The Century Vocabulary Builder
Creever & Bachelor

Part 5 out of 7

_Sentences_: "But with the whiff and wind of his ____ sword
The unnerved father falls." "Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this ____ storm." The ____ fellow could cause
suffering to a child without the least tinge of remorse. Such conduct is
unheard of in civilized communities; it is ____, it is ____. "I must be
____ only to be kind."


_Sentences_: "____ no more, woeful shepherds; ____ no more."
The woman covered her face with her hands and ____, while the children
____. He ____ a forced regret at the death of his uncle, and asked that
the will be read, "Rachel ____ for her children." "Rejoice with them that
do rejoice, and ____ with them that ____." "I could lie down like a tired
child And ____ away this life of care Which I have borne and yet must
bear." "An infant ____ in the night." "What's Hecuba to him or he
to Hecuba That he should ____ for her?" I was disgusted at the sight of
that overgrown boy standing in the corner ____. "You think I'll ____; No,
I'll not ____: I have full cause of ____, but this heart Shall break into
a hundred thousand flaws Or ere I'll ____."

prune, reap, mow, clip, shear, trim, dock, crop, shave, whittle, slice,
slit, score, lance, carve, bisect, dissect, amputate, detruncate,

_Sentences_: "I'll ____ around your heart with my razor, And shoot
you with my shotgun too." "O Hamlet! thou hast ____ my heart in twain." By
the pressure of his hands he could ____ an apple. With his new hatchet
George began ____ at the cherry tree. He carelessly ____ off a branch or
two. The horses were ____ the rank grass. An old form of punishment was to
____ the nose of the offender. The nobleman ordered the groom to ____ the
tails of the carriage horses. You should ____ your meadows in the summer
and ____ your grapevines in the late fall or early winter. "Do you," asked
the barber, "wish your hair ____ or ____?" ____ to the line. It is painful
to see Dodwell trying to ____ a turkey. In geometry we learned to ____
angles, in biology to ____ cats. The bad man in the West ____ his gunstock
each time he shot a tenderfoot. Betty, will you ____ this cucumber?
"'Mark's way,' said Mark, and ____ him thro' the brain."


_Sentences_: He has a ____ disease. The spirit of Virgil guided Dante
through the ____ shades. Cyanide of potassium is a ____ poison. He struck
a ____ blow.


_Sentences_: Napoleon ____ his enemies in many battles, but he was
not able to ____ them. The new governor general ____ the uprising. He was
____ in the election. Caesar ____ many countries and made them swear
allegiance to Rome. "Who ____ by force Hath ____ but half his foe." The
militia ____ the rioters.


_Sentences_: He produced evidence to ____ the charge. They could not
____ the facts we presented. It is difficult to ____ those who are
spreading these rumors, yet all right-minded people think the rumors
false. "I put thee now to thy book-oath; ____ it if thou canst." Either
admit or ____ the truth of this allegation. Such a law ____ the first
principles of justice.


_Sentences_: All the ferocious wild animals are gradually being
____. As weeds from a field, so is it difficult to ____ all the faults
from man's nature. But how shall we ____ the cause of this disease? Fire
____ the bank. The wrecking crew ____ the building. She tried to ____ the
terrible scene from her memory. "____ all that's made To a green thought
in a green shade." The cyclone ____ the church. The Spanish Inquisition
tried to ____ heresy. "____ out the written troubles of the brain."
The army was not only defeated; it was ____. "A bold peasantry, their
country's pride. When once ____, can never be supplied."

_Sentences_: All men are mortal and must ____. "As wax melteth before
the fire, so let the wicked ____ at the presence of God." "I still had
hopes, my long vexations past, Here to return, and ____ at home at last."
The late ____ Mr. Brown left all his property to his family. "Cowards ____
many times before their deaths." "The poor beetle, that we tread upon, In
corporal sufferance finds a pang as great As when a giant giant ____."
"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not ____
from the earth." "Thus on Maeander's flowery margin lies Th' ____ swan,
and as be sings he dies." Over a thousand people ____ in the fire at the
theater. "To ____, to sleep; to sleep: perchance to dream." He ____ to a
lingering disease. "Aye, but to ____, and go we know not where; To lie in
cold obstruction and to rot." "Wind my thread of life up higher, Up,
through angels' hands of fire! I aspire while I ____."

_Sentences_: He ____ his head under the hydrant. The Baptists ____ at
baptism. She ____ the cloth into the dye. The sophomores ____ the freshmen
into the icy water of the lake. Paul Jones could not ____ the enemy's
ship; he therefore resolved to board it. The wreck lay ____ in forty
fathoms of water. Uncle Tom ____ overboard to rescue the child. When the
gun is discharged, the loon does not rise from the water; it ____ Lewis
became badly strangled when the other boys ____ him.

complaint, disorder, distemper, infirmity, malady.> (With this group
contrast the _healthful_ group.)

_Sentences_: He was suffering the ____ of age. Cancer is still in
many instances an incurable ____ The ____ of the lady ended as soon as the
maid told her the callers had gone away. It was an old ____ of the
tonsils, but this time the child's ____ was slight. "To help me through
this long ____, my life."

treacherous, perfidious.>

_Sentences_: The king discovered many ____ schemes among those who
pretended to be his loyal supporters. England's enemies have long called
her "____ Albion." They were afraid the Indian guide would betray them by
some ____ action. "O you beast! O ____ coward! O dishonest wretch!" He was
____ to his adopted country. "Bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, ____,
lecherous, kindless villain! O! vengeance!"

_Sentences_: An officer ____ the orders with despatch. He ____ a
mighty name for himself. "If it were ____ when 'tis ____ then 'twere well
It were ____ quickly." Constant efforts will ____ miracles. The student
____ the problems quickly. The doctor hopes his new treatment will ____ a
cure. "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to ____." He persevered
till he ____ his purpose. He always ____ more than was expected of him.

vestments, attire, garb, habit, costume, uniform.>

_Sentences_: The spy concealed his identity by wearing the ____ of a
monk. The soldiers wore blue ____. She was an excellent horsewoman, and
rode in a fashionable ____. "No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an
old ____." Millions of men left farms and factories and shops to don the
____ of war. The invitation specified that the men should wear evening
____. The store specialized in women's wearing ____. A person should wear
warm ____ in winter. The king appeared in his royal ____. He always wore
expensive ____. The bishop entered in his clerical ____. "The ____ oft
proclaims the man." The theatrical ____ was full of spangles. One's ____
should never be conspicuous.


_Sentences_: "She who, as they voyaged, ____ With Tristram that
spiced magic draught." Plants ____ moisture through their roots. "A little
learning is a dang'rous thing; ____ deep, or taste not the Pierian
spring." He ____ down the liquor in a couple of huge draughts. On the fan
was a picture of Japanese maidens daintily ____ tea. "____ to me only with
thine eyes." His red nose betrayed the fact that he constantly ____.

_Sentences_: They ____ payment to the last cent. The police ____ a
confession from the prisoner by intimidating him. This terrible suffering
____ our sympathy. His resolve to begin again after his failure ____ their
admiration. "But lend it rather to thine enemy; Who if he break, thou
mayst with better face ____ the penalty." They ____ all the information
they could by questioning the child.

agitate, abash, mortify, chagrin, humiliate.>

_Sentences_: The annoying little raids ____ the enemy. Such
conclusive proof of his lies completely ____ him. His sudden proposal ____
her. He stood ____ in the presence of the king. The traveler was ____ by
the many turns in the road. She was ____ by the delay in having dinner
ready. She was ____ by her husband's ill manners. The possibility that her
daughter might have been in the accident ____ her. I was ____ at being so
cleverly outwitted.

_Sentences_: We should ____ even those who do us wrong. "Father, ____
them; for they know not what they do." I trust you will ____ my being
late. Ignorance ____ no one before the law. The governor ____ the convict.
He thought it better to ____ the offense than to try to punish it.

_Sentences_: The minister ____ the doctrine of predestination.
The tribesman ____ his chief's words for us. He ____ his meaning by giving
clear examples. Joseph was called upon to ____ Pharaoh's dream. Can you
____ the reason for your absence? Various scholars have ____ the passage

burly, pudgy, chubby.>

_Sentences_: "There live not three good men unhanged in England, and
one of them is ____ and grows old." A[n] ____ rosy-faced child walking
beside a girl just pleasantly ____ came past the garden. The ____ lady was
talking with a[n] ____, ill-conditioned man. "So ____, blithe, and
debonair." "He's ____ and scant of breath." The ruffian was a[n] ____
fellow. They were ____ in varying degrees: one was ____, one ____, and one
downright ____.

consternation, panic, terror, horror, misgiving, anxiety, scare, tremor,
trepidation.> (With this group compare the _Afraid_ group, above,
and contrast the _Courage_ group, also above.)

_Sentences_: "Like one, that on a lonesome road Doth walk in ____ and
____." "His scepter shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to
awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the ____ and ____ of kings." ____
changed to ____ when we perceived the corpse. Washington felt some ____ as
to the loyalty of Charles Lee, but was amazed to find his force retreating
in ____, indeed almost in a[n] ____.


_Sentences_: She possessed every ____ charm. He gave a[n] ____ start
of curiosity. The pistil is considered the ____ organ of a flower. It was
once not thought ____ for a woman to ride astride a horse. He inherited
the throne through the ____ line. Patience is one of the greatest of ____
virtues. The hired girl in her finery minced along with a[n] ____ step.
Some people consider it ____ to wear a wrist watch. Her ____ heart was
touched at the sight. It is ____ to jump at the sight of a mouse.

assault, onslaught, brawl, melee, tournament, battle, conflict, strife,
clash, collision, contest, skirmish, encounter, brush, bout, set-to.>

_Sentences_: "A darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of ____ and
flight." The ____ upon Fort Sumter was the direct cause of the Civil War.
The ____ between our forces and theirs was brief and trivial; it was only
a cavalry ____. There is an excellent account of a knightly ____ in
_Ivanhoe_. We repelled their general ____; then ourselves advanced;
the ____ of our lines with theirs soon resulted in an inextricable ____.
A chance ____ of small forces at Gettysburg brought on a terrible ____.
There had long been ____ between the two factions within the party.
Angered by what had begun as a playful ____, one of the men challenged the
other to ____.

_Sentences_: It is the lot of every one to endure many sorrows in
this ____ life. They saw for a short while a[n] ____ comet. The ____
glories of dawn had merged into the sordid realities of daytime. The
remark made but a[n] ____ impression upon him. The ____ moments sped away.
"Art is long, and time is ____." Joy is ____. Much of the popular
literature of the day is ____ in character.


_Sentences_: It was a[n] ____ excuse. It was a pleasure to meet a
person so simple and ____. He was ____ to say that he did not like the
arrangement. "Who, mindful of the unhonored dead, Dost in these lines
their ____ tale relate." "The Moor is of a free and ____ nature." He gave
them his ____ opinion.


_Sentences_: The schemers were themselves ____. He was ____ by the
many contradictory clues. Circumstances ____ all his plans to get rich.
The parents ____ the attempt of the couple to elope. The guard ____ the
prisoner's attempt to escape. He was ____ at every turn. They put forth a
statement to ____ the influence of their opponents' propaganda. By
slipping away during the night, Washington ____ the enemy. The politician
by his shrewdness ____ the attempt to discredit him.

frolicsome, merry, jolly, sportive, jovial, jocular, jocose, jocund.>

_Sentences_: "The milkmaid singeth ____." "And all went ____ as a
marriage bell." "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel
of peace, and bring ____ tidings of good things." A ____ Lothario. "So
buxom, ____, and debonair." As ____ as a fawn. He kept smiling, for he was
in ____ mood. "You are sad Because you are not ____; and 'twere as easy
For you to laugh and leap, and say you are ____, Because you are not sad."
He longed for the ____ life of a ____ English squire.

_Sentences_: ____ makes perfect. The immigrants kept up many of the
____ of their native land. "God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one
good ____ should corrupt the world." It was his ____ to walk among the
ruins. An old ____ permits a man to kiss a girl who is standing under
mistletoe. ____ establishes many peculiar idioms in a language. He
acquired the ____ of smoking. "It is a ____. More honor'd in the breach
than the observance." De Quincey was a victim of the opium ____. "Age
cannot wither her, nor ____ stale Her infinite variety." "'Tis not his
____ to be the hindmost man."

tease, tantalize.>

_Sentences_: The merchant ____ about his financial losses. "Life's
but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and ____ his hour upon
the stage, And then is heard no more." The children never lost an
opportunity to ____ the teacher. The other pupils ____ him because he was
the teacher's favorite. The newcomer was ____ by their frequent questions.
Don't ____ the child by holding the grapes beyond its reach. "He was met
even now As mad as the ____ sea." Ah, but I am ____ by doubts and fears.
"The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wand'ring near her
secret bower, ____ her ancient, solitary reign." The child ____ because
the rain kept it indoors. When the joke was discovered, they almost ____
the life out of him. I was ____ at their discovering my predicament. "You
may as well forbid the mountain pines To wag their high tops, and to make
no noise When they are ____ with the gusts of heaven."

encumber, forestall, suppress, repress, prevent.>

_Sentences_: Baggage ____ the progress of an army. It is the purpose
of modern medicine to ____ disease. The accumulations of dust and grease
____ the machine. "My tears must stop, for every drop ____ needle and
thread." By acknowledging his fault he hoped to ____ criticism. Though
before she had been unable to ____ her tears, she could now scarcely ____
a yawn. A fallen tree ____ his further progress. The horse was ____ with a
heavy burden, and the unsure footing of the trail further ____ the
ascent. His jealous colleagues ____ his plans in every way they could.

perforation, puncture, rent, slit, crack, chink, crevice, cranny, breach,
cleft, chasm, fissure, gap, opening, interstice, burrow, crater, eyelet,
pore, bore, aperture, orifice, vent, concavity, dent, indentation. >

_Sentences_: The explorers, having eaten all the provisions they had
carried with them, hurried back to their ____. The battering-ram at last
made a[n] ____ in the walls. The ____ in the log had been caused by the
intense heat. He tore off the check along the line of the ____. The ____
in the earth gradually deepened and narrowed into a[n] ____. Pyramus and
Thisbe made love to each other through a[n] ____ in a wall. "Once more
unto the ____, dear friends, once more." The ____ in the mountain ranges
of Virginia influenced strategy during the Civil War. Several ____ in the
toe of one of his shoes apprised me that he had a sore foot. The supposed
____ in the rock turned out to be a[n] ____ that led into a dark but
spacious ____. He suffered a[n] ____ of one of his tires near the place
where the laborers were making the ____. It was a gun of very large ____.
The ____ in the percolator was made by a flatiron aimed at Mr. Wiggins'

_Sentences_: "He also that is ____ in his work is brother to him
that is a great waster." "The ____ singer of an empty day." Mighty, ____
forces lie locked up in nature, waiting for man to release them. He was
a[n] ____, good-for-nothing fellow whose whole business in life was to
keep out of work. "For Satan finds some mischief still For ____ hands to
do." He was too ____ to do his work well. "The ____ yawning drone." His
steps were so ____ one would almost think he was not moving. "As ____ as a
painted ship Upon a painted ocean." "I talk of dreams, Which are the
children of an ____ brain, Begot of nothing but vain fantasy."


_Sentences_: Without public schools most children would be ____;
without missionaries many barbarous tribes would remain ____. Andrew
Jackson was ____ that peace had been declared when he fought the battle of
New Orleans. Even the wisest men are ____ upon some subjects. "Lo, the
poor Indian, whose ____ mind Sees God in clouds or hears Him in the wind!"
The mountain whites, though often totally ____, are nevertheless a shrewd
folk. "Their name, their years, spelt by th' ____ muse, The place of fame
and elegy supply." The percentage of ____ persons is constantly decreasing
in America.

_Sentences:_ He ____ the bucket of water over. The vessel ____ to the
stern and began to sink. The ship ____ to larboard. He ____ the top of the
picture away from the wall. The sprinter ____ forward and touched the tips
of his fingers against the ground. The gable ____ sharply. The hill ____
gently. The cowboy had ____ his hat fetchingly.

outing, expedition.>

_Sentences:_ The people protested the expenditure of money for a
Congressional ____ to investigate the Philippine Islands. Each Sunday
there is a[n] ____ at half fare between the two cities. He conducted a
party on a summer ____ through Europe. Last summer I took a[n] ____ to the
Yellowstone National Park. It was a long ____ from Philadelphia to Boston
by stage coach. They hurriedly arranged for a[n] ____ to the woods.
Magellan was the first man to make a[n] ____ around the globe. The
scientific body organized a[n] ____ to explore the polar regions.
Thousands of Mohammedans make an annual ____ to Mecca.

benevolent, charitable, gracious, humane, sympathetic.> (With this
group compare the _Cruel_ group, above.)

_Sentences:_ The weather was ____. She was as ____ as a queen. "Thou
dost wear The Godhead's most ____ grace." Cowper was too ____ to tread
upon a worm needlessly. A judge in sentencing a convicted man may be as
____ as circumstances and the law allow. ____ neutrality. "Blessed are the
____." "She was so ____ and so pitous She wolde wepe if that she sawe a
mous Caught in a trappe." "____ hearts are more than coronets."

predilection, liking.>

_Sentences_: Between the two young people had grown a[n] ____ which
now ripened into ____. "The course of true ____ never did run smooth." The
mad ____ of Mark Antony for Cleopatra was the cause of his downfall. She
had only a[n] ____ for him, but he an unqualified ____ for her. "Man's
____ is of his life a thing apart; 'Tis woman's whole existence." He shows
a marked ____ for the companionship of women. My ____ for the tart was
enhanced by my ____ for the girl who baked it. That boy shows a[n] ____
for horses, and a positive ____ for dogs.

verge, skirt, confine.>

_Sentences_: He had reached the ____ of endurance. In writing, leave
a wide ____ on the left side of the page. "Borrowing dulls the ____ of
husbandry." "The extravagant and erring spirit hies To his ____." Within
the ____ of reason. He stood on the ____ of ruin. The rock at the ____ of
the canon is called the ____ rock. I was on the ____ of doing a very
indiscreet thing. "The undiscover'd country from whose ____ No traveler
returns." Fill your glasses to the ____.

_Sentences_: "However old a ____ union, it still garners some
sweetness." A court of ____ relations. "Contented toil, and hospitable
care, And kind ____ tenderness are there." "To the ____ bower I led her,
blushing like the morn." She finally decided that he had no ____
intentions. "And hears the unexpressive ____ song In the lest kingdoms
meek of joy and love."

profession, business, trade, craft.>

_Sentences_: He gave his life to literary ____. My brother found ____
as a tutor in a rich family. Colleges are trying to direct their students
into the ____ they are best fitted for. Andrew Johnson was a tailor by
____. Medicine is a very ancient ____. The shoemaker was very skilled at
his ____. After losing his hand he could no longer engage in his ____ as
telegrapher. The grocer carries on only a wholesale ____. He considered
his ____ to the ministry a sacred duty. "Sir, 'tis my ____ to be plain."
Do you find collecting coins a pleasant ____?


_Sentences_: We ____ our hunger when we reached the inn. In olden
times men tried to ____ the offended gods by offering human sacrifices.
They ____ the angry man by promising to hear his grievances immediately.
The premier thought he could ____ this particular faction by offering its
leader a seat in the cabinet. "Chiron ____ his cruel mind With art, and
taught his warlike hands to wind The silver strings of his melodious
lyre." A friendly word will usually ____ one's enemies.

element, component, constituent, ingredient, share, lot, allotment>.

_Sentences_: One ____ in his success was his courage. She was
studying the ____ of the pie; he the chances of getting another ____. Is
it ____ and ____ alike? "I live not in myself, but I become ____ of that
around me." "Act well your ____; there all the honor lies." He owned a[n]
____ of land near the city limits; a speculator bought a[n] ____ of this
and divided it into city lots. "I am a[n] ____ of all that I have met."
The purchaser, having only a[n] ____ of this sum in ready money, offered
to pay in ____.


_Sentences_: Give the manager his ____, the workmen their ____. "The
laborer is worthy of his ____." He received his weekly ____ from the
parsimonious old man. The ____ for enrolment is ten dollars. "This is ____
and ____, not revenge."

complaisant, gracious>.

_Sentences_: He was ____ enough, but not definitely ____. "So ____
that he ne'er ____." Though he had never lived in a city, much less in the
circle of royalty, his manners were ____, even ____. Your desire to please
is shown in your ____ greeting. "Damn with faint praise, assent with ____
leer, And without sneering teach the rest to sneer."

rupture, dispute, dissension, bickering, wrangle, broil, squabble, row,
rumpus, ruction, spat, tiff, fuss, jar, feud.>

_Sentences:_ It was only a little ____ between lovers. The ____
between the partners was over the right of the senior to make contracts
for the firm; it grew into an angry ____. It was a long-drawn political
____. At the meeting of our committee the chairman and one of the members
had a sharp ____ over a point of order. A[n] ____ in some minor matters
led to a[n] ____ in their friendship. "Thrice is he armed that hath his
____ just" Those chattering, choleric fellows are always engaged in ____;
last night they on meeting had a[n] ____ which brought on a long-drawn
____, and when their friends joined in, there was a noisy ____. I have
seen all sorts of ____, from a trivial childish ____ to a grim ____ of

_Sentences:_ Let the Lord be ____. "As some tall cliff that ____ its
awful form." Because of this success his reputation was ____. The horse
____ when the machine began to ____ the huge block of stone by means of a
crane. "I will ____ up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my
help." The load was too heavy for him to carry; in fact he just managed to
____ it into the wagon.

_Sentences:_ The defense ____ objection to the first of these points.
The refugee was willing to ____ his right to resist extradition. The
teacher ____ her position at the end of the year. The king ____ when the
people rose in revolt. He ____ his command of the army. Do you ____ your
claim in this mine? The bankrupt ____ his property to the receiver to help
pay his debts.


_Sentences_: He ____ the statement. Thereupon Henry Esmond ____ his
allegiance to the House of Stuart. It is a serious matter for a government
to ____ its debts. Did the heretic ____? Do you ____ the devil and all his
works? "The wounded gladiator ____ all fighting, but soon forgetting his
former wounds resumes his arms." He had broken his solemn oath; he was

rate, berate>.

_Sentences_: "He ____ their wanderings but relieved their pain."
"Many a time and oft In the Rialto you have ____ me About my moneys and my
usances." They ____ the man who had taken the savings of the poor, and
____ him against such schemes thereafter. The general ____ his

pirate, corsair, raider, burglar, footpad, highwayman, depredator,
spoiler, despoiler, forager, pillager, plunderer, marauder, myrmimdon>.
(With this group compare the _Steal_ group, below.)

_Sentences_: Every boy has his period of wanting to be a ____.
_Treasure Island is_ one of the best ____ stories ever written.
The ____ lurks in dark passageways and steals upon his victim. The fierce
followers of Achilles were called ____. The men sent out by the army as
____ seemed to the people of the countryside more like ____. The fearless
____ had soon gathered about him a band of ____. Robin Hood was no ____ of
poor folk. The outcast became a ____ among the mountaineers of northern
Italy. Every, boy likes to read of the bold ____ who sailed the Spanish
Main. Union plans were often upset by daring Confederate ____, such as
Stuart, Morgan, and Forrest.

sprint, sweep>.

_Sentences_: Swift horsemen ____ the country in search of the
fugitive. Wherever they came, the inhabitants ____ for shelter. "The dish
____ away with the spoon." For his horse to ____ made difficult riding, to
____ made comfortable riding, to ____ made exhilarating riding. "He may
____ that readeth it." The old sailing-boat ____ before the wind. "Haste
me to know't, that I, with wings as swift As meditation or the thoughts of
love, May ____ to my revenge." The rats ____ across the floor. "He who
fights and ____ away May live to fight another day."

asseverate, allege, assert, avouch, avow, maintain, claim, depose,
predicate, swear, suggest, insinuate, testify>. (With this group
compare the _Speak_ and _Talk_ groups, below.)

_Sentences_: It was something I merely ____ in passing; I would not
____ to it. I could not ____ in court, and therefore had to ____ before a
notary. The scientist ____ that a seismograph will infallibly record
earthquakes. He solemnly ____ that he would not ____ exemption from the

sparkle, twinkle, dazzle, glimmer, glow, radiate, scintillate,

_Sentences_: The gorgeous parade ____ the boy. "____, ____, little
star." He was witty that night; he fairly ____ At this compliment the old
lady ____. "Now fades the ____ landscape on the sight." A rocket ____ in
the darkness. She ____ her elderly wooer a look of defiance; then her eyes
softened and ____ with amusement. "All that ____ is not gold." "How far
that little candle throws his beams! So ____ a good deed in a naughty
world.". The old man ____ into sudden anger.


_Sentences_: A newspaper must be careful not to ____ any one. Too
many supposedly religious people ____ their fellow believers. I do not
____ your motives. He ____ the character of everybody who chances to
possess one.


_Sentences_: The ____ of the flowers in the vase mingled with the
____ of boiling cabbage in the kitchen. The ____ of spring is on the
meadows. So keen was the hound's sense of ____ that he quickly picked up
the ____ again. Any smoker likes the ____ of a good cigar. The ____ of
the handkerchief was delicate. Though it was a disagreeable ____, I should
hardly call it a[n] ____. The ____ of spices told him that his mother was
baking his favorite cake, and he also detected the ____ of coffee. The
____ of the ocean was in the air. He sniffed the ____ of frying bacon.

carol, lilt>.

_Sentences_: "They learn in suffering what they teach in ____."
The mother crooned a[n] ____ to her babe. The Highland girl sang a moving
old ____ worshipers sang a[n] ____ of praise. Charles Wesley wrote many
____. As I approached the cathedral, I could hear the ____ of lark's
outside and the ____ of the choir within. "Our sweetest ____ are those
that tell of saddest thought." "A[n] ____ for her the doubly dead in that
she died so young."

lecture, preach, harangue, rant, roar, spout, thunder, declaim, harp>.
(With this group compare the _Say_ group, above, and the _Talk_
group, below.)

_Sentences_: "His virtues Will ____ like angels trumpet-tongu'd
against The deep damnation of his taking-off." "Here, under leave of
Brutus and the rest, ... Come I to ____ in Caesar's funeral." "Ay me! what
act, That ____ so loud and ____ in the index?" "Hadst thou thy wits and
didst ____ revenge, It could not move thus." "Thou canst not ____ of that
thou dost not feel." "Nay, if thou'lt mouth, I' ____ as well as thou."
While the politician ____ in the senate chamber upon theoretical ills, the
agitator outside ____ the mob about actual ones. "For murder, though it
have no tongue, will ____ With most miraculous organ."


_Sentences_: Large sums were ____ in rebuilding the devastated
regions of France. ____ your money, but do not ____ it. One should not
____ more than one earns. The king ____ great sums upon his favorites. The
political boss ____ the money among his henchmen. "The younger son ...
____ his substance with riotous living."

blemish, stain, discoloration, speck, mark, smudge, flaw, defect,

_Sentences_: A ____ in the crystal. The ____ of Cain. A life free
from ____. "Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul; And there I see such
black and grained ____ As will not leave their tinct." From the standpoint
of theatrical effectiveness _A ____ in the 'Scutcheon_ is one of the
best of Browning's plays. An eruption of the skin made a yellow ____ on
his right hand. Dragging my sleeve across the fresh ink had made a ____
upon the page. The ____ of foam by the roadside proved that his horse had
been going fast. The ____ at the end of his fingers told me he was a
cigarette-smoker. On the left foreleg of the horse was a slight ____.


_Sentences_: The Israelites ____ in Egypt. He ____ to chat with us,
but could not ____ overnight. I ____ in a wretched tavern. "I can ____, I
can ____ but a night." "I did love the Moor to ____ with him." "He that
shall come will come, and will not ____." "I will ____ in the house of the
Lord forever." "If ye ____ in me, and my words ____ in you, ye shall ask
what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." "I would rather be a
doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to ____ in the tents of
wickedness." The guests ____ in the cheerful drawing-room.

poach>. (With this group, which excludes the idea of violence, compare
the _Robber_ group, above.)

_Sentences:_ I am of raid that our son ____ the purse from the
gentleman. No one knows how long the cashier has been ____ the funds of
the bank. To take our money on such unsound security is to ____ us. He
slyly ____ a handkerchief or two. This paragraph is clearly ____. "Thou
shalt not ____." Many government employees seem to think that to ____ is
their privilege and prerogative. The crown jewels have been ____, She ____
a number of petty articles. A well-known detective story by Poe is called
_The ____ Letter._ "Who ____ my purse ____ trash.... But he that ____
from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me
poor indeed." "A cut-purse of the empire and the rule, That from a shelf
the precious diadem ____, And put it in his pocket!"

pommel, pound, cudgel, slap, rap, tap, box.>

_Sentences_: ____ him into the middle of next week. He ____ and ____
the poor beast unmercifully. "As of some one gently ____, ____ at my
chamber door." "Unto him that ____ thee on the one cheek offer also the
other." "Bid them come forth and hear me, Or at their chamber door I'll
____ the drum Till it cry sleep to death." "One whom I will ____ into
clamorous whining." "____ for your altars and your fires!" By means of
heavy stones the squaws ____ the corn into meal.

crusty, cynical, misanthropic, saturnine, splenetic.>

_Sentences_: "Between us and our hame [home], Where sits our ____,
____ dame, Gathering her brows like gathering storm, Nursing her wrath to
keep it warm." A ____ old bachelor. A ____ Scotchman. He hated all men; he
was truly ____. He sat ____ and silent all day; by nightfall he was truly

twaddle, blab, gossip, palaver, parley, converse, mumble, mutter, stammer,
stutter.> (With this group compare the _Say_ and _Speak_
groups, above.)

_Sentences_: It was a queer assembly, and from it arose a queer
medley of sounds: the baby was ____, the old crone ____, the gossip ____,
the embarrassed young man ____, the child ____ the tale-bearer ____, the
hostess ____ with the most distinguished guest, and the trickster ____
with his intended victim. "Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to write, ____, and live with ease." "I wonder that you will
still be ____ Signor Benedick; nobody marks you."

_Sentences_: The explosion of the shell ____ his flesh. The tailor
____ the garment along the seam. I'll ____ this paper into bits. Those
savages would ____ you limb from limb. She ____ her dress on a nail. The
cogs caught his hand and ____ it. How could such reproaches fail to ____
my feelings?

launch, dart, propel, project.>

_Sentences_: Suddenly he ____ the glittering coins away. Goliath
learned to his cost that David could ____ a stone. The explosion of the
gunpowder ____ the bullet from the gun. "____ down your cups of Samian
wine!" The children amused themselves by ____ the ball back and forth. He
____ himself dejectedly into a seat. The thief ____ a glance beside him.
The mischievous boy ____ a stone through the window. They ____ some of the
cargo overboard to lighten the boat. The eager fisherman ____ the fly for
the trout. The untidy fellow ____ the towel in a corner.

flog, maul, drub, switch, spank, bastinado.> (This group limits the
field of the _Punish_ group in Exercise A, and extends the list of

_Sentences_: The drunken driver ____ the excited horses. The zealot
was accustomed to ____ himself. The ruler bade that the Christians be
____. The teacher ____ the small children gently, but he unsparingly ____
the big ones. "My father hath ____ you with whips, but I will ____ you
with scorpions." The bully was always ____ men smaller than himself till
one of them turned on him and ____ him thoroughly.

iniquitous, criminal, vicious, vile.>

_Sentences:_ "I am fled From this ____ world, with ____ worms to
dwell." A[n] ____ assault. "The ____ prize itself Buys out the law." It
was, though not a[n] ____ act, a most ____ one. "There the ____ cease from
troubling; and there the weary be at rest."


_Sentences:_ The plan had all the faults of ____ judgment. Many great
authors have written books of ____ fiction. The bird, which was still
____, was of course unable to fly. "Such sights as ____ poets dream On
summer eves by haunted stream." He was in that ____ stage of development
when one is neither a boy nor a man. "I was so ____, I loved him so, I had
No mother, God forgot me, and I fell." He made a[n] ____ attempt to
impress them with his importance. "Bacchus ever fair, and ever ____."
A red necktie gave him a more ____ appearance. The self-satisfied air of
a[n] ____ youth is often trying to his elders.


In this exercise each group of synonyms is followed by quotations from
authoritative writers in which the words are discriminatingly employed.
Find the meaning of each italicized word in these quotations, and
differentiate the word accurately from the others in that group.
Substitute for it other words from the group, and observe precisely how
the meaning is affected.

(So many of the quotations are from poetry that these will be printed as
verse rather than, as in the preceding exercises, in continuous lines like

A moral, sensible, and well-bred man
Will not _affront_ me,--and no other can.
An old _affront_ will stir the heart
Through years of rankling pain.

The way to procure _insults_ is to submit to them. A man meets
with no more respect than he exacts.

It is often better not to see an _insult_ than to avenge it.

Even a hare, the weakest of animals, may _insult_ a dead lion.

To a native of rank, arrest was not merely a restraint, but a foul
personal _indignity_.


His honor rooted in _dishonor_ stood,
And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.

It is hard to say which of the two we ought most to lament,--the unhappy
man who sinks under the sense of his _dishonor_, or him who survives

Could he with reason murmur at his case
Himself sole author of his own _disgrace_?

Whatever _disgrace_ we may have deserved, it is almost always in our
power to re-establish our character.

When in _disgrace_ with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state.

Their generals have been received with honor after their defeat; yours
with _ignominy_ after conquest.

Wilful perpetuations of unworthy actions brand with most indelible
characters of _infamy_ the name and memory to posterity.

And when his long public life, so singularly chequered with good and evil,
with glory and _obloquy_, bad at length closed forever, it was to
Daylesford that he retired to die.

Great _opprobrium_ has been thrown on her name.

eminence, notoriety>.

Let _fame_, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs.

Men have a solicitude about _fame_; and the greater share
they have of it, the more afraid they are of losing it.

_Fame_ is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
. . . . . . . .
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much _fame_ in heaven expect thy meed.

When faith is lost, when _honor_ dies,
The man is dead.

Act well your part; there all the _honor_ lies.

The Athenians erected a large statue of Aesop, and placed him, though a
slave, on a lasting pedestal, to show that the way to _honor_ lies
open indifferently to all.

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not _honor_ more.

That nation is worthless which does not joyfully stake everything on her

By heaven methinks it were an easy leap
To pluck bright _honor_ from the pale-fac'd moon.

That merit which gives greatness and _renown_ diffuses its influence
to a wide compass, but acts weakly on every single breast.

Speak no more of his _renown_,
Lay your earthly fancies down,
And in the vast cathedral leave him,
God accept him, Christ receive him.

The young warrior did not fly; but met death as he went forward in his
strength. Happy are they who dies in youth, when their _renown_ is

The paths of _glory_ lead but to the grave.

_Glory_ long has made the sages smile; 'tis something, nothing,
words, illusion, wind.

Not once or twice in our rough island-story
The path of duty was the way to _glory_.

He was a charming fellow, clever, urbane, free-handed, with all that
fortunate quality in his appearance which is known as _distinction._

Never get a _reputation_ for a small perfection if you are trying for
_fame_ in a loftier area.

One may be better than his _reputation_ or his conduct, but never
better than his principles.

I see my _reputation_ is at stake
My _fame_ is shrewdly gor'd.

CASSIO. _Reputation, reputation, reputation!_ O! I have lost my
reputation. I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is
bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!
IAGO. As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily wound.

You have a good _repute_ for gentleness and wisdom.
_Celebrity_ sells dearly what we think she gives.

Kings climb to _eminence_
Over men's graves.

_Notoriety_ is short-lived; _fame_ is lasting.

malice, malevolence, malignity, rancor, resentment, dudgeon, grudge,

The _hatred_ we bear our enemies injures their happiness less than
our own.

_Hate_ is like fire; it makes even light rubbish deadly.

He generously forgot all feeling of _animosity_, and determined to go
in person to his succor.

That thereby he may gather
The ground of your _ill-will_, and so remove it.

No place is so propitious to the formation either of close friendships or
of deadly _enmities_ as an Indiaman.

There need be no _hostility_ between evolutionist and theologian.

Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
His fits, his frenzy, and his _bitterness?_

Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in _malice_.

Every obstacle which partisan _malevolence_ could create he has had
to encounter.

His flight is occasioned rather by the _malignity_ of his countrymen
than by the enmity of the Egyptians.

Where the soul sours, and gradual _rancor_ grows,
Imbitter'd more from peevish day to day.

Peace in their mouthes, and all _rancor_ and vengeance in their
hartes [hearts].

For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;
Put _rancors_ in the vessel of my peace
Only for them.

Her _resentment_ against the king seems not to have abated.

Mrs. W. was in high _dudgeon_; her heels clattered on the red-tiled
floor, and she whisked about the house like a parched pea upon a

If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient _grudge_ I bear him.

Men of this character pursue a _grudge_ unceasingly, and never forget
or forgive.

And since you ne'er provoked their _spite_,
Depend upon't their judgment's right.

. (With this group compare the
_matrimonial_ group in Exercise C, above.)

_Marriages_ are made in heaven.

Hasty _marriage_ seldom proveth well.

A man finds himself seven years older the day after his _marriage_.

Let me not to the _marriage_ of true minds
Admit impediments.

_Marriage_ is the best state for man in general; and every man is a
worse man in proportion as he is unfit for the married state.

_Matrimony_--the high sea for which no compass has yet been invented.

_Wedlock's_ a lane where there is no turning.

What is _wedlock_ forced, but a hell,
An age of discord and continual strife?


Teach me to feel another's woe,
To hide the fault I see;
That _mercy_ I to others show,
That _mercy_ show to me.

The quality of _mercy_ is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes;
* * * * *
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When _mercy_ seasons justice.

_Clemency_ is the surest proof of a true monarch.

_Lenity_ will operate with greater force, in some instances, than

All the fellows tried to persuade the Master to greater _leniency_,
but in vain.

It will be necessary that this acceptance should be followed up by
measures of the utmost _lenience_.

There is however a limit at which _forbearance_ ceases to be a


Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His _pity_ gave ere charity began.

For _pity_ melts the mind to love.

For _pitee_ renneth [runneth] soon in gentle herte [heart].

Our _sympathy_ is cold to the relation of distant misery.

Man may dismiss _compassion_ from his heart, but God will never.

It is unworthy a religious man to view an irreligious one either with
alarm or aversion; or with any other feeling than regret, and hope, and
brotherly _commiseration_.

Their congratulations and their _condolences_ are equally words of


Is there for honest _poverty_
That hings [hangs] his head, and a' that?

Not to be able to bear _poverty_ is a shameful thing, but not to know
how to chase it away by work is a more shameful thing yet.

Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In _poverty_, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,
Would that its tone could reach the Rich,
She sang this "Song of the Shirt!"

_Poverty_ is dishonorable, not in itself, but when it is a proof of
laziness, intemperance, luxury, and carelessness; whereas in a person that
is temperate, industrious, just and valiant, and who uses all his virtues
for the public good, it shows a great and lofty mind.

_Want_ is a bitter and hateful good,
Because its virtues are not understood;
Yet many things, impossible to thought,
Have been by _need_ to full perfection brought.

Hundreds would never have known _want_ if they had not first known

O! reason not the _need_; our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous:
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beast's.

The Christian inhabitants of Thessaly would be reduced to

It is the care of a very great part of mankind to conceal their
_indigence_ from the rest.

Chill _penury_ repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.

Chill _penury_ weighs down the heart itself; and though it sometimes
be endured with calmness, it is but the calmness of despair.

Where _penury_ is felt the thought is chain'd,
And sweet colloquial pleasures are but few.


_Regrets_ over the past should chasten the future.

He acknowledged his disloyalty to the king with expressions of great

Through no disturbance of my soul,
Or strong _compunction_ in me wrought,
I supplicate for thy control.

God speaks to our hearts through the voice of _remorse_.

To err is human; but _contrition_ felt for the crime distinguishes
the virtuous from the wicked.

Christian _penitence_ is something more than a thought or an emotion
or a tear; it is action.

_Repentance_ must be something more than mere _remorse_ for
sins; it comprehends a change of nature befitting heaven.


For fools are _stubborn_ in their way,
As coins are harden'd by th' allay;
And _obstinacy's_ ne'er so stiff
As when 'tis in a wrong belief.

They may also laugh at their _pertinacious_ and incurable obstinacy.

He who is _intractable_, he whom nothing can persuade, may boast
himself invincible.

There is a law in each well-order'd nation
To curb those raging appetites that are
Most disobedient and _refractory_.

He then dissolved Parliament, and sent its most _refractory_ members
to the Tower.

If he were _contumacious_, he might be excommunicated, or, in other
words, be deprived of all civil rights and imprisoned for life.


The following list of synonyms is given for the convenience of those who
wish additional material with which to work. This is a selected list and
makes no pretense to completeness. It is suggested that you discriminate
the words within each of the following groups, and use each word
accurately in a sentence of your own making.

Abettor, accessory, accomplice, confederate, conspirator.
Acknowledge, admit, confess, own, avow.
Active, agile, nimble, brisk, sprightly, spry, bustling.
Advise, counsel, admonish, caution, warn.
Affecting, moving, touching, pathetic.
Agnostic, skeptic, infidel, unbeliever, disbeliever.
Amuse, entertain, divert.
Announce, proclaim, promulgate, report, advertise, publish, bruit, blazon,
trumpet, herald.
Antipathy, aversion, repugnance, disgust, loathing.
Artifice, ruse, trick, dodge, manoeuver, wile, stratagem, subterfuge,
Ascend, mount, climb, scale.
Associate, colleague, partner, helper, collaborator, coadjutor, companion,
helpmate, mate, team-mate, comrade, chum, crony, consort, accomplice,
Attach, affix, annex, append, subjoin.
Attack, assail, assault, invade, beset, besiege, bombard, cannonade,

Begin, commence, inaugurate, initiate, institute, originate, start, found.
Belief, faith, persuasion, conviction, tenet, creed.
Belittle, decry, depreciate, disparage.
Bind, secure, fetter, shackle, gyve.
Bit, jot, mite, particle, grain, atom, speck, mote, whit, iota, tittle,
Bluff, blunt, outspoken, downright, brusk, curt, crusty.
Boast, brag, vaunt, vapor, gasconade.
Body, corpse, remains, relics, carcass, cadaver, corpus.
Bombastic, sophomoric, turgid, tumid, grandiose, grandiloquent,
Boorish, churlish, loutish, clownish, rustic, ill-bred.
Booty, plunder, loot, spoil.
Brittle, frangible, friable, fragile, crisp.
Building, edifice, structure, house.

Call, clamor, roar, scream, shout, shriek, vociferate, yell, halloo,
Calm, still, motionless, tranquil, serene, placid.
Care, concern, solicitude, anxiety.
Celebrate, commemorate, observe.
Charm, amulet, talisman.
Charm, enchant, fascinate, captivate, enrapture, bewitch, infatuate,
Cheat, defraud, swindle, dupe.
Choke, strangle, suffocate, stifle, throttle.
Choose, pick, select, cull, elect.
Coax, wheedle, cajole, tweedle, persuade, inveigle.
Color, hue, shade, tint, tinge, tincture.
Combine, unite, consolidate, merge, amalgamate, weld, incorporate,
Comfort, console, solace.
Complain, grumble, growl, murmur, repine, whine, croak.
Confirmed, habitual, inveterate, chronic.
Connect, join, link, couple, attach, unite.
Continual, continuous, unceasing, incessant, endless, uninterrupted,
unremitting, constant, perpetual, perennial.
Contract, agreement, bargain, compact, covenant, stipulation.
Copy, duplicate, counterpart, likeness, reproduction, replica, facsimile.
Corrupt, depraved, perverted, vitiated.
Costly, expensive, dear.
Coterie, clique, cabal, circle, set, faction, party.
Critical, judicial, impartial, carping, caviling, captious, censorious.
Crooked, awry, askew.
Cross, fretful, peevish, petulant, pettish, irritable, irascible, angry.
Crowd, throng, horde, host, mass, multitude, press, jam, concourse.
Curious, inquisitive, prying, meddlesome.

Dainty, delicate, exquisite, choice, rare.
Danger, peril, jeopardy, hazard, risk.
Darken, obscure, bedim, obfuscate.
Dead, lifeless, inanimate, deceased, defunct, extinct.
Decay, decompose, putrefy, rot, spoil.
Deceit, deception, double-dealing, duplicity, chicanery, guile, treachery.
Deceptive, deceitful, misleading, fallacious, fraudulent.
Decorate, adorn, ornament, embellish, deck, bedeck, garnish, bedizen,
Decorous, demure, sedate, sober, staid, prim, proper.
Deface, disfigure, mar, mutilate.
Defect, fault, imperfection, disfigurement, blemish, flaw.
Delay, defer, postpone, procrastinate.
Demoralize, deprave, debase, corrupt, vitiate.
Deportment, demeanor, bearing, port, mien.
Deprive, divest, dispossess, strip, despoil.
Despise, contemn, scorn, disdain.
Despondency, despair, desperation.
Detach, separate, sunder, sever, disconnect, disjoin, disunite.
Determined, persistent, dogged.
Devout, religious, pious, godly, saintly.
Difficulty, hindrance, obstacle, impediment, encumbrance, handicap.
Difficulty, predicament, perplexity, plight, quandary, dilemma, strait.
Dirty, filthy, foul, nasty, squalid.
Discernment, perception, penetration, insight, acumen.
Disgraceful, dishonorable, shameful, disreputable, ignominious,
opprobrious, scandalous, infamous.
Disgusting, sickening, repulsive, revolting, loathsome, repugnant,
abhorrent, noisome, fulsome.
Dispel, disperse, dissipate, scatter.
Dissatisfied, discontented, displeased, malcontent, disgruntled.
Divide, distribute, apportion, allot, allocate, partition.
Doctrine, dogma, tenet, precept.
Dream, reverie, vision, fantasy.
Drip, dribble, trickle.
Drunk, drunken, intoxicated, inebriated.
Dry, arid, parched, desiccated.

Eat, bolt, gulp, gorge, devour.
Encroach, infringe, intrench, trench, intrude, invade, trespass.
End, conclude, terminate, finish, discontinue, close.
Enemy, foe, adversary, opponent, antagonist, rival.
Enough, adequate, sufficient.
Entice, inveigle, allure, lure, decoy, seduce.
Erase, expunge, cancel, efface, obliterate.
Error, mistake, blunder, slip.
Estimate, value, appreciate.
Eternal, everlasting, endless, deathless, imperishable, immortal.
Examination, inquiry, inquisition, investigation, inspection,
scrutiny, research, review, audit, inquest, autopsy.
Example, sample, specimen, instance.
Exceed, excel, surpass, transcend, outdo.
Expand, dilate, distend, inflate.
Expel, banish, exile, proscribe, ostracize.
Experiment, trial, test.
Explicit, exact, precise, definite.

Faculty, gift, endowment, aptitude, attribute, talent, predilection, bent.
Failing, shortcoming, defect, fault, foible, infirmity.
Famous, renowned, celebrated, noted, distinguished, eminent, illustrious.
Fashion, mode, style, vogue, rage, fad.
Fast, rapid, swift, quick, fleet, speedy, hasty, celeritous, expeditious,
Fasten, tie, hitch, moor, tether.
Fate, destiny, lot, doom.
Fawn, truckle, cringe, crouch.
Feign, pretend, dissemble, simulate, counterfeit, affect, assume.
Fiendish, devilish, diabolical, demoniacal, demonic, satanic.
Fertile, fecund, fruitful, prolific.
Fit, suitable, appropriate, proper.
Flame, blaze, flare, glare, glow.
Flat, level, even, plane, smooth, horizontal.
Flatter, blandish, beguile, compliment, praise.
Flexible, pliable, pliant, supple, limber, lithe, lissom.
Flit, flutter, flicker, hover.
Flock, herd, bevy, covey, drove, pack, brood, litter, school.
Flow, pour, stream, gush, spout.
Follow, pursue, chase.
Follower, adherent, disciple, partisan, henchman.
Fond, loving, doting, devoted, amorous, enamored.
Force, strength, power, energy, vigor, might, potency, cogency, efficacy.
Force, compulsion, coercion, constraint, restraint.
Free, liberate, emancipate, manumit, release, disengage, disentangle,
disembarrass, disencumber, extricate.
Freshen, refresh, revive, renovate, renew.
Friendly, amicable, companionable, hearty, cordial, neighborly, sociable,
genial, complaisant, affable.
Frighten, affright, alarm, terrify, terrorize, dismay, appal, daunt,
Frown, scowl, glower, lower.
Frugal, sparing, saving, economical, chary, thrifty, provident,

Game, play, amusement, pastime, diversion, fun, sport, entertainment.
Gather, accumulate, amass, collect, levy, muster, hoard.
Ghost, spirit, specter, phantom, apparition, shade, phantasm.
Gift, present, donation, grant, gratuity, bequest, boon, bounty, largess,
fee, bribe.
Grand, magnificent, gorgeous, splendid, superb, sublime.
Greet, hail, salute, address, accost.
Grief, sorrow, distress, affliction, trouble, tribulation, woe.
Grieve, lament, mourn, bemoan, bewail, deplore, rue.
Guard, defend, protect, shield, shelter, screen, preserve.

Habitation, abode, dwelling, residence, domicile, home.
Harmful, injurious, detrimental, pernicious, deleterious, baneful,
Have, possess, own, hold.
Headstrong, wayward, wilful, perverse, froward.
Help (noun), aid, assistance, succor.
Help (verb), assist, aid, succor, abet, second, support, befriend.
Hesitate, falter, vacillate, waver.
Hide, conceal, secrete.
High, tall, lofty, elevated, towering.
Hint, intimate, insinuate.
Hopeful, expectant, sanguine, optimistic, confident.
Hopeless, despairing, disconsolate, desperate.
Holy, sacred, hallowed, sanctified, consecrated, godly, pious, saintly,

Impolite, discourteous, inurbane, uncivil, rude, disrespectful, pert,
saucy, impertinent, impudent, insolent.
Importance, consequence, moment.
Impostor, pretender, charlatan, masquerader, mountebank, deceiver,
humbug, cheat, quack, shyster, empiric.
Imprison, incarcerate, immure.
Improper, indecent, indecorous, unseemly, unbecoming, indelicate.
Impure, tainted, contaminated, polluted, defiled, vitiated.
Inborn, innate, inbred, congenital.
Incite, instigate, stimulate, impel, arouse, goad, spur, promote.
Inclose, surround, encircle, circumscribe, encompass.
Increase, grow, enlarge, magnify, amplify, swell, augment.
Indecent, indelicate, immodest, shameless, ribald, lewd, lustful,
lascivious, libidinous, obscene.
Insane, demented, deranged, crazy, mad.
Insanity, dementia, derangement, craziness, madness, lunacy, mania,
frenzy, hallucination.
Insipid, tasteless, flat, vapid.
Intention, intent, purpose, plan, design, aim, object, end.
Interpose, intervene, intercede, interfere, mediate.
Irreligious, ungodly, impious, godless, sacrilegious, blasphemous,
Irritate, exasperate, nettle, incense.

Join, connect, unite, couple, combine, link, annex, append.

Kindle, ignite, inflame, rouse.

Lack, want, need, deficiency, dearth, paucity, scarcity, deficit.
Lame, crippled, halt, deformed, maimed, disabled.
Large, great, big, huge, immense, colossal, gigantic, extensive, vast,
massive, unwieldy, bulky.
Laughable, comical, comic, farcical, ludicrous, ridiculous, funny, droll.
Lead, guide, conduct, escort, convoy.
Lengthen, prolong, protract, extend.
Lessen, decrease, diminish, reduce, abate, curtail, moderate, mitigate,
Lie (noun), untruth, falsehood, falsity, fiction, fabrication, mendacity,
canard, fib, story.
Lie (verb), prevaricate, falsify, equivocate, quibble, shuffle, dodge,
fence, fib.
Likeness, resemblance, similitude, similarity, semblance, analogy.
Limp, flaccid, flabby, flimsy.
List, roll, catalogue, register, roster, schedule, inventory.
Loud, resonant, clarion, stentorian, sonorous.
Low, base, abject, servile, slavish, menial.
Loyal, faithful, true, constant, staunch, unwavering, steadfast.
Lurk, skulk, slink, sneak, prowl.

Make, create, frame, fashion, mold, shape, form, forge, fabricate, invent,
construct, manufacture, concoct.
Manifest, plain, obvious, clear, apparent, patent, evident, perceptible,
noticeable, open, overt, palpable, tangible, indubitable, unmistakable.
Many, various, numerous, divers, manifold, multitudinous, myriad,
countless, innumerable.
Meaning, significance, signification, import, purport.
Meet, encounter, collide, confront, converge.
Meeting, assembly, assemblage, congregation, convention, conference,
concourse, gathering, mustering.
Melt, thaw, fuse, dissolve, liquefy.
Memory, remembrance, recollection, reminiscence, retrospection.
Misrepresent, misinterpret, falsify, distort, warp.
Mix, compound, amalgamate, weld, combine, blend, concoct.
Model, pattern, prototype, criterion, standard, exemplar, paragon,
archetype, ideal.
Motive, incentive, inducement, desire, purpose.
Move, actuate, impel, prompt, incite.

Near, nigh, close, neighboring, adjacent, contiguous.
Neat, tidy, orderly, spruce, trim, prim.
Needful, necessary, requisite, essential, indispensable.
Negligence, neglect, inattention, inattentiveness, inadvertence,
remissness, oversight.
New, novel, fresh, recent, modern, late, innovative, unprecedented.
Nice, fastidious, dainty, finical, squeamish.
Noisy, clamorous, boisterous, hilarious, turbulent, riotous, obstreperous,
uproarious, vociferous, blatant, brawling.
Noticeable, prominent, conspicuous, salient, signal.

Order (noun), command, mandate, behest, injunction, decree.
Order (verb), command, enjoin, direct, instruct.
Oversight, supervision, direction, superintendence, surveillance.

Pale, pallid, wan, colorless, blanched, ghastly, ashen, cadaverous.
Patience, forbearance, resignation, longsuffering.
Penetrate, pierce, perforate.
Place, office, post, position, situation, appointment.
Plan, design, project, scheme, plot.
Playful, mischievous, roguish, prankish, sportive, arch.
Plentiful, plenteous, abundant, bounteous, copious, profuse, exuberant,
Plunder, rifle, loot, sack, pillage, devastate, despoil.
Pretty, beautiful, comely, handsome, fair.
Profitable, remunerative, lucrative, gainful.
Prompt, punctual, ready, expeditious.
Pull, draw, drag, haul, tug, tow.
Push, shove, thrust.
Puzzle, perplex, mystify, bewilder.

Queer, odd, curious, quaint, ridiculous, singular, unique, bizarre,
fantastic, grotesque.

Rash, incautious, reckless, foolhardy, adventurous, venturous,
Rebellion, insurrection, revolt, mutiny, riot, revolution, sedition.
Recover, regain, retrieve, recoup, rally, recuperate.
Reflect, deliberate, ponder, muse, meditate, ruminate.
Relate, recount, recite, narrate, tell.
Replace, supersede, supplant, succeed.
Repulsive, unsightly, loathsome, hideous, grewsome.
Requital, retaliation, reprisal, revenge, vengeance, retribution.
Responsible, answerable, accountable, amenable, liable.
Reveal, disclose, divulge, manifest, show, betray.
Reverence, veneration, awe, adoration, worship.
Ridicule, deride, mock, taunt, flout, twit, tease.
Ripe, mature, mellow.
Rise, arise, mount, ascend.
Rogue, knave, rascal, miscreant, scamp, sharper, villain.
Round, circular, rotund, spherical, globular, orbicular.
Rub, polish, burnish, furbish, scour.

Sad, grave, sober, moody, doleful, downcast, dreary, woeful, somber,
unhappy, woebegone, mournful, depressed, despondent, gloomy, melancholy,
heavy-spirited, sorrowful, dismal, dejected, disconsolate, miserable,
Satiate, sate, surfeit, cloy, glut, gorge.
Scoff, jeer, gibe, fleer, sneer, mock, taunt.
Secret, covert, surreptitious, furtive, clandestine, underhand, stealthy.
Seep, ooze, infiltrate, percolate, transude, exude.
Sell, barter, vend, trade.
Shape, form, figure, outline, conformation, configuration, contour,
Share, partake, participate, divide.
Sharp, keen, acute, cutting, trenchant, incisive.
Shore, coast, littoral, beach, strand, bank.
Shorten, abridge, abbreviate, curtail, truncate, syncopate.
Show (noun), display, ostentation, parade, pomp, splurge.
Show, exhibit, display, expose, manifest, evince.
Shrink, flinch, wince, blench, quail.
Shun, avoid, eschew.
Shy, bashful, diffident, modest, coy, timid, shrinking.
Sign, omen, auspice, portent, prognostic, augury, foretoken, adumbration,
presage, indication.
Simple, innocent, artless, unsophisticated, naive.
Skilful, skilled, expert, adept, apt, proficient, adroit, dexterous, deft,
clever, ingenious.
Skin, hide, pelt, fell.
Sleepy, drowsy, slumberous, somnolent, sluggish, torpid, dull, lethargic.
Slovenly, slatternly, dowdy, frowsy, blowzy.
Sly, crafty, cunning, subtle, wily, artful, politic, designing.
Smile, smirk, grin.
Solitary, lonely, lone, lonesome, desolate, deserted, uninhabited.
Sour, acid, tart, acrid, acidulous, acetose, acerbitous, astringent.
Speech, discourse, oration, address, sermon, declamation, dissertation,
exhortation, disquisition, harangue, diatribe, tirade, screed, philippic,
invective, rhapsody, plea.
Spruce, natty, dapper, smart, chic.
Stale, musty, frowzy, mildewed, fetid, rancid, rank.
Steep, precipitous, abrupt.
Stingy, close, miserly, niggardly, parsimonious, penurious, sordid,
Storm, tempest, whirlwind, hurricane, tornado, cyclone, typhoon
Straight, perpendicular, vertical, plumb, erect, upright.
Strange, singular, peculiar, odd, queer, quaint, outlandish.
Strong, stout, robust, sturdy, stalwart, powerful.
Stupid, dull, obtuse, stolid, doltish, sluggish, brainless, bovine.
Succeed, prosper, thrive, flourish, triumph.
Succession, sequence, series.
Supernatural, preternatural, superhuman, miraculous.
Suppose, surmise, conjecture, presume, imagine, fancy, guess, think,
Surprise, astonish, amaze, astound.
Swearing, cursing, profanity, blasphemy, execration, imprecation.

Teach, instruct, educate, train, discipline, drill, inculcate, instil,
Thoughtful, contemplative, meditative, reflective, pensive, wistful.
Tire, weary, fatigue, exhaust, jade, fag.
Tool, implement, instrument, utensil.
Trifle, dally, dawdle, potter.
Try, endeavor, essay, attempt.
Trust, confidence, reliance, assurance, faith.
Turn, revolve, rotate, spin, whirl, gyrate.

Ugly, homely, uncomely, hideous.
Unwilling, reluctant, disinclined, loath, averse.

Watchful, vigilant, alert.
Wave (noun), billow, breaker, swell, ripple, undulation.
Wave (verb), brandish, flourish, flaunt, wigwag.
Weariness, languor, lassitude, enervation, exhaustion.
Wearisome, tiresome, irksome, tedious, humdrum.
Wet (adjective), humid, moist, damp, dank, sodden, soggy.
Wet (verb), moisten, dampen, soak, imbrue, saturate, drench
Whim, caprice, vagary, fancy, freak, whimsey, crotchet.
Wind, breeze, gust, blast, flaw, gale, squall, flurry.
Wind, coil, twist, twine, wreathe.
Winding, tortuous, serpentine, sinuous, meandering.
Wonderful, marvelous, phenomenal, miraculous.
Workman, laborer, artisan, artificer, mechanic, craftsman.
Write, inscribe, scribble, scrawl, scratch.

Yearn, long, hanker, pine, crave.


Write three synonyms for each of the following words. Discriminate the
three, and embody each of them in a sentence.

Accomplish Conduct (noun) Humble Scream
Agree Conspicuous Indifferent Shrewd
Anger Cringe Misfortune Shudder
Attempt Difficult Obey Skill
Big Disconnect Object (noun) Soft
Brute Erratic Object (verb) Splash
Business Flash Obligation Success
Careless Fragrant Occupied Sweet
Climb Gain Oppose Trick
Collect Generous Persist Wash
Commanding Grim Revise Worship
Compel Groan Room


Supply eight or ten intervening words between each of the following pairs.
Arrange the intervening words in an ascending scale.

Dark, bright Wet, dry
Savage, civilized Beautiful, ugly
Friend, enemy Hope, despair
Wise, foolish Love, hate
Enormous, minute Admirable, abominable
Curse, bless Pride, humility



In Chapter VII you made a study of printed distinctions between synonyms.
In Chapter VIII you were given lists of synonyms and made the distinctions
yourself. Near the close of Chapter VIII you were given words and
discovered for yourself what their synonyms are. This third stage might
seem to reveal to you the full joys and benefits of your researches in
this subject. Certainly to find a new word for an old one is an
exhilarating sort of mental travel. And to find a new word which expresses
exactly what an old one expressed but approximately is a real acquisition
in living. But you are not yet a perfectly trained hunter of synonyms.
Some miscellaneous tasks remain; they will involve hard work and call your
utmost powers into play.

Of these tasks the most important is connected with the hint already given
that many words, especially if they be generic words, have two or more
entirely different meanings. Let us first establish this fact, and
afterwards see what bearing it has on our study of synonyms.

My friend says, "I hope you will have a good day." Does he mean an
enjoyable one in general? a profitable or lucrative one, in case I have
business in hand? a successful one, if I am selling stocks or buying a
house? Possibly he means a sunshiny day if I intend to play golf, a snowy
day if I plan to go hunting, a rainy day if my crops are drying up. The
ideas here are varied, even contradictory, enough; yet _good_ may be
used of every one of them. _Good_ is in truth so general a term that
we must know the attendant circumstances if we are to attach to it a
signification even approximately accurate. This does not at all imply that
_good is_ a term we may brand as useless. It implies merely that when
our meaning is specific we must set _good_ aside (unless
circumstances make its sense unmistakable) in favor of a specific word.

_Things is_ another very general term. In "Let us wash up the things"
it likely means dishes or clothes. In "Hang your things in the closet" it
likely means clothes. In "Put the things in the tool-box" it likely means
tools. In "Put the things in the sewing-basket" it likely means thread,
needles, and scissors. In "The trenches are swarming with these things" it
likely means cooties. A more accurate word is usually desirable. Yet we
may see the value of the generality in the saying "A place for everything,
and everything in its place."

_Good_ and _things_ are not alone in having multitudinous
meanings. There are in the language numerous many-sided words. These words
should be studied carefully. True, they are not always employed in
ambiguous ways. For example, _right_ in the sense of correct is
seldom likely to be mistaken for _right_ in the sense of not-left,
but a reader or hearer may frequently mistake it for _right_ in the
sense of just or of honorable. In the use of such words, therefore, we
cannot become too discriminating.


This exercise concerns itself with common words that have more than one
meaning. Make your procedure as follows. First, look up the word itself.
Under it you will find a number of defining words. Then look up each of
these in turn, until you have the requisite number and kind of synonyms.
(The word is sure to have more synonyms than are called for.) You will
have to use your dictionary tirelessly.

Find three synonyms for _bare_ as applied to the body;
three for it as applied to a room.

Give three other words that might be used instead of
_bear_ in the sentence "The pillar bears a heavy weight"; three in
the sentence "He bore a heavy load on his back"; three in the sentence "He
bore the punishment that was unjustly meted out to him"; three in the
sentence "He bore a grudge against his neighbor"; two in the sentence "The
field did not bear a crop last year."

Give ten synonyms for _bold_ as applied to a warrior;
ten as applied to a young girl. Observe that the synonyms in the first
list are favorable in import and suggest the idea of bravery, whereas
those in the second list are unfavorable and suggest the idea of
brazenness. How do you account for this fact? Can you think of
circumstances in which a young girl might be so placed that the favorable
synonyms might be applied to her?

Give as many words as you can, at least twelve, that can be
used instead of _bright_ as applied to a light, a diamond, a wet
pavement, or a live coal. Give three words for _bright_ as applied to
a child of unusual intelligence; two as applied to an occasion that
promises to turn out well; two as applied to a career that has been
signally successful.

Give five synonyms for clear as applied to water: ten as
applied to a fact or a statement; three as applied to the sky or
atmosphere; three as applied to the voice; two as applied to a passageway
or a view; three as applied to one's judgment or thinking.

Give three words that could be substituted for _close_
as applied to the atmosphere in a room; four as applied to a person who is
uninclined to talk about a matter; three as applied to something not far
off; four as applied to a friend; five as applied to a person who is
reluctant to spend money; five as applied to a translation; five as
applied to attention or endeavor.

Substitute in turn four words for _discharge_ in
the sentence "The judge discharged the prisoner"; two in the sentence "The
foreman discharged the workman"; two in the sentence "The hunter
discharged the gun"; three in the sentence "The sore discharged pus"; two
in the sentence "My neighbor discharged the debt"; two in the sentence "He
discharged his duty."

. Name three words besides dull_ that could be applied to
a blade or a point; five to a person with slow intellect; three to
indifference toward others; two to a color; three to a day that is not
cheerful; five to talk or discourse that is not interesting.

. Substitute five words for _fair_ in the sentence "He
gave a fair judgment in the case"; three in the sentence "The son made a
fair showing in his studies"; four in the sentence "She had a fair face";
two in the sentence "Her complexion was fair"; three in the sentence "Let
no shame ever fall upon your fair name."

. Find two words that you can substitute for _false_ as
applied to a signature, to a report or a piece of news, to jewels or
money, to a friend.

. Name two words I might substitute for _fast_ in the
sentence "Drive the stake until it is fast in the ground"; three in the
sentence "He made a fast trip for the doctor"; six in the sentence "By
leading a fast life he soon squandered his inheritance."

. Substitute four words for _firm_ in the sentence "I made
the board firm by nailing it to the wall"; three in the sentence "The
water froze into a firm mass"; five in the sentence "He was firm in his
determination to proceed."

. Instead of _flat_ use in turn four other words in the
sentence "This is a flat piece of ground"; five in the sentence "It was as
flat a story as ever wearied company"; three in the sentence "The cook
having forgotten the salt, the soup was flat"; four in the sentence "I am
surprised by your flat refusal."

. _Free_ may be applied to a person not subject to a tax
or a disease, to a person who has been released from confinement or
restraint, to a person who is not reserved or formal in his relations to
others, to a person who is willing to give. Out of your own resources
substitute as many words as you can for _free_ in each of these
sentences. Now look up _free_ in a dictionary or book of synonyms.
What proportion of its synonyms were you able to think up unaided?

. Give three synonyms for _great_ as applied to size, to
number, to a man widely known for notable achievement, to an error or
crime, to price.

. Give six synonyms for _hard_ as applied to a rock; six
as applied to a task or burden; six as applied to a problem or situation;
ten as applied to one's treatment of others.

. Give three words that can be applied instead of _harsh_
to a sound; three that can be applied instead of _harsh_ to the
voice; five that can be applied to one's treatment of others; five that
can be applied to one's disposition or nature.

. Substitute five words for _just_ in the sentence "You
are just in your dealings with others"; three in the sentence "A just
punishment was meted out to him"; three in the sentence "They made a just
division of the property"; two in the sentence "He had a just claim to the

. Give six words that can be substituted for _plain_, as
applied to a fact or statement; four as applied to the decorations of a
room; two as applied to the countenance; four as applied to a surface;
three as applied to a statement or reply.

. Give five words that can be used instead of _poor_ as
applied to a person who is without money or resources; ten as applied to a
person lacking in flesh; three as applied to clothing that is worn out;
five as applied to land that will bear only small crops or no crops at
all; two as applied to an occasion that does not promise to turn out well.

. Give six words that could be used instead of _quick_
as applied to a train or a horse in travel; six as applied to the
movements of a person about a room or to his actions in the performance of
his work; four to a disposition or temper that is easily irritated.

. Give five synonyms for _serious_ as applied to one's
countenance or expression; three as applied to a problem or undertaking;
two as applied to a disease or to sickness.

. Give two synonyms for _sharp_ as applied to a blade or
a point; six as applied to a pain or to grief; four as applied to a remark
or reply; ten as applied to one's mind or intellect; three as applied to
temper or disposition; three as applied to an embankment; three as applied
to the seasoning of food; three as applied to a cry or scream.

. Give six synonyms for _stiff_ as applied to an iron
rod; three as applied to an adversary; six as applied to one's manner or
bearing; two as applied to one's style of writing or speaking.

. Give three synonyms for _strong_ as applied to a
person in regard to his health; ten as applied to him in regard to his
muscularity of physique; four as applied to a fortress; three as applied
to a plea or assertion; three as applied to an argument or reason; three
as applied to determination; two as applied to liquor; three as applied to
a light; two as applied to corrective measures; two as applied to an odor.

. Give five synonyms for vain as applied to a man who
overvalues himself or his accomplishments; six as applied to an attempt
that comes to nothing; three as applied to hopes that have little chance
of fulfilment.

. Substitute five synonyms for _weak_ in the sentence "I
was very weak after my illness"; four in the sentence "The fortress was
especially weak on the side toward the plain"; three in the sentence "He
made a weak attempt to defend his actions"; three in the sentence "Many of
these arguments are weak"; three in the sentence "Hamlet is usually
interpreted as being weak of will"; three in the sentence "The liquor was
so weak it had no taste"; three in the sentence "The lace was weak and
soon tore."

. Give two words instead of _wild_ as applied to animals;
two as applied to land; three as applied to people who have not been
civilized; three as applied to a storm, an uncontrolled temper, or a mob;
three as applied to a scheme that has no basis in reason or practicality.


In Exercise H you started with ideas and objects, and had to find words of
a given meaning that could be applied to them. In this exercise you start
with the words, and must find the ideas and objects.

. To what is _base_ applied when inferior, cheap,
worthless could be used as its synonyms? To what is it applied when
debased, impure, spurious, alloyed, counterfeit could be used? When mean,
despicable, contemptible, shameful, disgraceful, dishonorable,
discreditable, scandalous, infamous, villainous, low-minded could be used?
When ignoble, servile, slavish, groveling, menial could be used? When
plebeian, obscure, untitled, vulgar, lowly, nameless, humble, unknown
could be used?

. Can you properly contrast mortal with immortal existence?
mortal with porcine existence? Is porcine existence also mortal? Is mortal
existence also porcine? What adjective pertaining to mankind forms a true
contrast to _porcine_? What is a synonym for _mortal_ in its
broad sense? in its narrow sense?

. To what is _severe_ applied when harsh, stern,
rigorous, drastic, austere, hard could be substituted for it? When plain,
unembellished, unadorned, chaste could be substituted? When acute,
violent, extreme, intense, sharp, distressing, afflictive could be
substituted? When keen, cutting, biting, stinging, caustic, critical,
trenchant could be substituted?


Reread the discussion of _good_ and _things_ in Many-sided
Words. Then for each of the words listed below collect or compose twenty
or more sentences in which the word is used. As largely as possible, take
them from actual experience. In doing this you must listen to the use of
the word in everyday talk. After you have made your list of sentences as
varied and extensive as you can, try to substitute synonyms that will
express the idea more accurately. Note whether a knowledge of the
attendant circumstances is necessary to an understanding of the original
word, to an understanding of the word substituted for it.

Bad Fine Matter Affair
Nice Common Case Boost


Analyze each of the words given below into its various uses or
applications. Then for it in each of these applications assemble as many
synonyms as you can unaided. Finally, have recourse to a dictionary or
book of synonyms for the further extension of your lists.

(By way of illustration, let us take the word _quiet_. Through
meditation and analysis we discover that it may be applied (a) to water or
any liquid not in motion, (b) to a place that is without sound, (c) to a
place shut off from activity or bustle, (d) to a person who is not
demonstrative or forward in manner. We then think of all the words we can
that can be substituted for it in each of these uses. No matter how
incompletely or unsatisfactorily we feel we are performing this task, we
must not give it over until we have found every word we can summon. Then
we turn to a dictionary or book of synonyms. Thus for _quiet_ we
shall assemble such synonyms as (a) calm, still, motionless, placid,
tranquil, serene, smooth, unruffled, undisturbed, pacific, stagnant;
(b) silent, still, noiseless, mute, hushed, voiceless; (c) secluded,
sequestered, solitary, isolated, unfrequented, unvisited, peaceful,
untrodden, retired; (d) demure, sedate, staid, reserved, meek, gentle,
retiring, unobtrusive, modest, unassuming, timid, shrinking, shy.)

Barren Keep Pure Solid
Certain Liberal Rare Sorry
Cold Light (adjective) Rich Spread
Cool Light (noun) Right Straight
Deep Long Rude Still
Dry Low Short Sure
Easy Mean Simple Thick
Foul Narrow Slow Thin
Full New Small Tender
Gentle Obscure Smooth True
Grand Odd Sober Warm
Heavy Particular Soft Yield

One of the most interesting things to watch in the study of words is their
development from a literal to a figurative application. The first man who
broke away from the confines of the literal meaning of a word and applied
the word to something that only in a figurative sense had qualities
analogous to the original meaning, was creating poetry. He was making an
imaginative flight comparable in daring to the Wright brothers' first
aeronautic flight. But as the word was used over and over in this
figurative way the imaginative flight became more and more commonplace. At
last it ceased to be imaginative at all; through frequent repetition it
had settled into the matter of course. A glance back at the _Concise_
group above will show you that with time the comparison which was once the
basis and the life of the figurative use of words is dulled, obscured,
even lost.

As a further enforcement of this fact, let us analyze the word
_rough_. In its literal application, it may designate any surface
that has ridges, projections, or inequalities and is therefore uneven,
jagged, rugged, scraggy, or scabrous. Now frequently a man's face or head
is rough because unshaved or uncombed; also the fur of an animal is rough.
Hence the term could be used for unkempt, disheveled, shaggy, hairy,
coarse, bristly. "The child ran its hand over its father's rough cheek"
and "The bear had a rough coat" are sentences that even the most
unimaginative mind can understand. We speak of rough timber because its
surface has not been planed or made smooth. We speak of a rough diamond
because it is unpolished, uncut. Note that all these uses are literal,
that in each instance some unevenness of surface is referred to.

But man, urged on by the desire to say what he means with more novelty,
strikingness, or force, applied the word to ideas that have no surfaces to
be uneven. He imagined what these ideas would be like if they had
surfaces. Of course in putting these conceptions into language he was
creating figures of speech, some of them startlingly apt, some of them
merely far-fetched. He said a man had a _rough_ voice, as though the
voice were like a cactus in its prickly irregularities. By _rough_ he
meant what his fellows meant when they spoke of the voice as harsh,
grating, jarring, discordant, inharmonious, strident, raucous, or
unmusical. Going farther, that early poet said the weather was
_rough_. He thought of clement weather as being smooth and even, but
of inclement, severe, stormy, tempestuous, or violent weather as being
full of projections to rend and harass one. Thus an everyday use of the
term today was once wrenched and immoderate speech. Possibly the first man
who heard of rough weather was puzzled for a moment, then amused or
delighted as he caught the figure. It did not require great originality to
think of a crowd as _rough_ in its movements. But our poet applied
the idea to an individual. To him a rude, uncivil, impolite, ungracious,
uncourteous, unpolished, uncouth, boorish, blunt, bluff, gruff, brusk, or
burly person was as the unplaned lumber or the unpolished gem; and we
imitative moderns still call such a man _rough_. But we do not think
of the man as covered with projections that need to be taken off, unless
forsooth we receive _rough_ treatment at his hands. And note how far
we have journeyed from the original idea of the word when we say "I gave
the report a _rough_ glance," meaning cursory, hasty, superficial, or
incomplete consideration.

Many very simple words, including several of those already treated in this
chapter, are two-sided in that they are both literal and figurative.


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