100 Words to Make You Sound Smart

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  1. accolade
    a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
  2. acrimony
    a rough and bitter manner
  3. angst
    an acute but unspecific feeling of anxiety
  4. anomaly
    deviation from the normal or common order, form, or rule
  5. avant-garde
    radically new or original
  6. baroque
    relating to an elaborately ornamented style of art and music
  7. bona fide
    not counterfeit or copied
  8. bonhomie
    a disposition to be friendly and approachable
  9. boondoggle
    work of little or no value done merely to look busy
  10. bourgeois
    being of the property-owning class
  11. bravado
    a swaggering show of courage
  12. brogue
    a thick and heavy shoe
  13. brusque
    rudely abrupt or blunt in speech or manner
  14. cacophony
    loud confusing disagreeable sounds
  15. camaraderie
    the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability
  16. capricious
    determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity
  17. carte blanche
    complete freedom or authority to act
  18. caustic
    capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action
  19. charisma
    personal attractiveness that enables you to influence others
  20. cloying
    overly sweet
  21. deja vu
    the experience of thinking a new situation already occurred
  22. dichotomy
    a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses
  23. dilettante
    an amateur engaging in an activity without serious intention
  24. disheveled
    in disarray; extremely disorderly
  25. elan
    enthusiastic and assured vigor and liveliness
  26. ennui
    the feeling of being bored by something tedious
  27. ephemeral
    lasting a very short time
  28. epitome
    a standard or typical example
  29. equanimity
    steadiness of mind under stress
  30. equivocate
    be deliberately ambiguous or unclear
  31. ersatz
    artificial and inferior
  32. esoteric
    understandable only by an enlightened inner circle
  33. euphemism
    an inoffensive expression substituted for an offensive one
  34. facetious
    cleverly amusing in tone
  35. fait accompli
    an irreversible accomplishment
  36. fastidious
    giving careful attention to detail
  37. faux pas
    a socially awkward or tactless act
  38. fiasco
    a complete failure or collapse
  39. finagle
    achieve something by means of trickery or devious methods
  40. glib
    artfully persuasive in speech
  41. gregarious
    temperamentally seeking and enjoying the company of others
  42. harbinger
    something indicating the approach of something or someone
  43. hedonist
    someone motivated by desires for sensual pleasures
  44. heresy
    a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
  45. idiosyncratic
    peculiar to the individual
  46. idyllic
    charmingly simple and serene
  47. indelicate
    slightly indecent, offensive, or improper
  48. infinitesimal
    immeasurably small
  49. insidious
    working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way
  50. junket
    dessert made of sweetened milk coagulated with rennet
  51. litany
    a prayer led by clergy with responses from the congregation
  52. lurid
    glaringly vivid and graphic; marked by sensationalism
  53. Machiavellian
    of or relating to amoral or conniving political principles
  54. malaise
    a feeling of mild sickness or depression
  55. malinger
    avoid responsibilities and duties, often by faking illness
  56. mantra
    a sacred utterance or poetic hymn in Vedism
  57. maudlin
    very sentimental or emotional
  58. mercenary
    a person hired to fight for another country than their own
  59. minimalist
    a conservative advocating only minor reforms in government
  60. misnomer
    an incorrect or unsuitable name
  61. narcissist
    someone who is excessively self-centered
  62. nirvana
    the beatitude that transcends the cycle of reincarnation
  63. non sequitur
    a reply that has no relevance to what preceded it
  64. oblivion
    the state of being disregarded or forgotten
  65. ogle
    stare or look at, especially with amorous intentions
  66. ostentatious
    intended to attract notice and impress others
  67. ostracize
    expel from a community or group
  68. panacea
    hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases
  69. paradox
    a statement that contradicts itself
  70. peevish
    easily irritated or annoyed
  71. perfunctory
    hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough
  72. philistine
    a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits
  73. picayune
    small and of little importance
  74. precocious
    characterized by exceptionally early development
  75. propriety
    correct behavior
  76. quid pro quo
    something given in exchange for something else
  77. quintessential
    representing the perfect example of a class or quality
  78. red herring
    something intended to distract attention from the main issue
  79. revel
    take delight in
  80. rhetoric
    study of the technique for using language effectively
  81. scintillating
    having brief brilliant points or flashes of light
  82. spartan
    unsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment
  83. stigma
    a symbol of disgrace or infamy
  84. stoic
    seeming unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive
  85. suave
    having a sophisticated charm
  86. supercilious
    having or showing arrogant superiority
  87. sycophant
    a person who tries to please someone to gain an advantage
  88. teetotaler
    someone who abstains from drinking alcoholic beverages
  89. tete-a-tete
    a private conversation between two people
  90. tirade
    a speech of violent denunciation
  91. tryst
    a secret rendezvous, especially a romantic one
  92. ubiquitous
    being present everywhere at once
  93. unrequited
    not returned in kind
  94. untenable
    incapable of being defended or justified
  95. verbose
    using or containing too many words
  96. vicarious
    experienced at secondhand
  97. vile
    morally reprehensible
  98. waft
    a long flag; often tapering
  99. zealous
    marked by active interest and enthusiasm
  100. Zeitgeist
    the spirit of the time
Created on April 26, 2013 (updated November 16, 2021)

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