Affluence (n) – 1. Abundance of money, property, or other material goods 2. An overflow; A lot of something,
Synonyms: Plenty, Fortune
Sample Sentence: The family’s affluence made it easy for them to take a vacation whenever they wanted.
Austere (adj) – 1. Severe in manner or appearance 2. Rigorously self-disciplined and moral
Sample Sentence: The house looked austere for the first few months after they moved in.
Belie (v) – 1. To show to be false; To contradict 2. To misrepresent
Antonyms: Confirm, Prove
Sample Sentence: The freshly painted house belies its crumbling interior.
Contemporary (n/adj) – n. A person who lives during the same time as another person adj. 1. Existing at the same time 2. Of the present time; modern
Sample Sentence: (n) The older gentleman did not spend time with his contemporaries, but preferred hanging out with people who could have been his own grandchildren. (adj) The building was designed by the architect in the most contemporary fashion with all the newest ideas.
Currency (n) – 1. Widespread acceptance 2. Something used as a medium of exchange, money
Helpful Hints: You sometimes hear of ideas gaining currency, which means that they are becoming more accepted or more commonly held.
Sample Sentence: When we went to Italy we had to exchange our money and figure out how to pay using their country’s currency.
Devious (adj) 1. Indirect 2. Deceptive
Sample Sentence: I trusted that my new group of friends would keep my secret, but it turns out they were more devious than I thought and told everyone.
Eccentric (adj/n) – adj. Irregular; Peculiar; Strange n. An irregular or strange person
Synonyms: Bizarre, Unusual
Antonyms: Common, Predictable
Sample Sentence: (adj) The students were wary of their seemingly eccentric professor at first, but they soon learned that although he had strange habits he was a very kind man. (n) He’s an eccentric – he wears oven mitts everywhere and only speaks in Latin when ordering at fast food places.
Erroneous (adj) – Incorrect; Containing mistakes
Antonyms: Correct, Accurate
Sample Sentence: I was unsure if I should correct my teacher’s erroneous statement because I was unsure how he would react to a student pointing out his mistake.
Fitful (adj) – Intermittent; On and off; Not continuous
Sample Sentence: The night after I watched the horrifying movie, I had a fitful rest, waking up several times terrified of noises in my house.
Hackneyed (adj) – Commonplace; Over-used
Synonyms: Clichéd, Threadbare
Antonyms: New, Unique, Original
Sample Sentence: The teacher knew the student was lying because of the hackneyed excuse of the dog eating the homework.
Indigence (n) – Extreme poverty
Sample Sentence: I try to help those who live in indigence during the holidays by donating to food pantries and toy drives.
Languid (adj) – Having no energy or interest
Synonyms: Indifferent, Lazy
Antonyms: Alert; Lively
Sample Sentence: My languid dog made no effort to fetch the ball I threw for him.
Marred (adj) – Spoiled; Ruined; Disfigured
Sample Sentence: The actress’s reputation was marred by the lies written about her in the tabloids.
Notoriety (n) – Infamy; The state of being widely and unfavorably known
Helpful Hints: Do not merely presume that this word is a synonym for “fame”. If you are notorious, then you are known for doing something bad, or for being a bad person.
Sample Sentence: The man’s notoriety as a criminal could not be changed, he will always be known for the crimes he committed.
Penchant (n) – A strong inclination or liking of something; A tendency
Synonyms: Propensity, Inclination
Helpful Hints: This word nearly always gets followed by “for,” as in, “he has a penchant for strawberry ice cream”
Sample Sentence: I have a penchant for sleeping in late on the weekends because I do not like having to be up so early during the week.
Prosperity (n) – A successful, thriving condition; The state of being successful and/or wealthy
Synonym: Good fortune
Helpful Hints: The difference between prosperity and affluence, from earlier in this unit, is this: affluence is used only to describe monetary wealth, while prosperity means success in any form. If you measure success solely through wealth, then the words are synonymous. But lots of prosperous authors die penniless, but leave behind a legacy of great work. And there are loads of terrible books written by wealthy celebrities, who are certainly not prosperous authors.
Sample Sentence: I am proud of my prosperity because I worked hard in order to live the successful life I do.
Resurgence (n) – A revival; A renewal; A restoration to use
Synonyms: Comeback, Return
Sample Sentence: The resurgence of certain clothing styles caused sales at the vintage boutique to rise.
Skewed (adj) – Distorted; Bent
Sample Sentence: The results of the vote were skewed when half the ballots were lost.
Undermine (v) – 1. To attempt to overthrow 2. To weaken
Helpful Hints: This word comes from a medieval technique for attacking a castle. Armies would dig a mine under a castle wall to weaken or collapse it.
Sample Sentence: The idea was undermined when someone in the group pointed out a major flaw.
Vigilant (adj) – Wary; Watchful
Synonyms: Alert; Aware
Sample Sentence: It is necessary to be vigilant while driving in order to prevent an accident.