alacrity

Definition: (noun) Cheerful willingness. Synonyms: briskness, eagerness. Usage: Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart. Discuss

abjure

Definition: (verb) To renounce under oath; forswear. Synonyms: recant, retract, resile. Usage: For nearly 21 years after his resignation as Prime Minister in 1963, he abjured all titles, preferring to remain just plain “Mr.” Discuss

graybeard

Definition: (noun) A man who is very old. Synonyms: old man, Methuselah. Usage: “So, fellow-pilgrims,” said he, “here we are, seven wise men, and one fair damsel—who, doubtless, is as wise as any graybeard of the company.” Discuss

plaint

Definition: (noun) A cry of sorrow and grief. Synonyms: lament, lamentation, wail. Usage: The plaints of the bereaved widow and her young children haunt me in my sleep. Discuss

braggart

Definition: (noun) One given to loud, empty boasting; a bragger. Synonyms: blowhard, boaster, bragger, line-shooter, vaunter. Usage: He was generally considered a braggart, and others found it hard to be excited about his self-proclaimed successes. Discuss

parsimonious

Definition: (adjective) Excessively unwilling to spend. Synonyms: penurious. Usage: I had to sue my parsimonious landlord for not giving me enough heat this winter. Discuss

contrivance

Definition: (noun) An elaborate or deceitful plan or expedient. Synonyms: stratagem, plan, design, measure, scheme, trick, plot, dodge, expedient, ruse, artifice, machination. Usage: This “shortage” is nothing more than a contrivance to raise prices. Discuss

abysmal

Definition: (adjective) Extremely or hopelessly bad or severe. Synonyms: dreadful, terrible, awful, appalling, dismal, dire, ghastly, hideous, atrocious, godawful. Usage: We have been having abysmal weather lately, but the Sun is finally expected to make an appearance next week! Discuss

traipse

Definition: (verb) Walk or tramp about. Synonyms: shlep. Usage: I spent the holiday exploring the countryside, traipsing from town to town with just a knapsack of supplies on my back. Discuss

extemporaneous

Definition: (adjective) Carried out or performed with little or no preparation. Synonyms: impromptu, off-the-cuff, offhand, unrehearsed, ad-lib. Usage: Though she had not practiced for some time, Mary’s extemporaneous piano recital wowed her dinner guests. Discuss