Dictionary of Awesome

My family is often described as being pretty linguistically gifted. My dad has an impressive vocabulary, and from a young age it was a source of pride for me to have him chime in with “Good word!” while I was talking. I grew up to appreciate especially eloquent or intriguing words, though it wasn’t always easy to work them into conversation.

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“Clever wordplay! I like it very much! You must be related to me.” “Only by marriage.”

The trouble was that I often ended up forgetting most of the words I got praise for, making the process of learning them sort of meaningless. Thus, in an attempt to help me remember them, I present to you my Dictionary of Awesome! We’ll start with a few of my old favourites:

 

Abominable (ah-BOM-ah-nah-ble)

– Unequivocally detestable; loathsome.

– Thoroughly unpleasant or disagreeable

Abscond (ab-SKOND)

– To leave hurriedly and secretly, typically to avoid detection or arrest.

Acquiesce (ak-wee-ES)

– To consent or comply passively, or without protest.

Aesthetic (es-THET-ik)

– Of or concerning the appreciation of beauty or good taste. 

Affinity (ah-FIN-i-tee)

– A natural attraction, liking, or feeling of kinship.

– An inherent similarity between persons or things.

– A relationship or resemblance in structure between species that suggests a common origin.

Alexithymia (ah-lek-sah-THI-mee-ah)

– An inability to describe emotions in a verbal manner

Amalgamate (ah-MAL-gah-mate)

– To combine into a unified or integrated whole; unite.

Anemone (ah-NEM-ah-nee)

– A type of flowering plant.

Annihilate (ah-NI-ah-late)

– To destroy completely; to reduce to nonexistence.

Apocalypse (ah-POK-ah-lips)

– The imminent destruction of the world and the salvation of the righteous.

– Great or total devastation; doom.

Apricity (AP-ris-i-tee)

– The warmth of the sun in the winter.

Archipelago (ar-kah-PEL-ah-go)

– A large group of islands.

– A sea, such as the Aegean, containing a large number of scattered islands

Audacity (auh-DAS-i-tee)

– Fearlessly daring, bold or heedlessness of restraints.

Autodidact (aw-toh-DI-dakt)

– A self-taught person.

Bauble (BAU-ble)

– A showy, usually cheap, ornament; trinket.

Bereft (bi-REFT)

– Deprived of something; lacking something needed or expected.

Betwixt (bi-TWIKST)

– Between.

Cacophony (kah-KOF-ah-nee)

– Jarring, discordant sound; dissonance.

– The use of harsh or discordant sounds in literary composition

Cantankerous (kan-TANG-ker-es)

– Ill-tempered and quarrelsome; disagreeable.

Cataclysmic (kat-ah-KLIZ-mik)

– Severely destructive

Caustic (KOS-tik)

– Capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action.

Charisma (kah-RIZ-mah)

– A rare personal quality; personal magnetism or charm.

Clandestine (klan-DESD-tine)

– Done in secret; needing to be concealed.

Conglomerate (kon-GLOM-ah-rat)

– A corporation made up of a number of different companies that operate in diversified fields.

– A collected mass; a cluster.

Conundrum (kah-NUN-drum)

– A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma

Copious (KOH-pee-es)

– Yielding or containing plenty; large in quantity; abundant.

Cornucopia (kor-nah-KO-pee-ah)

– A goat’s horn overflowing with fruit, flowers, and grain, signifying prosperity.

– An overflowing store; an abundance

Corpulent (KOR-pyah-lent)

– Excessively fat

Couth (kooth)

– Refinement; sophistication

Debacle (di-BAH-kel)

– A sudden, disastrous collapse, downfall, or defeat; a rout.

– A total, often ludicrous failure.

Dodecahedron (doh-dek-ah-HEE-dren)

– Any polyhedron having twelve plane faces.

Epiphany (i-PIF-ah-nee)

– A sudden realization

Gargantuan (gar-GAN-choo-en)

– Of immense size, volume, or capacity; gigantic 

Hyperbole (hi-PUR-bah-lee)

– A deliberate exaggeration of speech or writing used for effect.

Impervious (im-PUR-vee-es)

– Incapable of being penetrated.

– Incapable of being affected

Insatiable (in-SA-sha-ble)

– Impossible to satiate or satisfy

Panache (pah-NASH)

– Style

– A bunch of feathers or a plume, especially on a helmet

Peculiar (pi-KYOOL-yer)

– Unusual or eccentric; odd.

Soliloquy (sah-LIL-ah-kwee)

– A dramatic or literary form of discourse in which a character talks to himself or herself or reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener; a specific speech or piece of writing in this form of discourse.

– The act of speaking to oneself

Suave (SWAV)

– Smoothly agreeable and courteous with a degree of sophistication

Usurp (yoo-SURP)

– To seize and hold by force and without legal authority.

– To take over or occupy.

Feel free to comment with your favourite words!