Difficult Words : Latent, Largess, Laud, Legacy, Lethargy and Libel

Difficult Words : Latent, Largess, Laud, Legacy, Lethargy and Libel

Largess (Lahr JES) n: generous giving of gifts (or the gifts themselves), generosity, philanthropy

Sam was marginally literate at best. Only the largess of his uncle got Sam into Princeton.

Largess can also be spelled largesse.

Laud (laud) v: to praise, to applaud, to extol, to celebrate

The bank manager lauded the hero who trapped the escaping robber.

The local newspaper published a laudatory editorial on this intrepid individual.

Laudable means praising and/or praiseworthy.

Giving several million dollars to charity is a laudable act of philanthropy.

Latent (LAYT unt) adj: present but not visible or apparent, potential

A Photographic image is latent in a piece of exposed film. It’s there. But you can't see it until the film is developed.

Legacy (LEG uh see) n: something handed down from the past, a bequest.

The legacy of the corrupt administration was chaos, bankruptcy and despair.

A shoebox full of baseball cards was the dead man's only legacy.

To be a legacy at a college sorority is to be the daughter of a former sorority member.

Lethargy (LETH Ur jee) n: sluggishness, laziness, drowsiness, indifference

The couch potato had fallen into a state of such total lethargy that he never moved except to channels or get another bag of Doritos from the kitchen.

The lethargy of the library staff caused what should have been a quick errand to expand into a full day's work.

To levitate something is to make it so light that it floats up into the air.

Levity comes from the same root and had to do with a different kind of lightness.

The speaker's levity was not appreciated by the convention of funeral directors who felt that a convention of funeral directors was no place to tell jokers.

The judge's attempt to inject some levity into the dreary court proceeding (by setting off a few firecrackers in the jury box) was entirely successful.

Libel (LYE bul) n: a written or published falsehood that injures the reputation of, or defames, someone

The executive said that the newspaper had committed libel when it called him a stinking, no-good, corrupt, incompetent, overpaid, lying worthless moron. He claimed that the newspaper had libeled him and that its description of him had been libelous. At the trial, the jury disagreed, saying that the newspaper's description of the executive had been substantially accurate.

Don't confuse this word with liable which means something else entirely.

Slander is just like libel except that it is spoken instead of written. To slander someone is to say something untrue that injures that person's reputation.

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