Disparage (verb)

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Definitions:
1. to speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; 2. to undervalue; 3. to discredit

Synonyms:
belittle, deride, defame, discredit, denigrate, deprecate, undervalue, demoralize

Antonyms:
approve, compliment, laud

Examples:
A good manager would never disparage an employee in front of others., Marine drill sergeants are known for their use of disparaging methods for recruits in boot camp., No matter how hard I work, my boss constantly disparages my efforts., I know I’ve made some mistakes on this project, but please don’t disparage me; I feel bad enough as it is.

Tips:
Disparage is derived from the Middle French desparagier, “to marry below one’s class.” To disparage someone is to make the person feel inferior. Disparage is a more sophisticated way of saying “belittle.” Disparaging someone is not a socially appropriate method of criticism. The related adjective is also disparaging.

Dogmatic (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. a religious doctrine; 2. a code of beliefs

Examples:
His political dogma paralleled that of the republican party., This company has always operated under the dogma that employees must be respected and compensated fairly., Chad’s dogmatic attitude makes it difficult for his employees to express their opinions., The professor’s dogmatic lecture annoyed his students, who felt that he was using their class time to propagate his own beliefs.

Tips:
Dogma is derived from the Greek dogma, meaning “opinion.” A dogma is essentially a system of beliefs, whether religious or not, that a person or group adheres to and considers authoritative. A person can lead his or her life by a certain dogma. The plural of dogma can be either dogmata or dogmas. A person who is dogmatic (stubborn, opinionated, biased, arrogant) believes that he or she is right in his or her beliefs or opinions, and everyone else is wrong. Think, “belief that one is right.”

Expeditious (adjective)

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Definitions:
(adjective) speedy or prompt: speedy, or carried out promptly and efficiently

Synonyms:
;, quick, fast, efficient, rapid, prompt, brisk, swift

Antonyms:
slow.

Examples:
The bank was expeditious in replying to my letter., He wrote an expeditious review of that movie, Something needs to be done to expedite the process., We will deal with your order with the greatest possible expedition., That bank is well-regarded for its expeditious handling of any request or complaint

Perpetual (verb)

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Definitions:
(verb) 1. to make something last or continue, usually for a long time; 2. to make something or somebody be remembered

Antonyms:
obliterate

Examples:
The President is looking for ways to perpetuate his strong poll numbers., The computer manufacturer continually looked to technical advances as a means of perpetuating its market leadership., The company’s goal is to perpetuate its reputation as a leader in customer service for generations to come., A fourth straight victory over our rival would perpetuate our superiority and dominance for another year.

Tips:
When something is perpetual, it is continuous and never-ceasing. When something, like an idea or tradition, is perpetuated, it is kept alive or preserved.

Susceptible (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. easily affected, influenced, or impressed by something; 2. easily yielding to something

Synonyms:
malleable, prone, inclined

Antonyms:
inaccessible

Examples:
People susceptible to motion sickness are advised not to ride roller coasters., Many teenagers are very susceptible to peer pressure., The study examined older people’s susceptibility to depression and disease., He is very susceptible to persuasion, so I’m sure we can get him to agree to the deal.

Tips:
Susceptible is derived from the Late Latin suscipere, which means “to take up.” A person who is susceptible easily takes up others’ opinions, ideas, emotions, or, as with a susceptible immune system, things like colds. The related noun susceptibility is the state of being easily affected or influenced.

Ignoramus (noun)

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Definitions:
(noun) an offensive term that deliberately insults somebody’s level of intelligence or education

Synonyms:
Fool

Examples:
I’m a complete ignoramus where computers are concerned., Only an ignoramus would be incapable of learning to tie their own shoes Note: Until 1934 in England, if a grand jury considered the evidence of an alleged crime insufficient to prosecute, it would endorse the bill ignoramus, meaning literally “we do not know” or “we know nothing of this.” Long before, though, the word ignoramus had come to mean, by extension, “an ignorant person.”

Deleterious (adjective)

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Definitions:
(adjective) causing harmful or damaging effects

Synonyms:
noxious, harmful

Antonyms:
helpful, salubrious

Examples:
Recent studies show that consuming too much protein may be deleterious to health., The downturn in investments has been quite deleterious to our business., That’s a deleterious chemical and must be handled very carefully., Attending very loud concerts can be deleterious to your hearing.

Tips:
Deleterious comes from the Greek word deleterios, “noxious.” In its modern usage, it can mean that something is noxious and therefore harmful to someone, or simply that something is harmful or destructive, without necessarily being noxious. For a memory trick, think of the word delete when remembering the definition for deleterious. Delete means “to remove or destroy.” It could be very deleterious (harmful, damaging) to your career if you were to delete (destroy, remove) a serious and important computer file.

Vacillate (verb)

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Definitions:
(verb) 1. be unable to decide: to be indecisive or irresolute, changing between one opinion and another 2. swing back and forth: to sway from side to side

Synonyms:
dither, be indecisive

Examples:
Her mood vacillated between hope and despair., The president continues to vacillate over foreign policy., Frank vacillated for so long that someone else stepped in and made the decision, I vacillated between teaching and journalism

Modicum (adjective)

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Definitions:
(adjective) a little bit or small amount of something

Antonyms:
abundance

Examples:
All I ask for is a modicum of courtesy., She hoped for a modicum of understanding from her professor when she turned her project in late., If he has even a modicum of courage, he will complete the task., I was very frustrated when I didn’t receive even a modicum of gratitude for all my hard work.

Tips:
Modicum often refers to a small amount of something intangible and abstract rather than to a physical quantity.

Gaffe (noun)

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Definitions:
a social mistake or tactless act

Synonyms:
blunder, faux pas, slip

Examples:
His silly remark was just a gaffe, not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings., Miss Manners attempts to help people avoid social gaffes., As long as he doesn’t commit a major gaffe in public, he should win the election by a landslide., While attending his company’s holiday party, he committed a major gaffe by inappropriately commenting on the CEO’s young wife.

Tips:
A gaffe is a social mistake, improper act, or tactless remark. It’s something embarrassing and usually considered impolite. Remember, a gaffe is not simply a mistake, it is an inappropriate and offensive statement or action.