simplistic (adjective) • Variants: simplistically (adverb) • Definition: oversimplified; avoiding or ignoring complexities • Synonym: unsophisticated, naive • Antonym: sophisticated, complicated • His simplistic plan for economic improvement failed to account for foreign investment and the GNP.
incredulous (adjective) • Variants: incredulously (adverb); incredulousness (noun) • Definition: unwilling or unable to believe; showing disbelief • Synonym: skeptical • Antonym: credulous, gullible • The politician’s lavish promises provoked incredulous responses rather than the admiration he sought.
ascetic (adjective) • Variants: ascetically (adverb) • Definition: Reflecting self-denial (as in religious discipline); choosing minimal comforts • Synonyms: austere, Spartan • Antonym: self-indulgent, hedonistic • Her modest room reflected the ascetic values she advocated.
vicarious (adjective) • vicariously (adverb), vicariousness (noun) • Definition: Experienced through someone else rather than first hand; endured as substitute for someone else; delegated • synonym: second-hand [experience] • antonym: actual [experience] • Because she loved her son, she found vicarious pleasure in his tremendous successes.
allocation (noun) • Variants: allocate (verb), allocatable (adjective); allocator (noun) • Definition: the act of setting aside for a special purpose; designation • Synonym: allotment, apportionment • Antonym: abandonment • Sentence: The mayor insisted the park district include an allocation of land in order to build a playground. • The mayor insisted the parked district allocate land for a playground.
admonish (transitive verb) • Variants: admonishment (noun) • Definition: To caution, criticize, or counsel gently against • Synonym: chastise, reproach, rebuke • Antonym: approve, commend, praise • The anti-tobacco lobbyist admonished the President for his inability to quit smoking.
presumptuous (adjective) • presumptuously (adv.), presumptuousness (noun) • overconfident, excessively forward, taking too much for granted • Syn: arrogant • Ant: humble, modest • Darcy’s presumptuous manner understandably offends Elizabeth Bennet.
subversive (adjective,noun) • variants: subvert (verb), subversively (adverb) • Definition: tending or seeking to subvert, overthrow or destroy (an established government, institution, belief, etc) • Synonym: rebellious, disloyal • Antonym: loyal, faithful • Sentence: The Canadian government—indeed, the majority of Canadian citizens—believed the Nisei to be subversive operatives.
vacuous (adjective) • Variants: vacuously (adverb) • Definition: without contents, empty • Synonym: bare, blank, devoid • Antonym: full, abundant • Sentence: When the class looked at her with vacuous stares, the teacher knew the lesson had failed.
avocation (noun) • Variants: avocational (adjective) • Definition: something a person does in addition to a principal occupation, especially for pleasure • Synonym: pastime, hobby • Antonym: job, occupation • Sentence: Oddly enough, the math teacher’s avocation was the study of Old Norse epics.
impetus (noun) • Variants: • Definition: a moving force; impulse, stimulus • Synonym: encouragement, incentive, motivation • Antonym: hindrance, block • Sentence: Dr. Martin Luther King’s speeches were the impetus behind the civil rights movement.
reticent (adjective) • Variants: reticently (adverb), reticence (noun) • Definition: inclined to keep one’s thoughts and feelings to oneself, secretive, quiet • Synonym: reluctant, restrained, reserved • Antonym: communicative, forward, unrestrained • Sentence: The reticent student hid in the back row, unwilling to participate in the class discussion.