Synonym of the day

Synonym of the day


ambivalent is a synonym of uncertain

adjective [ am-biv-uh-luhnt ]

ambivalent is another word for uncertain

Both adjectives can be used to describe when a person is unsure or doubtful about something. Someone who looks uncertain or who is uncertain what to do, think, or choose simply may not know what to do or think, out of lack of confidence. Ambivalent suggests having two conflicting or opposing feelings simultaneously, and for this reason being undecided: I’m ambivalent about the movie. There is a tendency to use ambivalent in contrast to affirmative or positive, so it seems to suggest a degree of negativity towards something based on a lack of decisive sentiment: You seem ambivalent about going out with her.

Commonly found as

ambivalent relationship
The occupied country had an ambivalent relationship with the occupiers, benefiting from increased trade but suffering from more restrictions on their civil liberties.
ambivalent about
She was ambivalent about both candidates, which made it extra difficult to cast her vote.

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fracas is a synonym of fight

noun [ frey-kuhs, frak-uhs ]

fracas is another word for fight

No need for these two words to duke it out; each one has its place. Fight refers to, among other things, a physical struggle or contest between two or more people, with or without weapons: sent home from school for fighting. Fracas has a much more particular and vivid meaning. For fracas to be a strong substitute for fight, the conflict in question must be a loud and disorderly scuffle and involve anywhere from two people to a small group. A fracas could break out or erupt among football supporters in the stands, between a belligerent drunk and the police, or even on the floor of a government’s parliament.

Commonly found as

fracas + ensue
The baseball landed in the stands, and a fracas ensued among the unruly fans.
fracas + injure
One police officer was injured in the fracas outside Miami’s notorious nightclub.

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exhort is a synonym of urge

verb [ ig-zawrt ]

exhort is another word for urge

To urge is to insistently and earnestly ask someone to take a particular action: urge someone to see a doctor. Urge suggests pressing or leading someone verbally, similar to the way an urge we have can move us to act. Exhort, from a Latin verb meaning “to encourage,” suggests a high or moral endeavor relying on passionate arguments to persuade. Exhorting may take the form of advising or warning in the effort to convince (“Ask not what your country can do for you…”), and it is often on a larger scale: a crowd, followers, troops, or readers who are exhorted by a leader. You might use exhort instead of urge when the context calls for this word’s particularity, but it is also used as an alternative to urge in everyday contexts: she exhorted her child to eat the oatmeal.

Commonly found as

exhort + followers
After winning a free election following years of military rule, she exhorted her followers not to gloat over the election results, as reconciling with the generals was the aim.
writer + exhorts
The writer of this week’s column exhorts townsfolk to avoid focusing selfishly on the short-term inconvenience of the road closures and to support the construction of the highway bridge.

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