Difficult Words : Covenant, Coup, Covert, Covet, Credulous and Criterion

Difficult Words: Covenant, Coup, Covert, Covet, Credulous and Criterion

Coup (Koo) n: brilliant victory or accomplishment; the violent overthrow of a government by a small internal group

Winning a gold medal at the Olympics was a real coup for the skinny, sick, fifty-year-old man.

The student council's great coup was persuading the Rolling stones in play at our prom.

In the attempted coup in the Philippines, some army Officers tried to take over the government. The full name for this type of coup in coup d’etat (Koo day TAH)


Covenant (KUN I nint) n: a solemn agreement; a contract; a pledge each other anyone

We signed a covenant in which we promised never to drive Harry's father's car into the Murphy’s living room every again.


Covert (KUV urt, KOH vurt) adj: secret; hidden

To be covert is to be covered.

Covert activities are secret activities.

A covert military Operation is one the public knows nothing about.

Most of the activities of spies are covert.

The opposite of covert is overt. Overt (OH vurt) means open or unconcealed.


Covet (KUV it) v: to wish for enviously

To covet thy neighbor’s wife is to want thy neighbor's wife for thyself.

Billy coveted Bobby's bicycle and very nearly decided to steal it.

To be covetous is to be envious.


Credulous (KREJ uh lus) adj: eager to believe, gullible

The credulous postal patron believed that he had won a million dollars from Publishers Clearing House.

Paula was so credulous that she simply nodded happily when Ralph told her he could teach her how to fly.

Credulous should not be confused with credible. To be credible is to be believable.

Almost anything, however incredible, is credible to a credulous person.

Larry's implausible story of heroism was not credible. Still, credulous old Louis believed it.

A story that cannot be believed is incredible. If you don't believe that story someone just told you, you are incredulous.

If something is credible, it may gain credence (KREED uns), which means belief or intellectual acceptance. The chemist's sound techniques inspired credence in the scientific world.

NO one could prove Frank's theory, but his standing at the university helped it gain credence.

Another similar word is creditable, which means worthy of credit or Praise. Frances made a creditable effort to play on the boy's football team, even though she was ultimately forced to sit on the bench.

Our record in raising money was very creditable. We raised several thousand dollars every year.


Criterion (Kyre TEER ee un) n: standard; basis for judgment

When Garfield judges a meal, he has only one criterion. Is it edible?

In choosing among the linemen, the most important criterion was quickness.

The plural of criterion is criteria. You can't have one criteria. You can only have one criterion. If you have two or more, you have criteria. There is no such thing as criterions and no such thing as a criteria.

From Covenant, go to The Difficult Words Index

Letter of Invitation| Letter of Condolence| Business Letters

Synonyms and Antonyms

Vocabulary| English Teacher| Etymology| Longest Word | Letter Writing

Proverbs| Misspelled Words| Contractions

From Covenant to HOME PAGE