Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

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

51. Machiavellian

Definition: tactics that are cunning, often deceptive, in which the end result is more important than morality

Example: Diana’s Machiavellian attempts to get her coworker Michael fired weren’t well received by his friends.

52. Mellifluous

Definition: to flow or sound sweet or smooth

Example: Peggy was nervous about her speech, but her mellifluous words brought the crowd to their feet.

53. Mercenary

Definition: a professional soldier often hired by a foreign army; motivated by profit rather than loyalty

Example: Brianna left the DA’s office to become a mercenary of sorts — she began providing consultations on how to survive a cross-examination by the DA.

54. Mercurial

Definition: volatile or erratic; fickle; flighty, animated or lively (often quick-witted)

Example: The lead singer’s mercurial nature was well loved by fans and the media, but loathed by his bandmates.

55. Misnomer

Definition: the incorrect or an unsuitable name (not a misunderstanding or popular misconception)

Example: Calling that dog sweet pea is a misnomer; he just bit me!

56. Neophyte

Definition: a novice; beginner

Example: Layla may be a neophyte, but you’d never know by looking at her sales numbers.

57. Non sequitur

Definition: a response that doesn’t logically follow the statement it follows

Example: After Nan pointed out that the stock prices were dropping, Melanie interrupted with a total non sequitur by saying, “Who wants lunch?”

58. Obfuscate

Definition: to talk or write about a subject in such a way as to make it unclear or hide the full truth

Example: Olivia attempted to obfuscate her husband’s surprise party by telling him they were going to his favorite restaurant because she’d snagged a Groupon.

59. Ostentatious

Definition: extremely showy; loud

Example: Guy Fieri is the Food Network’s most ostentatious celebrity chef.

60. Panacea

Definition: cure-all; magic elixir (usually not literal in modern English)

Example: E-learning isn’t a panacea for all educational issues; we still require teachers to direct a child’s learning, even over the internet.

Up next: More words that instantly make you sound smarter

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.