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Highdown School
and Sixth Form Centre

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

17 December 2018 Domineer

Definition: (Verb) to assert one’s will over another in an arrogant way In a sentence: Can one domineer for a good reason?

10 December 2018 Influential

Definition: (Adjective) Having great influence on someone or something. In a sentence: Is being influential good or bad?

03 December 2018 Scruple

Definition: A feeling of doubt or hesitation with regard to the morality or propriety of a course of action. In a sentence: I had no scruples about eavesdropping. Synonyms: Qualms; Twinge of conscience; Compunction; Hesitation; Reservations.

26 November 2018 Wrath

Definition: (adjective) an extreme anger In a sentence: Is wrath forgivable?

19 November 2018 Penitent

Definition: (adjective) feeling or showing sorrow and regret for having done wrong; repentant. In a sentence: Is there a lack of penitent people in the world?

12 November 2018 Altruistic

Definition: Showing a selfless concern for the well-being of others; unselfish. A concern that does not have a vested interest. In a sentence: Do altruistic people exist in modern society?

29 October 2018 Compel

Definition: To strongly persuade or convince In a sentence: Good people feel compelled to stand up to the most vulnerable.

15 October 2018 Delicate

Definition: Fine in detail and quality. Easily damaged. In a sentence: Frozen and pallid, the snow child was as delicate as crystal.

08 October 2018 Solitude

Definition: The state of being alone. In a sentence: The solitude of the old mansion added to the sense of bleakness in the air.

01 October 2018 Vitality

Definition: State of being full of energy or liveliness. In a sentence: I believe that without physical education the next generation’s vitality will suffer.

24 September 2018 Complicit

Definition: Having responsibility for a crime or wrongdoing. In a sentence: Anyone choosing not to recycle is complicit in the destruction of our planet.

17 September 2018 Alluring

Definition: Mysterious and powerfully attractive In a sentence: The alluring draw of the eerie light pulled her towards the open doorway in the darkness

10 September 2018 Speculate

Definition: To think about and to look at things from different perspectives. In a sentence: As a society we should speculate on our role in global warming.

04 September 2018 Pallid

Meaning: Pale in a way that implies ill health In a sentence: The pallid glow of his skin in the moonlight made it clear he was not long for this world.

16 July 2018 Complicit

Definition: Having responsibility for a crime or wrongdoing. In a sentence: Anybody who chooses not to recycle is complicit in the destruction of our planet. Watching a crime and not intervening could make you complicit.

09 July 2018 Irreparable

Definition (adjective): Impossible to rectify or repair In a sentence: Smoking was doing irreparable damage to my heart and my lungs.

02 July 2018 Arbiter

Definition (noun): Person empowered to act as a judge In a sentence: The problem had to go to arbitration because they couldn’t decide who was at fault.

25 June 2018 Prudent

Definition (adjective): Acting with or showing care and thought for the future. In a sentence: A much more prudent approach would have helped prevent getting into this amount of debt.

18 June 2018 Vacuous

Definition (adjective): Having or showing a lack of thought or intelligence, mindless, empty. In a sentence: Denouncing his opponent’s argument as vacuous, the lawyer asked the judge to dismiss the case. Interesting fact: From the Latin “vacuus” meaning empty. From the 17th Century “ous” was added, meaning “empty of matter”.

11 June 2018 Cacophony

Definition: A harsh discordant mixture of sounds. In a sentence: Upon entering the room, the cacophony of sounds attacked my ears and made me want to leave.

04 June 2018 Empathetic

Adjective: To show an ability to understand and share the feelings of another. In a sentence: She's compassionate and empathetic towards her daughter.

21 May 2018 Belligerent

Adjective: Hostile and aggressive. Noun: A nation or person engaged in war or conflict, as recognised by international law. In a sentence: Ships and goods were captured at sea by a belligerent.

14 May 2018 Ephemera

Definition: Noun: Things that exist or are used and enjoyed for only a short time. In a sentence: 1) I thought my Micky Mouse ephemera would last a lifetime, little did I know that I’d grow out of it! 2) New words are constantly being coined, some will prove ephemeral, others are here to stay.

08 May 2018 Cajole

Verb: To persuade (someone) to do something by sustained coaxing or flattery. In a sentence: Usually I can cajole him into eating a healthy breakfast, but this morning - nothing.

30 April 2018 Ebb

Noun: The movement of the tide out to sea. Verb: Gradually decreases. In a sentence: During the marathon I could feel my energy ebbing away, but I had to continue.

23 April 2018 Veritable

Definition: Used for emphasis, often to qualify a metaphor. In a sentence: The availability of television shows on streaming services is a veritable merry-go-round these days, with titles coming and going.

26 March 2018 Sublime

Definition: Of great excellence or beauty OR (of a person’s attitude) extreme or unparalleled. In a sentence: The view of the mountains is sublime OR He has the sublime confidence of youth.

19 March 2018 Analysis

Definition: Detailed examination of the elements or structure of something. In a sentence: These last articles show a keen analysis and interpretation of facts.

11 March 2018 Evoke

Definition: To show; to elicit a response. In a sentence: The budget evoked critical reactions from the public.

05 March 2018 Microcosm

Definition: A community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristics of something much larger. In a sentence: A microcosm mirrors the larger picture, the macrocosm.

26 February 2018 Harvest

Definition: To gather in. In a sentence: Crops are harvested by farmers. Scientists harvest cells for experiments.

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.