17. Perfunctory

Definition: (adjective) (of an action or gesture) carried out with a minimum of effort or reflection.3

Replaces: hasty, careless

I personally love this word because it's a grown-up way to say "half-ass." I'm certain you've never written an essay in a perfunctory manner but for those times that you want to express how your classmate did a perfunctory job in contributing to your group project or tell your boyfriend that he gave you a perfunctory kiss and he needs to step it up, it's perfect!

There you have it!

Seventeen scholarly words that are sure to blow away your English teacher!2

I hope that after adding these words to your vocabulary, your writing will improve, but I know there are plenty of fabulous words I didn’t mention!

What are some of your favorite words to use in your essays?

This article was written in collaboration with editor Sabrina Yates and Lisa Washington

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