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nasty

Something nasty is filthy, foul, dirty, or awful. Nasty isn't a word for anything nice.

The main meaning of nasty is for things that are unpleasant and very gross. If someone throws up in class, at least one student will probably say, "That's nasty!" The smell of a bathroom is nasty. A song full of dirty words is nasty in a different way. Nasty can also mean "extremely." In football, a vicious hit can be called a nasty hit. A mean person is a nasty person too.

Choose your words

Caught between words? Learn how to make the right choice.

entomology/ etymology

Don’t bug out! Entomology is the study of insects, but etymology is the study of words. They sound similar and both end in -logy, which means “the study of,” but don’t mix them up unless you like completely confusing people.
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formidable/ formative

Formidable describes a foe you’re slightly afraid of, but formative describes what formed you. Perhaps a formidable gymteacher scared the pants off you during your formative years in grade school, and now you’re a world-class athlete. (Or a bookworm, depending on how you react to formidable foes.)
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flaunt/ flout

Flaunt is to show off, but flout is to ignore the rules. Rebels do both — they flaunt their new pink motorcycles by popping a wheelie, and flout the law by running a red light.
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decent/ descent/ dissent

Decent is all buttoned up. Descent has all the fun because it gets to climb down a mountain. Dissent is what you do when the glee club wants to get matching red outfits but you like purple. read more...

entitle/ title

To entitle means to give someone a rank or right, like if your perfect attendance entitles you to free ice cream at lunch. A title is the name of something, like the title of a song you wrote about ice cream. read more...

anecdote/ antidote

An anecdote is a funny little story; an antidote counteracts poison. Tell someone an anecdote about your close encounter with a rattlesnake and how the cute park ranger had to get you the antidote for snake venom right away. read more...

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