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A Through Z

Updated on August 26, 2014

In every writing endeavor, strive to be thorough and comprehensive. That is why basic writing skills, and practice of those skills, is so important. There are a few important things you need, to really 'get the job done.' There are many good reference materials that can be used when writing. Here are a few:

  1. You need a good comprehensive and definitive Dictionary. This is a book which lists the definitions and pronunciations of words, and word groups. Webster's and American Heritage are just two that are available wherever books are sold. If you like using a computer to do your writing, you can use Wikipedia. All three are excellent source materials. There are others of course, but these will get you moving in the right direction.
  2. Thesaurus. This is a book which lists words that are similar in nature or mean the same thing, and/or lists the synonyms of that word. Synonyms are words that mean the same. Antonyms are words that are opposite to each other. Encarta has a great Thesaurus that is used by many writers.
  3. A Speller. This is a book used for quick references on spelling any word in the English language. You may not think this is an important skill, being in an age where a computer can spell any word for you, but knowing just the basics of spelling, or the phonetics of words, can teach you good grammar skills; and spelling is one of them. For example, the word I just referred to: phonetics. pho-net-ic (fo - ne - tic); pertaining to sounds in speech. If you can sound the word out, you can look it up to find the right spelling. Websters and American Heritage both have fine editions.
  4. And one of the last things, an Encyclopedia. This is a type of reference work, usually written in article form, or entries, made up of all branches of knowledge, or just one particular branch. They are longer and more detailed than dictionary entries. Some encyclopedias are massive tomes, consisting of volumes (more than one), that span from one end of the WORLD to the other. They are detailed, valuable works, and a wonderful research material for any writer. The most famous being The Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Now for the boring part of the Hub. For those of you who would rather not go any farther, you can turn your head and say, "OK, good job, but I don't think I like this part." For those of you who would actually like to see that i did my homework, keep going. And remember, writing is supposed to be fun, not a kick in the head.

Here is a list of only a 100 words, A to Z, used in a thesaurus, and their synonyms. The largest in the World contains over 920,000 words: The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary. You may not use them all, but they're always good to have around for reference.

  1. abandon - give up, quit, leave undone, withdraw.
  2. abhor - dislike, hate, loathe.
  3. able - skilled, talented, having power.
  4. accede - grant, agree,
  5. action - deed, motion, play, battle.
  6. aloof - apart, away, remote.
  7. antics - fun, capers, tricks.
  8. baby - newborn, infant, small, infant.
  9. ban - prohibit, outlaw, bar, taboo.
  10. bigoted - biased, unfair, ignorance.
  11. blasphemous - profane, godless, ungodly.
  12. bribe - buy off.
  13. budge - stir, move.
  14. canny - artful, clever, cunning.
  15. cave - fall in, collapse.
  16. cherish - prize, treasure, value, nurture.
  17. comply - assent, conform, tally.
  18. conform - adapt, yield, obey.
  19. crow - boast, brag.
  20. default - loss, omission, lack.
  21. din - row, noise, racket.
  22. dish - serve, give, receptacle.
  23. display - exhibit, show, flaunt.
  24. doom - destruction, ruin, death, lot.
  25. edge - margin, brim, rim.
  26. enemy - foe, antagonist, adversary.
  27. erupt - vomit.
  28. feel - sense, perceive.
  29. fit - seizure, spasm, attack.
  30. fluid - liquid, running.
  31. fret - worry, grieve.
  32. fringe - hem, edge, border.
  33. fume - gas, steam, smoke.
  34. fury - wrath, anger, rage.
  35. gasp - pant, puff, wheeze.
  36. gloat - triumph, glory, revel.
  37. granite - stone, rock.
  38. grow- extend, swell, enlarge, expand.
  39. hear - heed, listen, detect, regard.
  40. hoax - ploy, ruse, stunt, guile.
  41. humble - modest, meek, plain.
  42. hurl - throw, cast, fling.
  43. ignorant - illiterate, unlearned.
  44. impel - oblige, enforce, drive.
  45. indomitable - unconquerable.
  46. inept - incompetent, clumsy.
  47. innate - inborn, natural, not acquired.
  48. inscrutable - mysterious, not understood.
  49. insidious - treacherous, crafty.
  50. intrepid - very brave, bold.
  51. itinerant - wandering, going from place to place.
  52. lecherous - lustful, lewd.
  53. lethal - deadly, fatal.
  54. lethargic - sluggish, drowsy, dull.
  55. lucid - easy to understand, clear.
  56. Luna - moon.
  57. mercenary - done for payment, greedy.
  58. meticulous - details.
  59. myopic - nearsighted.
  60. naive - unsophisticated, foolishly simple.
  61. nebulous - vague, misty.
  62. nonentity - nothing, menial, nullity.
  63. nostalgic - sentimental.
  64. numb - dull, insensitive.
  65. occult - supernatural.
  66. ominous - menacing, sinister.
  67. opaque - translucent.
  68. ostentatious - showy, attention.
  69. petulant - irritable, annoyed.
  70. phlegmatic - sluggish, slow.
  71. picayne - trivial, petty, cheap.
  72. prolific - abundance.
  73. pusillanimous - timid, cowardly.
  74. raucous - harsh, rough sounding.
  75. sacrilegious - irreligious.
  76. sagacious - judgement.
  77. sardonic - ironical, sneering.
  78. sedentary - sitting, stationary.
  79. senile - old, senile.
  80. taciturn - non talkative.
  81. tip - point, end, top, hint, inkling.
  82. trait - attribute, mark, quality.
  83. tug - pull, wrench, tow, haul.
  84. toxic - poisonous.
  85. unbending - firm, determined.
  86. uphold - justify, espouse, maintain.
  87. vaunting - flourish, show, pomp.
  88. veil - clothe, hide, screen, mask.
  89. vow - oath, pledge, swear.
  90. wed - espouse, marry.
  91. wee - small, tiny, minute.
  92. weld - solder, fuse, bond.
  94. yank - pull, wrest, haul, tug.
  95. yell - call, scream, shout.
  96. yowl - yell, shriek, cry, wail.
  97. zap - drive, vim, pep.
  98. zealous - fiery, ardent, intense.
  99. zero - nil, nothing.
  100. zoom - zip, fly, whiz, race.


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    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      At first, I thought, "This is dumb!" Then I read your word list. It reminded me of how fragile my understanding is of words and that I should give myself a little kick in the behind and review some word lists. It turned out to be a good little literary review for me. Thank you sir!