Synonym of the day

Synonym of the day


malicious is a synonym of mean

adjective [ muh-lish-uhs ]

malicious is another word for mean

There’s not a lot to like when it comes to today’s word pair. Mean is defined as “offensive, selfish, or unaccommodating.” A person might get mean when they don’t get their way. As unpleasant as that may be, today’s synonym is even worse: malicious means “full of, characterized by, or showing malice,” that is, a desire to inflict injury, harm or suffering on another. The difference is a matter of intent. Whereas a person can be mean out of pettiness or bad temper, reflexive qualities that aren’t necessarily targeted at anyone in particular, malicious behavior is done with the clear intent to cause pain or damage to someone or something.

Commonly found as

malicious intent
In the story, the protagonist wound up causing damage to a few friendships, but he did so without malicious intent. He was simply trying to get to the truth.
false + malicious
The article was full of allegations against the celebrity, who said they were all false and malicious.

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enormous is a synonym of large

adjective [ ih-nawr-muhs ]

enormous is another word for large

The adjectives large and enormous both imply great magnitude. Large is defined as “of more than average size, quantity, or degree,” and enormous is defined as “greatly exceeding the common size or extent.” The main difference between these two descriptors is that large operates within the boundaries of what is average or standard (I don’t want the small skillet; I need the large one!); enormous applies to what is out of the norm or unusual (the young singer has enormous potential). You may have noticed the word norm right there in the middle of the word—that's no coincidence, and it's a good reminder of the mold-breaking nature of the term. Usually when we use enormous, it is to emphasize that something stretches the limits of what seems possible or that it goes beyond what was expected or imagined.

Commonly found as

enormous amount
On the heels of her wildly successful debut novel, the author was under an enormous amount of pressure to produce a second book that was even better.
wield + enormous
The new residents complained that the homeowner's association wielded enormous power.

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whimsical is a synonym of playful

adjective [ hwim-zi-kuhl, wim- ]

whimsical is another word for playful

The adjective playful means different things in different contexts. When we call a puppy playful, we usually mean it is frolicsome or full of fun (naturally!). When we describe a remark as playful, we mean it is pleasantly humorous or jesting. Whimsical describes a particular kind of playfulness—one that is wildly imaginative and a bit unpredictable. When used to describe a person, whimsical emphasizes a capricious and fanciful disposition; when describing a work of art or piece of writing, whimsical suggests a kind of extravagantly playful expression that incorporates elements of fantasy.

Commonly found as

whimsical + fun
The pattern of the piano teacher's scarf was whimsical and fun, depicting the score of her favorite musical.
wonderfully whimsical
The play was wonderfully whimsical, and it was a delight for audiences of all ages.

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