|ambiguity |A sentence/expression can be ambiguous if it has two possible meanings, and it is not clear what the | |(adj = ambiguous) |writer/speaker wants to say | |Although she said she was committed to the scheme, there was some ambiguity in her voice. | |Christians are not ambiguous about life after death: they believe in it as an article of faith. |
|recidivist |Someone who keeps repeating the same crime, who keeps relapsing into bad old habits of behaviour – usually| |(usually used as noun) |criminal. | |Norman Stanley Fletcher was a habitual criminal, whom the judge described as a recidivist, because he could not or would not alter his | |behaviour. |
|platitude |A saying or proverb which may once have been wise but has become worn out by repeating; an easy truth; a | |(usually used as noun) |truism; a cliché. | |‘The grass is always greener’ has become something of a platitude in our times, and can deter people for aspiring to better things – better the | |devil you know, and all those clichés. |
|coerce |To force someone to do something, to compel, often by physical strength, but not necessarily so. | |(noun = coercion) | | |Reluctant students occasionally need coercing to produce their best work! |
|posthumous |About what happens after death. | |(adjective only) | | |The Christian faith is not just about eternal life and such posthumous benefits. | |The valiant soldier lost his life in the conflict and was awarded the VC posthumously. |
|benevolent |Kind, generous; from Latin ‘bene’ = well; ‘volens’ = wishing. Very close to benign. The opposite of | |(noun = benevolence) |malevolent and malign. | |The benevolent fund made grants to people who had lost their savings in the war. |
|mundane |Ordinary, dull, everyday, not exciting. Similar to banal (used mainly of comments) and to trite (dull | |(just use the adjective) |words which we have all heard before) | |We all need something to lift our eyes from mundane things, to the higher meaning of life. |
|euphoria |A state of excitement, an emotional high – the mental equivalent of ecstasy, which is the physical state | |(adj = euphoric) |...