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Websters Thesaurus Edition for PSAT, SAT, GRE, LSAT,

GMAT, and AP English Test Preparation

Oscar Wilde

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An Ideal Husband
Websters Thesaurus Edition for PSAT, SAT, GRE, LSAT,
GMAT, and AP English Test Preparation

Oscar Wilde

PSAT is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit
Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT is a registered trademark of the
College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE, AP and Advanced Placement are
registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book,
GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated
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An Ideal Husband: Websters Thesaurus Edition for PSAT, SAT, GRE, LSAT, GMAT, and AP
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ISBN 0-497-25308-9

PREFACE FROM THE EDITOR .......................................................................................... 1
THE PERSONS OF THE PLAY............................................................................................ 3
THE SCENES OF THE PLAY .............................................................................................. 5
FIRST ACT ........................................................................................................................ 7
SECOND ACT ................................................................................................................. 47
THIRD ACT ..................................................................................................................... 83
FOURTH ACT................................................................................................................ 115
GLOSSARY ................................................................................................................... 143
Oscar Wilde 1


Designed for school districts, educators, and students seeking to maximize performance on
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The Editor
Websters Online Dictionary

PSAT is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit
Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT is a registered trademark of the
College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE, AP and Advanced Placement are
registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book,
GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated
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which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. All rights reserved.
Oscar Wilde 3



SIR ROBERT CHILTERN, Bart., Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs
VICOMTE DE NANJAC, Attach at the French Embassy in London
MASON, Butler to Sir Robert Chiltern
PHIPPS, Lord Goring's Servant
JAMES, Footman
HAROLD, Footman
MISS MABEL CHILTERN, Sir Robert Chiltern's Sister
Oscar Wilde 5


ACT I. The Octagon Room in Sir Robert Chiltern's House in Grosvenor

ACT II. Morning-room in Sir Robert Chiltern's House.
ACT III. The Library of Lord Goring's House in Curzon Street.
ACT IV. Same as Act II.

TIME: The Present

PLACE: London.

The action of the play is completed within twenty-four hours.

Oscar Wilde 7


SCENEThe octagon room at Sir Robert Chiltern's house in Grosvenor

Square. [The room is brilliantly lighted and full of guests. At the top of the
staircase stands LADY CHILTERN, a woman of grave Greek beauty, about
twenty-seven years of age. She receives the guests as they come up. Over the
well of the staircase hangs a great chandelier with wax lights, which
illumine a large eighteenth-century French tapestry - representing the
Triumph of Love, from a design by Boucher - that is stretched on the staircase
wall. On the right is the entrance to the music-room. The sound of a string
quartette is faintly heard. The entrance on the left leads to other reception-
rooms. MRS. MARCHMONT and LADY BASILDON, two very pretty
women, are seated together on a Louis Seize sofa. They are types of exquisite
fragility. Their affectation of manner has a delicate charm. Watteau would
have loved to paint them.]

Going on to the Hartlocks' to-night, Margaret?
I suppose so. Are you?

affectation: (n) pretension, feint, pose, failing. ANTONYMS: (n) sturdiness, foursome, quart , set, tetrad,
display, airs, affectedness, solidity. quaternity, quaternion, assemblage,
ostentation, show, pretense, illumine: (v) illuminate, enlighten, composition, four.
mannerism, sham. ANTONYMS: (n) light, shine, light up, brighten, seated: (adj) sat, sedentary.
artlessness, honesty, modesty. clarify, irradiate, elucidate, to staircase: (n) stair, ladder, flight, steps,
chandelier: (n) candlestick, pendant, illuminate; (adj, v) illume. flight of steps, stairs, backstairs,
candelabrum, sconce, lustre, luster, lighted: (adj) illuminated, lit, light, escalator, companionway, way,
girandole, candelabra, gaselier. ablaze, bright, ignited, burn, burning, entrance.
fragility: (n) brittleness, weakness, ignite, kindled, lighten. tapestry: (n) arras, tapis, textile,
feebleness, flimsiness, daintiness, octagon: (n) hexagon, oxygon, embroidery, hanging, carpet, cloth,
breakability, fineness, finesse, decagon, pentagon, polygon. complexness, fabric, material,
vulnerability; (adj, n) frailty; (adj) quartette: (n) quartet, quadruplet, mending.
8 An Ideal Husband

Yes. Horribly tedious parties they give, don't they?
Horribly tedious! Never know why I go. Never know why I go anywhere.%
I come here to be educated
Ah! I hate being educated!
So do I. It puts one almost on a level with the commercial classes, doesn't it?
But dear Gertrude Chiltern is always telling me that I should have some
serious purpose in life. So I come here to try to find one.
[Looking round through her lorgnette.] I don't see anybody here to-night
whom one could possibly call a serious purpose. The man who took me in to
dinner talked to me about his wife the whole time.
How very trivial of him!
Terribly trivial! What did your man talk about?
About myself.
[Languidly.] And were you interested?
[Shaking her head.] Not in the smallest degree.
What martyrs we are, dear Margaret!

classes: (n) lessons. antipathy, aversion. ANTONYMS: (n, dry. ANTONYMS: (adj) exciting,
don't: (adv) not; (n) taboo, prohibition. v) like; (v) adore, cherish, admire; (n) varied, easy, readable, lively,
educated: (adj, v) erudite, lettered; (adj) attraction, liking, delight, adoration. entertaining, enthralling, brisk,
learned, enlightened, trained, refined, puts: (n) stocks, securities, preferred concise, exotic, pleasant.
informed, taught, cultivated, stock, common stock, bonds. trivial: (adj) trifling, frivolous, little,
intellectual; (v) instructed. smallest: (adj) least, minimal, littlest, small, commonplace, superficial,
ANTONYMS: (adj) uneducated, lowest, last, first, negligible, smallest petty, paltry, inconsiderable,
ignorant, naive, illiterate, uncouth, number of, bottom, littler. piddling, slight. ANTONYMS: (adj)
uninformed, unlearned, wild. ANTONYM: (adj) maximum. important, vital, major, urgent,
hate: (v) abhor, detest, loathe, tedious: (adj) tiresome, boring, dreary, profound, crucial, consequential,
abominate; (n) enmity, abhorrence, slow, heavy, humdrum, irksome, considerable, enormous, mature,
detestation, hatred, animosity, lifeless; (adj, v) monotonous, arid, serious.
Oscar Wilde 9

[Rising.] And how well it becomes us, Olivia!
[They rise and go towards the music-room. The VICOMTE DE NANJAC, a
young attach known for his neckties and his Anglomania, approaches with a
low bow, and enters into conversation.]
[Announcing guests from the top of the staircase.] Mr. and Lady Jane
Barford. Lord Caversham.%
[Enter LORD CAVERSHAM, an old gentleman of seventy, wearing the
riband and star of the Garter. A fine Whig type. Rather like a portrait by
Good evening, Lady Chiltern! Has my good-for- nothing young son been
[Smiling.] I don't think Lord Goring has arrived yet.
[Coming up to LORD CAVERSHAM.] Why do you call Lord Goring good-
[MABEL CHILTERN is a perfect example of the English type of prettiness,
the apple-blossom type. She has all the fragrance and freedom of a flower.
There is ripple after ripple of sunlight in her hair, and the little mouth, with
its parted lips, is expectant, like the mouth of a child. She has the fascinating
tyranny of youth, and the astonishing courage of innocence. To sane people
she is not reminiscent of any work of art. But she is really like a Tanagra
statuette, and would be rather annoyed if she were told so.]
Because he leads such an idle life.
How can you say such a thing? Why, he rides in the Row at ten o'clock in the
expectant: (adj) hopeful, enceinte, feckless, pointless, asinine, unworthy; ripple: (v) bubble, murmur, gurgle,
anticipative, big, gravid, eager, (n) loafer, do-nothing, rascal, rotter, billow, surge, burble, cockle; (n, v)
heavy, confident, with child, cur, trash. wave, swell, riffle, purl.
watchful; (adj, v) pregnant. prettiness: (n) loveliness, good looks, seventy: (n) large integer.
ANTONYMS: (adj) uninterested, cuteness, attraction, appeal, statuette: (n) statue, figure, model,
apathetic, indifferent. attractiveness, gracefulness, fineness, effigy, bust, sculpture.
fragrance: (n, v) aroma, perfume, charm, elegance, handsomeness. tyranny: (adj, n) dictatorship,
scent, smell; (n) bouquet, odor, ANTONYMS: (n) ugliness, autocracy; (n) absolutism, despotism,
essence, odour, redolence, sweetness; unattractiveness. oppression, cruelty, monocracy,
(adj) fragrant. ANTONYMS: (n) stink, riband: (n) ribbon, fascia, band, totalitarianism, authoritarianism,
stench. ribband, spill, slip, shred, strip, autarchy, Caesarism. ANTONYMS:
good-for-nothing: (adj) worthless, wreath, medal, list. (n) democracy, liberty.
10 An Ideal Husband

morning, goes to the Opera three times a week, changes his clothes at least
five times a day, and dines out every night of the season. You don't call that
leading an idle life, do you?
[Looking at her with a kindly twinkle in his eyes.] You are a very charming
young lady!
How sweet of you to say that, Lord Caversham! Do come to us more often.
You know we are always at home on Wednesdays, and you look so well with
your star!
Never go anywhere now. Sick of London Society. Shouldn't mind being
introduced to my own tailor; he always votes on the right side. But object
strongly to being sent down to dinner with my wife's milliner. Never could
stand Lady Caversham's bonnets.%
Oh, I love London Society! I think it has immensely improved. It is entirely
composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society
should be.
Hum! Which is Goring? Beautiful idiot, or the other thing?
[Gravely.] I have been obliged for the present to put Lord Goring into a class
quite by himself. But he is developing charmingly!
Into what?
[With a little curtsey.] I hope to let you know very soon, Lord Caversham!
[Announcing guests.] Lady Markby. Mrs. Cheveley.
anywhere: (adv, n) anyplace; (adv) idle: (adj) lazy, indolent, inactive, free, monstrously.
someplace, wherever, everywhere. unfounded, fruitless, baseless, milliner: (n) sempstress, clothier,
charmingly: (adv) pleasingly, prettily, groundless, frivolous, empty, fribble, hatmaker, snip, shaper,
alluringly, attractively, fascinatingly, disengaged. ANTONYMS: (adj) merchandiser, tailor, costumier,
pleasantly, enchantingly, temptingly, active, employed, industrious, merchant, maker.
engagingly, sweetly, beautifully. energetic, meaningful, productive, tailor: (v) sew, fashion, shape,
ANTONYMS: (adv) unpleasantly, worthwhile, diligent; (v) change, run, accommodate, design, cut, adjust, fit;
unattractively, horribly, awkwardly. work. (n) snip, dressmaker, sartor.
idiot: (n) dolt, blockhead, dunce, immensely: (adv) highly, infinitely, twinkle: (n, v) flash, gleam, shimmer,
dimwit, moron, cretin, ass, imbecile, greatly, enormously, tremendously, glimmer, glisten, glitter, scintillate,
oaf, changeling, idiocy. ANTONYM: extremely, mightily, hugely, wink; (adj, n, v) flicker; (v) shine,
(n) intellectual. massively, immeasurably, blink.
Oscar Wilde 11


pleasant, kindly, popular woman, with gray hair e la marquise and good
lace. MRS. CHEVELEY, who accompanies her, is tall and rather slight. Lips
very thin and highly-coloured, a line of scarlet on a pallid face. Venetian red
hair, aquiline nose, and long throat. Rouge accentuates the natural paleness
of her complexion. Gray-green eyes that move restlessly. She is in
heliotrope, with diamonds. She looks rather like an orchid, and makes great
demands on one's curiosity. In all her movements she is extremely graceful.
A work of art, on the whole, but showing the influence of too many schools.]
Good evening, dear Gertrude! So kind of you to let me bring my friend, Mrs.
Cheveley. Two such charming women should know each other!
[Advances towards MRS. CHEVELEY with a sweet smile. Then suddenly
stops, and bows rather distantly.] I think Mrs. Cheveley and I have met
before. I did not know she had married a second time.%
[Genially.] Ah, nowadays people marry as often as they can, don't they? It is
most fashionable. [To DUCHESS OF MARYBOROUGH.] Dear Duchess, and
how is the Duke? Brain still weak, I suppose? Well, that is only to be
expected, is it not? His good father was just the same. There is nothing like
race, is there?
[Playing with her fan.] But have we really met before, Lady Chiltern? I can't
remember where. I have been out of England for so long.
We were at school together, Mrs. Cheveley.
MRS. CHEVELEY [Superciliously.] Indeed? I have forgotten all about my
schooldays. I have a vague impression that they were detestable.

aquiline: (adj) hooked, aduncous, chalcedony, agate, emerald, beryl, white, pasty, livid, watery.
angular, jagged, serrated, curved, thermal heliotrope, mirror; (adj) ANTONYMS: (adj) healthy, rosy,
bent, uncinated. mauve, lilac, turnsole, purple. vivid.
detestable: (adj) hateful, abhorrent, marquise: (n) marquee, canopy, lady, restlessly: (adv) fidgetily,
damnable, odious, offensive, navette, pompadour. apprehensively, agitatedly, fretfully,
despicable, execrable, horrible, paleness: (adj, n) pallor; (n) pallidness, unquietly, sleeplessly, nervously,
infamous; (adj, v) cursed; (adj, adv) wanness, whiteness, achromasia, restively, edgily, anxiously,
atrocious. ANTONYMS: (adj) blondness, lividity, luridness, disturbedly. ANTONYMS: (adv)
admirable, adorable, sweet, loveable, lividness, fairness, pale. ANTONYM: peacefully, unconcernedly.
lovable, likable, delightful, cherished, (n) strength. schooldays: (n) childhood, school,
honorable, desirable, nice. pallid: (adj) ghastly, wan, bloodless, schooltime.
heliotrope: (n) bloodstone, lurid, cadaverous, sickly, ashen, women: (n) sex, gentle sex.
12 An Ideal Husband

[Coldly.] I am not surprised!
[In her sweetest manner.] Do you know, I am quite looking forward to
meeting your clever husband, Lady Chiltern. Since he has been at the
Foreign Office, he has been so much talked of in Vienna. They actually
succeed in spelling his name right in the newspapers. That in itself is fame,
on the continent.%
I hardly think there will be much in common between you and my husband,
Mrs. Cheveley! [Moves away.]
Ah! chere Madame, queue surprise! I have not seen you since Berlin!
Not since Berlin, Vicomte. Five years ago!
And you are younger and more beautiful than ever. How do you manage it?
By making it a rule only to talk to perfectly charming people like yourself.
Ah! you flatter me. You butter me, as they say here.
Do they say that here? How dreadful of them!
Yes, they have a wonderful language. It should be more widely known.
[SIR ROBERT CHILTERN enters. A man of forty, but looking somewhat
younger. Clean-shaven, with finely-cut features, dark-haired and dark-eyed.
A personality of mark. Not popular - few personalities are. But intensely
admired by the few, and deeply respected by the many. The note of his

admired: (adj) respected, admirable, flatter: (v) fawn, adulate, wheedle, hardly, superficially,
estimable, favorite, pet, beloved, cajole, soap, kowtow, blandish, unexceptionally.
honored, August, loved, accepted, grovel, butter up; (n, v) court; (n) queue: (n, v) line; (n) rank, row, tail,
popular. ANTONYM: (adj) caress. ANTONYMS: (v) insult, string, breadline, rear, wake; (v) line
disreputable. disparage, criticize, discourage. up, queue up, align.
fame: (n, v) credit, celebrity, report, intensely: (adj, adv) extremely; (adv) respected: (adj) illustrious, respectable,
reputation, renown, cry; (n) strongly, powerfully, severely, honored, appreciated, dear, revered,
distinction, bruit, honor, prestige, violently, vehemently, acutely, valued, redoubtable, celebrated,
buzz. ANTONYMS: (n) infamy, keenly, brightly, profoundly, fiercely. glorious, famous. ANTONYMS: (adj)
obscurity, anonymity, ignominy, ANTONYMS: (adv) mildly, calmly, ordinary, unreliable, weak.
dishonor, commonness, oblivion, gently, dully, indifferently, spelling: (n) misspelling, spell,
criticism. impassively, jokingly, slightly, orthograph.
Oscar Wilde 13

manner is that of perfect distinction, with a slight touch of pride. One feels
that he is conscious of the success he has made in life. A nervous
temperament, with a tired look. The firmly-chiselled mouth and chin
contrast strikingly with the romantic expression in the deep-set eyes. The
variance is suggestive of an almost complete separation of passion and
intellect, as though thought and emotion were each isolated in its own
sphere through some violence of will-power. There is nervousness in the
nostrils, and in the pale, thin, pointed hands. It would be inaccurate to call
him picturesque. Picturesqueness cannot survive the House of Commons.
But Vandyck would have liked to have painted his head.]
Good evening, Lady Markby! I hope you have brought Sir John with you?
Oh! I have brought a much more charming person than Sir John. Sir John's
temper since he has taken seriously to politics has become quite unbearable.
Really, now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a
great deal of harm.%
I hope not, Lady Markby. At any rate we do our best to waste the public
time, don't we? But who is this charming person you have been kind enough
to bring to us?
Her name is Mrs. Cheveley! One of the Dorsetshire Cheveleys, I suppose.
But I really don't know. Families are so mixed nowadays. Indeed, as a rule,
everybody turns out to be somebody else.
Mrs. Cheveley? I seem to know the name.
She has just arrived from Vienna.

deep-set: (adj) hollow. nervousness: (n) nerves, trepidation, suggestive: (adj, v) expressive; (adj)
inaccurate: (adj) incorrect, faulty, false, disquiet, tension, jumpiness, obscene, spicy, allusive, graphic,
wrong, inexact, improper, loose, restlessness, jitters, agitation, worry, smutty, significative, narrative,
untrue, mistaken, not exact, fearfulness, edginess. ANTONYMS: meaningful, epic, implicative.
imprecise. ANTONYMS: (adj) correct, (n) boldness, confidence, reassurance, unbearable: (adj) insufferable,
exact, accurate, truthful, careful, calm, relief, peace, equanimity. excruciating, insupportable,
reliable, valid. nostrils: (n) naris, nose. unendurable, hateful, unacceptable,
intellect: (n) mind, intelligence, strikingly: (adj, adv) notably, signally, repugnant, impossible, grievous,
understanding, reason, brains, head, unusually, singularly; (adv) enormous, dreadful. ANTONYMS:
intellectual, apprehension, psyche, prominently, stunningly, imposingly, (adj) bearable, manageable,
genius, brainpower. ANTONYM: (n) impressively, markedly, imperceptible, tolerable, wonderful,
stupidity. outstandingly, obviously. lovable, nice, pleasant.
14 An Ideal Husband


Ah! yes. I think I know whom you mean.%
Oh! she goes everywhere there, and has such pleasant scandals about all her
friends. I really must go to Vienna next winter. I hope there is a good chef at
the Embassy.
If there is not, the Ambassador will certainly have to be recalled. Pray point
out Mrs. Cheveley to me. I should like to see her.
Let me introduce you. [To MRS. CHEVELEY.] My dear, Sir Robert Chiltern
is dying to know you!
[Bowing.] Every one is dying to know the brilliant Mrs. Cheveley. Our
attachs at Vienna write to us about nothing else.
Thank you, Sir Robert. An acquaintance that begins with a compliment is
sure to develop into a real friendship. It starts in the right manner. And I
find that I know Lady Chiltern already.
Yes. She has just reminded me that we were at school together. I remember
it perfectly now. She always got the good conduct prize. I have a distinct
recollection of Lady Chiltern always getting the good conduct prize!
[Smiling.] And what prizes did you get, Mrs. Cheveley?
My prizes came a little later on in life. I don't think any of them were for
good conduct. I forget!
acquaintance: (n) connection, friend, criticism, reproach, disparagement; affection, companionship,
acquaintanceship, mate, awareness, (n, v) slander, libel; (v) criticize, friendliness, intimacy, company,
associate, buddy, friendship, denounce, disparage, denigrate, attachment, relationship; (n, v) amity,
intercourse, companion; (n, v) complain, belittle. concord. ANTONYMS: (n) hostility,
knowledge. ANTONYMS: (n) dying: (n) death, demise, decease, animosity, antagonism, conflict,
ignorance, inexperience, mortality; (adj) vanishing, moribund, formality, rivalry, hatred,
unfamiliarity, animosity, enemy. last, final, ultimate, failing, ebbing. detachment, distance, isolation.
chef: (n) cook, baker. ANTONYMS: (adj) thriving, well, recollection: (n, v) mind; (n)
compliment: (n, v) praise, honor; (v) opening, aborning, developing, reminiscence, recall, anamnesis,
laud, flattery, applaud, greet, flourishing, growing, reviving, remembrance, recognition, memento,
adulation, congratulate, belaud; (n) rejuvenating; (n) birth. memorial, commemoration, memoir,
eulogy, tribute. ANTONYMS: (n) friendship: (n) association, familiarity, retrospect.
Oscar Wilde 15


I am sure they were for something charming!
I don't know that women are always rewarded for being charming. I think
they are usually punished for it! Certainly, more women grow old nowadays
through the faithfulness of their admirers than through anything else! At
least that is the only way I can account for the terribly haggard look of most
of your pretty women in London!
What an appalling philosophy that sounds! To attempt to classify you, Mrs.
Cheveley, would be an impertinence. But may I ask, at heart, are you an
optimist or a pessimist? Those seem to be the only two fashionable religions
left to us nowadays.%
Oh, I'm neither. Optimism begins in a broad grin, and Pessimism ends with
blue spectacles. Besides, they are both of them merely poses.
You prefer to be natural?
Sometimes. But it is such a very difficult pose to keep up.
What would those modern psychological novelists, of whom we hear so
much, say to such a theory as that?
Ah! the strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot
explain us. Men can be analysed, women... merely adored.
You think science cannot grapple with the problem of women?

ends: (n) tops, crook, band, bend, grasp; (v) fight, contend, grab, ANTONYMS: (n) politeness,
bind, limits, clippings, curve, struggle; (adj, n, v) lock; (adj, n) hook; seriousness, reticence.
trimmings, boundaries. (n) grappling. optimist: (n) millenarian, optimistic,
faithfulness: (n) devotion, constancy, haggard: (adj) emaciated, gaunt, utopist, whitewasher, encomiast,
allegiance, truth, accuracy, loyalty, cadaverous, careworn, tired, worn, enthusiast, intellectual, laudator,
dedication, faith, exactness, lean, thin, wasted, pinched, squalid. millenarist, utopian, utopianist.
adherence; (adj, n) honesty. ANTONYMS: (adj) relaxed, carefree, ANTONYM: (n) realist.
ANTONYMS: (n) disloyalty, healthy. pessimist: (adj) croaker, alarmist,
unfaithfulness, inaccuracy, impertinence: (n) audacity, gall, pessimistic; (n) cynic, defeatist,
dishonesty, disobedience, impudence, insolence, disrespect, skeptic, doomster, wet blanket,
wickedness, indifference. effrontery, brass, boldness, sceptic, washout; (v) optimism.
grapple: (n, v) grip, clasp, tackle, impertinency, sauciness, freshness. ANTONYM: (n) believer.
16 An Ideal Husband

Science can never grapple with the irrational. That is why it has no future
before it, in this world.%
And women represent the irrational.
Well-dressed women do.
[With a polite bow.] I fear I could hardly agree with you there. But do sit
down. And now tell me, what makes you leave your brilliant Vienna for our
gloomy London - or perhaps the question is indiscreet?
Questions are never indiscreet. Answers sometimes are.
Well, at any rate, may I know if it is politics or pleasure?
Politics are my only pleasure. You see nowadays it is not fashionable to flirt
till one is forty, or to be romantic till one is forty-five, so we poor women who
are under thirty, or say we are, have nothing open to us but politics or
philanthropy. And philanthropy seems to me to have become simply the
refuge of people who wish to annoy their fellow-creatures. I prefer politics. I
think they are more... becoming!
A political life is a noble career!
Sometimes. And sometimes it is a clever game, Sir Robert. And sometimes it
is a great nuisance.
Which do you find it?

annoy: (v) pester, displease, anger, funereal, downhearted. silly, unreasonable, blind, illogical,
harass, bother, vex, aggravate, grate, ANTONYMS: (adj) encouraging, senseless, preposterous, imprudent,
molest; (n) annoyance; (n, v) afflict. cheery, cheerful, bright, hopeful, unsound, thoughtless. ANTONYMS:
ANTONYMS: (v) pacify, soothe, light, promising, uplifting, joyful, (adj) logical, lucid, wise, sensible,
gratify, placate, comfort, encourage, sunny, clear. worthwhile, systematic.
delight. indiscreet: (adj) careless, imprudent, philanthropy: (n) charity, generosity,
flirt: (n, v) coquette; (v) dally, coquet, incautious, ill-advised, rash, humanity, kindness, philanthropic
toy, romance, trifle, spoon; (n) unadvised, unwise, impolitic, hasty, gift, beneficence, altruism,
dalliance, vamp, tease, flirting. tactless, inadvisable. ANTONYMS: charitableness, humanitarianism,
gloomy: (adj) black, desolate, dejected, (adj) thoughtful, tactful, judicious, largesse, gift. ANTONYMS: (n)
cheerless, depressing, dismal, guarded. nastiness, selfishness.
downcast, disconsolate, melancholy, irrational: (adj) absurd, inconsistent,
Oscar Wilde 17

I? A combination of all three. [Drops her fan.]
[Picks up fan.] Allow me!
But you have not told me yet what makes you honour London so suddenly.
Our season is almost over.
Oh! I don't care about the London season! It is too matrimonial. People are
either hunting for husbands, or hiding from them. I wanted to meet you. It
is quite true. You know what a woman's curiosity is. Almost as great as a
man's! I wanted immensely to meet you, and... to ask you to do something
for me.
I hope it is not a little thing, Mrs. Cheveley. I find that little things are so very
difficult to do.
[After a moment's reflection.] No, I don't think it is quite a little thing.
I am so glad. Do tell me what it is.
Later on. [Rises.] And now may I walk through your beautiful house? I hear
your pictures are charming. Poor Baron Arnheim - you remember the Baron?
- used to tell me you had some wonderful Corots.
[With an almost imperceptible start.] Did you know Baron Arnheim well?

charming: (adj) beautiful, lovely, ANTONYMS: (n) emotionlessness, evanescent, inaudible, negligible,
captivating, winning, attractive, indifference, disinterest. indiscernible, unseen, unnoticeable,
enchanting, delightful, pleasing, nice, hiding: (n) covering, concealment, gentle. ANTONYMS: (adj) obvious,
magic, cute. ANTONYMS: (adj) concealing, beating, screening, overwhelming, clear, visible,
repellent, unpleasant, unappealing, thrashing, flogging, rout, burial, perceptible, heavy, noticeable,
repulsive, charmless, disgusting, drubbing, ambush. definite, considerable, conspicuous,
gross, irritating, offensive, hunting: (n, v) chase; (v) battue; (n) strong.
uninteresting, annoying. exploration, pursuit, search, ducking, matrimonial: (adj) marital, conjugal,
curiosity: (n) curiousness, rarity, beagling, coursing, frisking, venery, married, bridal, nuptial, spousal,
interest, curio, oddity, prying, shooting. wedded, marriage, wedding,
nosiness, peculiarity, novelty, imperceptible: (adj) invisible, hymeneal, household. ANTONYMS:
marvel; (adj, n) prodigy. intangible, insensible, faint, (adj) unmarried, divorced, public.
18 An Ideal Husband

[Smiling.] Intimately. Did you?
At one time.%
Wonderful man, wasn't he?
[After a pause.] He was very remarkable, in many ways.
I often think it such a pity he never wrote his memoirs. They would have
been most interesting.
Yes: he knew men and cities well, like the old Greek.
Without the dreadful disadvantage of having a Penelope waiting at home for
Lord Goring.
[Enter LORD GORING. Thirty-four, but always says he is younger. A well-
bred, expressionless face. He is clever, but would not like to be thought so.
A flawless dandy, he would be annoyed if he were considered romantic. He
plays with life, and is on perfectly good terms with the world. He is fond of
being misunderstood. It gives him a post of vantage.]
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. Good evening, my dear Arthur! Mrs. Cheveley, allow
me to introduce to you Lord Goring, the idlest man in London.
I have met Lord Goring before.
[Bowing.] I did not think you would remember me, Mrs. Cheveley.

annoyed: (adj) irritated, vexed, irate, vacant, unexpressive, unmeaning, gives: (n) give, offer, provide, grant,
aggravated, angered, cross, inscrutable, stolid. ANTONYMS: accord.
disgruntled, exasperated, infuriated, (adj) expressive, spirited, lively, memoirs: (n) reminiscences, memoir,
displeased, resentful. ANTONYMS: demonstrative, alive, sympathetic, autobiography, essay, biography,
(adj) pleased, unprovoked, smiling, emotional. annals, chronicle, account, diary, life
patient, unconcerned, contented. flawless: (adj) faultless, ideal, story, memento Mori.
dandy: (n) beau, fop, coxcomb, dude, complete, consummate, finished, misunderstood: (adj) mistreated,
buck, clipper, cockscomb; (adj) nifty, good, impeccable, blameless, confused.
capital, fine, peachy. ANTONYMS: unimpeachable, correct, unflawed. well-bred: (adj) courteous, mannerly,
(adj) terrible, ghastly, awful, inferior. ANTONYMS: (adj) faulty, urbane, civil, genteel, gentlemanly,
expressionless: (adj) empty, deadpan, blameworthy, corrupt, fallible, refined, nice, sophisticated,
blank, impassive, wooden, vacuous, imperfect, shameful. thoughtful, debonair.
Oscar Wilde 19

My memory is under admirable control. And are you still a bachelor?
I... believe so.%
How very romantic!
Oh! I am not at all romantic. I am not old enough. I leave romance to my
Lord Goring is the result of Boodle's Club, Mrs. Cheveley.
He reflects every credit on the institution.
May I ask are you staying in London long?
That depends partly on the weather, partly on the cooking, and partly on Sir
You are not going to plunge us into a European war, I hope?
There is no danger, at present!
[She nods to LORD GORING, with a look of amusement in her eyes, and
goes out with SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. LORD GORING saunters over to
You are very late!
Have you missed me?

admirable: (adj) fine, outstanding, sadness, boredom, work, tedium, frying, groceries.
beautiful, great, commendable, business, despondency, discomfort, plunge: (n, v) drop, dive, fall, jump; (v)
lovely, good, creditable, displeasure. douse, duck, submerge, crash, dunk,
praiseworthy, worthy, grand. bachelor: (adj) single, unmarried, plummet; (adj, v) immerse.
ANTONYMS: (adj) appalling, poor, unattached; (n) unmarried man, ANTONYMS: (n, v) rise; (v) hesitate;
unworthy, despicable, contemptible, graduate, knight bachelor, widower, (n) improvement.
detestable, dishonorable, rotten, old bachelor, spinster, adult male, romance: (n) love affair, fiction, story,
unimpressive, loathsome, low. agamist. ANTONYMS: (adj) married; figment, intrigue, affair, tale, vagary;
amusement: (n) pleasure, recreation, (n) husband. (v) flirt, court, exaggerate.
entertainment, distraction, diversion, cooking: (adj) culinary; (n) cuisine, staying: (n) stays, arrest; (adj)
sport, pastime, laughter, enjoyment, food, browning, broiling, culinary continual, old, left.
joy, hobby. ANTONYMS: (n) art, preparation, gastronomy, chow,
20 An Ideal Husband

Then I am sorry I did not stay away longer. I like being missed.%
How very selfish of you!
I am very selfish.
You are always telling me of your bad qualities, Lord Goring.
I have only told you half of them as yet, Miss Mabel!
Are the others very bad?
Quite dreadful! When I think of them at night I go to sleep at once.
Well, I delight in your bad qualities. I wouldn't have you part with one of
How very nice of you! But then you are always nice. By the way, I want to
ask you a question, Miss Mabel. Who brought Mrs. Cheveley here? That
woman in heliotrope, who has just gone out of the room with your brother?
Oh, I think Lady Markby brought her. Why do you ask?
I haven't seen her for years, that is all.
What an absurd reason!

absurd: (adj) ridiculous, foolish, dismay, dissatisfaction, sadness, qualities: (n) character, disposition,
unreasonable, irrational, nuisance, discontent; (v) depress, nature, spirit, tone, quality, role, self,
meaningless, inept, senseless, displease, sadden, irk; (n, v) bore. part, traits, individuality.
nonsensical, illogical, ludicrous; (adj, dreadful: (adj) bad, awful, alarming, selfish: (adj) mean, greedy, mercenary,
n) silly. ANTONYMS: (adj) rational, atrocious, fearful, terrible, egotistical, egotistic, egoistic, self-
reasonable, logical, wise, weighty, abominable, appalling, direful, grisly; interested, stingy, egocentric, self-
sound, consistent, serious, plausible, (adj, v) dread. ANTONYMS: (adj) centered, covetous. ANTONYMS:
credible, acceptable. wonderful, great, lovely, fantastic, (adj) selfless, altruistic, generous,
delight: (n) joy, pleasure, amusement, marvelous, admirable, successful, altruism, considerate, philanthropic,
rejoicing, gladness; (v) ravish, amuse, nice, joyous, honorable, fair. thoughtful, constructive, concerned,
please, captivate, transport, longer: (adj) longest, better, lengest; abstemious, kind.
enrapture. ANTONYMS: (n) misery, (adv) farther; (n) yearner, thirster.
Oscar Wilde 21

All reasons are absurd.%
What sort of a woman is she?
Oh! a genius in the daytime and a beauty at night!
I dislike her already.
That shows your admirable good taste.
[Approaching.] Ah, the English young lady is the dragon of good taste, is she
not? Quite the dragon of good taste.
So the newspapers are always telling us.
I read all your English newspapers. I find them so amusing.
Then, my dear Nanjac, you must certainly read between the lines.
I should like to, but my professor objects. [To MABEL CHILTERN.] May I
have the pleasure of escorting you to the music-room, Mademoiselle?
[Looking very disappointed.] Delighted, Vicomte, quite delighted! [Turning
to LORD GORING.] Aren't you coming to the music-room?
Not if there is any music going on, Miss Mabel.
[Severely.] The music is in German. You would not understand it.

amusing: (adj) humorous, fun, night. ANTONYMS: (n) liking, fondness,
pleasant, entertaining, risible, delighted: (adj) glad, cheerful, blissful, taste, attraction, enjoyment,
comical, diverting, enjoyable, jubilant, happy, overjoyed, joyful, preference, longing; (v) like, enjoy,
laughable, agreeable, pleasing. captivated, pleasant; (adj, v) pleased, approve, adore.
ANTONYMS: (adj) tragic, boring, elated. ANTONYMS: (adj) shocked, dragon: (adj) wyvern, cockatrice, tiger,
unpleasant, unfunny, tiring, grim, unhappy, sorrowful, depressed, wild beast, sea serpent, scold,
depressing, sad, annoying, heavy, melancholy, miserable, desolate, madcap; (adj, n) shrew; (n) demon,
serious. sorry, sad, down. beldame, Megaera.
daytime: (n) day, afternoon, period, dislike: (n) disapproval, disaffection, genius: (adj, n) capacity, ability,
eve, daylight hours, Clarence antipathy, disdain, disfavor, endowment, faculty, gift, cleverness;
Shepard day Jr, Clarence day, light, revulsion; (n, v) hate, disinclination, (n) flair, brain, prodigy, bent,
eventide, evening. ANTONYM: (n) aversion, distaste; (v) detest. aptitude. ANTONYM: (n) amateur.
22 An Ideal Husband

[Goes out with the VICOMTE DE NANJAC. LORD CAVERSHAM comes up

to his son.]
Well, sir! what are you doing here? Wasting your life as usual! You should
be in bed, sir. You keep too late hours! I heard of you the other night at Lady
Rufford's dancing till four o'clock in the morning!
Only a quarter to four, father.%
Can't make out how you stand London Society. The thing has gone to the
dogs, a lot of damned nobodies talking about nothing.
I love talking about nothing, father. It is the only thing I know anything
You seem to me to be living entirely for pleasure.
What else is there to live for, father? Nothing ages like happiness.
You are heartless, sir, very heartless!
I hope not, father. Good evening, Lady Basildon!
[Arching two pretty eyebrows.] Are you here? I had no idea you ever came
to political parties!
I adore political parties. They are the only place left to us where people don't
talk politics.

adore: (v) worship, idolize, admire, wretched, infernal, hateful, (n) sadness, despair, grief, misery,
glorify, cherish, appreciate; (n, v) goddamned; (adv) damnably. dissatisfaction, seriousness, dullness,
honor; (adj) adoring, worshipping, ANTONYM: (adj) saved. discontent, dejection, gloominess,
worshiping; (adv) adoringly. dancing: (n) choreography, displeasure.
ANTONYMS: (v) detest, despise, Terpsichore, saltation, break dancing, heartless: (adj) hardhearted, ruthless,
condemn, loathe, disrespect, abhor, ceremonial dance, galloping, hoofing, cruel, pitiless, obdurate, merciless,
scorn. Pavan; (adj) morrice; (adv) adance; (v) unfeeling, unkind, stony, insensitive,
ages: (n) time out of mind, time saltant. grim. ANTONYMS: (adj) kind,
immemorial, coon's age, blue moon, happiness: (n) delight, merriment, caring, hearted, warmhearted,
month of Sundays. ecstasy, welfare, gladness, luck, compassionate, softhearted, merciful,
damned: (adj) accursed, doomed, cheerfulness, blessedness, bliss, sympathetic, concerned, flattering,
blasted, condemned, damn, cussed, felicity, contentment. ANTONYMS: generous.
Oscar Wilde 23

I delight in talking politics. I talk them all day long. But I can't bear listening
to them. I don't know how the unfortunate men in the House stand these
long debates.%
By never listening.
[In his most serious manner.] Of course. You see, it is a very dangerous
thing to listen. If one listens one may be convinced; and a man who allows
himself to be convinced by an argument is a thoroughly unreasonable
Ah! that accounts for so much in men that I have never understood, and so
much in women that their husbands never appreciate in them!
[With a sigh.] Our husbands never appreciate anything in us. We have to go
to others for that!
[Emphatically.] Yes, always to others, have we not?
[Smiling.] And those are the views of the two ladies who are known to have
the most admirable husbands in London.
That is exactly what we can't stand. My Reginald is quite hopelessly
faultless. He is really unendurably so, at times! There is not the smallest
element of excitement in knowing him.
How terrible! Really, the thing should be more widely known!
faultless: (adj) blameless, correct, effectively, slightly. ANTONYMS: (adj) lucky, auspicious,
immaculate, clean, spotless, innocent, listening: (v) listen, hear, obey; (n) good, opportune, joyous, timely,
flawless, unblemished, absolute, auscultation, perception, sensing, appropriate, successful, easy,
infallible, consummate. audition, audience, earshot, auditory privileged.
ANTONYMS: (adj) blemished, modality; (adj) attentive. unreasonable: (adj) immoderate,
imperfect, faulty, shameful, soiled, unendurably: (adv) intolerably, undue, absurd, extravagant,
blameworthy. excruciatingly, dreadfully, excessive, preposterous, exorbitant,
hopelessly: (adv) despairingly, unspeakably. illogical, inordinate, irrational,
forlornly, despondently, uselessly, unfortunate: (adj) inauspicious, sad, ridiculous. ANTONYMS: (adj)
desolately, futilely, wretchedly, hapless, bad, inopportune, logical, practical, sensible, affordable,
lostly, sadly, dejectedly, dispiritedly. disastrous, adverse, deplorable, economical, justified, realistic, fair,
ANTONYMS: (adv) cheerfully, infelicitous, untoward, lamentable. obliging, just, rational.
24 An Ideal Husband

Basildon is quite as bad; he is as domestic as if he was a bachelor.%
[Pressing LADY BASILDON'S hand.] My poor Olivia! We have married
perfect husbands, and we are well punished for it.
I should have thought it was the husbands who were punished.
[Drawing herself up.] Oh, dear no! They are as happy as possible! And as
for trusting us, it is tragic how much they trust us.
Perfectly tragic!
Or comic, Lady Basildon?
Certainly not comic, Lord Goring. How unkind of you to suggest such a
I am afraid Lord Goring is in the camp of the enemy, as usual. I saw him
talking to that Mrs. Cheveley when he came in.
Handsome woman, Mrs. Cheveley!
[Stiffly.] Please don't praise other women in our presence. You might wait
for us to do that!
I did wait.
Well, we are not going to praise her. I hear she went to the Opera on Monday

came: (v) arrive, come. denigrate, sully. reliant, give, easy to fool.
comic: (n) clown, joker, buffoon, zany; tragic: (adj) calamitous, disastrous, ANTONYMS: (adj) distrustful,
(adj) comical, amusing, laughable, dreadful, grievous, catastrophic, suspicious, doubtful, hesitant,
humorous, burlesque, funny, absurd. unlucky, unfortunate, woeful, protective, shrewd, disingenuous,
ANTONYMS: (adj) dull, serious. tragical, comic, heartbreaking. smart, jaded.
praise: (v) approve, extol, flatter, ANTONYMS: (adj) humorous, unkind: (adj) cruel, harsh, unfeeling,
celebrate, glorify; (n, v) commend, heartwarming, blessed, inconsiderate, pitiless, heartless,
compliment, honor, glory, acclaim; advantageous, lucky, fortunate, inhuman, hard, thoughtless, brutal,
(n) applause. ANTONYMS: (n) joyous. mean. ANTONYMS: (adj) kind,
criticism, disparagement; (v) trusting: (adj) credulous, considerate, pleasant, friendly,
reprimand, disparage, reproach, unsuspecting, naive, confident, thoughtful, tactful, mild, gentle,
scold, belittle, rebuke, chastise, confiding, simple, innocent, gullible, generous, flattering, compassionate.
Oscar Wilde 25

night, and told Tommy Rufford at supper that, as far as she could see,
London Society was entirely made up of dowdies and dandies.%
She is quite right, too. The men are all dowdies and the women are all
dandies, aren't they?
[After a pause.] Oh! do you really think that is what Mrs. Cheveley meant?
Of course. And a very sensible remark for Mrs. Cheveley to make, too.
[Enter MABEL CHILTERN. She joins the group.]
Why are you talking about Mrs. Cheveley? Everybody is talking about Mrs.
Cheveley! Lord Goring says - what did you say, Lord Goring, about Mrs.
Cheveley? Oh! I remember, that she was a genius in the daytime and a
beauty at night.
What a horrid combination! So very unnatural!
[In her most dreamy manner.] I like looking at geniuses, and listening to
beautiful people.
Ah! that is morbid of you, Mrs. Marchmont!
[Brightening to a look of real pleasure.] I am so glad to hear you say that.
Marchmont and I have been married for seven years, and he has never once
told me that I was morbid. Men are so painfully unobservant!
[Turning to her.] I have always said, dear Margaret, that you were the most
morbid person in London.

dreamy: (adj) faraway, romantic, morbid: (adj) diseased, gruesome, abnormal, eccentric, uncanny, stilted,
impractical, somnolent, visionary, macabre, corrupt, pathologic, mannered, anomalous. ANTONYMS:
sleepy, pensive, moony, idealistic, unwholesome, peccant, sick, (adj) natural, normal, real, unaffected,
drowsy; (v) balmy. ANTONYMS: unhealthy, pathological; (adj, v) commonplace, genuine, sincere.
(adj) cynical, vigorous, pragmatic, sickly. unobservant: (adj) heedless,
practical, awake, alert, ordinary, painfully: (adv) sorely, grievously, unheeding, thoughtless, oblivious,
prosaic. distressingly, severely, tenderly, unmindful, neglectful, careless,
horrid: (adj) grisly, ghastly, ugly, badly, agonizingly, laboriously, regardless, sightless, indifferent,
gruesome, grim, fearful, dreadful, sadly, bitterly, poignantly. lacking sight. ANTONYM: (adj)
direful, dire, horrible, fearsome. ANTONYMS: (adv) easily, tolerably. observant.
ANTONYMS: (adj) lovely, nice, unnatural: (adj) affected, artificial,
appealing, attractive, kind. grotesque, supernatural, forced,
26 An Ideal Husband

Ah! but you are always sympathetic, Olivia!
Is it morbid to have a desire for food? I have a great desire for food. Lord
Goring, will you give me some supper?
With pleasure, Miss Mabel. [Moves away with her.]
How horrid you have been! You have never talked to me the whole evening!
How could I? You went away with the child-diplomatist.%
You might have followed us. Pursuit would have been only polite. I don't
think I like you at all this evening!
I like you immensely.
Well, I wish you'd show it in a more marked way! [They go downstairs.]
Olivia, I have a curious feeling of absolute faintness. I think I should like
some supper very much. I know I should like some supper.
I am positively dying for supper, Margaret!
Men are so horribly selfish, they never think of these things.
Men are grossly material, grossly material!

faintness: (n) weakness, debility, horribly: (adv) horrifically, awfully, abusive, common, authoritative,
indistinctness, languor, fuzziness, terrifically, hideously, atrociously, disobedient, uncivilized, uncivil, curt.
blurriness, fogginess, dullness, appallingly; (adj, adv) frightfully, positively: (adv) absolutely, definitely,
ambiguity, lassitude, infirmity. terribly, fearfully, shockingly; (adj) decidedly, unequivocally, expressly,
ANTONYMS: (n) acuteness, strength, ghastly. ANTONYMS: (adv) emphatically, categorically, clearly,
harshness, clearness, loudness, pleasantly, wonderfully, kindly, confidently; (adv, int) surely; (adj, adv)
clarity. sweetly. really. ANTONYMS: (adv)
grossly: (adv) rudely, roughly, polite: (adj) cultured, gentle, courtly, disapprovingly, pessimistically,
commonly, heavily, bluntly, civil, refined, proper, genteel, kind, uncertainly, doubtfully,
disgustingly, shamefully, rankly, attentive, friendly, complaisant. inauspiciously, ill.
totally, uncouthly, obscenely. ANTONYMS: (adj) rude, went: (v) walked, proceeded.
ANTONYM: (adv) appealingly. discourteous, boorish, improper,
Oscar Wilde 27

[The VICOMTE DE NANJAC enters from the music-room with some other
guests. After having carefully examined all the people present, he
approaches LADY BASILDON.]
May I have the honour of taking you down to supper, Comtesse?
[Coldly.] I never take supper, thank you, Vicomte. [The VICOMTE is about
to retire. LADY BASILDON, seeing this, rises at once and takes his arm.] But
I will come down with you with pleasure.%
I am so fond of eating! I am very English in all my tastes.
You look quite English, Vicomte, quite English.
[They pass out. MR. MONTFORD, a perfectly groomed young dandy,
approaches MRS. MARCHMONT.]
Like some supper, Mrs. Marchmont?
[Languidly.] Thank you, Mr. Montford, I never touch supper. [Rises hastily
and takes his arm.] But I will sit beside you, and watch you.
I don't know that I like being watched when I am eating!
Then I will watch some one else.
I don't know that I should like that either.
[Severely.] Pray, Mr. Montford, do not make these painful scenes of jealousy
in public!

fond: (adj) affectionate, caring, gradually, cautiously. irritating; (adj, v) distressing, harsh,
devoted, tender, loving, amorous, honour: (n) fame, award, dignity, bitter. ANTONYMS: (adj) content,
delicate, adoring, doting, ardent, homage, celebrity, accolade, heartwarming, soothing, comfortable,
attached. ANTONYMS: (adj) reputation; (n, v) honor; (v) respect, bearable, agreeable, effortless, dull,
aversion, cold, rough. celebrate, dignify. ANTONYMS: (n, slight, wonderful, happy.
hastily: (adv) hurriedly, rapidly, v) dishonor; (v) disrespect. retire: (v) resign, retreat, withdraw,
quickly, rashly, promptly, suddenly, jealousy: (n) suspicion, jealous, leave, abdicate, ebb, depart, turn in,
thoughtlessly, impetuously, swiftly, jealousness, envy, envious, alertness, fall back, hit the hay, go to bed.
imprudently, speedily. ANTONYMS: distrust, contention, competition, ANTONYMS: (v) remain, enter.
(adv) carefully, unhurriedly, scruple, qualm. supper: (n) meal, tea, lunch, repast,
industriously, sensibly, prudently, painful: (adj) hard, difficult, sharp, reception, mealtime, siesta, social
late, calmly, thoroughly, patiently, harrowing, grievous, afflictive, bad, affair; (v) dejeuner, bever, whet.
28 An Ideal Husband

[They go downstairs with the other guests, passing SIR ROBERT CHILTERN
and MRS. CHEVELEY, who now enter.]
And are you going to any of our country houses before you leave England,
Mrs. Cheveley?
Oh, no! I can't stand your English house-parties. In England people actually
try to be brilliant at breakfast. That is so dreadful of them! Only dull people
are brilliant at breakfast. And then the family skeleton is always reading
family prayers. My stay in England really depends on you, Sir Robert. [Sits
down on the sofa.]
[Taking a seat beside her.] Seriously?
Quite seriously. I want to talk to you about a great political and financial
scheme, about this Argentine Canal Company, in fact.%
What a tedious, practical subject for you to talk about, Mrs. Cheveley!
Oh, I like tedious, practical subjects. What I don't like are tedious, practical
people. There is a wide difference. Besides, you are interested, I know, in
International Canal schemes. You were Lord Radley's secretary, weren't you,
when the Government bought the Suez Canal shares?
Yes. But the Suez Canal was a very great and splendid undertaking. It gave
us our direct route to India. It had imperial value. It was necessary that we
should have control. This Argentine scheme is a commonplace Stock
Exchange swindle.
A speculation, Sir Robert! A brilliant, daring speculation.

bought: (n) crook, hook. audacity, boldness, courage, gamble, supposition, theory, surmise,
commonplace: (adj, v) trite, adventurousness. ANTONYMS: (n) adventure, conjecture. ANTONYM:
hackneyed; (adj) banal, ordinary, cowardice, timidity; (adj) timid, (n) fact.
humdrum, common, average, plain, cautious, dull, afraid, chicken, fearful, swindle: (n, v) cheat, con, do, trick,
mundane, dull; (n) platitude. unadventurous, wimpy. hoax, beguile; (v) defraud, deceive;
ANTONYMS: (adj) extraordinary, guests: (n) guest, visitors. (n) imposture, deception, fraud.
unusual, exceptional, infrequent, skeleton: (n) carcass, frame, ANTONYMS: (v) donate, give; (n)
rare, romantic, uncommon, weird; (n) framework, bones, anatomy, scaffold, donation, gift.
deepness, profundity, profoundness. body, cadaver, chassis, corpse; (n, v) undertaking: (n) promise, attempt,
daring: (adj, n) bold, courageous, outline. project, venture, adventure,
adventurous; (adj) audacious, speculation: (n) guess, venture, endeavor, job, effort; (n, v) task, labor,
venturesome, intrepid; (n) bravery, reflection, meditation, guesswork, business.
Oscar Wilde 29


Believe me, Mrs. Cheveley, it is a swindle. Let us call things by their proper
names. It makes matters simpler. We have all the information about it at the
Foreign Office. In fact, I sent out a special Commission to inquire into the
matter privately, and they report that the works are hardly begun, and as for
the money already subscribed, no one seems to know what has become of it.
The whole thing is a second Panama, and with not a quarter of the chance of
success that miserable affair ever had. I hope you have not invested in it. I
am sure you are far too clever to have done that.%
I have invested very largely in it.
Who could have advised you to do such a foolish thing?
Your old friend - and mine.
Baron Arnheim.
[Frowning.] Ah! yes. I remember hearing, at the time of his death, that he
had been mixed up in the whole affair.
It was his last romance. His last but one, to do him justice.
[Rising.] But you have not seen my Corots yet. They are in the music-room.
Corots seem to go with music, don't they? May I show them to you?
[Shaking her head.] I am not in a mood to-night for silver twilights, or rose-

advised: (adj) studied, considered, foolish: (adj) childish, fool, crazy, unhappy; (adj) mean, low, abject,
premeditated, deliberate, calculated, dumb, daft, fatuous, stupid, unwise, deplorable, downcast, bad, desolate;
intended; (v) determinate, express, preposterous, dopey; (adj, n) silly. (adj, adv) meager. ANTONYMS: (adj)
designed. ANTONYMS: (adj) wise, sensible, happy, generous, cheerful, cheery,
begun: (adj) present. shrewd, prudent, visionary, bright, fortunate, hopeful, jubilant,
clever: (adj) capable, acute, intelligent, diplomatic, levelheaded, sane, luxurious, overjoyed, heavenly.
able, apt, expert, skillful, cunning, rational, mature, judicious. privately: (adv) covertly, privily,
sharp; (adj, v) brilliant, smart. inquire: (v) demand, ask, explore, confidentially, personally, closely,
ANTONYMS: (adj) clumsy, enquire, inspect, research, consult, stealthily, secludedly, domestically,
unintelligent, dim, dull, inept, thick, pry, request, wonder; (n, v) question. informally, retiredly; (adj, adv)
naive, idiotic, moronic, incompetent, ANTONYM: (v) answer. quietly. ANTONYMS: (adv) publicly,
open. miserable: (adj, v) forlorn, wretched, officially.
30 An Ideal Husband

pink dawns. I want to talk business. [Motions to him with her fan to sit down
again beside her.]
I fear I have no advice to give you, Mrs. Cheveley, except to interest yourself
in something less dangerous. The success of the Canal depends, of course, on
the attitude of England, and I am going to lay the report of the
Commissioners before the House to-morrow night.%
That you must not do. In your own interests, Sir Robert, to say nothing of
mine, you must not do that.
[Looking at her in wonder.] In my own interests? My dear Mrs. Cheveley,
what do you mean? [Sits down beside her.]
Sir Robert, I will be quite frank with you. I want you to withdraw the report
that you had intended to lay before the House, on the ground that you have
reasons to believe that the Commissioners have been prejudiced or
misinformed, or something. Then I want you to say a few words to the effect
that the Government is going to reconsider the question, and that you have
reason to believe that the Canal, if completed, will be of great international
value. You know the sort of things ministers say in cases of this kind. A few
ordinary platitudes will do. In modern life nothing produces such an effect
as a good platitude. It makes the whole world kin. Will you do that for me?
Mrs. Cheveley, you cannot be serious in making me such a proposition!
I am quite serious.
[Coldly.] Pray allow me to believe that you are not.

cases: (n) brass tacks, baggage, triteness; (adj) jargon. reasons: (n) proof.
luggage, caseload, suitcases. prejudiced: (adj) biased, partisan, reconsider: (v) revise, consider,
frank: (adj) candid, blunt, sincere, bigoted, jaundiced, interested, reassess, consider again, go over,
honest, downright, direct, fair, opinionated, narrow, intolerant, retrace, return, redeliberate, reckon;
straightforward, plain, open, hearty. colored, inequitable, subjective. (n) criticism, critique.
ANTONYMS: (adj) guarded, devious, ANTONYMS: (adj) unbiased, withdraw: (v) retire, remove, retract,
tactful, disingenuous, insincere, broadminded, balanced, impartial, retreat, abandon, pull out, disengage,
hesitant, hypocritical, evasive. unprejudiced, objective, just, tolerant. draw, cancel, leave, recede.
misinformed: (adj) ignorant. proposition: (n, v) offer, bid, proffer; ANTONYMS: (v) propose, give,
platitude: (n) banality, cliche, (n) proposal, motion, design, advance, extend, offer, deposit,
bromide, triviality, clich, saying, approach, assertion, suggestion, plan, remain, engage, allow, permit, stay.
coarseness, truism, vulgarity, premise.
Oscar Wilde 31

[Speaking with great deliberation and emphasis.] Ah! but I am. And if you
do what I ask you, I... will pay you very handsomely!
Pay me!
I am afraid I don't quite understand what you mean.
[Leaning back on the sofa and looking at him.] How very disappointing!
And I have come all the way from Vienna in order that you should
thoroughly understand me.
I fear I don't.
[In her most nonchalant manner.] My dear Sir Robert, you are a man of the
world, and you have your price, I suppose. Everybody has nowadays. The
drawback is that most people are so dreadfully expensive. I know I am. I
hope you will be more reasonable in your terms.
[Rises indignantly.] If you will allow me, I will call your carriage for you.
You have lived so long abroad, Mrs. Cheveley, that you seem to be unable to
realise that you are talking to an English gentleman.
[Detains him by touching his arm with her fan, and keeping it there while she
is talking.] I realise that I am talking to a man who laid the foundation of his
fortune by selling to a Stock Exchange speculator a Cabinet secret.
[Biting his lip.] What do you mean?
deliberation: (n) cogitation, counsel, dreadfully: (adj, adv) frightfully, ANTONYM: (adv) poorly.
debate, caution, thought, advisement, shockingly; (adv) fearfully, nonchalant: (adj) careless, indifferent,
attention, contemplation, appallingly, hideously, horrendously, insouciant, unconcerned, casual,
consultation; (adj, n) calculation, horribly, atrociously, ghastly, carefree, calm, heedless, listless,
circumspection. ANTONYMS: (n) tremendously, horridly. apathetic, offhand. ANTONYMS:
thoughtlessness, carelessness, ANTONYMS: (adv) pleasantly, (adj) concerned, uptight, careful,
impetuosity, distraction, rashness. wonderfully, happily, hardly, excited.
drawback: (n) catch, hitch, snag, superbly, well. speculator: (n) adventurer, profiteer,
shortcoming, defect, detriment, handsomely: (adv) liberally, prettily, plunger, investor, scalper, gambler,
failing, inconvenience, disability, magnanimously, bonnily, largely, venturer, speculatist, entrepreneur,
hurdle, encumbrance. ANTONYMS: lovely, charmingly, finely, facient, financier.
(n) benefit, bonus, edge, strength. generously, good-lookingly, smartly.
32 An Ideal Husband

[Rising and facing him.] I mean that I know the real origin of your wealth
and your career, and I have got your letter, too.%
What letter?
[Contemptuously.] The letter you wrote to Baron Arnheim, when you were
Lord Radley's secretary, telling the Baron to buy Suez Canal shares - a letter
written three days before the Government announced its own purchase.
[Hoarsely.] It is not true.
You thought that letter had been destroyed. How foolish of you! It is in my
The affair to which you allude was no more than a speculation. The House
of Commons had not yet passed the bill; it might have been rejected.
It was a swindle, Sir Robert. Let us call things by their proper names. It
makes everything simpler. And now I am going to sell you that letter, and
the price I ask for it is your public support of the Argentine scheme. You
made your own fortune out of one canal. You must help me and my friends
to make our fortunes out of another!
It is infamous, what you propose - infamous!
Oh, no! This is the game of life as we all have to play it, Sir Robert, sooner or
I cannot do what you ask me.
affair: (n) occurrence, event, business, fallen. ANTONYMS: (adj) preserved, scandalous; (adj, adv, v) nefarious.
concern, occasion, job, topic, duty, living. ANTONYMS: (adj) reputable,
subject, amour, thing. fortune: (n) estate, fate, fluke, destiny, famous.
allude: (v) advert, refer, hint, glance, luck, accident, means, assets, riches, propose: (v) bid, nominate, design,
intimate, suggest, touch, bring up, abundance, doom. ANTONYM: (n) plan, proffer, move, intend, mean,
mean, notice, pertain. design. aim, suggest; (n, v) advance.
canal: (n) channel, conduit, duct, fortunes: (n) adventures, fortune, ANTONYMS: (v) reject, improvise,
sound, culvert, adit, trench, sewer, personal narrative, life, journal. oppose.
passage, watercourse, pipe. infamous: (adj) disreputable, flagrant, sooner: (adj, adv) rather, earlier, before,
destroyed: (adj) ruined, lost, desolate, notorious, disgraceful, preferably, instead; (adv) first, before
shattered, desolated, broken, dishonourable, contemptible; (adj, v) now, faster, previously, beforehand;
depressed, dead, damaged, undone, foul, shameful, base; (adj, n, v) (adj) prior.
Oscar Wilde 33

You mean you cannot help doing it. You know you are standing on the edge
of a precipice. And it is not for you to make terms. It is for you to accept
them. Supposing you refuse
What then?
My dear Sir Robert, what then? You are ruined, that is all! Remember to
what a point your Puritanism in England has brought you. In old days
nobody pretended to be a bit better than his neighbours. In fact, to be a bit
better than one's neighbour was considered excessively vulgar and middle-
class. Nowadays, with our modern mania for morality, every one has to pose
as a paragon of purity, incorruptibility, and all the other seven deadly
virtues - and what is the result? You all go over like ninepins - one after the
other. Not a year passes in England without somebody disappearing.
Scandals used to lend charm, or at least interest, to a man - now they crush
him. And yours is a very nasty scandal. You couldn't survive it. If it were
known that as a young man, secretary to a great and important minister, you
sold a Cabinet secret for a large sum of money, and that that was the origin of
your wealth and career, you would be hounded out of public life, you would
disappear completely. And after all, Sir Robert, why should you sacrifice
your entire future rather than deal diplomatically with your enemy? For the
moment I am your enemy. I admit it! And I am much stronger than you are.
The big battalions are on my side. You have a splendid position, but it is
your splendid position that makes you so vulnerable. You can't defend it!
And I am in attack. Of course I have not talked morality to you. You must
admit in fairness that I have spared you that. Years ago you did a clever,
unscrupulous thing; it turned out a great success. You owe to it your fortune
and position. And now you have got to pay for it. Sooner or later we have
all to pay for what we do. You have to pay now. Before I leave you to-night,

diplomatically: (adv) discreetly, mania: (n) passion, craze, delirium, escarpment, gulf, steep, crag, verge,
prudently, sensitively, delicately, fad, fury, enthusiasm, rage, brink, abysm, ravine, drop.
carefully, wisely, politely, artfully, obsession; (adj, n) insanity, lunacy, unscrupulous: (adj) dishonest,
considerately, cautiously, madness. unprincipled, unethical, immoral,
thoughtfully. ANTONYMS: (adv) ninepins: (n) bowling, ninepegs, dishonorable, crooked, unfair,
tactlessly, undiplomatically, bowls, American bowls, game, kain, unconscionable, sharp,
indiscreetly. kayles. unconscientious, sly. ANTONYMS:
incorruptibility: (n) honesty, paragon: (n) exemplar, ideal, model, (adj) scrupulous, principled, ethical,
innocence, virtue, integrity, perfection, paradigm, pattern, honest, moral.
honestness, purity, blamelessness, jimdandy, idol; (adj, n) beau ideal; virtues: (n) brawn, sinew, qualities,
moral fiber, loyalty, nobility, (adj) phenix, pink. nerve, manner, habit, disposition,
morality. ANTONYM: (n) guilt. precipice: (n) abyss, chasm, custom.
34 An Ideal Husband

you have got to promise me to suppress your report, and to speak in the
House in favour of this scheme.%
What you ask is impossible.
You must make it possible. You are going to make it possible. Sir Robert,
you know what your English newspapers are like. Suppose that when I leave
this house I drive down to some newspaper office, and give them this scandal
and the proofs of it! Think of their loathsome joy, of the delight they would
have in dragging you down, of the mud and mire they would plunge you in.
Think of the hypocrite with his greasy smile penning his leading article, and
arranging the foulness of the public placard.
Stop! You want me to withdraw the report and to make a short speech
stating that I believe there are possibilities in the scheme?
[Sitting down on the sofa.] Those are my terms.
[In a low voice.] I will give you any sum of money you want.
Even you are not rich enough, Sir Robert, to buy back your past. No man is.
I will not do what you ask me. I will not.
You have to. If you don't... [Rises from the sofa.]
[Bewildered and unnerved.] Wait a moment! What did you propose? You
said that you would give me back my letter, didn't you?

foulness: (n) filthiness, dirtiness, charmer, bigot, whited sepulcher, penning: (n) writing, composition,
corruption, contamination, dirt, smoothie. authorship, fabrication, drafting,
squalor, squalidity, impurity, loathsome: (adj) foul, hideous, lexicography, committal to writing,
pollution, nastiness, indecency. distasteful, disgusting, hateful, composing, musical composition,
ANTONYMS: (n) cleanness, luxury, abominable, revolting, execrable, redaction, versification.
cleanliness, purity, attractiveness. loathly, nauseous, horrible. placard: (n) sign, card, poster,
greasy: (adj) fatty, dirty, oily, tallowy, ANTONYMS: (adj) delightful, nice, advertisement, notice, handbill,
slick, sebaceous, unclean, unctuous, noble, inoffensive, pleasant, posting, broadside, tablet; (v)
slippery, adipose, oleaginous. admirable, good, attractive. advertise, post.
ANTONYM: (adj) lean. mire: (n, v) bog, muck; (n) filth, marsh, possibilities: (n) potential, field.
hypocrite: (n) impostor, pretender, quagmire, dirt, sludge, clay; (adj, n, v) stating: (n) reference.
trickster, fraud, deceiver, fake, cheat, mud; (v) involve, bog down.
Oscar Wilde 35

Yes. That is agreed. I will be in the Ladies' Gallery to-morrow night at half-
past eleven. If by that time - and you will have had heaps of opportunity -
you have made an announcement to the House in the terms I wish, I shall
hand you back your letter with the prettiest thanks, and the best, or at any
rate the most suitable, compliment I can think of. I intend to play quite fairly
with you. One should always play fairly... when one has the winning cards.
The Baron taught me that... amongst other things.%
You must let me have time to consider your proposal.
No; you must settle now!
Give me a week - three days!
Impossible! I have got to telegraph to Vienna to- night.
My God! what brought you into my life?
Circumstances. [Moves towards the door.]
Don't go. I consent. The report shall be withdrawn. I will arrange for a
question to be put to me on the subject.
Thank you. I knew we should come to an amicable agreement. I understood
your nature from the first. I analysed you, though you did not adore me.
And now you can get my carriage for me, Sir Robert. I see the people coming
up from supper, and Englishmen always get romantic after a meal, and that
bores me dreadfully. [Exit SIR ROBERT CHILTERN.]

amicable: (adj) affable, kind, amiable, out, die. ANTONYMS: (n) arrival, flagstaff, setup; (v) wire, broadcast,
cordial, gracious, genial, familiar, entry, entrance, greeting; (v) arrive, electrify, forecast, foreshadow,
peaceful, peaceable, congenial, come. forewarn, telecommunicate.
amical. ANTONYMS: (adj) hostile, heaps: (adj, n) lots, much; (n) masses, withdrawn: (adj) reserved, retiring,
unfriendly, unpleasant, aggressive, oodles, piles, stacks, many, tons, solitary, indrawn, cloistered,
nasty, standoffish, disagreeable, plenty, lot, accumulation. reclusive, uncommunicative, taciturn,
inaccessible. ANTONYM: (adj) inadequate. unsociable, lonely, shy.
carriage: (n) attitude, conveyance, cab, intend: (v) destine, design, mean, aim, ANTONYMS: (adj) visible,
air, walk, position, mien, shipping; determine, denote, contemplate, forthcoming, forward, friendly,
(n, v) transport, behavior, port. plan, purpose, consider, believe. known, sociable, uninhibited,
exit: (n) departure, door, egress, outlet, ANTONYM: (v) improvise. extroverted, seen, approachable,
going, gate, way out; (v) leave, go, go telegraph: (n) telegram, telegraphy, extrovert.
36 An Ideal Husband


Well, dear Mrs. Cheveley, I hope you have enjoyed yourself. Sir Robert is
very entertaining, is he not?
Most entertaining! I have enjoyed my talk with him immensely.%
He has had a very interesting and brilliant career. And he has married a most
admirable wife. Lady Chiltern is a woman of the very highest principles, I
am glad to say. I am a little too old now, myself, to trouble about setting a
good example, but I always admire people who do. And Lady Chiltern has a
very ennobling effect on life, though her dinner-parties are rather dull
sometimes. But one can't have everything, can one? And now I must go,
dear. Shall I call for you to-morrow?
We might drive in the Park at five. Everything looks so fresh in the Park
Except the people!
Perhaps the people are a little jaded. I have often observed that the Season as
it goes on produces a kind of softening of the brain. However, I think
anything is better than high intellectual pressure. That is the most
unbecoming thing there is. It makes the noses of the young girls so
particularly large. And there is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose;

admire: (v) revere, look up to, idolize, humorous, droll. ANTONYMS: (adj) softening: (adj) emollient, salving,
appreciate, adore, wonder, praise, dull, boring, heavy, slow, tiresome, relaxing; (v) soften; (adj, n) soothing;
worship, admiring, esteem, honor. tiring, unentertaining. (n) maceration, mitigation, easement,
ANTONYMS: (v) despise, loathe, jaded: (adj) tired, fatigued, worn, mollification, inteneration,
scorn, hate, condemn, abhor, weary, wearied, fed up, satiate, encouragement.
disrespect, detest, disregard, worn-out, bored, satiated, sick. unbecoming: (adj) indecorous,
disapprove, deprecate. ANTONYMS: (adj) fresh, innocent, unseemly, inappropriate, indecent,
ennobling: (adj) inspiring, noble, brilliant. indelicate, untoward, unworthy,
exalting, cultural. observed: (adj) ascertained, empirical, unsuitable, shameful, unbefitting,
entertaining: (adj) enjoyable, fun, discovered, viewed, experimental, incongruous. ANTONYMS: (adj)
funny, diverting, witty, merry, experiential, determined, visual, dignified, becoming, fitting, proper,
comical, laughable, convivial, disclosed. seemly, correct, decent, suitable.
Oscar Wilde 37

men don't like them. Good-night, dear! [To LADY CHILTERN.] Good-
night, Gertrude! [Goes out on LORD CAVERSHAM'S arm.]
What a charming house you have, Lady Chiltern! I have spent a delightful
evening. It has been so interesting getting to know your husband.%
Why did you wish to meet my husband, Mrs. Cheveley?
Oh, I will tell you. I wanted to interest him in this Argentine Canal scheme,
of which I dare say you have heard. And I found him most susceptible, -
susceptible to reason, I mean. A rare thing in a man. I converted him in ten
minutes. He is going to make a speech in the House to-morrow night in
favour of the idea. We must go to the Ladies' Gallery and hear him! It will be
a great occasion!
There must be some mistake. That scheme could never have my husband's
Oh, I assure you it's all settled. I don't regret my tedious journey from
Vienna now. It has been a great success. But, of course, for the next twenty-
four hours the whole thing is a dead secret.
[Gently.] A secret? Between whom?
[With a flash of amusement in her eyes.] Between your husband and myself.
[Entering.] Your carriage is here, Mm Cheveley!
Thanks! Good evening, Lady Chiltern! Good-night, Lord Goring! I am at
Claridge's. Don't you think you might leave a card?
assure: (n, v) certify, warrant, vouch; amiable, adorable, lovely, nice, regret: (n, v) grieve, sorrow; (v) bewail,
(v) secure, persuade, satisfy, reassure, gorgeous. ANTONYMS: (adj) lament, mourn, bemoan, deplore; (n)
affirm, promise, ascertain; (adj, v) unpleasant, unwelcome, hateful, remorse, penitence, compunction,
ensure. ANTONYMS: (v) alarm, miserable, unhappy, unappealing, contrition. ANTONYMS: (v)
disclaim, deny, disbelieve, horrific, horrible, disagreeable, welcome, praise; (n) idealism,
undermine. depressing, annoying. shamelessness, joy, satisfaction.
converted: (adj) consecrated, flash: (n, v) flicker, blaze, shimmer, susceptible: (adj) impressionable,
unearthly, changed, altered, justified, glitter, gleam, glimmer, blink, flame; receptive, sensitive, subject, liable,
invert, persuaded, inspired, reborn, (adj, n, v) twinkle; (n) instant; (v) delicate, susceptive, vulnerable,
reformed, regenerate. coruscate. ANTONYMS: (adj) pliable, irritable, open. ANTONYMS:
delightful: (adj) delicious, delectable, tasteful; (n) age; (v) dawdle. (adj) resistant, impervious, resisting,
charming, pleasing, grateful, blissful, heard: (n) hearing. safe, invulnerable, indifferent, smart.
38 An Ideal Husband

If you wish it, Mrs. Cheveley!
Oh, don't be so solemn about it, or I shall be obliged to leave a card on you.
In England I suppose that would hardly be considered EN REGLE. Abroad,
we are more civilised. Will you see me down, Sir Robert? Now that we have
both the same interests at heart we shall be great friends, I hope!
[Sails out on SIR ROBERT CHILTERN'S arm. LADY CHILTERN goes to the
top of the staircase and looks down at them as they descend. Her expression
is troubled. After a little time she is joined by some of the guests, and passes
with them into another reception-room.]
What a horrid woman!
You should go to bed, Miss Mabel.%
Lord Goring!
My father told me to go to bed an hour ago. I don't see why I shouldn't give
you the same advice. I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do
with it. It is never of any use to oneself.
Lord Goring, you are always ordering me out of the room. I think it most
courageous of you. Especially as I am not going to bed for hours. [Goes over
to the sofa.] You can come and sit down if you like, and talk about anything
in the world, except the Royal Academy, Mrs. Cheveley, or novels in Scotch
dialect. They are not improving subjects. [Catches sight of something that is
lying on the sofa half hidden by the cushion.] What is this? Some one has
dropped a diamond brooch! Quite beautiful, isn't it? [Shows it to him.] I
wish it was mine, but Gertrude won't let me wear anything but pearls, and I

brooch: (n) broach, jewelry; (n, v) descend: (v) settle, condescend, down, oneself: (n) herself, himself,
clasp; (v) fasten. drop, deign, subside, go down, themselves, personal, private,
civilised: (adj) civilized, humane, dismount, derive, get off, come selfness, self, yourself, me, person,
genteel, cultured, cultivated, down. ANTONYMS: (v) ascend, own.
advanced, refined, polite. climb, float, scale, increase, level, pearls: (n) beads, jewelry, jewellery.
courageous: (adj, n) bold; (adj) mount. solemn: (adj, n, v) serious; (adj, v)
audacious, fearless, valiant, gallant, dialect: (n) language, speech, sober, important, sedate, devout,
intrepid, spirited, heroic, undaunted, vernacular, tongue, accent, lingo, formal, demure; (adj) heavy,
manly, confident. ANTONYMS: (adj) conversation, say, talk, patois, dignified, sacred; (adj, n) earnest.
timid, wimpy, weak, spineless, phraseology. ANTONYMS: (adj) frivolous,
pusillanimous, fearful, fainthearted, hours: (n) period, duty period; (adv) cheerful, unceremonious, funny,
afraid, despicable. o'clock. playful, flippant, relaxed.
Oscar Wilde 39

am thoroughly sick of pearls. They make one look so plain, so good and so
intellectual. I wonder whom the brooch belongs to.%
I wonder who dropped it.
It is a beautiful brooch.
It is a handsome bracelet.
It isn't a bracelet. It's a brooch.
It can be used as a bracelet. [Takes it from her, and, pulling out a green
letter-case, puts the ornament carefully in it, and replaces the whole thing in
his breast-pocket with the most perfect sang froid.]
What are you doing?
Miss Mabel, I am going to make a rather strange request to you.
[Eagerly.] Oh, pray do! I have been waiting for it all the evening.
[Is a little taken aback, but recovers himself.] Don't mention to anybody that
I have taken charge of this brooch. Should any one write and claim it, let me
know at once.
That is a strange request.
Well, you see I gave this brooch to somebody once, years ago.

aback: (adv) aft, astern, backward, (adj) ugly, unattractive, meager, v) garnish, dress. ANTONYM: (v)
abaft, backwards, short, sternmost, ungenerous, measly, plain. strip.
unawares, suddenly; (adj) back. intellectual: (n) intellect, brain, pray: (v) beg, implore, entreat, crave,
bracelet: (n) annulus, armlet, circlet, thinker, scholar; (adj) rational, invite, plead, beseech, appeal,
wristband, necklace, ring, hoop, mental, cerebral, learned, spiritual; importune, adjure, invoke.
areola, circle, anklet, annulet. (adj, n) mind, academic. ANTONYM: (v) reject.
gave: (v) deliver, allow, allot, provide, ANTONYMS: (adj) nonintellectual, pulling: (n) pull, drawing, traction,
furnish, impart, administer; (n) gives. intuitive, emotional, dim, ignorant, haulage, actuation, clout,
handsome: (adj) fair, beautiful, fine, physical, thick, lowbrow; (n) dunce. deracination, draughts, extirpation;
generous, charming, comely, ornament: (n) decoration, adornment, (adj) attracting, tractive.
attractive, bountiful, considerable, embellishment, decor; (v) beautify, sang: (n) panax quinquefolius, sing,
bonny, prepossessing. ANTONYMS: decorate, deck, embellish, adorn; (n, herb, herbaceous plant.
40 An Ideal Husband

You did?
[LADY CHILTERN enters alone. The other guests have gone.]
Then I shall certainly bid you good-night. Good- night, Gertrude! [Exit.]
Good-night, dear! [To LORD GORING.] You saw whom Lady Markby
brought here to-night?
Yes. It was an unpleasant surprise. What did she come here for?
Apparently to try and lure Robert to uphold some fraudulent scheme in
which she is interested. The Argentine Canal, in fact.
She has mistaken her man, hasn't she?
She is incapable of understanding an upright nature like my husband's!
Yes. I should fancy she came to grief if she tried to get Robert into her toils.
It is extraordinary what astounding mistakes clever women make.
I don't call women of that kind clever. I call them stupid!
Same thing often. Good-night, Lady Chiltern!

astounding: (adj) amazing, honest, fair, genuine. wonder, astonishment; (n, v) alarm,
miraculous, wonderful, incredible, incapable: (adj) impotent, inadequate, shock, jolt; (v) amaze, startle,
tremendous, spectacular, sensational, unable, helpless, powerless, astonish, stun. ANTONYMS: (n)
breathtaking, awesome, staggering, unqualified, inept, insufficient, inapt, expectation; (v) encourage, comfort.
prodigious. ANTONYMS: (adj) ineffectual, unfit. ANTONYMS: (adj) toils: (n) net, cobweb, meshes, mesh.
unremarkable, comforting, able, competent, strong, powerful, uphold: (n, v) support; (v) preserve,
predictable, boring, insignificant. effective. defend, maintain, continue, endorse,
fraudulent: (adj) false, dishonest, lure: (n, v) decoy, entice, bait, charm, confirm, countenance, bolster,
fallacious, crooked, deceptive, bribe, draw, seduce, coax, encourage, back. ANTONYMS: (v)
corrupt, dishonorable, crafty, enticement; (v) invite, inveigle. infringe, discontinue, weaken,
underhand; (adj, v) bogus, ANTONYM: (n) repulsion. contradict, endanger, abandon,
counterfeit. ANTONYMS: (adj) surprise: (n) fright, amazement, oppose, quit, undermine, end.
Oscar Wilde 41


My dear Arthur, you are not going? Do stop a little!
Afraid I can't, thanks. I have promised to look in at the Hartlocks'. I believe
they have got a mauve Hungarian band that plays mauve Hungarian music.
See you soon. Good-bye!
How beautiful you look to-night, Gertrude!
Robert, it is not true, is it? You are not going to lend your support to this
Argentine speculation? You couldn't!
[Starting.] Who told you I intended to do so?
That woman who has just gone out, Mrs. Cheveley, as she calls herself now.
She seemed to taunt me with it. Robert, I know this woman. You don't. We
were at school together. She was untruthful, dishonest, an evil influence on
every one whose trust or friendship she could win. I hated, I despised her.
She stole things, she was a thief. She was sent away for being a thief. Why
do you let her influence you?
Gertrude, what you tell me may be true, but it happened many years ago. It
is best forgotten! Mrs. Cheveley may have changed since then. No one
should be entirely judged by their past.
[Sadly.] One's past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should
be judged.
That is a hard saying, Gertrude!
despised: (adj) scorned, despicable, lend: (v) grant, give, advance, impart, scoff; (v) bait. ANTONYMS: (n, v)
hated, abject, disparaged, mean, bestow, contribute, borrow, bring, respect, compliment; (v) applaud,
attaching disgrace, unpopular, add, confer; (n) lending. comfort.
unloved, reviled, opprobrious. mauve: (adj) lavender, purple, plum, thief: (n) burglar, bandit, pirate,
dishonest: (adj) crooked, corrupt, chromatic, violet, puce; (n) plunderer, filcher, stealer,
crafty, underhand, fraudulent, purpleness, heliotrope; (adj, n) pickpocket, pilferer, crook, brigand,
deceptive, wrong, disloyal, amethyst, light purple, blue. despoiler.
untruthful, unscrupulous, shifty. stole: (n) wrap, stolen, scarf, stolon, untruthful: (adj) untrue, dishonest,
ANTONYMS: (adj) truthful, stealing, robe, alb, tunicle, surplice, insincere, mendacious, deceitful,
principled, sincere, sporting, alba, cassock. lying, incorrect, fictitious, wrong,
aboveboard, straightforward, taunt: (n, v) ridicule, gibe, flout, insult, faithless, unfounded. ANTONYMS:
trustworthy, open, moral, fair, legal. mock, deride, sneer, twit, quip; (n) (adj) honest, true, straightforward.
42 An Ideal Husband

It is a true saying, Robert. And what did she mean by boasting that she had
got you to lend your support, your name, to a thing I have heard you
describe as the most dishonest and fraudulent scheme there has ever been in
political life?
[Biting his lip.] I was mistaken in the view I took. We all may make
But you told me yesterday that you had received the report from the
Commission, and that it entirely condemned the whole thing.
[Walking up and down.] I have reasons now to believe that the Commission
was prejudiced, or, at any rate, misinformed. Besides, Gertrude, public and
private life are different things. They have different laws, and move on
different lines.
They should both represent man at his highest. I see no difference between
[Stopping.] In the present case, on a matter of practical politics, I have
changed my mind. That is all.
[Sternly.] Yes!
Robert! Oh! it is horrible that I should have to ask you such a question -
Robert, are you telling me the whole truth?

boasting: (n) bluster, bravado, foremost, first, supreme, topmost, false, misguided, inaccurate,
rodomontade, swagger, braggadocio, extreme, utmost, top, uppermost. fallacious, untrue, misleading,
ostentation, show; (v) brag; (adj) ANTONYMS: (adj) bottom, minor. confused, improper, error.
swaggering, vaporing, strutting. horrible: (adj) awful, fearful, frightful, ANTONYMS: (adj) accurate, wise,
condemned: (adj) censured, convicted, abominable, grisly, formidable, dire, right.
doomed, destined, appropriated, ghastly, dreadful, fearsome; (adj, v) represent: (adj, v) express; (v) depict,
taken, taken over, fated, seized, horrid. ANTONYMS: (adj) play, exemplify, act, be, illustrate,
predestined; (adj, v) guilty. wonderful, lovely, nice, lovable, fair, describe, embody, enact, make.
describe: (v) represent, report, delightful, slight, appealing, minor, ANTONYMS: (v) prosecute, oppose.
delineate, state, depict, outline, relate, attractive, great. told: (v) related, narrated; (adj)
draw, qualify, designate, name. laws: (n) Pentateuch, Torah. numbered, oral, spoken, legendary,
highest: (adj, n) most; (adj) best, chief, mistaken: (adj) wrong, erroneous, verbal, manifest.
Oscar Wilde 43


Why do you ask me such a question?
[After a pause.] Why do you not answer it?
[Sitting down.] Gertrude, truth is a very complex thing, and politics is a very
complex business. There are wheels within wheels. One may be under
certain obligations to people that one must pay. Sooner or later in political
life one has to compromise. Every one does.%
Compromise? Robert, why do you talk so differently to-night from the way I
have always heard you talk? Why are you changed?
I am not changed. But circumstances alter things.
Circumstances should never alter principles!
But if I told you -
That it was necessary, vitally necessary?
It can never be necessary to do what is not honourable. Or if it be necessary,
then what is it that I have loved! But it is not, Robert; tell me it is not. Why
should it be? What gain would you get ? Money? We have no need of that!
And money that comes from a tainted source is a degradation. Power? But
power is nothing in itself. It is power to do good that is fine - that, and that
only. What is it, then? Robert, tell me why you are going to do this
dishonourable thing!
degradation: (n) fall, abasement, dishonourable: (adj) base, disgraceful, musty, reasty, vitiated; (adj) rank,
degeneracy, corruption, abjection, shabby, dishonest, sordid, contaminated, faulty, putrid, dirty.
debasement, decadence, discreditable, ignoble, shameful, ANTONYMS: (adj) unadulterated,
degeneration, humiliation, crooked, opprobrious, black. unchanged, untarnished, clean.
deposition, disgrace. ANTONYMS: honourable: (adj) estimable, reverend, vitally: (adv) necessarily, significantly,
(n) elevation, glorification, honor. venerable, glorious, honorable, basically, crucially, fundamentally,
differently: (adv) variously, otherwise, distinguished, above-board, good, principally, decisively, materially,
divergently, dissimilarly, disparately, worthy, right, noble. importantly, vivaciously, primarily.
distinctly, unlikely, contrarily, itself: (adj) herself, self, oneself, ANTONYMS: (adv) insignificantly,
individually, unusually, oppositely. personally, myself, themselves, superficially.
ANTONYMS: (adv) alike, yourself. wheels: (n) vehicle, truck, car, brush,
correspondingly. tainted: (adj, v) rotten, rancid, bad, force.
44 An Ideal Husband


Gertrude, you have no right to use that word. I told you it was a question of
rational compromise. It is no more than that.%
Robert, that is all very well for other men, for men who treat life simply as a
sordid speculation; but not for you, Robert, not for you. You are different.
All your life you have stood apart from others. You have never let the world
soil you. To the world, as to myself, you have been an ideal always. Oh! be
that ideal still. That great inheritance throw not away - that tower of ivory do
not destroy. Robert, men can love what is beneath them - things unworthy,
stained, dishonoured. We women worship when we love; and when we lose
our worship, we lose everything. Oh! don't kill my love for you, don't kill
I know that there are men with horrible secrets in their lives - men who have
done some shameful thing, and who in some critical moment have to pay for
it, by doing some other act of shame - oh! don't tell me you are such as they
are! Robert, is there in your life any secret dishonour or disgrace? Tell me,
tell me at once, that -
That what?
[Speaking very slowly.] That our lives may drift apart.
Drift apart?
That they may be entirely separate. It would be better for us both.

disgrace: (adj, n, v) dishonor; (n, v) dishonorable, opprobrious, shocking, pleasant, wholesome, reputable,
discredit, shame, stain, blemish, blot, ignominious, disreputable, honorable, clean, attractive, humane.
slur, reproach; (v) degrade, debase; despicable; (adj, v) foul, base, gross, unworthy: (adj) undeserving, base,
(n) degradation. ANTONYMS: (n, v) black. ANTONYMS: (adj) honorable, disgraceful, ignoble, low,
respect, esteem, credit; (v) glorify, noble, dignified, admirable, faultless, contemptible, despicable, ugly,
dignify, praise; (n) merit, grace, reputable, glorious, compassionate, unmerited, unseemly, shameful.
pride, rise, worthiness. praiseworthy, commendable, ANTONYMS: (adj) deserving,
dishonour: (v) discredit, disgrace, excellent. valuable, honorable, estimable,
attaint, shame, degrade, desecrate, sordid: (adj) ignoble, nasty, foul, filthy, reputable.
violate, rape, outrage; (n) stigma, grimy, base, cheap, despicable,
opprobrium. dishonorable, mucky, low.
shameful: (adj) scandalous, ANTONYMS: (adj) respectable,
Oscar Wilde 45


Gertrude, there is nothing in my past life that you might not know.%
I was sure of it, Robert, I was sure of it. But why did you say those dreadful
things, things so unlike your real self? Don't let us ever talk about the subject
again. You will write, won't you, to Mrs. Cheveley, and tell her that you
cannot support this scandalous scheme of hers? If you have given her any
promise you must take it back, that is all!
Must I write and tell her that?
Surely, Robert! What else is there to do?
I might see her personally. It would be better.
You must never see her again, Robert. She is not a woman you should ever
speak to. She is not worthy to talk to a man like you. No; you must write to
her at once, now, this moment, and let your letter show her that your decision
is quite irrevocable!
Write this moment!
But it is so late. It is close on twelve.
That makes no matter. She must know at once that she has been mistaken in
you - and that you are not a man to do anything base or underhand or
dishonourable. Write here, Robert. Write that you decline to support this
scheme of hers, as you hold it to be a dishonest scheme. Yes - write the word
hers: (pron) she, his; (adj) own. disreputable, disgusting, clandestine, sly, underhanded,
irrevocable: (adj) irrecoverable, final, dishonorable; (adj, v) base, foul. sneaky, shifty, covert, crooked,
irreparable, irremediable, ANTONYMS: (adj) proper, seemly, indirect; (adj, adv) underarm.
irredeemable, conclusive, honorable, appealing, ANTONYMS: (adj) honest, overhand.
irreclaimable, unchangeable, fixed; complimentary, reputable, worthy: (adj) noble, good, meritorious,
(adj, v) irretrievable, inevitable. admirable. valuable, estimable, respectable,
ANTONYMS: (adj) revocable, self: (n) ego, person, me, individual, deserving, worthwhile, virtuous,
superficial, provisional, flexible, being; (pron) myself, herself, itself; honorable; (adj, n) celebrity.
impermanent. (adj) same; (v) own; (adv) personally. ANTONYMS: (adj) bad, unrespected,
scandalous: (adj) infamous, twelve: (adj, n) dozen, XII; (n) boxcars, disreputable, mediocre, petty, poor,
disgraceful, ignominious, large integer. unimpressive, insignificant,
outrageous, opprobrious, shocking, underhand: (adj) stealthy, furtive, dishonorable, despicable; (n) nobody.
46 An Ideal Husband

dishonest. She knows what that word means. [SIR ROBERT CHILTERN sits
down and writes a letter. His wife takes it up and reads it.] Yes; that will do.
[Rings bell.] And now the envelope. [He writes the envelope slowly. Enter
MASON.] Have this letter sent at once to Claridge's Hotel. There is no
answer. [Exit MASON. LADY CHILTERN kneels down beside her husband,
and puts her arms around him.] Robert, love gives one an instinct to things.
I feel to-night that I have saved you from something that might have been a
danger to you, from something that might have made men honour you less
than they do. I don't think you realise sufficiently, Robert, that you have
brought into the political life of our time a nobler atmosphere, a finer
attitude towards life, a freer air of purer aims and higher ideals - I know it,
and for that I love you, Robert.%
Oh, love me always, Gertrude, love me always!
I will love you always, because you will always be worthy of love. We needs
must love the highest when we see it! [Kisses him and rises and goes out.]
[SIR ROBERT CHILTERN walks up and down for a moment; then sits down
and buries his face in his hands. The Servant enters and begins pulling out
the lights. SIR ROBERT CHILTERN looks up.]
Put out the lights, Mason, put out the lights!
[The Servant puts out the lights. The room becomes almost dark. The only
light there is comes from the great chandelier that hangs over the staircase
and illumines the tapestry of the Triumph of Love.]

atmosphere: (n) ambience, ambiance, finer: (adj) superior, advanced, bigger, realise: (v) appreciate, perceive,
mood, aura, feel, environment, higher, more, greater. actualize, understand, attain,
feeling, background, quality, freer: (adj) unconfined. comprehend, get, bring, see, make,
medium, setting. ideals: (n) morality, principle, earn.
beside: (adv) on, abreast, aside, standard, standards, ethics, saved: (adj) protected, economized,
closely, nearly; (prep) about; (adv, principles. rescued, blessed.
prep) besides; (adj) adjacent; (n) while, instinct: (n) impulse, urge, aptitude, sits: (n) sat.
at; (adj, prep) near. gift, feeling, sixth sense, inherent sufficiently: (adv) fully, satisfactorily,
envelope: (n, v) covering, cloak, aptitude, knack, inspiration, talent, enough, amply, quite, properly,
blanket; (n) casing, container, pack, genius. competently, decently, abundantly,
case, coating, jacket, integument, lights: (n) illumination, burn, lung, goodly, completely. ANTONYM:
vesicle. spacing material. (adv) inadequately.
Oscar Wilde 47


SCENEMorning-room at Sir Robert Chiltern's house. [LORD GORING,

dressed in the height of fashion, is lounging in an armchair. SIR ROBERT
CHILTERN is standing in front of the fireplace. He is evidently in a state of
great mental excitement and distress. As the scene progresses he paces
nervously up and down the room.]

My dear Robert, it's a very awkward business, very awkward indeed. You
should have told your wife the whole thing. Secrets from other people's
wives are a necessary luxury in modern life. So, at least, I am always told at
the club by people who are bald enough to know better. But no man should
have a secret from his own wife. She invariably finds it out. Women have a
wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the
Arthur, I couldn't tell my wife. When could I have told her? Not last night.
It would have made a life-long separation between us, and I would have lost
the love of the one woman in the world I worship, of the only woman who
has ever stirred love within me. Last night it would have been quite

armchair: (n) fauteuil, easy-chair, seat, fireplace: (n) chimney, fire, hearth, timidly, worriedly, uneasily,
easy chair, chair, lounger, recliner, oven, stove, fire place, fireside, restlessly, timorously, skittishly,
elbowchair. kitchen, niche, recess, furnace. excitedly, neurotically,
bald: (adj) hairless, simple, austere, luxury: (n) comfort, luxuriousness, apprehensively. ANTONYMS: (adv)
meager, raw, barefaced, stark, plain, extravagance, opulence, wealth; (adj, confidently, boldly, fearlessly,
nude, naked; (adj, v) threadbare. n) delicacy, gratification, elegance; unconcernedly, nonchalantly,
ANTONYMS: (adj) ornate, furry, (adj) luxurious, deluxe, indulgence. trustingly.
hirsute, woolly, embellished, ANTONYMS: (n) paucity, necessity, secrets: (n) secrecy.
adorned, decorated. poverty, filth, discomfort, bareness, stirred: (adj) excited, agitated, moved,
club: (n) association, society, stick, bat, shabbiness; (adj) basic, inferior, affected, aroused, emotional, aflame,
circle, Billy, meeting, baton, gang; (v) cheap, Spartan. Stirn, horny, susceptible, stirred up.
bludgeon, beat. nervously: (adv) edgily, anxiously, wives: (n) woman.
48 An Ideal Husband

impossible. She would have turned from me in horror... in horror and in

Is Lady Chiltern as perfect as all that?
Yes; my wife is as perfect as all that.
[Taking off his left-hand glove.] What a pity! I beg your pardon, my dear
fellow, I didn't quite mean that. But if what you tell me is true, I should like
to have a serious talk about life with Lady Chiltern.
It would be quite useless.
May I try?
Yes; but nothing could make her alter her views.
Well, at the worst it would simply be a psychological experiment.
All such experiments are terribly dangerous.
Everything is dangerous, my dear fellow. If it wasn't so, life wouldn't be
worth living.... Well, I am bound to say that I think you should have told her
years ago.
When? When we were engaged? Do you think she would have married me
if she had known that the origin of my fortune is such as it is, the basis of my
career such as it is, and that I had done a thing that I suppose most men
would call shameful and dishonourable?

engaged: (adj) occupied, betrothed, (n, v) blame; (v) punish, castigate, ANTONYMS: (adv) wonderfully,
employed, affianced, engrossed, condemn, convict; (n) intolerance. slightly, superbly, fortunately,
reserved, absorbed, working, pity: (n, v) compassion, ruth; (n) happily, laudably, little, marvelously,
pledged, involved, committed. mercy, commiseration, condolence, pleasantly, hardly, honorably.
ANTONYMS: (adj) free, unengaged, sympathy, clemency, remorse; (v) useless: (adj) pointless, unnecessary,
unemployed, uncommitted, sympathize, compassionate, feel needless, worthless, fruitless,
unattached, single, detached, idle. sorry for. ANTONYMS: (n) blame, hopeless, abortive, idle, barren,
experiments: (n) data. cruelty, indifference, harshness, joy. superfluous, unavailing.
pardon: (v) excuse, condone, forgive, terribly: (adv) horribly, awfully, ANTONYMS: (adj) helpful, effective,
acquit, spare; (n) amnesty, terrifically, very, badly, awful, competent, convenient, valuable,
forgiveness, grace; (adj, v) justify, appallingly, atrociously, terrificly; necessary, brilliant, great,
exonerate, exculpate. ANTONYMS: (adj, adv) frightfully, shockingly. meaningful, usable, worthwhile.
Oscar Wilde 49

[Slowly.] Yes; most men would call it ugly names. There is no doubt of that.%
[Bitterly.] Men who every day do something of the same kind themselves.
Men who, each one of them, have worse secrets in their own lives.
That is the reason they are so pleased to find out other people's secrets. It
distracts public attention from their own.
And, after all, whom did I wrong by what I did? No one.
[Looking at him steadily.] Except yourself, Robert.
[After a pause.] Of course I had private information about a certain
transaction contemplated by the Government of the day, and I acted on it.
Private information is practically the source of every large modern fortune.
[Tapping his boot with his cane.] And public scandal invariably the result.
[Pacing up and down the room.] Arthur, do you think that what I did nearly
eighteen years ago should be brought up against me now? Do you think it
fair that a man's whole career should be ruined for a fault done in one's
boyhood almost? I was twenty-two at the time, and I had the double
misfortune of being well-born and poor, two unforgiveable things
nowadays. Is it fair that the folly, the sin of one's youth, if men choose to call
it a sin, should wreck a life like mine, should place me in the pillory, should
shatter all that I have worked for, all that I have built up. Is it fair, Arthur?
Life is never fair, Robert. And perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it
is not.

boyhood: (n) babyhood, adolescence, instrument of punishment; (v) shame.
youth, youthhood, infancy, girlhood, punish, crucify, slate, attack, libel, shatter: (v) fragment, ruin, smash,
age, boyism, puberty. ANTONYM: malign, penalize, pick holes in. destroy, burst, dash, rupture, crash,
(n) adulthood. ANTONYMS: (v) compliment, praise. crumble, crack, demolish.
contemplated: (adj) intended, willful. ruined: (adj, v) lost; (adj) dilapidated, well-born: (adj) aristocratic, patrician,
misfortune: (n) accident, hardship, desolate, broke, broken, bankrupt, gentle.
misadventure, disaster, calamity, finished, devastated, desolated, wreck: (n, v) smash, shipwreck, wrack;
mischance, catastrophe, mishap, bad insolvent, spoiled. ANTONYMS: (adj) (v) damage, spoil, demolish, destroy,
luck, misery, affliction. ANTONYMS: solvent, pure, rich, whole. devastate; (n) crash, ruins,
(n) joy, bonus, opportunity, privilege, scandal: (n) disgrace, dishonor, gossip, destruction. ANTONYMS: (v) build,
success, happiness. outrage, discredit, rumor, infamy, preserve, create, repair, assist; (n)
pillory: (n) stocks, whipping post, disrepute, ignominy, detraction, creation.
50 An Ideal Husband


Every man of ambition has to fight his century with its own weapons. What
this century worships is wealth. The God of this century is wealth. To
succeed one must have wealth. At all costs one must have wealth.%
You underrate yourself, Robert. Believe me, without wealth you could have
succeeded just as well.
When I was old, perhaps. When I had lost my passion for power, or could
not use it. When I was tired, worn out, disappointed. I wanted my success
when I was young. Youth is the time for success. I couldn't wait.
Well, you certainly have had your success while you are still young. No one
in our day has had such a brilliant success. Under-Secretary for Foreign
Affairs at the age of forty - that's good enough for any one, I should think.
And if it is all taken away from me now? If I lose everything over a horrible
scandal? If I am hounded from public life?
Robert, how could you have sold yourself for money?
[Excitedly.] I did not sell myself for money. I bought success at a great price.
That is all.
[Gravely.] Yes; you certainly paid a great price for it. But what first made
you think of doing such a thing?
Baron Arnheim.
Damned scoundrel!
ambition: (n) aim, hope, goal, drive, scoundrel: (n, v) rascal; (n) knave, undervalue, play down, detract,
ambitiousness, wish, dream, purpose, blackguard, cad, villain, ruffian, decry, belittle, disdain, slight.
target, objective, intention. miscreant, crook, rapscallion, varlet, ANTONYMS: (v) overrate,
ANTONYMS: (n) satisfaction, scalawag. emphasize.
contentment, sloth, laziness, lethargy. succeed: (v) follow, arrive, prosper, weapons: (n) weaponry, weapon,
disappointed: (adj) despondent, prevail, manage, supplant, ensue, ordnance, munitions, defense, guns,
disgruntled, regretful, dissatisfied, supersede, do, achieve, flourish. armaments, artillery.
depressed, sad, unhappy, frustrated, ANTONYMS: (v) fail, precede, lose, worn: (adj) haggard, tired, tattered,
disenchanted, dejected, disappoint. botch, restore, neglect, Miss, threadbare, ragged, drawn, jaded,
ANTONYMS: (adj) pleased, satisfied, deteriorate. fatigued, exhausted, faded, wasted.
composed, happy, triumphant, underrate: (v) underestimate, ANTONYMS: (adj) new, smart,
fulfilled, cheerful, idealistic. depreciate, misjudge, disparage, unused, unworn, pristine, original.
Oscar Wilde 51


No; he was a man of a most subtle and refined intellect. A man of culture,
charm, and distinction. One of the most intellectual men I ever met.%
Ah! I prefer a gentlemanly fool any day. There is more to be said for
stupidity than people imagine. Personally I have a great admiration for
stupidity. It is a sort of fellow-feeling, I suppose. But how did he do it? Tell
me the whole thing.
[Throws himself into an armchair by the writing-table.] One night after
dinner at Lord Radley's the Baron began talking about success in modern life
as something that one could reduce to an absolutely definite science. With
that wonderfully fascinating quiet voice of his he expounded to us the most
terrible of all philosophies, the philosophy of power, preached to us the most
marvellous of all gospels, the gospel of gold. I think he saw the effect he had
produced on me, for some days afterwards he wrote and asked me to come
and see him. He was living then in Park Lane, in the house Lord Woolcomb
has now. I remember so well how, with a strange smile on his pale, curved
lips, he led me through his wonderful picture gallery, showed me his
tapestries, his enamels, his jewels, his carved ivories, made me wonder at the
strange loveliness of the luxury in which he lived; and then told me that
luxury was nothing but a background, a painted scene in a play, and that
power, power over other men, power over the world, was the one thing
worth having, the one supreme pleasure worth knowing, the one joy one
never tired of, and that in our century only the rich possessed it.
[With great deliberation.] A thoroughly shallow creed.
[Rising.] I didn't think so then. I don't think so now. Wealth has given me
enormous power. It gave me at the very outset of my life freedom, and
freedom is everything. You have never been poor, and never known what

began: (v) Gan. hoops, Perrie, riches, studs, fortune, ANTONYMS: (n) sense, logic,
fellow-feeling: (n) kindness. fineness, earrings, decoration. cleverness, shrewdness, wisdom,
gentlemanly: (adj) courteous, polite, loveliness: (n) comeliness, fairness, ability.
chivalrous, refined, gallant, suave, grace, attractiveness, charm, wonderfully: (adv) superbly,
mannerly, genteel, gentle, well-bred; glamour, pulchritude, beauteousness, astonishingly, terrifically,
(n) gentleman. ANTONYMS: (adj) good looks, cuteness, fineness. magnificently, fantastically,
rude, unbecoming. ANTONYMS: (n) unattractiveness, marvellously, wondrously,
gospels: (n) gospel, revelations, mark, unpleasantness, awkwardness. amazingly, excellently; (adj, adv)
acts, apocalypse, creed, evangel, stupidity: (n) foolishness, nonsense, strangely, famously. ANTONYMS:
evangelists, gospel singing, gospel obtuseness, dullness, fatuity, (adv) awfully, unpleasantly, poorly,
truth, Luke. absurdity, stolidity, slowness, abysmally, unremarkably, mildly,
jewels: (n) jewelry, gems, wealth, denseness, idiocy, imbecility. horribly, badly, incompetently.
52 An Ideal Husband

ambition is. You cannot understand what a wonderful chance the Baron gave
me. Such a chance as few men get.%
Fortunately for them, if one is to judge by results. But tell me definitely, how
did the Baron finally persuade you to - well, to do what you did?
When I was going away he said to me that if I ever could give him any
private information of real value he would make me a very rich man. I was
dazed at the prospect he held out to me, and my ambition and my desire for
power were at that time boundless. Six weeks later certain private
documents passed through my hands.
[Keeping his eyes steadily fixed on the carpet.] State documents?
Yes. [LORD GORING sighs, then passes his hand across his forehead and
looks up.]
I had no idea that you, of all men in the world, could have been so weak,
Robert, as to yield to such a temptation as Baron Arnheim held out to you.
Weak? Oh, I am sick of hearing that phrase. Sick of using it about others.
Weak? Do you really think, Arthur, that it is weakness that yields to
temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations that it requires
strength, strength and courage, to yield to. To stake all one's life on a single
moment, to risk everything on one throw, whether the stake be power or
pleasure, I care not - there is no weakness in that. There is a horrible, a
terrible courage. I had that courage. I sat down the same afternoon and
wrote Baron Arnheim the letter this woman now holds. He made three-
quarters of a million over the transaction

boundless: (adj) limitless, endless, weakness, wimpiness, yellowness. wager, post, pole, gamble, support;
unlimited, infinite, bottomless, dazed: (adj) bewildered, stunned, (n) interest, shaft.
incalculable, immense, dumbfounded, muzzy, stupefied, temptation: (n, v) lure, enticement,
immeasurable, interminable, dizzy, stupid, groggy, amazed, bait; (n) attraction, allurement,
unbounded, vast. ANTONYMS: (adj) astounded, bleary. ANTONYMS: invitation, seduction, inducement,
limited, restricted, confined, finite, (adj) indifferent, unimpressed, allure, appeal, pull. ANTONYMS: (n)
incomplete, negligible, small. conscious. dislike, discouragement.
courage: (n) audacity, fortitude, forehead: (n) brow, front, foreland, transaction: (n) dealing, business,
boldness, nerve, spirit, backbone, lineament, mut, phiz, physiognomy, dealings, proceeding, trade, concern,
valor, heroism, gallantry, mettle, visage, eyebrow, skull; (adv) matter, bargain, negotiation, action,
chivalry. ANTONYMS: (n) foremost. affair. ANTONYMS: (n) refusal,
cowardice, faintheartedness, stake: (n, v) risk, chance, venture, bet, rejection, denial.
Oscar Wilde 53

And you?
I received from the Baron 110,000 pounds.%
You were worth more, Robert.
No; that money gave me exactly what I wanted, power over others. I went
into the House immediately. The Baron advised me in finance from time to
time. Before five years I had almost trebled my fortune. Since then
everything that I have touched has turned out a success. In all things
connected with money I have had a luck so extraordinary that sometimes it
has made me almost afraid. I remember having read somewhere, in some
strange book, that when the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
But tell me, Robert, did you never suffer any regret for what you had done?
No. I felt that I had fought the century with its own weapons, and won.
[Sadly.] You thought you had won.
I thought so. [After a long pause.] Arthur, do you despise me for what I
have told you?
[With deep feeling in his voice.] I am very sorry for you, Robert, very sorry
I don't say that I suffered any remorse. I didn't. Not remorse in the
ordinary, rather silly sense of the word. But I have paid conscience money
many times. I had a wild hope that I might disarm destiny. The sum Baron
connected: (adj, v) related; (adj) morals, morality, inward monitor. chance. ANTONYM: (n) design.
attached, allied, affiliated, coherent, ANTONYM: (n) indifference. punish: (v) amerce, discipline,
linked, committed, conjoint, despise: (v) disdain, loathe, castigate, chasten, chastise, penalize,
combined, relevant, consecutive. depreciate, abhor, dislike, detest, strike, avenge, pay, beat, execute.
ANTONYMS: (adj) unrelated, slight, hate; (n, v) contemn; (n) ANTONYMS: (v) excuse, exonerate,
separate, unimportant, disjoined, contempt, deride. ANTONYMS: (v) pardon, reward, commend.
unaffiliated, disconnected, respect, love, adore, appreciate, remorse: (n) penitence, contrition,
unattached, irrelevant. cherish, like, praise, accept. repentance, regret, guilt, penance,
conscience: (n) moral sense, gods: (n) gallery. sorrow, grief, qualm, ruefulness,
Conscience money, sense of right and luck: (n) fortune, fate, accident, compassion. ANTONYM: (n)
wrong, scruple, intention, tender destiny, hazard, lot, advantage, shamelessness.
conscience, small voice, principles, providence, portion, happiness; (n, v) suffered: (adj) permitted, permissive.
54 An Ideal Husband

Arnheim gave me I have distributed twice over in public charities since

[Looking up.] In public charities? Dear me! what a lot of harm you must
have done, Robert!
Oh, don't say that, Arthur; don't talk like that!
Never mind what I say, Robert! I am always saying what I shouldn't say. In
fact, I usually say what I really think. A great mistake nowadays. It makes
one so liable to be misunderstood. As regards this dreadful business, I will
help you in whatever way I can. Of course you know that.
Thank you, Arthur, thank you. But what is to be done? What can be done?
[Leaning back with his hands in his pockets.] Well, the English can't stand a
man who is always saying he is in the right, but they are very fond of a man
who admits that he has been in the wrong. It is one of the best things in
them. However, in your case, Robert, a confession would not do. The
money, if you will allow me to say so, is... awkward. Besides, if you did
make a clean breast of the whole affair, you would never be able to talk
morality again. And in England a man who can't talk morality twice a week
to a large, popular, immoral audience is quite over as a serious politician.
There would be nothing left for him as a profession except Botany or the
Church. A confession would be of no use. It would ruin you.
It would ruin me. Arthur, the only thing for me to do now is to fight the
thing out.
[Rising from his chair.] I was waiting for you to say that, Robert. It is the

confession: (n) admission, restrained, amoral, right, righteous, regards: (v) regard, esteem, respect,
acknowledgment, recognition, pure. consideration, honor, motive; (adj)
acknowledgement, concession, morality: (n) ethics, goodness, virtue, abord, devoir; (n) greeting, relation,
divulgence, disclosure, shrift, honesty, decency, integrity, duty.
penance, profession, admission of righteousness, chastity, behavior, ruin: (n) devastation, desolation; (adj,
guilt. ANTONYMS: (n) disavowal, moral philosophy, rectitude. n) downfall; (v) break, consume,
refutation. ANTONYMS: (n) immorality, demolish, destroy; (n, v) doom,
immoral: (adj) evil, bad, depraved, decadence, wickedness, indecency. ravage, destruction, damage.
indecent, dissolute, corrupt, criminal, politician: (n) legislator, politico, ANTONYMS: (v) conserve, enhance,
unprincipled, dirty, unfair, lewd. lawgiver, political leader, mayor, pol, save, restore, improve; (n, v) respect;
ANTONYMS: (adj) moral, decent, nominee, campaigner, governor, (n) making, success, triumph, rise,
honest, ethical, principled, good, statemonger, tactician. preservation.
Oscar Wilde 55

only thing to do now. And you must begin by telling your wife the whole
That I will not do.
Robert, believe me, you are wrong.
I couldn't do it. It would kill her love for me. And now about this woman,
this Mrs. Cheveley. How can I defend myself against her? You knew her
before, Arthur, apparently.
Did you know her well?
[Arranging his necktie.] So little that I got engaged to be married to her once,
when I was staying at the Tenbys'. The affair lasted for three days... nearly.
Why was it broken off?
[Airily.] Oh, I forget. At least, it makes no matter. By the way, have you tried
her with money? She used to be confoundedly fond of money.
I offered her any sum she wanted. She refused.
Then the marvellous gospel of gold breaks down sometimes. The rich can't
do everything, after all.
Not everything. I suppose you are right. Arthur, I feel that public disgrace is

arthur: (n) Chester Alan Arthur, shelter. ANTONYMS: (v) prosecute, erase, annihilate, eliminate,
president Arthur. abandon, endanger, surrender, extinguish, finish, blast, decimate,
breaks: (n) lot, destiny, opportunity, renounce, oppose, forsake, assault, execute, eradicate. ANTONYMS: (v)
chance. contradict, destroy, expose. revitalize, revive; (n) hunter.
confoundedly: (adj) tremendously, gold: (n) Au, money, riches, wealth, knew: (adj) known; (v) recognize, wist.
severely, desperately, with a bullion, treasure, yellow, amber; (adj) marvellous: (adj) fantastic,
vengeance; (adv) confusedly, aureate, gilt, golden. extraordinary, terrific, tremendous,
accursedly, abashedly, bewilderedly, gospel: (n) creed, dogma, tenet, wondrous, marvelous, wonderful,
cursedly, puzzledly, extremely. gospels, evangel, truth, doctrine, tall, miraculous, improbable,
defend: (n, v) guard, shield, advocate; church doctrine, gospel truth, thumping.
(v) justify, protect, assert, support, veracity; (adj) pope. refused: (adj) forbidden, refuse,
maintain, champion, apologize, kill: (n, v) assassinate, destroy; (v) prohibited, hence.
56 An Ideal Husband

in store for me. I feel certain of it. I never knew what terror was before. I
know it now. It is as if a hand of ice were laid upon one's heart. It is as if
one's heart were beating itself to death in some empty hollow.%
[Striking the table.] Robert, you must fight her. You must fight her.
But how?
LORD GORING. I can't tell you how at present. I have not the smallest idea.
But every one has some weak point. There is some flaw in each one of us.
[Strolls to the fireplace and looks at himself in the glass.] My father tells me
that even I have faults. Perhaps I have. I don't know.
In defending myself against Mrs. Cheveley, I have a right to use any weapon
I can find, have I not?
[Still looking in the glass.] In your place I don't think I should have the
smallest scruple in doing so. She is thoroughly well able to take care of
[Sits down at the table and takes a pen in his hand.] Well, I shall send a
cipher telegram to the Embassy at Vienna, to inquire if there is anything
known against her. There may be some secret scandal she might be afraid of.
[Settling his buttonhole.] Oh, I should fancy Mrs. Cheveley is one of those
very modern women of our time who find a new scandal as becoming as a
new bonnet, and air them both in the Park every afternoon at five-thirty. I
am sure she adores scandals, and that the sorrow of her life at present is that
she can't manage to have enough of them.
[Writing.] Why do you say that?

bonnet: (n) cap, protection, chapeau, (adj, n) fault, blot, blunder; (n) chink, (v) mourn; (n) mourning, heartache,
tile, wimple, beret, lid, cowling, demerit, cranny, break, chap. repentance, remorse; (adj, n) sadness,
castor, poke bonnet, sunbonnet. ANTONYMS: (n) strength, misery; (adj, n, v) distress.
cipher: (n) zero, nothing, number, nil, perfection. ANTONYMS: (n) joy, delight,
nobody, null; (n, v) figure, cypher, laid: (adj) layed, lay, place, placed, put, happiness, peace, hopefulness,
code; (v) calculate; (adj, n) nonentity. situated, arranged, determined, cheerfulness, shamelessness, calm,
ANTONYMS: (n) infinity; (v) encode, dictated, hardened, ordered. content; (v) rejoice.
decode, code, scramble. scruple: (adj, v) hesitate, demur, pause; telegram: (n) cablegram, wire,
defending: (v) defend; (adj) caring, (n) hesitation, qualm, misgiving, telegraph, message, letter telegram,
shielding, protective, opposed, distrust, objection; (n, v) mistrust; (v) report, overseas telegram, news,
protecting; (n) patrol. falter, question. marconigram, embassy, conducting
flaw: (n, v) crevice, blemish, crack; sorrow: (n, v) regret, lament, grieve; wire.
Oscar Wilde 57

[Turning round.] Well, she wore far too much rouge last night, and not quite
enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.%
[Striking a bell.] But it is worth while my wiring to Vienna, is it not?
It is always worth while asking a question, though it is not always worth
while answering one.
[Enter MASON.]
Is Mr. Trafford in his room?
Yes, Sir Robert.
[Puts what he has written into an envelope, which he then carefully closes.]
Tell him to have this sent off in cipher at once. There must not be a moment's
Yes, Sir Robert.
Oh! just give that back to me again.
[Writes something on the envelope. MASON then goes out with the letter.]
She must have had some curious hold over Baron Arnheim. I wonder what it
[Smiling.] I wonder.
I will fight her to the death, as long as my wife knows nothing.

answering: (adj) respondent, uninterested, unconcerned, typical, stonemason, manufacturer, maker,
responsive, according, agreeing, indifferent, everyday, disinterested, artist, artificer, architect, smith,
responsory; (n) respondency. conventional, common. stonecutter, James Neville mason.
asking: (v) ask; (n) invitation, prayer, despair: (n) disappointment, rouge: (adj, v) redden; (n) blusher, face
suit, application, begging, desolation, dejection, melancholy, powder, eye shadow, iron oxide; (v)
supplication, entreaty, billing; (adj) gloom, desperation, depression, flush, blush, color, raddle, glow,
interrogatory, interrogative. dismay, discouragement, pessimism, ruddle.
curious: (adj) odd, unusual, abnormal, sorrow. ANTONYMS: (n) happiness, wiring: (n) cabling, thread,
strange, peculiar, interested, hopefulness, expectation, joy, cheer, installation, network, manual labour,
quizzical, quaint, queer, inquiring, cheerfulness, resilience, elation, manual labor, light circuit, electrical
inquisitive. ANTONYMS: (adj) joyfulness. circuit, electric circuit, circuit,
incurious, ordinary, apathetic, mason: (n) freemason, bricklayer, lighting circuit.
58 An Ideal Husband

[Strongly.] Oh, fight in any case - in any case.%
[With a gesture of despair.] If my wife found out, there would be little left to
fight for. Well, as soon as I hear from Vienna, I shall let you know the result.
It is a chance, just a chance, but I believe in it. And as I fought the age with its
own weapons, I will fight her with her weapons. It is only fair, and she looks
like a woman with a past, doesn't she?
Most pretty women do. But there is a fashion in pasts just as there is a
fashion in frocks. Perhaps Mrs. Cheveley's past is merely a slightly
DECOLLETE one, and they are excessively popular nowadays. Besides, my
dear Robert, I should not build too high hopes on frightening Mrs. Cheveley.
I should not fancy Mrs. Cheveley is a woman who would be easily
frightened. She has survived all her creditors, and she shows wonderful
presence of mind.
Oh! I live on hopes now. I clutch at every chance. I feel like a man on a ship
that is sinking. The water is round my feet, and the very air is bitter with
storm. Hush! I hear my wife's voice.
[Enter LADY CHILTERN in walking dress.]
Good afternoon, Lord Goring!
Good afternoon, Lady Chiltern! Have you been in the Park?
No; I have just come from the Woman's Liberal Association, where, by the
way, Robert, your name was received with loud applause, and now I have
come in to have my tea. [To LORD GORING.] You will wait and have some
tea, won't you?

applause: (n, v) acclaim, praise; (n) excessively: (adj, adv) immoderately, comforting, approachable, normal,
admiration, approval, eulogy, exorbitantly, inordinately; (adv) hospitable.
compliment, plaudit, commendation, extremely, enormously, exceedingly, gesture: (n, v) sign, signal, motion; (n)
clapping, clap, ovation. very, profusely, overly, beck, gesticulation, indication,
ANTONYMS: (n) disapproval, Boos, exaggeratedly, intemperately. movement; (v) gesticulate, beckon,
booing, denigration, hisses, hissing, ANTONYMS: (adv) justifiably, wave, bless.
rejection, condemnation, criticism, moderately, insufficiently. sinking: (n) sinkage, settling, fall,
jeering. frightening: (adj) awesome, awful, descent, foundering, depression,
clutch: (n, v) clasp, grip, clench, grasp, menacing, alarming, fearsome, immersion, submersion,
hold, clinch, gripe; (v) grab, grapple, horrific, terrible, creepy, fearful, submergence; (v) decrease, decline.
embrace; (adj, v) catch. ANTONYMS: dread, formidable. ANTONYMS: ANTONYM: (adj) rising.
(n) loose; (v) release, unfasten. (adj) comfortable, soothing, pleasant,
Oscar Wilde 59

I'll wait for a short time, thanks.%
I will be back in a moment. I am only going to take my hat off.
[In his most earnest manner.] Oh! please don't. It is so pretty. One of the
prettiest hats I ever saw. I hope the Woman's Liberal Association received it
with loud applause.
[With a smile.] We have much more important work to do than look at each
other's bonnets, Lord Goring.
Really? What sort of work?
Oh! dull, useful, delightful things, Factory Acts, Female Inspectors, the Eight
Hours' Bill, the Parliamentary Franchise.... Everything, in fact, that you
would find thoroughly uninteresting.
And never bonnets?
[With mock indignation.] Never bonnets, never!
[LADY CHILTERN goes out through the door leading to her boudoir.]
[Takes LORD GORING'S hand.] You have been a good friend to me, Arthur,
a thoroughly good friend.
I don't know that I have been able to do much for you, Robert, as yet. In fact,
I have not been able to do anything for you, as far as I can see. I am
thoroughly disappointed with myself.

dull: (adj) dreary, dense, sluggish, insincere, unimportant, nonchalant, (adj, n, v) burlesque, sham; (v) mimic,
dismal, slack, torpid; (adj, v) blunt, lethargic, apathetic, unenthusiastic, ape, taunt. ANTONYMS: (adj) real,
stupid; (v) deaden, dampen; (adj, n) indifferent, frivolous. natural; (v) praise, applaud, respect,
cold. ANTONYMS: (adj) lively, loud: (adj) flashy, garish, gaudy, approve.
sharp, stimulating, exciting, lustrous, blatant, brassy, boisterous, high, uninteresting: (adj) insipid, dreary,
interesting, exhilarating, varied, jazzy, brazen, piercing; (adj, adv) tedious, bland, commonplace, flat,
glossy, glittery, luminous. forte. ANTONYMS: (adj) tasteful, stupid, tame, tasteless, humdrum;
earnest: (adj, v) devout; (adj) eager, gentle, quiet, subtle, subdued, low, (adj, n) dull. ANTONYMS: (adj)
solemn, heartfelt, diligent, studious, muted, weak, tranquil, thin; (adv) exciting, fascinating, scandalous,
sincere, intense, ardent, staid; (n) softly. eventful, impressive, charming,
guarantee. ANTONYMS: (adj) mock: (adj, v) counterfeit; (n, v) brilliant, animated, colorful, lively,
flippant, halfhearted, uncertain, ridicule, jeer, gibe, laugh at, flout; special.
60 An Ideal Husband


You have enabled me to tell you the truth. That is something. The truth has
always stifled me.%
Ah! the truth is a thing I get rid of as soon as possible! Bad habit, by the way.
Makes one very unpopular at the club... with the older members. They call it
being conceited. Perhaps it is.
I would to God that I had been able to tell the truth... to live the truth. Ah!
that is the great thing in life, to live the truth. [Sighs, and goes towards the
door.] I'll see you soon again, Arthur, shan't I?
Certainly. Whenever you like. I'm going to look in at the Bachelors' Ball to-
night, unless I find something better to do. But I'll come round to-morrow
morning. If you should want me to- night by any chance, send round a note
to Curzon Street.
Thank you.
[As he reaches the door, LADY CHILTERN enters from her boudoir.]
You are not going, Robert?
I have some letters to write, dear.
[Going to him.] You work too hard, Robert. You seem never to think of
yourself, and you are looking so tired.
It is nothing, dear, nothing.
[He kisses her and goes out.]

conceited: (adj) arrogant, cocky, vain, modest, loathed, hateful, distant; (n) exhausted, stale; (adj) threadbare,
boastful, proud, smug, affected, rival, foe, enemy. commonplace, trite, banal, haggard,
assuming, egotistical, haughty, habit: (n) clothing, practice, dress, stock, jaded. ANTONYMS: (adj)
pompous. ANTONYMS: (adj) garb, attire, convention, character, invigorated, alert, refreshed,
modest, insecure, meek, selfless, ritual, addiction, clothes; (n, v) use. energetic, original, strong, awake,
unassuming. ANTONYM: (n) innovation. energized, lively, rested, relaxed.
dear: (adj, adv) close, near; (adj, n) reaches: (n) recess. unpopular: (v) unacceptable, uncared
darling; (adj) costly, expensive, stifled: (adj) strangled, suppressed, for; (adj) unwelcome, undesirable,
lovely, precious, affectionate, muffled, deafened, completely ostracized, unattractive, detested,
adorable, cherished; (n) love. covered, dead, deadened, weak, deaf unfashionable, uninviting, lousy,
ANTONYMS: (adj) worthless, corn, regardless, decayed. thankless. ANTONYMS: (adj) liked,
inexpensive, valueless, despised, tired: (adj, v) fatigued, weary, desirable.
Oscar Wilde 61

[To LORD GORING.] Do sit down. I am so glad you have called. I want to
talk to you about... well, not about bonnets, or the Woman's Liberal
Association. You take far too much interest in the first subject, and not nearly
enough in the second.%
You want to talk to me about Mrs. Cheveley?
Yes. You have guessed it. After you left last night I found out that what she
had said was really true. Of course I made Robert write her a letter at once,
withdrawing his promise.
So he gave me to understand.
To have kept it would have been the first stain on a career that has been
stainless always. Robert must be above reproach. He is not like other men.
He cannot afford to do what other men do. [She looks at LORD GORING,
who remains silent.] Don't you agree with me? You are Robert's greatest
friend. You are our greatest friend, Lord Goring. No one, except myself,
knows Robert better than you do. He has no secrets from me, and I don't
think he has any from you.
He certainly has no secrets from me. At least I don't think so.
Then am I not right in my estimate of him? I know I am right. But speak to
me frankly.
[Looking straight at her.] Quite frankly?
Surely. You have nothing to conceal, have you?

conceal: (v) hide, disguise, bury, deceitfully, ambiguously, politely. stain: (n, v) spot, blemish, tarnish, blot,
screen, cloak, smother, shield, guessed: (adj) rude, inscrutable. dye, smear, disgrace, mark, soil, dirt,
suppress, mask, obscure; (n, v) veil. remains: (n) debris, corpse, relic, defile. ANTONYMS: (v) enhance,
ANTONYMS: (v) reveal, show, carcass, body, rest, clay, vestige; (adj, dignify, clean.
expose, divulge, clarify, uncover, n) remainder, remnant; (n, v) trace. stainless: (adj) spotless, immaculate,
disclose, tell, admit, spotlight, flaunt. reproach: (n, v) blame, rebuke, charge, chaste, faultless, clean, unblemished,
frankly: (adv) openly, sincerely, abuse, disgrace, reprimand, guiltless, innocent, clear, unstained,
bluntly, honestly, truthfully, directly, invective; (v) accuse, chide, condemn; white.
unreservedly, straightforwardly, (n) condemnation. ANTONYMS: (n, withdrawing: (adj) receding, outgoing,
ingenuously, plainly; (adj, adv) freely. v) praise; (v) commend, approve; (n) retiring, moving back, modest, lowly;
ANTONYMS: (adv) hesitantly, compliment, commendation, (n) departure, privacy, seclusion,
indirectly, guardedly, untruthfully, approval. cancellation.
62 An Ideal Husband

Nothing. But, my dear Lady Chiltern, I think, if you will allow me to say so,
that in practical life -
[Smiling.] Of which you know so little, Lord Goring -
Of which I know nothing by experience, though I know something by
observation. I think that in practical life there is something about success,
actual success, that is a little unscrupulous, something about ambition that is
unscrupulous always. Once a man has set his heart and soul on getting to a
certain point, if he has to climb the crag, he climbs the crag; if he has to walk
in the mire -
He walks in the mire. Of course I am only talking generally about life.%
[Gravely.] I hope so. Why do you look at me so strangely, Lord Goring?
Lady Chiltern, I have sometimes thought that... perhaps you are a little hard
in some of your views on life. I think that... often you don't make sufficient
allowances. In every nature there are elements of weakness, or worse than
weakness. Supposing, for instance, that - that any public man, my father, or
Lord Merton, or Robert, say, had, years ago, written some foolish letter to
some one...
What do you mean by a foolish letter?
A letter gravely compromising one's position. I am only putting an
imaginary case.

compromising: (adj) conciliatory, (adj) soft. unusually, funnily, peculiarly,
moderate, vulnerable, awkward, imaginary: (adj) fictitious, unreal, weirdly, marvelously, uncommonly,
intermediate, flexible, inculpatory; false, mythical, illusory, ideal, extraordinarily, singularly, bizarrely.
(adv) halfway. hypothetical, visionary, fictional, ANTONYMS: (adv) typically,
crag: (adj, n) rock; (n) bluff, precipice, notional, chimerical. ANTONYMS: ordinarily, harmoniously.
heugh; (adj) stone, pike, crest, granite, (adj) real, palpable, actual, concrete, supposing: (adv) admitting,
quartz, sugar loaf, crystal. prosaic, normal, true. conditionally, in case; (n)
gravely: (adv) seriously, soberly, instance: (n) exemplar, case, time, supposition, conjecture, thought,
severely, solemnly, badly, staidly, illustration, sample, affair, pattern, theory, assumption; (conj) although,
momentously, heavily, earnestly, chance, cause; (v) exemplify, what if; (v) suppose.
weightily, grievously. ANTONYMS: illustrate.
(adv) lightheartedly, mildly, slightly; strangely: (adv) curiously, queerly,
Oscar Wilde 63

Robert is as incapable of doing a foolish thing as he is of doing a wrong
[After a long pause.] Nobody is incapable of doing a foolish thing. Nobody
is incapable of doing a wrong thing.
Are you a Pessimist? What will the other dandies say? They will all have to
go into mourning.
[Rising.] No, Lady Chiltern, I am not a Pessimist. Indeed I am not sure that I
quite know what Pessimism really means. All I do know is that life cannot be
understood without much charity, cannot be lived without much charity. It
is love, and not German philosophy, that is the true explanation of this
world, whatever may be the explanation of the next. And if you are ever in
trouble, Lady Chiltern, trust me absolutely, and I will help you in every way I
can. If you ever want me, come to me for my assistance, and you shall have
it. Come at once to me.
[Looking at him in surprise.] Lord Goring, you are talking quite seriously. I
don't think I ever heard you talk seriously before.
[Laughing.] You must excuse me, Lady Chiltern. It won't occur again, if I
can help it.
But I like you to be serious.
[Enter MABEL CHILTERN, in the most ravishing frock.]
Dear Gertrude, don't say such a dreadful thing to Lord Goring. Seriousness

charity: (n) dole, favor, aid, liberality, reprimand, castigate; (n) accusation. axiology; (adj, n) stoicism.
generosity, kindness, alms, mercy, mourning: (n) lament, lamentation, ravishing: (adj, n) rapturous, ecstatic;
virtue; (v) almsgiving; (adj, n) bereavement, gloom, woe, memorial, (adj) beautiful, gorgeous, charming,
brotherly love. ANTONYMS: (n) sorrowfulness, sadness, sorrow; (adj) fascinating, enchanting, delightful,
intolerance, meanness, unkindness, grieving; (v) lamenting. stunning, irresistible, heavenly.
cruelty, malice, stinginess, cheapness, occur: (v) happen, come, fall, befall, understood: (adj) tacit, implicit,
nastiness, inhumanity. betide, chance, be, materialize, implied, silent, assumed, accepted,
excuse: (n, v) pardon, palliate; (v) develop, come up, appear. appreciated, unstated, undeclared;
absolve, exculpate, condone, acquit, ANTONYM: (v) disappear. (v) of course, admitted. ANTONYMS:
justify, forgive; (n) alibi, pretext, philosophy: (n) ethics, logic, theory, (adj) explicit, spoken, written,
evasion. ANTONYMS: (v) blame, ideology, literalism, monism, explained.
accuse, chide, discipline, include, metaphysics, etiology, esthetics,
64 An Ideal Husband

would be very unbecoming to him. Good afternoon Lord Goring! Pray be as

trivial as you can.%
I should like to, Miss Mabel, but I am afraid I am... a little out of practice this
morning; and besides, I have to be going now.
Just when I have come in! What dreadful manners you have! I am sure you
were very badly brought up.
I was.
I wish I had brought you up!
I am so sorry you didn't.
It is too late now, I suppose
[Smiling.] I am not so sure.
Will you ride to-morrow morning?
Yes, at ten.
Don't forget
Of course I shan't. By the way, Lady Chiltern, there is no list of your guests
in THE MORNING POST of to-day. It has apparently been crowded out by
the County Council, or the Lambeth Conference, or something equally

afraid: (adj) fearful, timid, shy, obediently, perfectly, giftedly, deserted, uncrowded, loose.
apprehensive, anxious, worried, flawlessly, satisfactorily, admirably, list: (n) catalogue, catalog, inclination,
scared, frightened, nervous, terrified; superbly, shamelessly, excellently, index, calendar, enumeration; (n, v)
(adj, adv) cowardly. ANTONYMS: pleasingly. file, tilt, schedule; (v) enter, itemize.
(adj) brave, venturesome, calm, besides: (adv) as well, moreover, too, manners: (n) conduct, etiquette,
confident, cool, courageous, eager, furthermore, again, as well as, propriety, behavior, deportment,
unafraid, valiant, bold, carefree. anyway, additionally; (prep) apart manner, courtesy, custom, decorum,
badly: (adv) poorly, severely, awfully, from, beside; (adj, adv) more. good manners, usage. ANTONYM:
wrongly, seriously, naughtily, crowded: (adj) compact, congested, (n) vulgarity.
wickedly, hardly, corruptly, full, packed, busy, dense, populous, ride: (n, v) outing; (adj, v) bestride; (n)
injuriously; (adj, adv) gravely. jammed, cramped, tight; (adj, n) run, lift, jaunt; (v) mount, bait, float,
ANTONYMS: (adv) skillfully, thronged. ANTONYMS: (adj) sparse, rag, tease, harass.
Oscar Wilde 65

boring. Could you let me have a list? I have a particular reason for asking
I am sure Mr. Trafford will be able to give you one.
Thanks, so much.
Tommy is the most useful person in London.
LORD GORING [Turning to her.] And who is the most ornamental?
MABEL CHILTERN [Triumphantly.] I am.
How clever of you to guess it! [Takes up his hat and cane.] Good-bye, Lady
Chiltern! You will remember what I said to you, won't you?
Yes; but I don't know why you said it to me.
I hardly know myself. Good-bye, Miss Mabel!
MABEL CHILTERN [With a little moue of disappointment.] I wish you were not
going. I have had four wonderful adventures this morning; four and a half,
in fact. You might stop and listen to some of them.
How very selfish of you to have four and a half! There won't be any left for
I don't want you to have any. They would not be good for you.
That is the first unkind thing you have ever said to me. How charmingly you
said it! Ten to-morrow.

adventures: (n) experiences, fortunes, forecast; (v) suppose, deem, reckon, beautifying; (n) decoration,
confessions, journal, life, biography, divine, believe, foretell; (n) adornment. ANTONYMS: (adj) plain,
autobiography, personal narrative. assumption, supposition. unadorned.
boring: (adj) tedious, tiresome, dull, listen: (v) hear, heed, hearken, attend, wonderful: (adj, n) marvelous,
annoying, bored, tame, prosaic, harken, list, listening, eavesdrop, astonishing, incredible; (adj)
monotonous, wearisome, mind, concentrate, pay attention. excellent, remarkable, phenomenal,
uninteresting; (n) drilling. moue: (n) pout, eelpout, face, amazing, fantastic, great, grand,
ANTONYMS: (adj) interesting, hornpout, Ameiurus Melas, horned super. ANTONYMS: (adj) terrible,
fascinating, varied, thrilling, original, pout, wry face. unpleasant, dreadful, poor, rotten,
gripping, inspiring, surprising, ornamental: (adj) fancy, florid, abysmal, mundane, devastating,
stimulating, attractive, amazing. cosmetic, extravagant, elaborate, lousy, dire, ordinary.
guess: (n, v) surmise, estimate, showy, enhancing, delicate,
66 An Ideal Husband

Quite sharp. But don't bring Mr. Trafford.
[With a little toss of the head.] Of course I shan't bring Tommy Trafford.
Tommy Trafford is in great disgrace.
I am delighted to hear it. [Bows and goes out.]
Gertrude, I wish you would speak to Tommy Trafford.
What has poor Mr. Trafford done this time? Robert says he is the best
secretary he has ever had.
Well, Tommy has proposed to me again. Tommy really does nothing but
propose to me. He proposed to me last night in the music-room, when I was
quite unprotected, as there was an elaborate trio going on. I didn't dare to
make the smallest repartee, I need hardly tell you. If I had, it would have
stopped the music at once. Musical people are so absurdly unreasonable.
They always want one to be perfectly dumb at the very moment when one is
longing to be absolutely deaf. Then he proposed to me in broad daylight this
morning, in front of that dreadful statue of Achilles. Really, the things that
go on in front of that work of art are quite appalling. The police should
interfere. At luncheon I saw by the glare in his eye that he was going to
propose again, and I just managed to check him in time by assuring him that
I was a bimetallist. Fortunately I don't know what bimetallism means. And I
don't believe anybody else does either. But the observation crushed Tommy
for ten minutes. He looked quite shocked. And then Tommy is so annoying
in the way he proposes. If he proposed at the top of his voice, I should not

absurdly: (adv) ridiculously, foolishly, pleasing, delightful, pleasant, toss: (n, v) throw, fling, pitch, chuck,
ludicrously, nonsensically, charming, satisfying, welcome, cast, flip; (v) agitate, hurl, shake,
idiotically, silly, stupidly, convenient. convulse, discard. ANTONYM: (v)
inconsistently, comically, illogically, assuring: (adj) ensuring, insure, catch.
irrationally. ANTONYMS: (adv) insuring, assure, ensure, giving unprotected: (adj) exposed,
solemnly, impressively, rationally, confidence, securing, likely, unguarded, open, naked, helpless,
harmoniously. promising. defenseless, unshielded, uncovered,
annoying: (adj) galling, vexatious, luncheon: (n) meal, tiffin, dejeuner, unarmed, undefended, insecure.
aggravating, vexing, worrying, dinner, repast, party; (v) nunchion. ANTONYMS: (adj) armed, protected,
awkward, trying, bothersome, repartee: (n) answer, retort, wit, joke, secure, invulnerable.
disagreeable; (adj, v) irritating; (n) riposte, raillery, comeback, rejoinder,
annoyance. ANTONYMS: (adj) rebutter, badinage, wordplay.
Oscar Wilde 67

mind so much. That might produce some effect on the public. But he does it
in a horrid confidential way. When Tommy wants to be romantic he talks to
one just like a doctor. I am very fond of Tommy, but his methods of
proposing are quite out of date. I wish, Gertrude, you would speak to him,
and tell him that once a week is quite often enough to propose to any one,
and that it should always be done in a manner that attracts some attention.%
Dear Mabel, don't talk like that. Besides, Robert thinks very highly of Mr.
Trafford. He believes he has a brilliant future before him.
Oh! I wouldn't marry a man with a future before him for anything under the
I know, dear. You married a man with a future, didn't you? But then Robert
was a genius, and you have a noble, self-sacrificing character. You can stand
geniuses. I have no, character at all, and Robert is the only genius I could
ever bear. As a rule, I think they are quite impossible. Geniuses talk so much,
don't they? Such a bad habit! And they are always thinking about
themselves, when I want them to be thinking about me. I must go round
now and rehearse at Lady Basildon's. You remember, we are having
tableaux, don't you? The Triumph of something, I don't know what! I hope
it will be triumph of me. Only triumph I am really interested in at present.
[Kisses LADY CHILTERN and goes out; then comes running back.] Oh,
Gertrude, do you know who is coming to see you? That dreadful Mrs.
Cheveley, in a most lovely gown. Did you ask her?
[Rising.] Mrs. Cheveley! Coming to see me? Impossible!

confidential: (adj) secret, classified, elevated, majestic, generous, high; romantic: (adj) amorous, impractical,
private, intimate, privileged, (adj, v) dignified, great. ANTONYMS: fanciful, quixotic, unrealistic,
clandestine, furtive, thick, inner, (adj) shameful, humble, dishonorable, utopian, loving, amatory, fictitious;
esoteric, confident. ANTONYMS: lowly, lowborn, disgraceful, (adj, n) visionary, romanticist.
(adj) open, familiar, known, external, unimpressive, ignoble, modest, petty; ANTONYMS: (n) realist, classicist;
accessible, official, unrestricted. (n) lady. (adj) commonplace, graphic,
gown: (n) robe, clothing, cassock, proposing: (adj) prosy, proponent, unromantic, unsentimental,
vestment, wrapper, overclothes, making proposals. unhappy, prosaic, disapproving,
outerwear, uniform, tunic, clothes; (v) rehearse: (v) recount, recite, repeat, cool, realistic.
clothe. exercise, practice, relate, drill, self-sacrificing: (adj) angelic,
noble: (adj, n) grand, glorious, enumerate, tell, say, practise. unselfish.
patrician; (adj) imposing, impressive, ANTONYM: (v) perform. wants: (n) need, necessities.
68 An Ideal Husband

I assure you she is coming upstairs, as large as life and not nearly so natural.%
You need not wait, Mabel. Remember, Lady Basildon is expecting you.
Oh! I must shake hands with Lady Markby. She is delightful. I love being
scolded by her.
[Enter MASON.]
Lady Markby. Mrs. Cheveley.
[Advancing to meet them.] Dear Lady Markby, how nice of you to come and
see me! [Shakes hands with her, and bows somewhat distantly to MRS.
CHEVELEY.] Won't you sit down, Mrs. Cheveley?
Thanks. Isn't that Miss Chiltern? I should like so much to know her.
Mabel, Mrs. Cheveley wishes to know you.
[MABEL CHILTERN gives a little nod.]
MRS. CHEVELEY [Sitting down.] I thought your frock so charming last night,
Miss Chiltern. So simple and... suitable.
Really? I must tell my dressmaker. It will be such a surprise to her. Good-
bye, Lady Markby!
Going already?

distantly: (adv) reservedly, aloofly, book, record, input, arrive, come, wave; (v) agitate, excite, disturb; (adv,
coldly, formally, coolly, frigidly, pierce, register, penetrate. v) brandish; (adj, v) quake, totter.
standoffishly, farly, removedly, ANTONYMS: (v) depart, exit, delete, ANTONYMS: (v) soothe, steady.
vaguely, detachedly. ANTONYMS: stop, refrain, erase, egress, abstain, upstairs: (adj) upstair; (adv) on a
(adv) intimately, passionately, clearly, cancel, exclude, disembark. higher floor, in the mind, in the head,
warmly, nearby, alertly. expecting: (adj) pregnant, confident, up the stairs, over; (n) heaven,
dressmaker: (n) needlewoman, with child, heavy, hopeful; (n) family administration, authority, board,
sempstress, seamstress, way. eternity. ANTONYMS: (adj, adv)
garmentworker, shoemaker, frock: (n) dress, gown, clothing, attire, downstairs.
garmentmaker, couturier, tailor, robe, kirtle, habit, clothes, coat, wishes: (n) desires, requirements,
Ross, mantuamaker, designer. chemise, caftan. requests, needs, will.
enter: (v) enroll, embark, chronicle, shake: (n, v) jolt, beat, jar, quiver,
Oscar Wilde 69

I am so sorry but I am obliged to. I am just off to rehearsal. I have got to
stand on my head in some tableaux.%
On your head, child? Oh! I hope not. I believe it is most unhealthy. [Takes
a seat on the sofa next LADY CHILTERN.]
But it is for an excellent charity: in aid of the Undeserving, the only people I
am really interested in. I am the secretary, and Tommy Trafford is treasurer.
And what is Lord Goring?
Oh! Lord Goring is president.
The post should suit him admirably, unless he has deteriorated since I knew
him first.
[Reflecting.] You are remarkably modern, Mabel. A little too modern,
perhaps. Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern. One is apt to grow
old-fashioned quite suddenly. I have known many instances of it
What a dreadful prospect!
Ah! my dear, you need not be nervous. You will always be as pretty as
possible. That is the best fashion there is, and the only fashion that England
succeeds in setting.
[With a curtsey.] Thank you so much, Lady Markby, for England... and
myself. [Goes out.]

admirably: (adv) superbly, perfectly, compelled; (adj, v) bound, under financial officer, purser, official,
excellently, admirable, marvellously, obligation; (adj, prep) indebted; (v) tutor, state treasurer, procurator
heroically, bravely, brilliantly, nicely, oblige, binding. ANTONYM: (adj) fiscal, money dealer, keeper,
creditably, ably. ANTONYMS: (adv) ungrateful. guardian.
badly, inadequately, dishonorably, rehearsal: (n) narration, dry run, unhealthy: (adj) harmful, sickly,
execrably, incompetently, poorly. practice, preparation, repetition, insanitary, ailing, ill, noxious,
deteriorated: (adj) worn out, worn, dress rehearsal, repeat, description, injurious, insalubrious, sick,
enervated, adulterate, disrepair, drill, exercise, narrative. diseased; (adj, v) unsound.
crumbly, shabby, debauched, sofa: (n) couch, lounge, divan, bench, ANTONYMS: (adj) healthy, fit,
decrepit, degraded, base. davenport, seat, squab, chair, form, hygienic, light, well, good, strong,
obliged: (adj) grateful, thankful, convertible, daybed. luxuriant.
appreciative, forced, accountable, treasurer: (n) bursar, chamberlain,
70 An Ideal Husband

[Turning to LADY CHILTERN.] Dear Gertrude, we just called to know if
Mrs. Cheveley's diamond brooch has been found.%
Yes. I missed it when I got back to Claridge's, and I thought I might possibly
have dropped it here.
I have heard nothing about it. But I will send for the butler and ask.
[Touches the bell.]
Oh, pray don't trouble, Lady Chiltern. I dare say I lost it at the Opera, before
we came on here.
Ah yes, I suppose it must have been at the Opera. The fact is, we all scramble
and jostle so much nowadays that I wonder we have anything at all left on
us at the end of an evening. I know myself that, when I am coming back
from the Drawing Room, I always feel as if I hadn't a shred on me, except a
small shred of decent reputation, just enough to prevent the lower classes
making painful observations through the windows of the carriage. The fact is
that our Society is terribly over-populated. Really, some one should arrange
a proper scheme of assisted emigration. It would do a great deal of good.
I quite agree with you, Lady Markby. It is nearly six years since I have been
in London for the Season, and I must say Society has become dreadfully
mixed. One sees the oddest people everywhere.
That is quite true, dear. But one needn't know them. I'm sure I don't know

assisted: (adj) aided. carbonado, baseball diamond; (adj) present; (n) moment, modern times,
butler: (n) waiter, pantryman, brilliant, jewel, bijou. these days, nonce. ANTONYMS:
attendant, valet de chambre, livery emigration: (n) migration, exodus, (adv) formerly, then.
servant, steward, flunkey, footman, demigration, evacuation, scramble: (v) clamber, beat, strive; (n,
lackey, manservant, valet. immigration, mass departure; (v) v) climb, struggle, bustle, jumble,
dare: (n, v) venture; (v) defy, brave, intermigration, remigration. scrabble, rush; (adj, n) hurry; (n)
hazard, confront, risk, resist, make jostle: (v) jog, joggle, bump, push, jolt, haste. ANTONYMS: (v) descend; (n)
bold; (n) adventure, daring, defiance. thrust, encounter; (n, v) elbow, descent.
ANTONYMS: (v) avoid, flee, pass, shoulder; (adj, v) clash; (adj) jar. shred: (n) rag, piece, scintilla, iota, bit,
refrain, retreat, obey. nowadays: (adv) currently, presently, strip, remnant, sliver; (adj, n) scrap;
diamond: (n) lozenge, infield, square, at present, at the moment, (v) rip, tear.
rhombus, rectangle, ball field, immediately; (adv, n) today; (adj, n)
Oscar Wilde 71

half the people who come to my house. Indeed, from all I hear, I shouldn't
like to.%
[Enter MASON.]
What sort of a brooch was it that you lost, Mrs. Cheveley?
A diamond snake-brooch with a ruby, a rather large ruby.
I thought you said there was a sapphire on the head, dear?
MRS. CHEVELEY [Smiling.] No, lady Markby - a ruby.
[Nodding her head.] And very becoming, I am quite sure.
Has a ruby and diamond brooch been found in any of the rooms this
morning, Mason?
No, my lady.
It really is of no consequence, Lady Chiltern. I am so sorry to have put you to
any inconvenience.
[Coldly.] Oh, it has been no inconvenience. That will do, Mason. You can
bring tea.
[Exit MASON.]
Well, I must say it is most annoying to lose anything. I remember once at
Bath, years ago, losing in the Pump Room an exceedingly handsome cameo
bracelet that Sir John had given me. I don't think he has ever given me
anything since, I am sorry to say. He has sadly degenerated. Really, this

cameo: (n) relief, relievo, anaglyph, disoblige, annoy, disturb, disquiet; sadly: (adv) pitifully, dolefully,
jewelry, chiaroscuro, camaieu. (n) disadvantage, difficulty, nuisance, unfortunately, mournfully,
degenerated: (adj) kinky, shabby, unsuitableness. ANTONYMS: (n) sorrowfully, woefully, dejectedly,
crumbly. expediency, advantage; (v) help, pathetically, wretchedly, forlornly;
exceedingly: (adj, adv) very, highly; please. (adj, adv) seriously. ANTONYMS:
(adv) too, exceptionally, overly, losing: (v) lose; (n) loss; (adv) losingly, (adv) cheerfully, contentedly, gladly,
surpassingly, extraordinarily, greatly, behind; (adj) unbeneficial. joyfully, fortunately, luckily,
awfully, terrifically, eminently. ANTONYM: (adj) lucrative. enthusiastically.
ANTONYMS: (adv) slightly, hardly, ruby: (adj, n) red, crimson; (adj) jewel, sapphire: (adj, n) azure; (n) cerulean,
insufficiently, somewhat. ruddy, scarlet, diamond, pearl, lazuline, corundom, corundum,
inconvenience: (n, v) trouble, precious stone, bijou; (n) carbuncle, blueness; (adj) lapis lazuli, turquoise,
incommode; (v) discommode, deep red. cobalt, navy, chromatic.
72 An Ideal Husband

horrid House of Commons quite ruins our husbands for us. I think the
Lower House by far the greatest blow to a happy married life that there has
been since that terrible thing called the Higher Education of Women was
Ah! it is heresy to say that in this house, Lady Markby. Robert is a great
champion of the Higher Education of Women, and so, I am afraid, am I.
The higher education of men is what I should like to see. Men need it so
They do, dear. But I am afraid such a scheme would be quite unpractical. I
don't think man has much capacity for development. He has got as far as he
can, and that is not far, is it? With regard to women, well, dear Gertrude, you
belong to the younger generation, and I am sure it is all right if you approve
of it. In my time, of course, we were taught not to understand anything.
That was the old system, and wonderfully interesting it was. I assure you
that the amount of things I and my poor dear sister were taught not to
understand was quite extraordinary. But modern women understand
everything, I am told.
Except their husbands. That is the one thing the modern woman never
And a very good thing too, dear, I dare say. It might break up many a happy
home if they did. Not yours, I need hardly say, Gertrude. You have married
a pattern husband. I wish I could say as much for myself. But since Sir John
has taken to attending the debates regularly, which he never used to do in
the good old days, his language has become quite impossible. He always
seems to think that he is addressing the House, and consequently whenever
he discusses the state of the agricultural labourer, or the Welsh Church, or
approve: (v) adopt, allow, accept, inattention. hodman, hewer, digger, drudge.
acknowledge, ratify, let, agree, belong: (v) appertain, pertain, lie, go, ruins: (n) debris, wreck, remains,
endorse, admit, support, applaud. belong to, attach, dwell, consist, remainder, carcass, wreckage, relics,
ANTONYMS: (v) condemn, censure, come, rank, stand. ANTONYMS: (v) rubbish, shell, remnants, hulk.
disapprove, veto, forbid, invalidate, separate, disagree, disassociate, taught: (adj) instructed, educated,
disallow, disrespect, deny, desecrate, leave, quit, differ. schooled, instruct, well-bred,
oppose. heresy: (n) paganism, heathenism, scholarly, provided; (v) firm, fast,
attending: (v) attend; (n) presence, false doctrine, nonconformity, close, taut.
nursing, care, appearing, observation; revisionism, unbelief, orientation, unpractical: (adj) impractical, insane,
(adj) concomitant, attendant, apostasy, fallacy, schism, dissent. abstract, chimerical, delirious,
ministrant, in attendance, ancillary. labourer: (n) laborer, toiler, peon, fanciful, not sane, viewy, mad,
ANTONYMS: (n) nonattendance, navvy, porter, docker, gravedigger, spectacular.
Oscar Wilde 73

something quite improper of that kind, I am obliged to send all the servants
out of the room. It is not pleasant to see one's own butler, who has been with
one for twenty-three years, actually blushing at the side-board, and the
footmen making contortions in corners like persons in circuses. I assure you
my life will be quite ruined unless they send John at once to the Upper
House. He won't take any interest in politics then, will he? The House of
Lords is so sensible. An assembly of gentlemen. But in his present state, Sir
John is really a great trial. Why, this morning before breakfast was half over,
he stood up on the hearthrug, put his hands in his pockets, and appealed to
the country at the top of his voice. I left the table as soon as I had my second
cup of tea, I need hardly say. But his violent language could be heard all over
the house! I trust, Gertrude, that Sir Robert is not like that
But I am very much interested in politics, Lady Markby. I love to hear Robert
talk about them.%
Well, I hope he is not as devoted to Blue Books as Sir John is. I don't think
they can be quite improving reading for any one.
MRS. CHEVELEY [Languidly.] I have never read a Blue Book. I prefer books...
in yellow covers.
[Genially unconscious.] Yellow is a gayer colour, is it not? I used to wear
yellow a good deal in my early days, and would do so now if Sir John was
not so painfully personal in his observations, and a man on the question of
dress is always ridiculous, is he not?
Oh, no! I think men are the only authorities on dress.
Really? One wouldn't say so from the sort of hats they wear? would one?

blushing: (adj) rosy, coy, blushful, lukewarm, inconstant, halfhearted, better; (adj) edifying, progressive,
flushed, red, shy, bashful, disobedient. civilizing, cosmetic, evincing
overmodest, ruddy; (adv) blushingly, gentlemen: (n) sirs, messieurs. progress, helpful, moralistic,
ablush. ANTONYM: (adj) pale. hearthrug: (n) carpeting. advancing; (v) improve.
corners: (adj) cornered. improper: (adj) false, illicit, ridiculous: (adj) foolish, preposterous,
devoted: (adj, v) addicted, ardent, illegitimate, unsuitable, wrong, funny, laughable, ludicrous, inane,
fond; (adj) affectionate, constant, indecent, bad, coarse, amiss, faulty; nonsensical, comical, farcical,
loyal, pious, faithful, reliable, (adj, v) indecorous. ANTONYMS: amusing, comic. ANTONYMS: (adj)
zealous; (adj, prep) consecrated. (adj) suitable, fitting, polite, reasonable, inspiring, ordinary,
ANTONYMS: (adj) disloyal, acceptable, sensitive, moral, correct, sensitive, acceptable, generous,
indifferent, unfaithful, neglectful, dignified, lawful, clean, honest. normal, possible, impressive, sane,
uncaring, unenthusiastic, unattached, improving: (adv) recuperating, getting worthwhile.
74 An Ideal Husband

[The %butler enters, followed by the footman. Tea is set on a small table close
May I give you some tea, Mrs. Cheveley?
Thanks. [The butler hands MRS. CHEVELEY a cup of tea on a salver.]
Some tea, Lady Markby?
No thanks, dear. [The servants go out.] The fact is, I have promised to go
round for ten minutes to see poor Lady Brancaster, who is in very great
trouble. Her daughter, quite a well-brought-up girl, too, has actually become
engaged to be married to a curate in Shropshire. It is very sad, very sad
indeed. I can't understand this modern mania for curates. In my time we
girls saw them, of course, running about the place like rabbits. But we never
took any notice of them, I need hardly say. But I am told that nowadays
country society is quite honeycombed with them. I think it most irreligious.
And then the eldest son has quarrelled with his father, and it is said that
when they meet at the club Lord Brancaster always hides himself behind the
money article in THE TIMES. However, I believe that is quite a common
occurrence nowadays and that they have to take in extra copies of THE
TIMES at all the clubs in St. James's Street; there are so many sons who won't
have anything to do with their fathers, and so many fathers who won't speak
to their sons. I think myself, it is very much to be regretted.
So do I. Fathers have so much to learn from their sons nowadays.
Really, dear? What?

article: (n) thing, object, chapter, follower, flunkey, flunky, varlet, spiritual, devout, reverent.
feature, commodity, composition, servitor, valet de chambre, boy, occurrence: (n) case, event, occasion,
ware, entity, discourse, essay, knave; (n, v) lackey. accident, instance, circumstance,
column. honeycombed: (adj) pitted, cavitied, happening, contingency, affair, fact;
clubs: (n) spades. faveolate, alveolate, cellular, (n, v) incident.
curate: (n) rector, clergyman, minister, cavernous; (v) follicular, cribriform, promised: (adj) pledged, affianced,
chaplain, pastor, Stipendiary curate, infundibular, riddled. betrothed, busy, devoted, employed,
priest, vicar, incumbent, reverend, irreligious: (adj) blasphemous, greatly interested, intended,
canon. heathen, wicked, profane, ungodly, involved; (v) benempt, named.
eldest: (adj) elder, older, oldest, eigne; godless, irreverent, unholy, rabbits: (n) order Lagomorpha, pikas,
(n) offspring, progeny, doyen. unreligious, unbelieving, pagan. Lagomorpha.
footman: (n) attendant, butler, ANTONYMS: (adj) pious, religious, servants: (n) staff, suite.
Oscar Wilde 75

The art of living. The only really Fine Art we have produced in modern
[Shaking her head.] Ah! I am afraid Lord Brancaster knew a good deal about
that. More than his poor wife ever did. [Turning to LADY CHILTERN.] You
know Lady Brancaster, don't you, dear?
Just slightly. She was staying at Langton last autumn, when we were there.
Well, like all stout women, she looks the very picture of happiness, as no
doubt you noticed. But there are many tragedies in her family, besides this
affair of the curate. Her own sister, Mrs. Jekyll, had a most unhappy life;
through no fault of her own, I am sorry to say. She ultimately was so
broken-hearted that she went into a convent, or on to the operatic stage, I
forget which. No; I think it was decorative art-needlework she took up. I
know she had lost all sense of pleasure in life. [Rising.] And now, Gertrude,
if you will allow me, I shall leave Mrs. Cheveley in your charge and call back
for her in a quarter of an hour. Or perhaps, dear Mrs. Cheveley, you
wouldn't mind waiting in the carriage while I am with Lady Brancaster. As I
intend it to be a visit of condolence, I shan't stay long.
MRS. CHEVELEY [Rising.] I don't mind waiting in the carriage at all, provided
there is somebody to look at one.
Well, I hear the curate is always prowling about the house.
I am afraid I am not fond of girl friends.
LADY CHILTERN [Rising.] Oh, I hope Mrs. Cheveley will stay here a little. I
should like to have a few minutes' conversation with her.

autumn: (n) fall, season, downfall, decorative: (adj) fancy, ornate, artistic, husky, bold, corpulent, fleshy.
descent, declivity, harvest. cosmetic, embellishing, enhancing, ANTONYMS: (adj) thin, slim, flimsy,
broken-hearted: (adj) despairing. attractive, elegant, pictorial, cowardly, slight, skinny, fragile,
condolence: (n) compassion, pity, nonfunctional, illustrative. weak.
sympathy, condolement, ANTONYMS: (adj) plain, ugly, unhappy: (adj) gloomy, dismal,
condolences, lamentation, mercy, detracting, useful, simple. depressed, melancholy, sad,
mourning, acknowledgement, solace, operatic: (adj) lyric, instrumental, miserable, sorrowful, distressed,
acknowledgment. ANTONYM: (n) histrionic, comic, vocal, buskined, disconsolate, infelicitous, low.
congratulation. choral, farcical, theatrical, tragicomic, ANTONYMS: (adj) happy, cheerful,
convent: (n, v) abbey, cloister; (n) scenic. satisfied, pleased, glad, euphoric,
monastery, friary, priory, nunnery, stout: (adj, n) sturdy, stocky, hearty; fortunate, contented, joyful, timely,
community, retreat. (adj) hardy, strong, robust, obese, lucky.
76 An Ideal Husband

How very kind of you, Lady Chiltern! Believe me, nothing would give me
greater pleasure.%
Ah! no doubt you both have many pleasant reminiscences of your
schooldays to talk over together. Good-bye, dear Gertrude! Shall I see you at
Lady Bonar's to-night? She has discovered a wonderful new genius. He
does... nothing at all, I believe. That is a great comfort, is it not?
Robert and I are dining at home by ourselves to- night, and I don't think I
shall go anywhere afterwards. Robert, of course, will have to be in the
House. But there is nothing interesting on.
Dining at home by yourselves? Is that quite prudent? Ah, I forgot, your
husband is an exception. Mine is the general rule, and nothing ages a woman
so rapidly as having married the general rule. [Exit LADY MARKBY.]
Wonderful woman, Lady Markby, isn't she? Talks more and says less than
anybody I ever met. She is made to be a public speaker. Much more so than
her husband, though he is a typical Englishman, always dull and usually
[Makes no answer, but remains standing. There is a pause. Then the eyes of
the two women meet. LADY CHILTERN looks stern and pale. MRS.
CHEVELEY seem rather amused.] Mrs. Cheveley, I think it is right to tell
you quite frankly that, had I known who you really were, I should not have
invited you to my house last night.
MRS. CHEVELEY [With an impertinent smile.] Really?
I could not have done so.

dining: (n) feeding, eating; (v) eat. pleasant: (adj) jolly, amiable, reckless, spendthrift, stupid, careless,
impertinent: (adj) fresh, pert, saucy, agreeable, acceptable, nice, charming, unwise, unsafe, tactless.
forward, audacious, brash, brazen, kindly, facetious, joyful, pretty; (adj, reminiscences: (n) memoirs.
extraneous, discourteous, v) pleasing. ANTONYMS: (adj) stern: (adj) rigid, rigorous, austere,
disrespectful, flippant. ANTONYMS: disgusting, horrible, repugnant, hard, strict, grim, solemn, rough; (adj,
(adj) respectful, polite, courteous. nasty, gruesome, unwelcome, harsh, v) harsh; (n) back; (adj, n) rear.
pause: (n, v) halt, interruption, shocking, disagreeable, foul, terrible. ANTONYMS: (adj) friendly,
adjournment, delay, respite, stop; prudent: (adj, v) discreet; (adj) approving, lenient, funny, genial,
(adj, n, v) rest; (n) intermission, gap; cautious, circumspect, reasonable, gentle, kindly, lax, liberal, cheerful,
(adj, v) discontinue; (v) hesitate. chary, economical, careful, frugal, flexible.
ANTONYMS: (n) decisiveness, deliberate, advisable, canny. yourselves: (pron) themselves, myself,
continuation, start; (v) proceed. ANTONYMS: (adj) imprudent, herself.
Oscar Wilde 77

I see that after all these years you have not changed a bit, Gertrude.%
I never change.
[Elevating her eyebrows.] Then life has taught you nothing?
It has taught me that a person who has once been guilty of a dishonest and
dishonourable action may be guilty of it a second time, and should be
Would you apply that rule to every one?
Yes, to every one, without exception.
Then I am sorry for you, Gertrude, very sorry for you.
You see now, I was sure, that for many reasons any further acquaintance
between us during your stay in London is quite impossible?
MRS. CHEVELEY [Leaning back in her chair.] Do you know, Gertrude, I don't
mind your talking morality a bit. Morality is simply the attitude we adopt
towards people whom we personally dislike. You dislike me. I am quite
aware of that. And I have always detested you. And yet I have come here to
do you a service.
[Contemptuously.] Like the service you wished to render my husband last
night, I suppose. Thank heaven, I saved him from that.

adopt: (v) admit, affiliate, assume, repudiation, release, condition, salvo, personally: (adv) privately, in person,
borrow, espouse, take up, take, pass, animadversion; (adj, n) peculiarity. intimately, directly, specially,
acquire, choose, embrace. ANTONYM: (n) liability. confidentially, secretly, self, oneself,
ANTONYMS: (v) disinherit, cancel, guilty: (adj) culpable, faulty, wicked, subjectively, particularly.
discard, shun, repudiate, refuse, hangdog, criminal, chargeable, sinful, ANTONYMS: (adv) impersonally,
ignore, oppose. blameworthy; (n) guilt, culprit; (adj, indirectly, objectively, collectively,
detested: (adj) despised, unpopular, v) condemned. ANTONYMS: (adj) distantly, generally, universally.
disliked, loathed, not accepted, blameless, aggressive, proud. render: (v) interpret, explain, give,
unloved, scorned, reviled, out of heaven: (n) Eden, firmament, bliss, offer, furnish, pay, construe, return,
favor, not liked. Elysium, sky, nirvana, glory, Elysian provide, impart, translate.
exception: (n) objection, exemption, Fields, Garden of Eden, utopia; (adj) shunned: (adj) undesirable, friendless,
anomaly, immunity, privilege, celestial. ANTONYM: (n) misery. abandoned.
78 An Ideal Husband

[Starting to her feet.] It was you who made him write that insolent letter to
me? It was you who made him break his promise?
Then you must make him keep it. I give you till to- morrow morning - no
more. If by that time your husband does not solemnly bind himself to help
me in this great scheme in which I am interested -
This fraudulent speculation -
Call it what you choose. I hold your husband in the hollow of my hand, and
if you are wise you will make him do what I tell him.
[Rising and going towards her.] You are impertinent. What has my husband
to do with you? With a woman like you?
[With a bitter laugh.] In this world like meets with like. It is because your
husband is himself fraudulent and dishonest that we pair so well together.
Between you and him there are chasms. He and I are closer than friends. We
are enemies linked together. The same sin binds us.
How dare you class my husband with yourself? How dare you threaten him
or me? Leave my house. You are unfit to enter it.
[SIR ROBERT CHILTERN enters from behind. He hears his wife's last
words, and sees to whom they are addressed. He grows deadly pale.]
Your house! A house bought with the price of dishonour. A house,
everything in which has been paid for by fraud. [Turns round and sees SIR
bind: (adj, v) attach, fix, fasten, affix; meaningful, cramped, valid; (n) thoughtfully, soberly, formally,
(n) band; (v) bandage, lace, fetter, hump, bump, hill, lump. ceremoniously, importantly.
bundle, truss, combine. insolent: (adj) impertinent, abusive, ANTONYMS: (adv) cheerfully,
ANTONYMS: (v) untie, unbind, free, disrespectful, impudent, fresh, flippantly.
unfasten, unravel, permit, loosen, arrogant, brazen, defiant, offensive, unfit: (adj) inappropriate, improper,
loose, let; (n, v) release; (n) pleasure. brassy, bold. ANTONYMS: (adj) inapt, unbecoming, incompetent,
hears: (v) hear. respectful, modest, gracious, meek, unable, incapable, unsuitable, bad;
hollow: (adj, n) blank; (n) cavity, submissive. (adj, v) incapacitate; (v) indispose.
depression, cave, dell; (adj) empty, morrow: (n) morning, future, mean ANTONYMS: (adj) appropriate,
false; (adj, n, v) concave; (n, v) solar day, day. suitable, ready, healthy, able, firm,
excavate, dent, scoop. ANTONYMS: solemnly: (adv) earnestly, gravely, competent; (v) qualify.
(adj) convex, sincere, true, full, majestically, stately, sternly, staidly,
Oscar Wilde 79

ROBERT CHILTERN.] Ask him what the origin of his fortune is! Get him to
tell you how he sold to a stockbroker a Cabinet secret. Learn from him to
what you owe your position.%
It is not true! Robert! It is not true!
[Pointing at him with outstretched finger.] Look at him! Can he deny it?
Does he dare to?
Go! Go at once. You have done your worst now.
My worst? I have not yet finished with you, with either of you. I give you
both till to-morrow at noon. If by then you don't do what I bid you to do, the
whole world shall know the origin of Robert Chiltern.
[SIR ROBERT CHILTERN strikes the bell. Enter MASON.]
Show Mrs. Cheveley out.
[MRS. CHEVELEY starts; then bows with somewhat exaggerated politeness
to LADY CHILTERN, who makes no sign of response. As she passes by SIR
ROBERT CHILTERN, who is standing close to the door, she pauses for a
moment and looks him straight in the face. She then goes out, followed by
the servant, who closes the door after him. The husband and wife are left
alone. LADY CHILTERN stands like some one in a dreadful dream. Then
she turns round and looks at her husband. She looks at him with strange
eyes, as though she were seeing him for the first time.]
You sold a Cabinet secret for money! You began your life with fraud! You
built up your career on dishonour! Oh, tell me it is not true! Lie to me! Lie
to me! Tell me it is not true!

exaggerated: (adj) extravagant, truthfulness. refinement, gallantry, decency.
theatrical, immoderate, inflated, noon: (n) high noon, noonday, ANTONYMS: (n) vulgarity,
overdone, hyperbolic, magnified, noontide, afternoon, hour, rudeness, incivility, neglect.
pretentious, overstated, excessive; dinnertime, crest, twelve noon; (adj) servant: (n) manservant, domestic,
(adj, v) hypertrophied. ANTONYMS: meridian, meridional; (adj, n) lackey, maid, employee, flunkey,
(adj) restrained, unembellished, culmination. retainer, boy, footman, flunky,
minimized. outstretched: (adj) extended, lengthy, menial. ANTONYMS: (n) master,
fraud: (n, v) deceit; (n) duplicity, flat, open, unfolded, stretched, broad, mistress.
counterfeit, fake, dishonesty, wiredrawn, wide, long. stockbroker: (n) agent, factor,
deception, sham, falsehood, swindle, politeness: (n) civility, courteousness, financier, dealer, stockjobber, stock
trickery, trick. ANTONYMS: (n) courtliness, manners, decorum, broker, negotiator, jobber, adviser.
fairness, integrity, original, genuine, gentility, good manners, niceness,
80 An Ideal Husband


What this woman said is quite true. But, Gertrude, listen to me. You don't
realise how I was tempted. Let me tell you the whole thing. [Goes towards
Don't come near me. Don't touch me. I feel as if you had soiled me for ever.
Oh! what a mask you have been wearing all these years! A horrible painted
mask! You sold yourself for money. Oh! a common thief were better. You
put yourself up to sale to the highest bidder! You were bought in the market.
You lied to the whole world. And yet you will not lie to me.%
[Rushing towards her.] Gertrude! Gertrude!
[Thrusting him back with outstretched hands.] No, don't speak! Say
nothing! Your voice wakes terrible memories - memories of things that made
me love you - memories of words that made me love you - memories that
now are horrible to me. And how I worshipped you! You were to me
something apart from common life, a thing pure, noble, honest, without stain.
The world seemed to me finer because you were in it, and goodness more
real because you lived. And now - oh, when I think that I made of a man like
you my ideal! the ideal of my life!
There was your mistake. There was your error. The error all women commit.
Why can't you women love us, faults and all? Why do you place us on
monstrous pedestals? We have all feet of clay, women as well as men; but
when we men love women, we love them knowing their weaknesses, their
follies, their imperfections, love them all the more, it may be, for that reason.
It is not the perfect, but the imperfect, who have need of love. It is when we
are wounded by our own hands, or by the hands of others, that love should
come to cure us - else what use is love at all? All sins, except a sin against
itself, Love should forgive. All lives, save loveless lives, true Love should

bidder: (n) aspirant, candidate, hand, loveless: (adj) unloving, unloved. soiled: (adj) grubby, dirty, nasty,
applier, claimant, competitor, offeror, mask: (n, v) cover, veil, hide, conceal, grimy, unclean, filthy, muddy, black,
postulant, suitor, opponent, disguise, screen, camouflage; (v) mucky, polluted, foul. ANTONYMS:
applicant. dissemble; (n) guise, blind, curtain. (adj) pure, immaculate.
imperfect: (adj) faulty, deficient, ANTONYMS: (v) unmask, enhance, worshipped: (adj) adored, idolized,
defective, unfinished, incomplete, reinforce, reveal, expose, amplify. venerable.
poor, flawed, partial, inadequate, monstrous: (adj) huge, atrocious, wounded: (adj, v) hurt; (n) casualty,
broken, fallible. ANTONYMS: (adj) heinous, monster, immense, gigantic, maimed; (adj) bruised, injured,
perfect, whole, unblemished, grievous, ugly, flagitious, dreadful; bloody, aggrieved, saddened; (v)
adequate, complete, sound, (adj, v) grotesque. ANTONYMS: (adj) stricken, wound, struck. ANTONYM:
boundless, capable, flawless. tiny, minute, beautiful, good, small, (adj) unaffected.
lied: (n) song, hymn. lovely, attractive.
Oscar Wilde 81

pardon. % A man's love is like that. It is wider, larger, more human than a
woman's. Women think that they are making ideals of men. What they are
making of us are false idols merely. You made your false idol of me, and I
had not the courage to come down, show you my wounds, tell you my
weaknesses. I was afraid that I might lose your love, as I have lost it now.
And so, last night you ruined my life for me - yes, ruined it! What this
woman asked of me was nothing compared to what she offered to me. She
offered security, peace, stability. The sin of my youth, that I had thought was
buried, rose up in front of me, hideous, horrible, with its hands at my throat.
I could have killed it for ever, sent it back into its tomb, destroyed its record,
burned the one witness against me. You prevented me. No one but you, you
know it. And now what is there before me but public disgrace, ruin, terrible
shame, the mockery of the world, a lonely dishonoured life, a lonely
dishonoured death, it may be, some day? Let women make no more ideals of
men! let them not put them on alters and bow before them, or they may ruin
other lives as completely as you - you whom I have so wildly loved - have
ruined mine!
[He passes from the room. LADY CHILTERN rushes towards him, but the
door is closed when she reaches it. Pale with anguish, bewildered, helpless,
she sways like a plant in the water. Her hands, outstretched, stem to tremble
in the air like blossoms in the mind. Then she flings herself down beside a
sofa and buries her face. Her sobs are like the sobs of a child.]

anguish: (n, v) pain, ache; (n) torment, clear, oriented, precise, scorn, imitation, burlesque.
agony, torture, distress, misery, understanding, alert. ANTONYM: (n) approval.
suffering, despair, grief, sorrow. hideous: (adj) dreadful, frightful, rushes: (n) rush, grasses.
ANTONYMS: (n) pleasure, fearful, ghastly, horrid, ugly, tomb: (n) sepulchre, sepulcher, crypt,
happiness, calm, euphoria, repulsive, lurid, horrible, grisly, pit, sepulture, vault, monument,
joyfulness, ecstasy, content, peace, grim. ANTONYMS: (adj) lovely, entomb, mausoleum; (n, v) bury; (v)
hopefulness. pleasant, beautiful, wonderful. inter.
bewildered: (adj) bemused, confused, idol: (n) fetish, deity, effigy, divinity, tremble: (adj, n, v) shiver; (n, v) quiver,
confounded, perplexed, befuddled, graven image, image, hero, favorite, shudder, thrill, palpitate; (adj, v)
puzzled, dumbfounded, taken aback, star, simulacrum, beloved. totter, quake; (n) throb; (v) flutter,
addled, disoriented; (adj, v) lost. mockery: (n) gibe, jeer, irony, farce, quail, falter. ANTONYMS: (v) steady,
ANTONYMS: (adj) unimpressed, charade, derision, parody, mock, calm.
Oscar Wilde 83


SCENEThe Library in Lord Goring's house. An Adam room. On the right

is the door leading into the hall. On the left, the door of the smoking-room.
A pair of folding doors at the back open into the drawing-room. The fire is
lit. Phipps, the butler, is arranging some newspapers on the writing-table.
The distinction of Phipps is his impassivity. He has been termed by
enthusiasts the Ideal Butler. The Sphinx is not so incommunicable. He is a
mask with a manner. Of his intellectual or emotional life, history knows
nothing. He represents the dominance of form.%

[Enter LORD GORING in evening dress with a buttonhole. He is wearing a

silk hat and Inverness cape. White-gloved, he carries a Louis Seize cane. His
are all the delicate fopperies of Fashion. One sees that he stands in
immediate relation to modern life, makes it indeed, and so masters it. He is
the first well-dressed philosopher in the history of thought.]

Got my second buttonhole for me, Phipps?

arranging: (n) arrange, arrangements, mantle, capellet, capeskin. beyond description, inalienable,
disposition, composing, composition, folding: (n) foldaway, plication, noncommittal, undefinable,
order, position, set, orchestration, foldable, bend, crease, bending, beggaring description, beyond
organization, agreement. flexure, pleating, collapsable, words.
buttonhole: (v) accost, solicit, besiege, collapsible, doubling. masters: (n) Edgar lee Masters.
intercept, harangue, detain, lobby; (n) impassivity: (n) impassiveness, philosopher: (n) thinker, bacon,
bouquet, button hole, posy, bunch. apathy, stolidity, lethargy, phlegm, libertarian, gymnosophist, empiricist,
cane: (n, v) scourge, whip; (v) flog, emotionlessness, stoicism, frigidity, necessitarian, moralist, theorist,
beat, birch, thrash, lash; (n) stick, bat, insensibility, unconcern, wisdom, pundit, mechanist.
rattan, twig. sluggishness. represents: (v) represent.
cape: (n) headland, ness, shawl, tippet, incommunicable: (adj) unspeakable, well-dressed: (adj) handsome.
coat, point, mantelet, promontory, unutterable, ineffable, indescribable,
84 An Ideal Husband

Yes, my lord. [Takes his hat, cane, and cape, and presents new buttonhole on
Rather distinguished thing, Phipps. I am the only person of the smallest
importance in London at present who wears a buttonhole.%
Yes, my lord. I have observed that,
[Taking out old buttonhole.] You see, Phipps, Fashion is what one wears
oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.
Yes, my lord.
Just as vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people.
Yes, my lord.
[Putting in a new buttonhole.] And falsehoods the truths of other people.
Yes, my lord.
Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself.
Yes, my lord.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance, Phipps.
Yes, my lord.

conduct: (v) bring, direct, carry, show; base, undistinguished, modest. grossness, inelegance, crudeness,
(n, v) act, administration, manage, lifelong: (adj) perpetual, livelong, commonness, obscenity, rudeness,
administer, carriage, bearing; (adj, v) undying, eternal, enduring, crudity, boorishness, indelicacy.
acquit. ANTONYMS: (v) mismanage, continuing, chronic, inveterate, ANTONYMS: (n) politeness, purity,
leave, follow. perennial, ongoing, old. ANTONYM: classiness, civility, taste, decency.
distinguished: (adj) dignified, (adj) ephemeral. wear: (n) clothing, clothes, apparel,
celebrated, illustrious, renowned, unfashionable: (adj) dowdy, unstylish, attire, garb; (v) endure, fatigue,
conspicuous, important, reputable, behind the times, old, out of fashion, waste, bear, tire, fray. ANTONYMS:
great, noble, high, well-known. outdated, old-fashioned, antiquated, (v) refresh, reject, rebuild, please,
ANTONYMS: (adj) ordinary, out, styleless, unconventional. freshen, disrobe, delight, cheer,
insignificant, undignified, Standard, ANTONYMS: (adj) in, trendy, fresh. refuse; (n) improvement.
pedestrian, low, common, coarse, vulgarity: (n) indecency, vulgarism,
Oscar Wilde 85

[Looking at himself in the glass.] Don't think I quite like this buttonhole,
Phipps. Makes me look a little too old. Makes me almost in the prime of life,
eh, Phipps?
I don't observe any alteration in your lordship's appearance.%
You don't, Phipps?
No, my lord.
I am not quite sure. For the future a more trivial buttonhole, Phipps, on
Thursday evenings.
I will speak to the florist, my lord. She has had a loss in her family lately,
which perhaps accounts for the lack of triviality your lordship complains of
in the buttonhole.
Extraordinary thing about the lower classes in England - they are always
losing their relations.
Yes, my lord! They are extremely fortunate in that respect.
LORD GORING. [Turns round and looks at him. PHIPPS remains impassive.]
Hum! Any letters, Phipps?
Three, my lord. [Hands letters on a salver.]
[Takes letters.] Want my cab round in twenty minutes.

accounts: (n) financial statement. fortunate: (adj) favorable, lucky, recent.
alteration: (n) adjustment, change, auspicious, advantageous, favored, lordship: (n) ownership, supremacy,
revision, shift, changeover, happy, prosperous, fortuitous, well, domain, dominance, manor, worship,
conversion, modification, variation, successful; (adj, n) blessed. authority, power, dynasty,
reversal, metamorphosis, ANTONYMS: (adj) unlucky, grandeeship, headship.
amendment. ANTONYMS: (n) fixity, disadvantaged, disastrous, triviality: (n) trifle, trivia, pettiness,
preservation. unfavorable, underprivileged, slightness, banality, unimportance,
florist: (n) tradesman, storekeeper, inauspicious, unenviable, technicality, small beer, levity, detail,
store, shop, shopkeeper, flower shop, unsatisfactory. frivolity. ANTONYMS: (n)
gun shop, tobacco store, tobacco lately: (adv) tardily, newly, freshly, importance, substance, originality,
shop, rod and reel shop, jewelry belatedly, slowly, latterly, deadly; value, responsibility.
shop. (adj, adv) anew, late, afresh; (adj)
86 An Ideal Husband

Yes, my lord. [Goes towards door.]
[Holds up letter in pink envelope.] Ahem! Phipps, when did this letter
It was brought by hand just after your lordship went to the club.%
That will do. [Exit PHIPPS.] Lady Chiltern's handwriting on Lady Chiltern's
pink notepaper. That is rather curious. I thought Robert was to write.
Wonder what Lady Chiltern has got to say to me? [Sits at bureau and opens
letter, and reads it.] 'I want you. I trust you. I am coming to you. Gertrude.'
[Puts down the letter with a puzzled look. Then takes it up, and reads it
again slowly.] 'I want you. I trust you. I am coming to you.' So she has
found out everything! Poor woman! Poor woman! [ Pulls out watch and
looks at it.] But what an hour to call! Ten o'clock! I shall have to give up
going to the Berkshires. However, it is always nice to be expected, and not to
arrive. I am not expected at the Bachelors', so I shall certainly go there. Well,
I will make her stand by her husband. That is the only thing for her to do.
That is the only thing for any woman to do. It is the growth of the moral
sense in women that makes marriage such a hopeless, one- sided institution.
Ten o'clock. She should be here soon. I must tell Phipps I am not in to any
one else. [Goes towards bell]
[Enter PHIPPS.]
Lord Caversham.
Oh, why will parents always appear at the wrong time? Some extraordinary
mistake in nature, I suppose. [Enter LORD CAVERSHAM.] Delighted to see
you, my dear father. [Goes to meet him.]

bureau: (n) office, authority, chest, handwriting: (n) calligraphy, writing, notepaper: (n) writing paper, notepad,
division, department, desk, dresser, fist, script, penmanship, longhand, scribbling pad, stationery, letterhead,
commode, chest of drawers, chirography, cursive, cacography, block, notebook.
chambers, burr. book, ability. o'clock: (n) period, hours.
extraordinary: (adj) odd, exceptional, hopeless: (adj) incurable, despondent, pink: (n) rose, crimson, gillyflower,
curious, rare, special, phenomenal, forlorn, disconsolate, desperate, paragon; (v) knock, gore, impale,
amazing, astonishing, unusual, impossible, useless, abject, despair, stab, spike, spear; (adj) flower.
strange, abnormal. ANTONYMS: dismal, irreparable. ANTONYMS: puzzled: (adj) bewildered, confused,
(adj) ordinary, normal, everyday, (adj) cheerful, competent, promising, baffled, nonplussed, doubtful,
usual, common, mundane, regular, optimistic, encouraging, helpful, bemused, at a loss, curious,
undistinguished, unremarkable, useful, successful, practical, laudable, mystified, nonplused, dazed.
insignificant, natural. effective. ANTONYM: (adj) clear.
Oscar Wilde 87

Take my cloak off.%
Is it worth while, father?
Of course it is worth while, sir. Which is the most comfortable chair?
This one, father. It is the chair I use myself, when I have visitors.
Thank ye. No draught, I hope, in this room?
No, father.
[Sitting down.] Glad to hear it. Can't stand draughts. No draughts at home.
Good many breezes, father.
Eh? Eh? Don't understand what you mean. Want to have a serious
conversation with you, sir.
My dear father! At this hour?
Well, sir, it is only ten o'clock. What is your objection to the hour? I think
the hour is an admirable hour!
Well, the fact is, father, this is not my day for talking seriously. I am very
sorry, but it is not my day.
What do you mean, sir?

chair: (n, v) chairman; (n) bench, rich, enjoyable, homely. draughts: (n) solitaire, go bang,
president, chairperson, throne, couch, ANTONYMS: (adj) poor, tense, backgammon, misere chess, chess,
armchair, electric chair, chairwoman; formal, unpleasant, unhappy, dominos, board game.
(v) moderate, lead. unaccustomed, intimidating, objection: (n) dissent, complaint,
cloak: (n, v) veil, mask, camouflage, difficult, anxious, broke, destitute. grievance, exception, gripe,
wrap, masquerade, screen, pall; (n) conversation: (n) talk, conference, disagreement, outcry, difficulty,
cape; (v) conceal, dissemble, hide. communication, colloquy, expostulation, disapproval, criticism.
ANTONYMS: (v) reveal, uncloak, confabulation, discussion, language, ANTONYMS: (n) approval,
unmask; (n, v) uncover. discourse, speech, talking, palaver. agreement, praise, acceptance.
comfortable: (adj, v) easy, snug; (adj) draught: (n, v) draft, sketch, design, visitors: (n) visitation.
pleased, pleasing, prosperous, potation, plan; (n) dose, air current,
agreeable, pleasurable, congenial, wind, gulp, outline; (v) blueprint.
88 An Ideal Husband

During the Season, father, I only talk seriously on the first Tuesday in every
month, from four to seven.%
Well, make it Tuesday, sir, make it Tuesday.
But it is after seven, father, and my doctor says I must not have any serious
conversation after seven. It makes me talk in my sleep.
Talk in your sleep, sir? What does that matter? You are not married.
No, father, I am not married.
Hum! That is what I have come to talk to you about, sir. You have got to get
married, and at once. Why, when I was your age, sir, I had been an
inconsolable widower for three months, and was already paying my
addresses to your admirable mother. Damme, sir, it is your duty to get
married. You can't be always living for pleasure. Every man of position is
married nowadays. Bachelors are not fashionable any more. They are a
damaged lot. Too much is known about them. You must get a wife, sir.
Look where your friend Robert Chiltern has got to by probity, hard work,
and a sensible marriage with a good woman. Why don't you imitate him,
sir? Why don't you take him for your model?
I think I shall, father.
I wish you would, sir. Then I should be happy. At present I make your
mother's life miserable on your account. You are heartless, sir, quite heartless
I hope not, father.

addresses: (n) wooing, suit, courtship. tacky, inclusive, old, plain. morality, principle, sincerity, virtue,
damaged: (adj) faulty, unsound, imitate: (n, v) duplicate; (v) forge, ape, veracity; (adj) faithfulness.
defective, dilapidated, broken, hurt, emulate, follow, feign, counterfeit, ANTONYM: (n) untrustworthiness.
impaired, deficient, besmirched, mimic, mock, assume, act. sensible: (adj) aware, sagacious,
flyblown, weakened. ANTONYMS: inconsolable: (adj) disconsolate, prudent, rational, judicious,
(adj) fixed, mended, repaired, desolate, forlorn, desperate, perceptible, sane, wise, intelligent,
unbroken, fine, flawless, perfect. despairing, dejected, heartbroken, appreciable, sage. ANTONYMS: (adj)
fashionable: (adj) popular, current, sad, wretched, comfortless; (adj, v) ludicrous, crazy, unreasonable,
classy, trendy, chic, up to date, unconsolable. ANTONYMS: (adj) stupid, silly, ridiculous, reckless,
stylish, dressy, modern, swanky, hopeful, euphoric, happy. idiotic, outrageous, imprudent, mad.
swell. ANTONYMS: (adj) unpopular, probity: (adj, n) integrity, honor, widower: (n) adult male, widowman,
styleless, dated, out, outmoded, candor, decency; (n) goodness, man.
Oscar Wilde 89

And it is high time for you to get married. You are thirty-four years of age,
Yes, father, but I only admit to thirty-two - thirty- one and a half when I have
a really good buttonhole. This buttonhole is not... trivial enough.
I tell you you are thirty-four, sir. And there is a draught in your room,
besides, which makes your conduct worse. Why did you tell me there was
no draught, sir? I feel a draught, sir, I feel it distinctly.
So do I, father. It is a dreadful draught. I will come and see you to-morrow,
father. We can talk over anything you like. Let me help you on with your
cloak, father.
No, sir; I have called this evening for a definite purpose, and I am going to
see it through at all costs to my health or yours. Put down my cloak, sir.
Certainly, father. But let us go into another room. [Rings bell.] There is a
dreadful draught here. [Enter PHIPPS.] Phipps, is there a good fire in the
Yes, my lord.
Come in there, father. Your sneezes are quite heartrending.
Well, sir, I suppose I have a right to sneeze when I choose?
[Apologetically.] Quite so, father. I was merely expressing sympathy.

admit: (n, v) allow; (adj, v) doubtful, indeterminate, qualified, heartrending: (adj) grievous,
acknowledge; (v) concede, accede, evasive, indefinite, indescribable, deplorable, pitiful, distressing,
grant, affirm, confess, include, dubious. catastrophic, woeful, tragic, pathetic,
permit, take, welcome. ANTONYMS: distinctly: (adv) clearly, particularly, moving, miserable, affecting.
(v) reject, exclude, bar, dispute, evidently, expressly, obviously, ANTONYMS: (adj) cheerful,
gainsay, withhold, refuse, oust, hide, markedly, definitely, precisely, unemotional, joyous, happy.
eject, dismiss. manifestly, separately, decidedly. rings: (n) ornaments, necklaces, jewels,
definite: (adj) certain, clear, distinct, ANTONYMS: (adv) inaudibly, costume jewelry, charms, bracelets.
concrete, plain, conclusive, specific, faintly, vaguely, silently, sneeze: (n) sneezing, physiological
precise, categorical, decisive; (adj, v) imperceptibly, poorly. reaction, reflex; (v) arrest, despise,
absolute. ANTONYMS: (adj) expressing: (adj) significant; (n) loathe, act involuntarily, Neese, act
imprecise, unclear, vague, undefined, speech. reflexively.
90 An Ideal Husband

Oh, damn sympathy. There is a great deal too much of that sort of thing
going on nowadays.%
I quite agree with you, father. If there was less sympathy in the world there
would be less trouble in the world.
[Going towards the smoking-room.] That is a paradox, sir. I hate paradoxes.
So do I, father. Everybody one meets is a paradox nowadays. It is a great
bore. It makes society so obvious.
[Turning round, and looking at his son beneath his bushy eyebrows.] Do
you always really understand what you say, sir?
[After some hesitation.] Yes, father, if I listen attentively.
[Indignantly.] If you listen attentively!... Conceited young puppy!
[Goes off grumbling into the smoking-room. PHIPPS enters.]
Phipps, there is a lady coming to see me this evening on particular business.
Show her into the drawing-room when she arrives. You understand?
Yes, my lord.
It is a matter of the gravest importance, Phipps.
I understand, my lord.

attentively: (adv) carefully, mindfully, exciter, excitement, pleasure. countess, spouse, madam, ma'am,
watchfully, observantly, heedfully, bushy: (adj) dense, shagged, shaggy, milady, matron, woman; (v) squaw.
vigilantly, cautiously, considerately, hairy, bearded, brushy, gross, ANTONYM: (n) Lord.
diligently, alertly, obligingly. bushies, pilous, pappous, hispid. paradox: (n) incongruity,
ANTONYMS: (adv) unhelpfully, ANTONYMS: (adj) bald, neat, contradiction, ambiguity,
neglectfully, abruptly, carelessly, unhealthy, tidy, thin, sparse, sleek. inconsistency, puzzle, figure of
hastily, casually. grumbling: (n) grumble, growling, speech, phenomenon, paradoxy,
bore: (v) dig, tire, pierce, tap, annoy, murmur, murmuring, mutter, opposite, irony, equivocation.
perforate; (n, v) bother, plague; (n) muttering; (adj, n) rumbling; (adv) puppy: (n) pup, cub, youth, doggy,
auger, well, gimlet. ANTONYMS: (v) grumblingly; (adj) grouchy, grumpy, whelp, younker, dog, brat, child,
fascinate, excite, hypnotize, engage, irritable. youngster, frankfurter.
entertain, stimulate; (n) charmer, lady: (n) gentlewoman, Mrs, duchess,
Oscar Wilde 91

No one else is to be admitted, under any circumstances.%
I understand, my lord. [Bell rings.]
Ah! that is probably the lady. I shall see her myself.
[Just as he is going towards the door LORD CAVERSHAM enters from the
Well, sir? am I to wait attendance on you?
[Considerably perplexed.] In a moment, father. Do excuse me. [LORD
CAVERSHAM goes back.] Well, remember my instructions, Phipps - into
that room.
Yes, my lord.
[LORD GORING goes into the smoking-room. HAROLD, the footman shows
MRS. CHEVELEY in. Lamia-like, she is in green and silver. She has a cloak
of black satin, lined with dead rose-leaf silk.]
What name, madam?
[To PHIPPS, who advances towards her.] Is Lord Goring not here? I was
told he was at home?
His lordship is engaged at present with Lord Caversham, madam.
[Turns a cold, glassy eye on HAROLD, who at once retires.]
[To herself.] How very filial!

advances: (v) access, approach. rough. gentlewoman, missis, Mrs, brothel
attendance: (n) appearance, turnout, instructions: (n) direction, injunction, keeper, madames, signora, female,
audience, attending, being there, directions, charge, instruction, bawd.
hearing, tendance, retinue, attention, orders, book of instructions, guide, satin: (adj) glossy, sleek, velvet, down,
contribution, ministry. ANTONYM: instruction manual, commission, silky, silklike, silken, satiny, velure;
(n) nonattendance. directive. (n) cloth, fabric.
filial: (adj) dutiful. lined: (adj) wrinkled, creased, wrinkly, shall: (n) must, necessity; (v) require,
glassy: (adj, v) glossy; (adj) clear, striped, streaked, ruled, banded, bequeath, leave.
glazed, smooth, flat, crystalline, dead, paved, worn, with stripes, silver: (n) money, gold, bullion,
dull, hyaline, transparent; (v) windswept. ANTONYMS: (adj) precious Metals; (adj) silvery, argent,
glabrous. ANTONYMS: (adj) alert, smooth, plain, unlined, straight. white, silvern, gray, neutral tint; (v)
bumpy, dull, expressive, murky, madam: (n) dame, lady, ma'am, plate.
92 An Ideal Husband

His lordship told me to ask you, madam, to be kind enough to wait in the
drawing-room for him. His lordship will come to you there.%
[With a look of surprise.] Lord Goring expects me?
Yes, madam.
Are you quite sure?
His lordship told me that if a lady called I was to ask her to wait in the
drawing-room. [Goes to the door of the drawing-room and opens it.] His
lordship's directions on the subject were very precise.
[To herself] How thoughtful of him! To expect the unexpected shows a
thoroughly modern intellect. [Goes towards the drawing-room and looks in.]
Ugh! How dreary a bachelor's drawing- room always looks. I shall have to
alter all this. [PHIPPS brings the lamp from the writing-table.] No, I don't
care for that lamp. It is far too glaring. Light some candles.
[Replaces lamp.] Certainly, madam.
I hope the candles have very becoming shades.
We have had no complaints about them, madam, as yet.
[Passes into the drawing-room and begins to light the candles.]
[To herself.] I wonder what woman he is waiting for to-night. It will be
delightful to catch him. Men always look so silly when they are caught. And

alter: (v) change, adapt, move, convert, ANTONYMS: (adj) interesting, look; (v) behold.
adjust, amend, affect, transform, cheerful, sunny, brilliant, lively, light, shades: (n) shade, sunglasses, dark
correct, vary, shift. ANTONYMS: (v) exciting, clear, cheery, pleasant, glasses, shadow, glasses, blind,
continue, keep, leave, preserve, exotic. awning, roller blind, eyeglasses.
worsen, retain, standardize, glaring: (adj) conspicuous, bright, thoughtful: (adj, v) serious, solemn,
straighten, clarify. blatant, egregious, obvious, plain, grave; (adj) kind, careful, pensive,
directions: (n) advice, instruction, flaming, garish, crying, gross, glary. heedful, attentive, discreet, sensible,
guidance, instructions, briefing, ANTONYMS: (adj) soft, courteous. ANTONYMS: (adj)
commands, orders, will. inconspicuous, dull, minor. thoughtless, careless, heedless,
dreary: (adj) depressing, drab, dull, lamp: (n) light, lantern, beacon, uncaring, unkind, tactless,
cheerless, drear, miserable, gloomy, headlight, flashbulb, flashgun, table superficial, stupid, negligent, idiotic,
dark, dismal, stuffy, disconsolate. lamp, oil lamp, storm lantern; (n, v) unthinking.
Oscar Wilde 93

they are always being caught. [Looks about room and approaches the
writing-table.] What a very interesting room! What a very interesting
picture! Wonder what his correspondence is like. [Takes up letters.] Oh,
what a very uninteresting correspondence! Bills and cards, debts and
dowagers! Who on earth writes to him on pink paper? How silly to write on
pink paper! It looks like the beginning of a middle-class romance. Romance
should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end
with a settlement. [Puts letter down, then takes it up again.] I know that
handwriting. That is Gertrude Chiltern's. I remember it perfectly. The ten
commandments in every stroke of the pen, and the moral law all over the
page. Wonder what Gertrude is writing to him about? Something horrid
about me, I suppose. How I detest that woman! [Reads it.] 'I trust you. I
want you. I am coming to you. Gertrude.' 'I trust you. I want you. I am
coming to you.'
[A look of triumph comes over her face. She is just about to steal the letter,
when PHIPPS comes in.]
The candles in the drawing-room are lit, madam, as you directed.%
Thank you. [Rises hastily and slips the letter under a large silver-cased
blotting-book that is lying on the table.]
I trust the shades will be to your liking, madam. They are the most
becoming we have. They are the same as his lordship uses himself when he
is dressing for dinner.
[With a smile.] Then I am sure they will be perfectly right.
[Gravely.] Thank you, madam.

debts: (n) amount overdue, amount liking: (n, v) inclination; (n) fancy, steal: (v) purloin, abstract, sneak, filch,
outstanding. ANTONYM: (n) credit. appetite, taste, fondness, predilection, pinch, creep, misappropriate, rob,
detest: (n, v) hate; (v) abominate, affection, partiality, admiration, pilfer; (n) bargain; (n, v) snatch.
loathe, despise, execrate, dislike, approval, appreciation. stroke: (adj, n) blow; (n, v) touch,
nauseate, contemn, dislike intensely; ANTONYMS: (n) dislike, aversion, caress, mark, buffet, lick, pat; (n) beat,
(n) loathing, abhorrence. hatred, indifference, detachment, hit, knock, bang.
ANTONYMS: (v) adore, like, cherish, dissatisfaction, antipathy. triumph: (v) exult, prevail, crow,
admire. sentiment: (n) emotion, mind, notion, rejoice, succeed; (n, v) glory, win, joy;
dressing: (n) bandage, stuffing, feeling, persuasion, opinion, (n) victory, conquest, exultation.
fertilization, binding, bandaging, judgment, sense, judgement, attitude, ANTONYMS: (n) failure, defeat,
scolding, fertilizer, manure, impression. sorrow, unhappiness, dud, sadness,
compress, preparation, farce. slips: (n) pad. loss, flop; (v) fail, lose, forfeit.
94 An Ideal Husband

[MRS. CHEVELEY goes into the drawing-room. PHIPPS closes the door and
retires. The door is then slowly opened, and MRS. CHEVELEY comes out
and creeps stealthily towards the writing-table. Suddenly voices are heard
from the smoking-room. MRS. CHEVELEY grows pale, and stops. The
voices grow louder, and she goes back into the drawing- room, biting her
[Expostulating.] My dear father, if I am to get married, surely you will allow
me to choose the time, place, and person? Particularly the person.%
[Testily.] That is a matter for me, sir. You would probably make a very poor
choice. It is I who should be consulted, not you. There is property at stake.
It is not a matter for affection. Affection comes later on in married life.
Yes. In married life affection comes when people thoroughly dislike each
other, father, doesn't it? [Puts on LORD CAVERSHAM'S cloak for him.]
Certainly, sir. I mean certainly not, air. You are talking very foolishly to-
night. What I say is that marriage is a matter for common sense.
But women who have common sense are so curiously plain, father, aren't
they? Of course I only speak from hearsay.
No woman, plain or pretty, has any common sense at all, sir. Common sense
is the privilege of our sex.
Quite so. And we men are so self-sacrificing that we never use it, do we,

biting: (adj, v) acute, acrid, sarcastic, weirdly; (adj, adv) singularly, buzz, on dit, news, scandal, fame,
sharp, acrimonious, pungent, severe, particularly. ANTONYMS: (adv) talk, comment; (v) bruit. ANTONYM:
cutting; (adj) acid, bitter, barbed. ordinarily, typically. (n) fact.
ANTONYMS: (adj) mild, blunt, kind, foolishly: (adv) idiotically, stealthily: (adv) furtively, sneakily,
bland, nice, soothing, sweet, hot, ridiculously, stupidly, indiscreetly, surreptitiously, covertly,
complimentary, faint, sympathetic. silly, insanely, injudiciously, clandestinely, underhandly,
creeps: (n) fear, dread, fright, animal preposterously, absurdly, senselessly; underhandedly, in secret, privately,
disease, trepidation, nervousness, (adj, adv) madly. ANTONYMS: (adv) sneakingly; (adj, adv) noiselessly.
anxiety. sensibly, solemnly, shrewdly, ANTONYM: (adv) brazenly.
curiously: (adv) inquisitively, prudently, responsibly, judiciously, voices: (n) chorus.
peculiarly, unusually, strangely, carefully, rationally.
nosily, pryingly, queerly, funnily, hearsay: (n) report, gossip, rumour,
Oscar Wilde 95

I use it, sir. I use nothing else.%
So my mother tells me.
It is the secret of your mother's happiness. You are very heartless, sir, very
I hope not, father.
[Goes out for a moment. Then returns, looking rather put out, with SIR
My dear Arthur, what a piece of good luck meeting you on the doorstep!
Your servant had just told me you were not at home. How extraordinary!
The fact is, I am horribly busy to-night, Robert, and I gave orders I was not at
home to any one. Even my father had a comparatively cold reception. He
complained of a draught the whole time.
Ah! you must be at home to me, Arthur. You are my best friend. Perhaps by
to-morrow you will be my only friend. My wife has discovered everything.
Ah! I guessed as much!
[Looking at him.] Really! How?
[After some hesitation.] Oh, merely by something in the expression of your
face as you came in. Who told her?

busy: (adj) brisk, engaged, assiduous, absolutely. returns: (n, v) proceeds, income,
occupied, agile, meddlesome, doorstep: (n) threshold, sill, brink, profits; (n) earnings, return, census,
industrious, crowded, officious, live; door, curbside. take, revenue, wage, takings, result.
(v) occupy. ANTONYMS: (adj) free, orders: (n) holy orders, information, secret: (adj, v) mysterious, hidden,
inactive, dodging, available, preparation, remit, briefing, covert, secluded, confidential; (adj)
deserted, lazy, quiet, still, guidelines. concealed, furtive, occult, obscure;
unengaged, avoiding, empty. reception: (n) acceptance, admission, (adj, n) privacy, secrecy.
comparatively: (adv) rather, receiving, greeting, getting, ANTONYMS: (adj, n) known, public;
somewhat, reasonably, quite, salutation, acceptation, (adj) open, overt, apparent,
approximately, some, pretty, fairly, comprehension; (adj, n) unrestricted, external, visible,
to some extent, to a certain extent, entertainment, party; (n, v) adoption. outermost, transparent, blatant.
moderately. ANTONYM: (adv) ANTONYMS: (n) dispatch, rejection.
96 An Ideal Husband


Mrs. Cheveley herself. And the woman I love knows that I began my career
with an act of low dishonesty, that I built up my life upon sands of shame -
that I sold, like a common huckster, the secret that had been intrusted to me
as a man of honour. I thank heaven poor Lord Radley died without knowing
that I betrayed him. I would to God I had died before I had been so horribly
tempted, or had fallen so low. [Burying his face in his hands.]
[After a pause.] You have heard nothing from Vienna yet, in answer to your
[Looking up.] Yes; I got a telegram from the first secretary at eight o'clock to-
Nothing is absolutely known against her. On the contrary, she occupies a
rather high position in society. It is a sort of open secret that Baron Arnheim
left her the greater portion of his immense fortune. Beyond that I can learn
She doesn't turn out to be a spy, then?
Oh! spies are of no use nowadays. Their profession is over. The newspapers
do their work instead.
And thunderingly well they do it.
Arthur, I am parched with thirst. May I ring for something? Some hock and

dishonesty: (n) corruption, betrayal, costermonger, chapman, higgler, fragment, component, section; (adj, n)
crookedness, injustice, deceitfulness, vendor. constituent. ANTONYM: (n) whole.
treachery, deviousness, duplicity, occupies: (v) acquisition, Addison, sands: (n) littoral, litoral, beach, coast,
falsehood, racket, trick. engross, absorb, etymology, Milman, quicksands, shore.
ANTONYMS: (n) frankness, misery, multiplied, attainment. seltzer: (n) soda water, club soda,
sincerity, truthfulness, honestness, parched: (adj, n) thirsty; (adj) arid, soda, pop, sparkling water.
reliability. adust, torrid, barren, desiccated, thirst: (n, v) hunger, lust, wish; (n)
hock: (v) pawn, hamstring, pledge, dehydrated, scorched, baked, longing, yen, craving, hankering,
disable, soak, fleece, douse, hox, withered, shriveled. ANTONYMS: dryness, appetite; (v) starve, crave.
gazump; (n) Rhine wine, Rhenish. (adj) quenched, humid. ANTONYM: (n) dislike.
huckster: (v) chaffer, higgle, peddle, portion: (n, v) division, lot, allot, thunderingly: (adv) hulkingly,
hawk, haggle, vend, dicker; (n) dividend, divide; (n) piece, parcel, whoppingly, spankingly.
Oscar Wilde 97

Certainly. Let me. [Rings the bell.]
Thanks! I don't know what to do, Arthur, I don't know what to do, and you
are my only friend. But what a friend you are - the one friend I can trust. I
can trust you absolutely, can't I?
[Enter PHIPPS.]
My dear Robert, of course. Oh! [To PHIPPS.] Bring some hock and seltzer.%
Yes, my lord.
And Phipps!
Yes, my lord.
Will you excuse me for a moment, Robert? I want to give some directions to
my servant.
When that lady calls, tell her that I am not expected home this evening. Tell
her that I have been suddenly called out of town. You understand?
The lady is in that room, my lord. You told me to show her into that room,
my lord.
You did perfectly right. [Exit PHIPPS.] What a mess I am in. No; I think I

absolutely: (adv) entirely, completely, twilight, sunset, eventide, nightfall, faultlessly, wholly. ANTONYMS:
fully, purely, utterly, perfectly, sundown, night, period. (adv) badly, imperfectly, incorrectly,
totally, categorically, definitely, ANTONYMS: (n) daybreak, sunrise, wrong, inaccurately, partially, partly,
thoroughly; (adv, int) certainly. sunup, morning. poorly, unpleasantly, wrongly.
ANTONYMS: (adv) partly, mess: (n) jumble, clutter, hodgepodge, trust: (n, v) credit, rely, hope; (n)
doubtfully, questionably, somewhat, jam, difficulty, confusion, disorder, confidence, faith, reliance, belief,
moderately, indefinitely, chaos; (v) soil, botch; (adj, n) scrape. cartel, assurance; (v) believe, confide.
incompletely, fairly, conditionally, ANTONYMS: (n) success, space, ANTONYMS: (n, v) distrust, doubt,
probably, possibly. neatness, ease. mistrust; (v) disbelieve, keep, hold,
calls: (n) securities, puts, bonds, perfectly: (adj, adv) entirely; (adv) fully, despair; (n) disbelief, suspicion,
preferred stock, common stock. thoroughly, consummately, utterly, independence.
evening: (n) even, dusk, dark, eve, flawlessly, absolutely, purely, totally,
98 An Ideal Husband

shall get through it. I'll give her a lecture through the door. Awkward thing
to manage, though.%
Arthur, tell me what I should do. My life seems to have crumbled about me.
I am a ship without a rudder in a night without a star.
Robert, you love your wife, don't you?
I love her more than anything in the world. I used to think ambition the great
thing. It is not. Love is the great thing in the world. There is nothing but
love, and I love her. But I am defamed in her eyes. I am ignoble in her eyes.
There is a wide gulf between us now. She has found me out, Arthur, she has
found me out.
Has she never in her life done some folly - some indiscretion - that she
should not forgive your sin?
My wife! Never! She does not know what weakness or temptation is. I am
of clay like other men. She stands apart as good women do - pitiless in her
perfection - cold and stern and without mercy. But I love her, Arthur. We
are childless, and I have no one else to love, no one else to love me. Perhaps
if God had sent us children she might have been kinder to me. But God has
given us a lonely house. And she has cut my heart in two. Don't let us talk of
it. I was brutal to her this evening. But I suppose when sinners talk to saints
they are brutal always. I said to her things that were hideously true, on my
side, from my stand-point, from the standpoint of men. But don't let us talk
of that
Your wife will forgive you. Perhaps at this moment she is forgiving you.
She loves you, Robert. Why should she not forgive?

childless: (adj) sterile, unfruitful, awfully, loathsomely, horrendously, carelessness, injudiciousness, faux
issueless, infertile, bare, bereaved, fearfully, odiously, gruesomely, pas, hastiness, indiscreetness,
bleak, unkind, unproductive, orbate. shockingly, repulsively, heinously. flippancy; (adj, n) temerity.
crumbled: (adj) rotten, fragmented. ANTONYMS: (adv) pleasantly, ANTONYMS: (n) discretion,
forgiving: (adj) compassionate, wonderfully, appealingly. diplomacy, forethought.
lenient, tolerant, charitable, ignoble: (adj) contemptible, abject, pitiless: (adj) merciless, brutal, harsh,
remissive, humane, kind, base, dishonorable, disgraceful, cruel, ruthless, implacable,
magnanimous, generous, merciful, beggarly, mean, humble, degraded, remorseless, inexorable, inhuman,
mild. ANTONYMS: (adj) despicable, caddish. ANTONYMS: heartless, hard. ANTONYMS: (adj)
unforgiving, hardhearted, impatient, (adj) honorable, glorious. merciful, charitable, soft,
strict. indiscretion: (n) foolishness, fault, compassionate, warmhearted,
hideously: (adv) dreadfully, ghastly, rashness, inconsideration, sympathetic, flexible, caring, tolerant.
Oscar Wilde 99


God grant it! God grant it! [Buries his face in his hands.] But there is
something more I have to tell you, Arthur.%
[Enter PHIPPS with drinks.]
[Hands hock and seltzer to SIR ROBERT CHILTERN.] Hock and seltzer, sir.
Thank you.
Is your carriage here, Robert?
No; I walked from the club.
Sir Robert will take my cab, Phipps.
Yes, my lord. [Exit.]
Robert, you don't mind my sending you away?
Arthur, you must let me stay for five minutes. I have made up my mind what
I am going to do to-night in the House. The debate on the Argentine Canal is
to begin at eleven. [A chair falls in the drawing-room.] What is that?
I heard a chair fall in the next room. Some one has been listening.
No, no; there is no one there.

begin: (v) commence, arise, initiate, decide. withdraw.
become, enter, rise, originate, eleven: (adj, n) xi; (n) eight, squad, sending: (n) forwarding, dispatch,
undertake, create, dawn, set out. football team, team. transmission, transmittal, send,
ANTONYMS: (v) end, stop, cease, falls: (n) cataract, waterfall, chute, despatch, mailing, transport,
terminate, die, delay, complete, angel, torrent, Victoria, twin, force, dispatching, dispatchment,
conclude. body of water, Guaira, Niagara. conveyance.
debate: (n, v) contest, dispute, grant: (adj, v) bestow, allow, confer; (n, stay: (adj, n, v) remain; (n, v) rest, prop,
altercation; (n) argumentation, v) award, gift, boon; (v) concede, stop, delay, abide, continue, pause,
contention, argument, controversy, afford, admit, acknowledge; (adj, n, v) endure, halt, support. ANTONYMS:
disputation; (v) contend, discuss, present. ANTONYMS: (v) deny, (v) change, abscond, depart, move,
controvert. ANTONYMS: (n) reject, refuse, maintain, prohibit, disappear, become, go.
harmony, agreement; (v) concur, disagree, retrieve, take, withhold, walked: (adj) exempt; (v) yode.
100 An Ideal Husband


There is some one. There are lights in the room, and the door is ajar. Some
one has been listening to every secret of my life. Arthur, what does this
Robert, you are excited, unnerved. I tell you there is no one in that room. Sit
down, Robert.%
Do you give me your word that there is no one there?
Your word of honour? [Sits down.]
[Rises.] Arthur, let me see for myself.
No, no.
If there is no one there why should I not look in that room? Arthur, you must
let me go into that room and satisfy myself. Let me know that no
eavesdropper has heard my life's secret. Arthur, you don't realise what I am
going through.
Robert, this must stop. I have told you that there is no one in that room - that
is enough.
[Rushes to the door of the room.] It is not enough. I insist on going into this

ajar: (v) dissentient, unclosed, (adj) cool, unexcited, bored, tranquil, (adv) universally, generally.
unstopped, wide open, out of tune; easygoing, disappointed, despairing, satisfy: (v) please, persuade, meet,
(adj) open, gaping, partly open, not comatose, apathetic, sedate, satiate, indulge, sate, appease; (adj, v)
closed. composed. content, fill, suffice, do.
eavesdropper: (v) auditor, hearer, insist: (v) affirm, assert, contend, ANTONYMS: (v) intensify, displease,
informer, listener; (n) snooper, demand, claim, asseverate, declare, disappoint, disgruntle, frustrate.
tapper, snoop, quidnunc, Paul Pry, maintain, urge, importune, press. unnerved: (v) relaxed; (adj) enervated,
newsmonger, delator. ANTONYMS: (v) request, deny. afraid, alarmed, anxious, fearful,
excited: (adj, v) animated, ardent; (adj) myself: (pron) me, itself, herself, hysterical, scared, tense, terrified,
ablaze, enthusiastic, emotional, oneself, themselves, yourself; (n) I, timid. ANTONYM: (adj) confident.
frantic, warm, heated, delirious, yourselves; (adv) in person, for
fervent, passionate. ANTONYMS: myself, in my opinion. ANTONYMS:
Oscar Wilde 101

room. You have told me there is no one there, so what reason can you have
for refusing me?
For God's sake, don't! There is some one there. Some one whom you must
not see.%
Ah, I thought so!
I forbid you to enter that room.
Stand back. My life is at stake. And I don't care who is there. I will know
who it is to whom I have told my secret and my shame. [Enters room.]
Great heavens! his own wife!
[SIR ROBERT CHILTERN comes back, with a look of scorn and anger on his
What explanation have you to give me for the presence of that woman here?
Robert, I swear to you on my honour that that lady is stainless and guiltless
of all offence towards you.
She is a vile, an infamous thing!
Don't say that, Robert! It was for your sake she came here. It was to try and
save you she came here. She loves you and no one else.
You are mad. What have I to do with her intrigues with you? Let her remain

forbid: (v) prohibit, ban, disallow, bar, heaven. avow, depone, depose, aver.
obstruct, exclude, deny, avert, refusing: (adj) negative, dismissive, ANTONYMS: (v) distrust, refute,
frustrate, to prohibit, enjoin. denying, recusative, noncompliant. deny, compliment.
ANTONYMS: (v) allow, let, approve, scorn: (v) despise, contemn, reject; (n, vile: (adj, n) contemptible, dirty, low;
authorize, stand. v) ridicule, neglect, disregard, deride, (adj, v) base; (adj) despicable, ignoble,
guiltless: (adj) innocent, clean, slight; (n) contempt, derision, evil, sorry, revolting, offensive, nasty.
irreproachable, clear, faultless, mockery. ANTONYMS: (n, v) respect, ANTONYMS: (adj) attractive, kind,
unsullied, stainless, pure, inculpable, praise; (v) appreciate, revere, value, nice, lovely, lovable, gentle,
immaculate, spotless. approve, admire, accept; (n) honorable, good, delightful,
heavens: (n) firmament, heaven, sky, admiration, commendation, humility. admirable, noble.
welkin, sphere, atmosphere, celestial swear: (v) declare, assure, assert,
sphere, space, skies, area, vault of affirm, curse, pledge; (n, v) promise,
102 An Ideal Husband

your mistress! You are well suited to each other. She, corrupt and shameful
- you, false as a friend, treacherous as an enemy even -
It is not true, Robert. Before heaven, it is not true. In her presence and in
yours I will explain all.%
Let me pass, sir. You have lied enough upon your word of honour.
[SIR ROBERT CHILTERN goes out. LORD GORING rushes to the door of
the drawing-room, when MRS. CHEVELEY comes out, looking radiant and
much amused.]
[With a mock curtsey] Good evening, Lord Goring!
Mrs. Cheveley! Great heavens!... May I ask what you were doing in my
Merely listening. I have a perfect passion for listening through keyholes.
One always hears such wonderful things through them.
Doesn't that sound rather like tempting Providence?
Oh! surely Providence can resist temptation by this time. [Makes a sign to
him to take her cloak off, which he does.]
I am glad you have called. I am going to give you some good advice.
Oh! pray don't. One should never give a woman anything that she can't wear
in the evening.

corrupt: (adj, v) adulterate, taint, infect, woman, missis. attractive, enticing, tantalizing,
rotten, canker; (adj, n, v) contaminate, radiant: (adj, v) bright, glittering, charming, appealing, captivating,
poison; (v) bribe, debase, defile; (adj) lustrous, beamy, glorious; (adj) beguiling, delicious, irresistible.
impure. ANTONYMS: (adj) moral, beaming, luminous, effulgent, lucid, ANTONYMS: (adj) repulsive,
pure, principled, ethical, honorable, glowing, beautiful. ANTONYMS: revolting, unattractive, repellent.
wholesome, virtuous, uncorrupt, (adj) gloomy, dark, pale, unhappy. treacherous: (adj) unfaithful, deceitful,
truthful; (v) purify; (adj, v) clean. suited: (adj, v) proper, fit, fitted, false, perfidious, dangerous, disloyal,
curtsey: (n, v) curtsy; (n) obeisance; (v) adapted, convenient; (adj) unreliable, unsafe, Punic, fraudulent,
kneel, bob. appropriate, good, apt, eligible, faithless. ANTONYMS: (adj) faithful,
mistress: (n) dame, concubine, capable, useful. ANTONYMS: (adj) loyal, honest, safe, true, genuine,
madame, inamorata, lady, lover, incompatible, wrong, inappropriate. forthright, stable, harmless,
fancy woman, doxy, girl, kept tempting: (adj) seductive, alluring, dependable, open.
Oscar Wilde 103

I see you are quite as wilful as you used to be.%
Far more! I have greatly improved. I have had more experience.
Too much experience is a dangerous thing. Pray have a cigarette. Half the
pretty women in London smoke cigarettes. Personally I prefer the other half.
Thanks. I never smoke. My dressmaker wouldn't like it, and a woman's first
duty in life is to her dressmaker, isn't it? What the second duty is, no one has
as yet discovered.
You have come here to sell me Robert Chiltern's letter, haven't you?
To offer it to you on conditions. How did you guess that?
Because you haven't mentioned the subject. Have you got it with you?
[Sitting down.] Oh, no! A well-made dress has no pockets.
What is your price for it?
How absurdly English you are! The English think that a cheque-book can
solve every problem in life. Why, my dear Arthur, I have very much more
money than you have, and quite as much as Robert Chiltern has got hold of.
Money is not what I want.
What do you want then, Mrs. Cheveley?

cigarette: (adj) cigar; (n) tobacco, fag, reformed, finer, enlarged, greater, (v) exhale, cure; (adj) tobacco.
butt, can, coffin nail, cubeb, scroll, greater than before, more, higher, solve: (adj, v) interpret, loosen; (v)
buttocks, reefer, butt joint. increased, transformed. decipher, dissolve, answer, crack,
cigarettes: (n) tobacco, cigaret. ANTONYMS: (adj) inferior, lesser, clear up, riddle, explain, elucidate,
greatly: (adv) badly, enormously, unimproved. decide. ANTONYMS: (v) encode,
considerably, extremely, highly, mentioned: (adj) spoken. exacerbate.
vastly, immensely, mightily, hugely; prefer: (v) pick, elevate, like, elect, opt, well-made: (adj) strong, fine, sturdy,
(adj, adv) far, deeply. ANTONYMS: advance, favor, want, select, buxom, dainty.
(adv) mildly, hardly, superficially, promote, favour. ANTONYMS: (v) wilful: (adj) headstrong, deliberate,
poorly, lightly, insignificantly, barely, reject, refuse. intentional, knowing, designed,
moderately. smoke: (n) fumes, cigarette, cigar, wayward, obstinate, willful,
improved: (adj) enhanced, new, smog, fog; (n, v) reek, fumigate, puff; stubborn, studied, persistent.
104 An Ideal Husband

Why don't you call me Laura?
I don't like the name.%
You used to adore it.
Yes: that's why. [MRS. CHEVELEY motions to him to sit down beside her.
He smiles, and does so.]
Arthur, you loved me once.
And you asked me to be your wife.
That was the natural result of my loving you.
And you threw me over because you saw, or said you saw, poor old Lord
Mortlake trying to have a violent flirtation with me in the conservatory at
I am under the impression that my lawyer settled that matter with you on
certain terms... dictated by yourself.
At that time I was poor; you were rich.
Quite so. That is why you pretended to love me.

conservatory: (n) conservatoire, jurist, counsellor, counselor, rough, paternal, indifferent, distant,
greenhouse, orangery, glasshouse, conveyancer, ambulance chaser, disapproving, callous.
nursery, summerhouse, winter adviser, trial lawyer, pleader. pretended: (adj, v) sham, mock,
garden, seed plot, grotto, porch, loved: (adj) beloved, pet, cherished, counterfeit, pseudo, spurious; (adj)
schoolhouse. precious, liked, adored, respected, assumed, fake, feigned, fictitious,
dictated: (adj) set, hard-and-fast, treasured, esteemed, valued; (n) bogus, affected.
compulsive; (n) contumely, darling. ANTONYM: (adj) hated. settled: (adj) definite, set, firm,
blameworthy, abuse. loving: (adj) fond, devoted, amorous, permanent, certain, calm, established,
flirtation: (n) flirt, coquetry, flirting, kind, friendly, ardent, attached, decided, formed, defined, finished.
romp, trifling, tease, play, frolic, admiring, gentle, fatherly; (adj, v) ANTONYMS: (adj) unsettled,
gambol, amour, gallantry. tender. ANTONYMS: (adj) cold, exciting, temporary.
lawyer: (n) counsel, barrister, attorney, uncaring, malicious, cruel, unloving,
Oscar Wilde 105

[Shrugging her shoulders.] Poor old Lord Mortlake, who had only two topics
of conversation, his gout and his wife! I never could quite make out which of
the two he was talking about. He used the most horrible language about
them both. Well, you were silly, Arthur. Why, Lord Mortlake was never
anything more to me than an amusement. One of those utterly tedious
amusements one only finds at an English country house on an English
country Sunday. I don't think any one at all morally responsible for what he
or she does at an English country house.%
Yes. I know lots of people think that.
I loved you, Arthur.
My dear Mrs. Cheveley, you have always been far too clever to know
anything about love.
I did love you. And you loved me. You know you loved me; and love is a
very wonderful thing. I suppose that when a man has once loved a woman,
he will do anything for her, except continue to love her? [Puts her hand on
[Taking his hand away quietly.] Yes: except that.
[After a pause.] I am tired of living abroad. I want to come back to London.
I want to have a charming house here. I want to have a salon. If one could
only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here
would be quite civilised. Besides, I have arrived at the romantic stage. When
I saw you last night at the Chilterns', I knew you were the only person I had
ever cared for, if I ever have cared for anybody, Arthur. And so, on the

abroad: (adj, adv) overseas, away; (adv) rightly, religiously. ANTONYMS: advisable, profound, reasonable,
afield, forth, beyond seas, yonder, (adv) indecently, corruptly, responsible, significant.
farther, at large, further; (adj) foreign, improperly. teach: (v) enlighten, educate, instruct,
out. ANTONYMS: (adj) remaining, salon: (n) parlour, living room, beauty coach, indoctrinate, drill, learn,
nearby. parlour, saloon, hall, sitting room, lecture, school; (adj, v) guide, show.
gout: (n) taste, relish, arthritis, go-out; beauty salon, lounge, drawing room, utterly: (adv) completely, absolutely,
(v) cephalalgia, earache, otalgia, parlor, beauty shop. totally, entirely, extremely,
odontalgia, neuralgia, lumbago, silly: (adj) ridiculous, absurd, childish, altogether, expressly, purely, dead,
sciatica. fatuous, irrational, frivolous, idiotic, fully, wholly. ANTONYMS: (adv)
morally: (adv) virtuously, chastely, preposterous, unreasonable; (adj, n) partly, uncertain, slightly,
righteously, justly, properly, fool; (n) imbecile. ANTONYMS: (adj) incompletely, hardly, somewhat.
decently, ethically, purely, uprightly, mature, wise, rational, clever,
106 An Ideal Husband

morning of the day you marry me, I will give you Robert Chiltern's letter.
That is my offer. I will give it to you now, if you promise to marry me.%
[Smiling.] To-morrow.
Are you really serious?
Yes, quite serious.
I should make you a very bad husband.
I don't mind bad husbands. I have had two. They amused me immensely.
You mean that you amused yourself immensely, don't you?
What do you know about my married life?
Nothing: but I can read it like a book.
What book?
[Rising.] The Book of Numbers.
Do you think it is quite charming of you to be so rude to a woman in your
own house?
In the case of very fascinating women, sex is a challenge, not a defence.

amused: (adj) amusing, smiling, delightful, alluring, bewitching, plight, word.
tickled pink, pleased, diverted. seductive. ANTONYMS: (adj) boring, rude: (adj, n) rough, impudent, coarse,
challenge: (n, v) defy, dare, brave; (n) dull, repellent, unappealing, abrupt, bold; (adj) blunt,
defiance, protest, contest; (v) dispute, repulsive. discourteous, impolite, brutal, crude,
ask, provoke, impeach, demur. marry: (n, v) wed, espouse; (v) get mean. ANTONYMS: (adj) polite,
ANTONYMS: (v) obey, answer, married, link, conjoin, wive, splice, refined, courteous, chivalrous, civil,
avoid, prove, accept, bolster, stifle, tie, unite, couple; (n) marriage. proper, decent, exact, clean, gentle,
correspond; (n) yield, pushover, ANTONYMS: (v) divorce, separate, inoffensive.
acquiesce. split. yourself: (adv) herself, themselves,
fascinating: (adj, v) captivating, promise: (n, v) covenant, guarantee, itself, myself, ourselves, yourselves,
charming, engaging, interesting; (adj) contract, vow, bargain; (v) augur, physically.
engrossing, absorbing, attractive, assure; (n) engagement, assurance,
Oscar Wilde 107

I suppose that is meant for a compliment. My dear Arthur, women are never
disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between
the two sexes.%
Women are never disarmed by anything, as far as I know them.
[After a pause.] Then you are going to allow your greatest friend, Robert
Chiltern, to be ruined, rather than marry some one who really has
considerable attractions left. I thought you would have risen to some great
height of self-sacrifice, Arthur. I think you should. And the rest of your life
you could spend in contemplating your own perfections.
Oh! I do that as it is. And self-sacrifice is a thing that should be put down by
law. It is so demoralising to the people for whom one sacrifices oneself.
They always go to the bad.
As if anything could demoralise Robert Chiltern! You seem to forget that I
know his real character.
What you know about him is not his real character. It was an act of folly
done in his youth, dishonourable, I admit, shameful, I admit, unworthy of
him, I admit, and therefore... not his true character.
How you men stand up for each other!
How you women war against each other!
[Bitterly.] I only war against one woman, against Gertrude Chiltern. I hate
her. I hate her now more than ever.

compliments: (n) respects, folly: (n) fatuity, foolishness, silliness, level, zenith, summit, climax.
commendation, wish, greetings, tomfoolery, nonsense, stupidity, ANTONYMS: (n) shortness, nadir,
salutation, respect, applause, flattery, craziness, density, freak; (adj, n) depth, trough, deepness, base, dip.
acclamation, regards, approbation. irrationality, trifling. ANTONYM: (n) risen: (v) uprise.
demoralise: (v) demoralize, corrupt, sense. sacrifices: (n) holocaust.
deject, poison, bastardized, begin, greatest: (adj) top, superlative, biggest, self-sacrifice: (n) martyrdom,
whore, vitiate, bastardize, defile, utmost, largest, extreme, first; (adj, n) renunciation.
bring down. maximum, most; (adj, v) paramount, youth: (n) youngster, young person,
demoralising: (adj) dark, causing supreme. ANTONYMS: (adj) inferior, lad, juvenile, boy, adolescence, kid,
dejection, discouraging, secondary. younker, stripling, juvenility; (adj, n)
disheartening, dispiriting, blue. height: (n) apex, crest, altitude, young. ANTONYMS: (n) adulthood,
disarmed: (adj) harmless, prostrate. pinnacle, peak, top, culmination, adult, ripeness, maturity, aged.
108 An Ideal Husband

Because you have brought a real tragedy into her life, I suppose.%
[With a sneer.] Oh, there is only one real tragedy in a woman's life. The fact
that her past is always her lover, and her future invariably her husband.
Lady Chiltern knows nothing of the kind of life to which you are alluding.
A woman whose size in gloves is seven and three- quarters never knows
much about anything. You know Gertrude has always worn seven and
three-quarters? That is one of the reasons why there was never any moral
sympathy between us.... Well, Arthur, I suppose this romantic interview may
be regarded as at an end. You admit it was romantic, don't you? For the
privilege of being your wife I was ready to surrender a great prize, the climax
of my diplomatic career. You decline. Very well. If Sir Robert doesn't
uphold my Argentine scheme, I expose him. VOILE TOUT.
You mustn't do that. It would be vile, horrible, infamous.
[Shrugging her shoulders.] Oh! don't use big words. They mean so little. It is
a commercial transaction. That is all. There is no good mixing up
sentimentality in it. I offered to sell Robert Chiltern a certain thing. If he
won't pay me my price, he will have to pay the world a greater price. There
is no more to be said. I must go. Good-bye. Won't you shake hands?
With you? No. Your transaction with Robert Chiltern may pass as a
loathsome commercial transaction of a loathsome commercial age; but you
seem to have forgotten that you came here to- night to talk of love, you
whose lips desecrated the word love, you to whom the thing is a book closely
sealed, went this afternoon to the house of one of the most noble and gentle

climax: (n, v) peak, crown; (n) top, denude, unfold, divulge. admixture, mixed, compounding,
zenith, culmination, acme, height, ANTONYMS: (v) conceal, cover, combination, amalgamation, mixture,
summit, pinnacle, meridian; (adj, n) enclose, suppress, shield, shelter, mingling, hybrid, intermixture.
orgasm. ANTONYMS: (v) dip, drop, insulate, hide, guard, drape. regarded: (adj) reputed.
delve; (n) low, nadir, bathos, gloves: (n) gauntlet, mitten, mittens, sealed: (adj) hermetic, tight, certain,
anticlimax, comedown, base, trough, gauntlets, scarf, ornament, handbag, plastered, Solen, shut, impervious,
prelude. belt, batting glove, boxing glove, irrevocable, tighter, still, preserved.
desecrated: (adj) impure, dishonored, baseball mitt. sentimentality: (n) bathos, sentiment,
unclean. ANTONYM: (adj) lover: (n) dear, darling, fan, devotee, sentimentalism, sentimental,
consecrated. beau, buff, love, admirer, beloved, emotionalism, emotionality, feeling,
expose: (v) endanger, exhibit, betray, amorist, man. schmaltz, tenderness, insincere
detect, display, air, uncover, debunk, mixing: (n) mix, commixture, pathos, mushiness.
Oscar Wilde 109

women in the world to degrade her husband in her eyes, to try and kill her
love for him, to put poison in her heart, and bitterness in her life, to break her
idol, and, it may be, spoil her soul. That I cannot forgive you. That was
horrible. For that there can be no forgiveness.%
Arthur, you are unjust to me. Believe me, you are quite unjust to me. I didn't
go to taunt Gertrude at all. I had no idea of doing anything of the kind when
I entered. I called with Lady Markby simply to ask whether an ornament, a
jewel, that I lost somewhere last night, had been found at the Chilterns'. If
you don't believe me, you can ask Lady Markby. She will tell you it is true.
The scene that occurred happened after Lady Markby had left, and was really
forced on me by Gertrude's rudeness and sneers. I called, oh! - a little out of
malice if you like - but really to ask if a diamond brooch of mine had been
found. That was the origin of the whole thing.
A diamond snake-brooch with a ruby?
Yes. How do you know?
Because it is found. In point of fact, I found it myself, and stupidly forgot to
tell the butler anything about it as I was leaving. [Goes over to the writing-
table and pulls out the drawers.] It is in this drawer. No, that one. This is
the brooch, isn't it? [Holds up the brooch.]
Yes. I am so glad to get it back. It was a present.
Won't you wear it?
Certainly, if you pin it in. [LORD GORING suddenly clasps it on her arm.]

degrade: (v) cheapen, demean, jewel: (n) gemstone, darling, impoliteness, impropriety,
corrupt, decrease, dishonor, diamond, jewelry, trinket, treasure, primitiveness. ANTONYMS: (n)
disparage; (n, v) disgrace, reduce; ornament, idol; (adj, n) bijou, civility, refinement, propriety,
(adj, n, v) abase; (adj, v) debauch, precious stone; (adj) brilliant. courteousness, courtesy, decency,
lessen. ANTONYMS: (v) honor, malice: (n) spite, animosity, enmity, respect, diplomacy, praise,
admire, aggrade, elevate, uplift, venom, ill will, hatred, malevolence, thoughtfulness, gentleness.
worship, respect, promote, praise, cruelty, envy, hate, spleen. stupidly: (adv) dully, thickly, obtusely,
dignify, purify. ANTONYMS: (n) goodwill, senselessly, fatuously, slowly,
drawer: (n) draftsman, drawers, till, benevolence, affection, goodness. insanely, unwisely, doltishly, crassly,
designer, box car, cartoonist, rudeness: (n) disrespect, audacity, densely. ANTONYMS: (adv)
commode, engraver, chest, case, insolence, impudence, discourtesy, shrewdly, brightly, sensibly, wisely,
locker. incivility, effrontery, bad manners, sensitively, prudently, carefully.
110 An Ideal Husband

Why do you put it on as a bracelet? I never knew it could he worn as a

[Holding out her handsome arm.] No; but it looks very well on me as a
bracelet, doesn't it?
Yes; much better than when I saw it last.
When did you see it last?
[Calmly.] Oh, ten years ago, on Lady Berkshire, from whom you stole it.
[Starting.] What do you mean?
I mean that you stole that ornament from my cousin, Mary Berkshire, to
whom I gave it when she was married. Suspicion fell on a wretched servant,
who was sent away in disgrace. I recognised it last night. I determined to
say nothing about it till I had found the thief. I have found the thief now,
and I have heard her own confession.
[Tossing her head.] It is not true.
You know it is true. Why, thief is written across your face at this moment.
I will deny the whole affair from beginning to end. I will say that I have
never seen this wretched thing, that it was never in my possession.

cousin: (n) nephew, cousins, friend, united, mixed, connected, marrying, accepted.
cousinship, relation, akin, relative, attached, unite. ANTONYMS: (adj) till: (conj, prep) until, unto; (v) plow,
full cousin, companion. unmarried, unattached, divorced, hoe, farm, dig; (adj) up to; (n) tiller,
deny: (v) controvert, rebuff, contradict, public. drawer; (adv) so far; (prep) to.
disavow, gainsay, reject, oppose, possession: (n) occupation, wretched: (adj) unfortunate, pitiful,
refuse, disown, abnegate, renounce. ownership, keeping, goods, sad, pitiable, woeful, pathetic,
ANTONYMS: (v) affirm, claim, substance, tenure, property, grasp, piteous, lamentable; (adj, v) poor,
acknowledge, declare, maintain, estate, domain; (n, v) acquisition. unhappy, forlorn. ANTONYMS: (adj)
agree, spoil, accept, accede, allow, ANTONYMS: (n) vacancy, sale. fine, strong, fortunate, overjoyed,
argue. recognised: (adj) recognized, nice, admirable, good, cheery, joyous,
married: (adj) wedded, conjugal, undisputed, received, noted, known, lucky, comfortable.
matrimonial, connubial, nuptial, established, certified, acceptable,
Oscar Wilde 111

[MRS. CHEVELEY tries to get the bracelet off her arm, but fails. LORD
GORING looks on amused. Her thin fingers tear at the jewel to no purpose.
A curse breaks from her.]
The drawback of stealing a thing, Mrs. Cheveley, is that one never knows
how wonderful the thing that one steals is. You can't get that bracelet off,
unless you know where the spring is. And I see you don't know where the
spring is. It is rather difficult to find.%
You brute! You coward! [She tries again to unclasp the bracelet, but fails.]
Oh! don't use big words. They mean so little.
[Again tears at the bracelet in a paroxysm of rage, with inarticulate sounds.
Then stops, and looks at LORD GORING.] What are you going to do?
I am going to ring for my servant. He is an admirable servant. Always
comes in the moment one rings for him. When he comes I will tell him to
fetch the police.
[Trembling.] The police? What for?
To-morrow the Berkshires will prosecute you. That is what the police are for.
[Is now in an agony of physical terror. Her face is distorted. Her mouth
awry. A mask has fallen from her. She it, for the moment, dreadful to look
at.] Don't do that. I will do anything you want. Anything in the world you
Give me Robert Chiltern's letter.
awry: (adj, adv) askew, crooked; (adj) dastard, milksop, weakling, convulsion, outburst, explosion,
erroneous, bent, deformed, distorted, milquetoast; (adj) gutless, attack, seizure, spasm, gust, agony;
incorrect, wry, wrong; (adv) skew; (v) chickenhearted, pusillanimous, (adj) breaking out.
irregular. ANTONYMS: (adj) straight, chicken-hearted. ANTONYMS: (n) prosecute: (v) pursue, persecute,
right, aligned, even. daredevil, stalwart; (adj) brave. follow, chase, engage, indict, litigate,
brute: (adj) brutal, harsh, gruff, inarticulate: (adj) unintelligible, silent, drive, execute, accuse; (n, v) sue.
brutish; (adj, n) animal, savage; (n) vague, muffled, incoherent, mute, ANTONYM: (v) pardon.
barbarian, fiend, creature, monster; incomprehensible, unarticulate, steals: (adj) stolen; (n) stealing.
(adv) beastly. ANTONYMS: (adj) speechless, guttural, fuzzy. unclasp: (v) loosen, unlink, separate,
weak, refined, mild, gentle; (n) ANTONYMS: (adj) articulate, let go of, let go, disconnect, detach.
gentleman. eloquent, fluent, distinct, talkative.
coward: (n) cur, pantywaist, sneak, paroxysm: (adj, n) fit, burst; (n)
112 An Ideal Husband

Stop! Stop! Let me have time to think.%
Give me Robert Chiltern's letter.
I have not got it with me. I will give it to you to- morrow.
You know you are lying. Give it to me at once. [MRS. CHEVELEY pulls the
letter out, and hands it to him. She is horribly pale.] This is it?
[In a hoarse voice.] Yes.
[Takes the letter, examines it, sighs, and burns it with the lamp.] For so well-
dressed a woman, Mrs. Cheveley, you have moments of admirable common
sense. I congratulate you.
[Catches sight of LADY CHILTERN'S letter, the cover of which is just
showing from under the blotting-book.] Please get me a glass of water.
Certainly. [Goes to the corner of the room and pours out a glass of water.
While his back is turned MRS. CHEVELEY steals LADY CHILTERN'S letter.
When LORD GORING returns the glass she refuses it with a gesture.]
Thank you. Will you help me on with my cloak?
With pleasure. [Puts her cloak on.]
Thanks. I am never going to try to harm Robert Chiltern again.

burns: (n) George Burns, Nathan (n, v) benefit, respect, help; (n) ANTONYMS: (n) honesty,
Birnbaum, Robert Burns. reparation, service; (v) enable, spoil, truthfulness; (adj) truthful.
congratulate: (v) compliment, protect, defend, repair. pleasure: (n) fun, enjoyment,
felicitate, preen, pride, celebrate, hoarse: (adj) gruff, husky, raucous, delectation, joy, comfort, happiness,
applaud, joy, salute, commemorate, grating, strident, guttural, rough, mirth, inclination; (n, v) contentment,
approve; (n) congratulation. throaty; (v) coarse; (adj, v) hollow, content; (adj, n, v) gratification.
ANTONYMS: (v) commiserate, slur, sepulchral. ANTONYMS: (adj) ANTONYMS: (n) irritation, nuisance,
disparage, belittle, condemn, boo. smooth, mellow, velvety, high. boredom, ache, displeasure,
harm: (adj, n, v) damage, hurt; (adj, n) lying: (adj) false, deceptive, dissatisfaction, misery, pain, sadness,
evil, detriment, injury; (n, v) abuse, mendacious, untrue, misleading, worry, anguish.
wound, blemish, disadvantage; (n) fraudulent; (n) lie, falsehood,
bruise; (adj, v) injure. ANTONYMS: fabrication, deceit, dishonesty.
Oscar Wilde 113

Fortunately you have not the chance, Mrs. Cheveley.%
Well, if even I had the chance, I wouldn't. On the contrary, I am going to
render him a great service.
I am charmed to hear it. It is a reformation.
Yes. I can't bear so upright a gentleman, so honourable an English
gentleman, being so shamefully deceived, and so -
I find that somehow Gertrude Chiltern's dying speech and confession has
strayed into my pocket.
What do you mean?
[With a bitter note of triumph in her voice.] I mean that I am going to send
Robert Chiltern the love-letter his wife wrote to you to-night.
[Laughing.] 'I want you. I trust you. I am coming to you. Gertrude.'
[LORD GORING rushes to the bureau and takes up the envelope, finds is
empty, and turns round.]
You wretched woman, must you always be thieving? Give me back that

charmed: (adj) enchanted, delighted, favorable. ANTONYMS: (adv) commendably,
fascinated, spellbound, entranced, deceived: (adj) mistaken, misguided. compassionately, nobly.
captive, beguiled, infatuated, reformation: (n) correction, strayed: (v) stray.
absorbed, enamored, captive hours. amendment, improvement, redress, thieving: (n) larceny, stealing, robbery,
contrary: (adj, n) contradictory, reclamation, rectification, conversion, embezzlement, misapplication,
reverse; (adj) adverse, conflicting, innovation, repair, renewal, misappropriation, peculation,
unfavorable, perverse, cross, reassembly. defalcation, burglary, thievery; (adj)
disobedient, alien, different, shamefully: (adv) ignominiously, thievish. ANTONYMS: (adj)
obstinate. ANTONYMS: (adj) similar, ingloriously, scandalously, philanthropic, benevolent.
harmonious, helpful, obliging, infamously, shockingly,
compatible, complaisant, concordant, discreditably, basely, outrageously;
parallel, agreeable, cooperative, (adv, v) dishonorably, foully, nastily.
114 An Ideal Husband

letter. I'll take it from you by force. You shall not leave my room till I have
got it.%
[He rushes towards her, but MRS. CHEVELEY at once puts her hand on the
electric bell that is on the table. The bell sounds with shrill reverberations,
and PHIPPS enters.]
[After a pause.] Lord Goring merely rang that you should show me out.
Good-night, Lord Goring!
[Goes out followed by PHIPPS. Her face it illumined with evil triumph.
There is joy in her eyes. Youth seems to have come back to her. Her last
glance is like a swift arrow. LORD GORING bites his lip, and lights his a

arrow: (n) missile, bolt, dart, barb, goodness, righteousness, morality; screech, scream, yell; (adj, v) high,
gun, spear, bullet, cursor; (adj, n) (adj) kindhearted, righteous, benign, sharp. ANTONYMS: (adj) low, quiet,
rocket; (adj) hydrargyrum, moral, pure, upright, virtuous, resonant.
quicksilver. sinless. swift: (adj, adv, v) fast; (adj) quick,
bell: (n, v) chime; (n) gong, Alexander glance: (n, v) look, peek, flash, peep; fleet, speedy, alert, nimble, hasty,
Graham Bell, ring, doorbell, handbell, (n) gaze, glimpse, coup d'oeil, prompt, sudden, hurried; (adj, v)
tocsin, alarum, Alexander Bell, buzz, gander; (v) bounce, glint, ricochet. rapid. ANTONYMS: (adj) considered,
angelus. ANTONYMS: (n, v) study; (n) leisurely, sluggish, gradual, delayed,
evil: (adj) bad, criminal, corrupt, examination, perusal; (v) stick, stare. clumsy.
wicked, destructive, depraved; (adj, rang: (n) rung. towards: (prep) to, facing, until,
n) ill, detriment; (n) adversity, shrill: (adj) piercing, penetrating, opposite to, till, unto, upon; (n, prep)
disaster, depravity. ANTONYMS: (n) strident, keen, shrewd; (v) shriek, against; (adv) about, by; (n) at.
Oscar Wilde 115


SCENESame as Act II.%

[LORD GORING is standing by the fireplace with his hands in his pockets.
He is looking rather bored.]

[Pulls out his watch, inspects it, and rings the bell.] It is a great nuisance. I
can't find any one in this house to talk to. And I am full of interesting
information. I feel like the latest edition of something or other.
[Enter servant.]
Sir Robert is still at the Foreign Office, my lord.
Lady Chiltern not down yet?
Her ladyship has not yet left her room. Miss Chiltern has just come in from

edition: (n) release, print, circulation, newest, stylish; (adj, n) vogue. horsemanship; (adj) awheel.
copy, quantity of Stamps issued, ANTONYM: (adj) first. standing: (n) fame, position,
number, issue, adaptation, book, nuisance: (adj, n) annoyance; (n) importance, prestige, place,
issuance, variation. harassment, irritation, pain, pest, reputation, footing; (adj) erect,
james: (n) interrupt, William James, St hassle, inconvenience, mischief, motionless, continuance; (n, v) stand.
James, saint James the apostle, saint irritant, plague, pain in the neck. ANTONYMS: (adj) seated, moving,
James, Jesse James, James river, ANTONYMS: (n) pleasure, help, horizontal, falling, temporary.
Henry James, epistle of James, St delight, blessing, balm, advantage, watch: (n, v) view, sentinel, clock,
James the apostle. satisfaction, ease. wake, regard, care; (v) observe, look,
ladyship: (n) madam. riding: (n) ride, horseback riding, see; (n) sentry; (adj, n) surveillance.
latest: (adj) last, fresh, modern, new, travel, hundred, tithing, soke, ANTONYMS: (v) neglect, overlook,
current, hot, ultimate, contemporary, travelling, manege, athletics; (v) harm, hurt, glance.
116 An Ideal Husband

[To himself.] Ah! that is something.%
Lord Caversham has been waiting some time in the library for Sir Robert. I
told him your lordship was here.
Thank you! Would you kindly tell him I've gone?
[Bowing.] I shall do so, my lord.
[Exit servant.]
Really, I don't want to meet my father three days running. It is a great deal
too much excitement for any son. I hope to goodness he won't come up.
Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basin for
family life. Mothers are different. Mothers are darlings. [Throws himself
down into a chair, picks up a paper and begins to read it.]
Well, sir, what are you doing here? Wasting your time as usual, I suppose?
[Throws down paper and rises.] My dear father, when one pays a visit it is
for the purpose of wasting other people's time, not one's own.
Have you been thinking over what I spoke to you about last night?
I have been thinking about nothing else.
Engaged to be married yet?

basin: (n) bowl, pot, hollow, goodness: (adj, n) generosity, harshly, nastily, callously, cruelly,
washbowl, washbasin, depression, kindness, gentleness; (n) good, sharply, disagreeably, grumpily,
dock, tank, washstand, sink, basinful. excellence, benefit, virtue, worth, malevolently; (adj) upsetting,
ANTONYMS: (n) hill, hump. morality; (adj) favor, beneficence. unfeeling, sour.
excitement: (n) commotion, emotion, ANTONYMS: (n) evil, wickedness, spoke: (n) bar, rung, radius, rule, shoe,
animation, agitation, disturbance, badness, corruptness, bad, skid, rundle, line, clog, round; (v)
elation, enthusiasm, eagerness, immorality, corruption. said.
taking, excitation, tumult. kindly: (adj) kind, amiable, genial, wasting: (n) homicide, atrophy,
ANTONYMS: (n) dullness, boredom, charitable; (adv) sympathetically, slaughter, slaying, cachexia,
tediousness, desolation, apathy, bore, benevolently, tenderly; (adj, n) assassination, cachexy, amyotrophy,
dormancy, indifference, somnolence, benign, gentle, sympathetic, carnage; (adj) consuming,
despondency, lifelessness. benevolent. ANTONYMS: (adv) consumptive.
Oscar Wilde 117

[Genially.] Not yet: but I hope to be before lunch- time.%
[Caustically.] You can have till dinner-time if it would be of any convenience
to you.
Thanks awfully, but I think I'd sooner be engaged before lunch.
LORD CAVERSHAM. Humph! Never know when you are serious or not.
Neither do I, father.
[A pause.]
I suppose you have read THE TIMES this morning?
[Airily.] THE TIMES? Certainly not. I only read THE MORNING POST. All
that one should know about modern life is where the Duchesses are;
anything else is quite demoralising.
Do you mean to say you have not read THE TIMES leading article on Robert
Chiltern's career?
Good heavens! No. What does it say?
What should it say, sir? Everything complimentary, of course. Chiltern's
speech last night on this Argentine Canal scheme was one of the finest pieces
of oratory ever delivered in the House since Canning.
Ah! Never heard of Canning. Never wanted to. And did... did Chiltern
uphold the scheme?

awfully: (adv) atrociously, hideously, commendatory. ANTONYMS: (adj) remoteness.
appallingly, frightfully, fearfully, disparaging, offensive, disapproving, finest: (adj, n) elite; (adj) top, select,
ghastly, terribly, horrifically, critical, uncomplimentary, excellent, most favorable, most
horrendously, badly; (adj, adv) derogatory, denouncing, negative, excellent, most advantageous,
amazingly. ANTONYMS: (adv) costly, scornful, unflattering. exclusive, classic, best possible; (n)
pleasantly, hardly, little, mildly, convenience: (n) contrivance, cream.
satisfactorily, slightly, well, accommodation, opportunity, utility, oratory: (n) elocution, rhetoric,
adequately, superbly, somewhat. occasion, fitness, comfort, leisure, declamation, speech, oration, church,
complimentary: (adj, adv) free, gratis, appliance, availability; (adj) chapel, tabernacle, valediction,
without charge, at no cost; (adj) convenient. ANTONYMS: (n) cathedral, public speaking.
gratuitous, adulatory, flattering, uselessness, distance, hardship, pieces: (n) debris, trash.
costless, approving, on the house; (v) unsuitability, clumsiness,
118 An Ideal Husband

Uphold it, sir? How little you know him! Why, he denounced it roundly,
and the whole system of modern political finance. This speech is the
turning-point in his career, as THE TIMES points out. You should read this
article, sir. [Opens THE TIMES.] 'Sir Robert Chiltern... most rising of our
young statesmen... Brilliant orator... Unblemished career... Well- known
integrity of character... Represents what is best in English public life... Noble
contrast to the lax morality so common among foreign politicians.' They will
never say that of you, sir.%
I sincerely hope not, father. However, I am delighted at what you tell me
about Robert, thoroughly delighted. It shows he has got pluck.
He has got more than pluck, sir, he has got genius.
Ah! I prefer pluck. It is not so common, nowadays, as genius is.
I wish you would go into Parliament.
My dear father, only people who look dull ever get into the House of
Commons, and only people who are dull ever succeed there.
Why don't you try to do something useful in life?
I am far too young.
[Testily.] I hate this affectation of youth, sir. It is a great deal too prevalent
Youth isn't an affectation. Youth is an art.
finance: (v) fund, sponsor, pay for; (n) extensive, dominant, epidemic; (adj, jokingly, untruthfully,
funding, banking, income, revenue, n) current. ANTONYMS: (adj) rare, unenthusiastically, pretentiously,
economics, credit, business; (n, v) uncommon, sparse, limited. mildly.
support. roundly: (adv) bluntly, fully, unblemished: (adj) clean, perfect,
pluck: (adj, n) nerve; (v) cull, jerk, roundedly, wholly, bluffly, faultless, pure, immaculate,
gather, pick, fleece, grab; (n) grit, spherically, plumply, entirely, round, blameless, clear, irreproachable,
courage, boldness; (n, v) pull. completely, globularly. unspotted, untarnished, flawless.
ANTONYMS: (n) cowardice, sincerely: (adv) candidly, honestly, ANTONYMS: (adj) blemished,
gutlessness; (v) undercharge. really, genuinely, heartily, openly, flawed, marked, imperfect, used,
prevalent: (adj, v) prevailing; (adj) earnestly, simply, truly, seriously, marred, guilty, infirm.
predominant, general, common, unreservedly. ANTONYMS: (adv)
popular, preponderant, rife, dishonestly, affectedly, flippantly,
Oscar Wilde 119

Why don't you propose to that pretty Miss Chiltern?
I am of a very nervous disposition, especially in the morning.%
I don't suppose there is the smallest chance of her accepting you.
I don't know how the betting stands to-day.
If she did accept you she would be the prettiest fool in England.
That is just what I should like to marry. A thoroughly sensible wife would
reduce me to a condition of absolute idiocy in less than six months.
You don't deserve her, sir.
My dear father, if we men married the women we deserved, we should have
a very bad time of it.
Oh!... How do you do, Lord Caversham? I hope Lady Caversham is quite
Lady Caversham is as usual, as usual.
Good morning, Miss Mabel!
[Taking no notice at all of LORD GORING, and addressing herself

accepting: (adj) tolerant, sympathetic, deserved: (v) merited, richly deserved; idiocy: (n) folly, absurdity, amentia,
thoughtful, understanding, willing to (adj) appropriate, due, fitting, just, fatuity, idiot, foolishness, lunacy,
help, yielding, lenient, acceptant, earned, suitable, rightful, adequate, silliness, madness, idiotism,
obliging, soft, permissive. required. stupidity. ANTONYMS: (n) sense,
ANTONYMS: (adj) resistant, disposition: (n) attitude, character, logic, wisdom.
uncooperative, unforgiving, severe, disposal, tendency, predisposition, stands: (n) bleachers, stood,
unsympathetic. inclination, propensity, bias, grandstand, standing, stop, covered
betting: (adj) gambling, dissipated, arrangement, direction, aptitude. stand, standpoint, stall, sales booth,
sporting; (n) gaming. fool: (n) blockhead, dunce, clown, reviewing stand, rack.
deserve: (v) rate, warrant, gain, earn, idiot, ass, booby, buffoon; (v) deceive,
to deserve, demand, justify, bear; (n, bamboozle; (n, v) joke, gull.
v) reward; (n) richly deserve, worth. ANTONYM: (n) savant.
120 An Ideal Husband

exclusively to LORD CAVERSHAM.] And Lady Caversham's bonnets... are

they at all better?
They have had a serious relapse, I am sorry to say.%
Good morning, Miss Mabel!
[To LORD CAVERSHAM.] I hope an operation will not be necessary.
[Smiling at her pertness.] If it is, we shall have to give Lady Caversham a
narcotic. Otherwise she would never consent to have a feather touched.
[With increased emphasis.] Good morning, Miss Mabel!
[Turning round with feigned surprise.] Oh, are you here? Of course you
understand that after your breaking your appointment I am never going to
speak to you again.
Oh, please don't say such a thing. You are the one person in London I really
like to have to listen to me.
Lord Goring, I never believe a single word that either you or I say to each
You are quite right, my dear, quite right... as far as he is concerned, I mean.
Do you think you could possibly make your son behave a little better
occasionally? Just as a change.

behave: (n, v) conduct, exercise; (v) v) plume; (adj, n, v) fringe; (v) fledge. recidivism, recurrence, regression,
bear, deal, deport, operate, perform, feigned: (adj) false, affected, assumed, deterioration; (v) backslide, revert,
acquit, walk, react, go. ANTONYMS: dummy, unnatural, fictitious; (adj, v) recur, deteriorate. ANTONYMS: (v)
(v) misdemean, malfunction. sham, counterfeit, spurious, mock, improve, recover, progress; (n)
exclusively: (adv) entirely, alone, pretended. ANTONYMS: (adj) improvement, recovery,
specially, completely, individually, sincere, genuine, natural, regeneration.
selectly, particularly, totally, wholehearted, heartfelt, real. touched: (adj) insane, cracked, tinged,
especially, wholly; (adj, adv) only. narcotic: (adj, n) soporific, opiate, not right, daft, crazy, nutty; (v)
ANTONYMS: (adv) openly, partly, hypnotic; (adj) anodyne; (n) drug, compassionate, sympathetic, pitiful,
partially. anaesthetic, opium, stupefacient, mucid. ANTONYMS: (adj)
feather: (n) pen, feathering, pinion, sedative, methadone, meperidine. untouched, sane, unemotional,
nib, plumage, quill, kind, spline; (n, relapse: (n, v) regress, decline, fall; (n) unmoved, well.
Oscar Wilde 121

I regret to say, Miss Chiltern, that I have no influence at all over my son. I
wish I had. If I had, I know what I would make him do.%
I am afraid that he has one of those terribly weak natures that are not
susceptible to influence.
He is very heartless, very heartless.
It seems to me that I am a little in the way here.
It is very good for you to be in the way, and to know what people say of you
behind your back.
I don't at all like knowing what people say of me behind my back. It makes
me far too conceited.
After that, my dear, I really must bid you good morning.
Oh! I hope you are not going to leave me all alone with Lord Goring?
Especially at such an early hour in the day.
I am afraid I can't take him with me to Downing Street. It is not the Prime
Minster's day for seeing the unemployed.
[Shakes hands with MABEL CHILTERN, takes up his hat and stick, and goes
out, with a parting glare of indignation at LORD GORING.]
[Takes up roses and begins to arrange them in a bowl on the table.] People
who don't keep their appointments in the Park are horrid.

appointments: (n) installation, bowl: (n) basin, plate, hollow, ANTONYMS: (n) contentment,
schedule, upholstery, fixture, stadium, container, arena, pleasure.
furnishings, furniture, movements, depression, porringer; (v) hurl, toss, parting: (n) adieu, division, leave,
possession, actions, arrangements, troll. departure, disunion, goodbye,
activities. glare: (n) glance, brilliance, radiance, leaving, segregation, dying, rupture;
arrange: (v) dress, settle, order, set, brightness; (n, v) glower, flash, shine, (adj) valedictory. ANTONYMS: (n)
pack, agree, adapt, do, classify, scowl, beam, frown; (v) flame. joining, meeting, connection,
straighten; (n, v) adjust. ANTONYMS: (n) dullness, dimness. Reunion.
ANTONYMS: (v) disarrange, cancel, indignation: (n) anger, resentment, shakes: (n) hangover, jitters,
disorder, disorganize, improvise, displeasure, grudge, umbrage, rage, nervousness, tension, anxiety.
jumble, change, disband, reject, outrage, exasperation, choler,
bungle. dudgeon; (adj, n) wrath.
122 An Ideal Husband

I am glad you admit it. But I wish you wouldn't look so pleased about it.
I can't help it. I always look pleased when I am with you.
[Sadly.] Then I suppose it is my duty to remain with you?
Of course it is.
Well, my duty is a thing I never do, on principle. It always depresses me. So I
am afraid I must leave you.
Please don't, Miss Mabel. I have something very particular to say to you.
[Rapturously.] Oh! is it a proposal?
[Somewhat taken aback.] Well, yes, it is - I am bound to say it is.
[With a sigh of pleasure.] I am so glad. That makes the second to-day.
[Indignantly.] The second to-day? What conceited ass has been impertinent
enough to dare to propose to you before I had proposed to you?
Tommy Trafford, of course. It is one of Tommy's days for proposing. He
always proposes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, during the Season.
You didn't accept him, I hope?

bound: (n, v) leap, jump, border, lord: (n) chief, king, noble, sir, duke, proposal: (n) advice, suggestion,
bounce, limit, edge, vault, recoil; (n) master, God, seignior, nobility, proposition, overture, plan, proffer,
boundary, barrier, compass. Mister, potentate. ANTONYM: (n) offer, hypothesis, presentation, idea,
ANTONYMS: (v) allow, amble, lady. view.
crawl, limp, permit; (adj) permitted, pleased: (adj) contented, glad, proposed: (adj) intended, projected,
released, unbound, allowed, unlikely. delighted, content, joyful, thankful, suggested, intentional, jutting,
glad: (adj) jubilant, cheerful, gay, gratified, appreciative, overjoyed, planned, future, projecting,
blithe, delighted, festive, content, cheerful; (adj, v) elated. ANTONYMS: predetermined, prospective; (n)
delightful, genial, bright, willing. (adj) unhappy, annoyed, angry, moot.
ANTONYMS: (adj) unhappy, worried, ashamed, disappointed, sigh: (n, v) groan, suspire, murmur; (v)
apologetic, dismayed, unwilling, frustrated, sad, unsatisfied, breathe, languish, pine; (n) breath,
disappointed, sorry. ungrateful, uncomplimentary. wail, whimper, whine, suspiration.
Oscar Wilde 123

I make it a rule never to accept Tommy. That is why he goes on proposing.
Of course, as you didn't turn up this morning, I very nearly said yes. It
would have been an excellent lesson both for him and for you if I had. It
would have taught you both better manners.%
Oh! bother Tommy Trafford. Tommy is a silly little ass. I love you.
I know. And I think you might have mentioned it before. I am sure I have
given you heaps of opportunities.
Mabel, do be serious. Please be serious.
Ah! that is the sort of thing a man always says to a girl before he has been
married to her. He never says it afterwards.
[Taking hold of her hand.] Mabel, I have told you that I love you. Can't you
love me a little in return?
You silly Arthur! If you knew anything about... anything, which you don't,
you would know that I adore you. Every one in London knows it except you.
It is a public scandal the way I adore you. I have been going about for the
last six months telling the whole of society that I adore you. I wonder you
consent to have anything to say to me. I have no character left at all. At
least, I feel so happy that I am quite sure I have no character left at all.
[Catches her in his arms and kisses her. Then there is a pause of bliss.] Dear!
Do you know I was awfully afraid of being refused!

afterwards: (adv) afterward, character: (n) type, part, note, role, disagreement.
subsequently, later, thereafter, later brand, spirit, disposition; (adj, n) lesson: (n) example, education,
on, next, behind, thereupon; (adj) nature, kind, eccentric, constitution. instruction, class, learning, sermon,
following, subsequent; (n) ANTONYMS: (n) deceit, dishonor, recitation, task, study, message; (n, v)
termination. corruption, body. rebuke.
bother: (n, v) trouble, torment, worry, consent: (adj, n, v) accord; (n, v) wonder: (adj, n) prodigy; (n)
hassle, pain; (adj, n, v) fuss, bore; (v) acquiescence, agreement; (v) concur, astonishment, admiration,
vex, annoy, irritate; (n) nuisance. approve, agree, acquiesce, accept; (n) amazement, surprise, miracle,
ANTONYMS: (n, v) delight; (v) consensus, approval; (adj, v) allow. phenomenon, muse; (v) admire,
soothe, please, help, aid, comfort, ANTONYMS: (v) refuse, reject, reflect, question. ANTONYMS: (n)
placate, encourage, defend; (n) protest, object, differ, oppose; (n, v) expectation, belief, disapproval; (v)
accord, satisfaction. veto; (n) refusal, opposition, dissent, know, believe, anticipate, decide.
124 An Ideal Husband

[Looking up at him.] But you never have been refused yet by anybody, have
you, Arthur? I can't imagine any one refusing you.%
[After kissing her again.] Of course I'm not nearly good enough for you,
[Nestling close to him.] I am so glad, darling. I was afraid you were.
[After some hesitation.] And I'm... I'm a little over thirty.
Dear, you look weeks younger than that.
[Enthusiastically.] How sweet of you to say so!... And it is only fair to tell you
frankly that I am fearfully extravagant.
But so am I, Arthur. So we're sure to agree. And now I must go and see
Must you really? [Kisses her.]
Then do tell her I want to talk to her particularly. I have been waiting here all
the morning to see either her or Robert.
Do you mean to say you didn't come here expressly to propose to me?
[Triumphantly.] No; that was a flash of genius.

anybody: (adv) any, each; (n, pron) any ambiguously, conditionally, horrendously, hideously, anxiously,
person, a person; (n) everyone, implicitly, indirectly, vaguely. appallingly, terribly; (adj, adv)
somebody, nobody, everybody, extravagant: (adj) wasteful, luxurious, shockingly, dreadfully. ANTONYMS:
someone; (pron) whoever. prodigal, exaggerated, profligate, (adv) bravely, calmly, confidently,
darling: (adj, n) beloved, pet, favorite, costly, expensive, lavish, wonderfully, rationally,
sweet; (adj) costly, cute, pretty; (adj, v) immoderate, profuse, undue. unconcernedly.
precious; (n) love, deary, angel. ANTONYMS: (adj) restrained, frugal, kissing: (n) hugging, cuddling,
ANTONYMS: (n) foe, rival. parsimonious, plain, stingy, fondling, arousal, foreplay, necking;
expressly: (adv) specially, particularly, understated, thrifty, reasonable, (adj) embracing, adhering closely,
distinctly, specifically, explicitly, moderate, cautious, tasteful. billing, clinging, interosculant.
especially, utterly, clearly, precisely, fearfully: (adv) timidly, timorously, thirty: (n) large integer, termination;
telly, exactly. ANTONYMS: (adv) awfully, apprehensively, (adj) thretty.
Oscar Wilde 125

Your first.%
[With determination.] My last.
I am delighted to hear it. Now don't stir. I'll be back in five minutes. And
don't fall into any temptations while I am away.
Dear Mabel, while you are away, there are none. It makes me horribly
dependent on you.
Good morning, dear! How pretty you are looking!
How pale you are looking, Gertrude! It is most becoming!
Good morning, Lord Goring!
[Bowing.] Good morning, Lady Chiltern!
[Aside to LORD GORING.] I shall be in the conservatory under the second
palm tree on the left.
Second on the left?
[With a look of mock surprise.] Yes; the usual palm tree.
[Blows a kiss to him, unobserved by LADY CHILTERN, and goes out.]
Lady Chiltern, I have a certain amount of very good news to tell you. Mrs.

dependent: (adj) subordinate, subject, any; (adj) whatsoever, no, whatever. arouse, affect, agitate, inspire; (adj, n)
conditional, contingent, addicted, pale: (adj) faint, wan, dull, weak, light, movement; (n) commotion,
tributary; (n) charge, adjective, bloodless, pallid; (adj, v) dim; (n) excitement, disturbance.
attendant, follower, slave. boundary, confine; (v) blanch. ANTONYMS: (v) dampen, retire,
ANTONYMS: (adj) strong, free, ANTONYMS: (adj) strong, rosy, stultify, bore, steady, stifle, suppress;
autonomous, capable. brown, well, glowing, vivid, healthy, (n) quiet, peace; (n, v) calm.
kiss: (n, v) caress, brush, embrace, clear, colorful; (v) redden, darken. unobserved: (adj, v) unseen; (v)
touch; (n) osculation, salute, lip, Kiss palm: (n) medal, decoration, prize, unheeded, unregarded, unthought of,
of peace, kiss hands; (v) osculate, palm tree, victory, thenar, laurel unperceived; (adj) ignored, not
love. wreath; (v) filch, cabbage, rob; (adj) noticed, hidden, unmarked, unnoted;
none: (n) nought, naught, nobody, totipalmate. (adv) secretly. ANTONYM: (adj)
zilch, anything; (adv) not, neither, stir: (adj, n, v) move, bustle; (v) rouse, evident.
126 An Ideal Husband

Cheveley gave me up Robert's letter last night, and I burned it. Robert is
[Sinking on the sofa.] Safe! Oh! I am so glad of that. What a good friend
you are to him - to us!
There is only one person now that could be said to be in any danger.
Who is that?
[Sitting down beside her.] Yourself.
I? In danger? What do you mean?
Danger is too great a word. It is a word I should not have used. But I admit I
have something to tell you that may distress you, that terribly distresses me.
Yesterday evening you wrote me a very beautiful, womanly letter, asking me
for my help. You wrote to me as one of your oldest friends, one of your
husband's oldest friends. Mrs. Cheveley stole that letter from my rooms.
Well, what use is it to her? Why should she not have it?
[Rising.] Lady Chiltern, I will be quite frank with you. Mrs. Cheveley puts a
certain construction on that letter and proposes to send it to your husband.
But what construction could she put on it?... Oh! not that! not that! If I in - in
trouble, and wanting your help, trusting you, propose to come to you... that
you may advise me... assist me... Oh! are there women so horrible as that...?
And she proposes to send it to my husband? Tell me what happened. Tell
me all that happened.
advise: (v) recommend, propose, burned: (adj) baked, scorched, wanting: (adj, v) missing; (adj)
warn, inform, acquaint, suggest, tempered, sore, hurt, heated, deficient, lacking, absent, defective,
notify, announce, tell, offer, hardened, destroyed, bleak, parched, short, failing, insufficient, devoid,
forewarn. ANTONYMS: (v) betray, adust. poor, incomplete. ANTONYMS: (adj)
deceive, delude, fool, trick. distress: (n, v) pain, torment, trouble, sufficient, satisfactory, adequate, full,
assist: (n, v) aid, help, support; (v) concern, torture, upset, worry; (n) present.
abet, serve, contribute, boost, relieve, anguish, agony; (adj, n) difficulty, womanly: (adj, v) effeminate; (adj)
encourage, to help, facilitate. grief. ANTONYMS: (n, v) comfort; (v) ladylike, womanish, female,
ANTONYMS: (n, v) impede, oppose; please, soothe, relieve; (n) peace, womanlike, wifely, weak, maidenly,
(v) thwart, disrupt, hamper, hurt, encouragement, straightforwardness, matronly; (v) soft, feminate.
stop, worsen, shun; (n) hindrance, solace, relieving, relief, prosperity. ANTONYM: (adj) unwomanly.
counteract. oldest: (n) elder, doyen; (adj) older.
Oscar Wilde 127

Mrs. Cheveley was concealed in a room adjoining my library, without my
knowledge. I thought that the person who was waiting in that room to see
me was yourself. Robert came in unexpectedly. A chair or something fell in
the room. He forced his way in, and he discovered her. We had a terrible
scene. I still thought it was you. He left me in anger. At the end of
everything Mrs. Cheveley got possession of your letter - she stole it, when or
how, I don't know.%
At what hour did this happen?
At half-past ten. And now I propose that we tell Robert the whole thing at
[Looking at him with amazement that is almost terror.] You want me to tell
Robert that the woman you expected was not Mrs. Cheveley, but myself?
That it was I whom you thought was concealed in a room in your house, at
half-past ten o'clock at night? You want me to tell him that?
I think it is better that he should know the exact truth.
[Rising.] Oh, I couldn't, I couldn't!
May I do it?
[Gravely.] You are wrong, Lady Chiltern.
No. The letter must be intercepted. That is all. But how can I do it? Letters
adjoining: (adj) contiguous, neighbor, composure, calmness, contempt, surreptitious. ANTONYMS: (adj)
near, abutting, touching, belief. unconcealed, available, overt, open,
conterminous, neighboring, anger: (n) fury, rage, displeasure, divulged, Shown, revealed,
immediate, next, vicinal; (adj, v) close. resentment, indignation; (v) incense, disclosed, uncovered, noticeable,
ANTONYMS: (adj) separate, divided, offend, irritate, exasperate; (adj) mainstream.
detached, apart, far. angry; (n, v) wrath. ANTONYMS: (v) unexpectedly: (adv) by chance,
amazement: (n) admiration, wonder, placate, pacify, tickle; (n) pleasure, suddenly, abruptly, casually,
surprise, consternation, stupefaction, composure, glee, affection, serenity, unforeseenly, unawares, surprisingly,
stupor, wonderment, feeling, alarm, goodwill, forbearance; (n, v) calm. unanticipatedly, hastily, strangely,
jolt; (v) amaze. ANTONYMS: (n) concealed: (adj) covert, clandestine, circumstantially. ANTONYMS: (adv)
preparation, indifference, blind, occult, secret, mysterious, intentionally, gradually, normally,
expectation, coolness, cool, obscure, buried, invisible, secreted, predictably.
128 An Ideal Husband

arrive for him every moment of the day. His secretaries open them and hand
them to him. I dare not ask the servants to bring me his letters. It would be
impossible. Oh! why don't you tell me what to do?
Pray be calm, Lady Chiltern, and answer the questions I am going to put to
you. You said his secretaries open his letters.%
Who is with him to-day? Mr. Trafford, isn't it?
No. Mr. Montford, I think.
You can trust him?
[With a gesture of despair.] Oh! how do I know?
He would do what you asked him, wouldn't he?
I think so.
Your letter was on pink paper. He could recognise it without reading it,
couldn't he? By the colour?
I suppose so.
Is he in the house now?

arrive: (n, v) come, appear; (v) mature, insufferable, unbelievable, hopeless, letters: (n) erudition, literature,
reach, attain, succeed, turn up, land, impracticable, impractical, correspondence, lore, script,
fall, get in, show. ANTONYMS: (v) inconceivable, unlikely, unthinkable, scholarship, post, print, mail, letter,
go, depart, fail, fall, lose, exit. unable, ridiculous. ANTONYMS: polite literature.
calm: (adj, n, v) assuage, appease, lull; (adj) feasible, achievable, reading: (n, v) read; (n) recital,
(adj, v) cool, pacify, peaceful, easy, manageable, bearable, attainable, on, learning, interpretation, lection,
steady; (adj, adv, n, v) still; (n, v) allay; tolerable, probable, hopeful, easy, construction, version, study, perusal,
(v) mollify. ANTONYMS: (adj) consistent. erudition, exegesis.
agitated, wild, stormy, nervous, letter: (n) epistle, mail, character, recognise: (v) identify, know,
angry, scared, terrified, tense; (v) communication, alphabetic character, acknowledge, approve, accept,
agitate, provoke; (adj, v) upset. dispatch, note, message, concede, appreciate, confess,
impossible: (adj) unimaginable, memorandum, type, memo. recognize, make out, discern.
Oscar Wilde 129

Then I will go and see him myself, and tell him that a certain letter, written
on pink paper, is to be forwarded to Robert to-day, and that at all costs it
must not reach him. [Goes to the door, and opens it.] Oh! Robert is coming
upstairs with the letter in his hand. It has reached him already.%
[With a cry of pain.] Oh! you have saved his life; what have you done with
[Enter SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. He has the letter in his hand, and is reading
it. He comes towards his wife, not noticing LORD GORING'S presence.]
'I want you. I trust you. I am coming to you. Gertrude.' Oh, my love! Is this
true? Do you indeed trust me, and want me? If so, it was for me to come to
you, not for you to write of coming to me. This letter of yours, Gertrude,
makes me feel that nothing that the world may do can hurt me now. You
want me, Gertrude?
[LORD GORING, unseen by SIR ROBERT CHILTERN, makes an imploring
sign to LADY CHILTERN to accept the situation and SIR ROBERT'S error.]
You trust me, Gertrude?
Ah! why did you not add you loved me?
[Taking his hand.] Because I loved you.
[LORD GORING passes into the conservatory.]

hurt: (adj, n, v) damage, detriment; prayer. sign: (n, v) mark, motion, gesture; (n)
(adj, n) evil; (n, v) wound, pain, ache, mine: (adj, v) excavate, sap; (n) portent, indication, manifestation,
distress; (n) disadvantage, lesion; (v) excavation, pit, fund, land mine, imprint, presage, brand, poster; (v)
afflict; (adj, v) injure. ANTONYMS: vein; (v) exploit, burrow; (adj) my, indicate. ANTONYMS: (n) successor;
(adj) unhurt, unaffected, healed; (v) delve. (v) dismiss.
encourage, please, protect, repair, noticing: (n) observation, look; (adj) unseen: (adj, v) unknown; (adj)
defend; (n, v) help; (n) reparation, conscious. invisible, concealed, hidden,
pleasure. reach: (n, v) fetch, stretch; (adj, v) unobserved, secret, veiled, latent; (v)
imploring: (adj) appealing, begging, overtake, pass, extend; (v) obtain, unheeded, unperceived; (n) spiritual
suppliant, pleading, entreating, achieve, make, attain, get; (n) world. ANTONYMS: (adj) seen,
piteous, importunate, entreating compass. ANTONYMS: (v) visible, open, famous, noticeable.
urgently; (v) supplicate, plead; (n) withdraw, differ, fail. yours: (adj) own.
130 An Ideal Husband


[Kisses her.] Gertrude, you don't know what I feel. When Montford passed
me your letter across the table - he had opened it by mistake, I suppose,
without looking at the handwriting on the envelope - and I read it - oh! I did
not care what disgrace or punishment was in store for me, I only thought you
loved me still.%
There is no disgrace in store for you, nor any public shame. Mrs. Cheveley
has handed over to Lord Goring the document that was in her possession,
and he has destroyed it.
Are you sure of this, Gertrude?
Yes; Lord Goring has just told me.
Then I am safe! Oh! what a wonderful thing to be safe! For two days I have
been in terror. I am safe now. How did Arthur destroy my letter? Tell me.
He burned it.
I wish I had seen that one sin of my youth burning to ashes. How many men
there are in modern life who would like to see their past burning to white
ashes before them! Is Arthur still here?
Yes; he is in the conservatory.
I am so glad now I made that speech last night in the House, so glad. I made
it thinking that public disgrace might be the result. But it has not been so.
Public honour has been the result.
ashes: (n) dust, cinders, remains, devastate; (adj, v) desolate, abolish; chagrin; (n) humiliation, modesty,
cinder, clay, earth, embers, clinker; (n, v) murder. ANTONYMS: (v) scandal, insult; (v) abash.
(adj) scoriae, mother, precipitate. preserve, create, make, construct, ANTONYMS: (n) pride, glorification,
burning: (adj) blazing, ablaze, boiling, protect, repair, restore, uphold, making, worthiness; (v)
afire, flaming, hot; (n) combustion, sustain, submit, revive. acknowledge, glorify, respect,
firing; (adj, n) passionate, zealous, mistake: (n, v) miss, blunder, err, slip; dignify.
glowing. ANTONYMS: (adj) cold, (n) failure, error, misconception, terror: (n, v) alarm, scare; (adj, n)
trivial, cool, out, painless, quenched, misapprehension, defect, demerit; (v) dread, awe; (n) fear, dismay,
soothing, unimportant, apathetic, misapprehend. ANTONYMS: (v) consternation, horror, panic,
insignificant, unconcerned. appreciate, distinguish, interpret. apprehension, scourge.
destroy: (v) demolish, blight, despoil, shame: (n, v) disgrace, dishonor, ANTONYMS: (n) peace, security,
subvert, dismantle, devour, wreck, discredit, humiliate, degrade, delight, calm, confidence.
Oscar Wilde 131


I think so. I fear so, almost. For although I am safe from detection, although
every proof against me is destroyed, I suppose, Gertrude... I suppose I should
retire from public life? [He looks anxiously at his wife.]
[Eagerly.] Oh yes, Robert, you should do that. It is your duty to do that.%
It is much to surrender.
No; it will be much to gain.
[SIR ROBERT CHILTERN walks up and down the room with a troubled
expression. Then comes over to his wife, and puts his hand on her shoulder.]
And you would be happy living somewhere alone with me, abroad perhaps,
or in the country away from London, away from public life? You would
have no regrets?
Oh! none, Robert.
[Sadly.] And your ambition for me? You used to be ambitious for me.
Oh, my ambition! I have none now, but that we two may love each other. It
was your ambition that led you astray. Let us not talk about ambition.
[LORD GORING returns from the conservatory, looking very pleased with
himself, and with an entirely new buttonhole that some one has made for
[Going towards him.] Arthur, I have to thank you for what you have done
for me. I don't know how I can repay you. [Shakes hands with him.]

anxiously: (adv) uneasily, restlessly, detection: (n) revelation, repay: (v) recompense, reward, pay,
carefully, worriedly, fearfully, demodulation, detecting, uncovering, reimburse, compensate, refund,
nervously, concernedly, solicitously, unearthing, disclosure, spotting, render, requite, remunerate, return,
timidly, keenly, enthusiastically. spying, sense, recognition, catching. redeem. ANTONYM: (v) penalize.
ANTONYMS: (adv) calmly, ANTONYM: (n) concealment. surrender: (v) concede, abandon, give
confidently, merrily, indifferently, looks: (n) aspect, countenance, up, capitulate, submit, deliver; (adj, n)
fearlessly, nonchalantly, patiently, expression, manner, complexion, resignation; (n, v) resign, render,
unconcernedly. fashion, costume, garb. release; (n) capitulation.
astray: (adj, adv) adrift, off course; (adj) regrets: (n) regret, declination, RSVP ANTONYMS: (v) conquer,
lost, wrong, disoriented, awry; (adv) regrets only, acknowledgement, appropriate, persevere, subdue,
amiss, widely, far, afield, aside. acknowledgment, celestial latitude, enforce; (n, v) fight, win; (n) capture,
ANTONYM: (adj) accurate. excuse, Dec. confrontation, conquest, victory.
132 An Ideal Husband

My dear fellow, I'll tell you at once. At the present moment, under the usual
palm tree... I mean in the conservatory...%
[Enter MASON.]
Lord Caversham.
That admirable father of mine really makes a habit of turning up at the wrong
moment. It is very heartless of him, very heartless indeed.
[Enter LORD CAVERSHAM. MASON goes out.]
Good morning, Lady Chiltern! Warmest congratulations to you, Chiltern, on
your brilliant speech last night. I have just left the Prime Minister, and you
are to have the vacant seat in the Cabinet.
[With a look of joy and triumph.] A seat in the Cabinet?
Yes; here is the Prime Minister's letter. [Hands letter.]
[Takes letter and reads it.] A seat in the Cabinet!
Certainly, and you well deserve it too. You have got what we want so much
in political life nowadays - high character, high moral tone, high principles.
[To LORD GORING.] Everything that you have not got, sir, and never will
I don't like principles, father. I prefer prejudices.

brilliant: (adj, v) splendid, glorious, done, bravo. ANTONYMS: (n) ANTONYMS: (adj) bad,
illustrious, smart; (adj) sunny, condemnation, criticism, rebuke; unwholesome, unethical, amoral,
intelligent, magnificent, luminous, (intj) commiserations. decadent, wrong, unjust, sinful,
spectacular, vivid, beautiful. fellow: (adj, n) comrade, associate; (n) irreverent, dishonorable, degenerate.
ANTONYMS: (adj) dull, dim, awful, boy, equal, brother, peer, chap, vacant: (adj) blank, hollow, unfilled,
dark, unexceptional, typical, colleague, compeer, buddy; (adj, n, v) void, free, unoccupied, bare, idle,
tarnished, grimy, unintelligent, concomitant. ANTONYMS: (n) expressionless, open; (adj, v) devoid.
normal, useless. female, woman, girl, foe, enemy, ANTONYMS: (adj) full, cognizant,
congratulations: (n) congratulation, antagonist, competitor. overflowing, inhabited, aware,
recommendation, praise, pean, moral: (n) lesson, meaning; (adj) good, comprehending, animated, solid,
kudos, eulogy, encomium, decent, right, honest, virtuous, expressive, knowing.
commendation, approval; (int) well proper, chaste, upright, righteous.
Oscar Wilde 133

[SIR ROBERT CHILTERN is on the brink of accepting the Prime Minister's

offer, when he sees wife looking at him with her clear, candid eyes. He then
realises that it is impossible.]
I cannot accept this offer, Lord Caversham. I have made up my mind to
decline it.%
Decline it, sir!
My intention is to retire at once from public life.
[Angrily.] Decline a seat in the Cabinet, and retire from public life? Never
heard such damned nonsense in the whole course of my existence. I beg
your pardon, Lady Chiltern. Chiltern, I beg your pardon. [To LORD
GORING.] Don't grin like that, sir.
No, father.
Lady Chiltern, you are a sensible woman, the most sensible woman in
London, the most sensible woman I know. Will you kindly prevent your
husband from making such a... from taking such... Will you kindly do that,
Lady Chiltern?
I think my husband in right in his determination, Lord Caversham. I
approve of it.
You approve of it? Good heavens!
[Taking her husband's hand.] I admire him for it. I admire him immensely
for it. I have never admired him so much before. He is finer than even I
brink: (n, v) edge; (n) border, hem, evasive. grin: (n, v) beam; (v) laugh, sneer, leer,
threshold, boundary, brim, shore, determination: (n) conclusion, quib, quip, satire, skit; (n) smirk,
periphery, lip, margin, limit. definition, resolution, decisiveness, grinning, simper. ANTONYM: (v)
ANTONYMS: (n) middle, interior, resolve, will, tenacity, appointment, frown.
end. assessment, constancy; (v) award. intention: (n) idea, intent, goal,
candid: (adj) blunt, outspoken, ANTONYMS: (n) weakness, purpose, cause, motive, mind; (n, v)
ingenuous, direct, sincere, open, compliance, indecisiveness, aim, end, design, drift.
forthright, artless, equitable, honest, feebleness, vacillation, irresolution, nonsense: (n) bosh, absurdity,
guileless. ANTONYMS: (adj) cowardice, indetermination, humbug, balderdash, foolishness,
scheming, tricky, artful, deceitful, hesitation, flexibility, rashness. drivel, folderol, baloney, falderal,
dishonest, guarded, indirect, eyes: (n) sight, eye, vision, view, baby jargon, claptrap. ANTONYMS: (n)
insincere, inhibited, disingenuous, blues, guard, propensity, eyen. sense, wisdom, substance, fact.
134 An Ideal Husband

thought him. [To SIR ROBERT CHILTERN.] You will go and write your
letter to the Prime Minister now, won't you? Don't hesitate about it, Robert.%
[With a touch of bitterness.] I suppose I had better write it at once. Such
offers are not repeated. I will ask you to excuse me for a moment, Lord
I may come with you, Robert, may I not?
Yes, Gertrude.
[LADY CHILTERN goes out with him.]
What is the matter with this family? Something wrong here, eh? [Tapping
his forehead.] Idiocy? Hereditary, I suppose. Both of them, too. Wife as
well as husband. Very sad. Very sad indeed! And they are not an old family.
Can't understand it.
It is not idiocy, father, I assure you.
What is it then, sir?
[After some hesitation.] Well, it is what is called nowadays a high moral
tone, father. That is all.
Hate these new-fangled names. Same thing as we used to call idiocy fifty
years ago. Shan't stay in this house any longer.
[Taking his arm.] Oh! just go in here for a moment, father. Third palm tree
to the left, the usual palm tree.

hesitate: (adj, n, v) pause, delay; (adj, v) unusual, spasmodic. platan, lemonwood, lancewood,
linger; (v) fluctuate, halt, waver, tone: (n) note, accent, timbre, spirit, lacebark.
vacillate, demur, boggle, tinge, shade, air, sound, tint, manner; usual: (adj, n, v) ordinary, common,
procrastinate; (n, v) doubt. (n, v) color. ANTONYMS: (n) customary; (adj, n) habitual,
ANTONYMS: (v) rush, decide. atonicity, flaccidity; (v) jar. accustomed, familiar, average,
names: (n) calumny, defamation, touch: (v) hit, affect, border, adjoin, regular; (adj) everyday; (adj, v)
hatchet job. strike, reach; (n, v) contact, stroke, frequent, general. ANTONYMS: (adj)
repeated: (adj) continual, recurrent, tinge, regard, tap. ANTONYMS: (v) unconventional, extraordinary,
frequent, persistent, repeat, double, shrink, secrete, separate, diverge, abnormal, irregular, atypical,
habitual, chronic, again, common, abstain, leave; (n) lot. exceptional, unprecedented,
continuous. ANTONYMS: (adj) tree: (n) gallows, gibbet, stem, uncommon, rare, changing,
temporary, rare, unique, alternate, pedigree, kurchee, quandong, poon, unacceptable.
Oscar Wilde 135

What, sir?
I beg your pardon, father, I forgot. The conservatory, father, the conservatory
- there is some one there I want you to talk to.%
What about, sir?
About me, father,
[Grimly.] Not a subject on which much eloquence is possible.
No, father; but the lady is like me. She doesn't care much for eloquence in
others. She thinks it a little loud.
[LORD CAVERSHAM goes out into the conservatory. LADY CHILTERN
Lady Chiltern, why are you playing Mrs. Cheveley's cards?
[Startled.] I don't understand you.
Mrs. Cheveley made an attempt to ruin your husband. Either to drive him
from public life, or to make him adopt a dishonourable position. From the
latter tragedy you saved him. The former you are now thrusting on him.
Why should you do him the wrong Mrs. Cheveley tried to do and failed?
Lord Goring?
[Pulling himself together for a great effort, and showing the philosopher that

cards: (n) baccarat, boodle, card, rum, facundity, way with words. appearance, exhibition, exposition,
poker, cribbage, rummy, Newmarket, ANTONYM: (n) inarticulateness. presentation, exposure; (adj)
pinocle, pinochle, penuchle. failed: (adj) unsuccessful, failing, exhibiting.
effort: (n) exertion, trouble, abortive, bankrupt, fruitless, futile, thrusting: (n) thrust, push, jab, poke,
application, trial, try, endeavor, declining, deteriorating, ineffective, jabbing, stab, driving force, scoke,
struggle, drive, diligence, bid, great insolvent. sack, punch, Phytolacca Americana.
effort. ANTONYMS: (n) inaction, latter: (adj) later, last, terminal, recent, tragedy: (n) calamity, disaster,
lackadaisicalness, laziness, posterior, final, following, the latter, misfortune, play, cataclysm, drama,
negligence, lethargy. past, other, eventual. ANTONYMS: bad luck, bale, apocalypse, farce,
eloquence: (n) style, fluency, oratory, (adj) prior, earlier. tragic. ANTONYMS: (n) humor,
rhetoric, articulateness, expression, showing: (n) display, screening, blessing, joy, boon, advantage,
volubility, persuasiveness, articulacy, exhibit, revelation, viewing, comedy.
136 An Ideal Husband

underlies the dandy.] Lady Chiltern, allow me. You wrote me a letter last
night in which you said you trusted me and wanted my help. Now is the
moment when you really want my help, now is the time when you have got
to trust me, to trust in my counsel and judgment. You love Robert. Do you
want to kill his love for you? What sort of existence will he have if you rob
him of the fruits of his ambition, if you take him from the splendour of a
great political career, if you close the doors of public life against him, if you
condemn him to sterile failure, he who was made for triumph and success?
Women are not meant to judge us, but to forgive us when we need
forgiveness. Pardon, not punishment, is their mission. Why should you
scourge him with rods for a sin done in his youth, before he knew you, before
he knew himself? A man's life is of more value than a woman's. It has larger
issues, wider scope, greater ambitions. A woman's life revolves in curves of
emotions. It is upon lines of intellect that a man's life progresses. Don't make
any terrible mistake, Lady Chiltern. A woman who can keep a man's love,
and love him in return, has done all the world wants of women, or should
want of them.%
[Troubled and hesitating.] But it is my husband himself who wishes to retire
from public life. He feels it is his duty. It was he who first said so.
Rather than lose your love, Robert would do anything, wreck his whole
career, as he is on the brink of doing now. He is making for you a terrible
sacrifice. Take my advice, Lady Chiltern, and do not accept a sacrifice so
great. If you do, you will live to repent it bitterly. We men and women are
not made to accept such sacrifices from each other. We are not worthy of
them. Besides, Robert has been punished enough.
We have both been punished. I set him up too high.
[With deep feeling in his voice.] Do not for that reason set him down now

condemn: (v) censure, reproach, cruelty, harshness. resplendence, luxury, grandeur,
castigate, attaint, deplore, sentence, fruits: (n) revenue. grandness, brilliance.
excoriate, upbraid, knock, doom, issues: (n) edition. sterile: (adj) infertile, barren, effete,
criticize. ANTONYMS: (v) praise, repent: (v) deplore, bewail, rue, antiseptic, futile, vain, poor, arid,
approve, commend, free, pardon, mourn, lament, atone, sorry, bemoan, aseptic; (adj, v) fruitless; (v) abortive.
absolve, acquit, clear, exonerate, feel remorse, grieve, be sorry. ANTONYMS: (adj) fertile,
release, support. scourge: (n) curse, blight, affliction, unhygienic, dirty, productive,
forgiveness: (n) mercy, condonation, plague, bane, calamity; (v) lash, fruitful, exciting, creative.
clemency, kindness, pity, remission, flagellate, castigate, punish; (n, v) trusted: (adj) intimate, confidential,
leniency, absolution, grace, whip. sure, bosom, beloved, cherished,
compassion; (n, v) pardon. splendour: (n) pomp, magnificence, familiar, trustworthy, indisputable,
ANTONYMS: (n) condemnation, lustre, splendor, luster, brilliancy, trusty, reliable.
Oscar Wilde 137

too low. If he has fallen from his altar, do not thrust him into the mire.
Failure to Robert would be the very mire of shame. Power is his passion. He
would lose everything, even his power to feel love. Your husband's life is at
this moment in your hands, your husband's love is in your hands. Don't mar
both for him.%
Gertrude, here is the draft of my letter. Shall I read it to you?
Let me see it.
[SIR ROBERT hands her the letter. She reads it, and then, with a gesture of
passion, tears it up.]
What are you doing?
A man's life is of more value than a woman's. It has larger issues, wider
scope, greater ambitions. Our lives revolve in curves of emotions. It is upon
lines of intellect that a man's life progresses. I have just learnt this, and much
else with it, from Lord Goring. And I will not spoil your life for you, nor see
you spoil it as a sacrifice to me, a useless sacrifice!
Gertrude! Gertrude!
You can forget. Men easily forget. And I forgive. That is how women help
the world. I see that now.
[Deeply overcome by emotion, embraces her.] My wife! my wife! [To LORD
GORING.] Arthur, it seems that I am always to be in your debt.

altar: (n) shrine, Communion table, character, disposition, breast, bosom. offer, immolate, offer up, give, give
sanctuary, table, structure, sanctum forgive: (v) absolve, excuse, acquit, up, relinquish; (n) immolation, loss,
sanctorum, sacristy, construction, remit, pardon, justify, to forgive, forfeiture.
examination hall, holy of Holies. exonerate, overlook, clear, to excuse. spoil: (n, v) ruin; (v) rot, corrupt, mar,
emotion: (n) love, feeling, passion, ANTONYMS: (v) condemn, punish, deface, sack; (adj, v) impair, damage,
heart, commotion, mood, pathos, castigate. injure, harm, indulge. ANTONYMS:
excitement, sensibility; (n, v) learnt: (adj) learned. (v) improve, conserve, enliven, help,
sensation; (v) impression. revolve: (v) consider, meditate, abuse, beautify, deny, neglect,
ANTONYMS: (n) detachment, deliberate, ponder, circle, correct, respect, clean.
coldness, unfeelingness, calmness. contemplate, return, circulate, orbit, thrust: (n, v) poke, stab, jab, drive,
emotions: (n) reputation, emotion, rotate; (n, v) gyrate. shove, force, punch, boost, cast, dig;
feeling, temperament, personality, sacrifice: (n, v) oblation, forfeit; (v) (v) ram. ANTONYM: (n) inertia.
138 An Ideal Husband

Oh dear no, Robert. Your debt is to Lady Chiltern, not to me!
I owe you much. And now tell me what you were going to ask me just now
as Lord Caversham came in.%
Robert, you are your sister's guardian, and I want your consent to my
marriage with her. That is all.
Oh, I am so glad! I am so glad! [Shakes hands with LORD GORING.]
Thank you, Lady Chiltern.
[With a troubled look.] My sister to be your wife?
[Speaking with great firmness.] Arthur, I am very sorry, but the thing is quite
out of the question. I have to think of Mabel's future happiness. And I don't
think her happiness would be safe in your hands. And I cannot have her
Yes, utterly sacrificed. Loveless marriages are horrible. But there is one
thing worse than an absolutely loveless marriage. A marriage in which there
is love, but on one side only; faith, but on one side only; devotion, but on one
side only, and in which of the two hearts one is sure to be broken.

debt: (n) score, debit, loan, liability, faith: (n) confidence, belief, conviction, detractor.
obligation, due, bill, commitment, trust, credence, credit, creed, hearts: (n) Black Maria, spades.
arrears, pocket, hole. ANTONYMS: assurance, cult, expectation, marriages: (n) marriage, matrimony.
(n) asset, cash, credit. dependence. ANTONYMS: (n) troubled: (adj, v) concerned, solicitous;
devotion: (n) allegiance, attachment, disbelief, distrust, dubiosity, (adj) distressed, anxious, worried,
dedication, loyalty, worship, skepticism, despair, uncertainty, uneasy, uncomfortable, disconcerted,
affection, enthusiasm, fondness, doubt, independence. upset, apprehensive, restless.
devotedness; (adj, n) veneration, guardian: (n) guard, defender, ANTONYMS: (adj) unconcerned,
passion. ANTONYMS: (n) disloyalty, champion, curator, warden, composed, calm, easy, relaxed,
negligence, apathy, disobedience, conservator, bodyguard, keeper; (adj, tranquil, assured, carefree, brave,
neglect, hatred, separation, n) protector; (adj) protective, stable, unaffected.
dishonesty, infidelity. custodial. ANTONYMS: (n) attacker,
Oscar Wilde 139

But I love Mabel. No other woman has any place in my life.%
Robert, if they love each other, why should they not be married?
Arthur cannot bring Mabel the love that she deserves.
What reason have you for saying that?
[After a pause.] Do you really require me to tell you?
Certainly I do.
As you choose. When I called on you yesterday evening I found Mrs.
Cheveley concealed in your rooms. It was between ten and eleven o'clock at
night. I do not wish to say anything more. Your relations with Mrs.
Cheveley have, as I said to you last night, nothing whatsoever to do with me.
I know you were engaged to be married to her once. The fascination she
exercised over you then seems to have returned. You spoke to me last night
of her as of a woman pure and stainless, a woman whom you respected and
honoured. That may be so. But I cannot give my sister's life into your hands.
It would be wrong of me. It would be unjust, infamously unjust to her.
I have nothing more to say.
Robert, it was not Mrs. Cheveley whom Lord Goring expected last night.
Not Mrs. Cheveley! Who was it then?

called: (adj) named, titled, chosen, worthy. flawed, marred, unsaturated,
known as; (v) nempt, ycleped. infamously: (adv) disgracefully, unchaste.
exercised: (adj) applied, distressed, notoriously, shamefully, vilely, unjust: (adj) partial, injurious, wrong,
proficient, veteran. flagrantly, ignominiously, arrantly, inequitable, unrighteous, wicked,
fascination: (n) charm, glamor, opprobriously, basely, villainously, foul, wrongful, improper, unmerited,
bewitchment, glamour, enchantment, evilly. unjustified. ANTONYMS: (adj) just,
enthrallment, charisma, magnetism, pure: (adj) absolute, natural, faultless, equitable, rightful, reasonable, good.
allure, magic, captivation. innocent, immaculate, perfect, good, whatsoever: (adj) any, at all, possible;
ANTONYMS: (n) disinterest, clean; (adj, n) chaste, genuine; (adj, v) (pron) what, anything, no matter
boredom, disenchantment, mere. ANTONYMS: (adj) what, partly, somewhat, anything
disenthrallment, repulsion. contaminated, dishonored, diluted, that, whatso.
honoured: (adj) esteemed, respected, tainted, wicked, practical, polluted,
140 An Ideal Husband

Lady Chiltern!
It was your own wife. Robert, yesterday afternoon Lord Goring told me that
if ever I was in trouble I could come to him for help, as he was our oldest and
best friend. Later on, after that terrible scene in this room, I wrote to him
telling him that I trusted him, that I had need of him, that I was coming to
him for help and advice. [SIR ROBERT CHILTERN takes the letter out of his
pocket.] Yes, that letter. I didn't go to Lord Goring's, after all. I felt that it is
from ourselves alone that help can come. Pride made me think that. Mrs.
Cheveley went. She stole my letter and sent it anonymously to you this
morning, that you should think... Oh! Robert, I cannot tell you what she
wished you to think....%
What! Had I fallen so low in your eyes that you thought that even for a
moment I could have doubted your goodness? Gertrude, Gertrude, you are
to me the white image of all good things, and sin can never touch you.
Arthur, you can go to Mabel, and you have my best wishes! Oh! stop a
moment. There is no name at the beginning of this letter. The brilliant Mrs.
Cheveley does not seem to have noticed that. There should be a name.
Let me write yours. It is you I trust and need. You and none else.
Well, really, Lady Chiltern, I think I should have back my own letter.
[Smiling.] No; you shall have Mabel. [Takes the letter and writes her
husband's name on it.]
Well, I hope she hasn't changed her mind. It's nearly twenty minutes since I
saw her last.

alone: (adj) forlorn, individual, lonely, else, in disguise, disguised, scene: (n, v) aspect, view, outlook,
lonesome; (adj, adv) only, apart; (adv) undercover. lookout; (n) background, display,
solely, entirely, exclusively, doubted: (adj) distrusted, suspected. spectacle, picture, environment,
separately, individually. fallen: (adj) drop, decline, prostrate, panorama, perspective.
ANTONYMS: (adj) overshadowed, flat, destroyed, down, lapsed, alight, terrible: (adj) horrible, dreadful,
ordinary, mobbed, equaled, crowded, degenerate, lose, get. ANTONYMS: horrid, monstrous, abominable,
accompanied, common, grouped, (adj) esteemed, honorable, honored, ghastly, dire, appalling, fearful,
surpassed; (adv) jointly; (n) foe. lauded, prestigious. awful, hideous. ANTONYMS: (adj)
anonymously: (adv) unknownly, noticed: (adj) noted. lovely, pleasant, great, laudable,
unidentifiedly, unspecifiedly; (adj, ourselves: (pron) myself, herself, itself, excellent, superb, mild, slight, minor,
adv) secretly; (adj) under another oneself, themselves, yourself; (n) me, brilliant, insignificant.
name, pretending to be somebody yourselves, usself.
Oscar Wilde 141


Lord Goring, I think your father's conversation much more improving than
yours. I am only going to talk to Lord Caversham in the future, and always
under the usual palm tree.%
Darling! [Kisses her.]
[Considerably taken aback.] What does this mean, sir? You don't mean to
say that this charming, clever young lady has been so foolish as to accept
Certainly, father! And Chiltern's been wise enough to accept the seat in the
I am very glad to hear that, Chiltern... I congratulate you, sir. If the country
doesn't go to the dogs or the Radicals, we shall have you Prime Minister,
some day.
[Enter MASON.]
Luncheon is on the table, my Lady!
[MASON goes out.]
You'll stop to luncheon, Lord Caversham, won't you?
With pleasure, and I'll drive you down to Downing Street afterwards,
Chiltern. You have a great future before you, a great future. Wish I could
say the same for you, sir. [To LORD GORING.] But your career will have to
be entirely domestic.

career: (adj, n) job; (n) calling, (adj, n) homely. ANTONYMS: (adj) buttocks, location, position, post,
profession, vocation, occupation, foreign, wild, external, public, office, posterior; (v) locate, put.
work, trade; (v) speed, dash; (n, v) professional, imported, global, alien, wise: (adj) reasonable, sensible, sound,
course; (adj) occupational. undomestic. rational, sagacious, intelligent,
ANTONYMS: (n) entertainment, entirely: (adv) fully, absolutely, prudent, shrewd, discreet; (adj, n)
hobby, sideline, avocation. utterly, wholly, altogether, all, knowing; (n) method. ANTONYMS:
dogs: (n) foxes, Canidae, Carnivora, thoroughly, perfectly, clean, solely; (adj) unwise, stupid, ignorant,
cats, family Canidae, forceps, order (adj, adv) completely. ANTONYMS: mistaken, illogical, reckless, naive,
Carnivora, bears; (adj) dogging. (adv) partially, incompletely, irrational, dense.
domestic: (adj, v) home; (adj) civil, unenthusiastically, hardly, slightly,
native, internal, household, familiar, somewhat.
inland, national; (n) maid, servant; seat: (n) bench, base, behind, bottom,
142 An Ideal Husband

Yes, father, I prefer it domestic.%
And if you don't make this young lady an ideal husband, I'll cut you off with
a shilling.
An ideal husband! Oh, I don't think I should like that. It sounds like
something in the next world.
What do you want him to be then, dear?
He can be what he chooses. All I want is to be... to be... oh! a real wife to him.
Upon my word, there is a good deal of common sense in that, Lady Chiltern.
[They all go out except SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. He sinks in a chair, wrapt
in thought. After a little time LADY CHILTERN returns to look for him.]
[Leaning over the back of the chair.] Aren't you coming in, Robert?
[Taking her hand.] Gertrude, is it love you feel for me, or is it pity merely?
[Kisses him.] It is love, Robert. Love, and only love. For both of us a new life
is beginning.

beginning: (n) commencement, exclude, demur, omit, elide; (adv, simply, exclusively; (adv) but,
derivation, birth, start, opening, conj, prep) but; (adv, prep) besides; absolutely, entirely, simplely,
origin, begin, onset, debut, kickoff; (prep) excepting, excluding, aside completely, unmixedly. ANTONYM:
(adj) original. ANTONYMS: (n) from; (conj, n) without. ANTONYMS: (adv) intensely.
finish, finale, conclusion, demise, (prep) including; (v) receive, admit. shilling: (n) York shilling, Tanzanian
ending, culmination, closing, ideal: (adj) perfect, fanciful, shilling, British shilling, Kenyan
departure, expiration, termination, consummate, abstract, classic, unreal; shilling, Ugandan shilling, Somalian
middle. (n) standard, paragon, example, shilling, dock, cork, farthing, coin,
curtain: (n, v) cover; (n) barrier, archetype, perfection. ANTONYMS: cheat.
drapery, blind, screen, mantle, mask, (adj) wrong, real, imperfect; (n) world: (n) cosmos, nature, creation,
shade, pall, shroud; (v) hide. nightmare. earth, public, sphere, society, realm,
except: (adj, conj, prep) save; (v) merely: (adj, adv) only, barely, purely, globe, macrocosm; (adj) global.
Oscar Wilde 143

aback: (adv) aft, astern, backward, sound, consistent, serious, plausible, battle, play, performance,
abaft, backwards, short, sternmost, credible, acceptable movement, accomplishment,
unawares, suddenly; (adj) back absurdly: (adv) ridiculously, agency, activity, fight, effect.
able: (adj) dexterous, competent, foolishly, ludicrously, nonsensically, ANTONYMS: (n) inaction,
clever, ingenious, accomplished, idiotically, silly, stupidly, inactivity, inactiveness, ambush,
gifted, effective, fit, expert; (adj, n) inconsistently, comically, illogically, stillness
talented, efficient. ANTONYMS: irrationally. ANTONYMS: (adv) acts: (n) Acts of the Apostles,
(adj) incapable, incompetent, weak, solemnly, impressively, rationally, revelations, Epistles, apocalypse,
untrained, inept, delicate, feeble, harmoniously act, advanced communications
infirm, clumsy, ineffective, academy: (n) school, academe, technology satellite, evangelists,
ineffectual college, university, institution, gospels
above: (adv, prep) beyond, aloft, on, Acadmie des Beaux Arts, academia, actual: (adj, n) true; (adj) absolute,
in excess of; (adv) up, supra, on top; lycee, secondary school, genuine, factual, authentic, precise,
(adj) preceding, former; (adj, prep) establishment, campus literal, tangible, indisputable,
past; (prep) surpassing. accept: (v) acknowledge, take, admit, existent; (adj, adv) de facto.
ANTONYMS: (prep) beneath, recognize, yield, abide, accede, ANTONYMS: (adj) hypothetical,
under, deficient, underneath; (adj) acquiesce, adopt, believe, assume. false, supposed, nominal, potential,
inferior, following ANTONYMS: (v) refuse, reject, unreal, theoretical, seeming,
abroad: (adj, adv) overseas, away; deny, snub, renounce, oppose, resist, fictitious, pretended, past
(adv) afield, forth, beyond seas, disbelieve, dispute, repudiate, actually: (adv) genuinely,
yonder, farther, at large, further; quibble substantially, positively,
(adj) foreign, out. ANTONYMS: accepting: (adj) tolerant, sympathetic, authentically, certainly, truely,
(adj) remaining, nearby thoughtful, understanding, willing physically, presently, absolutely,
absolute: (adj) total, unconditional, to help, yielding, lenient, acceptant, exactly, in reality. ANTONYMS:
downright, full, categorical, utter, obliging, soft, permissive. (adv) seemingly, falsely,
sheer; (adj, v) peremptory, ANTONYMS: (adj) resistant, hypothetically, nominally, mentally
unqualified; (adj, n) positive, real. uncooperative, unforgiving, severe, adam: (n) ecstasy, x; (adj) sin
ANTONYMS: (adj) partial, unsympathetic addresses: (n) wooing, suit, courtship
qualified, incomplete, limited, account: (n) narrative, score, tale, adjoining: (adj) contiguous,
provisional, uncertain, democratic, reckoning, narration, description, neighbor, near, abutting, touching,
blemished, circumscribed, tally, tab, reason; (n, v) regard, conterminous, neighboring,
comparative, complaisant report immediate, next, vicinal; (adj, v)
absolutely: (adv) entirely, accounts: (n) financial statement close. ANTONYMS: (adj) separate,
completely, fully, purely, utterly, acquaintance: (n) connection, friend, divided, detached, apart, far
perfectly, totally, categorically, acquaintanceship, mate, awareness, admirable: (adj) fine, outstanding,
definitely, thoroughly; (adv, int) associate, buddy, friendship, beautiful, great, commendable,
certainly. ANTONYMS: (adv) intercourse, companion; (n, v) lovely, good, creditable,
partly, doubtfully, questionably, knowledge. ANTONYMS: (n) praiseworthy, worthy, grand.
somewhat, moderately, indefinitely, ignorance, inexperience, ANTONYMS: (adj) appalling, poor,
incompletely, fairly, conditionally, unfamiliarity, animosity, enemy unworthy, despicable, contemptible,
probably, possibly across: (adv) crossways, crosswise, detestable, dishonorable, rotten,
absurd: (adj) ridiculous, foolish, sideways, traverse, diagonally; (adj) unimpressive, loathsome, low
unreasonable, irrational, crossed; (prep) cross, athwart, admirably: (adv) superbly, perfectly,
meaningless, inept, senseless, above, thwart; (adv, prep) excellently, admirable,
nonsensical, illogical, ludicrous; (adj, overthwart. ANTONYMS: (adv) marvellously, heroically, bravely,
n) silly. ANTONYMS: (adj) rational, along, lengthways; (adj) uncrossed brilliantly, nicely, creditably, ably.
reasonable, logical, wise, weighty, action: (n, v) achievement, deed; (n) ANTONYMS: (adv) badly,
144 An Ideal Husband
inadequately, dishonorably, notify, announce, tell, offer, pang, sorrow, throe. ANTONYMS:
execrably, incompetently, poorly forewarn. ANTONYMS: (v) betray, (n) pleasure, joy, euphoria, bliss,
admiration: (n) esteem, adoration, deceive, delude, fool, trick happiness, ecstasy, peace, content
appreciation, reverence, estimation, advised: (adj) studied, considered, agree: (v) admit, acknowledge,
amazement, liking, awe, premeditated, deliberate, calculated, acquiesce, adjust, concord, bargain,
compliment; (adj, n) regard; (v) intended; (v) determinate, express, suit, accede, harmonize, fit; (n, v)
laud. ANTONYMS: (n) disdain, designed coincide. ANTONYMS: (v) oppose,
criticism, disapproval, contempt, affair: (n) occurrence, event, business, differ, argue, refuse, object, refute,
abhorrence, loathing, disgust, concern, occasion, job, topic, duty, conflict, fight, dispute, decline,
despising, dishonor, disparagement, subject, amour, thing contend
detestation affairs: (n) dealings, concern, agreed: (adj) unanimous, approved,
admire: (v) revere, look up to, idolize, circumstances, transaction, set, united, in agreement, accepted,
appreciate, adore, wonder, praise, occupation, duty, matters, matter, agreeable; (adv, int) all right; (int)
worship, admiring, esteem, honor. personal business, gear, finances okay; (v) content; (adv) no question.
ANTONYMS: (v) despise, loathe, affectation: (n) pretension, feint, ANTONYMS: (adj) changing,
scorn, hate, condemn, abhor, pose, display, airs, affectedness, individual
disrespect, detest, disregard, ostentation, show, pretense, agreement: (n) accord, contract,
disapprove, deprecate mannerism, sham. ANTONYMS: (n) coincidence, accordance,
admired: (adj) respected, admirable, artlessness, honesty, modesty accommodation, arrangement,
estimable, favorite, pet, beloved, affection: (n) charity, attachment, acceptance, settlement, unison,
honored, August, loved, accepted, fondness, heart, love, disease, appointment; (n, v) acquiescence.
popular. ANTONYM: (adj) nature, feeling, affectionateness, ANTONYMS: (n) discord,
disreputable tenderness, kindness. ANTONYMS: argument, conflict, rejection,
admit: (n, v) allow; (adj, v) (n) disgust, neglect, malice, loathing, dispute, resistance, disarray,
acknowledge; (v) concede, accede, dislike, detachment, coldness, refutation, dissension, difference,
grant, affirm, confess, include, roughness divergence
permit, take, welcome. afford: (v) offer, yield, provide, give, agricultural: (adj) agriculture,
ANTONYMS: (v) reject, exclude, supply, get, furnish, impart, deliver, agrarian, farming, Agricultural
bar, dispute, gainsay, withhold, originate, sustain. ANTONYM: (v) Holdings Acts, agriculturally,
refuse, oust, hide, eject, dismiss withhold agronomic, agrestic,
admitted: (v) admitting, understood, afraid: (adj) fearful, timid, shy, unindustrialized, undeveloped,
of course; (adj) acknowledged, apprehensive, anxious, worried, rustic
undisputed, known, orthodox scared, frightened, nervous, ajar: (v) dissentient, unclosed,
adopt: (v) admit, affiliate, assume, terrified; (adj, adv) cowardly. unstopped, wide open, out of tune;
borrow, espouse, take up, take, pass, ANTONYMS: (adj) brave, (adj) open, gaping, partly open, not
acquire, choose, embrace. venturesome, calm, confident, cool, closed
ANTONYMS: (v) disinherit, cancel, courageous, eager, unafraid, valiant, allow: (adj, v) admit, accord; (v)
discard, shun, repudiate, refuse, bold, carefree agree, permit, grant, accede,
ignore, oppose afternoon: (n) Pm, farewell, greeting, acquiesce, afford, authorize, bear; (n,
adore: (v) worship, idolize, admire, P, salutation, in the afternoon, v) give. ANTONYMS: (v) prohibit,
glorify, cherish, appreciate; (n, v) daytime, noon, postmeridian, deny, reject, refuse, keep, prevent,
honor; (adj) adoring, worshipping, midday, daylight. ANTONYMS: (n) disallow, disapprove, withstand,
worshiping; (adv) adoringly. morning, nighttime hold, outlaw
ANTONYMS: (v) detest, despise, afterwards: (adv) afterward, allude: (v) advert, refer, hint, glance,
condemn, loathe, disrespect, abhor, subsequently, later, thereafter, later intimate, suggest, touch, bring up,
scorn on, next, behind, thereupon; (adj) mean, notice, pertain
adored: (adj) loved, respected, following, subsequent; (n) almost: (adj, adv, prep) about; (adj,
precious, idolized, idolised, termination adv) nearly, all but, near, nigh; (adv,
acclaimed, blessed, favorite, dearly again: (adv) more, then, repeatedly, prep) just about, approximately;
loved, beloved, venerated anew, encore, furthermore, yet, also, (adv) just, mostly, virtually, most.
advances: (v) access, approach often, once again, once more ANTONYMS: (adv) surely, exactly,
adventures: (n) experiences, fortunes, against: (adj, adv) counter; (prep) definitely, certainly
confessions, journal, life, biography, toward, versus, from; (pref) by; (v) alone: (adj) forlorn, individual,
autobiography, personal narrative oppose; (adv, prep) on; (n) lonely, lonesome; (adj, adv) only,
advice: (n) warning, counsel, caution, opposition; (adj) unwilling, apart; (adv) solely, entirely,
report, exhortation, council, tidings, repugnant; (adv) athwart. exclusively, separately, individually.
counselling, notice, intelligence, ANTONYMS: (prep) for; (adj) eager ANTONYMS: (adj) overshadowed,
instruction. ANTONYMS: (n) ages: (n) time out of mind, time ordinary, mobbed, equaled,
misrepresentation, deceit, deception, immemorial, coon's age, blue moon, crowded, accompanied, common,
lie, falsehood, betrayal, warning month of Sundays grouped, surpassed; (adv) jointly;
advise: (v) recommend, propose, agony: (n) torture, suffering, torment, (n) foe
warn, inform, acquaint, suggest, distress, misery, passion, pain, grief, already: (adv) beforehand,
Oscar Wilde 145
previously, before, formerly, even unfriendly, unpleasant, aggressive, delight
now, just now, at present, once, nasty, standoffish, disagreeable, annoyed: (adj) irritated, vexed, irate,
heretofore, yet, in advance inaccessible aggravated, angered, cross,
altar: (n) shrine, Communion table, among: (prep) between, amidst, mid, disgruntled, exasperated, infuriated,
sanctuary, table, structure, sanctum in, amongst, in the middle of, inter, displeased, resentful. ANTONYMS:
sanctorum, sacristy, construction, in the midst of, with, within, middle. (adj) pleased, unprovoked, smiling,
examination hall, holy of Holies ANTONYM: (prep) outside patient, unconcerned, contented
alter: (v) change, adapt, move, amongst: (prep) amid, between, annoying: (adj) galling, vexatious,
convert, adjust, amend, affect, amidst, surrounded by, in the midst aggravating, vexing, worrying,
transform, correct, vary, shift. of, in the middle of, along with, awkward, trying, bothersome,
ANTONYMS: (v) continue, keep, with; (v) inter disagreeable; (adj, v) irritating; (n)
leave, preserve, worsen, retain, amount: (n, v) number, total; (n) annoyance. ANTONYMS: (adj)
standardize, straighten, clarify aggregate, sum, measure, price, pleasing, delightful, pleasant,
alteration: (n) adjustment, change, volume, extent, degree, figure, charming, satisfying, welcome,
revision, shift, changeover, quantum. ANTONYM: (n) convenient
conversion, modification, variation, moderation anonymously: (adv) unknownly,
reversal, metamorphosis, amused: (adj) amusing, smiling, unidentifiedly, unspecifiedly; (adj,
amendment. ANTONYMS: (n) tickled pink, pleased, diverted adv) secretly; (adj) under another
fixity, preservation amusement: (n) pleasure, recreation, name, pretending to be somebody
although: (adv, prep) entertainment, distraction, else, in disguise, disguised,
notwithstanding; (prep) in spite of, diversion, sport, pastime, laughter, undercover
even though, however; (adv, conj) enjoyment, joy, hobby. another: (adj) second, more,
though; (conj) whereas; (adv) even, ANTONYMS: (n) sadness, boredom, alternative, additional, new, further,
tho, when, anyway, tho' work, tedium, business, fresh, extra; (adj, v) other; (adj, pron)
always: (adv) continuously, despondency, discomfort, some other; (n) the other.
whenever, permanently, ever, displeasure ANTONYMS: (n, pron) same
usually, eternally, unceasingly; (adj) amusing: (adj) humorous, fun, answer: (n, v) respond, retort; (v)
perpetual, still, eternal; (adj, adv) pleasant, entertaining, risible, counter, serve, resolve,
without exception. ANTONYMS: comical, diverting, enjoyable, acknowledge, correspond; (n)
(adv) erratically, intermittently, laughable, agreeable, pleasing. solution, defence, return, reaction.
temporarily ANTONYMS: (adj) tragic, boring, ANTONYMS: (n, v) question; (v)
amazement: (n) admiration, wonder, unpleasant, unfunny, tiring, grim, ask, differ, fail, ignore; (n) request,
surprise, consternation, depressing, sad, annoying, heavy, problem, invitation, poison
stupefaction, stupor, wonderment, serious answering: (adj) respondent,
feeling, alarm, jolt; (v) amaze. anger: (n) fury, rage, displeasure, responsive, according, agreeing,
ANTONYMS: (n) preparation, resentment, indignation; (v) incense, responsory; (n) respondency
indifference, expectation, coolness, offend, irritate, exasperate; (adj) answers: (n) replies; (adj) answering
cool, composure, calmness, angry; (n, v) wrath. ANTONYMS: anxiously: (adv) uneasily, restlessly,
contempt, belief (v) placate, pacify, tickle; (n) carefully, worriedly, fearfully,
ambassador: (n) emissary, minister, pleasure, composure, glee, affection, nervously, concernedly, solicitously,
messenger, envoy, agent, delegate, serenity, goodwill, forbearance; (n, timidly, keenly, enthusiastically.
representative, embassador, herald, v) calm ANTONYMS: (adv) calmly,
ambassadress, deputy anguish: (n, v) pain, ache; (n) confidently, merrily, indifferently,
ambition: (n) aim, hope, goal, drive, torment, agony, torture, distress, fearlessly, nonchalantly, patiently,
ambitiousness, wish, dream, misery, suffering, despair, grief, unconcernedly
purpose, target, objective, intention. sorrow. ANTONYMS: (n) pleasure, anybody: (adv) any, each; (n, pron)
ANTONYMS: (n) satisfaction, happiness, calm, euphoria, any person, a person; (n) everyone,
contentment, sloth, laziness, joyfulness, ecstasy, content, peace, somebody, nobody, everybody,
lethargy hopefulness someone; (pron) whoever
ambitious: (adj) eager, difficult, announced: (adj) proclaimed, anything: (adv) any, somewhat; (n)
energetic, competitive, desirous, declared thing, aught, everything, something,
grandiose, enterprising, pushy, announcement: (n) annunciation, any part; (adj) whatsoever; (pron)
challenging; (adj, v) aspiring, advertisement, declaration, release, suchlike
vaulting. ANTONYMS: (adj) statement, communication, report, anywhere: (adv, n) anyplace; (adv)
fulfilled, undemanding, proclamation, promulgation, someplace, wherever, everywhere
unambitious, slothful, simple, pronouncement, intimation. apart: (adj, adv) aloof; (adv) aside,
satisfied, lazy, humble, facile, easy, ANTONYM: (n) request asunder, especially; (adj) alone,
content annoy: (v) pester, displease, anger, distant, detached, isolated, only;
amicable: (adj) affable, kind, amiable, harass, bother, vex, aggravate, grate, (adj, v) separate; (v) segregate.
cordial, gracious, genial, familiar, molest; (n) annoyance; (n, v) afflict. ANTONYMS: (adv) adjoining, near,
peaceful, peaceable, congenial, ANTONYMS: (v) pacify, soothe, surrounded; (adj) connected, nearby
amical. ANTONYMS: (adj) hostile, gratify, placate, comfort, encourage, appalling: (adj, v) shocking, grim,
146 An Ideal Husband
terrific; (adj) alarming, dire, ghastly, ANTONYMS: (v) condemn, censure, supplication, entreaty, billing; (adj)
dreadful, frightful, terrible, disapprove, veto, forbid, invalidate, interrogatory, interrogative
atrocious, vile. ANTONYMS: (adj) disallow, disrespect, deny, assembly: (n) gathering, meeting,
pleasant, admirable, lovely, desecrate, oppose congregation, collection, convention,
encouraging, laudable, comforting, aquiline: (adj) hooked, aduncous, fabrication, multitude, chamber,
pleasing, agreeable, honorable, angular, jagged, serrated, curved, convocation, assembling, body.
appealing, humane bent, uncinated ANTONYMS: (n) scattering,
apparently: (adv) manifestly, argentine: (adj) Argentinian, silvery; dismantling, disbanding,
evidently, patently, obviously, (n) Argentina disassembly, destruction, dispersal
clearly, plainly, supposedly, argument: (n) proof, debate, matter, assist: (n, v) aid, help, support; (v)
conspicuously, overtly, outwardly, controversy, hassle, independent abet, serve, contribute, boost,
allegedly. ANTONYMS: (adv) variable, contention, difference, relieve, encourage, to help, facilitate.
unclearly, actually, doubtfully, justification, discussion, fight. ANTONYMS: (n, v) impede,
questionably, uncertainly, ANTONYMS: (n) harmony, oppose; (v) thwart, disrupt, hamper,
underneath, unlikely, truly, concord, accord, consensus, hurt, stop, worsen, shun; (n)
equivocally, imperceptibly accusation, defense hindrance, counteract
appear: (v) occur, seem, sound, come armchair: (n) fauteuil, easy-chair, assistance: (n) support, relief, boost,
out, turn up, show, emerge, break, seat, easy chair, chair, lounger, encouragement, remedy, help,
arrive, feel, arise. ANTONYMS: (v) recliner, elbowchair service, hand, backing; (n, v) assist;
vanish, hide, stop, sink, recede, go, arms: (n) armament, coat of arms, (v) succor. ANTONYMS: (n)
depart weaponry, ammunition, shield, impediment, impeding, obstruction,
appearance: (n) look, face, shape, ordnance, order, munition, detriment, disservice, meanness,
show, apparition, advent, form, hardware, blazon; (adj) armed opposition
image, surface, impression; (adj, n) around: (adv) approximately, almost, assisted: (adj) aided
semblance. ANTONYMS: (n) roughly, just about, some; (adv, association: (n) affiliation, assembly,
departure, vanishing prep) round, encompassing; (adj) affinity, syndicate, company,
applause: (n, v) acclaim, praise; (n) near; (n) vicinity; (prep) all round, society, partnership, fellowship,
admiration, approval, eulogy, encircling congress; (adj, n) connection, link.
compliment, plaudit, arrange: (v) dress, settle, order, set, ANTONYMS: (n) divergence, clash
commendation, clapping, clap, pack, agree, adapt, do, classify, assure: (n, v) certify, warrant, vouch;
ovation. ANTONYMS: (n) straighten; (n, v) adjust. (v) secure, persuade, satisfy,
disapproval, Boos, booing, ANTONYMS: (v) disarrange, cancel, reassure, affirm, promise, ascertain;
denigration, hisses, hissing, disorder, disorganize, improvise, (adj, v) ensure. ANTONYMS: (v)
rejection, condemnation, criticism, jumble, change, disband, reject, alarm, disclaim, deny, disbelieve,
jeering bungle undermine
apply: (v) devote, dedicate, utilize, arranging: (n) arrange, arrangements, assuring: (adj) ensuring, insure,
ask, use, resort, exercise, consume, disposition, composing, insuring, assure, ensure, giving
lay, appeal; (n, v) give. composition, order, position, set, confidence, securing, likely,
ANTONYMS: (v) remove, separate, orchestration, organization, promising
neglect, dissociate, defy, exempt, agreement astonishing: (adj) amazing,
conserve arrive: (n, v) come, appear; (v) wonderful, stupendous, prodigious,
appointment: (n) assignment, date, mature, reach, attain, succeed, turn strange, surprising, astounding,
post, designation, rendezvous, up, land, fall, get in, show. incredible, breathtaking; (v)
engagement, appointments, fitting, ANTONYMS: (v) go, depart, fail, astonish; (adj, n) marvelous.
berth, blind date, conference. fall, lose, exit ANTONYMS: (adj) ordinary,
ANTONYM: (n) dismissal arrived: (adv) here, at home; (adj) humdrum, boring, mundane, dull,
appointments: (n) installation, accepted expected, predictable, usual,
schedule, upholstery, fixture, arrow: (n) missile, bolt, dart, barb, comforting
furnishings, furniture, movements, gun, spear, bullet, cursor; (adj, n) astounding: (adj) amazing,
possession, actions, arrangements, rocket; (adj) hydrargyrum, miraculous, wonderful, incredible,
activities quicksilver tremendous, spectacular,
appreciate: (adj, v) understand, arthur: (n) Chester Alan Arthur, sensational, breathtaking, awesome,
realize; (v) esteem, treasure, prize, president Arthur staggering, prodigious.
fathom, appraise, comprehend, article: (n) thing, object, chapter, ANTONYMS: (adj) unremarkable,
admire, acknowledge, apprize. feature, commodity, composition, comforting, predictable, boring,
ANTONYMS: (v) scorn, disregard, ware, entity, discourse, essay, insignificant
ignore, neglect, disparage, column astray: (adj, adv) adrift, off course;
underrate, underestimate, dislike, ashes: (n) dust, cinders, remains, (adj) lost, wrong, disoriented, awry;
overlook, assume, undervalue cinder, clay, earth, embers, clinker; (adv) amiss, widely, far, afield,
approve: (v) adopt, allow, accept, (adj) scoriae, mother, precipitate aside. ANTONYM: (adj) accurate
acknowledge, ratify, let, agree, asking: (v) ask; (n) invitation, prayer, atmosphere: (n) ambience, ambiance,
endorse, admit, support, applaud. suit, application, begging, mood, aura, feel, environment,
Oscar Wilde 147
feeling, background, quality, descent, declivity, harvest hirsute, woolly, embellished,
medium, setting aware: (adj) awake, attentive, adorned, decorated
attach: (v) append, adhere, add, affix, conscious, realize, vigilant, perceive, ball: (adj, n) globe; (n) bulb, shell,
bind, link, associate, assign, nail, mindful, heedful, alive, sentient, bead, party, orb, bullet, lump, pellet,
apply, annex. ANTONYMS: (v) sensible. ANTONYMS: (adj) football, dance. ANTONYM: (v)
undo, separate, unfasten, unconscious, insensitive, ignorant, square
disconnect, free, deflect, dissociate, unfamiliar, unwitting, incognizant, band: (n) cluster, set, party, swathe,
loosen, quit, take, unscrew unmindful, unconcerned, lace, knot, collar, circle, strip, zone,
attack: (n, v) assail, attempt, thrust, unprepared, oblivious, indifferent company. ANTONYMS: (v)
raid, charge; (n) incursion, seizure, away: (adj, adv) abroad, absent; (adj, disperse, divide, scatter, disband
aggression, fit; (v) invade, aggress. adv, int) out; (adj) distant; (adv) baron: (n) king, magnate, earl, lord,
ANTONYMS: (v) defend, protect, aside, aloof, afar, way, by, forth; tycoon, businessman, thane,
flatter, aid, avoid, commend, (adv, int) off. ANTONYMS: (adj) nobleman, top executive, man of
compliment, procrastinate; (n, v) adjacent, neighboring, nearby, near, means; (v) man
retreat, praise; (n) protection close; (adv) intermittently, haltingly, base: (adj) abject, mean,
attempt: (n, v) endeavor, offer, discontinuously, in dishonorable, low, vile, ignoble,
struggle, assay, essay, attack; (n) awfully: (adv) atrociously, hideously, bad, contemptible; (n) foundation;
effort, trial; (v) undertake, chance, appallingly, frightfully, fearfully, (n, v) ground; (v) found.
aim. ANTONYMS: (n) success, ghastly, terribly, horrifically, ANTONYMS: (n) top, summit, frill,
fulfillment, achievement, horrendously, badly; (adj, adv) ceiling, apex; (adj) noble, honest,
accomplishment; (v) succeed, fulfill, amazingly. ANTONYMS: (adv) good, principled, grand, pleasant
achieve, accomplish, perform pleasantly, hardly, little, mildly, basin: (n) bowl, pot, hollow,
attendance: (n) appearance, turnout, satisfactorily, slightly, well, washbowl, washbasin, depression,
audience, attending, being there, adequately, superbly, somewhat dock, tank, washstand, sink,
hearing, tendance, retinue, attention, awkward: (adj) inconvenient, clumsy, basinful. ANTONYMS: (n) hill,
contribution, ministry. ANTONYM: embarrassing, uncomfortable, hump
(n) nonattendance ungainly, untoward, crude, inept, basis: (n) base, foundation, gist,
attending: (v) attend; (n) presence, sticky, left-handed, heavy. footing, fundamental, bed,
nursing, care, appearing, ANTONYMS: (adj) graceful, easy, beginning, root, reason, justification,
observation; (adj) concomitant, adroit, manageable, straightforward, nucleus. ANTONYMS: (n) summit,
attendant, ministrant, in attendance, simple, dexterous, rotund, top, apex, effect
ancillary. ANTONYMS: (n) convenient, helpful, skillful bath: (n, v) wash, clean; (v) bathe,
nonattendance, inattention awry: (adj, adv) askew, crooked; (adj) immersion; (n) bathroom, tank, dip,
attention: (n) mind, heed, notice, erroneous, bent, deformed, tub, bathtub, ablution, bate
alertness, care, advertency, aid, distorted, incorrect, wry, wrong; bear: (v) accept, take, stand, acquit,
consideration, ear, attentiveness, (adv) skew; (v) irregular. abide, allow, wear, comport,
precision. ANTONYMS: (n) neglect, ANTONYMS: (adj) straight, right, tolerate, convey, teem.
negligence, thoughtlessness, aligned, even ANTONYMS: (v) release, avoid,
abandonment, abstraction, bachelor: (adj) single, unmarried, destroy, dodge, take, eradicate,
discourtesy, disregard, oversight, unattached; (n) unmarried man, evade, kill, refuse, erase; (n) bull
indifference, insensibility, graduate, knight bachelor, widower, beating: (n) reverse, defeat,
carelessness old bachelor, spinster, adult male, whipping, thrashing, battery,
attentively: (adv) carefully, agamist. ANTONYMS: (adj) flogging, pounding, pulsation,
mindfully, watchfully, observantly, married; (n) husband pulse, rout; (adj) pulsing.
heedfully, vigilantly, cautiously, background: (n) groundwork, ANTONYMS: (n) victory, win
considerately, diligently, alertly, backdrop, education, basis, context, beautiful: (adj) attractive, good-
obligingly. ANTONYMS: (adv) scene, environment, backcloth, looking, bright, neat, beauteous,
unhelpfully, neglectfully, abruptly, panorama, ground, situation. pleasant, picturesque, fine, pretty,
carelessly, hastily, casually ANTONYM: (n) future lovely; (n) beauty. ANTONYMS:
attitude: (n) aspect, posture, badly: (adv) poorly, severely, (adj) unattractive, homely,
behavior, mind, notion, approach, awfully, wrongly, seriously, grotesque, plain, repulsive,
air, bearing, disposition, point of naughtily, wickedly, hardly, awkward, ordinary, dull
view, outlook corruptly, injuriously; (adj, adv) beauty: (n) attractiveness, beaut,
audience: (n) hearing, attendance, gravely. ANTONYMS: (adv) charm, pulchritude, loveliness,
house, listener, meeting, turnout, skillfully, obediently, perfectly, exquisiteness, grace, grandeur,
hearer, spectators, gallery, giftedly, flawlessly, satisfactorily, looker, good looks; (adj) beautiful.
following; (n, v) auditory admirably, superbly, shamelessly, ANTONYMS: (n) hag, plainness,
authorities: (n) polity, control, excellently, pleasingly shortcoming, flaw, witch, dog,
regime, federal, official authorities, bald: (adj) hairless, simple, austere, disadvantage, detraction,
palace, papacy, brain trust, ancien meager, raw, barefaced, stark, plain, repulsiveness, eyesore,
regime, state, empire nude, naked; (adj, v) threadbare. awkwardness
autumn: (n) fall, season, downfall, ANTONYMS: (adj) ornate, furry, become: (v) grow, suit, be, match,
148 An Ideal Husband
come about, arise, get, sit, to beneath: (adv, prep) below, under; sharp, acrimonious, pungent,
become, fall; (adj) becoming. (adj) low, inferior; (adv) downward, severe, cutting; (adj) acid, bitter,
ANTONYMS: (v) halt, stay, lower, infra, at a lower place; (prep) lower barbed. ANTONYMS: (adj) mild,
stop, reduce, clash than, less than, unworthy of, blunt, kind, bland, nice, soothing,
becomes: (v) become unbefitting. ANTONYMS: (adv, sweet, hot, complimentary, faint,
becoming: (adj, v) seemly, proper, prep) over; (adv) higher sympathetic
befitting; (adj) decorous, decent, berlin: (n) Irving Berlin, German bitter: (adj, v) acrimonious, acrid;
adequate, apposite, due, agreeable, capital, Israel baline (adj) sharp, acid, malicious, caustic,
fit, relevant. ANTONYMS: (adj) beside: (adv) on, abreast, aside, virulent, sour, resentful, keen,
inappropriate, unattractive, closely, nearly; (prep) about; (adv, acerbic. ANTONYMS: (adj) mild,
unflattering, improper, unbefitting, prep) besides; (adj) adjacent; (n) charitable, hot, sugary, kind,
unsuitable, ugly, unseemly while, at; (adj, prep) near wonderful, warm, pleasant, nice,
before: (adv) ahead, ago, in front, besides: (adv) as well, moreover, too, agreeable, gentle
previously, already, forth; (adv, furthermore, again, as well as, bitterly: (adv) bitingly, sourly,
prep) fore, afore; (adj) preceding, anyway, additionally; (prep) apart fiercely, cruelly, caustically, harshly,
prior; (adj, adv) earlier. from, beside; (adj, adv) more poignantly, piercingly, cuttingly,
ANTONYMS: (adv, prep) later, best: (adj, n) supreme, most, elite; rancorously, acrimoniously.
behind, afterward, after; (adv) (adj) superior, great, leading, choice, ANTONYMS: (adv) harmoniously,
subsequently, ahead; (adj) superlative; (v) beat, outdo; (adj, n, sweetly, warmly, gladly, agreeably,
subsequent v) top. ANTONYMS: (adj, n) worst; kindly, friendly
began: (v) Gan (v) lose, surrender; (adj) minimum, bitterness: (n) acerbity, animosity,
begin: (v) commence, arise, initiate, lowest, least, inferior, incorrect, gall, malice, resentment, enmity,
become, enter, rise, originate, fewest; (n) loser; (adv) insincerely acridity, acidity, bitter, rancor,
undertake, create, dawn, set out. better: (adj, v) improve, mend; (adj, sharpness. ANTONYMS: (n) joy,
ANTONYMS: (v) end, stop, cease, adv, v) best; (v) recover, ameliorate, happiness, harmony, kindness,
terminate, die, delay, complete, emend, reform, advance, enhance, blandness, friendliness, goodwill,
conclude surpass; (n) bettor. ANTONYMS: idealism, affection
beginning: (n) commencement, (adj, adv) worse; (adj, n) inferior; (v) black: (adj) sable, dark, ebony,
derivation, birth, start, opening, worsen, deteriorate; (adj) lesser, colored, bleak, dirty, evil, nigger,
origin, begin, onset, debut, kickoff; lower, tinier, ill, unhealthy, smaller, darkie, unclean; (adj, n) blackamoor.
(adj) original. ANTONYMS: (n) sicker ANTONYMS: (v) whiten; (adj)
finish, finale, conclusion, demise, betting: (adj) gambling, dissipated, spotless, snowy, saintly, pale,
ending, culmination, closing, sporting; (n) gaming optimistic, merry, light, angelic,
departure, expiration, termination, bewildered: (adj) bemused, confused, ivory, bright
middle confounded, perplexed, befuddled, bliss: (n) happiness, joy, ecstasy,
begun: (adj) present puzzled, dumbfounded, taken pleasure, paradise, blessedness,
behave: (n, v) conduct, exercise; (v) aback, addled, disoriented; (adj, v) felicity, elation, beatitude, heaven,
bear, deal, deport, operate, perform, lost. ANTONYMS: (adj) blessing. ANTONYMS: (n) misery,
acquit, walk, react, go. unimpressed, clear, oriented, sorrow, agony, grief, anguish,
ANTONYMS: (v) misdemean, precise, understanding, alert sadness, suffering, gloom, hell,
malfunction beyond: (adj, prep) across; (adv, dissatisfaction
behind: (adj, n) back, rear; (adj, adv) prep) above, without, besides, over; blow: (n) beat, knock, shock, wallop,
backward, late; (adv) backwards, (adj, adv) further; (adv) away, by, gust, jolt; (adj, n, v) gasp, puff; (n, v)
later, aback, beyond; (n) backside, more, farther, abroad. ANTONYMS: blast, slap; (v) squander.
can; (prep) abaft. ANTONYMS: (adj, (prep) below; (adv) close, inside ANTONYMS: (n, v) calm; (v) save,
adv) early; (adv) fore; (adj) prompt bidder: (n) aspirant, candidate, hand, conserve, store, stillness, inhale,
believe: (n) belief, believing; (v) applier, claimant, competitor, come, arrive; (n) luck, comfort,
assume, conceive, consider, reckon, offeror, postulant, suitor, opponent, caress
guess, accredit, to believe, applicant blue: (adj) depressed, down, gloomy,
understand; (n, v) trust. bill: (n, v) placard; (n) beak, card, low, spicy, livid, naughty, sapphire,
ANTONYMS: (v) distrust, doubt, advertisement, poster, invoice, sad, downhearted, downcast.
question, suspect, reject, discredit, receipt, act, bank note, check; (v) ANTONYMS: (adj) clean, happy,
deny, despair advertise. ANTONYM: (n) credit joyous, refined, moral, decent,
bell: (n, v) chime; (n) gong, bills: (n) currency, folding money upbeat, joyful, gay, cheerful, cheery
Alexander Graham Bell, ring, bind: (adj, v) attach, fix, fasten, affix; blushing: (adj) rosy, coy, blushful,
doorbell, handbell, tocsin, alarum, (n) band; (v) bandage, lace, fetter, flushed, red, shy, bashful,
Alexander Bell, buzz, angelus bundle, truss, combine. overmodest, ruddy; (adv)
belong: (v) appertain, pertain, lie, go, ANTONYMS: (v) untie, unbind, blushingly, ablush. ANTONYM:
belong to, attach, dwell, consist, free, unfasten, unravel, permit, (adj) pale
come, rank, stand. ANTONYMS: (v) loosen, loose, let; (n, v) release; (n) boasting: (n) bluster, bravado,
separate, disagree, disassociate, pleasure rodomontade, swagger,
leave, quit, differ biting: (adj, v) acute, acrid, sarcastic, braggadocio, ostentation, show; (v)
Oscar Wilde 149
brag; (adj) swaggering, vaporing, (adj) limited, restricted, confined, end
strutting finite, incomplete, negligible, small broad: (adj) wide, sweeping,
bonnet: (n) cap, protection, chapeau, bowl: (n) basin, plate, hollow, comprehensive, vast, general,
tile, wimple, beret, lid, cowling, stadium, container, arena, extensive, large, ample, free, big; (n)
castor, poke bonnet, sunbonnet depression, porringer; (v) hurl, toss, female. ANTONYMS: (adj) specific,
book: (v) order, reserve, inscribe, troll thin, restricted, polite, minor,
apply, write; (n) account book, boyhood: (n) babyhood, adolescence, limited, exclusive, dogmatic, decent,
pamphlet, journal, volume; (n, v) youth, youthhood, infancy, cultured, confined
list, record. ANTONYMS: (v) free, girlhood, age, boyism, puberty. broken: (adj) torn, tame, damaged,
exonerate ANTONYM: (n) adulthood intermittent, uneven, imperfect,
books: (n) notebook, account, ledger, bracelet: (n) annulus, armlet, circlet, rugged, rough, out of order; (adj, v)
literature, accountancy wristband, necklace, ring, hoop, busted, ruined. ANTONYMS: (adj)
boot: (n, v) kick; (n) boots, areola, circle, anklet, annulet unbroken, intact, wild, whole,
Wellingtons, bang, gain, jackboot, brain: (n) mastermind, genius, head, working, uplifted, uninterrupted,
buskin, kicking, charge, shoe, mind, reason, wit, psyche, noddle, triumphant, running, indomitable,
bootikin intelligence, nous, brains. incessant
bore: (v) dig, tire, pierce, tap, annoy, ANTONYMS: (n) emotion, moron, broken-hearted: (adj) despairing
perforate; (n, v) bother, plague; (n) body, dummy, imbecile, idiot, brooch: (n) broach, jewelry; (n, v)
auger, well, gimlet. ANTONYMS: physicality clasp; (v) fasten
(v) fascinate, excite, hypnotize, break: (n, v) crack, fracture, breach, brother: (n) fellow, blood brother,
engage, entertain, stimulate; (n) burst, rupture, stop, pause; (n) associate, counterpart, crony,
charmer, exciter, excitement, interruption, respite, suspension; (v) comrade, buddy, peer, chum,
pleasure infringe. ANTONYMS: (v) obey, sidekick, monk. ANTONYMS: (n)
bored: (adj) weary, boring, blase, honor, lose, make, observe, resume, enemy, opposer, opponent
uninterested, bore, listless, jaded, stay, strengthen; (n, v) mend; (n) brutal: (adj) barbaric, barbarous,
sick, fed up, annoyed, indifferent. continuation, misfortune bestial, hard, cruel, unkind, vicious,
ANTONYMS: (adj) energetic, fresh breakfast: (n) repast, banquet, savage, harsh, truculent, barbarian.
boring: (adj) tedious, tiresome, dull, dejeuner, mealtime, feast, meal; (v) ANTONYMS: (adj) merciful, kind,
annoying, bored, tame, prosaic, sup, take tea, eat, have a meal, dine liberal, humane, generous, caring,
monotonous, wearisome, breaking: (n) breakage, breach, friendly, nice, pleasant
uninteresting; (n) drilling. violation, infringement, brute: (adj) brutal, harsh, gruff,
ANTONYMS: (adj) interesting, contravention, smash, rift, brutish; (adj, n) animal, savage; (n)
fascinating, varied, thrilling, scutching, shift, intermission; (v) barbarian, fiend, creature, monster;
original, gripping, inspiring, deaden (adv) beastly. ANTONYMS: (adj)
surprising, stimulating, attractive, breaks: (n) lot, destiny, opportunity, weak, refined, mild, gentle; (n)
amazing chance gentleman
botany: (n) life science, biological breast: (n) boob, udder, tit, titty, build: (n, v) make, shape; (v) erect,
science, biology, mycology, chest, knocker, mammilla, bust, pap, establish, raise, rise, found, base,
pomology, vegetable kingdom, heart; (n, v) front fabricate, fashion; (n) frame.
paleobotany; (adj) acyclic, cyclic brilliant: (adj, v) splendid, glorious, ANTONYMS: (v) destroy,
bother: (n, v) trouble, torment, worry, illustrious, smart; (adj) sunny, dismantle, raze, overturn, obliterate,
hassle, pain; (adj, n, v) fuss, bore; (v) intelligent, magnificent, luminous, decrease, decelerate, ruin,
vex, annoy, irritate; (n) nuisance. spectacular, vivid, beautiful. disassemble
ANTONYMS: (n, v) delight; (v) ANTONYMS: (adj) dull, dim, awful, built: (v) establish, create; (adj) made,
soothe, please, help, aid, comfort, dark, unexceptional, typical, shapely, robust, curvaceous,
placate, encourage, defend; (n) tarnished, grimy, unintelligent, reinforced, improved, heavy,
accord, satisfaction normal, useless buxom, assembled
boudoir: (n) bedchamber, bedroom, brilliantly: (adv) brightly, bureau: (n) office, authority, chest,
master bedroom glitteringly, gloriously, superbly, division, department, desk, dresser,
bought: (n) crook, hook radiantly, shiningly, resplendently, commode, chest of drawers,
bound: (n, v) leap, jump, border, splendidly, magnificently, chambers, burr
bounce, limit, edge, vault, recoil; (n) dazzlingly, vividly. ANTONYMS: buried: (adj) hidden, covert, interred,
boundary, barrier, compass. (adv) incompetently, terribly, underground, inhumed, profound,
ANTONYMS: (v) allow, amble, poorly, dimly, badly, abysmally covered, ulterior; (v) perdu, imbed,
crawl, limp, permit; (adj) permitted, bring: (v) convey, get, take, bear, embed. ANTONYMS: (adj) explicit,
released, unbound, allowed, carry, put, conduct, return, reduce, overt
unlikely set, bring in. ANTONYMS: (v) drop, burned: (adj) baked, scorched,
boundless: (adj) limitless, endless, free, leave, lose, remove, avoid tempered, sore, hurt, heated,
unlimited, infinite, bottomless, brink: (n, v) edge; (n) border, hem, hardened, destroyed, bleak,
incalculable, immense, threshold, boundary, brim, shore, parched, adust
immeasurable, interminable, periphery, lip, margin, limit. burning: (adj) blazing, ablaze,
unbounded, vast. ANTONYMS: ANTONYMS: (n) middle, interior, boiling, afire, flaming, hot; (n)
150 An Ideal Husband
combustion, firing; (adj, n) came: (v) arrive, come hastily, recklessly, rashly,
passionate, zealous, glowing. cameo: (n) relief, relievo, anaglyph, inaccurately, unhelpfully,
ANTONYMS: (adj) cold, trivial, jewelry, chiaroscuro, camaieu incautiously, indifferently,
cool, out, painless, quenched, camp: (n) faction, encampment, base, thoughtlessly, abstractedly,
soothing, unimportant, apathetic, barracks, cantonment, laager, side; clumsily, unwisely
insignificant, unconcerned (v) pitch, tent, camp out; (adj) carpet: (v) cover, drape, rebuke,
burns: (n) George Burns, Nathan campy encase, row, chew out; (n) rug,
Birnbaum, Robert Burns canal: (n) channel, conduit, duct, carpeting, tapis, runner, covering
burying: (n) entombment, sound, culvert, adit, trench, sewer, carriage: (n) attitude, conveyance,
inhumation passage, watercourse, pipe cab, air, walk, position, mien,
bushy: (adj) dense, shagged, shaggy, candid: (adj) blunt, outspoken, shipping; (n, v) transport, behavior,
hairy, bearded, brushy, gross, ingenuous, direct, sincere, open, port
bushies, pilous, pappous, hispid. forthright, artless, equitable, honest, carved: (adj) cut, incised, sculptured;
ANTONYMS: (adj) bald, neat, guileless. ANTONYMS: (adj) (v) graven, engraved, stamped,
unhealthy, tidy, thin, sparse, sleek scheming, tricky, artful, deceitful, fixed, imprinted. ANTONYM: (adj)
business: (n) subject, matter, event, dishonest, guarded, indirect, uncarved
vocation, job, profession, affair, insincere, inhibited, disingenuous, case: (n) example, box, bin, cover,
work, corporation, occupation; (adj, evasive jacket, shell, bag, affair, briefcase,
n) trade. ANTONYMS: (adj) cane: (n, v) scourge, whip; (v) flog, business; (adj, n) eccentric
charitable, private; (n) pleasure, beat, birch, thrash, lash; (n) stick, cases: (n) brass tacks, baggage,
avocation, fun, entertainment, bat, rattan, twig luggage, caseload, suitcases
hobby canning: (n) packing, preservation, catch: (n, v) capture, hook, haul,
busy: (adj) brisk, engaged, assiduous, tinning, can filling, canning process hitch, trick, grab, snatch; (v) get,
occupied, agile, meddlesome, capacity: (adj, n) capability, talent, apprehend, intercept; (n) pawl.
industrious, crowded, officious, live; endowment; (n) aptitude, ANTONYMS: (n, v) release; (v)
(v) occupy. ANTONYMS: (adj) free, capacitance, function, intelligence, misunderstand, unhitch, mistake,
inactive, dodging, available, dimension, authority, faculty; (n, v) Miss, misinterpret, free, give, lose;
deserted, lazy, quiet, still, might. ANTONYMS: (n) (n) advantage, boon
unengaged, avoiding, empty incapability, incapableness, caught: (adj) fixed, guilty,
butler: (n) waiter, pantryman, incapacity, incompetence accomplished, wedged, trapped,
attendant, valet de chambre, livery cape: (n) headland, ness, shawl, interested, exposed, defenseless,
servant, steward, flunkey, footman, tippet, coat, point, mantelet, culpable; (v) seize, get. ANTONYM:
lackey, manservant, valet promontory, mantle, capellet, (adj) loose
butter: (v) gloze, slaver, flatter; (adj) capeskin century: (n) age, centenary, hundred,
butyraceous, dough, pudding; (n) card: (n) calling card, board, bill of centred, centuries, millennium, era,
fat, scrapper, fighter, oil, tallow fare, ticket, label, postal, identity period, centennial, c, hecatomb
buttonhole: (v) accost, solicit, card, menu, notice, placard, visiting certain: (adj) definite, sure, assured,
besiege, intercept, harangue, detain, card absolute, reliable, indisputable,
lobby; (n) bouquet, button hole, cards: (n) baccarat, boodle, card, rum, dependable, unquestionable,
posy, bunch poker, cribbage, rummy, undeniable, unavoidable,
cabinet: (n) closet, locker, press, Newmarket, pinocle, pinochle, unequivocal. ANTONYMS: (adj)
cupboard, chamber, sideboard, penuchle unsure, doubtful, questionable,
dresser, console, council, board, file care: (adj, n, v) anxiety; (n, v) hesitant, debatable, erratic, faulty,
call: (n, v) appeal, shout, bellow, attention, charge, worry; (n) caution, indistinct, vague, doubting,
name, yell, howl, request, appoint; bother, concern, apprehension, aid, undecided
(v) bid, summon; (n) call option. custody; (v) attend. ANTONYMS: certainly: (adv) assuredly, definitely,
ANTONYMS: (v) whisper, mutter, (n) carelessness, recklessness, positively, clearly, necessarily,
cancel, listen, stop, suppose, thoughtlessness, rashness, undoubtedly, actually, securely,
murmur; (n) dismissal, give, grant, negligence, vagueness, unconcern; confidently, absolutely; (adj, adv)
silence (n, v) disregard, dislike; (v) loathe, really. ANTONYMS: (adv)
called: (adj) named, titled, chosen, abhor doubtfully, possibly, equivocally,
known as; (v) nempt, ycleped career: (adj, n) job; (n) calling, perhaps
calls: (n) securities, puts, bonds, profession, vocation, occupation, chair: (n, v) chairman; (n) bench,
preferred stock, common stock work, trade; (v) speed, dash; (n, v) president, chairperson, throne,
calm: (adj, n, v) assuage, appease, course; (adj) occupational. couch, armchair, electric chair,
lull; (adj, v) cool, pacify, peaceful, ANTONYMS: (n) entertainment, chairwoman; (v) moderate, lead
easy, steady; (adj, adv, n, v) still; (n, hobby, sideline, avocation challenge: (n, v) defy, dare, brave; (n)
v) allay; (v) mollify. ANTONYMS: carefully: (adv) scrupulously, defiance, protest, contest; (v)
(adj) agitated, wild, stormy, thoroughly, deliberately, charily, dispute, ask, provoke, impeach,
nervous, angry, scared, terrified, warily, watchfully, prudently, demur. ANTONYMS: (v) obey,
tense; (v) agitate, provoke; (adj, v) painstakingly, guardedly, thriftily, answer, avoid, prove, accept,
upset meticulously. ANTONYMS: (adv) bolster, stifle, correspond; (n) yield,
Oscar Wilde 151
pushover, acquiesce charming: (adj) beautiful, lovely, circumstances: (n) state, position,
champion: (n) partisan, backer, hero, captivating, winning, attractive, condition, circumstance, case, state
fighter, champ, warrior, victor, enchanting, delightful, pleasing, of affairs, status, predicament,
defender; (adj, n) ace; (n, v) support; nice, magic, cute. ANTONYMS: plight, environment, fortune
(v) defend. ANTONYMS: (v) reject, (adj) repellent, unpleasant, civilised: (adj) civilized, humane,
counter; (n) loser, detractor, unappealing, repulsive, charmless, genteel, cultured, cultivated,
attacker, opponent; (adj) worst, disgusting, gross, irritating, advanced, refined, polite
poorest, lousy offensive, uninteresting, annoying claim: (n, v) call, charge, need,
chance: (n, v) hazard, adventure, risk, charmingly: (adv) pleasingly, requisition; (n) allegation, privilege;
venture, bet; (n) fortune, probability, prettily, alluringly, attractively, (v) assert, exact, ask, want, arrogate.
opportunity; (adj) accidental; (adj, n) fascinatingly, pleasantly, ANTONYMS: (v) disclaim, forfeit,
contingency; (v) befall. enchantingly, temptingly, waive, question, lose, grant, refute,
ANTONYMS: (adj) intentional, engagingly, sweetly, beautifully. request; (n) denial, disclaimer,
deliberate, designed, arranged, ANTONYMS: (adv) unpleasantly, response
planned, foreseeable; (n, v) plan; (n) unattractively, horribly, awkwardly class: (n, v) rank, place, group,
predictability, misfortune, certainty; check: (n, v) control, bridle, arrest, position, grade, brand, type; (n)
(v) protect curb, stop, limit, block, halt, bar; (v) category, form, department; (v)
chandelier: (n) candlestick, pendant, agree, restrain. ANTONYMS: (v) categorize. ANTONYMS: (adj)
candelabrum, sconce, lustre, luster, help, hurry, allow, disagree, unstylish; (n) coarseness, inferiority,
girandole, candelabra, gaselier disregard, encourage, expedite, tastelessness
change: (n, v) shift, barter, twist, cash; ignore, overlook; (n) furthering, classes: (n) lessons
(v) alter, alternate, adapt, convert; spur classify: (n, v) arrange, sort, order,
(n) alteration, modification, chef: (n) cook, baker organize; (v) categorize, separate,
variation. ANTONYMS: (v) leave, child: (n) baby, babe, bairn, infant, assort, sort out, distinguish, rank,
maintain, idle, hold, establish, kid, toddler, tot, girl, brat, juvenile, group. ANTONYMS: (v) disorder,
standardize; (n) stability, bills, minor. ANTONYMS: (n) ancestor, disorganize, disarrange, lump
constancy, preservation, uniformity parent clay: (n) soil, remains, adobe, loam,
changed: (adj) transformed, varied, childless: (adj) sterile, unfruitful, dust, dirt, mud, bentonite, ashes;
switched, change, transform, issueless, infertile, bare, bereaved, (adj, n) pottery; (adj) earthen
converted, distorted, affected, bleak, unkind, unproductive, orbate clean: (adj, adv) fair; (v) cleanse,
changeling, disguised, inverse. children: (n) child, offspring, brush, bathe, disinfect; (adj)
ANTONYM: (adj) unchanged descendant, family, seed, boy, antiseptic, blank, pure, chaste,
character: (n) type, part, note, role, babies, descendants, birth, relatives, unblemished; (n, v) wash.
brand, spirit, disposition; (adj, n) people ANTONYMS: (adj) filthy, unclean,
nature, kind, eccentric, constitution. chin: (n) jaw, Kuki, jawbone, muddy, unhygienic, tainted,
ANTONYMS: (n) deceit, dishonor, lineament, rap, jowl; (v) elevate, unwholesome, syrupy, full; (v) soil,
corruption, body speak, chin up, confer, bring up contaminate, pollute
charge: (n, v) blame, care, burden, choice: (n) vote, alternative, selection, clear: (adj) clean, certain, distinct;
commission, command, attack, bill, option, preference, pick, pleasure, (adj, v) acquit, absolute, free, net,
load, tax; (n) accusation; (v) bid. volition; (adj, n) favorite, election; absolve, empty; (adj, n) open; (v)
ANTONYMS: (v) request, discharge, (adj) excellent. ANTONYMS: (adj) exculpate. ANTONYMS: (adj)
plead, beg, compensate, aid, credit, inferior, fair, poor, worst, ordinary, opaque, cloudy, incomprehensible,
calm; (n, v) retreat, absolve, unload inappropriate; (n) coercion, dearth, uncertain, dark, hazy, vague, fuzzy,
charity: (n) dole, favor, aid, liberality, restriction, dislike obscure, confused, puzzling
generosity, kindness, alms, mercy, choose: (v) adopt, elect, select, pick, clever: (adj) capable, acute,
virtue; (v) almsgiving; (adj, n) prefer, take, appoint, assign, decide, intelligent, able, apt, expert, skillful,
brotherly love. ANTONYMS: (n) excerpt; (n) picking. ANTONYMS: cunning, sharp; (adj, v) brilliant,
intolerance, meanness, unkindness, (v) refuse, waver, decline, forgo, smart. ANTONYMS: (adj) clumsy,
cruelty, malice, stinginess, spurn, dislike, elect unintelligent, dim, dull, inept, thick,
cheapness, nastiness, inhumanity church: (n) cathedral, abbey, chapel, naive, idiotic, moronic, incompetent,
charm: (n, v) allure, captivate, appeal, meetinghouse, denomination, open
spell, fascinate, bewitch, conjure; minster, place of worship, kirk, climax: (n, v) peak, crown; (n) top,
(adj, v) attract; (n) amulet; (v) Fane, Christian church, Christianity zenith, culmination, acme, height,
enchant, entrance. ANTONYMS: (n) cigarette: (adj) cigar; (n) tobacco, fag, summit, pinnacle, meridian; (adj, n)
ugliness, repulsion, repulsiveness, butt, can, coffin nail, cubeb, scroll, orgasm. ANTONYMS: (v) dip, drop,
awkwardness, hatefulness, buttocks, reefer, butt joint delve; (n) low, nadir, bathos,
unpleasantness; (v) repulse, offend, cigarettes: (n) tobacco, cigaret anticlimax, comedown, base, trough,
irritate, disgust, bore cipher: (n) zero, nothing, number, nil, prelude
charmed: (adj) enchanted, delighted, nobody, null; (n, v) figure, cypher, climb: (v) ascend, arise, scale,
fascinated, spellbound, entranced, code; (v) calculate; (adj, n) escalate, go up, scramble; (n, v)
captive, beguiled, infatuated, nonentity. ANTONYMS: (n) infinity; clamber, mount, increase; (n) ascent,
absorbed, enamored, captive hours (v) encode, decode, code, scramble jump. ANTONYMS: (n, v) drop; (n)
152 An Ideal Husband
descent; (v) wane, dismount, junction; (adj, n) complex. ANTONYMS: (adj) extraordinary,
plummet ANTONYMS: (n) separation, unusual, exceptional, infrequent,
cloak: (n, v) veil, mask, camouflage, division, dissolution, rejection; (adj) rare, romantic, uncommon, weird;
wrap, masquerade, screen, pall; (n) simple (n) deepness, profundity,
cape; (v) conceal, dissemble, hide. comfort: (n, v) ease, allay, support, profoundness
ANTONYMS: (v) reveal, uncloak, aid, alleviate; (n) consolation, relief, commons: (v) keep, feed, ration; (n)
unmask; (n, v) uncover amenity, assistance; (adj, n, v) common land, commonality,
close: (n, v) end, stop, finish; (adj, assuage; (v) cheer. ANTONYMS: (n) commonalty, lea, ley, pastureland,
adv, prep) nearby; (adj, adv) discomfort, aggravation, agony; (v) fare, diet
adjacent, tight; (adj, v) compact, alarm, annoy, frighten, afflict, company: (adj, n) society, business;
approximate; (adj) accurate; (adv, aggravate, bother, burden, (n) band, association, collection,
prep) by; (n) conclusion. disappoint cohort, brigade, troop, club,
ANTONYMS: (adj, v) open; (n, v) comfortable: (adj, v) easy, snug; (adj) partnership; (v) accompany.
start; (adj) distant, airy, loose, fresh, pleased, pleasing, prosperous, ANTONYMS: (n) isolation, enmity,
far, inaccurate, unfamiliar; (v) begin, agreeable, pleasurable, congenial, host, hostess, absence
unlock rich, enjoyable, homely. comparatively: (adv) rather,
closed: (v) close, tight; (adj) blind, ANTONYMS: (adj) poor, tense, somewhat, reasonably, quite,
finished, blocked, shut, congested, formal, unpleasant, unhappy, approximately, some, pretty, fairly,
enclosed, folded, fastened, not open. unaccustomed, intimidating, to some extent, to a certain extent,
ANTONYMS: (adj) beginning, difficult, anxious, broke, destitute moderately. ANTONYM: (adv)
running, started, starting, comic: (n) clown, joker, buffoon, absolutely
welcoming, continuing zany; (adj) comical, amusing, complete: (adj, v) perfect,
closely: (adv) nearly, narrowly, laughable, humorous, burlesque, consummate; (adj, n) absolute, stark;
intimately, strictly, exactly, thickly, funny, absurd. ANTONYMS: (adj) (v) achieve, finish, accomplish,
firmly, securely, confidentially, dull, serious execute; (adj, n, v) close; (adj) whole,
solidly, familiarly. ANTONYMS: coming: (n) advent, approach, full. ANTONYMS: (adj) unfinished,
(adv) loosely, thoughtlessly, appearance, arrival, return; (adj, n) partial, abridged, sketchy,
heedlessly, carelessly, approaching; (adj) forthcoming, shortened, lacking, qualified,
approximately, inconveniently, imminent, future, impending; (adj, narrow, missing; (v) neglect, start
sparsely, casually, lightly, v) instant. ANTONYMS: (n) completed: (adj, adv, v) done; (adj)
inaccurately departure, exit, leaving, departing; accomplished, perfect, ready, whole,
closer: (adv) nearer, closest, more (adj) distant, retreating, past through, terminated, fulfilled; (adj,
rapidly; (adj) close, approximate, commercial: (adj) mercantile, adv) finished, over, ended
near, dear, good, nigh; (n) finisher, business, merchant, mercenary, completely: (adv) thoroughly,
finale profitable, economic, industrial; (n) perfectly, fully, totally, altogether,
clothes: (n) apparel, clothing, dress, ad, publicity, announcement, consummately, roundly, purely,
garb, wardrobe, vestment, garment, advertising. ANTONYMS: (adj) absolutely, unreservedly; (adv, pref)
cloth, thing, gown, wear noncommercial, private, personal all. ANTONYMS: (adv) partly,
club: (n) association, society, stick, commission: (n) mission, job, partially, hardly, slightly,
bat, circle, Billy, meeting, baton, delegation, mandate, appointment, incompletely, superficially,
gang; (v) bludgeon, beat work; (n, v) warrant, assign; (v) somewhat, halfheartedly, barely
clubs: (n) spades accredit, designate, entrust. complex: (adj) complicate, abstruse,
clutch: (n, v) clasp, grip, clench, ANTONYMS: (v) withhold, retract; difficult, elaborate, involute,
grasp, hold, clinch, gripe; (v) grab, (n) salary intricate, knotty, tricky, abstract,
grapple, embrace; (adj, v) catch. commit: (v) consign, assign, charge, multifarious; (n) obsession.
ANTONYMS: (n) loose; (v) release, confide, dedicate, apply, entrust, ANTONYMS: (adj) basic,
unfasten submit, intrust, leave, give. straightforward, clear, plain, direct,
cold: (n) chilliness, chill; (adj) chilly, ANTONYMS: (v) stop, desist, easy, evident, mainstream, obvious,
frigid, distant, indifferent, aloof, divest, end, idle, withhold, wait, apparent; (n) component
callous, icy, apathetic, impassive. cease, keep, refuse complexion: (n, v) tint; (n) cast,
ANTONYMS: (adj) warm, friendly, common: (adj) coarse, mutual, character, appearance, look, hue,
hot, prepared, burning, affectionate, vulgar, mean, mediocre, ignoble, aspect, flush, glow, dye, fashion
loving, soporific, fervid; (n) heat, plebeian, base; (adj, n) cheap, compliment: (n, v) praise, honor; (v)
warmth habitual; (adj, n, v) usual. laud, flattery, applaud, greet,
colour: (n) coloration, coloring, ANTONYMS: (adj) uncommon, adulation, congratulate, belaud; (n)
colors, semblance, vividness, rare, unusual, characteristic, specific, eulogy, tribute. ANTONYMS: (n)
pretext, pretence, colouring, guise; unique, extraordinary, exclusive, criticism, reproach, disparagement;
(v) redden, discolor. ANTONYMS: aristocratic, infrequent, refined (n, v) slander, libel; (v) criticize,
(n) colorlessness; (v) discolor commonplace: (adj, v) trite, denounce, disparage, denigrate,
combination: (n) union, blend, hackneyed; (adj) banal, ordinary, complain, belittle
coalition, merger, association, humdrum, common, average, plain, complimentary: (adj, adv) free,
league, amalgam, mix, mixture, mundane, dull; (n) platitude. gratis, without charge, at no cost;
Oscar Wilde 153
(adj) gratuitous, adulatory, casual, detached, removed, applaud, joy, salute, commemorate,
flattering, costless, approving, on indifferent, hardhearted approve; (n) congratulation.
the house; (v) commendatory. condemn: (v) censure, reproach, ANTONYMS: (v) commiserate, slur,
ANTONYMS: (adj) disparaging, castigate, attaint, deplore, sentence, disparage, belittle, condemn, boo
offensive, disapproving, critical, excoriate, upbraid, knock, doom, congratulations: (n) congratulation,
uncomplimentary, derogatory, criticize. ANTONYMS: (v) praise, recommendation, praise, pean,
denouncing, negative, costly, approve, commend, free, pardon, kudos, eulogy, encomium,
scornful, unflattering absolve, acquit, clear, exonerate, commendation, approval; (int) well
compliments: (n) respects, release, support done, bravo. ANTONYMS: (n)
commendation, wish, greetings, condemned: (adj) censured, condemnation, criticism, rebuke;
salutation, respect, applause, convicted, doomed, destined, (intj) commiserations
flattery, acclamation, regards, appropriated, taken, taken over, connected: (adj, v) related; (adj)
approbation fated, seized, predestined; (adj, v) attached, allied, affiliated, coherent,
composed: (adj) calm, dispassionate, guilty linked, committed, conjoint,
cool, peaceable, pacific, staid, condition: (n) position, status, combined, relevant, consecutive.
imperturbable, temperate, level, provision, standing, clause, ANTONYMS: (adj) unrelated,
impassive, unflappable. circumstances, term, predicament, separate, unimportant, disjoined,
ANTONYMS: (adj) distressed, rank; (n, v) aspect; (v) provide. unaffiliated, disconnected,
trembling, nervous, excited, tense, ANTONYMS: (v) disqualify; (n) unattached, irrelevant
ruffled, jumpy, intemperate, option conscience: (n) moral sense,
discomposed, upset, worried conditions: (n) climate, environment, Conscience money, sense of right
compromise: (n) arrangement, situation, circumstances, setting, and wrong, scruple, intention,
settlement, concession, surroundings, terms, provisions, tender conscience, small voice,
accommodation, understanding, ambiance, background, bound principles, morals, morality, inward
adjustment, deal, appeasement; (n, condolence: (n) compassion, pity, monitor. ANTONYM: (n)
v) bargain; (v) compound; (adj, v) sympathy, condolement, indifference
make a compromise. ANTONYMS: condolences, lamentation, mercy, conscious: (adj) alive, premeditated,
(n) disagreement, contention, mourning, acknowledgement, mindful, deliberate, cognizant,
confrontation, difference; (v) save, solace, acknowledgment. calculated, intended, discerning,
quarrel, protect, enhance, differ, ANTONYM: (n) congratulation self-conscious, studied, voluntary.
support, contest conduct: (v) bring, direct, carry, ANTONYMS: (adj) unaware,
compromising: (adj) conciliatory, show; (n, v) act, administration, ignorant, unintentional, dead,
moderate, vulnerable, awkward, manage, administer, carriage, accidental, inanimate, spontaneous,
intermediate, flexible, inculpatory; bearing; (adj, v) acquit. subconscious, unplanned,
(adv) halfway ANTONYMS: (v) mismanage, leave, inadvertent, oblivious
conceal: (v) hide, disguise, bury, follow consent: (adj, n, v) accord; (n, v)
screen, cloak, smother, shield, conference: (n) meeting, colloquy, acquiescence, agreement; (v) concur,
suppress, mask, obscure; (n, v) veil. council, interview, consultation, approve, agree, acquiesce, accept;
ANTONYMS: (v) reveal, show, negotiation, talk, discussion, (n) consensus, approval; (adj, v)
expose, divulge, clarify, uncover, congress, sitting, session allow. ANTONYMS: (v) refuse,
disclose, tell, admit, spotlight, flaunt confession: (n) admission, reject, protest, object, differ, oppose;
concealed: (adj) covert, clandestine, acknowledgment, recognition, (n, v) veto; (n) refusal, opposition,
blind, occult, secret, mysterious, acknowledgement, concession, dissent, disagreement
obscure, buried, invisible, secreted, divulgence, disclosure, shrift, consequence: (n) effect, outcome,
surreptitious. ANTONYMS: (adj) penance, profession, admission of import, result, importance, product,
unconcealed, available, overt, open, guilt. ANTONYMS: (n) disavowal, account, concern, event, aftermath;
divulged, Shown, revealed, refutation (n, v) weight. ANTONYMS: (n)
disclosed, uncovered, noticeable, confidential: (adj) secret, classified, cause, inconsequence, insignificance,
mainstream private, intimate, privileged, antecedent, unimportance, triviality,
conceited: (adj) arrogant, cocky, vain, clandestine, furtive, thick, inner, source, meaninglessness
boastful, proud, smug, affected, esoteric, confident. ANTONYMS: consequently: (adv) therefore,
assuming, egotistical, haughty, (adj) open, familiar, known, subsequently, as a result, then,
pompous. ANTONYMS: (adj) external, accessible, official, sequentially, followingly, so,
modest, insecure, meek, selfless, unrestricted naturally, in consequence, hence;
unassuming confoundedly: (adj) tremendously, (conj) ergo
concerned: (adj, v) careful, solicitous; severely, desperately, with a conservatory: (n) conservatoire,
(adj) involved, interested, vengeance; (adv) confusedly, greenhouse, orangery, glasshouse,
thoughtful, considerate, worried, accursedly, abashedly, nursery, summerhouse, winter
nervous, apprehensive, affected, bewilderedly, cursedly, puzzledly, garden, seed plot, grotto, porch,
attentive. ANTONYMS: (adj) extremely schoolhouse
uncaring, unfeeling, untroubled, congratulate: (v) compliment, consider: (v) think, regard, view,
calm, unworried, uninvolved, felicitate, preen, pride, celebrate, cogitate, deliberate, calculate,
154 An Ideal Husband
conceive, reckon, reflect, assume; (n, ANTONYMS: (n) sameness, truthful; (v) purify; (adj, v) clean
v) study. ANTONYMS: (v) likeness, alikeness; (v) accord, agree, costs: (n) expenses, expense,
disregard, forget, discard, doubt, compare, distance, conform expenditure, fee, upkeep, damages,
reject, nevermind, dismiss, abandon, control: (n, v) command, curb, check, spending, outlay, cut, financing,
leave, decide, overlook bridle, handle, sway, hold, disbursement
considerable: (adj, v) important, influence, conduct; (adj, n) council: (n) assembly, congress,
influential; (adj) large, ample, authority; (n) care. ANTONYMS: (n) convocation, convention,
substantial, significant, sizable, weakness, unrestraint, expression, consultation, synod, meeting,
great, momentous, consequential, excess; (v) share, intensify, rush, legislature, diet, committee,
meaningful. ANTONYMS: (adj) risk, resign, relinquish, forsake chamber
insignificant, faint, trivial, slight, convenience: (n) contrivance, counsel: (v) advise, consult,
paltry, imperceptible, unnoticeable, accommodation, opportunity, admonish, confer, warn; (n, v)
little, inconsiderable, unimportant, utility, occasion, fitness, comfort, caution, advocate; (n) barrister,
subtle leisure, appliance, availability; (adj) advisement, consultation,
considered: (adj) reasoned, convenient. ANTONYMS: (n) admonition. ANTONYMS: (v)
premeditated, intentional, willful, uselessness, distance, hardship, betray, trick, deceive, conceal,
sensible, sound, advised, studied, unsuitability, clumsiness, oppose; (n) warning
planned, calculated, regarded. remoteness country: (n) nation, home, land,
ANTONYMS: (adj) sudden, convent: (n, v) abbey, cloister; (n) place, area, territory,
impetuous, ingenuous, thoughtless, monastery, friary, priory, nunnery, commonwealth, soil, kingdom,
swift, spontaneous, disregarded, community, retreat realm; (adj) rustic. ANTONYMS:
unconsidered, unplanned, conversation: (n) talk, conference, (adj) urban, metropolitan; (adj, n)
unstudied, casual communication, colloquy, city; (n) metropolis
construction: (n) formation, confabulation, discussion, language, county: (n) canton, state, area,
structure, fabrication, fabric, discourse, speech, talking, palaver country, shire, commune,
assembly, organization, frame, converted: (adj) consecrated, arrondissement, district, mofussil,
production, creation, making, unearthly, changed, altered, precinct, realm
reading. ANTONYMS: (n) justified, invert, persuaded, courage: (n) audacity, fortitude,
misconstruction, obliteration, inspired, reborn, reformed, boldness, nerve, spirit, backbone,
razing, demolition regenerate valor, heroism, gallantry, mettle,
contemplated: (adj) intended, willful convinced: (adj, v) sure, positive, chivalry. ANTONYMS: (n)
contempt: (n, v) scorn; (v) despise; (n) confident, firm; (v) cocksure, cowardice, faintheartedness,
disrespect, derision, mockery, persuaded, satisfied, assured, bold; weakness, wimpiness, yellowness
disregard, ridicule, shame, slight, (adj) clear, definite. ANTONYMS: courageous: (adj, n) bold; (adj)
reproach, discourtesy. ANTONYMS: (adj) doubtful, unconvinced, audacious, fearless, valiant, gallant,
(n) approval, admiration, regard, uncertain, cynical intrepid, spirited, heroic,
honor, esteem cooking: (adj) culinary; (n) cuisine, undaunted, manly, confident.
continent: (adj) chaste, celibate, food, browning, broiling, culinary ANTONYMS: (adj) timid, wimpy,
abstemious, pure, temperate, art, preparation, gastronomy, chow, weak, spineless, pusillanimous,
abstinent, sober, austere; (n) land, frying, groceries fearful, fainthearted, afraid,
peninsula, delta. ANTONYMS: (adj) corner: (n) bend, angle, nook, despicable
impure, unchaste dilemma, recess, hole, coign, course: (n, v) stream, flow; (n)
continue: (v) remain, keep, sustain, predicament, niche; (n, v) turn; (adj) bearing, route, career, track, path,
carry on, endure, persevere, bide, angular. ANTONYMS: (v) free; (n) road, channel; (adj, n) current; (v)
proceed, maintain; (adj, v) prolong; solution chase. ANTONYM: (v) trickle
(n, v) hold. ANTONYMS: (v) end, corners: (adj) cornered cousin: (n) nephew, cousins, friend,
cease, discontinue, halt, renounce, correspondence: (n) accord, cousinship, relation, akin, relative,
hesitate, complete, fail, desist, finish, connection, agreement, full cousin, companion
neglect communication, coincidence, cover: (n, v) coat, top, conceal, screen,
contrary: (adj, n) contradictory, concord, affinity, parallelism, cloak, veil, shield, spread; (v) bury;
reverse; (adj) adverse, conflicting, parallel, similarity, symmetry. (n) blanket, binding. ANTONYMS:
unfavorable, perverse, cross, ANTONYMS: (n) dissimilarity, (v) reveal, expose, uncover, exclude,
disobedient, alien, different, asymmetry, disagreement, ignore, abandon, strip, free, forget,
obstinate. ANTONYMS: (adj) incongruity, divergence, imbalance, omit; (n) exposure
similar, harmonious, helpful, contrast, clash coward: (n) cur, pantywaist, sneak,
obliging, compatible, complaisant, corrupt: (adj, v) adulterate, taint, dastard, milksop, weakling,
concordant, parallel, agreeable, infect, rotten, canker; (adj, n, v) milquetoast; (adj) gutless,
cooperative, favorable contaminate, poison; (v) bribe, chickenhearted, pusillanimous,
contrast: (n) distinction, comparison, debase, defile; (adj) impure. chicken-hearted. ANTONYMS: (n)
antithesis, difference, variation, ANTONYMS: (adj) moral, pure, daredevil, stalwart; (adj) brave
opposite, collation; (adj, v) differ; (v) principled, ethical, honorable, crag: (adj, n) rock; (n) bluff, precipice,
conflict, oppose, collate. wholesome, virtuous, uncorrupt, heugh; (adj) stone, pike, crest,
Oscar Wilde 155
granite, quartz, sugar loaf, crystal interest, curio, oddity, prying, galloping, hoofing, Pavan; (adj)
credit: (n) credence, recognition, nosiness, peculiarity, novelty, morrice; (adv) adance; (v) saltant
belief, commendation, appreciation, marvel; (adj, n) prodigy. dandy: (n) beau, fop, coxcomb, dude,
advance, fame; (v) accredit; (n, v) ANTONYMS: (n) emotionlessness, buck, clipper, cockscomb; (adj) nifty,
reputation; (adj, n) worth, merit. indifference, disinterest capital, fine, peachy. ANTONYMS:
ANTONYMS: (n, v) discredit; (n) curious: (adj) odd, unusual, (adj) terrible, ghastly, awful, inferior
cash, blame, fault, disrepute, abnormal, strange, peculiar, danger: (n) risk, peril, hazard, chance,
disgrace, withdrawal; (v) disbelieve, interested, quizzical, quaint, queer, jeopardy, threat, trouble,
question, mistrust, distrust inquiring, inquisitive. ANTONYMS: precariousness, slipperiness,
creed: (n) conviction, gospel, religion, (adj) incurious, ordinary, apathetic, disaster, insecurity. ANTONYMS:
credo, faith, tenet, dogma, doctrine, uninterested, unconcerned, typical, (n) security, ease, privilege
denomination, persuasion, church indifferent, everyday, disinterested, dangerous: (adj, n) critical; (adj)
doctrine conventional, common severe, serious, grave, adventurous,
creeps: (n) fear, dread, fright, animal curiously: (adv) inquisitively, unhealthy, precarious, hazardous,
disease, trepidation, nervousness, peculiarly, unusually, strangely, perilous, threatening, chancy.
anxiety nosily, pryingly, queerly, funnily, ANTONYMS: (adj) stable, secure,
critical: (adj) important, decisive, weirdly; (adj, adv) singularly, protected, unhazardous, slight,
severe, ticklish, vital, acute, delicate, particularly. ANTONYMS: (adv) weak, harmless, friendly, favorable,
momentous, minute, particular; (adj, ordinarily, typically calm, pleasant
n) urgent. ANTONYMS: (adj) curse: (n, v) blight, plague; (n) dare: (n, v) venture; (v) defy, brave,
complimentary, positive, anathema, blasphemy, malediction, hazard, confront, risk, resist, make
insignificant, flattering, approving, denunciation; (adj, v) beshrew; (v) bold; (n) adventure, daring,
unimportant, praising, noncritical, swear, ban, damn, vituperate. defiance. ANTONYMS: (v) avoid,
minor, mild, uncritical ANTONYMS: (n) blessing, flee, pass, refrain, retreat, obey
crowded: (adj) compact, congested, benediction, making; (v) daring: (adj, n) bold, courageous,
full, packed, busy, dense, populous, communicate adventurous; (adj) audacious,
jammed, cramped, tight; (adj, n) curtain: (n, v) cover; (n) barrier, venturesome, intrepid; (n) bravery,
thronged. ANTONYMS: (adj) drapery, blind, screen, mantle, audacity, boldness, courage,
sparse, deserted, uncrowded, loose mask, shade, pall, shroud; (v) hide adventurousness. ANTONYMS: (n)
crumbled: (adj) rotten, fragmented curtsey: (n, v) curtsy; (n) obeisance; cowardice, timidity; (adj) timid,
crush: (n, v) squeeze, crunch, press; (v) kneel, bob cautious, dull, afraid, chicken,
(v) beat, break, compress, conquer, curved: (adj) crooked, arched, curve, fearful, unadventurous, wimpy
stamp, overpower, squash, bruise. round, deformed, curvy, curving, dark: (adj) dismal, black, cheerless,
ANTONYMS: (v) lose, congratulate, rounded, hooked, tortuous; (v) obscure, dim, mysterious, murky,
stretch, praise, inspirit, encourage, bowed. ANTONYMS: (adj) concave, gloomy; (n) evening, night, shadow.
compliment, expand, resist, submit, flat, sharp, square, unbent ANTONYMS: (adj) bright, sunny,
smooth cushion: (n, v) pad, buffer; (v) fair, sunlit, clear, pallid, pale,
crushed: (adj) beaten, subdued, low, insulate, soften, protect, bolster, cheerful, white, versed; (n) day
conquered, flattened, dispirited, mollify; (n) shock absorber, mat, darling: (adj, n) beloved, pet, favorite,
compressed, overwhelmed, pincushion; (adj, n) wadding. sweet; (adj) costly, cute, pretty; (adj,
shattered; (v) victimized; (n) ANTONYMS: (v) harm, hurt, injure, v) precious; (n) love, deary, angel.
crushing. ANTONYMS: (adj) exacerbate, expose ANTONYMS: (n) foe, rival
victorious, euphoric damaged: (adj) faulty, unsound, date: (n) appointment, engagement,
culture: (n) breeding, cultivation, defective, dilapidated, broken, hurt, period, meeting, epoch, assignation,
acculturation, learning, tillage, impaired, deficient, besmirched, dating, day of the month; (n, v)
education, polish, erudition, flyblown, weakened. ANTONYMS: escort; (v) register, determine
enlightenment, farming; (adj) (adj) fixed, mended, repaired, daughter: (n) child, son, maiden,
cultural. ANTONYMS: (n) unbroken, fine, flawless, perfect young woman, daughterly, lass,
regression, ignorance, degeneration, damn: (adj, adv, v) bloody; (v) curse, unmarried woman, damsel, miss,
inexperience, crudeness, coarseness, imprecate, beshrew, blaspheme, missy, virgin
uncouthness cuss, slam, convict; (adj) blasted, daylight: (n) dawn, daybreak, light,
curate: (n) rector, clergyman, cursed; (n) damnation. morning, sunrise, clearance, sunup,
minister, chaplain, pastor, ANTONYMS: (v) bless, laud, daytime, broad daylight, first light,
Stipendiary curate, priest, vicar, glorify, exalt, commend, praise afternoon. ANTONYMS: (n) night,
incumbent, reverend, canon damned: (adj) accursed, doomed, sunset, dusk, dark, sundown,
cure: (n, v) correct, medicine, help; (n) blasted, condemned, damn, cussed, twilight, darkness, nightfall
antidote, salve, therapy, treatment; wretched, infernal, hateful, days: (n) period, life, time, age,
(v) treat, pickle, preserve, restore. goddamned; (adv) damnably. existence, generation, years, being,
ANTONYMS: (n) poison; (v) injure, ANTONYM: (adj) saved era, living, lifetime
hurt, harm, wound, damage, dancing: (n) choreography, daytime: (n) day, afternoon, period,
exacerbate Terpsichore, saltation, break eve, daylight hours, Clarence
curiosity: (n) curiousness, rarity, dancing, ceremonial dance, Shepard day Jr, Clarence day, light,
156 An Ideal Husband
eventide, evening. ANTONYM: (n) outstanding. ANTONYM: (n) credit protecting; (n) patrol
night deceived: (adj) mistaken, misguided definite: (adj) certain, clear, distinct,
dazed: (adj) bewildered, stunned, decent: (adj) adequate, appropriate, concrete, plain, conclusive, specific,
dumbfounded, muzzy, stupefied, becoming, decorous, sufficient, precise, categorical, decisive; (adj, v)
dizzy, stupid, groggy, amazed, honest, acceptable, modest, seemly, absolute. ANTONYMS: (adj)
astounded, bleary. ANTONYMS: comely; (adj, adv) right. imprecise, unclear, vague,
(adj) indifferent, unimpressed, ANTONYMS: (adj) immoral, undefined, doubtful, indeterminate,
conscious inappropriate, disreputable, qualified, evasive, indefinite,
dead: (adj) lifeless, defunct, cold, indecent, unsuitable, inadequate, indescribable, dubious
inanimate, idle, gone, fallen, numb, filthy, undressed, unkind, smutty, definitely: (adv) decidedly,
deceased, vapid; (adv) right. selfish absolutely, precisely, clearly, surely,
ANTONYMS: (adj, n) living; (adj) decision: (n) conclusion, specifically, positively,
alive, animate, live, spirited, determination, verdict, sentence, determinately, distinctly,
responsive, working, partial, arbitration, ruling, choice, will, particularly, finally. ANTONYMS:
operative; (adv) partly, partially constancy; (n, v) judgment, award. (adv) maybe, doubtfully, vaguely,
deadly: (adj, adv) deathly; (adj) ANTONYMS: (n) indecision, possibly, questionably, uncertainly,
baneful, lethal, fatal, destructive, indecisiveness, tie, changeableness, indefinitely, hesitantly, irresolutely,
mortal, pernicious, virulent, toxic; indetermination, stalemate, standoff, unclearly
(adv) lifelessly, lethally. deadlock, draw, coercion degenerated: (adj) kinky, shabby,
ANTONYMS: (adj) interesting, decline: (n, v) wane, fall, dip, crumbly
uplifting, readable, mild, healthy, decrease, ebb; (v) reject, refuse, fail; degradation: (n) fall, abasement,
healthful, benign, innocuous, (adj, n, v) drop; (adj, v) sink; (n) degeneracy, corruption, abjection,
exciting declension. ANTONYMS: (n, v) debasement, decadence,
deaf: (adj) earless, hard of hearing, increase; (v) accept, flourish, degeneration, humiliation,
blind, unhearing, indifferent, improve; (n) improvement, deposition, disgrace. ANTONYMS:
deafened, regardless, surd; (v) recovery, development, growth, (n) elevation, glorification, honor
deafen, desensitize; (n) deafness. rebirth, ascent, upturn degrade: (v) cheapen, demean,
ANTONYMS: (adj) listening, aware, decorative: (adj) fancy, ornate, corrupt, decrease, dishonor,
attentive artistic, cosmetic, embellishing, disparage; (n, v) disgrace, reduce;
deal: (v) administer, allot, conduct, enhancing, attractive, elegant, (adj, n, v) abase; (adj, v) debauch,
truck, distribute, apportion; (n, v) pictorial, nonfunctional, illustrative. lessen. ANTONYMS: (v) honor,
buy, trade, contract; (n) agreement, ANTONYMS: (adj) plain, ugly, admire, aggrade, elevate, uplift,
arrangement. ANTONYMS: (n) detracting, useful, simple worship, respect, promote, praise,
purchase; (v) misdirect, receive, deep: (adj) thick, profound, strong, dignify, purify
neglect, mishandle, mismanage, rich, broad, sound, absorbed, wide, degree: (n) extent, level, condition,
take, ignore, hold, gather, disregard abstruse, dark; (adj, v) intense. title, rank, academic degree, place,
dear: (adj, adv) close, near; (adj, n) ANTONYMS: (adj) superficial, high, caliber, status, stair; (adj, n) order
darling; (adj) costly, expensive, weak, soft, light, open, frivolous, delay: (adj, v) defer, linger; (n, v)
lovely, precious, affectionate, lightweight, narrow, arrest, wait, check, stay; (n)
adorable, cherished; (n) love. straightforward, simple deferment, interruption; (v)
ANTONYMS: (adj) worthless, deeply: (adv) strongly, heavily, postpone, reserve, adjourn.
inexpensive, valueless, despised, intensely, deep, thickly, highly, ANTONYMS: (n, v) rush; (n)
modest, loathed, hateful, distant; (n) soundly, greatly, gravely, extremely, decisiveness, promptness; (v)
rival, foe, enemy richly. ANTONYMS: (adv) slightly, advance, hurry, begin, hasten, go,
death: (n) expiration, end, close, exit, mildly, unemotionally, fitfully, expedite, speed, prompt
fate, mortality, departure, cessation, moderately, thinly, hardly, barely, deliberation: (n) cogitation, counsel,
decease, dissolution; (adj) quietus. lightly debate, caution, thought,
ANTONYMS: (n) existence, deep-set: (adj) hollow advisement, attention,
delivery, living, nascency, being, defence: (n) advocacy, safeguard, contemplation, consultation; (adj, n)
survival, life, beginning defense, defend, defensive, alibi, calculation, circumspection.
debate: (n, v) contest, dispute, umbrella, vindication, fort, bastion, ANTONYMS: (n) thoughtlessness,
altercation; (n) argumentation, denial. ANTONYM: (n) prosecution carelessness, impetuosity,
contention, argument, controversy, defend: (n, v) guard, shield, distraction, rashness
disputation; (v) contend, discuss, advocate; (v) justify, protect, assert, delicate: (adj) accurate, tender,
controvert. ANTONYMS: (n) support, maintain, champion, dainty, refined, breakable, fragile,
harmony, agreement; (v) concur, apologize, shelter. ANTONYMS: (v) beautiful, brittle, soft, nice, frail.
decide prosecute, abandon, endanger, ANTONYMS: (adj) inelegant,
debt: (n) score, debit, loan, liability, surrender, renounce, oppose, robust, heavy, sturdy, tough,
obligation, due, bill, commitment, forsake, assault, contradict, destroy, careless, inaccurate, rough, well,
arrears, pocket, hole. ANTONYMS: expose substantial, unscrupulous
(n) asset, cash, credit defending: (v) defend; (adj) caring, delight: (n) joy, pleasure, amusement,
debts: (n) amount overdue, amount shielding, protective, opposed, rejoicing, gladness; (v) ravish,
Oscar Wilde 157
amuse, please, captivate, transport, design: (n, v) purpose, aim, scheme, determined: (adj) constant, definite,
enrapture. ANTONYMS: (n) misery, sketch, conceive; (n) conception, decided, stubborn, certain,
dismay, dissatisfaction, sadness, drawing, device, idea, arrangement; inflexible, decisive, determinate,
nuisance, discontent; (v) depress, (v) contrive. ANTONYMS: (n) ambitious, set; (adj, v) resolved.
displease, sadden, irk; (n, v) bore chance, fortuity, accident, ANTONYMS: (adj) uncertain,
delighted: (adj) glad, cheerful, destruction; (v) improvise irresolute, unmotivated, feeble,
blissful, jubilant, happy, overjoyed, desire: (n) ambition, aspiration, indecisive, waffling, undetermined,
joyful, captivated, pleasant; (adj, v) craving, dream; (adv, n, v) will; (n, undecided, wavering, vacillating,
pleased, elated. ANTONYMS: (adj) v) fancy, wish, aim; (v) want, aspire, fickle
shocked, unhappy, sorrowful, seek. ANTONYMS: (n, v) dislike, detest: (n, v) hate; (v) abominate,
depressed, melancholy, miserable, hate; (n) aversion, reality, revulsion, loathe, despise, execrate, dislike,
desolate, sorry, sad, down apathy; (v) spurn, abhor, answer, nauseate, contemn, dislike intensely;
delightful: (adj) delicious, delectable, command, insist (n) loathing, abhorrence.
charming, pleasing, grateful, despair: (n) disappointment, ANTONYMS: (v) adore, like,
blissful, amiable, adorable, lovely, desolation, dejection, melancholy, cherish, admire
nice, gorgeous. ANTONYMS: (adj) gloom, desperation, depression, detestable: (adj) hateful, abhorrent,
unpleasant, unwelcome, hateful, dismay, discouragement, damnable, odious, offensive,
miserable, unhappy, unappealing, pessimism, sorrow. ANTONYMS: despicable, execrable, horrible,
horrific, horrible, disagreeable, (n) happiness, hopefulness, infamous; (adj, v) cursed; (adj, adv)
depressing, annoying expectation, joy, cheer, cheerfulness, atrocious. ANTONYMS: (adj)
demands: (n) strain, weight, stress, resilience, elation, joyfulness admirable, adorable, sweet,
anxiety despise: (v) disdain, loathe, loveable, lovable, likable, delightful,
demoralise: (v) demoralize, corrupt, depreciate, abhor, dislike, detest, cherished, honorable, desirable, nice
deject, poison, bastardized, begin, slight, hate; (n, v) contemn; (n) detested: (adj) despised, unpopular,
whore, vitiate, bastardize, defile, contempt, deride. ANTONYMS: (v) disliked, loathed, not accepted,
bring down respect, love, adore, appreciate, unloved, scorned, reviled, out of
demoralising: (adj) dark, causing cherish, like, praise, accept favor, not liked
dejection, discouraging, despised: (adj) scorned, despicable, develop: (v) advance, bring up,
disheartening, dispiriting, blue hated, abject, disparaged, mean, expand, grow, educate, breed,
deny: (v) controvert, rebuff, attaching disgrace, unpopular, contract, increase, work up,
contradict, disavow, gainsay, reject, unloved, reviled, opprobrious cultivate, come. ANTONYMS: (v)
oppose, refuse, disown, abnegate, destroy: (v) demolish, blight, despoil, regress, neglect, erupt, narrow, die,
renounce. ANTONYMS: (v) affirm, subvert, dismantle, devour, wreck, struggle, stop, shrivel, shrink,
claim, acknowledge, declare, devastate; (adj, v) desolate, abolish; lessen, compress
maintain, agree, spoil, accept, (n, v) murder. ANTONYMS: (v) developing: (adj) emergent,
accede, allow, argue preserve, create, make, construct, underdeveloped, budding, thriving,
dependent: (adj) subordinate, subject, protect, repair, restore, uphold, progressive, rising, nascent; (n)
conditional, contingent, addicted, sustain, submit, revive processing, growth, evolution; (v)
tributary; (n) charge, adjective, destroyed: (adj) ruined, lost, desolate, grow
attendant, follower, slave. shattered, desolated, broken, development: (n) course, growth,
ANTONYMS: (adj) strong, free, depressed, dead, damaged, undone, progress, spread, increase,
autonomous, capable fallen. ANTONYMS: (adj) improvement, expansion,
descend: (v) settle, condescend, preserved, living developing, result, effect; (v)
down, drop, deign, subside, go detection: (n) revelation, develop. ANTONYMS: (n)
down, dismount, derive, get off, demodulation, detecting, deterioration, neglect, decline,
come down. ANTONYMS: (v) uncovering, unearthing, disclosure, decrease, decay, death,
ascend, climb, float, scale, increase, spotting, spying, sense, recognition, nondevelopment, fall, retreat,
level, mount catching. ANTONYM: (n) suppression, withering
describe: (v) represent, report, concealment devoted: (adj, v) addicted, ardent,
delineate, state, depict, outline, deteriorated: (adj) worn out, worn, fond; (adj) affectionate, constant,
relate, draw, qualify, designate, enervated, adulterate, disrepair, loyal, pious, faithful, reliable,
name crumbly, shabby, debauched, zealous; (adj, prep) consecrated.
desecrated: (adj) impure, dishonored, decrepit, degraded, base ANTONYMS: (adj) disloyal,
unclean. ANTONYM: (adj) determination: (n) conclusion, indifferent, unfaithful, neglectful,
consecrated definition, resolution, decisiveness, uncaring, unenthusiastic,
deserve: (v) rate, warrant, gain, earn, resolve, will, tenacity, appointment, unattached, lukewarm, inconstant,
to deserve, demand, justify, bear; (n, assessment, constancy; (v) award. halfhearted, disobedient
v) reward; (n) richly deserve, worth ANTONYMS: (n) weakness, devotion: (n) allegiance, attachment,
deserved: (v) merited, richly compliance, indecisiveness, dedication, loyalty, worship,
deserved; (adj) appropriate, due, feebleness, vacillation, irresolution, affection, enthusiasm, fondness,
fitting, just, earned, suitable, cowardice, indetermination, devotedness; (adj, n) veneration,
rightful, adequate, required hesitation, flexibility, rashness passion. ANTONYMS: (n)
158 An Ideal Husband
disloyalty, negligence, apathy, considerately, cautiously, comfort, idealism, climax, bonus,
disobedience, neglect, hatred, thoughtfully. ANTONYMS: (adv) gratification
separation, dishonesty, infidelity tactlessly, undiplomatically, disarmed: (adj) harmless, prostrate
dialect: (n) language, speech, indiscreetly discover: (v) discern, disclose,
vernacular, tongue, accent, lingo, direct: (v) aim, address, charge, ascertain, find, perceive, catch,
conversation, say, talk, patois, dictate, head; (n, v) channel, expose, hear, determine, sense,
phraseology command, control; (adj, adv) detect. ANTONYMS: (v) overlook,
diamond: (n) lozenge, infield, square, straight; (adj, v) level; (adj) ignore, disregard, confuse, conceal,
rhombus, rectangle, ball field, immediate. ANTONYMS: (adj) lose
carbonado, baseball diamond; (adj) roundabout, circuitous, oblique, discovered: (adj) revealed, disclosed,
brilliant, jewel, bijou sideways, unplanned, devious, exposed, naked, detected,
diamonds: (n) hearts, ice, spades, dishonest; (v) request, follow, divert, determined, observed, open,
sparkler, clubs get unconcealed, bare. ANTONYM:
dictated: (adj) set, hard-and-fast, directed: (adj) oriented, manageable, (adj) concealed
compulsive; (n) contumely, destined, concentrating, intent, disgrace: (adj, n, v) dishonor; (n, v)
blameworthy, abuse formal, absorbed, prescript, discredit, shame, stain, blemish,
difference: (n) conflict, disagreement, focussed; (v) instruct; (adv) under blot, slur, reproach; (v) degrade,
controversy, contention, distinction, directions: (n) advice, instruction, debase; (n) degradation.
discrepancy, dissimilarity, guidance, instructions, briefing, ANTONYMS: (n, v) respect, esteem,
divergence, quarrel, discord; (n, v) commands, orders, will credit; (v) glorify, dignify, praise; (n)
change. ANTONYMS: (n) sameness, disadvantage: (n) deprivation, merit, grace, pride, rise, worthiness
resemblance, correspondence, limitation, loss, inconvenience, dishonest: (adj) crooked, corrupt,
agreement, concurrence, damage, imperfection, detriment, crafty, underhand, fraudulent,
understanding, parity, normality, failing, fault, demerit, losses. deceptive, wrong, disloyal,
likeness, accord, consistency ANTONYMS: (n) benefit, bonus, untruthful, unscrupulous, shifty.
different: (adj) dissimilar, various, value, plus, assistance, gain, help, ANTONYMS: (adj) truthful,
assorted, unusual, alien, aid, strength principled, sincere, sporting,
miscellaneous, new, fresh, discrete, disappear: (v) vanish, melt, fade, aboveboard, straightforward,
diverse; (v) differ. ANTONYMS: depart, dematerialize, sink, die out, trustworthy, open, moral, fair, legal
(adj) identical, corresponding, equal, pass, go, end, extinguish. dishonesty: (n) corruption, betrayal,
like, typical, same, conventional, ANTONYMS: (v) appear, stay, crookedness, injustice, deceitfulness,
familiar, unified, uniform, Standard arrive, show, materialize, grow, treachery, deviousness, duplicity,
differently: (adv) variously, surge, wax, continue, increase falsehood, racket, trick.
otherwise, divergently, dissimilarly, disappearing: (adj) vanishing, fading, ANTONYMS: (n) frankness,
disparately, distinctly, unlikely, declining, weakening, diminishing; sincerity, truthfulness, honestness,
contrarily, individually, unusually, (adv) vanishingly, off; (v) disappear; reliability
oppositely. ANTONYMS: (adv) (n) going, going away, leaving. dishonour: (v) discredit, disgrace,
alike, correspondingly ANTONYMS: (n) appearance, attaint, shame, degrade, desecrate,
difficult: (adj) awkward, demanding, arrival; (adj) increasing violate, rape, outrage; (n) stigma,
burdensome, complicated, uphill, disappointed: (adj) despondent, opprobrium
knotty, fastidious, hard, delicate, disgruntled, regretful, dissatisfied, dishonourable: (adj) base,
finicky, intricate. ANTONYMS: (adj) depressed, sad, unhappy, frustrated, disgraceful, shabby, dishonest,
simple, straightforward, rewarding, disenchanted, dejected, disappoint. sordid, discreditable, ignoble,
clear, accommodating, amenable, ANTONYMS: (adj) pleased, shameful, crooked, opprobrious,
easygoing, manageable, satisfied, composed, happy, black
uncomplicated, satisfying, triumphant, fulfilled, cheerful, dislike: (n) disapproval, disaffection,
undemanding idealistic antipathy, disdain, disfavor,
dining: (n) feeding, eating; (v) eat disappointing: (adj) unsatisfactory, revulsion; (n, v) hate, disinclination,
dinner: (n) banquet, lunch, dinner regrettable, insufficient, aversion, distaste; (v) detest.
party, meal, party, beanfeast, disheartening, disappointment, off, ANTONYMS: (n) liking, fondness,
spread; (v) tiffin, dejeuner, bever; dashing hopes, deceitful, deplorable, taste, attraction, enjoyment,
(adj) dinnerly dissatisfactory, distressing. preference, longing; (v) like, enjoy,
diplomatic: (adj) careful, suave, ANTONYMS: (adj) encouraging, approve, adore
discreet, delicate, thoughtful, politic, satisfying, acceptable, fortunate, disposition: (n) attitude, character,
sensible, prudent; (adj, v) strategic; satisfactory disposal, tendency, predisposition,
(v) timeserving; (n) diplomacy. disappointment: (n) anticlimax, inclination, propensity, bias,
ANTONYMS: (adj) tactless, failure, letdown, comedown, arrangement, direction, aptitude
undiplomatic, violent, uncivil, rude, frustration, shame, disillusionment, distantly: (adv) reservedly, aloofly,
impolite, foolish, blunt, artless annoyance, dismay, setback, coldly, formally, coolly, frigidly,
diplomatically: (adv) discreetly, misfortune. ANTONYMS: (n) standoffishly, farly, removedly,
prudently, sensitively, delicately, satisfaction, boost, happiness, vaguely, detachedly. ANTONYMS:
carefully, wisely, politely, artfully, pleasure, hopefulness, fulfillment, (adv) intimately, passionately,
Oscar Wilde 159
clearly, warmly, nearby, alertly proceedings, permit conscription, drawing, bill of
distinct: (adj) different, discrete, dogs: (n) foxes, Canidae, Carnivora, exchange; (v) recruit, compose.
articulate, distinctive, palpable, cats, family Canidae, forceps, order ANTONYMS: (v) release, expel,
definite, apparent, dissimilar, Carnivora, bears; (adj) dogging destroy
tangible; (adj, prep) separate; (adj, v) doing: (n) act, do, deed, making, dragging: (n) pulled wire, stemming,
marked. ANTONYMS: (adj) performance, execution, haulage; (adj) slow, sickly, slack,
indistinct, similar, unclear, vague, perpetration, acting; (v) to make, to unfit, sluggish, tardy, tedious; (v)
shapeless, inaudible, connected, do; (adj) current. ANTONYM: (n) involve. ANTONYMS: (adj)
general, resembling, associated, failure energetic, energizing, exciting,
amorphous domestic: (adj, v) home; (adj) civil, prompt, short
distinction: (n) discrimination, native, internal, household, familiar, dragon: (adj) wyvern, cockatrice,
contrast, difference, rank, inland, national; (n) maid, servant; tiger, wild beast, sea serpent, scold,
dissimilarity, demarcation, prestige, (adj, n) homely. ANTONYMS: (adj) madcap; (adj, n) shrew; (n) demon,
celebrity, reputation, consequence, foreign, wild, external, public, office, beldame, Megaera
variation. ANTONYMS: (n) professional, imported, global, alien, draught: (n, v) draft, sketch, design,
mediocrity, resemblance, likeness, undomestic potation, plan; (n) dose, air current,
indistinction, insult, disgrace, dominance: (n) domination, wind, gulp, outline; (v) blueprint
commonness, obscurity supremacy, control, authority, draughts: (n) solitaire, go bang,
distinctly: (adv) clearly, particularly, advantage, command, superiority, backgammon, misere chess, chess,
evidently, expressly, obviously, rule, power, ascendance, dominion. dominos, board game
markedly, definitely, precisely, ANTONYMS: (n) inferiority, drawback: (n) catch, hitch, snag,
manifestly, separately, decidedly. submission, weakness shortcoming, defect, detriment,
ANTONYMS: (adv) inaudibly, done: (adj, adv) finished, ended; (adj) failing, inconvenience, disability,
faintly, vaguely, silently, complete, completed, over, made, hurdle, encumbrance. ANTONYMS:
imperceptibly, poorly gone, accomplished, concluded, (n) benefit, bonus, edge, strength
distinguished: (adj) dignified, through, cooked. ANTONYMS: (adj) drawer: (n) draftsman, drawers, till,
celebrated, illustrious, renowned, unsettled, disapproved, incomplete, designer, box car, cartoonist,
conspicuous, important, reputable, rare, raw, rejected, uncooked, commode, engraver, chest, case,
great, noble, high, well-known. undone, unfulfilled, unsanctioned locker
ANTONYMS: (adj) ordinary, don't: (adv) not; (n) taboo, drawers: (n) knickers, pants, tights,
insignificant, undignified, Standard, prohibition shorts, bloomers, briefs, underwear,
pedestrian, low, common, coarse, door: (n) threshold, mouth, entrance, breeches, underpants,
base, undistinguished, modest doorway, entry, opening, access, underdrawers, trousers
distorted: (adj) deformed, contorted, entryway, way out, portal, hatch. drawing: (n) draft, delineation,
twisted, misshapen, perverted, wry, ANTONYM: (n) entrance picture, plan, cartoon, depiction,
bent, misrepresented, malformed, doorstep: (n) threshold, sill, brink, draught, draw, draftsmanship,
distort; (adj, adv) awry. door, curbside painting, image
ANTONYMS: (adj) unchanged, double: (adj, n) twin; (adj) dual, dreadful: (adj) bad, awful, alarming,
distinct, balanced, perfect duple, twofold; (v) fold, bend, atrocious, fearful, terrible,
distress: (n, v) pain, torment, trouble, geminate; (adj, v) reduplicate; (n) abominable, appalling, direful,
concern, torture, upset, worry; (n) substitute, mate, image. grisly; (adj, v) dread. ANTONYMS:
anguish, agony; (adj, n) difficulty, ANTONYMS: (adj, n) single; (v) (adj) wonderful, great, lovely,
grief. ANTONYMS: (n, v) comfort; decrease, divide, halve; (adj) fantastic, marvelous, admirable,
(v) please, soothe, relieve; (n) peace, multivalent, univalent, lone successful, nice, joyous, honorable,
encouragement, doubt: (n, v) suspicion, question, fair
straightforwardness, solace, query, dispute; (n) disbelief, dreadfully: (adj, adv) frightfully,
relieving, relief, prosperity misgiving, incertitude, shockingly; (adv) fearfully,
distributed: (adj) divided, spread, apprehension, uncertainty; (adj, n) appallingly, hideously,
thin, strewn, separate, apportioned, skepticism; (v) suspect. horrendously, horribly, atrociously,
scattered, parted, dispensed, ANTONYMS: (n) certainty, ghastly, tremendously, horridly.
disseminated, diversified confidence, conclusiveness, belief, ANTONYMS: (adv) pleasantly,
doctor: (v) cure, mend, repair, certitude, faith, approval; (v) accept, wonderfully, happily, hardly,
remedy, attend, adulterate, fix, heal; believe, consider, swallow superbly, well
(n) doc, Dr; (adj) doctorly. doubted: (adj) distrusted, suspected dream: (n) aspiration, ambition,
ANTONYMS: (v) purify, clean, downstairs: (adv) beneath, below, reverie, desire, fantasy, figment,
distill, harm, hurt, injure, wound underneath, down the stairs, nightmare; (n, v) vision, sleep; (v)
document: (n) charter, deed, downward, infra, at a lower place, muse, imagine. ANTONYMS: (n)
credential, credentials, text, papers, downhill, on a lower floor; (adj) alertness, nightmare
writing; (v) list, report, file, prove downstair; (n) floor. ANTONYMS: dreamy: (adj) faraway, romantic,
documents: (n) papers, file, archive, (adj, adv) upstairs impractical, somnolent, visionary,
documentation, dossier, id, travel draft: (n, v) draught, outline, design, sleepy, pensive, moony, idealistic,
document, credentials, proof, sketch, blueprint; (n) bill, drowsy; (v) balmy. ANTONYMS:
160 An Ideal Husband
(adj) cynical, vigorous, pragmatic, dismal, slack, torpid; (adj, v) blunt, lunching, supping, pica, repletion;
practical, awake, alert, ordinary, stupid; (v) deaden, dampen; (adj, n) (v) eat
prosaic cold. ANTONYMS: (adj) lively, eavesdropper: (v) auditor, hearer,
dreary: (adj) depressing, drab, dull, sharp, stimulating, exciting, informer, listener; (n) snooper,
cheerless, drear, miserable, gloomy, lustrous, interesting, exhilarating, tapper, snoop, quidnunc, Paul Pry,
dark, dismal, stuffy, disconsolate. varied, glossy, glittery, luminous newsmonger, delator
ANTONYMS: (adj) interesting, dumb: (adj) mute, speechless, dense, edge: (n, v) bound, verge, hem, skirt,
cheerful, sunny, brilliant, lively, dim, silent, dull, slow, stupid, line; (n) boundary, margin, brink,
light, exciting, clear, cheery, inarticulate, foolish, obtuse. blade, extremity, limit.
pleasant, exotic ANTONYMS: (adj) bright, ANTONYMS: (n) center,
dress: (n, v) attire, costume, clothe, communicative, intelligent, disadvantage, obstacle, handicap,
apparel, clothing, array, trim, garb, loquacious, sharp, smart, speaking, mainstream, end; (v) interior, dull,
rig, cover; (n) dressing. brilliant, talkative blunt, speed
ANTONYMS: (n, v) undress; (v) during: (prep) within, on, by, of, for, edition: (n) release, print, circulation,
uncover, disrobe, rumple, strip, pending, inside; (adv) whilst, while; copy, quantity of Stamps issued,
wrinkle (adj) throughout; (n) at. number, issue, adaptation, book,
dressed: (adj) attired, clad, garbed, ANTONYM: (prep) out issuance, variation
appareled, spruced up, spiffed up, duty: (n) function, commitment, educated: (adj, v) erudite, lettered;
covered, polished, garmented; (v) obligation, chore, assignment, office, (adj) learned, enlightened, trained,
clothed, habited dues, job, responsibility, must; (n, v) refined, informed, taught,
dressing: (n) bandage, stuffing, charge. ANTONYMS: (n) cultivated, intellectual; (v)
fertilization, binding, bandaging, disobedience, option instructed. ANTONYMS: (adj)
scolding, fertilizer, manure, dying: (n) death, demise, decease, uneducated, ignorant, naive,
compress, preparation, farce mortality; (adj) vanishing, illiterate, uncouth, uninformed,
dressmaker: (n) needlewoman, moribund, last, final, ultimate, unlearned, wild
sempstress, seamstress, failing, ebbing. ANTONYMS: (adj) education: (n) discipline, instruction,
garmentworker, shoemaker, thriving, well, opening, aborning, teaching, cultivation, breeding,
garmentmaker, couturier, tailor, developing, flourishing, growing, school, culture, nurture, knowledge,
Ross, mantuamaker, designer reviving, rejuvenating; (n) birth background, learning. ANTONYM:
drift: (adj, n) stream; (n) current, each: (adv) apiece, either, (n) illiteracy
course, tendency, tone, intent; (adj, individually; (adj) every, various, effect: (n, prep) consequence; (v)
n, v) flow; (n, v) aim, blow; (v) singular; (adj, det) any; (n) anyone, accomplish, achieve, bring about,
ramble, float. ANTONYMS: (v) an, anybody, everyone create, complete, cause, do; (n)
guide, struggle, set, sink, aim, repel early: (adv) betimes, soon; (adj) product, sequel; (n, v) result.
drinks: (n) refreshments, food and initial, primitive, young, prompt, ANTONYMS: (n) reason, cause; (v)
drink first, quick; (n) beginning, morning, impede, fail
drive: (n, v) ride, push, force, prior. ANTONYMS: (adj, adv) late, effort: (n) exertion, trouble,
crusade, urge, thrust, campaign, later; (adj) delayed, slow, tardy, application, trial, try, endeavor,
cause; (v) compel, chase, actuate. conclusive, latter, middle; (adv) struggle, drive, diligence, bid, great
ANTONYMS: (n) apathy, inertia, belatedly, tardily, expectedly effort. ANTONYMS: (n) inaction,
lethargy, walk, indifference; (v) earnest: (adj, v) devout; (adj) eager, lackadaisicalness, laziness,
discourage, repress, stop, prevent, solemn, heartfelt, diligent, studious, negligence, lethargy
inhibit, dissuade sincere, intense, ardent, staid; (n) eight: (n) eighter, eleven, nine, ten,
drop: (n, v) decline, dribble, deposit, guarantee. ANTONYMS: (adj) team, queen, ogdoad, octonary,
decrease, jump, ebb; (adj, n, v) flippant, halfhearted, uncertain, octet, ace, octad
collapse; (v) droop, sink, cast, drip. insincere, unimportant, nonchalant, either: (adj) whatever; (adv) too, also,
ANTONYMS: (n, v) increase; (v) lift, lethargic, apathetic, unenthusiastic, neither, besides, likewise; (n) or;
pour, sharpen, raise, recuperate; (n) indifferent, frivolous (det) any; (conj) other
growth, mass, lot, upswing, earth: (n) world, dust, ground, land, elaborate: (v) develop, specify,
elevation lair, dry land, terra firma, clay, amplify, work out, expand,
dropped: (adj) dropping, fallen, creation, ball, country expound, detail; (adj) careful,
decreased, drop, fall, degraded, easily: (adv) lightly, smoothly, complicated, complex, involved.
dead, born, abandoned facilely, fluently, readily, plainly, ANTONYMS: (adj) plain, simple,
drops: (n) tear comfortably, uncomplicatedly, modest, common, stark,
duchess: (n) princess, queen, lady, calmly, slowly, conveniently. straightforward, uncomplicated,
czarina, begum, margravine, ANTONYMS: (adv) hardly, uninvolved; (v) simplify, condense,
noblewoman, peeress, marchioness, unquestionably, laboriously, contract
sultana, infanta difficultly, barely, arduously, eldest: (adj) elder, older, oldest,
duke: (n) lord, prince, hand, affectedly, inconveniently, seriously, eigne; (n) offspring, progeny, doyen
nobleman, fist, chief; (v) pass, box, formally electric: (n) electricity; (adj) exciting,
deliver eating: (n) ingestion, intake, feeding, electrical, galvanic, emotional, hasty,
dull: (adj) dreary, dense, sluggish, browsing, banqueting, food, stimulating, restless; (v) eagle
Oscar Wilde 161
winged, telegraphic; (adj, v) bind, limits, clippings, curve, imperfect
mercurial. ANTONYMS: (adj) trimmings, boundaries entirely: (adv) fully, absolutely,
boring, uncharged, unexciting enemy: (n) antagonist, opponent, foe, utterly, wholly, altogether, all,
element: (n) ingredient, constituent, opposition, competitor, enmity, thoroughly, perfectly, clean, solely;
substance, factor, basis, assailant, foeman, hostile, besieger; (adj, adv) completely. ANTONYMS:
fundamental, matter, feature, (adj, n) rival. ANTONYMS: (n) ally, (adv) partially, incompletely,
foundation, chemical element, origin friend, supporter, benefactor, unenthusiastically, hardly, slightly,
elements: (n) rudiments, grammar, defender, fan somewhat
outlines, fundamentals, basics, engaged: (adj) occupied, betrothed, entrance: (v) enchant, charm,
weather, ABC, atmospheric employed, affianced, engrossed, captivate, bewitch, enrapture; (n)
condition, contents, principia reserved, absorbed, working, access, entry, admittance, threshold,
eleven: (adj, n) xi; (n) eight, squad, pledged, involved, committed. arrival, door. ANTONYMS: (n)
football team, team ANTONYMS: (adj) free, unengaged, departure, exit, egress, egression,
eloquence: (n) style, fluency, oratory, unemployed, uncommitted, exiting, exclusion, retirement; (v)
rhetoric, articulateness, expression, unattached, single, detached, idle bore, repel, repulse
volubility, persuasiveness, england: (n) Britain, British, UK, envelope: (n, v) covering, cloak,
articulacy, facundity, way with United Kingdom, Albion, British blanket; (n) casing, container, pack,
words. ANTONYM: (n) Empire case, coating, jacket, integument,
inarticulateness english: (n) English language, vesicle
else: (adv) besides, yet, to boot, in Englishwoman, Britain, Englishman, equally: (adv) evenly, equivalently,
addition, moreover; (pron) another; side, the English, English people; levelly, alike, justly, as, parallelly,
(n) or; (adj) different, other, further, (adj) Anglican; (v) Anglify uniformly, similarly; (adj, adv, conj)
additional englishman: (n) Sassenach, British, as well; (adj) even. ANTONYMS:
embassy: (n) legation, delegation, Briton, Britisher, Englander, English, (adv) unevenly, individually,
mission, commission, errand, Saxon, limey, burgher, Jacobean, differently, unfairly
ambassage, corps diplomatique, burgess error: (n) blunder, fault, mistake,
communication, cable, diplomat, ennobling: (adj) inspiring, noble, delusion, lapse, oversight, miss,
diplomatist exalting, cultural guilt, crime, defect; (adj, n) wrong.
emigration: (n) migration, exodus, enormous: (adj) huge, big, colossal, ANTONYMS: (n) correctness, fact,
demigration, evacuation, vast, prodigious, excessive, accuracy
immigration, mass departure; (v) exorbitant, great, large, tremendous, especially: (adv) particularly, chiefly,
intermigration, remigration stupendous. ANTONYMS: (adj) expressly, peculiarly, specifically,
emotion: (n) love, feeling, passion, small, minute, insignificant, above all, exceedingly, principally,
heart, commotion, mood, pathos, miniature, measly, diminutive, exceptionally, extraordinarily,
excitement, sensibility; (n, v) affordable, little, slim, ordinary, unusually. ANTONYMS: (adv)
sensation; (v) impression. minor unexceptionally, customarily,
ANTONYMS: (n) detachment, enough: (adj) ample, adequate, usually, commonly, frequently,
coldness, unfeelingness, calmness competent, decent; (n) adequacy, generally
emotional: (adj) dramatic, passionate, sufficiency, fill; (adv) rather, amply, estimate: (v) compute, consider,
poignant, sensitive, sensational, adequately; (adv, n) plenty. weigh, assess; (n, v) guess, esteem,
affecting, affective, moving, effusive, ANTONYMS: (adj) insufficient, calculation, gauge, forecast; (n)
warm, affectional. ANTONYMS: deficient, wanting, scant; (adv) appraisal, assessment. ANTONYMS:
(adj) unemotional, unflappable, insufficiently, inadequately; (n) (v) measure, compute
cold, emotionless, cerebral, insufficiency, deficiency, european: (adj) frank, Teutonic; (n)
dispassionate, insensitive, relaxed, inadequacy, shortage Norseman, Scotchman, Scotsman,
unfeeling, secretive, reserved enter: (v) enroll, embark, chronicle, Swede, Teuton, Luxembourger,
emotions: (n) reputation, emotion, book, record, input, arrive, come, Northman, jutes, Lapp
feeling, temperament, personality, pierce, register, penetrate. evening: (n) even, dusk, dark, eve,
character, disposition, breast, bosom ANTONYMS: (v) depart, exit, twilight, sunset, eventide, nightfall,
emphasis: (n) stress, accentuation, delete, stop, refrain, erase, egress, sundown, night, period.
importance, prominence, import, abstain, cancel, exclude, disembark ANTONYMS: (n) daybreak, sunrise,
vehemence, weight, intensity, entertaining: (adj) enjoyable, fun, sunup, morning
significance, force, power funny, diverting, witty, merry, ever: (adj, adv) always, continually;
empty: (adj, v) clear, discharge, comical, laughable, convivial, (adj) constantly, still, forever; (adv)
destitute, void; (adj) hollow, bare, humorous, droll. ANTONYMS: (adj) never, e'er, before, once, perpetually;
blank, barren, abandoned; (v) dull, boring, heavy, slow, tiresome, (n) Evers. ANTONYM: (adv)
deplete, pour. ANTONYMS: (adj) tiring, unentertaining erratically
crowded, meaningful, packed, entire: (adj, n) absolute, complete; every: (adj) each, total, whole, any,
occupied, inhabited, swarming, (adj) total, all, integral, whole, utter, thorough; (n) everybody, everyone,
brimming, laden, filled, cultivated; perfect, clean, undivided, unbroken. everything; (adv) apiece, either;
(v) fill ANTONYMS: (adj) incomplete, (pron) every one
ends: (n) tops, crook, band, bend, limited, part, unfinished, narrow, everybody: (adv) each, any; (n, pron)
162 An Ideal Husband
anyone, anybody; (n) every person, surpassingly, extraordinarily, justify, forgive; (n) alibi, pretext,
world, everything, horde, throng; greatly, awfully, terrifically, evasion. ANTONYMS: (v) blame,
(pron) any person, someone. eminently. ANTONYMS: (adv) accuse, chide, discipline, include,
ANTONYMS: (n, pron) nobody slightly, hardly, insufficiently, reprimand, castigate; (n) accusation
everything: (pron) anything, somewhat exercised: (adj) applied, distressed,
something, whatever thing, no excellent: (adj, n) estimable, worthy, proficient, veteran
matter which; (n) whole, everyone, capital; (adj) superior, admirable, existence: (n) being, entity, life,
all things, everybody, entirety, beautiful, distinctive, superb, great, subsistence, living, essence, lifetime,
universe, thing good, splendid. ANTONYMS: (adj) aliveness, actuality, occurrence,
everywhere: (adv) everyplace, all poor, abysmal, awful, mediocre, availability. ANTONYMS: (n)
over, far and wide, overall, terrible, imperfect, inadequate, nonbeing, nonexistence, absence,
somewhere, far and near, about, middling, shoddy, bad, used extinction
where; (adv, pron) anywhere; (adv, except: (adj, conj, prep) save; (v) exit: (n) departure, door, egress,
n) anyplace; (adj) throughout. exclude, demur, omit, elide; (adv, outlet, going, gate, way out; (v)
ANTONYM: (adv) nowhere conj, prep) but; (adv, prep) besides; leave, go, go out, die. ANTONYMS:
evidently: (adv) clearly, patently, (prep) excepting, excluding, aside (n) arrival, entry, entrance, greeting;
plainly, obviously, manifestly, from; (conj, n) without. (v) arrive, come
openly, certainly, overtly, markedly, ANTONYMS: (prep) including; (v) expect: (v) assume, anticipate,
conspicuously, palpably. receive, admit demand, understand, hope, think,
ANTONYMS: (adv) doubtfully, exception: (n) objection, exemption, suppose, calculate, await, abide,
imperceptibly, obscurely, anomaly, immunity, privilege, conceive. ANTONYMS: (v) fear,
questionably, actually, ambiguously, repudiation, release, condition, despair
inconspicuously salvo, animadversion; (adj, n) expectant: (adj) hopeful, enceinte,
evil: (adj) bad, criminal, corrupt, peculiarity. ANTONYM: (n) liability anticipative, big, gravid, eager,
wicked, destructive, depraved; (adj, excessively: (adj, adv) immoderately, heavy, confident, with child,
n) ill, detriment; (n) adversity, exorbitantly, inordinately; (adv) watchful; (adj, v) pregnant.
disaster, depravity. ANTONYMS: extremely, enormously, exceedingly, ANTONYMS: (adj) uninterested,
(n) goodness, righteousness, very, profusely, overly, apathetic, indifferent
morality; (adj) kindhearted, exaggeratedly, intemperately. expected: (adj) likely, expect,
righteous, benign, moral, pure, ANTONYMS: (adv) justifiably, predictable, prospective,
upright, virtuous, sinless moderately, insufficiently anticipated, usual, conventional,
exact: (adj, n) correct; (v) demand, exchange: (n, v) barter, interchange, intended, due, assumed, hoped-for.
claim, command, ask; (n, v) require; swap, counterchange, switch, ANTONYMS: (adj) unusual,
(adj, v) close, direct; (adj) precise, substitute; (n) commutation; (v) surprising, unconventional,
detailed, faithful. ANTONYMS: commute, alternate, alter, convert. unexpected, unlikely, exceptional
(adj) wrong, vague, imprecise, ANTONYMS: (n) holding, keeping; expecting: (adj) pregnant, confident,
approximate, inexact, rough, (v) keep with child, heavy, hopeful; (n)
careless, thoughtless, indeterminate; excited: (adj, v) animated, ardent; family way
(v) tender, give (adj) ablaze, enthusiastic, emotional, expensive: (adj) sumptuous, dear,
exactly: (adv) correctly, punctually, frantic, warm, heated, delirious, luxurious, lovely, extravagant,
rightly, accurately, strictly, perfectly, fervent, passionate. ANTONYMS: valuable, lavish, darling, beloved,
definitely, directly, truly, right, (adj) cool, unexcited, bored, overpriced, high-priced.
absolutely. ANTONYMS: (adv) tranquil, easygoing, disappointed, ANTONYMS: (adj) cheap,
inaccurately, randomly, figuratively, despairing, comatose, apathetic, reasonable, inexpensive, worthless,
wrongly, vaguely, roughly, sedate, composed economical, plain, shabby
inexactly, indirectly, imprecisely, excitement: (n) commotion, emotion, experience: (v) endure, suffer,
around; (adv, prep) about animation, agitation, disturbance, examine, meet, live, know, receive;
exaggerated: (adj) extravagant, elation, enthusiasm, eagerness, (adj, v) see; (n) event, episode,
theatrical, immoderate, inflated, taking, excitation, tumult. happening. ANTONYMS: (n)
overdone, hyperbolic, magnified, ANTONYMS: (n) dullness, inexperience, greenness, naivete,
pretentious, overstated, excessive; boredom, tediousness, desolation, inability, ignorance
(adj, v) hypertrophied. apathy, bore, dormancy, experiment: (n, v) attempt, try, taste,
ANTONYMS: (adj) restrained, indifference, somnolence, venture; (n) essay, trial, tentative,
unembellished, minimized despondency, lifelessness examination, probation, experience;
examined: (adj) qualified, studied, exclusively: (adv) entirely, alone, (v) examine
considered specially, completely, individually, experiments: (n) data
example: (n) exemplar, illustration, selectly, particularly, totally, explain: (v) comment, interpret,
instance, sample, lead, paradigm, especially, wholly; (adj, adv) only. account, define, decipher, clarify,
prototype, pattern, design, guide, ANTONYMS: (adv) openly, partly, solve, gloss, excuse, expound,
precedent partially explicate. ANTONYMS: (v)
exceedingly: (adj, adv) very, highly; excuse: (n, v) pardon, palliate; (v) complicate, perplex, obfuscate,
(adv) too, exceptionally, overly, absolve, exculpate, condone, acquit, puzzle, outline
Oscar Wilde 163
explanation: (n) annotation, immoderate, profuse, undue. ANTONYMS: (n) acuteness,
commentary, definition, description, ANTONYMS: (adj) restrained, strength, harshness, clearness,
exposition, solution, justification, frugal, parsimonious, plain, stingy, loudness, clarity
interpretation, gloss, excuse, key. understated, thrifty, reasonable, fair: (adj) clear, beautiful, sweet,
ANTONYMS: (n) mystery, moderate, cautious, tasteful reasonable, dispassionate, average,
cloudiness, confusion, problem extremely: (adv) enormously, fine, impartial; (adj, v) bright; (adj,
expose: (v) endanger, exhibit, betray, excessively, greatly, extraordinarily, adv) clean; (n) blonde.
detect, display, air, uncover, utterly, severely, hugely, intensely, ANTONYMS: (adj) biased, unjust,
debunk, denude, unfold, divulge. desperately; (adj, adv) highly, very. exceptional, dark, partial,
ANTONYMS: (v) conceal, cover, ANTONYMS: (adv) quite, fairly, mismatched, unwarranted, foul,
enclose, suppress, shield, shelter, slightly, moderately, unremarkably, imbalanced, prejudiced, poor
insulate, hide, guard, drape sensibly, hardly, somewhat, fairly: (adj, adv) justly; (adv)
expressing: (adj) significant; (n) commonly, reasonably, moderately, honestly, completely,
speech insufficiently purely, impartially, somewhat,
expression: (n) phrase, voice, aspect, eyes: (n) sight, eye, vision, view, baby righteously, lightly, rightly,
appearance, demonstration, blues, guard, propensity, eyen squarely. ANTONYMS: (adv)
declaration, manifestation, face: (adj, n, v) front; (v) confront, unjustly, extremely, subjectively,
articulation, express, face, style. audacity; (n, v) look, aspect, top; (n) very, dishonestly, unreasonably,
ANTONYMS: (n) hint, suggestion, side, expression, countenance, completely, entirely, unlawfully,
smile, insinuation, concealment, exterior, facade. ANTONYMS: (n, v) excessively, wholly
misconstruction back; (n) timidity, nobody, fairness: (adj, n) candor, comeliness,
expressionless: (adj) empty, underside, shyness, rear; (v) evade, honesty; (n) beauty, justice, candour,
deadpan, blank, impassive, wooden, elude, hide, withdraw, submit equality, reasonableness, frankness,
vacuous, vacant, unexpressive, facing: (n) revetment, face, coating, veracity, neutrality. ANTONYMS:
unmeaning, inscrutable, stolid. lining, veneer, cladding, front, (n) unfairness, prejudice, bias,
ANTONYMS: (adj) expressive, covering; (prep) against, before; inequity, partiality, pettiness,
spirited, lively, demonstrative, alive, (adj) fronting inequality
sympathetic, emotional fact: (n) event, detail, truth, faith: (n) confidence, belief,
expressly: (adv) specially, particular, reality, point, thing, conviction, trust, credence, credit,
particularly, distinctly, specifically, occurrence, experience, actuality; (n, creed, assurance, cult, expectation,
explicitly, especially, utterly, clearly, v) deed. ANTONYMS: (n) dependence. ANTONYMS: (n)
precisely, telly, exactly. guesswork, fallacy, conjecture, disbelief, distrust, dubiosity,
ANTONYMS: (adv) ambiguously, report, falsehood, fiction, concept, skepticism, despair, uncertainty,
conditionally, implicitly, indirectly, fabrication, fantasy, illusion, lie doubt, independence
vaguely factory: (n) plant, mill, works, shop, faithfulness: (n) devotion, constancy,
exquisite: (adj) beautiful, delicate, business, cannery, establishment, allegiance, truth, accuracy, loyalty,
excellent, dainty, gorgeous, studio, workshop, yard, dedication, faith, exactness,
admirable, acute, heavenly, choice, manufacturing plant adherence; (adj, n) honesty.
wonderful; (adj, v) delightful. failed: (adj) unsuccessful, failing, ANTONYMS: (n) disloyalty,
ANTONYMS: (adj) dull, inferior, abortive, bankrupt, fruitless, futile, unfaithfulness, inaccuracy,
ugly, subdued, rough, poor, coarse, declining, deteriorating, ineffective, dishonesty, disobedience,
mild, imperfect, horrible, flawed insolvent wickedness, indifference
extra: (adj) additional, odd, failure: (n) bankruptcy, breakdown, fall: (n, v) decline, dip, rain, decrease,
extraordinary; (adj, adv) over, more; loser, downfall, disappointment, plunge, dive; (n) downfall, descent,
(adj, n) excess, supernumerary; (n) disaster, defeat, debacle; (n, v) autumn; (v) descend, sink.
accessory; (adj, adv, n) plus; (adv) deficiency, decline, loss. ANTONYMS: (n, v) increase, win,
especially; (v) additive. ANTONYMS: (n) achievement, hit, climb, triumph; (n) ascent,
ANTONYMS: (adj) basic, less, winner, victory, capability, achiever, improvement, rising; (v) ascend,
enough, main, sufficient, lacking; (n) attainment, growth, triumph, Victor, advance, conquer, elevate
lack, shortfall, normal; (adv) barely, champion fallen: (adj) drop, decline, prostrate,
scarcely faintly: (adv) dimly, vaguely, flat, destroyed, down, lapsed, alight,
extraordinary: (adj) odd, exceptional, indistinctly, lightly, weakly, hazily, degenerate, lose, get. ANTONYMS:
curious, rare, special, phenomenal, slightly, softly, shadowily, infirmly, (adj) esteemed, honorable, honored,
amazing, astonishing, unusual, palely. ANTONYMS: (adv) clearly, lauded, prestigious
strange, abnormal. ANTONYMS: intensely, distinctly, falls: (n) cataract, waterfall, chute,
(adj) ordinary, normal, everyday, overpoweringly, harshly, angel, torrent, Victoria, twin, force,
usual, common, mundane, regular, considerably, powerfully, strongly, body of water, Guaira, Niagara
undistinguished, unremarkable, brightly, obviously, audibly false: (adj, n) bastard; (adj, adv)
insignificant, natural faintness: (n) weakness, debility, counterfeit, deceitful; (adj) untrue,
extravagant: (adj) wasteful, indistinctness, languor, fuzziness, dishonest, erroneous, sham,
luxurious, prodigal, exaggerated, blurriness, fogginess, dullness, assumed, artificial, fictitious,
profligate, costly, expensive, lavish, ambiguity, lassitude, infirmity. deceptive. ANTONYMS: (adj) real,
164 An Ideal Husband
genuine, faithful, factual, correct, innocent, flawless, unblemished, v) concomitant. ANTONYMS: (n)
natural, truthful, honest, valid, just, absolute, infallible, consummate. female, woman, girl, foe, enemy,
loyal ANTONYMS: (adj) blemished, antagonist, competitor
fame: (n, v) credit, celebrity, report, imperfect, faulty, shameful, soiled, fellow-feeling: (n) kindness
reputation, renown, cry; (n) blameworthy felt: (v) mat, tangle, snarl, braid,
distinction, bruit, honor, prestige, favour: (n) relief, goodness, entangle, lace, perceive; (adj) sensed,
buzz. ANTONYMS: (n) infamy, assistance, office, favoritism, perceived, conscious, sensible
obscurity, anonymity, ignominy, benignity; (v) choose, prefer, female: (n) woman, girl, she, wife,
dishonor, commonness, oblivion, privilege, facilitate, approve hen, spouse, squaw; (adj) feminine,
criticism fear: (n) awe, dismay, alarm, fright, distaff, pistillate, not male.
families: (n) family consternation, care, anguish; (n, v) ANTONYMS: (adj) masculine,
family: (adj, n) household, descent, apprehension, doubt, concern, manly, androgynous, manlike; (n)
home; (n) name, genus, house, reverence. ANTONYMS: (n) man, boy
people, breed, brood, kin, lineage fearlessness, reassurance, fetch: (v) carry, bring, bring in,
fancy: (n, v) desire, fantasy, caprice, confidence, courage, valor, calm, convey, draw, elicit, deliver, catch,
dream, wish, daydream; (v) boldness, security, equanimity, get, attract; (adj, n) feint
imagine, consider; (adj, v) conceive; peace; (v) brave fifty: (adj, n) l; (n) half a hundred,
(n) conception, conceit. fearfully: (adv) timidly, timorously, fifty dollar bill, cubic decimeter,
ANTONYMS: (n) reality, certainty, awfully, apprehensively, cubic decimetre
actuality, conviction; (adj) horrendously, hideously, anxiously, fight: (n, v) battle, dispute, contest,
unadorned, common; (v) hate, appallingly, terribly; (adj, adv) quarrel, engagement, feud,
demonstrate, detest, disapprove, test shockingly, dreadfully. squabble, argue, struggle, clash;
fascinating: (adj, v) captivating, ANTONYMS: (adv) bravely, calmly, (adj, n, v) brawl. ANTONYMS: (n, v)
charming, engaging, interesting; confidently, wonderfully, rationally, withdrawal, retreat; (n) fear,
(adj) engrossing, absorbing, unconcernedly surrender, agreement; (v)
attractive, delightful, alluring, feather: (n) pen, feathering, pinion, compromise, favor, submit
bewitching, seductive. nib, plumage, quill, kind, spline; (n, filial: (adj) dutiful
ANTONYMS: (adj) boring, dull, v) plume; (adj, n, v) fringe; (v) fledge finally: (adv) lastly, ultimately, at
repellent, unappealing, repulsive features: (n) face, characteristics, last, at long last, definitely,
fascination: (n) charm, glamor, aspect, appearance, character, facial terminally, decisively, latestly, at
bewitchment, glamour, appearance, trait, complexion, length; (adv, v) definitively; (adj)
enchantment, enthrallment, nature; (adj) declensions; (v) final. ANTONYMS: (adv) initially,
charisma, magnetism, allure, magic, lineaments partially, soon, unconvincingly
captivation. ANTONYMS: (n) feel: (v) experience, finger, handle, finance: (v) fund, sponsor, pay for;
disinterest, boredom, consider, find; (n, v) sense, sound; (n) funding, banking, income,
disenchantment, disenthrallment, (n) feeling, texture, atmosphere, air. revenue, economics, credit,
repulsion ANTONYMS: (v) observe, doubt, business; (n, v) support
fashion: (n) mode, craze, fad, question, mistrust, ignore, financial: (adj) monetary, financials,
manner, method, way; (n, v) cut, disregard, disbelieve, challenge economic, pecuniary, commercial,
construct, style; (v) contrive, make. feeling: (n) affection, feel, emotion, crumenal, business, numismatical,
ANTONYM: (v) destroy sensitivity, mood, hunch, opinion, sumptuary, money
fashionable: (adj) popular, current, belief, impression, atmosphere; (adj, find: (v) catch, detect, encounter,
classy, trendy, chic, up to date, n) sentiment. ANTONYMS: (n) come across, feel, attain, ascertain;
stylish, dressy, modern, swanky, indifference, overtone, insensibility, (n) detection, disclosure, search,
swell. ANTONYMS: (adj) certainty, insensitivity, hatred, trust; discovery. ANTONYMS: (v)
unpopular, styleless, dated, out, (adj) unfeeling misplace, search, fail; (n) loss
outmoded, tacky, inclusive, old, feet: (v) legs, pegs, pins, trotters; (n) fine: (adj) delicate, dainty, agreeable,
plain foots, ft, fete, meter, rescue nice, thin, elegant, capital, excellent,
father: (n) dad, begetter, creator, feigned: (adj) false, affected, brave; (n) penalty; (v) punish.
abba, patriarch, beginner, founder, assumed, dummy, unnatural, ANTONYMS: (adj) poor, thick,
padre; (n, v) sire; (v) engender, fictitious; (adj, v) sham, counterfeit, wide, coarse, unsatisfactory,
generate. ANTONYMS: (n) disciple, spurious, mock, pretended. substantial, wretched, unpleasant,
follower ANTONYMS: (adj) sincere, genuine, unimpressive, dark, cloudy
fault: (adj, n, v) deficiency; (n) error, natural, wholehearted, heartfelt, real finer: (adj) superior, advanced,
blot, delinquency, flaw, break, fell: (v) cut, chop, bring down, drop, bigger, higher, more, greater
blunder; (adj, n) failing, blemish; (n, cut down; (adj) barbarous, cruel; finest: (adj, n) elite; (adj) top, select,
v) blame, crime. ANTONYMS: (n) (adj, v) prostrate, floor, knock down; excellent, most favorable, most
strength, virtue, capability, (n) skin. ANTONYMS: (v) construct, excellent, most advantageous,
innocence, perfection, credit, ease; erect, raise, build exclusive, classic, best possible; (n)
(v) praise, absolve fellow: (adj, n) comrade, associate; cream
faultless: (adj) blameless, correct, (n) boy, equal, brother, peer, chap, finger: (v) feel, handle, touch, thumb,
immaculate, clean, spotless, colleague, compeer, buddy; (adj, n, indicate, point; (n) digit, dactyl,
Oscar Wilde 165
forefinger, pointer; (n, v) hand. imperfect, shameful ANTONYMS: (v) allow, let,
ANTONYM: (v) clear flirt: (n, v) coquette; (v) dally, coquet, approve, authorize, stand
finished: (adj, adv) ended, toy, romance, trifle, spoon; (n) force: (n, v) drive, squeeze, pressure,
completed; (adj) complete, dalliance, vamp, tease, flirting thrust; (n) energy, strength, agency;
consummate, absolute, flirtation: (n) flirt, coquetry, flirting, (v) coerce, push, press, compel.
accomplished, ruined, spent, ripe, romp, trifling, tease, play, frolic, ANTONYMS: (n) persuasion,
polished; (adj, v) done. gambol, amour, gallantry ineffectiveness, inertia, apathy,
ANTONYMS: (adj) incomplete, florist: (n) tradesman, storekeeper, moderation; (v) request, wheedle,
remaining, rough, leftover, store, shop, shopkeeper, flower pull, push, restrain, prevent
uncultured shop, gun shop, tobacco store, forced: (adj) compelled, bound,
fire: (v) eject, dismiss, kindle, ignite; tobacco shop, rod and reel shop, constrained, artificial, involuntary,
(n, v) discharge, blaze, flame, jewelry shop unnatural, forcible, farfetched,
explode; (n) ardor, conflagration, flower: (n, v) blossom, blow; (v) strained, obligatory, labored.
fervor. ANTONYMS: (v) hire, effloresce, flourish; (adj, n) prime; ANTONYMS: (adj) unprovoked,
defuse, deflate, employ, dampen, (n) efflorescence, elite, cream, spontaneous, voluntary, natural,
detain; (n) laziness bouquet, floret, florescence. genuine, willing, optional
fireplace: (n) chimney, fire, hearth, ANTONYMS: (n) residue; (v) wither forehead: (n) brow, front, foreland,
oven, stove, fire place, fireside, folding: (n) foldaway, plication, lineament, mut, phiz, physiognomy,
kitchen, niche, recess, furnace foldable, bend, crease, bending, visage, eyebrow, skull; (adv)
firmness: (adj, n) constancy; (n) flexure, pleating, collapsable, foremost
determination, resolution, collapsible, doubling foreign: (adj) extraneous, extrinsic,
assurance, consistency, obstinacy, folly: (n) fatuity, foolishness, silliness, alien, exterior, external, exotic,
steadfastness, resolve, confidence, tomfoolery, nonsense, stupidity, strange, oversea, adventitious,
courage, backbone. ANTONYMS: craziness, density, freak; (adj, n) unfamiliar, stranger. ANTONYMS:
(n) softness, instability, vacillation, irrationality, trifling. ANTONYM: (adj) familiar, domestic, internal,
unsteadiness, yielding, (n) sense relevant, national, natural
irresoluteness, droopiness, fond: (adj) affectionate, caring, forget: (v) leave, miss, blank out,
indefiniteness, indecisiveness, devoted, tender, loving, amorous, bury, to forget, overlook, neglect,
indecision, leniency delicate, adoring, doting, ardent, ignore, fail, unlearn, abandon.
five: (n) fives, quintuplet, quint, attached. ANTONYMS: (adj) ANTONYMS: (v) mind, attend
Phoebe, basketball team, fin, squad, aversion, cold, rough forgive: (v) absolve, excuse, acquit,
ace, digit; (adj, n) v; (adj) quinary food: (n, v) fare; (n) edible, board, remit, pardon, justify, to forgive,
fixed: (adj, v) determined, durable; nourishment, diet, sustenance, exonerate, overlook, clear, to excuse.
(adj, adv, v) stable; (adj) definite, aliment, dish, foodstuff, meat, ANTONYMS: (v) condemn, punish,
intent, fast, determinate, certain, set; nurture castigate
(adj, adv, n) steady; (adj, n, v) fool: (n) blockhead, dunce, clown, forgiveness: (n) mercy, condonation,
constant. ANTONYMS: (adj) idiot, ass, booby, buffoon; (v) clemency, kindness, pity, remission,
flexible, separate, adaptable, deceive, bamboozle; (n, v) joke, gull. leniency, absolution, grace,
adjustable, changeable, movable, ANTONYM: (n) savant compassion; (n, v) pardon.
variable, compliant, temporary, foolish: (adj) childish, fool, crazy, ANTONYMS: (n) condemnation,
removable, portable dumb, daft, fatuous, stupid, unwise, cruelty, harshness
flash: (n, v) flicker, blaze, shimmer, preposterous, dopey; (adj, n) silly. forgiving: (adj) compassionate,
glitter, gleam, glimmer, blink, flame; ANTONYMS: (adj) wise, sensible, lenient, tolerant, charitable,
(adj, n, v) twinkle; (n) instant; (v) shrewd, prudent, visionary, remissive, humane, kind,
coruscate. ANTONYMS: (adj) diplomatic, levelheaded, sane, magnanimous, generous, merciful,
tasteful; (n) age; (v) dawdle rational, mature, judicious mild. ANTONYMS: (adj)
flatter: (v) fawn, adulate, wheedle, foolishly: (adv) idiotically, unforgiving, hardhearted,
cajole, soap, kowtow, blandish, ridiculously, stupidly, indiscreetly, impatient, strict
grovel, butter up; (n, v) court; (n) silly, insanely, injudiciously, forgotten: (adj) lost, disregarded,
caress. ANTONYMS: (v) insult, preposterously, absurdly, elapsed, past, abandoned, gone,
disparage, criticize, discourage senselessly; (adj, adv) madly. Gone With the Wind, irrecoverable,
flaw: (n, v) crevice, blemish, crack; ANTONYMS: (adv) sensibly, lapsed, disoriented, no more.
(adj, n) fault, blot, blunder; (n) solemnly, shrewdly, prudently, ANTONYM: (adj) remembered
chink, demerit, cranny, break, chap. responsibly, judiciously, carefully, form: (n, v) make, fashion, design,
ANTONYMS: (n) strength, rationally build, arrange, shape; (adj, n) figure;
perfection footman: (n) attendant, butler, (v) establish, constitute, do; (n)
flawless: (adj) faultless, ideal, follower, flunkey, flunky, varlet, ceremony. ANTONYMS: (v)
complete, consummate, finished, servitor, valet de chambre, boy, deform, destroy
good, impeccable, blameless, knave; (n, v) lackey former: (adj) previous, antecedent,
unimpeachable, correct, unflawed. forbid: (v) prohibit, ban, disallow, anterior, bygone, earlier, prior,
ANTONYMS: (adj) faulty, bar, obstruct, exclude, deny, avert, foregoing, original, deceased, past;
blameworthy, corrupt, fallible, frustrate, to prohibit, enjoin. (adv) formerly. ANTONYMS: (adj)
166 An Ideal Husband
future, last, next, current, following, fragility: (n) brittleness, weakness, acquaintance, colleague, boyfriend,
present, subsequent, later; (n) latter feebleness, flimsiness, daintiness, crony, brother, mate. ANTONYMS:
fortunate: (adj) favorable, lucky, breakability, fineness, finesse, (n) foe, stranger, rival, nemesis,
auspicious, advantageous, favored, vulnerability; (adj, n) frailty; (adj) adversary, antagonist
happy, prosperous, fortuitous, well, failing. ANTONYMS: (n) sturdiness, friends: (n) circle, associates,
successful; (adj, n) blessed. solidity connections, links, support group,
ANTONYMS: (adj) unlucky, fragrance: (n, v) aroma, perfume, acquaintances
disadvantaged, disastrous, scent, smell; (n) bouquet, odor, friendship: (n) association,
unfavorable, underprivileged, essence, odour, redolence, familiarity, affection,
inauspicious, unenviable, sweetness; (adj) fragrant. companionship, friendliness,
unsatisfactory ANTONYMS: (n) stink, stench intimacy, company, attachment,
fortunately: (adv) happily, frank: (adj) candid, blunt, sincere, relationship; (n, v) amity, concord.
prosperously, propitiously, honest, downright, direct, fair, ANTONYMS: (n) hostility,
fortuitously, providentially, straightforward, plain, open, hearty. animosity, antagonism, conflict,
successfully, auspiciously, ANTONYMS: (adj) guarded, formality, rivalry, hatred,
opportunely, felicitously, blessedly, devious, tactful, disingenuous, detachment, distance, isolation
advantageously. ANTONYMS: insincere, hesitant, hypocritical, frightened: (adj) fearful, timid,
(adv) disastrously, unluckily, evasive startled, terrified, scared, alarmed,
inauspiciously, negatively frankly: (adv) openly, sincerely, anxious, apprehensive, horrified,
fortune: (n) estate, fate, fluke, bluntly, honestly, truthfully, intimidated, restless. ANTONYMS:
destiny, luck, accident, means, directly, unreservedly, (adj) unimpressed, confident, brave,
assets, riches, abundance, doom. straightforwardly, ingenuously, fearless, reassured
ANTONYM: (n) design plainly; (adj, adv) freely. frightening: (adj) awesome, awful,
fortunes: (n) adventures, fortune, ANTONYMS: (adv) hesitantly, menacing, alarming, fearsome,
personal narrative, life, journal indirectly, guardedly, untruthfully, horrific, terrible, creepy, fearful,
forty: (adj, n) XL; (n) two score, deceitfully, ambiguously, politely dread, formidable. ANTONYMS:
forties; (adj) twoscore fraud: (n, v) deceit; (n) duplicity, (adj) comfortable, soothing,
forward: (adj, prep) bold; (adj, adv) counterfeit, fake, dishonesty, pleasant, comforting, approachable,
onward; (adj) audacious; (adj, n, v) deception, sham, falsehood, normal, hospitable
promote; (v) expedite, dispatch; swindle, trickery, trick. frock: (n) dress, gown, clothing,
(adv) fore, along, ahead; (adv, n, v) ANTONYMS: (n) fairness, integrity, attire, robe, kirtle, habit, clothes,
further; (adj, adv, n) early. original, genuine, truthfulness coat, chemise, caftan
ANTONYMS: (adj, adv) backward; fraudulent: (adj) false, dishonest, front: (v) confront, look; (n)
(adj) posterior, timid, reverse, fallacious, crooked, deceptive, countenance, forefront, appearance,
abashed, late, formal; (adv) behind, corrupt, dishonorable, crafty, facade, forehead, frontage; (adj, n)
rearward, back, aft underhand; (adj, v) bogus, head; (n, v) disguise; (adj) fore.
foulness: (n) filthiness, dirtiness, counterfeit. ANTONYMS: (adj) ANTONYMS: (adj, n, v) back; (adj,
corruption, contamination, dirt, honest, fair, genuine n) end; (adj) posterior; (v) follow
squalor, squalidity, impurity, freedom: (adj, n) franchise, fruits: (n) revenue
pollution, nastiness, indecency. immunity; (n) deliverance, full: (adj, n) complete, absolute,
ANTONYMS: (n) cleanness, luxury, autonomy, release, discharge, entire; (adj) abundant, flush, broad,
cleanliness, purity, attractiveness emancipation, escape, liberty, right; extensive, ample, total, enough; (adj,
found: (v) erect, build, base, form, (adj) frankness. ANTONYMS: (n) adv, n) crowded. ANTONYMS: (adj)
construct, constitute, appoint, imprisonment, restriction, captivity, lacking, starving, hungry, sketchy,
institute, set up, create, ground. suppression, dependence, restraint, incomplete, thin, deserted, partial,
ANTONYMS: (v) abolish, disband; capture, chance, conformity, restricted, weak; (v) wane
(adj) lost inclusion further: (adj, adv) farther, more; (v)
foundation: (n) base, bottom, freer: (adj) unconfined advance, encourage, foster, forward;
creation, institution, foot, principle, french: (adj) Gallic, Frankish, (adj) extra, additional; (n, v)
establishment, cause, footing, Gallican, Gallian; (v) to take French promote; (adv) again, also.
fundamental, support. leave; (n) Frenchman, romance ANTONYMS: (v) impede, thwart,
ANTONYMS: (n) end, successor, language, French people, Daniel discourage, damage, regress,
destruction, culmination, effect; (adj) Chester French, profanity, the deteriorate, prevent, hinder; (adj)
final French near
four: (n) quaternary, foursome, fresh: (adj) clean, bracing, novel, future: (adj) unborn, prospective,
tetrad, quaternion, quadruplet, bright, recent, original, airy, bold, coming, intended, to come,
square, quarter, quad, air, age of pure, green; (adj, v) brisk. potential, impending, approaching;
man; (adj, n) IV ANTONYMS: (adj) stale, decayed, (n) hereafter, fate, time to come.
fourth: (adv) fourthly; (n) interval, hot, tired, worn, rotten, off, musty, ANTONYMS: (adj) distant, earlier,
third, after part, common fraction, muggy, humid, exhausted near, nearby
fourth part, quartern, second; (adj) friend: (adj, n) associate, comrade, gain: (n, v) profit, benefit, win, catch,
quaternary companion, fellow, ally; (n) advance; (v) derive, earn, get, attain,
Oscar Wilde 167
reach; (n) earnings. ANTONYMS: Teuton, Hun, Yiddish, High dismal, downcast, disconsolate,
(n) loss, deficit, disadvantage, German; (adj) Teutonic, Germanic; melancholy, funereal, downhearted.
setback; (n, v) decrease; (v) reduce, (adj, n) Alman ANTONYMS: (adj) encouraging,
scatter, collapse gesture: (n, v) sign, signal, motion; cheery, cheerful, bright, hopeful,
gallery: (n) balcony, veranda, drift, (n) beck, gesticulation, indication, light, promising, uplifting, joyful,
audience, art gallery, circle, picture movement; (v) gesticulate, beckon, sunny, clear
gallery, porch, terrace, verandah, wave, bless glove: (n) boxing glove, gloves, mitt,
corridor getting: (n) acquiring, reception, mitten, baseball mitt, baseball glove,
game: (n) fun, amusement, acquisition, attainment, contracting, handwear, wristband, sleeve,
entertainment, play, diversion, prey, appropriation, taking, reaching; mittens, batting glove
quarry; (v) bet, wager, gamble; (adj) (prep) receiving; (v) acquire, receive. gloves: (n) gauntlet, mitten, mittens,
fearless. ANTONYMS: (adj) reticent, ANTONYM: (n) rejection gauntlets, scarf, ornament, handbag,
unwilling; (n) hunter girl: (n) damsel, gal, lady, young belt, batting glove, boxing glove,
garter: (n) cestus, halter, running woman, maid, lass, fille, wench, baseball mitt
knot, surcingle, noose, knot, lasso, daughter, bride, virgin. gods: (n) gallery
suspender, star, wreath, crown ANTONYMS: (n) son, boy going: (n) exit, leaving, parting,
gave: (v) deliver, allow, allot, give: (v) extend, commit, donate, expiration, disappearance, action;
provide, furnish, impart, administer; endow, contribute, dispense, (v) go, course, to go; (adj) working,
(n) gives deliver, convey, grant; (adj, v) running. ANTONYMS: (n) arrival,
general: (adj, v) common, frequent; bestow, accord. ANTONYMS: (v) Reunion
(adj) comprehensive, national, withdraw, take, withhold, retain, gold: (n) Au, money, riches, wealth,
universal, ecumenical, current, receive, keep, get, hide, conceal, bullion, treasure, yellow, amber;
commonplace, public; (n) chief, starve, withstand (adj) aureate, gilt, golden
commander. ANTONYMS: (adj, n) given: (adj) apt, disposed, prone, gone: (adj, prep) past; (adj) deceased,
particular; (adj) narrow, individual, specified, liable, inclined, granted, bygone, departed, desperate, lost,
restricted, specialist, detailed, fixed, conditional; (n) assumption, late; (adj, v) exhausted, extinct; (adj,
personal, localized, local, precise, particular. ANTONYMS: (adj) taken, adv) absent, away. ANTONYMS:
limited unwilling (adj) present, remaining, found,
generally: (adj, adv) usually; (adv) gives: (n) give, offer, provide, grant, alive
commonly, broadly, regularly, accord good-bye: (n) bye, farewell, goodbye,
ordinarily, altogether, glad: (adj) jubilant, cheerful, gay, goodby, vale, adios, cheerio
approximately, generically, blithe, delighted, festive, content, good-for-nothing: (adj) worthless,
normally, comprehensively, delightful, genial, bright, willing. feckless, pointless, asinine,
popularly. ANTONYMS: (adv) ANTONYMS: (adj) unhappy, unworthy; (n) loafer, do-nothing,
rarely, specifically, locally, apologetic, dismayed, unwilling, rascal, rotter, cur, trash
occasionally, particularly, unusually disappointed, sorry goodness: (adj, n) generosity,
generation: (n) creation, epoch, era, glance: (n, v) look, peek, flash, peep; kindness, gentleness; (n) good,
tribe, offspring, formation, (n) gaze, glimpse, coup d'oeil, excellence, benefit, virtue, worth,
contemporaries, time, period, day; gander; (v) bounce, glint, ricochet. morality; (adj) favor, beneficence.
(n, v) genesis ANTONYMS: (n, v) study; (n) ANTONYMS: (n) evil, wickedness,
genius: (adj, n) capacity, ability, examination, perusal; (v) stick, stare badness, corruptness, bad,
endowment, faculty, gift, cleverness; glare: (n) glance, brilliance, radiance, immorality, corruption
(n) flair, brain, prodigy, bent, brightness; (n, v) glower, flash, goring: (n) Hermann Wilhelm
aptitude. ANTONYM: (n) amateur shine, scowl, beam, frown; (v) flame. Goring, Goering, Hermann Goering
gentle: (adj) easy, friendly, soft, kind, ANTONYMS: (n) dullness, dimness gospel: (n) creed, dogma, tenet,
affable, balmy, mild, feeble, glaring: (adj) conspicuous, bright, gospels, evangel, truth, doctrine,
compassionate; (adj, adv) calm; (adj, blatant, egregious, obvious, plain, church doctrine, gospel truth,
v) tame. ANTONYMS: (adj) harsh, flaming, garish, crying, gross, glary. veracity; (adj) pope
loud, fierce, caustic, violent, rough, ANTONYMS: (adj) soft, gospels: (n) gospel, revelations,
hardhearted, abrupt, heavy, steep, inconspicuous, dull, minor mark, acts, apocalypse, creed,
sheer glass: (n) bottle, drink, goblet, cup, evangel, evangelists, gospel singing,
gentleman: (n) gent, Mr, male, drinking glass, spectacles, glasses, gospel truth, Luke
patrician, sir, adult male, esquire, field glass, bowl; (v) glaze; (adj, n) gout: (n) taste, relish, arthritis, go-out;
sahib, gentlemen; (adj) ice (v) cephalalgia, earache, otalgia,
gentilhomme, gentlemanly glassy: (adj, v) glossy; (adj) clear, odontalgia, neuralgia, lumbago,
gentlemanly: (adj) courteous, polite, glazed, smooth, flat, crystalline, sciatica
chivalrous, refined, gallant, suave, dead, dull, hyaline, transparent; (v) government: (n, v) administration,
mannerly, genteel, gentle, well-bred; glabrous. ANTONYMS: (adj) alert, management, conduct; (adj, n)
(n) gentleman. ANTONYMS: (adj) bumpy, dull, expressive, murky, authority, control, empire, rule; (n)
rude, unbecoming rough command, dominion, governance,
gentlemen: (n) sirs, messieurs gloomy: (adj) black, desolate, cabinet
german: (n) German language, Jerry, dejected, cheerless, depressing, gown: (n) robe, clothing, cassock,
168 An Ideal Husband
vestment, wrapper, overclothes, vastly, immensely, mightily, hugely; guardian: (n) guard, defender,
outerwear, uniform, tunic, clothes; (adj, adv) far, deeply. ANTONYMS: champion, curator, warden,
(v) clothe (adv) mildly, hardly, superficially, conservator, bodyguard, keeper;
graceful: (adj) beautiful, delicate, poorly, lightly, insignificantly, (adj, n) protector; (adj) protective,
amiable, easy, fine, charming, fair, barely, moderately custodial. ANTONYMS: (n)
airy, becoming, lovely, lithe. greek: (adj, n) Grecian; (n) Hellene, attacker, detractor
ANTONYMS: (adj) inelegant, Greece, Achaian, blackleg, welsher, guess: (n, v) surmise, estimate,
stocky, awkward, vigorous, jerky, leg, eolian, drivel; (adj) Hebrew, forecast; (v) suppose, deem, reckon,
ugly, stilted, heavy, coarse, incomprehensible divine, believe, foretell; (n)
strenuous green: (adj) callow, immature, young, assumption, supposition
grant: (adj, v) bestow, allow, confer; jealous, youthful, emerald, crude, guessed: (adj) rude, inscrutable
(n, v) award, gift, boon; (v) concede, juvenile, gullible, inexperienced; guests: (n) guest, visitors
afford, admit, acknowledge; (adj, n, (adj, v) raw. ANTONYMS: (adj) guiltless: (adj) innocent, clean,
v) present. ANTONYMS: (v) deny, ripe, urban, withering, irreproachable, clear, faultless,
reject, refuse, maintain, prohibit, sophisticated, seasoned, old, arid, unsullied, stainless, pure,
disagree, retrieve, take, withhold, mature, limp, artificial inculpable, immaculate, spotless
withdraw grief: (adj, n, v) affliction; (n) dolor, guilty: (adj) culpable, faulty, wicked,
grapple: (n, v) grip, clasp, tackle, anguish, distress, agony, pain, hangdog, criminal, chargeable,
grasp; (v) fight, contend, grab, wound, chagrin, concern; (n, v) sinful, blameworthy; (n) guilt,
struggle; (adj, n, v) lock; (adj, n) regret; (adj) sore. ANTONYMS: (n) culprit; (adj, v) condemned.
hook; (n) grappling joy, happiness, comfort, content, ANTONYMS: (adj) blameless,
grave: (adj) solemn, serious, critical, peace aggressive, proud
earnest, dangerous, sedate, sad, grin: (n, v) beam; (v) laugh, sneer, gulf: (n) abyss, depth, creek, vortex,
grand; (adj, v) severe, acute; (v) leer, quib, quip, satire, skit; (n) bay, loch, cove, abysm, gap, gorge,
engrave. ANTONYMS: (adj) smirk, grinning, simper. bight
frivolous, funny, cheerful, carefree, ANTONYM: (v) frown habit: (n) clothing, practice, dress,
slight, nonchalant, trivial, stable, grossly: (adv) rudely, roughly, garb, attire, convention, character,
minor, insignificant, favorable commonly, heavily, bluntly, ritual, addiction, clothes; (n, v) use.
gravely: (adv) seriously, soberly, disgustingly, shamefully, rankly, ANTONYM: (n) innovation
severely, solemnly, badly, staidly, totally, uncouthly, obscenely. haggard: (adj) emaciated, gaunt,
momentously, heavily, earnestly, ANTONYM: (adv) appealingly cadaverous, careworn, tired, worn,
weightily, grievously. ANTONYMS: ground: (n, v) base, land, floor; (v) lean, thin, wasted, pinched, squalid.
(adv) lightheartedly, mildly, found, establish; (adj, n, v) bottom; ANTONYMS: (adj) relaxed, carefree,
slightly; (adj) soft (n) earth, reason, field, soil, dirt. healthy
gray: (adj) dull, dim, bleak, gloomy, ANTONYMS: (n) sea, figure; (v) hair: (n) coat, coma, haircloth, pile,
pale, grizzled, hoary, leaden, old, launch, top locks, filament, fleece, fur,
overcast; (n) grizzle. ANTONYMS: group: (n) gang, collection, brigade, hairbreadth, down, forelock
(adj) sunny, cheerful, clear, youthful crowd, company; (n, v) flock, class, half: (adj) moiety, part, short,
greasy: (adj) fatty, dirty, oily, tallowy, rank, sort, cluster, assemblage. defective; (n) semi, mediety, halve,
slick, sebaceous, unclean, unctuous, ANTONYMS: (adj, n) individual; (n) division, piece, first half; (adv)
slippery, adipose, oleaginous. trickle; (v) disperse, dismiss, lump partly. ANTONYMS: (adj, n) all;
ANTONYM: (adj) lean grow: (v) expand, advance, augment, (adj) fully, complete
great: (adj) eminent, gigantic, big, enlarge, come, emerge, spring, hall: (n) mansion, vestibule, lobby,
distinguished, large, extensive, become, farm, turn, get. foyer, auditorium, court, entrance
extreme, grand, chief, ample, ANTONYMS: (v) decrease, weaken, hall, anteroom, concourse; (n, v)
massive. ANTONYMS: (adj) awful, shrink, decline, drop, collapse, corridor, passage
insignificant, tiny, mild, poor, struggle, wane, plummet, dwindle, hand: (v) give, pass, commit, bestow,
minor, useless, ordinary, slight, deteriorate afford, communicate, consign; (n)
weak, unknown growth: (n, v) increase, evolution, deal, worker, aid, applause.
greater: (adj) larger, more, major, augmentation; (n) gain, accretion, ANTONYMS: (n) boss, foot; (v) take
higher, superior, most, great, bigger, enlargement, germination, hands: (n) custody, keeping,
increased, considerable, not accumulation, improvement, personnel, safekeeping, hold, shift,
inconsiderable. ANTONYMS: (adj) increment, rise. ANTONYMS: (n) workforce, men, manpower,
inferior, smaller, small, lower weakening, reduction, decline, guardianship, full complement
greatest: (adj) top, superlative, nondevelopment, shrinking, handsome: (adj) fair, beautiful, fine,
biggest, utmost, largest, extreme, contraction, collapse, fall, loss, generous, charming, comely,
first; (adj, n) maximum, most; (adj, disappearance, retreat attractive, bountiful, considerable,
v) paramount, supreme. grumbling: (n) grumble, growling, bonny, prepossessing. ANTONYMS:
ANTONYMS: (adj) inferior, murmur, murmuring, mutter, (adj) ugly, unattractive, meager,
secondary muttering; (adj, n) rumbling; (adv) ungenerous, measly, plain
greatly: (adv) badly, enormously, grumblingly; (adj) grouchy, handsomely: (adv) liberally, prettily,
considerably, extremely, highly, grumpy, irritable magnanimously, bonnily, largely,
Oscar Wilde 169
lovely, charmingly, finely, admire; (n) attraction, liking, welkin, sphere, atmosphere, celestial
generously, good-lookingly, delight, adoration sphere, space, skies, area, vault of
smartly. ANTONYM: (adv) poorly hated: (adj) despised, disliked, not heaven
handwriting: (n) calligraphy, writing, liked, reviled, scorned, unloved, height: (n) apex, crest, altitude,
fist, script, penmanship, longhand, unpopular. ANTONYM: (adj) pinnacle, peak, top, culmination,
chirography, cursive, cacography, precious level, zenith, summit, climax.
book, ability having: (n) estate, possession, ANTONYMS: (n) shortness, nadir,
happen: (n, v) betide; (v) arise, befall, acceptance, enjoyment depth, trough, deepness, base, dip
develop, go, come, fall, chance, head: (n) captain, boss, froth, foam, held: (adj) absorbed, confined, kept,
come about, occur, get. ANTONYM: crown, chieftain; (n, v) point, lead; apprehended, seized, supposed,
(v) disappear (adj, n, v) front; (v) capital, direct. reputed, tenable, thought, trapped;
happiness: (n) delight, merriment, ANTONYMS: (adj, n) subordinate; (v) detain
ecstasy, welfare, gladness, luck, (n) end, beginning, foot, mouth, heliotrope: (n) bloodstone,
cheerfulness, blessedness, bliss, rear, tail, body, underling, base; chalcedony, agate, emerald, beryl,
felicity, contentment. ANTONYMS: (adj) minor thermal heliotrope, mirror; (adj)
(n) sadness, despair, grief, misery, health: (n) condition, fitness, welfare, mauve, lilac, turnsole, purple
dissatisfaction, seriousness, pledge, strength, form, hygiene, help: (n, v) assist, assistance, support,
dullness, discontent, dejection, sanitation, salubrity, shape; (adj) benefit, favor, avail, cure, assistant;
gloominess, displeasure sanitary (v) facilitate, ease, alleviate.
happy: (adj) felicitous, contented, heaps: (adj, n) lots, much; (n) masses, ANTONYMS: (n) hindrance,
gay, buoyant, content, gleeful, oodles, piles, stacks, many, tons, detriment, interference, damage,
gratified, pleasant, glad, carefree; plenty, lot, accumulation. disadvantage, disservice, manager;
(adj, n) auspicious. ANTONYMS: ANTONYM: (adj) inadequate (v) worsen, aggravate, halt, hurt
(adj) sad, depressed, dejected, hear: (int, v) attend; (v) find out, helpless: (adj, v) forlorn, destitute,
sorrowful, miserable, unlucky, discover, understand, apprehend, abandoned; (adj) powerless, weak,
sorry, reluctant, irritable, hark, learn, try, examine, listen; (adj) defenseless, disabled, impotent,
unfortunately, gloomy heard feeble, hopeless, unable.
hard: (adj, n) austere, rough; (adj, v) heard: (n) hearing ANTONYMS: (adj) strong,
grave, severe, acute; (adj) bad, hearing: (n) audition, ear, auditory independent, capable, invulnerable,
difficult, strong, callous, cruel, sense, trial, consultation, reach, armed, powerful, impervious
tough. ANTONYMS: (adj) easy, auscultation, inquiry; (n, v) earshot, hereditary: (adj) familial, ancestral,
kind, soggy, tender, merciful, sound; (adj, n) audience inherent, heritable, inherited,
yielding, simple; (adv) lightly, hears: (v) hear inborn, congenital, innate,
gently, lackadaisically; (adj, adv) hearsay: (n) report, gossip, rumour, patrimonial, native, heredity
flexible buzz, on dit, news, scandal, fame, heresy: (n) paganism, heathenism,
hardly: (adj, adv) barely, scarcely; talk, comment; (v) bruit. false doctrine, nonconformity,
(adv) severely, harshly, roughly, ANTONYM: (n) fact revisionism, unbelief, orientation,
badly, toughly, laboriously, heart: (adj, n) core, gist, marrow; (n) apostasy, fallacy, schism, dissent
arduously, cruelly, heavily. spirit, center, essence, basis, kernel, hers: (pron) she, his; (adj) own
ANTONYMS: (adv) extremely, crux, breast, hub. ANTONYMS: (n) herself: (adj) oneself, self, himself,
fully, well, easily body, surface myself, yourself, yourselves,
harm: (adj, n, v) damage, hurt; (adj, hearthrug: (n) carpeting themselves, ourselves, itself
n) evil, detriment, injury; (n, v) heartless: (adj) hardhearted, ruthless, hesitate: (adj, n, v) pause, delay; (adj,
abuse, wound, blemish, cruel, pitiless, obdurate, merciless, v) linger; (v) fluctuate, halt, waver,
disadvantage; (n) bruise; (adj, v) unfeeling, unkind, stony, vacillate, demur, boggle,
injure. ANTONYMS: (n, v) benefit, insensitive, grim. ANTONYMS: procrastinate; (n, v) doubt.
respect, help; (n) reparation, service; (adj) kind, caring, hearted, ANTONYMS: (v) rush, decide
(v) enable, spoil, protect, defend, warmhearted, compassionate, hesitating: (adj) indecisive, irresolute,
repair softhearted, merciful, sympathetic, undecided, doubtful, hesitate,
hastily: (adv) hurriedly, rapidly, concerned, flattering, generous reluctant, faltering, unwilling,
quickly, rashly, promptly, suddenly, heartrending: (adj) grievous, hesitancy, backward, hesitatingly
thoughtlessly, impetuously, swiftly, deplorable, pitiful, distressing, hesitation: (n, v) falter, fear; (n)
imprudently, speedily. catastrophic, woeful, tragic, pathetic, hesitance, faltering, delay, hesitate,
ANTONYMS: (adv) carefully, moving, miserable, affecting. diffidence, hesitancy, qualm,
unhurriedly, industriously, sensibly, ANTONYMS: (adj) cheerful, reluctance; (v) hesitating.
prudently, late, calmly, thoroughly, unemotional, joyous, happy ANTONYMS: (n) certainty,
patiently, gradually, cautiously hearts: (n) Black Maria, spades resolution, confidence, decisiveness,
hate: (v) abhor, detest, loathe, heaven: (n) Eden, firmament, bliss, enthusiasm, inclination, willingness
abominate; (n) enmity, abhorrence, Elysium, sky, nirvana, glory, Elysian hidden: (adj) clandestine, concealed,
detestation, hatred, animosity, Fields, Garden of Eden, utopia; (adj) obscure, dark, secret, latent, covert,
antipathy, aversion. ANTONYMS: celestial. ANTONYM: (n) misery invisible, arcane, covered; (adj, v)
(n, v) like; (v) adore, cherish, heavens: (n) firmament, heaven, sky, confidential. ANTONYMS: (adj)
170 An Ideal Husband
exposed, open, active, noticeable, hollow: (adj, n) blank; (n) cavity, lovely, nice, lovable, fair, delightful,
overt, revealing, known, explicit, depression, cave, dell; (adj) empty, slight, appealing, minor, attractive,
mainstream, transparent, visible false; (adj, n, v) concave; (n, v) great
hideous: (adj) dreadful, frightful, excavate, dent, scoop. ANTONYMS: horribly: (adv) horrifically, awfully,
fearful, ghastly, horrid, ugly, (adj) convex, sincere, true, full, terrifically, hideously, atrociously,
repulsive, lurid, horrible, grisly, meaningful, cramped, valid; (n) appallingly; (adj, adv) frightfully,
grim. ANTONYMS: (adj) lovely, hump, bump, hill, lump terribly, fearfully, shockingly; (adj)
pleasant, beautiful, wonderful home: (n) domicile, abode, house, ghastly. ANTONYMS: (adv)
hideously: (adv) dreadfully, ghastly, residence, base, place, dwelling, pleasantly, wonderfully, kindly,
awfully, loathsomely, horrendously, family, habitation; (adj) domestic; sweetly
fearfully, odiously, gruesomely, (adj, n) household. ANTONYMS: horrid: (adj) grisly, ghastly, ugly,
shockingly, repulsively, heinously. (adj) external, national, public, gruesome, grim, fearful, dreadful,
ANTONYMS: (adv) pleasantly, away, foreign; (adv) out direful, dire, horrible, fearsome.
wonderfully, appealingly honest: (adj) fair, genuine, sincere, ANTONYMS: (adj) lovely, nice,
hiding: (n) covering, concealment, good, equitable, artless, heartfelt, appealing, attractive, kind
concealing, beating, screening, guileless, frank, forthright, faithful. horror: (n) abomination, abhorrence,
thrashing, flogging, rout, burial, ANTONYMS: (adj) lying, dismay, fear, fright, revulsion,
drubbing, ambush misleading, guarded, corrupt, alarm, repulsion, anxiety; (adj, n)
high: (adj, v) elevated; (adj) great, disloyal, unwholesome, dread, terror. ANTONYMS: (n)
expensive, distinguished, lofty, tall, discourteous, disreputable, fictional, delight, attraction, proclivity,
exalted, heavy, dear; (n) chief; (v) crafty, crooked bravery, calm, confidence, security
bad. ANTONYMS: (adj, n) low; (adj) honeycombed: (adj) pitted, cavitied, hotel: (n) lodge, house, guesthouse,
deep, short, sober, reasonable, sad, faveolate, alveolate, cellular, hostelry, inn, tavern, hospice, court,
resonant, lowly, husky, cavernous; (v) follicular, cribriform, restaurant, spa, khan
unimportant; (n) depression infundibular, riddled hour: (n) clock, o'clock, hours, time,
higher: (adj) greater, upper, major, honour: (n) fame, award, dignity, hr, term, nonce, moment, occasion,
senior, over, more, better, advanced, homage, celebrity, accolade, dawn, dusk
bigger; (prep) above, upon. reputation; (n, v) honor; (v) respect, hours: (n) period, duty period; (adv)
ANTONYMS: (adj) basic, junior, celebrate, dignify. ANTONYMS: (n, o'clock
lower v) dishonor; (v) disrespect house: (adj, n, v) family; (adj, n)
highest: (adj, n) most; (adj) best, honourable: (adj) estimable, home; (v) accommodate; (n)
chief, foremost, first, supreme, reverend, venerable, glorious, dwelling, firm, abode, domicile,
topmost, extreme, utmost, top, honorable, distinguished, above- edifice, habitation, housing; (n, v)
uppermost. ANTONYMS: (adj) board, good, worthy, right, noble lodge. ANTONYM: (adj) public
bottom, minor honoured: (adj) esteemed, respected, however: (adv, conj, prep) but; (adj,
highly: (adv) greatly, extremely, worthy adv, conj) although; (adv)
much, loftily, exceedingly, mightily, hope: (n, v) trust, desire; (n) nevertheless, anyway, nonetheless,
eminently, toweringly, too, largely; aspiration, faith, belief, expectation, how, notwithstanding; (adv, conj)
(adj, adv) very. ANTONYMS: (adv) confidence, expectancy, anticipation; though, yet; (conj) albeit; (n) while
insignificantly, poorly, simply, (v) confide, anticipate. huckster: (v) chaffer, higgle, peddle,
slightly, ill ANTONYMS: (n) reality, past, hawk, haggle, vend, dicker; (n)
himself: (pron) herself, themselves, pessimism, distrust, independence costermonger, chapman, higgler,
yourself, itself; (adj) myself; (n) hopeless: (adj) incurable, vendor
yourselves despondent, forlorn, disconsolate, human: (n) person, man, human
history: (n) account, story, chronicle, desperate, impossible, useless, being, homo, gay, party; (adj, adv)
annals, background, record, abject, despair, dismal, irreparable. fleshly; (adj) humane, earthly,
narrative, biography, explanation, ANTONYMS: (adj) cheerful, corporeal, worldly. ANTONYMS:
origin; (n, v) tale competent, promising, optimistic, (adj) nonhuman, otherworldly,
hoarse: (adj) gruff, husky, raucous, encouraging, helpful, useful, heavenly, immortal
grating, strident, guttural, rough, successful, practical, laudable, hungarian: (n) Hungary
throaty; (v) coarse; (adj, v) hollow, effective hunting: (n, v) chase; (v) battue; (n)
sepulchral. ANTONYMS: (adj) hopelessly: (adv) despairingly, exploration, pursuit, search,
smooth, mellow, velvety, high forlornly, despondently, uselessly, ducking, beagling, coursing,
hock: (v) pawn, hamstring, pledge, desolately, futilely, wretchedly, frisking, venery, shooting
disable, soak, fleece, douse, hox, lostly, sadly, dejectedly, dispiritedly. hurt: (adj, n, v) damage, detriment;
gazump; (n) Rhine wine, Rhenish ANTONYMS: (adv) cheerfully, (adj, n) evil; (n, v) wound, pain,
hold: (n, v) keep, grip, grasp, effectively, slightly ache, distress; (n) disadvantage,
entertain; (v) endure, detain, adhere, horrible: (adj) awful, fearful, lesion; (v) afflict; (adj, v) injure.
bear, have, contain, comprise. frightful, abominable, grisly, ANTONYMS: (adj) unhurt,
ANTONYMS: (v) fail, disagree, lose, formidable, dire, ghastly, dreadful, unaffected, healed; (v) encourage,
free, deny, remove, lack; (n) fearsome; (adj, v) horrid. please, protect, repair, defend; (n, v)
separation, repulsion ANTONYMS: (adj) wonderful, help; (n) reparation, pleasure
Oscar Wilde 171
husband: (v) conserve, economize, hypothetical, visionary, fictional, indiscernible, unseen, unnoticeable,
preserve, save; (n) consort, hubby, notional, chimerical. ANTONYMS: gentle. ANTONYMS: (adj) obvious,
man, fellow, lover, master, mate. (adj) real, palpable, actual, concrete, overwhelming, clear, visible,
ANTONYMS: (n) wife, bachelor prosaic, normal, true perceptible, heavy, noticeable,
hush: (adj, n, v) calm, silence, quiet, imagine: (v) believe, conjecture, definite, considerable, conspicuous,
still, lull; (n) peace; (v) shut up, gag, fancy, conceive, daydream, assume, strong
quieten, muffle; (adj, v) soothe. guess, consider, fantasize; (conj, v) imperfect: (adj) faulty, deficient,
ANTONYMS: (n) noise, turmoil; (v) suppose; (n, v) dream defective, unfinished, incomplete,
Louden imitate: (n, v) duplicate; (v) forge, poor, flawed, partial, inadequate,
hypocrite: (n) impostor, pretender, ape, emulate, follow, feign, broken, fallible. ANTONYMS: (adj)
trickster, fraud, deceiver, fake, cheat, counterfeit, mimic, mock, assume, perfect, whole, unblemished,
charmer, bigot, whited sepulcher, act adequate, complete, sound,
smoothie immediate: (adj) close, sudden, boundless, capable, flawless
idea: (n) meaning, belief, opinion, direct, near, quick, present, fast, imperial: (adj) majestic, grand,
concept, estimation, fancy, plan, proximate, forthwith, instant, dignified, imperious, purple, stately,
impression, apprehension, notion, immediately. ANTONYMS: (adj) August, regal, noble, lordly; (adj, n)
conception. ANTONYM: (n) slow, gradual, deliberate, beard
certainty consecutive, mediate, delayed, impertinence: (n) audacity, gall,
ideal: (adj) perfect, fanciful, remote, far, distant, vague, impudence, insolence, disrespect,
consummate, abstract, classic, considered effrontery, brass, boldness,
unreal; (n) standard, paragon, immediately: (adv) instantly, impertinency, sauciness, freshness.
example, archetype, perfection. presently, readily, rapidly, quickly, ANTONYMS: (n) politeness,
ANTONYMS: (adj) wrong, real, promptly, instantaneously, speedily, seriousness, reticence
imperfect; (n) nightmare right; (adj, adv) at once, forthwith. impertinent: (adj) fresh, pert, saucy,
ideals: (n) morality, principle, ANTONYMS: (adv) slowly, forward, audacious, brash, brazen,
standard, standards, ethics, whenever, gradually, now, extraneous, discourteous,
principles eventually disrespectful, flippant.
idiocy: (n) folly, absurdity, amentia, immense: (adj) vast, enormous, great, ANTONYMS: (adj) respectful,
fatuity, idiot, foolishness, lunacy, gigantic, immeasurable, colossal, polite, courteous
silliness, madness, idiotism, boundless, big, large, giant, infinite. imploring: (adj) appealing, begging,
stupidity. ANTONYMS: (n) sense, ANTONYMS: (adj) tiny, small, suppliant, pleading, entreating,
logic, wisdom insignificant, miniature, slight, piteous, importunate, entreating
idiot: (n) dolt, blockhead, dunce, negligible, compact, narrow, short, urgently; (v) supplicate, plead; (n)
dimwit, moron, cretin, ass, imbecile, minor prayer
oaf, changeling, idiocy. ANTONYM: immensely: (adv) highly, infinitely, importance: (n) account, gravity,
(n) intellectual greatly, enormously, tremendously, import, dignity, prominence, stress,
idle: (adj) lazy, indolent, inactive, extremely, mightily, hugely, emphasis, value, concern,
free, unfounded, fruitless, baseless, massively, immeasurably, magnitude; (n, v) consequence.
groundless, frivolous, empty, monstrously ANTONYMS: (n) unimportance,
disengaged. ANTONYMS: (adj) immoral: (adj) evil, bad, depraved, insignificance, triviality,
active, employed, industrious, indecent, dissolute, corrupt, meaninglessness
energetic, meaningful, productive, criminal, unprincipled, dirty, unfair, important: (adj, v) grave; (adj)
worthwhile, diligent; (v) change, lewd. ANTONYMS: (adj) moral, fundamental, significant, crucial,
run, work decent, honest, ethical, principled, key, serious, remarkable, chief,
idol: (n) fetish, deity, effigy, divinity, good, restrained, amoral, right, earnest, central, heavy.
graven image, image, hero, favorite, righteous, pure ANTONYMS: (adj) insignificant,
star, simulacrum, beloved impassive: (adj) expressionless, calm, trivial, minor, irrelevant, low,
ignoble: (adj) contemptible, abject, cool, stolid, stoic, callous, worthless, frivolous, secondary,
base, dishonorable, disgraceful, impervious, quiet, peaceful, little, superfluous, inconsequential
beggarly, mean, humble, degraded, emotionless, dull. ANTONYMS: impossible: (adj) unimaginable,
despicable, caddish. ANTONYMS: (adj) expressive, mobile, involved, insufferable, unbelievable, hopeless,
(adj) honorable, glorious demonstrative, affected, passionate, impracticable, impractical,
illumine: (v) illuminate, enlighten, sympathetic, spirited, knowing, inconceivable, unlikely,
light, shine, light up, brighten, enthusiastic unthinkable, unable, ridiculous.
clarify, irradiate, elucidate, to impassivity: (n) impassiveness, ANTONYMS: (adj) feasible,
illuminate; (adj, v) illume apathy, stolidity, lethargy, phlegm, achievable, manageable, bearable,
image: (n, v) picture, fancy, design; emotionlessness, stoicism, frigidity, attainable, on, tolerable, probable,
(n) impression, conception, effigy, insensibility, unconcern, hopeful, easy, consistent
idea, form, resemblance, epitome; sluggishness impression: (n) feeling, idea, imprint,
(v) depict. ANTONYM: (n) reality imperceptible: (adj) invisible, conception, depression, notion,
imaginary: (adj) fictitious, unreal, intangible, insensible, faint, mark, image, dent, feel, opinion.
false, mythical, illusory, ideal, evanescent, inaudible, negligible, ANTONYMS: (n) certainty, hump,
172 An Ideal Husband
lump enlarged, greater, redoubled, appanage, heirship; (v) descent
improper: (adj) false, illicit, augmented, exaggerated, enhanced, innocence: (n) blamelessness,
illegitimate, unsuitable, wrong, multiplied, plus, puffy. ANTONYM: chastity, ignorance, ingenuousness,
indecent, bad, coarse, amiss, faulty; (adj) lesser purity, gullibility, artlessness,
(adj, v) indecorous. ANTONYMS: indeed: (adv) certainly, exactly, in innocent, simplicity, harmlessness,
(adj) suitable, fitting, polite, reality, surely, of course, assuredly, guiltlessness. ANTONYMS: (n)
acceptable, sensitive, moral, correct, as a matter of fact, admittedly; (adj, sophistication, experience, fault,
dignified, lawful, clean, honest adv) really, much; (n) yes. dirtiness, wariness, dishonesty
improved: (adj) enhanced, new, ANTONYMS: (adv) possibly, inquire: (v) demand, ask, explore,
reformed, finer, enlarged, greater, doubtfully enquire, inspect, research, consult,
greater than before, more, higher, india: (n) Indian, crotalaria pry, request, wonder; (n, v)
increased, transformed. spectabilis, Africa, Bharat, Dovyalis, question. ANTONYM: (v) answer
ANTONYMS: (adj) inferior, lesser, genus Dovyalis, IND, Indian insist: (v) affirm, assert, contend,
unimproved rattlebox demand, claim, asseverate, declare,
improving: (adv) recuperating, indignantly: (adv) irately, angrily, maintain, urge, importune, press.
getting better; (adj) edifying, wrathfully, enragedly, sorely, ANTONYMS: (v) request, deny
progressive, civilizing, cosmetic, acrimoniously, cynically, sulkily, insolent: (adj) impertinent, abusive,
evincing progress, helpful, hotly, exasperatedly, furiously disrespectful, impudent, fresh,
moralistic, advancing; (v) improve indignation: (n) anger, resentment, arrogant, brazen, defiant, offensive,
inaccurate: (adj) incorrect, faulty, displeasure, grudge, umbrage, rage, brassy, bold. ANTONYMS: (adj)
false, wrong, inexact, improper, outrage, exasperation, choler, respectful, modest, gracious, meek,
loose, untrue, mistaken, not exact, dudgeon; (adj, n) wrath. submissive
imprecise. ANTONYMS: (adj) ANTONYMS: (n) contentment, instance: (n) exemplar, case, time,
correct, exact, accurate, truthful, pleasure illustration, sample, affair, pattern,
careful, reliable, valid indiscreet: (adj) careless, imprudent, chance, cause; (v) exemplify,
inarticulate: (adj) unintelligible, incautious, ill-advised, rash, illustrate
silent, vague, muffled, incoherent, unadvised, unwise, impolitic, hasty, instances: (v) conceive, abate,
mute, incomprehensible, tactless, inadvisable. ANTONYMS: commotion, decline, decrease,
unarticulate, speechless, guttural, (adj) thoughtful, tactful, judicious, imply, diminution, diminish
fuzzy. ANTONYMS: (adj) articulate, guarded instead: (adv) instead of,
eloquent, fluent, distinct, talkative indiscretion: (n) foolishness, fault, alternatively, as an alternative, in
incapable: (adj) impotent, rashness, inconsideration, place of, more willingly, to
inadequate, unable, helpless, carelessness, injudiciousness, faux compensate for, sooner, preferably,
powerless, unqualified, inept, pas, hastiness, indiscreetness, otherwise, on the other hand; (n)
insufficient, inapt, ineffectual, unfit. flippancy; (adj, n) temerity. lieu
ANTONYMS: (adj) able, competent, ANTONYMS: (n) discretion, instinct: (n) impulse, urge, aptitude,
strong, powerful, effective diplomacy, forethought gift, feeling, sixth sense, inherent
incommunicable: (adj) unspeakable, infamous: (adj) disreputable, aptitude, knack, inspiration, talent,
unutterable, ineffable, indescribable, flagrant, notorious, disgraceful, genius
beyond description, inalienable, dishonourable, contemptible; (adj, v) institution: (n) creation, formation,
noncommittal, undefinable, foul, shameful, base; (adj, n, v) asylum, agency, founding, academy,
beggaring description, beyond scandalous; (adj, adv, v) nefarious. foundation, organ, initiation,
words ANTONYMS: (adj) reputable, method; (adj, n) institute
inconsolable: (adj) disconsolate, famous instructions: (n) direction, injunction,
desolate, forlorn, desperate, infamously: (adv) disgracefully, directions, charge, instruction,
despairing, dejected, heartbroken, notoriously, shamefully, vilely, orders, book of instructions, guide,
sad, wretched, comfortless; (adj, v) flagrantly, ignominiously, arrantly, instruction manual, commission,
unconsolable. ANTONYMS: (adj) opprobriously, basely, villainously, directive
hopeful, euphoric, happy evilly integrity: (adj, n) honesty, fairness,
inconvenience: (n, v) trouble, influence: (v) determine, affect, candor, honor; (n) probity,
incommode; (v) discommode, incline, dispose, direct, govern, completeness, righteousness, justice,
disoblige, annoy, disturb, disquiet; persuade; (n) authority, domination; unity, entireness, fidelity.
(n) disadvantage, difficulty, (n, v) control, effect. ANTONYMS: ANTONYMS: (n) dishonesty,
nuisance, unsuitableness. (n) powerlessness, repulsion, wickedness, injustice, division,
ANTONYMS: (n) expediency, feebleness, weakness decadence, badness, immorality,
advantage; (v) help, please information: (n) communication, corruption
incorruptibility: (n) honesty, data, evidence, datum, note, tidings, intellect: (n) mind, intelligence,
innocence, virtue, integrity, report, enlightenment, complaint, understanding, reason, brains, head,
honestness, purity, blamelessness, counsel, announcement intellectual, apprehension, psyche,
moral fiber, loyalty, nobility, inheritance: (adj, n) heritage; (n) genius, brainpower. ANTONYM:
morality. ANTONYM: (n) guilt heredity, heirloom, birthright, (n) stupidity
increased: (adj) more, increasing, bequest, legacy, dowry, estate, intellectual: (n) intellect, brain,
Oscar Wilde 173
thinker, scholar; (adj) rational, intercontinental, universal, external, lonely, single. ANTONYMS: (adj)
mental, cerebral, learned, spiritual; multinational, broad, common, accessible, widespread,
(adj, n) mind, academic. comprehensive, extensive, near, nearby, public, regular,
ANTONYMS: (adj) nonintellectual, extraneous, foreign; (n) socialism. populous, connected, cheerful,
intuitive, emotional, dim, ignorant, ANTONYMS: (adj) insular, local, attached
physical, thick, lowbrow; (n) dunce domestic, minor issues: (n) edition
intend: (v) destine, design, mean, interview: (n) consultation, audience, itself: (adj) herself, self, oneself,
aim, determine, denote, conversation, hearing, examination, personally, myself, themselves,
contemplate, plan, purpose, appointment, dialogue; (v) question, yourself
consider, believe. ANTONYM: (v) interrogate; (n, v) talk, encounter ivory: (n) tusk, dentin, whiteness,
improvise intimately: (adv) nearly, familiarly, elephant, teeth, yellow, dentine;
intended: (adj) deliberate, calculated, personally, secretly, internally, (adj) chalk, lily, milk, paper
destined, knowing, meant, planned, privately, narrowly, thoroughly, jaded: (adj) tired, fatigued, worn,
premeditated, prospective, willful, near, well, thickly. ANTONYM: weary, wearied, fed up, satiate,
designed; (adj, v) voluntary. (adv) superficially worn-out, bored, satiated, sick.
ANTONYMS: (adj) accidental, introduce: (v) interject, inject, ANTONYMS: (adj) fresh, innocent,
involuntary, unintended, advance, infuse, initiate, acquaint, brilliant
spontaneous, unconscious implant, inaugurate, bring in, james: (n) interrupt, William James,
intensely: (adj, adv) extremely; (adv) present, enter. ANTONYMS: (v) St James, saint James the apostle,
strongly, powerfully, severely, end, terminate, remove, export saint James, Jesse James, James river,
violently, vehemently, acutely, introduced: (adj) exotic, familiar, Henry James, epistle of James, St
keenly, brightly, profoundly, foisted in, imported James the apostle
fiercely. ANTONYMS: (adv) mildly, invariably: (adv) constantly, ever, jealousy: (n) suspicion, jealous,
calmly, gently, dully, indifferently, forever, permanently, continually, jealousness, envy, envious,
impassively, jokingly, slightly, incessantly; (adj) never otherwise, alertness, distrust, contention,
hardly, superficially, unfailingly, without exception, competition, scruple, qualm
unexceptionally without fail; (adj, adv) uniformly jewel: (n) gemstone, darling,
intention: (n) idea, intent, goal, invented: (adj) fictional, fabricated, diamond, jewelry, trinket, treasure,
purpose, cause, motive, mind; (n, v) imaginary, unreal, fake, mythical, ornament, idol; (adj, n) bijou,
aim, end, design, drift legendary, fictive, fancied, fabulous, precious stone; (adj) brilliant
interest: (n, v) advantage, care, ben trovato. ANTONYMS: (adj) jewels: (n) jewelry, gems, wealth,
benefit; (adj, v) engage; (n) affair, genuine, factual, true, actual hoops, Perrie, riches, studs, fortune,
account, gain, hobby, eagerness, invited: (adj) welcomer, wanted, fineness, earrings, decoration
enthusiasm, sake. ANTONYMS: (n) cherished john: (n) can, bathroom, convenience,
indifference, apathy, boredom, irish: (adj) Milesian, Canadian; (n) customer, privy, loo, lav, lavatory,
distraction, hostility, detachment, ERSE, Irish whiskey, poteen, Irish Saint John the Apostle, Saint John;
inattention, repulsion; (v) repel, Gaelic, Irish whisky, Irish people, (adj, n) toilet
appall the Irish joined: (adj) coupled, united, allied,
interested: (adj) concerned, involved, irrational: (adj) absurd, inconsistent, connected, joint, associated, linked,
inquiring, inquisitive, keen, silly, unreasonable, blind, illogical, amalgamated, concerted,
interesting, attentive, fascinated, senseless, preposterous, imprudent, incorporated; (n) joining.
responsive, partial, eager. unsound, thoughtless. ANTONYMS: (adj) disjointed, rival
ANTONYMS: (adj) uninterested, ANTONYMS: (adj) logical, lucid, jostle: (v) jog, joggle, bump, push,
bored, indifferent, unconcerned, wise, sensible, worthwhile, jolt, thrust, encounter; (n, v) elbow,
hostile systematic shoulder; (adj, v) clash; (adj) jar
interesting: (adj) entertaining, irreligious: (adj) blasphemous, journey: (n, v) jaunt, go, travel,
amusing, attractive, absorbing, heathen, wicked, profane, ungodly, cruise, fare; (n) excursion, way,
delightful, fascinating, exciting, godless, irreverent, unholy, expedition, trip, passage, voyage.
readable, diverting; (adj, v) unreligious, unbelieving, pagan. ANTONYM: (v) settle
charming, engaging. ANTONYMS: ANTONYMS: (adj) pious, religious, judge: (v) consider, think, evaluate,
(adj) boring, dull, unremarkable, spiritual, devout, reverent believe, condemn, assess, calculate,
unappealing, repulsive, repellent, irrevocable: (adj) irrecoverable, final, guess; (n) arbitrator, arbiter; (n, v)
normal, ordinary irreparable, irremediable, umpire. ANTONYM: (v) doubt
interests: (n) wellbeing, security, irredeemable, conclusive, judged: (n) judging; (adj) guilty,
safety, power structure, investment, irreclaimable, unchangeable, fixed; deliberate, legal, lawful
health, happiness, capital, welfare, (adj, v) irretrievable, inevitable. judgment: (n, v) decision, belief,
comfort ANTONYMS: (adj) revocable, discernment, condemnation, sense,
interfere: (n, v) interpose; (v) superficial, provisional, flexible, discrimination; (n) determination,
intercede, obstruct, disturb, conflict, impermanent discretion, opinion, assessment,
impede, hinder, meddle, intervene; isolated: (adj, adv) apart; (adj) adjudication. ANTONYMS: (n)
(n) interference; (adj, v) intermeddle separate, deserted, distant, sporadic, clumsiness, request, tastelessness
international: (adj) global, separated, solitary, lone, remote, justice: (adj, n) equity, right,
174 An Ideal Husband
integrity, honesty; (n) judge, erudition, acquaintance; (n, v) ANTONYM: (adv) insignificantly
impartiality, judicature, jurist, cognition; (adj, n) art. ANTONYMS: larger: (adj) bigger, big, more, major,
morality, justness; (adj) just. (n) foolishness, inexperience large, greater, largest, exceed,
ANTONYMS: (n) unfairness, known: (adj) familiar, knew, superior, generously proportioned,
wickedness conscious, certain, famous, know, excel
keep: (n, v) hold; (v) preserve, retain, eminent, plain, accepted, published, late: (adj, adv) dilatory, fresh,
defend, guard, maintain, continue, acknowledged. ANTONYMS: (adj) behindhand, backward; (adj)
have, save, confine, observe. unknown, secret, unidentified, former, deceased, dead, slow,
ANTONYMS: (v) lose, neglect, unfamiliar delayed, modern; (adv) belatedly.
entrust, return, let, discontinue, labourer: (n) laborer, toiler, peon, ANTONYMS: (adj, adv) early,
reimburse, allow, stop, destroy, navvy, porter, docker, gravedigger, punctual; (adv) punctually,
break hodman, hewer, digger, drudge promptly; (adj) ahead, existing,
keeping: (n) care, conservation, lace: (v) entwine, interlace, braid, alive, initial, middle, old, premature
charge, guardianship, maintenance, bind; (adj, v) tie, string; (n) lacing, lately: (adv) tardily, newly, freshly,
holding, observance, storage, ribbon, edging; (n, v) net, rope. belatedly, slowly, latterly, deadly;
conformation, consistency, ANTONYMS: (v) untie, untwine, (adj, adv) anew, late, afresh; (adj)
conformity unpick recent
kept: (adj) reserved, preserve, lack: (n, v) deficiency, need, later: (adv) afterward, subsequently,
retained, remain, store, reserve, destitution; (n) default, defect, afterwards, then; (adj) following,
hold, lodge, keep, retain, detained. dearth, absence, insufficiency, last, future, ensuing, subsequent,
ANTONYM: (adj) broken deficit, poverty; (v) fail. latter; (adj, adv) next. ANTONYMS:
kill: (n, v) assassinate, destroy; (v) ANTONYMS: (n) abundance, (adv) immediately, before, now;
erase, annihilate, eliminate, excess, provision, adequacy, (adj, adv) prior; (adj) early,
extinguish, finish, blast, decimate, affluence, sufficiency, plethora, previous, preceding, former
execute, eradicate. ANTONYMS: (v) supply; (v) have, own, possess latest: (adj) last, fresh, modern, new,
revitalize, revive; (n) hunter lady: (n) gentlewoman, Mrs, duchess, current, hot, ultimate,
killed: (n) casualty; (adj) fallen countess, spouse, madam, ma'am, contemporary, newest, stylish; (adj,
kind: (n) sort, form, class, variety, milady, matron, woman; (v) squaw. n) vogue. ANTONYM: (adj) first
breed; (adj, n) helpful, good, ANTONYM: (n) Lord latter: (adj) later, last, terminal,
humane, friendly, gentle; (adj) ladyship: (n) madam recent, posterior, final, following,
generous. ANTONYMS: (adj) laid: (adj) layed, lay, place, placed, the latter, past, other, eventual.
unkind, cruel, hardhearted, mean, put, situated, arranged, determined, ANTONYMS: (adj) prior, earlier
merciless, nasty, spiteful, uncaring, dictated, hardened, ordered laugh: (n, v) joke, giggle, chortle,
upsetting, callous, disagreeable lamp: (n) light, lantern, beacon, titter, snicker; (v) smile; (n) jest, gag,
kindly: (adj) kind, amiable, genial, headlight, flashbulb, flashgun, table jape, laughter, cackle. ANTONYM:
charitable; (adv) sympathetically, lamp, oil lamp, storm lantern; (n, v) (v) weep
benevolently, tenderly; (adj, n) look; (v) behold lawrence: (n) Gertrude Lawrence,
benign, gentle, sympathetic, lane: (n) alley, road, path, passage, Laurentius, Lawrence of Arabia,
benevolent. ANTONYMS: (adv) avenue, way, track, aisle, side street, Saint Lawrence, sir Thomas
harshly, nastily, callously, cruelly, line, artery Lawrence, Thomas Edward
sharply, disagreeably, grumpily, language: (n) speech, expression, Lawrence, David Herbert Lawrence
malevolently; (adj) upsetting, lingo, diction, tongue, idiom, jargon, laws: (n) Pentateuch, Torah
unfeeling, sour conversation, word, words, lawyer: (n) counsel, barrister,
kiss: (n, v) caress, brush, embrace, terminology attorney, jurist, counsellor,
touch; (n) osculation, salute, lip, Kiss languidly: (adv) languorously, counselor, conveyancer, ambulance
of peace, kiss hands; (v) osculate, listlessly, wearily, lethargically, chaser, adviser, trial lawyer, pleader
love slowly, dreamily, limply, weakly, leading: (adj, v) first, foremost; (adj)
kissing: (n) hugging, cuddling, torpidly, indolently, impassively. outstanding, head, great, capital;
fondling, arousal, foreplay, necking; ANTONYMS: (adv) dynamically, (adj, n) main, cardinal, principal;
(adj) embracing, adhering closely, vigorously (adj, adv) ahead; (n) lead.
billing, clinging, interosculant large: (adj) ample, generous, ANTONYMS: (adj) secondary,
knew: (adj) known; (v) recognize, considerable, broad, handsome, subordinate, following, junior,
wist high, bulky, heavy, capacious, innocent, last, lousy, unimportant,
knowing: (adj, v) canny, crafty, wise; roomy; (adj, n) extensive. worst; (adv) behind, losing
(adj, n) clever; (adj) conscious, ANTONYMS: (adj) small, cramped, leads: (n) slating, pieced leads, slates,
aware, ingenious, intelligent, bright, insignificant, narrow, microscopic, pile driving leads, tiling
conversant, smart. ANTONYMS: compact, tiny, thin, short, slim, leaning: (adj, n) bent, disposition,
(adj) naive, uncomprehending, paltry partiality; (n) propensity, bias,
unconscious largely: (adv) chiefly, extensively, tendency, incline, lean; (adj) tilted,
knowledge: (n) information, widely, mostly, generally, for the canted, inclined. ANTONYMS: (n)
comprehension, science, lore, most part, spaciously, broadly, antipathy, dislike; (adj) upright
understanding, intelligence, grasp, liberally, capaciously, voluminously. learn: (v) get, find, ascertain, hear,
Oscar Wilde 175
find out, have, determine, con, liable: (adj) answerable, accountable, hackamore, headstall, ribbons,
acquire, tell; (n, v) know. disposed, apt, responsible, inclined, words, contour, shape, position,
ANTONYM: (v) reject exposed, likely, subject, culpable, piece, part
learnt: (adj) learned vulnerable. ANTONYMS: (adj) linked: (adj) allied, related, joined,
least: (n) minimum; (adj) smallest, unwilling, innocent, unlikely, coupled, correlated, associated,
minimal, littlest, lowest, disinclined, impervious united, combined, conjugate,
insignificant, minutest, negligible; liberal: (adj) bountiful, handsome, conjoint, committed. ANTONYMS:
(adj, n) smallest amount; (adv) at benevolent, large, abundant, big, (adj) unrelated, unconnected,
least, fully. ANTONYMS: (adj) kind, broad, charitable, tolerant; unattached, disparate
maximum, greatest; (adj, adv) most (adj, n) free. ANTONYMS: (adj, n) lips: (n) lip, inlet, logical inference
leave: (v) depart, go, abandon, desert, conservative; (adj) totalitarian, per second, chops, porch, portal,
lead; (adj, v) forsake, quit; (n) oppressive, intolerant, reactionary, portico, propylon, snout, door,
furlough, permission, holiday; (n, v) proactive, miserly, rigid, orifice
escape. ANTONYMS: (v) enter, insufficient, stingy, tightfisted list: (n) catalogue, catalog,
arrive, stay, remain, come, library: (n) program library, inclination, index, calendar,
approach, change, reposition, collection, depository library, enumeration; (n, v) file, tilt,
disinherit, occupy, participate atheneum, athenaeum, room, schedule; (v) enter, itemize
leaving: (n) leave, exit, desertion, repository, series, public library, listen: (v) hear, heed, hearken, attend,
going, going away, farewell, study, subroutine library harken, list, listening, eavesdrop,
departing, abandonment, lied: (n) song, hymn mind, concentrate, pay attention
withdrawal, boarding; (v) depart. life: (adj, n) animation; (n) energy, listening: (v) listen, hear, obey; (n)
ANTONYMS: (n) arrival, greeting, spirit, activity, dash, enthusiasm, auscultation, perception, sensing,
Reunion; (adj) incoming being, biography, existence, audition, audience, earshot,
lecture: (n, v) discourse, harangue, exuberance, live. ANTONYMS: (n) auditory modality; (adj) attentive
reprimand, sermon, rebuke, talk, death, apathy, extinction, little: (adj, adv) small; (adj)
censure; (n) speech, oration; (v) nonexistence, lifelessness diminutive, insignificant, short, tiny,
chide, preach. ANTONYMS: (v) lifelong: (adj) perpetual, livelong, some, brief, petty, minute, exiguous;
praise; (n) compliment undying, eternal, enduring, (adv) rather. ANTONYMS: (adj)
left: (adj) gone, absent, port, odd, continuing, chronic, inveterate, enormous, large, important, huge,
remaining, larboard, gauche, perennial, ongoing, old. high, giant, older, old, tall; (adv)
sinister; (n) left hand, left wing, mitt. ANTONYM: (adj) ephemeral frequently, well
ANTONYMS: (adj, adv, n) right; light: (adj) fair, facile, faint; (adj, v) live: (adj) alive, living; (adj, v) reside,
(adj) remaining, center, starboard, clear; (n, v) fire, glow, flame; (v) active, dwell, stay; (n, v) subsist; (v)
present kindle, inflame, ignite; (n) exist, be, abide, endure.
lend: (v) grant, give, advance, impart, illumination. ANTONYMS: (adj) ANTONYMS: (adj) inanimate,
bestow, contribute, borrow, bring, heavy, fattening, nauseating, testing, inactive, silent, dummy, blank,
add, confer; (n) lending stale; (n) darkness, shade, gloom, recorded; (v) die, perish, expire
less: (adj) inferior, wanting, minor, night; (v) extinguish, darken lives: (n) life, living, estate, existence,
secondary, subordinate, deficient, lighted: (adj) illuminated, lit, light, earnest living
minus, few; (adj, adv) lesser, lower; ablaze, bright, ignited, burn, living: (adj) alive, live, extant,
(adv) below. ANTONYMS: (adj) burning, ignite, kindled, lighten animated, active, fresh, animate,
additional; (prep) plus lights: (n) illumination, burn, lung, quick; (n) livelihood, life, being.
lesson: (n) example, education, spacing material ANTONYMS: (adj) inanimate; (n)
instruction, class, learning, sermon, liked: (adj) popular, loved, favorite, death, leisure
recitation, task, study, message; (n, preferred. ANTONYM: (adj) loathsome: (adj) foul, hideous,
v) rebuke disliked distasteful, disgusting, hateful,
letter: (n) epistle, mail, character, liking: (n, v) inclination; (n) fancy, abominable, revolting, execrable,
communication, alphabetic appetite, taste, fondness, loathly, nauseous, horrible.
character, dispatch, note, message, predilection, affection, partiality, ANTONYMS: (adj) delightful, nice,
memorandum, type, memo admiration, approval, appreciation. noble, inoffensive, pleasant,
letters: (n) erudition, literature, ANTONYMS: (n) dislike, aversion, admirable, good, attractive
correspondence, lore, script, hatred, indifference, detachment, london: (n) British capital, jack
scholarship, post, print, mail, letter, dissatisfaction, antipathy London, John Griffith Chaney,
polite literature line: (n) cord, house, course, family, Greater London, capital of the
level: (adj, adv, v) equal; (adj, adv, n, lineage, breed, field, ancestry, row; united kingdom
v) flat; (n) grade, degree; (adj, v) (adj, n) file; (n, v) order lonely: (adj) deserted, lone, dreary,
flatten; (n, v) floor; (adj) horizontal; lined: (adj) wrinkled, creased, solitary, forsaken, desert; (adj, n)
(v) dismantle, raze, aim, demolish. wrinkly, striped, streaked, ruled, isolated, alone; (adv) lonesomely,
ANTONYMS: (adj) slanting, banded, paved, worn, with stripes, solely, solitarily. ANTONYMS: (adj)
unequal, angled, unsteady, askew, windswept. ANTONYMS: (adj) sheltered, populous, cheerful,
rough, shaky; (adj, v) uneven; (v) smooth, plain, unlined, straight nearby; (n) foe
raise, build, crumple lines: (n) cavesson, jaquima, long: (v) yearn, desire, hanker,
176 An Ideal Husband
languish, ache, wish; (adj, n) oodles, much, masses; (adv) a great dejeuner, brunch, noon
extensive; (n, v) hunger; (adj) deal. ANTONYM: (n) few luncheon: (n) meal, tiffin, dejeuner,
extended, lengthy; (n) length. loud: (adj) flashy, garish, gaudy, dinner, repast, party; (v) nunchion
ANTONYMS: (adj) short, brief, blatant, brassy, boisterous, high, lure: (n, v) decoy, entice, bait, charm,
concise jazzy, brazen, piercing; (adj, adv) bribe, draw, seduce, coax,
longer: (adj) longest, better, lengest; forte. ANTONYMS: (adj) tasteful, enticement; (v) invite, inveigle.
(adv) farther; (n) yearner, thirster gentle, quiet, subtle, subdued, low, ANTONYM: (n) repulsion
longing: (n, v) desire, aspiration; (adj) muted, weak, tranquil, thin; (adv) luxury: (n) comfort, luxuriousness,
eager, wistful, nostalgic; (n) softly extravagance, opulence, wealth;
nostalgia, wish, hankering, urge, louis: (n) Joe Louis (adj, n) delicacy, gratification,
appetite; (adj, n) yearning. love: (n) desire, fondness, affection, elegance; (adj) luxurious, deluxe,
ANTONYMS: (n) apathy, dear, liking, benevolence, charity, indulgence. ANTONYMS: (n)
disinclination; (adj) satisfied, honey, devotion; (v) enjoy; (n, v) paucity, necessity, poverty, filth,
unconcerned worship. ANTONYMS: (n, v) discomfort, bareness, shabbiness;
look: (n, v) gaze, aspect, figure; (adj, dislike; (n) abhorrence, hatred, (adj) basic, inferior, cheap, Spartan
v) seem; (v) appear, expect; (n) aversion, detestation, detachment, lying: (adj) false, deceptive,
appearance, expression, view, indifference; (v) abhor; (adv) mendacious, untrue, misleading,
glance, guise. ANTONYMS: (v) roughly fraudulent; (n) lie, falsehood,
back, study; (n) perusal loved: (adj) beloved, pet, cherished, fabrication, deceit, dishonesty.
looking: (n) face, sensing, aspect, precious, liked, adored, respected, ANTONYMS: (n) honesty,
approximation, appearance, treasured, esteemed, valued; (n) truthfulness; (adj) truthful
watching, outlook; (v) look at, darling. ANTONYM: (adj) hated madam: (n) dame, lady, ma'am,
examine; (adv) about; (adj) loveless: (adj) unloving, unloved gentlewoman, missis, Mrs, brothel
superficial loveliness: (n) comeliness, fairness, keeper, madames, signora, female,
looks: (n) aspect, countenance, grace, attractiveness, charm, bawd
expression, manner, complexion, glamour, pulchritude, madame: (n) ma'am, dame, lady,
fashion, costume, garb beauteousness, good looks, Mrs, woman, mistress, adult female,
lord: (n) chief, king, noble, sir, duke, cuteness, fineness. ANTONYMS: (n) Grande dame, gentlewoman, brothel
master, God, seignior, nobility, unattractiveness, unpleasantness, keeper, bawd
Mister, potentate. ANTONYM: (n) awkwardness mademoiselle: (n) girl, signorina,
lady lovely: (adj) beautiful, charming, damsel, drum, silver perch,
lordship: (n) ownership, supremacy, lovable, enchanting, delightful, drumfish
domain, dominance, manor, handsome, alluring, elegant, making: (n) creation, construction,
worship, authority, power, dynasty, endearing, gorgeous; (adv) comely. production, fabrication,
grandeeship, headship ANTONYMS: (adj) unpleasant, manufacture, cartography, devising,
lorgnette: (n) glass, eyeglasses, hideous, ugly, unattractive, fashioning, manufacturing,
spectacles, specs, telescope, glasses horrifying, horrid, unappealing, formation; (v) to make.
lose: (v) drop, forfeit, mislay, miss, repellent, detestable, dreadful, ANTONYMS: (n) undoing,
sacrifice, fall behind, fail, to lose, awkward destruction
forget, clear, hurt. ANTONYMS: (v) lover: (n) dear, darling, fan, devotee, malice: (n) spite, animosity, enmity,
find, secure, recover, earn, obtain, beau, buff, love, admirer, beloved, venom, ill will, hatred, malevolence,
acquire, get, win, beat, keep, amorist, man cruelty, envy, hate, spleen.
succeed loving: (adj) fond, devoted, amorous, ANTONYMS: (n) goodwill,
losing: (v) lose; (n) loss; (adv) kind, friendly, ardent, attached, benevolence, affection, goodness
losingly, behind; (adj) unbeneficial. admiring, gentle, fatherly; (adj, v) manage: (n, v) direct, govern, guide;
ANTONYM: (adj) lucrative tender. ANTONYMS: (adj) cold, (v) do, administer, cope, accomplish,
loss: (adj, n) detriment, damage, uncaring, malicious, cruel, unloving, deal, work, arrange, lead.
injury, harm; (n) defeat, deprivation, rough, paternal, indifferent, distant, ANTONYMS: (v) fail, lose, bungle
deficit, destruction, forfeit, disapproving, callous mania: (n) passion, craze, delirium,
forfeiture, bereavement. lower: (adj, v) debase, frown, abase, fad, fury, enthusiasm, rage,
ANTONYMS: (n) retrieval, scowl; (adj, n, v) degrade, diminish, obsession; (adj, n) insanity, lunacy,
appearance, victory, recovery, humble; (v) dip, drop, cut; (adj, n) madness
gaining, income, gain, accumulation, inferior. ANTONYMS: (v) raise, manner: (adj, n) kind; (n) bearing,
win, benefit, fortune improve, glorify, augment, demeanor, method, form,
lost: (adj, v) forlorn, extinct, gone, straighten, upgrade, uplift; (adj) appearance, carriage, way; (n, v)
missing, helpless; (adj) hopeless, higher, senior, over, superior custom, style, habit
bewildered, forgotten, disoriented, luck: (n) fortune, fate, accident, manners: (n) conduct, etiquette,
broken; (n) loss. ANTONYMS: (adj) destiny, hazard, lot, advantage, propriety, behavior, deportment,
present, found, existing, won, saved, providence, portion, happiness; (n, manner, courtesy, custom, decorum,
aware v) chance. ANTONYM: (n) design good manners, usage. ANTONYM:
lots: (adj, n) plenty, heaps; (adj) a lot, lunch: (v) dine, eat, take tea, sup; (n) (n) vulgarity
galore; (n) many, scores, scads, luncheon, tiffin, meal, dinner, margaret: (n) madge, mag
Oscar Wilde 177
mark: (adj, n, v) notice; (n, v) brand, intangible, ethereal (adj) physical, bodily, sane
score, heed, label, blemish; (n) sign, matrimonial: (adj) marital, conjugal, mention: (n, v) comment, name,
impression, character; (v) married, bridal, nuptial, spousal, remark, call, hint; (v) cite, observe,
characterize, distinguish. wedded, marriage, wedding, commend; (n) allusion, citation,
ANTONYM: (n) enhancement hymeneal, household. ANTONYMS: reference. ANTONYM: (v) conceal
marked: (adj) conspicuous, (adj) unmarried, divorced, public mentioned: (adj) spoken
noticeable, pronounced, remarkable, matter: (n) business, substance, issue, mercy: (n) kindness, compassion,
distinguished, apparent, definite, material, affair, concern, incident, pity, favor, leniency, pardon,
notable, obvious, signal, striking. article, subject; (n, v) case; (adj, n) forgiveness, grace, charity,
ANTONYMS: (adj) plain, import humanity; (n, v) quarter.
imperceptible, unmarked, unclear, matters: (n) affairs, materials, ANTONYMS: (n) cruelty, harshness,
obscure, inconspicuous, ordinary, dealings, proceedings unkindness, severity, mercilessness,
loose, slight mauve: (adj) lavender, purple, plum, ruthlessness, impatience,
market: (n) fair, emporium, chromatic, violet, puce; (n) inhumanity
marketplace, bazaar, grocery store; purpleness, heliotrope; (adj, n) merely: (adj, adv) only, barely,
(n, v) shop, trade; (v) demand, sell, amethyst, light purple, blue purely, simply, exclusively; (adv)
commercialize, exchange meal: (n) repast, farina, flour, feed, but, absolutely, entirely, simplely,
marquise: (n) marquee, canopy, lady, banquet, dinner, luncheon, supper, completely, unmixedly.
navette, pompadour refection, collation; (n, v) spread ANTONYM: (adv) intensely
marriage: (adj, n) bridal, nuptial; (n) mean: (adj, n) middle, low, merton: (n) Robert king Merton,
matrimony, espousal, union, contemptible, average, medium, Thomas Merton
wedlock, intermarriage, alliance, common; (v) design; (n, v) imply, mess: (n) jumble, clutter,
coupling; (n, v) match; (v) marry. denote; (adj) ignoble, hateful. hodgepodge, jam, difficulty,
ANTONYM: (n) separation ANTONYMS: (adj) generous, kind, confusion, disorder, chaos; (v) soil,
marriages: (n) marriage, matrimony extravagant, charitable, luxurious, botch; (adj, n) scrape. ANTONYMS:
married: (adj) wedded, conjugal, rich, expansive, extreme, great; (n) (n) success, space, neatness, ease
matrimonial, connubial, nuptial, maximum, minimum might: (n) power, energy, ability,
united, mixed, connected, marrying, means: (n) instrument, agency, influence, strength, puissance,
attached, unite. ANTONYMS: (adj) income, assets, manner, funds, vehemence, intensity; (v) may, can,
unmarried, unattached, divorced, capital, channel, property, resource, could. ANTONYMS: (n) weakness,
public resources. ANTONYM: (n) poverty feebleness, meekness
marry: (n, v) wed, espouse; (v) get meant: (adj) destined, implied, milliner: (n) sempstress, clothier,
married, link, conjoin, wive, splice, sincere, preordained, intentional, fribble, hatmaker, snip, shaper,
tie, unite, couple; (n) marriage. predestined; (v) intend, designate merchandiser, tailor, costumier,
ANTONYMS: (v) divorce, separate, meet: (v) find, converge, assemble, merchant, maker
split gather, fulfill, congregate, answer, million: (n) meg, myriad, one
marvellous: (adj) fantastic, cross, confront, intersect; (adv, v) thousand thousand, heap, large
extraordinary, terrific, tremendous, encounter. ANTONYMS: (v) integer, mint
wondrous, marvelous, wonderful, diverge, disperse, separate, part, mind: (n, v) intellect, notice, regard;
tall, miraculous, improbable, leave, differ, disband (v) care, look, attend, beware, keep,
thumping meeting: (n) confluence, convention, listen, look after; (n) disposition.
mary: (n) Elizabeth, Virgin Mary, concourse, assembly, conference, ANTONYMS: (v) forget, neglect,
Blessed Virgin, bloody shame, congress, council, meet, caucus, disregard, disobey, Miss, ignore; (n)
Madonna Louise Ciccone, the appointment, junction. emotion, inattention; (adj) physical
Virgin; (int) marry ANTONYMS: (n) parting, trough mine: (adj, v) excavate, sap; (n)
mask: (n, v) cover, veil, hide, conceal, members: (n) convention, personnel excavation, pit, fund, land mine,
disguise, screen, camouflage; (v) memoirs: (n) reminiscences, memoir, vein; (v) exploit, burrow; (adj) my,
dissemble; (n) guise, blind, curtain. autobiography, essay, biography, delve
ANTONYMS: (v) unmask, enhance, annals, chronicle, account, diary, life minister: (n) envoy, priest, deputy,
reinforce, reveal, expose, amplify story, memento Mori divine, ambassador, churchman,
mason: (n) freemason, bricklayer, memories: (n) recollections, clergyman, cleric, curate,
stonemason, manufacturer, maker, reminiscences, nostalgia, memento ecclesiastic; (v) supply
artist, artificer, architect, smith, Mori minutes: (n) record, transactions,
stonecutter, James Neville mason memory: (n) memento, reminiscence, records, memorandum, journal,
masters: (n) Edgar lee Masters remembrance, recollection, recall, minute, report, proceeding, legal
material: (n) matter, body, cloth; (adj) commemoration, anamnesis, proceeding, judicial proceeding,
corporal, substantial, bodily, storage, retrospect; (adj, n) Hansard
corporeal, concrete, physical, posthumous fame; (v) mind mire: (n, v) bog, muck; (n) filth,
important, real. ANTONYMS: (adj) mental: (adj) ideal, psychic, inner, marsh, quagmire, dirt, sludge, clay;
insubstantial, immaterial, subjective, spiritual, psychical, (adj, n, v) mud; (v) involve, bog
incorporeal, insignificant, psychological, insane, genial, down
unimportant, abstract, heavenly, cerebral, psychotic. ANTONYMS: miserable: (adj, v) forlorn, wretched,
178 An Ideal Husband
unhappy; (adj) mean, low, abject, (adj, n, v) burlesque, sham; (v) ANTONYMS: (adv) indecently,
deplorable, downcast, bad, desolate; mimic, ape, taunt. ANTONYMS: corruptly, improperly
(adj, adv) meager. ANTONYMS: (adj) real, natural; (v) praise, morbid: (adj) diseased, gruesome,
(adj) happy, generous, cheerful, applaud, respect, approve macabre, corrupt, pathologic,
cheery, bright, fortunate, hopeful, mockery: (n) gibe, jeer, irony, farce, unwholesome, peccant, sick,
jubilant, luxurious, overjoyed, charade, derision, parody, mock, unhealthy, pathological; (adj, v)
heavenly scorn, imitation, burlesque. sickly
misfortune: (n) accident, hardship, ANTONYM: (n) approval morning: (n) dawn, sunrise, morn,
misadventure, disaster, calamity, model: (n, v) pattern, copy, fashion, forenoon, daylight, first light, am,
mischance, catastrophe, mishap, bad shape; (n) example, image, figure, dayspring, aurora, cockcrow,
luck, misery, affliction. prototype, dummy; (adj, n) dawning. ANTONYMS: (n) sunset,
ANTONYMS: (n) joy, bonus, standard; (v) imitate. ANTONYMS: nighttime, nightfall
opportunity, privilege, success, (adj) atypical, unconventional, morrow: (n) morning, future, mean
happiness imperfect, deficient; (n) original solar day, day
misinformed: (adj) ignorant modern: (adj) new, fashionable, late, mother: (n) mamma, mommy, origin,
miss: (v) lose, fail, jump, omit, advanced, current, latest, recent, mama, ma, mammy, mummy; (n, v)
overlook, long, forget; (n) maid, girl; novel, present, contemporary, father; (v) engender, generate, beget
(adj, v) fault; (n, v) want. stylish. ANTONYMS: (adj) ancient, moue: (n) pout, eelpout, face,
ANTONYMS: (v) perceive, attend, antiquated, traditional, prehistoric, hornpout, Ameiurus Melas, horned
achieve, have, succeed, hit, make, conservative, neurotic, primordial, pout, wry face
see, find, take; (n) success past, stale, dated mourning: (n) lament, lamentation,
missed: (adj) lost, irretrievable, moment: (n, v) consequence, weight; bereavement, gloom, woe,
incomprehensible, bemused, (adj, n) instant; (n) flash, jiffy, memorial, sorrowfulness, sadness,
confounded, befuddled, baffled, minute, import, second, time, bit, sorrow; (adj) grieving; (v) lamenting
disoriented, helpless, at sea, hour. ANTONYMS: (n) mouth: (n) lip, lips, aperture, edge,
bewildered inconsequence, age, triviality entrance, snout, entry; (n, v)
mission: (n) job, delegation, monday: (n) Sunday, Whitmonday grimace; (v) articulate, pronounce,
deputation, goal, legation, money: (n) currency, capital, kale, speak
assignment, duty, charge, chore, funds, means, lucre, assets, legal move: (v) excite, go, affect, carry,
errand, task tender, pelf, cash, dough touch, instigate, travel; (n, v) act,
mistake: (n, v) miss, blunder, err, monstrous: (adj) huge, atrocious, drive, transfer, maneuver.
slip; (n) failure, error, heinous, monster, immense, ANTONYMS: (v) stay, restore,
misconception, misapprehension, gigantic, grievous, ugly, flagitious, refrain, remain, rest, withdraw, stop,
defect, demerit; (v) misapprehend. dreadful; (adj, v) grotesque. repel, come, leave
ANTONYMS: (v) appreciate, ANTONYMS: (adj) tiny, minute, music: (n) melody, chorus, musical,
distinguish, interpret beautiful, good, small, lovely, sound, composition, monody, folk
mistaken: (adj) wrong, erroneous, attractive music, medicine, euphony,
false, misguided, inaccurate, month: (n) calendar month, months, drumming, ballet
fallacious, untrue, misleading, lunation, minute, hour, day, period, musical: (adj) harmonious, melodic,
confused, improper, error. quarter, quinquennium, year, sweet, canorous, tuneful, dulcet,
ANTONYMS: (adj) accurate, wise, moonshine mellifluous, pleasing, lyrical; (n)
right mood: (adj, n) humor, frame of mind; musical comedy, music.
mistress: (n) dame, concubine, (n) atmosphere, climate, disposition, ANTONYMS: (adj) unmusical,
madame, inamorata, lady, lover, attitude, air, feeling, mode, temper, grating, harsh, inharmonious,
fancy woman, doxy, girl, kept temperament unmelodious
woman, missis moral: (n) lesson, meaning; (adj) myself: (pron) me, itself, herself,
misunderstood: (adj) mistreated, good, decent, right, honest, virtuous, oneself, themselves, yourself; (n) I,
confused proper, chaste, upright, righteous. yourselves; (adv) in person, for
mixed: (adj) miscellaneous, ANTONYMS: (adj) bad, myself, in my opinion.
composite, assorted, heterogeneous, unwholesome, unethical, amoral, ANTONYMS: (adv) universally,
medley, integrated, impure, decadent, wrong, unjust, sinful, generally
amalgamated, motley, diverse; (adj, irreverent, dishonorable, degenerate name: (v) appoint, describe, baptize,
v) mingled. ANTONYMS: (adj) morality: (n) ethics, goodness, virtue, list, enumerate, identify, cite,
homogeneous, pure, insular, honesty, decency, integrity, mention; (n, v) title, entitle; (n)
uniform, limited righteousness, chastity, behavior, epithet. ANTONYMS: (n) nobody,
mixing: (n) mix, commixture, moral philosophy, rectitude. indecency
admixture, mixed, compounding, ANTONYMS: (n) immorality, names: (n) calumny, defamation,
combination, amalgamation, decadence, wickedness, indecency hatchet job
mixture, mingling, hybrid, morally: (adv) virtuously, chastely, narcotic: (adj, n) soporific, opiate,
intermixture righteously, justly, properly, hypnotic; (adj) anodyne; (n) drug,
mock: (adj, v) counterfeit; (n, v) decently, ethically, purely, anaesthetic, opium, stupefacient,
ridicule, jeer, gibe, laugh at, flout; uprightly, rightly, religiously. sedative, methadone, meperidine
Oscar Wilde 179
nasty: (adj) dirty, foul, filthy, neither: (conj) either, no-one, not patrician; (adj) imposing,
disgusting, awful, mean, repulsive, either, nor, nother impressive, elevated, majestic,
raw, hurtful, coarse; (adj, n) nervous: (adj) anxious, excitable, generous, high; (adj, v) dignified,
obnoxious. ANTONYMS: (adj) afraid, uneasy, shy, fearful, great. ANTONYMS: (adj) shameful,
agreeable, pleasant, nice, charitable, apprehensive, firm; (adj, v) tense; humble, dishonorable, lowly,
lovely, delightful, friendly, tasty, (adj, adv) cowardly, excited. lowborn, disgraceful, unimpressive,
charming, safe, respectful ANTONYMS: (adj) brave, relaxed, ignoble, modest, petty; (n) lady
natural: (adj) inherent, innate, bold, composed, confident, fearless, nobody: (n) cipher, naught, zero, nil,
unaffected, instinctive, artless, untroubled, unflappable, still, nothing, nonentity, cypher, zip,
congenital, inborn, normal, intrinsic, unconcerned, carefree whippersnapper, none; (n, pron) no
essential, native. ANTONYMS: (adj) nervously: (adv) edgily, anxiously, one. ANTONYMS: (n) celebrity,
affected, refined, false, cultivated, timidly, worriedly, uneasily, notable, somebody; (pron) everyone,
unnatural, paranormal, restlessly, timorously, skittishly, anyone, everybody
supernatural, abnormal, forced, excitedly, neurotically, nonchalant: (adj) careless, indifferent,
exceptional, strained apprehensively. ANTONYMS: (adv) insouciant, unconcerned, casual,
nature: (n) disposition, essence, confidently, boldly, fearlessly, carefree, calm, heedless, listless,
quality, creation, breed, unconcernedly, nonchalantly, apathetic, offhand. ANTONYMS:
temperament, type, attribute; (adj, trustingly (adj) concerned, uptight, careful,
n) character, class, manner nervousness: (n) nerves, trepidation, excited
near: (adj, adv, v) close, at hand; (adv, disquiet, tension, jumpiness, none: (n) nought, naught, nobody,
prep) by, around, towards; (adj, v) restlessness, jitters, agitation, worry, zilch, anything; (adv) not, neither,
familiar, adjoining, approximate; fearfulness, edginess. ANTONYMS: any; (adj) whatsoever, no, whatever
(adj, adv, prep) about; (adj, adv) (n) boldness, confidence, nonsense: (n) bosh, absurdity,
almost; (adj) imminent. reassurance, calm, relief, peace, humbug, balderdash, foolishness,
ANTONYMS: (adj) distant, far, equanimity drivel, folderol, baloney, falderal,
further, actual, exact; (v) leave never: (adv) ne'er, Nevers, always, jargon, claptrap. ANTONYMS: (n)
nearly: (adv) closely, intimately, not ever, by no means, at all times, sense, wisdom, substance, fact
nighly, virtually; (adj, adv, prep) not at all, not, NE. ANTONYMS: noon: (n) high noon, noonday,
about, just about; (adj, adv) near, all (adv) always, forever noontide, afternoon, hour,
but, close, most; (adv, prep) news: (n) advice, message, dinnertime, crest, twelve noon; (adj)
approximately information, intelligence, tidings, meridian, meridional; (adj, n)
necessary: (adj, n, v) requisite; (adj, v) story, report, notice, culmination
important; (adj) inevitable, communication, gossip; (adj) new nose: (n) hooter, neb, nozzle,
compulsory, mandatory, newspaper: (n) magazine, paper, proboscis, honker, bow, odour; (v)
fundamental, main, indispensable; gazette, news, periodical, print, wind, pry, scent; (n, v) sniff
(n) necessity, demand; (adj, n) basic. publisher, press, publication, nostrils: (n) naris, nose
ANTONYMS: (adj) optional, newsprint, weekly note: (n, v) comment, mind, remark,
surplus, needless, unjustified, newspapers: (n) press, papers, the mention, heed, mark, look, report;
dispensable, possible, unimportant, media, journalists, reporters (n) indication, annotation; (v) detect.
voluntary, nonessential, next: (adj) nearest, adjacent, ANTONYMS: (v) disregard; (n)
inappropriate; (n) inessential contiguous, following, future, disgrace, invoice
necktie: (n) cravat, bolo, neckwear, coming, ensuing, after; (adv, conj) notepaper: (n) writing paper,
linkup, link, affiliation, crosstie, bow then, afterward; (adj, v) subsequent. notepad, scribbling pad, stationery,
tie, bolo tie, bolas, bola tie ANTONYMS: (adj, adv) previous, letterhead, block, notebook
need: (adj, n, v) lack, want; (n, v) previously, preceding; (adj) nothing: (adv, n) naught; (adj, n) nil,
demand, desire, deficiency, must, outgoing, distant; (adv) before null; (n) nobody, cipher, nihil,
destitution; (n) necessity, nice: (adj) fastidious, dainty, fine, nonentity, trifle, nix, aught, cypher.
requirement; (v) require, claim. good, lovely, kind, likable, delicious, ANTONYMS: (pron) anything,
ANTONYMS: (v) obviate, dislike, difficult, precise; (adj, n) neat. everything, some; (n) all
have; (n) option, luxury, glut, ANTONYMS: (adj) horrible, nasty, notice: (n, v) note, mind, regard; (n)
unimportance, affluence, prosperity unlikable, rough, mean, loathsome, advertisement, information,
needs: (adv) inevitably, needfully, approximate, unsavory, unfriendly, declaration, attention; (adj, v) look,
indispensably, by necessity, inelegant, bad attend; (v) find, detect.
inescapably, of necessity, night: (n) dark, dusk, darkness, ANTONYMS: (v) ignore, overlook,
ineluctably; (n) must, requirement, gloaming, twilight, nighttime, Nox, Miss; (n) ignorance, inattention,
necessity; (adj) needed eventide, period; (adj) nocturnal, appointment, unconsciousness
neighbour: (adj) neighboring, gloomy. ANTONYMS: (n) day, noticed: (adj) noted
neighbouring, neighborly, adjacent, light, sunrise noticing: (n) observation, look; (adj)
contiguous; (v) abut, populate, ninepins: (n) bowling, ninepegs, conscious
adjoin, butt on, butt against; (n) bowls, American bowls, game, kain, nowadays: (adv) currently, presently,
neighbourhood kayles at present, at the moment,
neighbours: (n) neighborhood noble: (adj, n) grand, glorious, immediately; (adv, n) today; (adj, n)
180 An Ideal Husband
present; (n) moment, modern times, about, create, beget, make, induce oneself: (n) herself, himself,
these days, nonce. ANTONYMS: occasionally: (adv) now and then, themselves, personal, private,
(adv) formerly, then from time to time, accidentally, selfness, self, yourself, me, person,
nuisance: (adj, n) annoyance; (n) every so often, now and again, own
harassment, irritation, pain, pest, sometimes, irregularly, open: (adj, n) frank, candid; (adj, n, v)
hassle, inconvenience, mischief, uncommonly, casually, every now clear; (adj) obvious, exposed, artless,
irritant, plague, pain in the neck. and then, fortuitously. free, honest, guileless, forthright,
ANTONYMS: (n) pleasure, help, ANTONYMS: (adv) regularly, naked. ANTONYMS: (adj, v) shut;
delight, blessing, balm, advantage, usually, often, recurrently, (v) close, end; (adj) devious,
satisfaction, ease constantly secretive, concealed, furtive,
numbers: (n) rhyme, verse, measure, occupies: (v) acquisition, Addison, restricted, limited, reserved, secret
Numbers pool, meter, assonance, engross, absorb, etymology, opened: (adj) candid, exposed, overt,
foot, crambo, strain; (adj) a quantity, Milman, misery, multiplied, agaze, blatant, blazing, clear,
sight attainment through, conspicuous; (v) distended,
object: (n) cause, intent, meaning, occur: (v) happen, come, fall, befall, blown
mark, subject, objective, substance; betide, chance, be, materialize, opera: (n) opera house, bouffe,
(n, v) aim, end, intention; (v) except. develop, come up, appear. drama, or movie script, opera
ANTONYMS: (v) agree, approve, ANTONYM: (v) disappear bouffe, operetta, theater, script,
praise; (n) notion occurrence: (n) case, event, occasion, dramatic work, dramatic
objection: (n) dissent, complaint, accident, instance, circumstance, composition, theatre
grievance, exception, gripe, happening, contingency, affair, fact; operatic: (adj) lyric, instrumental,
disagreement, outcry, difficulty, (n, v) incident histrionic, comic, vocal, buskined,
expostulation, disapproval, o'clock: (n) period, hours choral, farcical, theatrical,
criticism. ANTONYMS: (n) octagon: (n) hexagon, oxygon, tragicomic, scenic
approval, agreement, praise, decagon, pentagon, polygon operation: (n, v) movement; (n)
acceptance offence: (n) insult, injury, guilt, error, agency, effect, act, management,
objects: (n) things, stuff, matter, delinquency, fault, misdeed, business, functioning, performance,
material, substance infraction, infringement, attack, running, action, function
obliged: (adj) grateful, thankful, offense opportunity: (n) chance, opening,
appreciative, forced, accountable, offer: (v) give, bestow, put, tender, luck, occasion, crack, room, event,
compelled; (adj, v) bound, under extend, impart, introduce, advance, time, circumstance, shot, alternative.
obligation; (adj, prep) indebted; (v) propose; (n) proposal, proposition. ANTONYMS: (n) past, disaster
oblige, binding. ANTONYM: (adj) ANTONYMS: (v) refuse, withhold, optimism: (n) hope, cheer,
ungrateful take cheerfulness, happiness, buoyancy,
observation: (adj, n) observance; (n) offered: (adj) presented, accessible, expectation, brightness, anticipation,
remark, comment, attention, existing, obtainable, available, temperament; (v) pessimism,
contemplation, perception, ready, on hand, to be had, pessimist. ANTONYMS: (n) realism,
conception; (n, v) inspection, notice, unsolicited cynicism, depression, despair,
note, consideration. ANTONYMS: office: (n) function, position, agency, sadness, gloominess
(n) disregard, omission, neglect commission, appointment, division, optimist: (n) millenarian, optimistic,
observations: (n) commentary, place, bureau, post, job; (n, v) duty utopist, whitewasher, encomiast,
remarks, explanation, comments often: (adj, adv) oft; (adv) much, enthusiast, intellectual, laudator,
observe: (n, v) comment, notice, note; again and again, repeatedly, millenarist, utopian, utopianist.
(v) commemorate, mind, guard, ofttimes, oftentimes, many times, ANTONYM: (n) realist
mention, mark, see, discover; (int, v) always, commonly, again; (adj) oratory: (n) elocution, rhetoric,
look. ANTONYMS: (v) feel, frequent. ANTONYMS: (adv) declamation, speech, oration,
disregard, break, overlook, disobey, seldom, infrequently, never church, chapel, tabernacle,
disrespect, Miss, violate older: (adj) old, aged, elderly, ancient, valediction, cathedral, public
observed: (adj) ascertained, adult, earlier, big, preceding, former, speaking
empirical, discovered, viewed, oldest; (adj, n) senior. ANTONYMS: orchid: (n) calanthe, aerides,
experimental, experiential, (adj) younger, immature, youthful, caladenia, brassavola, calypso,
determined, visual, disclosed present, young angrecum, disa, coelogyne, Liparis,
obvious: (adj, v) clear; (adj) distinct, oldest: (n) elder, doyen; (adj) older cattleya, cypripedia
conspicuous, open, evident, flagrant, old-fashioned: (adj) obsolete, order: (n, v) command, direct, decree,
glaring, blatant, discernible; (adj, antiquated, archaic, outmoded, dictate, sort, rank, array,
adv) apparent, manifest. outdated, ancient, old, musty, corny, commission, charge; (n) instruction,
ANTONYMS: (adj) inconspicuous, behind the times, superannuated edict. ANTONYMS: (n, v) request;
obscure, unclear, undetectable, once: (adv, n) formerly; (adv) before, (n) mayhem, confusion, chaos, mess,
hidden, imperceptible, slight, subtle, ever, previously, one time, at one anarchy, disorderliness, disarray; (v)
concealed, unobvious, furtive time, already, erst; (adj, adv) disturb, deregulate, supply
occasion: (n, v) cause; (n) case, event, erstwhile; (adj) former; (n) whilom. ordering: (n) disposition, sequence,
juncture, episode, incident; (v) bring ANTONYM: (adv) future order, disposal, grading,
Oscar Wilde 181
adjustment, management, decree, prepaid, apaid. ANTONYMS: (adj) contradiction, ambiguity,
configuration, classification; (adj) owing, due, unprofitable; (adv) inconsistency, puzzle, figure of
imperative voluntary speech, phenomenon, paradoxy,
orders: (n) holy orders, information, pain: (n, v) hurt, afflict, ache, bother, opposite, irony, equivocation
preparation, remit, briefing, torment, trouble, grieve, anguish; (n) paragon: (n) exemplar, ideal, model,
guidelines ill, agony, nuisance. ANTONYMS: perfection, paradigm, pattern,
ordinary: (adj, n, v) customary, usual; (v) encourage, cheer; (n) joy, peace, jimdandy, idol; (adj, n) beau ideal;
(adj) middling, mediocre, average, content, balm, ecstasy (adj) phenix, pink
normal, everyday; (adj, n) familiar, painful: (adj) hard, difficult, sharp, parched: (adj, n) thirsty; (adj) arid,
accustomed, habitual; (adj, v) harrowing, grievous, afflictive, bad, adust, torrid, barren, desiccated,
general. ANTONYMS: (adj) irritating; (adj, v) distressing, harsh, dehydrated, scorched, baked,
unusual, strange, peculiar, bitter. ANTONYMS: (adj) content, withered, shriveled. ANTONYMS:
outstanding, incredible, special, heartwarming, soothing, (adj) quenched, humid
famous, distinguished, abnormal, comfortable, bearable, agreeable, pardon: (v) excuse, condone, forgive,
particular, exotic effortless, dull, slight, wonderful, acquit, spare; (n) amnesty,
origin: (n, v) lineage; (n) birth, happy forgiveness, grace; (adj, v) justify,
beginning, descent, base, source, painfully: (adv) sorely, grievously, exonerate, exculpate. ANTONYMS:
well, commencement, extraction, distressingly, severely, tenderly, (n, v) blame; (v) punish, castigate,
derivation, foundation. badly, agonizingly, laboriously, condemn, convict; (n) intolerance
ANTONYMS: (n) demise, sadly, bitterly, poignantly. park: (v) deposit, locate, set, place,
conclusion, culmination, effect ANTONYMS: (adv) easily, tolerably put; (n) parking lot, common,
ornament: (n) decoration, adornment, paint: (n, v) color, tint; (v) daub, coat, parkland, green, arena, orchard
embellishment, decor; (v) beautify, decorate, varnish, depict, enamel, parliament: (n) council, diet,
decorate, deck, embellish, adorn; (n, lacquer, apply; (n) painting assembly, legislature, house,
v) garnish, dress. ANTONYM: (v) painted: (adj) colored, dyed, chamber, convocation, Cortes,
strip coloured, motley, stained, tinted, convention, junta, senate
ornamental: (adj) fancy, florid, variegated, particoloured, parliamentary: (adj) congressional,
cosmetic, extravagant, elaborate, delineated, graphic; (v) depaint. respectful, parliament, democratic,
showy, enhancing, delicate, ANTONYM: (adj) unpainted legislative, of parliament,
beautifying; (n) decoration, pair: (n, v) match; (adj, n) brace; (n) parliamental
adornment. ANTONYMS: (adj) duet, duo, dyad; (v) join, mate, link, paroxysm: (adj, n) fit, burst; (n)
plain, unadorned copulate, equate, marry convulsion, outburst, explosion,
others: (n) rest, cessation, lie, lave, pale: (adj) faint, wan, dull, weak, attack, seizure, spasm, gust, agony;
LAN, ease, acquiesce, intermission light, bloodless, pallid; (adj, v) dim; (adj) breaking out
otherwise: (adv) besides, differently, (n) boundary, confine; (v) blanch. part: (adj, n) constituent; (n) piece,
or else, yet, alias, nevertheless, on ANTONYMS: (adj) strong, rosy, article, section; (v) break, disjoin,
the other hand, in addition; (adj, brown, well, glowing, vivid, divide, divorce; (n, v) branch,
adv) other; (n) or; (adj) different healthy, clear, colorful; (v) redden, division, character. ANTONYMS:
ourselves: (pron) myself, herself, darken (n) whole, entirety; (v) join, unite,
itself, oneself, themselves, yourself; paleness: (adj, n) pallor; (n) meet, arrive, connect; (adv) wholly
(n) me, yourselves, usself pallidness, wanness, whiteness, parted: (adj) divided, separate,
outset: (n) opening, beginning, onset, achromasia, blondness, lividity, distributed, separated, divisible,
commencement, origin, birth, luridness, lividness, fairness, pale. disunited, compounder, compound,
inception, start, threshold, offset, ANTONYM: (n) strength dividable
first. ANTONYM: (n) middle pallid: (adj) ghastly, wan, bloodless, particular: (n) detail, item; (adj)
outstretched: (adj) extended, lengthy, lurid, cadaverous, sickly, ashen, fastidious, fussy, finicky, exact,
flat, open, unfolded, stretched, white, pasty, livid, watery. individual, careful, definite, delicate,
broad, wiredrawn, wide, long ANTONYMS: (adj) healthy, rosy, detailed. ANTONYMS: (adj)
overcome: (v) crush, subdue, beat, vivid careless, easy, vague, ordinary,
vanquish, overpower, master, palm: (n) medal, decoration, prize, collective, generalized, slapdash,
defeat, hurdle, get over, overwhelm; palm tree, victory, thenar, laurel universal, strong, normal,
(adj) beaten. ANTONYMS: (v) fail, wreath; (v) filch, cabbage, rob; (adj) indeterminate
lose, comfort, protect, resist, totipalmate particularly: (adj, adv) specially,
surrender, capitulate; (adj) panama: (n) Republic of Panama, only; (adv) peculiarly, specifically,
unimpressed leghorn, navy man, crewman, sailor, individually, expressly, separately,
page: (n) footboy, waiter, attendant, fedora, hat, bluejacket, skimmer, curiously, markedly, unusually,
boy, note, bellhop, pageboy, folio, boatman, cap definitely. ANTONYMS: (adv)
varlet; (v) paginate, summon paper: (n) article, newspaper, slightly, generally, vaguely,
paid: (adj, v) compensated; (adj) discourse, newsprint, publication, somewhat, unexceptionally
salaried, paying, nonrecreational, journal, essay, periodical, report, parting: (n) adieu, division, leave,
profitable, remunerated, magazine, certificate departure, disunion, goodbye,
remunerative, mercenary, settled, paradox: (n) incongruity, leaving, segregation, dying, rupture;
182 An Ideal Husband
(adj) valedictory. ANTONYMS: (n) authorship, fabrication, drafting, impersonally, indirectly, objectively,
joining, meeting, connection, lexicography, committal to writing, collectively, distantly, generally,
Reunion composing, musical composition, universally
partly: (adj) half, semi, quasi; (adv) redaction, versification persons: (n) folk, public, society,
part, constituently, in part, sidely, perfect: (adj, n, v) consummate, world
moderately, halfway, incompletely, complete; (adj, n) absolute, full, persuade: (v) convince, coax, assure,
relatively. ANTONYMS: (adv) entire; (adj) exact, utter, thorough, allure, entice, influence, induce,
completely, wholly, entirely; (adj) faultless, integral, exquisite. cajole, argue, exhort, lure.
fully ANTONYMS: (adj) flawed, faulty, ANTONYMS: (v) discourage,
pass: (adj, n, v) run; (v) flow, give, wrong, inferior, misshapen, dissuade, deter, restrain, force
deliver, lead, happen, overtake, incorrect, defective, used, everyday, pertness: (n) insolence, impudence,
proceed; (adj, v) move; (n, v) offer, unhappy, partial audacity, sauciness, effrontery,
live. ANTONYMS: (v) reject, make, perfection: (n) maturity, ideal, perkiness, archness, cheekiness,
take, veto; (n) failing, rejection, consummation, paragon, playfulness, forwardness, cheek
exclusion completeness, finish, completion, pessimism: (adj) horrors,
passed: (adj) accepted, approved, crown, flawlessness, development, hypochondriasis, megrims; (v)
legal, gone ne plus ultra. ANTONYMS: (n) optimism; (n) despondency, despair,
passing: (adj) transient, ephemeral, imperfection, fault, abandonment, depression, dejection, cynicism,
momentary, cursory, brief; (n) ugliness, deterioration melancholy, temperament.
overtaking, departure, expiration, perfectly: (adj, adv) entirely; (adv) ANTONYMS: (n) optimism,
decease, passage, death. fully, thoroughly, consummately, resilience, hopefulness, happiness,
ANTONYMS: (adj) lasting, utterly, flawlessly, absolutely, cheer, enthusiasm, cheerfulness
thorough, intended, lengthy, long; purely, totally, faultlessly, wholly. pessimist: (adj) croaker, alarmist,
(n) birth, failing ANTONYMS: (adv) badly, pessimistic; (n) cynic, defeatist,
passion: (n) affection, fire, fervor, imperfectly, incorrectly, wrong, skeptic, doomster, wet blanket,
love, feeling, anger, enthusiasm, inaccurately, partially, partly, sceptic, washout; (v) optimism.
heat, craving, desire; (n, v) ardor. poorly, unpleasantly, wrongly ANTONYM: (n) believer
ANTONYMS: (n) apathy, hate, perhaps: (adv) mayhap, perchance, philanthropy: (n) charity, generosity,
serenity, meekness, hatred, doubt, peradventure, possibly, probably, humanity, kindness, philanthropic
dislike, calmness, moderation conceivably, by chance, haply, if, gift, beneficence, altruism,
past: (n) history, yesterday; (adj, adv, presumably; (n) might. ANTONYM: charitableness, humanitarianism,
prep) beyond; (adj) former, bygone, (adv) certainly largesse, gift. ANTONYMS: (n)
old, prior, over, gone by; (adv) perplexed: (adj) confused, puzzled, nastiness, selfishness
before; (adv, pref) along. baffled, confounded, doubtful, philosopher: (n) thinker, bacon,
ANTONYMS: (adj, n) future, distracted, disconcerted; (adj, v) libertarian, gymnosophist,
present; (prep) within; (adj) current, intricate, complicated, lost, empiricist, necessitarian, moralist,
contemporary, modern, upcoming, involved. ANTONYMS: (adj) theorist, wisdom, pundit, mechanist
following, subsequent, later; (n) unperplexed, assured, clear, philosophy: (n) ethics, logic, theory,
prospect knowing ideology, literalism, monism,
pattern: (n) design, fashion, figure, person: (n) individual, human, man, metaphysics, etiology, esthetics,
norm, example, paragon; (n, v) mortal, character, soul, human axiology; (adj, n) stoicism
mold, shape, form, order; (v) mould being, being, creature, body; (n, v) phrase: (v) formulate, couch, put,
pause: (n, v) halt, interruption, party articulate; (n) expression, idiom,
adjournment, delay, respite, stop; personal: (adj) own, particular, diction, speech, passage, locution;
(adj, n, v) rest; (n) intermission, gap; human, intimate, peculiar, private, (n, v) word
(adj, v) discontinue; (v) hesitate. direct, proper, subjective, physical; physical: (adj) bodily, actual,
ANTONYMS: (n) decisiveness, (n) person. ANTONYMS: (adj) tangible, corporeal, carnal, concrete,
continuation, start; (v) proceed public, general, detached, collective, real, corporal, animal, palpable;
paying: (adj, v) profitable; (adj) paid, common, orthodox, formal, (adv) fleshly. ANTONYMS: (adj)
lucrative, salaried, stipendiary, impersonal, outermost, external, spiritual, mental, intangible,
good, beneficial; (v) advantageous, typical cerebral, intellectual, mystical,
remunerative; (n) payment, personality: (n) person, nature, gentle, unfit, insubstantial, refined,
defrayment identity, celebrity, character, ethereal
peace: (adj, n) calm, quiet; (n) temperament, disposition, picture: (v) describe, draw, imagine,
harmony, hush, repose, ease, amity, characteristic, essence, depict; (n, v) photograph, paint,
agreement, rest, pacification, order. individualism, public figure. fancy; (n) effigy, drawing, likeness,
ANTONYMS: (n) noise, chaos, ANTONYM: (n) nobody depiction
conflict, uproar, commotion, personally: (adv) privately, in pictures: (n) cinema, movie, movie
agitation, war, distress, suffering, person, intimately, directly, theater, footage, motion picture,
disruption, turbulence specially, confidentially, secretly, movie house
pearls: (n) beads, jewelry, jewellery self, oneself, subjectively, picturesque: (adj, v) pictorial; (adj)
penning: (n) writing, composition, particularly. ANTONYMS: (adv) beautiful, striking, colorful, idyllic,
Oscar Wilde 183
scenic, vivid, quaint, lovely, ANTONYMS: (n) tightness; (v) points: (n) turnout, handicap,
romantic, colourful. ANTONYMS: avoid, leave, real interest, percentage, brownie points,
(adj) drab, dull, ugly, unattractive, playing: (n) personation, pitching, commendation, credit, eight points,
modern performing, hamming, golfing, share, terms
piece: (n) fragment, division, part, byplay, enactment, bowling, poison: (adj, v) contaminate, taint; (n,
article, lump, hunk, composition, playacting, portrayal; (adj) playful v) envenom, drug, empoison; (adj)
component, opus; (n, v) patch, pleasant: (adj) jolly, amiable, toxic, poisonous; (v) defile,
portion. ANTONYMS: (n) whole, agreeable, acceptable, nice, intoxicate; (n) bane, venom.
chunk; (v) disassemble charming, kindly, facetious, joyful, ANTONYMS: (n) cure; (v) clean
pieces: (n) debris, trash pretty; (adj, v) pleasing. police: (v) guard, watch, patrol; (n)
pillory: (n) stocks, whipping post, ANTONYMS: (adj) disgusting, law, constabulary, policeman,
instrument of punishment; (v) horrible, repugnant, nasty, bobby, police force, gendarmery,
punish, crucify, slate, attack, libel, gruesome, unwelcome, harsh, law enforcement, gendarmerie
malign, penalize, pick holes in. shocking, disagreeable, foul, terrible polite: (adj) cultured, gentle, courtly,
ANTONYMS: (v) compliment, please: (v) delight, charm, amuse, civil, refined, proper, genteel, kind,
praise entertain, oblige, enchant, enrapture; attentive, friendly, complaisant.
pink: (n) rose, crimson, gillyflower, (adj, v) gratify, enjoy, like; (adj) glad. ANTONYMS: (adj) rude,
paragon; (v) knock, gore, impale, ANTONYMS: (v) displease, annoy, discourteous, boorish, improper,
stab, spike, spear; (adj) flower irritate, anger, distress, sicken, abusive, common, authoritative,
pitiless: (adj) merciless, brutal, harsh, disappoint, dissatisfy, sadden, repel, disobedient, uncivilized, uncivil,
cruel, ruthless, implacable, appall curt
remorseless, inexorable, inhuman, pleased: (adj) contented, glad, politeness: (n) civility, courteousness,
heartless, hard. ANTONYMS: (adj) delighted, content, joyful, thankful, courtliness, manners, decorum,
merciful, charitable, soft, gratified, appreciative, overjoyed, gentility, good manners, niceness,
compassionate, warmhearted, cheerful; (adj, v) elated. refinement, gallantry, decency.
sympathetic, flexible, caring, ANTONYMS: (adj) unhappy, ANTONYMS: (n) vulgarity,
tolerant annoyed, angry, worried, ashamed, rudeness, incivility, neglect
pity: (n, v) compassion, ruth; (n) disappointed, frustrated, sad, political: (adj) national, civil, state,
mercy, commiseration, condolence, unsatisfied, ungrateful, government, diplomatic,
sympathy, clemency, remorse; (v) uncomplimentary governmental, supporting,
sympathize, compassionate, feel pleasure: (n) fun, enjoyment, following, cunning
sorry for. ANTONYMS: (n) blame, delectation, joy, comfort, happiness, politician: (n) legislator, politico,
cruelty, indifference, harshness, joy mirth, inclination; (n, v) lawgiver, political leader, mayor,
placard: (n) sign, card, poster, contentment, content; (adj, n, v) pol, nominee, campaigner,
advertisement, notice, handbill, gratification. ANTONYMS: (n) governor, statemonger, tactician
posting, broadside, tablet; (v) irritation, nuisance, boredom, ache, politics: (n) government, policy,
advertise, post displeasure, dissatisfaction, misery, geopolitics, political sympathies,
place: (n, v) post, order; (v) fix, lay, pain, sadness, worry, anguish political relation, thought,
arrange, locate, install; (adj, n, v) pluck: (adj, n) nerve; (v) cull, jerk, profession, sentiment, governance,
rank, station; (n) domicile, office. gather, pick, fleece, grab; (n) grit, governing; (n, v) diplomacy
ANTONYMS: (v) remove, divest, courage, boldness; (n, v) pull. poor: (adj) bad, miserable, piteous,
lift, dismantle ANTONYMS: (n) cowardice, destitute, pitiful, insufficient,
plain: (adj) ordinary, gutlessness; (v) undercharge penniless, pathetic; (adj, v) meager;
comprehensible, intelligible, plunge: (n, v) drop, dive, fall, jump; (adj, n) paltry, mean. ANTONYMS:
apparent, manifest, obvious, clear, (v) douse, duck, submerge, crash, (adj) wealthy, excellent, privileged,
simple; (adj, n) flat, homely, humble. dunk, plummet; (adj, v) immerse. admirable, good, adequate,
ANTONYMS: (adj) elaborate, ANTONYMS: (n, v) rise; (v) hesitate; satisfactory, outstanding, favorable,
unclear, multicolored, mottled, (n) improvement dignified, comfortable
ornate, concealed, attractive, pocket: (v) take, appropriate, steal, popular: (adj) general, current,
confused, fussy, obscure, patterned lift, catch; (n, v) sack, pouch; (n) fashionable, democratic, customary,
plant: (v) fix, set, embed, graft, cavity, hole, hollow; (adj) digest. plain, known, pop, celebrated; (adj,
establish, constitute; (n, v) place; (n) ANTONYM: (v) return v) favorite; (n) folk. ANTONYMS:
manufactory, factory, equipment, point: (n, v) grade, head, nib, level, (adj) unpopular, aristocratic,
herb. ANTONYMS: (v) dismantle, aim, degree; (n) peak, article, dot; disliked, companionless, out,
remove (adj, n) edge; (v) direct. ANTONYM: unknown, unpleasant, minority,
platitude: (n) banality, cliche, (n) middle forgettable, highbrow,
bromide, triviality, clich, saying, pointed: (adj) keen, poignant, acute, unfashionable
coarseness, truism, vulgarity, piquant, cutting, marked, pithy, portion: (n, v) division, lot, allot,
triteness; (adj) jargon biting, short, sharp, barbed. dividend, divide; (n) piece, parcel,
play: (n, v) act, frolic, pastime, game, ANTONYMS: (adj) rounded, blunt, fragment, component, section; (adj,
sport, exercise, joke, bet, wager; (v) unpointed, pointless, mild, smooth, n) constituent. ANTONYM: (n)
enact; (adj, v) perform. dull whole
184 An Ideal Husband
portrait: (n) effigy, image, likeness, idealistic, impracticable, (adj) missing, lost, dated, historical;
icon, delineation, depiction, figure, unimaginative, unprofessional, (adj, n) past, future; (n) history
portraiture, picture, photograph, destructive president: (n) chief, headmaster,
painting practically: (adv) usefully, nearly, leader, director, chairwoman, chief
pose: (n, v) position, masquerade, pragmatically, almost, effectively, executive, chair, chairperson,
posture; (v) attitudinize, place, functionally, conveniently, about, superintendent, manager, boss
perplex, impersonate, lay; (n) much, in reality, as a matter of fact. pressure: (n, v) force, drive, press,
affectation, bearing, airs ANTONYMS: (adv) theoretically, urge, weight; (n) load, insistence,
position: (n, v) grade, locate, fix, lay, unrealistically, foolishly, duress, exigency, constraint,
post, set, rank; (v) arrange; (n) romantically, irrationally, barely, compulsion. ANTONYMS: (v)
attitude, condition, placement. awkwardly, unreasonably, protect; (n) relief, unimportance
ANTONYM: (v) dismiss recklessly pretended: (adj, v) sham, mock,
positively: (adv) absolutely, practice: (n, v) exercise, drill, counterfeit, pseudo, spurious; (adj)
definitely, decidedly, unequivocally, discipline, use; (n) fashion, assumed, fake, feigned, fictitious,
expressly, emphatically, convention, habitude, habit, bogus, affected
categorically, clearly, confidently; experience, form, observance. prettiness: (n) loveliness, good looks,
(adv, int) surely; (adj, adv) really. ANTONYMS: (n) theory, cuteness, attraction, appeal,
ANTONYMS: (adv) disapprovingly, innovation; (v) perform attractiveness, gracefulness,
pessimistically, uncertainly, praise: (v) approve, extol, flatter, fineness, charm, elegance,
doubtfully, inauspiciously, ill celebrate, glorify; (n, v) commend, handsomeness. ANTONYMS: (n)
possessed: (adj) mad, obsessed, compliment, honor, glory, acclaim; ugliness, unattractiveness
frantic, hysterical, furious, fanatical, (n) applause. ANTONYMS: (n) pretty: (adj) fair, graceful, lovely,
infatuated, insane; (v) ought, owed, criticism, disparagement; (v) handsome, attractive, charming,
behoove. ANTONYM: (adj) reprimand, disparage, reproach, good-looking, picturesque, dainty;
uninterested scold, belittle, rebuke, chastise, (n) nice; (adv) very. ANTONYMS:
possession: (n) occupation, denigrate, sully (adj) plain, unattractive, modern,
ownership, keeping, goods, pray: (v) beg, implore, entreat, crave, inelegant; (adv) extremely
substance, tenure, property, grasp, invite, plead, beseech, appeal, prevalent: (adj, v) prevailing; (adj)
estate, domain; (n, v) acquisition. importune, adjure, invoke. predominant, general, common,
ANTONYMS: (n) vacancy, sale ANTONYM: (v) reject popular, preponderant, rife,
possibilities: (n) potential, field precipice: (n) abyss, chasm, extensive, dominant, epidemic; (adj,
possible: (adj) imaginable, likely, escarpment, gulf, steep, crag, verge, n) current. ANTONYMS: (adj) rare,
feasible, practicable, earthly, maybe, brink, abysm, ravine, drop uncommon, sparse, limited
probable, practical, potential, precise: (adj, v) accurate, careful, prevent: (n, v) hinder, bar; (v)
tolerable, thinkable. ANTONYMS: close; (adj) correct, definite, minute, anticipate, block, forbid, avert,
(adj) unlikely, compulsory, actual, particular, delicate, neat, certain, avoid, preclude, arrest, hamper,
implausible, unrealistic, clear. ANTONYMS: (adj) imprecise, obviate. ANTONYMS: (v) allow,
unattainable inaccurate, vague, rough, careless, permit, promote, advance, attract,
possibly: (adv) probably, perhaps, rushed, approximate, clumsy, cause, let, drive, help, support,
peradventure, likely, perchance, unscientific, wrong, slapdash include
may, might, or, mayhap, prefer: (v) pick, elevate, like, elect, prevented: (adj) disallowed, barred,
conceivably, potentially. opt, advance, favor, want, select, banned. ANTONYM: (adj)
ANTONYMS: (adv) impossibly, promote, favour. ANTONYMS: (v) legitimate
definitely, certainly, indeed, reject, refuse price: (v) appraise, assess; (adj, n)
implausibly prejudiced: (adj) biased, partisan, worth, merit; (n) cost, charge,
post: (n, v) place, position, stake, bigoted, jaundiced, interested, expense, figure, fee; (n, v) estimate,
station; (n) office, function, pillar, opinionated, narrow, intolerant, amount
attitude; (v) locate, enter, lay colored, inequitable, subjective. pride: (n) arrogance, conceit, egotism,
power: (n, v) might, ability, influence, ANTONYMS: (adj) unbiased, vanity, lordliness, assumption,
dominion, faculty; (n) potency, broadminded, balanced, impartial, insolence, disdain, hauteur; (n, v)
energy, control, authority, unprejudiced, objective, just, boast; (v) plume. ANTONYMS: (n)
domination, strength. ANTONYMS: tolerant modesty, sorrow, dregs, disgrace,
(n) powerlessness, helplessness, presence: (n) front, manner, mien, shame, baseness
weakness, inability, subjugation, bearing, carriage, figure, air, prime: (adj, n) chief, best, paramount,
moderation, calmness, meekness, comportment, demeanor, company; essential; (adj) first, head,
inferiority, feebleness, ease (n, v) attendance. ANTONYMS: (n) fundamental, primary, early; (n)
practical: (adj) practicable, realistic, absence, nonattendance flower; (v) ground. ANTONYMS:
pragmatic, functional, feasible, present: (adj, n, v) gift, grant; (n, v) (adj, n) secondary, inferior; (adj)
efficient, helpful, active, expedient, donation, display; (adj, v) confer, new, marginal; (n) nadir
useful, handy. ANTONYMS: (adj) bestow; (v) introduce, give, prefer, principle: (n) rule, method,
impractical, theoretical, unrealistic, offer, perform. ANTONYMS: (v) fundamental, cause, doctrine,
useless, impossible, passive, withdraw, withhold, consume, take; ground, precept, reason, law,
Oscar Wilde 185
essence, tenet. ANTONYM: (n) connoisseur, academic improvidence
baseness promise: (n, v) covenant, guarantee, prudent: (adj, v) discreet; (adj)
principles: (n) principle, cause, contract, vow, bargain; (v) augur, cautious, circumspect, reasonable,
morals, conscience, law, philosophy, assure; (n) engagement, assurance, chary, economical, careful, frugal,
dogma, doctrine, honor, ideas, plight, word deliberate, advisable, canny.
knowledge promised: (adj) pledged, affianced, ANTONYMS: (adj) imprudent,
private: (adj) clandestine, personal, betrothed, busy, devoted, employed, reckless, spendthrift, stupid,
secret, individual, hidden, inner, greatly interested, intended, careless, unwise, unsafe, tactless
exclusive, intimate, esoteric; (adj, v) involved; (v) benempt, named psychological: (adj) mental, psychic,
covert, close. ANTONYMS: (adj) proof: (n) confirmation, probation, psychical, cerebral, intellectual,
official, nationalized, community, authentication, sign, substantiation, inner, psychologic, subconscious,
communal, shared, civic, state, open, evidence, verification, validation, subjective, mind, emotional.
external, commercial, collective argument, experiment, indication. ANTONYM: (adj) physical
privately: (adv) covertly, privily, ANTONYM: (n) contradiction psychology: (n) psychics,
confidentially, personally, closely, proper: (adj) due, decent, modest, neuropsychology, behaviourism,
stealthily, secludedly, domestically, agreeable, fitting, legitimate, right; associationism, configurationism,
informally, retiredly; (adj, adv) (adj, v) correct, fit, becoming; (adj, n) behaviorism, functionalism,
quietly. ANTONYMS: (adv) just. ANTONYMS: (adj) psychological science, mentality,
publicly, officially inappropriate, wrong, unseemly, physiological psychology,
privilege: (n) liberty, prerogative, rude, unconventional, unsuitable, physchometrika
immunity, freedom, grant, franchise, false, relaxed, vulgar, unreasonable, public: (n) folk, people, populace;
exemption, concession, claim; (n, v) undue (adj) national, overt, civic,
license, permit. ANTONYM: (n) property: (n) characteristic, capital, communal, popular; (adj, v) general,
insult peculiarity, feature, character, open; (adj, n) community.
prize: (v) appreciate, esteem, value, belongings, goods, wealth; (adj, n) ANTONYMS: (adj) private,
cherish, admire; (n) plunder, award, attribute, quality; (n, v) possession confidential, personal, individual,
booty, premium; (n, v) treasure, proposal: (n) advice, suggestion, privileged, restricted, unknown,
honor. ANTONYMS: (v) disrespect, proposition, overture, plan, proffer, home, secret
scorn, hate; (n) dud offer, hypothesis, presentation, idea, pulling: (n) pull, drawing, traction,
probably: (adv) presumably, view haulage, actuation, clout,
perhaps, maybe, in all probability, in propose: (v) bid, nominate, design, deracination, draughts, extirpation;
all likelihood, belike, believably, plan, proffer, move, intend, mean, (adj) attracting, tractive
credibly; (adj, adv) doubtless; (adj) aim, suggest; (n, v) advance. pump: (n, v) interrogate, question; (v)
like; (n) may. ANTONYM: (adv) ANTONYMS: (v) reject, improvise, draw, milk, examine, squirt, push,
implausibly oppose wield; (n) ticker, pumps, aspirator
probity: (adj, n) integrity, honor, proposed: (adj) intended, projected, punish: (v) amerce, discipline,
candor, decency; (n) goodness, suggested, intentional, jutting, castigate, chasten, chastise, penalize,
morality, principle, sincerity, virtue, planned, future, projecting, strike, avenge, pay, beat, execute.
veracity; (adj) faithfulness. predetermined, prospective; (n) ANTONYMS: (v) excuse, exonerate,
ANTONYM: (n) untrustworthiness moot pardon, reward, commend
problem: (n) difficulty, bother, proposing: (adj) prosy, proponent, punishment: (n) correction, penance,
trouble, knot, enigma, matter, making proposals chastisement, fine, judgement,
riddle, job, case, poser; (n, v) proposition: (n, v) offer, bid, proffer; rebuke, retribution, reward,
question. ANTONYMS: (n) (n) proposal, motion, design, castigation, execution; (adj, n)
explanation, answer, capability, approach, assertion, suggestion, penalty. ANTONYMS: (n)
ease, help, resolution, pleasure plan, premise persuasion, exoneration, reward
produce: (n, v) effect, gain, make, prosecute: (v) pursue, persecute, puppy: (n) pup, cub, youth, doggy,
cause; (v) bring, present, procreate, follow, chase, engage, indict, litigate, whelp, younker, dog, brat, child,
bring about, generate, breed, drive, execute, accuse; (n, v) sue. youngster, frankfurter
construct. ANTONYMS: (v) ANTONYM: (v) pardon purchase: (v) obtain, get, procure,
dampen, consume, halt prospect: (n) outlook, expectancy, bribe; (n) acquisition, leverage,
produced: (v) producing; (adj) lookout, aspect, anticipation, hope, bargain, acquirement, grip, buying;
formed, manufactured, bent, possibility, perspective, probability, (n, v) contract. ANTONYMS: (v)
fashioned, shaped, twisted, wrought panorama, picture sell, lose; (n) loss, sale
profession: (n) employment, provided: (adv) in case, provided pure: (adj) absolute, natural, faultless,
declaration, occupation, affirmation, always; (conj) if; (n) conditionally, as innocent, immaculate, perfect, good,
calling, career, vocation, job, if, quasi; (adj) fitted, instructed, clean; (adj, n) chaste, genuine; (adj,
position, assertion, assurance. enlightened, arranged; (v) foreseen v) mere. ANTONYMS: (adj)
ANTONYM: (n) denial providence: (n) forethought, fortune, contaminated, dishonored, diluted,
professor: (n) teacher, scholar, fate, discretion, God, destiny, care, tainted, wicked, practical, polluted,
instructor, master, trainer, tutor, economy, caution, precaution, flawed, marred, unsaturated,
don, coach, full professor, chance. ANTONYM: (n) unchaste
186 An Ideal Husband
puritanism: (n) precisianism, noise unconvincing, physical, intuitive,
bibliolatry, hyperorthodoxy, quietly: (adv) stilly, calmly, foolish, delirious
austerity, Sabbatarianism peacefully, silently, softly, smoothly, ravishing: (adj, n) rapturous, ecstatic;
purity: (n) holiness, cleanness, tranquilly, serenely, restfully, lully, (adj) beautiful, gorgeous, charming,
cleanliness, virtue, honor, moderately. ANTONYMS: (adv) fascinating, enchanting, delightful,
perfection, pureness, sanctity, loudly, harshly, raucously, stunning, irresistible, heavenly
chastity, elegance; (adj, n) clearness. vociferously, anxiously, reach: (n, v) fetch, stretch; (adj, v)
ANTONYMS: (n) coarseness, energetically, manically, unquietly, overtake, pass, extend; (v) obtain,
impurity, contamination, clutter, clearly, heavily, brashly achieve, make, attain, get; (n)
dirtiness, corruption, mustiness quite: (adj, adv) altogether, fully, compass. ANTONYMS: (v)
purpose: (n, v) plan, intention, sheer, just; (adv) all, absolutely, withdraw, differ, fail
design, project, resolve, purport, completely, entirely, exactly, reaches: (n) recess
end, object; (n) mind, effect, motive. enough, well. ANTONYMS: (adv) read: (v) say, decipher, understand,
ANTONYM: (n) weakness hardly, slightly, insufficiently, learn, construe, perceive, gather,
pursuit: (n) quest, hunt, search, partially indicate, demonstrate, translate,
persecution, chase, career, interest, rabbits: (n) order Lagomorpha, pikas, comprehend. ANTONYM: (v) write
job, business, performance, Lagomorpha reading: (n, v) read; (n) recital,
employment race: (adj, n) kind; (adj, n, v) dash, learning, interpretation, lection,
puts: (n) stocks, securities, preferred rush; (n, v) course, run, career; (n) construction, version, study,
stock, common stock, bonds family, people; (v) hurry, hasten, fly. perusal, erudition, exegesis
putting: (n) placing, putt, botong, ANTONYMS: (v) linger, amble ready: (v) prepare, fix; (adj, v) fit,
swing, puts, miniature golf, golf radiant: (adj, v) bright, glittering, disposed, willing; (adj) quick,
stroke, golf shot, placing into lustrous, beamy, glorious; (adj) prompt, nimble, apt; (adj, n)
standby beaming, luminous, effulgent, lucid, available, dexterous. ANTONYMS:
puzzled: (adj) bewildered, confused, glowing, beautiful. ANTONYMS: (adj) unwilling, reluctant,
baffled, nonplussed, doubtful, (adj) gloomy, dark, pale, unhappy unavailable, unready, unripe,
bemused, at a loss, curious, rage: (adj, n, v) fume, bluster; (adj, n) difficult, unenthusiastic, young
mystified, nonplused, dazed. wrath, indignation, frenzy, mania; real: (adj, n, v) actual; (adj, n) true,
ANTONYM: (adj) clear (n) passion, anger, craze, pure, authentic; (adj) physical,
qualities: (n) character, disposition, exasperation; (n, v) storm. material, natural, concrete, positive,
nature, spirit, tone, quality, role, self, ANTONYMS: (n) gentleness, literal, native. ANTONYMS: (adj, v)
part, traits, individuality composure, calm, equanimity, pretend; (adj) imaginary, artificial,
quarter: (n) part, district, pleasure, serenity fake, apparent, mock, insubstantial,
neighbourhood, division, mercy, rang: (n) rung imitation, fantasy, false, bogus
neighborhood, region, direction, rapidly: (adv) promptly, speedily, realise: (v) appreciate, perceive,
portion; (n, v) place; (v) lodge. swiftly, quick, fleetly, hastily, actualize, understand, attain,
ANTONYM: (v) evict cursorily, readily, expeditiously, comprehend, get, bring, see, make,
quarters: (n) abode, domicile, fast; (adj, adv) immediately. earn
lodging, residence, quarter, ANTONYMS: (adv) permanently, really: (adj, adv) honestly, genuinely,
diggings, pad, digs, lodgings, gradually, thoroughly, eventually, sincerely; (adv) absolutely,
accommodation, barracks later, now authentically, certainly,
quartette: (n) quartet, quadruplet, rare: (adj) uncommon, thin, unusual, substantially, in reality, positively,
foursome, quart , set, tetrad, seldom, scarce, precious, truely, essentially. ANTONYMS:
quaternity, quaternion, assemblage, exceptional, infrequent, few, choice, (adv) hardly, falsely, doubtfully,
composition, four fine. ANTONYMS: (adj) common, somewhat, unremarkably,
question: (n, v) query, distrust, frequent, usual, plentiful, nominally
interrogate, matter, challenge, commonplace, recurrent reason: (n) account, intellect,
demand; (n) inquiry; (v) investigate, rate: (n) worth, pace; (v) assess, occasion, object, understanding,
inquire, contest, examine. estimate, evaluate, appreciate, argument, purpose; (n, v) cause; (v)
ANTONYMS: (n) certainty, compute, appraise, count, calculate; argue, debate; (adj, n) rationality.
resolution; (n, v) trust; (v) praise, (n, v) value ANTONYMS: (n) inconsistency,
reply, believe, accept rather: (adv) a little, enough, fairly, disincentive
queue: (n, v) line; (n) rank, row, tail, pretty, moderately, considerably, reasonable: (adj) rational, just, fair,
string, breadline, rear, wake; (v) line very, relatively, kind of, instead, legitimate, judicious, sensible, sane,
up, queue up, align kinda. ANTONYMS: (adv) temperate, impartial, inexpensive,
quiet: (adj, adv, v) still; (adj, n, v) lull, extremely, absolutely; (adj) complete equitable. ANTONYMS: (adj)
hush, pacify, compose, appease, rational: (adj, n) reasonable, just; (adj) illogical, unfair, expensive,
assuage; (adj, v) moderate, cool; (adj, intelligent, sane, judicious, logical, unsatisfactory, inadequate,
adv) gentle, motionless. mental, sound, sober, wise, excessive, intolerable, intemperate,
ANTONYMS: (adj) noisy, talkative, practical. ANTONYMS: (adj) inexplicable, ridiculous, obsessional
vociferous, active, oratorical, fierce, illogical, anxious, biased, untenable, reasons: (n) proof
vocal, unquiet, busy, disordered; (n) unreasonable, unrealistic, received: (adj) acknowledged,
Oscar Wilde 187
conventional, standard, accredited, refuse: (v) deny, reject, decline, recovery, regeneration
acceptable, orthodox, canonical, disallow, rebuff, turn down; (adj, n) relation: (n) narration, recital,
normative; (v) receiving, current, waste, trash; (n) offal, litter; (n, v) association, affinity, description,
ascertained. ANTONYMS: (adj) dross. ANTONYMS: (v) allow, rehearsal, kin, relative; (n, v)
unconventional, nonstandard receive, permit, offer, dedicate, account, report, regard
reception: (n) acceptance, admission, approve, agree, admit, choose, pass, relations: (n) family, dealings, kin,
receiving, greeting, getting, affirm relation, connections, people,
salutation, acceptation, refused: (adj) forbidden, refuse, kindred, kinsfolk, contact,
comprehension; (adj, n) prohibited, hence relationship, folks
entertainment, party; (n, v) refusing: (adj) negative, dismissive, remain: (n, v) abide, endure,
adoption. ANTONYMS: (n) denying, recusative, noncompliant continue, last; (v) bide, linger, stay,
dispatch, rejection regard: (n, v) respect, esteem, keep, persist, live, hold.
recognise: (v) identify, know, attention, heed, concern, note; (adj, ANTONYMS: (v) leave, depart,
acknowledge, approve, accept, n, v) notice; (v) estimate, believe; change, move, go, become, stop
concede, appreciate, confess, (adj, v) attend; (n) deference. remains: (n) debris, corpse, relic,
recognize, make out, discern ANTONYMS: (n) neglect, disesteem, carcass, body, rest, clay, vestige;
recognised: (adj) recognized, inattentiveness, disdain, (adj, n) remainder, remnant; (n, v)
undisputed, received, noted, known, detachment, infamy; (v) ignore, trace
established, certified, acceptable, scorn, disregard remark: (n, v) comment, notice, note,
accepted regarded: (adj) reputed mention, regard, mind; (adj, n, v)
recollection: (n, v) mind; (n) regards: (v) regard, esteem, respect, observe; (v) perceive, mark, discern;
reminiscence, recall, anamnesis, consideration, honor, motive; (adj) (n) observation
remembrance, recognition, abord, devoir; (n) greeting, relation, remarkable: (adj) notable, odd,
memento, memorial, duty noteworthy, exceptional,
commemoration, memoir, retrospect regret: (n, v) grieve, sorrow; (v) distinguished, conspicuous,
reconsider: (v) revise, consider, bewail, lament, mourn, bemoan, phenomenal, famous, illustrious,
reassess, consider again, go over, deplore; (n) remorse, penitence, curious; (adj, n) memorable.
retrace, return, redeliberate, reckon; compunction, contrition. ANTONYMS: (adj) insignificant,
(n) criticism, critique ANTONYMS: (v) welcome, praise; unremarkable, commonplace, usual,
record: (n, v) register, file, chronicle, (n) idealism, shamelessness, joy, average, unimpressive, normal,
list, score; (n) account, disk, book, satisfaction inconspicuous, dreadful, dire, awful
document, history; (v) enter. regrets: (n) regret, declination, RSVP remarkably: (adj, adv) outstandingly,
ANTONYMS: (n) single; (v) delete regrets only, acknowledgement, markedly, conspicuously,
reduce: (adj, v) lower, abbreviate, acknowledgment, celestial latitude, particularly, prominently; (adv)
abridge, curtail, shorten, diminish, excuse, Dec signally, uncommonly, surprisingly,
lessen; (v) cut, debase, abate, regularly: (adv) usually, often, extremely, wonderfully, curiously.
contract. ANTONYMS: (v) expand, normally, generally, steadily, ANTONYMS: (adv) normally,
bolster, intensify, enlarge, customarily, routinely, evenly, slightly, poorly, unexceptionally
exacerbate, strengthen, maximize, frequently, always, habitually. remember: (v) commemorate,
oxidize, gain, extend, dilute ANTONYMS: (adv) inconsistently, recognize, recollect, recall, consider,
refined: (adj) delicate, cultured, constantly, rarely, erratically, memorize, think, mind, call to mind,
graceful, polite, gentle, urbane, seldom, irregularly, rapidly, retain, bear in mind. ANTONYMS:
courteous, courtly, cultivated; (adj, intermittently, unevenly, unreliably, (v) ignore, neglect, overlook
n) polished, pure. ANTONYMS: exceptionally reminiscences: (n) memoirs
(adj) unrefined, raw, uncouth, rehearsal: (n) narration, dry run, reminiscent: (adj) evocative,
rough, careless, crude, brute, practice, preparation, repetition, remindful, indicative, suggestive,
boorish, plain, lowly, inelegant dress rehearsal, repeat, description, redolent of, retrospective, aromatic,
reflection: (n) contemplation, drill, exercise, narrative aware, important, meaningful,
thought, deliberation, meditation, rehearse: (v) recount, recite, repeat, mindful
musing, cogitation, idea, notion, exercise, practice, relate, drill, remorse: (n) penitence, contrition,
introspection; (n, v) observation, enumerate, tell, say, practise. repentance, regret, guilt, penance,
reflexion. ANTONYMS: (n) ANTONYM: (v) perform sorrow, grief, qualm, ruefulness,
impulsiveness, confirmation rejected: (n) rejection; (v) crossed in compassion. ANTONYM: (n)
reformation: (n) correction, love, forsaken; (adj) jilted, reprobate, shamelessness
amendment, improvement, redress, refused, refuse, disallowed, render: (v) interpret, explain, give,
reclamation, rectification, abandoned, devastated, devastate offer, furnish, pay, construe, return,
conversion, innovation, repair, relapse: (n, v) regress, decline, fall; provide, impart, translate
renewal, reassembly (n) recidivism, recurrence, repartee: (n) answer, retort, wit, joke,
refuge: (n) sanctuary, asylum, safety, regression, deterioration; (v) riposte, raillery, comeback,
retreat, cover, harborage, haven, backslide, revert, recur, deteriorate. rejoinder, rebutter, badinage,
shelter, harbor; (n, v) recourse, ANTONYMS: (v) improve, recover, wordplay
resort progress; (n) improvement, repay: (v) recompense, reward, pay,
188 An Ideal Husband
reimburse, compensate, refund, disregard; (n) cheek, insolence, satisfied, remunerated, content.
render, requite, remunerate, return, impudence, disdain; (v) despise, ANTONYM: (adj) frustrated
redeem. ANTONYM: (v) penalize humiliate, break, taint riband: (n) ribbon, fascia, band,
repeated: (adj) continual, recurrent, respected: (adj) illustrious, ribband, spill, slip, shred, strip,
frequent, persistent, repeat, double, respectable, honored, appreciated, wreath, medal, list
habitual, chronic, again, common, dear, revered, valued, redoubtable, rich: (adj, n) copious, luxurious; (adj)
continuous. ANTONYMS: (adj) celebrated, glorious, famous. productive, fruitful, full, deep,
temporary, rare, unique, alternate, ANTONYMS: (adj) ordinary, prolific, opulent, fat, affluent; (adj,
unusual, spasmodic unreliable, weak v) fertile. ANTONYMS: (adj) poor,
repent: (v) deplore, bewail, rue, response: (n, v) answer, reply, impoverished, destitute, broke,
mourn, lament, atone, sorry, rejoinder, respond; (n) reaction, light, plain, lean, delicate, infertile,
bemoan, feel remorse, grieve, be reception, echo, retort, feedback, weak, barren
sorry return, replication. ANTONYMS: (n) ride: (n, v) outing; (adj, v) bestride;
report: (n, v) account, gossip, name, ignorance, request (n) run, lift, jaunt; (v) mount, bait,
record; (n) description, notice, responsible: (adj, v) liable, float, rag, tease, harass
recital, story, notification; (v) answerable, amenable; (adj) reliable, ridiculous: (adj) foolish,
describe, recount dependable, trustworthy, culpable, preposterous, funny, laughable,
represent: (adj, v) express; (v) depict, trusty, faithful, responsive; (v) ludicrous, inane, nonsensical,
play, exemplify, act, be, illustrate, bound. ANTONYMS: (adj) innocent, comical, farcical, amusing, comic.
describe, embody, enact, make. untrustworthy, reckless, guiltless, ANTONYMS: (adj) reasonable,
ANTONYMS: (v) prosecute, oppose thoughtless, unreliable, corrupt inspiring, ordinary, sensitive,
representing: (adj) representative, rest: (adj, n) remnant, remainder, acceptable, generous, normal,
represented, representant; (n) residue; (n, v) pause, balance, nap, possible, impressive, sane,
representation, imitation; (v) mock, relaxation, sleep; (n) recess, leisure; worthwhile
pseudo, simulating; (prep) in place (v) remain. ANTONYMS: (n) riding: (n) ride, horseback riding,
of, in lieu of, instead of activity, agitation, intensification; (v) travel, hundred, tithing, soke,
represents: (v) represent change, stand, deteriorate travelling, manege, athletics; (v)
reproach: (n, v) blame, rebuke, restlessly: (adv) fidgetily, horsemanship; (adj) awheel
charge, abuse, disgrace, reprimand, apprehensively, agitatedly, fretfully, ring: (n, v) encircle, peal, call, loop,
invective; (v) accuse, chide, unquietly, sleeplessly, nervously, jingle; (v) resound, echo,
condemn; (n) condemnation. restively, edgily, anxiously, reverberate; (n) gang, band, rim
ANTONYMS: (n, v) praise; (v) disturbedly. ANTONYMS: (adv) rings: (n) ornaments, necklaces,
commend, approve; (n) compliment, peacefully, unconcernedly jewels, costume jewelry, charms,
commendation, approval result: (n) fruit, outcome, issue, bracelets
reputation: (n) name, prestige, answer, effect, conclusion, ripple: (v) bubble, murmur, gurgle,
distinction, face, celebrity, credit, aftermath, produce; (v) ensue, billow, surge, burble, cockle; (n, v)
character; (n, v) honor, esteem, follow; (n, v) end. ANTONYMS: (n) wave, swell, riffle, purl
report; (adj, n) renown. problem; (v) precede rise: (n, v) mount, lift, increase,
ANTONYMS: (n) infamy, dishonor, results: (n) consequences, outcome, heave, swell, jump; (v) ascend, arise;
obscurity return, aftermath, data (n) elevation, ascent, progress.
request: (n, v) demand, bid, invite, retire: (v) resign, retreat, withdraw, ANTONYMS: (n, v) decrease, drop;
wish, appeal; (v) ask, order, pray, leave, abdicate, ebb, depart, turn in, (v) sink, descend, plummet, retire,
call for; (n) prayer, application. fall back, hit the hay, go to bed. set; (n) reduction, descent,
ANTONYMS: (v) command, grant, ANTONYMS: (v) remain, enter depreciation, ruin
insist, force, supply, reject; (n) return: (v) recur, reimburse, restore; risen: (v) uprise
ruling, response (n, v) pay, restitution, recompense, rising: (n) revolt, rebellion, mutiny,
require: (v) charge, crave, involve, refund, restoration, render, retort; ascent, ascension, climb, rise,
desire, demand, exact, claim, ask, (n) proceeds. ANTONYMS: (n) outbreak, insurrection; (adj)
entail; (adj, v) want, lack. departure, confiscation, abolition, climbing, uphill. ANTONYMS: (adj)
ANTONYMS: (v) obviate, dislike, recovery, loss, disappearance, plummeting, plunging, decreasing,
have penalty; (v) keep, depart, take, falling, setting, downward, content;
resist: (n, v) oppose, confront; (v) remove (n) fall
rebel, defy, revolt, endure, reject, returns: (n, v) proceeds, income, risk: (n, v) peril, chance, gamble, bet,
protest, refuse, impede, fight back. profits; (n) earnings, return, census, venture, adventure, wager, dare; (n)
ANTONYMS: (v) surrender, yield, take, revenue, wage, takings, result danger, jeopardy; (v) endanger.
assent, agree, suppress, favor, revolve: (v) consider, meditate, ANTONYMS: (v) protect, shun; (n)
accept, attract, obey, welcome deliberate, ponder, circle, security
respect: (adj, n, v) regard, worship; contemplate, return, circulate, orbit, robert: (n) Henry Martin Robert
(n, v) esteem, heed, notice, rotate; (n, v) gyrate romance: (n) love affair, fiction, story,
reverence; (v) observe, keep, rewarded: (v) crowned, honored, figment, intrigue, affair, tale, vagary;
appreciate; (n) homage, deference. excessive, consummated; (adj) (v) flirt, court, exaggerate
ANTONYMS: (n, v) scorn, dishonor, salaried, pleased, paid, happy, romantic: (adj) amorous, impractical,
Oscar Wilde 189
fanciful, quixotic, unrealistic, impoliteness, impropriety, room, beauty salon, lounge,
utopian, loving, amatory, fictitious; primitiveness. ANTONYMS: (n) drawing room, parlor, beauty shop
(adj, n) visionary, romanticist. civility, refinement, propriety, salver: (n) waiter, server, epergne,
ANTONYMS: (n) realist, classicist; courteousness, courtesy, decency, tazza, platter, plate, serving dish,
(adj) commonplace, graphic, respect, diplomacy, praise, patella, urn, attendant, patera
unromantic, unsentimental, thoughtfulness, gentleness same: (adj) identical, equal, like,
unhappy, prosaic, disapproving, ruin: (n) devastation, desolation; (adj, corresponding, equivalent, similar,
cool, realistic n) downfall; (v) break, consume, uniform, even, consistent, matching;
room: (n) chamber, occasion, house, demolish, destroy; (n, v) doom, (adv) equally. ANTONYMS: (adj)
apartment, opportunity, hall, ravage, destruction, damage. different, varying, another, unlike,
opening, compartment, expanse, ANTONYMS: (v) conserve, enhance, other, varied
extent; (v) board. ANTONYM: (n) save, restore, improve; (n, v) respect; sands: (n) littoral, litoral, beach, coast,
walkway (n) making, success, triumph, rise, quicksands, shore
rooms: (n) flat, apartment, chamber, preservation sane: (adj, n) reasonable, lucid; (adj)
quarters, lodging, chambers, ruined: (adj, v) lost; (adj) dilapidated, rational, judicious, right, sensible,
accommodation, cortege, suite, desolate, broke, broken, bankrupt, normal, wise, wholesome, sound,
temporary housing, finished, devastated, desolated, prudent. ANTONYMS: (adj)
accommodations insolvent, spoiled. ANTONYMS: unbalanced, insane, crazed,
rose: (adj) pink, rosaceous, risen, (adj) solvent, pure, rich, whole delirious, unreasonable, irrational,
roseate; (n) pink wine, blush wine, ruins: (n) debris, wreck, remains, foolish
rose wine, rosette, brier; (v) flush, remainder, carcass, wreckage, relics, sang: (n) panax quinquefolius, sing,
redden rubbish, shell, remnants, hulk herb, herbaceous plant
rouge: (adj, v) redden; (n) blusher, rule: (n, v) control, order, govern, sapphire: (adj, n) azure; (n) cerulean,
face powder, eye shadow, iron decree, influence, line, dominion, lazuline, corundom, corundum,
oxide; (v) flush, blush, color, raddle, regulate, reign; (n) law, ordinance. blueness; (adj) lapis lazuli,
glow, ruddle ANTONYMS: (v) request; (n) option turquoise, cobalt, navy, chromatic
round: (n) bout, circuit, beat; (n, v) running: (adj) operative, working, satin: (adj) glossy, sleek, velvet,
ring, compass; (adv, prep) about; continual, moving; (adj, v) active; (n) down, silky, silklike, silken, satiny,
(adj) circular, entire; (adj, v) plump; course, motion, run, operation, velure; (n) cloth, fabric
(adj, n, v) turn; (v) gird. administration; (adj, n) functioning satisfy: (v) please, persuade, meet,
ANTONYMS: (adj) sharp, slender, rushes: (n) rush, grasses satiate, indulge, sate, appease; (adj,
thin, square, harsh, reedy, evasive; sacrifice: (n, v) oblation, forfeit; (v) v) content, fill, suffice, do.
(prep) exactly offer, immolate, offer up, give, give ANTONYMS: (v) intensify,
roundly: (adv) bluntly, fully, up, relinquish; (n) immolation, loss, displease, disappoint, disgruntle,
roundedly, wholly, bluffly, forfeiture frustrate
spherically, plumply, entirely, sacrifices: (n) holocaust save: (v) rescue, hoard, conserve,
round, completely, globularly sadly: (adv) pitifully, dolefully, keep, maintain, preserve, free,
route: (n) road, path, passage, unfortunately, mournfully, protect, liberate; (adv, conj, n, prep)
direction, circuit, track, itinerary, sorrowfully, woefully, dejectedly, except; (adj, v) economize.
way, highway, line; (n, v) channel pathetically, wretchedly, forlornly; ANTONYMS: (v) waste, squander,
royal: (adj, adv) regal, majestic; (adj) (adj, adv) seriously. ANTONYMS: use, abandon, endanger, capture,
imperial, magnificent, kingly, noble, (adv) cheerfully, contentedly, asphyxiate, aggravate, destroy
brilliant, sovereign, purple, August, gladly, joyfully, fortunately, luckily, saved: (adj) protected, economized,
princely enthusiastically rescued, blessed
ruby: (adj, n) red, crimson; (adj) safe: (adj) reliable, cautious, good, saying: (adj, n, v) maxim; (n) axiom,
jewel, ruddy, scarlet, diamond, dependable, sound, harmless, adage, phrase, dictum, idiom,
pearl, precious stone, bijou; (n) innocuous, correct, innocent, byword, aphorism, expression; (n, v)
carbuncle, deep red inoffensive; (n) closet. ANTONYMS: saw, proverb
rudder: (n) helm, wheel, needle, (adj) dangerous, risky, unprotected, scandal: (n) disgrace, dishonor,
surface, guide, steering wheel, tiller, vulnerable, hurt, insecure, harmful, gossip, outrage, discredit, rumor,
aerofoil, airfoil, compass, control reckless, unreliable, toxic, injured infamy, disrepute, ignominy,
surface sake: (n, v) interest, reason, motive, detraction, shame
rude: (adj, n) rough, impudent, ground; (v) advantage, cause; (n) scandalous: (adj) infamous,
coarse, abrupt, bold; (adj) blunt, object, account, design, purpose, disgraceful, ignominious,
discourteous, impolite, brutal, saki outrageous, opprobrious, shocking,
crude, mean. ANTONYMS: (adj) sale: (n) fair, disposal, sales, sales disreputable, disgusting,
polite, refined, courteous, event, bazaar, market, demand, dishonorable; (adj, v) base, foul.
chivalrous, civil, proper, decent, marketing, saloon, vend, vendition. ANTONYMS: (adj) proper, seemly,
exact, clean, gentle, inoffensive ANTONYMS: (n) acquisition, honorable, appealing,
rudeness: (n) disrespect, audacity, purchase complimentary, reputable,
insolence, impudence, discourtesy, salon: (n) parlour, living room, admirable
incivility, effrontery, bad manners, beauty parlour, saloon, hall, sitting scarlet: (adj) crimson, ruddy,
190 An Ideal Husband
carmine, ruby, sanguine, rubicund, seated: (adj) sat, sedentary selling: (n) marketing, business,
reddish, cerise; (n) vermilion, orange second: (n) instant, jiffy, flash, disposal, vending, capitalisation,
red, redness minute, sec; (v) back, endorse, help; capitalization, commerce,
scene: (n, v) aspect, view, outlook, (n, v) support; (adj) latter, further. merchandising, transaction, resale,
lookout; (n) background, display, ANTONYMS: (adj) top, former; (n) retailing
spectacle, picture, environment, age seltzer: (n) soda water, club soda,
panorama, perspective secret: (adj, v) mysterious, hidden, soda, pop, sparkling water
scheme: (n, v) plot, design, intrigue, covert, secluded, confidential; (adj) send: (v) pass, deliver, forward,
project; (n) contrivance, dodge, concealed, furtive, occult, obscure; convey, dispatch, mail, post, give,
device, diagram, method; (v) devise, (adj, n) privacy, secrecy. carry, divert, project. ANTONYM:
conspire ANTONYMS: (adj, n) known, (v) keep
school: (v) educate, instruct, train, public; (adj) open, overt, apparent, sending: (n) forwarding, dispatch,
coach; (n) class, sect, shoal, college, unrestricted, external, visible, transmission, transmittal, send,
herd, training, teaching outermost, transparent, blatant despatch, mailing, transport,
schooldays: (n) childhood, school, secretary: (n, v) amanuensis; (n) clerk, dispatching, dispatchment,
schooltime minister, escritoire, secretaire, desk, conveyance
science: (n) learning, lore, penman, secretaries, undersecretary; sense: (n) perception, meaning,
proficiency, dexterity, virtuosity, (v) scribe, writer common sense, sensation, logic,
skill, literature, knowledge, secrets: (n) secrecy understanding, impression, feeling;
agrology, mathematics; (adj) art security: (n, v) pledge, bond; (n) (n, v) feel, intellect, mind.
scope: (n, v) range, drift; (n) purview, protection, hostage, insurance, ANTONYMS: (n) stupidity,
domain, room, expanse, area, strength, guard, secureness, garbage, ludicrousness, nonsense,
compass, horizon, oscilloscope; (v) collateral; (adj, n) safety, peace. foolishness, gibberish, illogicality,
view ANTONYMS: (n) danger, insecurity, irrationality, numbness, certainty;
scorn: (v) despise, contemn, reject; (n, unreliability, vulnerability, (v) observe
v) ridicule, neglect, disregard, discomfort, fear, attack sensible: (adj) aware, sagacious,
deride, slight; (n) contempt, seeing: (prep) because; (adj) Seely, prudent, rational, judicious,
derision, mockery. ANTONYMS: (n, considering; (n) sight, vision, perceptible, sane, wise, intelligent,
v) respect, praise; (v) appreciate, beholding, fusion, visual sense; (v) appreciable, sage. ANTONYMS:
revere, value, approve, admire, conceive, comprehend, perceive (adj) ludicrous, crazy, unreasonable,
accept; (n) admiration, seem: (v) appear, feel, seeming, loom, stupid, silly, ridiculous, reckless,
commendation, humility expect, show, beseem, sound, glitter, idiotic, outrageous, imprudent, mad
scotch: (v) queer, bilk, thwart, chock, glisten, gleam sent: (adj) dispatched, imported,
cross, foil, frustrate, notch, nick; seen: (adj) visible, clad, beseen, ecstatic, blissful, fascinated,
(adj) Scots, economical accomplished, discovered, intoxicated; (v) transmit.
scoundrel: (n, v) rascal; (n) knave, appearing; (v) observe, perceive, ANTONYM: (adj) unsent
blackguard, cad, villain, ruffian, conceive, comprehend, understand sentiment: (n) emotion, mind, notion,
miscreant, crook, rapscallion, varlet, seize: (v) catch, capture, grab, arrest, feeling, persuasion, opinion,
scalawag clutch, get, apprehend, receive, judgment, sense, judgement,
scourge: (n) curse, blight, affliction, annex, clasp; (n, v) grapple. attitude, impression
plague, bane, calamity; (v) lash, ANTONYMS: (v) baulk, relinquish, sentimentality: (n) bathos, sentiment,
flagellate, castigate, punish; (n, v) restore, surrender, give, remove sentimentalism, sentimental,
whip self: (n) ego, person, me, individual, emotionalism, emotionality, feeling,
scramble: (v) clamber, beat, strive; (n, being; (pron) myself, herself, itself; schmaltz, tenderness, insincere
v) climb, struggle, bustle, jumble, (adj) same; (v) own; (adv) personally pathos, mushiness
scrabble, rush; (adj, n) hurry; (n) selfish: (adj) mean, greedy, separate: (v) part, detach, insulate,
haste. ANTONYMS: (v) descend; (n) mercenary, egotistical, egotistic, scatter, dissociate, cut, disperse,
descent egoistic, self-interested, stingy, disconnect; (adj) individual,
scruple: (adj, v) hesitate, demur, egocentric, self-centered, covetous. detached; (adj, v) discrete.
pause; (n) hesitation, qualm, ANTONYMS: (adj) selfless, ANTONYMS: (v) unite, merge, mix,
misgiving, distrust, objection; (n, v) altruistic, generous, altruism, link, combine, fuse, join, associate;
mistrust; (v) falter, question considerate, philanthropic, (adj) connected, joined,
sealed: (adj) hermetic, tight, certain, thoughtful, constructive, concerned, simultaneous
plastered, Solen, shut, impervious, abstemious, kind separation: (n) disjunction,
irrevocable, tighter, still, preserved self-sacrifice: (n) martyrdom, detachment, disunion, seclusion,
season: (v) mature, flavor, salt, renunciation disconnection, rift, isolation,
mellow, moderate; (adj, v) harden, self-sacrificing: (adj) angelic, divorce, parting, departure; (n, v)
inure, habituate; (n) opportunity, unselfish division. ANTONYMS: (n)
spell, space sell: (v) deal, handle, dispose, betray, unification, closeness, marriage,
seat: (n) bench, base, behind, bottom, give, promote, realize, merchandise, union, unity, connection, bond,
buttocks, location, position, post, dispose of; (n, v) cheat; (adj) sold. integration, synthesis, inclusion,
posterior; (v) locate, put ANTONYMS: (v) buy, wholesale meeting
Oscar Wilde 191
serious: (adj, n, v) grave; (adj) heavy, seventy: (n) large integer ANTONYM: (v) keep
austere, great, hard, dangerous, shades: (n) shade, sunglasses, dark shocked: (adj) dismayed, aghast,
critical; (adj, v) sedate, important, glasses, shadow, glasses, blind, amazed, surprised, stunned,
momentous, considerable. awning, roller blind, eyeglasses distressed, afraid, speechless,
ANTONYMS: (adj) lighthearted, shake: (n, v) jolt, beat, jar, quiver, appalled, bewildered,
mild, flippant, cheerful, humorous, wave; (v) agitate, excite, disturb; dumbfounded. ANTONYMS: (adj)
minor, slight, playful, trivial, (adv, v) brandish; (adj, v) quake, delighted, indifferent, unaffected
unimportant, brisk totter. ANTONYMS: (v) soothe, short: (adj, v) concise, close; (adj)
seriously: (adv) earnestly, soberly, steady scarce, curt, brusque, sharp,
severely, solemnly, badly, deeply, shakes: (n) hangover, jitters, compendious, laconic, deficient,
staidly, sincerely, thoughtfully, nervousness, tension, anxiety scanty, diminutive. ANTONYMS:
greatly, weightily. ANTONYMS: shall: (n) must, necessity; (v) require, (adj) long, high, lengthy,
(adv) frivolously, playfully, bequeath, leave unabridged, sufficient, slender,
cheerfully, slightly, teasingly, shallow: (adj) superficial, low, rangy, rambling, overlong,
jovially, nonchalantly, cursory, petty, little, sketchy, flimsy, extended, plentiful
lightheartedly, briskly, mildly, frivolous, simple, surface, shoulder: (v) carry, push, hold, jostle,
lightly perfunctory. ANTONYMS: (adj) sustain, support, assume, accept; (n,
seriousness: (n) earnest, earnestness, bottomless, profound, intense, v) elbow; (n) back, flange
graveness, importance, staidness, pensive, serious, inner, weighty show: (adj, n, v) present, appearance;
solemnity, sincerity, consequence, shame: (n, v) disgrace, dishonor, (n, v) exhibit, produce, broadcast,
sobriety, austerity, soberness. discredit, humiliate, degrade, indicate, parade; (v) point out; (n)
ANTONYMS: (n) flippancy, chagrin; (n) humiliation, modesty, presentation, ostentation; (adj, v)
insignificance, frivolity, giddiness, scandal, insult; (v) abash. guide. ANTONYMS: (v) disprove,
jollity, triviality, cheerfulness, ANTONYMS: (n) pride, hide, withhold, suppress, disappear,
joking, joviality, unimportance, glorification, making, worthiness; cover, absorb; (n) concealment
playfulness (v) acknowledge, glorify, respect, showing: (n) display, screening,
servant: (n) manservant, domestic, dignify exhibit, revelation, viewing,
lackey, maid, employee, flunkey, shameful: (adj) scandalous, appearance, exhibition, exposition,
retainer, boy, footman, flunky, dishonorable, opprobrious, presentation, exposure; (adj)
menial. ANTONYMS: (n) master, shocking, ignominious, exhibiting
mistress disreputable, despicable; (adj, v) shred: (n) rag, piece, scintilla, iota,
servants: (n) staff, suite foul, base, gross, black. bit, strip, remnant, sliver; (adj, n)
service: (n, v) overhaul, serve, refit, ANTONYMS: (adj) honorable, scrap; (v) rip, tear
assist; (n) aid, employment, noble, dignified, admirable, shrill: (adj) piercing, penetrating,
assistance, avail, ministration, faultless, reputable, glorious, strident, keen, shrewd; (v) shriek,
ceremony; (v) attendance. compassionate, praiseworthy, screech, scream, yell; (adj, v) high,
ANTONYMS: (n) disservice, commendable, excellent sharp. ANTONYMS: (adj) low,
damage, hindrance, uselessness shamefully: (adv) ignominiously, quiet, resonant
setting: (n) scene, scenery, ingloriously, scandalously, shunned: (adj) undesirable,
adjustment, position, background, infamously, shockingly, friendless, abandoned
mount, backdrop, environment, discreditably, basely, outrageously; sick: (adj) ill, queasy, poorly, ailing,
scope, mounting, set (adv, v) dishonorably, foully, weary, diseased, sickly, morbid;
settle: (adj, n, v) fix, establish, nastily. ANTONYMS: (adv) (adj, v) indisposed, unwell; (adj, n)
confirm; (n, v) place, set; (v) resolve, commendably, compassionately, invalid. ANTONYMS: (adj) healthy,
clarify, pay, regulate, adjudicate, nobly fond, wholesome
agree. ANTONYMS: (v) float, sharp: (adj, n, v) keen, acute, bitter; side: (n) rim, faction, brink, direction,
wander, prolong, owe, bungle, (adj) intelligent, intense, incisive; hand, aspect, margin; (adj, n) part;
open, provoke, rise, weaken, (adj, v) biting, acid, acrid, severe, (n, v) party, border, face.
worsen, complicate harsh. ANTONYMS: (adj) dull, ANTONYMS: (adj) distant, central,
settled: (adj) definite, set, firm, mild, gentle, sweet, rounded, bland, major, primary; (n) back, front,
permanent, certain, calm, round, smooth, blurred, naive, kind center, middle; (v) straddle
established, decided, formed, shatter: (v) fragment, ruin, smash, sigh: (n, v) groan, suspire, murmur;
defined, finished. ANTONYMS: destroy, burst, dash, rupture, crash, (v) breathe, languish, pine; (n)
(adj) unsettled, exciting, temporary crumble, crack, demolish breath, wail, whimper, whine,
settlement: (n) accommodation, shilling: (n) York shilling, Tanzanian suspiration
colony, hamlet, payment, shilling, British shilling, Kenyan sight: (n, v) vision, glimpse, show,
arrangement, conclusion, resolution, shilling, Ugandan shilling, Somalian aspect, appearance; (v) aim, spot,
determination, contract, village, shilling, dock, cork, farthing, coin, see; (n) view, prospect, scene
colonization cheat sign: (n, v) mark, motion, gesture; (n)
seven: (adj, n) VII; (n) September, ship: (v) send, forward, transport, portent, indication, manifestation,
septet, week, nine, knave, king, jack, send off, consign, carry, transfer, imprint, presage, brand, poster; (v)
queen, digit, Sevener move; (n) boat, craft; (n, v) ferry. indicate. ANTONYMS: (n)
192 An Ideal Husband
successor; (v) dismiss immersion, submersion, enormous, great, huge, bulky,
silent: (adj, adv) motionless; (adj) submergence; (v) decrease, decline. major, giant, important
dumb, tacit, mute, noiseless, ANTONYM: (adj) rising smallest: (adj) least, minimal, littlest,
reserved, placid, reticent, mum, sister: (n) nurse, nun, brother, sisters, lowest, last, first, negligible, smallest
taciturn, hush. ANTONYMS: (adj) older sister, mate, twin, pair, fellow number of, bottom, littler.
spoken, talkative, loud, explicit, companion, double, match. ANTONYM: (adj) maximum
open, live, forthcoming, verbal, ANTONYM: (n) brother smile: (n) grin, grinning, smiling,
audible, talking, moving sits: (n) sat luck, facial expression; (v) laugh,
silk: (adj) silky, down, silken, velure, sitting: (n) session, seat, seance, beam, chuckle, simper; (n, v)
velvet; (n) silks, satin, cloth, animal meeting, seating, conference, posing; grimace; (adv) smilingly.
fiber, fabric, dental floss (adj) seated, inactive; (v) incubation, ANTONYMS: (n, v) scowl; (v)
silly: (adj) ridiculous, absurd, batching. ANTONYMS: (adj) glower
childish, fatuous, irrational, standing, active smiling: (adv) smilingly; (adj) bright,
frivolous, idiotic, preposterous, situation: (n) employment, position, cheerful, jolly, joyful, of good cheer,
unreasonable; (adj, n) fool; (n) post, job, matter, location, twinkly, fair, sunny; (n) grinning,
imbecile. ANTONYMS: (adj) circumstance, circumstances, grin. ANTONYMS: (adj) sad,
mature, wise, rational, clever, condition, site, office gloomy
advisable, profound, reasonable, size: (n, v) measure, gauge, smoke: (n) fumes, cigarette, cigar,
responsible, significant dimensions; (n) extent, bulk, smog, fog; (n, v) reek, fumigate,
silver: (n) money, gold, bullion, quantity, capacity, largeness, puff; (v) exhale, cure; (adj) tobacco
precious Metals; (adj) silvery, dimension, glue, magnitude. sneer: (n, v) deride, jeer, scorn, flout,
argent, white, silvern, gray, neutral ANTONYM: (n) slenderness ridicule, scoff, mock, leer, grimace,
tint; (v) plate skeleton: (n) carcass, frame, gird; (n) smirk
simple: (adj, n) plain, humble, framework, bones, anatomy, sneeze: (n) sneezing, physiological
innocent, rustic; (adj) homely, scaffold, body, cadaver, chassis, reaction, reflex; (v) arrest, despise,
elementary, natural; (adj, v) pure, corpse; (n, v) outline loathe, act involuntarily, Neese, act
clear, mere, downright. sleep: (n, v) nap, repose, doze, kip, reflexively
ANTONYMS: (adj) complex, slumber, catnap; (adj, n, v) lie; (v) society: (n) club, public, community,
complicated, compound, elaborate, hibernate, nod; (n) dream; (adj, v) companionship, company,
difficult, multiple, obscure, ornate, lodge. ANTONYMS: (v) awaken; (n) fraternity, association, corporation,
problematical, sophisticated, alertness, agitation fellowship, circle, people
confusing slight: (adj, adv) light; (adj) thin, sofa: (n) couch, lounge, divan, bench,
simply: (adj, adv) only, exclusively, flimsy, slender, fragile, petty, little; davenport, seat, squab, chair, form,
barely; (adv) just, alone, directly, (adv, n, v) neglect; (n, v) insult, convertible, daybed
purely, absolutely, easily, plainly; scorn; (v) ignore. ANTONYMS: (adj) softening: (adj) emollient, salving,
(adj) straightforward. ANTONYMS: considerable, major, obvious, relaxing; (v) soften; (adj, n) soothing;
(adv) elaborately, ornately, thickset, severe, wide, fat, intense, (n) maceration, mitigation,
majestically, covertly, dishonestly, heavy, likely; (v) acknowledge easement, mollification,
incoherently, obscurely, slightly: (adv) slenderly, slimly, inteneration, encouragement
pretentiously lightly, somewhat, little, thinly, soil: (adj, n) dirt; (adj, v) smudge; (v)
since: (adv, conj, prep) because, moderately, weakly, faintly, pollute, dirty, contaminate, mire; (n,
seeing that; (adv, prep) afterwards, trivially, unimportantly. v) grime; (n) land, dust, earth; (adj,
before; (adv, conj) for, as; (adj, adv) ANTONYMS: (adv) significantly, n, v) blot. ANTONYMS: (v) wash,
ago; (conj) whereas; (prep) from, of; infinitely, excessively, terribly, cleanse, purify; (n) sea
(adv) after tremendously, solidly, particularly, soiled: (adj) grubby, dirty, nasty,
sincerely: (adv) candidly, honestly, much, considerably, seriously, grimy, unclean, filthy, muddy,
really, genuinely, heartily, openly, intensely black, mucky, polluted, foul.
earnestly, simply, truly, seriously, slips: (n) pad ANTONYMS: (adj) pure,
unreservedly. ANTONYMS: (adv) slowly: (adj, adv, v) slow; (adv) immaculate
dishonestly, affectedly, flippantly, deliberately, sluggishly, tediously, sold: (adj) depleted, interested; (v) to
jokingly, untruthfully, dully, gradually, unhurriedly, market
unenthusiastically, pretentiously, slackly, lethargically, belatedly; (adj, solemn: (adj, n, v) serious; (adj, v)
mildly adv) lento. ANTONYMS: (adv) fast, sober, important, sedate, devout,
single: (adj) celibate, odd, particular, hurriedly, promptly, rapidly, formal, demure; (adj) heavy,
separate, solitary, isolated, sole, immediately, briefly, intelligently, dignified, sacred; (adj, n) earnest.
lone, lonely, simple; (adj, n) one. vigorously, brightly, nimbly, ANTONYMS: (adj) frivolous,
ANTONYMS: (adj) double, punctually cheerful, unceremonious, funny,
multiple, divorced, attached, dual, small: (adj) little, narrow, slight, playful, flippant, relaxed
involved, widowed, general, minor, inadequate, petty, fine, solemnly: (adv) earnestly, gravely,
common; (n) record insignificant, light, remote; (adj, v) majestically, stately, sternly, staidly,
sinking: (n) sinkage, settling, fall, low. ANTONYMS: (adj, adv) big; thoughtfully, soberly, formally,
descent, foundering, depression, (adj) sizeable, colossal, considerable, ceremoniously, importantly.
Oscar Wilde 193
ANTONYMS: (adv) cheerfully, ANTONYMS: (n) joy, delight, diction, communication; (n, v)
flippantly happiness, peace, hopefulness, delivery, discourse, say, saying
solve: (adj, v) interpret, loosen; (v) cheerfulness, shamelessness, calm, spelling: (n) misspelling, spell,
decipher, dissolve, answer, crack, content; (v) rejoice orthograph
clear up, riddle, explain, elucidate, sorry: (adj) pathetic, sorrowful, spend: (v) expend, exhaust,
decide. ANTONYMS: (v) encode, remorseful, contrite, pitiful, pitiable, squander, pay out, blow, deplete,
exacerbate piteous, penitent, paltry, base, sad. pass, wear, lead; (adj, v) waste; (n)
somebody: (n) person, personage, ANTONYMS: (adj) glad, happy, outlay. ANTONYMS: (v) conserve,
mortal, man, creature, notable, admirable, unremorseful, fine earn, hoard, keep
human; (n, pron) someone; (adj, n) sort: (adj, n, v) class; (n, v) type, spent: (adj, v) prostrate; (adj)
celebrity; (pron) anybody; (adj) group, rank; (n) variety, breed, fatigued, expended, finished, gone,
notability. ANTONYM: (n) assortment, form, pattern; (adj, n) dead, played out, effete, jaded, tired;
nonentity manner, description (v) spend. ANTONYM: (adj)
somehow: (adv) anyhow, anyway, soul: (n) creature, human, person, energetic
for some reason, somewhat, personification, ghost, individual, sphere: (n) region, range, province,
someway, someways, a little, in mind, essence, life, self; (adj, n) domain, realm, area, department,
some manner, in some way, very, heart. ANTONYMS: (n) surface, round, ball, circle, globe
somehow or other body sphinx: (adj) phoenix, hydra; (n)
something: (n) what, object, thing, sound: (n, v) chime, echo, peal; (adj) monitor, Tiresias, statue, enigma,
article, entity, substance, somebody; reasonable, complete, healthy, mythical monster, Cassandra,
(adv, n) somewhat; (adv) rather, a sensible, sane, rational; (adj, v) fit, Minotaur, mystery, mythical
little, kinda. ANTONYM: (pron) fast. ANTONYMS: (adj) illogical, creature
nothing unsound, confused, unreliable, splendid: (adj, n, v) illustrious,
sometimes: (adv) from time to time, flawed, flimsy, silent, weak, glorious; (adj) gorgeous, beautiful,
occasionally, every now and then, unreasonable; (n) silence; (v) royal, gallant, proud; (adj, n)
now and again, every so often, once, devoice magnificent, noble, grand; (adj, v)
sometime, once in a while, formerly; source: (n) root, cause, brilliant. ANTONYMS: (adj)
(n) at times; (adj, adv) on and off. commencement, reason, unimpressive, modest, humble,
ANTONYM: (adv) regularly provenance, beginning, head, ordinary, undistinguished, meager,
somewhat: (adv) slightly, a little, parent, reference, headspring, germ awful, dire, lowly, inglorious,
fairly, a bit, reasonably, pretty, speak: (adj, v) pronounce, utter; (v) shabby
moderately, sort of; (adv, v) little; converse, say, deliver, articulate, splendour: (n) pomp, magnificence,
(adv, pron) partly; (adj, adv) recite, talk, discourse, lecture; (n) lustre, splendor, luster, brilliancy,
something. ANTONYMS: (adv) language resplendence, luxury, grandeur,
considerably, very, unreasonably, speaker: (n) loudspeaker, narrator, grandness, brilliance
totally, hugely, completely, closely, orator, spokesman, president, spoil: (n, v) ruin; (v) rot, corrupt, mar,
massively, absolutely, wholly conversationalist, rhetorician, deface, sack; (adj, v) impair,
somewhere: (adv) someplace, chairman, bullhorn, announcer, damage, injure, harm, indulge.
approximately, anyplace, about, caller ANTONYMS: (v) improve,
wherever, where, roughly, special: (adj) particular, rare, limited, conserve, enliven, help, abuse,
everywhere, around, passim, individual, especial, different, beautify, deny, neglect, correct,
ultimately distinguished, distinct, express, respect, clean
soon: (adv) shortly, presently, anon, private, separate. ANTONYMS: spoke: (n) bar, rung, radius, rule,
immediately, directly, at once, (adj) general, basic, collective, shoe, skid, rundle, line, clog, round;
before long, betimes, quickly, everyday, unremarkable, vague, (v) said
promptly; (adj, adv) early. normal, Standard, common, public, spring: (n, v) leap, bound, hop,
ANTONYMS: (adv) now, universal fountain, skip, caper, bounce, dive,
eventually, later, slowly spectacles: (n) glasses, specs, dance; (n) source; (v) originate
sooner: (adj, adv) rather, earlier, spectacle, eyeglass, goggles, square: (n) area, rectangle; (adj)
before, preferably, instead; (adv) lorgnette, monocle, bifocals, dark rectangular, fair, honest; (adj, v)
first, before now, faster, previously, glasses, optical instrument, shades even, correspond, agree; (v) settle;
beforehand; (adj) prior speculation: (n) guess, venture, (adv, n) foursquare; (adj, adv) just.
sordid: (adj) ignoble, nasty, foul, reflection, meditation, guesswork, ANTONYMS: (adj) round,
filthy, grimy, base, cheap, gamble, supposition, theory, underhand, trendy, fresh, activist,
despicable, dishonorable, mucky, surmise, adventure, conjecture. relaxed
low. ANTONYMS: (adj) respectable, ANTONYM: (n) fact stability: (n) durability, firmness,
pleasant, wholesome, reputable, speculator: (n) adventurer, profiteer, poise, permanence, equilibrium,
honorable, clean, attractive, humane plunger, investor, scalper, gambler, solidity, security, balance,
sorrow: (n, v) regret, lament, grieve; venturer, speculatist, entrepreneur, stableness, strength, endurance.
(v) mourn; (n) mourning, heartache, facient, financier ANTONYMS: (n) unsteadiness,
repentance, remorse; (adj, n) speech: (n) lecture, expression, inconstancy, fluctuation, upheaval,
sadness, misery; (adj, n, v) distress. language, conversation, sermon, softness, interruption, flimsiness,
194 An Ideal Husband
inconsistency, imbalance private; (n) monarchy; (v) conceal, covered, dead, deadened, weak,
stage: (n, v) phase; (n) floor, point, refute deaf corn, regardless, decayed
period, level, degree, proscenium, stating: (n) reference stir: (adj, n, v) move, bustle; (v) rouse,
arena, layer; (v) present, order statue: (n) figure, monument, arouse, affect, agitate, inspire; (adj,
stain: (n, v) spot, blemish, tarnish, statuette, effigy, idol, sculpture, n) movement; (n) commotion,
blot, dye, smear, disgrace, mark, carving, bust, sphinx, icon, excitement, disturbance.
soil, dirt, defile. ANTONYMS: (v) representation ANTONYMS: (v) dampen, retire,
enhance, dignify, clean statuette: (n) statue, figure, model, stultify, bore, steady, stifle,
stained: (adj) besmirched, dirty, effigy, bust, sculpture suppress; (n) quiet, peace; (n, v)
colored, tarnished, soiled, tainted, stay: (adj, n, v) remain; (n, v) rest, calm
sullied, flyblown, discolored, prop, stop, delay, abide, continue, stirred: (adj) excited, agitated,
painted; (v) polluted. ANTONYMS: pause, endure, halt, support. moved, affected, aroused,
(adj) unspoiled, unstained, ANTONYMS: (v) change, abscond, emotional, aflame, Stirn, horny,
unblemished, clean depart, move, disappear, become, go susceptible, stirred up
stainless: (adj) spotless, immaculate, staying: (n) stays, arrest; (adj) stock: (n, v) store, handle; (n) lineage,
chaste, faultless, clean, unblemished, continual, old, left breed, goods, origin, ancestry,
guiltless, innocent, clear, unstained, steadily: (adv) constantly, stably, hoard, race; (adj, v) regular; (adj)
white regularly, fixedly, strongly, standard. ANTONYMS: (adj)
staircase: (n) stair, ladder, flight, continually, steadfastly, uniformly, original, unusual, atypical,
steps, flight of steps, stairs, tightly, calmly, determinedly. nonstandard
backstairs, escalator, ANTONYMS: (adv) unsteadily, stockbroker: (n) agent, factor,
companionway, way, entrance nervously, loosely, weakly, rapidly, financier, dealer, stockjobber, stock
stake: (n, v) risk, chance, venture, bet, suddenly, excitedly, haphazardly, broker, negotiator, jobber, adviser
wager, post, pole, gamble, support; inconsistently, unevenly stole: (n) wrap, stolen, scarf, stolon,
(n) interest, shaft steal: (v) purloin, abstract, sneak, stealing, robe, alb, tunicle, surplice,
stand: (v) endure, undergo; (n) rack, filch, pinch, creep, misappropriate, alba, cassock
booth, attitude, base, pedestal; (n, v) rob, pilfer; (n) bargain; (n, v) snatch stop: (int, n, v) hold, stand; (adj, n, v)
live, position; (adj, v) suffer, tolerate. stealing: (n) pilferage, larceny, theft, stay, cease; (n, v) check, end, close,
ANTONYMS: (v) sit, lie, yield, steal, burglary, misappropriation, block, bar, arrest; (v) obstruct.
forbid; (n) top embezzlement, stolen, thievery, ANTONYMS: (n, v) continue; (v)
standing: (n) fame, position, pilfering, thieving begin, encourage, permit, prolong,
importance, prestige, place, steals: (adj) stolen; (n) stealing persevere, expedite, accelerate; (n)
reputation, footing; (adj) erect, stealthily: (adv) furtively, sneakily, continuation, proceed, go
motionless, continuance; (n, v) surreptitiously, covertly, stopped: (adj) stopped up, stoped,
stand. ANTONYMS: (adj) seated, clandestinely, underhandly, congested, unmoving, stop,
moving, horizontal, falling, underhandedly, in secret, privately, finished, stopen, stopt, blocked,
temporary sneakingly; (adj, adv) noiselessly. stopping, stops. ANTONYMS: (adj)
standpoint: (n) point of view, angle, ANTONYM: (adv) brazenly unstopped, moving
outlook, viewpoint, position, stem: (n) root, bow, branch, stalk, stops: (n) Chicago, Michigan,
perspective, side, attitude, slant, bole, stick, shank, handle; (v) Newmarket, boodle, halts, stop,
footing, view originate, block, arrest. stoppages, stopped, stopping, card
stands: (n) bleachers, stood, ANTONYMS: (v) encourage, game, moolah
grandstand, standing, stop, covered accelerate store: (n, v) stock, hoard, bank, cache,
stand, standpoint, stall, sales booth, sterile: (adj) infertile, barren, effete, supply; (n) shop, market, business;
reviewing stand, rack antiseptic, futile, vain, poor, arid, (v) accumulate, garner, keep.
star: (n, v) asterisk; (n) ace, luminary, aseptic; (adj, v) fruitless; (v) ANTONYMS: (v) spend, delete; (n)
personality, headliner, leading, lead, abortive. ANTONYMS: (adj) fertile, dearth
idol, asterism; (adj, n) principal, unhygienic, dirty, productive, storm: (n, v) rush, tempest, hail,
champion. ANTONYMS: (n) fruitful, exciting, creative attack, assault, charge; (v) fume; (n)
nonentity, failure, villain; (adj) stern: (adj) rigid, rigorous, austere, shower, blizzard, hurricane, gust.
insignificant, lousy hard, strict, grim, solemn, rough; ANTONYM: (n) trickle
start: (n) onset, origin; (v) begin, (adj, v) harsh; (n) back; (adj, n) rear. story: (n, v) history, tale, narrative;
originate, drive, commence, embark, ANTONYMS: (adj) friendly, (n) recital, narration, report, account,
spring, enter; (n, v) launch, shock. approving, lenient, funny, genial, level, legend, novel, stage.
ANTONYMS: (n, v) finish, stop; (v) gentle, kindly, lax, liberal, cheerful, ANTONYM: (n) fact
conclude, halt, terminate, arrive; (n) flexible stout: (adj, n) sturdy, stocky, hearty;
conclusion, demise, departure, stick: (adj, v) adhere, cohere; (n, v) (adj) hardy, strong, robust, obese,
middle, culmination stab, paste, staff; (v) cling, attach, fix, husky, bold, corpulent, fleshy.
state: (n) nation, position, kingdom, bind, affix; (n) bar. ANTONYMS: (v) ANTONYMS: (adj) thin, slim,
status, country; (n, v) say, show, detach, open, undo flimsy, cowardly, slight, skinny,
place; (adj) national; (v) express, stifled: (adj) strangled, suppressed, fragile, weak
expound. ANTONYMS: (adj) muffled, deafened, completely straight: (adj) erect, honest, upright,
Oscar Wilde 195
even, fair, perpendicular, correct; languorously, impassively sufficient: (adj) adequate, proper,
(adj, adv, v) direct; (adj, adv, n) stupid: (adj, n) foolish, silly, simple, commensurate, competent, good,
right; (adj, adv) level, flat. absurd; (adj, adv, n) dull; (adj) acceptable, apt, ample, full; (adj, n)
ANTONYMS: (adj) diluted, zigzag, idiotic, ridiculous, senseless, enough; (adv) quite. ANTONYMS:
winding, curly, curved, curvy, fatuous, crass, insane. ANTONYMS: (adj) inadequate, insufficient,
twisted, wavy, knotted, askew; (adj) wise, clever, bright, intelligent, unacceptable, unsatisfactory,
(adv) indirectly shrewd, prudent, responsible, smart, impossible, appalling
strange: (adj) foreign, peculiar, great, sensitive, useful sufficiently: (adv) fully,
unusual, abnormal, outlandish, stupidity: (n) foolishness, nonsense, satisfactorily, enough, amply, quite,
irregular, odd, new, mysterious, obtuseness, dullness, fatuity, properly, competently, decently,
extraordinary, curious. absurdity, stolidity, slowness, abundantly, goodly, completely.
ANTONYMS: (adj) ordinary, denseness, idiocy, imbecility. ANTONYM: (adv) inadequately
normal, familiar, typical, usual, ANTONYMS: (n) sense, logic, suggest: (v) offer, imply, indicate,
conventional, explicable, sensible, cleverness, shrewdness, wisdom, propose, submit, advise, intimate,
mainstream, known, human ability hint, counsel, proffer, point.
strangely: (adv) curiously, queerly, stupidly: (adv) dully, thickly, ANTONYMS: (v) contraindicate,
unusually, funnily, peculiarly, obtusely, senselessly, fatuously, oppose, reject
weirdly, marvelously, uncommonly, slowly, insanely, unwisely, suggestive: (adj, v) expressive; (adj)
extraordinarily, singularly, doltishly, crassly, densely. obscene, spicy, allusive, graphic,
bizarrely. ANTONYMS: (adv) ANTONYMS: (adv) shrewdly, smutty, significative, narrative,
typically, ordinarily, harmoniously brightly, sensibly, wisely, meaningful, epic, implicative
strayed: (v) stray sensitively, prudently, carefully suit: (adj, v) fit, please; (adj, n, v)
street: (n) road, avenue, way, subject: (n) matter, citizen, motif, correspond; (n) lawsuit, plea, action,
highway, route, lane, neighborhood, question, issue, affair, point, case; (v) adapt, accommodate,
path, track, boulevard, Main Street national; (adj, v) exposed; (adj, n) become; (n, v) answer. ANTONYM:
strength: (n, v) power; (n) energy, dependent, inferior. ANTONYMS: (v) clash
firmness, endurance, stability, (n) foreigner, resolution; (adj) suitable: (adj, v) fit, proper,
potency, health, soundness; (adj, n, impervious convenient; (adj) good, apt, right,
v) might; (adj, n) vigor, intensity. subtle: (adj) delicate, sharp, nice, eligible, pertinent, desirable, correct,
ANTONYMS: (n) frailty, acute, astute, insidious, exquisite, fitting. ANTONYMS: (adj)
shortcoming, flaw, faintness, elusive; (adj, v) shrewd, sly, crafty. inappropriate, wrong, improper,
powerlessness, moderation, ANTONYMS: (adj) loud, bright, inconvenient, untimely, amiss,
limitation, instability, impotence, considerable, tactless, unwise, unsatisfactory, unpleasant,
feebleness, disadvantage overpowering, harsh, concrete, dark unflattering, unfit
stretched: (adj) extended, stiff, tight, succeed: (v) follow, arrive, prosper, suited: (adj, v) proper, fit, fitted,
tense, stretched out, strained, prevail, manage, supplant, ensue, adapted, convenient; (adj)
expanded, outstretched, elongated, supersede, do, achieve, flourish. appropriate, good, apt, eligible,
outspread, prolonged. ANTONYMS: (v) fail, precede, lose, capable, useful. ANTONYMS: (adj)
ANTONYMS: (adj) loose, short botch, restore, neglect, Miss, incompatible, wrong, inappropriate
strikingly: (adj, adv) notably, deteriorate sunday: (n) sun, sabbath, week, day
signally, unusually, singularly; (adv) success: (n) conquest, prosperity, of rest; (adj) not forged, resulting
prominently, stunningly, achievement, hit, passing, victory, favorably, full, good, right, just,
imposingly, impressively, markedly, effectiveness, accomplishment, morally admirable
outstandingly, obviously triumph, coup, achiever. sunlight: (n) sunshine, daylight, the
string: (n) chain, twine, strand, series, ANTONYMS: (n) flop, sun, positive, solar, sunbeam,
filament; (adj, n) file, row, range, disappointment, prevention, brightness, sunbeams, rays, shaft,
rank; (n, v) run, thread. ANTONYM: debacle, defeat, fruitlessness, beam
(v) unstring poverty, dissatisfaction, inefficiency, superciliously: (adv) arrogantly,
stroke: (adj, n) blow; (n, v) touch, criticism disdainfully, proudly, conceitedly,
caress, mark, buffet, lick, pat; (n) suddenly: (adj, adv) quickly, rapidly, snootily, snidely, sneeringly,
beat, hit, knock, bang immediately, presto; (adv) hastily, contumeliously, pompously,
stronger: (adj) reprobate, insensible, short, all at once, sudden, sharply, bumptiously, overbearingly
reproof, iniquity, hardening, unexpectedly, instantly. supper: (n) meal, tea, lunch, repast,
shameless, graceless, immoralities, ANTONYMS: (adv) increasingly, reception, mealtime, siesta, social
ministry; (v) Milman, misery predictably, slowly, gently, affair; (v) dejeuner, bever, whet
strongly: (adv) firmly, vigorously, progressively, sensibly, eventually support: (n, v) stand, aid, keep, prop,
robustly, violently, solidly, suffer: (v) encounter, stand, accept, comfort, patronage; (adj, n, v) assist;
vehemently, sturdily, hardily, undergo, brook, experience, have, (v) brace; (adj, v) encourage, back;
mightily, energetically, severely. endure, abide, sustain; (adj, v) allow. (n) maintenance. ANTONYMS: (n,
ANTONYMS: (adv) mildly, dimly, ANTONYMS: (v) enjoy, rejoice, v) neglect; (v) undermine, reject,
faintly, feebly, gently, loosely, flourish weaken, abandon, condemn,
slightly, submissively, thinly, suffered: (adj) permitted, permissive contradict, disapprove, release; (n)
196 An Ideal Husband
hindrance, opposition continue, breathe, last, be. ANTONYMS: (n) part,
suppose: (v) infer, guess, speculate, ANTONYMS: (v) succumb, perish, disorganization, cog, disarray
divine, presume, conjecture, reckon, cease, stop, crumble table: (n) board, schedule, chart,
imagine, estimate, consider, assume. susceptible: (adj) impressionable, stand, list, desk, plateau, platen; (v)
ANTONYMS: (v) disbelieve, know, receptive, sensitive, subject, liable, defer, shelve, postpone.
measure, despair, doubt, speculate delicate, susceptive, vulnerable, ANTONYMS: (v) decide, vote,
supposing: (adv) admitting, pliable, irritable, open. withdraw
conditionally, in case; (n) ANTONYMS: (adj) resistant, tailor: (v) sew, fashion, shape,
supposition, conjecture, thought, impervious, resisting, safe, accommodate, design, cut, adjust,
theory, assumption; (conj) although, invulnerable, indifferent, smart fit; (n) snip, dressmaker, sartor
what if; (v) suppose suspicion: (n) distrust, inkling, tainted: (adj, v) rotten, rancid, bad,
suppress: (v) subdue, silence, quell, misgiving, hunch, qualm, scruple, musty, reasty, vitiated; (adj) rank,
check, stifle, restrain, subjugate, surmise, supposition; (n, v) doubt, contaminated, faulty, putrid, dirty.
curb, crush, strangle, oppress. mistrust, fear. ANTONYMS: (n) ANTONYMS: (adj) unadulterated,
ANTONYMS: (v) encourage, certainty, knowledge, information, unchanged, untarnished, clean
stimulate, incite, expose, declare, carelessness, recklessness, certitude taken: (adj) occupied, full,
resist, confess, divulge, surrender, swear: (v) declare, assure, assert, interpreted, appropriated, seized,
advertise, acknowledge affirm, curse, pledge; (n, v) promise, overcome, affected, besotted; (v)
supreme: (adj, n) maximum, utmost; avow, depone, depose, aver. take, get, receive. ANTONYMS:
(adj) dominant, sovereign, chief, ANTONYMS: (v) distrust, refute, (adj) given, free
principal, superlative, uppermost, deny, compliment taking: (adj) fetching, attractive,
consummate, preeminent; (adj, v) sweet: (adj) fresh, mellow, lovable, contagious, winning, catching,
head. ANTONYMS: (adj) inferior, dear, pleasant, musical, melodious, fascinating, captivating; (n) capture,
vulnerable, lowly, poor, secondary, pleasing, sugary; (adj, v) lovely; (adj, receipt, angry mood, acharnement.
worst, abysmal, powerless, n) beloved. ANTONYMS: (adj) ANTONYM: (n) rejection
provisional, weak discordant, bitter, acid, sharp, acidic, talk: (n, v) discourse, gossip,
sure: (adj) secure, reliable, safe, pungent, salty, harsh, detestable, converse, lecture, chatter, chat,
indisputable, dependable, assured, cacophonous, dry address; (v) articulate, speak,
positive; (adj, v) steady, firm; (adv) swift: (adj, adv, v) fast; (adj) quick, prattle; (n) language. ANTONYMS:
certainly; (adj, adv) for certain. fleet, speedy, alert, nimble, hasty, (v) refuse; (n) silence
ANTONYMS: (adj) doubtful, prompt, sudden, hurried; (adj, v) talking: (n) talk, conversation,
uncertain, unsure, hesitant, rapid. ANTONYMS: (adj) nothingness, speech, speaking,
humbled, dubious, indefinite, considered, leisurely, sluggish, verbal communication, words, yak,
wavering, wobbly, unconvinced; gradual, delayed, clumsy language; (adj) sound, levelheaded.
(adv) doubtfully swindle: (n, v) cheat, con, do, trick, ANTONYM: (adj) silent
surely: (adv) positively, definitely, hoax, beguile; (v) defraud, deceive; talks: (n) parley, discussion,
confidently, securely, undoubtedly, (n) imposture, deception, fraud. dialogue, diplomacy, arbitration,
clearly, firmly, assuredly, ANTONYMS: (v) donate, give; (n) mediation, conversation,
absolutely; (adj, adv) really; (adv, donation, gift discussions, conference, meeting,
int) of course. ANTONYMS: (adv) sympathetic: (adj, v) compassionate, dialog
questionably, uncertain, weakly tender, affectionate; (adj, n) kindly, tall: (adj) elevated, high, exalted, big,
surprise: (n) fright, amazement, congenial, humane, gentle, lanky, towering, eminent,
wonder, astonishment; (n, v) alarm, favorable; (adj) merciful, agreeable, unbelievable, strapping, long,
shock, jolt; (v) amaze, startle, friendly. ANTONYMS: (adj) gangling. ANTONYMS: (adj) low,
astonish, stun. ANTONYMS: (n) hardhearted, unfeeling, callous, small, sensible, reasonable, little,
expectation; (v) encourage, comfort uncaring, unsociable, unforgiving, believable, easy, stocky
surprised: (adj) amazed, unfriendly, negative, sarcastic, tapestry: (n) arras, tapis, textile,
dumbfounded, shocked, astounded, opposed, unhelpful embroidery, hanging, carpet, cloth,
stunned, taken aback, bewildered, sympathy: (n) compassion, kindness, complexness, fabric, material,
startled, surprise, aghast, to be commiseration, mercy, feeling, mending
astonished. ANTONYM: (adj) understanding, rapport, tapping: (n) draining of the furnace,
unsurprised benevolence, agreement; (adj, n) paracentesis, to tap, tick,
surrender: (v) concede, abandon, give humanity, charity. ANTONYMS: (n) tapotement, sound, patter, drainage,
up, capitulate, submit, deliver; (adj, indifference, cruelty, coldness, clapping, casting, restriking
n) resignation; (n, v) resign, render, disdain, incompatibility, taste: (n, v) relish, sample, smack,
release; (n) capitulation. thoughtlessness, mercilessness, touch; (n) flavor, liking, penchant,
ANTONYMS: (v) conquer, callousness, incomprehension, morsel, bit, drop, fondness.
appropriate, persevere, subdue, inhumanity, insensitivity ANTONYMS: (n) dislike,
enforce; (n, v) fight, win; (n) capture, system: (adj, n) method, tastelessness, disinclination, hate,
confrontation, conquest, victory arrangement; (n) network, plan, lot, coarseness, uncouthness; (v)
survive: (v) live, outlast, outlive, organization, order, structure, abstain, refrain
endure, exist, pull through, remain, means, process, form, frame. taught: (adj) instructed, educated,
Oscar Wilde 197
schooled, instruct, well-bred, temptation: (n, v) lure, enticement, thievery; (adj) thievish.
scholarly, provided; (v) firm, fast, bait; (n) attraction, allurement, ANTONYMS: (adj) philanthropic,
close, taut invitation, seduction, inducement, benevolent
taunt: (n, v) ridicule, gibe, flout, allure, appeal, pull. ANTONYMS: thin: (adj) tenuous, flimsy, light, fine,
insult, mock, deride, sneer, twit, (n) dislike, discouragement emaciated; (adj, v) lean, gaunt,
quip; (n) scoff; (v) bait. tempting: (adj) seductive, alluring, slight, sheer, meager, dilute.
ANTONYMS: (n, v) respect, attractive, enticing, tantalizing, ANTONYMS: (adj) fat,
compliment; (v) applaud, comfort charming, appealing, captivating, concentrated, chubby, plump, wide,
teach: (v) enlighten, educate, instruct, beguiling, delicious, irresistible. heavy, broad, strong, resonant,
coach, indoctrinate, drill, learn, ANTONYMS: (adj) repulsive, solid; (v) thicken
lecture, school; (adj, v) guide, show revolting, unattractive, repellent thing: (n) affair, occurrence, object,
tear: (n, v) rip, break, split, rupture, terms: (n) conditions, provision, event, concern, something, article,
crack, run, slit; (v) pull, rend, stipulation, terminology, price, happening, substance, occasion,
lacerate; (adj, v) rush. ANTONYMS: proposition, lemma, cost, footing, being
(v) wait, mend, idle, fix, amble, damage, specifications things: (n) gear, belongings,
dawdle terrible: (adj) horrible, dreadful, equipment, garb, garment, clothes,
tears: (n) cry, crying, snivel, brine, horrid, monstrous, abominable, paraphernalia, goods, life, property,
weeping, activity, bawling, bodily ghastly, dire, appalling, fearful, palliament
function, bodily process, body awful, hideous. ANTONYMS: (adj) thinking: (n) consideration, idea,
process, lacerations lovely, pleasant, great, laudable, opinion, reasoning, intellection,
tedious: (adj) tiresome, boring, excellent, superb, mild, slight, cogitation, conception,
dreary, slow, heavy, humdrum, minor, brilliant, insignificant contemplation; (adj) intelligent,
irksome, lifeless; (adj, v) terribly: (adv) horribly, awfully, thoughtful, meditative
monotonous, arid, dry. terrifically, very, badly, awful, third: (n) second, tierce, three, third
ANTONYMS: (adj) exciting, varied, appallingly, atrociously, terrificly; part, terzetto, hot corner, third base;
easy, readable, lively, entertaining, (adj, adv) frightfully, shockingly. (adv) thirdly; (adj) triple, thrid,
enthralling, brisk, concise, exotic, ANTONYMS: (adv) wonderfully, tertial
pleasant slightly, superbly, fortunately, thirst: (n, v) hunger, lust, wish; (n)
telegram: (n) cablegram, wire, happily, laudably, little, longing, yen, craving, hankering,
telegraph, message, letter telegram, marvelously, pleasantly, hardly, dryness, appetite; (v) starve, crave.
report, overseas telegram, news, honorably ANTONYM: (n) dislike
marconigram, embassy, conducting terror: (n, v) alarm, scare; (adj, n) thirty: (n) large integer, termination;
wire dread, awe; (n) fear, dismay, (adj) thretty
telegraph: (n) telegram, telegraphy, consternation, horror, panic, thoroughly: (adv, v) fully; (adv)
flagstaff, setup; (v) wire, broadcast, apprehension, scourge. entirely, totally, soundly,
electrify, forecast, foreshadow, ANTONYMS: (n) peace, security, exhaustively, carefully, absolutely,
forewarn, telecommunicate delight, calm, confidence perfectly, deeply, utterly, exactly.
tell: (n, v) disclose, impart, count; (v) thank: (v) give thanks, recognize, ANTONYMS: (adv) superficially,
relate, reveal, recount, divulge, bless, thanks, give thanks to, incompletely, negligently, partially,
explain, communicate; (adj, v) convey, acknowledged, remercy, partly, barely, halfheartedly,
declare, express. ANTONYMS: (v) impart deficiently, inadequately,
request, misunderstand, estimate, thanks: (n) acknowledgment, insufficiently, hastily
listen, figure, guess, withhold, gratitude, blessing, grace, praise, though: (adj, conj) however; (conj)
conceal, suppress, confuse gratefulness, recognition, credit, still, notwithstanding, nevertheless,
telling: (adj, v) significant; (adj) benediction, thankfulness; (int) albeit, whereas, while; (adv) even,
revealing, emphatic, impressive, thank you. ANTONYMS: (n) after all, tho'; (adv, conj) tho
effectual, effective, pregnant, cogent; criticism, blame thought: (n) idea, impression,
(n) relation, recounting, notice. themselves: (pron) myself, itself, conception, belief, concept; (adj, n)
ANTONYMS: (adj) secretive, yourself; (n) yourselves opinion, feeling, sentiment; (n, v)
unimportant, insignificant, hidden theory: (n) supposition, assumption, consideration, reflection,
temper: (adj, v) moderate, soften, conjecture, hypothesis, speculation, observation. ANTONYMS: (n) thing,
mitigate, harden; (n) character, guess, idea, opinion, surmise, vacuity, vacancy, concrete,
disposition, humor, nature; (v) presumption, belief. ANTONYMS: thoughtlessness, inattention,
modify, season, qualify. (n) reality, practice, proof impulsiveness, certainty, neglect,
ANTONYMS: (n, v) upset; (v) thief: (n) burglar, bandit, pirate, trust
soften, agitate, excite, flex, bend, plunderer, filcher, stealer, thoughtful: (adj, v) serious, solemn,
increase; (n) composure, happiness, pickpocket, pilferer, crook, brigand, grave; (adj) kind, careful, pensive,
wrath, equanimity despoiler heedful, attentive, discreet, sensible,
temperament: (n) character, nature, thieving: (n) larceny, stealing, courteous. ANTONYMS: (adj)
disposition, constitution, robbery, embezzlement, thoughtless, careless, heedless,
personality, quality, spirit, humor, misapplication, misappropriation, uncaring, unkind, tactless,
equanimity, composure, mettle peculation, defalcation, burglary, superficial, stupid, negligent, idiotic,
198 An Ideal Husband
unthinking cast, flip; (v) agitate, hurl, shake, ANTONYMS: (adj) faithful, loyal,
threaten: (v) intimidate, loom, bully, convulse, discard. ANTONYM: (v) honest, safe, true, genuine,
endanger, offer, imperil, jeopardize, catch forthright, stable, harmless,
peril, foreshadow, portend; (n, v) touch: (v) hit, affect, border, adjoin, dependable, open
threat. ANTONYMS: (v) guard, strike, reach; (n, v) contact, stroke, treasurer: (n) bursar, chamberlain,
protect, relieve, save, alleviate, tinge, regard, tap. ANTONYMS: (v) financial officer, purser, official,
reassure, recede, strengthen shrink, secrete, separate, diverge, tutor, state treasurer, procurator
throat: (n) orifice, pharynx, gorge, abstain, leave; (n) lot fiscal, money dealer, keeper,
mouth, muzzle, nozzle, sucker, touched: (adj) insane, cracked, guardian
shaft, quarl, throat depth, nostril tinged, not right, daft, crazy, nutty; treat: (n, v) feast, manage, administer,
throw: (n, v) cast, pitch, push; (v) (v) compassionate, sympathetic, regale; (v) process, deal, heal, nurse;
shed, hurl, heave, chuck, flip, pass, pitiful, mucid. ANTONYMS: (adj) (n) luxury, delicacy, tidbit.
hurtle; (n) shot. ANTONYMS: (v) untouched, sane, unemotional, ANTONYMS: (v) harm, hurt, injure,
explain, help, receive, clarify, unmoved, well neglect, exacerbate, deprive, deny,
encourage touching: (adj, v) affecting; (adj) contaminate, cloud; (n) necessity
thrust: (n, v) poke, stab, jab, drive, poignant, pitiful, pathetic, adjacent, tree: (n) gallows, gibbet, stem,
shove, force, punch, boost, cast, dig; adjoining, emotional; (n) touch, pedigree, kurchee, quandong, poon,
(v) ram. ANTONYM: (n) inertia contact; (prep) concerning, about. platan, lemonwood, lancewood,
thrusting: (n) thrust, push, jab, poke, ANTONYMS: (adj) unaffecting, lacebark
jabbing, stab, driving force, scoke, everyday, heartwarming, tremble: (adj, n, v) shiver; (n, v)
sack, punch, Phytolacca Americana unmoving, heartbreaking, quiver, shudder, thrill, palpitate;
thunderingly: (adv) hulkingly, emotionless, unemotional, (adj, v) totter, quake; (n) throb; (v)
whoppingly, spankingly impassive flutter, quail, falter. ANTONYMS:
thursday: (n) thorium tout: (v) bluster, brag, advertise, (v) steady, calm
till: (conj, prep) until, unto; (v) plow, boast, canvass, blow, gas, bespeak, trial: (n) test, examination,
hoe, farm, dig; (adj) up to; (n) tiller, gasconade, swash; (n) hotel runner. experiment, hardship, essay,
drawer; (adv) so far; (prep) to ANTONYMS: (v) conceal, hearing, audition, attempt; (n, v)
times: (n) present time, modern understate affliction, adversity; (adj, n) distress.
times, contemporary world, towards: (prep) to, facing, until, ANTONYMS: (n) peace,
multiplication, time, period, era, opposite to, till, unto, upon; (n, performance, happiness, ease,
many years duration, epoch, prep) against; (adv) about, by; (n) at opportunity; (adj) known, definite,
present, arithmetic operation tower: (n) column, spire, steeple, proven
tired: (adj, v) fatigued, weary, pinnacle, pylon, castle; (adj, n) pillar; tried: (adj) reliable, tested,
exhausted, stale; (adj) threadbare, (v) ascend, rise, loom, arise trustworthy, dependable, proven,
commonplace, trite, banal, haggard, town: (adj) municipal, urban; (n) proved, experienced, practiced, just,
stock, jaded. ANTONYMS: (adj) borough, township, village, burgh, conquered, believable.
invigorated, alert, refreshed, burg, municipality, townspeople, ANTONYMS: (adj) untried,
energetic, original, strong, awake, metropolis; (adj, n) community. unreliable
energized, lively, rested, relaxed ANTONYMS: (adj) country, private trio: (n) triplet, threesome, three, trey,
together: (adv) in concert, conjointly, tragedy: (n) calamity, disaster, trine, trinity, ternary, triumvirate,
at the same time, at once, misfortune, play, cataclysm, drama, ternion; (adv) solo, duo
simultaneously, mutually, in unison, bad luck, bale, apocalypse, farce, triumph: (v) exult, prevail, crow,
all together, at the same moment; tragic. ANTONYMS: (n) humor, rejoice, succeed; (n, v) glory, win,
(adj) united, stable. ANTONYMS: blessing, joy, boon, advantage, joy; (n) victory, conquest, exultation.
(adv) separately, individually, comedy ANTONYMS: (n) failure, defeat,
independently, apart, alone; (adj) tragic: (adj) calamitous, disastrous, sorrow, unhappiness, dud, sadness,
separate, upset, unstable, separated, dreadful, grievous, catastrophic, loss, flop; (v) fail, lose, forfeit
imbalanced, scatterbrained unlucky, unfortunate, woeful, triumphantly: (adv) exultantly,
toils: (n) net, cobweb, meshes, mesh tragical, comic, heartbreaking. winningly, jubilantly, elatedly,
told: (v) related, narrated; (adj) ANTONYMS: (adj) humorous, proudly, successfully, triumphally,
numbered, oral, spoken, legendary, heartwarming, blessed, conqueringly, gleefully, delightedly,
verbal, manifest advantageous, lucky, fortunate, gloriously
tomb: (n) sepulchre, sepulcher, crypt, joyous trivial: (adj) trifling, frivolous, little,
pit, sepulture, vault, monument, transaction: (n) dealing, business, small, commonplace, superficial,
entomb, mausoleum; (n, v) bury; (v) dealings, proceeding, trade, concern, petty, paltry, inconsiderable,
inter matter, bargain, negotiation, action, piddling, slight. ANTONYMS: (adj)
tone: (n) note, accent, timbre, spirit, affair. ANTONYMS: (n) refusal, important, vital, major, urgent,
tinge, shade, air, sound, tint, rejection, denial profound, crucial, consequential,
manner; (n, v) color. ANTONYMS: treacherous: (adj) unfaithful, considerable, enormous, mature,
(n) atonicity, flaccidity; (v) jar deceitful, false, perfidious, serious
took: (adj) taken; (v) receive dangerous, disloyal, unreliable, triviality: (n) trifle, trivia, pettiness,
toss: (n, v) throw, fling, pitch, chuck, unsafe, Punic, fraudulent, faithless. slightness, banality, unimportance,
Oscar Wilde 199
technicality, small beer, levity, turn: (n, v) curve, roll, twist, go, coil, competent, eligible, powerful
detail, frivolity. ANTONYMS: (n) round, change, bent, spin; (n) bout; unbearable: (adj) insufferable,
importance, substance, originality, (v) revolve. ANTONYMS: (n) excruciating, insupportable,
value, responsibility failure, Miss, stagnation; (v) unbend unendurable, hateful, unacceptable,
trouble: (n, v) inconvenience, pain, turned: (adj) off, curved, rancid, repugnant, impossible, grievous,
bother, disquiet, disorder, worry, twisted, false, bent, altered, sullen, enormous, dreadful. ANTONYMS:
annoy, fuss, afflict, torment; (adj, n) having inflections, versed, (adj) bearable, manageable,
difficulty. ANTONYMS: (v) please, glowering. ANTONYM: (adj) imperceptible, tolerable, wonderful,
help, assist, aid, placate, soothe, unturned lovable, nice, pleasant
comfort; (n) fitness, pleasure, turning: (n) turn, revolution, bend, unbecoming: (adj) indecorous,
advantage, ease rotation, deviation, gyration, unseemly, inappropriate, indecent,
troubled: (adj, v) concerned, conversion, veering; (adj) rotating, indelicate, untoward, unworthy,
solicitous; (adj) distressed, anxious, revolving, rotary unsuitable, shameful, unbefitting,
worried, uneasy, uncomfortable, twelve: (adj, n) dozen, XII; (n) incongruous. ANTONYMS: (adj)
disconcerted, upset, apprehensive, boxcars, large integer dignified, becoming, fitting, proper,
restless. ANTONYMS: (adj) twenty: (adj) vigesimal; (n) large seemly, correct, decent, suitable
unconcerned, composed, calm, easy, integer, twenty dollar bill unblemished: (adj) clean, perfect,
relaxed, tranquil, assured, carefree, twice: (adv) doubly, bis, two times, in faultless, pure, immaculate,
brave, stable, unaffected two ways, once more; (adj) twenty blameless, clear, irreproachable,
true: (adj, n) genuine, authentic; (adj) twinkle: (n, v) flash, gleam, shimmer, unspotted, untarnished, flawless.
right, faithful, even, correct, glimmer, glisten, glitter, scintillate, ANTONYMS: (adj) blemished,
accurate, honest, straight, truthful; wink; (adj, n, v) flicker; (v) shine, flawed, marked, imperfect, used,
(adj, v) actual. ANTONYMS: (adj) blink marred, guilty, infirm
inaccurate, untrue, bogus, type: (adj, n) model, nature, unclasp: (v) loosen, unlink, separate,
untrustworthy, unrealistic, mythical, character; (n) pattern, kind, sort, let go of, let go, disconnect, detach
fraudulent, faithless, disloyal; (adv) breed, category, stamp, standard, unconscious: (adj) involuntary,
wrongly, dishonestly print unaware, ignorant, unwitting,
trust: (n, v) credit, rely, hope; (n) typical: (adj) characteristic, regular, subconscious, oblivious, automatic,
confidence, faith, reliance, belief, model, classic, distinctive, natural, insensible, unintentional, instinctive,
cartel, assurance; (v) believe, standard, figurative, emblematic; senseless. ANTONYMS: (adj)
confide. ANTONYMS: (n, v) (adj, v) representative; (adj, n) conscious, awake, deliberate, aware,
distrust, doubt, mistrust; (v) average. ANTONYMS: (adj) voluntary, intentional, alive, wary
disbelieve, keep, hold, despair; (n) atypical, unusual, uncharacteristic, under: (adj) lower, down, nether,
disbelief, suspicion, independence unconventional, different, new, bottom, inferior, low, subject; (adv,
trusted: (adj) intimate, confidential, extraordinary, unique, exceptional, prep) beneath, underneath; (adv)
sure, bosom, beloved, cherished, common, abnormal downstairs, infra. ANTONYMS:
familiar, trustworthy, indisputable, tyranny: (adj, n) dictatorship, (adv, prep) over, above; (adv)
trusty, reliable autocracy; (n) absolutism, primary, higher, major
trusting: (adj) credulous, despotism, oppression, cruelty, underhand: (adj) stealthy, furtive,
unsuspecting, naive, confident, monocracy, totalitarianism, clandestine, sly, underhanded,
confiding, simple, innocent, gullible, authoritarianism, autarchy, sneaky, shifty, covert, crooked,
reliant, give, easy to fool. Caesarism. ANTONYMS: (n) indirect; (adj, adv) underarm.
ANTONYMS: (adj) distrustful, democracy, liberty ANTONYMS: (adj) honest,
suspicious, doubtful, hesitant, ugly: (adj, adv) surly; (adj) nasty, overhand
protective, shrewd, disingenuous, repulsive, frightful, forbidding, underrate: (v) underestimate,
smart, jaded disagreeable, hideous, gruesome, depreciate, misjudge, disparage,
truth: (n) exactness, actuality, evil, offensive, shocking. undervalue, play down, detract,
sincerity, verity, fidelity, fact, ANTONYMS: (adj) attractive, decry, belittle, disdain, slight.
correctness, genuineness, flowing, ornamental, nice, lovely, ANTONYMS: (v) overrate,
faithfulness, certainty, honesty. pleasant, safe, kind, gentle, emphasize
ANTONYMS: (n) dishonesty, appealing, agreeable understand: (v) interpret, hear, see,
fabrication, falsehood, fiction, lie, ultimately: (adv) finally, lastly, in the catch, learn, translate, grasp,
inaccuracy, idealism, falsity, end, at long last, at last, in the long construe, gather; (adj, v) realize,
disloyalty, fallacy, invention run, conclusively, latterly, take. ANTONYMS: (v) misinterpret,
trying: (adj) hard, taxing, arduous, elementally, extremely, in the last misconstrue, misunderstand,
thorny, severe, bothersome, tough, analysis. ANTONYMS: (adv) never, disbelieve, mistake, reject, deny,
demanding, annoying, tiresome, directly Miss
rugged. ANTONYMS: (adj) unable: (adj) incapable, ineffective, understanding: (n, v) intellect,
rewarding, facile, relaxing, incompetent, impotent, helpless, reason, intelligence, appreciation,
satisfying, simple, pleasant, ineffectual, inefficient, inadequate, sense, apprehension, discernment,
pleasing, refreshing, soothing unqualified, unfit, not able. judgment; (n) comprehension,
tuesday: (n) Tues ANTONYMS: (adj) able, capable, sympathy, deal. ANTONYMS: (n)
200 An Ideal Husband
bewilderment, disbelief, ANTONYMS: (adj) lucky, unheeding, thoughtless, oblivious,
misinterpretation, auspicious, good, opportune, unmindful, neglectful, careless,
misunderstanding, mistake, joyous, timely, appropriate, regardless, sightless, indifferent,
indifference, incomprehension, successful, easy, privileged lacking sight. ANTONYM: (adj)
foolishness, emotion; (adj) unhappy: (adj) gloomy, dismal, observant
intolerant, unfeeling depressed, melancholy, sad, unobserved: (adj, v) unseen; (v)
understood: (adj) tacit, implicit, miserable, sorrowful, distressed, unheeded, unregarded, unthought
implied, silent, assumed, accepted, disconsolate, infelicitous, low. of, unperceived; (adj) ignored, not
appreciated, unstated, undeclared; ANTONYMS: (adj) happy, cheerful, noticed, hidden, unmarked,
(v) of course, admitted. satisfied, pleased, glad, euphoric, unnoted; (adv) secretly.
ANTONYMS: (adj) explicit, spoken, fortunate, contented, joyful, timely, ANTONYM: (adj) evident
written, explained lucky unpleasant: (adj, n) harsh; (adj)
undertaking: (n) promise, attempt, unhealthy: (adj) harmful, sickly, disagreeable, obnoxious, ugly,
project, venture, adventure, insanitary, ailing, ill, noxious, nasty, sour, awkward, repulsive,
endeavor, job, effort; (n, v) task, injurious, insalubrious, sick, forbidding, bad, hard. ANTONYMS:
labor, business diseased; (adj, v) unsound. (adj) delightful, agreeable,
undeserving: (adj) disgraceful, ANTONYMS: (adj) healthy, fit, wonderful, nice, enjoyable,
worthless, unworthy of, degrading, hygienic, light, well, good, strong, attractive, comfortable, charming,
immeritous, indign, mean, not luxuriant inoffensive, amicable, cordial
worthy, unbecoming, undeserving uninteresting: (adj) insipid, dreary, unpopular: (v) unacceptable, uncared
of. ANTONYM: (adj) deserving tedious, bland, commonplace, flat, for; (adj) unwelcome, undesirable,
unemployed: (adj) vacant, inactive, stupid, tame, tasteless, humdrum; ostracized, unattractive, detested,
free, jobless, fired; (adj, v) (adj, n) dull. ANTONYMS: (adj) unfashionable, uninviting, lousy,
unexercised; (v) unoccupied, exciting, fascinating, scandalous, thankless. ANTONYMS: (adj) liked,
untrodden, untouched, unspent, eventful, impressive, charming, desirable
unessayed. ANTONYMS: (adj) brilliant, animated, colorful, lively, unpractical: (adj) impractical, insane,
working, occupied special abstract, chimerical, delirious,
unendurably: (adv) intolerably, unjust: (adj) partial, injurious, wrong, fanciful, not sane, viewy, mad,
excruciatingly, dreadfully, inequitable, unrighteous, wicked, spectacular
unspeakably foul, wrongful, improper, unprotected: (adj) exposed,
unexpected: (adj) sudden, abrupt, unmerited, unjustified. unguarded, open, naked, helpless,
casual, unforeseen, unanticipated, ANTONYMS: (adj) just, equitable, defenseless, unshielded, uncovered,
accidental, strange, unsuspected; rightful, reasonable, good unarmed, undefended, insecure.
(adj, v) unlooked for, unpredicted; unkind: (adj) cruel, harsh, unfeeling, ANTONYMS: (adj) armed,
(n) surprise. ANTONYMS: (adj) inconsiderate, pitiless, heartless, protected, secure, invulnerable
expected, gradual, normal, inhuman, hard, thoughtless, brutal, unreasonable: (adj) immoderate,
commonplace, protracted, ordinary, mean. ANTONYMS: (adj) kind, undue, absurd, extravagant,
typical, customary considerate, pleasant, friendly, excessive, preposterous, exorbitant,
unexpectedly: (adv) by chance, thoughtful, tactful, mild, gentle, illogical, inordinate, irrational,
suddenly, abruptly, casually, generous, flattering, compassionate ridiculous. ANTONYMS: (adj)
unforeseenly, unawares, unless: (adv) but, if, yet, besides, logical, practical, sensible,
surprisingly, unanticipatedly, except with, further; (adv, conj) affordable, economical, justified,
hastily, strangely, circumstantially. save; (conj) without, if not; (n) realistic, fair, obliging, just, rational
ANTONYMS: (adv) intentionally, provisionally; (adj) not necessary unscrupulous: (adj) dishonest,
gradually, normally, predictably unlike: (adj) dissimilar, different, unprincipled, unethical, immoral,
unfashionable: (adj) dowdy, diverse, unequal, disparate, distinct, dishonorable, crooked, unfair,
unstylish, behind the times, old, out separate, unalike, opposite, unconscionable, sharp,
of fashion, outdated, old-fashioned, heterogeneous, not similar. unconscientious, sly. ANTONYMS:
antiquated, out, styleless, ANTONYMS: (adj) like, alike, same (adj) scrupulous, principled, ethical,
unconventional. ANTONYMS: (adj) unnatural: (adj) affected, artificial, honest, moral
in, trendy, fresh grotesque, supernatural, forced, unseen: (adj, v) unknown; (adj)
unfit: (adj) inappropriate, improper, abnormal, eccentric, uncanny, invisible, concealed, hidden,
inapt, unbecoming, incompetent, stilted, mannered, anomalous. unobserved, secret, veiled, latent; (v)
unable, incapable, unsuitable, bad; ANTONYMS: (adj) natural, normal, unheeded, unperceived; (n) spiritual
(adj, v) incapacitate; (v) indispose. real, unaffected, commonplace, world. ANTONYMS: (adj) seen,
ANTONYMS: (adj) appropriate, genuine, sincere visible, open, famous, noticeable
suitable, ready, healthy, able, firm, unnerved: (v) relaxed; (adj) untruthful: (adj) untrue, dishonest,
competent; (v) qualify enervated, afraid, alarmed, anxious, insincere, mendacious, deceitful,
unfortunate: (adj) inauspicious, sad, fearful, hysterical, scared, tense, lying, incorrect, fictitious, wrong,
hapless, bad, inopportune, terrified, timid. ANTONYM: (adj) faithless, unfounded. ANTONYMS:
disastrous, adverse, deplorable, confident (adj) honest, true, straightforward
infelicitous, untoward, lamentable. unobservant: (adj) heedless, unworthy: (adj) undeserving, base,
Oscar Wilde 201
disgraceful, ignoble, low, (adj) usant see; (n) idea. ANTONYMS: (v)
contemptible, despicable, ugly, usual: (adj, n, v) ordinary, common, disbelieve, mistrust
unmerited, unseemly, shameful. customary; (adj, n) habitual, vile: (adj, n) contemptible, dirty, low;
ANTONYMS: (adj) deserving, accustomed, familiar, average, (adj, v) base; (adj) despicable,
valuable, honorable, estimable, regular; (adj) everyday; (adj, v) ignoble, evil, sorry, revolting,
reputable frequent, general. ANTONYMS: offensive, nasty. ANTONYMS: (adj)
uphold: (n, v) support; (v) preserve, (adj) unconventional, extraordinary, attractive, kind, nice, lovely, lovable,
defend, maintain, continue, endorse, abnormal, irregular, atypical, gentle, honorable, good, delightful,
confirm, countenance, bolster, exceptional, unprecedented, admirable, noble
encourage, back. ANTONYMS: (v) uncommon, rare, changing, violence: (n) force, fury, fierceness,
infringe, discontinue, weaken, unacceptable strength, vehemence, intensity,
contradict, endanger, abandon, usually: (adv) generally, ordinarily, ferocity, impetuosity, might,
oppose, quit, undermine, end normally, frequently, habitually, outrage, power. ANTONYMS: (n)
upon: (adv, prep) above; (prep) up, customarily, mostly, regularly, peacefulness, peace, passivity,
onto, against, towards; (adv) on, on typically, as a rule, in general. nonviolence, friendliness, defense,
that occasion, then, before, by; (n) at ANTONYMS: (adv) rarely, indifference, orderliness, calmness,
upper: (adj) top, higher, overhead, exceptionally, occasionally meekness
over, topmost, highest; (n) utterly: (adv) completely, absolutely, violent: (adj, n) rough, furious,
stimulant, bennie, meth, speed, totally, entirely, extremely, tempestuous, severe, turbulent,
amphetamine. ANTONYMS: (adj) altogether, expressly, purely, dead, boisterous, powerful; (adj, v)
lower, below, junior, under, bottom fully, wholly. ANTONYMS: (adv) vehement; (adj) raging, intense,
upright: (adj) perpendicular, erect, partly, uncertain, slightly, sharp. ANTONYMS: (adj) gentle,
fair, good, righteous, just, virtuous, incompletely, hardly, somewhat calm, nonviolent, mild, passive,
true, honorable, plumb; (adj, n) vacant: (adj) blank, hollow, unfilled, moderate, pleasant, slight, refined,
vertical. ANTONYMS: (adj) prone, void, free, unoccupied, bare, idle, relaxed, friendly
disreputable, degenerate, hanging, expressionless, open; (adj, v) devoid. virtues: (n) brawn, sinew, qualities,
unwholesome, dishonest, ANTONYMS: (adj) full, cognizant, nerve, manner, habit, disposition,
dishonorable, lying, horizontal, overflowing, inhabited, aware, custom
falling; (adv) horizontally comprehending, animated, solid, visit: (v) frequent, attend, call, view,
upstairs: (adj) upstair; (adv) on a expressive, knowing gossip, jaw, inspect, haunt; (n, v)
higher floor, in the mind, in the vague: (adj) obscure, indistinct, tour, chat; (n) sojourn
head, up the stairs, over; (n) heaven, indeterminate, undefined, visitors: (n) visitation
administration, authority, board, undetermined, indefinite, uncertain, vitally: (adv) necessarily,
eternity. ANTONYMS: (adj, adv) faint, ambiguous; (adj, v) loose, significantly, basically, crucially,
downstairs equivocal. ANTONYMS: (adj) clear, fundamentally, principally,
used: (adj) exploited, old, distinct, exact, particular, precise, decisively, materially, importantly,
accustomed, worn, spent, specific, sure, certain, defined, alert, vivaciously, primarily.
victimized, wont, tried, decrepit, detailed ANTONYMS: (adv) insignificantly,
second hand, exhausted. value: (adj, n, v) price; (n) cost, superficially
ANTONYMS: (adj) new, unused, importance, consequence; (n, v) rate, voice: (n) speech, vox; (v) enunciate,
spanking, misused appraise, measure; (v) appreciate, pronounce, speak, say, vocalize,
useful: (adj) helpful, beneficial, evaluate, esteem, assess. express, utter, articulate; (n, v)
practical, handy, advantageous, ANTONYMS: (n) disadvantage, sound. ANTONYMS: (v) devoice,
valuable, convenient, effective, futility, uselessness, insignificance, block
functional, efficient, gainful. detriment, inefficiency, inferiority; voices: (n) chorus
ANTONYMS: (adj) worthless, (v) scorn, disregard, disrespect, hate voile: (n) cloth, fabric
ineffective, unusable, negative, vantage: (n) superiority, preference, vulgar: (adj) rude, coarse, plebeian,
decorative, destructive, detrimental, start, handicap, expediency, nasty, common, foul, indecent,
disadvantageous, ineffectual, expedience, advantageousness, gross, unrefined; (adj, n) low, vile.
irrelevant, theoretical odds, asset, tax advantage, head ANTONYMS: (adj) refined,
useless: (adj) pointless, unnecessary, start. ANTONYM: (n) disadvantage sophisticated, tasteful, polite,
needless, worthless, fruitless, variance: (n) disagreement, aesthetic, muted, fashionable,
hopeless, abortive, idle, barren, difference, dissension, division, decent, artistic, pleasant, clean
superfluous, unavailing. divergence, deviation, vulgarity: (n) indecency, vulgarism,
ANTONYMS: (adj) helpful, misunderstanding, discord, grossness, inelegance, crudeness,
effective, competent, convenient, diversity, dissimilarity, dissonance. commonness, obscenity, rudeness,
valuable, necessary, brilliant, great, ANTONYMS: (n) invariability, crudity, boorishness, indelicacy.
meaningful, usable, worthwhile consistency, concurrence, concord ANTONYMS: (n) politeness, purity,
using: (n) colonialism, employment, vienna: (n) Austrian capital classiness, civility, taste, decency
enjoyment, victimisation, view: (n, v) sight, scene, regard, vulnerable: (adj) exposed, tender,
mistreatment, victimization, opinion, judgment, prospect, sensitive, susceptible, unguarded,
development; (adv) through, via, by; outlook, thought; (adj, v) observe, unprotected, defenseless, insecure,
202 An Ideal Husband
impressionable; (adj, v) feeble, frail. watch: (n, v) view, sentinel, clock, well-bred: (adj) courteous, mannerly,
ANTONYMS: (adj) unassailable, wake, regard, care; (v) observe, look, urbane, civil, genteel, gentlemanly,
invincible, unbeatable, invulnerable, see; (n) sentry; (adj, n) surveillance. refined, nice, sophisticated,
impervious, secure, untouchable, ANTONYMS: (v) neglect, overlook, thoughtful, debonair
defensible, guarded, protected, harm, hurt, glance well-dressed: (adj) handsome
defendable water: (n) urine, sea, lake