Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

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

81. Stoic

Definition: free from passion, including happiness and grief (think Spock)

Example: Ebony attempted to remain stoic as her boss explained why she was being let go.

82. Sublime

Definition: a new level of quality or perfection; unduplicated

Example: The chef’s food was so sublime, the harshest critic in the area came back once a week for the rest of his life.

82. Superfluous

Definition: excessive, unnecessary or needless; extra

Example: To make extra space on her hard drive, Doreen asked the technician to eliminate the superfluous files.

83. Svengali

Definition: a person who controls or dominates another, usually with selfish motives (from evil hypnotist character in Maurier’s Trilby)

Example: Raven knew Michael was far too caring and submissive to be the Svengali her coworkers portrayed him to be.

84. Sycophant

Definition: a brownnoser; someone who flatters others in an attempt to serve their own interests

Example: Jenny realized she’d misjudged her boss when her hard work got her the promotion over the lazy sycophant she was up against.

85. Synergy

Definition: a partnership or combination that works well to the advantage of both

Example: The goal of the Apple TV is to create synergy between your various Apple devices: iPhone, iPad and iMac or MacBook.

86. Tantamount

Definition: equivalent in significance or effect, though not identical

Example: The public relations head told us that saying anything that could make people stop buying our products is tantamount to stealing.

87. Tenuous

Definition: unsubstantiated or weak

Example: The link between the appetizer and entree was tenuous, though both were executed beautifully.

88. Tête-à-tête

Definition: a private conversation between two people

Example: After the board meeting, the marketing director was called aside for a tête-à-tête with the president, making the entire marketing team nervous.

89. Ubiquitous

Definition: present everywhere; everywhere at once

Example: Try as competitors might, the iPhone has become ubiquitous.

90. Untenable

Definition: indefensible, usually in relation to a difficult or impossible situation

Example: Aliyah was in an untenable position; she couldn’t keep telling the employees to cut costs while staying in five-star hotels on business trips.

Up next: More words that instantly make you sound smarter

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.