Scurrilous (adjective)

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Definitions:
Expressing unfair or false criticism which is likely to damage someone’s reputation, given to vulgar verbal abuse; foul-mouthed, rude and cruel.

Synonyms:
invective, reproachful, vulgar, insolent, obscene, ribald, insulting, defamatory, offensive, abusive, nasty

Antonyms:
kind, flattering, complimentary

Examples:
She dismissed the allegation, saying it was just a scurrilous rumor., It was a scurrilous attack designed to hurt his reputation., He was asked to leave the restaurant after he scurrilously abused a waiter., Her usually sweet demeanor became shockingly scurrilous after one too many drinks.

Tips:
Scurrilous is derived from the Latin scurra, which means “buffoon.” Scurrilous has come to describe expressing something with language characteristic of a buffoon, somebody rude and vulgar. It also describes abusive and insulting language.

Flagrant (adjective)

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Definitions:
Very obvious and contrary to standards of conduct or morality; conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible.

Examples:
The reporter’s plagiarism was a flagrant violation of copyright law., The teenager wore a tacky, ripped tee-shirt on his father’s golf course, in flagrant disregard for the dress code., He should be thrown out of the game for such a flagrant foul, which was clearly intended to hurt his opponent., His constant tardiness was a flagrant disregard for the company’s set working hours.

Tips:
You may have heard the phrase “flagrant disregard,” which means complete, open, and knowing disregard for rules, authority, proper conduct, etc. Describing something as flagrant implies purposeful rebellion of a passive-aggressive nature–a person knows that something is wrong, immoral, or illegal, but does it anyway. In sports a “flagrant foul” is a particularly bad foul that was clearly done on purpose, with the intent to harm.

Wastrel (noun)

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Definitions:
a person who does nothing positive with their life, making no use of their abilities or the opportunities offered to them.

Synonyms:
spendthrift, squanderer, idler, rake

Examples:
After all he is a pauper and a wastrel, and he has not the honor of bearing our name. But we are no good, neither you nor I. You’re a wastrel and a stray.

Origins:
“spendthrift, idler” 1847, from waste (v) + pejorative suffix – rel.

Suffice (verb)

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Definitions:
(verb) be sufficient, be adequate, either in quality or quantity. Be enough to meet the needs of. OR needless to say

Synonyms:
serve, be adequate, suit, satisfy, content, meet requirement, be sufficient

Antonyms:
dissatisfy

Examples:
One day of training will probably suffice to learn the basics of CPR., The man’s mistake was so terrible that a mere apology would not suffice to make the matter better., Suffice it to say, the lazy administrator will not be getting the promotion., My current SAT score will not suffice to get me into the college of my choice

Tips:
Think of the related adjective sufficient, as it means “a quantity that meets the need.” Things that will suffice are things that will meet a need. “Suffice it to say,” is a common phrase in Modern English; it means “it is adequate (or accurate) to say.”

Saturate (verb)

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Definitions:
(verb) To soak something with liquid, to fill something with so many people that no more can be added.

Examples:
You must saturate your hair with water before applying the dye, Water thoroughly to saturate the soil., Contemporary U.S. culture is completely saturated with technology., The grass had been saturated by overnight rain., He had cut his leg badly, and his trousers were saturated with/in blood., The police saturated the area in an attempt to find the missing child., Since the US market has now been saturated, drug dealers are looking to Europe.

Quagmire (noun)

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Definitions:
(noun) A complex or difficult situation from which it’s difficult to escape from.

Synonyms:
difficulty, dilemma, quandary, mire, marsh, impasse, swamp, trouble, bog, predicament

Antonyms:
simplicity, effortlessness

Examples:
During the Vietnam War the conflict was often described an inescapable quagmire., The city’s financial problems have become one of the biggest political quagmires in history., Whenever it rains, her backyard becomes a muddy quagmire., I don’t know how I got myself into this quagmire, and I certainly don’t know how to get out of it.

Tips:
Quagmire’s meaning of “difficult situation” comes from the difficulty of walking around on sinkable ground. Think of the related word mire, which also means “a damp, mushy area of land.” When you are mired in something, you are bogged down in it, whether it be the past or some problem. A quagmire is a problem that can be impossible to get out of. This word is often used to describe a political situation when there appears to be no good solution or way out.

Broach (verb)

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Definitions:
Bring up a difficult subject; to introduce a subject for discussion, usually one that is awkward. OR to open a bottle/barrel in order to drink its contents.

Antonyms:
ignore

Examples:
He didn’t know how to broach the subject of her parents’ divorce., Although he was dreading it, he knew he would have to broach the matter of the impending layoffs., James broached the subject of a raise during his annual review., I’m going to give this issue some more thought before I broach it with the board of directors.

Tips:
Broach has a number of specialized meanings. For example, it can mean “to pierce or open up for the first time.” It can also mean “to make or enlarge a hole in something.” Note that broach should not be confused with its homonym brooch, which is a woman’s jewelry pin.

Encumber (noun)

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Definitions:
1. to burden or weigh down; 2. to impede, hamper, or hold back.

Synonyms:
impede

Antonyms:
lighten

Examples:
– I don’t want to encumber you with this problem, but I have no one else to turn to. – Taking care of their grandmother is not an encumbrance at all; it is actually a pleasure. – To encumber him with this additional problem may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. – I felt so free and unencumbered during my vacation, it was tough to get back to work.

Tips:
Encumber comes from the old French word encombrer, which meant “to block or obstruct with a barrier.” An encumbrance is a burden or concern. When people are unencumbered, they are free from burdens or responsibilities. Although the origin of the word encumber comes from blocking or obstruction, it is used more often to describe someone who is weighed down or burdened by something. Hinder is used to denote “getting in the way” and impede is used to denote “interfering with movement.”

Abeyance (noun)

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Definitions:
Suspension of activity; temporary inactivity or non-operation., In state of not happening or being used at present.

Examples:
Since the gas leak in our office building, our work has been in temporary abeyance., That law has been in abeyance since 1900, but it is likely that it will eventually be reinstated., Our paychecks are being held in abeyance while the company sorts out its financial problems.

Tips:
Abeyance is derived from the old French abeance, “expectation,” which gives the sense that nothing is happening at the moment, but eventually something will. It can also refer to a condition where legal ownership of a home or estate has not been established. You may have heard the term “at bay,” meaning “put on hold.” If you are familiar with this term, note how abeyance sounds like “at bay.” If something is in abeyance (deferral, on hold) it is also considered “at bay.”

Fallacy (noun)

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Definitions:
An idea a lot of people think is true, but is in fact false. A failure in reasoning which renders an argument invalid. ” Kraft exposes three fallacies in this approach.

Synonyms:
deception, falsehood, inconsistency, untruth

Antonyms:
truth, accuracy, certainty, correction

Examples:
His want of success arose from the insufficiency, not the fallacy, of theory. Do not commit the fallacy of sitting down for a little rest.