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Word of the Week

Neutralise

The word of the week for the week commencing 31st October is – Neutralise

Meaning - make (something) ineffective by applying an opposite force or effect

Example - impatience at his frailty began to neutralize her fear

The word of the week is designed to enlarge and enrich our vocabulary.  We should all try to use this word at some point during the week. Previous examples of the word of the week are summarised below:

Word Definition Example
Antithesis
A person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else
The antithesis highlights the conflict in society
Conscience
A person's moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one's behaviour
His conscience prevented him from carrying out the act
Soliloquy
An act of speaking one's thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers, especially by a character in a play
Romeo's soliloquy betrays his true feelings
Coerced
Persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats
Persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats
Oxymoron
A phrase containing two or more contradictory words
There was a deafening silence
Protagonist
The leading character or one of the major characters in a play, film, novel, etc.
The novel's main protagonist is an American intelligence officer
Feud
A prolonged and bitter quarrel or dispute
His long standing feud with Universal Pictures
Exhilaration
A feeling of excitement, happiness, or elation
When we think about the summer holidays we are left with a sense of exhilaration!
Altruistic
Showing a disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others; unselfish
It was an entirely altruistic act
Quixotic
Extremely idealistic; unrealistic and impractical
The project is vast and quixotic
Radiant
Sending out light; shining or glowing brightly
A bird with radiant green and red plumage
Superfluous
Unnecessary, especially through being more than enough
The purchaser should avoid asking for superfluous information
Paradox
A statement that seems to contradict itself but may nonetheless be true
The statement "I never tell the truth" is a paradox
Ambiguous
Open to more than one interpretation; not having one obvious meaning
Her words are often ambiguous
Concept
A general notion or idea
The concept of free will
Abstract
Existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence
Abstract concepts such as love or beauty
Comprehensive
Including or dealing with all or nearly all elements or aspects of something
A comprehensive list of sources
Parliament
The highest legislature, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons
The Secretary of State will lay the proposals before Parliament
Foist
To force upon or impose something unnecessary or unwelcome
She had no desire to have an elderly relative foisted on her
Schedule
A plan for carrying out a process or procedure, giving lists of intended events and times
We have drawn up a schedule of events
Cathartic
Providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions
Crying is a cathartic release
Coax
Persuade someone gradually or gently to do something
The trainees were coaxed into doing boring work
Laborious
Requiring considerable time and effort
Years of laborious training
Intolerance
1. Unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one's own.
2. An inability to eat a food or take a medicine without adverse effects
1. The struggle against intolerance and bigotry
2. Young children with lactose intolerance
Sumptuous
Splendid and expensive-looking
The banquet was a sumptuous meal
Manoeuvre
A movement or series of moves requiring skill and care
Snowboarders performed daring manoeuvres on the slopes
Complacent
Showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements
You can't afford to be complacent about security
Alienate
Make (someone) feel isolated or estranged
It is an urban environment which would alienate its inhabitants
Enigma
A person or thing that is mysterious or difficult to understand
She remained an enigma to him
Conscience
A person's moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one's behaviour
His conscience prevented him from carrying out the act
Reciprocate
Respond to a gesture or action by making a corresponding one
The favour was reciprocated
Herculean
Requiring great strength or effort
It was a Herculean task (to make it to the end of term)
Penultimate
Last but one in a series of things
The penultimate week of the school term
Crux
The decisive or most important point at issue
The crux of the matter is that attitudes have changed
Gravitas
Dignity, seriousness or solemnity of manner
She has the expertise and gravitas for this job
Omnipotent
Having very great, unlimited or universal power
An omnipotent deity
Robust
1 - Sturdy in construction
2 - Strong and rich in flavour or smell
1 - A robust metal cabinet
2 - A robust mixture of fish, onions, capers and tomatoes
Vicarious
Experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person
This catalogue brings vicarious pleasure in luxury living
Discriminate
1. Recognise a distinction
2. Make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people
1. Babies can discriminate between different facial expressions.
2. The company's existing employment policies discriminate against women.
Verbose
Using or expressed in more words than are needed
Much academic language is obscure and verbose
Ubiquitous
Present, appearing, or found everywhere
His ubiquitous influence was felt by all the family
Finite
Limited in size or extent
Every computer has a finite amount of memory
Plethora
A large or excessive amount of something
A plethora of committees and sub-committees
Fortuitous
Happening by chance rather than intention
The ball went into the goal because of a fortuitous ricochet
Industrious
Diligent and hard-working
Pupils and staff at this school are an industrious group of people
Tranquillity
The quality or state of being tranquil; calmness; peacefulness; quiet; serenity
I am going to enjoy the tranquillity of the summer holidays
Globalise
To put into effect or spread worldwide
A globalised strategy for dealing with poverty
Symbiotic
A relationship of mutual benefit or dependence
Many people feel the relationship between humans and dogs is symbiotic
Demeanour
Outward behaviour or bearing
The teacher's demeanour was tough and mean
Volatile
Liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse; easily evaporated at normal temperatures
He was behaving in a volatile manner
Misconception
A view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding
Public misconceptions about the crime rate remain high
Emulate
To match or surpass, typically by imitation; to imitate; to reproduce the function or action of something or someone
Many people seek to emulate their favourite person
Strategy
A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim
A coherent economic strategy
Belligerent
Hostile, aggressive, eager to fight; engaged in warfare
Her manner was entirely belligerent and aggressive
Political
Of or relating to the government or public affairs of a country; relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politics; done or acting in the interests of status or power
The decision was taken for purely political reasons
Significant
Sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy
A significant moment in the history of the world
Coherent
Logical and consistent; forming a unified whole
They failed to develop a coherent plan to deal with the crisis
Implication
The conclusion that can be drawn from something even though it is not explicitly stated; the action or state of being involved in something
The implication is that no one person at the bank is responsible. We are implicated in this crime
Sustainable
Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level; able to be upheld or defended
Sustainable economic growth
Colloquial
Ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal
His choice of language was too colloquial for a formal interview
Monotony
Wearisome routine; dullness; lack of variety in pitch or cadence
She detested the monotony of his voice
Fundamental
A central or primary rule or principle on which something is based; forming a necessary base or core; of central importance
Oxygen is fundamental to human existence
Effusive
Unrestrained or excessive emotional expression; overflowing; profuse
He was effusive in his praise for the quality of her homework