Difficult Words :
Address, Adherent, Admonish, Adroit, Adulation and Adulterate





This is a list of Difficult Words: Address, Adherent, Admonish, Adroit, Adulation and Adulterate

Adherent (ad HEER unt) n: follower, supporter, believer

• The king's adherents threw a big birthday party for him, just to show how much they liked him.

• To adhere to something is to stick to it. Adherents are people who adhere to, or stick to, something or someone.

• A religion could be said to have adherents, assuming there are people who believe in it.

• Governments, causes, ideas, people, philosophies, and many other things can have adherents, too.




Address (un DRES) v: to speak, to direct one's attention to a problem is to face it and set about solving it.

• Ernie addressed the problem of addressing the convention by sitting down and writing his speech.




Admonish (Ad MON ish) v: to scold gently, to warn

• The boys' mother admonished them not to eat the pie she had just baked.

• When they did so anyway, she admonished them for doing it.

• In the first sentence admonish means "warn"; in the second it means "scold gently." Consider yourself admonished not to misuse this word.



Adroit (uh DROIT) adj: skillful, dexterous, clever, shrewd, socially at ease

• Adroit comes from droit which is the French work for right (the opposite of left). Dexterous, which means pretty much the same thing as adroit, comes from Dexter which is the Latin word for right (the opposite of left). Right-handed people were once thought to be more dexterous and adroit than left-handed people. In fact, left-handed people were once thought to be downright evil, or sinister, which is the Latin word for left (the opposite of right). To say nowadays that right-handed people are better than left-handed people would be considered gauche, which means graceless, crude, socially awkward or clumsy. Gauche is the French word for left (the opposite of right). Synonym for gauche is maladroit.

• Got all that? Here it is again. It would be gauche to go to the ball wearing your right shoe on your left foot and your left shoe on your right foot. It would also be hard to dance adroitly with your shoes that way. If you were sufficiently dexterous, you might be able to switch and retie your shoes while you were dancing, but your dancing partner might think you were up to something sinister down there and ask you to keep both your right hand and your left hand to yourself.




Adulation (AJ uh LAY shun) n: wild or excessive admiration, flattery

• The boss thrived on the adulation of his scheming secretary.

• The rock star grew to abhor the adulation of his fans.

• There is a note of insincerity in adulation, as there is in flattery.




Adulterate (uh DUL tuh RATE) v: to contaminate, to make impure

• We discovered that our orange juice had radioactive waste in it. We discovered, in other words, that our orange juice had been adulterated.

• Vegetarians do not like their foods adulterated with animal fats.

• Unadulterated means pure. Unadulterated joy is joy untainted by sadness.

This is a list of Difficult Words: Address, Adherent, Admonish, Adroit, Adulation and Adulterate


Difficult Words Index



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