Solace (uncountable noun and singular noun)

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Definitions:
Uncountable noun: Solace is a feeling of comfort that makes you feel less sad. Singular noun: If something is a solace to you, it makes you feel less sad.

Synonyms:
relieve, assuage, cheer, consolation

Antonyms:
irritate

Examples:
– The tax rebate checks provided solace to many cash-strapped families. – I find it helps to seek solace in the company of family and friends during times of crisis. – The vacation house provides us great solace from our hectic lives. – The two-week severance package provided little solace to the laid-off workers.

Tips:
Solace is derived from the Latin word solatium, from solari, to comfort. This is also the source of the word “console.” Use console to denote the action of comforting and use solace to refer to the comfort itself.

Foolhardy (adjective )

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Definitions:
If you describe behavior as foolhardy, you disapprove of it because it is extremely risky.

Synonyms:
bold, foolish, heedless, rash, impetuous

Antonyms:
cautious, prudent, sensible

Examples:
– It was foolhardy of him to approach the dog without knowing whether it was friendly or not. – I’m known for being careful, not foolhardy, in my decisions. – It would be foolhardy of me to make a prediction as to what they will decide. – He’s very lucky his foolhardy actions haven’t caused him more trouble.

Tips:
Someone who is foolhardy is bold and courageous, but not in the positive sense. A foolhardy person is foolish in the face of danger.

Overwrought (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. extremely upset, nervous, or agitated; 2. excessively elaborate or overly decorated.

Synonyms:
agitated, gaudy, flamboyant, frantic

Antonyms:
simple

Examples:
– Natasha was overwrought when her dogs got out of the apartment and were lost for several hours. – After Aunt Judy won the lottery, she decorated her home in such an overwrought manner, it was ghastly. – Everyone in the office was overwrought with the thought that the company might go out of business. – My friend was overwrought when her baby fell down the stairs.

Tips:
Overwrought is a more complicated way of saying “agitated, frantic, nervous, frenzied, hysterical” or “ornate, gaudy, rococo, and flamboyant.” Overwrought is not a commonly used word, but it is commonly tested on the GRE exam.

Quantum (adjective )

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Definitions:
Adjective 1. In physics, quantum theory and quantum mechanics are concerned with the behavior of atomic particles. 2. A quantum leap or quantum jump in something is a very great and sudden increase in its size, amount or quality.

Synonyms:
smallest unit of measure

Antonyms:
part, whole

Examples:
– In quantum physics, Einstein proposed that light is made up of discrete particles and called one quantum of light a photon. – Most people do not know what quantum physics is; it is simply the physics of the the smallest units of matter, like atoms. – Having to study the smallest units of energy, like atoms, electrons, protons, and neutrons, is what makes quantum physics so difficult, yet fascinating. – The study of mechanics is concerned with the motion of physical bodies, and with the forces that cause or limit these motions; so the study of quantum mechanics is this study, at the atomic level.

Tips:
Quantum is a specialized word used in science to refer to the smallest, divisible unit of energy or a measurable amount of something. This will help you to better understand terms like “quantum physics” and “quantum mechanics.”

Hybrid (countable noun)

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Definitions:
A hybrid is an animal or plant that has been bred from two different species of animal or plant. You can use the word hybrid to refer to anything that is a mixture of other things, especially two other things.

Synonyms:
crossbreed, mix, mixture, cross, compound

Examples:
– The band Linkin Park called their first album “Hybrid Theory” because it was a mix of rap and rock. – Many of the plants in her garden are hybrids, which makes them not only uniquely beautiful but also heartier than average. – The hybrid car runs on both gas and electricity. – Both of your ideas were so good that we decided to create a hybrid solution that incorporated different aspects of your recommendations.

Tips:
An example of a hybrid animal is the mule, which descends from the combination of the horse and the donkey. A hybrid can be any two things combined together to form a new thing.

Personable (adjective)

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Definitions:
having a nice, polite, and pleasant appearance and personality.

Synonyms:
attractive, likeable, sociable

Examples:
– He didn’t mind working late with Judy because she was so personable and easygoing. – Many people liked the politician’s personable style and down-home wit. – The once-full class was nearly empty by midterms, partly because the professor wasn’t very personable. – It is often said that people who are more personable have an easier time finding a good job.

Tips:
Think of the related words person and personality. Persons who are personable are easy to be around because they have good personalities. This is a good way to compliment someone who has good “people skills.” (See also: charisma). Personable is synonymous with affable and amiable. Use personable to describe someone who has a pleasant appearance as well as a pleasant personality. The difference between personable and affable and amiable, is that personable refers to a person’s appearance in addition to personality and character. Use amiable and affable to describe someone who is nice to be around because they are very friendly and easy to get along with. Use personable to describe someone with an attractive appearance and personality. You can use personable and amiable or affable together to be extra descriptive and complimentary of someone.

Expansive (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. covering a wide range, scope or area; 2. able to expand; 3. with arms stretched out and open wide; 4. happy to talk to people in a friendly way

Synonyms:
wide, talkative, extensive, outstretched, broad

Antonyms:
condensed, restricted, reserved, quiet, contracted

Examples:
– He owns a beautiful house with a wide, expansive backyard. – My daughter ran to greet me with expansive arms. – He becomes quite expansive when he drinks wine, in contrast to his usually reserved nature. – The real-estate developer had an expansive plan for the inner-city project, which would completely renovate the area.

Tips:
Expansive has numerous definitions and uses. Most have to do with “expanding.” If something like a yard spans a wide area, it would be considered expansive. Something that can be stretched or “expanded” like a rubber-band is expansive. Expansive is also used to describe someone who is friendly and talks freely because he or she is outgoing.

Loathe (verb )

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Definitions:
If you loathe something or someone, you dislike them very much.

Synonyms:
hate, detest

Antonyms:
like

Examples:
– I remember when I was your age, I loathed homework too. – I loathe the idea of having to go back to work tomorrow. – Ever since their break-up, she loathes the site of him. – Don’t take him out for sushi; he loathes fish!

Tips:
Make sure you do not confuse the verb loathe with the adjective loathe. Loathe is a powerful verb, as it means “to hate” or “strongly dislike” something or someone. If you loathe something, you find it loathsome (repulsive). Loathe is synonymous with abhor.

Immaculate (adjective )

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Definitions:
If you describe something as immaculate, you mean that it is extremely clean, tidy or neat.

Synonyms:
clean, stainless, pristine, blameless, pure, faultless, undefiled

Antonyms:
soiled, flawed, imperfect

Examples:
– John is a perfectionist, as attested to by his immaculate apartment. – Her house is always so immaculate, I feel uncomfortable bringing my kids over for a visit, for fear they may get dirt on something. – When she arrived at the party, her white dress was immaculate, but unfortunately, a spilled drink quickly changed that. – She is always immaculately groomed, without a single hair out of place.

Tips:
Sometimes the word immaculate is heard in the term “Immaculate Conception,” which, in the Catholic faith, refers to the Virgin Mary. According to the Catholic faith, the Virgin Mary was born pure, blameless, and without sin. Think of immaculate as perfect, without fault.

Histrionic (adjective)

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Definitions:
1. related to acting or actors–dramatic or theatrical; 2. melodramatic or affected, overly emotional and showy.

Synonyms:
melodramatic, sensational, dramatic, insincere

Antonyms:
sincere, genuine

Examples:
– There’s no need to be so histrionic; this isn’t really that big a deal. – With a histrionic bow, she walked off the stage. – She is known for her histrionic outbursts, which occur whenever her boyfriend is not paying attention to her. – Please! Don’t be so histrionic; it’s just a little stain that no one can see but you.

Tips:
Histrionic may sound like history, but it actually comes from a Latin word, histrionicus, which means “actor.” Histrionic is often used to describe someone who is being overly dramatic. The noun form, histrionics, refers to actions which are overly dramatic.