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Restful, resting, restive

Ah…rest, we could all do with a bit more of it and yet it can be such a rare commodity in our busy modern lives. The title of this article lists three words starting with rest…but beware! – one of these words has a quite different meaning. Restful, a lovely word describing something that helps you to chill out. When you reach the chill zone, you could be described as resting. Restive, however, is quite a different matter. It means the opposite of the other words, suggesting that instead of feeling calm and still, you are in fact fidgety with pent up energy and eager to get moving. Restive is often used wrongly, to mean seeking relaxation, so be careful not to make this mistake, or you might find yourself being dragged out for a bit of hill-walking, when all you want to do is flop onto the sofa!

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Beth Penfold


  • I know all the meanings of HUMBLE but don’ t know the meaning of HUMBLE in the following context:

    Still Mr Obama, who was described as ‘very surprised’ when he received the news (Nobel peace prize), said he himself was not quite convinced, adding that the award (Nobel prize) ‘deeply humbled” him. (The New York Times)

    Many people said the same thing after receiving Oscar: I am deeply HUMBLED by the award.
    None of the synonyms: belittled, humiliated,disparaged, insulted make sense in this context. Do you know what HUMBLED mean in this context? What synonym fits in this context.


    El paso, Tx


  • Greg – this meaning of humbled is covered in the dictionary as the phrase be/feel humbled. The definition says “to feel less important or proud because of something that has been achieved or suffered by someone else”. It’s an attempt by the speaker to express modesty. If Obama had said “Yeah, I really think I deserve this Nobel prize”, people would have said that he was arrogant (or worse). But by saying he felt humbled, he meant to express the idea that there were people out there who had done more than him to achieve peace, and when Oscar winners feel humbled, it’s because they are trying to say that there are so many other great actors who might have won, but who didn’t..

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