Definitions: 1. habitual and settled on by long continuance; 2. firmly established.
Examples: – He was an inveterate smoker and there was little hope of him being able to quit. – Even after retiring from the navy seals, he was unable to discontinue his inveterate visual scanning of a room. – She is known as an inveterate liar, so beware of believing her. – Whenever he gets nervous, he becomes an inveterate nail-biter and can’t control his bad habit.
Tips: Inveterate habits are often obstinate, long standing, and deeply rooted. You will often hear of someone being characterized as an “inveterate smoker” or an “inveterate nail biter,” meaning they are chronic or habitual in their bad habits. A person with inveterate behavior can be said to be “die-hard.”
Examples: – In the animated movie “Beauty and the Beast,” there is a fatuous character, Gaston, who brags incessantly about his meaningless exploits and falsely assumes he is superior to everyone. – Your hopes of manning a space shuttle are fatuous; you don’t even have a college degree. – I couldn’t believe his fatuous statement to the press; he must either be deranged or the stupidest person I’ve ever seen. – He is not very smart and is known for making fatuous comments before thinking them through.
Tips: Fatuous describes a lack of awareness of how stupid one’s comments or actions are. In the second meaning, a fatuous person may be deluded by some idea or hope.
Examples: – She’s got a lot of pluck to stand up for herself like that. – He may be in his late 90’s, but my grandfather still has a lot of pluck. – My chihuahua is a plucky little dog and will bark at dogs four times its size. – He’s never shown a lot of pluck and routinely lets people walk all over him.
Tips: When someone has pluck, that person has heart, spirit, and the fortitude to persevere. The adjective plucky describes a person who is spirited and may be feisty. For a memory trick, note the word “luck” in pluck. Now, if you’re naturally a lucky person, you may be full of pluck (courage, spirit, heart) because you’re confident things will go your way.
BACK TO WORD
Definitions: 1. burning or glowing with intense heat; 2. describes an impassioned, zealous spirit or enthusiasm toward one’s beliefs
Examples: – The candidates fervid accusations toward his opponent were taken very seriously. – Water became fervid in the hot springs, just before the volcano erupted. – He is fervid in his support of our President. – He is most fervid advocate of animal rights in the world.
Tips: Fervid is derived from the Latin fervidus, from fervere,to boil. It carries a similar sincerity and intensity as fanatic, except that fervid describes a more legitimate and tempered strength of emotion. A fervid supporter of a political cause could be seen as someone to be taken seriously. Fervid is a direct synonym of fervent, and the two words can be used interchangeably. Fervid is also synonymous with ardent, vehement, and zealous.
Fulminate (verb and noun)
BACK TO WORD
Definitions: Verb 1. Express vehement protest 2. Literary- Explode violently or flash like lightning Noun (Chemistry) 1. A salt or ester of fulminic acid.
Antonyms: approve, assist, be happy, complimenthelp, laud, praise, defend
Examples: The air was shocked by fulminate blasts – the signals of the careless Scheff. We do not fulminate against a treatise on Quaternions because it lacks humor.
Tips: Fulminates are chemical compounds which include the fulminate ion. The fulminate ion, CNO – is a pseudohalic ion, acting like a halogen with its charge and reactivity.
Origins: Late middle English; from Latin fulminat – ‘struck by lightning’, from fulmen, fulmin – ‘lightning’. The earliest sense (derived from medieval Latin fulminare) was ‘denounce formally’, later ‘issue formal censures’ (originally said of the Pope). A sense ’emit thunder and lightning’, based on the original Latin meaning, arose in the early 17th century, and hence ‘explode violently’ (late 17th century)
BACK TO WORD
Definitions: If you say that someone is vindictive, you are critical of them because they deliberately try to upset or cause trouble for someone who they think has done them harm.
Examples: – He has a very vindictive personality, so be careful that you don’t offend him in any way. – The girl set her boyfriend’s house on fire in a vindictive act meant to get back at him for cheating on her. – She can be spiteful and vindictive if she thinks she’s been wronged in some way. – Even though I was badly hurt by his actions, I chose to forgive him rather than be vindictive
Tips: The Latin word vindicta, from which vindictive originated, means “revenge.” Vengeance and revenge are usually a part of a vindictive act. Someone who is vindictive may not have a reason to seek revenge or vengeance; he or she may just be malicious and spiteful.
BACK TO WORD
Definitions: 1. to gradually decrease or diminish; 2. to come to an end
Examples: – Initially, the team was excited about the new project, but when the client became difficult to work with, our enthusiasm waned. – The waning of her energy was obvious in the way her movements gradually slowed down. – As the restaurant gained popularity, the quality of the food seemed to wane. – My cravings for sugary foods gradually waned as I began to eat less of them.
Tips: When something wanes, it gradually weakens or loses its power or intensity. Wane can also be used as a noun in the phrase “on the wane,” which essentially means that something is becoming less strong. The noun waning can also be used to denote fading or diminishing.
BACK TO WORD
Definitions: 1. something that refreshes, strengthens, and invigorates; 2. a refreshing drink
Synonyms: refreshing drink
Examples: – The romantic comedy was a tonic for my saddened heart. – I drank the herbal tonic and immediately began to feel better. – Her energetic voice had a tonic quality on the sleepy audience. – Lemonade is a great tonic on a hot summer day.
Tips: The word tonic can also be used as an adjective to describe something that is invigorating and energizing. Tonic also has several specialized meanings: in physiology tonic relates to muscle tone, in language and phonetics tonic relates to the stressed syllable in a word, and in music, tonic relates to the first note on a scale. Most commonly, tonic is known for being a soft drink commonly used as a mixer in cocktails.
Scathe (verb )
BACK TO WORD
Definitions: 1. To attack with severe criticism 2. To hurt, harm, or injure, as by scorching.
Examples: Peter and Fred lifted it over the threshold without visible scathe and lolanthe poised herself to do the honors.
Origins: Middle English: from Old Norse skathi (noun), skatha (verb); related to Dutch and German schaden (verb)
BACK TO WORD
Definitions: state of extreme poverty
Antonyms: wealth, affluence, abundance
Examples: – The man spent his entire fortune and died in penury. – She may have had a penurious childhood, but she sure has a lot of money now. – The lottery winner went from penury to wealth overnight. – He was so penurious that even though he was a millionaire, he refused to pay for his children’s college educations.
Tips: Penury is derived from the Latin penuria, which means “want, need.” Penury is a state of poverty characterized by wants and needs. To remember the word, think of the word penny. Someone in penury doesn’t even have a penny. Someone who is characterized as penurious either doesn’t have enough money for necessities or is simply unwilling to spend it. Penury is a more sophisticated way of saying “poverty.”