Dogma (noun)

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Definitions:
A fixed, especially religious, belief or set of beliefs that people are expected to accept without any doubts.

Synonyms:
doctrine

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.”

Concord (noun)

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Definitions:
Noun 1. (Formal): Agreement or harmony between people or groups (a pact of peace or concord) 2. (Grammar) Agreement between words in gender, number, case, person, or any other grammatical catergory which affects the forms of the words.

Synonyms:
agreement, amity, pact, collusion, concur, harmonize, consensus, partnership, coincide, collaboration, accord

Antonyms:
disagreement, antagonism, disharmony, disunity, conflict

Examples:
– When two countries are allies, they hold a pact of alliance and concord. – The antagonistic couple achieved concord with the assistance of a therapist. – I can definitely concord on your point, but you should hear my ideas as well. – Sue and Sally work well in concord.

Tips:
The word concord comes from the Roman goddess Concordia, goddess of agreement and understanding. Through compromise or conciliation, concord can be achieved. Concord is the opposite of discord. Both words are related to the word accord, which means “agreement” and is synonymous with concord.

Instigate (verb)

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Definitions:
1. To cause an event or situation to happen by making a set of actions or formal process begin. 2. a forerunner of something.

Synonyms:
generate, prod, provoke

Antonyms:
discourage, thwart

Examples:
– He admitted to instigating the fight. – The rebels tried to instigate a riot, but their plans were thwarted by the police. – Jay tried to instigate a more formal dress code in his office, but no one followed his lead. – The hospital instigated wellness programs meant to help people improve their health.

Tips:
Instigate is derived from the Latin instigare, which means “urge on, incite.” To instigate something means to urge it on or to incite some sort of action. Instigation is the act of urging on. An instigator is the person who instigates. Instigate is usually (but not always) a negative word used to describe a sinister action intended to provoke or generate a negative outcome. Instigate can also be a positive word when used to describe an attempt to create positive change in behavior or policy.

Harbinger (noun)

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Definitions:
A person or thing that signals, that something is going to happen soon; especially somethin bad.

Synonyms:
presage, bode, herald, precursor

Examples:
– The turning of the leaves is a harbinger of winter. – With advancing research and new treatment options, cancer is not necessarily a harbinger of death in every case. – Their arguments were harbingers of more serious trouble in their marriage. – November’s short days and cold, crisp air are harbingers of winter approaching.

Tips:
Harbinger is a difficult word, as its etymology has no bearing on its current meaning. Try to think of a way of associating harbinger with predicting the future or signs of the future. Harbinger is a more sophisticated way of referring to a sign that predicts or indicates the future or events to come.

Crass (adjective)

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Definitions:
vulgar and insensitive.

Synonyms:
crude

Examples:
– The Senator’s crass jokes scandalized the elegant dinner party. – Although many viewers deplore its crass materialism, television advertising still sells products. – It was rather crass of you to laugh when she fell down. – Her crass remarks certainly didn’t win her any respect.

Tips:
Crass comes from the Latin word crassus, “thick, solid, fat.” In other words, physical and peasant-like, the opposite of spiritual, elegant, or refined. Crass may refer to something or someone too gross or crude for polite society, or to something base which has no redeeming spiritual or intellectual value

Exalt (verb)

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Definitions:
1 praise or regard highly. 2 raise to a higher rank or position.

Synonyms:
elevate, raise, praise, promote, esteem

Antonyms:
lower, depress

Examples:
this naturally exalts the peasant above his brethren in the same rank of society. – romanticism liberated the imagination and exalted the emotions. – the party will continue to exalt its hero.

Tips:
The word is derived from Latin exaltare, from altus high.

Coax (verb)

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Definitions:
to influence, persuade, and manipulate by flattery and gentle, persistent effort

Synonyms:
persuade

Antonyms:
dissuade

Examples:
– The little girl had an uncanny knack for coaxing timid rabbits out of their hiding places. – The student was frequently able to coax his teachers into allowing him to make up missed assignments. – I tried to coax the puppy into doing the trick by offering him a treat. – His big smile and sweet compliments coaxed me out of my bad mood.

Tips:
One can coax someone to come out of his shell, or coax a friend to go along with a crazy antic. Objects can be coaxed to function properly. See cajole for more information.

Sage (noun)

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Definitions:
1. A profoundly wise person; a person famed for wisdom. 2. Someone venerated for the possession of wisdom, judgment and experience.

Synonyms:
sagacious, prudent, shrewd

Antonyms:
dull, slow, kind, unintelligent.

Examples:
– My mentor has given me a lot of sage advice over the years. – The man was old, and with all his life’s experience, he was sage. – Kelly was unusually sage for her youth. – I was thankful for her sage advice and glad that I had followed it.

Tips:
In addition to being an adjective, sage can also be a noun, meaning “a very intelligent, wise, and experienced person,” and in historical and literary contexts, “a master or prophet.” Sage is also a type of aromatic herb in the mint family. But most commonly, sage is used to describe someone who is knowing and wise, and usually prudent, in his or her decisions.

Sordid (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. dirty or rundown; 2. immoral or unethical.

Synonyms:
immoral, corrupt

Examples:
– Her friends pressed her to tell all the sordid details from her date. – The philanthropic group worked to improve the sordid conditions of the city’s homeless shelter. – The story was a sordid tale about betrayal, misfortune, and greed. – I didn’t want to hear about all the sordid details of my friend’s divorce; it was just too depressing.

Tips:
Sordid is derived from the Latin sordidus, which means “dirty.” Sordid is used to describe things that are physically dirty or rundown, but is also used to describe things that are immoral or shameful. You may have heard someone say “tell me all of the sordid details.” This means the person wants to know all of the “dirty” details, which often refers to sexually explicit details.

Cavalier (noun)

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Definitions:
1. A horseman, especially a mounted soldier; knight. 2. One having the spirit or bearing of a knight; a courtly gentleman; gallant. 3. A man escorting a woman or acting as her partner in dancing.

Synonyms:
condescending curt, haughty, offhand, superior

Antonyms:
humble, reticent, shy

Examples:
And why should her father mistrust this splendid-looking Spanish cavalier? Treat this cavalier with all the respect and worship due to his birth and merits. At all events, I have not danced four dances in one evening with one cavalier.

Origins:
Mid 16th Century: From French, from Italian cavaliere, based on Latin caballus ‘horse’. Compare with ‘cabellero’ and ‘chevalier’