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Synonym of the day


vestige is a synonym of trace

noun [ ves-tij ]

vestige is another word for trace

The more common word trace suggests a mark, sign, or other evidence of the former presence or action of something (trace of blood; traces of a fire). A vestige is such a trace remaining of something that existed in the past, often the very distant past (vestiges of a past era; the only remaining vestige). Trace has a broad range of use, but is most frequently used of a very small amount of substance scientifically detected and analyzed. Vestige is a more evocative word; it can suggest the remainder of something that we can’t otherwise experience or that will never exist again—except in this last vestige.

Commonly found as

the only remaining vestige
This fragment of pottery may be the only remaining vestige of the ancient island culture storied in the literature of subsequent ages.
vestige + past
Ronald couldn’t bear to take his shirt to the cleaners because it bore what he called “vestiges of the past,” which looked suspiciously like ketchup stains.

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subsist is a synonym of survive

verb [ suhb-sist ]

subsist is another word for survive

Both verbs refer to staying or remaining alive despite adverse conditions, circumstances, or events. Survive can suggest living on after something (survived the drought) or living or getting through something very difficult (survived by begging). Subsist is closer to the latter sense of survive. It refers to how a person or animal survives physically, particularly with respect to nutrition and often suggests obtaining the minimum food or nutrients necessary to live (subsist by hunting; subsisted on nuts and berries). Those who are said to subsist on a particular diet, usually eat only one or two types of food, which may be due to scarcity, poverty, or an unbalanced lifestyle (subsisted on a diet of coffee and donuts).

Commonly found as

subsist + mainly
We were young, broke, and subsisted mainly on ramen noodles.
subsist on a diet of
In winter, snowshoe hares subsist on a diet of whatever plant material pokes out above the deep snow, which could be woody stems or even pine needles.

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contrite is a synonym of sorry

adjective [ kuhn-trahyt, kon-trahyt ]

contrite is another word for sorry

How do you know when someone is truly sorry? When they’re contrite. Sorry’s most common use is in an apology, where it acknowledges, and suggests regret for, something one has done to another. It can also simply describe this feeling of regret about an action (He was sorry to have forgotten her birthday). Contrite suggests a sincere feeling of remorse or, in Christian contexts, repentance. In religious texts, contrite is frequently applied to the heart or spirit. In general usage, it is commonly found paired with the verbs “to be,” “to look,” “to sound” and “to appear” or modifying nouns such as expression, statement, or tone, all of which gauge the credibility of an apology.

Commonly found as

appear contrite
The defendant appeared contrite and took full responsibility for the damage done to his neighbor’s front yard.
contrite statement
After deleting some controversial posts on social media, the athlete issued a contrite statement, asking his fans for forgiveness.

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