Vocabulary Word Meanings: From Tangent, Tentative to Tenacious

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noun- a line that touches a curve at just one point; or a comment that is off the main topic

Also used as: Tangential, tangent (adj)

My uncle would start to tell a story then go off on a tangent and lose me completely.


adj- not fully developed or definitely planned; provisional

Also used as: Tentatively (adv) ; tentativeness (noun)

We made tentative plans to go camping, as long as it didn՚t rain.


adj- of few words; to the point; pithy

Also used as: Terseness (noun) ; tersely (adv)

Norman always responded to telemarketers with a terse “no, thank you”


adj- careful about managing money

Also used as: Thriftiness (noun) ; thriftily (adv)

Aunt Judy said she bought small presents because she was thrifty, but she was just cheap.


adj- permitting light to pass through

Also used as: Translucence (noun) ; translucently (adv)

The windows hadn՚t been cleaned in years, but now they were translucent once again.


noun- violent disturbance

Also used as: Turbulent (adj)

Except for a little turbulence, the plane ride was smooth.


adj- equal; comparable

Driving the getaway car is tantamount to bank robbery even it you never enter the bank.


bring into balance; moderate

Also used as: Temper, temperance- noun; tempered- adj

Frank՚s excitable nature was tempered by Paula՚s composure.


noun- government based on absolute power or cruelty

Also used as: Tyrant- noun; tyrannical- adj

The American colonies viewed British rule as tyranny.


adj- quiet

Also used as: Tacit- adj; tacitly-adv; taciturnity- noun

Alternate approach: Taciturnity sounds like tax attorney. You might picture a tax attorney working with some clients. No matter what they say he remains quiet.

Anne was worried her taciturn boyfriend wouldn՚t fit in with her talkative family.


adj- strong; persistent; determined to hold on

Also used as: Tenacity- noun; tenaciously- adv

The defensive lineman was small but tenacious and he sacked the quarterback twice.