Difficult Words : Connoisseur, Conjure, Consecrate, Consensus, Consonant and Construe

Difficult Words: Connoisseur, Conjure, Consecrate, Consensus, Consonant and Construe

Conjure (KON jur) v: to summon or bring into being as if by magic

The chef conjured (or conjured up) a fabulous gourmet meal using nothing more than the meager ingredients in Lucy's kitchen.

The wizard conjured (or conjured up) an evil spirit by mumbling some magic words and throwing a little powdered eye of newt into the fire.


Connoisseur (KON uh SUR) n: an expert, particularly in matters of art or taste.

The artist's work was very popular, but connoisseurs rejected it as amateurish.

Frank was a connoisseur of bad movies. He had seen them all and knew which ones were genuinely dreadful and which ones were merely poorly made.

The meal was exquisite enough to impress a connoisseur.

I like sculpture, but I'm no connoisseur. I couldn't tell you why one statue is better than another.


Consecrate (kon such KRATE) v: to make or declare sacred

The Veterans Day speaker said that the battlefield has been consecrated by the blood of the soldiers who had died there.

The priest consecrated the building by sprinkling holy water on it.

The college chaplain delivered a sermon at the consecration ceremony for the new chapel.

The opposite of consecrate is desecrate which means to treat irreverently.

The vandals desecrated the cemetery by knocking down all the tombstones. Their act of vandalism was a desecration.

Desecrate can also be applied to areas outside religion.

Doodling in a book desecrates the book, even if the book isn't a Bible.

The wife desecrated a photograph of her husband by drawing a mustache on it.

The graffiti on the front door of the school are a desecration.


Consensus (kun SEN sus) n: unanimity or general agreement

When there is a consensus, everybody feels the same way.

Contrary to how the word is often used, consensus implies more than just a rough agreement or a majority opinion. Election results don't reflect a consensus unless everyone or nearly everyone votes for the same candidate.


Consonant (KON suh nunt) adj: harmonious; in agreement

Our desires were consonant with theirs. We all wanted the same thing. The decision to construct a new gymnasium was consonant with the superintendent's belief in physical education.

The opposite of consonant is dissonant. This means inharmonious. Dissonant voices are voices that don't sound good together.


Construe (kun STROO) v: to interpret

The meaning of the poem, as I construed it, had to do with the love of a man for his dog.

Mickey construed his contract as giving him the right to do anything he wanted.

The law had always been construed as permitting the behavior for which Joe had been arrested.

To misconstrue is to misinterpret. Hank misconstrued Pamela's smile, but he certainly did not misconstrue the slap she gave him.

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