CHAPTER 30 on Word Groups

Explanation: Woe (Noun) deviates slightly. Woe (Noun) means feeling of great pain or sadness.

AGONY (Noun)

Meaning: extreme mental or physical pain

Use: Ralph’s sister was in terrible agony after slipping on the icy sidewalk and breaking her leg.


Meaning: Infliction of intense pain

Use: “Torture is an instance of being in a state of excruciation.”


Meaning: Unhappiness, pain or suffering

Use: Samuel Johnson has experienced the trials and tribulations of a struggling lexicographer.


Meaning: Extreme suffering, grief or pain

Use: Mona was in a state of anguish when her cat ran away and she was afraid it was lost in the fields.


Meaning: No one could understand her inner torment.

Use: Extreme physical or mental pain


Meaning: To cause (someone or something) to feel extreme physical or mental pain

Use: “Harry’s mother told him to stop tormenting his sister.”

WOE (Noun)

Meaning: A feeling of great pain or sadness

Use: Susan’s financial woes are well known at the bank.



Explanation: Rack (Noun) means a framework for holding or storing things. Rack (Noun) also means a frame on which a person was tortured by being stretched. Rack (Verb) means to cause to suffer pain, anguish.


Meaning: To inflict intense pain on

Use: She has long been excruciated by a persistent pain in her knee.


Meaning: A heavy frame with spikes for breaking up soil


Meaning: 1) To draw a harrow over

2) To inflict intense pain on

Use: It was a seriously harrowing film about racism and violence.


Meaning: 1) To think or worry very much about something

2) To inflict intense pain or to torture someone

Use: Got into more trouble, further agonizing her poor mother.

RACK (Verb)

Meaning: To cause to suffer pain or anguish.

Use: The south was racked by a severe drought.

RACK (Noun)

Meaning: 1) a framework for holding or storing things.

2) a frame on which a person was tortured by being stretched.

Use: The museum had an example of a rack that was used for torture during the Middle Ages.


Meaning: To cause pain or suffering to (someone or something)

Use: Famine, pandemic diseases, and wars are afflicting many people in several parts of the world.


Meaning: The act of causing severe physical pain as a form of punishment

Use: Waiting is just torture for me.


Meaning: To cause (someone) to experience severe physical pain

Use: I was seriously tortured by a sense of guilt.




Meaning: Successful, well-known and respected

Use: The doctor was an eminent surgeon in the local hospital.


Meaning: Very powerful or strong or deserving serious attention

Use: “She exhibited a formidable display of skill as she worked with her computer.”


Meaning: Causing or deserving great fear or respect

Use: The new soccer player is considered a redoubtable member of the team because he is very fast and a skillful kicker when he is playing opposing players.


Meaning: Famous and greatly admired

Use: Helen Hoy had a very illustrious career on stage as an actor before going to Hollywood to star in several films.


Meaning: Most noticeable or important

Use: As a reporter, Bill always strived to stay with the salient or most significant facts regarding whatever he was writing about.


Meaning: A very famous or successful person

Use: The hall was crowded with luminaries who wanted to applaud Grace, their colleague, for the fine work she had done to help students understand the magic and wonder of words.



Explanation: Feign (Verb) means to pretend. Feigned (Adj.) means fictitious or not genuine. Canard (Noun) means false report or story.


Meaning: Well-known but probably not true

Use: When Fay’s friend said that he believed in the Bible, she wasn’t sure if he meant the apocryphal writings, too.


Meaning: Not correct

Use: Based on the information at the time of publication, the scientist reached an erroneous conclusion.


Meaning: False

Use: Mr. Jones, the supervisor, presented fallacious reasons for firing Roy, all of which were not valid!


Meaning: Appearing to be true but actually false

Use: “It was obvious that he was making a specious excuse.”


Meaning: False or fake

Use: Edward gave his wife a necklace of spurious pearls which were fakes.


Meaning: Not true or real

Use: The characters in the novel are all fictitious and imaginary.


Meaning: Fictitious or not genuine

Use: The feigned applause that polite people give after a bad concert.


Meaning: A false report or story

Use: The book repeats some of history’ s oldest canards.




Meaning: Very unusual or strange

Use: Children like to wear bizarre costumes on Halloween.


Meaning: Very unusual or strange

Use: The eccentric professor who engages in markedly outlandish behavior is a stock figure in novels with an academic setting.



Explanation: Resuscitate (Verb) and Resurrect (Verb) deviates slightly. Resuscitate (Verb) means to revive someone from unconsciousness. Resurrect (Verb) means to bring (a dead person) back to life.


Meaning: To cause (a force that is capable of causing change) to become active

Use: The pollution in the river helped to galvanize the drive for cleaner water.


Meaning: To cause (something) to become more active and lively

Use: Some people say that a brisk walk early in the day invigorates them.


Meaning: To make (someone or something) active, healthy or energetic again

Use: The mayor hopes to revitalize the city.


Meaning: To make (someone or something) more lively

Use: When Jane read a story to her daughter, she vivified the dialogs of the characters by speaking in a very animated manner.


Meaning: To give new strength or energy to (something)

Use: “He was able to rejuvenate our old dining room table.”


Meaning: To make (someone or something) strong, healthy or active again

Use: The success of the movie has revived her career.


Meaning: to revive someone from unconsciousness

Use: Greg was able to resuscitate the drowned person so he could breathe and become conscious again.


Meaning: 1) to bring (a dead person) back to life

2) to bring to view, attention or use again

Use: Patricia’s plant was so wilted that she was convinced that it could neither be resurrected nor thrive again.



COY (Adj.)

Meaning: 1) Pretending to be shy

2) Reluctant to give details about something

Use: Reluctant to commit herself so early in the game, she was coy in her answers to Ken’ s offer.


Meaning: Lacking self-confidence

Use: When Jason is called on to answer a question that Mrs. Savage, the teacher, is asking him during class, he usually has a diffident way of expressing himself even when he is certain that he is correct.


Meaning: A shy or quiet person who does not find it easy to talk to other people

Use: In his poetry, he reveals that he is an introvert by his intense interest in his own problems.


Meaning: Not openly expressing feelings or opinions

Use: She is a very reserved young man.

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