spiritual way; "Jesus ... was transfigured before them, and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light," Matt. xvii, 1, 2. To metamorphose is to make some remarkable change, ordinarily in external qualities, but often in structure, use, or chemical constitution, as of a caterpillar into a[101] butterfly, of the stamens of a plant into petals, or of the crystalline structure of rocks, hence called "metamorphic rocks," as when a limestone is metamorphosed into a marble. To vary is to change from time to time, often capriciously. To commute is to put something easier, lighter, milder, or in some way more favorable in place of that which is commuted; as, to commute capital punishment to imprisonment for life; to commute daily fares on a railway to a monthly payment. To convert (L. con, with, and verto, turn) is to primarily turn about, and signifies to change in form, character, use, etc., through a wide range of relations; iron is converted into steel, joy into grief, a sinner into a saint. To turn is a popular word for change in any sense short of the meaning of exchange, being often equivalent to alter, convert, transform, transmute, etc. We modify or qualify a statement which might seem too strong; we modify it by some limitation, qualify it by some addition.

Antonyms:

abide,continue,hold,persist,retain,
bide,endure,keep,remain,stay.

Prepositions:

To change a home toilet for a street dress; to change from a caterpillar to or into a butterfly; to change clothes with a beggar.


CHANGE, n.

Synonyms:

alteration,mutation,renewing,transmutation,
conversion,novelty,revolution,variation,
diversity,regeneration,transformation,variety,
innovation,renewal,transition,vicissitude.

A change is a passing from one state or form to another, any act or process by which a thing becomes unlike what it was before, or the unlikeness so produced; we say a change was taking place, or the change that had taken place was manifest. Mutation is a more formal word for change, often suggesting repeated or continual change; as, the mutations of fortune. Novelty is a change to what is new, or the newness of that to which a change is made; as, he was perpetually desirous of novelty. Revolution is specifically and most commonly a change of government. Variation is a partial change in form, qualities, etc., but especially in position or action; as, the variation of the magnetic needle or of the pulse. Variety is a succession of changes or an intermixture of different things, and is always[102] thought of as agreeable. Vicissitude is sharp, sudden, or violent change, always thought of as surprising and often as disturbing or distressing; as, the vicissitudes of politics. Transition is change by passing from one place or state to another, especially in a natural, regular, or orderly way; as, the transition from spring to summer, or from youth to manhood. An innovation is a change that breaks in upon an established order or custom; as, an innovation in religion or politics. For the distinctions between the other words compare the synonyms for CHANGE, v. In the religious sense regeneration is the vital renewing of the soul by the power of the divine Spirit; conversion is the conscious and manifest change from evil to good, or from a lower to a higher spiritual state; as, in Luke xxii, 32, "when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." In popular use conversion is the most common word to express the idea of regeneration.

Antonyms:

constancy,fixedness,invariability,steadiness,
continuance,fixity,permanence,unchangeableness,
firmness,identity,persistence,uniformity.

Prepositions:

We have made a change for the better; the change from winter to spring; the change of a liquid to or into a gas; a change in quality; a change by absorption or oxidation.


CHARACTER.

Synonyms:

constitution,genius,personality,reputation,temper,
disposition,nature,record,spirit,temperament.

Character is what one is; reputation, what he is thought to be; his record is the total of his known action or inaction. As a rule, a man's record will substantially express his character; his reputation may be higher or lower than his character or record will justify. Repute is a somewhat formal word, with the same general sense as reputation. One's nature includes all his original endowments or propensities; character includes both natural and acquired traits. We speak of one's physical constitution as strong or weak, etc., and figuratively, always with the adjective, of his mental or moral constitution. Compare CHARACTERISTIC.

Prepositions:

The witness has a character for veracity; his character is above suspicion; the character of the applicant.[103]


CHARACTERISTIC.

Synonyms:

attribute,feature,peculiarity,sign,trace,
character,indication,property,singularity,trait.
distinction,mark,quality,

A characteristic belongs to the nature or character of the person, thing, or class, and serves to identify an object; as, a copper-colored skin, high cheek-bones, and straight, black hair are characteristics of the American Indian. A sign is manifest to an observer; a mark or a characteristic may be more difficult to discover; an insensible person may show signs of life, while sometimes only close examination will disclose marks of violence. Pallor is ordinarily a mark of fear; but in some brave natures it is simply a characteristic of intense earnestness. Mark is sometimes used in a good, but often in a bad sense; we speak of the characteristic of a gentleman, the mark of a villain. Compare ATTRIBUTE; CHARACTER.


CHARMING.

Synonyms:

bewitching,delightful,enrapturing,fascinating,
captivating,enchanting,entrancing,winning.

That is charming or bewitching which is adapted to win others as by a magic spell. Enchanting, enrapturing, entrancing represent the influence as not only supernatural, but irresistible and delightful. That which is fascinating may win without delighting, drawing by some unseen power, as a serpent its prey; we can speak of horrible fascination. Charming applies only to what is external to oneself; delightful may apply to personal experiences or emotions as well; we speak of a charming manner, a charming dress, but of delightful anticipations. Compare AMIABLE; BEAUTIFUL.


CHASTEN.

Synonyms:

afflict,chastise,discipline,punish,refine,subdue,
castigate,correct,humble,purify,soften,try.

Castigate and chastise refer strictly to corporal punishment, tho both are somewhat archaic; correct and punish are often used as euphemisms in preference to either. Punish is distinctly retributive in sense; chastise, partly retributive, and partly corrective; chasten, wholly corrective. Chasten is used exclusively in the spiritual sense, and chiefly of the visitation of God.

Prepositions:

"We are chastened of the Lord," 1 Cor. xi, 32; "they ...[104] chastened us after their own pleasure, but He for our profit," Heb. xii, 10; "chasten in thy hot displeasure," Ps. iv, 7; chasten with pain; by trials and sorrows.


CHERISH.

Synonyms:

cheer,encourage,harbor,nurse,shelter,
cling to,entertain,hold dear,nurture,treasure,
comfort,foster,nourish,protect,value.

To cherish is both to hold dear and to treat as dear. Mere unexpressed esteem would not be cherishing. In the marriage vow, "to love, honor, and cherish," the word cherish implies all that each can do by love and tenderness for the welfare and happiness of the other, as by support, protection, care in sickness, comfort in sorrow, sympathy, and help of every kind. To nurse is to tend the helpless or feeble, as infants, or the sick or wounded. To nourish is strictly to sustain and build up by food; to nurture includes careful mental and spiritual training, with something of love and tenderness; to foster is simply to maintain and care for, to bring up; a foster-child will be nourished, but may not be as tenderly nurtured or as lovingly cherished as if one's own. In the figurative sense, the opinion one cherishes he holds, not with mere cold conviction, but with loving devotion.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for ABANDON; CHASTEN.


CHOOSE.

Synonyms:

cull,elect,pick,pick out,prefer,select.

Prefer indicates a state of desire and approval; choose, an act of will. Prudence or generosity may lead one to choose what he does not prefer. Select implies a careful consideration of the reasons for preference and choice. Among objects so nearly alike that we have no reason to prefer any one to another we may simply choose the nearest, but we could not be said to select it. Aside from theology, elect is popularly confined to the political sense; as, a free people elect their own rulers. Cull, from the Latin colligere, commonly means to collect, as well as to select. In a garden we cull the choicest flowers.

Antonyms:

cast away,decline,dismiss,refuse,repudiate,
cast out,disclaim,leave,reject,throw aside.

Prepositions:

Choose from or from among the number; choose out of the[105] army; choose between (or betwixt) two; among many; choose for the purpose.


CIRCUMLOCUTION.

Synonyms:

diffuseness,prolixity,surplusage,verbiage,
periphrasis,redundance,tautology,verbosity,
pleonasm,redundancy,tediousness,wordiness.

Circumlocution and periphrasis are roundabout ways of expressing thought; circumlocution is the more common, periphrasis the more technical word. Constant circumlocution produces an affected and heavy style; occasionally, skilful periphrasis conduces both to beauty and to simplicity. Etymologically, diffuseness is a scattering, both of words and thought; redundancy is an overflow. Prolixity goes into endless petty details, without selection or perspective. Pleonasm is the expression of an idea already plainly implied; tautology is the restatement in other words of an idea already stated, or a useless repetition of a word or words. Pleonasm may add emphasis; tautology is always a fault. "I saw it with my eyes" is a pleonasm; "all the members agreed unanimously" is tautology. Verbiage is the use of mere words without thought. Verbosity and wordiness denote an excess of words in proportion to the thought. Tediousness is the sure result of any of these faults of style.

Antonyms:

brevity,compression,condensation,plainness,succinctness,
compactness,conciseness,directness,shortness,terseness.

CIRCUMSTANCE.

Synonyms:

accompaniment,fact,item,point,
concomitant,feature,occurrence,position,
detail,incident,particular,situation.
event,

A circumstance (L. circum, around, and sto, stand), is something existing or occurring in connection with or relation to some other fact or event, modifying or throwing light upon the principal matter without affecting its essential character; an accompaniment is something that unites with the principal matter, tho not necessary to it; as, the piano accompaniment to a song; a concomitant goes with a thing in natural connection, but in a subordinate capacity, or perhaps in contrast; as, cheerfulness is a concomitant of virtue. A circumstance is not strictly, nor usually, an occasion, condition, effect, or result. (See these words under[106] CAUSE.) Nor is the circumstance properly an incident. (See under ACCIDENT.) We say, "My decision will depend upon circumstances"—not "upon incidents." That a man wore a blue necktie would not probably be the cause, occasion, condition, or concomitant of his committing murder; but it might be a very important circumstance in identifying him as the murderer. All the circumstances make up the situation. A certain disease is the cause of a man's death; his suffering is an incident; that he is in his own home, that he has good medical attendance, careful nursing, etc., are consolatory circumstances. With the same idea of subordination, we often say, "This is not a circumstance to that." So a person is said to be in easy circumstances. Compare EVENT.

Prepositions:

"Mere situation is expressed by 'in the circumstances'; action affected is performed 'under the circumstances.'" [M.]


CLASS.

Synonyms:

association,circle,clique,company,grade,rank,
caste,clan,club,coterie,order,set.

A class is a number or body of persons or objects having common pursuits, purposes, attributes, or characteristics. A caste is hereditary; a class may be independent of lineage or descent; membership in a caste is supposed to be for life; membership in a class may be very transient; a religious and ceremonial sacredness attaches to the caste, as not to the class. The rich and the poor form separate classes; yet individuals are constantly passing from each to the other; the classes in a college remain the same, but their membership changes every year. We speak of rank among hereditary nobility or military officers; of various orders of the priesthood; by accommodation, we may refer in a general way to the higher ranks, the lower orders of any society. Grade implies some regular scale of valuation, and some inherent qualities for which a person or thing is placed higher or lower in the scale; as, the coarser and finer grades of wool; a man of an inferior grade. A coterie is a small company of persons of similar tastes, who meet frequently in an informal way, rather for social enjoyment than for any serious purpose. Clique has always an unfavorable meaning. A clique is always fractional, implying some greater gathering of which it is a part; the association breaks up into cliques. Persons unite in a coterie through simple liking[107] for one another; they withdraw into a clique largely through aversion to outsiders. A set, while exclusive, is more extensive than a clique, and chiefly of persons who are united by common social station, etc. Circle is similar in meaning to set, but of wider application; we speak of scientific and religious as well as of social circles.

Prepositions:

A class of merchants; the senior class at (sometimes of) Harvard; the classes in college.


CLEANSE.

Synonyms:

brush,dust,purify,scour,sponge,wash,
clean,lave,rinse,scrub,sweep,wipe.
disinfect,mop,

To clean is to make clean by removing dirt, impurities, or soil of any kind. Cleanse implies a worse condition to start from, and more to do, than clean. Hercules cleansed the Augean stables. Cleanse is especially applied to purifying processes where liquid is used, as in the flushing of a street, etc. We brush clothing if dusty, sponge it, or sponge it off, if soiled; or sponge off a spot. Furniture, books, etc., are dusted; floors are mopped or scrubbed; metallic utensils are scoured; a room is swept; soiled garments are washed; foul air or water is purified. Cleanse and purify are used extensively in a moral sense; wash in that sense is archaic. Compare AMEND.

Antonyms:

befoul,besmirch,contaminate,debase,deprave,soil,stain,taint,
besmear,bespatter,corrupt,defile,pollute,spoil,sully,vitiate.

Prepositions:

Cleanse of or from physical or moral defilement; cleanse with an instrument; by an agent; the room was cleansed by the attendants with soap and water.


CLEAR.

Synonyms:

apparent,intelligible,pellucid,transparent,
diaphanous,limpid,perspicuous,unadorned,
distinct,lucid,plain,unambiguous,
evident,manifest,straightforward,unequivocal,
explicit,obvious,translucent,unmistakable.

Clear (L. clarus, bright, brilliant) primarily refers to that which shines, and impresses the mind through the eye with a[108] sense of luster or splendor. A substance is said to be clear that offers no impediment to vision—is not dim, dark, or obscure. Transparent refers to the medium through which a substance is seen, clear to the substance itself, without reference to anything to be seen through it; we speak of a stream as clear when we think of the water itself; we speak of it as transparent with reference to the ease with which we see the pebbles at the bottom. Clear is also said of that which comes to the senses without dimness, dulness, obstruction, or obscurity, so that there is no uncertainty as to its exact form, character, or meaning, with something of the brightness or brilliancy implied in the primary meaning of the word clear; as, the outlines of the ship were clear against the sky; a clear view; a clear note; "clear as a bell;" a clear, frosty air; a clear sky; a clear statement; hence, the word is used for that which is free from any kind of obstruction; as, a clear field. Lucid and pellucid refer to a shining clearness, as of crystal. A transparent body allows the forms and colors of objects beyond to be seen through it; a translucent body allows light to pass through, but may not permit forms and colors to be distinguished; plate glass is transparent, ground glass is translucent. Limpid refers to a liquid clearness, or that which suggests it; as, limpid streams. That which is distinct is well defined, especially in outline, each part or object standing or seeming apart from any other, not confused, indefinite, or blurred; distinct enunciation enables the hearer to catch every word or vocal sound without perplexity or confusion; a distinct statement is free from indefiniteness or ambiguity; a distinct apprehension of a thought leaves the mind in no doubt or uncertainty regarding it. That is plain, in the sense here considered, which is, as it were, level to the thought, so that one goes straight on without difficulty or hindrance; as, plain language; a plain statement; a clear explanation. Perspicuous is often equivalent to plain, but plain never wholly loses the meaning of unadorned, so that we can say the style is perspicuous tho highly ornate, when we could not call it at once ornate and plain. Compare EVIDENT.

Antonyms:

ambiguous,dim,foggy,mysterious,opaque,unintelligible,
cloudy,dubious,indistinct,obscure,turbid,vague.

Prepositions:

Clear to the mind; clear in argument; clear of or from annoyances.


[109]

CLEVER.

Synonyms:

able,capable,happy,keen,sharp,
adroit,dexterous,ingenious,knowing,skilful,
apt,expert,intellectual,quick,smart,
bright,gifted,intelligent,quick-witted,talented.

Clever, as used in England, especially implies an aptitude for study or learning, and for excellent tho not preeminent mental achievement. The early New England usage as implying simple and weak good nature has largely affected the use of the word throughout the United States, where it has never been much in favor. Smart, indicating dashing ability, is now coming to have a suggestion of unscrupulousness, similar to that of the word sharp, which makes its use a doubtful compliment. The discriminating use of such words as able, gifted, talented, etc., is greatly preferable to an excessive use of the word clever. Compare ACUMEN; ASTUTE; POWER.

Antonyms:

awkward,clumsy,foolish,ignorant,slow,thick-headed,
bungling,dull,idiotic,senseless,stupid,witless.

COLLISION.

Synonyms:

clash,concussion,contact,impact,opposition,
clashing,conflict,encounter,meeting,shock.

Collision, the act or fact of striking violently together, is the result of motion or action, and is sudden and momentary; contact may be a condition of rest, and be continuous and permanent; collision is sudden and violent contact. Concussion is often by transmitted force rather than by direct impact; two railway-trains come into collision; an explosion of dynamite shatters neighboring windows by concussion. Impact is the blow given by the striking body; as, the impact of the cannon-shot upon the target. An encounter is always violent, and generally hostile. Meeting is neutral, and may be of the dearest friends or of the bitterest foes; of objects, of persons, or of opinions; of two or of a multitude. Shock is the result of collision. In the figurative use, we speak of clashing of views, collision of persons. Opposition is used chiefly of persons, more rarely of opinions or interests; conflict is used indifferently of all.

Antonyms:

agreement,coincidence,concord,conformity,unison,
amity,concert,concurrence,harmony,unity.

Prepositions:

Collision of one object with another; of or between opposing objects.


[110]

COMFORTABLE.

Synonyms:

agreeable,cheery,genial,snug,
at ease,commodious,pleasant,well-off,
at rest,contented,satisfactory,well-provided,
cheerful,convenient,satisfied,well-to-do.

A person is comfortable in mind when contented and measurably satisfied. A little additional brightness makes him cheerful. He is comfortable in body when free from pain, quiet, at ease, at rest. He is comfortable in circumstances, or in comfortable circumstances, when things about him are generally agreeable and satisfactory, usually with the suggestion of sufficient means to secure that result.

Antonyms:

cheerless,discontented,distressed,forlorn,uncomfortable,
disagreeable,dissatisfied,dreary,miserable,wretched.

COMMIT.

Synonyms:

assign,confide,consign,entrust,relegate,trust.

Commit, in the sense here considered, is to give in charge, put into care or keeping; to confide or entrust is to commit especially to one's fidelity, confide being used chiefly of mental or spiritual, entrust also of material things; we assign a duty, confide a secret, entrust a treasure; we commit thoughts to writing; commit a paper to the flames, a body to the earth; a prisoner is committed to jail. Consign is a formal word in mercantile use; as, to consign goods to an agent. Religiously, we consign the body to the grave, commit the soul to God. Compare DO.

Prepositions:

Commit to a friend for safe-keeping; in law, commit to prison; for trial; without bail; in default of bail; on suspicion.


COMPANY.

Synonyms:

assemblage,concourse,convocation,host,
assembly,conference,crowd,meeting,
collection,congregation,gathering,multitude,
conclave,convention,group,throng.

Company, from the Latin cum, with, and panis, bread, denotes primarily the association of those who eat at a common table, or the persons so associated, table-companions, messmates, friends, and hence is widely extended to include any association of those united permanently or temporarily, for business, pleasure,[111] festivity, travel, etc., or by sorrow, misfortune, or wrong; company may denote an indefinite number (ordinarily more than two), but less than a multitude; in the military sense a company is a limited and definite number of men; company implies more unity of feeling and purpose than crowd, and is a less formal and more familiar word than assemblage or assembly. An assemblage may be of persons or of objects; an assembly is always of persons. An assemblage is promiscuous and unorganized; an assembly is organized and united in some common purpose. A conclave is a secret assembly. A convocation is an assembly called by authority for a special purpose; the term convention suggests less dependence upon any superior authority or summons. A group is small in number and distinct in outline, clearly marked off from all else in space or time. Collection, crowd, gathering, group, and multitude have the unorganized and promiscuous character of the assemblage; the other terms come under the general idea of assembly. Congregation is now almost exclusively religious; meeting is often so used, but is less restricted, as we may speak of a meeting of armed men. Gathering refers to a coming together, commonly of numbers, from far and near; as, the gathering of the Scottish clans.

Antonyms:

dispersion,loneliness,privacy,retirement,seclusion,solitude.

COMPEL.

Synonyms:

coerce,drive,make,oblige.
constrain,force,necessitate,

To compel one to an act is to secure its performance by the use of irresistible physical or moral force. Force implies primarily an actual physical process, absolutely subduing all resistance. Coerce implies the actual or potential use of so much force as may be necessary to secure the surrender of the will; the American secessionists contended that the Federal government had no right to coerce a State. Constrain implies the yielding of judgment and will, and in some cases of inclination or affection, to an overmastering power; as, "the love of Christ constraineth us," 2 Cor. v, 14. Compare DRIVE; INFLUENCE.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for HINDER.

Prepositions:

The soldiers were compelled to desertion: preferably with the infinitive, compelled to desert.


[112]

COMPLAIN.

Synonyms:

croak,growl,grunt,remonstrate,
find fault,grumble,murmur,repine.

To complain is to give utterance to dissatisfaction or objection, express a sense of wrong or ill treatment. One complains of a real or assumed grievance; he may murmur through mere peevishness or ill temper; he repines, with vain distress, at the irrevocable or the inevitable. Complaining is by speech or writing; murmuring is commonly said of half-repressed utterance; repining of the mental act alone. One may complain of an offense to the offender or to others; he remonstrates with the offender only. Complain has a formal and legal meaning, which the other words have not, signifying to make a formal accusation, present a specific charge; the same is true of the noun complaint.

Antonyms:

applaud,approve,commend,eulogize,laud,praise.

Prepositions:

Complain of a thing to a person; of one person to another, of or against a person for an act; to an officer; before the court; about a thing.


COMPLEX.

Synonyms:

abstruse,confused,intricate,mixed,
complicated,conglomerate,involved,multiform,
composite,entangled,manifold,obscure,
compound,heterogeneous,mingled,tangled.

That is complex which is made up of several connected parts. That is compound in which the parts are not merely connected, but fused, or otherwise combined into a single substance. In a composite object the different parts have less of unity than in that which is complex or compound, but maintain their distinct individuality. In a heterogeneous body unlike parts or particles are intermingled, often without apparent order or plan. Conglomerate (literally, globed together) is said of a confused mingling of masses or lumps of various substances. The New England pudding-stone is a conglomerate rock. In a complex object the arrangement and relation of parts may be perfectly clear; in a complicated mechanism the parts are so numerous, or so combined, that the mind can not readily grasp their mutual relations; in an intricate arrangement the parts are so intertwined that it is difficult to follow their windings; things are involved which are rolled[113] together so as not to be easily separated, either in thought or in fact; things which are tangled or entangled mutually hold and draw upon each other. The conception of a material object is usually complex, involving form, color, size, and other elements; a clock is a complicated mechanism; the Gordian knot was intricate; the twining serpents of the Laocoon are involved. We speak of an abstruse statement, a complex conception, a confused heap, a heterogeneous mass, a tangled skein, an intricate problem; of composite architecture, an involved sentence; of the complicated or intricate accounts of a great business, the entangled accounts of an incompetent or dishonest bookkeeper.

Antonyms:

clear,homogeneous,plain,uncombined,uniform,
direct,obvious,simple,uncompounded,unraveled.

CONDEMN.

Synonyms:

blame,convict,doom,reprove,
censure,denounce,reprobate,sentence.

To condemn is to pass judicial sentence or render judgment or decision against. We may censure silently; we condemn ordinarily by open and formal utterance. Condemn is more final than blame or censure; a condemned criminal has had his trial; a condemned building can not stand; a condemned ship can not sail. A person is convicted when his guilt is made clearly manifest to others; in somewhat archaic use, a person is said to be convicted when guilt is brought clearly home to his own conscience (convict in this sense being allied with convince, which see under PERSUADE); in legal usage one is said to be convicted only by the verdict of a jury. In stating the penalty of an offense, the legal word sentence is now more common than condemn; as, he was sentenced to imprisonment; but it is good usage to say, he was condemned to imprisonment. To denounce is to make public or official declaration against, especially in a violent and threatening manner.

From the pulpits in the northern States Burr was denounced as an assassin.

Coffin Building the Nation ch. 10, p. 137. [H. '83.]

To doom is to condemn solemnly and consign to evil or destruction or to predetermine to an evil destiny; an inferior race in presence of a superior is doomed to subjugation or extinction. Compare ARRAIGN; REPROVE.[114]

Antonyms:

absolve,applaud,exonerate,pardon,
acquit,approve,justify,praise.

Prepositions:

The bandit was condemned to death for his crime.


CONFESS.

Synonyms:

accept,allow,concede,grant,
acknowledge,avow,disclose,own,
admit,certify,endorse,recognize.

We accept another's statement; admit any point made against us; acknowledge what we have said or done, good or bad; avow our individual beliefs or feelings; certify to facts within our knowledge; confess our own faults; endorse a friend's note or statement; grant a request; own our faults or obligations; recognize lawful authority; concede a claim. Confess has a high and sacred use in the religious sense; as, to confess Christ before men. It may have also a playful sense (often with to); as, one confesses to a weakness for confectionery. The chief present use of the word, however, is in the sense of making known to others one's own wrong-doing; in this sense confess is stronger than acknowledge or admit, and more specific than own; a person admits a mistake; acknowledges a fault; confesses sin or crime. Compare APOLOGY; AVOW.

Antonyms:

cloak,deny,disown,hide,screen,
conceal,disavow,dissemble,mask,secrete,
cover,disguise,dissimulate,repudiate,veil.

CONFIRM.

Synonyms:

assure,fix,sanction,substantiate,
corroborate,prove,settle,sustain,
establish,ratify,strengthen,uphold.

Confirm (L. con, together, and firmus, firm) is to add firmness or give stability to. Both confirm and corroborate presuppose something already existing to which the confirmation or corroboration is added. Testimony is corroborated by concurrent testimony or by circumstances; confirmed by established facts. That which is thoroughly proved is said to be established; so is that which is official and has adequate power behind it; as, the established government; the established church. The continents are fixed. A treaty is ratified; an appointment confirmed. An act is sanctioned by any person or authority that passes upon it[115] approvingly. A statement is substantiated; a report confirmed; a controversy settled; the decision of a lower court sustained by a higher. Just government should be upheld. The beneficent results of Christianity confirm our faith in it as a divine revelation.

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


CONGRATULATE.

Synonym:

felicitate.

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

Antonyms:

condole with,console.

Prepositions:

Congratulate one on or upon his success.


CONQUER.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

[116]

CONSCIOUS.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

Preposition:

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


CONSEQUENCE.

Synonyms:

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

Effect is the strongest of these words; it is that which is directly produced by the action of an efficient cause; we say, "Every effect must have an adequate cause" (compare CAUSE). In regard to human actions, effect commonly relates to intention; as, the shot took effect, i. e., the effect intended. A consequence is that which follows an act naturally, but less directly than the effect. The motion of the piston is the effect, and the agitation of the water under the paddle-wheels a consequence of the expansion of steam in the cylinder. The result is, literally, the rebound of an act, depending on many elements; the issue is that which flows forth directly; we say the issue of a battle, the result of a campaign. A consequent commonly is that which follows simply in order of time, or by logical inference. The end is the actual outcome without determination of its relation to what has gone before; it is ordinarily viewed as either the necessary, natural, or logical outcome, any effect, consequence, or result being termed an end; as, the end of such a course must be ruin. The event (L. e, out, and venio, come) is primarily exactly the same in meaning as outcome; but in use it is more nearly equivalent to upshot[117] signifying the sum and substance of all effects, consequences, and results of a course of action. Compare ACCIDENT; CAUSE; CIRCUMSTANCE; END; EVENT.


CONSOLE.

Synonyms:

comfort,condole with,encourage,sympathize with.

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

Antonyms:

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

CONTAGION.

Synonym:

infection.

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


CONTINUAL.

Synonyms:

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

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


[118]

CONTRACT.

Synonyms:

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

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


CONTRAST.

Synonyms:

compare,differentiate,discriminate,oppose.

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

Preposition:

We contrast one object with another.


CONVERSATION.

Synonyms:

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

Conversation (Latin con, with) is, etymologically, an interchange of ideas with some other person or persons. Talk may be[119] wholly one-sided. Many brilliant talkers have been incapable of conversation. There may be intercourse without conversation, as by looks, signs, etc.; communion is of hearts, with or without words; communication is often by writing, and may be uninvited and unreciprocated. Talk may denote the mere utterance of words with little thought; thus, we say idle talk, empty talk, rather than idle or empty conversation. Discourse is now applied chiefly to public addresses. A conference is more formal than a conversation. Dialog denotes ordinarily an artificial or imaginary conversation, generally of two persons, but sometimes of more. A colloquy is indefinite as to number, and generally somewhat informal. Compare BEHAVIOR.

Prepositions:

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


CONVERT.

Synonyms:

disciple,neophyte,proselyte.

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


CONVEY.

Synonyms:

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

Convey, transmit, and transport all imply delivery at a destination; as, I will convey the information to your friend; air conveys sound (to a listener); carry does not necessarily imply delivery, and often does not admit of it. A man carries an appearance, conveys an impression, the appearance remaining his own, the impression being given to another; I will transmit the letter; transport the goods. A horse carries his mane and tail, but does not convey them. Transfer may or may not imply delivery to another person; as, items may be transferred from one account to another[120] or a word transferred to the following line. In law, real estate, which can not be moved, is conveyed by simply transferring title and possession. Transport usually refers to material, transfer, transmit, and convey may refer to immaterial objects; we transfer possession, transmit intelligence, convey ideas, but do not transport them. In the case of convey the figurative sense now predominates. Compare CARRY.

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


CONVOKE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

CRIMINAL.

Synonyms:

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

Every criminal act is illegal or unlawful, but illegal or unlawful acts may not be criminal. Offenses against public law are criminal; offenses against private rights are merely illegal or unlawful. As a general rule, all acts punishable by fine or imprisonment or both, are criminal in view of the law. It is illegal for a man to trespass on another's land, but it is not criminal; the trespasser is liable to a civil suit for damages, but not to indictment, fine, or imprisonment. A felonious act is a criminal act of an aggravated kind, which is punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary or by death. A flagitious crime is one that brings[121] public odium. Vicious refers to the indulgence of evil appetites, habits, or passions; vicious acts are not necessarily criminal, or even illegal; we speak of a vicious horse. That which is iniquitous, i. e., contrary to equity, may sometimes be done under the forms of law. Ingratitude is sinful, hypocrisy is wicked, but neither is punishable by human law; hence, neither is criminal or illegal. Compare SIN.

Antonyms:

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

DAILY.

Synonym:

diurnal.

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

Antonyms:

nightly,nocturnal.

DANGER.

Synonyms:

hazard,insecurity,jeopardy,peril,risk.

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

Antonyms:

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

[122]

DARK.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

Compare synonyms for LIGHT.


DECAY.

Synonyms:

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

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


[123]

DECEPTION.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

DEFENSE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

[124]

Prepositions:

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


DEFILE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


DEFINITION.

Synonyms:

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

A definition is exact, an explanation general; a definition is formal, a description pictorial. A definition must include all that belongs to the object defined, and exclude all that does not; a description may include only some general features; an explanation may simply throw light upon some point of special difficulty. An exposition undertakes to state more fully what is compactly given or only implied in the text; as, an exposition of Scripture. Interpretation is ordinarily from one language into another, or from the language of one period into that of another; it may also[125] be a statement giving the doubtful or hidden meaning of that which is recondite or perplexing; as, the interpretation of a dream, a riddle, or of some difficult passage. Definition, explanation, exposition, and interpretation are ordinarily blended in a commentary, which may also include description. A comment is upon a single passage; a commentary may be the same, but is usually understood to be a volume of comments.


DELEGATE.

Synonyms:

deputy,legate,proxy,representative,substitute.

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


DELIBERATE.

Synonyms:

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

An individual considers, meditates, ponders, reflects, by himself; he weighs a matter in his own mind, and is sometimes said even to debate with himself. Consult and confer always imply two or more persons, as does debate, unless expressly limited as above. Confer suggests the interchange of counsel, advice, or information; consult indicates almost exclusively the receiving of it. A man confers with his associates about a new investment; he consults his physician about his health; he may confer with him on matters of general interest. He consults a dictionary, but does not confer with it. Deliberate, which can be applied to a single individual, is also the word for a great number, while consult is ordinarily limited to a few; a committee consults; an assembly deliberates. Deliberating always carries the idea of slowness; consulting is compatible with haste; we can speak of a hasty consultation, not of a hasty deliberation. Debate implies opposing views; deliberate, simply a gathering and balancing of[126] all facts and reasons. We consider or deliberate with a view to action, while meditation may be quite purposeless.

Prepositions:

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


DELICIOUS.

Synonyms:

dainty,delightful,exquisite,luscious,savory.

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

Antonyms:

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

DELIGHTFUL.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

[127]

DELUSION.

Synonyms:

error,fallacy,hallucination,illusion,phantasm.

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

Antonyms:

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

DEMOLISH.

Synonyms:

destroy,overthrow,overturn,raze,ruin.

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

Antonyms:

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

DEMONSTRATION.

Synonyms:

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

Demonstration, in the strict and proper sense, is the highest form of proof, and gives the most absolute certainty, but can not be applied outside of pure mathematics or other strictly deductive reasoning; there can be proof and certainty, however, in matters that do not admit of demonstration. A conclusion is the absolute and necessary result of the admission of certain premises; an inference is a probable conclusion toward which known facts, statements, or admissions point, but which they do not absolutely establish; sound premises, together with their necessary conclusion, constitute a demonstration. Evidence is that which[128] tends to show a thing to be true; in the widest sense, as including self-evidence or consciousness, it is the basis of all knowledge. Proof in the strict sense is complete, irresistible evidence; as, there was much evidence against the accused, but not amounting to proof of guilt. Moral certainty is a conviction resting on such evidence as puts a matter beyond reasonable doubt, while not so irresistible as demonstration. Compare HYPOTHESIS; INDUCTION.


DESIGN.

Synonyms:

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

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

Prepositions:

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


DESIRE.

Synonyms:

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

Inclination is the mildest of these terms; it is a quiet, or even a vague or unconscious, tendency. Even when we speak of a[129] strong or decided inclination we do not express the intensity of desire. Desire has a wide range, from the highest objects to the lowest; desire is for an object near at hand, or near in thought, and viewed as attainable; a wish may be for what is remote or uncertain, or even for what is recognized as impossible. Craving is stronger than hankering; hankering may be the result of a fitful and capricious appetite; craving may be the imperious and reasonable demand of the whole nature. Longing is a reaching out with deep and persistent demand for that which is viewed as now distant but at some time attainable; as, the captive's longing for release. Coveting ordinarily denotes wrong desire for that which is another's. Compare APPETITE.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for ANTIPATHY.

Prepositions:

The desire of fame; a desire for excellence.


DESPAIR.

Synonyms:

desperation,despondency,discouragement,hopelessness.

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

Antonyms:

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

DEXTERITY.

Synonyms:

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

Adroitness (F. à, to, and droit, right) and dexterity (L. dexter, right, right-hand) might each be rendered "right-handedness;" but adroitness carries more of the idea of eluding, parrying, or checking some hostile movement, or taking advantage of another in controversy; dexterity conveys the idea of doing, accomplishing something readily and well, without reference to any action[130] of others. We speak of adroitness in fencing, boxing, or debate; of dexterity in horsemanship, in the use of tools, weapons, etc. Aptitude (L. aptus, fit, fitted) is a natural readiness, which by practise may be developed into dexterity. Skill is more exact to line, rule, and method than dexterity. Dexterity can not be communicated, and, oftentimes can not even be explained by its possessor; skill to a very great extent can be imparted; "skilled workmen" in various trades are numbered by thousands. Compare ADDRESS; CLEVER; POWER; SKILFUL.

Prepositions:

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


DICTION.

Synonyms:

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

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


DIE.

Synonyms:

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

Die, to go out of life, become destitute of vital power and[131] action, is figuratively applied to anything which has the appearance of life.

Where the dying night-lamp flickers.

Tennyson Locksley Hall st. 40.

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

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


DIFFERENCE.

Synonyms:

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

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

[132]

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


DIFFICULT.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

DIRECTION.

Synonyms:

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

The direction of an object is the line of motion or of vision toward it, or the line in which the object is moving, considered from our own actual or mental standpoint. Way, literally the road or path, comes naturally to mean the direction of the road or path;[133] conversationally, way is almost a perfect synonym of direction; as, which way did he go? or, in which direction? Bearing is the direction in which an object is seen with reference to another, and especially with reference to the points of the compass. Course is the direction of a moving object; inclination, that toward which a stationary object leans; tendency, the direction toward which anything stretches or reaches out; tendency is stronger and more active than inclination. Compare AIM; CARE; ORDER; OVERSIGHT.


DISCERN.

Synonyms:

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

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


DISCOVER.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

See synonyms for HIDE.


[134]

DISEASE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

DISPARAGE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

See synonyms for PRAISE.


[135]

DISPLACE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

DO.

Synonyms:

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

Do is the one comprehensive word which includes this whole class. We may say of the least item of daily work, "It is done," and of the grandest human achievement, "Well done!" Finish and complete signify to bring to an end what was previously begun; there is frequently the difference in usage that finish is applied to the fine details and is superficial, while complete is comprehensive, being applied to the whole ideal, plan, and execution; as, to finish a statue; to complete a scheme of philosophy. To discharge is to do what is given in charge, expected, or required; as, to discharge the duties of the office. To fulfil is to do or to be what has been promised, expected, hoped, or desired; as, a son fulfils a father's hopes. Realize, effect, execute, and consummate all signify to embody in fact what was before in thought. One may realize that which he has done nothing to bring about; he may realize the dreams of youth by inheriting a fortune; but he can not effect his early designs except by doing the utmost that is necessary to make them fact. Effect includes all that is done to accomplish the intent; execute refers rather to the final steps; consummate is limited quite sharply to the concluding act. An officer executes the law when he proceeds against its violators; a purchase is consummated when the money is paid and the property delivered. Execute refers more commonly to the commands of another, effect and consummate to one's own designs; as, the commander effected the capture of the fort, because his officers and men promptly executed his commands. Achieve—to do something worthy of a chief—signifies[136] always to perform some great and generally some worthy exploit. Perform and accomplish both imply working toward the end; but perform always allows a possibility of not attaining, while accomplish carries the thought of full completion. In Longfellow's lines, "Patience; accomplish thy labor," etc., perform could not be substituted without great loss. As between complete and accomplish, complete considers rather the thing as done; accomplish, the whole process of doing it. Commit, as applied to actions, is used only of those that are bad, whether grave or trivial; perpetrate is used chiefly of aggravated crimes or, somewhat humorously, of blunders. A man may commit a sin, a trespass, or a murder; perpetrate an outrage or a felony. We finish a garment or a letter, complete an edifice or a life-work, consummate a bargain or a crime, discharge a duty, effect a purpose, execute a command, fulfil a promise, perform our daily tasks, realize an ideal, accomplish a design, achieve a victory. Compare TRANSACT; TRANSACTION.

Antonyms:

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

DOCILE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

DOCTRINE.

Synonyms:

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

Doctrine primarily signifies that which is taught; principle, the fundamental basis on which the teaching rests. A doctrine is reasoned out, and may be defended by reasoning; a dogma rests on authority, as of direct revelation, the decision of the church, etc. A doctrine or dogma is a statement of some one item of belief; a creed is a summary of doctrines or dogmas. Dogma has[137] commonly, at the present day, an offensive signification, as of a belief arrogantly asserted. Tenet is simply that which is held, and is applied to a single item of belief; it is a neutral word, neither approving nor condemning; we speak of the doctrines of our own church; of the tenets of others. A precept relates not to belief, but to conduct. Compare FAITH; LAW.


DOGMATIC.

Synonyms:

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

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


DOUBT, v.

Synonyms:

distrust,mistrust,surmise,suspect.

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

Antonyms:

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

[138]

DOUBT, n.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

DRAW.

Synonyms:

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

One object draws another when it moves it toward itself or in the direction of its own motion by the exertion of adequate force, whether slight or powerful. To attract is to exert a force that tends to draw, tho it may produce no actual motion; all objects are attracted toward the earth, tho they may be sustained from falling. To drag is to draw against strong resistance; as, to drag a sled over bare ground, or a carriage up a steep hill. To pull is to exert a drawing force, whether adequate or inadequate;[139] as, the fish pulls on the line; a dentist pulls a tooth. To tug is to draw, or try to draw, a resisting object with a continuous straining motion; as, to tug at the oar. To haul is to draw somewhat slowly a heavy object; as, to haul a seine; to haul logs. One vessel tows another. In the figurative sense, attract is more nearly akin to incline, draw to induce. We are attracted by one's appearance, drawn to his side. Compare ALLURE; ARRAY; INFLUENCE.

Antonyms:

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

See synonyms for DRIVE.

Prepositions:

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


DREAM.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

[140]

DRESS.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

DRIVE.

Synonyms:

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

To drive is to move an object with some force or violence before or away from oneself; it is the direct reverse of draw, lead, etc. A man leads a horse by the halter, drives him with whip and rein. One may be driven to a thing or from it; hence, drive is a synonym equally for compel or for repel or repulse. Repulse is stronger and more conclusive than repel; one may be repelled by the very aspect of the person whose favor he seeks, but is not repulsed except by the direct refusal or ignoring of his suit. A certain conventional modern usage, especially in England, requires us to say that we drive in a carriage, ride upon a horse; tho in Scripture we read of riding in a chariot (2 Kings ix, 16; Jer. xvii, 25, etc.); good examples of the same usage may be[141] found abundantly in the older English. The propriety of a person's saying that he is going to drive when he is simply to be conveyed in a carriage, where some one else, as the coachman, does all the driving, is exceedingly questionable. Many good authorities prefer to use ride in the older and broader sense as signifying to be supported and borne along by any means of conveyance. Compare BANISH; COMPEL; INFLUENCE.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for DRAW.

Prepositions:

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


DUPLICATE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

archetype,model,original,pattern,prototype.

[142]

DUTY.

Synonyms:

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

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


EAGER.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


[143]

EASE.

Synonyms:

easiness,expertness,facility,knack,readiness.

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

Antonyms:

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

EDUCATION.

Synonyms:

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

Education (L. educere, to lead or draw out) is the systematic development and cultivation of the mind and other natural powers. "Education is the harmonious development of all our faculties. It begins in the nursery, and goes on at school, but does not end there. It continues through life, whether we will or not.... 'Every person,' says Gibbon, 'has two educations, one which he receives from others, and one more important, which he gives himself.'" John Lubbock The Use of Life ch. vii, p. 111. [Macm. '94.] Instruction, the impartation of knowledge by others (L. instruere, to build in or into) is but a part of education, often the smallest part. Teaching is the more familiar and less formal word for instruction. Training refers not merely to the[144] impartation of knowledge, but to the exercising of one in actions with the design to form habits. Discipline is systematic and rigorous training, with the idea of subjection to authority and perhaps of punishment. Tuition is the technical term for teaching as the business of an instructor or as in the routine of a school; tuition is narrower than teaching, not, like the latter word, including training. Study is emphatically what one does for himself. We speak of the teaching, training, or discipline, but not of the education or tuition of a dog or a horse. Breeding and nurture include teaching and training, especially as directed by and dependent upon home life and personal association; breeding having reference largely to manners with such qualities as are deemed distinctively characteristic of high birth; nurture (literally nourishing) having more direct reference to moral qualities, not overlooking the physical and mental. Knowledge and learning tell nothing of mental development apart from the capacity to acquire and remember, and nothing whatever of that moral development which is included in education in its fullest and noblest sense; learning, too, may be acquired by one's unaided industry, but any full education must be the result in great part of instruction, training, and personal association. Study is emphatically what one does for himself, and in which instruction and tuition can only point the way, encourage the student to advance, and remove obstacles; vigorous, persevering study is one of the best elements of training. Study is also used in the sense of the thing studied, a subject to be mastered by study, a studious pursuit. Compare KNOWLEDGE; REFINEMENT; WISDOM.

Antonyms:

ignorance,illiteracy.

Compare synonyms for IGNORANT.


EFFRONTERY.

Synonyms:

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

Audacity, in the sense here considered, is a reckless defiance of law, decency, public opinion, or personal rights, claims, or views, approaching the meaning of impudence or shamelessness, but always carrying the thought of the personal risk that one disregards in such defiance; the merely impudent or shameless person may take no thought of consequences; the audacious person[145] recognizes and recklessly braves them. Hardihood defies and disregards the rational judgment of men. Effrontery (L. effrons, barefaced, shameless) adds to audacity and hardihood the special element of defiance of considerations of propriety, duty, and respect for others, yet not to the extent implied in impudence or shamelessness. Impudence disregards what is due to superiors; shamelessness defies decency. Boldness is forward-stepping courage, spoken of with reference to the presence and observation of others; boldness, in the good sense, is courage viewed from the outside; but the word is frequently used in an unfavorable sense to indicate a lack of proper sensitiveness and modesty. Compare ASSURANCE; BRAVE.

Antonyms:

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

EGOTISM.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

[146]

EMBLEM.

Synonyms:

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

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


[147]

EMIGRATE.

Synonyms:

immigrate,migrate.

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

Prepositions:

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


EMPLOY.

Synonyms:

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

In general terms it may be said that to employ is to devote to one's purpose, to use is to render subservient to one's purpose; what is used is viewed as more absolutely an instrument than what is employed; a merchant employs a clerk; he uses pen and paper; as a rule, use is not said of persons, except in a degrading sense; as, the conspirators used him as a go-between. Hence the expression common in some religious circles "that God would use me" is not to be commended; it has also the fault of representing the human worker as absolutely a passive and helpless instrument; the phrase is altogether unscriptural; the Scripture says, "We are laborers together with (co-workers with) God." That which is used is often consumed in the using, or in familiar phrase used up; as, we used twenty tons of coal last winter; in such cases we could not substitute employ. A person may be employed in his own work or in that of another; in the latter case the service is always understood to be for pay. In this connection employ is a word of more dignity than hire; a general is employed in his country's service; a mercenary adventurer is hired to fight a tyrant's battles. It is unsuitable, according to present usage, to speak of hiring a pastor; the Scripture, indeed, says of the preacher, "The laborer is worthy of his hire;" but this sense is archaic, and hire now implies that the one hired works directly and primarily for the pay, as expressed in the noun "hireling;" a Pastor is properly said to be called, or when the business side[148] of the transaction is referred to, engaged, or possibly employed, at a certain salary.

Prepositions:

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


END, v.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

See synonyms for BEGIN.


END, n.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

See synonyms for BEGINNING.


ENDEAVOR, v.

Synonyms:

attempt,essay,strive,try,undertake.

To attempt is to take action somewhat experimentally with the hope and purpose of accomplishing a certain result; to endeavor is to attempt strenuously and with firm and enduring purpose. To attempt expresses a single act; to endeavor, a continuous exertion; we say I will endeavor (not I will attempt) while I live. To attempt is with the view of accomplishing; to essay, with a view of testing our own powers. To undertake is to accept or take upon oneself as an obligation, as some business, labor, or trust; the word often implies complete assurance of success; as,[150] I will undertake to produce the witness. To strive suggests little of the result, much of toil, strain, and contest, in seeking it; I will strive to fulfil your wishes, i. e., I will spare no labor and exertion to do it. Try is the most comprehensive of these words. The original idea of testing or experimenting is not thought of when a man says "I will try." To attempt suggests giving up, if the thing is not accomplished at a stroke; to try implies using other means and studying out other ways if not at first successful. Endeavor is more mild and formal; the pilot in the burning pilot-house does not say "I will endeavor" or "I will attempt to hold the ship to her course," but "I'll try, sir!"

Antonyms:

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

ENDEAVOR, n.

Synonyms:

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

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


ENDURE.

Synonyms:

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

Bear is the most general of these words; it is metaphorically to hold up or keep up a burden of care, pain, grief, annoyance, or the like, without sinking, lamenting, or repining. Allow and permit involve large concession of the will; put up with and tolerate imply decided aversion and reluctant withholding of opposition or[151] interference; whispering is allowed by the school-teacher who does not forbid nor censure it; one puts up with the presence of a disagreeable visitor; a state tolerates a religion which it would be glad to suppress. To endure is to bear with strain and resistance, but with conscious power; endure conveys a fuller suggestion of contest and conquest than bear. One may choose to endure the pain of a surgical operation rather than take anesthetics; he permits the thing to come which he must brace himself to endure when it comes. To afford is to be equal to a pecuniary demand, i. e., to be able to bear it. To brook is quietly to put up with provocation or insult. Abide combines the senses of await and endure; as, I will abide the result. Compare ABIDE; SUPPORT.

Antonyms:

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

ENEMY.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

He was the enemy of my friend in the contest.


[152]

ENMITY.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

agreement,amity,friendship,kindliness,regard,
alliance,concord,harmony,kindness,sympathy.

ENTERTAIN.

Synonyms:

amuse,cheer,disport,enliven,interest,please,
beguile,delight,divert,gratify,occupy,recreate.

To entertain, in the sense here considered, is to engage and pleasantly occupy the attention; to amuse is to occupy the attention in an especially bright and cheerful way, often with that which excites merriment or laughter; as, he entertained us with an amusing story. To divert is to turn from serious thoughts or laborious pursuits to something that lightly and agreeably occupies the mind; one may be entertained or amused who has nothing serious or laborious from which to be diverted. To recreate, literally to re-create, is to engage mind or body in some pleasing activity that restores strength and energy for serious work. To beguile is, as it were, to cheat into cheer and comfort by something that insensibly draws thought or feeling away from pain or disquiet. We beguile a weary hour, cheer the despondent, divert the preoccupied, enliven a dull evening or company, gratify our[153] friends' wishes, entertain, interest, please a listening audience, occupy idle time, disport ourselves when merry, recreate when worn with toil; we amuse ourselves or others with whatever pleasantly passes the time without special exertion, each according to his taste.

Antonyms:

annoy,bore,busy,disquiet,distract,disturb,tire,weary.

ENTERTAINMENT.

Synonyms:

amusement,diversion,fun,pleasure,
cheer,enjoyment,merriment,recreation,
delight,frolic,pastime,sport.

Entertainment and recreation imply thought and mental occupation, tho in an agreeable, refreshing way; they are therefore words of a high order. Entertainment, apart from its special senses of a public performance or a social party, and predominantly even there, is used of somewhat mirthful mental delight; recreation may, and usually does, combine the mental with the physical. Amusement and pastime are nearly equivalent, the latter probably the lighter word; many slight things may be pastimes which we should hardly dignify by the name of amusements. Sports are almost wholly on the physical plane, tho involving a certain grade of mental action; fox-hunting, horse-racing, and baseball are sports. Certain sports may afford entertainment or recreation to certain persons, according to their individual tastes; but entertainment and recreation are capable of a meaning so high as never to be approached by any meaning of sport. Cheer may be very quiet, as the cheer of a bright fire to an aged traveler; merriment is with liveliness and laughter; fun and frolic are apt to be boisterous. Amusement is a form of enjoyment, but enjoyment may be too keen to be called amusement. Compare synonyms for ENTERTAIN.

Antonyms:

ennui,fatigue,labor,lassitude,toil,weariness,work.

ENTHUSIASM.

Synonyms:

ardor,excitement,frenzy,transport,
devotion,extravagance,inspiration,vehemence,
eagerness,fanaticism,intensity,warmth,
earnestness,fervency,passion,zeal.
ecstasy,fervor,rapture,

The old meaning of enthusiasm implies a pseudo-inspiration,[154] an almost frantic extravagance in behalf of something supposed to be an expression of the divine will. This sense remains as the controlling one in the kindred noun enthusiast. Enthusiasm has now chiefly the meaning of an earnest and commendable devotion, an intense and eager interest. Against the hindrances of the world, nothing great and good can be carried without a certain fervor, intensity, and vehemence; these joined with faith, courage, and hopefulness make enthusiasm. Zeal is burning earnestness, always tending to vigorous action with all the devotion of enthusiasm, tho often without its hopefulness. Compare EAGER.

Antonyms:

calculation,caution,deadness,indifference,policy,timidity,
calmness,coldness,dulness,lukewarmness,prudence,wariness.

ENTRANCE.

Synonyms:

access,approach,gate,introduction,
accession,door,gateway,opening,
adit,doorway,ingress,penetration,
admission,entrée,inlet,portal.
admittance,entry,

Entrance, the act of entering, refers merely to the fact of passing from without to within some enclosure; admission and admittance refer to entering by or with some one's consent, or at least to opportunity afforded by some one's act or neglect. We may effect or force an entrance, but not admittance or admission; those we gain, procure, obtain, secure, win. Admittance refers to place, admission refers also to position, privilege, favor, friendship, etc. An intruder may gain admittance to the hall of a society who would not be allowed admission to its membership. Approach is a movement toward another; access is coming all the way to his presence, recognition, and consideration. An unworthy favorite may prevent even those who gain admittance to a king's audience from obtaining any real access to the king. Entrance is also used figuratively for setting out upon some career, or becoming a member of some organization; as, we speak of one's entrance upon college life, or of entrance into the ministry.

Antonyms:

departure,ejection,exit,refusal,withdrawal.
egress,exclusion,expulsion,rejection,

Prepositions:

Entrance into a place; on or upon a work or course of action; into or upon office; into battle; by or through the door; within the gates; into or among the company.


[155]

ENVIOUS.

Synonyms:

jealous,suspicious.

One is envious who cherishes selfish ill will toward another because of his superior success, endowments, possessions, or the like. A person is envious of that which is another's, and to which he himself has no right or claim; he is jealous of intrusion upon that which is his own, or to which he maintains a right or claim. An envious spirit is always bad; a jealous spirit may be good or bad, according to its object and tendency. A free people must be jealous of their liberties if they would retain them. One is suspicious of another from unfavorable indications or from a knowledge of wrong in his previous conduct, or even without reason. Compare DOUBT.

Antonyms:

contented,friendly,kindly,satisfied,trustful,well-disposed.

Prepositions:

Envious of (formerly at or against) a person; envious of his wealth or power; envious of him for, because of, on account of his wealth or power.


EQUIVOCAL.

Synonyms:

ambiguous,enigmatical,indistinct,questionable,
doubtful,indefinite,obscure,suspicious,
dubious,indeterminate,perplexing,uncertain.
enigmatic,

Equivocal (L. equus, equal, and vox, voice, word) denotes that which may equally well be understood in either of two or more ways. Ambiguous (L. ambi, around, and ago, drive, lead) signifies lacking in distinctness or certainty, obscure or doubtful through indefiniteness of expression. Ambiguous is applied only to spoken or written statements; equivocal has other applications. A statement is ambiguous when it leaves the mind of the reader or hearer to fluctuate between two meanings, which would fit the language equally well; it is equivocal when it would naturally be understood in one way, but is capable of a different interpretation; an equivocal expression is, as a rule, intentionally deceptive, while an ambiguous utterance may be simply the result of a want either of clear thought or of adequate expression. That which is enigmatical must be guessed like a riddle; a statement may be purposely made enigmatical in order to provoke thought and study. That is doubtful which is fairly open to doubt; that is dubious which has become the subject of doubts so grave as[156] scarcely to fall short of condemnation; as, a dubious reputation. Questionable may be used nearly in the sense either of dubious or of doubtful; a questionable statement is one that must be proved before it can be accepted. To say that one's honesty is questionable is a mild way of saying that in the opinion of the speaker he is likely to prove dishonest. Equivocal is sometimes, tho more rarely, used in this sense. A suspicious character gives manifest reason to be suspected; a suspicious temper is inclined to suspect the motives and intentions of others, with or without reason. Compare CLEAR.

Antonyms:

certain,evident,lucid,perspicuous,unequivocal,
clear,indisputable,manifest,plain,unquestionable,
distinct,indubitable,obvious,unambiguous,unquestioned.

ESTEEM, v.

Synonyms:

appreciate,consider,estimate,prize,think,
calculate,deem,hold,regard,value.

Esteem and estimate alike imply to set a certain mental value upon, but esteem is less precise and mercantile than calculate or estimate. We esteem a jewel precious; we estimate it to be worth so much money. This sense of esteem is now chiefly found in literary or oratorical style, and in certain conventional phrases; as, I esteem it an honor, a favor. In popular usage esteem, as said of persons, denotes a union of respect and kindly feeling and, in the highest sense, of moral approbation; as, one whom I highly esteem; the word may be used in a similar sense of material things or abstractions; as, one whose friendship I esteem; a shell greatly esteemed for inlaid work. To appreciate anything is to be deeply or keenly sensible of or sensitive to its qualities or influence, to see its full import, be alive to its value, importance, or worth; as, to appreciate beauty or harmony; to appreciate one's services in a cause; the word is similarly, tho rarely, used of persons. To prize is to set a high value on for something more than merely commercial reasons. One may value some object, as a picture, beyond all price, as a family heirloom, or may prize it as the gift of an esteemed friend, without at all appreciating its artistic merit or commercial value. To regard (F. regarder, look at, observe) is to have a certain mental view favorable or unfavorable; as, I regard him as a friend; or, I regard him as a villain; regard has a distinctively favorable sense as applied to institutions,[157] proprieties, duties, etc., but does not share the use of the noun regard as applied to persons; we regard the Sabbath; we regard a person's feelings; we have a regard for the person. Compare ESTEEM, n.


ESTEEM, n.

Synonyms:

estimate,estimation,favor,regard,respect.

Esteem for a person is a favorable opinion on the basis of worth, especially of moral worth, joined with a feeling of interest in and attraction toward the person. Regard for a person is the mental view or feeling that springs from a sense of his value, excellence, or superiority, with a cordial and hearty friendliness. Regard is more personal and less distant than esteem, and adds a special kindliness; respect is a more distant word than esteem. Respect may be wholly on one side, while regard is more often mutual; respect in the fullest sense is given to what is lofty, worthy, and honorable, or to a person of such qualities; we may pay an external respect to one of lofty station, regardless of personal qualities, showing respect for the office. Estimate has more of calculation; as, my estimate of the man, or of his abilities, is very high. Estimation involves the idea of calculation or appraisal with that of esteem or regard, and is especially used of the feeling entertained by numbers of people; as, he stood high in public estimation. Compare ESTEEM, v.; FRIENDSHIP; LOVE.

Antonyms:

abhorrence,aversion,dislike,loathing,
antipathy,contempt,hatred,repugnance.

ETERNAL.

Synonyms:

deathless,fadeless,never-failing,undying,
endless,immortal,perennial,unending,
eonian,imperishable,perpetual,unfading,
everlasting,interminable,timeless,unfailing,
ever-living,never-ending,unceasing,without end.

Eternal strictly signifies without beginning or end, in which sense it applies to God alone; everlasting applies to that which may or may not have beginning, but will never cease; eternal is also used in this more limited sense; endless, without end, in its utmost reach, is not distinguishable from everlasting; but endless is constantly used in inferior senses, especially in mechanics, as in the phrases an endless screw, an endless chain. Everlasting and endless are both used in a limited sense of protracted, indefinite,[158] but not infinite duration; as, the everlasting hills; endless debates; so we speak of interminable quarrels. Eternal holds quite strictly to the vast and sacred meaning in which it is applied to the Divine Being and the future state. Everlasting, endless, and eternal may be applied to that which has no life; as, everlasting chains, endless night, eternal death; immortal applies to that which now has life, and is forever exempt from death. Timeless carries, perhaps, the fullest idea of eternal, as above and beyond time, and not to be measured by it.


EVENT.

Synonyms:

case,contingency,fortune,outcome,
chance,end,incident,possibility,
circumstance,episode,issue,result,
consequence,fact,occurrence,sequel.

Etymologically, the incident is that which falls in, the event that which comes out; event is thus greater and more signal than incident; we speak of trifling incidents, great events; incidents of daily life, events of history. Circumstance agrees with incident in denoting a matter of relatively slight importance, but implies a more direct connection with the principal matter; "circumstantial evidence" is evidence from seemingly minor matters directly connected with a case; "incidental evidence" would be some evidence that happened unexpectedly to touch it. An occurrence is, etymologically, that which we run against, without thought of its origin, connection or tendency. An episode is connected with the main course of events, like an incident or circumstance, but is of more independent interest and importance. Outcome is the Saxon, and event the Latin for expressing the same original idea. Consequence or result would express more of logical connection, and be more comprehensive. The end may be simple cessation; the event is what has been accomplished; the event of a war is victory or defeat; the end of the war is reached when a treaty of peace is signed. Since the future is contingent, event comes to have the meaning of a contingency; as, in the event of his death, the policy will at once fall due. Compare CIRCUMSTANCE; CONSEQUENCE; END.


EVERY.

Synonyms:

all,any,both,each,either.

All and both are collective; any, each, and every are distributive.[159] Any makes no selection and may not reach to the full limits of all; each and every make no exception or omission, and must extend to all; all sweeps in the units as part of a total, each and every proceed through the units to the total. A promise made to all omits none; a promise made to any may not reach all; a promise made to every one is so made that no individual shall fail to be aware of it; a promise made to each is made to the individuals personally, one by one. Each is thus more individual and specific than every; every classifies, each individualizes. Each divides, both unites; if a certain sum is given to each of two persons, both (together) must receive twice the amount; both must be aware of what has been separately communicated to each; a man may fire both barrels of a gun by a single movement; if he fires each barrel, he discharges them separately. Either properly denotes one of two, indefinitely, to the exclusion of the other. The use of either in the sense of each or both, tho sustained by good authority, is objectionable because ambiguous. His friends sat on either side of the room would naturally mean on one side or the other; if the meaning is on both sides, it would be better to say so.


EVIDENT.

Synonyms:

apparent,glaring,overt,tangible,
clear,indubitable,palpable,transparent,
conspicuous,manifest,patent,unmistakable,
discernible,obvious,perceptible,visible.
distinct,open,plain,

That is apparent which clearly appears to the senses or to the mind as soon as the attention is directed toward it; that is evident of which the mind is made sure by some inference that supplements the facts of perception; the marks of a struggle were apparent in broken shrubbery and trampled ground, and the finding of a mutilated body and a rifled purse made it evident that robbery and murder had been committed. That is manifest which we can lay the hand upon; manifest is thus stronger than evident, as touch is more absolute than sight; that the picture was a modern copy of an ancient work was evident, and on comparison with the original its inferiority was manifest. That is obvious which is directly in the way so that it can not be missed; as, the application of the remark was obvious. Visible applies to all that can be perceived by the sense of sight, whether the noonday sun, a ship on the horizon, or a microscopic object. Discernible applies to[160] that which is dimly or faintly visible, requiring strain and effort in order to be seen; as, the ship was discernible through the mist. That is conspicuous which stands out so as necessarily or strikingly to attract the attention. Palpable and tangible express more emphatically the thought of manifest.

Antonyms:

concealed,impalpable,latent,secret,unknown,
covert,impenetrable,obscure,undiscovered,unseen,
dark,imperceptible,occult,unimagined,unthought-of.
hidden,invisible,

EXAMPLE.

Synonyms:

archetype,ideal,prototype,type,
ensample,model,sample,warning.
exemplar,pattern,specimen,
exemplification,precedent,standard,

From its original sense of sample or specimen (L. exemplum) example derives the seemingly contradictory meanings, on the one hand of a pattern or model, and on the other hand of a warning—a sample or specimen of what is to be followed, or of what is to be shunned. An example, however, may be more than a sample or specimen of any class; it may be the very archetype or prototype to which the whole class must conform, as when Christ is spoken of as being an example or leaving an example for his disciples. Example comes nearer to the possible freedom of the model than to the necessary exactness of the pattern; often we can not, in a given case, exactly imitate the best example, but only adapt its teachings to altered circumstances. In its application to a person or thing, exemplar can scarcely be distinguished from example; but example is most frequently used for an act, or course of action, for which exemplar is not used; as, one sets a good (or a bad) example. An exemplification is an illustrative working out in action of a principle or law, without any reference to its being copied or repeated; an example guides, an exemplification illustrates or explains. Ensample is the same as example, but is practically obsolete outside of Scriptural or theological language. Compare MODEL; SAMPLE.


EXCESS.

Synonyms:

dissipation,lavishness,redundance,surplus,
exorbitance,overplus,redundancy,waste,
extravagance,prodigality,superabundance,wastefulness.
intemperance,profusion,superfluity,

Excess is more than enough of anything, and, since this in[161] very many cases indicates a lack either of judgment or of self-control, the word is used frequently in an unfavorable sense. Careless expenditure in excess of income is extravagance; we may have also extravagance of language, professions, etc. As extravagance is excess in outlay, exorbitance is excess in demands, and especially in pecuniary demands upon others. Overplus and superabundance denote in the main a satisfactory, and superfluity an undesirable, excess; lavishness and profusion, a generous, bountiful, or amiable excess; as, a profusion of fair hair; lavishness of hospitality. Surplus is neutral, having none of the unfavorable meaning that often attaches to excess; a surplus is that which remains over after all demands are met. Redundance or redundancy refers chiefly to literary style, denoting an excess of words or matter. Excess in the moral sense is expressed by dissipation, prodigality, intemperance, etc.

Antonyms:

dearth,destitution,frugality,lack,scantiness,
defect,economy,inadequacy,need,shortcoming,
deficiency,failure,insufficiency,poverty,want.

EXECUTE.

Synonyms:

administer,carry out,do,enforce,perform.

To execute is to follow through to the end, put into absolute and final effect in action; to administer is to conduct as one holding a trust, as a minister and not an originator; the sheriff executes a writ; the trustee administers an estate, a charity, etc.; to enforce is to put into effect by force, actual or potential. To administer the laws is the province of a court of justice; to execute the laws is the province of a sheriff, marshal, constable, or other executive officer; to administer the law is to declare or apply it; to execute the law is to put it in force; for this enforce is the more general word, execute the more specific. From signifying to superintend officially some application or infliction, administer passes by a natural transition to signify inflict, mete out, dispense, and blows, medicine, etc., are said to be administered: a usage thoroughly established and reputable in spite of pedantic objections. Enforce signifies also to present and urge home by intellectual and moral force; as, to enforce a precept or a duty. Compare DO; KILL; MAKE.


[162]

EXERCISE.

Synonyms:

act,application,exertion,performance,
action,drill,occupation,practise,
activity,employment,operation,use.

Exercise, in the ordinary sense, is the easy natural action of any power; exertion is the putting of any power to strain and tax. An exercise-drive for a horse is so much as will develop strength and health and not appreciably weary. But by qualifying adjectives we may bring exercise up to the full sense of exertion; as, violent exercise. Exercise is action taken at any time with a view to employing, maintaining, or increasing power, or merely for enjoyment; practise is systematic exercise with a view to the acquirement of facility and skill in some pursuit; a person takes a walk for exercise, or takes time for practise on the piano. Practise is also used of putting into action and effect what one has learned or holds as a theory; as, the practise of law or medicine; a profession of religion is good, but the practise of it is better. Drill is systematic, rigorous, and commonly enforced practise under a teacher or commander. Compare HABIT.

Antonyms:

idleness,inaction,inactivity,relaxation,rest.

EXPENSE.

Synonyms:

cost,expenditure,outgo,outlay.

The cost of a thing is whatever one surrenders or gives up for it, intentionally or unintentionally, or even unconsciously; expense is what is laid out by calculation or intention. We say, "he won his fame at the cost of his life;" "I know it to my cost;" we speak of a joke at another's expense; at another's cost would seem to make it a more serious matter. There is a tendency to use cost of what we pay for a possession, expense of what we pay for a service; we speak of the cost of goods, the expense of making up. Outlay is used of some definite expenditure, as for the purchase of supplies; outgo of a steady drain or of incidental expenses. See PRICE.

Antonyms:

gain,proceeds,profit,receipt,return,
income,product,profits,receipts,returns.

EXPLICIT.

Synonym:

express.

Both explicit and express are opposed to what is merely implicit[163] or implied. That which is explicit is unfolded, so that it may not be obscure, doubtful, or ambiguous; that which is express is uttered or stated so decidedly that it may not be forgotten nor overlooked. An explicit statement is too clear to be misunderstood; an express command is too emphatic to be disregarded. Compare CLEAR.

Antonyms:

ambiguous,implicit,indefinite,uncertain,
doubtful,implied,indeterminate,vague.

EXTEMPORANEOUS.

Synonyms:

extemporary,impromptu,offhand,
extempore,improvised,unpremeditated.

Extemporaneous, originally signifying of or from the time or occasion, has come to mean done or made with but little (if any) preparation, and is now chiefly applied to addresses of which the thought has been prepared, and only the language and incidental treatment left to the suggestion of the moment, so that an extemporaneous speech is understood to be any one that is not read or recited; impromptu keeps its original sense, denoting something that springs from the instant; the impromptu utterance is generally brief, direct, and vigorous; the extemporaneous speech may chance to be prosy. Offhand is still more emphatic as to the readiness and freedom of the utterance. Unpremeditated is graver and more formal, denoting absolute want of preparation, but is rather too heavy a word to be applied to such apt, ready utterance as is generally designated by impromptu.

Antonyms:

elaborated,premeditated,prepared,read,recited,studied,written.

EXTERMINATE.

Synonyms:

annihilate,eradicate,overthrow,uproot,
banish,expel,remove,wipe out.
destroy,extirpate,root out,

Exterminate (L. ex, out, and terminus, a boundary) signified primarily to drive beyond the bounds or limits of a country; the word is applied to races of men or animals, and is now almost exclusively used for removal by death; individuals are now said to be banished or expelled. Eradicate (L. e, out, and radix, root) is primarily applied to numbers or groups of plants which it is desired to remove effectually from the soil; a single tree may be uprooted, but is not said to be eradicated; we labor to eradicate[164] or root out noxious weeds. To extirpate (L. ex, out, and stirps, stem, stock) is not only to destroy the individuals of any race of plants or animals, but the very stock, so that the race can never be restored; we speak of eradicating a disease, of extirpating a cancer, exterminating wild beasts or hostile tribes; we seek to eradicate or extirpate all vices and evils. Compare ABOLISH.

Antonyms:

augment,breed,cherish,develop,increase,populate,replenish,
beget,build up,colonize,foster,plant,propagate,settle.

FAINT.

Synonyms:

dim,fatigued,irresolute,weak,
exhausted,feeble,languid,wearied,
faded,half-hearted,listless,worn,
faint-hearted,ill-defined,purposeless,worn down,
faltering,indistinct,timid,worn out.

Faint, with the general sense of lacking strength or effectiveness, covers a wide range of meaning, signifying overcome with physical weakness or exhaustion, or lacking in purpose, courage, or energy, as said of persons; or lacking definiteness or distinctness of color or sound, as said of written characters, voices, or musical notes. A person may be faint when physically wearied, or when overcome with fear; he may be a faint adherent because naturally feeble or purposeless, or because half-hearted in the cause; he may be a faltering supporter because naturally irresolute or because faint-hearted and timid in view of perils that threaten, a listless worker, through want of mental energy and purpose. Written characters may be faint or dim, either because originally written with poor ink, or because they have become faded by time and exposure.

Antonyms:

bright,clear,daring,fresh,resolute,sturdy,
brilliant,conspicuous,energetic,hearty,strong,vigorous.

Prepositions:

Faint with hunger; faint in color.


FAITH.

Synonyms:

assent,confidence,credit,opinion,
assurance,conviction,creed,reliance,
belief,credence,doctrine,trust.

Belief, as an intellectual process, is the acceptance of some[165] thing as true on other grounds than personal observation and experience. We give credence to a report, assent to a proposition or to a proposal. Belief is stronger than credence; credence might be described as a prima facie belief; credence is a more formal word than belief, and seems to imply somewhat more of volition; we speak of giving credence to a report, but not of giving belief. Goods are sold on credit; we give one credit for good intentions. Conviction is a belief established by argument or evidence; assurance is belief beyond the reach of argument; as, the Christian's assurance of salvation. An opinion is a general conclusion held as probable, tho without full certainty; a persuasion is a more confident opinion, involving the heart as well as the intellect. In religion, a doctrine is a statement of belief regarding a single point; a creed is a summary statement of doctrines. Confidence is a firm dependence upon a statement as true, or upon a person as worthy. Reliance is confidence on which we act or are ready to act unquestioningly; we have a calm reliance upon the uniformity of nature. Trust is a practical and tranquil resting of the mind upon the integrity, kindness, friendship, or promises of a person; we have trust in God. Faith is a union of belief and trust. Faith is chiefly personal; belief may be quite impersonal; we speak of belief of a proposition, faith in a promise, because the promise emanates from a person. But belief in a person is often used with no appreciable difference from faith. In religion it is common to distinguish between intellectual belief of religious truth, as any other truth might be believed, and belief of the heart, or saving faith.

Antonyms:

denial,dissent,doubt,infidelity,rejection,suspicion,
disbelief,distrust,incredulity,misgiving,skepticism,unbelief.

Prepositions:

Have faith in God; the faith of the gospel.


FAITHFUL.

Synonyms:

devoted,incorruptible,stanch,true,trusty,
firm,loyal,sure,trustworthy,unwavering.

A person is faithful who will keep faith, whether with or without power to aid or serve; a person or thing is trusty that possesses such qualities as to justify the fullest confidence and dependence.[166] We may speak of a faithful but feeble friend; we say a trusty agent, a trusty steed, a trusty sword.

Antonyms:

capricious,false,unfaithful,untrustworthy,
faithless,fickle,untrue,wavering.

Prepositions:

Faithful in service; to duty; to comrade or commander; faithful among the faithless.


FAME.

Synonyms:

celebrity,eminence,honor,notoriety,reputation,
credit,glory,laurels,renown,repute.
distinction,

Fame is the widely disseminated report of a person's character, deeds, or abilities, and is oftenest used in the favorable sense. Reputation and repute are more limited than fame, and may be either good or bad. Notoriety is evil repute or a dishonorable counterfeit of fame. Eminence and distinction may result from rank, station, or character. Celebrity is limited in range; we speak of local celebrity, or world-wide fame. Fame in its best sense may be defined as the applause of numbers; renown, as such applause worthily won; we speak of the conqueror's fame, the patriot's renown. Glory and honor are of good import; honor may be given for qualities or acts that should not win it, but it is always given as something good and worthy; we can speak of an evil fame, but not of evil honor; glory has a more exalted and often a sacred sense.

Antonyms:

contempt,discredit,dishonor,humiliation,infamy,obscurity,
contumely,disgrace,disrepute,ignominy,oblivion,shame.

FANATICISM.

Synonyms:

bigotry,credulity,intolerance,superstition.

Fanaticism is extravagant or even frenzied zeal; bigotry is obstinate and unreasoning attachment to a cause or creed; fanaticism and bigotry usually include intolerance, which is unwillingness to tolerate beliefs or opinions contrary to one's own; superstition is ignorant and irrational religious belief. Credulity is not distinctively religious, but is a general readiness to believe without sufficient evidence, with a proneness to accept the marvellous. Bigotry is narrow, fanaticism is fierce, superstition is ignorant, credulity is weak, intolerance is severe. Bigotry has not the[167] capacity to reason fairly, fanaticism has not the patience, superstition has not the knowledge and mental discipline, intolerance has not the disposition. Bigotry, fanaticism, and superstition are perversions of the religious sentiment; credulity and intolerance often accompany skepticism or atheism.

Antonyms:

cynicism,free-thinking,indifference,latitudinarianism.

FANCIFUL.

Synonyms:

chimerical,fantastic,grotesque,imaginative,visionary.

That is fanciful which is dictated or suggested by fancy independently of more serious considerations; the fantastic is the fanciful with the added elements of whimsicalness and extravagance. The fanciful swings away from the real or the ordinary lightly and pleasantly, the fantastic extravagantly, the grotesque ridiculously. A fanciful arrangement of objects is commonly pleasing, a fantastic arrangement is striking, a grotesque arrangement is laughable. A fanciful theory or suggestion may be clearly recognized as such; a visionary scheme is erroneously supposed to have a basis in fact. Compare synonyms for DREAM; IDEA; IMAGINATION.

Antonyms:

accurate,commonplace,prosaic,regular,sound,
calculable,literal,real,sensible,sure,
calculated,ordinary,reasonable,solid,true.

FANCY.

Synonyms:

belief,desire,imagination,predilection,
caprice,humor,inclination,supposition,
conceit,idea,liking,vagary,
conception,image,mood,whim.

An intellectual fancy is a mental image or picture founded upon slight or whimsical association or resemblance; a conceit has less of the picturesque and more of the theoretic than a fancy; a conceit is somewhat aside from the common laws of reasoning, as a fancy is lighter and more airy than the common mode of thought. A conceit or fancy may be wholly unfounded, while a conception always has, or is believed to have, some answering reality. (Compare REASON.) An intellectual fancy or conceit may be pleasing or amusing, but is never worth serious discussion; we speak of a mere fancy, a droll or odd conceit. An emotional or personal fancy is a capricious liking formed with slight reason and[168] no exercise of judgment, and liable to fade as lightly as it was formed. In a broader sense, the fancy signifies the faculty by which fancies or mental images are formed, associated, or combined. Compare synonyms for DREAM; IDEA; IMAGINATION.

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

To have a fancy for or take a fancy to a person or thing.


FAREWELL.

Synonyms:

adieu,good-by,parting salutation,valedictory.
congé,leave-taking,valediction,

Good-by is the homely and hearty, farewell the formal English word at parting. Adieu, from the French, is still more ceremonious than farewell; congé, also from the French, is commonly contemptuous or supercilious, and equivalent to dismissal. Valediction is a learned word never in popular use. A valedictory is a public farewell to a company or assembly.

Prepositions:

I bade farewell to my comrades, or (without preposition) I bade my comrades farewell; I took a sad farewell of my friends.


FEAR.

Synonyms:

affright,dismay,horror,timidity,
apprehension,disquietude,misgiving,trembling,
awe,dread,panic,tremor,
consternation,fright,terror,trepidation.

Fear is the generic term denoting an emotion excited by threatening evil with a desire to avoid or escape it; fear may be sudden or lingering, in view of present, of imminent, or of distant and only possible danger; in the latter sense dread is oftener used. Horror (etymologically a shivering or shuddering) denotes a shuddering fear accompanied with abhorrence or such a shock to the feelings and sensibilities as may exist without fear, as when one suddenly encounters some ghastly spectacle; we say of a desperate but fettered criminal, "I looked upon him with horror." Where horror includes fear, it is fear mingled with abhorrence. (See ABHOR.) Affright, fright, and terror are always sudden, and in actual presence of that which is terrible. Fear may overwhelm, or may nerve one to desperate defense; fright and terror render one incapable of defense; fear may be controlled by force of[169] will; fright and terror overwhelm the will; terror paralyzes, fright may cause one to fly, to scream, or to swoon. Fright is largely a matter of the nerves; fear of the intellect and the imagination; terror of all the faculties, bodily and mental. Panic is a sudden fear or fright, affecting numbers at once; vast armies or crowded audiences are liable to panic upon slight occasion. In a like sense we speak of a financial panic. Dismay is a helpless sinking of heart in view of some overwhelming peril or sorrow. Dismay is more reflective, enduring, and despairing than fright; a horse is subject to fright or terror, but not to dismay. Awe is a reverential fear. Compare ALARM.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for FORTITUDE.


FEMININE.

Synonyms:

effeminate,female,womanish,womanly.

We apply female to the sex, feminine to the qualities, especially the finer physical or mental qualities that distinguish the female sex in the human family, or to the objects appropriate for or especially employed by them. A female voice is the voice of a woman; a feminine voice may belong to a man. Womanish denotes the undesirable, womanly the admirable or lovely qualities of woman. Womanly tears would suggest respect and sympathy, womanish tears a touch of contempt. The word effeminate is always used reproachfully, and only of men as possessing womanly traits such as are inconsistent with true manliness.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for MASCULINE.


FETTER.

Synonyms:

bondage,custody,gyves,irons,
bonds,durance,handcuffs,manacles,
chains,duress,imprisonment,shackles.

Bonds may be of cord, leather, or any other substance that can bind; chains are of linked metal. Manacles and handcuffs are for the hands, fetters are primarily chains or jointed iron fastenings for the feet; gyves may be for either. A shackle is a metallic ring, clasp, or bracelet-like fastening for encircling and restraining a limb: commonly one of a pair, used either for hands or feet. Bonds, fetters, and chains are used in a general way for almost[170] any form of restraint. Gyves is now wholly poetic, and the other words are mostly restricted to the literary style; handcuffs is the specific and irons the general term in popular usage; as, the prisoner was put in irons. Bonds, chains, and shackles are frequently used in the metaphorical sense.


FEUD.

Synonyms:

affray,brawl,contest,dissension,hostility,
animosity,broil,controversy,enmity,quarrel,
bitterness,contention,dispute,fray,strife.

A feud is enmity between families, clans, or parties, with acts of hostility mutually retaliated and avenged; feud is rarely used of individuals, never of nations. While all the other words of the group may refer to that which is transient, a feud is long-enduring, and often hereditary. Dissension is used of a number of persons, of a party or other organization. Bitterness is in feeling only; enmity and hostility involve will and purpose to oppose or injure. A quarrel is in word or act, or both, and is commonly slight and transient, as we speak of childish quarrels; contention and strife may be in word or deed; contest ordinarily involves some form of action. Contest is often used in a good sense, contention and strife very rarely so. Controversy is commonly in words; strife extends from verbal controversy to the contests of armies. Affray, brawl, and broil, like quarrel, are words of inferior dignity. An affray or broil may arise at a street corner; the affray always involves physical force; the brawl or broil may be confined to violent language.


FICTION.

Synonyms:

allegory,fabrication,invention,myth,romance,
apologue,falsehood,legend,novel,story.
fable,figment,

Fiction is now chiefly used of a prose work in narrative form in which the characters are partly or wholly imaginary, and which is designed to portray human life, with or without a practical lesson; a romance portrays what is picturesque or striking, as a mere fiction may not do; novel is a general name for any continuous fictitious narrative, especially a love-story; fiction and novel are used with little difference of meaning, except that novel characterizes a work in which the emotional element is especially[171] prominent. The moral of the fable is expressed formally; the lesson of the fiction, if any, is inwrought. A fiction is studied; a myth grows up without intent. A legend may be true, but can not be historically verified; a myth has been received as true at some time, but is now known to be false. A fabrication is designed to deceive; it is a less odious word than falsehood, but is really stronger, as a falsehood may be a sudden unpremeditated statement, while a fabrication is a series of statements carefully studied and fitted together in order to deceive; the falsehood is all false; the fabrication may mingle the true with the false. A figment is something imaginary which the one who utters it may or may not believe to be true; we say, "That statement is a figment of his imagination." The story may be either true or false, and covers the various senses of all the words in the group. Apologue, a word simply transferred from Greek into English, is the same as fable. Compare ALLEGORY.

Antonyms:

certainty,fact,history,literalness,reality,truth,verity.

FIERCE.

Synonyms:

ferocious,furious,raging,uncultivated,violent,
fiery,impetuous,savage,untrained,wild.

Fierce signifies having a furious and cruel nature, or being in a furious and cruel mood, more commonly the latter. It applies to that which is now intensely excited, or liable to intense and sudden excitement. Ferocious refers to a state or disposition; that which is fierce flashes or blazes; that which is ferocious steadily burns; we speak of a ferocious animal, a fierce passion. A fiery spirit with a good disposition is quickly excitable in a good cause, but may not be fierce or ferocious. Savage signifies untrained, uncultivated. Ferocious always denotes a tendency to violence; it is more distinctly bloodthirsty than the other words; a person may be deeply, intensely cruel, and not at all ferocious; a ferocious countenance expresses habitual ferocity; a fierce countenance may express habitual fierceness, or only the sudden anger of the moment. That which is wild is simply unrestrained; the word may imply no anger or harshness; as, wild delight, wild alarm.

Antonyms:

affectionate,gentle,kind,patient,submissive,tame,
docile,harmless,mild,peaceful,sweet,tender.

[172]

FINANCIAL.

Synonyms:

fiscal,monetary,pecuniary.

These words all relate to money, receipts, or expenditures. Monetary relates to actual money, coin, currency; as, the monetary system; a monetary transaction is one in which money is transferred. Pecuniary refers to that in which money is involved, but less directly; we speak of one's pecuniary affairs or interests, with no special reference to the handling of cash. Financial applies especially to governmental revenues or expenditures, or to private transactions of considerable moment; we speak of a pecuniary reward, a financial enterprise; we give a needy person pecuniary (not financial) assistance. It is common to speak of the fiscal rather than the financial year.


FINE.

Synonyms:

beautiful,excellent,polished,small,
clarified,exquisite,pure,smooth,
clear,gauzy,refined,splendid,
comminuted,handsome,sensitive,subtile,
dainty,keen,sharp,subtle,
delicate,minute,slender,tenuous,
elegant,nice,slight,thin.

Fine (L. finis, end) denotes that which has been brought to a full end, finished. From this root-sense many derived meanings branch out, causing words quite remote from each other to be alike synonyms of fine. That which is truly finished, brought to an ideal end, is excellent of its kind, and beautiful, if a thing that admits of beauty; as, a fine house, fine trees, a fine woman, a fine morning; if a thing that admits of the removal of impurities, it is not finished till these are removed, and hence fine signifies clarified, clear, pure, refined; as, fine gold. That which is finished is apt to be polished, smooth to the touch, minutely exact in outline; hence fine comes to be a synonym for all words like dainty, delicate, exquisite; as, fine manners, a fine touch, fine perceptions. As that which is delicate is apt to be small, by an easy extension of meaning fine becomes a synonym for slender, slight, minute, comminuted; as, a fine thread, fine sand; or for filmy, tenuous, thin; as, a fine lace, fine wire; and as a thin edge is keen, sharp, fine becomes also a synonym for these words; as, a fine point, a fine edge. Compare BEAUTIFUL; MINUTE.

Antonyms:

big,clumsy,great,huge,large,stout,
blunt,coarse,heavy,immense,rude,thick.

[173]

FIRE.

Synonyms:

blaze,burning,combustion,conflagration,flame.

Combustion is the essential fact which is at the basis of that assemblage of visible phenomenon which we call fire; combustion being the continuous chemical combination of a substance with some element, as oxygen, evolving heat, and extending from slow processes, such as those by which the heat of the human body is maintained, to the processes producing the most intense light also, as in a blast-furnace, or on the surface of the sun. Fire is always attended with light, as well as heat; blaze, flame, etc., designate the mingled light and heat of a fire. Combustion is the scientific, fire the popular term. A conflagration is an extensive fire. Compare LIGHT.


FLOCK.

Synonyms:

bevy,covey,group,herd,lot,set,
brood,drove,hatch,litter,pack,swarm.

Group is the general word for any gathering of a small number of objects, whether of persons, animals, or inanimate things. The individuals in a brood or litter are related to each other; those in the other groups may not be. Brood is used chiefly of fowls and birds, litter of certain quadrupeds which bring forth many young at a birth; we speak of a brood of chickens, a litter of puppies; brood is sometimes applied to a family of young children. Bevy is used of birds, and figuratively of any bright and lively group of women or children, but rarely of men. Flock is applied to birds and to some of the smaller animals; herd is confined to the larger animals; we speak of a bevy of quail, a covey of partridges, a flock of blackbirds, or a flock of sheep, a herd of cattle, horses, buffaloes, or elephants, a pack of wolves, a pack of hounds, a swarm of bees. A collection of animals driven or gathered for driving is called a drove.


FLUCTUATE.

Synonyms:

hesitate,swerve,vacillate,veer,
oscillate,undulate,vary,waver.

To fluctuate (L. fluctus, a wave) is to move like a wave with alternate rise and fall. A pendulum oscillates; waves fluctuate or undulate; a light or a flame wavers; a frightened steed swerves[174] from his course; a tool or weapon swerves from the mark or line; the temperature varies; the wind veers when it suddenly changes its direction. That which veers may steadily hold the new direction; that which oscillates, fluctuates, undulates, or wavers returns upon its way. As regards mental states, he who hesitates sticks (L. hærere) on the verge of decision; he who wavers does not stick to a decision; he who vacillates decides now one way, and now another; one vacillates between contrasted decisions or actions; he may waver between decision and indecision, or between action and inaction. Persons hesitate, vacillate, waver; feelings fluctuate or vary. Compare SHAKE.

Antonyms:

abide,adhere,hold fast,persist,stand fast,stay,stick.

FLUID.

Synonyms:

gas,liquid.

A fluid is a substance that, like air or water, yields to any force that tends to change its form; a liquid is a body in that state in which the particles move freely among themselves, but remain in one mass, keeping the same volume, but taking always the form of the containing vessel; a liquid is an inelastic fluid; a gas is an elastic fluid that tends to expand to the utmost limits of the containing space. All liquids are fluids, but not all fluids are liquids; air and all the gases are fluids, but they are not liquids under ordinary circumstances, tho capable of being reduced to a liquid form by special means, as by cold and pressure. Water at the ordinary temperature is at once a fluid and a liquid.


FOLLOW.

Synonyms:

accompany,come after,go after,obey,pursue,
attend,copy,heed,observe,result,
chase,ensue,imitate,practise,succeed.

Anything that comes after or goes after another, either in space or in time, is said to follow it. A servant follows or attends his master; a victorious general may follow the retiring enemy merely to watch and hold him in check; he chases or pursues with intent to overtake and attack; the chase is closer and hotter than the pursuit. (Compare synonyms for HUNT.) One event may follow another either with or without special connection; if it[175] ensues, there is some orderly connection; as, the ensuing year; if it results from another, there is some relation of effect, consequence, or inference. A clerk observes his employer's directions. A child obeys his parent's commands, follows or copies his example, imitates his speech and manners. The compositor follows copy; the incoming succeeds the outgoing official.


FOOD.

Synonyms:

aliment,feed,nourishment,pabulum,sustenance,
diet,fodder,nutriment,provender,viands,
fare,forage,nutrition,regimen,victuals.

Food is, in the popular sense, whatever one eats in contradistinction to what one drinks. Thus, we speak of food and drink, of wholesome, unwholesome, or indigestible food; but in a more scientific sense whatever, when taken into the digestive organs, serves to build up structure or supply waste may be termed food; the word is extended to plants to signify whatever taken in any way into the organism serves similar purposes; thus, we speak of liquid food, plant food, etc.; in this wider sense food is closely synonymous with nutriment, nourishment, and sustenance. Diet refers to the quantity and quality of food habitually taken, with reference to preservation of health. Victuals is a plain, homely word for whatever may be eaten; we speak of choice viands, cold victuals. Nourishment and sustenance apply to whatever can be introduced into the system as a means of sustaining life; we say of a convalescent, he is taking nourishment. Nutriment and nutrition have more of scientific reference to the vitalizing principles of various foods; thus, wheat is said to contain a great amount of nutriment. Regimen considers food as taken by strict rule, but applies more widely to the whole ordering of life. Fare is a general word for all table supplies, good or bad; as, sumptuous fare; wretched fare. Feed, fodder, and provender are used only of the food of the lower animals, feed denoting anything consumed, but more commonly grain, fodder denoting hay, cornstalks, or the like, sometimes called "long feed;" provender is dry feed, whether grain or hay, straw, etc. Forage denotes any kind of food suitable for horses and cattle, primarily as obtained by a military force in scouring the country, especially an enemy's country.


[176]

FORMIDABLE.

Synonyms:

dangerous,redoubted,terrible,tremendous.

That which is formidable is worthy of fear if encountered or opposed; as, a formidable array of troops, or of evidence. Formidable is a word of more dignity than dangerous, and suggests more calm and collected power than terrible; formidable is less overwhelming than tremendous. A loaded gun is dangerous; a park of artillery is formidable; a charge of cavalry is terrible; the full shock of great armies is tremendous. A dangerous man is likely to do mischief, and needs watching; a formidable man may not be dangerous if not attacked; an enraged maniac is terrible; the force of ocean waves in a storm, and the silent pressure in the ocean depths, are tremendous.

Antonyms:

contemptible,despicable,feeble,harmless,helpless,powerless,weak.

Prepositions:

Formidable by or in numbers; in strength; formidable to the enemy.


FORTIFICATION.

Synonyms:

castle,citadel,fastness,fort,fortress,stronghold.

Fortification is the general word for any artificial defensive work; a fortress is a fortification of especial size and strength; a fortress is regarded as permanent, and is ordinarily an independent work; a fort or fortification may be temporary; a fortification may be but part of a defensive system; we speak of the fortifications of a city. A citadel is a fortification within a city, or the fortified inner part of a city or fortress, within which a garrison may be placed to overawe the citizens, or to which the defenders may retire if the outer works are captured; the medieval castle was the fortified residence of a king or baron. Fort is the common military term for a detached fortified building or enclosure of moderate size occupied or designed to be occupied by troops. The fortifications of a modern city usually consist of a chain of forts. Any defensible place, whether made so by nature or by art, is a fastness or stronghold.


FORTITUDE.

Synonyms:

courage,endurance,heroism,resolution.

Fortitude (L. fortis, strong) is the strength or firmness of mind[177] or soul to endure pain or adversity patiently and determinedly. Fortitude has been defined as "passive courage," which is a good definition, but not complete. Fortitude might be termed "still courage," or "enduring courage;" it is that quality which is able not merely to endure pain or trial, but steadily to confront dangers that can not be actively opposed, or against which one has no adequate defense; it takes courage to charge a battery, fortitude to stand still under an enemy's fire. Resolution is of the mind; endurance is partly physical; it requires resolution to resist temptation, endurance to resist hunger and cold. Compare BRAVE; PATIENCE.


FORTUNATE.

Synonyms:

favored,lucky,prospered,prosperous,successful.
happy,

A man is successful in any case if he achieves or gains what he seeks; he is known as a successful man if he has achieved or gained worthy objects of endeavor; he is fortunate or lucky if advantages have come to him without or beyond his direct planning or achieving. Lucky is the more common and colloquial, fortunate the more elegant word; fortunate is more naturally applied to the graver matters, as we speak of the fortunate, rather than the lucky, issue of a great battle; lucky more strongly emphasizes the element of chance, as when we speak of a lucky hit, a lucky guess, or of one as "born under a lucky star." Favored is used in a religious sense, implying that one is the object of divine favor. Happy, in this connection, signifies possessed of the means of happiness. One is said to be happy or prosperous whether his prosperity be the result of fortune or of achievement; prospered rather denotes the action of a superintending Providence.

Antonyms:

broken,fallen,miserable,unhappy,woful,
crushed,ill-starred,unfortunate,unlucky,wretched.

FRAUD.

Synonyms:

artifice,deceit,duplicity,swindle,treason,
cheat,deception,imposition,swindling,trick.
cheating,dishonesty,imposture,treachery,

A fraud is an act of deliberate deception with the design of securing something by taking unfair advantage of another. A deceit or deception may be designed merely to gain some end of one's own, with no intent of harming another; an imposition, to take[178] some small advantage of another, or simply to make another ridiculous. An imposture is designed to obtain money, credit, or position to which one is not entitled, and may be practised by a street beggar or by the pretender to a throne. All action that is not honest is dishonesty, but the term dishonesty is generally applied in business, politics, etc., to deceitful practises which are not directly criminal. Fraud includes deceit, but deceit may not reach the gravity of fraud; a cheat is of the nature of fraud, but of a petty sort; a swindle is more serious than a cheat, involving larger values and more flagrant dishonesty. Fraud is commonly actionable at law; cheating and swindling are for the most part out of the reach of legal proceedings. Treachery is chiefly used of dishonesty in matters of friendship, social relations, government, or war; treachery may be more harmful than fraud, but is not so gross, and is not ordinarily open to legal redress. Treason is a specific form of treachery of a subject to the government to which he owes allegiance, and is definable and punishable at law. Compare ARTIFICE; DECEPTION.

Antonyms:

fairness,good faith,honesty,integrity,truth,uprightness.

FRIENDLY.

Synonyms:

accessible,companionable,genial,neighborly,
affable,complaisant,hearty,sociable,
affectionate,cordial,kind,social,
amicable,favorable,kindly,tender,
brotherly,fond,loving,well-disposed.

Friendly, as said of persons, signifies having the disposition of a friend; as said of acts, it signifies befitting or worthy of a friend. The adjective friendly does not reach the full significance of the nouns "friend" and "friendship;" one may be friendly to those who are not his friends, and to be in friendly relations often signifies little more than not to be hostile. In its application to persons, accessible is used of public and eminent persons, who might, if disposed, hold themselves at a distance from others. Companionable and sociable refer to manner and behavior, cordial and genial express genuine kindliness of heart. We speak of a cordial greeting, a favorable reception, a neighborly call, a sociable visitor, an amicable settlement, a kind interest, a friendly regard, a hearty welcome. The Saxon friendly is stronger than the Latin amicable; the amicable may be merely formal; the friendly is from the heart. Fond is commonly applied to an[179] affection that becomes, or at least appears, excessive. Affectionate, devoted, and tender are almost always used in a high and good sense; as, an affectionate son; a devoted friend; "the tender mercy of our God," Luke i, 78. Compare FRIENDSHIP.

Antonyms:

adverse,bellicose,contentious,estranged,ill-disposed,unfriendly,
alienated,belligerent,disaffected,frigid,indifferent,unkind,
antagonistic,cold,distant,hostile,inimical,warlike.

FRIENDSHIP.

Synonyms:

affection,comity,esteem,good will,
amity,consideration,favor,love,
attachment,devotion,friendliness,regard.

Friendship is a deep, quiet, enduring affection, founded upon mutual respect and esteem. Friendship is always mutual; there may be unreciprocated affection or attachment, unrequited love, or even unrecognized and unappreciated devotion, but never unreciprocated or unrequited friendship; one may have friendly feelings toward an enemy, but while there is hostility or coldness on one side there can not be friendship between the two. Friendliness is a quality of friendly feeling, without the deep and settled attachment implied in the state of friendship. Comity is mutual kindly courtesy, with care of each other's right, and amity a friendly feeling and relation, not necessarily implying special friendliness; as, the comity of nations, or amity between neighboring countries. Affection may be purely natural; friendship is a growth. Friendship is more intellectual and less emotional than love; it is easier to give reasons for friendship than for love; friendship is more calm and quiet, love more fervent; love often rises to intensest passion; we can not speak of the passion of friendship. Friendship implies some degree of equality, while love does not; we can speak of man's love toward God, not of his friendship for God. (There is more latitude in the use of the concrete noun friend; Abraham was called "the friend of God;" Christ was called "the friend of sinners.") Compare ACQUAINTANCE; LOVE.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for BATTLE; ENMITY; FEUD; HATRED.

Prepositions:

The friendship of one person for or toward another, or the friendship between them.


[180]

FRIGHTEN.

Synonyms:

affright,appal,cow,dismay,scare,
alarm,browbeat,daunt,intimidate,terrify.

One is frightened by a cause of fear addressed directly and suddenly to the senses; he is intimidated by an apprehension of contingent consequences dependent on some act of his own to be done or forborne; the means of intimidation may act through the senses, or may appeal only to the intellect or the sensibilities. The sudden rush of an armed madman may frighten; the quiet leveling of a highwayman's pistol intimidates. A savage beast is intimidated by the keeper's whip. Employers may intimidate their employees from voting contrary to their will by threat of discharge; a mother may be intimidated through fear for her child. To browbeat or cow is to bring into a state of submissive fear; to daunt is to give pause or check to a violent, threatening, or even a brave spirit. To scare is to cause sudden, unnerving fear; to terrify is to awaken fear that is overwhelming. Compare ALARM.


FRUGALITY.

Synonyms:

economy,parsimony,saving,sparing,
miserliness,providence,scrimping,thrift.
parsimoniousness,prudence,

Economy is a wise and careful administration of the means at one's disposal; frugality is a withholding of expenditure, or sparing of supplies or provision, to a noticeable and often to a painful degree; parsimony is excessive and unreasonable saving for the sake of saving. Frugality exalted into a virtue to be practised for its own sake, instead of as a means to an end, becomes the vice of parsimony. Miserliness is the denying oneself and others the ordinary comforts or even necessaries of life, for the mere sake of hoarding money. Prudence and providence look far ahead, and sacrifice the present to the future, saving as much as may be necessary for that end. (See PRUDENCE.) Thrift seeks not merely to save, but to earn. Economy manages, frugality saves, providence plans, thrift at once earns and saves, with a view to wholesome and profitable expenditure at a fitting time. See ABSTINENCE.

Antonyms:

abundance,bounty,liberality,opulence,waste,
affluence,extravagance,luxury,riches,wealth.

[181]

GARRULOUS.

Synonyms:

chattering,loquacious,talkative,verbose.

Garrulous signifies given to constant trivial talking. Chattering signifies uttering rapid, noisy, and unintelligible, or scarcely intelligible, sounds, whether articulate words or such as resemble them; chattering is often used of vocal sounds that may be intelligible by themselves but are ill understood owing to confusion of many voices or other cause. The talkative person has a strong disposition to talk, with or without an abundance of words, or many ideas; the loquacious person has an abundant flow of language and much to say on any subject suggested; either may be lively and for a time entertaining; the garrulous person is tedious, repetitious, petty, and self-absorbed. Verbose is applied to utterances more formal than conversation, as to writings or public addresses. We speak of a chattering monkey or a chattering idiot, a talkative child, a talkative or loquacious woman, a garrulous old man, a verbose writer. Compare CIRCUMLOCUTION.

Antonyms:

laconic,reserved,reticent,silent,speechless,taciturn.

GENDER.

Synonym:

sex.

Sex is a distinction among living beings; it is also the characteristic by which most living beings are distinguished from inanimate things, which are of no sex; gender is a distinction in language partially corresponding to this distinction in nature; while there are but two sexes, there are in some languages, as in English and German, three genders. The French language has but two genders and makes the names of all inanimate objects either masculine or feminine; some languages are without the distinction of gender, and those that maintain it are often quite arbitrary in its application. We speak of the masculine or feminine gender, the male or female sex.


GENERAL.

Synonyms:

common,familiar,ordinary,universal,
commonplace,frequent,popular,usual.
customary,habitual,prevalent,
everyday,normal,public,

Common signifies frequently occurring, not out of the regular[182] course, not exceptional; hence, not above the average, not excellent or distinguished, inferior, or even low; common also signifies pertaining to or participated in by two or more persons or things; as, sorrow is common to the race. General may signify pertaining equally to all of a class, race, etc., but very commonly signifies pertaining to the greater number, but not necessarily to all. Universal applies to all without exception; general applies to all with possible or comparatively slight exceptions; common applies to very many without deciding whether they are even a majority. A common remark is one we often hear; a general experience is one that comes to the majority of people; a universal experience is one from which no human being is exempt. It is dangerous for a debater to affirm a universal proposition, since that can be negatived by a single exception, while a general statement is not invalidated even by adducing many exceptions. We say a common opinion, common experience, a general rule, general truth, a universal law. Compare synonyms for NORMAL; USUAL.

Antonyms:

exceptional,infrequent,rare,singular,uncommon,unknown,unusual.

GENEROUS.

Synonyms:

bountiful,free,liberal,noble,
chivalrous,free-handed,magnanimous,open-handed,
disinterested,free-hearted,munificent,open-hearted.

Generous (L. genus, a race) primarily signifies having the qualities worthy of noble or honorable birth; hence, free and abundant in giving, giving freely, heartily, and self-sacrificingly. As regards giving, generous refers rather to the self-sacrificing heartiness of the giver, liberal to the amount of the gift; a child may show himself generous in the gift of an apple, a millionaire makes a liberal donation; a generous gift, however, is commonly thought of as both ample and hearty. A munificent gift is vast in amount, whatever the motive of its bestowal. One may be free with another's money; he can be generous only with his own. Disinterested suggests rather the thought of one's own self-denial; generous, of one's hearty interest in another's welfare or happiness. One is magnanimous by a greatness of soul (L. magnus, great, and animus, soul) that rises above all that is poor, mean, or weak, especially above every petty or ignoble motive or feeling pertaining to one's self, and thus above resentment[183] of injury or insult; one is generous by a kindness of heart that would rejoice in the welfare rather than in the punishment of the offender.

Antonyms:

avaricious,covetous,ignoble,mean,niggardly,penurious,rapacious,
close,greedy,illiberal,miserly,parsimonious,petty,stingy.

GENIUS.

Synonyms:

talent,talents.

Genius is exalted intellectual power capable of operating independently of tuition and training, and marked by an extraordinary faculty for original creation, invention, discovery, expression, etc. Talent is marked mental ability, and in a special sense, a particular and uncommon aptitude for some special mental work or attainment. Genius is higher than talent, more spontaneous, less dependent upon instruction, less amenable to training; talent is largely the capacity to learn, acquire, appropriate, adapt oneself to demand. Yet the genius that has won the largest and most enduring success has been joined with tireless industry and painstaking. Compare synonyms for MIND; POWER.

Antonyms:

dulness,folly,imbecility,obtuseness,senselessness,stupidity.

GET.

Synonyms:

achieve,attain,gain,procure,secure,
acquire,earn,obtain,receive,win.

Get is a most comprehensive word. A person gets whatever he comes to possess or experience, whether with or without endeavor, expectation, or desire; he gets a bargain, a blow, a fall, a fever; he gains what he comes to by effort or striving; the swimmer gains the shore; a man acquires by continuous and ordinarily by slow process; as, one acquires a foreign language. A person is sometimes said to gain and often to acquire what has not been an object of direct endeavor; in the pursuits of trade, he incidentally gains some knowledge of foreign countries; he acquires by association with others a correct or incorrect accent; he acquires a bronzed complexion by exposure to a tropical sun; in such use, what he gains is viewed as desirable, what he acquires as slowly and gradually resulting. A person earns what he gives an equivalent of labor for, tho he may not get it. On the other hand, he may get what he has not earned; the temptation[184] to all dishonesty is the desire to get a living or a fortune without earning it. When one gets the object of his desire, he is said to obtain it, whether he has gained or earned it or not. Win denotes contest, with a suggestion of chance or hazard; in popular language, a person is often said to win a lawsuit, or to win in a suit at law, but in legal phrase he is said to gain his suit, case, or cause. In receiving, one is strictly passive; he may get an estate by his own exertions or by inheritance; in the latter case he is said to receive it. One obtains a thing commonly by some direct effort of his own; he procures it commonly by the intervention of some one else; he procures a dinner or an interview; he secures what has seemed uncertain or elusive, when he gets it firmly into his possession or under his control. Compare synonyms for ATTAIN; MAKE; REACH.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for ABANDON.


GIFT.

Synonyms:

benefaction,boon,bribe,grant,largess,
bequest,bounty,donation,gratuity,present.

A gift is in the popular, and also in the legal sense that which is voluntarily bestowed without expectation of return or compensation. Gift is now almost always used in the good sense, bribe always in the evil sense to signify payment for a dishonorable service under the semblance of a gift. In Scriptural language gift is often used for bribe. "The king by judgment establisheth the land; but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it." Prov. xxix, 4. A benefaction is a charitable gift, generally of large amount, and viewed as of enduring value, as an endowment for a college. A donation is something, perhaps of great, never of trivial value, given usually on some public ground, as to a cause or to a person representing a cause, but not necessarily of value beyond the immediate present; as, a donation to a pastor. A gratuity is usually something of moderate value and is always given as to an inferior, and as of favor, not of right; as, a gratuity to a waiter. Largess is archaic for a bountiful gratuity, usually to be distributed among many, as among the heralds at ancient tournaments. A present is a gift of friendship, or conciliation, and given as to an equal or a superior; no one's pride is hurt by accepting what is viewed as strictly a present. A boon is a gift that has[185] been desired or craved or perhaps asked, or something freely given that meets some great desire. A grant is commonly considerable in amount and given by public authority; as, a grant of public lands for a college.

Antonyms:

compensation,earnings,guerdon,penalty,remuneration, wages.

GIVE.

Synonyms:

bestow,communicate,deliver,grant,supply.
cede,confer,furnish,impart,

To give is primarily to transfer to another's possession or ownership without compensation; in its secondary sense in popular use, it is to put into another's possession by any means and on any terms whatever; a buyer may say "Give me the goods, and I will give you the money;" we speak of giving answers, information, etc., and often of giving what is not agreeable to the recipient, as blows, medicine, reproof; but when there is nothing in the context to indicate the contrary, give is always understood in its primary sense; as, this book was given me. Give thus becomes, like get, a term of such general import as to be a synonym for a wide variety of words. To grant is to put into one's possession in some formal way, or by authoritative act; as, Congress grants lands to a railroad corporation. To speak of granting a favor carries a claim or concession of superiority on the part of the one by whom the grant may be made; to confer has a similar sense; as, to confer a degree or an honor; we grant a request or petition, but do not confer it. To impart is to give of that which one still, to a greater or less degree, retains; the teacher imparts instruction. To bestow is to give that of which the receiver stands in especial need; we bestow alms.

Prepositions:

We give money to a person for a thing, for a purpose, etc. (or without proposition, give a person a sum of money); we give a thing to or into one's care or keeping; the weary fugitive gave himself up to his pursuers.


GOVERN.

Synonyms:

command,curb,influence,mold,reign over,rule,
control,direct,manage,reign,restrain,sway.

Govern carries the idea of authoritative administration or some exercise of authority that is at once effective and continuous; control[186] is effective, but may be momentary or occasional. One controls what he holds or can hold at will absolutely in check; as, a skilful horseman controls a spirited horse; a person controls his temper; we say to one who is excited, "control yourself." A person commands another when he has, or claims, the right to make that other do his will, with power of inflicting penalty if not obeyed; he controls another whom he can effectually prevent from doing anything contrary to his will; he governs one whom he actually does cause, regularly or constantly, to obey his will; a parent may command a child whom he can not govern or control. The best teachers are not greatly prone to command, but govern or control their pupils largely by other means. Command is, however, often used in the sense of securing, as well as requiring, submission or obedience, as when we speak of a commanding influence; a man commands the situation when he can shape events as he pleases; a fortress commands the region when no enemy can pass against its resistance. Govern implies the exercise of knowledge and judgment as well as power. To rule is more absolute and autocratic than to govern; to sway is to move by quiet but effectual influence; to mold is not only to influence feeling and action, but to shape character; to manage is to secure by skilful contrivance the doing of one's will by those whom one can not directly control; a wise mother, by gentle means, sways the feelings and molds the lives of her children; to be able to manage servants is an important element of good housekeeping. The word reign, once so absolute, now simply denotes that one holds the official station of sovereign in a monarchy, with or without effective power; the Queen of England reigns; the Czar of Russia both reigns and rules.

Antonyms:

be in subjection,be subject,comply,obey,submit,yield.

GRACEFUL.

Synonym:

beautiful.

That which is graceful is marked by elegance and harmony, with ease of action, attitude, or posture, or delicacy of form. Graceful commonly suggests motion or the possibility of motion; beautiful may apply to absolute fixity; a landscape or a blue sky is beautiful, but neither is graceful. Graceful commonly applies[187] to beauty as addressed to the eye, tho we often speak of a graceful poem or a graceful compliment. Graceful applies to the perfection of motion, especially of the lighter motions, which convey no suggestion of stress or strain, and are in harmonious curves. Apart from the thought of motion, graceful denotes a pleasing harmony of outline, proportion, etc., with a certain degree of delicacy; a Hercules is massive, an Apollo is graceful. We speak of a graceful attitude, graceful drapery. Compare BEAUTIFUL; BECOMING.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for AWKWARD.


GRIEF.

Synonyms:

affliction,melancholy,regret,sorrow,trouble,
distress,mourning,sadness,tribulation,wo.

Grief is acute mental pain resulting from loss, misfortune, or deep disappointment. Grief is more acute and less enduring than sorrow. Sorrow and grief are for definite cause; sadness and melancholy may arise from a vague sense of want or loss, from a low state of health, or other ill-defined cause; sadness may be momentary; melancholy is more enduring, and may become chronic. Affliction expresses a deep heart-sorrow and is applied also to the misfortune producing such sorrow; mourning most frequently denotes sorrow publicly expressed, or the public expression of such sorrow as may reasonably be expected; as, it is common to observe thirty days of mourning on the death of an officer of state.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for HAPPINESS.

Prepositions:

Grief at a loss; for a friend.


HABIT.

Synonyms:

custom,habitude,routine,system,use,
fashion,practise,rule,usage,wont.

Habit is a tendency or inclination toward an action or condition, which by repetition has become easy, spontaneous, or even unconscious, or an action or regular series of actions, or a condition so induced. Custom is the uniform doing of the same act[188] in the same circumstance for a definite reason; routine is the doing of customary acts in a regular and uniform sequence and is more mechanical than custom. It is the custom of tradesmen to open at a uniform hour, and to follow a regular routine of business until closing-time. Habit always includes an involuntary tendency, natural or acquired, greatly strengthened by frequent repetition of the act, and may be uncontrollable, or even unconscious. Habitude is habitual relation or association. Custom is chiefly used of the action of many; habit of the action of one; we speak of the customs of society, the habits of an individual. Fashion is the generally recognized custom in the smaller matters, especially in dress. A rule is prescribed either by some external authority or by one's own will; as, it is the rule of the house; or, I make it my invariable rule. System is the coordination of many acts or things into a unity, and is more and better than routine. Use and usage denote the manner of using something; we speak of one person's use of language, but of the usage of many; a use or usage is almost always a habit. Practise is the active doing of something in a systematic way; we do not speak of the practise, but of the habit of going to sleep; we speak of a tradesman's custom, a lawyer's or a physician's practise. Educationally, practise is the voluntary and persistent attempt to make skill a habit; as, practise in penmanship. Wont is blind and instinctive habit like that which attaches an animal to a locality: the word is now almost wholly poetic. Compare DRESS.


HAPPEN.

Synonyms:

bechance,chance,fall out,supervene,
befall,come to pass,occur,take place.
betide,fall,

A thing is said to happen when no design is manifest, or none especially thought of; it is said to chance when it appears to be the result of accident (compare synonyms for ACCIDENT). An incident happens or occurs; something external or actual happens to one; a thought or fancy occurs to him. Befall and betide are transitive; happen is intransitive; something befalls or betides a person or happens to him. Betide is especially used for anticipated evil, thought of as waiting and coming at its appointed time; as, wo betide him! One event supervenes upon another event, one disease upon another, etc. ["Transpire," in the sense of happen,[189] is not authorized by good usage: a thing that has happened is properly said to transpire when it becomes known.]

Prepositions:

An event happens to a person; a person happens on or upon a fact, discovery, etc.


HAPPINESS.

Synonyms:

blessedness,delight,gladness,pleasure,
bliss,ecstasy,gratification,rapture,
cheer,enjoyment,joy,rejoicing,
comfort,felicity,merriment,satisfaction,
contentment,gaiety,mirth,triumph.

Gratification is the giving any mental or physical desire something that it craves; satisfaction is the giving such a desire all that it craves. Happiness is the positively agreeable experience that springs from the possession of good, the gratification or satisfaction of the desires or the relief from pain and evil. Comfort may be almost wholly negative, being found in security or relief from that which pains or annoys; there is comfort by a warm fireside on a wintry night; the sympathy of a true friend affords comfort in sorrow. Enjoyment is more positive, always implying something to be definitely and consciously delighted in; a sick person finds comfort in relief from pain, while he may be far from a state of enjoyment. Pleasure is still more vivid, being an arousing of the faculties to an intensely agreeable activity; satisfaction is more tranquil than pleasure, being the agreeable consciousness of having all that our faculties demand or crave; when a worthy pleasure is past, a worthy satisfaction remains. As referring to a mental state, gratification is used to denote a mild form of happiness resulting from some incident not of very great importance; satisfaction should properly express a happiness deeper, more complete, and more abiding; but as intellect or sensibilities of a low order may find satisfaction in that which is very poor or unworthy, the word has come to be feeble and tame in ordinary use. Happiness is more positive than comfort, enjoyment, or satisfaction, more serene and rational than pleasure; pleasure is of necessity transient; happiness is abiding, and may be eternal; thus, we speak of pleasures, but the plural of happiness is scarcely used. Happiness, in the full sense, is mental or spiritual or both, and is viewed as resulting from some worthy gratification or satisfaction; we may speak of a brute as experiencing comfort or pleasure, but scarcely as in possession of happiness; we speak of[190] vicious pleasure, delight, or joy, but not of vicious happiness. Felicity is a philosophical term, colder and more formal than happiness. Gladness is happiness that overflows, expressing itself in countenance, voice, manner, and action. Joy is more intense than happiness, deeper than gladness, to which it is akin, nobler and more enduring than pleasure. Gaiety is more superficial than joy, more demonstrative than gladness. Rejoicing is happiness or joy that finds utterance in word, song, festivity, etc. Delight is vivid, overflowing happiness of a somewhat transient kind; ecstasy is a state of extreme or extravagant delight so that the one affected by it seems almost beside himself with joy; rapture is closely allied to ecstasy, but is more serene, exalted, and enduring. Triumph is such joy as results from victory, success, achievement. Blessedness is at once the state and the sense of being divinely blessed; as, the blessedness of the righteous. Bliss is ecstatic, perfected happiness; as, the bliss of heaven. Compare COMFORT.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for GRIEF.


HAPPY.

Synonyms:

blessed,cheering,gay,lucky,rejoiced,
blissful,cheery,glad,merry,rejoicing,
blithe,delighted,jocund,mirthful,smiling,
blithesome,delightful,jolly,pleased,sprightly,
bright,dexterous,joyful,prosperous,successful,
buoyant,felicitous,joyous,rapturous,sunny.
cheerful,fortunate,

Happy primarily refers to something that comes "by good hap," a chance that brings prosperity, benefit, or success.

And grasps the skirts of happy chance.

Tennyson In Memoriam lxiii, st. 2.

In this sense happy is closely allied to fortunate and lucky. (See FORTUNATE.) Happy has, however, so far diverged from this original sense as to apply to advantages where chance is not recognized, or is even excluded by direct reference to the divine will, when it becomes almost equivalent to blessed.

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth.

Job v, 17.

Happy is also applied to the ready dexterity or skill by which favorable results (usually in minor matters) are secured, when it becomes a synonym for dexterous, felicitous, and the associated words; as, he has a happy wit; happy at retort (compare CLEVER). In its most frequent present use, happy is applied to the state of one enjoying happiness, or to that by which happiness is expressed;[191] as, a happy heart; a happy face; happy laughter; happy tears (compare synonyms for HAPPINESS). Cheerful applies to the possession or expression of a moderate and tranquil happiness. A cheery word spontaneously gives cheer to others; a cheering word is more distinctly planned to cheer and encourage. Gay applies to an effusive and superficial happiness (often not really worthy of that name) perhaps resulting largely from abundant animal spirits: we speak of gay revelers or a gay horse. A buoyant spirit is, as it were, borne up by joy and hope. A sunny disposition has a constant tranquil brightness that irradiates all who come within its influence.

Antonyms:

Compare synonyms for GRIEF.

Prepositions:

A happy event for him; happy at a reply; happy in his home, with his friends, among his children; happy at the discovery, over his success.


HARMONY.

Synonyms:

accord,concurrence,consistency,uniformity,
accordance,conformity,consonance,union,
agreement,congruity,symmetry,unison,
amity,consent,unanimity,unity.
concord,

When tones, thoughts, or feelings, individually different, combine to form a consistent and pleasing whole, there is harmony. Harmony is deeper and more essential than agreement; we may have a superficial, forced, or patched-up agreement, but never a superficial, forced, or patched-up harmony. Concord is less full and spiritual than harmony. Concord implies more volition than accord; as, their views were found to be in perfect accord; or, by conference concord was secured; we do not secure accord, but discover it. We may speak of being in accord with a person on one point, but harmony is wider in range. Conformity is correspondence in form, manner, or use; the word often signifies submission to authority or necessity, and may be as far as possible from harmony; as, the attempt to secure conformity to an established religion. Congruity involves the element of suitableness; consistency implies the absence of conflict or contradiction in views, statements, or acts which are brought into comparison, as in the different statements of the same person or the different periods of one man's life; unanimity is the complete hearty agreement[192] of many; consent and concurrence refer to decision or action, but consent is more passive than concurrence; one speaks by general consent when no one in the assembly cares to make formal objection; a decision of the Supreme Court depends upon the concurrence of a majority of the judges. Compare AGREE; FRIENDSHIP; MELODY.

Antonyms:

antagonism,contest,discord,hostility,schism,
battle,controversy,disproportion,incongruity,separation,
conflict,difference,dissension,inconsistency,variance,
contention,disagreement,disunion,opposition,warfare.

HARVEST.

Synonyms:

crop,harvest-home,ingathering,result,
fruit,harvesting,proceeds,return,
growth,harvest-tide,produce,yield.
harvest-feast,harvest-time,product,
harvest-festival,increase,reaping,

Harvest, from the Anglo-Saxon, signified originally "autumn," and as that is the usual season of gathering ripened crops in Northern lands, the word came to its present meaning of the season of gathering ripened grain or fruits, whether summer or autumn, and hence a crop gathered or ready for gathering; also, the act or process of gathering a crop or crops. "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few," Luke x, 2. "Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest," John iv, 35. Harvest is the elegant and literary word; crop is the common and commercial expression; we say a man sells his crop, but we should not speak of his selling his harvest; we speak of an ample or abundant harvest, a good crop. Harvest is applied almost wholly to grain; crop applies to almost anything that is gathered in; we speak of the potato-crop, not the potato-harvest; we may say either the wheat-crop or the wheat-harvest. Produce is a collective word for all that is produced in farming or gardening, and is, in modern usage, almost wholly restricted to this sense; we speak of produce collectively, but of a product or various products; vegetables, fruits, eggs, butter, etc., may be termed farm-produce, or the products of the farm. Product is a word of wider application than produce; we speak of the products of manufacturing, the products of thought, or the product obtained by multiplying one number by another. The word proceeds is chiefly used of the return from an investment: we speak of the produce of a farm, but of the proceeds of the money invested in farming.[193] The yield is what the land gives up to the farmer's demand; we speak of the return from an expenditure of money or labor, but of the yield of corn or oats. Harvest has also a figurative use, such as crop more rarely permits; we term a religious revival a harvest of souls; the result of lax enforcement of law is a harvest of crime. As regards time, harvest, harvest-tide, and harvest-time alike denote the period or season when the crops are or should be gathered (tide being simply the old Saxon word for time). Harvest-home ordinarily denotes the festival of harvest, and when used to denote simply the season always gives a suggestion of festivity and rejoicing, such as harvest and harvest-time by themselves do not express.


HATRED.

Synonyms:

abhorrence,detestation,hostility,rancor,
anger,dislike,ill will,repugnance,
animosity,enmity,malevolence,resentment,
antipathy,grudge,malice,revenge,
aversion,hate,malignity,spite.

Repugnance applies to that which one feels himself summoned or impelled to do or to endure, and from which he instinctively draws back. Aversion is the turning away of the mind or feelings from some person or thing, or from some course of action, etc. Hate, or hatred, as applied to persons, is intense and continued aversion, usually with disposition to injure; anger is sudden and brief, hatred is lingering and enduring; "Her wrath became a hate," Tennyson Pelleas and Ettarre st. 16. As applied to things, hatred is intense aversion, with desire to destroy or remove; hatred of evil is a righteous passion, akin to abhorrence, but more vehement. Malice involves the active intent to injure; in the legal sense, malice is the intent to injure, even tho with no personal ill will; as, a highwayman would be said to entertain malice toward the unknown traveler whom he attacks. Malice is direct, pressing toward a result; malignity is deep, lingering, and venomous, tho often impotent to act; rancor (akin to rancid) is cherished malignity that has soured and festered and is virulent and implacable. Spite is petty malice that delights to inflict stinging pain; grudge is deeper than spite; it is sinister and bitter; grudge, resentment, and revenge are all retaliatory, grudge being the disposition, revenge the determination to repay real or supposed offense with injury; revenge may denote also the retaliatory act; resentment, the best word of the three, always holds itself to be[194] justifiable, but looks less certainly to action than grudge or revenge. Simple goodness may arouse the hatred of the wicked; they will be moved to revenge only by what they deem an injury or affront. Compare ABOMINATION; ANGER; ANTIPATHY; ENMITY.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for FRIENDSHIP; LOVE.


HAVE.

Synonyms:

be in possession of,hold,occupy,own,possess.
be possessed of,

Have is the most general word, and is applied to whatever belongs to or is connected with one; a man has a head or a head-ache, a fortune or an opinion, a friend or an enemy; he has time, or has need; he may be said to have what is his own, what he has borrowed, what has been entrusted to him, or what he has stolen. To possess a thing is to have the ownership with control and enjoyment of it. To hold is to have in one's hand, or securely in one's control; a man holds his friend's coat for a moment, or he holds a struggling horse; he holds a promissory note, or holds an office. To own is to have the right of property in; to possess is to have that right in actual exercise; to occupy is to have possession and use, with some degree of permanency, with or without ownership. A man occupies his own house or a room in a hotel; a man may own a farm of which he is not in possession because a tenant occupies it and is determined to hold it; the proprietor owns the property, but the tenant is in possession. To be in possession differs from possess in that to possess denotes both right and fact, while to be in possession denotes simply the fact with no affirmation as to the right. To have reason is to be endowed with the faculty; to be in possession of one's reason denotes that the faculty is in actual present exercise.


HAZARD.

Synonyms:

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

Hazard is the incurring the possibility of loss or harm for the possibility of benefit; danger may have no compensating alternative. In hazard the possibilities of gain or loss are nearly balanced; in risk the possibility of loss is the chief thought; the foolhardy take great risks in mere wantonness; in chance and venture[195] the hope of good predominates; we speak of a merchant's venture, but of an insurance company's risk; one may be driven by circumstances to run a risk; he freely seeks a venture; we speak of the chance of winning, the hazard or risk of losing. Accidents are incalculable; casualties may be to a certain extent anticipated; death and wounds are casualties of battle, certain to happen to some, but uncertain as to whom or how many. A contingency is simply an indeterminable future event, which may or may not be attended with danger or risk. See ACCIDENT; DANGER.

Antonyms:

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

HEALTHY.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

HELP.

Synonyms:

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

Help expresses greater dependence and deeper need than aid. In extremity we say "God help me!" rather than "God aid me!" In time of danger we cry "help! help!" rather than "aid! aid!" To aid is to second another's own exertions. We can speak of helping the helpless, but not of aiding them. Help includes aid, but aid may fall short of the meaning of help. In law to aid or abet makes one a principal. (Compare synonyms for ACCESSORY.)[196] To cooperate is to aid as an equal; to assist implies a subordinate and secondary relation. One assists a fallen friend to rise; he cooperates with him in helping others. Encourage refers to mental aid, as uphold now usually does; succor and support, oftenest to material assistance. We encourage the timid or despondent, succor the endangered, support the weak, uphold those who else might be shaken or cast down. Compare ABET; PROMOTE.

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


HERETIC.

Synonyms:

dissenter,heresiarch,non-conformist,schismatic.

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


HETEROGENEOUS.

Synonyms:

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

Substances quite unlike are heterogeneous as regards each other. A heterogeneous mixture is one whose constituents are not only[197] unlike in kind, but unevenly distributed; cement is composed of substances such as lime, sand, and clay, which are heterogeneous as regards each other, but the cement is said to be homogeneous if the different constituents are evenly mixed throughout, so that any one portion of the mixture is exactly like any other. A substance may fail of being homogeneous and yet not be heterogeneous, in which case it is said to be non-homogeneous or unhomogeneous; a bar of iron that contains flaws, air-bubbles, etc., or for any other reason is not of uniform structure and density throughout, tho no foreign substance be mixed with the iron, is said to be non-homogeneous. A miscellaneous mixture may or may not be heterogeneous; if the objects are alike in kind, but different in size, form, quality, use, etc., and without special order or relation, the collection is miscellaneous; if the objects differ in kind, such a mixture is also, and more strictly, heterogeneous; a pile of unassorted lumber is miscellaneous; the contents of a school-boy's pocket are commonly miscellaneous and might usually be termed heterogeneous as well. See COMPLEX.

Antonyms:

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

HIDE.

Synonyms:

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

Hide is the general term, including all the rest, signifying to put out of sight or beyond ready observation or approach; a thing may be hidden by intention, by accident, or by the imperfection of the faculties of the one from whom it is hidden; in their games, children hide the slipper, or hide themselves from each other; a man unconsciously hides a picture from another by standing before it, or hides a thing from himself by laying something else over it. Even an unconscious object may hide another; as, a cloud hides the sun, or a building hides some part of the prospect by intervening between it and the observer's position. As an act of persons, to conceal is always intentional; one may hide his face in anger, grief, or abstraction; he conceals his face when he fears recognition. A house is hidden by foliage; the bird's nest is artfully concealed. Secrete is a stronger word than conceal, and is used chiefly of such material objects as may be separated from the person, or from their ordinary surroundings,[198] and put in unlooked-for places; a man conceals a scar on his face, but does not secrete it; a thief secretes stolen goods; an officer may also be said to secrete himself to watch the thief. A thing is covered by putting something over or around it, whether by accident or design; it is screened by putting something before it, always with some purpose of protection from observation, inconvenience, attack, censure, etc. In the figurative use, a person may hide honorable feelings; he conceals an evil or hostile intent. Anything which is effectually covered and hidden under any mass or accumulation is buried. Money is buried in the ground; a body is buried in the sea; a paper is buried under other documents. Whatever is buried is hidden or concealed; but there are many ways of hiding or concealing a thing without burying it. So a person may be covered with wraps, and not buried under them. Bury may be used of any object, entomb and inter only of a dead body. Figuratively, one may be said to be buried in business, in study, etc. Compare IMMERSE; PALLIATE.

Antonyms:

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

HIGH.

Synonyms:

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

Deep, while an antonym of high in usage, may apply to the very same distance simply measured in an opposite direction, high applying to vertical distance measured from below upward, and deep to vertical distance measured from above downward; as, a deep valley nestling between high mountains. High is a relative term signifying greatly raised above any object, base, or surface, in comparison with what is usual, or with some standard; a table is high if it exceeds thirty inches; a hill is not high at a hundred feet. That is tall whose height is greatly in excess of its breadth or diameter, and whose actual height is great for an object of its kind; as, a tall tree; a tall man; tall grass. That is lofty which is imposing or majestic in height; we term a spire tall with reference to its altitude, or lofty with reference to its majestic appearance. That is elevated which is raised somewhat above its surroundings; that is eminent which is far above them; as, an elevated[199] platform; an eminent promontory. In the figurative sense, elevated is less than eminent, and this less than exalted; we speak of high, lofty, or elevated thoughts, aims, etc., in the good sense, but sometimes of high feelings, looks, words, etc., in the invidious sense of haughty or arrogant. A high ambition may be merely selfish; a lofty ambition is worthy and noble. Towering, in the literal sense compares with lofty and majestic; but in the figurative sense, its use is almost always invidious; as, a towering passion; a towering ambition disregards and crushes all opposing considerations, however rational, lovely, or holy. Compare STEEP.

Antonyms:

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

HINDER.

Synonyms:

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

To hinder is to keep from action, progress, motion, or growth, or to make such action, progress, motion, or growth later in beginning or completion than it would otherwise have been. An action is prevented by anything that comes in before it to make it impossible; it is hindered by anything that keeps it from either beginning or ending so soon as it otherwise would, or as expected or intended. It is more common, however, to say that the start is delayed, the progress hindered. An action that is hindered does not take place at the appointed or appropriate time; that which is prevented does not take place at all; to hinder a thing long enough may amount to preventing it. A railroad-train may be hindered by a snow-storm from arriving on time; it may by special order be prevented from starting. To retard is simply to make slow by any means whatever. To obstruct is to hinder, or possibly to prevent advance or passage by putting something in the way; to oppose or resist is to hinder, or possibly to prevent by directly contrary or hostile action, resist being the stronger term and having more suggestion of physical force; obstructed roads hinder the march of an enemy, tho there may be no force strong enough to oppose it; one opposes a measure, a motion, an amendment, or the like; it is a criminal offense to resist an officer in the discharge of his duty; the physical system may resist the attack of disease[200] or the action of a remedy. Compare CONQUER; IMPEDIMENT; OBSTRUCT.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for QUICKEN.

Prepositions:

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


HISTORY.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

See synonyms for FICTION.


HOLY.

Synonyms:

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

Sacred is applied to that which is to be regarded as inviolable on any account, and so is not restricted to divine things; therefore in its lower applications it is less than holy. That which is sacred[201] may be made so by institution, decree, or association; that which is holy is so by its own nature, possessing intrinsic moral purity, and, in the highest sense, absolute moral perfection. God is holy; his commands are sacred. Holy may be applied also to that which is hallowed; as, "the place whereon thou standest is holy ground," Ex. iii, 5. In such use holy is more than sacred, as if the very qualities of a spiritual or divine presence were imparted to the place or object. Divine has been used with great looseness, as applying to anything eminent or admirable, in the line either of goodness or of mere power, as to eloquence, music, etc., but there is a commendable tendency to restrict the word to its higher sense, as designating that which belongs to or is worthy of the Divine Being. Compare PERFECT; PURE.

Antonyms:

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

HOME.

Synonyms:

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

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

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

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


[202]

HONEST.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

HORIZONTAL.

Synonyms:

even,flat,level,plain,plane.

Horizontal signifies in the direction of or parallel to the horizon. For practical purposes level and horizontal are identical, tho level, as the more popular word, is more loosely used of that which has no especially noticeable elevations or inequalities; as, a level road. Flat, according to its derivation from the Anglo-Saxon flet, a floor, applies to a surface only, and, in the first and most usual sense, to a surface that is horizontal or level in all directions; a line may be level, a floor is flat; flat is also applied in a derived sense to any plane surface without irregularities or elevations, as a picture may be painted on the flat surface of a perpendicular wall. Plane applies only to a surface, and is used with more mathematical exactness than flat. The adjective plain, originally the same word as plane, is now rarely used except in the figurative senses, but the original sense appears in the noun, as we speak of "a wide plain." We speak of a horizontal line, a flat morass, a level road, a plain country, a plane surface[203] (especially in the scientific sense). That which is level may not be even, and that which is even may not be level; a level road may be very rough; a slope may be even.

Antonyms:

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

HUMANE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

See synonyms for BARBAROUS.


HUNT.

Synonyms:

chase,hunting,inquisition,pursuit,search.

A hunt may be either the act of pursuing or the act of seeking, or a combination of the two. A chase or pursuit is after that which is fleeing or departing; a search is for that which is hidden; a hunt may be for that which is either hidden or fleeing; a search is a minute and careful seeking, and is especially applied to a locality; we make a search of or through a house, for an object, in which connection it would be colloquial to say a hunt. Hunt never quite loses its association with field-sports, where it includes both search and chase; the search till the game is hunted out, and the chase till it is hunted down. Figuratively, we speak of literary pursuits, or of the pursuit of knowledge; a search for[204] reasons; the chase of fame or honor; hunt, in figurative use, inclines to the unfavorable sense of inquisition, but with more of dash and aggressiveness; as, a hunt for heresy.


HYPOCRISY.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

HYPOCRITE.

Synonyms:

cheat,deceiver,dissembler,impostor,pretender.

A hypocrite (Gr. hypokrites, one who answers on the stage, an actor, especially a mimic actor) is one who acts a false part, or assumes a character other than the real. Deceiver is the most[205] comprehensive term, including all the other words of the group. The deceiver seeks to give false impressions of any matter where he has an end to gain; the dissembler or hypocrite seeks to give false impressions in regard to himself. The dissembler is content if he can keep some base conduct or evil purpose from being discovered; the hypocrite seeks not merely to cover his vices, but to gain credit for virtue. The cheat and impostor endeavor to make something out of those they may deceive. The cheat is the inferior and more mercenary, as the thimble-rig gambler; the impostor may aspire to a fortune or a throne. Compare HYPOCRISY.

Antonyms:

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


HYPOTHESIS.

Synonyms:

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

A hypothesis is a statement of what is deemed possibly true, assumed and reasoned upon as if certainly true, with a view of reaching truth not yet surely known; especially, in the sciences, a hypothesis is a comprehensive tentative explanation of certain phenomena, which is meant to include all other facts of the same class, and which is assumed as true till there has been opportunity to bring all related facts into comparison; if the hypothesis explains all the facts, it is regarded as verified; till then it is regarded as a working hypothesis, that is, one that may answer for present practical purposes. A hypothesis may be termed a comprehensive guess. A guess is a swift conclusion from data directly at hand, and held as probable or tentative, while one confessedly lacks material for absolute certainty. A conjecture is more methodical than a guess, while a supposition is still slower and more settled; a conjecture, like a guess, is preliminary and tentative; a supposition is more nearly final; a surmise is more floating and visionary, and often sinister; as, a surmise that a stranger may be a pickpocket. Theory is used of the mental coordination of facts and principles, that may or may not prove correct; a machine may be perfect in theory, but useless in fact. Scheme may be used as nearly equivalent to theory, but is more frequently applied to proposed action, and in the sense of a somewhat visionary plan. A speculation may be wholly of the brain, resting upon[206] no facts worthy of consideration; system is the highest of these terms, having most of assurance and fixity; a system unites many facts, phenomena, or doctrines into an orderly and consistent whole; we speak of a system of theology, of the Copernican system of the universe. Compare SYSTEM.

Antonyms:

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

IDEA.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

actuality,fact,reality,substance.

IDEAL.

Synonyms:

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

An ideal is that which is conceived or taken as the highest type of excellence or ultimate object of attainment. The archetype is the primal form, actual or imaginary, according to which any existing thing is constructed; the prototype has or has had actual existence; in the derived sense, as in metrology, a prototype may not be the original form, but one having equal authority with that as a[207] standard. An ideal may be primal, or may be slowly developed even from failures and by negations; an ideal is meant to be perfect, not merely the thing that has been attained or is to be attained, but the best conceivable thing that could by possibility be attained. The artist's ideal is his own mental image, of which his finished work is but an imperfect expression. The original is the first specimen, good or bad; the original of a master is superior to all copies. The standard may be below the ideal. The ideal is imaginary, and ordinarily unattainable; the standard is concrete, and ordinarily attainable, being a measure to which all else of its kind must conform; as, the standard of weights and measures, of corn, or of cotton. The idea of virtue is the mental concept or image of virtue in general; the ideal of virtue is the mental concept or image of virtue in its highest conceivable perfection. Compare EXAMPLE; IDEA.

Antonyms:

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

IDIOCY.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

[208]

IDLE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

IGNORANT.

Synonyms:

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

Ignorant signifies destitute of education or knowledge, or lacking knowledge or information; it is thus a relative term. The most learned man is still ignorant of many things; persons are spoken of as ignorant who have not the knowledge that has become generally diffused in the world; the ignorant savage may be well instructed in matters of the field and the chase, and is thus more properly untutored than ignorant. Illiterate is without letters and the knowledge that comes through reading. Unlettered is similar in meaning to illiterate, but less absolute; the unlettered man may have acquired the art of reading and writing and some elementary knowledge; the uneducated man has never taken any[209] systematic course of mental training. Ignorance is relative; illiteracy is absolute; we have statistics of illiteracy; no statistics of ignorance are possible.

Antonyms:

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

IMAGINATION.

Synonyms:

fancy,fantasy,phantasy.

The old psychology treated of the Reproductive Imagination, which simply reproduces the images that the mind has in any way acquired, and the Productive Imagination which modifies and combines mental images so as to produce what is virtually new. To this Reproductive Imagination President Noah Porter and others have given the name of phantasy or fantasy (many psychologists preferring the former spelling). Phantasy or fantasy, so understood, presents numerous and varied images, often combining them into new forms with exceeding vividness, yet without any true constructive power, but with the mind adrift, blindly and passively following the laws of association, and with reason and will in torpor; the mental images being perhaps as varied and as vivid, but also as purposeless and unsystematized as the visual images in a kaleidoscope; such fantasy (often loosely called imagination) appears in dreaming, reverie, somnambulism, and intoxication. Fantasy in ordinary usage simply denotes capricious or erratic fancy, as appears in the adjective fantastic. Imagination and fancy differ from fantasy in bringing the images and their combinations under the control of the will; imagination is the broader and higher term, including fancy; imagination is the act or power of imaging or of reimaging objects of perception or thought, of combining the products of knowledge in modified, new, or ideal forms—the creative or constructive power of the mind; while fancy is the act or power of forming pleasing, graceful, whimsical, or odd mental images, or of combining them with little regard to rational processes of construction; imagination in its lower form. Both fancy and imagination recombine and modify mental images; either may work with the other's materials; imagination may glorify the tiniest flower; fancy may play around a mountain or a star; the one great distinction between them is that fancy is superficial, while imagination is deep, essential, spiritual. Wordsworth, who was the first[210] clearly to draw the distinction between the fancy and the imagination, states it as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coleridge Table Talk June 23, '34.

Fancy keeps the material image prominent and clear, and works not only with it, but for it; imagination always uses the material object as the minister of something greater than itself,[211] and often almost loses the object in the spiritual idea with which she has associated it, and for which alone she values it. Fancy flits about the surface, and is airy and playful, sometimes petty and sometimes false; imagination goes to the heart of things, and is deep, earnest, serious, and seeks always and everywhere for essential truth. Fancy sets off, variegates, and decorates; imagination transforms and exalts. Fancy delights and entertains; imagination moves and thrills. Imagination is not only poetic or literary, but scientific, philosophical, and practical. By imagination the architect sees the unity of a building not yet begun, and the inventor sees the unity and varied interactions of a machine never yet constructed, even a unity that no human eye ever can see, since when the machine is in actual motion, one part may hide the connecting parts, and yet all keep the unity of the inventor's thought. By imagination a Newton sweeps sun, planets, and stars into unity with the earth and the apple that is drawn irresistibly to its surface, and sees them all within the circle of one grand law. Science, philosophy, and mechanical invention have little use for fancy, but the creative, penetrative power of imagination is to them the breath of life, and the condition of all advance and success. See also FANCY; IDEA.

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


IMMEDIATELY.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

[212]

IMMERSE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Preposition:

The object is immersed in water.


IMMINENT.

Synonyms:

impending,threatening.

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

Antonyms:

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

[213]

IMPEDIMENT.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

IMPUDENCE.

Synonyms:

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

Impertinence primarily denotes what does not pertain or belong to the occasion or the person, and hence comes to signify interference by word or act not consistent with the age, position, or relation of the person interfered with or of the one who interferes; especially, forward, presumptuous, or meddlesome speech. Impudence is shameless impertinence. What would be arrogance in a[214] superior becomes impertinence or impudence in an inferior. Impertinence has less of intent and determination than impudence. We speak of thoughtless impertinence, shameless impudence. Insolence is literally that which is against custom, i. e., the violation of customary respect and courtesy. Officiousness is thrusting upon others unasked and undesired service, and is often as well-meant as it is annoying. Rudeness is the behavior that might be expected from a thoroughly uncultured person, and may be either deliberate and insulting or unintentional and even unconscious. Compare ARROGANCE; ASSURANCE; EFFRONTERY; PERTNESS.

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


INCONGRUOUS.

Synonyms:

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

Two or more things that do not fit well together, or are not adapted to each other, are said to be incongruous; a thing is said to be incongruous that is not adapted to the time, place, or occasion; the term is also applied to a thing made up of ill-assorted parts or inharmonious elements. Discordant is applied to all things that jar in association like musical notes that are not in accord; inharmonious has the same original sense, but is a milder term. Incompatible primarily signifies unable to sympathize or feel alike; inconsistent means unable to stand together. Things are incompatible which can not exist together in harmonious relations, and whose action when associated tends to ultimate extinction of one by the other. Inconsistent applies to things that can not be made to agree in thought with each other, or with some standard of truth or right; slavery and freedom are inconsistent with each other in theory, and incompatible in fact. Incongruous applies to relations, unsuitable to purpose or use; two colors are incongruous which can not be agreeably associated; either may be unsuitable for a person, a room, or an occasion.[215] Incommensurable is a mathematical term, applying to two or more quantities that have no common measure or aliquot part.

Antonyms:

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

Preposition:

The illustrations were incongruous with the theme.


INDUCTION.

Synonyms:

deduction,inference.

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


INDUSTRIOUS.

Synonyms:

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

Industrious signifies zealously or habitually applying oneself to any work or business. Busy applies to an activity which may be temporary, industrious to a habit of life. We say a man is busy just now; that is, occupied at the moment with something that takes his full attention. It would be ridiculous or satirical to say, he is industrious just now. But busy can be used in the sense of industrious, as when we say he is a busy man. Diligent indicates also a disposition, which is ordinarily habitual, and suggests more of heartiness and volition than industrious. We say one is a diligent, rather than an industrious, reader of the Bible. In the use[216] of the nouns, we speak of plodding industry, but not of plodding diligence. Compare ACTIVE; INDUSTRY.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for IDLE.


INDUSTRY.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

INFINITE.

Synonyms:

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

Infinite (L. in, not, and finis, limit) signifies without bounds or limits in any way, and may be applied to space, time, quantity, or number. Countless, innumerable, and numberless, which should[217] be the same as infinite, are in common usage vaguely employed to denote what it is difficult or practically impossible to count or number, tho perhaps falling far short of infinite; as, countless leaves, the countless sands on the seashore, numberless battles, innumerable delays. So, too, boundless, illimitable, limitless, measureless, and unlimited are loosely used in reference to what has no apparent or readily determinable limits in space or time; as, we speak of the boundless ocean. Infinite space is without bounds, not only in fact, but in thought; infinite time is truly eternal. Compare synonyms for ETERNAL.

Antonyms:

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

INFLUENCE.

Synonyms:

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

To influence (L. in, in or into, and fluo, flow) is to affect, modify, or act upon by physical, mental, or moral power, especially in some gentle, subtle, and gradual way; as, vegetation is influenced by light; every one is influenced to some extent by public opinion; influence is chiefly used of power acting from without, tho it may be used of motives regarded as forces acting upon the will. Actuate refers solely to mental or moral power impelling one from within. One may influence, but can not directly actuate another; but one may be actuated to cruelty by hatred which another's misrepresentation has aroused. Prompt and stir are words of mere suggestion toward some course of action; dispose, draw, incline, influence, and lead refer to the use of mild means to awaken in another a purpose or disposition to act. To excite is to arouse one from lethargy or indifference to action. Incite and instigate, to spur or goad one to action, differ in the fact that incite may be to good, while instigate is always to evil (compare ABET). To urge and impel signify to produce strong excitation toward some act. We are urged from without, impelled from within. Drive and compel imply irresistible influence accomplishing its object. One may be driven either by his own passions or by external force or urgency; one is compelled only by some external power; as, the[218] owner was compelled by his misfortunes to sell his estate. Compare COMPEL; DRIVE.

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

Actuated to crime by revenge.


INHERENT.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

[219]

INJURY.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


[220]

INJUSTICE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

INNOCENT.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

Compare synonyms for CRIMINAL.


[221]

INQUISITIVE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


INSANITY.

Synonyms:

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

Of these terms insanity is the most exact and comprehensive, including in its widest sense all morbid conditions of mind due to diseased action of the brain or nervous system, but in its more frequent restricted use applied to those forms in which the mental disorder is persistent, as distinguished from those in which it is temporary or transient. Craziness is a vague popular term for any sort of disordered mental action, or for conduct suggesting it. Lunacy originally denoted intermittent insanity, supposed to be dependent on the changes of the moon (L. luna): the term is now applied in general and legal use to any form of mental unsoundness except idiocy. Madness is the old popular term, now less common, for insanity in its widest sense, but with suggestion of excitement, akin to mania. In the derived sense, lunacy denotes what is insanely foolish, madness what is insanely desperate. Derangement is a common euphemism for insanity. Delirium is always temporary, and is specifically the insanity of disease, as in acute fevers. Dementia is a general weakening of the mental[222] powers: the word is specifically applied to senile insanity, dotage. Aberration is eccentricity of mental action due to an abnormal state of the perceptive faculties, and is manifested by error in perceptions and rambling thought. Hallucination is the apparent perception of that which does not exist or is not present to the senses, as the seeing of specters or of reptiles in delirium tremens. Monomania is mental derangement as to one subject or object. Frenzy and mania are forms of raving and furious insanity. Compare synonyms for DELUSION; IDIOCY.

Antonyms:

clearness,good sense,lucidity,rationality,sanity.

INTERPOSE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

Interpose between the combatants; in the matter.


[223]

INVOLVE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

JOURNEY.

Synonyms:

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

A journey (F. journée, from L. diurnus, daily) was primarily a day's work; hence, a movement from place to place within one day, which we now describe as "a day's journey;" in its extended modern use a journey is a direct going from a starting-point to a destination, ordinarily over a considerable distance; we speak of a day's journey, or the journey of life. Travel is a passing from place to place, not necessarily in a direct line or with fixed destination; a journey through Europe would be a passage to some destination beyond or at the farther boundary; travel in Europe may be in no direct course, but may include many journeys in different directions. A voyage, which was formerly a journey of any kind, is now a going to a considerable distance by water, especially by sea; as, a voyage to India. A trip is a short and direct journey. A tour is a journey that returns to the starting-point, generally over a considerable distance; as, a bridal[224] tour, or business tour. An excursion is a brief tour or journey, taken for pleasure, often by many persons at once; as, an excursion to Chautauqua. Passage is a general word for a journey by any conveyance, especially by water; as, a rough passage across the Atlantic; transit, literally the act of passing over or through, is used specifically of the conveyance of passengers or merchandise; rapid transit is demanded for suburban residents or perishable goods. Pilgrimage, once always of a sacred character, retains in derived uses something of that sense; as, a pilgrimage to Stratford-on-Avon.

Prepositions:

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


JUDGE.

Synonyms:

arbiter,arbitrator,justice,referee,umpire.

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


[225]

JUSTICE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


[226]

KEEP.

Synonyms:

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

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

Prepositions:

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


KILL.

Synonyms:

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

To kill is simply to deprive of life, human, animal, or vegetable, with no suggestion of how or why. Assassinate, execute, murder, apply only to the taking of human life; to murder is to kill with premeditation and malicious intent; to execute is to kill in fulfilment of a legal sentence; to assassinate is to kill by assault; this word is chiefly applied to the killing of public or eminent persons through alleged political motives, whether secretly or openly. To slay is to kill by a blow, or by a weapon. Butcher and slaughter apply primarily to the killing of cattle; massacre is applied primarily and almost exclusively to human beings, signifying to kill them indiscriminately in large numbers; to massacre is said when there is no chance of successful resistance; to butcher when the killing is especially brutal; soldiers mown down in a[227] hopeless charge are said to be slaughtered when no brutality on the enemy's part is implied. To despatch is to kill swiftly and in general quietly, always with intention, with or without right.

Prepositions:

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


KIN.

Synonyms:

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

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


KNOWLEDGE.

Synonyms:

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

Knowledge is all that the mind knows, from whatever source derived or obtained, or by whatever process; the aggregate of facts, truths, or principles acquired or retained by the mind, including alike the intuitions native to the mind and all that has been learned respecting phenomena, causes, laws, principles, literature, etc. There is a tendency to regard knowledge as accurate and systematic, and to a certain degree complete. Information is knowledge of fact, real or supposed, derived from persons, books, or observation, and is regarded as casual and haphazard. We say of a studious man that he has a great store of knowledge, or of an intelligent man of the world, that he has a fund of varied information. Lore is used only in poetic or elevated style, for accumulated knowledge, as of a people or age, or in a more limited sense for learning or erudition. We speak of perception of external[228] objects, apprehension of intellectual truth. Simple perception gives a limited knowledge of external objects, merely as such; the cognition of the same objects is a knowledge of them in some relation; cognizance is the formal or official recognition of something as an object of knowledge; we take cognizance of it. Intuition is primary knowledge antecedent to all teaching or reasoning, experience is knowledge that has entered directly into one's own life; as, a child's experience that fire will burn. Learning is much higher than information, being preeminently wide and systematic knowledge, the result of long, assiduous study; erudition is recondite learning secured only by extraordinary industry, opportunity, and ability. Compare ACQUAINTANCE; EDUCATION; SCIENCE; WISDOM.

Antonyms:

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

LANGUAGE.

Synonyms:

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

Language (F. langage < L. lingua, the tongue) signified originally expression of thought by spoken words, but now in its widest sense it signifies expression of thought by any means; as, the language of the eyes, the language of flowers. As regards the use of words, language in its broadest sense denotes all the uttered sounds and their combinations into words and sentences that human beings employ for the communication of thought, and, in a more limited sense, the words or combinations forming a means of communication among the members of a single nation, people, or race. Speech involves always the power of articulate utterance; we can speak of the language of animals, but not of their speech. A tongue is the speech or language of some one people, country, or race. A dialect is a special mode of speaking a language peculiar to some locality or class, not recognized as in accordance with the best usage; a barbarism is a perversion of a language by ignorant foreigners, or some usage akin to that. Idiom refers to the construction of phrases and sentences, and the way of forming or using words; it is the peculiar mold in which each language casts its thought. The great difficulty of translation is to give the thought expressed in one language in the idiom of another. A dialect may be used by the highest as well as the[229] lowest within its range; a patois is distinctly illiterate, belonging to the lower classes; those who speak a patois understand the cultured form of their own language, but speak only the degraded form, as in the case of the Italian lazzaroni or the former negro slaves in the United States. Vernacular, from the Latin, has the same general sense as the Saxon mother tongue, of one's native language, or that of a people; as, the Scriptures were translated into the vernacular. Compare DICTION.


LARGE.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

LAW.

Synonyms:

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

Law, in its ideal, is the statement of a principle of right in mandatory form, by competent authority, with adequate penalty for disobedience; in common use, the term is applied to any legislative act, however imperfect or unjust. Command and commandment are personal and particular; as, the commands of a parent; the ten commandments. An edict is the act of an absolute sovereign or other authority; we speak of the edict of an emperor, the decree of a court. A mandate is specific, for an occasion or a purpose; a superior court issues its mandate to an inferior court[230] to send up its records. Statute is the recognized legal term for a specific law; enactment is the more vague and general expression. We speak of algebraic or chemical formulas, municipal ordinances, military orders, army regulations, ecclesiastical canons, the rules of a business house. Law is often used, also, for a recognized principle, whose violation is attended with injury or loss that acts like a penalty; as, the laws of business; the laws of nature. In more strictly scientific use, a natural law is simply a recognized system of sequences or relations; as, Kepler's laws of planetary distances. A code is a system of laws; jurisprudence is the science of law, or a system of laws scientifically considered, classed, and interpreted; legislation, primarily the act of legislating, denotes also the body of statutes enacted by a legislative body. An economy (Gr. oikonomia, primarily the management of a house) is any comprehensive system of administration; as, domestic economy; but the word is extended to the administration or government of a state or people, signifying a body of laws and regulations, with the entire system, political or religious, especially the latter, of which they form a part; as, the code of Draco, Roman jurisprudence, British legislation, the Mosaic economy. Law is also used as a collective noun for a system of laws or recognized rules or regulations, including not only all special laws, but the principles on which they are based. The Mosaic economy is known also as the Mosaic law, and we speak of the English common law, or the law of nations. Polity (Gr. politeia, from polis, a city) signifies the form, constitution, or method of government of a nation, state, church, or other institution; in usage it differs from economy as applying rather to the system, while economy applies especially to method, or to the system as administered; an economy might be termed a polity considered with especial reference to its practical administration, hence commonly with special reference to details or particulars, while polity has more reference to broad principles.


LIBERTY.

Synonyms:

emancipation,freedom,independence,license.

In general terms, it may be said that freedom is absolute, liberty relative; freedom is the absence of restraint, liberty is primarily the removal or avoidance of restraint; in its broadest sense, it is the state of being exempt from the domination of others[231] or from restricting circumstances. Freedom and liberty are constantly interchanged; the slave is set at liberty, or gains his freedom; but freedom is the nobler word. Independence is said of states or nations, freedom and liberty of individuals; the independence of the United States did not secure liberty or freedom to its slaves. Liberty keeps quite strictly to the thought of being clear of restraint or compulsion; freedom takes a wider range, applying to other oppressive influences; thus, we speak of freedom from annoyance or intrusion. License is, in its limited sense, a permission or privilege granted by adequate authority, a bounded liberty; in the wider sense, license is an ignoring and defiance of all that should restrain, and a reckless doing of all that individual caprice or passion may choose to do—a base and dangerous counterfeit of freedom. Compare ALLOW; PERMISSION.

Antonyms:

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

LIGHT.

Synonyms:

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

Light, strictly denoting a form of radiant energy, is used as a general term for any luminous effect discernible by the eye, from the faintest phosphorescence to the blaze of the noonday sun. A flame is both hot and luminous; if it contains few solid particles it will yield little light, tho it may afford intense heat, as in the case of a hydrogen-flame. A blaze is an extensive, brilliant flame. A flare is a wavering flame or blaze; a flash is a light that appears and disappears in an instant; as, a flash of lightning; the flash of gunpowder. The glare and glow are steady, the glare painfully bright, the glow subdued; as, the glare of torches; the glow of dying embers. Shine and shining refer to a steady or continuous emission of light; sheen is a faint shining, usually by reflection. Glimmer, glitter, and shimmer denote wavering light. We speak of the glimmer of distant lamps through the mist; of the shimmer of waves in sunlight or moonlight. A gleam is not wavering, but transient or intermittent; a sudden gleam of light came through the half-open door; a glitter[232] is a hard light; as, the glitter of burnished arms. A sparkle is a sudden light, as of sparks thrown out; scintillation is the more exact and scientific term for the actual emission of sparks, also the figurative term for what suggests such emission; as, scintillations of wit or of genius. Twinkle and twinkling are used of the intermittent light of the fixed stars. Glistening is a shining as from a wet surface. Illumination is a wide-spread, brilliant light, as when all the windows of a house or of a street are lighted. The light of incandescence is intense and white like that from metal at a white heat.

Antonyms:

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

LIKELY.

Synonyms:

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

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

Antonyms:

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

LISTEN.

Synonyms:

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

Between listen and hear is a difference like that between the words look and see. (Compare synonyms for LOOK.) To hear is[233] simply to become conscious of sound, to listen is to make a conscious effort or endeavor to hear. We may hear without listening, as words suddenly uttered in an adjoining room; or we may listen without hearing, as to a distant speaker. In listening the ear is intent upon the sound; in attending the mind is intent upon the thought, tho listening implies some attention to the meaning or import of the sound. To heed is not only to attend, but to remember and observe. Harken is nearly obsolete.

Antonyms:

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

Prepositions:

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


LITERATURE.

Synonyms:

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

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


LOAD, n.

Synonyms:

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

A burden (from the Anglo-Saxon byrthen, from the verb beran, bear) is what one has to bear, and the word is used always of that which is borne by a living agent. A load (from the Anglo-Saxon[234] lād, a way, course, carrying, or carriage) is what is laid upon a person, animal, or vehicle for conveyance, or what is customarily so imposed; as, a two-horse load. Weight measures the pressure due to gravity; the same weight that one finds a moderate load when in his full strength becomes a heavy burden in weariness or weakness. A ship's load is called distinctively a cargo, or it may be known as freight or lading. Freight denotes merchandise in or for transportation and is used largely of transportation or of merchandise transported by rail, which is, in commercial language, said to be "shipped." A load to be fastened upon a horse or mule is called a pack, and the animal is known as a pack-horse or pack-mule.


LOCK.

Synonyms:

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

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


LOOK.

Synonyms:

behold,discern,inspect,see,view,
contemplate,gaze,regard,stare,watch.
descry,glance,scan,survey,

To see is simply to become conscious of an object of vision; to look is to make a conscious and direct endeavor to see. To behold is to fix the sight and the mind with distinctness and consideration upon something that has come to be clearly before the eyes. We may look without seeing, as in pitch-darkness, and we may see without looking, as in case of a flash of lightning. To gaze is to[235] look intently, long, and steadily upon an object. To glance is to look casually or momentarily. To stare is to look with a fixed intensity such as is the effect of surprise, alarm, or rudeness. To scan is to look at minutely, to note every visible feature. To inspect is to go below the surface, uncover, study item by item. View and survey are comprehensive, survey expressing the greater exactness of measurement or estimate. Watch brings in the element of time and often of wariness; we watch for a movement or change, a signal, the approach of an enemy, etc. Compare APPEAR.


LOVE.

Synonyms:

affection,charity,friendship,regard,
attachment,devotion,liking,tenderness.
attraction,fondness,

Affection is kindly feeling, deep, tender, and constant, going out to some person or object, being less fervent and ardent than love, whether applied to persons or things. Love is an intense and absorbing emotion, drawing one toward a person or object and causing one to appreciate, delight in, and crave the presence or possession of the person or object loved, and to desire to please and benefit the person, or to advance the cause, truth, or other object of affection; it is the yearning or outgoing of soul toward something that is regarded as excellent, beautiful, or desirable; love may be briefly defined as strong and absorbing affection for and attraction toward a person or object. Love may denote the sublimest and holiest spiritual affection as when we are taught that "God is love." Charity has so far swung aside from this original meaning that probably it never can be recalled (compare BENEVOLENCE). The Revised Version uses love in place of charity in 1 Cor. xiii, and elsewhere. Love is more intense, absorbing, and tender than friendship, more intense, impulsive, and perhaps passionate than affection; we speak of fervent love, but of deep or tender affection, or of close, firm, strong friendship. Love is used specifically for personal affection between the sexes in the highest sense, the love that normally leads to marriage, and subsists throughout all happy wedded life. Love can never properly denote mere animal passion, which is expressed by such words as appetite, desire, lust. One may properly be said to have love for animals, for inanimate objects, or for abstract qualities that enlist the affections, as we speak of love for a horse or a dog, for mountains,[236] woods, ocean, or of love of nature, and love of virtue. Love of articles of food is better expressed by liking, as love, in its full sense, expresses something spiritual and reciprocal, such as can have no place in connection with objects that minister merely to the senses. Compare ATTACHMENT; FRIENDSHIP.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for ANTIPATHY; ENMITY; HATRED.

Prepositions:

Love of country; for humanity; love to God and man.


MAKE.

Synonyms:

become,constrain,fabricate,manufacture,
bring about,construct,fashion,occasion,
bring into being,create,force,perform,
bring to pass,do,frame,reach,
cause,effect,get,render,
compel,establish,make out,require,
compose,execute,make up,shape.
constitute,

Make is essentially causative; to the idea of cause all its various senses may be traced (compare synonyms for CAUSE). To make is to cause to exist, or to cause to exist in a certain form or in certain relations; the word thus includes the idea of create, as in Gen. i, 31, "And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Make includes also the idea of compose, constitute; as, the parts make up the whole. Similarly, to cause a voluntary agent to do a certain act is to make him do it, or compel him to do it, compel fixing the attention more on the process, make on the accomplished fact. Compare COMPEL; DO; INFLUENCE; (make better) AMEND; (make haste) QUICKEN; (make known) ANNOUNCE; AVOW; CONFESS; (make prisoner) ARREST; (make up) ADD; (make void) CANCEL.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for ABOLISH; BREAK; DEMOLISH.

Prepositions:

Make of, out of, or from certain materials, into a certain form, for a certain purpose or person; made with hands, by hand; made by a prisoner, with a jack-knife.


MARRIAGE.

Synonyms:

conjugal union,espousals,nuptials,spousals,wedding,
espousal,matrimony,spousal,union,wedlock.

Matrimony denotes the state of those who are united in the[237] relation of husband and wife; marriage denotes primarily the act of so uniting, but is extensively used for the state as well. Wedlock, a word of specific legal use, is the Saxon term for the state or relation denoted by matrimony. Wedding denotes the ceremony, with any attendant festivities, by which two persons are united as husband and wife, nuptials being the more formal and stately term to express the same idea.

Antonyms:

bachelorhood,celibacy,divorce,maidenhood,virginity,widowhood.

Prepositions:

Marriage of or between two persons; of one person to or with another; among the Greeks.


MASCULINE.

Synonyms:

male,manful,manlike,manly,mannish,virile.

We apply male to the sex, masculine to the qualities, especially to the stronger, hardier, and more imperious qualities that distinguish the male sex; as applied to women, masculine has often the depreciatory sense of unwomanly, rude, or harsh; as, a masculine face or voice, or the like; tho one may say in a commendatory way, she acted with masculine courage or decision. Manlike may mean only having the outward appearance or semblance of a man, or may be closely equivalent to manly. Manly refers to all the qualities and traits worthy of a man; manful, especially to the valor and prowess that become a man; we speak of a manful struggle, manly decision; we say manly gentleness or tenderness; we could not say manful tenderness. Mannish is a depreciatory word referring to the mimicry or parade of some superficial qualities of manhood; as, a mannish boy or woman. Masculine may apply to the distinctive qualities of the male sex at any age; virile applies to the distinctive qualities of mature manhood only, as opposed not only to feminine or womanly but to childish, and is thus an emphatic word for sturdy, intrepid, etc.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for FEMININE.


MASSACRE.

Synonyms:

butchery,carnage,havoc,slaughter.

A massacre is the indiscriminate killing in numbers of the unresisting[238] or defenseless; butchery is the killing of men rudely and ruthlessly as cattle are killed in the shambles. Havoc may not be so complete as massacre, nor so coldly brutal as butchery, but is more widely spread and furious; it is destruction let loose, and may be applied to organizations, interests, etc., as well as to human life; "as for Saul, he made havoc of the church," Acts viii, 3. Carnage (Latin caro, carnis, flesh) refers to widely scattered or heaped up corpses of the slain; slaughter is similar in meaning, but refers more to the process, as carnage does to the result; these two words only of the group may be used of great destruction of life in open and honorable battle, as when we say the enemy was repulsed with great slaughter, or the carnage was terrible.


MEDDLESOME.

Synonyms:

impertinent,intrusive,meddling,obtrusive,officious.

The meddlesome person interferes unasked in the affairs of others; the intrusive person thrusts himself uninvited into their company or conversation; the obtrusive person thrusts himself or his opinions conceitedly and undesirably upon their notice; the officious person thrusts his services, unasked and undesired, upon others. Obtrusive is oftener applied to words, qualities, actions, etc., than to persons; intrusive is used chiefly of persons, as is officious, tho we speak of officious attentions, intrusive remarks; meddlesome is used indifferently of persons, or of words, qualities, actions, etc. Compare INQUISITIVE; INTERPOSE.

Antonyms:

modest,reserved,retiring,shy,unassuming,unobtrusive.

MELODY.

Synonyms:

harmony,music,symphony,unison.

Harmony is simultaneous; melody is successive; harmony is the pleasing correspondence of two or more notes sounded at once, melody the pleasing succession of a number of notes continuously following one another. A melody may be wholly in one part; harmony must be of two or more parts. Accordant notes of different pitch sounded simultaneously produce harmony; unison is the simultaneous sounding of two or more notes of the same pitch. When the pitch is the same, there may be unison between sounds of very different volume and quality, as a voice and a bell may[239] sound in unison. Tones sounded at the interval of an octave are also said to be in unison, altho this is not literally exact; this usage arises from the fact that bass and tenor voices in attempting to sound the same note as the soprano and alto will in fact sound a note an octave below. Music may denote the simplest melody or the most complex and perfect harmony. A symphony (apart from its technical orchestral sense) is any pleasing consonance of musical sounds, vocal or instrumental, as of many accordant voices or instruments.


MEMORY.

Synonyms:

recollection,reminiscence,retrospect,retrospection.
remembrance,

Memory is the faculty by which knowledge is retained or recalled; in a more general sense, memory is a retention of knowledge within the grasp of the mind, while remembrance is the having what is known consciously before the mind. Remembrance may be voluntary or involuntary; a thing is brought to remembrance or we call it to remembrance; the same is true of memory. Recollection involves volition, the mind making a distinct effort to recall something, or fixing the attention actively upon it when recalled. Reminiscence is a half-dreamy memory of scenes or events long past; retrospection is a distinct turning of the mind back upon the past, bringing long periods under survey. Retrospection is to reminiscence much what recollection is to remembrance.

Antonyms:

forgetfulness,oblivion,obliviousness,oversight,unconsciousness.

MERCY.

Synonyms:

benevolence,favor,kindness,mildness,
benignity,forbearance,lenience,pardon,
blessing,forgiveness,leniency,pity,
clemency,gentleness,lenity,tenderness.
compassion,grace,

Mercy is the exercise of less severity than one deserves, or in a more extended sense, the granting of kindness or favor beyond what one may rightly claim. Grace is favor, kindness, or blessing shown to the undeserving; forgiveness, mercy, and pardon are exercised toward the ill-deserving. Pardon remits the outward penalty which the offender deserves; forgiveness dismisses resentment or displeasure from the heart of the one offended;[240] mercy seeks the highest possible good of the offender. There may be mercy without pardon, as in the mitigation of sentence, or in all possible alleviation of necessary severity; there may be cases where pardon would not be mercy, since it would encourage to repetition of the offense, from which timely punishment might have saved. Mercy is also used in the wider sense of refraining from harshness or cruelty toward those who are in one's power without fault of their own; as, they besought the robber to have mercy. Clemency is a colder word than mercy, and without its religious associations, signifying mildness and moderation in the use of power where severity would have legal or military, rather than moral sanction; it often denotes a habitual mildness of disposition on the part of the powerful, and is matter rather of good nature or policy than of principle. Leniency or lenity denotes an easy-going avoidance of severity; these words are more general and less magisterial than clemency; we should speak of the leniency of a parent, the clemency of a conqueror. Compare PITY.

Antonyms:

cruelty,implacability,punishment,rigor,sternness,
hardness,justice,revenge,severity,vengeance.
harshness,penalty,

Prepositions:

The mercy of God to or toward sinners; have mercy on or upon one.


METER.

Synonyms:

euphony,measure,rhythm,verse.

Euphony is agreeable linguistic sound, however produced; meter, measure, and rhythm denote agreeable succession of sounds in the utterance of connected words; euphony may apply to a single word or even a single syllable; the other words apply to lines, sentences, paragraphs, etc.; rhythm and meter may be produced by accent only, as in English, or by accent and quantity combined, as in Greek or Italian; rhythm or measure may apply either to prose or to poetry, or to music, dancing, etc.; meter is more precise than rhythm, applies only to poetry, and denotes a measured rhythm with regular divisions into verses, stanzas, strophes, etc. A verse is strictly a metrical line, but the word is often used as synonymous with stanza. Verse, in the general sense, denotes metrical writing without reference to the thought involved; as, prose and verse. Compare MELODY; POETRY.


[241]

MIND.

Synonyms:

brain,instinct,reason,spirit,
consciousness,intellect,sense,thought,
disposition,intelligence,soul,understanding.

Mind, in a general sense, includes all the powers of sentient being apart from the physical factors in bodily faculties and activities; in a limited sense, mind is nearly synonymous with intellect, but includes disposition, or the tendency toward action, as appears in the phrase "to have a mind to work." As the seat of mental activity, brain (colloquially brains) is often used as a synonym for mind, intellect, intelligence. Thought, the act, process, or power of thinking, is often used to denote the thinking faculty, and especially the reason. The instinct of animals is now held by many philosophers to be of the same nature as the intellect of man, but inferior and limited; yet the apparent difference is very great.

An instinct is a propensity prior to experience and independent of instruction.

Paley Natural Philosophy ch. 18.

In this sense we speak of human instincts, thus denoting tendencies independent of reasoning or instruction. The soul includes the intellect, sensibilities, and will; beyond what is expressed by the word mind, the soul denotes especially the moral, the immortal nature; we say of a dead body, the soul (not the mind) has fled. Spirit is used especially in contradistinction from matter; it may in many cases be substituted for soul, but soul has commonly a fuller and more determinate meaning; we can conceive of spirits as having no moral nature; the fairies, elves, and brownies of mythology might be termed spirits, but not souls. In the figurative sense, spirit denotes animation, excitability, perhaps impatience; as, a lad of spirit; he sang with spirit; he replied with spirit. Soul denotes energy and depth of feeling, as when we speak of soulful eyes; or it may denote the very life of anything; as, "the hidden soul of harmony," Milton L'Allegro l. 144. Sense may be an antonym of intellect, as when we speak of the sense of hearing; but sense is used also as denoting clear mental action, good judgment, acumen; as, he is a man of sense, or, he showed good sense; sense, even in its material signification, must be reckoned among the activities of mind, tho dependent on bodily functions; the mind, not the eye, really sees; the mind, not the ear, really hears. Consciousness includes all that a sentient being perceives, knows, thinks, or feels, from whatever source arising and of whatever character, kind, or degree, whether with[242] or without distinct thinking, feeling, or willing; we speak of the consciousness of the brute, of the savage, or of the sage. The intellect is that assemblage of faculties which is concerned with knowledge, as distinguished from emotion and volition. Understanding is the Saxon word of the same general import, but is chiefly used of the reasoning powers; the understanding, which Sir Wm. Hamilton has called "the faculty of relations and comparisons," is distinguished by many philosophers from reason in that "reason is the faculty of the higher cognitions or a priori truth."

Antonyms:

body,brawn,brute force,material substance,matter.

MINUTE.

Synonyms:

circumstantial,diminutive,little,slender,
comminuted,exact,particular,small,
critical,fine,precise,tiny.
detailed,

That is minute which is of exceedingly limited dimensions, as a grain of dust, or which attends to matters of exceedingly slight amount or apparent importance; as, a minute account; minute observation. That which is broken up into minute particles is said to be comminuted; things may be termed fine which would not be termed comminuted; as, fine sand; fine gravel; but, in using the adverb, we say a substance is finely comminuted, comminuted referring more to the process, fine to the result. An account extended to very minute particulars is circumstantial, detailed, particular; an examination so extended is critical, exact, precise. Compare FINE.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for LARGE.


MISFORTUNE.

Synonyms:

adversity,disappointment,ill fortune,ruin,
affliction,disaster,ill luck,sorrow,
bereavement,distress,misadventure,stroke,
blow,failure,mischance,trial,
calamity,hardship,misery,tribulation,
chastening,harm,mishap,trouble,
chastisement,ill,reverse,visitation.

Misfortune is adverse fortune or any instance thereof, any untoward event, usually of lingering character or consequences, and such as the sufferer is not deemed directly responsible for; as, he[243] had the misfortune to be born blind. Any considerable disappointment, failure, or misfortune, as regards outward circumstances, as loss of fortune, position, and the like, when long continued or attended with enduring consequences, constitutes adversity. For the loss of friends by death we commonly use affliction or bereavement. Calamity and disaster are used of sudden and severe misfortunes, often overwhelming; ill fortune and ill luck, of lighter troubles and failures. We speak of the misery of the poor, the hardships of the soldier. Affliction, chastening, trial, and tribulation have all an especially religious bearing, suggesting some disciplinary purpose of God with beneficent design. Affliction may be keen and bitter, but brief; tribulation is long and wearing. We speak of an affliction, but rarely of a tribulation, since tribulation is viewed as a continuous process, which may endure for years or for a lifetime; but we speak of our daily trials. Compare CATASTROPHE.

Antonyms:

blessing,consolation,gratification,pleasure,success,
boon,good fortune,happiness,prosperity,triumph.
comfort,good luck,joy,relief,

MOB.

Synonyms:

canaille,dregs of the people,masses,rabble,
crowd,lower classes,populace,the vulgar.

The populace are poor and ignorant, but may be law-abiding; a mob is disorderly and lawless, but may be rich and influential. The rabble is despicable, worthless, purposeless; a mob may have effective desperate purpose. A crowd may be drawn by mere curiosity; some strong, pervading excitement is needed to make it a mob. Compare PEOPLE.


MODEL.

Synonyms:

archetype,facsimile,original,representation,
copy,image,pattern,standard,
design,imitation,prototype,type.
example,mold,

A pattern is always, in modern use, that which is to be copied; a model may be either the thing to be copied or the copy that has been made from it; as, the models in the Patent Office. A pattern is commonly superficial; a model is usually in relief. A pattern must be closely followed in its minutest particulars by a[244] faithful copyist; a model may allow a great degree of freedom. A sculptor may idealize his living model; his workmen must exactly copy in marble or metal the model he has made in clay. Compare EXAMPLE; IDEA; IDEAL.


MODESTY.

Synonyms:

backwardness,constraint,reserve,timidity,
bashfulness,coyness,shyness,unobtrusiveness.
coldness,diffidence,

Bashfulness is a shrinking from notice without assignable reason. Coyness is a half encouragement, half avoidance of offered attention, and may be real or affected. Diffidence is self-distrust; modesty, a humble estimate of oneself in comparison with others, or with the demands of some undertaking. Modesty has also the specific meaning of a sensitive shrinking from anything indelicate. Shyness is a tendency to shrink from observation; timidity, a distinct fear of criticism, error, or failure. Reserve is the holding oneself aloof from others, or holding back one's feelings from expression, or one's affairs from communication to others. Reserve may be the retreat of shyness, or, on the other hand, the contemptuous withdrawal of pride and haughtiness. Compare ABASH; PRIDE; TACITURN.

Antonyms:

abandon,boldness,forwardness,impudence,pertness,sociability.
arrogance,conceit,frankness,indiscretion,sauciness,
assumption,confidence,freedom,loquaciousness,self-conceit,
assurance,egotism,haughtiness,loquacity,self-sufficiency,

MONEY.

Synonyms:

bills,cash,funds,property,
bullion,coin,gold,silver,
capital,currency,notes,specie.

Money is the authorized medium of exchange; coined money is called coin or specie. What are termed in England bank-notes are in the United States commonly called bills; as, a five-dollar bill. The notes of responsible men are readily transferable in commercial circles, but they are not money; as, the stock was sold for $500 in money and the balance in merchantable paper. Cash is specie or money in hand, or paid in hand; as, the cash account; the cash price. In the legal sense, property is not money, and money is not property; for property is that which has inherent value, while money, as such, has but representative value, and[245] may or may not have intrinsic value. Bullion is either gold or silver uncoined, or the coined metal considered without reference to its coinage, but simply as merchandise, when its value as bullion may be very different from its value as money. The word capital is used chiefly of accumulated property or money invested in productive enterprises or available for such investment.


MOROSE.

Synonyms:

acrimonious,dogged,ill-natured,splenetic,
churlish,gloomy,severe,sulky,
crabbed,gruff,snappish,sullen,
crusty,ill-humored,sour,surly.

The sullen and sulky are discontented and resentful in regard to that against which they are too proud to protest, or consider all protest vain; sullen denotes more of pride, sulky more of resentful obstinacy. The morose are bitterly dissatisfied with the world in general, and disposed to vent their ill nature upon others. The sullen and sulky are for the most part silent; the morose growl out bitter speeches. A surly person is in a state of latent anger, resenting approach as intrusion, and ready to take offense at anything; thus we speak of a surly dog. Sullen and sulky moods may be transitory; one who is morose or surly is commonly so by disposition or habit.

Antonyms:

amiable,complaisant,gentle,kind,pleasant,
benignant,friendly,good-natured,loving,sympathetic,
bland,genial,indulgent,mild,tender.

MOTION.

Synonyms:

act,change,movement,process,transition.
action,move,passage,transit,

Motion is change of place or position in space; transition is a passing from one point or position in space to another. Motion may be either abstract or concrete, more frequently the former; movement is always concrete, that is, considered in connection with the thing that moves or is moved; thus, we speak of the movements of the planets, but of the laws of planetary motion; of military movements, but of perpetual motion. Move is used chiefly of contests or competition, as in chess or politics; as, it is your move; a shrewd move of the opposition. Action is a more comprehensive word than motion. We now rarely speak of mental[246] or spiritual motions, but rather of mental or spiritual acts or processes, or of the laws of mental action, but a formal proposal of action in a deliberative assembly is termed a motion. Compare ACT.

Antonyms:

immobility,quiescence,quiet,repose,rest,stillness.

MOURN.

Synonyms:

bemoan,deplore,lament,regret,rue,sorrow.
bewail,grieve,

To mourn is to feel or express sadness or distress because of some loss, affliction, or misfortune; mourning is thought of as prolonged, grief or regret may be transient. One may grieve or mourn, regret, rue, or sorrow without a sound; he bemoans with suppressed and often inarticulate sounds of grief; he bewails with passionate utterance, whether of inarticulate cries or of spoken words. He laments in plaintive or pathetic words, as the prophet Jeremiah in his "Lamentations." One deplores with settled sorrow which may or may not find relief in words. One is made to rue an act by some misfortune resulting, or by some penalty or vengeance inflicted because of it. One regrets a slight misfortune or a hasty word; he sorrows over the death of a friend.

Antonyms:

be joyful,exult,joy,make merry,rejoice,triumph.

MUTUAL.

Synonyms:

common,correlative,interchangeable,joint,reciprocal.

That is common to which two or more persons have the same or equal claims, or in which they have equal interest or participation; in the strictest sense, that is mutual (Latin mutare, to change) which is freely interchanged; that is reciprocal in respect to which one act or movement is met by a corresponding act or movement in return; we speak of our common country, mutual affection, reciprocal obligations, the reciprocal action of cause and effect, where the effect becomes in turn a cause. Many good writers hold it incorrect to say "a mutual friend," and insist that "a common friend" would be more accurate; but "common friend" is practically never used, because of the disagreeable suggestion that attaches to common, of ordinary or inferior. "Mutual friend" has high literary authority (of Burke, Scott, Dickens, and others), and a considerable usage of good society in its favor,[247] the expression being quite naturally derived from the thoroughly correct phrase mutual friendship.

Antonyms:

detached,distinct,separate,severed,unconnected,unrequited,
disconnected,disunited,separated,sundered,unreciprocated,unshared.
dissociated,

MYSTERIOUS.

Synonyms:

abstruse,inexplicable,recondite,
cabalistic,inscrutable,secret,
dark,mystic,transcendental,
enigmatical,mystical,unfathomable,
hidden,obscure,unfathomed,
incomprehensible,occult,unknown.

That is mysterious in the true sense which is beyond human comprehension, as the decrees of God or the origin of life. That is mystic or mystical which has associated with it some hidden or recondite meaning, especially of a religious kind; as, the mystic Babylon of the Apocalypse. That is dark which we can not personally see through, especially if sadly perplexing; as, a dark providence. That is secret which is intentionally hidden. Compare DARK.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for CLEAR.


NAME.

Synonyms:

agnomen,denomination,prenomen,surname,
appellation,designation,style,title.
cognomen,epithet,

Name in the most general sense, signifying the word by which a person or thing is called or known, includes all other words of this group; in this sense every noun is a name; in the more limited sense a name is personal, an appellation is descriptive, a title is official. In the phrase William the Conqueror, King of England, William is the man's name, which belongs to him personally, independently of any rank or achievement; Conqueror is the appellation which he won by his acquisition of England; King is the title denoting his royal rank. An epithet (Gr. epitheton, something added, from epi, on, and tithemi, put) is something placed upon a person or thing; the epithet does not strictly belong to an object like a name, but is given to mark some assumed characteristic, good or bad; an epithet is always an adjective, or a word or phrase used as an adjective, and is properly used to emphasize a characteristic but not to add information, as in the[248] phrase "the sounding sea;" the idea that an epithet is always opprobrious, and that any word used opprobriously is an epithet is a popular error. Designation may be used much in the sense of appellation, but is more distinctive or specific in meaning; a designation properly so called rests upon some inherent quality, while an appellation may be fanciful. Among the Romans the prenomen was the individual part of a man's name, the "nomen" designated the gens to which he belonged, the cognomen showed his family and was borne by all patricians, and the agnomen was added to refer to his achievements or character. When scientists name an animal or a plant, they give it a binary or binomial technical name comprising a generic and a specific appellation. In modern use, a personal name, as John or Mary, is given in infancy, and is often called the given name or Christian name, or simply the first name (rarely the prenomen); the cognomen or surname is the family name which belongs to one by right of birth or marriage. Style is the legal designation by which a person or house is known in official or business relations; as, the name and style of Baring Brothers. The term denomination is applied to a separate religious organization, without the opprobrious meaning attaching to the word "sect;" also, to designate any class of like objects collectively, especially money or notes of a certain value; as, the sum was in notes of the denomination of one thousand dollars. Compare TERM.


NATIVE.

Synonyms:

indigenous,innate,natal,natural,original.

Native denotes that which belongs to one by birth; natal that which pertains to the event of birth; natural denotes that which rests upon inherent qualities of character or being. We speak of one's native country, or of his natal day; of natural ability, native genius. Compare INHERENT; PRIMEVAL; RADICAL.

Antonyms:

acquired,alien,artificial,assumed,foreign,unnatural.

NAUTICAL.

Synonyms:

marine,maritime,naval,ocean,oceanic.

Marine (L. mare, sea) signifies belonging to the ocean, maritime, a secondary derivative from the same root, bordering on or[249] connected with the ocean; as, marine products; marine animals; maritime nations; maritime laws. Nautical (Gr. nautes, a sailor) denotes primarily anything connected with sailors, and hence with ships or navigation; naval (L. navis, Gr. naus, a ship) refers to the armed force of a nation on the sea, and, by extension, to similar forces on lakes and rivers; as, a naval force; a nautical almanac. Ocean, used adjectively, is applied to that which belongs to or is part of the ocean; oceanic may be used in the same sense, but is especially applied to that which borders on (or upon) or is connected with, or which is similar to or suggestive of an ocean; we speak of ocean currents, oceanic islands, or, perhaps, of an oceanic intellect.


NEAT.

Synonyms:

clean,dapper,nice,prim,tidy,
cleanly,natty,orderly,spruce,trim.

That which is clean is simply free from soil or defilement of any kind. Things are orderly when in due relation to other things; a room or desk is orderly when every article is in place; a person is orderly who habitually keeps things so. Tidy denotes that which conforms to propriety in general; an unlaced shoe may be perfectly clean, but is not tidy. Neat refers to that which is clean and tidy with nothing superfluous, conspicuous, or showy, as when we speak of plain but neat attire; the same idea of freedom from the superfluous appears in the phrases "a neat speech," "a neat turn," "a neat reply," etc. A clean cut has no ragged edges; a neat stroke just does what is intended. Nice is stronger than neat, implying value and beauty; a cheap, coarse dress may be perfectly neat, but would not be termed nice. Spruce is applied to the show and affectation of neatness with a touch of smartness, and is always a term of mild contempt; as, a spruce serving man. Trim denotes a certain shapely and elegant firmness, often with suppleness and grace; as, a trim suit; a trim figure. Prim applies to a precise, formal, affected nicety. Dapper is spruce with the suggestion of smallness and slightness; natty, a diminutive of neat, suggests minute elegance, with a tendency toward the exquisite; as, a dapper little fellow in a natty business suit.

Antonyms:

dirty,negligent,slouchy,uncared for,
disorderly,rough,slovenly,unkempt,
dowdy,rude,soiled,untidy.

[250]

NECESSARY.

Synonyms:

essential,infallible,required,unavoidable,
indispensable,needed,requisite,undeniable.
inevitable,needful,

That is necessary which must exist, occur, or be true; which in the nature of things can not be otherwise. That which is essential belongs to the essence of a thing, so that the thing can not exist in its completeness without it; that which is indispensable may be only an adjunct, but it is one that can not be spared; vigorous health is essential to an arctic explorer; warm clothing is indispensable. That which is requisite (or required) is so in the judgment of the person requiring it, but may not be so absolutely; thus, the requisite is more a matter of personal feeling than the indispensable. Inevitable (L. in, not, and evito, shun) is primarily the exact equivalent of the Saxon unavoidable; both words are applied to things which some at least would escape or prevent, while that which is necessary may meet with no objection; food is necessary, death is inevitable; a necessary conclusion satisfies a thinker; an inevitable conclusion silences opposition. An infallible proof is one that necessarily leads the mind to a sound conclusion. Needed and needful are more concrete than necessary, and respect an end to be attained; we speak of a necessary inference; necessary food is what one can not live without, while needful food is that without which he can not enjoy comfort, health, and strength.

Antonyms:

casual,needless,optional,useless,
contingent,non-essential,unnecessary,worthless.

Prepositions:

Necessary to a sequence or a total; for or to a result or a person; unity is necessary to (to constitute) completeness; decision is necessary for command, or for a commander.


NECESSITY.

Synonyms:

compulsion,fatality,requisite,
destiny,fate,sine qua non,
emergency,indispensability,unavoidableness,
essential,indispensableness,urgency,
exigency,need,want.
extremity,requirement,

Necessity is the quality of being necessary, or the quality of that which can not but be, become, or be true, or be accepted as true. Need and want always imply a lack; necessity may be used[251] in this sense, but in the higher philosophical sense necessity simply denotes the exclusion of any alternative either in thought or fact; righteousness is a necessity (not a need) of the divine nature. Need suggests the possibility of supplying the deficiency which want expresses; to speak of a person's want of decision merely points out a weakness in his character; to say that he has need of decision implies that he can exercise or attain it. As applied to a deficiency, necessity is more imperative than need; a weary person is in need of rest; when rest becomes a necessity he has no choice but to stop work. An essential is something, as a quality, or element, that belongs to the essence of something else so as to be inseparable from it in its normal condition, or in any complete idea or statement of it. Compare NECESSARY; PREDESTINATION.

Antonyms:

choice,doubt,dubiousness,freedom,possibility,
contingency,doubtfulness,fortuity,option,uncertainty.

Prepositions:

The necessity of surrender; a necessity for action; this is a necessity to me.


NEGLECT.

Synonyms:

carelessness,heedlessness,negligence,scorn,
default,inadvertence,omission,slackness,
disregard,inattention,oversight,slight,
disrespect,indifference,remissness,thoughtlessness.
failure,neglectfulness,

Neglect (L. nec, not, and lego, gather) is the failing to take such care, show such attention, pay such courtesy, etc., as may be rightfully or reasonably expected. Negligence, which is the same in origin, may be used in almost the same sense, but with a slighter force, as when Whittier speaks of "the negligence which friendship loves;" but negligence is often used to denote the quality or trait of character of which the act is a manifestation, or to denote the habit of neglecting that which ought to be done. Neglect is transitive, negligence is intransitive; we speak of neglect of his books, friends, or duties, in which cases we could not use negligence; negligence in dress implies want of care as to its arrangement, tidiness, etc.; neglect of one's garments would imply leaving them exposed to defacement or injury, as by dust, moths, etc. Neglect has a passive sense which negligence has not; the child was suffering from neglect, i. e., from being neglected by others; the child was suffering from negligence would imply that he himself[252] was neglectful. The distinction sometimes made that neglect denotes the act, and negligence the habit, is but partially true; one may be guilty of habitual neglect of duty; the wife may suffer from her husband's constant neglect, while the negligence which causes a railroad accident may be that of a moment, and on the part of one ordinarily careful and attentive; in such cases the law provides punishment for criminal negligence.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for CARE.

Prepositions:

Neglect of duty, of the child by the parent; there was neglect on the part of the teacher.


NEW.

Synonyms:

fresh,modern,new-made,upstart,
juvenile,new-fangled,novel,young,
late,new-fashioned,recent,youthful.

That which is new has lately come into existence, possession, or use; a new house is just built, or in a more general sense is one that has just come into the possession of the present owner or occupant. Modern denotes that which has begun to exist in the present age, and is still existing; recent denotes that which has come into existence within a comparatively brief period, and may or may not be existing still. Modern history pertains to any period since the middle ages; modern literature, modern architecture, etc., are not strikingly remote from the styles and types prevalent to-day. That which is late is somewhat removed from the present, but not far enough to be called old. That which is recent is not quite so sharply distinguished from the past as that which is new; recent publications range over a longer time than new books. That which is novel is either absolutely or relatively unprecedented in kind; a novel contrivance is one that has never before been known; a novel experience is one that has never before occurred to the same person; that which is new may be of a familiar or even of an ancient sort, as a new copy of an old book. Young and youthful are applied to that which has life; that which is young is possessed of a comparatively new existence as a living thing, possessing actual youth; that which is youthful manifests the attributes of youth. (Compare YOUTHFUL.) Fresh applies to that which has the characteristics of newness or youth, while capable of deterioration by lapse of time; that which[253] is unworn, unspoiled, or unfaded; as, a fresh countenance, fresh eggs, fresh flowers. New is opposed to old, modern to ancient, recent to remote, young to old, aged, etc.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for OLD.


NIMBLE.

Synonyms:

active,alert,bustling,prompt,speedy,spry,
agile,brisk,lively,quick,sprightly,swift.

Nimble refers to lightness, freedom, and quickness of motion within a somewhat narrow range, with readiness to turn suddenly to any point; swift applies commonly to more sustained motion over greater distances; a pickpocket is nimble-fingered, a dancer nimble-footed; an arrow, a race-horse, or an ocean steamer is swift; Shakespeare's "nimble lightnings" is said of the visual appearance in sudden zigzag flash across the sky. Figuratively, we speak of nimble wit, swift intelligence, swift destruction. Alert, which is strictly a synonym for ready, comes sometimes near the meaning of nimble or quick, from the fact that the ready, wide-awake person is likely to be lively, quick, speedy. Compare ACTIVE; ALERT.

Antonyms:

clumsy,dilatory,dull,heavy,inactive,inert,slow,sluggish,unready.

NORMAL.

Synonyms:

common,natural,ordinary,regular,typical,usual.

That which is natural is according to nature; that which is normal is according to the standard or rule which is observed or claimed to prevail in nature; a deformity may be natural, symmetry is normal; the normal color of the crow is black, while the normal color of the sparrow is gray, but one is as natural as the other. Typical refers to such an assemblage of qualities as makes the specimen, genus, etc., a type of some more comprehensive group, while normal is more commonly applied to the parts of a single object; the specimen was typical; color, size, and other characteristics, normal. The regular is etymologically that which is according to rule, hence that which is steady and constant, as opposed to that which is fitful and changeable; the normal action of the heart is regular. That which is common is shared by a[254] great number of persons or things; disease is common, a normal state of health is rare. Compare GENERAL; USUAL.

Antonyms:

abnormal,irregular,peculiar,singular,unprecedented,
exceptional,monstrous,rare,uncommon,unusual.

NOTWITHSTANDING, conj.

Synonyms:

altho(ugh),howbeit,nevertheless,tho(ugh),
but,however,still,yet.

However simply waives discussion, and (like the archaic howbeit) says "be that as it may, this is true;" nevertheless concedes the truth of what precedes, but claims that what follows is none the less true; notwithstanding marshals the two statements face to face, admits the one and its seeming contradiction to the other, while insisting that it can not, after all, withstand the other; as, notwithstanding the force of the enemy is superior, we shall conquer. Yet and still are weaker than notwithstanding, while stronger than but. Tho and altho make as little as possible of the concession, dropping it, as it were, incidentally; as, "tho we are guilty, thou art good;" to say "we are guilty, but thou art good," would make the concession of guilt more emphatic. Compare BUT; YET.


NOTWITHSTANDING, prep.

Synonyms:

despite,in spite of.

Notwithstanding simply states that circumstances shall not be or have not been allowed to withstand; despite and in spite of refer primarily to personal and perhaps spiteful opposition; as, he failed notwithstanding his good intentions; or, he persevered in spite of the most bitter hostility. When despite and in spite of are applied to inanimate things, it is with something of personification; "in spite of the storm" is said as if the storm had a hostile purpose to oppose the undertaking.


OATH.

Synonyms:

adjuration,curse,profane swearing,
affidavit,cursing,profanity,
anathema,denunciation,reprobation,
ban,execration,swearing,
blaspheming,imprecation,sworn statement.
blasphemy,malediction,vow.

In the highest sense, as in a court of justice, "an oath is a reverent[255] appeal to God in corroboration of what one says," Abbott Law Dict.; an affidavit is a sworn statement made in writing in the presence of a competent officer; an adjuration is a solemn appeal to a person in the name of God to speak the truth. An oath is made to man in the name of God; a vow, to God without the intervention, often without the knowledge, of man. In the lower sense, an oath may be mere blasphemy or profane swearing. Anathema, curse, execration, and imprecation are modes of invoking vengeance or retribution from a superhuman power upon the person against whom they are uttered. Anathema is a solemn ecclesiastical condemnation of a person or of a proposition. Curse may be just and authoritative; as, the curse of God; or, it may be wanton and powerless: "so the curse causeless shall not come," Prov. xxvi, 2. Execration expresses most of personal bitterness and hatred; imprecation refers especially to the coming of the desired evil upon the person against whom it is uttered. Malediction is a general wish of evil, a less usual but very expressive word. Compare TESTIMONY.

Antonyms:

benediction,benison,blessing.

OBSCURE.

Synonyms:

abstruse,darksome,dusky,involved,
ambiguous,deep,enigmatical,muddy,
cloudy,dense,hidden,mysterious,
complex,difficult,incomprehensible,profound,
complicated,dim,indistinct,turbid,
dark,doubtful,intricate,unintelligible.

That is obscure which the eye or the mind can not clearly discern or see through, whether because of its own want of transparency, its depth or intricacy, or because of mere defect of light. That which is complicated is likely to be obscure, but that may be obscure which is not at all complicated and scarcely complex, as a muddy pool. In that which is abstruse (L. abs, from, and trudo, push) as if removed from the usual course of thought or out of the way of apprehension or discovery, the thought is remote, hidden; in that which is obscure there may be nothing to hide; it is hard to see to the bottom of the profound, because of its depth, but the most shallow turbidness is obscure. Compare COMPLEX; DARK; DIFFICULT; MYSTERIOUS.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for CLEAR.


[256]

OBSOLETE.

Synonyms:

ancient,archaic,obsolescent,out of date,
antiquated,disused,old,rare.

Some of the oldest or most ancient words are not obsolete, as father, mother, etc. A word is obsolete which has quite gone out of reputable use; a word is archaic which is falling out of reputable use, or, on the other hand, having been obsolete, is taken up tentatively by writers or speakers of influence, so that it may perhaps regain its position as a living word; a word is rare if there are few present instances of its reputable use. Compare OLD.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for NEW.


OBSTINATE.

Synonyms:

contumacious,headstrong,mulish,resolute,
decided,heady,obdurate,resolved,
determined,immovable,opinionated,stubborn,
dogged,indomitable,persistent,unconquerable,
firm,inflexible,pertinacious,unflinching,
fixed,intractable,refractory,unyielding.

The headstrong person is not to be stopped in his own course of action, while the obstinate and stubborn is not to be driven to another's way. The headstrong act; the obstinate and stubborn may simply refuse to stir. The most amiable person may be obstinate on some one point; the stubborn person is for the most part habitually so; we speak of obstinate determination, stubborn resistance. Stubborn is the term most frequently applied to the lower animals and inanimate things. Refractory implies more activity of resistance; the stubborn horse balks; the refractory animal plunges, rears, and kicks; metals that resist ordinary processes of reduction are termed refractory. One is obdurate who adheres to his purpose in spite of appeals that would move any tender-hearted or right-minded person. Contumacious refers to a proud and insolent defiance of authority, as of the summons of a court. Pertinacious demand is contrasted with obstinate refusal. The unyielding conduct which we approve we call decided, firm, inflexible, resolute; that which we condemn we are apt to term headstrong, obstinate, stubborn. Compare PERVERSE.

Antonyms:

amenable,dutiful,pliable,tractable,
complaisant,gentle,pliant,undecided,
compliant,irresolute,submissive,wavering,
docile,obedient,teachable,yielding.

[257]

OBSTRUCT.

Synonyms:

arrest,check,embarrass,interrupt,stay,
bar,choke,hinder,oppose,stop.
barricade,clog,impede,retard,

To obstruct is literally to build up against; the road is obstructed by fallen trees; the passage of liquid through a tube is obstructed by solid deposits. We may hinder one's advance by following and clinging to him; we obstruct his course by standing in his way or putting a barrier across his path. Anything that makes one's progress slower, whether from within or from without, impedes; an obstruction is always from without. To arrest is to cause to stop suddenly; obstructing the way may have the effect of arresting progress. Compare HINDER; IMPEDIMENT.

Antonyms:

accelerate,aid,facilitate,free,open,promote.
advance,clear,forward,further,pave the way for,

OLD.

Synonyms:

aged,decrepit,immemorial,senile,
ancient,elderly,olden,time-honored,
antiquated,gray,patriarchal,time-worn,
antique,hoary,remote,venerable.

That is termed old which has existed long, or which existed long ago. Ancient, from the Latin, through the French, is the more stately, old, from the Saxon, the more familiar word. Familiarity, on one side, is near to contempt; thus we say, an old coat, an old hat. On the other hand, familiarity is akin to tenderness, and thus old is a word of endearment; as, "the old homestead," the "old oaken bucket." "Tell me the old, old story!" has been sung feelingly by millions; "tell me that ancient story" would remove it out of all touch of human sympathy. Olden is a statelier form of old, and is applied almost exclusively to time, not to places, buildings, persons, etc. As regards periods of time, the familiar are also the near; thus, the old times are not too far away for familiar thought and reference; the olden times are more remote, ancient times still further removed. Gray, hoary, and moldering refer to outward and visible tokens of age. Aged applies chiefly to long-extended human life. Decrepit, gray, and hoary refer to the effects of age on the body exclusively; senile upon the mind also; as, a decrepit frame, senile garrulousness. One may be aged and neither decrepit nor senile. Elderly is applied to those who have passed middle life, but scarcely reached[258] old age. Remote (L. re, back or away, and moveo, move), primarily refers to space, but is extended to that which is far off in time; as, at some remote period. Venerable expresses the involuntary reverence that we yield to the majestic and long-enduring, whether in the material world or in human life and character. Compare ANTIQUE; OBSOLETE; PRIMEVAL.

Antonyms:

Compare synonyms for NEW; YOUTHFUL.


OPERATION.

Synonyms:

action,effect,force,performance,result.
agency,execution,influence,procedure,

Operation is action considered with reference to the thing acted upon, and may apply to the action of an intelligent agent or of a material substance or force; as, the operation of a medicine. Performance and execution denote intelligent action, considered with reference to the actor or to that which he accomplishes; performance accomplishing the will of the actor, execution often the will of another; we speak of the performance of a duty, the execution of a sentence. Compare ACT.

Antonyms:

failure,ineffectiveness,inutility,powerlessness,uselessness.
inaction,inefficiency,

ORDER.

Synonyms:

command,injunction,mandate,requirement.
direction,instruction,prohibition,

Instruction implies superiority of knowledge, direction of authority on the part of the giver; a teacher gives instructions to his pupils, an employer gives directions to his workmen. Order is still more authoritative than direction; soldiers, sailors, and railroad employees have simply to obey the orders of their superiors, without explanation or question; an order in the commercial sense has the authority of the money which the one ordering the goods pays or is to pay. Command is a loftier word, as well as highly authoritative, less frequent in common life; we speak of the commands of God, or sometimes, by polite hyperbole, ask of a friend, "Have you any commands for me?" A requirement is imperative, but not always formal, nor made by a personal agent; it may be in the nature of things; as, the requirements of the position.[259] Prohibition is wholly negative; it is a command not to do; injunction is now oftenest so used, especially as the requirement by legal authority that certain action be suspended or refrained from, pending final legal decision. Compare ARRAY; CLASS; LAW; PROHIBIT; SYSTEM.

Antonyms:

allowance,consent,leave,liberty,license,permission,permit.

OSTENTATION.

Synonyms:

boast,flourish,parade,pompousness,vaunt,
boasting,pageant,pomp,show,vaunting.
display,pageantry,pomposity,

Ostentation is an ambitious showing forth of whatever is thought adapted to win admiration or praise; ostentation may be without words; as, the ostentation of wealth in fine residences, rich clothing, costly equipage, or the like; when in words, ostentation is rather in manner than in direct statement; as, the ostentation of learning. Boasting is in direct statement, and is louder and more vulgar than ostentation. There may be great display or show with little substance; ostentation suggests something substantial to be shown. Pageant, pageantry, parade, and pomp refer principally to affairs of arms or state; as, a royal pageant; a military parade. Pomp is some material demonstration of wealth and power, as in grand and stately ceremonial, rich furnishings, processions, etc., considered as worthy of the person or occasion in whose behalf it is manifested; pomp is the noble side of that which as ostentation is considered as arrogant and vain. Pageant and pageantry are inferior to pomp, denoting spectacular display designed to impress the public mind, and since the multitude is largely ignorant and thoughtless, the words pageant and pageantry have a suggestion of the transient and unsubstantial. Parade (L. paro, prepare) is an exhibition as of troops in camp going through the evolutions that are to be used in battle, and suggests a lack of earnestness and direct or immediate occasion or demand; hence, in the more general sense, a parade is an uncalled for exhibition, and so used is a more disparaging word than ostentation; ostentation may spring merely from undue self-gratulation, parade implies a desire to impress others with a sense of one's abilities or resources, and is always offensive and[260] somewhat contemptible; as, a parade of wealth or learning. Pomposity and pompousness are the affectation of pomp.

Antonyms:

diffidence,quietness,retirement,timidity,
modesty,reserve,shrinking,unobtrusiveness.

OUGHT.

Synonym:

should.

One ought to do that which he is under moral obligation or in duty bound to do. Ought is the stronger word, holding most closely to the sense of moral obligation, or sometimes of imperative logical necessity; should may have the sense of moral obligation or may apply merely to propriety or expediency, as in the proverb, "The liar should have a good memory," i. e., he will need it. Ought is sometimes used of abstractions or inanimate things as indicating what the mind deems to be imperative or logically necessary in view of all the conditions; as, these goods ought to go into that space; these arguments ought to convince him; should in such connections would be correct, but less emphatic. Compare DUTY.


OVERSIGHT.

Synonyms:

care,control,management,surveillance,
charge,direction,superintendence,watch,
command,inspection,supervision,watchfulness.

A person may look over a matter in order to survey it carefully in its entirety, or he may look over it with no attention to the thing itself because his gaze and thought are concentrated on something beyond; oversight has thus two contrasted senses, in the latter sense denoting inadvertent error or omission, and in the former denoting watchful supervision, commonly implying constant personal presence; superintendence requires only so much of presence or communication as to know that the superintendent's wishes are carried out; the superintendent of a railroad will personally oversee very few of its operations; the railroad company has supreme direction of all its affairs without superintendence or oversight. Control is used chiefly with reference to restraint or the power of restraint; a good horseman has a restless horse under perfect control; there is no high character without self-control. Surveillance is an invidious term signifying watching with something of suspicion. Compare CARE; NEGLECT.


[261]

PAIN.

Synonyms:

ache,distress,suffering,torture,
agony,pang,throe,twinge,
anguish,paroxysm,torment,wo(e).

Pain is the most general term of this group, including all the others; pain is a disturbing sensation from which nature revolts, resulting from some injurious external interference (as from a wound, a bruise, a harsh word, etc.), or from some lack of what one needs, craves, or cherishes (as, the pain of hunger or bereavement), or from some abnormal action of bodily or mental functions (as, the pains of disease, envy, or discontent). Suffering is one of the severer forms of pain. The prick of a needle causes pain, but we should scarcely speak of it as suffering. Distress is too strong a word for little hurts, too feeble for the intensest suffering, but commonly applied to some continuous or prolonged trouble or need; as, the distress of a shipwrecked crew, or of a destitute family. Ache is lingering pain, more or less severe; pang, a pain short, sharp, intense, and perhaps repeated. We speak of the pangs of hunger or of remorse. Throe is a violent and thrilling pain. Paroxysm applies to an alternately recurring and receding pain, which comes as it were in waves; the paroxysm is the rising of the wave. Torment and torture are intense and terrible sufferings. Agony and anguish express the utmost pain or suffering of body or mind. Agony of body is that with which the system struggles; anguish that by which it is crushed.

Antonyms:

comfort,delight,ease,enjoyment,peace,rapture,relief,solace.

PALLIATE.

Synonyms:

apologize for,conceal,extenuate,hide,screen,
cloak,cover,gloss over,mitigate,veil.

Cloak, from the French, and palliate, from the Latin, are the same in original signification, but have diverged in meaning; a cloak may be used to hide completely the person or some object carried about the person, or it may but partly veil the figure, making the outlines less distinct; cloak is used in the former, palliate, in the latter sense; to cloak a sin is to attempt to hide it from discovery; to palliate it is to attempt to hide some part of its blameworthiness. "When we palliate our own or others' faults we do not seek to cloke them altogether, but only to extenuate the guilt of them in part." Trench Study of Words lect. vi, p.[262] 266. Either to palliate or to extenuate is to admit the fault; but to extenuate is rather to apologize for the offender, while to palliate is to disguise the fault; hence, we speak of extenuating but not of palliating circumstances, since circumstances can not change the inherent wrong of an act, tho they may lessen the blameworthiness of him who does it; palliating a bad thing by giving it a mild name does not make it less evil. In reference to diseases, to palliate is really to diminish their violence, or partly to relieve the sufferer. Compare ALLEVIATE; HIDE.


PARDON, v.

Synonyms:

absolve,condone,forgive,pass by,remit.
acquit,excuse,overlook,pass over,

To pardon is to let pass, as a fault or sin, without resentment, blame, or punishment. Forgive has reference to feelings, pardon to consequences; hence, the executive may pardon, but has nothing to do officially with forgiving. Personal injury may be forgiven by the person wronged; thus, God at once forgives and pardons; the pardoned sinner is exempt from punishment; the forgiven sinner is restored to the divine favor. To pardon is the act of a superior, implying the right to punish; to forgive is the privilege of the humblest person who has been wronged or offended. In law, to remit the whole penalty is equivalent to pardoning the offender; but a part of a penalty may be remitted and the remainder inflicted, as where the penalty includes both fine and imprisonment. To condone is to put aside a recognized offense by some act which restores the offender to forfeited right or privilege, and is the act of a private individual, without legal formalities. To excuse is to overlook some slight offense, error, or breach of etiquette; pardon is often used by courtesy in nearly the same sense. A person may speak of excusing or forgiving himself, but not of pardoning himself. Compare ABSOLVE; PARDON, n.

Antonyms:

castigate,chastise,convict,doom,recompense,sentence,
chasten,condemn,correct,punish,scourge,visit.

PARDON, n.

Synonyms:

absolution,amnesty,forgiveness,oblivion,
acquittal,forbearance,mercy,remission.

Acquittal is a release from a charge, after trial, as not guilty.[263] Pardon is a removal of penalty from one who has been adjudged guilty. Acquittal is by the decision of a court, commonly of a jury; pardon is the act of the executive. An innocent man may demand acquittal, and need not plead for pardon. Pardon supposes an offense; yet, as our laws stand, to grant a pardon is sometimes the only way to release one who has been wrongly convicted. Oblivion, from the Latin, signifies overlooking and virtually forgetting an offense, so that the offender stands before the law in all respects as if it had never been committed. Amnesty brings the same idea through the Greek. Pardon affects individuals; amnesty and oblivion are said of great numbers. Pardon is oftenest applied to the ordinary administration of law; amnesty, to national and military affairs. An amnesty is issued after war, insurrection, or rebellion; it is often granted by "an act of oblivion," and includes a full pardon of all offenders who come within its provisions. Absolution is a religious word (compare synonyms for ABSOLVE). Remission is a discharge from penalty; as, the remission of a fine.

Antonyms:

penalty,punishment,retaliation,retribution,vengeance.

Prepositions:

A pardon to or for the offenders; for all offenses; the pardon of offenders or offenses.


PART, v.

Synonyms:

Compare synonyms for PART, n.

Prepositions:

Part into shares; part in the middle; part one from another; part among the claimants; part between contestants (archaic); in general, to part from is to relinquish companionship; to part with is to relinquish possession; we part from a person or from something thought of with some sense of companionship; a traveler parts from his friends; he maybe said also to part from his native shore; a man parts with an estate, a horse, a copyright; part with may be applied to a person thought of in any sense as a possession; an employer parts with a clerk or servant; but part with is sometimes used by good writers as meaning simply to separate from.


[264]

PART, n.

Synonyms:

atom,fraction,member,section,
component,fragment,particle,segment,
constituent,ingredient,piece,share,
division,instalment,portion,subdivision.
element,

Part, a substance, quantity, or amount that is the result of the division of something greater, is the general word, including all the others of this group. A fragment is the result of breaking, rending, or disruption of some kind, while a piece may be smoothly or evenly separated and have a certain completeness in itself. A piece is often taken for a sample; a fragment scarcely would be. Division and fraction are always regarded as in connection with the total; divisions may be equal or unequal; a fraction is one of several equal parts into which the whole is supposed to be divided. A portion is a part viewed with reference to some one who is to receive it or some special purpose to which it is to be applied; in a restaurant one portion (i. e., the amount designed for one person) is sometimes, by special order, served to two; a share is a part to which one has or may acquire a right in connection with others; an instalment is one of a series of proportionate payments that are to be continued till the entire claim is discharged; a particle is an exceedingly small part. A component, constituent, ingredient, or element is a part of some compound or mixture; an element is necessary to the existence, as a component or constituent is necessary to the completeness of that which it helps to compose; an ingredient may be foreign or accidental. A subdivision is a division of a division. We speak of a segment of a circle. Compare PARTICLE; PORTION.


PARTICLE.

Synonyms:

atom,grain,mite,scrap,whit.
corpuscle,iota,molecule,shred,
element,jot,scintilla,tittle,

A particle is a very small part of any material substance; as, a particle of sand or of dust; it is a general term, not accurately determinate in meaning. Atom (Gr. a- privative, not, and temno, cut) etymologically signifies that which can not be cut or divided, and is the smallest conceivable particle of matter, regarded as absolutely homogeneous and as having but one set of properties; atoms are the ultimate particles of matter. A molecule[265] is made up of atoms, and is regarded as separable into its constituent parts; as used by physicists, a molecule is the smallest conceivable part which retains all the characteristics of the substance; thus, a molecule of water is made up of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. Element in chemistry denotes, without reference to quantity, a substance regarded as simple, i. e., one incapable of being resolved by any known process into simpler substances; the element gold may be represented by an ingot or by a particle of gold-dust. In popular language, an element is any essential constituent; the ancients believed that the universe was made up of the four elements, earth, air, fire, and water; a storm is spoken of as a manifestation of the fury of the elements. We speak of corpuscles of blood. Compare PART.

Antonyms:

aggregate,entirety,mass,quantity,sum,sum total,total,whole.

PATIENCE.

Synonyms:

calmness,forbearance,long-suffering,sufferance.
composure,fortitude,resignation,
endurance,leniency,submission,

Patience is the quality or habit of mind shown in bearing passively and uncomplainingly any pain, evil, or hardship that may fall to one's lot. Endurance hardens itself against suffering, and may be merely stubborn; fortitude is endurance animated by courage; endurance may by modifiers be made to have a passive force, as when we speak of "passive endurance;" patience is not so hard as endurance nor so self-effacing as submission. Submission is ordinarily and resignation always applied to matters of great moment, while patience may apply to slight worries and annoyances. As regards our relations to our fellow men, forbearance is abstaining from retaliation or revenge; patience is keeping kindliness of heart under vexatious conduct; long-suffering is continued patience. Patience may also have an active force denoting uncomplaining steadiness in doing, as in tilling the soil. Compare INDUSTRY.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for ANGER.

Prepositions:

Patience in or amid sufferings; patience with (rarely toward) opposers or offenders; patience under afflictions; (rarely) patience of heat or cold, etc.


[266]

PAY, n.

Synonyms:

allowance,hire,recompense,salary,
compensation,honorarium,remuneration,stipend,
earnings,payment,requital,wages.
fee,

An allowance is a stipulated amount furnished at regular intervals as a matter of discretion or gratuity, as of food to besieged soldiers, or of money to a child or ward. Compensation is a comprehensive word signifying a return for a service done. Remuneration is applied to matters of great amount or importance. Recompense is a still wider and loftier word, with less suggestion of calculation and market value; there are services for which affection and gratitude are the sole and sufficient recompense; earnings, fees, hire, pay, salary, and wages are forms of compensation and may be included in compensation, remuneration, or recompense. Pay is commercial and strictly signifies an exact pecuniary equivalent for a thing or service, except when the contrary is expressly stated, as when we speak of "high pay" or "poor pay." Wages denotes what a worker receives. Earnings is often used as exactly equivalent to wages, but may be used with reference to the real value of work done or service rendered, and even applied to inanimate things; as, the earnings of capital. Hire is distinctly mercenary or menial, but as a noun has gone out of popular use, tho the verb to hire is common. Salary is for literary or professional work, wages for handicraft or other comparatively inferior service; a salary is regarded as more permanent than wages; an editor receives a salary, a compositor receives wages. Stipend has become exclusively a literary word. A fee is given for a single service or privilege, and is sometimes in the nature of a gratuity. Compare REQUITE.


PEOPLE.

Synonyms:

commonwealth,nation,race,state,tribe.
community,population,

A community is in general terms the aggregate of persons inhabiting any territory in common and viewed as having common interests; a commonwealth is such a body of persons having a common government, especially a republican government; as, the commonwealth of Massachusetts. A community may be very small; a commonwealth is ordinarily of considerable extent. A people is the aggregate of any public community, either in distinction[267] from their rulers or as including them; a race is a division of mankind in the line of origin and ancestry; the people of the United States includes members of almost every race. The use of people as signifying persons collectively, as in the statement "The hall was full of people," has been severely criticized, but is old and accepted English, and may fitly be classed as idiomatic, and often better than persons, by reason of its collectivism. As Dean Alford suggests, it would make a strange transformation of the old hymn "All people that on earth do dwell" to sing "All persons that on earth do dwell." A state is an organized political community considered in its corporate capacity as "a body politic and corporate;" as, a legislative act is the act of the state; every citizen is entitled to the protection of the state. A nation is an organized political community considered with reference to the persons composing it as having certain definite boundaries, a definite number of citizens, etc. The members of a people are referred to as persons or individuals; the individual members of a state or nation are called citizens or subjects. The population of a country is simply the aggregate of persons residing within its borders, without reference to race, organization, or allegiance; unnaturalized residents form part of the population, but not of the nation, possessing none of the rights and being subject to none of the duties of citizens. In American usage State signifies one commonwealth of the federal union known as the United States. Tribe is now almost wholly applied to rude peoples with very imperfect political organization; as, the Indian tribes; nomadic tribes. Compare MOB.


PERCEIVE.

Synonyms:

apprehend,comprehend,conceive,understand.

We perceive what is presented through the senses. We apprehend what is presented to the mind, whether through the senses or by any other means. Yet perceive is used in the figurative sense of seeing through to a conclusion, in a way for which usage would not allow us to substitute apprehend; as, "Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet," John iv, 19. That which we apprehend we catch, as with the hand; that which we conceive we are able to analyze and recompose in our mind; that which we comprehend, we, as it were, grasp around, take together, seize, embrace wholly within the mind. Many things may be apprehended[268] which can not be comprehended; a child can apprehend the distinction between right and wrong, yet the philosopher can not comprehend it in its fulness. We can apprehend the will of God as revealed in conscience or the Scriptures; we can conceive of certain attributes of Deity, as his truth and justice; but no finite intelligence can comprehend the Divine Nature, in its majesty, power, and perfection. Compare ANTICIPATE; ARREST; CATCH; KNOWLEDGE.

Antonyms:

fail of,ignore,lose,misapprehend,misconceive,miss,overlook.

PERFECT.

Synonyms:

absolute,consummate,holy,spotless,
accurate,correct,ideal,stainless,
blameless,entire,immaculate,unblemished,
complete,faultless,sinless,undefiled.
completed,finished,

That is perfect to which nothing can be added, and from which nothing can be taken without impairing its excellence, marring its symmetry, or detracting from its worth; in this fullest sense God alone is perfect, but in a limited sense anything may be perfect in its kind; as a perfect flower; a copy of a document is perfect when it is accurate in every particular; a vase may be called perfect when entire and unblemished, even tho not artistically faultless; the best judges never pronounce a work of art perfect, because they see always ideal possibilities not yet attained; even the ideal is not perfect, by reason of the imperfection of the human mind; a human character faultlessly holy would be morally perfect tho finite. That which is absolute is free from admixture (as absolute alcohol) and in the highest and fullest sense free from imperfection or limitation; as, absolute holiness and love are attributes of God alone. In philosophical language, absolute signifies free from all necessary, or even from all possible relations, not dependent or limited, unrelated and unconditioned; truth immediately known, as intuitive truth, is absolute; God, as self-existent and free from all limitation or dependence, is called the absolute Being, or simply the Absolute. Compare INNOCENT; INFINITE; RADICAL.

Antonyms:

bad,defective,imperfect,meager,scant,
blemished,deficient,incomplete,perverted,short,
corrupt,deformed,inferior,poor,spoiled,
corrupted,fallible,insufficient,ruined,worthless.
defaced,faulty,marred,

[269]

PERMANENT.

Synonyms:

abiding,enduring,lasting,steadfast,
changeless,fixed,perpetual,unchangeable,
constant,immutable,persistent,unchanging.
durable,invariable,stable,

Durable (L. durus, hard) is said almost wholly of material substances that resist wear; lasting is said of either material or immaterial things. Permanent is a word of wider meaning; a thing is permanent which is not liable to change; as, a permanent color; buildings upon a farm are called permanent improvements. Enduring is a higher word, applied to that which resists both time and change; as, enduring fame.

Antonyms:

See synonyms for TRANSIENT.


PERMISSION.

Synonyms:

allowance,authorization,leave,license,
authority,consent,liberty,permit.

Authority unites the right and power of control; age, wisdom, and character give authority to their possessor; a book of learned research has authority, and is even called an authority. Permission justifies another in acting without interference or censure, and usually implies some degree of approval. Authority gives a certain right of control over all that may be affected by the action. There may be a failure to object, which constitutes an implied permission, tho this is more properly expressed by allowance; we allow what we do not oppose, permit what we expressly authorize. The noun permit implies a formal written permission. License is a formal permission granted by competent authority to an individual to do some act or pursue some business which would be or is made to be unlawful without such permission; as, a license to preach, to solemnize marriages, or to sell intoxicating liquors. A license is permission granted rather than authority conferred; the sheriff has authority (not permission nor license) to make an arrest. Consent is permission by the concurrence of wills in two or more persons, a mutual approval or acceptance of something proposed. Compare ALLOW.

Antonyms:

denial,objection,prevention,refusal,resistance.
hindrance,opposition,prohibition,

[270]

PERNICIOUS.

Synonyms:

bad,evil,mischievous,pestilential,
baneful,foul,noisome,poisonous,
deadly,harmful,noxious,ruinous,
deleterious,hurtful,perverting,unhealthful,
destructive,injurious,pestiferous,unwholesome.
detrimental,insalubrious,

Pernicious (L. per, through, and neco, kill) signifies having the power of destroying or injuring, tending to hurt or kill. Pernicious is stronger than injurious; that which is injurious is capable of doing harm; that which is pernicious is likely to be destructive. Noxious (L. noceo, hurt) is a stronger word than noisome, as referring to that which is injurious or destructive. Noisome now always denotes that which is extremely disagreeable or disgusting, especially to the sense of smell; as, the noisome stench proclaimed the presence of noxious gases.

Antonyms:

advantageous,favorable,helpful,profitable,serviceable,
beneficent,good,invigorating,rejuvenating,useful,
beneficial,healthful,life-giving,salutary,wholesome.

PERPLEXITY.

Synonyms:

amazement,bewilderment,distraction,doubt,
astonishment,confusion,disturbance,embarrassment.

Perplexity (L. per, through, and plecto, plait) is the drawing or turning of the thoughts or faculties by turns in different directions or toward contrasted or contradictory conclusions; confusion (L. confusus, from confundo, pour together) is a state in which the mental faculties are, as it were, thrown into chaos, so that the clear and distinct action of the different powers, as of perception, memory, reason, and will is lost; bewilderment is akin to confusion, but is less overwhelming, and more readily recovered from; perplexity, accordingly, has not the unsettling of the faculties implied in confusion, nor the overwhelming of the faculties implied in amazement or astonishment; it is not the magnitude of the things to be known, but the want of full and definite knowledge, that causes perplexity. The dividing of a woodland path may cause the traveler the greatest perplexity, which may become bewilderment when he has tried one path after another and lost his bearings completely. With an excitable person bewilderment may deepen into confusion that will make him unable to think clearly or even to see or hear distinctly. Amazement results from the sudden and unimagined occurrence of great good or evil or[271] the sudden awakening of the mind to unthought-of truth. Astonishment often produces bewilderment, which the word was formerly understood to imply. Compare AMAZEMENT; ANXIETY; DOUBT.


PERSUADE.

Synonyms:

allure,dispose,incline,move,
bring over,entice,induce,prevail on or upon,
coax,impel,influence,urge,
convince,incite,lead,win over.

Of these words convince alone has no direct reference to moving the will, denoting an effect upon the understanding only; one may be convinced of his duty without doing it, or he may be convinced of truth that has no manifest connection with duty or action, as of a mathematical proposition. To persuade is to bring the will of another to a desired decision by some influence exerted upon it short of compulsion; one may be convinced that the earth is round; he may be persuaded to travel round it; but persuasion is so largely dependent upon conviction that it is commonly held to be the orator's work first to convince in order that he may persuade. Coax is a slighter word than persuade, seeking the same end by shallower methods, largely by appeal to personal feeling, with or without success; as, a child coaxes a parent to buy him a toy. One may be brought over, induced, or prevailed upon by means not properly included in persuasion, as by bribery or intimidation; he is won over chiefly by personal influence. Compare INFLUENCE.

Antonyms:

deter,discourage,dissuade,hinder,hold back,repel,restrain.

PERTNESS.

Synonyms:

boldness,forwardness,liveliness,sprightliness.
briskness,impertinence,sauciness,
flippancy,impudence,smartness,

Liveliness and sprightliness are pleasant and commendable; smartness is a limited and showy acuteness or shrewdness, usually with unfavorable suggestion; pertness and sauciness are these qualities overdone, and regardless of the respect due to superiors. Impertinence and impudence may be gross and stupid; pertness and sauciness are always vivid and keen. Compare IMPUDENCE.

Antonyms:

bashfulness,demureness,diffidence,humility,modesty,shyness.

[272]

PERVERSE.

Synonyms:

contrary,froward,petulant,untoward,
factious,intractable,stubborn,wayward,
fractious,obstinate,ungovernable,wilful.

Perverse (L. perversus, turned the wrong way) signifies wilfully wrong or erring, unreasonably set against right, reason, or authority. The stubborn or obstinate person will not do what another desires or requires; the perverse person will do anything contrary to what is desired or required of him. The petulant person frets, but may comply; the perverse individual may be smooth or silent, but is wilfully intractable. Wayward refers to a perverse disregard of morality and duty; froward is practically obsolete; untoward is rarely heard except in certain phrases; as, untoward circumstances. Compare OBSTINATE.

Antonyms:

accommodating,complaisant,genial,kind,
amenable,compliant,governable,obliging.

PHYSICAL.

Synonyms:

bodily,corporeal,natural,tangible,
corporal,material,sensible,visible.

Whatever is composed of or pertains to matter may be termed material; physical (Gr. physis, nature) applies to material things considered as parts of a system or organic whole; hence, we speak of material substances, physical forces, physical laws. Bodily, corporal, and corporeal apply primarily to the human body; bodily and corporal both denote pertaining or relating to the body; corporeal signifies of the nature of or like the body; corporal is now almost wholly restricted to signify applied to or inflicted upon the body; we speak of bodily sufferings, bodily presence, corporal punishment, the corporeal frame.

Antonyms:

hyperphysical,intangible,invisible,moral,unreal,
immaterial,intellectual,mental,spiritual,unsubstantial.

PIQUE.

Synonyms:

displeasure,irritation,offense,resentment,umbrage.
grudge,

Pique, from the French, signifies primarily a prick or a sting, as of a nettle; the word denotes a sudden feeling of mingled pain and anger, but slight and usually transient, arising from some neglect or offense, real or imaginary. Umbrage is a deeper and more[273] persistent displeasure at being overshadowed (L. umbra, a shadow) or subjected to any treatment that one deems unworthy of him. It may be said, as a general statement, that pique arises from wounded vanity or sensitiveness, umbrage from wounded pride or sometimes from suspicion. Resentment rests on more solid grounds, and is deep and persistent. Compare ANGER.

Antonyms:

approval,contentment,delight,gratification,pleasure,satisfaction.
complacency,

PITIFUL.

Synonyms:

abject,lamentable,paltry,sorrowful,
base,miserable,pathetic,touching,
contemptible,mournful,piteous,woful,
despicable,moving,pitiable,wretched.

Pitiful originally signified full of pity; as, "the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy," James v, 11; but this usage is now archaic, and the meaning in question is appropriated by such words as merciful and compassionate. Pitiful and pitiable now refer to what may be deserving of pity, pitiful being used chiefly for that which is merely an object of thought, pitiable for that which is brought directly before the senses; as, a pitiful story; a pitiable object; a pitiable condition. Since pity, however, always implies weakness or inferiority in that which is pitied, pitiful and pitiable are often used, by an easy transition, for what might awaken pity, but does awaken contempt; as, a pitiful excuse; he presented a pitiable appearance. Piteous is now rarely used in its earlier sense of feeling pity, but in its derived sense applies to what really excites the emotion; as, a piteous cry. Compare HUMANE; MERCY; PITY.

Antonyms:

august,dignified,grand,lofty,sublime,
beneficent,exalted,great,mighty,superb,
commanding,glorious,helpful,noble,superior.

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[274] 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.


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.

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[275] 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.


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[276] 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.


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° Fahrenheit is enough for a living-room; of 212° 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[277] 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.


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.

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[278] 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.

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.


[279]

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.


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.


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[280] 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.

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

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[282] fervency and intensity, supplicate implying also humility. Compare ASK; PLEAD.


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

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.


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[283] 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.


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.


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[284] 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,fact,guilelessness,ingenuousness,reality,sincerity,
candor,frankness,honesty,openness,simplicity,truth.

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.


[285]

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.]


PRICE.

Synonyms:

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

The cost of a thing is all that has been expended upon it,[286] 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.


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[287] 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,lowliness,meekness,modesty,self-abasement,self-distrust.

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 ævum, 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,[288] 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.


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[289] 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.


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."[290]

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.


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.


[291]

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.


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,

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[292] 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.


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.

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.


[293]

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.


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.[294] 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.


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.

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,[295] 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,improvidence,indiscretion,rashness,thoughtlessness,
heedlessness,imprudence,prodigality,recklessness,wastefulness.

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.


[296]

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.

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.


[297]

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.

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,[298] 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.

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[299] 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.


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.

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,[300] 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.

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.


REACH.

Synonyms:

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

To reach, in the sense here considered, is to come to by motion[301] 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,embark,go,go away,leave,set out,set sail,start,weigh anchor.

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,[302] 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.

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,[303] 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; Cæsar was a tyrant; Therefore Cæsar deserved death," "Cæsar was a tyrant" would in the strictest sense be called the argument; but if we say "Cæsar 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.


[304]

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.


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 striæ on a rock-surface are the record of[305] 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.


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 misf