Synonym of the day

Synonym of the day

Friday, April 30, 2021


handy is a synonym of useful

adjective [ han-dee ]

handy is another word for useful

The adjective useful is commonly used to describe things that are in some way helpful or advantageous for a particular purpose: The recruiter provided the job seeker with a ton of useful information about the role. The synonym handy is a bit more informal and is used especially to talk about things that are convenient or that make things easier: The article was published alongside a handy glossary of terms so readers wouldn’t get lost in the technical terminology. Handy appears quite frequently in the phrase “come in handy,” as in, The article listed a bunch of tips and tricks that might one day come in handy.

Commonly found as

handy guide
The horticulturist added lots of helpful hints for first-time tillers to his handy guide to gardening.
come in handy
Knowing a little French can come in handy when learning to cook since many terms are borrowed from it, such as sous vide and mis en place

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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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Synonym of the day

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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