The best way to learn new words is through associations. Just try to find a connection between the sense of a word and your experiences. Of course, I will help you become good at recognizing that bond. In this write-up, we'll deal with those words which begin with a.

Word Meaning
ABASHED (adj.) Now, how can you create associations? Look! I know you will remember the word, embarrassed. But you must remember the word, abashed, and what it means. When was the last time you were abashed by anything? Maybe it was when someone accused you of negligence/lying! This happens a lot. Well, recently, when I asked a few of my students about their grades, they looked abashed.

Having said that, there are some people who remain unabashed (without any worry about being criticized or embarrassed). Maybe, your favourite football team is not doing well. But, still, you are an unabashed supporter. One thing is for sure. These two words are intricately associated with our everyday experiences.
ABATE (v.) I know someone who is strictly prohibited from having Biriyani. He is in his 70s. But, his desire for this specific dish has not abated at all. The word, Abate, means 'to become less strong'. You could say that the ban on firecrackers will abate air pollution. Anyhow, do you see how the sense of a word is related to the way we lead our lives?
ABIDE (v.) If you dislike someone/something, so much so that you cannot stand that person or thing, you can't abide him/her/it. For example, you may know many people who are extremely hardworking. They just can't abide laziness.

However, if you abide by the rules and regulations, it means you do exactly what the rules say. Let's move on to the next word.
ABSTAIN (v.) There are a lot of things which we like to do. But, deep down, we know that some of those things are not good for us, or, that they are considered inappropriate. When you choose not to do something of this sort, you abstain from doing it. For example, you should abstain from smoking.
ADULTERATE (v.) Whenever I see this word used in a sentence, the first thing that comes to my mind is how some milkmen ensure that the milk they sell is adulterated with water. It's mostly used in passive voice and it means "to lower the quality of food or drink, by adding something else".
ADVOCATE (v.) When you support a thought publicly, you advocate it. For example, there are many people who advocate giving capital punishment to rapists.
ALLEVIATE (v.) If something makes your pain or suffering less severe, it alleviates the problem.
AMALGAMATE (v.) Say, Hero Industries amalgamated with Honda Enterprises to form Hero Honda Inc. 'To amalgamate' means 'to combine' or 'to mix'. If you have ever worked in a Chemistry Lab, you would be familiar with 'amalgamate'.
AMBIGUOUS (adj.) If something can be interpreted in several ways, it is ambiguous. For example, I have heard a lot of people say that they are against addiction of any kind in college premises. But, despite being in the position of authority, they never take action against the culprits. In a way, their attitude towards this issue is quite ambiguous.
AMELIORATE (v.) It means 'to improve'. One of my friends took out a bank loan to start his own business. It helped him ameliorate his financial situation. 'Ameliorate' can also mean 'to make an unpleasant situation better.'
ANACHRONISM (n.) If you consider something old-fashioned, you regard it as anachronistic (which is more suitable for an earlier time). For example, a lot of people believe that marriage is an anachronism. 'Anachronistic' is its adjective.
APATHY (n.) Lack of interest and concern

It's difficult to explain the meaning of this word because it's a feeling. Still, let me try. Sometimes, even when students have an exam soon, they while away the entire day. When asked, they often tell me that they know it's important for them to study. But, for mysterious reasons, they don't care about studying, let alone the consequences. This sense of apathy among young learners is a growing concern.
ARCHAIC (adj.) Lack of interest and concern

In general, 'archaic' means 'ancient'. (e.g. archaic system/law/language). It can also be used disapprovingly. In that case, it would mean "extremely old-fashioned". For example, some people have archaic views about women. They believe that women should only stay indoors.


That’s it for today. I'll be back with the second write-up on ENGLISH WORDS EVERY GRADUATE SHOULD KNOW soon.

Until next time, this is RB, signing off.

© RB

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