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English Tutor: Bombastic Words and Phrases

By Khuthadzo Malinda, South Africa:

If your English teachers were anything like mine, then they would have taught you to use simple words. During comprehension writing, my English teacher would absolutely discourage us (me) using words too big for the normal everyday Joe (teacher) to understand. Well, I am not in high school anymore and these words are just plain fun! It is even better when you know how and when to use them. Learn a new word as often as you can, it is really great for your vocabulary.

1
. Meaning of bombastic (adjective)
Pompous; wordy; turgid; inflated; exaggerated

Example
The bombastic woman talks a lot about herself.

2. Meaning of mettlesome (adjective)
courageous; brave; fearless.

Example
Such an attitude required fresh springs of energy, and the effect – I was delighted to sense it as I woke each day – was to make me more bouncy and mettlesome than I had been for weeks.

3. Meaning of obtrusive (adjective)
Thrusting oneself or itself into undue prominence; invasive.

Example
But the waitresses in Marshall and Shelly had new uniforms, dark purple instead of the old coffee-cream shade, and a different style of cap, more up to date and less obtrusive.

4. Meaning of cynical (adjective)
Sarcastic; doubting the sincerity of others; pessimistic.

Example
The conversation which follows is the last in the book, and the weakest, too, a stagey means of imparting some crucial news for Bellow to fulminate against all that is rotten and cynical in American youth.

5. Meaning of depraved (adjective)
Corrupt; degenerate; debauched.

Example
The depraved state of women in monogamy, associated as it is with private property and capitalism, will according to him, be replaced when capitalism is overthrown.

6. Meaning of labyrinthine (adjective)
Complicated; confusing; maze-like.

Example
she forced her mind through the labyrinthine sentences of Jacques Mhlongo and Jacques Derrida until her eyes were bloodshot and her head ached.

7. Meaning of rueful (adjective)
Regretful; mournful; pitiable.

Example
His head was bare and his smile was just a little rueful, as if he were uncertain of his welcome.
She looked down at her new French muslin pyjamas, the corners of her thin lips turning up in a rueful smile, wondering if the whiskey stains would come out – and deciding that they probably wouldn’t.

8. Meaning of improvident (adjective)
Wasteful; careless; not saving up for future needs.

Example
An improvident person may end up destitute in later life.

9. Meaning of sordid
Filthy; base; vile; foul; dirty.

Example
The sordid gutters needed to be cleaned after the long, rainy autumn.
The criminals thought patterns were so sordid that he was not granted parole.

10. Meaning of quixotic (adjective)
Foolishly idealistic; extravagantly chivalrous; impractical.

Example
He was popular with the ladies due to his quixotic charm.
She had a quixotic view of the world, believing that humans need never suffer.

11. Meaning of obtuse (adjective)
Lacking in quickness and perception or intellect.

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