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Words That Make You Sound Smarter — Because, Yes, We All Need a Little Help

21. Deviate

Definition: to stray or depart (from a standard, course of action or the norm)

Example: If you deviate from your customer’s expectations, they may buy from competitors who offer a more consistent experience.

22. Dichotomy

Definition: a division into two parts, often contradictory or mutually exclusive

Example: By attempting to work half an hour on the production line, the president only further illustrated the dichotomy that exists between executives and factory workers in our company.

23. Disconcerting

Definition: to disturb, upset or confuse, as in demeanor or plans

Example: Salma was disconcerted by the accountant’s sudden outburst during the meeting, but quickly recovered.

24. Disenfranchised

Definition: to deprive someone of a privilege or right

Example: Regardless of how hard their jobs are, the factory workers found it difficult to feel disenfranchised while working for a company.

More: This Checklist Will Help You Get That Long Overdue Promotion

25. Disseminate

Definition: to spread or disperse

Example: Celebrities have it rough these days, because the internet makes it easy and fast to disseminate rumors about their misdeeds.

26. Divulge

Definition: disclose or reveal private or secret information

Example: Phishing scams are emails sent by spammers in an attempt to get you to divulge your banking or other private information.

27. Egalitarian

Definition: a belief in the equality of all people (especially political, economic or social)

Example: Self-help groups succeed based on egalitarian principles — Charlie Sheen is no different than Joe Schmo.

28. Emasculate

Definition: to deprive of strength or spirit (often associated with male procreative power)

Example: Adding a provision that prohibits managers from reviewing the contents of company-paid cell phones effectively emasculates the rule against doing personal business on company time.

29. Endemic

Definition: a disease or condition restricted to a particular area or department

Example: There’s an endemic of petty theft from the third floor supply closet.

30. Ennui

Definition: discontent related to boredom or lack of interest

Example: We created an iPad app to fight the ennui that children feel when accompanying Mom on errands.

Up next: More words that instantly make you sound smarter

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