Dearth (noun)

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Definitions:
1. scarcity that makes dear; specifically: famine 2. an inadequate supply: lack- a dearth of evidence

Synonyms:
absence, deficiency, inadequacy, lack

Antonyms:
abundance, enough, plenty, advantage, sufficiency

Examples:
For one who does not know what a dearth there is of wise men, if yet anyone be to be found? Here at Athens there is a dearth of the commodity, and all wisdom seems to have emigrated from us to you.

Origins:
The facts about the history of the word dearth are quite simple: the word derives from the Middle English form “derthe” which has the same meaning as our modern term. That Middle English term is assumed to have developed from an Old English form that was probably spelled “dierth” and was related to “deore” the Old English form that gave us the word “dear” (“Dear” also once meant “scarce”), but that sense of the word is now obsolete.

Eclectic (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. made up of elements from various sources; 2. choosing what is best or preferred from a variety of sources or styles.

Synonyms:
discriminating

Antonyms:
distinctive

Examples:
– He has a very eclectic taste in literature: he likes everything from the intense classics like Joyce and Faulkner to easier reads like John Grisham and Dan Brown. – She had an eclectic taste in music and was always listening to something new. – The office building had an eclectic mix of tenants–the gamut ran from blue-jean-wearing programmers, to accountants wearing suits and ties. – The art gallery had an eclectic assortment of artwork from around the world.

Tips:
Eclectic is derived from the Greek eklektikos, literally picking out, selecting.” Think, to chose from different sources. For example, an eclectic interior designer chooses design elements from various cultures and influences.

Eddy (noun)

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Definitions:
(pl. eddies) a circular movement of water causing a small whirlpool. (verb) (eddies, eddied) (of water, air, smoke, etc.) move in a circular way.

Synonyms:
spiral, circulate, whirl

Examples:
The bend in the river had caused an eddy of fast swirling water. – The water eddied around in a whirlpool. – small eddies at the river’s edge

Decry (verb)

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Definitions:
to openly criticize something or someone

Synonyms:
disparage, condemn, censure, derogate, belittle, criticize, excoriate

Antonyms:
extol, praise

Examples:
– The critics currently decrying lowered standards in education are the same critics who recently proclaimed victory in the war on illiteracy. – The patients’ advocacy group has released a statement which decries crowded and unhealthy conditions in many of the nation’s hospitals. – The animal rights activists decried the use of animals in the testing of cosmetics.. – She decried his involvement in the scandal and said she would never let him live it down.

Tips:
Decry comes from the Old French word descrier, “to cry down.” It is mostly used formally to apply to abstract ideas (see usage examples). It implies open condemnation of something, with an attempt to discredit it. This is why decry is synonymous with both criticize and disparage–you are trying to condemn something while also discrediting it.

Expound (verb)

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Definitions:
to give a detailed description or answer

Synonyms:
explain, expatiate, inform, interpret, opine, discuss

Antonyms:
condense, abridge, abbreviate

Examples:
– Political news gets old really fast when you have to listen to pundits expound about the shortcomings of their opposing political party. – The professor decided to expound on the underlying message of the book for the entire 50-minute lecture. – If you like, I could expound on the issue further. – It is ill-advised to expound your political views with people you have just met.

Tips:
Expound is derived from Old French espondre and from Latin exponere, to explain. Expound is a more succinct and sophisticated way of saying “explain in detail.” Expound is similar in meaning to expatiate.

Edify (verb)

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Definitions:
To instruct especially so as to encourage intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement.

Synonyms:
teach, tutor, school

Examples:
– Being left in a bar all afternoon with a load of football supporters is not the most edifying of experiences. – I tend to watch the television for pleasure rather than edification. – a family-oriented show that tried to edify the television audience as well as entertain it.

Denigrate (verb )

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Definitions:
If you “denigrate” someone, you attempt to blacken their reputation; criticize unfairly; disparage

Synonyms:
defame, disparage, impugn, slander

Antonyms:
approve, commend, compliment, praise, laud

Examples:
No one is trying to denigrate the importance of good education. Her story denigrates him as a person and a good teacher.

Demure (adjective )

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Definitions:
If you describe someone, usually a young woman, as demure, you mean they are quiet and rather shy, usually in a way you like, and find appealing, and behave very correctly.

Synonyms:
timid, unassuming, backward, bashful, coy

Antonyms:
bold, aggressive, outgoing, extroverted

Examples:
She’s very demure and sweet. The luscious Miss Wharton gave me a demure but knowing smile.

Tips:
Similar- Sounding words: Demure is sometimes confused with demur.

Adage (noun)

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Definitions:
an old saying, now accepted as being truthful

Examples:
– As the adage says, it’s always darkest just before the dawn. – I try to live my life by the adage, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” – He likes to state old adages in place of giving real advice. – My mother has an adage for every situation and is well-known for her repetitive advice.

Tips:
Adage is derived from the Latin adagium, which means, “I say.” Think of an old saying. Adage is often used in the expression “old adage,” although all adages are old, in the sense that their credibility has been established through their repetition.

Betoken (verb)

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Definitions:
be a warning or sign of.

Synonyms:
foretell

Examples:
Lisa gave Marc a small gift betokening regret – the blue sky betokened a day of good weather