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Powerful Verbs

Strong writing and speaking employ descriptive verbs. Help yourself to this list of verbs that you are likely to hear at some point in classrooms and on radio or television. Don’t forget to rack up some of your own flash cards of verbs that you find particularly interesting!
Click here to go to ADJECTIVES page.
Click each card to reveal a definition.

  • abrogate
    to abolish by authoritative action; nullify
  • abscond
    to depart secretly and hide oneself
  • amalgamate
    to mix or consolidate into a single body
  • appease
    to bring to a state of calm or peace or to pacify
  • asperse
    to attack a reputation, often with false charges
  • assay
    to analyze for one or more specific components
  • assuage
    to lessen the intensity of or to end by satisfying
  • belaud
    to praise, usually to excess
  • brook
    to tolerate
  • bastardize
    to reduce from a higher to a lower state, debase
  • beleaguer
    to besiege, trouble or harass
  • calumniate
    to utter maliciously false statements about
  • capitulate
    to surrender under terms or to acquiesce
  • castigate
    to subject to severe punishment, reproof, or criticism
  • comprise
    to include within a particular scope [not "compose"]
  • couch
    to phrase or express in a specified manner
  • cozen
    to coax by artful deception or to cheat
  • cudgel
    to beat with, or as if with, a heavy club
  • embroil
    to involve in conflict or difficulties or to confuse
  • equivocate
    to deceive by using language with double meaning
  • eruct
    to belch (noun. "eructation")
  • exacerbate
    to make more violent, bitter, or severe
  • expiate
    to make amends or to extinguish guilt by ending
  • expostulate
    to reason earnestly and dissuade or remonstrate
  • expunge
    to strike out, obliterate, or mark for deletion
  • extirpate
    to destroy completely or to pull out by the root
  • fleece
    to charge excessively for goods or services
  • fulminate
    to denounce or to give censure or invective
  • fustigate
    to criticize severely
  • harangue
    to rant in speech or writing
  • impute
    to blame, often falsely
  • inure
    to accustom to accept something undesirable
  • immolate
    to kill or destroy by fire, as in sacrifice
  • inveigh
    to protest or complain bitterly or vehemently
  • inculcate
    to teach and impress by frequent repetition or admonition
  • impone
    to wager or to bet
  • impinge
    to have an effect or make an impression
  • imbue
    to permeate or influence as if by dyeing
  • imbrue
    to stain by soaking or drenching
  • imprecate
    to invoke evil on or to curse
  • imbrute
    to sink or degrade to the level of a brute
  • immure
    to enclose as if within walls or to imprison
  • infuse
    to permeate with a quality or principle usually to improve
  • impart
    to give or convey with authority or as if with authority
  • impugn
    to assail or attack as false or lacking integrity
  • moil
    to be in continuous agitation or confusion
  • malign
    to utter injuriously misleading or false reports about
  • mollify
    calm, soothe, or soften in feeling or to make less severe
  • niggle
    to find fault constantly in a petty way
  • obnubilate
    to becloud or obscure
  • purloin
    to appropriate wrongfully, often by a breach of trust
  • peregrinate
    to travel or walk about
  • purport
    to have the appearance of intending or claiming
  • prevaricate
    to deviate from the truth or to equivocate
  • osculate
    to kiss
  • promulgate
    to make public by declaration
  • quell
    to overwhelm and reduce to submission or to quiet
  • raze
    to shave off, cut down, or demolish
  • repudiate
    to divorce or reject as unlawful or unjust
  • subsume
    to include or encompass within something larger
  • stultify
    to inhibit by alleging stupidity or absurdity
  • scud
    to move swiftly as if driven, perhaps by wind
  • suffuse
    to spread through as if in the manner of fluid or light
  • traduce
    to expose to shame or blame by means of falsehood
  • transpire
    to give off vapor or to become known or apparent
  • vilipend
    to disparage or to treat as of little worth
  • vilify
    to lower in estimation or importance
  • vitiate
    to make faulty or defective or to impair