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10 Smart Words To Make You Sound Smarter in English

by Chetna Vasishth


Sometimes, while saying something or writing something, we get stuck for the most appropriate word. So I went through the most common English words that appear on competitive exams and picked 10 of them for you to learn today. Today, we will learn 10 Smart Words To Make You Sound Smarter in English, their meanings, root words with example sentences. So let’s get going..

1. – Intrepid (adjective)

Meaning – fearless, adventurous and extremely brave.
e.g. Our intrepid soldiers walked for miles in deep snow to reach their base
Root – This adjective comes from Latin intrepidus, formed from the prefix ‘in’- “not” plus trepidus “alarmed.” Someone who is not afraid. Trepidation is another word that comes from trepidus which means a trembling feeling of fear and anxiety.
So intrepid – someone who has not trepidation and no fear.
Use – So if you want to climb the Mount Everest one day, you need to be an intrepid person who craves adventure and is not afraid of heights
Example – The intrepid kitten walked slowly in front of two big dogs
The intrepid reporters reached the war scene to record the event
Other words you can use instead courageous, brave, valiant, fearless

2. – Bolster (verb / noun)

Meaning – to support or improve something or make it stronger
e.g. When you cheer up a friend who’s feeling down, you bolster them. To bolster is to offer support or strengthen.
A bolster is also used for a long cylindrical firm pillow which is used as a support while sitting
Use – After the pandemic, the government will have to undertake strong measures to bolster the economy
Example – The teacher bolstered the students confidence by telling them what special qualities each one of them possessed
They need to do something to bolster their image
Other words you can use instead are boost, support, strengthen

3. – Pragmatic (adjective)

Meaning – practical, realistic, down-to-earth, sensible, matter-of-fact
e.g. In these times it is better to be pragmatic than to be rigid and conservative
Root – From Greek pragma “deed,” the word has historically described people who were concerned more with real-world application of ideas than with abstract notions.
Use – The scientist had a pragmatic approach to dealing with the water crisis.
Example – He made a pragmatic decision to settle the lawsuit because in the end it would cost much more to fight it out in court.
The four-year-old who wants a unicorn for her birthday isn’t being very pragmatic.
Other words you can use instead are sensible and practical

4. – Succinct (adjective)

Meaning – concise, short, brief, condensed, compact,
e.g. If you’re going to be interviewed on television about your new book and only have a five minute slot, you’ll need to come up with a succinct version of your story.
Root – succinct is from the Latin succingere, “to tuck up.” Often after you write a long essay, you realize you probably could have said the same thing in one or two succinct pages. If something is too succinct, we might call it terse. Another synonym is concise, which implies that unnecessary material has been removed.
Use – this can be used to express something that is said in a clear and short way; expressing what needs to be said without unnecessary words:
Example – your teacher asks you to write a succinct summary, it usually means that you should write something that is to-the point and not very long
The opposite of succinct is verbose or wordy. The 5 page essay was too wordy or he delivered a verbose speech for 45 minutes.

5. – Jocular (Adjective)

Meaning – Do you like to make a lot of jokes? Are you usually happy ? If so, then you are a jocular person. A jocular person is someone who is fond of joking, is humorous and playful.
Being jocular is usually considered a good thing: it’s not just about making a lot of jokes; it’s about being happy and cheerful to be around.
Root – it comes from joking around or being a joker
a jocular man is one who could make the most serious people smile
Use – the song was written in a lighthearted jocular way
Example – today he was in a less jocular mood than usual
If one of your friends is very chirpy and happy and is cracking jokes and making every one laugh, you can always say – it is lovely to see you in a jocular mood today.
Other word you can use instead is humorous

6. – Elucidate (verb)

Meaning – explain something and make it clear
e.g. To help you all learn English, I try my best to elucidate the meanings of smart words in my videos
If you want to learn new and interesting ways to speak English – these videos will elucidate the basics to you. This is a verb and denotes action – please elucidate.
Root – the word lucid originally meant bright and shining and now lucid is used for example to say – that was a very lucid explanation – very clear, as though a light had shone on it and made it clear.
Use – If you have not understood what someone just said, you could ask them – could you please elucidate what you just said.
Or if your teacher gives you a question – elucidate Newton’s first law of motion with examples – they mean that you should give a clear explanation of the law with some examples so that it becomes easy to understand.
Example – An interpreter will elucidate the instructions for all non-English speaking guests
Other words you can use instead are clarify, illuminate

7. – Unanimous (adjective)

Meaning – when two or more people are fully in agreement.
e.g. “the doctors were unanimous in their diagnoses”
When everyone is in total agreement you could use the word unanimous – example – a unanimous opinion, unanimous decision, or unanimous vote
“the bill required the unanimous approval of all member states”
Root – animus is mind or spirit and unus is the union of minds or spirits
Use – Just imagine if you let third graders vote on what to serve at lunch: Pizza and candy would be the unanimous choice!
The committee was not unanimous and did not make a report
Example – when i asked all of you whether you wanted to learn more smart words in English, the response was a unanimous ‘Yes’
Other words you can use instead are consensus or agreement

8. – Presume (verb)

Meaning – If you presume something, it means you act as though it’s true before all the evidence is in – perhaps you could suppose that something is the case on the basis of probability.
e.g. “Is she still at work?” “I presume so, since she’s not home.
Root – it is bit like – pre-assume
Use – In an interview for a sales manager the interviewer might ask even before reading the resume – you have worked in sales before I presume
Example – When you guess a math answer, your teacher might say – don’t presume – which means wait for all the facts before you give your answer.
I presume schools and colleges are not going to open campuses in 2020.
Other words you can use instead to assume, or suppose or imagine

9. – Congenial (adjective)

Meaning – A congenial person is easy to get along with. If you’re trying to decide which of your friends to take on a road trip, choose the most congenial one.
e.g. Congenial means sharing the same temperament or qualities. You can talk about a congenial person, place, or environment. Maybe you enjoy the congenial atmosphere of the library. Or perhaps for you the bar is more congenial.
You would use congenial when something is pleasant, pleasing as well as like minded and compatible. Overall, easy to get along with since it shares the same qualities as you.
Root – genial comes from gene – so birth or traits and con – is like together – so it’s a bit like having similar genes
Use – The science department provides a congenial atmosphere for research.
Example – Frank was a very congenial colleague
The summers in India are not congenial to the average North European
Other words you can use instead are compatible, pleasant, pleasing

Keep making sentences in the comment section below

10. – Adept (adjective)

Meaning – very skilled and proficient at something
e.g. she was adept at imitating others or
Satya is unusually adept in mathematical calculations.
Use – Robin is an adept juggler
Example – Melissa is quite adept at predicting his moods.
Bill is very adept at dealing with the media.
Chimpanzees are adept climbers.
And if you have been able to learn the meanings of all 10 words that you have learnt today then you are an adept learner
Other words you can use instead are skilled and well versed

Quiz

Use all 10 words to fill in the blanks in these sentences

1. The last paragraph gave a _______________ summary of the book
2. The high interest rates helped to ________________ up the economy.
3. The notes helped to ________________ the most difficult parts of the text.
4. I ________________ from your speech that you are a foreigner.
5. He’s usually very __________ at keeping his private life out of the media.
6. The children lightened the mood at home with their lighthearted and _______________ chit chat.
7. She had a very _____________ relationship with my boss
8. Doctors are ________________ about the dangers of this drug.
9. The ______________ young man took part in a grueling sponsored 50-mile bicycle ride.

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