Preamble (noun)

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Definitions:
A section at the beginning of a speech, report or formal document that introduces what follows. A preliminary or preparatory statement; an introduction.

Synonyms:
;, introduction, foreword, preface

Examples:
What she said was by way of a preamble., I gave him the bad news without preamble. – We memorized the preamble to the Constitution

Banter (noun, ,, verb)

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Definitions:
(n.) playful, lighthearted, and usually witty, teasing; (v.) to tease or joke playfully and wittily

Synonyms:
;, teasing, joke, joking

Examples:
– He was known for his quick wit and clever banter. – The friends could banter for hours, always laughing, even at themselves. – Although the children were told to go to sleep, their laughter and banter continued late into the night. – My old high school friends and I like to banter back and forth; it’s our way of bonding.

Tips:
Banter refers to a playful form of teasing that is usually clever rather than cruel and that is usually mutual. If you are bantering back and forth, you are making teasing comments that you are almost “batting” back and forth. Banter has also come to be used to denote light, non-serious conversation.

Tenacity (noun)

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Definitions:
persistent determination in holding to something, especially opinions, valuables, and routines

Examples:
– She clung to her beliefs with a tenacity that was immediately evident to any who attempted to argue with her. – During her first ice skating lesson, she kept a tenacious grip on her instructor’s arm. – He refused to take no for an answer, and his tenacity eventually paid off when he won the contract for his company. – She had a tenacious selling style that made her the top salesperson for three months running.

Tips:
Tenacity and the related adjective tenacious are derived from the Latin tenax, to “hold fast,” and from tenere, “to hold.” Both words are often used to refer to a person who doesnt give up. Think of how a person would tenaciously hold on to the edge of a cliff and the tenacity with which he would do this.

Abash (verb)

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Definitions:
to make someone feel embarrassed, ashamed, or uncomfortable

Synonyms:
confound, shame, discomfit, embarrass

Antonyms:
embolden, reassure

Examples:
– Carol was abashed at her children’s rowdy behavior. – “I really shouldn’t have done that,” John said abashedly. – In the presence of the company president, I felt quite abashed and timid. – She was abashed at his words because his gratitude was so lavish and because she felt it was undeserved.

Tips:
Abash is derived from the old French abaissier, “to lower.” Think of someone lowering his head in shame or of lowering his head because he is embarrassed or uncomfortable. The adjective abashed refers to feeling self-conscious and may be seen more often than the verb. The adverb form is abashedly.

Abolition (noun)

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Definitions:
the action or an act of abolishing a system, practice, or institution (verb is Abolish)

Synonyms:
termination, abolishment, extermination

Examples:
The new government praised the abolition of child labor., The abolition of slavery did not guarantee equality. – The tax was abolished in 1977. – The governor never fulfilled his promise to abolish the state income tax

Helm (noun, ,, verb)

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Definitions:
(n.) a position of control and leadership; (v.) to be in charge or in control of something

Synonyms:
controller, captain, instructor, guide, steer, lead, chairman, commandeer

Examples:
– The new executive will take the helm next week. – He did a lot to foster the company’s success while at the helm. – She significantly increased profits after only one year at the helm of this sales team. – The managing partner is at the helm of client negotiations and Im confident that his leadership abilities will win the business for our firm.

Tips:
In addition to meaning “leader,” helm also refers to the steering mechanism of a ship. Since the person steering the ship is in charge of the course, helm has come to mean “position of leadership.” Helm is almost always used figuratively rather than in its literal, nautical use: “at the helm,””take the helm” and “man the helm” are all phrases used figuratively to describe taking charge of a situation.

Interject (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. to say or insert something in a way that interrupts what is being said or discussed; 2. to insert between other elements

Synonyms:
include

Examples:
– If I may interject for a moment, I have one more idea Id like to discuss before we wrap up this meeting. – If I could interject, I believe there is an easier way to do this. – She interjected several jokes during her speech. – I think you should interject your ideas into this discussion.

Tips:
Interject is derived from the Latin interjicere, to interpose, literally, to throw between. Often used as a polite way of interrupting a discussion–“If I may interject”

Surreptitious (adjective)

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Definitions:
done in quiet secrecy, and making sure not to be observed.

Synonyms:
clandestine, underhanded

Antonyms:
forthright, public

Examples:
– He has a surreptitious smoking habit that very few people know about. – The investigative reporter uncovered the company’s surreptitious plan to cheat its customers. – She had to be surreptitious when planning her husband’s surprise birthday party. – She surreptitiously passed a note to her friend while the professor had his back turned.

Tips:
Surreptitious is derived from the Latin surrepticius, which means “to secretly seize.” Surreptitious is used to refer to sneaky or secret actions. The related adverb surreptitiously describes actions done in secret. Surreptitious is synonymous with clandestine and furtive. Surreptitious and furtive both have an element of stealth and secrecy. Clandestine is a fun adjective to use to describe behavior that is “spy like” or involves espionage. Use the adverb surreptitiously to describe secretive behavior–it is a better adverb than clandestinely or furtively.

Intractable (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. extremely difficult to manage, teach, or deal with because of strong will and resistance to change; 2. difficult to deal with or solve

Synonyms:
difficult, wild, obstinate, intransigent, inflexible, uncooperative, unruly, refractory, headstrong, fractious

Antonyms:
compliant

Examples:
– The horse was intractable and wouldn’t make a good riding horse. – We need to address this issue now, before we have an intractable problem on our hand. – She was an intractable student who was often sent to the principal’s office. – My new puppy is so intractable, not even obedience school could teach him to behave.

Tips:
Intractable is derived from the Latin intractabilis, which means “not to be handled.” Someone who is intractable is difficult and cannot be easily disciplined or doesn’t follow directions. Something that is intractable is hard to move in a different direction. Remember that it means “not tractable” and someone who is tractable is docile and easy to teach or manage. For a memory trick, think of something so difficult to handle you couldn’t even move it with a tractor–that would be intractable. Intractable is synonymous with obstinate and obdurate, when used to describe someone who is stubborn or resistant to change. Obstinate and obdurate are best used in the context of stubbornness, while intractable is best used to describe someone or something wild and rebellious, and resisting change out of rebellion. Intractable can also be used to describe a difficult and/or impossible to handle situation: “We have an intractable problem on our hands.” Again, think of a tractor, but this time think of a tractor running

Transgress (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. to overstep what is considered acceptable; 2. to violate a law

Synonyms:
infringe, disregard, overstep, encroach

Antonyms:
obey

Examples:
– You will not transgress the law by simply owning a gun; you will if you do not follow the rules for gun ownership. – By painting his house a color other than white, Jim had transgressed the rules of his homeowners’ association. – The penalty for the man’s transgression was six months in jail. – I think we can forgive your transgression this time, but please remember to abide by club rules in the future or we will have to ask you to leave.

Tips:
Transgress is derived from the Latin transgredi, which means “to walk or go beyond.” The related noun transgression refers to the act of overstepping a boundary, especially the law. A transgressor is the person breaking the rules or law. Transgress is a more sophisticated way of saying “to break the law or rules.”