Tuesday, August 7, 2007


CONTRADICT, vb. [kŏn'trə-dĭkt]
(Sometimes a person’s body language contradicts his words.)


· (1) to be opposed to (2) to say the opposite of what someone else has said
· e.g. It's unwise to contradict your boss.

Synonyms: (1) clash, conflict, disaccord (2) oppose, gainsay, negate, controvert, deny, oppugn
Antonyms: agree, correspond
Idiom: go (or run) counter to

REPRIMAND, vb. [rěp'rə-mānd']
(If a person is reprimanded for being late, she may cross her arms.)


· To criticize a person severely
· e.g. The soldier was severely reprimanded for being drunk.

Synonyms: censure, condemn, reprehend, upbraid, admonish, reprove, reproach, rebuke, castigate, chastise, chide, call down, [infl./slang] dress down, rap, bawl out, lambaste, chew out, light into, tick off
Antonyms: commend, praise
Idioms: bring/call/take to task, call on the carpet, haul/take over the coals, let someone have it

DEFENSIVE, n. [dĭ-fěn'sĭv]
(That shows she feels defensive.)


· (1) self-protective attitude (2) ready to reject criticism
· e.g. he had the attitude that work was fun

INDIFFERENCE, n. [ĭn-dĭf'ər-əns]
(They shrug their shoulders to show indifference.)


· lack of interest
· e.g. We were shocked by their indifference toward poverty; he showed complete indifference to the cries of the baby.

Synonyms: unconcern, listlessness, apathy, insensibility, [infl./slang] cold shoulder
Antonym: eagerness, responsiveness

UNIVERSAL, adj. [yōō'nə-vûr'səl]
(However, some gestures, such as a smile, are universal.)


· present or happening everywhere
· e.g. English may become a universal language that everyone can learn and use.

Synonyms: general, catholic, cosmic, common, worldwide, global, omnipresent, ubiquitous
Antonym: confined, local

UNIQUE, adj. [yōō-nēk']
(Every person has his or her own unique gestures.)


· (1) being the only one of its kind (2) very unusual
· e.g. His style is unique.

Synonyms: singular, exceptional, extraordinary, unrivaled, anomalous, utmost
Antonyms: like, similar, standard, trite
Idioms: first and last, one and only