Meaning: To decrease; diminish; put an end to
Sounds Like: A bait
Imagine This: Worms are used as bait in fishing.After the bait is cast into the river, the bait usually decreases in size because some fish have nibbled on it. Frequently, the bait disappears in a short time. You need skill, patience, and luck.
Meaning: To do away with; annul
Imagine This: A mother tries very hard to convince her stubborn daughter by saying, “Please do away with your foolish argument!
Other Forms: Abolishment (noun); Abolition (noun)
Meaning: To shorten in duration
Looks Like: A bridge
Imagine This: A bridge is built so that transportation from one side to another is shortened in duration.
Remember This: A famous World War II movie “A Bridge Too Far portrays Allied paratroopers who were to be dropped off near the bridge. They were instructed to capture and secure the retreating German forces. If they had succeeded, the war would have been shortened.
Other Forms: Abridgement (noun)
Meaning: To depart secretly
Sounds Like: Ab’s_cone (ice cream cone)
Imagine This: Ab’s kitchen has many boxes of ice cream cones. Mysteriously, the cones disappear all the time. Ab says, “I just don’t know where my cones have gone; maybe they have legs“ They just depart secretly. It is weird!
Meaning: To free from blame or penalty; to pardon
Sounds Like: Absorb
Imagine This: If you have the capacity to absorb other’s fault, you will pardon others for doing bad things to you.absorb other’s fault, you will pardon others for doing bad things to you.
A lawyer, called Ab, has a case in which his client is accused of murder. In order to get his client away from blame and penalty, Ab needs to solve the case by finding a credible witness.
Meaning: Difficult to understand; recondite
Sounds Like: Abs truth
Imagine This: Abs ” Sounds and looks like in Absent. Abs_truth ” Absent of truth Things that are absent of truth are usually difficult to understand.
Other Forms: Abstrusely (adverb); Abstruseness (noun)
Meaning: To emphasize; distinctive manner of pronunciation
Imagine This: People from Texas usually speak with a distinctive “Southern accent.
Other Forms: Accentual (adjective); Accenting (verb)
Meaning: An honor; a praise; or an award
Sounds Like: Echo_lad
Imagine This: A proud lad yells his name aloud, and his name echoes back as if others were praising him.
Remember This: The highest accolade in the athletic world is the Olympic Gold Medal.
Meaning: Sour or bitter tasting; acid
Looks Like: Ace_bic ” #1_BIC (pen and pencil manufacturer)
Imagine This: There is a very bitter and sour battle going on between BIC and other manufacturers to grab the #1 spot in the stationery business.
Other Forms: Acerbity (noun); Acerb (adjective)
Meaning: Agree; accept an agreement silently
Looks Like: Acquire_scent
Sounds Like: A_quest_cent ” A journey for a cent.
Imagine This: When the aroma-therapist (one who specializes in fragrance and its healing powers) finds a new aromatic compound, he/she has to acquire enough documentation about its medicinal uses in order to convince others to agree with him/her.
Would you agree to start a journey to find a dealer who is willing to sell you a car for a cent”
Other Forms: Acquiesce (verb); Acquiescence (noun)
Meaning: Bitterness of speech or manner; ill feeling
Sounds Like: Acrid (corrosive; bitter)_money; Acre_money
Imagine This: Two developers are arguing over the money for an acre of land. The arguments are full of anger and bitterness.
Other Forms: Acrimonious (adjective); Acrimoniously (adverb)
Meaning: Resistant to change; firm in purpose
Sounds Like: A_damn_ant
Imagine This: A stubborn ant is blocking traffic. Other ants shout, “Move, you damn ant!
Other Forms: Adamantly (adverb)
Meaning: Add beauty or ornament to something
Sounds Like: Adore (admire); A dorm
Imagine This: Won’t you adore your girlfriend if she dresses up nicely and puts on cosmetics and beautiful ornaments”
College students usually like dorms that are beautifully decorated.
Other Forms: Adornment (noun)
Meaning: Clever; skillful
Sounds Like: A_droid (robot)
Remember This: The famous robots, 3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars.These sophisticated robots are very skillful with their hands.
Other Forms: Adroitness (noun); Adroitly (adverb)
Meaning: An opponent; a foe; an enemy
Sounds Like: Anniversary
Imagine This: During the D-Day anniversary (the landing of the Allied forces on Normandy Beach in World War II), the old surviving soldiers still clearly remember how they bravely fought to defeat their enemy.
Remember This: Adverse means contrary or opposite.
Other Forms: Adverse
Meaning: Easy to talk to; kind and polite
Sounds Like: A_fable (story)
Remember This: The storytellers who like to tell children fables are usually easy going, kind and polite.
Meaning: Formed into a mass; a college or group
Sounds Like: Congregate (come together) like the congregation of a church.
Imagine This: At the end of a football game or concert, people quickly congregate at the exits like ants grouping around a piece of candy.
Other Forms: Aggregation (noun)
Meaning: Illusion (misleading visual image such as in magic tricks)
Imagine This: Jack, the magician, not only tricks the eyes of his audience by illusion; he also tricks others’ ears when he is off stage.He refers things indirectly, never telling the straight out fact, which makes people wonder what he means.
Other Forms: Allude (verb); Allusive (adjective)
Sounds Like: A_roof
Remember This: Detached houses have roofs that are separated.
Other Forms: Aloofness (noun)
Meaning: Concern the well being and happiness of others
Sounds Like: Al’s_truth_stick
Imagine This: Al, the judge, is concerned about the well being of innocent people.He wishes there is something like the Magical Truth Telling Stick to make liars tell the truth in court; thereby protecting the innocent.
Other Forms: Altruism (noun)
Meaning: Accumulate; pile up
Looks Like: A_mess (very unorganized and disorderly)
Sounds Like: A_mass (Catholic worship service)
Imagine This: If you keep on accumulating and piling up your personal belongings on the floor of your bedroom, it will become a mess.
Remember This: When the Pope visits different countries around the world, many people gather to listen to his preaching during a mass.
Other Forms: Amassing (verb)
Meaning: Able to use both hands well with equal skill
Sounds Like: Ambi_dextrous
Remember This: Ambi-” A prefix meaning both; Dextrous ” Skilfull with the hands
Meaning: Presence of two opposing feelings at the same time; contradicting values
Looks Like: Ambi_valence
Sounds Like: Ambulance (with its siren blaring)
Imagine This: The ambulance driver stops at the intersection, wondering which is the quickest way to the site of the accident.
Remember This: Ambi- ” a prefix meaning both Valence ” Capacity of an atom to combine with, or to be replaced by, another atom in a chemical reaction.
Meaning: To make or become better
Sounds Like: Amelio_ate
Imagine This: Amelio, a homeless man, ate at charitable meal sites and begged for money in order to make life better.
Remember This: Mr. Gil Amelio was once hired by Apple Computer to make the company better.Instead, he was let go shortly thereafter.
Meaning: Characterized by or exhibiting friendliness or goodwill; friendly
Looks Like: Amy_cable; Amy_able
Sounds Like: Amigo
Imagine This: Amy works in a circus as a tightrope walker.Not only can she stay on the cable, but she is also extremely friendly to all the spectators.
Amy is an able nurse who is very friendly and agreeable.She cheers up the patients in the hospital.
Remember This: Amigo is the Spanish word for friend.
Meaning: Peaceful or friendly relations
Sounds Like: Peaceful or friendly relations
Imagine This: Ami is very friendly and always serves tea to everyone who visits her.
Remember This: Amigo is the Spanish word for “friend.
Meaning: Formless and shapeless
Sounds Like: “Ah, morph us
Imagine This: Two kids go to a magician.The magician asks what they want him to do with them, and they say, “Ah, morph us, and make us invisible, so that we are without form or shape!
Remember This: Gel is usually formless until it is put into a mold.
Meaning: Absence of government; disorder
Looks Like: An_ archer ” person who shoots with a bow and arrows.
Imagine This: u>An archer goes crazy, and shoots his arrows aimlessly throughout the city.The city is in total disorder.
Other Forms: Anarchist (noun)
Meaning: Hostility; enmity; strong dislike
Imagine This: In the “Animal City there is lots of screaming and yelling because most animals have strong hostilities and dislikes towards one another (particularly if they are of different species) because, after all, they are wild animals.
Meaning: Nameless, without a disclosed identity
Looks Like: Annoy_mouse
Sounds Like: Annoy_mouse
Imagine This: A mouse teacher is annoyed at a student mouse because he did not give her his name.“You better give me your name, you nameless mouse!
Remember This: There are some generous people who like to donate large sums of money anonymously (without giving out their names).
Other Forms: Anonymity (Noun)
Meaning: Hostile; acting against each other
Sounds Like: Ant_agonizing
Imagine This: A group of ants are agonized because they are driven away from their home by army ants, and they group together to protest (oppose) against the army ants
Other Forms: Antagonist (noun); Antagonism (noun); Antagonize (verb)
Meaning: Out-of-date; old-fashsioned
Looks Like: Antique , old and outdated items
Meaning: Exact opposite; contrast of ideas
Sounds Like: Anti_thesis
Imagine This: Professor X always has opposite views of his Ph.D. student’s thesis “people called him an anti-thesis
Remember This: Anti- ” Opposite
Other Forms: Antithetical (adjective)
Meaning: Absence of sympathy or interest
Looks Like: A_pathy ” A_(smy)pathy A-” Aprefix meaning without A_sympathy = without sympathy
Imagine This: ome people do not have (sym)pathy for the poor because they have a lack of interest or concern.
Other Forms: Apathetic (adjective)
Meaning: Highest point; a high point of achievement; a climax
Looks Like: Ape
Remember This: King Kong (the ape) climbs up to the top of the Empire State building, which is the highest point in New York.
Meaning: Calm, pacify
Sounds Like: A_peace
Imagine This: When World War II ended, peace brought calmness to all the cities and towns in Europe.
Other Forms: Appeasement (noun)
Meaning: To inform, to tell
Sounds Like: A_prize
Imagine This: If you win the first prize in California’s Lotto, won’t you tell everyone”
Meaning: Mysterious; understood by few
Looks Like: Arcade (video games and other games)
Remember This: Most video games in the arcade have secret levels for the player to find as a challenge.
Meaning: Of ancient time; old; obsolete
Remember This: Archeologists are people who specialize in the study of human history in ancient times by digging up buried sites and analyzing physical remains.Remember Indiana Jones trying to dig out the old tomb in the movie,
Note: Arch- , A prefix meaning first or foremost.
Other Forms: Archaically (adverb)
Meaning: Warmth of feeling
Sounds Like: Adore (admire);Our door
Imagine This: If you adore someone, won’t you have a warm feeling for that person”
Won’t you feel warm if our door is beautifully decorated with a wrath of flowers and a welcome sign”
Meaning: Behaving in a proud, superior manner; overestimating one’s importance or ability
Sounds Like: Elegant (fancy, refinement and grace in appearance)
Imagine This: People who dress elegantly usually act like they are more superior
Other Forms: Arrogance (noun); Arrogantly (adverb)
Meaning: Speak clearly and effectively
Looks Like: Art_(cal)culate “Art_mathematics
Remember This: Those who are good at both arts and mathematics usually are able to produce a good business presentation by explaining calculations clearly and using visual tools effectively.
Meaning: Having power; moving upward
Sounds Like: Ascend(ance) Ascend ” Move upward
Imagine This: Most people, who move upward in their careers or jobs typically are aggressive and like having power over other fellow workers.
Other Forms: Ascendant (adjective); Ascendancy (noun)
Meaning: A person who practices self-denial
Sounds Like: Acidic (acid, corrosive liquid)
Imagine This: There is a cult, which has believers practice self-denial.The believers have to swim across an acidic lake to demonstrate their faith in order to become members.
Remember This: Ascetic (adjective); Asceticism (noun); Ascetically (adverb)
Meaning: Roughness or unevenness of surface; sharpness of temper
Sounds Like: Asparagus (a kind of vegetable)
Imagine This: he tips of the asparagus appear to be very rough, but they are actually very crunchy and tasty.
Other Forms: Aspersion (noun) – a defaming remark
Meaning: Attack violently with force or words
Sounds Like: A sale
Imagine This: A shopper argued with force and words with the manager over a sales item that was not properly marked down.
Remember This: We should always make friends and not enemies.We should refrain from using force or words to attack others.
Meaning: Persistent; persevering; hard-working
Looks Like: Assistant
Imagine This: If you’re an office manager, don’t you like to hire an office assistant, who works very hard and diligently”
Other Forms: Assiduousness (noun); Assiduously (adverb)
Meaning: To lessen suffering or pain
Looks Like: A_sausage
Imagine This: A starving kid temporarily relieved his hunger when he stared at the sausages hanging inside the poultry shop.
Other Forms: Assuagement (noun)
Meaning: Shrewd; cunning; crafty; clever
Looks Like: A_status
Imagine This: People with high status are usually wise and shrewd.
Other Forms: Astutely (adverb); Astuteness (noun)
Meaning: Cause to waste
Looks Like: A_trophy
Imagine This: Tom was sorry to see the trophies belonging to his grandparents wasting away and collecting dust in the attic.
Remember This: As a matter of fact, even for trophies being displayed, they usually just sat there, collecting dust and wasting away.
Other Forms: Atrophy (noun)
Meaning: Daring;foolishly bold; impudent
Sounds Like: Audition
Imagine This: Those who attend the audition for the key roles in the play “Romeo and Juliet must be very brave and bold, because he or she has to perform in front of hundreds of critics.
Other Forms: Audacity (noun); Audaciously (adverb)
Meaning: Make larger; increase
Remember This: A type of plastic surgery operation involves breast augmentation, which enlarges the breast to enhance the outer appearance of a woman.However, as the phrase goes, “Beauty is only skin deep, it is the inner beauty (such as character and personality) of both women and men that is the most valuable and important.
Other Forms: Augmentation (noun)
Meaning: Showing signs or promise of future success
Looks Like: Suspicious
Imagine This: The homicide detectives who are suspicious in nature are likely to succeed in solving the murder cases.
Other Forms: Auspiciously (adverb); Auspiciousness (noun)
Meaning: Rigidly strict in manner of living or thinking; severely simple; stern
Sounds Like: A steer (cow)
Remember This: Cows are typically simple and stern.
Home Depot sells steer manure for garden fertilizer.
Other Forms: Austerity (noun); Austerely (adverb)
Meaning: The passion for hoarding wealth or possession.
Sounds Like: Eva rice
Imagine This: Eva is very greedy because she likes to take all the rice from the buffet and stuff it into a hidden bowl in her coat to take home.We should always be considerate and show concern for others.
Other Forms: Avaricious (adjective)
Meaning: Unwilling; reluctant; resistant
Looks Like: A_verse (in the Bible)
Imagine This: The boy is reluctant to attend Sunday School because he is unwilling to recite verses in the Bible.
Other Forms: Aversion (noun)
Meaning: Strong dislike
Sounds Like: A_version
Imagine This: Bill is going to buy Microsoft’s word-processing software, but he has a strong dislike for choosing an earlier version because it has a significant number of bugs.
Remember This: Software companies usually come out with an ‘upgrade’ version of their software periodically, such as Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows 98.This is due to the constant improvements in hardware speed, software features and resolution of bugs and shortcomings in the previous versions.
Other Forms: Adversely (adverb)