Tag Archives: synonyms

WORD: pastoral


Definition: (adjective) Idyllically rustic.
Synonyms: arcadian, bucolic
Usage: Last I heard he bought a cottage on farmland and now leads a perfectly pastoral existence. Discuss.

word: insouciant


Definition: (adjective) Marked by blithe unconcern.
Synonyms: casual, nonchalant
Usage: He showed an insouciant disregard for cold weather, wearing only a T-shirt in the show. Discuss.
Definition: (adjective) Marked by blithe unconcern.
Synonyms: casual, nonchalant
Usage: He showed an insouciant disregard for cold weather, wearing only a T-shirt in the show. Discuss.

word: fugacious (add to your writer dictionary – and it’s not even a new word)


Definition: (adjective) Passing away quickly; evanescent.
Synonyms: ephemeral, passing, short-lived, transitory, transient
Usage: Restless, shifting, fugacious as time itself is a certain vast bulk of the population of the red brick district of the lower West Side. Discuss.

word: bode


Definition: (verb) To be an omen of.
Synonyms: augur, portend, foreshadow, presage, foretell
Usage: Her hesitation at his proposal boded trouble in their future. Discuss.

word: ostracize


Definition: (verb) Expel from a community or group.
Synonyms: banish, blackball, cast out, shun, ban
Usage: I have been ostracized by my teammates ever since I accidentally scored the winning goal for our opponents in the championship game. Discuss.

word: Innocuous


Definition: (adjective) Having no adverse effect.
Synonyms: harmless
Usage: That mushroom may look innocuous, but it is in fact deadly. Discuss.

word: animadversion



(noun) Strong criticism.




I meant no animadversions against any one, and certainly intended no disrespectful allusions to your mother. Discuss.

word: plaint


Definition: (noun) A cry of sorrow and grief.
Synonyms: lament, lamentation, wail
Usage: The plaints of the bereaved widow and her young children haunt me in my sleep. Discuss.

WORD: traipse


Definition: (verb) Walk or tramp about.
Synonyms: shlep
Usage: I spent the holiday exploring the countryside, traipsing from town to town with just a knapsack of supplies on my back. Discuss.

word: pervade


Definition: (verb) Spread or diffuse through.
Synonyms: imbue, permeate, riddle, penetrate
Usage: Yet amid all these varieties and incongruities, there is a common meaning or spirit which pervades his writings. Discuss.

word: disembarrass


Definition: (verb) Relieve from.
Synonyms: rid, free
Usage: Lord Lundie strove to disembarrass himself of his accoutrements much as an ill-trained … dog tries to escape backwards through his frilled collar. Discuss.
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WORD: panacea


Definition: (noun) A remedy for all diseases, evils, or difficulties.
Synonyms: cure-all
Usage: Here the glib politician crying his legislative panaceas, and here the peripatetic Cheap-Jack holding aloft his quack cures for human ills. Discuss.
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Definition: (noun) Something unspecified whose name
is either forgotten or not known.
Synonyms: gizmogubbinsthingamabobthingamajig,
Usage: My twin sister and I have a special bond, so when she asks to borrow my doodad, I know exactly what she is talking about.Discuss.


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Poodle Hybrids

Designer dogs are dogs that result from the purposeful crossbreeding of two recognized breeds. The aim is to create hybrid offspring that possess positive traits from each of the parent breeds. The Labradoodle, for example, is a cross between the Labrador and the poodle. It was originally bred to combine the temperament of the former with the hypoallergenic coat of the latter. Poodles have also been crossbred with various other breeds. What are some of the amusing names of these poodle hybrids? More… Discuss


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Messier Objects

In 1784, French astronomer Charles Messier compiled a list of non-stellar celestial objects. He had no understanding of what these items—now known to be galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters—actually were; he just wanted to further the search for comets by listing the indistinct objects that might be mistaken for them. Designations from his catalog are still used to refer to some nebulae and star clusters—for instance, M1 is the Crab Nebula and M45 is the Pleiades. What is a “Messier Marathon“? More… Discuss


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Definition: (noun) A food rich in sugar.
Synonyms: sweet
Usage: One of the perks of working in a candy shop is getting to try all the new confectionsDiscuss.


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p>Near London on the morning of December 12, 1988, the driver of the 7:18 train from Basingstoke to Waterloo saw a signal in front of him abruptly change from green to red. He stopped his train and called the signalman, who told him to proceed. Before he could, however, the 6:14 from Poole rammed into his train’s rear at about 40 mph (64 km/h). Then, an empty train traveling in the opposite direction hit the wreckage. The crashes killed 35 and injured hundreds more. What caused the signal failure? More… Discuss

Near London on the morning of December 12, 1988, the driver of the 7:18 train from Basingstoke to Waterloo saw a signal in front of him abruptly change from green to red. He stopped his train and called the signalman, who told him to proceed. Before he could, however, the 6:14 from Poole rammed into his train’s rear at about 40 mph (64 km/h). Then, an empty train traveling in the opposite direction hit the wreckage. The crashes killed 35 and injured hundreds more. What caused the signal failure? More… Discuss


Biorhythms are recurring patterns of physiological states in an organism or organ. One example is the circadian rhythm that governs humans’ sleep-wake cycle as well as their blood pressure changes and urine production during a 24-hour period. Circannual rhythms are yearly cycles that respond to changes in the length of periods of daylight. Some people believe that biorhythms affect physical and mental states and behavior. Who thought that his students’ good and bad days followed a 33-day cycle? More… Discuss



The House of Yi

In the 13th century, Mongol forces from China invaded the nation that would become Korea. Peace came when Korea accepted Mongol suzerainty, but in 1392, Yi Songgye, a general who favored the Chinese Ming dynasty, seized the throne. He was the first of the House of Yi, or Joseon Dynasty, that ruled Korea until 1910. That year, Korea was formally annexed by Japan following the Sino-Japanese War, effectively ending the dynasty. Who are the living descendants of the House of Yi? More… Discuss



ICU Stays Linked to Long-Term Cognitive Impairments

Patients who spend time in an intensive care unit (ICU) are known to be susceptible to delirium that is thought to stem not from their illnesses but from the unique ICU environment: the 24/7 activity, harsh stimuli, unfamiliar people, uncomfortable procedures, and overwhelming technology. Doctors have long believed that this mental confusion disappears when patients are discharged from the ICU, but that may not be the case. Researchers have found that even a year after leaving the hospital, many patients who suffered delirium in the ICU continued to exhibit cognitive deficits similar to someone with moderate traumatic brain injury or even Alzheimer’s disease.More… Discuss


Definition: (adjective) So extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period.
Synonyms: antiquatedarchaic
Usage: My grandfather’s antediluvian ideas about relationships and marriage are frequently at odds with my views. Discuss.




Definition: (noun) Careful consideration.
Synonyms: weighingdeliberation
Usage: The petition was taken under advisement. Discuss.


A Word Each Day: CHIVVY


Definition: (verb) Annoy continually or chronically.
Synonyms: besetharassharryhasslemolestplagueprovoke
Usage: The senator is very demanding and is reputed to endlessly chivvy her staff to work harder. Discuss.


The Cheerio Effect

Have you ever wondered why bits of cereal floating in milk tend to clump together or cling to the sides of a bowl? In fluid mechanics, this phenomenon is humorously called the “Cheerio effect,” though it applies to any small, wettable object that floats, not just breakfast cereal. It is caused by a combination of buoyancy—the upward force a fluid exerts on an object of lower density—and surface tension—the elastic-like property of a liquid’s surface. Where else might one observe this effect?More… Discuss

A Word Each Day: HO-HUM


Definition: (adjective) So lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness.
Synonyms: boringdeadeningirksometedioustiresomewearisome,dullslow
Usage: Lectures on human psychology always pique my interest, but this ho-hum speaker put me right to sleep. Discuss.


Lake Vostok

Hundreds of subglacial lakes are hidden under the surface of Antarctica, and Lake Vostok is the largest. Located beneath some 13,000 ft (4,000 m) of ice, Lake Vostok’s pristine waters have been sealed off for perhaps more than a million years and may be home to life forms unknown to science. Researchers have spent years trying to drill through the ice to retrieve water samples despite concerns they might contaminate the lake in the process. In May 2005, what was found in the center of the lake? More… Discuss



Northwest Angle

If you are visiting Minnesota’s Northwest Angle, you have reached a part of the US that is beyond the Canadian border. Separated from the US by the Lake of the Woods, “the Angle” is north of the 49th parallel, the northern boundary of the contiguous 48 states. The anomaly resulted from early mapmakers‘ imprecision about the source of the Mississippi River. When their error was corrected, the Angle was left beyond the international border. What are you required to do upon arrival at the Angle? More… Discuss


Free Speech Zone

Free speech zones are, in the US, fenced-in areas set aside in public places for activists to exercise their right to free speech. Though the zones give protesters space to voice their opinions, critics claim that the cages in fact censor dissenters by delineating where they must be when expressing themselves. Free speech zones were widely used during Vietnam-era protests and are still used at various political events. For whom did one California airport install free speech zones in the 1990s? More… Discuss



Lost Films

When not a single copy of a film is known to exist in any archive, it is considered lost. An estimated 90% of all American silent films and 50% of American sound films made before 1950 are believed to have been lost, in part because early nitrate film was chemically unstable and prone to rapid decomposition. Early film was highly flammable too, and fires claimed more than a few archives. While many of Charlie Chaplin’s films survived, he sought to destroy his own A Woman of the Sea. Why? More… Discuss




Doctor to Roman gladiators and emperors, Galen was a Greek physician in the 2nd century CE whose authority on medicine was virtually undisputed until the 16th century. Credited with some 500 treatises, Galen added greatly to the knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Based on animal experiments, he described cranial nerves and heart valves and showed that arteries carry blood, not air. However, in extending his findings to human anatomy, he was often in error. What misconceptions did he have? More…




Definition: (adjective) Causing irritation or annoyance.
Synonyms: annoyingbothersomegallingirritatingpeskypestering,


Usage: As punishment, I was given the nettlesome task of filling out each of the forms in triplicate. Discuss.


Streisand Effect

The term “Streisand effect” describes the result of an attempt to suppress online information that instead increases its exposure. It was coined in 2003 after American entertainer Barbra Streisand sued a photographer for $50 million so that aerial photos of her home, part of a collection of California coastline photographs, would be taken off the Internet. The case was dismissed, and the ensuing media coverage further publicized the photos. What are other famous examples of the phenomenon? More… Discuss



Endogenous Retrovirus

Retroviruses carry their genetic blueprint in the form of RNA, which they use to synthesize DNA—the reverse of the usual process. This makes it possible for their genetic material to become a permanent part of the genes of an infected cell. An endogenous retrovirus is a retrovirus-like sequence found in an organism’s genome that is thought to constitute the remains of a true retrovirus absorbed through evolution. In humans, endogenous retroviruses are suspected of involvement in what diseases?More… Discuss


A word Each day: foppish Definition: (adjective) Affecting extreme elegance in dress and manner. Synonyms: dandyish


Definition: (adjective) Affecting extreme elegance in dress and manner.
Synonyms: dandyish
Usage: Though not foppish, he appreciated fine clothes.

A Word Each Day: ABRIDGE


Definition: (verb) Reduce in scope while retaining essential elements.
Synonyms: abbreviateshortencontractreducecut
Usage: I write with so much difficulty, the cold is so severe, I am so fearful of being detected and consigned to an underground cell and total darkness, that I must abridge this narrative. Discuss.

SAND CASTLES (as long as you keep that sand from drying)

Sand Castles

Sand is used extensively in the manufacture of bricks, mortar, cement, concrete, and plaster. However, perhaps its most well-known use as a building material is in sand castles. A common sight on beaches and sandboxes, simple sand castles require just a few tools and ingredients: a shovel, a bucket, water, and, of course, sand. Some more advanced sand sculptors use the “dripping” technique—dribbling wet sand down onto the castle foundation to form towers. Why does water make sand stick together? More… Discuss



Freetown Christiania

Freetown Christiania is a semi-autonomous neighborhood of about 850 residents in Copenhagen, Denmark. It dates to 1971, when hippies and squatters took over an area of recently abandoned military barracks and formed a commune there. In the liberal-minded community, meditation is paramount and both guns and cars are banned. Christiania is famous for its cannabis trade, which still thrives despite government attempts to stop it. What is the name of the main street where drugs are sold?More… Discuss


Word of the Day: “DINGLE”


Definition: (noun) A small wooded hollow.
Synonyms: dell
Usage: For no reason but that his fancy led him, he … walked down the grassy sunny slope of the open meadow, and so came to the little dingle. Discuss.



Definition: (noun) Hard, menial, and monotonous work.
Synonyms: donkeyworkploddinggrind
Usage: The novelty soon wore off, and though she thought she was prepared for drudgery, she found it very tedious to go on doing the same thing day after day. Discuss.


Hex Signs

Hex signs are a form of folk art that originated in the Pennsylvania Dutch culture. Though the colorful geometric emblems remain popular in Pennsylvania, they are not used by the local Amish or Mennonite populations. There is some controversy over the true purpose of hex signs. While some folk-art scholars maintain that the signs are purely decorative, they are associated with folk magic, and their designs carry symbolic meaning. A hex sign featuring a horse head is said to protect against what? More… Discuss