These could be humorous quotes for teachers who want to spice up vocabulary lessons. Actually, these mischievous definitions were included in a unique collection titled, ‘The Devil’s Dictionary’, and later, ‘The Cynic’s Wordbook’.
45 Quotes From Ambrose Bierce 1842-1914
ABSTAINER: A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
ABSURDITY: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
ACADEME: An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.
ACADEMY: A modern school where football is taught.
ACQUAINTANCE: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
ADMIRATION: Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
AMBIDEXTROUS: Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.
AMNESTY: The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.
ANOINT: To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.
BACCHUS: A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
BAROMETER: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
BIGOT: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
BORE: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
BRIDE: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
CLAIRVOYANT: A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron - namely, that he is a blockhead.
CONFIDANTE: One entrusted by A with the secrets of B confided to herself by C.
CONSERVATIVE: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
COWARD: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.
CYNIC: A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
DESTINY: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure.
EDIBLE: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
EGOTIST: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
FAITH: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
GRAVE: A place in which the dead are laid to await the coming of the medical student.
HAPPINESS: An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
INCUMBENT: A person of the liveliest interest to the outcumbents.
JEWS-HARP: An unmusical instrument, played by holding it fast with the teeth and trying to brush it away with the finger.
KLEPTOMANIAC: A rich thief.
LITIGATION: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
MONDAY: In Christian countries, the day after the baseball game.
NON-COMBATANT: A dead Quaker.
OUTDO: To make an enemy.
PATIENCE: A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
POLITENESS: The most acceptable hypocrisy.
PRAY: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
PRESENT: That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.
QUOTATION: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
RELIGION: A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
REVOLUTION: In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
RUM: Generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers.
SAINT: A dead sinner revised and edited.
TELEPHONE: An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.
ULTIMATUM: In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.
VOTE: The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
WHEAT: A cereal from which a tolerably good whisky can with some difficulty be made, and which is used also for bread.