Short Vocabulary Words Practice (page 4)
Short 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.
- There is one big example that I can cite to prove that I am one of the biggest dupes that ever lived. It involves a situation with one of my friends from work. By the time I realized what a sham my so-called friend was, I wondered how I didn't see his scheming ways all along. I tried to straighten things out between us, but everything started to go awry anyway when I realized that the money I had given him to put toward opening our own business had mysteriously disappeared. When I confronted him about it, with a lot of prying I was able to barely eke out the truth, but by then the situation had already become too dire—there was no getting my money back. Unfortunately, I have to see him—the miserable bane of my existence—every day!
Insert the correct word from the vocabulary list into the following sentences.
- When a situation goes off course, it is said to have gone _____.
- To quote as an authority or an example is to _____.
- The_____ of one's freedom, for example, is the cause of freedom's decay or disappearance.
- When you reach the _____ of your career, you know you achieved the highest point possible.
- A(n) _____ is an easily deceived person.
- One who enjoys superior status in a given arena is considered_____.
- To _____ out supplies is to distribute them carefully in equal amounts.
- The_____ of an argument is its basic or central feature.
- You may be able to _____ out an income by working multiple jobs.
- A hypothetical case may be considered _____.
- If your situation is urgent or desperate, you are perhaps in _____ need of assistance.
- To _____ is to make heckling, taunting remarks.
- Our teacher instructed us to be careful not to _____ off topic during our oral presentations.
- To disable or disfigure a person is to _____ his or her body.
- His _____ composure belied the inner turmoil on his mind.
- When you disturb or vex another person, you _____ her.
- You pretended to be genuine, but you are completely false and a total _____.
- We wondered whether to_____, or force out, the coach after he became unprofessional with his players.
- It became necessary to _____ his body of toxins in order to purify the system and restore health.
- The competitive siblings felt they needed to _____ for the approval of their parents.
The following exercise lists vocabulary words from this chapter. Each word is followed by five answer choices. Four of them are synonyms of the vocabulary word in bold. Your task is to choose the one that is NOT a synonym.
- highest point
- the best
- clear of charge
- false pretense
- shift direction
- turn off course
- stir up
Choose the word from the vocabulary list that means the opposite, or most nearly the opposite, of the following groups of words.
- nadir, bottom, lowest point, underachievement
- soil, condemn, retain, keep
- actual, significant, relevant, important
- protect, retain, house, host
- please, calm, clarify, comfort
- fix, repair, heal, enable
- genuine, trustworthy, sincere, authentic
- inferior, subpar, subordinate, second-rate
- savior, relief, preserver, gift
- straight, direct, right, good
Short words are sometimes hard to remember because they don't have all those helpful prefixes, suffixes, and roots. Try flash cards for this list in particular.
Match the word in the first column with the corresponding word in the second column.
- dire a. easily deceived
- sham b. to get with great effort
- gibe c. to distribute by measure
- eke d. to turn aside from a course
- crux e. to disable or disfigure
- dupe f. having dreadful consequences
- mete g. to make taunting remarks
- veer h. basic or central feature
- maim i. impostor
- awry j. askew
Now that you know these short but important words, they'll turn up everywhere! You may also find, especially if you make a deliberate effort, that ample opportunities arise for you to try these words out for yourself.
These words are very common, so give yourself the challenge of both listening for them when you watch the news, for example, and inserting them into your own common speech. Confide in your friend that things have really gone awry in your household (we hope not) or that your mother-in-law has become the bane of your existence.
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 narrator begins to explain his situation by saying that he can cite, by way of an example, that he is one of the biggest dupes that ever lived. We may infer that cite means to quote (a situation or example). We can conclude that dupe(s) refers to someone who was deceived, based on the statement, "I wondered how I didn't see his scheming ways all along." This same statement, along with the term "so-called friend," can help the reader to infer that sham means someone who is scheming, or not loyal. When the narrator says that he tried to straighten things out but that they went awry anyway, it is clear that awry must mean when things go off course, or askew. When the narrator ekes out the truth, he says that it involved a lot of prying, so we can assume that eke means to get something like the truth with a lot of difficulty. By the time the narrator gets the truth, he says the situation has already become too dire. We can infer that dire means extreme or unsalvageable because the narrator says that there was no way to get his money back at that point. The last sentence describes the narrator's "so-called friend" as a miserable bane of his existence, or a source of constant misery and annoyance.
- awry. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- cite. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- bane. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- acme. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- dupe. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- elite. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- mete. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- crux. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- eke. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- moot. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- dire. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- gibe. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- veer. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- maim. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- staid. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- roil. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- sham. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- oust. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- purge. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- vie. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- e. average. Acme is the highest point of achievement or development. It is not at all average but, rather, the best one can do. Average would not be a synonym.
- d. applaud. Gibe means to make taunting or jeering remarks, so applaud would not be a synonym.
- b. lightweight. To be (an) elite is to belong to a group or class of people who enjoy superior status. The elite are chosen, superior, or the best in a given arena. Lightweight would not be a synonym of elite.
- a. soil. To purge is to free from impurities, to remove or to eliminate. In law, it means to clear someone of a charge. Soil means to dirty or taint and would not be a synonym of purge.
- d. hero. A sham is something or someone false that is purported to be genuine. A hero generally possesses sincere, noble, and admirable qualities. Hero would not be a synonym for sham.
- b. steer. To veer is to turn aside from a course, direction or purpose. Swerve and deviate also describe such derailing action. Steer implies guided control and would not be a synonym.
- b. tired. Staid characterizes sedate dignity, and serious, sober propriety. It also means fixed or permanent. Fatigue is not necessarily associated with being staid and so, tired would not be a synonym.
- c. cheat. To roil is to disturb or displease. It also refers to making a liquid muddy by stirring up sediment. Though one may become vexed or roiled if cheated by another, cheat is not a synonym of roil.
- d. twist. Bane describes fatal injury or ruin. Twist would not be a synonym, as it is not necessarily the cause of harm, ruin, or death.
- b. elevated. Awry describes a position that is turned or twisted toward one side. Askew and amiss also convey this sense. To elevate means to lift up or raise, not twist or turn, and so would not be a synonym.
- acme. Acme means the highest point of achievement or development, the opposite of the meaning of the words in the group.
- purge. Purge means to free from impurities or guilt, the opposite of soil or condemn. It also means to get rid of, the opposite of retain or keep.
- moot. Moot means a hypothetical case, opposite of actual. It also means no longer of actual significance, opposite of the rest of the words listed.
- oust. Oust means to eject or force out, opposite of the words listed, which mean to keep and comfort in a protected space.
- roil. Roil means to make cloudy or stir up, the opposite of calm or clarify. It also means to disturb or vex, the opposite of please, or comfort.
- maim. To maim is to disable or disfigure, the opposite of the words listed.
- sham. A sham is something or someone false or an impostor, the opposite of the words in the group.
- elite. To be elite is to enjoy superior status, the opposite of the words in the group.
- bane. Bane is fatal injury or the cause of ruin or death, the opposite of the positive, redemptive words in the group.
- awry. Awry means turned or twisted, or off the expected or correct course, the opposite meaning of the words in the group.