Wordsmith – Test your wordpower

Improve and test your wordpower by matching each of the words below to one of the multiple possible definitions…

Vocabulary Ratings
20-19 correct ………………….. excellent
18-16 correct ………………….. good
15-14 correct ………………….. fair

(1) epitome {ep IT oh mi} A: centre of attention B: embodiment C: historic period D: theory

B: Embodiment of a quality or idea. Looking altogether an epitome of the world’s health and vigour.” Greek epi- (into) and temnein (to cut).

(2) scruple A: to refuse. B: question. C: hesitate. D: wrangle.

C: To hesitate, from moral doubt. “He did not scruple publicly to insult Mr Clare.” Latin scrupulus (small weight).

(3) mendacious {men DAY shus} A: un-truthful. B: starving. C: unhealthy. D: arrogant.

A: Untruthful. “The mendacious family chronicles.” Latin mendax (speaking falsely).

(4) furlough {FER loh} A: economic depression B: subterfuge C: leave of absence D: uproar

C: Leave of absence, usually from military duty. “It might be Sergeant Troy home on furlough.” Dutch verlof.

(5) taciturn {TASS i tern} A: sentimental B: uncommunicative C: diplomatic D: calculating

B: Uncommunicative, saying little. “Elizabeth, being instructed by nods and motions from the taciturn landlord.” Latin tacere (to be silent).

(6) lineal {LIN i al} A: unconnected. B: isolated. C: directly descended. D: wrinkled.

C: Directly descended. “You are the lineal representative of the ancient and knightly family of the d’Urbervilles.” Latin linea (line).

(7) proxy A: agent. B: spouse. C: witness. D: assistant.

A: Agent, someone authorized to act for another. “Bathsheba’s decision to be a farmer in her own person and by proxy no more.” Latin procurator (agent).

(8) alluring {al EWR ing} A: deceptive. B: contentious. C: sensible. D: enticing.

D: Enticing, tempting. “The inside of the hut… was cosy and alluring.” Old French a- (to) and lure (falconer’s bait).

(9) somnambulist {som NAM bew list} A: sleep-walker. B: escapologist. C: soothsayer. D: hypnotist.

A: Sleep-walker. “Bold-wood, more like a somnambulist than a wakeful man.” Latin somnus (sleep) and ambulare (to walk).

(10) vituperation {vi/vy tew per AY shun} A: derision. B: abuse. C: confusion. D: relief.

B: Abuse, vicious censure. The “speech brought down a torrent of vituperation… upon fair Tess’s unlucky head.” Latin vituperare (to revile).

(11) legible {LEJ i b'l} A: readable. B: permissible. C: suitable. D: justifiable.

A: Readable. “She inserted the words in a small though legible hand-writing.” Latin legere (to read).

(12) transcend {tran SEND} A: to elevate. B: remove. C: change. D: go beyond.

D: To go beyond. “She was plunged into a misery which transcended that of the child’s simple loss.” Latin trans- (across) and scandere (to climb).

(13) primeval {pry MEE v'l} A: wicked. B: ancient. C: leading. D: profane.

B: Ancient, of earliest times. “The primeval yews and oaks of The Chase.” Latin primus (first) and aevum (age).

(14) preternatural {pre ter NAT ew rol} A: unbelievable B: extravagant C: overconfident D: extraordinary

D: Extraordinary, outside the normal course of nature. “Elizabeth-Jane’s face being arranged to an expression of preternatural composure.” Latin praeter (beyond) and natura (nature).

(15) candour {KAN der} A: frankness. B: zeal. C: vitality. D: power to inspire.

A: Frankness, openness, “She had not told. Her instinct of self-preservation was stronger than her candour.” Latin candere (to shine).

(16) piqued {peek'd} A: tired. B: self-pitying. C: irritated. D: pessimistic.

C: Irritated. “Gabriel, perhaps a little piqued by the comely traveller’s indifference.” French piquet (to prick).

(17) attenuated {at EN ew ayt'd} A: coarse. B: anxious. C: thin. D: eager

C: Thin, reduced in size or strength. “The little attenuated voices of the children.” Latin tenuis (thin).

(18) extraneous {ex TRAY ni us} A: sensitive B: beyond reason C: immoderate D: coming from outside

D: Coming from outside, foreign. “Total absence of conversation allowed every extraneous sound to be heard.” Latin extra (outside).

(19) parlance {par lunss} A: manner of speaking B: dialogue C: bargaining D: empty words

A: Manner of speaking. “She is not what in common parlance is called a lady.” Old French parler (to speak).

(20) latent {LAY t'nt} A: delayed B: wide-ranging. C: permanent. D: hidden.

D: Hidden, dormant. “There yet existed certain latent prejudices of theirs.” Latin latere (to be hidden).

Author: Robert

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