Words that describe author’s tone

question

contemptuous
answer

I’m afraid that our new king is not that well loved by his subjects. When he holds court, the people say that he has a(n) _______ gaze, and that he talks down to everyone in the room. celebratory contemptuous direct outspoken indignant
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celebratory
answer

My new boss’ email, which introduced me to the rest of the company, was more than just welcoming. It was _______. She spent three paragraphs praising my accomplishments and strengths! celebratory contemptuous direct outspoken indignant
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direct
answer

When the lab results come back and you reach a diagnosis, don’t be gentle with me, Doctor. Please be as _______ as possible. celebratory contemptuous direct outspoken indignant
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indignant
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I was sure that Sarah felt that her own rights had been violated. She seemed deeply offended. Her the tone was clearly _______. celebratory contemptuous direct outspoken indignant
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outspoken
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René is–how shall I say–a bit _______ on many different political issues. It would be awkward to invite both her and the senator to the dinner party. It doesn’t matter whether she likes him or she hates him. She’ll never give him any peace. celebratory contemptuous direct outspoken indignant
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mocking
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Our professor speaks in a very _______ way about politicians. He does the most hilarious impressions of them to point out how silly their reasoning sometimes is. mocking distressed cold cynical superior
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cold
answer

The general snapped on his rubber gloves as he approached his captive. His voice was _______: \”You’re a long way from home, boy.\” He caressed a pair of pliers with an almost sensual delight. \”In this country we have more…primitive…ways of making you talk.\” mocking distressed cold cynical superior
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distressed
answer

As the general approached him with his implement of torture, Mark tried to squirm out of his bonds, but it was no use. He made a vain attempt to muster his courage, but his voice shook as a spoke, clearly echoing his _______ state: \”If I don’t report to headquarters, m-my fellow agents will presume the worst. They have orders to k-kill you if they don’t hear from me.\” mocking distressed cold cynical superior
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superior
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Upon hearing about the threat to his life, the general’s tone became _______: \”Just let them try to assassinat me! This stronghold has the finest trained group of mercinaries the world has yet seen–more than a match for your pathetic militia fashioned from farmers and school teachers.\” mocking distressed cold cynical superior
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cynical
answer

There has been so much negativity in the latest onslaught of political ads. As a result, many of us are _______ when we discuss the presidential candidates. However, my professor is still very hopeful. She believes that many leaders do care, despite the games they play to stay in power. mocking distressed cold cynical superior
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arrogant
answer

After receiving a promotion, Damien became quite _______. He only seemed to care about his own ideas, and he completely alienated his former friends in the newspaper staff. impassioned pedantic bitter arrogant scheming
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impassioned
answer

Martin Luther King gave a(n) _______ speech entitled \”I Have A Dream\” in which he strongly stated, \”Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!\” impassioned pedantic bitter arrogant scheming
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scheming
answer

Team #1 kept their distance from the other teams as they gathered into their huddle. The tone of their voices was hushed and _______. I could tell that they had a good attack plan–and that we had better come up with a good defense. impassioned pedantic bitter arrogant scheming
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bitter
answer

Scottie was very _______ about the coach not allowing him to take the final shot to win the game. impassioned pedantic bitter arrogant scheming
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pedantic
answer

Just because you are a scholar with a huge and fancy vocabulary does not mean that you can write a bestselling book. When vocabulary is too fancy, even the most humble author can come across as annoying, wordy, and _______. impassioned pedantic bitter arrogant scheming
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detached
answer

The ________ tone of Jamie’s letter worries me terribly. She used to employ the most affectionate words when she wrote me, and her perfume would hover around every envelope. But now there is no warmth or fragrance in her replies. Could the rumors be true? Is she having an affair? outraged inquisitive sarcastic detached peevish
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sarcastic
answer

After Billy missed the chip-shot field goal in an attempt to send the football game into overtime, he muttered to himself in his characteristically _________ voice, \”Way to go, dude. Good job.\” outraged inquisitive sarcastic detached peevish
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outraged
answer

Many in the democratic party were ________ after republican Allen West told President Obama to \”Get the hell out of the country!\” outraged inquisitive sarcastic detached peevish
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peevish
answer

As a Hollywood celebrity, you must not get _______ when people come up and ask for your autograph. Although such fawning can be annoying, lashing out at your fans could prove costly to your fame. outraged inquisitive sarcastic detached peevish
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inquisitive
answer

During our tutoring session, the student wanted to know why her strategy for finding the main idea wasn’t working. She was very _______ about her own abilities. outraged inquisitive sarcastic detached peevish
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unbiased
answer

As a referee, it is important to have a(n) ________ opinion. Maintaining a neutral stance will help you call a fair game. nostalgic pessimistic unbiased evasive ambitious
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ambitious
answer

In Shakespeare’s play *Macbeth,* the main character’s downfall comes from his excessive pride. Macbeth could have gotten away with his crime, but he becomes even more ________ after killing King Duncan and taking his throne. nostalgic pessimistic unbiased evasive ambitious
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evasive
answer

Because of the defendant’s _________ responses to the attorney’s questions, I’m inclined to believe that she’s guilty. nostalgic pessimistic unbiased evasive ambitious
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nostalgic
answer

Heinous content seems to help artists sell records more than creativity nowadays, so excuse me if I tend to get _________ in my musical tastes. I long for the old days when vocalists delivered more positive messages. nostalgic pessimistic unbiased evasive ambitious
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pessimistic
answer

Josh had a hard upbringing. He seems to approach everything from a negative standpoint because of his traumatic past. Such a(n) _________ attitude tends to bring him few friends. nostalgic pessimistic unbiased evasive ambitious
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pleading
answer

This would likely be the coldest night of the year as Mary and the others shouted at the police outside the homeless shelter. Mary was annoyed that it was taking so long to get in, and her fingers were already getting numb. However, when she and her friends saw that the building had become overcrowded and that the police were turning people away, the tone of her shouting shifted from demanding to _______. abstruse affectionate pleading joyful ashamed
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affectionate
answer

When you compose emails to your professor, it is not a good idea to write in a(n) ________ tone. Professors must remain objective with their students, so it’s best to avoid flattering them or addressing them with nicknames. abstruse affectionate pleading joyful ashamed
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joyful
answer

I could tell by the smile on her face and by the _________ tone in her voice that Helga’s pregnancy test had finally come back positive. abstruse affectionate pleading joyful ashamed
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ashamed
answer

I know that the judge had forced Mr. Wong to formally apologize to the hotel for his behavior at the convention, but I could tell by the _________ tone of his voice that he really WAS sorry about what happened. abstruse affectionate pleading joyful ashamed
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abstruse
answer

During his trials for tax evasion, Harry Redknapp was known for being very ________ when he answered the attorneys’ questions. Many people suspected that his overly complicated answers served more to avoid blame than to reveal the truth. abstruse affectionate pleading joyful ashamed
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encouraging
answer

When my boss found out that I was applying for another job, I was surprised by her positive reaction. She even gave me a(n) _________ speech, telling me I disserved more responsibility and better pay for my abilities. apathetic encouraging forgiving incredulous cheerful
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forgiving
answer

The Chinese ambassador was astonished by the _________ tone of the Dalai Lama’s speech. Despite the fact that the Chinese government had taken over his country, denounced his religion, and tortured some of his closest friends, he didn’t appear offended at all. He was merely saddened by what had happened. apathetic encouraging forgiving incredulous cheerful
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incredulous
answer

He was _______. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. apathetic encouraging forgiving incredulous cheerful
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cheerful
answer

Samuel’s letter was so _________ that you’d never know that he was just diagnosed with an incurable disease. apathetic encouraging forgiving incredulous cheerful
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apathetic
answer

Cynthia was ________ about her upcoming exams. She saw no reason for taking this course and didn’t want to study at all. apathetic encouraging forgiving incredulous cheerful
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sentimental
answer

Sarah’s friends saw her as a(n) __________ person because she always cried during happy or sad movies. admiring amused thoughtful wry sentimental
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wry
answer

Winston Churchhill is famous for making __________ comments such as the following: \”A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year–and to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.\” admiring amused thoughtful wry sentimental
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thoughtful
answer

When I wrote to the president of the United States, I thought I would get a brief and routine form letter as a response. Imagine my surprise when I received a(n) _________ two-page letter that thoroughly addressed each of my concerns. admiring amused thoughtful wry sentimental
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amused
answer

We thought that the senator would get defensive when we criticized her politics. Instead, she sounded more __________ when she responded, as though she were playfully scolding a group of naive children. admiring amused thoughtful wry sentimental
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admiring
answer

Cynthia was so surprised by the __________ tone that her music teacher took when he introduced her to the audience at the piano recital. She had always thought of him as her superior, but it became obvious that, despite his immense skill, he had always been in awe of her talent. admiring amused thoughtful wry sentimental
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prideful
answer

My son has always been talented at music, but I’ve never had to worry about him being too _________ about it. He has always doubted himself, and he has always tried to improve. ambivalent reticent threatening solemn prideful
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reticent
answer

When you applied to become a student at our music school, I noticed that your essay was somewhat __________ when it came to discussing your own musical talent. I must therefore ask you in person whether you truly believe you have what it takes to succeed. ambivalent reticent threatening solemn prideful
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threatening
answer

My mother forced me to play piano, and she was a terrible music teacher. Each time I missed a note, her voice would get louder and become increasingly __________. It’s a wonder I ever grew to love playing the piano. ambivalent reticent threatening solemn prideful
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solemn
answer

Funerals are __________ occasions, so musicians who perform at them will usually play appropriately serious music. ambivalent reticent threatening solemn prideful
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ambivalent
answer

When you write an argumentative essay, it is usually best to avoid being _________ in regard to the issue you’re discussing. Pick a side and support it firmly. ambivalent reticent threatening solemn prideful
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befuddled
answer

Luke was _________ by the fact the Shelly didn’t want to go out with him anymore. What had he done this time? ironic revengeful befuddled facetious condescending
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condescending
answer

Dr. Mortimer’s speech at our community college sounded a bit ___________ to our faculty and students. She praised everyone here, but she also made it sound as though we were merely a prep school for her university. She clearly regarded her college as more important than ours. ironic revengeful befuddled facetious condescending
question

facetious
answer

Must you always poke fun at everything! Your __________ tone is going to get you in trouble some day. ironic revengeful befuddled facetious condescending
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revengeful
answer

The candidates at last night’s political debate started out polite with one another, but the tone gradually became __________ as they increasingly attacked each other’s character flaws. ironic revengeful befuddled facetious condescending
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ironic
answer

Thomas is such an honorable person! I thought that he was simply being __________ when he actually thanked me for billing him extra on his account. However, he said that he really was grateful that someone like me was monitoring customer accounts and charging everyone fairly. ironic revengeful befuddled facetious condescending
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sympathetic
answer

Jeff didn’t send me a card when my grandmother died, but he was very _________ when he called me last night. appalled alarmed conceited elated sympathetic
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elated
answer

Am I excited about passing my final exam in chemistry? Yes, I’m __________! Chemistry is crucial to my major, and this has been such a difficult subject for me in the past. appalled alarmed conceited elated sympathetic
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conceited
answer

Writing the cover letter that accompanies your resume can be very challenging. You have to praise your own abilities, but you must avoid sounding __________ as you do it. appalled alarmed conceited elated sympathetic
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alarmed
answer

My doctor tried to remain cool and calm as he gave me the diagnosis, but I could tell that he was truly __________ by my symptoms. appalled alarmed conceited elated sympathetic
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appalled
answer

Professor Graham was __________ when one of her youngest students asked her on a date. However, she remained calm as she informed him of her ethical obligations as a teacher. appalled alarmed conceited elated sympathetic
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impassioned
answer

Dr. Ali is not only a world-renowned zoologist, but he is also a powerful animal-rights activist. His speeches at fundraisers are so ___________ that people in the audience often shed tears for the poor endangered animals that he has studied. raw impassioned earnest self-mocking obsequious
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earnest
answer

I could tell by the ___________ tone of her cover letter that she desperately wanted this job. raw impassioned earnest self-mocking obsequious
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obsequious
answer

During the day, Lord Jameson is constantly accompanied by his ___________ manservant, who will do anything he asks. raw impassioned earnest self-mocking obsequious
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self-mocking
answer

I haven’t met Dr. Xavier yet, but I can tell by the __________ tone of his autobiography that he must be a very humorous and humble man. raw impassioned earnest self-mocking obsequious
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raw
answer

You can always tell when Joyce has had too much to drink at these office parties. Her humor becomes a little too _________ for such a formal setting. raw impassioned earnest self-mocking obsequious
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whining
answer

When Jess writes me about the difficulties she’s having with her boyfriend, she always seems to be complaining about \”him.\” Why is it always \”his\” fault? Her messages have such a _______ tone to them. objective remorseful self-pitying serious whining
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objective
answer

Scientists, though they are often quite passionate about the field in which they are studying, are expected to remain _______ in their research. objective remorseful self-pitying serious whining
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serious
answer

It’s so dramatic when a screenwriter combines opposites. For example, a movie about death can also be about renewal. Characters who try so hard to do good often end up committing evil acts. Love stories often have a \”bittersweet\” ending. But my favorite kind of story is the comedy that actaully focuses on a(n) _______ issue. objective remorseful self-pitying serious whining
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self-pitying
answer

Jeff’s therapist noted how he, out of habit, makes a lot of _______ remarks, as though he expects her to compliment him or make him feel better about himself. objective remorseful self-pitying serious whining
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remorseful
answer

There is often a world of difference between a polite apology and a hearfelt, _______ apology. objective remorseful self-pitying serious whining
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flippant
answer

A job interview is usually the worst setting in which to make _______ remarks. Potential employers are watching to see if the job candidate can be respectful and serious in a formal setting. flippant jovial loving malicious righteous
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jovial
answer

The _______ atmosphere at Bella’s party had me feeling much better by the time I left. She’s always such a high-spirited woman, and it shows whenever she plans an event. flippant jovial loving malicious righteous
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loving
answer

Who would have thought that an infamous womanizer like Jean could ever become so captivated by a girlfriend. He used brag about the the women he was with with, but when it comes to Gina his words are so subdued, respectful, and _______. She must be the one. flippant jovial loving malicious righteous
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righteous
answer

Paula doesn’t realize how rude her obsession with health sometime makes her sound. For example, she often adopts a _______ tone when she talks to smokers about her own smoke-free lifestyle. flippant jovial loving malicious righteous
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malicious
answer

Some practical jokes can come across as very mean. A sensitive person might see an April Fool’s Day prank as _______ instead of friendly. flippant jovial loving malicious righteous
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informal
answer

Unlike a business letter, an email usually permits you to write in a somewhat _______ tone. A paper document demands a more thorough and official approach to writing than a quick electronic communication. appreciative charming critical informal sorrowful
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charming
answer

I didn’t really want to go to Meagan’s party until I received her _______ invitation by mail. The way she worded it and packaged it made me remember just how likeable she is. appreciative charming critical informal sorrowful
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critical
answer

Jamie’s tutor made so many _______ remarks about her paper that she ended up in tears. There are some strong points to her writing, and I wish the tutor had recognized those before focusing on the negative. appreciative charming critical informal sorrowful
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sorrowful
answer

The pastor’s sermon was especially _______ today as she mourned the death of one of the church’s founders. appreciative charming critical informal sorrowful
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appreciative
answer

Thank you so much for the _______ remarks you made about me and my team today. Before you got up to speak I was beginning to feel that everyone had forgotten about how hard we’ve been working on this project. appreciative charming critical informal sorrowful
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tragic
answer

The story of the two main characters in Shakespeare’s *Romeo and Juliet* is considered a(n) _______ love story, mainly because of the needless way both of them die in the end. scornful sensational sincere tragic dogmatic
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sincere
answer

How do I know his apology was _______? Well, I guess it’s the way that he looked me in the eye, like he hurt just thinking about what he’d done. scornful sensational sincere tragic dogmatic
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dogmatic
answer

The _______ way that James talked about his own beliefs conviced me that he believed he was right–and that my beliefs, if they were different from his, are simply wrong. scornful sensational sincere tragic dogmatic
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scornful
answer

Sarah didn’t have to reject Stephan’s advances in such a(n) _______ way. I think he really felt belittled by her remarks. scornful sensational sincere tragic dogmatic
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sensational
answer

Lilly loves to protray her life in _______ terms. Reading her letters, you’d think she was a warrior, adulterer, and rock star all in one. In reality, her life is quite ordinary. scornful sensational sincere tragic dogmatic
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dictatorial
answer

Sharon’s _______ tone indicated that she thought of herself as the boss in her own home–and that rooming with her was going to be unpleasant. dictatorial doubtful matter-of-fact irreverent warm
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irreverent
answer

When critics describe a comedy as _______, they mean that it shows little respect for cherished ideas or powerful people as it makes fun of them. dictatorial doubtful matter-of-fact irreverent warm
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matter-of-fact
answer

My Anthropology professor rarely states his opinion or his feelings about the controversial cultural practices he teaches us about. That’s okay, of course, but sometimes his unemotional, _______ tone seems a trifle boring. dictatorial doubtful matter-of-fact irreverent warm
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doubtful
answer

I was relieved when the priest sounded _______ as he talked about my sin. I think he recognized my voice, but it was obvious that he didn’t really believe I had committed such a horrible deed. dictatorial doubtful matter-of-fact irreverent warm
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warm
answer

Her smile was so _______ that all my shyness seemed to melt away. dictatorial doubtful matter-of-fact irreverent warm

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