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Word of the week in the past

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Last week (9 July 2018)

Word of the week: plausible (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (of an argument, excuse, explanation, statement, etc.) reasonable and believable (antonym - implausible)

(b) describes someone who sounds reasonable, honest and sincere but may in fact be deceiving people

Sentence Examples:

1) Such a theory sounds extremely plausible. [Meaning (a)]

2) "Can you provide me with a plausible reason as to why your salary should be increased?" the manager asked Paula. (a)

3) Tim gave a plausible excuse for being late to work and his superior excused him. (a)

4) Be wary of your new friend - I heard that he is a plausible liar. (b)

5) The plausible salesman cajoled my parents into buying something they did not need. (b)

2 July 2018

Word of the week: enunciate (verb)

Meanings:

(a) to pronounce or say words carefully and clearly

(b) to express and explain a plan or an idea clearly and exactly

Sentence Examples:

1) The teacher enunciated the new words on the board slowly and clearly. [Meaning (a)]

2) My one-year-old sister can't enunciate her words clearly yet. (a)

3) Jane spoke to her Japanese friend slowly, enunciating her words very clearly as he found them rather hard to understand. (a)

4) In the meeting, the manager enunciated his proposal to build more office accommodation for staff members. (b)

5) The writer enunciated the idea for his next novel to the publisher. (b)

25 June 2018

Word of the week: intrisic (adj.)

Meaning:

being an extremely important part of the real nature or character of somebody or something

Antonym:

extrisic

Sentence Examples:

1) An intrinsic part of cats is that they love to hunt.

2) You have to learn to deal with difficulties that are intrinsic to such a situation.

3) I'm sorry to tell you that works of little intrinsic value do not fetch a high price.

4) Tourist attractions are intrinsic to the city's character.

5) Due to a mother's intrinsic need to protect her children, Lana fought with a stray dog and chased it away to keep her children safe.

6) English is an intrinsic subject of my school curriculum.

18 June 2018

Word of the week: annihilate (verb)

Meanings:

(a) to destroy someone or something completely ( = obliterate)

(b) To defeat someone or somebody completely

Sentence Examples:

1) An atomic bomb can annihilate a city. [Meaning (a)]

2) As a result of the terrorist attack, a building was annihilated and hundreds were killed. (a)

3) Britney annihilated her opponent in the second round of the competition. (b)

4) They are confident of annihilating the league champions in the play-offs. (b)

11 June 2018

Word of the week: inconsequential (adj.)

Meaning:

not important

Synonyms:

trivial, insignificant

Antonyms:

consequential, significant

Sentence Examples:

1) Ben was quite annoyed by Caroline's constant and inconsequential chatter.

2) During the meeting, we left out the inconsequential details.

3) Even though Dean made it clear that his remarks regarding the newly opened restaurant was inconsequential, the owner was bothered about them.

4 June 2018

Word of the week: contraband (noun)

Meaning:

goods that are imported or exported illegally

Sentence Examples:

1) The police found a cargo of contraband on board the ship.

2) Customs officers searched the van for cigarettes, drugs and other contraband.

3) The trade in contraband between the two countries has increased.

28 May 2018

Word of the week: feasible (adj.)

Meaning:

possible and likely to work or be achieved ( = practicable, workable)

Sentence Examples:

1) It is not feasible to build a flyover at this point.

2) This land is feasible for rice cultivation.

3) We have to come up with a feasible plan to finance the project.

4) Is it feasible to clone human beings?

21 May 2018

Word of the week: stupendous (adj.)

Meaning:

very large or impressive ( = magnificent, staggering)

Sentence Examples:

1) The scouts climbed the mountain for stupendous views over the sea.

2) Britney was surprised that her father bought a luxurious car of such stupendous cost.

3) His diligence and perseverance contributed to his stupendous achievements.

4) Unfortunately, thousands were made homeless by the stupendous power of the tornado which swept through the town yesterday morning.

14 May 2018

Word of the week: instantaneously (adverb)

Meaning:

happening or done immediately

Sentence Examples:

1) The poor stray dog died instantaneously after it was hit by a lorry.

2) When Rebecca's teacher asked her a question, she responded instantaneously.

3) The audience reacted instantaneously upon seeing the magician's stunning performance.

7 May 2018

Word of the week: stupefy (verb)

Meaning:

to tire, surprise or shock someone so much that they cannot think clearly or feel properly

Sentence Examples:

1) My father was stupefied by the massive electricity and telephone bills.

2) By the time we reached home, we were so stupefied by exhaustion that all we could do was to go to bed.

3) John's death stupefied us and we sat in silence for quite some time.

30 April 2018

Word of the week: simultaneously (adverb)

Meaning:

happening at the same time

Sentence Examples:

1) The football match will be broadcast simultaneously on radio and television.

2) After the lecturer had asked the students a question, a few of them answered it simultaneously.

3) Two racers crossed the finishing line simultaneously.

4) The latest Hollywood blockbuster will be released simultaneously in cinemas soon.

23 April 2018

Word of the week: elated (adj.)

Meaning:

extremely happy and excited, usually because something good has happened or is going to happen

Sentence Examples:

1) Henry is elated by his new house that he will move into soon.

2) Mr Morgan and his wife are extremely elated by their daughter's excellent examination results.

3) In spite of their exhaustion, they were elated at their accomplishments.

4) Sandra realised that she had nothing to be elated about as the next day wasn't a public holiday.

16 April 2018

Word of the week: invincible (adj.)

Meaning:

impossible to be defeated, conquered or destroyed

Sentence Examples:

1) The basketball team was once reputed to be invincible.

2) The company which seemed invincible in its early years has recently gone bankrupt.

3) Legend has it that the hidden treasure was guarded by an invincible army.

4) It is said that the ancient castle was built to be invincible.

9 April 2018

Word of the week: elicit (verb)

Meaning:

to get (information, reaction or answer) from someone, especially with difficulty

Sentence Examples:

1) After much interrogation, the police officer elicited some useful information from the suspect

2) John left the house after knocking on the door and eliciting no response.

3) Despite Cathy's unlucky day, I succeeded in eliciting a smile from her.

2 April 2018

Word of the week: interrogate (verb)

Meaning:

to ask someone many questions for a long time in order to get information, sometimes in a threatening way

Sentence Examples:

1) The murder suspect was interrogated by the police for about 15 hours.

2) Although Ben was innocent, he was interrogated by the police as he was present when the crime took place.

3) The FBI has taken over the investigation and is presently interrogating the suspects.

26 March 2018

Word of the week: myriad (noun)

Meaning:

a very large number of something

Sentence Examples:

1) Every twilight, myriads of mosquitoes and gnats from the swamp invade our village.

2) The T-shirts and caps are available in a myriad of colours.

3) Myriads of stars are twinkling in the night sky.

19 March 2018

Word of the week: reminisce (verb)

Meaning:

to recall, write or talk about pleasant past experiences

Sentence Examples:

1) During their ex-classmates reunion dinner, they had a good time reminiscing about their school days.

2) We sat on a bench by the beach and reminisced about the past.

3) My grandfather loves to reminisce about his glorious days as a country singer when he was young.

4) My sister and I spend an enjoyable evening looking at family photos and reminisce.

12 March 2018

Word of the week: acclimatise (verb)

Meaning:

to adjust and get used to a new environment, condition or climate

Sentence Examples:

1) Samantha arrived at the university a few days early in order to acclimatise herself to the new environment.

2) Compared to adults, children usually acclimatise quicker to new houses and neighbourhoods.

3) When the Smiths had just migrated to Malaysia, they found it difficult to acclimatise to the equatorial climate.

5 March 2018

Word of the week: bona fide (adj.)

Meaning:

real; genuine

Sentence Examples:

1) Duncan bought her wife a bona fide gold necklace as her birthday present.

2) Are you sure that she is a bona fide expert in child psychology?

3) Harry did not take the trouble to find out whether he was dealing with a bona fide company and lost $10,000 as a result.

26 February 2018

Word of the week: abate (verb)

Meaning:

to become less strong

Sentence Examples:

1) The students waited nervously for their teacher's anger to abate.

2) When the storm had abated, we continued with our journey.

3) The outbreak of the disease shows no signs of abating.

19 February 2018

Word of the week: implement (verb)

Meaning:

to start carrying out something that has been decided officially

Sentence Examples:

1) We need money to implement the policies.

2) The plan failed because it was not implemented correctly.

3) To improve our performance, we need to implement the changes recommended by our consultant.

12 February 2018

Word of the week: slovenly (adj.)

Meaning:

(especially of a person) untidy, dirty and careless

Sentence Examples:

1) In spite of his slovenly appearance, somehow Andy managed to get the job.

2) Yvette finds it hard to believe that the fat, slovenly ex-rock star was her idol in her younger years.

3) Since Ricky gained weight and became obese a few years back, he grew lazy and slovenly in his habits.

5 February 2018

Word of the week: desist (verb)

Meaning:

to stop doing something

Sentence Examples:

1) The judge told Julius to desist from threatening his wife.

2) According to the weather forecast, the blizzards are going to desist tomorrow morning.

3) Citizens hope that the guerrillas will desist from their fight against official soldiers.

29 January 2018

Word of the week: exemplary (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) very good and providing a good example for people to copy or follow

(b) (used before noun) an exemplary punishment is severe and serves as a warning to others

Sentence Examples:

1) As Belinda's behaviour was exemplary, she was elected the model student of the year. [Meaning (a)]

2) Frederick showed exemplary courage when he dived into the river to save the drowning child. (b)

3) The exemplary punishment is effective to a certain extent - crime rate has declined over the years. (b)

22 January 2018

Word of the week: infuriating (adj.)

Meaning:

making you very angry or annoyed

Sentence Examples:

1) He finds it infuriating that I give up so easily.

2) It is infuriating that I do all the work and James gets all the credit.

3) Due to the infuriating delay, quite a few problems have arisen.

15 January 2018

Word of the week: surmount (verb)

Meanings:

(a) to deal with a problem or difficulty successfully ( = overcome)

(b) to be placed above or on top of something tall

Sentence Examples:

1) We believe that most of these obstacles can be surmounted. [Meaning (a)]

2) Logan managed to surmount his financial difficulties before pursuing a medical career. (a)

3) My late grandfather's tomb is surmounted by a bronze angel. (b)

4) A jewel surmounts the king's crown. (b)

8 January 2018

Word of the week: inimitable (adj.)

Meaning:

too good or unusual and therefore impossible to copy

Sentence Examples:

1) They topped the charts with their inimitable style.

2) The astronaut described in his own inimitable way his trip to the moon.

3) He spent a fortune on one of Picasso's inimitable paintings.

1 January 2018

Word of the week: propensity (noun)

Meaning:

the fact that someone has a natural tendency to a particular kind of behaviour, especially a bad one

Sentence Examples:

1) Bob recognises his own propensity to violence.

2) She is famous for her propensity for racial discrimination.

3) Since my younger brother has a propensity to break things, most of his toys are broken.

25 December 2017

Word of the week: incarcerate (verb)

Meaning:

to keep or put someone in prison or in a place where they cannot escape ( = imprison)

Sentence Examples:

1) Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for more than 27 years before he was elected South Africa's first black president.

2) Five opposition leaders are still incarcerated in a military prison.

3) The teenagers were incarcerated for possession of lethal weapons.

18 December 2017

Word of the week: assiduous (adj.)

Meaning:

showing hard work and taking great care to make sure that everything is done as perfectly as possible ( = diligent, meticulous)

Sentence Examples:

1) Assiduous students usually perform well academically.

2) Thanks to our assiduous efforts, our team won the first prize in the science competition.

3) The police are assiduous in their fight against crime.

11 December 2017

Word of the week: nondescript (adj.)

Meaning:

ordinary, not interesting or unusual ( = dull)

Sentence Examples:

1) After reading the first chapter, Cathy realised that she had borrowed a nondescript novel from the library.

2) Despite the fact that Mr Brown is a wealthy man, he lives in a nondescript suburban house.

3) He was born in a nondescript town about 30 kilometres away from the city.

4 December 2017

Word of the week: whimsical (adj.)

Meaning:

unusual and strange in a way that is either funny or annoying

Sentence Examples:

1) My cousin Lana has a whimsical sense of humour.

2) 'Alice in Wonderland' is a whimsical tale about a curious girl who falls down a magical rabbit hole, leading her into a whole new world of adventure.

3) Much of the author's work has whimsical notions of human nature.

27 November 2017

Word of the week: exacerbate (verb)

Meaning:

to make something bad (such as a problem, disease, bad situation, negative feeling, etc.) even worse ( = worsen, aggravate)

Sentence Examples:

1) Charlotte's asthma was exacerbated by the air pollution.

2) The shortage of staff exacerbated the bad situation in the hospital.

3) The world recession has exacerbated the country's unemployment problem.

4) The bad relationship between Roger and Austin was exacerbated by the rumour.

20 November 2017

Word of the week: precarious (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) a precarious situation is dangerous, uncertain and likely to get worse

(b) likely to fall or cause someone to fall because not firmly fixed or securely held

Sentence Examples:

1) As Toby was in a financially precarious position, he decided not to buy the car. [Meaning (a)]

2) Yvonne makes a precarious living as a freelancer. (a)

3) Lindsay is extremely worried about her grandfather's precarious health condition. (a)

4) Be careful - the trail down to the lake is very precarious. (b)

13 November 2017

Word of the week: resounding (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (used only before noun) very great

(b) loud enough to echo

Sentence Examples:

1) The charity sale, which raised a great deal of funds, was a resounding success. [Meaning (a)]

2) The political party won a resounding victory in the previous general election. (a)

3) Due to the lack of proper planning, the scheme was a resounding failure. (a)

4) The wrestler threw his opponent onto the ground with a resounding thud. (b)

6 November 2017

Word of the week: belligerent (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) unfriendly and wishing to argue or fight ( = hostile / aggressive)

(b) (of a country) fighting a war against another country

Sentence Examples:

1) Try not to provoke Belinda - she's in a belligerent mood. [Meaning (a)]

2) If you wish to be more popular among your friends, you need to get rid of your belligerent attitude. (a)

3) Will you stop talking to me in the belligerent tone? (a)

4) Citizens of the belligerent countries, who are suffering, hope that the war would come to an end soon. (b)

30 October 2017

Word of the week: oblivious (adj.)

Meaning:

(oblivious to / of something) not aware or conscious of something happening around you ( = unaware)


Sentence Examples:

1) Absorbed in his book, the child was entirely oblivious of his father's presence.


2) They seemed oblivious to the disturbance they are causing their neighbours.

3) After years of living nearby the railway, Cathy has become oblivious to the noise whenever trains pass by.

23 October 2017

Word of the week: eavesdrop (verb)

Meaning:

to listen secretly to other people's conversations


Sentence Examples:

1) While we were having our meeting, he was eavesdropping outside the window.

2) It is rude to eavesdrop on other people's private conversations.

3) The secret agent uses a bug to eavesdrop on phone calls.

16 October 2017

Word of the week: atrocious (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) extremely unpleasant or bad ( = awful / terrible)

(b) (of behaviour or an act) shockingly cruel or wicked

Sentence Examples:

1) I would rather stay at home in this atrocious weather! [Meaning (a)]

2) It is unbelievable to find such atrocious paintings at the art gallery. (a)

3) We felt nauseous after an atrocious meal at the restaurant. (a)

4) He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for an atrocious crime. (b)

5) Unfortunately, Nicholas met with an atrocious accident and died on the spot. (b)

9 October 2017

Word of the week: inaugural (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (used before noun) an inaugural speech is the first speech given when someone starts an important job

(b) an inaugural event is the first in a series of planned similar events and marks the beginning of something important

Sentence Examples:

1) The prime minister's inaugural address to the nation was broadcast live. [Meaning (a)]

2) The president gave an inaugural speech not long after taking office. (a)

3) The inaugural meeting of the Nature Society will be held next Monday. (b)

4) We are going to the inaugural concert of the band next weekend. (b)

2 October 2017

Word of the week: defiant (adj.)

Meaning:

clearly refusing to obey someone or authority

Sentence Examples:

1) "I am not going to do as told," said Henry with a defiant look.

2) The defiant teenager smashed his fist on the table.

3) Brandon's defiant attitude towards the law had cost him his life.

4) The protesters remained defiant today and continued with their demonstrations.

25 September 2017

Word of the week: incumbent (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (incumbent on/upon someone) to be necessary for you as part of your duty or responsibility

(b) (used before a noun) having a named position officially

Sentence Examples:

1) It is incumbent on the president to warn the citizens of possible danger. [Meaning (a)]

2) Mr and Mrs Brown felt it incumbent on them to send their children to university. (a)

3) The incumbent prime minister is the longest-serving prime minister of that country. (b)

4) The people are unhappy with the incumbent government's decision to increase tax. (b)

18 September 2017

Word of the week: exonerate (verb)

Meaning:

to officially state that someone is not guilty of something that they have been blamed for

Sentence Examples:

1) As Lincoln had an alibi, he was exonerated from the accusation of robbery.

2) The judge exonerated Michael from all the charges of battery due to the fact that there was no evidence.

3) The report exonerated the manager of bribery and corruption.

11 September 2017

Word of the week: vindictive (adj.)

Meaning:

trying or wishing to harm somebody because you believe that they have harmed you; vengeful

Sentence Examples:

1) Even though he had harmed me a few times, I was not vindictive.

2) The man whose car was set fire to believed that he was a victim of a vindictive act.

3) Julie is anxious about the vindictive old man who thinks that she has harmed his cat deliberately while it was purely an accident.

4 September 2017

Word of the week: beguile (verb)

Meanings:

(a) to interest or attract somebody

(b) to trick or persuade somebody into doing something

(a) to do something enjoyable in order to help pass time pleasantly

Sentence Examples:

1) She was beguiled by his sweet talk and good look. [Meaning (a)]

2) Jonathan beguiled the children with exciting stories. (a)

3) She beguiled me into lending her money. (b)

4) The saleswoman beguiled my mother into buying some beauty products that she did not need. (b)

5) Jack beguiled the company's CEO into signing the contract. (b)

6) The students beguiled the holiday with reading. (c)

7) To beguile the time, they watched films and played games. (c)

28 August 2017

Word of the week: insipid (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (of food or drink) not having much taste or flavour

(b) not exciting, interesting or attractive; dull or boring

Sentence Examples:

1) Joanne added some sugar and milk to the insipid mug of coffee. [Meaning (a)]

2) I regretted ordering the insipid pasta dish. (a)

3) Josephine did not buy any of the blouses because of their insipid colours. (b)

4) After having our lunch, we had an insipid conversation before leaving the cafeteria. (b)

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11 September 2017

Word of the week: vindictive (adj.)

Meaning:

trying or wishing to harm somebody because you believe that they have harmed you; vengeful

Sentence Examples:

1) Even though he had harmed me a few times, I was not vindictive.

2) The man whose car was set fire to believed that he was a victim of a vindictive act.

3) Julie is anxious about the vindictive old man who thinks that she has harmed his cat deliberately while it was purely an accident.

More word of the week

21 August 2017

Word of the week: precocious (adj.)

Meaning:

(especially of a child) showing abilities or intelligence at an age that is younger than usual, or behaving like an adult

Sentence Examples:

1) As a child prodigy, Ben's precocious mathematical ability astounds his teachers.


2) My niece is a precocious child who was able to read and write at the age of two.

3) The computer genius displayed a precocious talent for computing since he was very young.

14 August 2017

Word of the week: impetuous (adj.)

Meaning:

likely to do things quickly and without thinking carefully about the results of your actions

Sentence Examples:

1) It was really impetuous of you to do that.


2) Dean made an impetuous decision and now he has to pay the price.

3) I got into bad company because I was young, ignorant and impetuous then.

7 August 2017

Word of the week: unequivocal (adj.)

Meaning:

(of your opinion or intention) expressed in a completely clear and certain way (opposite: equivocal)

Sentence Examples:

1) When I asked Jeremy if he was voting for the present government in the coming election, his answer was an unequivocal 'no'.


2) Kelly said that the chairman had the club members' unequivocal support.

3) The politicians were unequivocal in condemning the bombing.

31 July 2017

Word of the week: suffice (verb)

Meaning:

to be enough

Sentence Examples:

1) A little refreshment will suffice - I'll be having my dinner soon.


2) Since I'm not doing much shopping, taking $300 should suffice.

3) If you wish to make an appointment to see the dentist, a phone call will suffice.

24 July 2017

Word of the week: devastated (adj.)

Meaning:

very upset and shocked

Sentence Examples:

1) James was devastated by his parents' death in a plane crash.


2) Upon hearing the tragic news, Samantha was left feeling totally devastated.


3) Mr and Mrs Brown were devastated by the loss of their son.

17 July 2017

Word of the week: indifferent (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) not interested in somebody or something ( = unconcerned)

(b) not particularly good, but not very bad ( = mediocre)

Sentence Examples:

1) I was so engrossed in my study that I was indifferent to the noise outside. [Meaning (a)]

2) Benedict has never voted in his life because he is indifferent to politics. (a)

3) Due to his indifferent attitude towards the suffering of others, no one was willing to help him when he was in need. (a)

4) We seldom visit the restaurant because of the indifferent food served. (b)

5) Although Stevie has been working for the company for more than two decades, he was never promoted due to his indifferent performance. (b)

10 July 2017

Word of the week: engrossed (adj.)

Meaning:

so interested in something that you do not notice anything else and give it all your attention

Sentence Examples:

1) My mother was so engrossed in the telephone conversation that she forgot about the biscuits in the oven and they were burnt as a result.

2) My sister is engrossed with the fashion magazine.

3) The children were so engrossed in the jigsaw puzzle that they did not notice me come in.

3 July 2017

Word of the week: truancy (noun)

Meaning:

the action or practice of students staying away from school without permission

Sentence Examples:

1) Due to good management, truancy rates of the school are very low.

2) That school is fighting endlessly to combat truancy.

3) The principal questioned Patrick and a couple of his classmates about their frequent truancies.

26 June 2017

Word of the week: punitive (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) intended to punish somebody

(b) (of costs) so high that people find difficult to pay

Sentence Examples:

1) The government will take punitive action against drug dealers. [Meaning (a)]

2) The film star is suing the magazine for punitive damages, claiming that they have defamed her. (a)

3) She called for more punitive measures against traffic offenders. (a)

4) The prime minister disclosed that in the near future, punitive duties will be imposed on imported cars. (b)

19 June 2017

Word of the week: optimistic (adj.)

Meaning:

believing or hoping that good things will happen or something will be successful

Sentence Examples:

1) The athlete is optimistic about his chances of winning a gold medal in the coming Olympic Games.

2) If you are over-optimistic, you'll be disappointed when things do not turn out to be what you expected.

3) Even though Jane has tried her best, she's not very optimistic about her exam results.

4) The economists are now taking a more optimistic view of the Malaysian economy.

12 June 2017

Word of the week: crestfallen (adj.)

Meaning:

looking sad and disappointed

Sentence Examples:

1) Dean came back from the elocution contest empty-handed and crestfallen.

2) Nelly looks crestfallen because her parents have just cancelled her long-awaited birthday party.

3) My sister was crestfallen when she found out that she did not get the job.

5 June 2017

Word of the week: supplant (verb)

Meaning:

to take the place of somebody or something ( = replace, supersede)

Sentence Examples:

1) Bonnie will soon be supplanted as the chairperson of the club.

2) After Martha's baby brother was born, she has been supplanted in her parents' affections by her brother.

3) About half of the company's workforce will soon be supplanted by computers.

4) The printed edition of the encyclopaedia is now supplanted by CD-ROMs and e-books.

29 May 2017

Word of the week: expedite (verb)

Meaning:

to make something such as an action or a process happen more quickly ( = speed up)

Sentence Examples:

1) The government is coming up with strategies to expedite the process of issuing passports to citizens.

2) As we need the goods urgently, please make special arrangements to expedite the shipment.

3) The courier has developed a special system to expedite deliveries to customers.

22 May 2017

Word of the week: blunder (noun & verb)

Meanings:

(a) (noun) a serious, careless or stupid mistake

(b) (verb) to make a serious, careless or stupid mistake

Sentence Examples:

1) The waitress made a terrible blunder by adding salt instead of sugar to the customer's coffee. [Meaning (a)]

2) Finally, aware of the astonishing blunder he had made, he stopped and apologised. (a)

3) They blundered badly when they assigned Jason the important task. (b)

4) Jonathan was embarrassed to have blundered the third time today. (b)

15 May 2017

Word of the week: literally (adverb)

Meanings:

(a) according to the real or original meaning of a word, phrase or expression ( = exactly)

(b) used to emphasise that the truth of something, especially a large number, is really true and may seem surprising

(c) (informal) used to emphasise a word or strong expression that is used in a way that is different from its real or original meaning

Sentence Examples:

1) Please translate this passage literally. [Meaning (a)]

2) The word 'delighted' literally means 'very happy'. (a)

3) There are literally millions of different types of bacteria on our planet. (b)

4) The prolific writer has written literally hundreds of books. (b)

5) Judy literally cried her heart out when she heard the bad news. (c)

8 May 2017

Word of the week: lofty (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) if buildings, mountains, etc. are lofty, they are very high and impressive

(b) (of ideas, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, aims, etc.) showing high standards or moral qualities and therefore deserving praise

(c) having an opinion that you are better than other people (disapproving)

Sentence Examples:

1) The lofty tower in the heart of the city is among the world's tallest towers. [Meaning (a)]

2) Is that lofty mountain Mt Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia? (a)

3) Dr Kingston set herself the lofty goal of becoming one of the world's top 10 heart specialists in 5 years. (b)

4) As a man of lofty principles, he tries to help the poor and needy whenever he can. (b)

5) Her lofty disdain for other people makes her an unpopular person. (c)

1 May 2017

Word of the week: cognitive (adj.)

Meaning:

connected to the mental process of understanding, knowing and learning something

Sentence Examples:

1) Since the car accident, some of my grandfather's cognitive functions have been impaired.

2) A friend of mine is studying cognitive psychology in a university.

3) Children's cognitive development is about children developing or constructing a mental model of the world.

24 April 2017

Word of the week: paranoid (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) feeling extremely worried and nervous because you believe unreasonably that people are trying to harm you

(b) suffering from a mental illness which makes you believe that other people are trying to harm you

Sentence Examples:

1) Lilian is getting really paranoid about her personal security. [Meaning (a)]

2) Michael does not have many friends because he has always been paranoid about what other people say about him. (a)

3) His uncle is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and is currently hospitalised. (b)

4) I watched a film about a paranoid killer who was captured and sentenced to life imprisonment in the end. (b)

17 April 2017

Word of the week: escapism (noun)

Meaning:

activities or forms of entertainment that help you to forget or avoid unpleasant or boring things for a short time

Sentence Examples:

1) For Ricky, adventure films are a form of escapism.

2) Going on holidays are pure escapism for many people.

3) For me, computer games are a form of escapism from the real world.

10 April 2017

Word of the week: mortify (verb)

Meaning:

to make someone extremely embarrassed or ashamed

Sentence Examples:

1) Our history teacher was mortified by her own inability to answer such a simple question.

2) I've never felt so mortified in my life!

3) Meg was mortified to be fooled in public.

4) Leslie was mortified to be corrected by a seven-year-old.

3 April 2017

Word of the week: epitome (noun)

Meaning:

(a person or thing) that is the perfect or best possible example of something

Sentence Examples:

1) In the hit film, the villain was portrayed as the very epitome of evil.

2) Audrey is the epitome of a modern single lady.

3) You can find fashionable clothes that are the epitome of good taste in this boutique.

27 March 2017

Word of the week: repugnant (adj.)

Meaning:

(usually not used before a noun) extremely offensive and unpleasant, causing a feeling of disgust or dislike

Sentence Examples:

1) We found their political suggestions absolutely repugnant.

2) Lauren has been a vegetarian for years and the idea of eating meat is repugnant to her.

3) Some people find the death sentence morally repugnant.

20 March 2017

Word of the week: colloquial (adj.)

Meaning:

(of language or words) used mainly in informal conversations but not in writing or formal speech

Sentence Examples:

1) The use of colloquial words and phrases are not encouraged when writing official letters.

2) 'Kid', 'quote', 'how come' and 'you're fired' are examples of colloquial words and phrases.

3) Excessive use of colloquial words and phrases diminishes the quality of formally written text.

6 March 2017

Word of the week: boisterous (verb)

Meaning:

noisy, cheerful and full of energy

Sentence Examples:

1) The new teacher is having problem handling a class of boisterous six-year-olds.

2) "Janet, are you sure you want to participate in this boisterous game?" Janet's mother asked.

3) Boisterous activities are prohibited in the library.

4) I saw a flock of boisterous and gregarious birds at the mini zoo last week.

27 February 2017

Word of the week: emulate (verb)

Meaning:

to try to copy someone's achievement and do it as well as they have or better ( = imitate)

Sentence Examples:

1) Waverly wishes to emulate his brother's excellent academic achievements.

2) Teenagers tend to emulate their idols' hairstyles.

3) The new computer company hopes to emulate the success of other companies.

20 February 2017

Word of the week: succulent

Meanings:

(a) (adj.) (of meat, vegetables and fruit) tender, juicy and tasting good

(b) (adj.) (of plants) having thick fleshy leaves or stems containing plenty of water

(c) (noun) any plant with thick fleshy leaves or stems containing plenty of water, such as the cactus

Sentence Examples:

1) Wendy had a succulent steak at that restaurant last evening. [Meaning (a)]

2) "Sir, do you want to sample one of the pears that have just arrived? They're fresh and succulent," said the saleswoman at the supermarket. (a)

3) Small pots of succulent plants are popular nowadays as decorative items. (b)

4) Do you know whether the plant with succulent leaves outside my house is a cactus? (b)

5) "Excuse me, Miss. Are books on cacti and succulents available here?" Edward asked the shop assistant. (c)

13 February 2017

Word of the week: relinquish (verb)

Meaning:

to unwillingly stop having something such as rights, power or position

Sentence Examples:

1) Before leaving the country, Brandon relinquished possession of the car to his brother.

2) The king lost the war and was forced to relinquish control of his kingdom.

3) Although the search parties had stopped searching for Mr Alfred's missing son, he refused to relinquish the hope that his son was still alive.

4) Because of ill health, he had to relinquish his managerial role.

6 February 2017

Word of the week: confidant (noun)

Meaning:

someone whom you can trust and tell your secrets or private things to (feminine - confidante)

Sentence Examples:

1) Mr Ronald is a trusted confidant of the president.


2) According to a close confidante of the princess, the princess often disguises herself as a civilian and mixes freely with members of the public.

3) Stephanie did not tell the secret to anybody except Belinda, who was her confidante since childhood.

30 January 2017

Word of the week: excruciating

Meanings:

(a) (adj.) extremely painful

(b) (adj.) extremely unpleasant, boring or embarrassing

Sentence Examples:

1) As the pain in my lower back was excruciating, I went to see a doctor. [Meaning (a)]

2) The child cried due to the excruciating toothache. (a)

3) Sally describes what happened to her in excruciating detail. (b)

4) His full confession turned out to be excruciating. (b)

23 January 2017

Word of the week: aloof

Meanings:

(a) unfriendly or uninterested in other people

(b) purposely not involved in something, usually because you do not approve of what is going on

Sentence Examples:

1) Timothy may appear to be aloof, but in actual fact, he is a warm and sympathetic person if you get to know him well. [Meaning (a)]

2) In his later years, he became aloof and silent. (a)

3) Even though Sophia joined the class a few months ago, she has always kept herself aloof from the other students. (a)

4) No matter what happens in the neighbourhood, Max always remains aloof. (b)

5) James stayed aloof from the illegal boycott as he did not wish to get into trouble. (b)

16 January 2017

Word of the week: etiquette

Meaning:

the formal set of rules for correct or polite behaviour in social situations or a particular group

Sentence Examples:

1) Our late grandfather used to give us advice on etiquette.

2) According to social etiquette, mobile phones should be turned off during important events and business meetings.

3) Alice borrowed a book on etiquette from the library.

4) Dr Julian is a doctor who observes the rules of professional etiquette strictly.

9 January 2017

Word of the week: mandatory

Meaning:

something that is required by law ( = compulsory, obligatory)

Sentence Examples:

1) In some countries, a serious drug offence carries a mandatory death sentence.

2) To get the diploma, it is mandatory for students to have a minimum of five subject passes.

2 January 2017

Word of the week: prominent

Meanings:

(a) very famous or important

(b) easily seen ( = noticeable)

(c) projecting or sticking out from something

Sentence Examples:

1) Edward Jenner was a prominent English scientist who was the pioneer of the small pox vaccine. [Meaning (a)]

2) Since Yvonne has access to some extremely prominent people, she might be able to help you. (a)

3) Jennifer had a prominent part in the play. (a)

4) Harry played a prominent role in the campaign. (a)

5) The large fish among the small ones is prominent in the aquarium. (b)

6) The new car model is displayed in a prominent position in the showroom. (b)

7) The proboscis monkey is an animal with a prominent nose. (c)

8) Dr Sam is the dentist who treated my daughter's prominent front teeth. (c)

26 December 2016

Word of the week: vulberable

Meaning:

a vulnerable person is weak and easily harmed or hurt emotionally, physically or mentally

Sentence Examples:

1) The child, who has a weak immune system, is vulnerable to illness.

2) I felt very vulnerable, being lost in the jungle all alone and unarmed.

3) The town was vulnerable to attack from the south.

4) Young animals are vulnerable to predators.

19 December 2016

Word of the week: integral

Meanings:

(a) forming an essential part of something

(b) included as part of something, not being separate

(c) having all the necessary parts to be complete

Sentence Examples:

1) The arms and legs are integral parts of a human body.

2) As the captain, Dominic is an integral part of our football team.

3) Extra-curricular activity is an integral part of the school curriculum.

4) The LED TV comes with an integral remote control.

5) This integral security system is in great demand.

12 December 2016

Word of the week: deliberately

Meanings:

(a) done in a way that was planned or intended, not by chance ( = on purpose / purposely, intentionally)

(b) done or said slowly or carefully

Sentence Examples:

1) I believe that someone set fire to the car deliberately.

2) Leslie deliberately sat beside Britney to attract her attention.

3) I'm sure Fred made these comments deliberately to insult me.

4) Slowly and deliberately, he rose from the settee and walked out of the house.

5) Calmly and deliberately, Jack tore the document into pieces and set it alight.

5 December 2016

Word of the week: nonchalant

Meaning:

behaving in a relaxed and calm manner, often in a way that suggests you are not feeling any anxiety, interest or enthusiasm

Sentence Examples:

1) "Yeah, whatever," Nelly replied with a nonchalant shrug.

2) "Is she married?" Frank asked, trying to sound nonchalant.

3) Adam wanted to be Isabel's boyfriend but she was completely nonchalant to him.

28 November 2016

Word of the week: irrefutable

Meaning:

impossible to be proven wrong and thus must be accepted (opposite: refutable)

Sentence Examples:

1) As he had irrefutable proofs of his innocence, he walked out of the court a free man.

2) There is irrefutable evidence that smoking is harmful to our health.

3) After a long debate, Edwin won the votes cast as he had irrefutable arguments for the proposal.

21 November 2016

Word of the week: aftermath

Meaning:

the period of time that follows something unpleasant such as a flood, storm, war, etc. and the effects it causes

Sentence Examples:

1) Many people were made homeless in the aftermath of the flood.

2) Apart from the danger of diseases in the aftermath of the earthquake, a lot of rebuilding took place.

3) Many more lives were lost in the aftermath of the war.

4) There was a severe famine in the aftermath of the drought.

5) Many families received compensation from the airline for losing their loved ones in the aftermath of the plane crash.

14 November 2016

Word of the week: indispensable

Meaning:

someone or something that is so useful or important that you could not manage without them (opposite: dispensable)

Sentence Examples:

1) A library is indispensable to a university.

2) Vitamins and minerals are indispensable for maintaining a healthy life.

3) This book by Dr James Martin is an indispensable resource to anyone interested in photography.

4) It is true that no one is indispensable at work, but anyone can be a valued employee.

5) Televisions have become an indispensable part of our lives.

7 November 2016

Word of the week: exasperate

Meaning:

to make someone very irritated or annoyed by doing something that upsets them

Sentence Examples:

1) People who do not keep their promises exasperate me.

2) Marie was exasperated by her baby brother because he tore her school project into pieces.

3) As a teenager, Terry's disobedience and rebellion exasperate his parents.

4) Henry was exasperated by Carey's criticism.

31 October 2016

Word of the week: detrimental

Meaning:

causing harm or damage ( = harmful)

Sentence Examples:

1) Drinking too much alcohol is detrimental to your health.

2) When Janet sunbathes, she applies sunblock to her skin to protect it from the detrimental effects of the sun.

3) After contracting a certain disease, Gary tried to cure himself by taking herbal medicine but his doctor advised him against doing so as it had detrimental effects on the healing process.

24 October 2016

Word of the week: adamant

Meaning:

unwilling to change your mind or a decision you have made

Sentence Examples:

1) Adam begged Leo to change his mind and sell him this plot of land but he remained adamant.

2) My grandfather was adamant that he would not undergo the heart surgery.

3) Nora wanted his son to further his studies in order to have a better future but he was adamant in refusing to comply with her wish.

17 October 2016

Word of the week: mediocre

Meaning:

not very good; of only average quality or standard ( = second rate)

Sentence Examples:

1) As a mediocre student, Edward is planning to receive private tuition in order to perform better academically.

2) I thought Nelly was only a mediocre musician, but she turned out to be much more talented.

3) Donovan sent his children to a mediocre school because he could not afford the high fees of better schools.

10 October 2016

Word of the week: gesticulate

Meaning:

to make movements with your hands and arms, usually while speaking, to emphasise what you are saying or to attract attention

Sentence Examples:

1) Noticing that the child is in danger of falling, Elaine gesticulates frantically and shouts, "Stop! Stop!"

2) An old lady was gesticulating and trying to say something outside the window.

3) Trying to remind Max that he was running out of time, Annie gesticulated wildly at the clock.

3 October 2016

Word of the week: connoisseur

Meaning:

an expert on arts, food, drink, music, beauty, etc.

Sentence Examples:

1) Luke Fraser, a connoisseur of painting, is able to tell you the real value of this particular painting.

2) Kim is a music connoisseur who has written innumerable reviews on the subject.

3) A panel of beauty connoisseurs will judge the beauty contest.

26 September 2016

Word of the week: adequate

Meaning:

enough or satisfactory for a particular purpose or need ( = sufficient)

Sentence Examples:

1) Are the seats adequate for 1,000 guests?

2) As there were adequate proofs, the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.

3) The large space provided is more than adequate for our needs.

4) Their performance standard is barely adequate.

19 September 2016

Word of the week: aggravate

Meanings:

(a) to make a bad situation or a disease worse ( = worsen)

(b) to annoy someone, especially on purpose ( = irritate)

Sentence Examples:

1) New student enrolments have aggravated the problem of inadequate classrooms.

2) Josh's health aggravates although he is presently receiving treatment.

3) Duncan was aggravated by Britney's bossy attitude.

4) Will you please stop aggravating me?

12 September 2016

Word of the week: culminate

Meaning:

to end with a particular event or result

Sentence Examples:

1) The couple's relationship got worse and worse and it culminated in a divorce.

2) Months of the scientists' hard work culminated in a cure for the disease.

3) The badly managed company finally culminated in bankruptcy.

4) The war culminated in total victory.

5) The band's world tour will culminate in an impressive concert in Tokyo.

5 September 2016

Word of the week: eliminate

Meanings:

(a) to completely remove or get rid of something or somebody

(b) to defeat someone or a team in a competition so that they no longer take part

(c) to kill someone, especially an opponent or enemy, in order to stop them from causing trouble

Sentence Examples:

1) High cholesterol foods should be eliminated from your diet.

2) The objective of the organisation is to eliminate poverty from the country.

3) After buying a car, Ariel eliminated the need to travel by public transport.

4) Since Tom had a perfect alibi, the police eliminated him from their investigation.

5) Alan's team was eliminated from the competition in the second round.

6) Last evening I watched a film about a security guard helping a drug gang eliminate rivals.

29 August 2016

Word of the week: lingua franca

Meaning:

a communication language used by people whose main languages are different

Sentence Examples:

1) In this multiracial country, Mandarin is the lingua franca.

2) Some people believe that music is the lingua franca of the globe.

3) Many people all over the world see English as a lingua franca.

22 August 2016

Word of the week: alibi

Meanings:

(a) evidence that proves that a person was not where a crime happened and so could not have committed it

(b) an excuse for something bad or something you have done wrong

Sentence Examples:

1) The suspect had a cast-iron alibi - he was hospitalised the week of the crime.

2) As usual, John used being stuck in a traffic jam as an alibi for being late for work.

15 August 2016

Word of the week: deteriorate

Meaning:

to become worse

Sentence Examples:

1) After a long period of hospitalisation, her condition suddenly deteriorated and she died shortly afterwards.

2) Relationships between the two countries deteriorated and war broke out eventually.

3) Many flights were cancelled due to the deteriorating weather conditions.

4) When they failed to reach an agreement, their discussion deteriorated into an angry argument.

8 August 2016

Word of the day: culminate

Meaning: to end with a particular event or result

Sentence Examples:

1) The couple's relationship got worse and worse and it culminated in a divorce.

2) Months of the scientists' hard work culminated in a cure for the disease.

3) The badly managed company finally culminated in bankruptcy.

4) The war culminated in total victory.

5) The band's world tour will culminate in an impressive concert in Tokyo.

1 August 2016

Word of the week: sedentary

Meaning:

(a) (of people) spending a lot of time sitting down and not exercising or moving

(b) (of work, lifestyles, etc.) in which you spend much time sitting down, involving little exercise or physical activity

(c) (of people or animals) staying and living in the same place

Sentence Examples:

1) My grandparents' doctor advises them to do more exercise as they are becoming increasingly sedentary.

2) Sedentary lifestyles tend to cause health problems.

3) Edwin is thinking of getting a new job as he is bored with sedentary work.

4) Giraffes, tigers, rhinos and cheetahs are examples of sedentary animals.

5) The population of this town is made up of mainly sedentary citizens.

25 July 2016

Word of the week: imminent

Meaning:

(especially something unpleasant) coming or will happen very soon

Sentence Examples:

1) The AIDS patient is in imminent danger of dying.

2) A war between the two countries seems imminent.

3) Most people believe that the system is in no imminent danger of collapse.

18 July 2016

Word of the week: subjugate

Meaning:

to defeat a person, a group or something and have control over it

Sentence Examples:

1) According to a documentary, a few tribes living in the remote areas of the Amazonian rainforest were subjugated and exploited.

2) The subjugated race has tried in vain to resist the subjugation.

3) Since my father's demise, my ambitions have been subjugated by the needs of my family.

11 July 2016

Word of the week: demise

Meanings:

(a) death

(b) the end or failure of an enterprise, institution, an idea, etc.

Sentence Examples:

1) Frederick was shocked and saddened by the news of his best friend's sudden demise.

2) Intense competition has caused the demise of a local newspaper.

4 July 2016

Word of the week: documentary

Meaning:

a television or film or radio programme giving facts and information about a subject

Sentence Examples:

1) An overseas film crew is making a documentary about the sightings of UFOs.

2) The Star Channel is now broadcasting a documentary on animals' seasonal migration.

27 June 2016

Word of the week: innumerable

Meaning:

too many to be counted; a large number of

Sentence Examples:

1) James Ritchie, who is a prolific author, has written innumerable books.

2) The streets are decorated with innumerable flags of all colours.

3) Innumerable problems caused the cancellation of the project.

20 June 2016

Word of the week: prolific

Meanings:

(a) (of a writer, an artist, etc.) producing many works of art, books, etc.

(b) (of animals, plants, etc.) producing many babies, fruit, flowers, other plants or offspring, etc.

(c) existing in large numbers or quantities

(d) (of a sports player) producing a lot of goals, runs, etc.; high-scoring

Sentence Examples:

1) The prolific songwriter makes a lot of money selling his works.

2) Rats and mice are prolific breeders.

3) Wildlife is prolific in the tropical jungles.

4) South Africa is prolific in gold and diamonds.

5) Terry's name is in the list of the most prolific goalscorer this decade.

13 June 2016

Word of the week: accomplish

Meaning:

to complete something successfully

Sentence Examples:

1) Has the mission been accomplished?

2) The students accomplished their project within a week.

3) Eric felt that he had not accomplished much since he left college.

6 June 2016

Word of the week: ominous

Meaning:

making you feel that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen

Sentence Examples:

1) There was an ominous silence when I asked the doctor regarding my son's health condition.

2) I suggest we cancel the trip - there are ominous dark clouds gathering overhead.

30 May 2016

Word of the week: substantial

Meanings:

(a) large in amount, size or value; important (=considerable)

(b) large and strongly built

Sentence Examples:

1) The robbers robbed the bank and escaped with a substantial amount of cash.

2) Thomas leads a comfortable life with a substantial salary.

3) Your news report requires substantial editing.

4) Jennifer's not hungry as she ate a substantial breakfast this morning.

5) This substantial piece of furniture is a real bargain at its price.

6) The wealthy man owns a row of substantial villas.

23 May 2016

Word of the week: instantaneous

Meaning:

happening or done immediately, without any delay

Sentence Examples:

1) When Max was asked a question, he gave an instantaneous response.

2) The use of the telephone is one of the modern methods of instantaneous communication.

16 May 2016

Word of the week: notorious

Meaning:

well known or famous for something bad (=infamous)

Sentence Examples:

1) It is particularly worrying that the notorious criminal has escaped from prison.

2) The notorious computer hacker has been caught and is currently being sued.

3) The country is notorious for its abuse of human rights.

9 May 2016

Word of the week: pandemonium

Meaning:

a situation in which there is a lot of noise, confusion

Sentence Examples:

1) Pandemonium broke out when the election results were announced.

2) There was pandemonium in the street when the people heard the sound of gunshots.

2 May 2016

Word of the week: celebrity

Meaning:

(a) a famous living person, especially in the entertainment and sports business (=star)

(b) the state of being famous or well known

Sentence Examples:

1) The professional tennis player became a sporting celebrity a few years after he started the career.

2) Sue was honoured to be interviewed by a TV celebrity.

3) As he became more successful, his celebrity grew.

25 April 2016

Word of the week: exaggerate

Meaning:

to make something seem bigger, better, worse, more important, etc. than it really is

Sentence Examples:

1) You're exaggerating - I don't think your new car is that expensive.

2) Nancy tends to exaggerate any aches and pains to get more attention.

3) The damage caused by the fire has been greatly exaggerated.

18 April 2016

Word of the week: consequence

Meanings:

(a) a result of something that has happened, usually one that is bad or unpleasant

(b) not very important

Sentence Examples:

1) Twelve families were made homeless as a consequence of the fire.

2) Ed is currently hospitalised and suffering the consequences of his reckless driving.

3) Since the incident happened so many years ago, I suppose it is of no consequence now.

11 April 2016

Word of the week: reluctant

Meaning:

unwilling to do something and thus slow to do it

Sentence Examples:

1) I enjoyed the party so much that I was reluctant to leave.

2) Even though Rebecca had made a mistake, she was reluctant to admit it.

3) The actor seemed reluctant to answer the reporters' questions.

4 April 2016

Word of the week: paramount

Meanings:

(a) more important than anything else

(b) having the highest rank or the greatest power

Sentence Examples:

1) Since safety is paramount, it is advisable to fasten your seat belt.

2) The issue of paramount importance should be dealt with first.

3) The paramount chief of the tribe is a capable and just leader.

28 March 2016

Word of the week: interpersonal

Meaning:

connected with relationships or communication with people

Sentence Examples:

1) You need good interpersonal skills to be a successful salesman.

2) Steven is planning to take a course in interpersonal communications.

21 March 2016

Word of the week: ablaze

Meanings:

(a) burning quickly and fiercely

(b) (ablaze with) very brightly lit or coloured

(c) (ablaze with) filled with strong emotion or excitement

Sentence Examples:

1) Soon, the whole wooden house was ablaze.

2) A few vehicles were set ablaze during the arson attack.

3) My garden is ablaze with flowers.

4) We saw a number of carnival floats with their lights ablaze last evening.

5) When Henry heard the bad news, his eyes were ablaze with fury.

14 March 2016

Word of the week: eminent

Meaning:

(of a person) important, famous and respected

Sentence Examples:

1) Kevin's father is one of the world's most eminent statesmen.

2) Vivian wishes to be an eminent lawyer some day.

7 March 2016

Word of the week: ovation

Meaning:

if a group of people or an audience give someone an ovation, they clap as a sign of approval or great enjoyment

Sentence Examples:

1) At the end of the singer's performance, she was given a standing ovation.

2) The appearance of the rock group on stage was greeted with a thunderous ovation.

29 February 2016

Word of the week: benign

Meanings:

(a) (of people) kind, gentle and pleasant

(b) not harmful to the environment

(c) (of tumours or diseases) not harmful or likely to cause death

Sentence Examples:

1) Although the principal is a benign man, he is firm with the students.

2) A benign old lady showed me the way to your house.

3) Mr Jefferson gave me a benign smile.

4) I usually cycle because the bicycle is a benign form of transport.

5) Don't worry about the chemical additives - they are environmentally benign.

6) Benny's family doctor told him that he had a benign tumour in his throat.

22 February 2016

Word of the week: deprecate

Meaning:

to disapprove something strongly

Sentence Examples:

1) The management board deprecated the transfer of shares.

2) Melissa wanted to be a model but her family, especially her parents, deprecated.

15 February 2016

Word of the week: procrastinate

Meaning:

to delay doing something that you must do, usually because you do not wish to do it

Sentence Examples:

1) I don't think Jeremy can be trusted with the job - he loves to procrastinate.

2) Since the present government tends to procrastinate, many voters are contemplating a change of government.

8 February 2016

Word of the week: contemplate

Meanings:

(a) to consider seriously if you should do something, or how it should be done

(b) to think about and accept the possibility of something happening

Sentence Examples:

1) Nancy is contemplating Jack's proposal.

2) I have never contemplated resigning, although I have a boring job.

3) The thought of being captured and tortured by their enemies is too awful to contemplate.

1 February 2016

Word of the week: proposal

Meanings:

(a) a plan or formal suggestion made to an official group or person; the act of making it

(b) a formal act of asking someone to marry you

Sentence Examples:

1) Lionel's proposal for the new project has been accepted.

2) The government is considering the proposal to build a nuclear power station.

3) Susan courteously declined Michael's marriage proposal.

25 January 2016

Word of the week: unscrupulous

Meaning:

not having moral principles; dishonest or unfair

Sentence Examples:

1) Unscrupulous employers tend to exploit their employees.

2) Unscrupulous businessmen who sell goods at exorbitant prices will be reported to the authorities.

18 January 2016

Word of the week: exploit

Meanings:

(a) to treat somebody unfairly by making them work and giving them very little in return

(b) to use someone or a situation as a chance for your own advantage

Sentence Examples:

1) James, who is young and innocent, has been exploited at his workplace.

2) The homeworkers are going on strike because they are being exploited by their company.

3) The politician exploited his father's name to get more votes.

11 January 2016

Word of the week: incognito

Meaning:

if you do something incognito, you do it in a way that prevents other people from recognising you

Sentence Examples:

1) The famous actor often travels incognito.

2) The prince's wish is to mingle incognito at parties, though he is prohibited from doing so.

3) Edward often donates incognito to charity.

4 January 2016

Word of the week: mingle

Meanings:

a) to mix together

b) if you mingle at a social event, you move around and talk to other people

Sentence Examples:

1) Britney mingles milk with tea to make her favourite drink.

2) "Don't just sit there - you should try to mingle with the other guests at the party."

28 December 2015

Word of the week: succinct

Meaning:

(especially of something spoken and written) expressed clearly in a few words

Sentence Examples:

1) Keep your answers as succinct and straight to the point as possible.

2) When Frederick was asked the reason why he was late for the meeting, he gave a succinct explanation.

21 December 2015

Word of the week: cynical

Meanings:

a) believing that people are generally selfish and do not have good, honest or sincere reasons to do something

b) not concerned that something might hurt someone, when trying to get something for yourself

Sentence Examples:

1) My aunt, who is in her fifties, is still single because she takes a cynical view of men.

2) The dumping of toxic chemical wastes into a river is a cynical disregard for the safety of others.

14 December 2015

Word of the week: pertinent

Meaning:

directly related to the subject or topic considered

Sentence Examples:

1) Please ask questions pertinent to today's discussion.

2) Sebastian made quite a few pertinent remarks during the meeting.

7 December 2015

Word of the week: quintessence

Meaning:

the most perfect or typical example of something

Sentence Examples:

1) Edwin, the model student, is the quintessence of good manners.

2) It was the quintessence of a traditional Japanese house.

30 November 2015

Word of the week: improvise

Meanings:

(a) to make or do something with whatever you can find because you do not have what you need

(b) to invent music, words in a play, a statement, etc. from your imagination while you are playing or talking, rather than planning it in advance

Sentence Examples:

1) There were no pillows, so we had to improvise with a few blankets.

2) The director invited the actors and actresses to improvise dialogue.

3) Although the politician gave an improvised speech, he received a big round of applause.

23 November 2015

Word of the week: benevolent

Meaning:

kind, generous and helpful

Sentence Examples:

1) Michael's benevolent and wealthy uncle paid for his tertiary education.

2) "Don't worry - I'll help you solve your problems," said Audrey with a benevolent smile.

16 November 2015

Word of the week: tertiary

Meaning:

(education) at university or college level

Sentence Examples:

1) You need tertiary education to apply for the post of manager.

2) Samantha completed her tertiary education in 2008.

9 November 2015

Word of the week: exorbitant

Meaning:

(of a price) much higher than it should be

Sentence Examples:

1) Loan sharks are people who lend money at exorbitant rates of interest.

2) Jeremy looked at the exorbitant dinner bill in surprise.

2 November 2015

Word of the week: rhetorical

Meaning:

(a) (of a question) asked as a way to make a statement, without expecting an answer

(b) using a speech or a piece of writing in special ways to influence people or to produce an impressive effect, but not totally sincere or honest

Sentence Examples:

1) "Do you know how much I care about you?" Martha asked her son, but it was a rhetorical question.

2) Although the mayor gave a speech full of rhetorical phrases, it did not impress me much.

26 October 2015

Word of the week: auspicious

Meaning:

Meaning: showing that something is likely to be successful in the future

Sentence Examples:

1) Cindy's great diligence in her schoolwork is an auspicious start to passing the public exam with flying colours.

2) Although Elaine married Bob eventually, their first date was not auspicious - they had a huge argument.

19 October 2015

Word of the week: amicable

Meaning:

Meaning: (of behaviour between people) pleasant, polite or friendly and without any quarrels

Sentence Examples:

1) After about 8 years, the band finally announced their amicable split.

2) Unfortunately, the relationship between Laura and me has not always been amicable.

12 October 2015

Word of the week: supercilious (= superior)

Meaning:

if you are supercilious, you are behaving as if you are better and more important than other people

Sentence Examples:

1) The boutique owner was quite supercilious.

2) The wine waiter spoke in a supercilious voice.

5 October 2015

Word of the week: rumbustious (American English - rambunctious)

Meaning:

full of energy, noise and fun

Sentence Examples:

1) My German Shepherd bitch has given birth to a litter of lively and rumbustious puppies.

2) Julie needs help - she has problem controlling the rumbustious children at her son's birthday party.

28 September 2015

Word of the week: unsavoury

Meaning:

unpleasant or offensive; not morally acceptable

Sentence Examples:

1) A few unsavoury characters at the railway station extorted money from Patrick yesterday.

2) My advice is to stay away from the club - it has an unsavoury reputation.

21 September 2015

Word of the week: reputation

Meaning:

the opinion that people have about somebody or something, based on what has happened in the past

Sentence Examples:

1) During his schooldays, he had a reputation as a troublemaker.

2) The Kingston is a hotel with a good reputation for its excellent service.

3) With Lisa's professional qualifications and talents, she soon acquired a reputation as a first-class cook.

4) Henry's good reputation has been tarnished when he was caught accepting bribes.

14 September 2015

Word of the week: tarnish

Meanings:

(1) to spoil the good name of someone or something

(2) (of metals) become less bright and shiny

Sentence Examples:

1) A series of scandals has tarnished the actress' public image.

2) Moisture and air tarnish copper.

3) Do you mind polishing these tarnished silver spoons?

7 September 2015

Word of the week: exponential

Meaning:

describing a rate of increase becoming faster and faster as the amount of the thing that is growing increases

Sentence Examples:

1) My boss is extremely pleased with the exponential growth of his business.

2) There has been an exponential increase in the world's population in the past half-century.

1 September 2015

Word of the week: presumptuous

Meaning:

people who are presumptuous do things that they have no right to do, in a way that shows disrespect for other people

Sentence Examples:

1) I hope it would not be presumptuous of me to ask why you are so upset.

2) Would I be considered presumptuous if I comment on the matter?

25 August 2015

Word of the week: philanthropist

Meaning:

a rich person who helps the poor and needy, especially by giving them lots of money

Sentence Examples:

1) Perry's father is a philanthropist who donates generously to charity.

2) The orphanage has just received a donation from a wealthy American philanthropist.

17 August 2015

Word of the week: altruistic

Meaning:

showing that you care about the needs and happiness of other people, even though this brings no advantage to yourself; unselfish

Sentence Examples:

1) I believe Jason's motives for donating money to charity are not altruistic - he's simply looking for publicity.

2) Harry's popularity among his friends is due to his altruistic personality.

3) Her fund-raising activities are entirely altruistic acts.

10 August 2015

Word of the week: palpable

Meaning:

a feeling that is so strong that it is easily noticed, felt or touched

Sentence Examples:

1) When she heard the good news, her joy was palpable.

2) During the funeral, the sense of loss among the attendees was almost palpable.

3 August 2015

Word of the week: convalesce

Meaning:

to rest and spend time getting well after getting an illness or a medical treatment; recover

Sentence Examples:

1) After undergoing a heart operation, my grandfather is now convalescing at home.

2) Edwin convalesced for about six months after the stroke.

27 July 2015

Word of the week: egregious

Meaning:

very bad and noticeable

Sentence Examples:

1) The publisher is currently being sued for egregious abuse of copyright.

2) Due to Harry's egregious misbehavior, he was suspended from college for a fortnight.

20 July 2015

Word of the week: sheer

Meanings:

(a) used to emphasize the size, weight, quantity, etc. of something

(b) nothing except

Sentence Examples:

1) The sheer size of the shopping complex impressed us.

2) His suggestion was unheeded because it was sheer nonsense.

13 July 2015

Word of the week: attribute

Meaning:

to think or say that something is caused by a particular thing

Sentence Examples:

1) Cindy attributes her excellent academic performance to her hard work.

2) The bad weather conditions attributed to the flight delays.

6 July 2015

Word of the week: beguile

Meanings:

(a) to persuade or trick someone into doing something

(b) to attract and interest someone

Sentence Examples:

1) The salesman beguiled her into buying a set of cooking utensils that she did not want.

2) When Alex met Valerie for the first time, he was completely beguiled by her beauty.

29 June 2015

Word of the week: resolution

Meaning:

a promise to yourself to do or not to do something

Sentence Examples:

1) James made a resolution to do well academically.

2) One of Janet's New Year's resolutions is to give up smoking.

22 June 2015

Word of the week: predicament

Meaning:

an unpleasant or difficult situation where you do not know what to do

Sentence Examples:

1) To get out of the company's financial predicament, the management is hoping to get a loan from the bank.

2) I explained my terrible predicament to the manager.

15 June 2015

Word of the week: commotion

Meaning:

sudden noisy disturbance, confusion or excitement

Sentence Examples:

1) We were distracted by a commotion downstairs and went to find out what was happening.

2) The arrival of the superstar caused quite a commotion.

8 June 2015

Word of the week: extrapolate

Meaning:

to use existing facts to guess or estimate what is likely to happen or be true in the future

Sentence Examples:

1) We cannot accurately extrapolate too far into the future from current trends.

2) It is too risky to extrapolate these results to other patient groups.

1 June 2015

Word of the week: immaculate

Meanings:

(1) very clean and tidy; spotless (2) without any mistakes; perfect

Sentence Examples:

1) My mother loves to work in an immaculate kitchen.

2) The pianist gave an immaculate performance last evening.

25 May 2015

Word of the week: patriotic

Meaning:

having or expressing a great love for your country

Sentence Examples:

1) The soldiers are performing a patriotic song on stage.

2) The ex-president was a patriotic man who served his country well.

18 May 2015

Word of the week: acrid

Meaning:

having a strong, bitter and unpleasant smell or taste; irritating to the eyes, nose, etc.

Sentence Examples:

1) Let's get out of here - I can't stand the acrid smoke.

2) Where does the acrid smell originate?

11 May 2015

Word of the week: umpteen

Meaning:

very many; a lot of (used especially when one is annoyed there are so many)

Sentence Examples:

1) I can't go out with you because I have umpteen things to do.

2) Eric called Julie umpteen times but did not get any answers.

4 May 2015

Word of the week: apprehensive

Meaning:

worried or fearful that something unpleasant may happen; feeling anxiety about the future

Sentence Examples:

1) We have no reason to be apprehensive about their visit.

2) They were deeply apprehensive that something bad might have happened.

27 April 2015

Word of the week: fugitive

Meaning:

a person who is running away (especially from the police) and is trying to avoid being caught

Sentence Examples:

1) After being in hiding for a decade, the fugitive is finally brought into justice.

2) The criminals escaped from prison and are being sought for as fugitives.

20 April 2015

Word of the week: perpetual

Meaning:

continuing for a long time without stopping or changing; continuous

Sentence Examples:

1) The perpetual noise of traffic is driving me crazy!

2) My niece is a cute little girl with a perpetual smile.

13 April 2015

Word of the week: gratitude

Meaning:

the feeling of being grateful and thankful to someone for helping you

Sentence Examples:

1) I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for your assistance and support.

2) She treated him to a meal in gratitude for what he had done.

6 April 2015

Word of the week: immortal

Meaning:

never dying; living forever

Sentence Examples:

1) Our souls are immortal.

2) Vampires are imaginative creatures said to be immortal.

30 March 2015

Word of the week: lucrative

Meaning:

producing a great deal of money; making a lot of profit

Sentence Examples:

1) The wealthy man runs a lucrative business.

2) Jason pursued a lucrative career as a surgeon.

23 March 2015

Word of the week: cajole

Meaning:

to persuade someone to do something by talking to them and being very nice to them

Sentence Examples:

1) Sam hopes to cajole Edward into selling him a plot of land.

2) Benny managed to cajole Lisa's phone number out of her.

16 March 2015

Word of the week: gregarious

Meaning:

friendly and liking to be with other people; sociable

Sentence Examples:

1) My uncle has a wide circle of friends because he's very outgoing and gregarious.

2) Jolene is a popular and gregarious woman.

9 March 2015

Word of the week: confinement

Meaning:

the act of forcing someone to stay in a closed space, room, prison, etc., or the state of being there

Sentence Examples:

1) The politician has suffered five years of confinement as a political prisoner.

2) The murder suspects were held in confinement for a week before being released.

2 March 2015

Word of the week: strenuous

Meaning:

needing a lot of strength or effort

Sentence Examples:

1) At dawn, they began their strenuous climb up the mountain.

2) It is not advisable to do strenuous exercise immediately after a meal.

23 February 2015

Word of the week: incessant

Meaning:

continuing; never stopping

Sentence Examples:

1) The major flooding was caused by days of incessant rain.

2) Unable to tolerate the incessant noise from his neighbour, James complained to the authorities.

16 February 2015

Word of the week: detestable

Meaning:

deserving to be hated

Sentence Examples:

1) The detestable murderer was sentenced to life imprisonment.

2) I did not watch the movie because a friend told me that its violence was detestable.

3) "You're detestable!" she said furiously.

9 February 2015

Word of the week: legitimate

Meaning:

acceptable or allowed according to the law

Sentence Examples:

1) Our business operations are strictly legitimate.

2) Jonathan is the legitimate heir to his deceased uncle's properties.

2 February 2015

Word of the week: deceased

Meaning:

dead

Sentence Examples:

1) Julie inherited a large fortune from her deceased parents.

2) The sculptures are by my deceased father, Edward.

26 January 2015

Word of the week: laudable

Meaning:

deserving praise

Sentence Examples:

1) Helping the flood victims is a laudable idea.

2) Saving our earth is a laudable activity.

19 January 2015

Word of the week: preposterous

Meaning:

completely unreasonable or silly; not to be believed

Sentence Examples:

1) Nobody is going to believe your preposterous story.

2) The suggestion sounds completely preposterous!

12 January 2015

Word of the week: complacent

Meaning:

too self-satisfied or pleased with a situation, especially something you have achieved, so that you feel that it is no longer necessary to improve

Sentence Examples:

1) We simply cannot afford to become complacent about our small progress.

2) The citizens are too complacent to change the government.

5 January 2015

Word of the week: flabbergasted

Meaning:

very surprised or shocked

Sentence Examples:

1) The bad news left John totally flabbergasted.

2) I was flabbergasted at the amount of money she makes daily.

29 December 2014

Word of the week: compliment

Meaning:

to express something nice to someone in order to praise them

Sentence Examples:

1) He complimented her on her excellent Japanese.

2) The bridegroom was so nervous that he forgot to compliment the bridesmaids.

22 December 2014

Word of the week: apparent

Meaning:

easy to see, notice or understand

Sentence Examples:

1) For no apparent reason, Emily burst into tears.

2) It soon became apparent to everyone that he couldn't speak French well.

15 December 2014

Word of the week: consent

Meaning:

to agree to do something or to give permission for something to happen

Sentence Examples:

1) Her parents willingly consented to her marriage.

2) The actor finally consented to let us interview him.

8 December 2014

Word of the week: identical

Meaning:

exactly the same or very similar

Sentence Examples:

1) The two motorbikes are identical except for the licence number.

2) Peter's T-shirt is almost identical to James'.

1 December 2014

Word of the week: repulsive

Meaning:

very unpleasant; in a way that causes a feeling of strong dislike

Sentence Examples:

1) Everybody wondered where the repulsive smell originated.

2) My sister finds cockroaches repulsive.

24 November 2014

Word of the week: infallible

Meaning:

never making mistakes, always right

Sentence Examples:

1) The doctor admitted to making a wrong diagnosis and stressed that no one is infallible in this world.

2) Even the experts are not infallible.

17 November 2014

Word of the week: illiterate

Meaning:

unable to read and write

Sentence Examples:

1) A large percentage of the population of that country are illiterate.

2) My illiterate neighbor requested me to read a letter to her.

3) John helped the illiterate old man to fill up a form.

10 November 2014

Word of the week: impromptu

Meaning:

unable to read and write

Sentence Examples:

1) The minister delivered a fine impromptu speech at the opening ceremony of the campaign.

2) During a meet-the-fan session, the band gave an impromptu concert and their fans were thrilled.

3 November 2014

Word of the week: ostentatious (adj.)

Meaning:

(a) an ostentatious thing looks expensive and is intended to impress people

(b) (of people) showing how rich they are and trying to make other people notice and admire them

(b) (of actions, qualities exhibited, manner, etc.) done in a way which attracts notice or attention

Sentence Examples:

1) A magnificent and ostentatious palace stands in the middle of the kingdom. [Meaning (a)]

2) A woman wearing ostentatious gold jewellery was robbed in a car park last night. (a)

3) Do you know the man who was driving the ostentatious car? (a)

4) Spencer was very much an ostentatious man in his younger years. (b)

5) She was quite ashamed to admit that the vain and ostentatious teenager was her niece. (b)

6) Victoria gave an ostentatious yawn to hint to the lecturer that his lecture was boring. (c)

7) Michael led a lavish and ostentatious lifestyle and went broke after a few years. (c)

8) It was obvious that the lady who wailed loudly during the funeral was just making an ostentatious show of sorrow. (c)

9) The tycoon's gold and diamond-encrusted smartphone is a ostentatious display of wealth. (c)

10) Veronica plans to achieve instant fame through her ostentatious charity. (c)

27 October 2014

Word of the week: obligation (noun)

Meanings:

(a) the condition of being forced to do something or having a feeling that you must do something because it is a moral or legal duty

(b) something that you must do because you are morally or legally bound; a duty, promise or commitment

Sentence Examples:

1) Tourists visiting the aquarium will have their photographs taken at the entrance but they are under no obligation to buy the pictures. [Meaning (a)]

2) We have a moral obligation to protect the flora and fauna of national parks. (a)

3) We will send you a quotation of the renovation without obligation. (a)

4) They are under no obligation to buy the mansion if they have not signed the purchase agreement yet. (a)

5) The contractor is under obligation to finish the work in a satisfactory manner. (a)

6) In some countries, adult children are under legal obligation to care for their aged parents. (a)

7) Tracy's parents have fulfilled their obligation to raise her and her siblings. (b)

8) It's Adam's obligation to pay back the money that he borrowed from the bank on a monthly basis. (b)

9) Bob gave up his seat to an old lady on the train because he felt that it was his obligation to do so. (b)

10) It's our obligation to notify the police when we witness crimes taking place. (b)

20 October 2014

Word of the week: astute (adj.)

Meaning:

clever and showing an ability to understand situations or behaviour quickly so as to get an advantage

Synonyms:

intelligent, shrewd

Sentence Examples:

1) A few years back, Richard made an astute investment in the business enterprise and now he is getting a high rate of returns on capital.

2) Steve considers himself lucky to have an astute, charming and helpful wife.

3) The astute businesswoman made the right move to sell the shares last month.

4) During the economic downturn in the late 1990s, the astute politician took advantage of the situation and won an election.

5) Sylvia's astute handling of the club problems and her commitment to the club made her the chairwoman of the organisation.

6) As an astute observer of human behaviour, I trust that you have finally found your Mr Right.

7) The marketing manager's astute analysis of the surveys allowed him to improve the quality of the company's products and increase their sales.

13 October 2014

Word of the week: spontaneous (adj.)

Meaning:

(a) not planned or organised but happened because your feel like doing it all of a sudden

(b) a spontaneous person often does things without planning them first, because they wish to do it all of a sudden (showing approval)

(c) (of a process or event) happening or done naturally, without any external causes or being forced

Sentence Examples:

1) Elijah made a spontaneous offer of help when we needed it most. [Meaning (a)]

2) A spontaneous cheer of encouragement went up from the crowd. (a)

3) When Charlotte saw the venomous snake, her spontaneous reaction was to take to her heels. (a)

4) We planned to watch a film but then made a spontaneous decision to go to the park instead. (a)

5) While touring Europe, Julia met a dashing spontaneous young man who is now her husband. (b)

6) Do you mind introducing me to that spontaneous lively lady? (b)

7) Upon hearing the joke, all of us burst into spontaneous laughter. (c)

8) I'm sorry to hear about your spontaneous abortion. (c)

9) Austin's mother was happy to see him tidying up his bedroom spontaneously (adverb). (c)

10) The guest of honour gave a spontaneous speech at the awards ceremony. (c)

11) All the fans were pleasantly surprised by the band's spontaneous live performance. (c)

12) A spontaneous combustion occurred and the compost pile was burnt to ashes. (c)

6 October 2014

Word of the week: audacious (adj.)

Meaning:

(a) showing great courage or a willingness to take risks; fearless

(b) showing no respect for other people

Sentence Examples:

1) A few years ago, he made an audacious decision to climb Mount Everest alone but failed to reach the summit. [Meaning (a)]

2) Carl advised his grandfather to think twice about undergoing such an audacious operation. (a)

3) The audacious reporter lost his life while he was on duty in a war zone. (a)

4) It was an audacious move on his part to take legal action against the company. (a)

5) After making several audacious remarks, the speaker was booed off stage. (b)

6) It was audacious of Jacob to try that. (b)

7) I was surprised that the audacious suggestion was made by a highly educated person. (b)

29 September 2014

Word of the week: insolent (adj.)

Meaning:

rude and showing no respect

Synonyms:

rude, impolite, discourteous, disrespectful

Antonyms:

polite, courteous, respectful

Sentence Examples:

1) Please pardon me if I've offended you - I did not intend to be insolent.

2) Do you think it's insolent to ask someone's age?

3) The child was insolent in his manner.

4) It was insolent of Patsy to talk back to her teacher.

5) Will you please stop addressing me in that insolent tone of voice?

6) You can just ignore his insolent remarks - he's simply jealous of your success.

7) It would be insolent not to invite them in.

8) Tommy was unhappy with Melissa's insolent behaviour - she turned her back on him and ignored him.

22 September 2014

Word of the week: repercussion (noun)

Meaning:

the usually bad effects of an action, event or decision that continue for some time

Synonym:

consequence

Sentence Examples:

1) Many people lost their jobs as a repercussion of the recession.

2) Mason's decision to drop out of university has serious repercussions on his career.

3) If you stop paying your electricity bills, having your power supply cut off might be the repercussion.

4) Meeting with an accident was a direct repercussion of his reckless driving.

5) Aren't you worried about the grave repercussions of smoking on your health in the long run?

6) Aubrey spread the rumour and now she has to face the repercussions.

7) Due to the lack of sleep, the soldiers fighting in a war are at risk for negative repercussions.

8) Dylan said that he is willing to accept the repercussions should there be any.

15 September 2014

Word of the week: conspicuous (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) very noticeable or easy to see (antonym: inconspicuous)

(b) attracting attention or notice

(c) (of courage, success, achievement, etc.) great and impressive

Sentence Examples:

1) The advertisements are to be placed in conspicuous places. [Meaning (a)]

2) Frederick feels conspicuous in his new and expensive sports car. (a)

3) Sophia is trying to cover up the conspicuous pimple in the centre of her forehead. (a)

4) The burglar who broke into Owen's house overlooked the money that was hidden in a conspicuous place. (a)

5) Jill's long blonde hair made her conspicuous in class. (b)

6) The criminal tried not to look conspicuous and moved slowly among the crowd. (b)

7) Due to her fashionable clothes, she is always conspicuous. (b)

8) Man's first landing on the moon was a conspicuous achievement. (c)

9) The fund-raising for the orphanage was a conspicuous success. (c)

10) The firefighter's conspicuous bravery won him an award. (c)

8 September 2014

Word of the week: frivolous (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (of a person) not serious; silly or amusing, especially when it is not suitable to do so (antonym: serious)

(b) (of an activity, object, etc.) not having any serious purpose; unworthy of serious attention

Sentence Examples:

1) Benny apologised to Candy for being frivolous. [Meaning (a)]

2) It was frivolous of her to make such an accusation against her own parents. (a)

3) I have no idea that he is a frivolous person ?he behaved so well when I first met him at a dinner last week. (a)

4) Since the lawsuit was frivolous, the judge dismissed the case. (b)

5) My parents discourage me from indulging in frivolous pastimes. (b)

6) I regret buying the frivolous novel. (b)

7) Jack had an argument with his wife over his frivolous purchase. (b)

8) Will you please stop making frivolous remarks regarding my daughter? (b)

9) Mr Jones spent a large sum of money on frivolous things because he could afford to. (b)

10) No one agreed with his frivolous suggestion. (b)

1 September 2014

Word of the week: scrutinise (verb)

Meaning:

to look at, inspect or examine someone or something closely and thoroughly

Sentence Examples:

1) Timmy scrutinised the agreement before signing it.


2) The old lady scrutinised the suspect's face and exclaimed, "He's the one!"

3) After the expert had scrutinised the data, he drew a conclusion.

4) All of the documents were scrutinised for possible fraud.

5) Consumers should always scrutinise the fine print on a product before purchasing it.

6) The manager is scrutinising the company's accounts to ensure that no money is wasted.

25 August 2014

Word of the week: horrendous (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) extremely frightening and terrible; shocking ( = horrific, appalling)

(b) extremely bad, unacceptable or unpleasant

Sentence Examples:

1) Larry met with a car accident and suffered horrendous injuries as a result. [Meaning (a)]

2) After having the horrendous experience, Mindy had a fear of heights. (a)

3) My uncle left the city as he could no longer tolerate the hectic life and horrendous traffic. (b)

4) Due to her extravagant tastes, she had ran up horrendous debts. (b)

5) The hotel is close to bankruptcy because of its horrendous service. (b)

6) In the year 2010, James suffered from a horrendous sickness and had to be hospitalised for a month. (b)

18 August 2014

Word of the week: exponential (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (mathematics) involving an exponent (a raised number or sign written above and to the right of another number or letter to show how many times that quantity should be multiplied by itself

(b) describes a rate of increase becoming faster and faster

Sentence Examples:

1) 63 and X4 are exponential expressions. [Meaning (a)]

2) The CEOs are extremely pleased with the exponential growth of the company. (b)

3) "Your essay assignment is entitled 'The Exponential Increase of the Population in China'", said the professor. (b)

4) There has been an exponential rise in the enrolment of foreign students in that university. (b)

11 August 2014

Word of the week: mitigate (verb)

Meaning:

to make something bad less serious, harmful, painful, unpleasant, etc.

Synonym:

alleviate

Sentence Examples:

1) The government built a flyover over the roundabout to mitigate the rush hour traffic.

2) Since the offender was remorseful of his action, the judge mitigated his punishment.

3) Lindsay mitigates the problem of mosquito bites through the use of insect repellents and sprays.

4) Motorists are advised to fasten their seat belts to mitigate the risks involved when driving.

5) To mitigate the pain, the doctor prescribed her some medicine.

6) Voluntary donations of all kinds from all over the country mitigated the sufferings of the flood victims.

4 August 2014

Word of the week: smithereens (noun)

Meaning:

a lot of small pieces

Sentence Examples:

1) The explosion blew the house to smithereens.

2) The furious man smashed the fragile dish into smithereens.

3) During the battle, the town was bombed to smithereens.

4) The vase fell onto the floor and broke into smithereens.

5) All of a sudden, the naughty boy turned around and kicked the anthill to smithereens.

6) The tombstone has been blown into smithereens by the grenade.

28 July 2014

Word of the week: surreptitious (adj.)

Meaning:

done quickly or secretly without anyone knowing or seeing especially because it would not be approved of

Sentence Examples:

1) In the hope to catch the last train, Kelly sneaked a surreptitious look at her watch during the meeting.

2) When no one was noticing, he took a surreptitious puff on his cigarette in the no-smoking zone.

3) While the lecturer was lecturing, Vivienne exited the hall in a surreptitious manner.

4) Victor made a surreptitious recording with his concealed mobile phone while he was having a conversation with Amanda.

21 July 2014

Word of the week: plausible (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (of an argument, excuse, explanation, statement, etc.) reasonable and believable (antonym - implausible)

(b) describes someone who sounds reasonable, honest and sincere but may in fact be deceiving people

Sentence Examples:

1) Such a theory sounds extremely plausible. [Meaning (a)]

2) "Can you provide me with a plausible reason as to why your salary should be increased?" the manager asked Paula. (a)

3) Tim gave a plausible excuse for being late to work and his superior excused him. (a)

4) Be wary of your new friend - I heard that he is a plausible liar. (b)

5) The plausible salesman cajoled my parents into buying something they did not need. (b)

14 July 2014

Word of the week: enunciate (verb)

Meanings:

(a) to pronounce or say words carefully and clearly

(b) to express and explain a plan or an idea clearly and exactly

Sentence Examples:

1) The teacher enunciated the new words on the board slowly and clearly. [Meaning (a)]

2) My one-year-old sister can't enunciate her words clearly yet. (a)

3) Jane spoke to her Japanese friend slowly, enunciating her words very clearly as he found them rather hard to understand. (a)

4) In the meeting, the manager enunciated his proposal to build more office accommodation for staff members. (b)

5) The writer enunciated the idea for his next novel to the publisher. (b)

7 July 2014

Word of the week: intrinsic (adj.)

Meaning:

being an extremely important part of the real nature or character of somebody or something

Antonym:

extrinsic

Sentence Examples:

1) An intrinsic part of cats is that they love to hunt.

2) You have to learn to deal with difficulties that are intrinsic to such a situation.

3) I'm sorry to tell you that works of little intrinsic value do not fetch a high price.

4) Tourist attractions are intrinsic to the city's character.

5) Due to a mother's intrinsic need to protect her children, Lana fought with a stray dog and chased it away to keep her children safe.

6) English is an intrinsic subject of my school curriculum.

30 June 2014

Word of the week: annihilate (verb)

Meanings:

(a) to destroy someone or something completely ( = obliterate)

(b) To defeat someone or somebody completely

Sentence Examples:

1) An atomic bomb can annihilate a city. [Meaning (a)]

2) As a result of the terrorist attack, a building was annihilated and hundreds were killed. (a)

3) Britney annihilated her opponent in the second round of the competition. (b)

4) They are confident of annihilating the league champions in the play-offs. (b)

23 June 2014

Word of the week: inconsequential (adj.)

Meaning:

not important

Synonyms:

trivial, insignificant

Antonyms:

consequential, significant

Sentence Examples:

1) Ben was quite annoyed by Caroline's constant and inconsequential chatter.

2) During the meeting, we left out the inconsequential details.

3) Even though Dean made it clear that his remarks regarding the newly opened restaurant was inconsequential, the owner was bothered about them.

16 June 2014

Word of the week: contraband (noun)

Meaning:

goods that are imported or exported illegally

Examples:

1) The police found a cargo of contraband on board the ship.

2) Customs officers searched the van for cigarettes, drugs and other contraband.

3) The trade in contraband between the two countries has increased.

9 June 2014

Word of the week: feasible (adj.)

Meaning:

possible and likely to work or be achieved ( = practicable, workable)

Examples:

1) It is not feasible to build a flyover at this point.

2) This land is feasible for rice cultivation.

3) We have to come up with a feasible plan to finance the project.

4) Is it feasible to clone human beings?

2 June 2014

Word of the week: stupendous (adj.)

Meaning:

very large or impressive ( = magnificent, staggering)

Examples:

1) The scouts climbed the mountain for stupendous views over the sea.

2) Britney was surprised that her father bought a luxurious car of such stupendous cost.

3) His diligence and perseverance contributed to his stupendous achievements.

4) Unfortunately, thousands were made homeless by the stupendous power of the tornado which swept through the town yesterday morning.

26 May 2014

Word of the week: instantaneously (adverb)

Meaning:

happening or done immediately

Examples:

1) The poor stray dog died instantaneously after it was hit by a lorry.

2) When Rebecca's teacher asked her a question, she responded instantaneously.

3) The audience reacted instantaneously upon seeing the magician's stunning performance.

19 May 2014

Word of the week: stupefy (verb)

Meaning:

to tire, surprise or shock someone so much that they cannot think clearly or feel properly

Examples:

1) My father was stupefied by the massive electricity and telephone bills.

2) By the time we reached home, we were so stupefied by exhaustion that all we could do was to go to bed.

3) John's death stupefied us and we sat in silence for quite some time.

12 May 2014

Word of the week: simultaneously (adverb)

Meaning:

happening at the same time

Examples:

1) The football match will be broadcast simultaneously on radio and television.

2) After the lecturer asked the students a question, a few of them answered it simultaneously.

3) Two racers crossed the finishing line simultaneously.

4) The latest Hollywood blockbuster will be released simultaneously in cinemas soon.

5 May 2014

Word of the week: elated (adj.)

Meaning:

extremely happy and excited, usually because something good has happened or is going to happen

Examples:

1) Henry is elated by his new house that he will move into soon.

2) Mr Morgan and his wife are extremely elated by their daughter's excellent examination results.

3) In spite of their exhaustion, they were elated at their accomplishments.

4) Sandra realised that she had nothing to be elated about as the next day wasn't a public holiday.

28 April 2014

Word of the week: invincible (adj.)

Meaning:

impossible to be defeated, conquered or destroyed

Examples:

1) The basketball team was once reputed to be invincible.

2) The company which seemed invincible in its early years has recently gone bankrupt.

3) Legend has it that the hidden treasure was guarded by an invincible army.

4) It is said that the ancient castle was built to be invincible.

21 April 2014

Word of the week: elicit (verb)

Meaning:

to get (information, reaction or answer) from someone, especially with difficulty

Examples:

1) After much interrogation, the police officer elicited some useful information from the suspect

2) John left the house after knocking on the door and eliciting no response.

3) Despite Cathy's unlucky day, I succeeded in eliciting a smile from her.

14 April 2014

Word of the week: interrogate (verb)

Meaning:

to ask someone many questions for a long time in order to get information, sometimes in a threatening way

Examples:

1) The murder suspect was interrogated by the police for about 15 hours.

2) Although Ben was innocent, he was interrogated by the police as he was present when the crime took place.

3) The FBI has taken over the investigation and is presently interrogating the suspects.

7 April 2014

Word of the week: myriad (noun)

Meaning:

a very large number of something

Examples:

1) Every twilight, myriads of mosquitoes and gnats from the swamp invade our village.

2) The T-shirts and caps are available in a myriad of colours.

3) Myriads of stars are twinkling in the night sky.

31 March 2014

Word of the week: reminisce (verb)

Meaning:

to recall, write or talk about pleasant past experiences

Examples:

1) During their ex-classmates reunion dinner, they had a good time reminiscing about their school days.

2) We sat on a bench by the beach and reminisced about the past.

3) My grandfather loves to reminisce about his glorious days as a country singer when he was young.

4) My sister and I spend an enjoyable evening looking at family photos and reminisce.

24 March 2014

Word of the week: acclimatise (verb)

Meaning:

to adjust and get used to a new environment, condition or climate

Examples:

1) Samantha arrived at the university a few days early in order to acclimatise herself to the new environment.

2) Compared to adults, children usually acclimatise quicker to new houses and neighbourhoods.

3) When the Smiths had just migrated to Malaysia, they found it difficult to acclimatise to the equatorial climate.

17 March 2014

Word of the week: bona fide (adj.)

Meaning:

real; genuine

Examples:

1) Duncan bought her wife a bona fide gold necklace as her birthday present.

2) Are you sure that she is a bona fide expert in child psychology?

3) Harry did not take the trouble to find out whether he was dealing with a bona fide company and lost $10,000 as a result.

10 March 2014

Word of the week: abate (verb)

Meaning:

to become less strong

Examples:

1) The students waited nervously for their teacher's anger to abate.

2) When the storm had abated, we continued with our journey.

3) The outbreak of the disease shows no signs of abating.

3 March 2014

Word of the week: implement (verb)

Meaning:

to start carrying out something that has been decided officially

Examples:

1) We need money to implement the policies.

2) The plan failed because it was not implemented correctly.

3) To improve our performance, we need to implement the changes recommended by our consultant.

24 February 2014

Word of the week: slovenly (adj.)

Meaning:

(especially of a person) untidy, dirty and careless

Examples:

1) In spite of his slovenly appearance, somehow Andy managed to get the job.

2) Yvette finds it hard to believe that the fat, slovenly ex-rock star was her idol in her younger years.

3) Since Ricky gained weight and became obese a few years back, he grew lazy and slovenly in his habits.

17 February 2014

Word of the week: desist (verb)

Meaning:

to stop doing something

Examples:

1) The judge told Julius to desist from threatening his wife.

2) According to the weather forecast, the blizzards are going to desist tomorrow morning.

3) Citizens hope that the guerrillas will desist from their fight against official soldiers.

10 February 2014

Word of the week: exemplary (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) very good and providing a good example for people to copy or follow

(b) (used before noun) an exemplary punishment is severe and serves as a warning to others

Examples:

1) As Belinda's behaviour was exemplary, she was elected the model student of the year. [Meaning (a)]

2) Frederick showed exemplary courage when he dived into the river to save the drowning child. (b)

3) The exemplary punishment is effective to a certain extent - crime rate has declined over the years. (b)

3 February 2014

Word of the week: infuriating (adj.)

Meaning:

making you very angry or annoyed

Examples:

1) He finds it infuriating that I give up so easily.

2) It is infuriating that I do all the work and James gets all the credit.

3) Due to the infuriating delay, quite a few problems have arisen.

27 January 2014

Word of the week: surmount (verb)

Meaning:

(a) to deal with a problem or difficulty successfully ( = overcome)

(b) to be placed above or on top of something tall

Examples:

1) We believe that most of these obstacles can be surmounted. [Meaning (a)]

2) Logan managed to surmount his financial difficulties before pursuing a medical career. (a)

3) My late grandfather's tomb is surmounted by a bronze angel. (b)

4) A jewel surmounts the king's crown. (b)

20 January 2014

Word of the week: inimitable (adj.)

Meaning: too good or unusual and therefore impossible to copy

Examples:

1) They topped the charts with their inimitable style.

2) The astronaut described in his own inimitable way his trip to the moon.

3) He spent a fortune on one of Picasso's inimitable paintings.

13 January 2014

Word of the week: propensity (noun)

Meaning: the fact that someone has a natural tendency to a particular kind of behaviour, especially a bad one

Examples:

1) Bob recognises his own propensity to violence.

2) She is famous for her propensity for racial discrimination.

3) Since my younger brother has a propensity to break things, most of his toys are broken.

6 January 2014

Word of the week: incarcerate (verb)

Meaning: to keep or put someone in prison or in a place where they cannot escape ( = imprison)

Examples:

1) Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for more than 27 years before he was elected South Africa's first black president.

2) Five opposition leaders are still incarcerated in a military prison.

3) The teenagers were incarcerated for possession of lethal weapons.

30 December 2013

Word of the week: assiduous (adj.)

Meaning: showing hard work and taking great care to make sure that everything is done as perfectly as possible ( = diligent, meticulous)

Examples:

1) Assiduous students usually perform well academically.

2) Thanks to our assiduous efforts, our team won the first prize in the science competition.

3) The police are assiduous in their fight against crime.

23 December 2013

Word of the week: nondescript (adj.)

Meaning: ordinary, not interesting or unusual ( = dull)

Examples:

1) After reading the first chapter, Cathy realised that she had borrowed a nondescript novel from the library.

2) Despite the fact that Mr Brown is a wealthy man, he lives in a nondescript suburban house.

3) He was born in a nondescript town about 30 kilometres away from the city.

16 December 2013

Word of the week: whimsical (adj.)

Meaning: unusual and strange in a way that is either funny or annoying

Examples:

1) My cousin Lana has a whimsical sense of humour.

2) 'Alice in Wonderland' is a whimsical tale about a curious girl who falls down a magical rabbit hole, leading her into a whole new world of adventure.

3) Much of the author's work has whimsical notions of human nature.

9 December 2013

Word of the week: exacerbate (verb)

Meaning: to make something bad (such as a problem, disease, bad situation, negative feeling, etc.) even worse ( = worsen, aggravate)

Examples:

1) Charlotte's asthma was exacerbated by the air pollution.

2) The shortage of staff exacerbated the bad situation in the hospital.

3) The world recession has exacerbated the country's unemployment problem.

4) The bad relationship between Roger and Austin was exacerbated by the rumour.

2 December 2013

Word of the week: precarious (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) a precarious situation is dangerous, uncertain and likely to get worse

(b) likely to fall or cause someone to fall because not firmly fixed or securely held

Examples:

1) As Toby was in a financially precarious position, he decided not to buy the car. [Meaning (a)]

2) Yvonne makes a precarious living as a freelancer. (a)

3) Lindsay is extremely worried about her grandfather's precarious health condition. (a)

4) Be careful - the trail down to the lake is very precarious. (b)

25 November 2013

Word of the week: resounding (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (used only before noun) very great

(b) loud enough to echo

Examples:

1) The charity sale, which raised a great deal of funds, was a resounding success. [Meaning (a)]

2) The political party won a resounding victory in the previous general election. (a)

3) Due to the lack of proper planning, the scheme was a resounding failure. (a)

4) The wrestler threw his opponent onto the ground with a resounding thud. (b)

25 November 2013

Word of the week: resounding (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (used only before noun) very great

(b) loud enough to echo

Examples:

1) The charity sale, which raised a great deal of funds, was a resounding success. [Meaning (a)]

2) The political party won a resounding victory in the previous general election. (a)

3) Due to the lack of proper planning, the scheme was a resounding failure. (a)

4) The wrestler threw his opponent onto the ground with a resounding thud. (b)

18 November 2013

Word of the week: belligerent (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) unfriendly and wishing to argue or fight ( = hostile / aggressive)

(b) (of a country) fighting a war against another country

Examples:

1) Try not to provoke Belinda - she's in a belligerent mood. [Meaning (a)]

2) If you wish to be more popular among your friends, you need to get rid of your belligerent attitude. (a)

3) Will you stop talking to me in the belligerent tone? (a)

4) Citizens of the belligerent countries, who are suffering, hope that the war would come to an end soon. (b)

11 November 2013

Word of the week: oblivious (adj.)

Meaning: (oblivious to / of something) not aware or conscious of something happening around you ( = unaware)

Examples:

1) Absorbed in his book, the child was entirely oblivious of his father's presence.


2) They seemed oblivious to the disturbance they are causing their neighbours.

3) After years of living nearby the railway, Cathy has become oblivious to the noise whenever trains pass by.

4 November 2013

Word of the week: eavesdrop (verb)

Meaning: to listen secretly to other people's conversations

Examples:

1) While we were having our meeting, he was eavesdropping outside the window.


2) It is rude to eavesdrop on other people's private conversations.

3) The secret agent uses a bug to eavesdrop on phone calls.

28 October 2013

Word of the week: atrocious (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) extremely unpleasant or bad ( = awful / terrible)

(b) (of behaviour or an act) shockingly cruel or wicked

Examples:

1) I would rather stay at home in this atrocious weather! [Meaning (a)]

2) It is unbelievable to find such atrocious paintings at the art gallery. (a)

3) We felt nauseous after an atrocious meal at the restaurant. (a)

4) He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for an atrocious crime. (b)

5) Unfortunately, Nicholas met with an atrocious accident and died on the spot. (b)

21 October 2013

Word of the week: inaugural (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (used before noun) an inaugural speech is the first speech given when someone starts an important job

(b) an inaugural event is the first in a series of planned similar events and marks the beginning of something important

Examples:

1) The prime minister's inaugural address to the nation was broadcast live. [Meaning (a)]

2) The president gave an inaugural speech not long after taking office. (a)

3) The inaugural meeting of the Nature Society will be held next Monday. (b)

4) We are going to the inaugural concert of the band next weekend. (b)

14 October 2013

Word of the week: defiant (adj.)

Meaning:clearly refusing to obey someone or authority

Examples:

1) "I am not going to do as told," said Henry with a defiant look.

2) The defiant teenager smashed his fist on the table.

3) Brandon's defiant attitude towards the law had cost him his life.

4) The protesters remained defiant today and continued with their demonstrations.

7 October 2013

Word of the week: incumbent (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (incumbent on/upon someone) to be necessary for you as part of your duty or responsibility

(b) (used before a noun) having a named position officially

Examples:

1) It is incumbent on the president to warn the citizens of possible danger. [Meaning (a)]

2) Mr and Mrs Brown felt it incumbent on them to send their children to university. (a)

3) The incumbent prime minister is the longest-serving prime minister of that country. (b)

4) The people are unhappy with the incumbent government's decision to increase tax. (b)

30 September 2013

Word of the week: exonerate (verb)

Meaning: to officially state that someone is not guilty of something that they have been blamed for

Examples:

1) As Lincoln had an alibi, he was exonerated from the accusation of robbery.

2) The judge exonerated Michael from all the charges of battery due to the fact that there was no evidence.

3) The report exonerated the manager of bribery and corruption.

23 September 2013

Word of the week: vindictive (adj.)

Meaning: trying or wishing to harm somebody because you believe that they have harmed you; vengeful

Examples:

1) Even though he had harmed me a few times, I was not vindictive.

2) The man whose car was set fire to believed that he was a victim of a vindictive act.

3) Julie is anxious about the vindictive old man who thinks that she has harmed his cat deliberately while it was purely an accident.

16 September 2013

Word of the week: beguile (verb)

Meanings:

(a) to interest or attract somebody

(b) to trick or persuade somebody into doing something

(a) to do something enjoyable in order to help pass time pleasantly

Examples:

1) She was beguiled by his sweet talk and good look. [Meaning (a)]

2) Jonathan beguiled the children with exciting stories. (a)

3) She beguiled me into lending her money. (b)

4) The saleswoman beguiled my mother into buying some beauty products that she did not need. (b)

5) Jack beguiled the company's CEO into signing the contract. (b)

6) The students beguiled the holiday with reading. (c)

7) To beguile the time, they watched films and played games. (c)

9 September 2013

Word of the week: insipid (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) (of food or drink) not having much taste or flavour

(b) not exciting, interesting or attractive; dull or boring

Examples:

1) Joanne added some sugar and milk to the insipid mug of coffee. [Meaning (a)]

2) I regretted ordering the insipid pasta dish. (a)

3) Josephine did not buy any of the blouses because of their insipid colours. (b)

4) After having our lunch, we had an insipid conversation before leaving the cafeteria. (b)

2 September 2013

Word of the week: precocious (adj.)

Meaning: (especially of a child) showing abilities or intelligence at an age that is younger than usual, or behaving like an adult

Examples:

1) As a child prodigy, Ben's precocious mathematical ability astounds his teachers.

2) My niece is a precocious child who was able to read and write at the age of two.

3) The computer genius displayed a precocious talent for computing since he was very young.

26 AUGUST 2013

Word of the week: impetuous (adj.)

Meaning: likely to do things quickly and without thinking carefully about the results of your actions

Examples:

1) It was really impetuous of you to do that.

2) Dean made an impetuous decision and now he has to pay the price.

3) I got into bad company because I was young, ignorant and impetuous then.

19 AUGUST 2013

Word of the week: unequivocal (adj.)

Meaning: (of your opinion or intention) expressed in a completely clear and certain way (opposite: equivocal)

Examples:

1) When I asked Jeremy if he was voting for the present government in the coming election, his answer was an unequivocal 'no'.

2) Kelly said that the chairman had the club members' unequivocal support.

3) The politicians were unequivocal in condemning the bombing.

12 AUGUST 2013

Word of the week: suffice (verb)

Meaning: to be enough

Examples:

1) A little refreshment will suffice - I'll be having my dinner soon.

2) Since I'm not doing much shopping, taking $300 should suffice.

3) If you wish to make an appointment to see the dentist, a phone call will suffice.

5 AUGUST 2013

Word of the week: devastated (adj.)

Meaning: very upset and shocked

Examples:

1) James was devastated by his parents' death in a plane crash.

2) Upon hearing the tragic news, Samantha was left feeling totally devastated.

3) Mr and Mrs Brown were devastated by the loss of their son.

29 JULY 2013

Word of the week: indifferent (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) not interested in somebody or something ( = unconcerned)

(b) not particularly good, but not very bad ( = mediocre)

Examples:

1) I was so engrossed in my study that I was indifferent to the noise outside. [Meaning (a)]

2) Benedict has never voted in his life because he is indifferent to politics. (a)

3) Due to his indifferent attitude towards the suffering of others, no one was willing to help him when he was in need. (a)

4) We seldom visit the restaurant because of the indifferent food served. (b)

5) Although Stevie has been working for the company for more than two decades, he was never promoted due to his indifferent performance. (b)

22 JULY 2013

Word of the week: engrossed (adj.)

Meaning: so interested in something that you do not notice anything else and give it all your attention

Examples:

1) My mother was so engrossed in the telephone conversation that she forgot about the biscuits in the oven and they were burnt as a result.

2) My sister is engrossed with the fashion magazine.

3) The children were so engrossed in the jigsaw puzzle that they did not notice me come in.

15 JULY 2013

Word of the week: truancy (noun)

Meaning: the action or practice of students staying away from school without permission

Examples:

1) Due to good management, truancy rates of the school are very low.

2) That school is fighting endlessly to combat truancy.

3) The principal questioned Patrick and a couple of his classmates about their frequent truancies.

8 JULY 2013

Word of the day: punitive (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) intended to punish somebody

(b) (of costs) so high that people find difficult to pay

Examples:

1) The government will take punitive action against drug dealers. [Meaning (a)]

2) The film star is suing the magazine for punitive damages, claiming that they have defamed her. (a)

3) She called for more punitive measures against traffic offenders. (a)

4) The prime minister disclosed that in the near future, punitive duties will be imposed on imported cars. (b)

7 JULY 2013

Word of the day: optimistic (adj.)

Meaning: believing or hoping that good things will happen or something will be successful (opposite: pessimistic)

Examples:

1) The athlete is optimistic about his chances of winning a gold medal in the coming Olympic Games.

2) If you are over-optimistic, you'll be disappointed when things do not turn out to be what you expected.

3) Even though Jane has tried her best, she's not very optimistic about her exam results.

4) The economists are now taking a more optimistic view of the Malaysian economy.

6 JULY 2013

Word of the day: crestfallen (adj.)

Meaning: looking sad and disappointed

Examples:

1) Dean came back from the elocution contest empty-handed and crestfallen.

2) Nelly looks crestfallen because her parents have just cancelled her long-awaited birthday party.

3) My sister was crestfallen when she found out that she did not get the job.

5 JULY 2013

Word of the day: supplant (verb)

Meaning: to take the place of somebody or something ( = replace, supersede)

Examples:

1) Bonnie will soon be supplanted as the chairperson of the club.

2) After Martha's baby brother was born, she has been supplanted in her parents' affections by her brother.

3) About half of the company's workforce will soon be supplanted by computers.

4) The printed edition of the encyclopaedia is now supplanted by CD-ROMs and e-books.

4 JULY 2013

Word of the day: expedite (verb)

Meaning: to make something such as an action or a process happen more quickly ( = speed up)

Examples:

1) The government is coming up with strategies to expedite the process of issuing passports to citizens.

2) As we need the goods urgently, please make special arrangements to expedite the shipment.

3) The courier has developed a special system to expedite deliveries to customers.

3 JULY 2013

Word of the day: blunder

Meanings:

(a) (noun) a serious, careless or stupid mistake

(b) (verb) to make a serious, careless or stupid mistake

Examples:

1) The waitress made a terrible blunder by adding salt instead of sugar to the customer's coffee. [Meaning (a)]

2) Finally, aware of the astonishing blunder he had made, he stopped and apologised. (a)

3) They blundered badly when they assigned Jason the important task. (b)

4) Jonathan was embarrassed to have blundered the third time today. (b)

2 JULY 2013

Word of the day: literally (adverb)

Meanings:

(a) according to the real or original meaning of a word, phrase or expression ( = exactly)

(b) used to emphasise that the truth of something, especially a large number, is really true and may seem surprising

(c) (informal) used to emphasise a word or strong expression that is used in a way that is different from its real or original meaning

Examples:

1) Please translate this passage literally. [Meaning (a)]

2) The word 'delighted' literally means 'very happy'. (a)

3) There are literally millions of different types of bacteria on our planet. (b)

4) The prolific writer has written literally hundreds of books. (b)

5) Judy literally cried her heart out when she heard the bad news. (c)

1 JULY 2013

Word of the day: lofty (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) if buildings, mountains, etc. are lofty, they are very high and impressive

(b) (of ideas, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, aims, etc.) showing high standards or moral qualities and therefore deserving praise

(c) having an opinion that you are better than other people (disapproving)

Examples:

1) The lofty tower in the heart of the city is among the world's tallest towers. [Meaning (a)]

2) Is that lofty mountain Mt Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia? (a)

3) Dr Kingston set herself the lofty goal of becoming one of the world's top 10 heart specialists in 5 years. (b)

4) As a man of lofty principles, he tries to help the poor and needy whenever he can. (b)

5) Her lofty disdain for other people makes her an unpopular person. (c)

30 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: cognitive (adj.)

Meaning: connected to the mental process of understanding, knowing and learning something

Examples:

1) Since the car accident, some of my grandfather's cognitive functions have been impaired.

2) A friend of mine is studying cognitive psychology in a university.

3) Children's cognitive development is about children developing or constructing a mental model of the world.

29 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: paranoid (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) feeling extremely worried and nervous because you believe unreasonably that people are trying to harm you

(b) suffering from a mental illness which makes you believe that other people are trying to harm you

Examples:

1) Lilian is getting really paranoid about her personal security. [Meaning (a)]

2) Michael does not have many friends because he has always been paranoid about what other people say about him. (a)

3) His uncle is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and is currently hospitalised. (b)

4) I watched a film about a paranoid killer who was captured and sentenced to life imprisonment in the end. (b)

28 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: escapism (noun)

Meaning: activities or forms of entertainment that help you to forget or avoid unpleasant or boring things for a short time

Examples:

1) For Ricky, adventure films are a form of escapism.

2) Going on holidays are pure escapism for many people.

3) For me, computer games are a form of escapism from the real world.

27 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: mortify (verb)

Meaning: to make someone extremely embarrassed or ashamed

Examples:

1) Our history teacher was mortified by her own inability to answer such a simple question.

2) I've never felt so mortified in my life!

3) Meg was mortified to be fooled in public.

4) Leslie was mortified to be corrected by a seven-year-old.

26 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: epitome (noun)

Meaning: (a person or thing) that is the perfect or best possible example of something

Examples:

1) In the hit film, the villain was portrayed as the very epitome of evil.

2) Audrey is the epitome of a modern single lady.

3) You can find fashionable clothes that are the epitome of good taste in this boutique.

25 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: repugnant (adj.)

Meaning: (usually not used before a noun) extremely offensive and unpleasant, causing a feeling of disgust or dislike

Examples:

1) We found their political suggestions absolutely repugnant.

2) Lauren has been a vegetarian for years and the idea of eating meat is repugnant to her.

3) Some people find the death sentence morally repugnant.

24 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: colloquial (adj.)

Meaning: (of language or words) used mainly in informal conversations but not in writing or formal speech

Examples:

1) The use of colloquial words and phrases are not encouraged when writing official letters.

2) 'Kid', 'quote', 'how come' and 'you're fired' are examples of colloquial words and phrases.

3) Excessive use of colloquial words and phrases diminishes the quality of formally written text.

23 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: conducive (adj.)

Meaning: providing the suitable conditions and making it easy for something to happen

Examples:

1) A balanced diet is conducive to good health.

2) A library provides a conducive atmosphere for studying.

3) It is important for a school to have an environment which is conducive to learning.

22 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: boisterous (adj.)

Meaning: noisy, cheerful and full of energy

Examples:

1) The new teacher is having problem handling a class of boisterous six-year-olds.

2) "Janet, are you sure you want to participate in this boisterous game?" Janet's mother asked.

3) Boisterous activities are prohibited in the library.

4) I saw a flock of boisterous and gregarious birds at the mini zoo last week.

21 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: emulate (verb)

Meaning: to try to copy someone's achievement and do it as well as they have or better ( = imitate)

Examples:

1) Waverly wishes to emulate his brother's excellent academic achievements.

2) Teenagers tend to emulate their idols' hairstyles.

3) The new computer company hopes to emulate the success of other companies.

20 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: succulent

Meanings:

(a) (adj.) (of meat, vegetables and fruit) tender, juicy and tasting good

(b) (adj.) (of plants) having thick fleshy leaves or stems containing plenty of water

(c) (noun) any plant with thick fleshy leaves or stems containing plenty of water, such as the cactus

Examples:

1) Wendy had a succulent steak at that restaurant last evening. [Meaning (a)]

2) "Sir, do you want to sample one of the pears that have just arrived? They're fresh and succulent," said the saleswoman at the supermarket. (a)

3) Small pots of succulent plants are popular nowadays as decorative items. (b)

4) Do you know whether the plant with succulent leaves outside my house is a cactus? (b)

5) "Excuse me, Miss. Are books on cacti and succulents available here?" Edward asked the shop assistant. (c)

19 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: relinquish (verb)

Meaning: to unwillingly stop having something such as rights, power or position

Examples:

1) Before leaving the country, Brandon relinquished possession of the car to his brother.

2) The king lost the war and was forced to relinquish control of his kingdom.

3) Although the search parties had stopped searching for Mr Alfred's missing son, he refused to relinquish the hope that his son was still alive.

4) Because of ill health, he had to relinquish his managerial role.

18 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: confidant (noun)

Meaning: someone whom you can trust and tell your secrets or private things to (feminine - confidante)

Examples:

1) Mr Ronald is a trusted confidant of the president.


2) According to a close confidante of the princess, the princess often disguises herself as a civilian and mixes freely with members of the public.

3) Stephanie did not tell the secret to anybody except Belinda, who was her confidante since childhood.

17 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: excruciating

Meanings:

(a) (adj.) extremely painful

(b) (adj.) extremely unpleasant, boring or embarrassing

Examples:

1) As the pain in my lower back was excruciating, I went to see a doctor. [Meaning (a)]

2) The child cried due to the excruciating toothache. (a)

3) Sally describes what happened to her in excruciating detail. (b)

4) His full confession turned out to be excruciating. (b)

16 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: aloof (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) unfriendly or uninterested in other people

(b) purposely not involved in something, usually because you do not approve of what is going on

Examples:

1) Timothy may appear to be aloof, but in actual fact, he is a warm and sympathetic person if you get to know him well. [Meaning (a)]

2) In his later years, he became aloof and silent. (a)

3) Even though Sophia joined the class a few months ago, she has always kept herself aloof from the other students. (a)

4) No matter what happens in the neighbourhood, Max always remains aloof. (b)

5) James stayed aloof from the illegal boycott as he did not wish to get into trouble. (b)

15 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: etiquette (noun)

Meaning: the formal set of rules for correct or polite behaviour in social situations or a particular group

Examples:

1) Our late grandfather used to give us advice on etiquette.

2) According to social etiquette, mobile phones should be turned off during important events and business meetings.

3) Alice borrowed a book on etiquette from the library.

4) Dr Julian is a doctor who observes the rules of professional etiquette strictly.

14 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: mandatory (adj.)

Meaning: something that is required by law ( = compulsory, obligatory)

Examples:

1) In some countries, a serious drug offence carries a mandatory death sentence.

2) To get the diploma, it is mandatory for students to have a minimum of five subject passes.

13 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: prominent (adj.)

Meanings:

(a) very famous or important

(b) easily seen ( = noticeable)

(c) projecting or sticking out from something

Examples:

1) Edward Jenner was a prominent English scientist who was the pioneer of the small pox vaccine. [Meaning (a)]

2) Since Yvonne has access to some extremely prominent people, she might be able to help you. (a)

3) Jennifer had a prominent part in the play. (a)

4) Harry played a prominent role in the campaign. (a)

5) The large fish among the small ones is prominent in the aquarium. (b)

6) The new car model is displayed in a prominent position in the showroom. (b)

7) The proboscis monkey is an animal with a prominent nose. (c)

8) Dr Sam is the dentist who treated my daughter's prominent front teeth. (c)

12 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: vulnerable (adj.)

Meaning: a vulnerable person is weak and easily harmed or hurt emotionally, physically or mentally

Examples:

1) The child, who has a weak immune system, is vulnerable to illness.

2) I felt very vulnerable, being lost in the jungle all alone and unarmed.

3) The town was vulnerable to attack from the south.

4) Young animals are vulnerable to predators.

11 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: integral (adj.)

Meanings:

(1) forming an essential part of something

(2) included as part of something, not being separate

(3) having all the necessary parts to be complete

Examples:

1) The arms and legs are integral parts of a human body.

2) As the captain, Dominic is an integral part of our football team.

3) Extra-curricular activity is an integral part of the school curriculum.

4) The LED TV comes with an integral remote control.

5) This integral security system is in great demand.

10 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: deliberately (adverb)

Meanings:

(1) done in a way that was planned or intended, not by chance ( = on purpose / purposely, intentionally)

(2) done or said slowly or carefully

Examples:

1) I believe that someone set fire to the car deliberately.

2) Leslie deliberately sat beside Britney to attract her attention.

3) I'm sure Fred made these comments deliberately to insult me.

4) Slowly and deliberately, he rose from the settee and walked out of the house.

5) Calmly and deliberately, Jack tore the document into pieces and set it alight.

9 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: nonchalant (adj.)

Meaning: behaving in a relaxed and calm manner, often in a way that suggests you are not feeling any anxiety, interest or enthusiasm

Examples:

1) "Yeah, whatever," Nelly replied with a nonchalant shrug.

2) "Is she married?" Frank asked, trying to sound nonchalant.

3) Adam wanted to be Isabel's boyfriend but she was completely nonchalant to him.

8 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: irrefutable (adj.)

Meaning: impossible to be proven wrong and thus must be accepted (opposite: refutable)

Examples:

1) As he had irrefutable proofs of his innocence, he walked out of the court a free man.

2) There is irrefutable evidence that smoking is harmful to our health.

3) After a long debate, Edwin won the votes cast as he had irrefutable arguments for the proposal.

7 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: aftermath (noun)

Meaning: the period of time that follows something unpleasant such as a flood, storm, war, etc. and the effects it causes

Examples:

1) Many people were made homeless in the aftermath of the flood.

2) Apart from the danger of diseases in the aftermath of the earthquake, a lot of rebuilding took place.

3) Many more lives were lost in the aftermath of the war.

4) There was a severe famine in the aftermath of the drought.

5) Many families received compensation from the airline for losing their loved ones in the aftermath of the plane crash.

6 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: indispensable (adj.)

Meaning: someone or something that is so useful or important that you could not manage without them (opposite: dispensable)

Examples:

1) A library is indispensable to a university.

2) Vitamins and minerals are indispensable for maintaining a healthy life.

3) This book by Dr James Martin is an indispensable resource to anyone interested in photography.

4) It is true that no one is indispensable at work, but anyone can be a valued employee.

5) Televisions have become an indispensable part of our lives.

5 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: exasperate (verb)

Meaning: to make someone very irritated or annoyed by doing something that upsets them

Examples:

1) People who do not keep their promises exasperate me.

2) Marie was exasperated by her baby brother because he tore her school project into pieces.

3) As a teenager, Terry's disobedience and rebellion exasperate his parents.

4) Henry was exasperated by Carey's criticism.

4 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: detrimental (adj.)

Meaning: causing harm or damage ( = harmful)


Examples:

1) Drinking too much alcohol is detrimental to your health.

2) When Janet sunbathes, she applies sunblock to her skin to protect it from the detrimental effects of the sun.

3) After contracting a certain disease, Gary tried to cure himself by taking herbal medicine but his doctor advised him against doing so as it had detrimental effects on the healing process.

3 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: adamant (adj.)

Meaning: unwilling to change your mind or a decision you have made


Examples:

1) Adam begged Leo to change his mind and sell him this plot of land but he remained adamant.

2) My grandfather was adamant that he would not undergo the heart surgery.

3) Nora wanted his son to further his studies in order to have a better future but he was adamant in refusing to comply with her wish.

2 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: mediocre (adj.)

Meaning: not very good; of only average quality or standard ( = second rate)

Examples:

1) As a mediocre student, Edward is planning to receive private tuition in order to perform better academically.

2) I thought Nelly was only a mediocre musician, but she turned out to be much more talented.

3) Donovan sent his children to a mediocre school because he could not afford the high fees of better schools.

1 JUNE 2013

Word of the day: gesticulate (verb)

Meaning: to make movements with your hands and arms, usually while speaking, to emphasise what you are saying or to attract attention

Examples:

1) Noticing that the child is in danger of falling, Elaine gesticulates frantically and shouts, "Stop! Stop!"

2) An old lady was gesticulating and trying to say something outside the window.

3) Trying to remind Max that he was running out of time, Annie gesticulated wildly at the clock.

31 MAY 2013

Word of the day: connoisseur

Meaning: an expert on arts, food, drink, music, beauty, etc.

Examples:

1) Luke Fraser, a connoisseur of painting, is able to tell you the real value of this particular painting.

2) Kim is a music connoisseur who has written innumerable reviews on the subject.

3) A panel of beauty connoisseurs will judge the beauty contest.

30 MAY 2013

Word of the day: adequate

Meaning: enough or satisfactory for a particular purpose or need ( = sufficient) (opposite: inadequate)

Examples:

1) Are the seats adequate for 1,000 guests?

2) As there were adequate proofs, the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.

3) The large space provided is more than adequate for our needs.

4) Their performance standard is barely adequate.

29 MAY 2013

Word of the day: aggravate

Meanings:

(1) to make a bad situation or a disease worse ( = worsen)

(2) to annoy someone, especially on purpose ( = irritate)

Examples:

1) New student enrolments have aggravated the problem of inadequate classrooms.

2) Josh's health aggravates although he is presently receiving treatment.

3) Duncan was aggravated by Britney's bossy attitude.

4) Will you please stop aggravating me?

28 MAY 2013

Word of the day: culminate

Meaning: to end with a particular event or result

Examples:

1) The couple's relationship got worse and worse and it culminated in a divorce.

2) Months of the scientists' hard work culminated in a cure for the disease.

3) The badly managed company finally culminated in bankruptcy.

4) The war culminated in total victory.

5) The band's world tour will culminate in an impressive concert in Tokyo.

27 MAY 2013

Word of the day: eliminate

Meanings:

(1) to completely remove or get rid of something or somebody

(2) to defeat someone or a team in a competition so that they no longer take part

(3) to kill someone, especially an opponent or enemy, in order to stop them from causing trouble

Examples:

1) High cholesterol foods should be eliminated from your diet.

2) The objective of the organisation is to eliminate poverty from the country.

3) After buying a car, Ariel eliminated the need to travel by public transport.

4) Since Tom had a perfect alibi, the police eliminated him from their investigation.

5) Alan's team was eliminated from the competition in the second round.

6) Last evening I watched a film about a security guard helping a drug gang eliminate rivals.

26 MAY 2013

Word of the day: lingua franca

Meaning: a communication language used by people whose main languages are different

Examples:

1) In this multiracial country, Mandarin is the lingua franca.

2) Some people believe that music is the lingua franca of the globe.

3) Many people all over the world see English as a lingua franca.

25 MAY 2013

Word of the day: alibi

Meanings:

(1) evidence that proves that a person was not where a crime happened and so could not have committed it

(2) an excuse for something bad or something you have done wrong

Examples:

1) The suspect had a cast-iron alibi - he was hospitalised the week of the crime.

2) As usual, John used being stuck in a traffic jam as an alibi for being late for work.

24 MAY 2013

Word of the day: deteriorate

Meaning: to become worse

Examples:

1) After a long period of hospitalisation, her condition suddenly deteriorated and she died shortly afterwards.

2) Relationships between the two countries deteriorated and war broke out eventually.

3) Many flights were cancelled due to the deteriorating weather conditions.

4) When they failed to reach an agreement, their discussion deteriorated into an angry argument.

23 MAY 2013

Word of the day: redundant

Meanings:

(1) having lost your job because your employer no longer has a job for you

(2) not needed or necessary

Examples:

1) During the period of the economic downturn, many jobs were made redundant.

2) Twenty permanent staff members were made redundant in the resulting cuts.

3) Due to the limitation of space, redundant information has to be removed.

22 MAY 2013

Word of the day: sedentary

Meanings:

(1) (of people) spending a lot of time sitting down and not exercising or moving

(2) (of work, lifestyles, etc.) in which you spend much time sitting down, involving little exercise or physical activity

(3) (of people or animals) staying and living in the same place

Examples:

1) My grandparents' doctor advises them to do more exercise as they are becoming increasingly sedentary.

2) Sedentary lifestyles tend to cause health problems.

3) Edwin is thinking of getting a new job as he is bored with sedentary work.

4) Giraffes, tigers, rhinos and cheetahs are examples of sedentary animals.

5) The population of this town is made up of mainly sedentary citizens.

21 MAY 2013

Word of the day: imminent

Meaning: (especially something unpleasant) coming or will happen very soon

Examples:

1) The AIDS patient is in imminent danger of dying.

2) A war between the two countries seems imminent.

3) Most people believe that the system is in no imminent danger of collapse.

20 MAY 2013

Word of the day: subjugate

Meaning: to defeat a person, a group or something and have control over it

Examples:

1) According to a documentary, a few tribes living in the remote areas of the Amazonian rainforest were subjugated and exploited.

2) The subjugated race has tried in vain to resist the subjugation.

3) Since my father's demise, my ambitions have been subjugated by the needs of my family.

19 MAY 2013

Word of the day: demise

Meanings: (1) death (2) the end or failure of an enterprise, institution, an idea, etc.

Examples:

1) Frederick was shocked and saddened by the news of his best friend's sudden demise.

2) Intense competition has caused the demise of a local newspaper.

18 MAY 2013

Word of the day: documentary

Meaning: a television or film or radio programme giving facts and information about a subject

Examples:

1) An overseas film crew is making a documentary about the sightings of UFOs.

2) The Star Channel is now broadcasting a documentary on animals' seasonal migration.

17 MAY 2013

Word of the day: innumerable

Meaning: too many to be counted; a large number of

Examples:

1) James Ritchie, who is a prolific author, has written innumerable books.

2) The streets are decorated with innumerable flags of all colours.

3) Innumerable problems caused the cancellation of the project.

16 MAY 2013

Word of the day: prolific

Meanings:

(1) (of a writer, an artist, etc.) producing many works of art, books, etc.

(2) (of animals, plants, etc.) producing many babies, fruit, flowers, other plants or offspring, etc.

(3) existing in large numbers or quantities

(4) (of a sports player) producing a lot of goals, runs, etc.; high-scoring

Examples:

1) The prolific songwriter makes a lot of money selling his works.

2) Rats and mice are prolific breeders.

3) Wildlife is prolific in the tropical jungles.

4) South Africa is prolific in gold and diamonds.

5) Terry's name is in the list of the most prolific goalscorer this decade.

15 MAY 2013

Word of the day: accomplish

Meaning: to complete something successfully

Examples:

1) Has the mission been accomplished?

2) The students accomplished their project within a week.

3) Eric felt that he had not accomplished much since he left college.

14 MAY 2013

Word of the day: ominous

Meaning: making you feel that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen

Examples:

1) There was an ominous silence when I asked the doctor regarding my son's health condition.

2) I suggest we cancel the trip - there are ominous dark clouds gathering overhead.

13 MAY 2013

Word of the day: substantial

Meanings: (1) large in amount, size or value; important (=considerable) (2) large and strongly built

Examples:

1) The robbers robbed the bank and escaped with a substantial amount of cash.

2) Thomas leads a comfortable life with a substantial salary.

3) Your news report requires substantial editing.

4) Jennifer's not hungry as she ate a substantial breakfast this morning.

5) This substantial piece of furniture is a real bargain at its price.

6) The wealthy man owns a row of substantial villas.

12 MAY 2013

Word of the day: instantaneous

Meaning: happening or done immediately, without any delay

Examples:

1) When Max was asked a question, he gave an instantaneous response.

2) The use of the telephone is one of the modern methods of instantaneous communication.

11 MAY 2013

Word of the day: notorious

Meaning: well known or famous for something bad (=infamous)

Examples:

1) It is particularly worrying that the notorious criminal has escaped from prison.

2) The notorious computer hacker has been caught and is currently being sued.

3) The country is notorious for its abuse of human rights.

10 MAY 2013

Word of the day: pandemonium

Meaning: a situation in which there is a lot of noise, confusion and activity because people are afraid, angry or excited

Examples:

1) Pandemonium broke out when the election results were announced.

2) There was pandemonium in the street when the people heard the sound of gunshots.

9 MAY 2013

Word of the day: celebrity

Meanings: (1) a famous living person, especially in the entertainment and sports business (=star) (2) the state of being famous or well known

Examples:

1) The professional tennis player became a sporting celebrity a few years after he started the career.

2) Sue was honoured to be interviewed by a TV celebrity.

3) As he became more successful, his celebrity grew.

8 MAY 2013

Word of the day: exaggerate

Meaning: to make something seem bigger, better, worse, more important, etc. than it really is

Examples:

1) You're exaggerating - I don't think your new car is that expensive.

2) Nancy tends to exaggerate any aches and pains to get more attention.

3) The damage caused by the fire has been greatly exaggerated.

7 MAY 2013

Word of the day: consequence

Meanings: (1) a result of something that has happened, usually one that is bad or unpleasant (2) not very important

Examples:

1) Twelve families were made homeless as a consequence of the fire.

2) Ed is currently hospitalised and suffering the consequences of his reckless driving.

3) Since the incident happened so many years ago, I suppose it is of no consequence now.

6 MAY 2013

Word of the day: reluctant

Meaning: unwilling to do something and thus slow to do it

Examples:

1) I enjoyed the party so much that I was reluctant to leave.

2) Even though Rebecca had made a mistake, she was reluctant to admit it.

3) The actor seemed reluctant to answer the reporters' questions.

5 MAY 2013

Word of the day: paramount

Meanings: (1) more important than anything else (2) having the highest rank or the greatest power

Examples:

1) Since safety is paramount, it is advisable to fasten your seat belt.

2) The issue of paramount importance should be dealt with first.

3) The paramount chief of the tribe is a capable and just leader.

4 MAY 2013

Word of the day: interpersonal

Meaning: connected with relationships or communication with people

Examples:

1) You need good interpersonal skills to be a successful salesman.

2) Steven is planning to take a course in interpersonal communications.

3 MAY 2013

Word of the day: ablaze

Meanings: (1) burning quickly and fiercely (2) (ablaze with) very brightly lit or coloured (3) (ablaze with) filled with strong emotion or excitement

Examples:

1) Soon, the whole wooden house was ablaze.

2) A few vehicles were set ablaze during the arson attack.

3) My garden is ablaze with flowers.

4) We saw a number of carnival floats with their lights ablaze last evening.

5) When Henry heard the bad news, his eyes were ablaze with fury.

2 MAY 2013

Word of the day: eminent

Meaning: (of a person) important, famous and respected

Examples:

1) Kevin's father is one of the world's most eminent statesmen.

2) Vivian wishes to be an eminent lawyer some day.

1 MAY 2013

Word of the day: ovation

Meaning: if a group of people or an audience give someone an ovation, they clap as a sign of approval or great enjoyment

Examples:

1) At the end of the singer's performance, she was given a standing ovation.

2) The appearance of the rock group on stage was greeted with a thunderous ovation.

30 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: benign

Meanings: (1) (of people) kind, gentle and pleasant (2) not harmful to the environment (3) (of tumours or diseases) not harmful or likely to cause death

Examples:

1) Although the principal is a benign man, he is firm with the students.

2) A benign old lady showed me the way to your house.

3) Mr Jefferson gave me a benign smile.

4) I usually cycle because the bicycle is a benign form of transport.

5) Don't worry about the chemical additives - they are environmentally benign.

6) Benny's family doctor told him that he had a benign tumour in his throat.

29 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: deprecate

Meaning: to disapprove something strongly

Examples:

1) The management board deprecated the transfer of shares.

2) Melissa wanted to be a model but her family, especially her parents, deprecated.

28 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: procrastinate

Meaning: to delay doing something that you must do, usually because you do not wish to do it

Examples:

1) I don't think Jeremy can be trusted with the job - he loves to procrastinate.

2) Since the present government tends to procrastinate, many voters are contemplating a change of government.

27 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: contemplate

Meanings: (1) to consider seriously if you should do something, or how it should be done (2) to think about and accept the possibility of something happening

Examples:

1) Nancy is contemplating Jack's proposal.

2) I have never contemplated resigning, although I have a boring job.

3) The thought of being captured and tortured by their enemies is too awful to contemplate.

26 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: proposal

Meanings: (1) a plan or formal suggestion made to an official group or person; the act of making it (2) a formal act of asking someone to marry you

Examples:

1) Lionel's proposal for the new project has been accepted.

2) The government is considering the proposal to build a nuclear power station.

3) Susan courteously declined Michael's marriage proposal.



25 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: unscrupulous

Meaning: not having moral principles; dishonest or unfair

Examples:

1) Unscrupulous employers tend to exploit their employees.

2) Unscrupulous businessmen who sell goods at exorbitant prices will be reported to the authorities.

24 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: exploit

Meanings: (1) to treat somebody unfairly by making them work and giving them very little in return (2) to use someone or a situation as a chance for your own advantage

Examples:

1) James, who is young and innocent, has been exploited at his workplace.

2) The homeworkers are going on strike because they are being exploited by their company.

3) The politician exploited his father's name to get more votes.

23 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: incognito

Meaning: if you do something incognito, you do it in a way that prevents other people from recognising you

Examples:

1) The famous actor often travels incognito.

2) The prince's wish is to mingle incognito at parties, though he is prohibited from doing so.

3) Edward often donates incognito to charity.

22 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: mingle

Meanings: (1) to mix together (2) if you mingle at a social event, you move around and talk to other people

Examples:

1) Britney mingles milk with tea to make her favourite drink.

2) "Don't just sit there - you should try to mingle with the other guests at the party."

21 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: succinct

Meaning: (especially of something spoken and written) expressed clearly in a few words

Examples:

1) Keep your answers as succinct and straight to the point as possible.

2) When Frederick was asked the reason why he was late for the meeting, he gave a succinct explanation.

20 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: cynical

Meanings: (1) believing that people are generally selfish and do not have good, honest or sincere reasons to do something (2) not concerned that something might hurt someone, when trying to get something for yourself

Examples:

1) My aunt, who is in her fifties, is still single because she takes a cynical view of men.

2) The dumping of toxic chemical wastes into a river is a cynical disregard for the safety of others.

19 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: pertinent

Meaning: directly related to the subject or topic considered

Examples:

1) Please ask questions pertinent to today's discussion.

2) Sebastian made quite a few pertinent remarks during the meeting.

18 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: quintessence

Meaning: the most perfect or typical example of something

Examples:

1) Edwin, the model student, is the quintessence of good manners.

2) It was the quintessence of a traditional Japanese house.


17 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: improvise

Meanings: (1) to make or do something with whatever you can find because you do not have what you need (2) to invent music, words in a play, a statement, etc. from your imagination while you are playing or talking, rather than planning it in advance

Examples:

1) There were no pillows, so we had to improvise with a few blankets.

2) The director invited the actors and actresses to improvise dialogue.

3) Although the politician gave an improvised speech, he received a big round of applause.

16 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: benevolent

Meaning: kind, generous and helpful

Examples:

1) Michael's benevolent and wealthy uncle paid for his tertiary education.

2) "Don't worry - I'll help you solve your problems," said Audrey with a benevolent smile.

15 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: tertiary

Meaning: (education) at university or college level

Examples:

1) You need tertiary education to apply for the post of manager.

2) Samantha completed her tertiary education in 2008.

14 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: exorbitant (= astronomical)

Meaning: (of a price) much higher than it should be

Examples:

1) Loan sharks are people who lend money at exorbitant rates of interest.

2) Jeremy looked at the exorbitant dinner bill in surprise.

13 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: rhetorical

Meanings: (1) (of a question) asked as a way to make a statement, without expecting an answer (2) using a speech or a piece of writing in special ways to influence people or to produce an impressive effect, but not totally sincere or honest

Examples:

1) "Do you know how much I care about you?" Martha asked her son, but it was a rhetorical question.

2) Although the mayor gave a speech full of rhetorical phrases, it did not impress me much.

12 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: auspicious

Meaning: showing that something is likely to be successful in the future

Examples:

1) Cindy's great diligence in her schoolwork is an auspicious start to passing the public exam with flying colours.

2) Although Elaine married Bob eventually, their first date was not auspicious - they had a huge argument.

11 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: amicable

Meaning: (of behaviour between people) pleasant, polite or friendly and without any quarrels

Examples:

1) After about 8 years, the band finally announced their amicable split.

2) Unfortunately, the relationship between Laura and me has not always been amicable.

10 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: supercilious (= superior)

Meaning: if you are supercilious, you are behaving as if you are better and more important than other people

Examples:

1) The boutique owner was quite supercilious.

2) The wine waiter spoke in a supercilious voice.

9 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: rumbustious (American English - rambunctious)

Meaning: full of energy, noise and fun

Examples:

1) My German Shepherd bitch has given birth to a litter of lively and rumbustious puppies.

2) Julie needs help - she has problem controlling the rumbustious children at her son's birthday party.

8 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: unsavoury

Meaning: unpleasant or offensive; not morally acceptable

Examples:

1) A few unsavoury characters at the railway station extorted money from Patrick yesterday.

2) My advice is to stay away from the club - it has an unsavoury reputation.

7 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: reputation

Meaning: the opinion that people have about somebody or something, based on what has happened in the past

Examples:

1) During his schooldays, he had a reputation as a troublemaker.

2) The Kingston is a hotel with a good reputation for its excellent service.

3) With Lisa's professional qualifications and talents, she soon acquired a reputation as a first-class cook.

4) Henry's good reputation has been tarnished when he was caught accepting bribes.

6 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: tarnish

Meanings: (1) to spoil the good name of someone or something (2) (of metals) become less bright and shiny

Examples:

1) A series of scandals has tarnished the actress' public image.

2) Moisture and air tarnish copper.

3) Do you mind polishing these tarnished silver spoons?

5 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: exponential

Meaning: describing a rate of increase becoming faster and faster as the amount of the thing that is growing increases

Examples:

1) My boss is extremely pleased with the exponential growth of his business.

2) There has been an exponential increase in the world's population in the past half-century.

4 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: presumptuous

Meaning: people who are presumptuous do things that they have no right to do, in a way that shows disrespect for other people

Examples:

1) I hope it would not be presumptuous of me to ask why you are so upset.

2) Would I be considered presumptuous if I comment on the matter?

3 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: philanthropist

Meaning: a rich person who helps the poor and needy, especially by giving them lots of money

Examples:

1) Perry's father is a philanthropist who donates generously to charity.

2) The orphanage has just received a donation from a wealthy American philanthropist.

2 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: altruistic

Meaning: showing that you care about the needs and happiness of other people, even though this brings no advantage to yourself; unselfish

Examples:

1) I believe Jason's motives for donating money to charity are not altruistic - he's simply looking for publicity.

2) Harry's popularity among his friends is due to his altruistic personality.

3) Her fund-raising activities are entirely altruistic acts.

1 APRIL 2013

Word of the day: palpable

Meaning: a feeling that is so strong that it is easily noticed, felt or touched

Examples:

1) When she heard the good news, her joy was palpable.

2) During the funeral, the sense of loss among the attendees was almost palpable.

31 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: convalesce

Meaning: to rest and spend time getting well after getting an illness or a medical treatment; recover

Examples:

1) After undergoing a heart operation, my grandfather is now convalescing at home.

2) Edwin convalesced for about six months after the stroke.

30 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: egregious

Meaning: very bad and noticeable

Examples:

1) The publisher is currently being sued for egregious abuse of copyright.

2) Due to Harry's egregious misbehavior, he was suspended from college for a fortnight.

29 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: sheer

Meanings: (1) used to emphasize the size, weight, quantity, etc. of something (2) nothing except

Examples:

1) The sheer size of the shopping complex impressed us.

2) His suggestion was unheeded because it was sheer nonsense.

28 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: attribute

Meaning: to think or say that something is caused by a particular thing

Examples:

1) Cindy attributes her excellent academic performance to her hard work.

2) The bad weather conditions attributed to the flight delays.

27 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: beguile

Meanings: (1) to persuade or trick someone into doing something (2) to attract and interest someone

Examples:

1) The salesman beguiled her into buying a set of cooking utensils that she did not want.

2) When Alex met Valerie for the first time, he was completely beguiled by her beauty.

26 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: resolution

Meaning: a promise to yourself to do or not to do something

Examples:

1) James made a resolution to do well academically.

2) One of Janet's New Year's resolutions is to give up smoking.

25 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: predicament

Meaning: an unpleasant or difficult situation where you do not know what to do

Examples:

1) To get out of the company's financial predicament, the management is hoping to get a loan from the bank.

2) I explained my terrible predicament to the manager.

24 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: commotion

Meaning: sudden noisy disturbance, confusion or excitement

Examples:

1) We were distracted by a commotion downstairs and went to find out what was happening.

2) The arrival of the superstar caused quite a commotion.

23 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: extrapolate

Meaning: to use existing facts to guess or estimate what is likely to happen or be true in the future

Examples:

1) We cannot accurately extrapolate too far into the future from current trends.

2) It is too risky to extrapolate these results to other patient groups.

22 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: immaculate

Meanings: (1) very clean and tidy; spotless (2) without any mistakes; perfect

Examples:

1) My mother loves to work in an immaculate kitchen.

2) The pianist gave an immaculate performance last evening.

21 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: patriotic

Meaning: having or expressing a great love for your country

Examples:

1) The soldiers are performing a patriotic song on stage.

2) The ex-president was a patriotic man who served his country well.

20 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: acrid

Meaning: having a strong, bitter and unpleasant smell or taste; irritating to the eyes, nose, etc.

Examples:

1) Let's get out of here - I can't stand the acrid smoke.

2) Where does the acrid smell originate?

19 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: umpteen

Meaning: very many; a lot of (used especially when one is annoyed there are so many)

Examples:

1) I can't go out with you because I have umpteen things to do.

2) Eric called Julie umpteen times but did not get any answers.

18 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: apprehensive

Meaning: worried or fearful that something unpleasant may happen; feeling anxiety about the future

Examples:

1) We have no reason to be apprehensive about their visit.

2) They were deeply apprehensive that something bad might have happened.

17 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: fugitive

Meaning: a person who is running away (especially from the police) and is trying to avoid being caught

Examples:

1) After being in hiding for a decade, the fugitive is finally brought into justice.

2) The criminals escaped from prison and are being sought for as fugitives.

16 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: perpetual

Meaning: continuing for a long time without stopping or changing; continuous

Examples:

1) The perpetual noise of traffic is driving me crazy!

2) My niece is a cute little girl with a perpetual smile.

15 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: gratitude

Meaning: the feeling of being grateful and thankful to someone for helping you

Examples:

1) I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for your assistance and support.

2) She treated him to a meal in gratitude for what he had done.

14 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: immortal

Meaning: never dying; living forever

Examples:

1) Our souls are immortal.

2) Vampires are imaginative creatures said to be immortal.

13 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: lucrative

Meaning: producing a great deal of money; making a lot of profit

Examples:

1) The wealthy man runs a lucrative business.

2) Jason pursued a lucrative career as a surgeon.

12 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: cajole

Meaning: to persuade someone to do something by talking to them and being very nice to them

Examples:

1) Sam hopes to cajole Edward into selling him a plot of land.

2) Benny managed to cajole Lisa's phone number out of her.

11 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: gregarious

Meaning: friendly and liking to be with other people; sociable

Examples:

1) My uncle has a wide circle of friends because he's very outgoing and gregarious.

2) Jolene is a popular and gregarious woman.

10 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: confinement

Meaning: the act of forcing someone to stay in a closed space, room, prison, etc., or the state of being there

Examples:

1) The politician has suffered five years of confinement as a political prisoner.

2) The murder suspects were held in confinement for a week before being released.

9 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: strenuous

Meaning: needing a lot of strength or effort

Examples:

1) At dawn, they began their strenuous climb up the mountain.

2) It is not advisable to do strenuous exercise immediately after a meal.

8 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: incessant

Meaning: continuing; never stopping

Examples:

1) The major flooding was caused by days of incessant rain.

2) Unable to tolerate the incessant noise from his neighbour, James complained to the authorities.

7 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: detestable

Meaning: deserving to be hated

Examples:

1) The detestable murderer was sentenced to life imprisonment.

2) I did not watch the movie because a friend told me that its violence was detestable.

3) "You're detestable!" she said furiously.

6 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: legitimate

Meaning: acceptable or allowed according to the law

Examples:

1) Our business operations are strictly legitimate.

2) Jonathan is the legitimate heir to his deceased uncle's properties.

5 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: deceased

Meaning: dead

Examples:

1) Julie inherited a large fortune from her deceased parents.

2) The sculptures are by my deceased father, Edward.

4 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: laudable

Meaning: deserving praise

Examples:

1) Helping the flood victims is a laudable idea.

2) Saving our earth is a laudable activity.

3 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: preposterous

Meaning: completely unreasonable or silly; not to be believed

Examples:

1) Nobody is going to believe your preposterous story.

2) The suggestion sounds completely preposterous!

2 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: complacent

Meaning: too self-satisfied or pleased with a situation, especially something you have achieved, so that you feel that it is no longer necessary to improve

Examples:

1) We simply cannot afford to become complacent about our small progress.

2) The citizens are too complacent to change the government.

1 MARCH 2013

Word of the day: flabbergasted

Meaning: very surprised or shocked

Examples:

1) The bad news left John totally flabbergasted.

2) I was flabbergasted at the amount of money she makes daily.

28 FEBRUARY 2013

Word of the day: compliment

Meaning: to express something nice to someone in order to praise them

Examples:

1) He complimented her on her excellent Japanese.

2) The bridegroom was so nervous that he forgot to compliment the bridesmaids.

27 FEBRUARY 2013

Word of the day: apparent

Meaning: easy to see, notice or understand

Examples:

1) For no apparent reason, Emily burst into tears.

2) It soon became apparent to everyone that he couldn't speak French well.

26 February 2013

Word of the day: consent

Meaning: to agree to do something or to give permission for something to happen

Examples:

1) Her parents willingly consented to her marriage.

2) The actor finally consented to let us interview him.

25 February 2013

Word of the day: identical

Meaning: exactly the same or very similar

Examples:

1) The two motorbikes are identical except for the licence number.

2) Peter's T-shirt is almost identical to James'.

24 February 2013

Word of the day: repulsive

Meaning: very unpleasant; in a way that causes a feeling of strong dislike

Examples:

1) Everybody wondered where the repulsive smell originated.

2) My sister finds cockroaches repulsive.

23 FEBRUARY 2013

Word of the day: infallible

Meaning: never making mistakes, always right

Examples:

1) The doctor admitted to making a wrong diagnosis and stressed that no one is infallible in this world.

2) Even the experts are not infallible.

22 FEBRUARY 2013

Word of the day: illiterate

Meaning: unable to read and write

Examples:

1) A large percentage of the population of that country are illiterate.

2) My illiterate neighbor requested me to read a letter to her.

3) John helped the illiterate old man to fill up a form.

21 FEBRUARY 2013

Word of the day: impromptu

Meaning: done or said without earlier preparation or planning

Examples:

1) The minister delivered a fine impromptu speech at the opening ceremony of the campaign.

2) During a meet-the-fan session, the band gave an impromptu concert and their fans were thrilled.