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Antonyms

Antonyms are two or more words that have opposing meanings. We will look at the different types of antonyms, where the word antonym came from, a few examples of antonyms and some examples of the word antonym used in sentences.There are three types of antonyms. Graded antonyms are pairs of words with opposite meanings which are on a continuous spectrum. Some examples of graded antonyms are hard and soft, best and worst, wet and dry. Complementary antonyms are contradictory, something is … [Read more...]

Enervate vs energize

Enervate and energize are antonyms. Antonyms are are words that have meanings that are opposite to each other. We will examine the definitions of enervate and energize, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Enervate means to drain someone of his energy, to make someone feel weak in a physical or mental way, to debilitate someone. Enervate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are enervates, enervated, enervating, … [Read more...]

Gravity vs levity

Gravity and levity are antonyms. Antonyms are are words that have meanings that are opposite to each other. We will examine the definitions of the words gravity and levity, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Gravity is the force that causes things to drop to the ground, the force that attracts something toward the earth's center. However, gravity may also mean something serious, something extremely important or solemn. It is this definition that is the … [Read more...]

Irk

The word irk is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. We will examine the definition of the word irk, where it may have come from and some examples of its use in sentences.Irk means to annoy someone, to irritate, exhaust or disgust someone. When someone is irked, he is impatient with having endured something irritating. Related words are irks, irked, irking. The verb irk is derived from the Middle Engish word irken, which means to become tired or to disturb or trouble … [Read more...]

Humdinger

Humdinger is a word that first appeared in the latter half of the nineteenth century. We will examine the definition of the word humdinger, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.A humdinger is a person or thing that is outstanding or remarkable. Humdinger seems to be a portmanteau of the words hummer and dinger, each of which means something outstanding or remarkable. The term hummer dates back to the end of the seventeenth century, and the word dinger dates to the … [Read more...]

Mogul

The word mogul has two very different meanings, which can be attributed to two different origins of the term. We will examine the definitions of the word mogul, where the word came from and some examples of its use in sentences.Most often, the word mogul is used to mean a powerful and important businessman, usually within the film, television or news industries. This meaning of mogul is derived from the Indian emporers who ruled during the sixteenth through nineteenth century. The Mogols … [Read more...]

Trap vs entrap

Trap and entrap are two words that are often confused. We will examine the meanings of the word trap and entrap, where the terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.To trap means to snare an animal in a device, to confine someone in a place with no means of escape or to trick someone into a certain action. The word trap may also be used as a noun, to mean a device used to enclose or snare an animal, a container used to collect something or a trick by which someone is led … [Read more...]

Smart alec and smart aleck

Smart alec and smart aleck are two spellings of the same expression, one of which is used much more frequently. We will examine the definition of the terms smart alec and smart aleck, where they came from, which spelling is used more frequently and some examples of that use in sentences.A smart alec or smart aleck is someone who believes he is knowledgeable about everything, or someone who behaves as if he is more clever than everyone else. A smart alec is extremely obnoxious to deal with. … [Read more...]

Charade and charades

Charade and charades are words with their roots in eighteenth century France. We will examine the meanings of the words charade and charades, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.A charade is an action that is a pretense, an action intended to give the illusion of respectability or the appearance of pleasantness. Charade is a noun, derived from the Provençal word charrado, which means to gossip.Charades may be used as the plural form of charade, but … [Read more...]

Incommunicado

Incommunicado is a word that entered the English language in the mid-1800s. We will examine the definition of the word incommunicado, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.Incommunicado describes someone who is not communicating with others, whether by choice or by force. A person who is incommunicado may be unwilling to communicate with others or unable because of physical circumstances, illness or imprisonment of some kind. Incommunicado may be used as an adjective … [Read more...]

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