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Vocabulary Tricks Part 13: Superstitions

Published on Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Superstitions are due to the fear of the unknown and mysterious. Superstitions cannot be explained by any logical reason or science.
Primitive people were unaware about wonders of science. They used to believe that evil spirits and wrath of Gods cause diseases. They offered sacrifices to ward off spirits. They sacrificed birds and animals to atone their sins. This fear gave rise to superstitions.

People still believe in these superstitions. A black cat crossing one's path, cries of certain animals like a dog are considered ominous. Certain days are also considered inauspicious. People consult an astrologer for starting something new.
There is no place for superstitions in today's world. So, we should follow only those things which have a scientific basis. A superstitious person is always haunted by anxiety and unknown fears. There is a need to cultivate scientific outlook to wipe out superstitions.

Meaning: A widely held but irrational belief leading to good or bad luck
Example: He dismissed the ghost stories as mere superstition.
Synonym: myth, belief

Meaning: Difficult or impossible to understand
Example: His colleague has vanished in mysterious circumstances.
Synonym: puzzling, strange, peculiar, curious

Meaning: Relating to or denoting a preliterate, non-industrial society or culture
Example: Primitive people were more honest as compared to a modern man
Synonym: preliterate, non-industrial

Meaning: Extreme anger
Example: He hid his report card for fear of provoking his father's wrath
Synonym: anger, rage, fury, annoyance, indignation, outrage

Ward off
Meaning: Prevent someone or something from harming or affecting one
Example: A Turkish good luck charm is designed to ward off evil spirits.
Synonym: parry, avert, deflect, block, turn aside

Meaning: Make compensation
Example: Eleven years later, she may have a chance to atone for that sin.
Synonym: expiate, make good, offset

Meaning: Giving the worrying impression that something bad is going to happen
Example: There were ominous dark clouds gathering overhead
Synonym: threatening, menacing, baleful, forbidding, sinister

Meaning: Unlucky
Example: This is nothing inauspicious in his home.
Synonym: sinistrous

Meaning: A person who predicts future of others
Example: He was advised by an astrologer to delay his departure.

Meaning: Showing signs of mental pain or suffering
Example: He had a haunted look in his eyes.
Synonym: tormented, anguished, troubled, worried, disturbed

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