Words from The Hindu

This section provides you with a list of words from the Editorials published in the “The Hindu” daily, to improve your vocabulary.

Word counter: 411

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docile ready to accept control or instruction; submissive.

e.g. “a cheap and docile workforce”

synonyms:          compliant, obedient, pliant, dutiful, willing, passive, submissive, deferential, tame, meek, mild, lamblike, unassertive, unresisting, yielding, cooperative, amenable, accommodating, biddable, persuadable, ductile, manageable, controllable, tractable, malleable, manipulable, easily manipulated, easily handled, like putty in one’s hands

mollify appease the anger or anxiety of (someone).

e.g. “nature reserves were set up around the power stations to mollify local conservationists”

synonyms:          appease, placate, pacify, conciliate, humour, soothe, calm, calm down, still, quieten, propitiate; square someone off

agrarian relating to cultivated land or the cultivation of land.

e.g. “Brazil is rapidly diversifying its agrarian economy”

antidote a medicine taken or given to counteract a particular poison.

e.g. “there is no known antidote to the poison of the pufferfish”

synonyms:          antitoxin, antiserum

poised having a composed and self-assured manner.

e.g. “not every day you saw that poised, competent kid distressed”

synonyms:          self-possessed, self-assured, composed, assured, self-controlled, cool-headed, calm, cool, {cool, calm, and collected}, at ease, tranquil, serene, unperturbed, unruffled, impassive, nonchalant, confident, self-confident, dignified, equable, imperturbable, suave, urbane, elegant

bonhomie cheerful friendliness; geniality.

e.g. “he exuded good humour and bonhomie”

synonyms:          geniality, congeniality, conviviality, cordiality, affability, amiability, sociability, friendliness, warmth, warm-heartedness, good nature, good humour, joviality, cheerfulness, good cheer, cheeriness, jollity, happiness

recourse a source of help in a difficult situation.

e.g. “surgery may be the only recourse”

synonyms:          option, possibility, alternative, possible course of action, resort, way out, place/person to turn to, source of assistance, available resource, hope, remedy, choice, expedient; refuge

browbeat intimidate (someone), typically into doing something, with stern or abusive words.

e.g. “a witness is being browbeaten under cross-examination”

synonyms:          bully, hector, intimidate, force, coerce, compel, badger, dragoon, cow, bludgeon, persecute, domineer, oppress, pressure, pressurize, tyrannize, terrorize, menace, subjugate, use strong-arm tactics on

pretext a reason given in justification of a course of action that is not the real reason.

e.g. “the rebels had the perfect pretext for making their move”

synonyms:          excuse, false excuse, ostensible reason, alleged reason, plea, supposed grounds

quietus death or something that causes death, regarded as a release from life
unruly disorderly and disruptive and not amenable to discipline or control.

e.g. “a group of unruly children”

synonyms:          disorderly, rowdy, wild, unmanageable, uncontrollable, disobedient, disruptive, attention-seeking, undisciplined, troublemaking, rebellious, mutinous, anarchic, chaotic, lawless, insubordinate, defiant, wayward, wilful, headstrong, irrepressible, unrestrained, obstreperous, difficult, intractable, out of hand, refractory, recalcitrant

espouse adopt or support (a cause, belief, or way of life).

e.g. “the left has espoused the causes of sexual and racial equality”

synonyms:          adopt, embrace, take up, take to, take to one’s heart, receive enthusiastically/wholeheartedly, accept, welcome

baffle totally bewilder or perplex.

e.g. “an unexplained occurrence that baffled everyone”

synonyms:          perplex, puzzle, bewilder, mystify, bemuse, confuse, confound, nonplus, disconcert, throw, set someone thinking

obfuscate make obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.

e.g. “the spelling changes will deform some familiar words and obfuscate their etymological origins”

synonyms:          obscure, confuse, make obscure/unclear, blur, muddle, jumble, complicate, garble, muddy, cloud, befog; muddy the waters

corrosive tending to cause corrosion.

e.g. “the corrosive effects of salt water”

synonyms:          caustic, corroding, eroding, erosive, abrasive, biting, mordant, burning, stinging

conscientious wishing to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly.

e.g. “a conscientious man, he took his duties very seriously”

synonyms:          diligent, industrious, punctilious, painstaking, sedulous, assiduous, dedicated, careful, meticulous, thorough, attentive, laborious, hard-working, ultra-careful, persevering, unflagging, searching, close, minute, accurate, correct, studious, rigorous, particular

abeyance a state of temporary disuse or suspension.

e.g. “matters were held in abeyance pending further enquiries”

synonyms:          suspension, a state of suspension, a state of dormancy, a state of latency, a state of uncertainty, suspense, remission, reserve

apathy lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.

e.g. “widespread apathy among students”

synonyms:          indifference, lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm, lack of concern, unconcern, uninterestedness, unresponsiveness, impassivity, passivity, passiveness, detachment, dispassion, dispassionateness, lack of involvement, phlegm, coolness

stalwart loyal, reliable, and hard-working.

e.g. “he remained a stalwart supporter of the cause”

synonyms:          staunch, loyal, faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated, dependable, reliable, steady, constant, trusty, hard-working, vigorous, stable, firm, steadfast, redoubtable, resolute, unswerving, unwavering, unhesitating, unfaltering

murky dark and gloomy, especially due to thick mist.

e.g. “the sky was murky and a thin drizzle was falling”

synonyms:          dark, gloomy, grey, leaden, dull, dim, overcast, cloudy, clouded, sunless, foggy, misty, dismal, dreary, bleak, louring, threatening, cheerless, depressing, shadowy, sombre


obscure or morally questionable.

e.g. “a government minister with a murky past”

synonyms:          questionable, suspicious, suspect, dubious, dark, mysterious, secret

lackadaisical lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy.

e.g. “a lackadaisical defence left Spurs adrift in the second half”

synonyms:          careless, lazy, lax, unenthusiastic, half-hearted, uninterested, lukewarm, indifferent, uncaring, unconcerned, casual, offhand, blasé, insouciant, leisurely, relaxed

alibi a claim or piece of evidence that one was elsewhere when an act, typically a criminal one, is alleged to have taken place.

e.g. “she has an alibi for the whole of yesterday evening”

fledgling a person or organization that is immature, inexperienced, or underdeveloped.

e.g. “the country’s fledgling democracy”

synonyms:          emerging, emergent, arising, sunrise, dawning, beginning

sabotage deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage.

e.g. “power lines from South Africa were sabotaged by rebel forces”

synonyms:          wreck, deliberately damage, vandalize, destroy, obstruct, disrupt, cripple, impair, incapacitate

conspiracy a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.

e.g. “a conspiracy to destroy the government”

synonyms:          plot, scheme, stratagem, plan, machination, cabal

escalation a rapid increase; a rise.

e.g. “cost escalations”

synonyms:          rapid increase, rise, hike, advance, growth, leap, upsurge, upturn, upswing, climb, jump, spiralling

flaunt display (something) ostentatiously, especially in order to provoke envy or admiration or to show defiance.

e.g. “newly rich consumers eager to flaunt their prosperity”

synonyms:          show off, display ostentatiously, draw attention to, make a (great) show of, put on show, put on display, parade, exhibit

chink a narrow opening, typically one that admits light.

e.g. “a chink in the curtains”

synonyms:          opening, gap, space, hole, aperture, break, breach, crack, fissure, crevice, cranny, cleft, cut, rift, split, slit, slot

foothold a secure position from which further progress may be made.

e.g. “the company is attempting to gain a foothold in the Russian market”

persecute subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of their race or political or religious beliefs.

e.g. “his followers were persecuted by the authorities”

synonyms:          oppress, abuse, victimize, ill-treat, mistreat, maltreat, discriminate against, punish, inflict pain/suffering on, tyrannize, afflict, torment, torture, martyr

slur an insinuation or allegation about someone that is likely to insult them or damage their reputation.

e.g. “the comments were a slur on staff at the hospital”

synonyms:          insult, slight, slander, slanderous statement, libel, libellous statement, misrepresentation, defamation, aspersion, calumny, smear

bereft deprived of or lacking (something).

e.g. “her room was stark and bereft of colour”

synonyms:          deprived of, robbed of, stripped of, denuded of

nuance a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound.

e.g. “he was familiar with the nuances of the local dialect”

synonyms:          fine distinction, subtle distinction/difference, shade, shading, gradation, variation, modulation, degree

derogatory showing a critical or disrespectful attitude.

e.g. “she tells me I’m fat and is always making derogatory remarks”

synonyms:          disparaging, denigratory, belittling, diminishing, slighting, deprecatory, depreciatory, depreciative, detracting, deflating

squander waste (something, especially money or time) in a reckless and foolish manner.

e.g. “£100m of taxpayers’ money has been squandered on administering the tax”

synonyms:          waste, misspend, misuse, throw away, dissipate, fritter away, run through, lose, lavish, spend recklessly, spend unwisely, make poor use of, be prodigal with, spend money like water

lexicon the vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge.

e.g. “the size of the English lexicon”


a dictionary, especially of Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, or Arabic.

e.g. “a Greek–Latin lexicon”

synonyms:          dictionary, wordbook, vocabulary list, glossary, wordfinder

vengeful seeking to harm someone in return for a perceived injury.

e.g. “a vengeful ex-con”

synonyms:          vindictive, revengeful, out for revenge, avenging, unforgiving, resentful, grudge-bearing, bitter, acrimonious

oust drive out or expel (someone) from a position or place.

e.g. “the reformists were ousted from power”

synonyms:          drive out, expel, force out, throw out, remove, remove from office/power, eject, get rid of, depose, topple, unseat, overthrow, bring down, overturn, put out, drum out, thrust out, push out, turn out, purge, evict, dispossess, dismiss, dislodge, displace, supplant, disinherit, show someone the door

crackdown a series of severe measures to restrict undesirable or illegal people or behaviour.

e.g. “a crackdown on car crime”

synonyms:          clampdown, getting tough, severe/stern measures, repression, suppression, abolition, elimination, eradication, end, stop

complicity the fact or condition of being involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong.

e.g. “they were accused of complicity in the attempt to overthrow the government”

synonyms:          collusion, involvement, collaboration, connivance, abetment

sully damage the purity or integrity of.

e.g. “they were outraged that anyone should sully their good name”

synonyms:          taint, defile, soil, tarnish, stain, blemish, besmirch, befoul, contaminate, pollute, spoil, mar, spot, make impure, disgrace, dishonour, injure, damage

tenuous very weak or slight.

e.g. “the tenuous link between interest rates and investment”

synonyms:          slight, insubstantial, flimsy, negligible, weak, fragile, shaky, sketchy, doubtful, dubious, questionable, suspect


very slender or fine; insubstantial.

e.g. “a tenuous cloud”

synonyms:          fine, thin, slender, attenuated, delicate, gossamer, fragile

cliche a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.

e.g. “that old cliché ‘a woman’s place is in the home’”

synonyms:          platitude, hackneyed phrase, commonplace, banality, truism, trite phrase, banal phrase, overworked phrase, stock phrase, bromide

certitude absolute certainty or conviction that something is the case.

e.g. “the question may never be answered with certitude”

synonyms:          certainty, confidence, sureness, positiveness, conviction, reliability, assuredness, assurance

rebut claim or prove that (evidence or an accusation) is false.

e.g. “he had to rebut charges of acting for the convenience of his political friends”

synonyms:          refute, deny, disprove, prove wrong, prove false

allegiance loyalty or commitment to a superior or to a group or cause.

e.g. “those wishing to receive citizenship must swear allegiance to the republic”

synonyms:          loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, obedience, fealty, adherence, homage, devotion, bond

dissipate disappear or cause to disappear.

e.g. “the concern she’d felt for him had wholly dissipated”

synonyms:          disappear, vanish, evaporate, dissolve, melt away, melt into thin air, be dispelled

pinnacle the most successful point; the culmination.

e.g. “he had reached the pinnacle of his career”

synonyms:          highest level, peak, height, high point/spot, summit, top, climax, crowning point, peak of perfection, apex, vertex, zenith, apogee, ascendancy, upper limit, acme, meridian

stench a strong and very unpleasant smell.

e.g. “the stench of rotting fish”

synonyms:          stink, bad smell, foul smell, reek, miasma, effluvium

transgression an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offence.

e.g. “I’ll be keeping an eye out for further transgressions”

synonyms:          offence, crime, sin, wrong, wrongdoing, misdemeanour, felony, misdeed, lawbreaking, vice, evil-doing, indiscretion, peccadillo, mischief, mischievousness, wickedness, misbehaviour, bad behaviour

wrest forcibly pull (something) from a person’s grasp.

e.g. “Leila tried to wrest her arm from his hold”

synonyms:          wrench, snatch, seize, grab, take by force, remove by force, force, prise, peel, pluck, tear, rip, heave, twist, tug, pull, jerk, dislodge

primacy the fact of being pre-eminent or most important.

e.g. “London’s primacy as a financial centre”

synonyms:          greater importance, priority, precedence, pre-eminence, preference, superiority, first place, pride of place, weighting, supremacy, ascendancy, sovereignty, dominance, dominion, leadership

conciliatory intended or likely to placate or pacify.

e.g. “a conciliatory approach”

synonyms:          propitiatory, placatory, appeasing, pacifying, pacific, mollifying, so as to pour oil on troubled waters, peacemaking, reconciliatory

seamless smooth and continuous, with no apparent gaps or spaces between one part and the next.

e.g. “the seamless integration of footage from different sources”

incipient beginning to happen or develop.

e.g. “he could feel incipient anger building up”

synonyms:          developing, impending, growing, emerging, emergent, dawning

sagacity acuteness of mental discernment and soundness of judgment

e.g. “a man of great political sagacity”

synonyms:          wisdom, (deep) insight, intelligence, understanding, judgement, acuity, astuteness, insight, sense, canniness, sharpness, depth, profundity, profoundness, perceptiveness, penetration, perception, percipience, perspicuity, discernment, erudition, learning, knowledgeability, thoughtfulness

elusive difficult to find, catch, or achieve.

e.g. “success will become ever more elusive”

synonyms:          difficult to catch/find, difficult to track down

mogul an important or powerful person, especially in the film or media industry.

e.g. “the Hollywood movie mogul, Sam Goldwyn”

synonyms:          magnate, tycoon, VIP, notable, notability, personage, baron, captain, king, lord, grandee, mandarin, nabob

trounce defeat heavily in a contest.

e.g. “Essex trounced Cambridgeshire 5–1 in the final”

synonyms:          defeat utterly, beat hollow, win a resounding victory over, annihilate, drub, rout, give someone a drubbing, crush, overwhelm, bring someone to their knees;

apotheosis the highest point in the development of something; a culmination or climax.

e.g. “his appearance as Hamlet was the apotheosis of his career”

synonyms:          culmination, climax, crowning moment, peak, pinnacle, summit, zenith, apex, acme, apogee, high point, highest point, height, high water mark

vitriolic filled with bitter criticism or malice.

e.g. “vitriolic attacks on the politicians”

synonyms:          acrimonious, rancorous, bitter, caustic, mordant, acerbic, astringent, acid, acrid, trenchant, virulent, spiteful, crabbed, savage, venomous, poisonous, malicious, malignant, malign, pernicious, splenetic

tacit understood or implied without being stated.

e.g. “your silence may be taken to mean tacit agreement”

synonyms:          implicit, understood, implied, inferred, hinted, suggested, insinuated

rudimentary involving or limited to basic principles.

e.g. “he received a rudimentary education”

synonyms:          basic, elementary, introductory, early, primary, initial, first

chasm a deep fissure in the earth’s surface.

e.g. “a chasm a mile long”

synonyms:          gorge, abyss, canyon, ravine, gully, gulf, pass, defile, couloir, crevasse, cleft, rift, rent


a profound difference between people, viewpoints, feelings, etc.

e.g. “the chasm between rich and poor”

synonyms:          breach, gulf, rift

reverberation prolongation of a sound; resonance.

e.g. “electronic effects have been added, such as echo and reverberation”

synonyms:          resonance, echo, echoing, re-echoing, resounding, pulsation, vibration, ringing, peal, boom, booming, rumble, rumbling, roll, pound, pounding, thump, thumping, drumming, thrumming More


a continuing effect; a repercussion.

“the attack has had reverberations around the world”

vigilante a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.
atrocity an extremely wicked or cruel act, typically one involving physical violence or injury.

e.g. “a textbook which detailed war atrocities”

synonyms:          act of barbarity, act of brutality, act of savagery, act of wickedness, cruelty, abomination, enormity, outrage, horror, monstrosity, obscenity, iniquity, violation, crime, transgression, wrong, wrongdoing, offence, injury, affront, scandal, injustice, abuse

reprisal an act of retaliation.

e.g. “three youths died in the reprisals which followed”

synonyms:          retaliation, counterattack, counterstroke, comeback

intimidate frighten or overawe (someone), especially in order to make them do what one wants.

e.g. “the forts are designed to intimidate the nationalist population”

synonyms:          frighten, menace, terrify, scare, alarm, terrorize, overawe, awe, cow, subdue, discourage, daunt, unnerve

unequivocal leaving no doubt; unambiguous.

e.g. “an unequivocal answer”

synonyms:          unambiguous, unmistakable, indisputable, incontrovertible, indubitable, undeniable

odium general or widespread hatred or disgust incurred by someone as a result of their actions.

e.g. “he incurred widespread odium for military failures and government corruption”

synonyms:          disgust, abhorrence, repugnance, revulsion, repulsion, loathing, detestation, hatred, hate, execration, obloquy, dislike, disapproval, disapprobation, distaste, disfavour, aversion, antipathy, animosity, animus, enmity, hostility, contempt, censure, condemnation

subsume include or absorb (something) in something else.

e.g. “most of these phenomena can be subsumed under two broad categories”

discourse written or spoken communication or debate.

e.g. “the language of political discourse”

synonyms:          discussion, conversation, talk, dialogue, communication, conference, debate, consultation, verbal exchange

paradigm a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model.

e.g. “society’s paradigm of the ‘ideal woman’”

condign (of punishment or retribution) appropriate to the crime or wrongdoing; fitting and deserved.

e.g. “condign punishment was rare when the criminal was a man of high social standing”

trump surpass (something) by saying or doing something better.

e.g. “if the fetus is human life, that trumps any argument about the freedom of the mother”

synonyms:          outshine, outclass, upstage, put in the shade, eclipse, surpass, outdo, outperform

mar impair the quality or appearance of; spoil.

e.g. “violence marred a number of New Year celebrations”

synonyms:          spoil, ruin, impair

fiefdom a territory or sphere of operation controlled by a particular person or group.

e.g. “a mafia boss who has turned the town into his private fiefdom”

bloat make or become swollen with fluid or gas.

e.g. “the fungus has bloated their abdomens”

plague cause continual trouble or distress to.

e.g. “he has been plagued by ill health”

synonyms:          afflict, bedevil, cause suffering to, torture, torment, trouble, beset, dog, curse, rack

cavil make petty or unnecessary objections.

e.g. “they cavilled at the cost”

synonyms:          complain, carp, grumble, moan, grouse, grouch, whine, bleat, find fault with, quibble about, niggle about

clampdown a concerted or harsh attempt to suppress something.

e.g. “a clampdown on crime”

synonyms:          suppression, prevention, stopping, stamping out

suffocate die or cause to die from lack of air or inability to breathe.

e.g. “ten detainees suffocated in an airless police cell”

synonyms:          smother, asphyxiate, stifle

thwart prevent (someone) from accomplishing something.

e.g. “he never did anything to thwart his father”

platitude a remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.

e.g. “she began uttering liberal platitudes”

synonyms:          cliché, truism, commonplace, hackneyed/ trite/ banal/ overworked saying, banality, old chestnut

curfew a regulation requiring people to remain indoors between specified hours, typically at night.

e.g. “a dusk-to-dawn curfew”

succour assistance and support in times of hardship and distress.

e.g. “the wounded had little chance of succour”

synonyms:          aid, help, a helping hand, assistance

countenance a person’s face or facial expression.

e.g. “his impenetrable eyes and inscrutable countenance give little away”

synonyms:          face, features, physiognomy, profile; More


support or approval.

“she was giving her specific countenance to the occasion”

promulgate promote or make widely known (an idea or cause).

e.g. “these objectives have to be promulgated within the organization”

synonyms:          make known, make public, publicize, spread, communicate, propagate, disseminate, circulate, broadcast, promote, announce, proclaim


put (a law or decree) into effect by official proclamation.

e.g. “in January 1950 the new Constitution was promulgated”

synonyms:          put into effect, enact, implement, enforce, pass

motley incongruously varied in appearance or character; disparate.

e.g. “a motley crew of discontents and zealots”

synonyms:          miscellaneous, disparate, diverse, assorted, sundry, varied, mixed, diversified, heterogeneous

cynic a person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honourable or unselfish reasons.

e.g. “some cynics thought that the controversy was all a publicity stunt”

extant still in existence; surviving.

e.g. “an extant letter”

synonyms:          still existing, in existence, surviving, remaining, abiding, enduring, undestroyed, present, existent

impervious not allowing fluid to pass through.

e.g. “an impervious layer of basaltic clay”

synonyms:          impermeable, impenetrable, impregnable, waterproof, watertight, water-resistant, water-repellent; More


unable to be affected by.

e.g. “he worked, apparently impervious to the heat”

synonyms:          unaffected by, untouched by, immune to, invulnerable to, insusceptible to, not susceptible to, proof against, unreceptive to, closed to, resistant to, indifferent to, heedless of, unresponsive to, oblivious to, unmoved by, deaf to

deliberation long and careful consideration or discussion.

e.g. “after much deliberation we arrived at a compromise”

synonyms:          thought, thinking, consideration, reflection, contemplation, cogitation, pondering, weighing up, musing, meditation, rumination, brooding

impinge have an effect, especially a negative one.

e.g. “several factors impinge on market efficiency”

synonyms:          affect, have an effect on, have a bearing on, touch, influence, exert influence on, make an impression on, make an impact on, leave a mark on


advance over an area belonging to someone or something else; encroach.

e.g. “the proposed fencing would impinge on a public bridleway”

synonyms:          encroach on, intrude on, infringe, invade, trespass on, obtrude into, make inroads into, cut through, interfere with

albeit though.

e.g. “he was making progress, albeit rather slowly”

impending be about to happen.

e.g. “my impending departure”

synonyms:          imminent, at hand, close, close at hand, near, nearing, approaching, coming, forthcoming, upcoming, to come, on the way, about to happen, upon us, in store, in the offing, in the pipeline, on the horizon, in the air, in the wind, brewing, looming

goad provoke or annoy (someone) so as to stimulate an action or reaction.

e.g. “he was trying to goad her into a fight”

synonyms:          provoke, spur, prick, sting, prod, egg on, hound, badger, incite, rouse, stir, move, stimulate, motivate, excite, inflame, work/fire up, impel, pressure, pressurize, dragoon, prompt, induce, encourage, urge, inspire

salvage rescue (a wrecked or disabled ship or its cargo) from loss at sea.

e.g. “an emerald and gold cross was salvaged from the wreck”

synonyms:          rescue, save, recover, retrieve, raise, reclaim, get back, restore, reinstate

arrogate take or claim (something) without justification.

e.g. “they arrogate to themselves the ability to divine the nation’s true interests”

synonyms:          assume, take, take on, take over, secure, acquire, seize, expropriate, take possession of, help oneself to, make free with, appropriate, steal, wrest, usurp, commandeer, hijack, annex, claim, lay claim to

throng a large, densely packed crowd of people or animals.

e.g. “he pushed his way through the throng”

synonyms:          crowd, mass, multitude, horde, host, mob, assemblage, gathering, congregation, crush, press, body, band, army, troop, legion, gang, stream, swarm, flock, bevy, herd, pack, drove, array, sea, myriad, pile

purge rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition.

e.g. “Bob had helped purge Martha of the terrible guilt that had haunted her”


physically remove (something) completely.

e.g. “a substance designed to purge impurities from the body”

satire the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

e.g. “the crude satire seems to be directed at the fashionable protest singers of the time”

synonyms:          mockery, ridicule, derision, scorn, caricature

solitary done or existing alone.

e.g. “I live a pretty solitary life”

synonyms:          lonely, companionless, unaccompanied, by oneself/itself, on one’s/its own, (all) alone, friendless

bigotry intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.

e.g. “the difficulties of combating prejudice and bigotry”

synonyms:          prejudice, bias, partiality, partisanship, sectarianism, discrimination, unfairness, injustice

nihilistic rejecting all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless.

e.g. “an embittered, nihilistic teenager”

dissonance lack of agreement or harmony between people or things.

e.g. “the party faithful might be willing to put up with such dissonance among their candidates”

synonyms:          incongruity, disparity, discrepancy, disagreement, tension

laud (of an action, idea, or aim) deserving praise and commendation.

e.g. “laudable though the aim might be, the results have been criticized”

synonyms:          praiseworthy, commendable, admirable, meritorious, worthy, deserving, creditable, worthy of admiration, estimable, of note, noteworthy, exemplary, reputable, honourable, excellent, sterling

heft the weight of someone or something.

e.g. “he was buckle-kneed from the heft of his staggering load”

restraint a measure or condition that keeps someone or something under control.

e.g. “decisions are made within the financial restraints of the budget”


unemotional, dispassionate, or moderate behaviour; self-control.

e.g. “he urged the protestors to exercise restraint”

synonyms:          self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline, control, moderation, temperateness, abstemiousness, non-indulgence, prudence, judiciousness

expeditious done with speed and efficiency.

e.g. “an expeditious investigation”

synonyms:          speedy, swift, quick, rapid, fast

invoke call on (a deity or spirit) in prayer, as a witness, or for inspiration.

synonyms:          pray to, call on, appeal to, plead with, supplicate, entreat, solicit, beseech, beg, implore, importune, petition


cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument.

e.g. “the antiquated defence of insanity is rarely invoked in England”

synonyms:          cite, refer to, adduce, instance

oversee supervise (a person or their work), especially in an official capacity.

e.g. “the Home Secretary oversees the police service”

synonyms:          supervise, superintend, be in charge of, be responsible for, run, look after, keep an eye on, inspect, administer, organize, manage, direct, guide, control, be in control of, preside over, head (up), lead, chair, umpire, referee, judge, adjudicate, moderate, govern, rule, command

endorse declare one’s public approval or support of.

e.g. “the report was endorsed by the college”

equilibrium a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced.

e.g. “the task is the maintenance of social equilibrium”

synonyms:          balance, symmetry, equipoise, parity, equality, evenness


a calm state of mind.

e.g. “his intensity could unsettle his equilibrium”

synonyms:          composure, calmness, calm, equanimity, collectedness, sangfroid, coolness

appease pacify or placate (someone) by acceding to their demands.

e.g. “amendments have been added to appease local pressure groups”

synonyms:          conciliate, placate, pacify, make peace with, propitiate, palliate, allay, reconcile, win over


assuage or satisfy (a demand or a feeling).

e.g. “we give to charity because it appeases our guilt”

synonyms:          satisfy, fulfil, gratify, meet, fill, serve, provide for, indulge

cohesion the action or fact of forming a united whole.

e.g. “the work at present lacks cohesion”

synonyms:          unity, togetherness, solidarity, bond, sticking together, continuity, coherence, connection, linkage, interrelatedness

wrath extreme anger.

e.g. “he hid his pipe for fear of incurring his father’s wrath”

synonyms:          anger, rage, fury, annoyance, indignation, outrage, pique, spleen, chagrin, vexation, exasperation, dudgeon, high dudgeon, hot temper, bad temper, bad mood, ill humour, irritation, irritability, crossness, displeasure, discontentment, disgruntlement, irascibility, cantankerousness, peevishness, querulousness, crabbiness, testiness, tetchiness, snappishness

rebellion an act of armed resistance to an established government or leader.

e.g. “the authorities put down a rebellion by landless colonials”

synonyms:          uprising, revolt, insurrection, mutiny, revolution, insurgence, insurgency, rising, rioting, riot

rebuff reject (someone or something) in an abrupt or ungracious manner.

e.g. “I asked her to be my wife, and was rebuffed in no uncertain terms”

synonyms:          reject, turn down, spurn, refuse, decline, repudiate, disdain

reinstate restore (someone or something) to their former position or state.

e.g. “the union threatened strike action if Owen was not reinstated”

synonyms:          restore, return to a former position, return to power, put back, replace, bring back, reinstitute, reinstall, rehabilitate, re-establish

partisan prejudiced in favour of a particular cause.

e.g. “newspapers have become increasingly partisan”

synonyms:          biased, prejudiced, one-sided, coloured, discriminatory, preferential, partial, interested, parti pris, bigoted, sectarian, factional, unjust, unfair, inequitable, unbalanced

propriety conformity to conventionally accepted standards of behaviour or morals.

e.g. “he always behaved with the utmost propriety”

synonyms:          decorum, respectability, decency, correctness, appropriateness, good manners, courtesy, politeness, rectitude, civility, modesty, demureness

fallout the adverse results of a situation or action.

e.g. “he’s prepared to take calculated risks regardless of political fallout”

evocative bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind.

e.g. “powerfully evocative lyrics”

synonyms:          reminiscent, suggestive, redolent

imbue inspire or permeate with (a feeling or quality).

e.g. “his works are invariably imbued with a sense of calm and serenity”

synonyms:          permeate, saturate, diffuse, suffuse, pervade

vestige a trace or remnant of something that is disappearing or no longer exists.

e.g. “the last vestiges of colonialism”

synonyms:          remnant, remainder, fragment, relic, echo, indication, sign, trace, mark, print, imprint, impression, legacy, reminder, memento, souvenir, token, trophy

gimmick a trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or trade.

e.g. “it is not so much a programme to improve services as a gimmick to gain votes”

synonyms:          publicity device, stunt, contrivance, eye-catching novelty, scheme, trick, dodge, ploy, stratagem

holistic relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts

e.g. “<holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body”

engulf (of a natural force) sweep over (something) so as to surround or cover it completely.

e.g. “the cafe was engulfed in flames”

synonyms:          inundate, flood, deluge, immerse, swamp, wash out, swallow up, submerge; More


powerfully affect (someone); overwhelm.

e.g. “a feeling of anguish so great that it threatened to engulf him”

synonyms:          inundate, flood, deluge, immerse, swamp, wash out, swallow up, submerge

charisma compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.

e.g. “he has tremendous charisma and stage presence”

synonyms:          charm, presence, aura, personality, force of personality, strength of character, individuality

dissuade persuade (someone) not to take a particular course of action.

e.g. “his friends tried to dissuade him from flying”

synonyms:          discourage, deter, prevent, disincline, turn aside, divert, sidetrack

restive unable to remain still, silent, or submissive, especially because of boredom or dissatisfaction.

e.g. “the crowd had been waiting for hours and many were becoming restive”

synonyms:          restless, fidgety, edgy, on edge, tense, uneasy, ill at ease, worked up, nervous, agitated, anxious, on tenterhooks, keyed up, apprehensive, unquiet, impatient

dour relentlessly severe, stern, or gloomy in manner or appearance.

e.g. “a hard, dour, humourless fanatic”

synonyms:          stern, unsmiling, unfriendly, frowning, poker-faced, severe, forbidding, morose, sour, gruff, surly, uncommunicative, grim, gloomy, dismal, sullen, sombre, grave, sober, serious, solemn, austere, stony, unsympathetic, disapproving

talisman an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.

e.g. “those rings, so fresh and gleaming, were their talismans”

synonyms:          lucky charm, charm, fetish, amulet, mascot, totem, idol, juju, phylactery

poignant evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret.

e.g. “a poignant reminder of the passing of time”

synonyms:          touching, moving, sad, saddening, affecting, pitiful, piteous, pitiable, pathetic, sorrowful, mournful, tearful, wretched, miserable, bitter, painful, distressing, disturbing, heart-rending, heartbreaking, tear-jerking, plaintive, upsetting, tragic

underdog a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.

e.g. “we go into this game as the underdogs”

synonyms:          weaker party, victim, prey

fervid intensely enthusiastic or passionate, especially to an excessive degree.

e.g. “his fervid protestations of love”

impunity exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.

e.g. “the impunity enjoyed by military officers implicated in civilian killings”

synonyms:          immunity, indemnity, exemption from punishment, freedom from punishment, exemption, non-liability, licence

facet a particular aspect or feature of something.

e.g. “a philosophy that extends to all facets of the business”

synonyms:          aspect, feature, side, dimension, particular, characteristic, detail, point, ingredient, strand, factor

retaliate make an attack in return for a similar attack.

e.g. “the blow stung and she retaliated immediately”

synonyms:          fight back, strike back, hit back, respond, react, reply, reciprocate, counterattack, return fire, return the compliment, put up a fight, take the bait, rise to the bait, return like for like, get back at someone, get, give tit for tat, give as good as one gets, let someone see how it feels, give someone a dose/taste of their own medicine

consternation a feeling of anxiety or dismay, typically at something unexpected.

e.g. “to her consternation her car wouldn’t start”

synonyms:          dismay, perturbation, anxiety, distress, disquiet, disquietude, discomposure, angst, trepidation

polarise divide or cause to divide into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs.

e.g. “the cultural sphere has polarized into two competing ideological positions”

unswerving not changing or becoming weaker; steady or constant.

e.g. “unswerving loyalty”

synonyms:          unwavering, unfaltering, unhesitating, unflinching, steadfast, unshakeable, undaunted, staunch, firm, resolute, stalwart, dedicated, committed, constant, single-minded, earnest

gulf a large difference or division between two people or groups, or between viewpoints, concepts, or situations.

e.g. “the widening gulf between the rich and the poor”

synonyms:          divergence, contrast, polarity, divide, division, separation, difference, wide area of difference

viability Capable of success or continuing effectiveness; practicable

e.g. a viable plan; a viable national economy

feasibility the state or degree of being easily or conveniently done.

e.g. “the feasibility of screening athletes for cardiac disease”

synonyms:          practicability, practicality, workability, workableness, viability, achievability, attainability, reasonableness, sensibleness

proximity nearness in space, time, or relationship.

e.g. “do not operate microphones in close proximity to television sets”

synonyms:          closeness, nearness, presence, juxtaposition, propinquity, adjacency

becalm leave (a sailing ship) unable to move through lack of wind.

e.g. “both boats hung on before the whole fleet was becalmed south of Rampholme”

synonyms:          stranded, stuck, marooned, motionless, at a halt, still, at a standstill, unmoving

semblance the outward appearance or apparent form of something, especially when the reality is different.

e.g. “she tried to force her thoughts back into some semblance of order”

synonyms:          appearance, outward appearance, approximation, show, air, guise, pretence, facade, front, veneer

normalcy normality; the state of being normal; a normal condition or situation

e.g. “Let’s hope for an end to the war and a return to normalcy.”

nemesis a long-standing rival; an arch-enemy.

e.g. “Will Harry Potter finally defeat his nemesis, Voldemort?”

synonyms:          arch-enemy, arch-rival, enemy, rival, foe, adversary, opponent, antagonist, combatant, challenger

curate select, organize, and present, typically using professional or expert knowledge.

e.g. “both exhibitions are curated by the Centre’s director”

stint a person’s fixed or allotted period of work.

e.g. “his varied career included a stint as a magician”

synonyms:          spell, stretch, period, time, turn, run, session, term

pragmatic dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

e.g. “a pragmatic approach to politics”

arduous involving or requiring strenuous effort; difficult and tiring.

e.g. “an arduous journey”

synonyms:          onerous, taxing, difficult, hard, heavy, laborious, burdensome, strenuous, vigorous, back-breaking, stiff, uphill, relentless, Herculean

topple overbalance or cause to overbalance and fall.

e.g. “she toppled over when I touched her”

synonyms:          fall, tumble, overturn, overbalance, tip, keel, drop, pitch, plunge, capsize, collapse, founder, plummet, dive, lose one’s balance, go head over heels


remove (a government or person in authority) from power; overthrow.

e.g. “disagreement had threatened to topple the government”

synonyms:          overthrow, oust, depose, unseat, overturn, bring down, overcome, bring low, defeat, get rid of, dislodge, eject, supplant, dethrone

haven a place of safety or refuge.

e.g. “a haven for wildlife”

synonyms:          refuge, retreat, shelter, sanctuary, asylum, place of safety, place of security, port in a storm, harbour, oasis, sanctum

ruthless having or showing no pity or compassion for others.

e.g. “a ruthless manipulator”

synonyms:          merciless, pitiless, cruel, heartless, hard-hearted, hard, stony-hearted, stony, with a heart of stone, cold-blooded, cold-hearted, harsh, callous, severe, unmerciful, unrelenting, unsparing, unforgiving, unfeeling, uncaring, unsympathetic, uncharitable, lacking compassion

uptick a small increase or slight upward trend.

e.g. “an uptick in foreign tourism”

myriad countless or extremely great in number.

e.g. “he gazed at the myriad lights of the city”

synonyms:          innumerable, countless, infinite, numberless, unlimited, untold, limitless, unnumbered, immeasurable, multitudinous, numerous, manifold, multiple, legion, several, many, various, sundry, diverse, multifarious

rejig organize (something) differently; rearrange.

e.g. “the organizers scrambled frantically to rejig schedules”

wield hold and use (a weapon or tool).

e.g. “a masked raider wielding a handgun”

synonyms:          brandish, flourish, wave, twirl, display, flaunt, hold aloft, show off, swing, shake


have and be able to use (power or influence).

e.g. “faction leaders wielded enormous influence within the party”

synonyms:          exercise, exert, be possessed of, have, have at one’s disposal, hold, maintain, command, control, manage, be in charge of

credo a statement of the beliefs or aims which guide someone’s actions.

e.g. “he announced his credo in his first editorial”

cacophony a harsh discordant mixture of sounds.

e.g. “a cacophony of deafening alarm bells”

synonyms:          din, racket, noise, discord, dissonance, discordance, caterwauling, raucousness, screeching, jarring, stridency, grating, rasping

prurient having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters, especially the sexual activity of others.

e.g. “she’d been the subject of much prurient curiosity”

synonyms:          salacious, licentious, voyeuristic, lascivious, lecherous, lustful, lewd, libidinous, lubricious

travail painful or laborious effort.

e.g. “advice for those who wish to save great sorrow and travail”

vilify speak or write about in an abusively disparaging manner.

e.g. “he has been vilified in the press”

synonyms:          disparage, denigrate, defame, run down, revile, berate, belittle, abuse, insult, slight, attack, speak ill of, speak evil of, pour scorn on, cast aspersions on, criticize, censure, condemn, decry, denounce, pillory, lambaste

ridicule subject to contemptuous and dismissive language or behaviour.

e.g. “his theory was ridiculed and dismissed”

synonyms:          deride, mock, laugh at, heap scorn on, hold up to shame, hold up to ridicule, expose to ridicule, jeer at, jibe at, sneer at, show up, treat with contempt, scorn, make fun of, poke fun at, make jokes about, laugh to scorn, scoff at, pillory, be sarcastic about, satirize, lampoon, burlesque, caricature, parody, tease, taunt, rag, chaff, twit

pander gratify or indulge (an immoral or distasteful desire or taste or a person with such a desire or taste).

e.g. “newspapers are pandering to people’s baser instincts”

synonyms:          indulge, gratify, satisfy, cater to, give in to, fulfil, yield to, bow to, humour, please, accommodate, comply with, go along with

contravention an action which offends against a law, treaty, or other ruling.

e.g. “the publishing of misleading advertisements was a contravention of the Act”

synonyms:          breach, violation, infringement, non-observance, breaking, transgression, neglect, dereliction

echelons a level or rank in an organization, a profession, or society.

e.g. “the upper echelons of the business world”

synonyms:          level, rank, grade, step, rung, tier, stratum, plane, position, order, division, sector

earmark designate (funds or resources) for a particular purpose.

e.g. “the cash had been earmarked for a big expansion of the programme”

synonyms:          set aside, lay aside, set apart, keep back, appropriate, reserve, keep

revamp give new and improved form, structure, or appearance to.

e.g. “an attempt to revamp the museum’s image”

synonyms:          renovate, redecorate, refurbish, recondition, rehabilitate, rebuild, reconstruct, overhaul, make over

incinerate destroy (something, especially waste material) by burning.

e.g. “waste packaging is to be incinerated rather than buried in landfills”

synonyms:          burn, burn up, reduce to ashes, consume by fire, carbonize; cremate

disarray a state of disorganization or untidiness.

e.g. “her grey hair was in disarray”

synonyms:          disorder, confusion, chaos

anarchy a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems.

e.g. “he must ensure public order in a country threatened with anarchy”

synonyms:          lawlessness, absence of government, nihilism, mobocracy, revolution, insurrection, riot, rebellion, mutiny, disorder, disorganization, misrule, chaos, tumult, turmoil, mayhem, pandemonium

disband (with reference to an organized group) break up or cause to break up.

e.g. “the unit was scheduled to disband”

synonyms:          break up, disperse, demobilize, dissolve, scatter, separate, go separate ways, part company

incumbent necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility.

e.g. “the government realized that it was incumbent on them to act”

synonyms:          binding, obligatory, mandatory, necessary, compulsory, required, requisite, essential, imperative

“it is incumbent on the government to give a clear lead”


(of an official or regime) currently holding office.

e.g. “the incumbent President was defeated”

synonyms:          current, existing, present, in office, in power; reigning

hindsight understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed.

e.g. “with hindsight, I should never have gone”

foster encourage the development of (something, especially something desirable).

e.g. “the teacher’s task is to foster learning”

synonyms:          encourage, promote, further, stimulate, advance, forward, cultivate, nurture, strengthen, enrich, help, aid, abet, assist, contribute to, support, endorse, champion, speak for, proselytize, sponsor, espouse, uphold, back, boost, give backing to, facilitate

clout influence or power, especially in politics or business.

e.g. “I knew she carried a lot of clout”

synonyms:          influence, power, pull, weight, sway, leverage, control, say, mastery, dominance, domination, advantage

siege a military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender.

e.g. “Verdun had withstood a siege of ten weeks”

synonyms:          blockade, beleaguerment, encirclement

assailant a person who physically attacks another.

e.g. “the police have no firm leads about the identity of his assailant”

synonyms:          attacker, mugger

crusader a person who campaigns vigorously for political, social, or religious change; a campaigner.

e.g. “crusaders for early detection and treatment of mental illnesses”

synonyms:          campaigner, fighter, battler

apostate a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.

e.g. “after fifty years as an apostate he returned to the faith”

synonyms:          dissenter, heretic, nonconformist

simmer keep (food) just below boiling point when cooking or heating it.

e.g. “simmer the sauce gently until thickened”


exist in a suppressed state.

e.g. “the disagreement simmered for years and eventually boiled over”

catalyse cause or accelerate (a reaction) by acting as a catalyst.

e.g. “the enzyme catalyses the oxidation of acetaldehyde”


cause (an action or process) to begin.

e.g. “the introduction of the canal and the railway catalysed the city’s industrial growth”

redress remedy or set right (an undesirable or unfair situation).

e.g. “the question is how to redress the consequences of racist land policies”

synonyms:          rectify, correct, put/set/make right, right, put to rights, compensate for, sort out, deal with, amend, remedy, repair, fix, cure, heal, make good, reform, harmonize, retrieve, improve, better, ameliorate, adjust, resolve, settle, square

mandatory required by law or mandate; compulsory.

e.g. “wearing helmets was made mandatory for pedal cyclists”

synonyms:          obligatory, compulsory, binding, required

hostile showing or feeling opposition or dislike; unfriendly.

e.g. “a hostile audience”

synonyms:          antagonistic, aggressive, confrontational, belligerent, bellicose, pugnacious, militant, truculent, combative, warlike

inimical tending to obstruct or harm.

e.g. “the policy was inimical to Britain’s real interests”

synonyms:          harmful, injurious, detrimental, deleterious, pernicious, damaging, hurtful, dangerous, destructive, ruinous, calamitous; More


unfriendly; hostile.

e.g. “an inimical alien power”

synonyms:          hostile, unfriendly, antagonistic, ill-disposed, unkind, unsympathetic, malevolent, malign

unanimous (of two or more people) fully in agreement.

e.g. “the doctors were unanimous in their diagnoses”

synonyms:          united, in complete agreement, in complete accord, of one mind, like-minded, of the same mind, in harmony, at one, with one voice, concordant, undivided

tardy delaying or delayed beyond the right or expected time; late.

e.g. “please forgive this tardy reply”

tangible perceptible by touch.

e.g. “the atmosphere of neglect and abandonment was almost tangible”

synonyms:          touchable, palpable, tactile, material, physical, real, substantial, corporeal, solid, concrete

plight a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation.

e.g. “we must direct our efforts towards relieving the plight of children living in poverty”

impart make (information) known.

e.g. “the teachers imparted a great deal of knowledge to their pupils”

synonyms:          communicate, pass on, convey, transmit, relay, relate, recount, set forth, present, tell, make known, make public, go public with, report, announce, proclaim, spread, disseminate, circulate, promulgate, broadcast


bestow (a quality).

e.g. “shiitake mushrooms impart a wonderfully woody flavour to the salad”

synonyms:          give, bestow, confer, grant, lend, accord, afford, provide, supply, offer, yield, contribute

portent a sign or warning that a momentous or calamitous event is likely to happen.

e.g. “many birds are regarded as being portents of death”

synonyms:          omen, sign, indication, presage, warning, forewarning, harbinger, augury, signal, promise, threat, menace, ill omen, forecast, prediction, prognostication, prophecy, straw in the wind, writing on the wall, hint, auspice

consolidate make (something) physically stronger or more solid.

e.g. “the first phase of the project is to consolidate the outside walls”


combine (a number of things) into a single more effective or coherent whole.

e.g. “all manufacturing activities have been consolidated in new premises”

synonyms:          combine, unite, merge, integrate, amalgamate, fuse, blend, mingle, marry, synthesize, bring together

tapestry a piece of thick textile fabric with pictures or designs formed by weaving coloured weft threads or by embroidering on canvas, used as a wall hanging or soft furnishing.

e.g. “panelled walls hung with old tapestries”


used in reference to an intricate or complex sequence of events.

e.g. “the loopiness of the Commons adds to life’s rich tapestry”

ostensible stated or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so.

e.g. “the real dispute which lay behind the ostensible complaint”

synonyms:          apparent, seeming, outward, surface, superficial, professed, supposed, avowed, presumed, so-called, alleged, declared, claimed, purported, pretended, feigned, specious

ensemble a group of musicians, actors, or dancers who perform together.

e.g. “a Bulgarian folk ensemble”

synonyms:          group, band, orchestra, combo; More


a group of items viewed as a whole rather than individually.

e.g. “the buildings in the square present a charming provincial ensemble”

synonyms:          whole, whole thing, entity, unit, unity, body, piece, object

malevolent having or showing a wish to do evil to others.

e.g. “the glint of dark, malevolent eyes”

synonyms:          malicious, spiteful, hostile, evil-minded, baleful, bitter, evil-intentioned, poisonous, venomous, evil, malign, malignant, rancorous, vicious, vindictive, revengeful, vengeful, pernicious

grisly causing horror or disgust.

e.g. “the town was shaken by a series of grisly crimes”

synonyms:          gruesome, ghastly, frightful, horrid, horrifying, fearful, hideous, macabre, spine-chilling, horrible, horrendous, grim, awful, dire, dreadful, terrible, horrific

bestiality savagely cruel or depraved behaviour.

e.g. “there seems no end to the bestiality of men”

phantasmagoria a sequence of real or imaginary images like that seen in a dream.

e.g. “what happened next was a phantasmagoria of horror and mystery”

conjure cause (a spirit or ghost) to appear by means of a magic ritual.

e.g. “they hoped to conjure up the spirit of their dead friend”