Is your vocabulary up to SAT standards?

Torrance Grey

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About This Quiz

Having a rich, well-developed vocabulary is not just the act of memorization. The knowledge and understanding of language is a crucial part of this ability. So much so, that vocabulary in and of itself, can be a measure of intellect and is tested on the SATs. Although this quiz is for entertainment purposes only, you may learn some interesting language tips along the way. It can help keep your vocabulary in tip-top shape.  All it takes is a click below to refresh your vocabulary knowledge. 

Do you know your Greek or Latin roots? How about prefixes and suffixes? Are you someone who likes knowing where a word comes from? Vocabulary is built on all of these things. In fact, learning a new language is easier if you understand the basic breakdown of a word. And with a strong vocabulary, most people find it easier to think more precisely and have the ability to grasp ideas faster. Whether it's defining a word, a synonym or describing a situation, you're sure to excel (a word that comes from the Latin word "excellere," "ex" meaning out, beyond and" celsus" meaning lofty) at this quiz. Start it now and see if you can claim the Vocabulary Crown. 

If someone calls you "dauntless," what are they calling you?

"Dauntless" is, of course, related to the verb "daunt" and the adjective "undaunted." Nowadays, "fearless" would be the more common term.

If you are somebody's pawn, you are their _______.

This is taken, of course, from chess. Pawns are the most common pieces - there are eight to each side -- and are frequently sacrificed for the good of more valuable pieces.

If you are myopic, you should call ...

"Myopic" means "nearsighted." It can be used metaphorically, as in "myopic government policies."

What is the best definition of nuptial?

"Nuptial" usually refers to weddings and the state of being newly married. "Marital" is the term used when describing an ongoing marriage. (It's like the difference between "bride" and "wife.")

To augment something is to ________ it.

"Augment" can be used as a noun, meaning a thing that increases. Nowadays, however, you most commonly see it as a verb.

If you are somebody's nemesis, you are their _______.

If "nemesis" sounds like a Greek term, that's because it is. Nemesis was the Greek goddess of revenge -- or justice, depending on how you look at it.

You would most likely suppress a ______.

Urges are commonly suppressed: to yawn, to make a snide remark, to go back to bed. But in a larger sense, movements and rebellions can also be suppressed.

A reprimand is best defined as what?

Reprimands can be personal, like a parent with a child. But they are often formal. Employers issue written reprimands to employees who break rules.

What is the best definition of candor?

We use the adjective "candid" more often than the noun "candor." Both have to do with honesty, and can sting a bit.

If you're in a predicament, what are you in?

A predicament is a sticky situation. An example would be coming to the SATs with no pencil, and finding no one has one to spare.

What is the best definition of "amity?"

The book and movie "Divergent" imply that "amity" means kindness, but that's not exactly right. "Amity" refers to a state of friendship or good relations. (By the way, good eye if you noticed we sneaked all five "Divergent" factions into this quiz! Who knew that young-adult fiction could serve as vocabulary practice?)

What is the best definition of noxious?

"Noxious" is derived from the Latin word, nocere, "to harm." People often refer to irritant gases as "noxious."

When it doesn't refer to the study of the stars, what does astronomical mean?

"Astronomical" means great in size. Expenses that seriously overrun a budget are called "astronomical."

What is most likely to be repealed?

When laws are overturned, they are referred to as having been repealed. In the US, constitutional amendments are also repealed -- like the 18th Amendment on the prohibition of alcohol.

Somebody who is laconic is _________.

A "laconic" person doesn't use a lot of words to get a point across. They can also be dryly funny, but that isn't always the case.

If you are enamored of something, you are ______ it.

We don't use "enamored" a lot in English. In Spanish, though, "enamorado/a" is a common term for "in love."

What is the best definition of schism?

A schism is a division between two previously united things. For example, the split between the Eastern and Western Churches in 1054 is known as the Great Schism.

What is the best definition of pernicious?

"Pernicious" is often used metaphorically. For example, reputation-damaging gossip is called "pernicious."

The best definition of juggernaut is:

This comes from a Hindu term, jagannath, for a massive stone idol pulled along on wheels. Worshipers reportedly threw themselves under the wheels to be crushed.

The best definition of "numinous" is ...

Don't be fooled! "Numinous" isn't about numbers, nor is it about coin collecting. (The word for "relating to coin-collecting" is "numismatic.")

An opus is best defined as ______.

The Romans defined "work" in two different ways. In Latin, work with meaning and accomplishment was "opus." Work like ditch-digging was mere "labor." These meanings carry through in English, though we use "labor" more often than "opus."

If your relationship with your mother-in-law is acrimonious, it is ______.

Acrimony is the state of having frequent disagreements. We suspect that in-law relationships aren't always as acrimonious as they're portrayed in the movies, though!

If someone calls you "erudite," how are they describing you?

If someone calls you "erudite," it's a compliment. It also means you're likely to ace your SATs!

Something that is arduous is _______.

"Arduous" comes from the Latin word "arduus," meaning "steep." Don't confuse it with "ardent" or "ardor" -- they come from the Latin "ardere," meaning "to burn."

What would you be most likely to foment?

To "foment" means to "stir up or agitate," -- usually some kind of rebellion. Nobody "foments" a new book club.

If you are febrile, you should call ...

"Febrile" is related to the word "fever." The medical term, though, would be "pyrexic."

If you are impecunious, you should call ...

"Impecunious" means low on money. A job would help ... though we can't rule out that high taxes are the problem!

If you have a hard time finding something, it is ________.

"Elude" and "elusive" have to do with being hard to find. "Allusive" describes something that is a reference or a metaphor. "Illusive" means it doesn't exist -- it's an illusion.

If you are comely, you should call ...

"Comely" is an old-fashioned word meaning "beautiful" or "pleasing in appearance." Nowadays, people simply say "You look hot!"

If you are nubile, you should call ...

"Nubile" is another old-fashioned term, meaning "of marriageable age," or "desirous of marriage." It gradually took on sexist connotations and dropped out of popular use.

What is the best definition of diurnal?

You'll hear this adjective in zoology classes. A diurnal animal is one who is awake and active in daylight hours.

What is the best definition of crepuscular?

This isn't just the best definition; it's the only definition. "Crepuscular," in addition to being really hard to spell and pronounce, has no alternate meanings. You might never have to use this one!

If you use a word pejoratively, you are using it ______.

This word comes in handy on occasions when words that are normally a compliment, aren't. For example, figure skating is that rare sport in which it's a pejorative for a skater to be called "athletic."

The best definition of alimentary is ...

You don't hear this much in casual speech. It's more common in medical settings, for example, the "alimentary canal."

What is the best definition of abnegation?

Though people often attach the prefix "self-" to this word, it's not necessary. You can't "abnegate" on behalf of somebody else.

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