Vocabulary Builders: Useful Phrases, Page 14 (P)

This section of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com focuses on ways to enliven your writing and speech. You'll find a collection of colorful phrases to add extra flavor and help develop your vocabulary

If you are looking for ways to enliven your writing and speech, this classic collection from Grenville Kleiser provides an abundance of colorful phrases.

You can review these lists when you seek a little extra punch in written works, and you can also use them to develop your vocabulary by identifying, looking up, and learning words you don't know.

This set of useful phrases consists of nouns (occasionally verbs or adjectives) modified by adjectives or adverbs.


pacific disposition

painful obstinacy

painstaking reticence

palatable advice

pallidly illumined

palpable originality

palpitating emotion

paltry hypocrisies

pampered darling

panting eagerness

parabolic obscurity

paradoxical talker

paralyzing sentimentalism

paramount authority

parasitical magnificence

parental permission

paroxysmal outburst

particularly notable

partisan prejudice

passing panorama

passionate insistence

passive obedience

patchwork manner

patent example

paternal tenderness

pathetic helplessness

patient endurance

patriarchal visage

patriotic enthusiasm

peacefully propagated

peculiar piquancy

pecuniary privation

pedantic ineptitude

pedestrian vigor

peerless raconteur

peevish ingratitude

pending determination

penetrating warmth

penitential cries

penniless wanderer

pensive reflections

perceptible difference

peremptory punishment

perennial charm

perfect embodiment

perfunctory inquiries

perilous expedient

permanent significance

pernicious doctrine

perpetual oscillation

perplexing problem

persecuting zeal

persistent adherence

personal predilection

persuasive eloquence

pert prig

pertinacious solemnity

pertinent question

perusing earnestness

pervading tendencies

perverse quaintness

pessimistic skepticism

pestiferous career

pet aversion

petrified smile

petticoat diplomacy

pettifogging business

petty pedantries

phantom show

philanthropic zeal

philosophical acuteness

phlegmatic temperament

phosphorescent shimmer

photographic exactitude

physical convulsion

pictorial embellishments

picturesque details

piercing clearness

pinchbeck dignity

pining melancholy

pioneering spirit

pious platitudes

piquant allusions

pitiable frenzy

pitiless precision

pivotal point

placid stupidity

plainly expedient

plainspoken rebuke

plaintive cadence

plastic mind

plausible commonplaces

playful wit

pleasing reveries

pleasurable excitement

plenary argument

plentiful harvest

plighted word

poignant clarity

pointless tale

poisonous counsels

polished ease

polite indifference

political malcontent

polluting taints

pompous platitudes

ponderous research

pontifical manner

popular resentment

populous fertility

portentous gulf

positively deteriorating

posthumous glory

potential energy

powerful stimulant

practical helpfulness

precarious path

precautionary measure

precipitous flight

precise purpose

precocious wisdom

preconceived view

predatory writers

predestined spinster

predominant habit

pregnant hint

preliminary assumption

premature ripening

premonitory symptoms

preoccupied attention

prepossessing appearance

preposterous assertion

prescient reflection

prescribed conditions

presiding genius

pressing necessity

pretended surprise

pretentious dignity

preternatural sagacity

pretty plaintiveness

prevailing misconception

priestly austerity

primal energy

prime factor

primeval silence

primordial conditions

princely courtesy

prismatic blush

pristine dignity

private contempt

privileged caste

prized possession

problematic age

prodigally lavished

prodigious variety

productive discipline

profane denunciation

professedly imitated

professional garrulity

proffered service

profitable adventure

profligate expenditure

profound conviction

profuse generosity

projected visit

prolegomenous babbler

prolific outpouring

prolix narrative

prolonged happiness

promiscuous multitude

promising scions

prompt courage

propagandist literature

propelling impulse

proper punctilio

prophetic vision

propitious moment

proportionately vigilant

proprietary sense

prosaic excellence

prospective success

prosperity revival

prostrate servility

protoplasmic ancestors

protracted agony

proud destiny

proverbial situation

provincial prejudice

provoked hostility

prudential wisdom

prurient desire

prying criticism

psychic processes

public derision

puerile fickleness

pugnacious defiance

pulsating life

punctilious care

pungent epigram

puny dimensions

purblind brutality

pure coincidence

purgatorial fires

puritanical primness

purplish shadows

purposed attempt

purposeful drama

pursuing fancies

pusillanimous desertion

pyrotechnic outburst

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Editor's note: This section of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com is excerpted and adapted from Project Gutenberg's Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases, by Greenville Kleiser.

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