Synonym Study

1. SYN.—

caricature refers to an imitation or representation of a person or thing, in drawing, writing, or performance, that ludicrously exaggerates its distinguishing features;

Burlesque implies the handling of a serious subject lightly or flippantly, or of a trifling subject with mock seriousness;

a parody ridicules a written work or writer by imitating the style closely, esp. so as to point up its peculiarities or affectations, and by distorting the content nonsensically or changing it to something absurdly incongruous;

travesty, in contrast, implies that the subject matter is retained, but that the style and language are changed so as to give a grotesquely absurd effect;

satire refers to a literary composition in which follies, vices, stupidities, and abuses in life are held up to ridicule and contempt;

lampoon refers to a piece of strongly satirical writing that uses broad humor in attacking and ridiculing the faults and weaknesses of an individual

2. SYN.—

an epicure is a person who has a highly refined taste for fine foods and drinks and takes great pleasure in indulging it;

a gourmet is a connoisseur in eating and drinking who appreciates subtle differences in flavor or quality;
gourmand, occasionally equivalent to gourmet, is more often applied to a person who has a hearty liking for good food or one who is inclined to eat to excess;

a gastronome is an expert in all phases of the art or science of good eating;

a glutton is a greedy, voracious eater and drinker

3. SYN.—

severe applies to a person or thing that is strict and uncompromising and connotes a total absence of softness, laxity, frivolity, etc. [a severe critic, hairdo, etc.];

stern implies an unyielding firmness, esp. as manifested in a grim or forbidding aspect or manner [a stern guardian];

austere suggests harsh restraint, self-denial, stark simplicity [the austere diet of wartime], or an absence of warmth, passion, ornamentation, etc. [an austere bedroom];

ascetic implies extreme self-denial and self-discipline or even, sometimes, the deliberate self-infliction of pain and discomfort, as by religious fanatics [an ascetic hermit]

ANT. mild, lax, indulgent

4. SYN.—

range refers to the full extent over which something is perceivable, effective, etc. [the range of his knowledge];

reach refers to the furthest limit of effectiveness, influence, etc. [beyond the reach of my understanding];

scope implies considerable room and freedom of range, but within prescribed limits [does it fall within the scope of this dictionary?];

compass also suggests completeness within limits regarded as a circumference [he did all within the compass of his power];

gamut, in this connection, refers to the full range of shades, tones, etc. between the limits of something [the full gamut of emotions]

5. SYN.—

circumference refers to the line bounding a circle or any approximately circular or elliptical area;

perimeter extends the meaning to a line bounding any area, as a triangle, square, or polygon;

periphery, in its literal sense identical with perimeter, is more frequently used of the edge of a physical object or in an extended metaphoric sense [the periphery of understanding];

circuit now usually refers to a traveling around a periphery [the moon‘s circuit of the earth];

compass refers literally to an area within specific limits but is often used figuratively [the compass of the city, the compass of freedom]

6. SYN.—

despise implies a strong emotional response toward that which one looks down upon with contempt or aversion [to despise a hypocrite];

to scorn is to feel indignation toward or deep contempt for [to scorn the offer of a bribe];

disdain implies a haughty or arrogant contempt for what one considers beneath one‘s dignity [to disdain flattery];

contemn, chiefly a literary word, implies a vehement disapproval of a person or thing as base, vile, or despicable

7. SYN.—

hate implies a feeling of great dislike or aversion, and, with persons as the object, connotes the bearing of malice;

detest implies vehement dislike or antipathy;

despise suggests a looking down with great contempt upon the person or thing one hates;

abhor implies a feeling of great repugnance or disgust;

loathe implies utter abhorrence ANT. love, like

8. SYN.—

love implies intense fondness or deep devotion and may apply to various relationships or objects [sexual love, brotherly love, love of one‘s work, etc.];

affection suggests warm, tender feelings, usually not as powerful or deep as those implied by love [he has no affection for children];

attachment implies connection by ties of affection, attraction, devotion, etc. and may be felt for inanimate things as well as for people [an attachment to an old hat];

infatuation implies a foolish or unreasoning passion or affection, often a transient one [an elderly man‘s infatuation for a young girl]

9. SYN.—

murmur implies a continuous flow of words or sounds in a low, indistinct voice and may apply to utterances of satisfaction or dissatisfaction [to murmur a prayer];

mutter usually suggests angry or discontented words or sounds of this kind [to mutter curses]; to

mumble is to utter almost inaudible or inarticulate sounds in low tones, with the mouth nearly closed [an old woman mumbling to herself]

10. SYN.—

sad is the simple, general term, ranging in implication from a mild, momentary unhappiness to a feeling of intense grief;

sorrowful implies a sadness caused by some specific loss, disappointment, etc. [her death left him sorrowful];

melancholy suggests a more or less chronic mournfulness or gloominess, or, often, merely a wistful pensiveness [melancholy thoughts about the future];

dejected implies discouragement or a sinking of spirits, as because of frustration;

depressed suggests a mood of brooding despondency, as because of fatigue or a sense of futility [the novel left him feeling depressed];

doleful implies a mournful, often lugubrious, sadness [the doleful look on a lost child‘s face] —ANT. happy, cheerful

11. SYN.—

happy generally suggests a feeling of great pleasure, contentment, etc. [a happy marriage];

glad implies more strongly an exultant feeling of joy [your letter made her so glad], but both glad and happy are commonly used in merely polite formulas expressing gratification [I‘m glad, or happy, to have met you];

cheerful implies a steady display of bright spirits, optimism, etc. [he‘s always cheerful in the morning];

joyful and joyous both imply great elation and rejoicing, the former generally because of a particular event, and the latter as a matter of usual temperament [the joyful throngs, a joyous family]

ANT. sad

12. SYN.—

accidental describes that which occurs by chance [an accidental encounter] or outside the normal course of events [an accidental attribute];

fortuitous, which frequently suggests a complete absence of cause, now usually refers to chance events of a fortunate nature;

casual describes the unpremeditated, random, informal, or irregular quality of something [a casual visit, remark, dress, etc.];

incidental emphasizes the nonessential or secondary nature of something [an incidental consideration];

adventitious refers to that which is added extrinsically and connotes a lack of essential connection

13. SYN.—

destroy implies a tearing down or bringing to an end by wrecking, ruining, killing, eradicating, etc. and is the term of broadest application here [to destroy a city, one‘s influence, etc.];

demolish implies such destructive force as to completely smash to pieces [the bombs demolished the factories];

raze means to level to the ground, either destructively or by systematic wrecking with a salvaging of useful parts;

to annihilate is to destroy so completely as to blot out of existence [rights that cannot be annihilated]

14. SYN.—

poverty, the broadest of these terms, implies a lack of the resources for reasonably comfortable living;

destitution and want imply such great poverty that the means for mere subsistence, such as food and shelter, are lacking;

indigence, a somewhat euphemistic term, implies a lack of luxuries which one formerly enjoyed;

penury suggests such severe poverty as to cause misery, or a loss of self-respect

ANT. wealth, affluence

15. SYN.—

crowd is applied to an assembly of persons or things in close proximity or densely packed together and may suggest lack of order, loss of personal identity, etc. [crowds lined the street];

throng specifically suggests a moving crowd of people pushing one another [throngs of celebrators at Times Square];

multitude stresses greatness of number in referring to persons or things assembled or considered together [a multitude arrayed against him];

swarm suggests a large, continuously moving group [a swarm of sightseers];

mob, properly applied to a disorderly or lawless crowd, is an abusive term when used to describe the masses or any specific group of people;

host specifically suggests a large organized body marshaled together but may be used generally of any sizable group considered collectively [he has a host of friends];

horde specifically refers to any large predatory band [a horde of office seekers]

16. SYN.—

food is the general term for all matter that is taken into the body for nourishment;

fare refers to the range of foods eaten by a particular organism or available at a particular time and place [the fare of horses, a bill of fare];

victuals is a dialectal or colloquial word for human fare or diet;

provisions in this connection, refers to a stock of food assembled in advance [provisions for the hike];

ration refers to a fixed allowance or allotment of food [the weekly ration] and in the plural (rations) to food in general [how are the rations in this outfit?]

17. SYN.—

curse is the general word for calling down evil or injury on someone or something;

damn carries the same general meaning but, in strict usage, implies the use of the word “damn” in the curse [he damned his enemies = he said, “Damn my enemies!”];

execrate suggests cursing prompted by great anger or abhorrence;

imprecate suggests the calling down of calamity on someone, esp. from a desire for revenge;

anathematize strictly refers to the formal utterance of solemn condemnation by ecclesiastical authority, but in general use it is equivalent to imprecate ANT. bless

18. SYN.—

scold is the common term meaning to find fault with or rebuke in angry, irritated, often nagging language [a mother scolds a naughty child];

upbraid implies bitter reproach or censure and usually connotes justification for this [she upbraided me for my carelessness];

berate suggests continuous, heated, even violent reproach, often connoting excessive abuse [the old shrew continued berating them];

revile implies the use of highly abusive and contemptuous language and often connotes deliberate defamation or slander [he reviled his opponent unmercifully];

vituperate suggests even greater violence in the attack [vituperating each other with foul epithets]

19. SYN.—

criticize, in this comparison, is the general term for finding fault with or disapproving of a person or thing;

reprehend suggests sharp or severe disapproval, generally of faults, errors, etc. rather than of persons;

blame stresses the fixing of responsibility for an error, fault, etc.;

censure implies the expression of severe criticism or disapproval by a person in authority or in a position to pass judgment;

condemn and denounce both imply an emphatic pronouncement of blame or guilt,

condemn suggesting the rendering of a judicial decision, and denounce, public accusation against persons or their acts ANT. Praise

20. SYN.—

praise is the simple, basic word implying an expression of approval, esteem, or commendation [to praise one‘s performance];

laud implies great, sometimes extravagant praise [the critics lauded the actor to the skies];

acclaim suggests an outward show of strong approval, as by loud applause, cheering, etc. [he was acclaimed the victor];

extol implies exalting or lofty praise [the scientist was extolled for his work];

eulogize suggests formal praise in speech or writing, as on a special occasion [the minister eulogized the exemplary life of the deceased]

21. SYN —

deception is applied to anything that deceives, whether by design or illusion;

fraud suggests deliberate deception in dishonestly depriving a person of property, rights, etc.; subterfuge suggests an artifice or stratagem used to hide one's true objective, to evade something, or to gain some end;

trickery implies the use of tricks or ruses in deceiving others;

chicanery implies the use of clever but tricky talk or action, esp. in legal actions

22. SYN.—

female is the basic term applied to members of the sex that is biologically distinguished from the male sex and is used of animals or plants as well as of human beings;

feminine is now the preferred term for references, other than those basically biological, to qualities thought to be characteristic of or suitable to women, as delicacy, gentleness, etc.;

womanly suggests the noble qualities one associates with a woman, esp. one who has maturity of character;

womanish, in contrast, suggests the weaknesses and faults that are regarded as characteristic of women;

effeminate, used chiefly in reference to a man, implies delicacy, softness, or lack of virility;

ladylike refers to manners, conduct, etc. such as are expected from a refined or well-bred woman

23. SYN.—

male is the basic term applied to members of the sex that is biologically distinguished from the female sex and is used of animals and plants as well as of human beings;

masculine is applied to qualities, such as strength and vigor, traditionally ascribed to men, or to things appropriate to men;

manly suggests the noble qualities, such as courage and independence, that a culture ideally associates with a man who has maturity of character;

mannish, used chiefly of women, is most often used derogatorily and implies the possession or adoption of the traits and manners thought to be more appropriate to a man;

virile stresses qualities such as robustness, vigor, and, specif., sexual potency, that belong to a physically mature man

24. SYN.—

superficial implies concern with the obvious or surface aspects of a thing [superficial characteristics] and, in a derogatory sense, lack of thoroughness, profoundness, significance, etc. [superficial judgments];

shallow, in this connection always derogatory, implies a lack of depth of character, intellect, meaning, etc. [shallow writing];

cursory, which may or may not be derogatory, suggests a hasty consideration of something without pausing to note details [a cursory inspection] ANT. deep, profound