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

31. Epicurean

Definition: discriminating or sophisticated tastes

Example: To appeal to customers with more epicurean tastes, our company uses only the freshest, organic ingredients from local farmers.

32. Esoteric

Definition: difficult to understand except by a chosen few; an interest that’s special or rare

Example: When conversing with clients, be careful of esoteric, industry-specific terms.

33. Expendable

Definition: not worth keeping or maintaining; something you can sacrifice (usually for the greater good)

Example: Xenia worked hard and always carefully researched things to ensure her employer knew she wasn’t expendable.

34. Fabricate

Definition: to produce or create (in manufacturing); manufactured (with regard to facts), fake or untrue; imitation

Example: To get his boss to her surprise retirement party, Jamal fabricated a story involving angry clients and a meeting at her favorite restaurant.

35. Facetious

Definition: playful (sometimes inappropriate) humor

Example: The manager often made facetious remarks to his subordinates, but took on a more serious demeanor in front of the company bigwigs.

36. Fastidious

Definition: critical; demanding; difficult to please

Example: The best customer service representatives can please even the most fastidious customers if they’re willing to listen.

37. Fiasco

Definition: a total failure; a complicated situation that ends in failure

Example: My suit was wrinkled, my business cards got soaked in the rain and when I left, I found a huge piece of spinach in my teeth — the whole thing was a total fiasco.

38. Galvanize

Definition: to propel a person or people into activity or inspiration

Example: Gina gave a rousing victory speech, galvanizing her campaign volunteers to stay active on social media long after the election was over.

39. Gambit

Definition: a remark or tactic used to redirect a conversation or seek an advantage

Example: Elena began to cry, but the officer was used to that gambit and gave her a ticket anyway.

40. Geopolitical

Definition: anything political affecting the relationships or two or more countries

Example: Many people blame rising gasoline costs on geopolitical instability in the Middle East.

Up next: More words that instantly make you sound smarter

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