Build Your Vocabulary

Sometimes, we can’t think of words that exactly describe our feelings – we might use a big sentence to pen down what we think, but if we can consolidate our thoughts in one word, the impact is far reaching and the writer is said to have come of age.

Here is a list of words with their meanings and example sentences which regularly appear in editorials and articles but we don’t know their exact meaning. Treat yourself to this pool of English words and use them in your creative writing piece to enhance the reading experience without overburdening the reader.

Disclaimer: Some example sentences are figment of my imagination, and some are directly taken from the editorial/articles from where I have picked the word. Nowhere, I have expressed my personal opinion.

Word Meaning Sentence
Fiefdom an organization or real estate, owned or controlled by one dominant person or group Sushma Swaraj cited figures to argue that the new government’s hands-on foreign policy was the result of team work and wasn’t any individual’s fiefdom.
Pariah Outcast No Indian PM has so far visited Israel, a country usually considered as pariah due to the fears of a backlash from Islamic nations and the Muslim community.
Iconoclastic Attacking/criticizing  traditional beliefs But the Modi government has revealed that it is going to fashion its foreign policy in an iconoclastic manner
Fashion (verb) to make into a particular form But the Modi government has revealed that it is going to fashion its foreign policy in an iconoclastic manner.
burgeon begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish We go on a whirlwind ride with Kangana’s wild-child Tanu and her quiet and burgeoning from everywhere husband Manu (Madhavan).
Libertarian A political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgement. The free will which Leibnitz teaches is not libertarian but determinist.
Capsizing (of a boat) Overturned in water Pregnancy kept capsizing my relationship with my wife and I was struggling to stay afloat
Banter the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks Origin Of emoticon:

The emoji was invented in 1982, as a group of Carnegie Mellon researchers were using an online bulletin board to joke about what would happen if their building’s elevator cable were cut. Realising that this banter might be take a morbid(unpleasant) turn if read literally, they invented the “:)” to clear up the fact that they were only messing around.

                                Gauche Unsophisticated & socially awkward Invented only three decades back, emojis (emoticons) are seen today as non-standard and, in fact, decidedly gauche.
Palpable readily or plainly seen, heard, perceived, etc.; obvious; evident:

Capable of being touched

The sense of disgust is clearly palpable as the womb was seen as the “source of all disease” and women were said to “leak menstrual blood, sexual lubricant, lochial discharge after giving birth, and yeast infections (leucorrhea).”
Privy Sharing in the knowledge of I haven’t really read the excerpts of that book. Also I am not privy to any private conversation between two individuals. I have not heard about this before and I have no idea what happened and I would not want to make any comment,” Dravid commented to the press during the rehashing of the controversy surrounding the 2007 World Cup.
Belittle To make something less important, depreciate Re-iterating his speech in Mathura on the day the government completed its first year in office, Modi also hit out at the opposition and accused them of belittling the government’s achievements.
Reiterate To say something again and again, repeat for emphasis or clarity Modi reiterated his speech in Mathura in an interview to DNA
acolytes A person who assists the celebrant in the performance of liturgical rites.

A devoted follower or attendant.

Modi’s statement is intended to camouflage what goes on as a routine business by his government and Sangh Parivar acolytes,” he said.
Schizophrenic Something relating to a mental disorder characterized by hallucinations,delusions, and conflicting personalities “I was going schizophrenic because I was doing Marathi dialect training for my role as Kashibai in Bajirao Mastani and American dialect training simultaneously. I was losing my mind and forgot what I was supposed to sound like,” said Priyanka.
Impunity Exemption from punishment,penalty or harm,with no care or heed for consequences The impunity with which doctors give LGBTs shock therapy shows why gay-sex ban must go
Pander To cater to the lower castes and desires of other or exploit their weakness The action by Naz Foundation follows an expose by a media house that showed  several doctors in New Delhi peddling alleged cures for homosexuality, pandering to the assumption that it is a disease.
Nostalgic experiencing or exhibiting nostalgia, a sentimental or wistful yearning for the happiness felt in a former place, time, or situation. I was feeling nostalgic when I visited my school after 10 years.
Xenophobia dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries Racism and xenophobia are staedily growing in Europe.
       Mirth amusement, especially as expressed in laughter As FIFA gets rid of its controversial president, mirth ensues on Twitter.
Racketeering criminal activity that is performed to benefit an organization such as a crime syndicate. Examples of racketeering activity include extortion, money laundering, loan sharking, obstruction of justice and bribery. Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term as FIFA president just five days ago, amidst corruption charges swirling around the world football body as former FIFA vice-president, Jack Warner, current vice presidents Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo were among those arrested last week on charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering conspiracies.
Vagabond a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job For four years, he led a vagabond life.
Unabated Without any reduction in strength or intensity Global warming, caused by an unabated use of fossil fuels, is bound to increase average temperatures everywhere.
Jinx A person or thing that is believed to bring bad luck. Some planned exchanges by Indian defence ministers to Israel did not materialise and Moshe Ya’alon broke this jinx when he came for the Aero Show in February this year.
vis-à-vis in relation to; with regard to At the same time, Modi cannot ignore domestic criticisms over Israel’s policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians.
Schism a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief. Modi also would be aware of the internal schism that haunts the Palestinians: President Abbas travels world over but for since taking office in 2005 he was unable to set foot on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the other part of Palestine.
Nonchalant feeling or appearing casually calm and relaxed; not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm The nonchalant attitude by the police to the bus burning has got a few people in Ramsay Street talking.
Moot subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty A half-way solution, said Gupta, could lie in getting the food industry to produce vitamin fortified food. “The children are not going to stop eating junk food,” she said. “The least we can do is make it more healthy to consume.” What happens then if Lays makes multivitamin enriched chips? And Coca Cola makes an iron fortified Pepsi? It’s a moot question.
Petrichor a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. Other than the petrichor emanating from the rapidly drying grass, there was not a trace of evidence that it had rained at all
Bucolic Relating to the pleasantness of the countryside and country life The farmhouse was giving a bucolic feeling

A bucolic poen/verse

apparition A ghost or a ghost like image of a person In my childhood, my grandma used to read to me stories of ghost. The apparition described by her used to haunt me for days.
rambunctious Uncontrollably exuberant ,boisterous The rambunctious dogs played in the park.
nifty Skillful, attractive, stylish A nifty jewelry piece
rummage search unsystematically and untidily through something. I rummaged in my bag for my phone.

He rummaged in his pocket for handkerchief

infallible incapable of making mistakes or being wrong, never failing ,always effective Ayurvedic cures might be slow in showing their effects but they are infallible.
blithely Casual, happy and carefree I blithely played in the pool , knowing Sajal is there to watch over me(to carefully watch /guard)
Bludgeon Thick stick with a heavy end.

beat (someone) repeatedly with a bludgeon or other heavy object.

She was found bludgeoned to death in the basement
Traction The act of drawing or pulling, especially  by motive power

The action of drawing a body, vehicle, train, or the like, along a surface.

The government has not yet realized that an economy as large as India’s needs time and space to pick up traction.
Euphoria a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness. There is an air of eyes shut make believe in this government’s first year euphoria.
Penchant a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something He has a penchant for pet dogs.
Recalcitrant Having an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards authority or discipline While claiming that the “expectations from the Modi government were realistic”, Mr. Jaitley has put the blame on a recalcitrant Opposition, which, according to him, has put many a roadblock before the government’s efforts to fulfil its mandate.
Debilitating Making weak While shrinking winter-spans are considered by specialists as a sure sign that climate change is a reality we cannot ignore, at the other end of the spectrum, hot summers are no less debilitating.
aficionado A person who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about an activity, connoisseur Since she is a Sudoku aficionado, she finds it very easy to pass time when she is traveling all by herself.
Scion A descendant of a notable family The scion of the Gandhi family, Rahul Gandhi has a great responsibility on his shoulders to uphold the reputation of his family.
Petulant  ill-tempered, irritable She is not liked by many because of her petulant demeanor.
Capricious Unpredictable changes of mood and behavior,unpredictable,impuslive His capricious business decisions led to his downfall.

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