Difficult Words :
Alleviate, Allocate, Alloy, Allusion, Aloof and Altruism





This is a list of Difficult Words: Alleviate, Allocate, Alloy, Allusion, Aloof and Altruism

Allocate (AL UH kate) v: to distribute, to assign, to allot

• The long car trip had been a big failure. David, Doug and Jan spent several hours attempting to allocate the blame. In the end, they decided it had all been Jan's fault.

• The office manager had allocated just seven paper clips for our entire department.




Alleviate (uh LEE vee ATE) u: to relieve, usually temporarily or in-completely, to make bearable, to lessen

• Aspirin alleviates headache pain. When your headache comes back, take some more aspirin.

• Visiting the charming pet cemetery alleviated the women's grief over the death of her canary.




Alloy (AL oi) n: a combination of two or more things, usually metals

• Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. That is, you make brass by combining copper and zinc.

• Alloy (uh LOI) is often used as a verb. To alloy two things is to mix them together. There is usually an implication that the mixture is less than the sum of the parts. That is, there is often something undesirable or debased about an alloy (as opposed to pure substance).

• Unalloyed means undiluted or pure.

• Unalloyed dislike is dislike undiminished by any positive feelings. Unalloyed love is love undiminished by any negative feelings.



Allusion (uh LOO zhun) n: an indirect reference (often to a literary work), a hint

• To allude to something is to refer to it indirectly. When Ralph said,
I sometimes wonder whether to be or not to be, he was alluding to a famous line in Hamlet. If Ralph had said, As Hamlet said, To be or not to be, that is the question, his statement would have been a direct reference, not an allusion.

• An allusion is an allusion only if the source isn't identified directly. Anything else is a reference or a quotation.

• If Andrea says,
I enjoyed your birthday party, she isn't alluding to the birthday party; she's referring to it, or mentioning it. But if she says, I like the way you blow out candles, she is alluding to the party.




Aloof (uh LOOF) adj: uninvolved, standing off, keeping one's distance

• Ali, on the roof, felt very aloof.

• To stand aloof from a touch-football game is to stand on the sidelines and not take part.

• Cats are often said to be aloof because they usually mind their own business and don't crave the affection of people.




Altruism (AL troo IZ um) n: selflessness, generosity, devotion to the interests of others

• The private foundation depended on the altruism of the extremely rich old man. When he decided to start spending his money on his new eighteen-year-old girlfriend instead, the foundation went out of business.

• To be altruistic is to help others without expectation of personal gain.

• Giving money to charity is an act of altruism. The altruist does it just to be nice, although he'll probably also remember to take a tax deduction.

• An altruistic act is also an act of philanthropy, which means almost the same thing.


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