When used correctly, dropping a big word into a paper, report or essay can be a showstopper: impressive and memorable. If your readers know the word, they’ll be excited that you know it, too, and actually thought to use it! If they don’t know the word, they might just look it up and be awed at your expansive vocabulary. Slip a million dollar words into an oral presentation or everyday conversation, and you’re bound to turn some heads.
The best way to build your vocabulary is to learn a new word every day. How manageable is that? Every morning, you read a new word in the 365 New Words-A-Year Page-A-Day® calendar. Then you repeat it to yourself as you head to work. Throughout the day, you try to use it in a sentence here and there. Ta-dah, just like that, you’ve expanded your vocabulary. One new word might not seem like a big deal, but how about 365? Now, we’re talking.
So celebrate Dictionary Day (October 16th, in honor of lexicographer Noah Webster's birthday) with our five favorite big words to win friends and influence people. Make sure you really learn what they mean so that you use them correctly. The definitions below are from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
- Ennui: a lack of spirit, enthusiasm, or interest. (During the professor’s tirade on quantum mechanics, she became overcome with ennui.)
- Panacea: something that will make everything about a situation better. (As it turned out, a nightly glass of wine was not a panacea for all of her stress and problems.)
- Aegis: the power to protect, control, or support something or someone. (After his difficult year in his own apartment, he was tempted to move back home under his mother’s aegis).
- Clandestine: done in a private place or way; done secretly. (The mayor’s clandestine meetings with the new mining corporation were cause for public concern.)
- Logorrhea: excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness. (He was a poor listener, and her logorrhea eventually drove him to the brink of insanity.)