Define ignoble, specious, ersatz, debacle, collateral, and demean.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Below are definitions for the following words: ignoble, specious, ersatz, debacle, collateral, and demean.

ignoble
adjective

1. not honorable either in purpose or in character. "The brother had ignoble feelings of desire for his sister-in-law." 2. of low origin or status. "The ignoble beggar continued to peddle his wares."
Synonyms: dishonorable, degenerate, sordid, low

specious
adjective
1. plausible on the surface, but actually wrong. "The banker provided a specious explanation as to why their loan was denied." 2. misleading in appearance. "The theme park gives their attractions a specious appearance of originality."
Synonyms: false, misleading, deceptive
 
ersatz
adjective
1. not genuine, a knock-off. "The aspiring actress wore a coat of tacky ersatz fur."
Synonyms: fake, substitute, faux
 
debacle 
noun
1. a sudden, ungraceful failure. "The media flocked to report on the politician's latest personal debacle."
Synonyms: fiasco, mess, failure
 
collateral
noun
1. security pledged for the payment of a debt. "The pawn shop held the title of his car as collateral. They would hold it as security in the event that he was unable to complete the payment plan for his purchase." 2. a side branch, as of a vessel or nerve.
Synonyms: Assurance, pledge, secondary
 
demean
verb
1. to speak extremely poorly of. "The mayor demeaned his opponent during the debate." 2. to do something that shames oneself. "As a professional musician, he found the singing of campfire songs demeaning."
Synonyms: decry, belittle, humiliate
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial