Difficult Words : Circumspect, Circumscribe, Circumvent, Civil, Clandestine and Clemency

Difficult Words ( Circumspect, Circumscribe, Circumvent, Civil, Clandestine and Clemency ) and their usages have been explained here in detail.

Circumscribe (SUR kum SKRIBE) v: to draw line around; to set the limits; to define; to restrict

The Constitution clearly circumscribes the restrictions that can be placed on our personal freedoms.

A barbed-wire fence and armed guards circumscribed the movement of the prisoners.


Circumspect (SUR kum SPEKT) adj: cautious

As a public speaker, Nick was extremely circumspect. He always took great care not to say the wrong thing or give offense.

The circumspect general did everything he could not to put his soldiers at unnecessary risk.

The word circumspect comes from Greek roots meaning around and look (as do the words circle and inspect). To be circumspect is to look around carefully before doing something.
Circumvent (SUR kum VENT) v: to frustrate as though by surrounding

One hopes for an early end of the meeting was circumvented by the chairman's refusal to deal with the items on the agenda.

The angry school board circumvented the students' effort to install color television sets in every classroom.


Civil (SIV il) adj: polite; civilized; courteous

Our dinner guests conducted themselves civilly when we told them we weren't going to serve them dinner after all. They didn't bang their cups on the table or throw their plates to the floor.

The word civil also has other meanings. Civil rights are rights established by law. Civil service is government service. Consult your dictionary for the numerous shades of meaning.
Clandestine (klan DES tin) adj: secret; sneaky; concealed and, usually, up to no good.

The head of the CIA was upset when the agency's clandestine activities in Central America were discussed on Donahue.

Crimes are usually clandestine, because criminals usually don't want to get caught.

When politician does something clandestinely, she doesn't want the voters to know about it.

The child ate the stolen cookies clandestinely, when no one was looking.


Clemency (KLEM un see) n: mercy; forgiveness; mildness

The judge displayed clemency in giving the student a suspended sentence for shooting Mr. Reed, his dreadful math teacher.

The governor committed an act of clemency when he released all the convicts from the state penitentiary.

Mild weather is called clement weather; bad weather is called inclement. You should wear a coat and carry an umbrella in inclement weather.

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