Meaning: showing or having an insensitive and cruel disregard for others.
Synonym: heartless, unfeeling
Antonym: kind, compassionate
Sentence: “his callous comments about the murder made me shiver”
Meaning: annoyance or distress at having failed or been humiliated.
Synonym: irritation, vexation, exasperation
Sentence: “to my chagrin, he was nowhere to be seen”
Meaning: (of a woman or her behaviour) reserved, modest, and shy.
Synonym: modest, unassuming, meek
Antonym: brazen, shameless
Sentence: “a demure little wife who sits at home minding the house”
Meaning: so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.
Synonym: trite, hackneyed, clichéd, platitudinous, vapid, commonplace
Sentence: “songs with banal, repeated words”
Meaning: coax (someone) with kind words or flattery.
Synonym: cajole, palaver
Antonym: bulldoze, bully, intimidate;
Sentence: “I was blandishing her with imprudence to get her off the subject”
Meaning: detest; loathe.
Sentence: “they abominated the very idea of monarchy”
Meaning: a person who inspires or influences others, especially one prominent in a particular sphere.
Synonym: leading light, guiding light, inspiration, leader, expert,
Sentence: “one of the luminaries of child psychiatry”
Meaning: a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision.
Synonym: public vote, plebiscite, popular vote, ballot, poll
Sentence: “he called for a referendum on the death penalty”
Meaning: showing deference; respectful.
Synonym: obsequious, humble, respectful,
Sentence: “people were always deferential to him”
Meaning: complaining in an annoyed way
Synonym: crabby, cranky, grouchy,
Antonym: affable, agreeable, amiable, genial, good-humored
Sentence: car trips that were frequently spoiled by a couple of querulous passengers in the back.