Synonym of the day

Synonym of the day

Thursday, April 29, 2021


callous is a synonym of insensitive

adjective [ kal-uhs ]

callous is another word for insensitive

When we describe someone as insensitive, we usually mean they are unfeeling or deficient in human sensibility, acuteness of feeling, or consideration: His glib remarks showed how insensitive he was. This descriptor implies a lack of awareness and responsiveness in thought and action. The synonym callous is more than just unaware or inconsiderate, it’s hardened to the point of cruelty. Callous means “unsympathetic” or “indifferent”: They have a callous attitude toward the sufferings of others. Its literal meaning is “made hard,” or “hardened,” as in the case of skin that has experienced repeated friction, resulting in a callus. Drawing on this earlier sense of the word, figurative uses of callous may imply that one is insensitive to hurt as the result of continued repression and indifference.

Commonly found as

callous disregard
The developer approached the building project with a callous disregard for the environment, removing trees and polluting the nearby stream.
cruel + callous
The book publishers did not want to sound cruel and callous when they rejected budding writers’ work, but they were working within strict time and production limits.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021


construe is a synonym of interpret

verb [ verb kuhn-stroo ]

construe is another word for interpret

Interpret and construe are close enough in meaning that if you look them up in the dictionary, you might see them defining each other! But that’s not to say that there aren’t differences between the two. Interpret is the more common verb and it primarily means “to explain” or “to provide the meaning of,” as in the case of someone who interprets a symbol or interprets the hidden meaning in a written passage. More loosely, to interpret something is to make sense of it. Construe implies a bit more subjectivity or variety of perspective. To construe something is to deduce its meaning by inference, or to understand something in a particular way, especially in a legal context. It is related to the verb construct by way of Latin construere “to put together, build.” While that etymological tidbit is unlikely to help you win trivia night, it is helpful in remembering how to use this word: when you construe something you are, in a way, putting together its meaning or significance.

Commonly found as

construe + narrowly/broadly
The court construed the statute narrowly to mean that only texts published by named authors are copyright protected.
should not be construed
Grandpa's nitpicking about his new digs should not be construed as disapproval; he loved his new home, but he also liked to complain!

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Synonym of the Day Calendar

Synonym of the day

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


portray is a synonym of describe

verb [ pawr-trey, pohr- ]

portray is another word for describe

To describe something is to tell or depict it in written or spoken words: He described the accident very carefully. The synonym portray suggests a more graphic or vivid accounting of events. This term, as you might’ve guessed, has an artistic heritage; its earliest use in English was to mean “to make a likeness of by drawing, painting, or carving.” This brings into focus portray’s connection to such words as portrait and portraiture. When you portray something, you’re not just recounting it; you’re attempting to paint a picture with words! More theatrically, portray means “to represent dramatically,” as an actor might represent a historical figure on the stage.

Commonly found as

media + portray
The media had portrayed the celebrity as egotistical and vapid, but in reality he was quite the opposite.
accurately portray
The diplomat was surprised to see that her colleague’s summary of the meeting did not accurately portray events.

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