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Vocabulary Practice Questions

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Choose the option that best reflects the meaning of the key word.

1. A lyre was played in ancient Rome. Lyre means...

A. Stringed instrument in the harp class.
B. Percussion instrument.
C. Wind instrument in the wind class.
D. Rhythmic percussion device.

2. The labyrinth caused confusion to the attacking troops. Labyrinth means...

A. Sound.
B. Noise.
C. Maze.
D. Bulwarks.

3. The wound was necrotic when examined. Necrotic means...

A. Healing.
B. Dying tissue.
C. Nauseating.
D. Infinite.

4. The defendant exhibited a peevish appearance. Peevish means...

A. Immovable.
B. Guilty.
C. Not guilty.
D. Irritable.

5. The band director was an expert at playing the piccolo. Piccolo means...

A. Small flute.
B. Large flute.
C. Small drum.
D. Small triangle.

6. The renter was remiss about the rent. Remiss means...

A. Timely.
B. Negligent.
C. Irritable.
D. Impoverished.

7. The old man was known for being sapient. Sapient means...

A. Useless.
B. Possessing wisdom.
C. Perceptual.
D. Limited.

8. The inventor created several specious ideas to solve the problem. Specious means...

A. Inspired.
B. Insufficient.
C. Limited.
D. Falsely plausible.

9. The tolerant attitude of the audience was appreciated. Tolerant means...

A. Tireless.
B. Calm.
C. Indulgent.
D. Laborious.

10. The verbose language used by the English teacher was tiresome to the class. Verbose means...

A. Wordy.
B. Expressive.
C. Limited.
D. Punitive.

11. Susan's abhorrence of darkness prevents her from leaving her house at night. Abhorrence means...

A. Rationale.
B. Hatred.
C. Tremor.
D. Belief.

12. The girl displayed distraught behavior when she found out her puppy was injured. Distraught means...

A. Reckless.
B. Shifty.
C. Distressed.
D. Unreasonable.

13. The somber crowd mourned the loss of their leader. Somber means...

A. Angry.
B. Bitter.
C. Melancholy.
D. Excited.

14. At age 65, the CEO of the company was retiring. He felt he had reached the acme of his profession. Acne means...

A. Highest point.
B. End.
C. Bottom.
D. Entrance.

15. The genteel southern girl was known for her behavior. Genteel means...

A. Refined.
B. Ambiguous.
C. Smug.
D. Loathsome.

16. The mother attempted to mollify her son with toys. Mollify means...

A. Teach.
B. Threaten.
C. Soothe.
D. Distract.

17. Some people accused John of thinking too much. He would sometimes ponder on a subject for months at a time. Ponder means...

A. Resolve.
B. Meditate.
C. Discuss.
D. Fret.

18. The young artist had an unbridled passion for watercolors. Unbridled means...

A. Unrestrained.
B. Unequaled.
C. Underachieved.
D. Distressed.

19. The zephyr kept the students cool while they sat outside studying. Zephyr means...

A. Cloud.
B. Tree.
C. Shade.
D. Wind.

20. The pianist played his rendition of a sonata. Sonata means...

A. Instrumental composition.
B. Piano.
C. Play.
D. Vocal score.

Answers and Explanations

1. A: A lyre was a stringed instrument played in ancient Greece and Rome, similar to/a precursor of the modern harp. It was not a percussion instrument (B) like drums, cymbals, bells, chimes, triangle, etc. or a rhythmic percussion device (D), i.e. a non-melodic percussion instrument; or a wind instrument (C), which is blown and is not a stringed instrument.

2. C: A labyrinth is a maze. It is not a sound (A) or noise (B). Bulwarks (D) are ramparts, walls, or defenses, not mazes or labyrinths.

3. B: Necrotic tissue is dying tissue, the opposite of healing (A). Necrotic is not a synonym with nauseating (C), i.e. making one sick to the stomach literally; or figuratively, i.e. disgusting. (Necrotic tissue may look and smell nauseating, but necrotic and nauseating do not have the same meaning.) Necrotic does not mean infinite (D), i.e. endless.

4. D: Peevish means irritable, annoyed, or ill-humored. It does not mean immovable (A), guilty (B), or not guilty (C).

5. A: A piccolo is a smaller version of the flute. In fact, piccolo means small/little in Italian. A piccolo is hence not a large flute (B). Though it means small, piccolo is a name that refers specifically to the miniature flute only and never to a drum (C) or a triangle (D).

6. B: Remiss means negligent, lax, careless, or slow. Timely (A) is an antonym. Irritable (C) means easily irritated or annoyed, testy, or irascible and is not related. Impoverished (D) means poor and is also not related.

7. B: Sapient means wise or knowledgeable. It does not mean useless (A); perceptual (C), i.e. related to perception; or limited (D).

8. D: Specious means falsely plausible, i.e. deceptively appearing or seeming believable but really not. It does not mean inspired (A), i.e. influenced or animated by spirit; insufficient (B), i.e. not enough; or limited (C).

9. C: Tolerant means indulgent, i.e. permissive, open-minded, or patient. It does not mean tireless (A), i.e. never tiring; calm (B), or laborious (D), i.e. effortful or difficult.

10. A: Verbose means wordy. It does not mean expressive (B), limited (C), or punitive (D), i.e. punishing.

11. B: Abhorrence means hatred. It does not mean rationale (A), i.e. reason or explanation; tremor (C), i.e. trembling or shaking; or belief (D).

12. C: Distraught means distressed or extremely upset. It does not mean reckless (A), i.e. irresponsibly careless; shifty (B), i.e. untrustworthy; or unreasonable (D).

13. C: Somber means melancholy or sad. It does not mean angry (A); bitter (i.e. unpleasant, harsh, or resentful) (B); or excited (D).

14. A: The acme means the highest point, summit, or peak (literally or figuratively). It does not mean the end (B), bottom (C), or entrance (D).

15. A: Genteel means refined or cultured. It does not mean ambiguous (B), i.e. unclear in meaning or open to different interpretations; smug (C), i.e. self-satisfied or complacent; or loathsome (D), i.e. hateful or repulsive.

16. C: To mollify is to appease, soothe, or calm. It does not mean to teach (A), threaten (B), or to distract (D).

17. B: To ponder is to think seriously about, consider, contemplate, or meditate. It does not mean to resolve (A), i.e. to solve, clear up, decide, determine, or conclude; to discuss (C) or talk about; or to fret (D) or worry.

18. A: Unbridled means unrestrained, unfettered, uninhibited, uncontrolled, free of constraints, unmanageable, or wild. It does not mean unequaled (B), i.e. unmatched; underachieved (C), i.e. not meeting potential; or distressed (D), i.e. upset, moved, troubled, or hurt.

19. D: A zephyr is a breeze or light wind. It is not a cloud (A), tree (B), or shade (C).

20. A: A sonata is an instrumental composition, i.e. a musical piece written for an instrument or instruments, not including voice. It does not mean a piano (B), i.e. the instrument with strings and keyboard; a play (C), i.e. a dramatic piece, or to play, i.e. perform music; or a vocal score (D), i.e. musical composition or arrangement written for voice.

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Last Updated: 07/03/2014

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