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English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions
by James Champlin Fernald
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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. Non-standard characters have been represented as follows:

ā a with upper macron; ō o with upper macron.



CONTENTS.

PAGE.

PREFACE vii

PART I. SYNONYMS, ANTONYMS AND PREPOSITIONS 1

PART II. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 377

INDEX 509



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 Caesar, 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 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.

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 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 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 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." Ḥ

Soule's "Dictionary of English Synonyms." Ḷ

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

Graham's "English Synonyms." Ạ

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." Ṣ

Fitzedward Hall, "False Philology." Ṣ

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 & Sons L. Latin; Lippincott & Co. F. French L. & S. Lee & Shepard F. H. R. Fleming H. Revell M. Murray's New English Dictionary F. & W. CO. Funk & Wagnalls Co. MACM. Macmillan & Co. G. German S. Chas. Scribner's Sons Gr. Greek Sp. Spanish H. Harper & Bros. T. & F. Ticknor & Fields H. M. & CO. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. T. & H. Troutman & Hayes It. Italian T. & M. Taylor, Walton & Maberley J. M. John Murray W. J. W. W. J. Widdleton



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, 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,

* * * * *

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 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 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. Ṃ 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 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,

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

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 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 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 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 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 or oppress, 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 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,

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.

* * * * *

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,

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, 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.

* * * * *

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 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 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.

* * * * *

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 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 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 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.

* * * * *

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 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 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 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 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.

* * * * *

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 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 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.

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