Daunt (verb)

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Definitions:
to frighten or intimidate

Synonyms:
frighten, discourage, dismay

Antonyms:
arouse

Examples:
– She would not allow herself to be daunted by the difficult task at hand, and remained resolute to finish her job. – Although the new project seemed daunting at first, it actually turned out to be quite easy. – The comedian was undaunted by the lack of laughter and continued his stand-up routine with a smile on his face. – It was impossible to daunt her enthusiasm, even with harsh criticism.

Tips:
The related adjective daunting refers to a task that is intimidating, while undaunted usually describes a person who is not intimidated or discouraged by the daunting task.

Lugubrious (adjective)

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Definitions:
very sad and depressed–mournful.

Synonyms:
dismal, dreary, morose

Antonyms:
joyous, lighthearted

Examples:
– He was in a lugubrious state for weeks, after being dismissed from the university. – He had a lugubrious face as he walked into his mother’s funeral ceremony. – I tried to lighten the lugubrious mood in the room with some cheery music. – Her lugubrious heart felt like it would never feel joy again after her son died in a car crash.

Tips:
Lugubrious comes from the Latin word lugere, which means “to mourn.” It usually refers to either the emotional state of a person or to a scene or circumstance depicting such a mood.

Encumber (verb (transitive))

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Definitions:
If you are encumbered by something, it prevents you from moving freely, or doing what you want.

Synonyms:
overburden, block, charge, clog, cramp

Antonyms:
advance, aid, allow, assist, benefit

Examples:
She can not encumber or dispose of her separate estate without his joinder. You are taking the pieces of our ship along – we did not want to encumber you.

Origins:
Middle English (in the sense ’cause trouble to, entangle’, formerly known as incumber): From French encombrer ‘block up’- from en – ‘in’ + combre ‘river baggage’

Incipient (noun)

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Definitions:
in the beginning of development or formation.

Synonyms:
inchoate

Examples:
– His ideas were still incipient and vague; he needed to develop them more thoroughly. – With the economy showing incipient signs of recovery, consumers are regaining their confidence in the stock market. – The project is still in its incipient stage, so we can still change the plans if necessary. – Democracy is incipient in the Middle East; give it some time to take hold.

Tips:
Incipient comes from the Latin incipere, “to undertake or begin.” Something described as incipient is in its beginning stages of development. Incipient is synonymous with nascent. See further analysis at nascent.

Jaded (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. dulled through repetition or excess; 2. no longer interested in something, often because of having been overexposed to it; 3. exhausted from overwork or overexposure; 4. hardened, insensitive, or dispassionate due to unpleasant experience

Synonyms:
impassive

Examples:
– Looking for something to renew his spirit and refresh his zest for life, the jaded executive decided to embark on a sailing trip around the world. – When I was a young business professiona,l I used to love to travel; now, I’m somewhat jaded about traveling and try to limit the amount of time I spend away from my family. – The president speech on the future of the company was not very optimistic; it left the employees jaded and depressed. – He has been through so much hardship in his life that his views of the world are quite jaded.

Tips:
Jade used to be the name for an old horse, especially one that is worn out through overwork. This same connotation is seen in the adjective jaded. Jaded is an adjective used to describe emotions felt from being overexposed to something. For example, it would be easy to see how people would get jaded on politics if they lived and worked in the political arena their whole life. Jaded is also used to describe boredom or weariness from something that has lost its original appeal.

Quixotic (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. extremely chivalrous; 2. motivated by idealism that is imaginative but not really practical; 3. having an idealistic or romanticized view of life.

Synonyms:
idealistic, spirited, romantic, unrealistic, chivalrous, wacky

Antonyms:
sensible, believable, practical

Examples:
– It was a quixotic idea, but not completely far-fetched. – He was a quixotic man who always opened the door for women. – He had a grand and quixotic plan for their first date, but it was impractical, so he had to settle for a simple dinner date. – The young man’s quixotic plan of the perfect way to propose to his girlfriend proved to be too difficult to execute.

Tips:
Quixotic came from the character of Don Quixote, who was romantic and impractical. Use quixotic to describe ideals or plans that are lofty, unrealistic, far fetched, and often done to impress someone romantically.

Recant (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. to renounce a, usually controversial, belief; 2. to take back a statement made earlier

Synonyms:
renounce, abjure, rescind, deny

Antonyms:
reaffirm

Examples:
– Nothing could make him recant his love for her. (deny, renounce) – When Martin Luther espoused views that opposed the traditional beliefs of the Catholic Church, religious leaders asked him to recant. – Id like to recant that statement; I really didnt mean it the way it sounded. – The newspaper was forced to recant a published article when it found that many of the sources had been falsified.

Tips:
When someone recants (rejects a previously held belief), it is often done in public and is often a result of outside pressure or disapproval. A usage note: recant does not always take an object; in such cases, the implied object is the actor’s views, beliefs, or previous statements: “After years of silence, he publicly recanted.”

Prudish (adjective)

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Definitions:
overly concerned with being modest or proper

Synonyms:
prude

Antonyms:
outrageous, promiscuous

Examples:
– I don’t think she would enjoy Las Vegas; she’s far too prudish. – She was always prudish in high school, but once she got to college, she went wild. – A prudish personality can be quite endearing in today’s over-sexed society. – There were too many graphic sex scenes in that movie, even for someone who’s not exactly prudish.

Tips:
Prudish and its shortened version, prude, essentially mean the same thing, though prude can also be used as a noun and is more common in modern English. The word prude also has the more precise meaning of “easily shocked by sex or nudity,” while prudish is more general to modesty and proper decorum.

Malcontent (noun, ,, adjective)

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Definitions:
(n.) an unhappy and discontented individual, especially one who feels oppressed or is in open rebellion against his or her government; (adj.) dissatisfied or unhappy with something

Synonyms:
grumbler, agitator, unhappy, factious, rebellious, dissenter, resentful

Antonyms:
content, pleased

Examples:
– The street outside the government office was filled with malcontents carrying protest signs. – A poet, an artist, and a malcontent, his creations often reflected rebellion against mainstream society. – She was malcontent at her current job and scoured the want ads each morning, hoping to find something better. – The company fired him because he was a malcontent; he was always complaining about something or stirring up trouble.

Tips:
In both its noun and adjective forms, malcontent often carries a political connotation. Malcontent is also a more sophisticated way of describing someone who is unhappy and causing trouble.

Ingenious (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. (Of a person) clever, original and inventive. 2. (Of a machine or idea) cleverly and originally devised and well suited to its purpose.

Synonyms:
creative, imaginative, innovative, intelligent

Antonyms:
dull, foolish, honest, unimaginative

Examples:
The satire was not very brilliant or ingenious; but its meaning was clear. An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.

Tips:
Tips: Similar-sounding words: ingenious is sometimes confused with ingenuous.