Difficult Words : Degenerate, Definitive, Deleterious, Delineate, Delude and Deluge

Difficult Words: Degenerate, Definitive, Deleterious, Delineate, Delude and Deluge

Definitive (di FIN uh tiv) adj: conclusive; providing the last word

Walter wrote the definitive biography of Keats. Nothing more could have been added by another book.

The army completely wiped out the invaders. Its victory was definitive.

No one could find anything to object to in Cindy's definitive explanation of how the meteorite had gotten into the bathtub.


Degenerate (dj JEN uh RATE) v: break down; to deteriorate

The discussion quickly degenerated into an argument.

A Person whose behavior had degenerated can be referred to as a degenerate (di JEN ur it).

The mood of the party was spoiled when a drunken degenerate wandered in from off the street.

Degenerate (di JEN ur it) can also be an adjective, meaning degenerated.

The slum neighborhood was degenerate.


Deleterious (DEL I TEER ee us) adj: harmful

Smoking cigarettes is deleterious to your health. So is brushing your teeth with oven cleaner or washing your hair with gasoline.

Is watching Family Feud deleterious? Of course not.


Delineate (di LIN ee ATE) v: describe accurately; to draw in outline

After Jack had delineated his plan, we had no doubt about what he intended to do.

Sharon's peculiar feelings about her pet gorilla were delineated in the newspaper article about her.

The portrait artist delineated Sarah's features and then filled in the shading.


Delude (di LOOD) to deceive

The con man deluded us into thinking that he would make us rich.

Instead, he tricked us into giving him several hundred dollars.

The deluded mental patient believed that he was a chicken sandwich.

Betty is so persuasive that she was able to delude Henrietta into thinking that she was a countess.

To be deluded is to suffer from a delusion. That he was a great poet was the delusion of the English teacher who could scarcely write two complete sentences in a row.

Bert, the well-known jerk, suffered from the delusion that he was a very great man.


Deluge (DEL yooj) n: a flood; an inundation

A deluge is a flood, but the word is often used figuratively. The $ 1 million reward for the lost poodle brought in a deluge of hot leads. The distraught owner was deluged by phone calls all week.

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