Say it better – letters A-C

This page contains words that begin with “A” to words that begin with “C”. The list is part of a project entitled, Say it better.


abhorrent – adj. inspiring disgust and loathing; repugnant

abjure – v. solemnly renounce (a belief, cause, or claim)

abnegate – v. deny, reject, renounce, abjure

acrimonious – adj. (typically of speech or discussion) angry and bitter

acumen – n. the ability to make good judgements and take quick decisions

altruistic – adj. showing a disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others; unselfish

anathema – n. something or someone that one vehemently dislikes

antipathy – n. 1. a feeling of intense dislike 2. the object of a feeling of intense aversion; something to be avoided

apoplectic – adj. overcome with anger; extremely indignant

articulate – adj. having or showing the ability to speak fluently and coherently | v. pronounce (something) clearly and distinctly

asinine – adj. extremely foolish or stupid

atavistic – adj. relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral (synonym: throwback)

augment – v. make (something) greater by adding to it; increase

autarky/autarchy – n. economic independence or self-sufficiency

autodidact – n. a self-taught person

bedlam – n. a scene of uproar and confusion

bellicose – adj. demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight

brevity – n. concise and exact use of words in writing or speech

camp – adj. (of a man or his manner) ostentatiously and extravagantly effeminate; deliberately exaggerated and theatrical in style, typically for humorous effect

cantankerous – adj. bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative

capricious – adj. given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behaviour

catharsis/cathartic – n. the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions | adj. providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis

causeway – n. a raised road or track across low or wet ground

caustic – adj. sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way

caveat – n. a warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations

centrifugal – adj. moving or tending to move away from a centre

churlish – adj. rude in a mean-spirited and surly way

cogent – adj. (of an argument or case) clear, logical, and convincing

cognition/cognitive – n. the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses | adj. relating to cognition

cognitive dissonance – phr. excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time

commensurate – adj. corresponding in size or degree; in proportion

commiserate – v. express or feel sympathy or pity; sympathize

concomitant – adj. naturally accompanying or associated | n. a phenomenon that naturally accompanies or follows something

conflate – v. combine (two or more sets of information, texts, ideas, etc.) into one

conjecture – n. an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information

conspicuous – adj. clearly visible; attracting notice or attention

contrite – adj. feeling or expressing remorse at the recognition that one has done wrong

contrived – adj. deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously; created or arranged in a way that seems artificial and unrealistic

contusion – n. a region of injured tissue or skin in which blood capillaries have been ruptured; a bruise

convolute – adj. (especially of an argument, story, or sentence) extremely complex and difficult to follow

coquettish – adj. behaving in such a way as to suggest a playful sexual attraction; flirtatious

crucible – n. a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new


A – C »» D – H »» I – M »» N – R »» S – Z

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