Commonly Tested Vocabulary Words Practice (page 3)
Read the following study guide for a concept review:
Commonly Tested Vocabulary Words Practice
Words in Context
The following exercise will help you figure out the meaning of some words from the vocabulary list by reading context clues. After you have read and understood the paragraph, explain the context clues that helped you with the meaning of the vocabulary word. Refer to the answer section at the end of this lesson for an explanation of the clues.
- I will never forget the day I accompanied Professor Mackey into the apes' facility for the first time. He delighted in introducing me to all their unique simian behaviors. There were several apes who remained quite diffident during our visit, but most went about their normal behavior, and a few even came forward to greet us. One charmer even offered us a piece of food with his prehensile hand. The professor pointed out the leader, who remained a stolid observer of all the proceedings in the cage. Mackey explained that when the leader did move about, all the apes would become scared and excited and even cower in the corner. Two of the apes fought violently during our visit, but fortunately their rancor seemed focused solely on each other. Undoubtedly, the most fascinating resident was one of the males named Yankee. When the professor closed the cage door after he had brought the apes their lunch, Yankee came to the door and looked for the keyhole. I watched him ruminate there for a few minutes, staring intently at the door and the keys on the bench beside us. He then tried every imaginable way to extricate himself from the cage, and regardless of how impossible it would be without the keys, he seemed resolute enough to continue for hours. Indeed, the professor said he was still trying when he returned later that evening.
Make sure you get enough sleep the night before the test.
Insert the correct word from the vocabulary list into the following sentences.
- Maleek was _____ when he was younger, but now he is confident and outgoing.
- I didn't believe the solution to the mystery because it just didn't seem _____.
- Because dogs do not have a(n) _____ hand, they have to grab things with their jaws.
- New Yorkers are stereotyped as being _____, but this is not usually the case.
- "He is the very pineapple of politeness," is a famous _____ said by a character in the play The Rivals.
- I was unable to _____ myself from an uncomfortable situation when I realized I was seated next to the woman I had beat out for a promotion.
- Because there were so many stray animals, the shelter could not provide _____ to all of them.
- He was known for using _____ to make his point, but sometimes, it became tedious to hear him exaggerate every situation.
- Natalie's turning in the report late is really a(n) _____, as she is always on time with her work.
- I think that sometimes horses get tired of eating the same _____ every day, but experts say that the animals don't get bored of it.
- When Hannah makes up her mind to do something, she is _____ about it and doesn't stop until she has achieved her goal.
- I try to avoid getting into a conversation with Judy, as she is so _____ that I can't ever seem to end a conversation with her.
- During the trial, the defendant remained so _____ that no one could tell what he was thinking.
- It is his nature to _____ over new ideas; he does not make quick decisions.
- My dog might surprise you with her _____; she will not give up when it comes to getting attention.
- We kept the few minerals we found in the sample and just brushed the _____ away.
- His stooped posture, long arms, and wild hair cast an almost _____ aspect to his appearance.
- Nothing pleases me more than a little _____ with someone who has a quick wit.
- The _____ between them had existed for years, and it was rumored to have begun from some long-forgotten argument.
- The booming thunder made the two children _____ under the covers and reach to hold on to one another.
The following exercise lists vocabulary words from this lesson. Each word is followed by four answer choices. Three of them are synonyms of the vocabulary word in bold. Your task is to choose the one that is NOT a synonym.
- shrink away
- concerning apes
- having to do with animals
- having to do with monkeys
Choose the word from the vocabulary list that means the opposite, or most nearly the opposite, of the following groups of words.
- treasure, valuables, prize
- fact, literal truth, exactness
- approach, stand up to, hold firm
- excited, enthusiastic, upset
- love, friendship, affection
- quiet, solemn, serious
- cuisine, delicacy, feast
- careless, indecisive, uncertain
- catch, imprison, confine
- impossible, unlikely, false
You won't be able to predict what words will be on a test, so give yourself an advantage by knowing your prefixes, suffixes, and roots. If you don't know a word, you'll be able to make an educated guess at its meaning.
Choosing the Right Word
Circle the word in bold that best completes the sentence.
- It is a very interesting offer, but I will need to (extricate, ruminate) on it a bit before I give you my answer.
- The lecturer explained the tremendous advantages that our earliest ancestors had over other species—the evolution of a (stolid, prehensile) hand.
- She showed amazing (pertinacity, hyperbole) at the meeting and eventually succeeded in persuading the entire room.
- He acted very (simian, diffident) when we approached, and we wondered if our forwardness made him uncomfortable.
- The employee was warned about being so(dross, garrulous) on the phone, and he was advised to be more professional and direct.
- The pitcher who made the all-star team was not just a(n) (anomaly, malapropism); he was the cream of the crop.
- The press was delighted when he came out of the building, but he was (brusque, badinage) with them and rushed out a moment later.
- I believe your theory is (prehensile, plausible), but I still think we should do a little more research.
- The neighbor was shocked at the boy's strange (diffident, simian) behavior and decided to notify his parents later that day.
- All they could do was (cower, succor) in fear as the bears approached them; they were so afraid that they couldn't even run away.
Write a letter to a friend, teacher, or coworker using at least 5–7 of the words from this chapter's vocabulary list. Perhaps your letter could be a description of an unusual visit (like this chapter's visit to the apes), or a problem you have noticed that needs addressing. Look back over the list and try to see a few connections between the words. When an idea comes to you, go with it. The most important thing is to try to use as many new words as possible in the correct manner.
Try to discover as many alternate forms of the words from the word list as you can. For example, diffident is an adjective used to describe someone who is shy or reserved, and diffidence is the noun form that identifies that shyness or modesty. Jot down as many alternate forms of the words as you can guess, and then check the words in a dictionary. Can you use each of the forms of the words in a sentence?
Choose the word from the vocabulary list that best fits into the crossword puzzle. You can check your answers at the end of the chapter following the answers to the questions.
Words in Context
The paragraph is a recollection of a visit to see the apes and the behaviors noticed by the narrator; thus we should certainly conclude that simian means apelike or concerning apes. When we read that some apes remained diffident but others came forward to greet the visitors, we can understand that diffident could mean shy or reserved. The friendly ape that offers food in his prehensile hand must surely have a hand that is capable of holding something. Since the leader of the apes remains a stolid observer of all the activities, we can guess that he is showing no emotion or expression, because he is juxtaposed with his fellow apes who get excited. The apes that become scared when the leader moves about cower in the corner, so we can understand that they are cringing and trembling in fear of him. The two apes that fight during the visit apparently have rancor only for each other, so we should know that rancor means hatred or ill will. The ape Yankee seems to be staring at the door and trying to figure out a means of escape, so we can conclude that ruminate means to think over or ponder. Yankee's attempts to extricate himself from the cage, despite it being impossible without the keys, indicate that extricate must mean free or release. Finally, since we are told Yankee is resolute enough to continue his attempt for hours, we can understand that resolute must mean determined and firm of purpose.
- diffident. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- plausible. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- prehensile. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- brusque. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- malapropism. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- extricate. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- succor. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- hyperbole. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- anomaly. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- fodder. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- resolute. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- garrulous. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- stolid. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- ruminate. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- pertinacity. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- dross. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- simian. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- badinage. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- rancor. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- cower. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- c. loudness. Pertinacity means firm or unyielding adherence to some purpose. Since loudness means the audible volume of something, it is not a synonym.
- a. quiet. Garrulous means overly talkative and chatty, so quiet is not a synonym.
- a. courteous. Brusque means being short or abrupt in manner or speech. Since courteous means polite and gracious, it is not a synonym.
- b. fondness. Rancor means continuing hatred or ill will. Since fondness means warm affection, it is not a synonym.
- c. rip. Cower means to cringe or tremble in fear. Since rip means to tear or shred something, it is not a synonym.
- d. stress. Succor means aid or assistance in a time of need. Since stress means tension or pressure, it is not a synonym.
- a. deceitful. Plausible means seemingly true and acceptable. Since deceitful means dishonest and fraudulent, it is not a synonym.
- c. furious. Diffident means shy and reserved. Since furious means violently angry and raging, it is not a synonym.
- d. average. Anomaly means an irregularity or abnormality. Since average means usual or commonplace, it is not a synonym.
- c. having to do with animals. Simian means apelike or having to do with apes or monkeys. Since having to do with animals is too broad a definition, it is not a synonym.
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