<an intractable child who deliberately does the opposite of whatever he is told>
filled or well-supplied with something : sensational popular fiction, replete with adultery and sudden death.
• very full of or sated by food : I went out into the sun-drenched streets again, replete and relaxed.
1 a feeling of fear or agitation about something that may happen : the men set off in fear and trepidation.
a state of physical or mental inactivity; lethargy : they veered between apathetic torpor and hysterical fanaticism.
(of a person) tending to spend much time seated; somewhat inactive.
• (of work or a way of life) characterized by much sitting and little physical exercise.
: not migratory : settled <sedentary birds> <sedentary civilizations>
a : doing or requiring much sitting <a sedentary job>
slow to act : he had been dilatory in appointing a solicitor.
• intended to cause delay : they resorted to dilatory procedural tactics, forcing a postponement of peace talks.
say that one no longer holds an opinion or belief, esp. one considered heretical : heretics were burned if they would not recant | [ trans. ] Galileo was forced to recant his assertion that the earth orbited the sun.
a person who acts obsequiously toward someone in order to gain advantage; a servile flatterer.
reject with disdain or contempt : he spoke gruffly, as if afraid that his invitation would be spurned.
wary and unwilling to take risks; careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences; prudent : the officials were very circumspect in their statements
she has a reputation for being quiet and circumspect in investigating charges of child abuse
keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties : the burglar was spotted by vigilant neighbors.
: using or involving the use of a minimum of words : concise to the point of seeming rude or mysterious
his laconic reply suggested a lack of interest in the topic.
a projecting support of stone or brick built against a wall.
• a projecting portion of a hill or mountain.
• figurative a source of defense or support : there was a demand for a new stable order as a buttress against social collapse.
something that supports or strengthens <a buttress of the cause of peace>
• (of ground, water, conditions, etc.) hazardous because of presenting hidden or unpredictable dangers : a vacationer was swept away by treacherous currents.
showing great care and perseverance : she was assiduous in pointing out every feature
feeling or expressing great happiness and triumph.
an excessive amount of something : a surfeit of food and drink.
cause (someone) to desire no more of something as a result of having consumed or done it to excess : I am surfeited with shopping.
expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief) : the magazine that debunks claims of the paranormal.
• reduce the inflated reputation of (someone), esp. by ridicule : comedy takes delight in debunking heroes.
modest or shy because of a lack of self-confidence : a diffident youth.
a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, typically someone who has just died : his good friend delivered a brief eulogy.
too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words : the ineffable natural beauty of the Everglades.
• not to be uttered : the ineffable Hebrew name that gentiles write as Jehovah.
the ability to produce a desired or intended result : there is little information on the efficacy of this treatment.
(of a person or their efforts) persisting tirelessly : an indefatigable defender of human rights.
(esp. of a person's body) thin, supple, and graceful.
bending and moving easily and gracefully; flexible : her supple fingers | figurative my mind is becoming more supple. See note at flexible .
• not stiff or hard; easily manipulated : this body oil leaves your skin feeling deliciously supple.
instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually.
sparing or economical with regard to money or food : he led a remarkably frugal existence. See note at economical .
• simple and plain and costing little : a frugal meal.
causing harm or damage : divorce is assumed to have deleterious effects on children.
(of language) used in ordinary or familiar conversation; not formal or literary.
ignorant of or uninterested in cultures, ideas, or peoples outside one's own experience : a stubbornly insular farming people.
• lacking contact with other people : people living restricted and sometimes insular existences.
(of a person or manner) feeling or appearing casually calm and relaxed; not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm : she gave a nonchalant shrug.
affected by lethargy; sluggish and apathetic : I felt tired and a little lethargic.
a long, angry speech of criticism or accusation : a tirade of abuse.
a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant : the refugee encampments will provide some respite from the suffering
kept secret or done secretively, esp. because illicit : she deserved better than these clandestine meetings
forbidden by law, rules, or custom : illicit drugs | illicit sex.
make (something) clear; explain : work such as theirs will help to elucidate this matter See note at clarify . : [with clause ] in what follows I shall try to elucidate what I believe the problems to be | [ intrans. ] they would not elucidate further.
having or showing great knowledge or learning.
(of a phrase or idea) lacking significance through having been overused; unoriginal and trite : hackneyed old sayings.
make (someone) feel very happy, animated, or elated : the children were exhilarated by a sense of purpose | [as adj. ] ( exhilarated) all this hustle and bustle makes me feel exhilarated | [as adj. ] ( exhilarating) riding was one of the most exhilarating experiences he knew.
soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing : a shimmering evanescent bubble.
1 extremely distasteful; unacceptable : the thought of going back into the fog was repugnant to him. See note at offensive .
2 [ predic. ] ( repugnant to) in conflict with; incompatible with : a bylaw must not be repugnant to the general law of the country.
remove matter thought to be objectionable or unsuitable from (a book or account) : the expurgated Arabian Nights.
withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest.
• refuse to buy or handle (goods) as a punishment or protest.
• refuse to cooperate with or participate in (a policy or event).
wave or flourish (something, esp. a weapon) as a threat or in anger or excitement.
a bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate.
open resistance; bold disobedience : the demonstration was held in defiance of official warnings.
showing a rude and arrogant lack of respect : she hated the insolent tone of his voice.
1 an act of breaking or failing to observe a law, agreement, or code of conduct : a breach of confidence | I sued for breach of contract.
• a break in relations : a sudden breach between father and son.
2 a gap in a wall, barrier, or defense, esp. one made by an attacking army.
a brownish or tawny color of animal fur, with streaks of other color.
• an animal with such a coat.
of an orange-brown or yellowish-brown color : tawny eyes.
1 (esp. of hair) close-set, stiff, and spiky : a bristling beard.
2 figurative aggressively brisk or tense; showing irritation : he fills the screen with a restless, bristling energy.
1 having a simplicity and charm that is considered typical of the countryside : bare plaster walls and a terra-cotta floor give a rustic feel.
• often derogatory lacking the sophistication of the city; backward and provincial : you are a rustic halfwit.
strike repeatedly with hard blows; pound heavily and insistently : a prisoner was battered to death with a table leg | figurative their idealism has been battered.
a defensive wall.
• figurative a person, institution, or principle that acts as a defense : the security forces are a bulwark against the breakdown of society.
self-assertive or proud to an irritating degree : these bumptious young boys today.
carry out (a task) clumsily or incompetently, leading to failure or an unsatisfactory outcome : she had bungled every attempt to help | [as adj. ] ( bungled) a bungled bank raid.
• [ intrans. ] [usu. as adj. ] ( bungling) make or be prone to making many mistakes : the work of a bungling amateur.
able or apt to stay afloat or rise to the top of a liquid or gas.
• figurative (of an economy, business, or market) involving or engaged in much activity : car sales were not buoyant.
• figurative cheerful and optimistic : the conference ended with the party in a buoyant mood.
begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish : manufacturers are keen to cash in on the burgeoning demand.
in the spring, the plants that burgeon are a promise of the beauty that is to come.
a parody or comically exaggerated imitation of something, esp. in a literary or dramatic work : the funniest burlesque of opera
(of a person) large and strong; heavily built.
polish (something, esp. metal) by rubbing : highly burnished armor.
• figurative enhance or perfect (something such as a reputation or a skill).
move in an energetic or noisy manner : people clutching clipboards bustled about.
(of a woman) plump, esp. with large breasts.
a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place : an arms cache | a cache of gold coins.
a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds : a cacophony of deafening alarm bells | figurative a cacophony of architectural styles | songs of unrelieved cacophony.
resembling a corpse in being very pale, thin, or bony : he had a cadaverous appearance.
the journey had led to calamity and ruin.
1 the quality of someone's character or the level of someone's ability : they could ill afford to lose a man of his caliber.
• the standard reached by something : educational facilities of a very high caliber.
a thickened and hardened part of the skin or soft tissue, esp. in an area that has been subjected to friction.
(esp. of a young person) inexperienced and immature : earnest and callow undergraduate
relating to the amount of energy contained in food or fuel : she knew the calorific contents of every morsel.
• (of food or drink) containing many calories and so likely to be fattening : there is fruit salad for those who can resist the more calorific concoctions.
the making of false and defamatory statements in order to damage someone's reputation; slander.
• a false and slanderous statement.
He could not bear the calumny that they heaped upon him.
mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together : a genuine camaraderie on the hockey team.
a piece of jewelry, typically oval in shape, consisting of a portrait in profile carved in relief on a background of a different color.
2 a short descriptive literary sketch that neatly encapsulates someone or something : cameos of street life.
of, relating to, or resembling a dog or dogs : canine distemper virus.
• Zoology of or relating to animals of the dog family.
move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way in a specified direction : an electric golf cart careened around the corner
sway from side to side
an abrupt uncontrolled movement, esp. an unsteady tilt or roll : the boat gave a violent lurch, and he missed his footing.
a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.
comically or repulsively ugly or distorted : grotesque facial distortions.
• incongruous or inappropriate to a shocking degree : a lifestyle of grotesque luxury.
the killing of a large number of people.
relating to physical, esp. sexual, needs and activities : carnal desire.
(of an animal) feeding on other animals.
• (of a plant) able to trap and digest small animals, esp. insects.
complain or find fault continually, typically about trivial matters : I don't want to carp about the way you did it | he was constantly carping at me.
the science or practice of drawing maps.
1 a small waterfall, typically one of several that fall in stages down a steep rocky slope.
reprimand (someone) severely; criticize; punish : he was castigated for not setting a good example.
The teacher castigated the naughty boys.
a large-scale and violent event in the natural world.
• a sudden violent upheaval, esp. in a political or social context : the cataclysm of the First World War.
a shrill whistle or shout of disapproval, typically one made at a public meeting or performance.
• a loud whistle or a comment of a sexual nature made by a man to a passing woman.
unambiguously explicit and direct : a categorical assurance.
1 the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
purging or cleansing any passage of the body
a formal procession of people walking, on horseback, or riding in vehicles.; parade
verb [ intrans. ]
make petty or unnecessary objections : they caviled at the cost.
give up (power or territory) : they have had to cede control of the schools to the government. See note at relinquish .
abstaining from marriage and sexual relations, typically for religious reasons : a celibate priest.
moving or tending to move away from a center.
Many automatic drying machines remove excess moisture from clothing by centrifugal force.
the working of the brain; thinking.
relating or appropriate to grand and formal occasions : a Great Hall where ceremonious and public appearances were made
absolute certainty or conviction that something is the case : the question may never be answered with certitude.
There was no certitude of him getting the job.
a ceasing; an end : the cessation of hostilities | a cessation of animal testing of cosmetics.
the formal giving up of rights, property, or territory, esp. by a state : the cession of twenty important towns.
lighthearted joking; banter
distress or embarrassment at having failed or been humiliated : Jeff, much to his chagrin, wasn't invited.