Abstract (adj) – Differing from concrete realities; Difficult to understand

Synonyms: Unclear, Indirect
Antonyms: Concrete, Understandable
Sample Sentence: The art was so abstract that it was difficult for me to understand what it even was supposed to be. 

Arduous (adj) – Hard and difficult; Requiring great effort

Synonyms: Onerous, Backbreaking
Antonyms: Simple, Easy
Sample Sentence: The manual labor was so arduous that he already had injuries by the end of his second week.

Bucolic (adj) – Referencing or belonging to the countryside and farming; Rural

Synonyms: Pastoral, Rustic
Antony: Urban
Sample Sentence: They decided the bucolic house was too far out of the city for them to move to.

Conception (n) – 1. idea, concept; view. 2. beginning of pregnancy

Synonym: 1. Creation
Sample Sentence: The conception for their idea came out of  the problem that they were having. 

Debunk (v) – To prove something false or exaggerated

Synonyms: Disprove, Refute
Sample Sentence: We had to use Google to debunk his ridiculous theory.

Didactic (adj) Intending to teach or give instructions; Instructive

Synonyms: Pedagogic, Educational
Helpful Hints: Many childrens’ stories are didactic because they teach lessons.
Sample Sentence: Although movies are usually just for fun, sometimes didactic films ask us to reassess why we think the way we do.

Empirical (adj) – Found by experiment, practice or experience

Synonym: Practical
Antonymm: Theoretical
Sample Sentence: A wealth of empirical evidence has been found to support his hypothesis. 

Evasive (adj) – Trying to avoid or escape something

Synonyms: Elusive, Slippery
Sample Sentence: The teenager gave her mother an evasive answer when she asked him where he was going.

Foil (v) – To prevent the success of; Frustrate

Synonyms: Thwart, Hamper
Sample Sentence: Her plan to go to the concert was foiled when she could not get the day off of work. 

Hodgepodge (n) – A mixture of various things; Jumble

Synonyms: Conglomeration, Mess, Muddle
Sample Sentence: We decided to have a hodgepodge of items for dinner including cake, steak, fruit, pizza, and fried chicken. 

Ineptitude (n) – The condition of lacking skill; Awkwardness, clumsiness, incompetence

Antonyms: Adroitness, Skill
Sample Sentence: Her athletic ineptitude kept her from playing sports in high school.

Judicious (adj) – Fair and equal; Wise; Sensible

Synonyms: Practical, Moderate, Reasonable
Antonyms: Unreasonable, Impractical
Helpful Hints: Think about a judge, whose job it is to be reasonable. Both judge and judicious come from the same root.
Sample Sentence: The judicious teacher listened to both sides of the story before making a decision. 

Mercurial (adj) – Rapidly changing; Flighty, erratic

Synonyms: Inconstant, Indecisive
Antonyms: Constant, Steady
Helpful Hints: Mercury in a thermometer goes up and down with temperature.
Sample Sentence: Her mercurial nature made it difficult for her to keep her mood consistent. 

Paramount (adj) – Chief in importance or impact; Supreme

Synonym: Critical, Dominant
Antonyms: Unimportant, Trivial
Helpful Hints: Paramount Pictures named their company that because they believe they are the best.
Sample Sentence: It is paramount that you complete your research paper in order to graduate. 

Pragmatism (n) – Character or conduct that emphasizes practicality (usefulness)

Synonyms: Realism, Practicality
Antonym: Idealism
Sample Sentence: Her pragmatism keeps her from spending her money frivolously. 

Quandary (n) – A state of uncertainty, especially in terms of what to do; Dilemma

Synonyms: Predicament, Conundrum
Sample Sentence: When the babysitter canceled on her, she was in a serious quandary because she could not miss her meeting. 

Rousing (adj) – Exciting, stirring

Synonyms: Lively, Stimulating
Antonyms: Boring, Pedestrian
Sample Sentence: A rousing game of charades left the family at odds as to which team was the winner. 

Stoic (adj) – Being indifferent to pleasure or pain; unmoved by joy or grief

Synonym: Unemotional
Antonym: Emotional
Sample Sentence: The guards at Buckingham Palace remain stoic no matter what is said to them or done in front of them. 

Taunt (v) – To tease or insult; Mock

Synonyms: Upbraid, Jeer, Deride
Sample Sentence: The referee who made the egregious calls was taunted by the crowd. 

Wary (adj) – Cautious; Being on guard

Synonyms: Alert, Vigilant, Guarded
Antonyms: Trusting, Unguarded
Sample Sentence: The detective is always wary of what is going on around him.


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