Hierarchy (variable and countable noun)

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Definitions:
A hierarchy is a system of organizing people into different ranks or levels of importance, for example in society or a company. A hierarchy of ideas and beliefs involves organizing them into a system or structure.

Synonyms:
ranking, level, ministry, regime, administration

Examples:
– He hopes to rise through the hierarchy quickly and become a manager at a young age. – If you want to get a permit, you will have to appeal to the appropriate department in the hierarchy. – If you put honesty first in your hierarchy of values, you can never go wrong in life. – It’s amazing to see the different hierarchies created in the animal kingdom.

Tips:
Hierarchy sometimes carries with it a negative connotation, especially when referring to the group responsible for ranking, but it is not always critical. It essentailly refers to a ranking system, in order of importance or prominance.

Facetious (adjective)

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Definitions:
humerous in a sarcastic way.

Synonyms:
clever

Antonyms:
lugubrious

Examples:
– Jeff told me he didn’t like the movie at all, so he must have been facetious when he recommended it to his friends. – Her facetious remarks made it clear that she wasn’t taking the meeting seriously. – No, he wasn’t serious, he was just being facetious. – Sometimes he makes jokes with such a serious expression on his face, I can’t tell whether he’s being serious or facetious.

Tips:
Facetious originates from French facatie, joke. Think, “joking in terms of pretending something is true, while knowing that it is false.” Facetious can be used as a more sophisticated way of saying “sarcastic.” Think of trying to put a humorous face on something when being facetious.

Kindle (verb)

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Definitions:
1. to start a fire; 2. to excite or arouse

Synonyms:
ignite, blaze, flare, arouse, flame, awaken, light

Antonyms:
deaden

Examples:
– The petition was designed to kindle awareness about global warming. – They needed kindling in order to build a strong bonfire. – Two years after their divorce, Bob tried to rekindle his relationship with his ex-wife. – Traveling to the Galapagos islands as a teenager kindled my interest in become a marine biologist.

Tips:
Kindle is derived from the Middle English kindelen, which means “to cause” or “to give birth to.” In modern English kindle means “to cause [or give birth to] a fire.” The meaning of causing or arousing emotion stemmed from this as well. Remember, kindling is small bits of wood that catch fire easily and are used to start a fire. You have probably heard the expression “rekindle an old flame,” which means to “start up” an old relationship again and usually a romantic relationship.

Palatial (adjective )

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Definitions:
A palatial house, hotel, or office building is very large and impressive. Of, suitable for, or like palace.

Synonyms:
grand, impressive, plush, stately, deluxe, luxurious, imposing, opulent, regal

Antonyms:
small, unimpressive, average

Examples:
– The hotel is known for its palatial elegance. – The palatial, 130-room mansion is the most expensive home in the city. – I don’t need a palatial home in an exclusive neighborhood; a little beach cottage is enough to make me happy. – The honeymoon suite was palatial and made the newlyweds feel truly pampered.

Tips:
For palatial, think of the related noun palace, a large, luxurious mansion, usually one occupied by royalty or aristrocracy. Palatial describes buildings that are grand and stately, like palaces.

Impervious (adjective )

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Definitions:
If you are impervious to someone’s actions, you are not affected or influenced by them. Something that is impervious to water, heat, or a particular object is able to resist it or stop it passing through it.

Synonyms:
immune, impassable, resistent, unaffected

Antonyms:
exposed, affected, susceptible, open

Examples:
She seems almost impervious to the criticism from all sides. The floorcovering you select will need to be impervious to water.

Odious (adjective )

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Definitions:
If you describe people as odious, you think that they are extremely unpleasant.

Synonyms:
hateful, detestable, vile, repulsive, contemptible, disgusting, offensive

Antonyms:
lovable

Examples:
– He committed an odious crime for which he should be severely punished. – There are few things as odious to him as racism. – The smell was odious, I couldn’t stand it. – His odious actions made him into a pariah.

Tips:
Odious is a very strong word for something unpleasant or offensive. An odium is an intense hatred or the state of being hated.

Garish (adjective)

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Definitions:
gaudy, flashy, showy, or brightly and vividly colored

Synonyms:
gaudy, tasteless, flamboyant, flashy, tawdry

Antonyms:
tasteful, simple

Examples:
– Looking back at old photos, the woman laughed at the garish pink and orange gown she had worn to her high school prom. – He arrived in a garish, electric blue, 24-person limousine. – Little Richard is known for wearing garish capes and clothes that make him stick out, even in a crowd of celebrities. – I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I had a pair of garish, neon green jeans in high school.

Tips:
Garish is synonymous with gaudy and flamboyant. All three words have similar meanings and can be used to describe overly showy and colorful clothes or decoration. Garish and gaudy are always used critically, while flamboyant doesn’t necessarily have to be a critique.

Legacy (countable noun)

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Definitions:
A legacy is money or property which someone leaves to you when they die. A legacy of an event or period of history is something which is a direct result of it and which continues to exist after it is over.

Synonyms:
gift, inheritance

Antonyms:
Tips: A legacy is something left by an individual, but not always

Examples:
– The company founders left a legacy of competitive spirit and top marketing strategy that lives on in this corporation. – Since she had no immediate family, she left a large legacy to her favorite charity. – The Greeks left behind a rich cultural legacy of poetry, theater, and philosophy. – It’s time the FBI upgrades from its legacy systems to more sophisticated database technology.

Tips:
A legacy is something left by an individual, usually, but not always, after death or the end of a career. Legacy can also refer to a part of history and describe what one generation leaves to the next. Legacy can also be an adjective that refers to old computer hardware or software.

Paradox (noun)

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Definitions:
1. a situation or statement which seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics; 2. a statement or idea that contradicts itself; 3. a person who has qualities that are contradictory; 4. something that conflicts with common opinion or belief.

Synonyms:
contradiction, incongruity, puzzle, reversal, dilemma

Antonyms:
consistency, coherence, congruity

Examples:
– It seems a paradox that exercise promotes energy, while remaining inactive drains it. – It is a paradox that technology increases communication, yet can tend to make people feel isolated. – There was a huge paradox in her testimony: How could she have been in two places at the same time? – “The chicken or the egg” is perhaps the greatest paradox known to man.

Tips:
Paradox is derived from the Greek paradoxos, which literally means, contrary to opinion. It is often interesting to point out a paradoxical situation. Something may defy common sense, yet work anyway. Paradox is often used to describe something that is puzzling because of its contradiction (see usage examples).

Mendacious (adjective )

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Definitions:
A mendacious person is someone who tells lies. A mendacious statement is one that is a lie.

Synonyms:
deceitful, deceptive, false, fibbing

Antonyms:
frank, honest, sincere, truthful

Examples:
With this mendacious explanation Gustavus was forced to be content. The mendacious fiction was framed by the chief priests and the elders of the people.

Origins:
Early 17th Century: from Latin mendax, mendac- ‘lying’ (related to mendum ‘fault’) +ious