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