Difficult Words : Despondent, Desiccate, Despot, Destitute, Desultory and Dialectical

Difficult Words: Despondent, Desiccate, Despot, Destitute, Desultory and Dialectical

Desiccate (DES uh KATE) v: to dry out

The hot wind desiccated the few grapes remaining on the vine. After a day or two, they looked like raisins.

After a week without water, the desiccated plan fell over and died.

Plums become prunes through a process of desiccation.


Despondent (di SPON dunt) adj: extremely depressed; full of despair

The cook became despondent when the wedding cake exploded fifteen minutes before the reception.

After the death of his wife, the man was despondent for many months.

The team fell into despondency after losing the state championship by a single point.


Despot (DES put) n: an absolute ruler; an autocrat

The manager of the office was a despot. Workers who disagreed with him were fired.

The island kingdom was ruled by a ruthless despot who executed suspected rebels at noon each day in the village square.

To act like a despot is to be despotic. There was cheering in the street when the country's despotic government was overthrown.


Destitute (DES ti TOOT) adj: extremely poor; utterly lacking

Destitute people are people without money or possessions or with very little money and very few possessions.

To be left destitute is to be left without money or property.

The word can also be used figuratively. A teacher might accuse her students of being destitute of brains or intellectually destitute.


Desultory (DES ul TOHR ee) adj: without a plan or purpose; disconnected; random

Phil made a few desultory attempts to start a garden, but nothing came of them.

In his desultory address, Jake skipped from one topic to another and never came to the point.

The discussion at our meeting was desultory. No one's comments seemed to bear any relation to anyone else's.


Dialectical (DYE uh LEK ti kul) adj: relating to discussions; relating to the rules and methods of reasoning; approaching truth in the middle of opposing extremes

The game of Twenty Questions is dialectical in that the participants attempt to narrow down a chosen object by asking a series of even more specific questions.

The noun is dialectics.

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 Despondent to HOME PAGE