CHAPTER 11 on Word Groups

Vocabulary word groups

Explanation: Nonplus (Noun) means a state of confusion. Confound (or Stupefy) means to confuse or to surprise someone. Therefore, these words have been covered in this series and they have been covered in series for to surprise also.

BEFOG (Verb)

Meaning: To confuse or to obscure

Use: The professor’ s convoluted explanation only befogged the textbook’ s presentation of this scientific principle.


Meaning: To confuse someone

Use: The news about his ex-wife getting married again bemused him.


Meaning: To confuse someone

Use: The many choices of activities in the city served only to bewilder the traveler.


Meaning: To confuse (someone) completely

Use: The unexpected news of a tax increase by the governor baffled many of the citizens of his state.


Meaning: To confuse

Use: His attempts to clarify the situation succeeded only in befuddling her further.


Meaning: To confuse

Use: An actor who ‘s flummoxed by any changes in the script.

ADDLE (Verb)

Meaning: To confuse

Use: The problem is that if anyone tries to use logical explanations for some political positions, it just addles the listeners and makes their understanding more confusing than comprehensible.

ADDLE (Adj.)

Meaning: Confused

Use: My brain grew more and more addle as I made my way through the tax instructions.


Meaning: Small pieces of rock


Meaning: To confuse

Use: Managed to gravel his opponent in the debate by focusing on a typical example.


Meaning: To confuse (someone) very much

Use: Willie was perplexing his mother very much because he refused to take a shower after working out and having such strong body orders.


Meaning: 1) To confuse someone

2) To mix up (something) in a confused way

Use: Manfred complained that getting too much advice can easily muddle his mind.


Meaning: A state of confusion

Use: The unexpected results of the test have created a nonplus for researchers.


Meaning: To cause confusion

Use: I was nonplussed by his openly expressed admiration of me.


Meaning: To make something difficult to understand

Use: Bill tried to obfuscate his drunken driving with extraneous information about taking medication; however, the odor of alcohol on his breath was not obfuscating his real condition.


Meaning: To surprise or confuse someone

Use: The new tax system confounded the people because it seemed to be much more complicated than in the previous years.


Meaning: To cause (someone) to become confused or unable to think properly

Use: The amount they spend on clothes would appall their parents and stupefy their grandparents.



Explanation: Stagger (Verb) means to walk unsteadily or to hesitate. It has second meaning also. It also means to astonish someone.


Meaning: To cause a feeling of great surprise or wonder in (someone)

Use: The juggler was astounding people with his entertaining skills.


Meaning: To cause a feeling of great wonder or surprise in (someone)

Use: Helena’s flower garden astonishes everyone who sees it.


Meaning: To thrill or excite (someone) very much

Use: Fans bedazzled by movie stars.


Meaning: To shock or surprise (someone) very much

Use: Your decision to suddenly quit your job flabbergasts me.


Meaning: To surprise and confuse (someone or something)

Use: Trying to comprehend the complicated directions for operating his new TV confounded the father too much.


Meaning: 1) To move or cause (someone) to move unsteadily from side to side

2) To shock or surprise someone

3) To arrange (things) in a series of different positions or times

Use: “After he sprained his ankle, he was barely able to stagger back to the bench in the park.”


Meaning: To surprise or frighten (someone) suddenly

Use:  I am sorry that I startled you.


Meaning: To shock or surprise (someone) very much

Use: The amount they spend on clothes would appall their parents and stupefy their grandparents.



Explanation: Blight (Noun) is a disease that makes plants dry up and die. Blight (Noun) also means something damaging or harmful. Blight (Verb) means to cause damage. Noxious (Adj.) deviates slightly. Noxious (Adj.) deviates slightly. Noxious (Adj.) means harmful to living beings. For example: <Noxious fumes can seriously harm you>. <Noxious smog>.


Meaning: Damaging or harmful

Use: Face it, there is obviously a deleterious effect from smoking.


Meaning: Not safe, strong or steady

Use: The workers had precarious privileges provided by their company which could be altered or terminated at any time.


Meaning: Causing great harm or damage often in a way that is not easily seen or noticed

Use: Tabitha is going to get revenge on the man who insulted her with a pernicious act that will hurt him very much without him knowing who did it.


Meaning: Causing damage or injury

Use: At the meeting with parents and teachers, Mrs. Jackson, the school counselor, pointed out that watching too much TV can be detrimental to a child’s social and intellectual development.


Meaning: 1) To damage (a thing or place)

2) To damage (plants) with a disease

Use: The scandal blighted the careers of several leading politicians.


Meaning: 1) A disease that makes plants dry up and die

2) Something that causes harm or damage like a disease

Use: He has been credited with turning the country around after several severe economic blights.


Meaning: Harmful to living things

Use: Depressions have made some people have noxious feelings that can result in serious ailments.




Explanation: Words covered in this series do not deviate much in meaning to words covered in series for Damaging/Harmful.

Menace (Noun) and Minatory (Adj.) are Noun and adjective form of each other. Vicious (Adj.) deviates in meaning slightly. Vicious (Adj.) means violent or cruel. It also means dangerous.

Scourge (Noun) means something causing great trouble or suffering. It has second meaning also. It means a whip.

Scourge (Verb) means to cause great trouble or suffering. It also means to hit (someone) with a whip as a punishment.


Meaning: Causing destruction or serious damage

Use: There are many baneful consequences for the people of Syria; including the deaths and wounding of women, children, and men who have nothing to do with the uprising that has been going on there.


Meaning: Threatening harm or evil

Use: The use of drugs has had a baleful impact on many people around the world.


Meaning: Very evil or harmful

Use: As a patient, Leroy was placed in the isolation ward as a result of the extremely malignant nature of his lung infection.


Meaning: 1) To cause great trouble or suffering

2) To hit someone with a whip as a punishment

Use: “Bill suffered the scourge of asthma all his life,” he said.


Meaning: 1) Something causing great trouble or suffering

2) A whip

Use: A city ravaged by the scourge of unemployment.


Meaning: Looking likely to cause something bad, harmful, or dangerous to happen

Use: We must defeat the sinister forces that seek our downfall.


Meaning: 1) A dangerous or possibly harmful person or thing

2) A dangerous or threatening quality

Use: The little boy was a menace in a shop full of crystal.


Meaning: Having a menacing quality

Use: The Soviet Union undermined its own objectives by minatory behavior that produced a palpable sense of threat in the Japanese public.


Meaning: 1) Very violent, cruel or dangerous

2) Having or showing very angry or cruel feelings

Use: Dina’s vicious dog was kept on a strong leash whenever he was taken out for a walk.

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