Eradicate (verb)

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Definitions:
to eliminate something completely.

Synonyms:
destroy, annihilate, expunge, eliminate, obliterate

Antonyms:
grow, help

Examples:
– I wish I could eradicate my drinking problem once and for all. – The eradication of native plants in this area is a real concern of conservationists. – Literacy groups promote eradication of illiteracy. – The termite inspector said that we’ll need to tent and fumigate our house in order to eradicate the termites.

Tips:
Eradicate comes from the Latin eradicare, meaning “to pull up by the roots.” From this, eradicate still means” to root out entirely.” Eradication is the noun form, which refers to a process of destruction, elimination, or uprooting.

Incongruous (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. out of place and not suitable for the occasion; 2. not consistent with something else; 3. not blending well together.

Examples:
– To some, it seemed incongruous to call a funeral a “celebration,” but Edith’s children believed she was somewhere better and wanted to be happy for her. – Even though sun visors seem incongruous with rainy days, Shelly found that her visor kept water off her face when it was raining, so she wore it during stormy weather. – The new, sleek computer looked incongruous on the antique desk. – It seems incongruous to have an out-of-shape and overweight editor of a fitness magazine.

Tardy (adjective)

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Definitions:
later than expected

Synonyms:
late, belated

Antonyms:
punctual

Examples:
– He’s been tardy to my class so many times, I finally had to give him detention. – Make sure you’re not tardy to the SAT exam because you won’t be allowed in once the test has begun. – There is no excuse for being consistently tardy to every class. – When our usually punctual professor was tardy, we wondered what was keeping him.

Tips:
Tardy (a term most students are aware of) comes from the Latin word tardus, meaning “slow, sluggish.” The meaning of lateness probably came about because those who are slow and sluggish usually arrive late. In fact, tardy can also be used to describe somebody who is slow or sluggish, but this usage is not very common.

Perfunctory (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. done as a matter of routine or custom; 2. done superficially and in haste

Synonyms:
careless, automatic, apathetic, passing, halfhearted

Antonyms:
diligent, sincere, precise, genial

Examples:
– You could tell by the perfunctory manner in which he performed his job that he was ready to move on to something new. – I was offended by his perfunctory approach to my annual review; I take those reviews very seriously and he clearly did not. – Because Marc was a young man, his doctor performed only a perfunctory examination of his heart and missed the signs of developing heart disease. – It was very evident that the thank-you note was only a perfunctory gesture, not a sincere one.

Tips:
Perfunctory is derived from a Latin word that means “to get through something or complete an action.” Perfunctory is often used to describe actions that are done routinely, usually as a matter of custom or tradition. Perfunctory is a good critique of someone who simply did the bare minimum to complete a task.

Meticulous (adjective)

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Definitions:
marked by precision and careful attention to detail

Examples:
– I have him proof-read all my work because he is a meticulous editor who catches every spelling or punctuation error. – Vincent painted a meticulous portrait of the actress, which captured her unique facial features. – The many hours of meticulous planning paid off, and the event was a complete success. – Lisa has a “Type A” personality and meticulously fusses over every detail before throwing a party.

Tips:
Meticulous is derived from the Latin meticulous, “fearful.” It could be that meticulous came to have it’s meaning of “careful and detailed” from “fear of making a mistake.” Someone who is meticulous is extremely careful and picky in attention to detail. Likewise, something meticulous is perfect.

Smorgasbord (noun)

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Definitions:
a range of open sandwiches and savoury delicacies served as hors doeuvres or a buffet.

Synonyms:
variety

Examples:
The buffet looked amazing, a smorgasbord of choices., We’ll have a smorgasbord at the party. – Candidates offered a smorgasbord of reforms. – A veritable smorgasbord of religions.

Pun (noun)

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Definitions:
A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words.

Synonyms:
double entendre, bon mot., innuendo, wordplay, quip

Examples:
– Japanese like to pun–their language is well suited to punning. – She made a couple of dreadful puns. – This is a well-known joke based on a pun: “What’s black and white and red (= read) all over?””A newspaper.” – People groan at a pun if it’s told correctly. – She kept punning on “whole” and “hole.”

Insouciance (noun)

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Definitions:
A relaxed and happy way of behaving without feeling worried or guilty. Casual lack of concern; indifference

Synonyms:
alienation, apathy, carelessness, disdain, disinterest, disregard,

Antonyms:
attention, esteem, respect, bias, interest, concern

Examples:
With that and a superb air of insouciance, he made shift to go. A wave of his hand simulated an insouciance, he did not feel.

Blithe (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. lightheartedly happy; 2. carefree and unconcerned

Synonyms:
carefree

Antonyms:
downcast, morose

Examples:
– Somehow, no matter how many obstacles Joanna faces, she maintains a blithe and bubbly attitude. – Although Marc is a brilliant scholar, his blithe disregard of tradition and etiquette has caused him to get into trouble from time to time. – Even when I’m in a bad mood, Lisa’s blithe attitude toward life always cheers me up.

Tips:
When used in its first sense of “happy and cheerful,” blithe can be complimentary. However, sometimes its second meaning, “carefree,” can border on “careless,” which makes the word less positive.

Ubiquitous (adjective)

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Definitions:
being, or seeming to be, everywhere at once

Antonyms:
rare

Examples:
– Mobile phones have become so ubiquitous that it surprising when somebody doesnt have one. – We often take things that are ubiquitous for granted, until they disappear. – Advertising has become so ubiquitous that you cant walk down a street without seeing an ad. – If you travel around the world, you quickly find that English is becoming more and more ubiquitous–everyone seems to speak at least a little English.

Tips:
The Latin word ubique means “everywhere,” and something that is described as ubiquitous seems to be all over the place and very common. Ubiquitous is more than prevalent (which means “to be common in an area”). Ubiquitous is “everywhere, universal.”