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Friday, October 29, 2021

synonym for fit


noun [ par-uhk-siz-uhm, puh-rok‐ ]

paroxysm is another word for fit

Both words can refer to a sudden spell of heightened emotion or activity, which for both words is an extension of a medical definition for a sudden attack or intensification of a disease. Paroxysm conveys a violent, serious spell of emotion or activity more consistently than fit, but both words are used of strong emotions: a fit of rage; paroxysms of anger, rage, laughter, grief. Fit can also be applied (without facetiousness) to the onset of less acute, intense states: a fit of inactivity; a fit of nostalgia. When eruptions of emotion and activity are attributed to whole populations or geopolitical entities, paroxysm is much more likely to be used: global paroxysms; a paroxysm of nationalism.

Commonly found as

paroxysm of violence
The paroxysms of violence breaking out in towns and cities across the nation would eventually become full-on civil war.
erupt in a paroxysm of
Halfway through a very serious play, my spouse erupted in a paroxysm of laughter and had to leave the theater.

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Thursday, October 28, 2021

synonym for flashy


adjective [ gaw-dee ]

gaudy is another word for flashy

Flashy and gaudy describe things that are conspicuously showy and intended to attract attention and impress. Flashy suggests a person’s blatant, glitzy display of wealth (real or apparent): flashy cars; flashy clothes. Gaudy is less about personal lifestyle and consumption and more about taste and aesthetics. Gaudy suggests excessively bright colors and ornamentation, often tasteless or cheap: gaudy Christmas lights; gaudy gold ring; gaudy colors; gaudy costume.

Commonly found as

gaudy gold
Everyone made so much fun of the gaudy gold frame on the huge antique mirror I brought home that I was too embarrassed to admit I loved it, and let them paint over it with a more subdued color.
gaudy + tacky
They’d read about how the bright lights of the big city shone on the beach, but now that they were actually there, it all looked gaudy and tacky to them.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

synonym for ghastly


adjective [ goo-lish ]

ghoulish is another word for ghastly

In casual use, especially when the topic is Halloween or horror movies, ghastly and ghoulish get lumped together, along with other grisly, gory, and gruesome words beginning with the letter “g.” Ghastly and ghoulish have the definitions “like a ghost” and “like a ghoul,” but it’s the extended meanings we’re concerned with here. Ghastly, often used of acts and events, suggests something shockingly frightful, horrible, or repellent, particularly to the eye. You can be sure a ghastly accident or ghastly murder involved a fair amount of blood and gore. Ghoulish is less frequent, as ghouls are less prominent in American culture than ghosts. A ghoul is a demon originating in Muslim lore, said to dig up graves and feed on human corpses, and ghoulish suggests something that demonstrates monstrous cruelty or a fascination with such: the zombies’ ghoulish mission; ghoulish fascination with serial killer movies.

Commonly found as

positively ghoulish
The original story of Hansel and Gretel is positively ghoulish compared to the watered-down version we read in primary school.
ghoulish fascination
He did not want to even hear about how his sister’s snake ingested dead mice, but his sister watched it every day with ghoulish fascination.

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