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Highdown School
and Sixth Form Centre

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At Highdown School we are raising the bar in our mastery in English Language. Every week we have a new word to think about.

19 February 2018 Sedition

Definition: Conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch. In a sentence: Treason is an act of sedition.

05 February 2018 Callous

Definition: A callous person (or action) is very cruel and shows no concern for other people and their feelings. In a sentence: They were old enough to carry out this callous crime.

29 January 2018 Dissect

Definition: To methodically cut up (a body or plant) in order to study its internal parts. To analyse (a text, idea or item) in minute detail. In a sentence: In Biology I dissected a rat to examine its organs, and in English I dissected a poem to look at its techniques.

22 January 2018 Euphemism

Definition: A mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing. In a sentence: The jargon has given us ‘downsizing’ as a euphemism for cuts.

15 January 2018 Duplicitous

Meaning: Deceitful OR (of a charge or plea) containing more than one allegation. In a sentence: Don’t be so duplicitous just to get your way; it does not reflect well on you.

08 January 2018 Algid

Definition: cold OR (in medical terms) describes an episode during a severe fever when the patient's body temperature suddenly drops to an unusually low level. In a sentence: The air was algid, when you opened the door it hit you like a sledgehammer.

03 January 2018 Amortize

Definition: to pay off OR to gradually reduce the cost or value of. In a sentence: With additional payments I can amortize the cost of my debt.

11 December 2017 Auspicious

Definition: Conducive to success; favourable. In a sentence: For Hindus, it is important that a child be born at an auspicious time.

04 December 2017 Cogitate

Definition: To think deeply about something; meditate or reflect. In a sentence: He stroked his beard and retired to cogitate further.

27 November 2017 Convey

Definition: 1) To carry. 2) To show. 3)To transfer a title. In a sentence: 1) Pipes were laid to convey water to the house. 2) How do you convey sorrow? 3) A property deed can be conveyed.

20 November 2017 Plethora

Definition: A large or excessive amount of something OR an excess of a bodily fluid, particularly blood. In a sentence: There were a plethora of committees at the council.

13 November 2017 Infelicity

Definition: Something that is inappropriate, especially a remark or expression OR unhappiness; misfortune. In a sentence: Yes, I dare say you can find errors and infelicities in the posts on this blog. The infelicity which accompanies some people through life is unfair!

06 November 2017 Devise

Definition: to plan or invent (a complex procedure, system, or mechanism) by careful thought. In a sentence: Owen devised an answer based upon the theory he knew.

30 October 2017 Prismatic

Definition of the shape: relating to or having the form of a prism orprism - "a prismatic structure". Definition of an instrument: incorporating a prism or prisms: "a prismatic compass". Definition of colours: formed, separated, or distributed by or as if by an optical prism: "a flash of prismatic light on the edge of the glass.

16 October 2017 Laudatory

Definition: Expressing praise or commendation. In a sentence: A laudatory life, Barack Obama was arguably an extremely successful President of America.

09 October 2017 Conceptual

Definition: Related to or based on mental concepts /ideas. In a sentence: She has a conceptual understanding of physics.

02 October 2017 Reproach

Definition: to express disapproval for someone’s actions OR to express disappointment. In a sentence: Her friends reproached her for not thinking enough about her family.

25 September 2017 Enchanting

Definition: delightfully charming or attractive

18 September 2017 Resplendent

Definition: attractive and impressive through being richly colourful or sumptuous

11 September 2017 Curious

To be eager to know or learn something OR to be unusual

04 September 2017 Literate

To be able to read and write, a literate person.

17 July 2017 Astute

Definition: Having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to one's advantage.

10 July 2017 Aesthetic

Definition: Concerned with beauty OR a set of principles underlying an artist.

03 July 2017 Exquisite

Definition: Extremely beautiful OR intensely felt.

26 June 2017 Synonymous

Definition: To be synonym of OR to be associated with.

19 June 2017 Compassionate

Definition: To show kindness and empathy.

12 June 2017 Perfidious

Definition: Deceitful and untrustworthy

05 June 2017 Zealous

Definition: motivated, devoted or diligent.

22 May 2017 Apathetic

Definition: showing or feeling no interest.

15 May 2017 Enigmatic

Definition: difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious.

08 May 2017 Unassuming

(Adjective) - Modest; self-effacing; restrained.

02 May 2017 Conciliatory

(Adjective) - Intended to placate or pacify.

25 April 2017 Vindicate

(Verb) - To clear from blame or suspicion 

03 April 2017 Censorious

(Adjective) - Very critical

27 March 2017 Benevolent

(Adjective) - To be sympathetic; tolerant; generous; caring; well meaning.

13 March 2017 Teem

(Verb) - To be full of things; abound or swarm.

06 March 2017 Deplorable

(Adjective) - Completely unacceptable.

27 February 2017 Obtrude

(Verb) - To become noticeable in an unwelcome or intrusive way.

20 February 2017 Pragmatic

(Adjective) - To be practical in your approach to something.

06 February 2017 Ingratiate

(Verb) - To gain favour by using deliberate effort.

30 January 2017 Rudimentary

(Adjective) - Immature, underdeveloped, basic.

23 January 2017 Forbear

(Verb) - To refrain or resist. To be tolerant if provoked.

16 January 2017 Acute

(Adjective) 1. (Of an unpleasant or unwelcome situation or phenomenon) present or experienced to a severe or intense degree. 2. Having or showing a perceptive understanding or insight; shrewd.

12 December 2016 Interpolate

(Verb) 1. Insert (something of a different nature) into something else. 2. Interject (a remark) in a conversation.

05 December 2016 Parameter

(Noun) 1. A numerical or other measurable factor forming one of a set that defines a system or sets the conditions of its operation. 2. A limit or boundary which defines the scope of a particular process or activity.

28 November 2016 Histrionics

(Noun) - Melodramatic behaviour designed to attract attention.

21 November 2016 Assiduous

(Adjective) - showing great care and perseverance.

14 November 2016 Propensity

(Noun) - An inclination or natural tendency to behave in a particular way.

07 November 2016 Magnanimous

(Adjective) - Generous or forgiving, especially towards a rival or less powerful person.

31 October 2016 Perspective

(Noun) 1. The art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other. 2. A particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view. 3. An apparent spatial distribution in perceived sound.

10 October 2016 Prominent

(Adjective) - Important; famous. (Adjective) - Projecting from something; protuberant. (Noun) - A stout drab-coloured moth with tufts on the forewings which stick up while at rest, the caterpillars of which typically have fleshy growths on the back.

03 October 2016 Myriad

1. (Noun) - A countless or extremely great number of people or things. 2. (Noun) - Chiefly in classical history - a unit of ten thousand. 3. (Adjective) - Countless or extremely great in number

18 July 2016 Propose

(Verb) - To put forward something to be considered by others.

11 July 2016 Construct

(Verb) - To build or make something.

04 July 2016 Analyse

(Verb) - To pick apart something methodically and in detail.

27 June 2016 Evaluate

(Verb) - To form an idea about the value of something.

20 June 2016 Distinguish

(Verb) - To recognise something.

13 June 2016 Prioritise

(Verb) - To determine the order for dealing with a series of items or tasks according to their relative importance.

06 June 2016 Devise

(Verb) - To plan or invent.

23 May 2016 Nurturing

(Verb) - Care for and protect (someone or something) while they are growing.

16 May 2016 Inquisitive

(Adjective) - Having or showing an interest in learning thing.

09 May 2016 Diligent

(Adjective) - Having or showing care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties.

03 May 2016 Perceptive

(Adjective) - Having or showing sensitive insight.

25 April 2016 Resilient

(Adjective) - Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

18 April 2016 Humble

(Adjective) - Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s importance.

12 April 2016 Elaborate

(Verb) - Develop or present (a theory, policy, or system) in further detail.

21 March 2016 Insinuate

(Verb) - Suggest or hint (something bad) in an indirect and unpleasant way.

14 March 2016 Counteract

(Verb) - Act against (something) in order to reduce its force or neutralise it.

07 March 2016 Elucidate

(Verb) - Make (something) clear; explain.

29 February 2016 Perceive

(Verb) - Become aware or conscious of (something); come to realise or understand.

22 February 2016 Assert

(Verb) - State a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.

08 February 2016 Impertinent

(Adjective) - Rude or insolent.

01 February 2016 Impeccable

(Adjective) - Exemplary or flawless.

25 January 2016 Elated

(Verb) - Overjoyed or thrilled.

18 January 2016 Fastidious

(Adjective) - Very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail.

11 January 2016 Aspiration

(Noun) - A hope or ambition; of achieving something.

14 December 2015 Procrastinate

(Verb) - To defer action; delay; put off till another time.

07 December 2015 Surveillance

(Noun) - Close and/or continuous observation of a place, person, group, or ongoing activity in order to gather information.

30 November 2015 Formidable

(Adjective) - Causing fear, apprehension or dread; of discouraging or awesome strength, size, difficulty; intimidating.

23 November 2015 Verify

(Verb) - To ascertain the truth or, correctness of; to confirm; to substantiate.

16 November 2015 Acclimatise

(Verb) - To adapt or become accustomed to a new climate or environment.

09 November 2015 Proximity

(Noun) - Nearness in space, time or relationship.

02 November 2015 Dormant

(Adjective) – Lying asleep or as if asleep; in a state of rest or inactivity.

19 October 2015 Bucolic

(Adjective) - Of pertaining to, or suggesting an idyllic rural life. We chose a peaceful, bucolic town in the country for our summer retreat.

12 October 2015 Incredulous

(Adjective) - Unwilling or unable to believe something. I was incredulous when he first told me the secret.

05 October 2015 Iaconic

(Adjective) - To save valuable time, give me a laconic explanation of what happened. I don't have all day so be laconic with your answers.

28 September 2015 Astraphobia

(Noun) - An abnormal fear of thunder and lightning.

21 September 2015 Mollify

(Verb) - To soften in feeling or temper, as a person; pacify; appease.

20 July 2015 Insouciance

(Noun) - Indifference. A lack of concern. Late 18th century: French, from insouciant, from in- 'not' + souciant 'worrying'. Look at my face. Insouciance!

13 July 2015 Commodious

(Adjective) - Meaning roomy and comfortable. From the Latin commodus, 'convenient'.

06 July 2015 Grok

(Verb) - To understand something through instinct or empathy. Origins – USA from the 1960s. 10C History could grok that Elizabeth had courage and dignity in the face of such hatred.

26 June 2015 Flub

(Verb) - To botch up, make a mistake, bungle. Origins unknown. "Silly Bungle. He flubbed his lines again!"

22 June 2015 Kawaii

(Noun) - Pronounced, ‘Ka – Why.’ It means cute and originates from Japan. "Aah! How kawaii!"

15 June 2015 Tardy

(Adjective) - Delaying or delayed beyond the right or expected time; late; sluggish. From the Latin tardus 'slow.' Mrs Smith was tardy in replying to Mr Smith’s text message.

08 June 2015 Brobdingnagian

(Adjective) - Huge, gigantic. Derivation - early 18th century: from Brobdingnag, the name given by Swift (in Gulliver's Travels) to a land where everything is of huge size.

01 June 2015 Garçonnière

(Noun) - A bachelor’s flat or set of rooms. From garçon, the French for boy.

18 May 2015 Serendipity

(Noun) - Something happening by luck, which has a happy and positive outcome. The word was invented by the writer and politician Horace Walpole before or at the beginning of 1754, from Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka. Walpole based the word on the title of a fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, the heroes of which ‘were always making discoveries, by accidents, of things they were not in quest of’.

11 May 2015 Exculpate

(Verb) - Show or declare that (someone) is not guilty of wrong doing. Mid-17th century: from Medieval Latin exculpat- 'freed from blame.' The judge exculpated the defendant of all the accusations made about him.

05 May 2015 Hobbledehoy

(Noun) - A clumsy young person. From the 16th century – origin unknown. The young man was a real hobbledehoy when it came to carrying packages.

27 April 2015 Pendulous

(Adjective) - To hang loosely. From the Latin pendulus 'hanging down.’ The pendulous branches of the weeping willow tree.