• Meretricious means tawdry or offensively insincere and does not mean meritorious.
Correct: We rolled our eyes at the meretricious speech. / The city applauded the meritorious mayor.
• Mitigate means to alleviate and does not mean to militate or to provide reasons for.
Correct: The spray should mitigate the bug problem. / Their inconceivable differences will militate against the treaty.
• New Age means spiritualistic, holistic and does not mean modern, futuristic.
Correct: He is a fan of New Age mindfulness techniques. / That TV screen is made from a high-end modern glass.
• Noisome means smelly and does not mean noisy.
Correct: I covered my nose when I walked past the noisome dump. / I covered my ears when I heard the noisy motorcycle speed by.
• Nonplussed means stunned, bewildered and does not mean bored, unimpressed.
Correct: “The market crash left the experts nonplussed.” / “His market pitch left the investors unimpressed.”
• Opportunism means seizing or exploiting opportunities and does not mean creating or promoting opportunities.
Correct: His opportunism brought him to the head of the company. / The party ran on promoting economic opportunities for the middle class.