Acuity (n) – Sharpness; Acuteness; Keenness (acuity of vision; acuity of mind)
Antonyms: Denseness, Obtuseness, Stupidity
Sample Sentence: Sandra showed off her mental acuity in the spelling bee, correctly spelling 28 words in a row.
Articulate (adj) – 1. Using language easily and fluently; Having facility with words (an articulate speaker) 2. Expressed with clarity and effectiveness (an articulate thought) (v) – To say clearly and distinctly; To pronounce with clarity
Synonyms: (adj) Coherent, Eloquent, Fluent, Well-spoken (v) Express, Voice, State
Antonyms: (adj) Unclear, Unintelligible (v) Conceal
Sample Sentence: (adj) BHS’s public speaking class is an excellent option for students who want to become more articulate speakers. (v) The student won the debate round because he articulated his point of view more effectively than his opponent.
Callous (adj) – Insensitive; Indifferent; Unsympathetic
Synonyms: Apathetic, Heartless, Uncaring,
Antonyms: Compassionate, Kind, Sensitive, Sympathetic
Helpful Hints: As a noun, “callous” means a hardened patch of skin. A callous person would be someone who is “hardened,” that is, without feelings.
Sample Sentence: Megan responded with callous indifference to her friend’s illness; she didn’t even bother to visit her in the hospital.
Clairvoyant (adj) – Having the power of seeing events beyond the range of natural vision (n) – One who can see objects or actions beyond the range of natural vision (for example, one who can see into the future or another dimension, similar to a seer or fortuneteller)
Synonyms: (adj) Psychic, Telepathic, Prophetic (n) Psychic
Antonyms: (adj) Rash, Shortsighted, Unwise
Sample Sentence: (adj) The man claimed to be clairvoyant and offered to tell me what my future would hold. (n) I asked the clairvoyant about my future and she looked into her crystal ball.
Corroborate (v) – To make more certain; Confirm; To give supporting evidence
Synonyms: Prove, Substantiate, Validate, Verify
Antonyms: Contradict, Deny, Refute
Helpful Hints: Substantiate, a synonym, is a freshman vocabulary word.
Sample Sentence: The defendant was found not guilty after three separate witnesses were able to corroborate her alibi.
Depravity (n) – The state of being morally corrupt or wicked
Synonyms: Corruption, Immorality, Wickedness
Antonyms: Morality, Nobility, Virtue
Helpful Hints: “Depraved” is the adjective form of the word.
Sample Sentence: It’s difficult to imagine the complete depravity that would drive someone to commit mass murder.
Distended (adj) – Swollen, Increased in size
Synonyms: Bloated, Bulging
Antonyms: Slender, Shrunken
Sample Sentence: My stomach felt distended after Thanksgiving dinner, but was back to normal the next day.
Epitome (n) – A person or thing that is typical of or possesses to a high degree the features of a whole group; The best example of something (the epitome of goodness)
Synonyms: Embodiment, Exemplification, Model, Archetype
Sample Sentence: An Olympic athlete could be viewed as the epitome of athleticism.
Fecund (adj) – 1. Producing or capable of producing offspring, fruit, vegetation, etc., in abundance; Prolific; Fruitful 2. Very productive or creative intellectually
Antonyms: Barren, Infertile, Sterile, Unfruitful, Unproductive
Sample Sentence: We discovered the soil was incredibly fecund when the sunflowers quickly grew to six feet.
Futile (adj) Incapable of producing any result; Ineffective; Useless; Not successful
Synonyms: Purposeless, Unproductive, Unsuccessful
Antonyms: Fruitful, Hopeful, Productive, Profitable
Sample Sentence: Arguing with stubborn people can be futile, as they will never change their minds.
Indelible (adj) – Making marks or changes that cannot be erased or removed
Synonyms: Permanent, Indestructible
Antonyms: Fleeting, Short-lived
Sample Sentence: He was with the company for only four years, but the changes that he helped implement in how they ran their business were indelible and could still be seen decades later.
Inveterate (adj) – Settled or confirmed in a habit, practice, or feeling; firmly established
Synonyms: Deep-seated, Entrenched, Fixed, Ingrained, Permanent
Antonyms: Short-lived, Temporary, Transitory
Sample Sentence: My grandparents have an inveterate habit of arguing with each other; I can’t remember them ever agreeing on anything.
Lugubrious (adj) – Mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially in an exaggerated manner
Synonyms: Pensive, Sad, Sorrowful
Antonyms: Hopeful, Optimistic, Cheerful, Happy
Sample Sentence: It is usually easy to tell the difference between people who are genuinely mourning and people who assume a lugubrious attitude to get attention.
Naïveté (n) – Natural or artless simplicity of thought; Lack of sophistication; The state of lacking experience, judgment, or information
Synonyms: Childishness, Guilelessness, Inexperience, Simplicity
Antonyms: Experience, Skepticism, Sophistication
Helpful Hints: The adjective form, “naive”, may be more familiar.
Sample Sentence: Children need to be taught not to talk to strangers because of their natural naivete; people with candy look very tempting to young children.
Peevish (adj) – Showing annoyance, irritation, or a bad mood
Synonyms: Irritable, Testy, Cranky, Ill-natured
Antonyms: Friendly, Happy, Pleasant
Sample Sentence: Since she was usually so pleasant to be around, Miranda’s friends were worried when she started acting peevish and avoiding them.
Propensity (n) – A natural inclination or tendency
Synonyms: Inclination, Tendency, Leaning, Partiality
Antonyms: Dislike, Aversion, Indifference
Sample Sentence: Jack tried to eat fewer sweets, but his propensity for eating chocolate always got in the way of his resolution.
Resilient (adj) – 1. Springing back; Rebounding 2. Recovering readily from illness, depression, adversity, etc.
Synonyms: Elastic, Hardy, Supple, Tough, Tenacious
Antonyms: Inflexible, Rigid, Vulnerable
Sample Sentence: After the disappointment of being cut from the freshman baseball team, John showed his resilient nature when he worked extra hard and made varsity the following year.
Servile (adj) – Slavishly submissive; Fawning; Showing deference to others; Overly obedient
Synonyms: Subservient, Abject, Obsequious, Passive
Antonyms: Aggressive, Dominant
Sample Sentence: Although Max thought he could earn A’s with his servile behavior, his teachers were not swayed by his overly helpful manner.
Supple (adj) – 1. Bending readily without breaking; Pliant; Flexible 2. Characterized by ease in bending (supple movements)
Synonyms: Adaptable, Agile, Elastic, Pliable
Antonyms: Hard, Rigid, Stiff, Inflexible
Sample Sentence: The dancer glided across the stage with supple motions.
Variegated (adj) – 1. Varied in appearance or color; Marked with patches or spots of different colors 2. Varied; Diverse
Synonyms: Assorted, Motley, Multicolored
Antonyms: Same, Similar
Sample Sentence: The author used vivid visual imagery to describe the variegated shades of the trees.