Coupon Accepted Successfully!


Paragraph 1


Latin corpus body

Death turns a ‘man’ into just a ‘body.’ That is why that dead body is also called a ‘corpse’.


You would definitely have heard of RBCs and WBCs. Do you remember their full names? Red Blood Corpuscles. White Blood Corpuscles. A ‘corpuscle’ means ‘a little body’, especially an unattached cell that floats freely.

The other corpus words are: Corporal, corpulence and corset.


IE ost- bone

The English 'bone' has its arisen from the Indo-European root ost-


The Sanskrit asthi is a child of this root as is the Latin os, whose own children are:         

osseous and ossify.

In ancient Greece, papyrus was not produced indigenously; it was imported from Egypt and, hence, was very expensive. The common people wrote and sketched on oyster shells or potshards. These tablets were known as ostrakon (plural of ostracon).

Every year in Athens, the citizens were asked in an assembly whether they wished to hold ostracism or not. If the majority said “yes”, then two months later, all the citizens would gather in the agora and scratch on an ostracon the name of the citizen they wanted expelled.
The submitted ostrakon were then counted. A quorum of 6,000 votes was needed to make the ostracism valid. Whoever got the maximum number of votes wasbanished for ten years. The person had to leave within ten days, and if he came back before serving out his ten years, he was punished with death.

The exiled person had no forum to appeal to, and no chance to get the verdict reconsidered or revoked. He just had to accept it and leave.


Latin caro flesh

By what name have we been calling the flesh-eaters since we were perhaps in class three? That learnt -by- rote word is ‘carnivores’, from carn- , a form of caro and vorare, ‘to eat.’ 


The other words from this root are:

Carn-1: Carnal, Carrion, crone

Carn-2: Carnation, incarnation, reincarnation

Carn-3: Carnage, carnassial

Also related to this root is the Latin word corium, which was initially used for a piece of flesh and then, started being used for leather. You can remember that cor means ‘leather’ with the phrase ‘corcodileleather.’ The words that developed out of corium are:


excoriate, coriaceous, quarry


Latin palpare Latin to touch, feel

“Aji dekho mera seenaa kitni zor se dhadak raha hai,” the heroine held the hero’s hand with a coy smile and tried to put it on her chest. The hero wrenched his hand away, breaking the poor heroine’s heart in a thousand pieces. “We doctors check the pulse from the wrist,” he said heartlessly. Ouch!


Anyway, the word that you can learn from our heroine’s misery is palpation.

That scene came quite early in the movie. Now, see a scene from half-an-hour later which makes it abundantly clear that our heroine was not discouraged by the hero’s gruffness:

“Aji dekho toh, ek baar fir mera seenaa kitni zor se dhadak raha hai,” she held the hero’s hand with a coy smile. “It’s going dhak dhak, dhak dhak!” “Why is your heart palpitating so wildly? Kahin koi dil kaa rog toh nahin ho gayaa?” He winked at her. She lowered her eyes. Then, they both sang a song about dil kaa rog and the palpitations that it causes.

Now, we cannot be sure whether the bond between our hero and heroine is that of love or lust, but who cares? We got your ticket’s worth of masala, didn’t we? Love, lust, satisfaction, pleasure—these are all emotions. Emotions are things that exist in our mind. You cannot touch them. They are impalpable. On the other hand are touchable things like the director’s camera, the ticket in our hand and the condiments that we put into our food . They are palpable.


Latin tangere Latin to touch

In Latin 'to touch' meaning is 'tangere'.


Reddy was actively discussing with his friends whether the ‘tangent of an angle’ one studied in trigonometry was related to the ‘tangent of a circle’ from geometry. Why did these two seemingly disparate concepts share their name? Intrigued, they were all trying to think of a plausible reason when Manyu spoke up.

“See guys,” everybody looked up in expectation, “a tangent is called so because it only touches the circle. And hey! Hey! Hey! It struck me just now as I said that, that a secant is so named because it cuts the circle into two sections! Wow! Just imagine! I have studied maths for all these years, and etymology for all these months, and I didn’t see this! Seriously guys, etymology is so much fun! And soilluminating! You guys should do it too. If you want…” He would have raved further had Reddy not shot out an exasperated “shut up!”


“You were supposed to talk about tangents,” reminded another.

A remark like Manyu’s, which only touches the topic at hand, before digressing into totally unrelated territory, is called ‘tangential’.

Books, lovers and bodies are tangible but knowledge, love and ghosts are not. They are intangible.

Two things that touch each other are contiguous; they are in contact. The ‘contacts’ list in our phone book contains the people who we are ‘in touch with’.


When the contact of a drug addict with his drugs is broken, he starts having tactile hallucinations of insects crawling all over his body.

A disease that spreads by touch (a chhoot ki bimari) is called a contagion. The substances whose touch pollutes lakes or airs or men are called contaminants.

A man who shouts off foul words the moment you touch him is cantankerous.

An ‘integer’ is called so because it is untouched (in-teg-er), hence is undivided and whole. The derived from integer are integrate, integral and integrity.


When a TV journalist comments that the integrity of India is under threat from communal politics, it is the wholeness of our country that he thinks is endangered. He further elaborates that harping too much on the issues of mandirs and masjids has already led to many riots and can irrevocably divide India into Hindu India and Muslim India, psychologically even if not physically.

Latin sentire Latin to feel

‘Sentiments’ are feelings. Our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin help us feel the world around us; that is why they are called our ‘sense’ organs.


The following words too are dripping with feelings:

Sentire-1: sentient, sensitization, insensible, insensate

Sentire 2: sensual, sensuous, sententious, presentiment

Sentire-3: consent, consensus, assent

Sentire-4: dissent, resent, sentinel

Greek pathos suffering, feeling

Your friend had called you when you were entering the movie hall to watch the much-touted ‘Grandest movie of Bollywood.’ Now, when you call him back, he asks you eagerly how it was. You do a “Grr!” at being reminded of what you went through. “Don’t even ask! It was pathetic!”


A movie that makes you suffer is ‘pathetic’. The word could be equally used for a sight that evokes feelings of sadness or pity in you. While passing by the park with her mother, twelve-year old Kani saw something ‘pathetic’. A little girl was scavenging the municipal dustbin for food. She must be around five years in age. Her clothes were tattered, her hair unkempt. Kani looked at her own smart frock.

“Mama,” she showed the girl to her mother. “Shall we give her a packet of biscuits?” Kani and her mother were coming back from the market, where they had bought bagfuls of biscuits, juices, namkeens and cakes.

“No.” Her mother said. “What purpose will that serve? She will still have to scavenge the bin for her next meal.”

“But at least for this meal…” Kani countered.

“Giving her a packet of biscuits just means one packet less on our table. It does nothing to change her life. Charity is no solution to poverty.”

Kani was quite surprised by her mother’s apathy. They walked some distance in silence, then Kani said, on the verge of tears, “I had not expected this from you.”


“Your utter lack of sympathy for that girl. She was younger than even Tisha!” Tisha was Kani’s sister, six years her junior.

Her mother nodded seriously. “She was. So?”


“What so? You were so heartless towards that girl!” Kani scowled.

“Giving easy food or easy money to a poor person does not mean you are showing heart,” her mother said. “Poverty is a pathology. These things are nothing but momentary pain killers. I want you to think about what you can do to eliminate the disease itself. That is what is challenging and that is what will really help that girl too. Do something so that that girl does not have to sit on the bin anymore. Giving her one packet of biscuits will do nothing except making you feel good about yourself and making her think that begging is a good enough job.”

Kani understood her mother and started thinking hard.


The other words from this root are: Pathos, empathy, antipathy

Latin   dolor pain

In Latin 'pain' meaning is 'dolor'.


“With you, we are in your pain”.

His friends condoled once again.

And left him there with his tears

To pass alone his doleful years

His darling wife was freshly dead

Now only dolor seemed ahead

Life had no purpose any more

  He would not work now. “Who for?”

Day and night he slept or wept

Then one day he did accept that

Indolence couldn’t lessen grief

And went to work to get relief


The Latin pallere, the English pale and the Hindi peela (yellow) are related. Jaundice is called ‘peelia’ in our country because in it, the face turns yellow, pallid. The states of ‘pallor’ and of being appalled also have the face turning yellow.

You embarked on your first air journey with great enthusiasm, even requested your co-passenger to exchange seats so that you could sit by the window and as the plane took off, looked out eagerly! The excitement, however, palled after sometime. For how long can one see the clouds? Yawn! You were soon asleep.


Corporal: (adj) related with the body; physical. Alternate spelling: corporeal

  • Corporal punishment ought to be totally banned from all schools.

Corpulence: (n) state of being fat.

  • “I really love sweets,” the corpulent boy grinned as he took yet another helping of the ice cream. One of his classmates ran his eyes from his chubby cheeks down to his elephant legs and said: “We can see that.”

Corset: (n) an undergarment used to slim the body of the wearer and to enforce the desired figure. For example, the corsets for women provided them with a perfect hourglass figure by reducing the waist and therefore exaggerating the bust and the hips.


Osseous: (adj) related with bone; bony.

  • The skeletal system of the body is also known as the osseous system.

Ossify: (v) to change into bone.

  • He no longer felt any emotions—delight, sadness, mercy, anger, love—nothing! No soft place remained in his heart. The tragedy had ossified it totally.
  • It will require great political will to shatter the ossified caste structures of the Indian society.

Shard: (n) a piece of broken pottery or glass, etc.

Origin: Related with ‘share’ => ‘a portion of pottery or glass’

  • In the film Sholay, Gabbar Singh tells Basanti that her sweetheart—Veeru—would be kept alive only till her feet danced, and to make her task even more difficult, has shards of glass strewn on the ground before her.

Ostracize: (v) to boycott socially.

Origin: from ostracon.

  • Rajan’s family was ostracized by the villagers because he had married a girl from another religion.

Quorum: (n) the minimum number of members who must be present to make a meeting or the decisions taken in the meeting valid.

  • The company board consists of seventy-four members, of whom sixty-seven are necessary to form a quorum.

Exile: (n) expulsion from one’s homeland; (n) a person who is thus expelled.

  • Kaikeyi forced king Dashrath to make her son Bharath his heir and to send his eldest son—her stepson—Ram into exile for fourteen years.
  • At Kaikeyi’s behest, King Dashrath exiled Ram from Ayodhya for fourteen years.

Rote: (n) a mechanical act; (for learning) to learn mechanically without understanding the meaning.

  • A big problem with the Indian education system is that it encourages rote learning.

Carnal: (adj) bodily

  • carnal needs, carnal desires, carnal pleasures

Carrion: (n) flesh of dead animals.

  • Can you think of birds that feed on carrion? Examples are crows, eagles and vultures.

Crone: (n) a witch-like old woman.

Origin: a caro Anglo Fr. caroine, dead flesh. caroine led to both ‘carrion’ vand ‘crone’

  • The fortune-teller was an old crone. She looked absolutely terrifying with her aquiline nose, her sunk-in eyes, her falling ears, her long, sharp nails (which were painted black), her wrinkled skin, her toothless mouth and the long, red cap on her head.

Aquiline: (adj) related with or like an eagle.


Carnation: (n) pink, light red.

Origin: L caro, flesh => ‘the color of flesh’

  • We saw birds of all colors: some carnation, some crimson, orange, tawny, purple, and so on; and it was for us a great timepass to behold them.
    Tawny: (adj) yellowish brown.

Incarnation: (n) bodily form.

  • According to the Hindu theology, Lord Vishnu is the preserver of the world. In order to fulfil this role, he descended to earth in 10 different incarnations at different points of time. Collectively known as Dasavatar, these 10 incarnations are: Matsya (fish), Koorma (tortoise), Varaaha (boar), Narasimha (the man-lion), Vaamana (the dwarf), Parsuram (the man with the axe), Rama (the perfect human), Krishna (the statesman), Buddha and Kalki (Eternity). Kalki is expected to appear at the end of the Kali Yug, the present time period.

Reincarnation: (n) rebirth in another bodily form.

  • Snehlata chachi often told us tales of reincarnation—of how a child in her village who had died at two was born a year later in a village 200 miles away and still remembered his previous family, etc. But when it came to her own dead husband, she was not ready to believe that he may have been reincarnated too. Instead, she imagined that when she died, he would come to fetch her and their story would resume from where his death had interrupted it.

Carnage: (n) destruction of life.

  • A student, angry at having been failed in an exam, entered his college with a revolver and shot his professor and three random students and then killed himself. The campus carnage was reported all over the world.

Carnassial: (adj) (of teeth) used to shear flesh apart.

Shear: (v) to cut away or through with a sharp instrument.


Excoriate: (v) to strip off or wear away the skin; to scold very strongly.

  • The stiff shirt collar excoriated his neck.
  • Cinderella’s stepmother made her do all the hard work in the house while she and her two daughters just primped and preened before the mirrors all day. One evening, Cinderella timidly asked her for a balm to rub on her hands which had been bruised as she shifted the heavy stones in her back garden to the front garden. The mean old lady excoriated her. “Aahaa! A day’s hard labour now excoriates the maharani’s palms! What do you mean to say by showing me these hands of yours? That your stepmother is so wicked that she bleeds you to death? In that case, get out and show them to the whole world, you understand? Go and get lost. And ask those people only to feed you too. Don’t you try to be oversmart with me, asking me to feed you and clothe you but when asked to do the slightest chores in return, acting like a delicate princess who cannot lift a pebble. I understand all the schemes that your filthy little mind can think of, you better remember that.”

Cinderella’s father had come home early and had listened to all that his wife said. He now came in front of her and excoriated her.

“How dare you do something so shameful about my daughter?” He thundered.


Coriaceous: (adj) leathery

  • coriaceous leaves

Quarry: (n) prey; a mine; (v) to mine into.

Origin: a coriun, animal hide => ‘to take the animal hide off’ ‘to hunt’

  • With an accurately sighted rifle, the hunter sitting on the branch of the tree awaited the coming of the quarry.
  • The villagers started an agitation, demanding the cancellation of the licence given to a granite quarry situated just outside their village.
    They alleged that almost all human dwellings in the surroundings of the quarry had been hit by broken pieces of rocks flying in the blast at one time or the other.

Wrench: (v) to pull or twist violently especially to remove a thing from its attachments.

  • The film Do Bigha Zameen(1953) is the heart-wrenching tale of a a poor peasant Shambhu whose two acres of land—all that he has—is eyed by the big landlord.

Palpation: (n) a part of the physical examination of the body in which the doctor feels a tumour or a diseased organ with his hands to determine its size, shape, firmness, etc.

  • The mid-wife palpated the stomach of the pregnant woman to determine the position of the foetus.

Gruffness: (n) rough manner.

  • Jaane bhi do yaaro is one of the best comedies of Indian cinema. It is famous for the Mahabharta skit at its end. In the skit, when Yudhishtir tries to stop Draupadi (which is actually a dead body draped in a sari!) from being stripped of her sari, Bhim (who is actually the villain of the movie) asks Yudhishtir gruffly, “Abey oye, tu kaun hota hai bolne waala, ham bhi to Draupadi mein shareholderrr hai!”

Palpitation: (n) a rapid beating of the heart; trembling or shaking.


Impalpable: (adj) that which cannot be touched.

  • Light is impalpable.
  • As he left the room in anger, he swept his right arm, as though brushing aside some impalpable obstacle.
  • People usually imagine ghosts as impalpable beings.

Condiment: (n) something added for flavour in food, for example, spices, sauces, etc.


Palpable: (adj) that which can be touched or seen.

  • The brain is palpable; the mind is impalpable.
  • The anger of the protesting students was palpable.
  • There is a palpable lengthening of the day as the summers approach.
  • The effort in her voice was palpable. It was as though she were forcing herself to utter words from which her inmost being recoiled.

Recoil: (v) to shrink back in horror or disgust.


Disparate: (adj) totally unrelated.

  • The award-winning Hindi poet said that he drew inspiration from sources as disparate as Goethe (a famous German intellectual, 1749-1832) and the Sufi saints.
  • Investigations revealed that the terror activities in different parts of the country, which had seemed disparate till then, were in fact all part of one plan.

Plausible: (adj) that which sounds logically possible. Opposite: implausible.

qqThe historian said that it was a legend that Mahatma Gandhi had said ‘Hey Ram’ before breathing his last. They say that it is simply not plausible that he was in a position to utter those words at the moment of his death. He was surrounded by a huge crowd. All the eyewitnesses reported that he had collapsed immediately upon receiving the bullet. He was then carried into the house where, after remaining unconscious for half an hour, he died.


Secant: (n) a line which cuts a curve at two or more points.

Origin: L secare, to cut.

The other words from secare are: section, insect, dissect, bisect

(v) to cut apart; to go into full detail.

Origin: L dis-, apart+ secare, to cut

  • He could dissect a car and put it together again.
  • When the journalist asked the film director why most of his films were fairy-tale-like and totally divorced from reality, he replied that the common man watched movies to dream, not to dissect.
  • To cut apart animal tissue for study is called animal dissection.

Bisect: (v) to cut into two sections.

Exasperate: (v) to irritate very much.

A related word is asperity.

(n) bitterness, sharpness of temper.

  • The trembling little girl apologized to her step-mother for breaking the glass. “No, no,” her step-mother replied with asperity. “Why should you be sorry? You are the princess of the house after all. Wait, Your Highness, let me bring more glasses and plates before your majesty. Please break them too so that this drama ends once and for all.”
  • Unfortunately for her, however, her husband—the girl’s father—had entered the house a moment ago and had heard her tirade. “Shut up Kulwanti,” he said in exasperation. “How long will you keep torturing the poor girl? I had thought time would mellow you down but no.” He threw his briefcase away. “I toil the whole day in the office thinking that I will get rest at home but the moment I enter home, I hear your chik-chik. Can I have some peace in my house? Please?”

Mellow: (v) soften

Toil: (v) work very hard.


Digress: (v) to move away from the main thing or topic; to wander off.

Origin: a dis–, apart + gradi, to go

  • The question paper pattern is fixed, the examiner has little freedom to digress from it.

Tangible: (adj) touchable

  • In the streets of the riot-torn town, one could see hate as a tangible thing, a thing that thickened the air, that made breathing difficult.
  • After Jivan had had yet another fight with the ghost of his dead wife, he gritted his teeth and said, “You exasperating woman! I’d thought I would be able to live in peace at least after your death but no! Here you are, come back to suck the last blood drop out of me.
    How I wish that you were tangible and that I could get my hands on your throat once!”

Intangible: (adj) untouchable


Contiguous: (adj) touching each other.

Origin: a con–, together + tangere, to touch. tig–, tag–, ting– and tang– are variants of the same root, tangere.

  • The two houses were contiguous and the common wall was rather thin. If one applied his ear on the wall and there was silence in the room, he could easily listen to what was being said on the other side.

Tactile: (adj) related with touch.

Tact- and tang- are the different versions of the same root. Their difference is caused only by nasalization. Think of passage/passenger, message/messenger.


Hallucination: (n) mental condition of seeing or experiencing things that are actually not there.

  • The old servant came running out of his room shouting “Bhoot! Bhoot!” His young master, who had recently finished his engineering, laughed and asked him if he had drunk too much or had recently listened to a horror story. “There is no bhoot-voot, kaka,” he said. “You are hallucinating.”

Contagion: (n) a disease that spreads by touch.

  • AIDS is a communicable disease, but it is not a contagion. It does not spread by touch.

Contaminant: (n) pollutant

Origin: L. contamen simply means ‘contact’ but is used only where the contact is with something bad or polluting.

  • Three people died by consuming water contaminated with sewage.

Cantankerous: (adj) very irritable, rude person.

  • In most folk songs, a mother-in-law is portrayed as a cantankerous old lady bent on making her daughter-in-law’s life miserable.

Integrate: (v) make part of the whole.

  • Integrating technology into the classroom greatly enhances the learning experience.

Integral: (adj) a fundamental part of the whole.

  • The Indians assert that Kashmir is an integral part of India and in no case will they ever give even an inch of it to Pakistan.

Integrity: (n) wholeness; moral uprighteousness.

  • Sita had to give an agnipariksha to prove her integrity.

Harp: (v) to keep talking about something too much; (n) a musical instrument having a triangular frame and having string attached between two sides of the frame, which are plucked with fingers

  • For us in India, the harp is an instrument only seen performed on the silver screen. Very rarely do we get to listen to a harpist.

Sentient: (adj) capable of feeling.

  • In the film, the hero confessed his love to the heroine with this letter. “If the room in which I live were a sentient thing, I would appeal to it to tell you how each night I lie awake in my bed, looking at its walls, thinking about you…it would tell you how many times and in how many different ways I’ve decided to tell you this one truth that burdens my heart and how each time, I’ve lost courage at the last minute.”

Sensitize: (v) make sensitive; make aware.

  • Before sending him to Saudi Arab, Sanjay’s company sensitized him to the culture of that country and cautioned him about the do’s and the don’ts. 

Insensible: (adj) not in senses.

  • The old man rather suddenly fell ill, and took to bed; was insensible when the doctor came, and soon died.

Insensate: (adj) incapable of feeling.

  • Your tongue becomes insensate for a few moments after you eat fiery chillies.
  • In ‘The Thousand and One Nights’, Shahryar is an insensate king who marries each evening and executes his bride the next morning.

Sensual: (adj) expressing or suggesting physical, especially sexual, pleasure or satisfaction.

  • She looked sensual in a sari. The men in the party couldn’t stop looking at her.
  • The item songs are inserted in movies purely to offer sensual pleasures to the audience.

Sensuous: (adj) giving or expressing pleasure through the physical senses.

  • The most remarkable aspect of John Keats’ poetry is its sensuousness. Sensuous poetry is that which is devoted, not to philosophical thoughts, ideas or emotions, but to what the poet perceives through his five senses. Keats describes his imagery so well that the reader feels that he can see, smell, hear, taste or touch what Keats did.

Sententious: (adj) trying to appear wise, clever and important.

  • The wannabe entrepreneur asked for some tips on how to succeed in business from the industrialist who had been invited to a panel discussion organized by his business school. The industrialist replied sententiously, “Fall seven times, get up eight.”

Presentiment: (n) a feeling beforehand of what is going to happen. (a pre–, before)

  • Our wishes are presentiments of the capabilities which lie within us. Whatever we are able and would like to do, presents itself to our imagination as a dream for the future. We feel a longing after that which we already possess unconsciously.
  • She had a presentiment that something bad was going to happen.

Consent: (v) agree; (n) agreement.

Origin: a con–, together + sentire, to feel ‘to feel together on an issue’.

  • The lovers were ecstatic the day their parents consented to their marriage. They had had to work quite hard for that consent!

Consensus: (n) general agreement.

  • The Prime Minister called a meeting to evolve a consensus between all the parties of the ruling coalition on the issue of price hike of oil.

Assent: (n) say ‘yes’ to.

Origin: a ad–, to + sentire, to feel ‘to agree with’

  • A bill becomes a law only after first the Parliament and then the President give their assent to it.

Dissent: (v) to feel apart on an issue; (n) lack of agreement; Alternate form: dissension

  • Babar attacked Delhi which was in the control of the Lodi Sultans. Despite internal dissent, the Lodis managed to field an army of 1,00,000 men and 1,000 elephants against Babar’s paltry force of 12,000. Yet, Babar routed the Lodis and took possession of Delhi.
  • We could also have written ‘Despite internal dissensions’ in the sentence above.

Resent: (v) feel angry about; (n): resentment.

  • The young woman resented the interference of her sister in her life.

Sentinel: (n) a watch guard.

Origin: a sentire, to feel ‘to observe’

  • The sentinels kept an alert guard, while the whole camp slept.

Scavenge: (v) to search for food in waste material; to pick up the wastes of human body.

  • Although banned by the law, the practice of manual scavenging of human waste continues in many Indian states.

Unkempt: (adj) untidy

  • It was a rather dirty and unkempt room, and lit poorly by a single tired bulb.
  • The prisoners were a dirty, unkempt, unshaven, hard-looking lot, with bloodshot eyes.

Apathy: (n) lack of feeling, indifference; (adj) apathetic.

  • The apathy of the government forced a former national level hockey player of Madhya Pradesh into penury. She had been promised a government job and had waited for it for years. But now, after her husband, a truck driver and the sole earning member in a family of six, lost his limbs in an accident, she had been forced to sell her house and shift to a slum.

Penury: (n) extreme poverty; (adj): penurious


Sympathy: (n) sharing the feeling of another.


Scowl: (v) to wrinkle one’s forehead in anger.


Pathology: (n) disease

Origin: GK pathos, suffering + – logia, study ‘study of diseases’ ‘the diseases that are studied’.

  • Can you think of some examples of social pathologies? The answer: poverty, crime, gender discrimination, etc.
  • The tests used to diagnose whether a patient is suffering from a disease or not are called pathological tests.

Pathos: (n) ability of a work of art or of a real life experience to arouse feeling; the feeling thus aroused.

  • The film director showed his expertise in both pathos and action sequences.
  • The poet was moved with a deep sense of pathos when the old lady in her neighbourhood died all alone. He looked at her dead body, shaking his head over the riddle of man’s life. She had five children, had devoted all her life in bringing them up, but when she needed them, they had all become too busy in their own lives.
  • The painting reflected the pathos of a woman in pain.

Empathy: (n) putting oneself in another person’s shoes; imagining an object or a character in an art work to be in the same situation and have the same characteristics and feelings as oneself; (adj): empathetic.

Origin: Gk em-, in + pathos, feeling

  • Most people reserve their empathetic concern only for those who are higher and mightier than them. When their boss’ mother develops common cold, they tell him that they totally understand how one feels when one’s mother is not well and sweetly request him to convey their best wishes to her. But, when their maid pleads to them for a small loan because her mother-in-law is in hospital, they remind her that a few months before too, someone in her family had fallen ill. They do not run a charity, they tell her; she should get down to work or they would have to look for a maid with a healthier family.

Antipathy: (n) hostility, strong dislike.

Origin: Gk anti-, against + pathos, feeling

  • The young MLA was known for his antipathy to religion and caste-based politics.
  • A misogynist has an antipathy to women.
  • The child had an antipathy to Maths.

Condole: (v) to soothe someone in pain.

Origin: a con-, together + dolere, to feel pain ‘to be together with someone in his pain.’

  • The poem is about a fresh widower. His friends condole him in his grief and promise to be there for him whenever he needs them.
    Soon, however, they become busy with their own lives. He is left alone with his pain. Only pain seems to lie ahead now. Life doesn’t seem to have any purpose. He loses his will to work because he thinks there is nobody he needs to work for. He just weeps and sleeps through his days and nights. One day, however, he does realize that not doing any work is no solution for his pain. In fact, working will help divert his mind. So, he reports to work again.

Doleful: (adj) painful, sad.

  • The doleful music of shehnai at the time of bidaai made the bride and her whole family very, very emotional.

Dolor: (n) pain; (adj) dolorous: full of pain, sad.

  • The soldier departed from his bride with a dolorous heart.
  • She read her dead husband’s last letter in the most dolorous tone.

Indolence: (n) laziness, not doing any work.

Origin: a in-, in–, not + dolere, to feel ‘one who takes no pains’.

  • The door bell rang twice. Scooby opened his eyes, stretched, yawned and went to sleep again—he really is the most indolent dog.

Pallid: (adj) pale, sapped of energy.

A similar word is wan.

Wan: (adj) pallid

  • The dying man looked wan and weak.

Appall: (v) shock with horror or disgust.

  • The foreigner was appalled to see people living on streets in India.

Embark: (v) to set on a journey.

Origin: barque means: a type of sailing vessel with three or more masts.

  • After the success of Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens embarked on a full-time career as a novelist.
  • In 1883 Rudyard Kipling returned to India and embarked on a career of journalism, writing the news stories as well as the tales and ballads that began to make his name.

Disembark: (v) to get down from a ship or other vehicle; to take goods off a ship or other vehicle.

  • The guests cheered as the newly-weds arrived at the party in a royal carriage. The groom got down first, walked over to the other side, gave his hand to his bride and helped her to disembark.

Pall: (v) to become dull, boring or tiring; to fail to please (n) a dull, thick cover.

Origin: from apall.

  • The flash and glare and brilliancy of the big mall palled upon her tired eye.
  • The night was so black under a cloud-palled sky that a tree-trunk could not be seen an eighth of an inch beyond.
  • A smoke-palled city.

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name