Difficult Words : Enfranchise, Enervate, Engender, Enigma, Enormity and Ephemeral

Difficult Words: Enfranchise, Enervate, Engender, Enigma, Enormity and Ephemeral

Enervate (EN ur VATE) v: to reduce the strength or energy of, especially to do so gradually

Mark felt enervated by his long ordeal and couldn't make himself get out of bed.

Clinging to a flagpole for a month without food or water enervated me, and one day I fell asleep and fell off.

Life itself seemed to enervate the old man. He grew weaker and paler with every breath he drew.


Enfranchise (en FRAN chize) v: to grant the privileges of citizenship, especially the right to vote

In the United States, citizens become enfranchised on their eighteenth birthdays.

American women were not enfranchised until the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 which gave them the right to vote.

To disfranchise (not disenfranchise) someone is to take away the privileges of citizenship or take away the right to vote. One of the goals of the reform candidate was to disfranchise the bodies at the cemetery, which had had a habit of voting for the crooked mayor.


Engender (en JEN dur) v: to bring into existence; to create; to cause

My winning lottery ticket engendered a great deal of envy among my co –workers. They all wished that they had won.

Smiles engender smiles.

The bitter lieutenant engendered discontent among his troops.


Enigma (en NIG muh) n: a mystery

Hal is an enigma. He never does any homework but he always gets good grades.

The Wizard spoke in riddles and enigmas and no one could understand what he was saying.

An enigma is enigmatic (EN ig MAT ik).

Hal's good grades were enigmatic. So was the wizard's speech.


Enormity (i NAWR mi tee) u: extreme evil, a hideous offense; immensity

Hitler's soldiers stormed through the village, committing one enormity after another.

Enormity does not mean hugeness or great size, although it is often misused in this way. Use immensity instead.


Ephemeral (I FEM ur al) adj: lasting a very short time

Ephemeral comes from the Greek and means lasting a single day. The word is usually used more loosely to mean lasting a short time.

Youth and flowers are all ephemeral. They're gone before you know it. Some friendships are ephemeral.

The tread on those used tires will probably turn out to be ephemeral.

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 Enfranchise to HOME PAGE