SAT Test Prep

CHAPTER 3
BUILDING AN IMPRESSIVE VOCABULARY

1. The College Hill Method for SAT Word Power

2. The 2,000 Key SAT Words and 200 Key SAT Roots: Vocabulary Units 1–7

1 THE COLLEGE HILL METHOD FOR SAT WORD POWER

A strong vocabulary is essential to achieving a top SAT critical reading score. But building a solid vocabulary doesn’t mean just memorizing thousands of flashcards. In fact, the way most students use flashcards is not only dull, but utterly ineffective. Believe it or not, you’ve been using a much better system for years. If you’re a normal 16-year-old, you have about a 40,000-word vocabulary. Did you memorize all those words with flashcards? No. You didn’t “study” them at all. You just absorbed them by trying to understand and communicate with the people around you.

When you take words out of the context of real communication, your brain’s “vocabulary machine” doesn’t work very well. So don’t just study flashcards to memorize word meanings in isolation. Instead, follow these rules while using the College Hill flashcard system (which is discussed below) to study the words in the lessons in this chapter.

Surround Yourself with Good Language

When you were a baby, you were surrounded by people with much stronger vocabularies than yours, so your vocabulary grew very quickly. As you got older, however, your vocabulary grew to match that of the people you hung out with, so its growth slowed. How do you rev it up again? Talk to smart adults. Hang around friends with good vocabularies. Read collegelevel books. Watch documentaries on television rather than mindless game shows, soap operas, and reality shows. Listen to National Public Radio. Read The New York Times Op-Ed page and Sunday Magazine. Read articles and stories from Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, New Yorker, The Nation, and Scientific American.

Use Your New Vocabulary with Friends and Family

To build your vocabulary, you have to try out your new words. If you feel self-conscious about trying out new words (and most teens do), find a close friend or relative to practice vocabulary with—maybe a friend who’s also prepping for the SAT. On the next couple of pages we’ll give you lots of good strategies for building vocabulary with a friend.

Analyze Words as You Read and Speak

As you run across new words, think about their roots, their synonyms, and their antonyms. The 49 lessons in this chapter include 200 of the key roots, prefixes, and suffixes, as well as lists of synonyms and antonyms for each word. Reinforce your new words by breaking them into their roots, prefixes, and suffixes and connecting them to other words that share them. For instance, if you want to learn the word magnanimity, you should notice that it has three parts: magna (great) + anima (spirit or life) + -ity (suffix indicating a quality). It means generosity, and you should see why from its roots.

Use the Patterns of Words in Sentences

When you run across a new word in a sentence, make a guess about its meaning based on how it’s used. Consider this sentence: Even her favorite toy could not placate the screaming child. Even if you have never seen the word placate before, you should be able to tell from the sentence that it is a verb. Even more, you can tell that it’s something a favorite toy might do to a screaming child (even though it wasn’t successful in this case). Since screaming children need to be calmed down, and since toys often can do that, it’s a good bet that placate means something like “calm down.”

Simplify Your Task by Connecting Words in Groups

Memorizing is always easier when you can group the information into chunks. Most words are related to other words with the same basic meaning (synonyms), the opposite meaning (antonyms), or the same root (cognates). The lessons in this chapter help you to group words in many ways: into theme groups (such as “words about talking”), synonym groups, antonym groups, and cognate groups.

Connect New Words to Your Own Experience or Knowledge

To learn a new word, you must connect it to something you understand. Word meanings aren’t isolated facts to memorize. Think about how to use your new words. For instance, when learning the word enervate (to weaken or decrease in strength or vitality), think about what enervates you (a 4-hour standardized test, perhaps?) or about examples of enervation in books you’ve read (such as the enervation of Moby Dick as Captain Ahab hunts him down). Visualize them and say them out loud: “The SAT can be an enervating experience,” and “Moby Dick was enervated by the incessant chase and his many harpoon wounds.”

Consider Alternative Strategies Such as the ALIVE Visual Mnemonic System

Some words are hard to memorize because they have obscure meanings or are hard to connect to other words. For such words, College Hill Coaching’s ALIVE visual mnemonic system is a great tool. Here’s how it works:

1. Break down the sounds of the word, and turn those sounds into a picture. Let’s say that you’re trying to learn the word polemic. First, break down its syllables. It sounds like pole and lemon, so imagine a lemon on the end of a pole. (You might break it down differently, for instance, aspole and Mick. That’s fine, as long as you turn it into a picture!)

2. Imagine a picture for the meaning of the word. Polemic means “a strong verbal or written attack,” so you might visualize someone arguing loudly with a politician at a debate. Try to picture someone you actually know, if possible, someone with strong opinions.

3. Put the two pictures together into one. See the debater hitting the politician with the lemon on the end of the pole. The crazier the picture, the better!

4. Make your image come ALIVE. As you visualize your picture, make it come ALIVE—active, linking, illogical, vivid, and exaggerated. Here’s how:

• Give the picture action by making it move like a wacky animated cartoon.

• Make sure the picture links two things: the sound of the word and the meaning of the word.

• Make the picture bizarre and illogical so that it’s more memorable.

• Make it so vivid that you see it in 3-D, in color, and in rich detail.

• Work on exaggerating the picture so that the meaning of the word “pops out.”

Keep a Vocabulary Notebook

Keep a small notebook handy when you’re reading. When you run across a new or interesting word, jot it down so that you can look it up later and make a flashcard for it using the system described below. Have a good collegiate dictionary handy, too—one with a pronunciation guide and etymology for each word.

Study with the College Hill Coaching Flashcard System—10 Minutes a Day

Flashcards are enormously helpful for building vocabulary, but only if you use them the right way. Get in the habit of making and studying 30 to 40 flashcards per week of SAT words from this chapter, your practice tests, or your reading. But don’t just make plain old flashcards. College Hill flashcards are far more effective. Each one looks like the figures at the top of this page.

When you’ve made a card for any word from the lessons in this chapter, check it off the list. Keep your cards handy in a plastic recipe box, and study them daily for at least 10 minutes. Don’t just study these cards to memorize definitions by rote. Instead, shuffle through the following seven study methods on a regular basis.

Front: Write a meaningful sentence using the word. Write the word in CAPITALS and underline any roots.

Back: Write the definition of the word, then, in parentheses, the definition of any roots or affixes. Beneath, write the first letter of the word.

• Study Method 1. Your friend reads you the word, and then you create a new sentence using that word. The sentence must show that you understand the meaning of the word. For instance, “The boy was obsequious” doesn’t really show that you know what obsequious means.

• Study Method 2. Your friend reads you the word, and then you give its roots and, for each root, as many words as you can that share that root.

• Study Method 3. Your friend reads the definition from the back of the card and gives you the first letter of the word, and then you give the word.

• Study Method 4. Your friend reads the word, and then you describe three different situations in which the word would be appropriate.

• Study Method 5. Your friend reads the word, and then you teach your friend any clever ALIVE mnemonics you have created for the word.

• Study Method 6. Your friend reads the sentence, and then you give the definition of the word.

• Study Method 7. Post a bunch of flashcards around your room where you’ll see them every day. Think of appropriate places to post them, such as narcissist on the mirror, lethargic on the bed, and so on.

Check Your Understanding with the Review Exercises

At the end of each vocabulary unit in this chapter is a set of exercises to check your understanding of the words you’ve studied. Do them faithfully at the end of each seven-lesson unit. They provide great reinforcement and help you to see which words you may need to go back and review.

Vocabulary Unit 1

Vocabulary Lesson 1: Get to the Point!

 concise (adj) brief and to the point (con- altogether + cis cut)

Ricky, try to be a bit more concise in this paper; the assignment was for a three-page paper; yours was 106.

Synonyms: succinct, terse Antonyms: prolix, discursive, protracted, circumlocutory, verbose

 laconic (adj) disposed to using few words (from Latin term for Spartans, who spoke little)

I’ve known Lucy for ten years, but she’s so laconic that I hardly know anything about her past.

Synonyms: taciturn, reticent Antonyms: garrulous, loquacious

 succinct (adj) spoken or written in a clear and precise manner

Because commercial time during the Super Bowl runs over $3 million per minute, it’s good to be succinct.

Synonyms: terse, concise Antonyms: prolix, discursive, protracted, circumlocutory, verbose

 brusque (adj) rudely abrupt

My girlfriend tends to be brusque when she’s mad; she just tells me to “talk to the hand.”

Synonyms: curt, abrupt, petulant

 abridge (v) to shorten a written text

The dictionary was 1,400 pages long before it was abridged by the publishers to 850 pages.

Synonym: abbreviate Antonyms: augment, amplify, protract

 brevity (n) quality of succinct expression (brev- brief + -ity quality of)

Speeches at the Academy Awards are not known for their brevity; they often go on long past their allotted time.

Synonyms: conciseness, pithiness, succinctness, laconism

 conspire (v) to plan together secretly to commit an illegal act (con- together + -spire breathe)

Synonyms: collude, collaborate

 concur (v) to agree (con- together + -cur run)

Synonyms: accord, harmonize, cohere

 concord (n) a state of harmony (con- together + -cord heart)

Synonyms: unanimity, consensus

 congenital (adj) existing at birth (con- together + gen born)

Synonyms: innate, inborn

 schism (n) a division into political or religious factions (cis cut)

Synonyms: faction, rift, divergence

 incisive (adj) having or indicating keen insight (in- in + cis cut)

Synonyms: acute, keen, astute, canny, perspicacious, judicious, shrewd

Vocabulary Lesson 2: Think Before You Judge

 judicious (adj) showing sound judgment; prudent (jud- judge + -ious full of)

After much thought, I decided that the most judicious thing to do was to avoid the swamp full of alligators.

Synonyms: prudent, sensible, circumspect, sagacious Antonyms: improvident, rash

 adjudicate (v) to hear and judge a case (jud- judge + -ate to do)

Sometimes when my two children fight, I feel like I’m adjudicating a capital crime rather than settling a quarrel.

 astute (adj) shrewd; keen

The young Sherlock Holmes was quite the astute investigator; he always unraveled even the toughest mysteries.

Synonyms: sagacious, shrewd, incisive, canny, perspicacious Antonyms: vacuous, vapid, obtuse

 scrutinize (v) to examine carefully (scruta examine + -ize to do)

Before buying an apple, scrutinize it to be sure that it has no bruises.

Synonyms: analyze, peruse

 pragmatic (adj) concerned with practical outcomes

The architects chose a solarium design that was less aesthetic than pragmatic: it was not beautiful, but it kept heating and lighting costs down.

 perjure (v) to lie under oath (per- through + jur oath)

The mobster told blatant lies while on the stand, perjuring himself to keep his partners out of jail.

Synonym: prevaricate

 prudent (adj) using good judgment (prudentia knowledge)

It would not be prudent to sneak out of your room again tonight; your parents will ground you if they catch you!

Synonyms: judicious, sensible Antonyms: improvident, rash

 jurisprudence (n) the science or philosophy of law (jur- law + prudentia knowledge)

 jurisdiction (n) the sphere of authority or control (jur- law + dictio declaration)

Synonym: domain

 adjure (v) to command solemnly, as under oath (ad- to + jur oath)

Synonyms: enjoin, entreat, beseech

 adjudge (v) to determine based upon law (ad- to + jud judge)

Synonym: adjudicate

 acumen (n) keenness of judgment (acus sharp)

Synonyms: discernment, perspicacity, shrewdness

 inscrutable (adj) beyond comprehension or examination (in- not + scruta examine)

Synonyms: enigmatic, recondite, abstruse

 allegation (n) a formal accusation (ad- to + legare dispute)

Synonyms: contention, assertion, charge

Vocabulary Lesson 3: Let’s Talk About It

 eloquent (adj) well spoken (e- out + loqu talk)

She is an eloquent spokeswoman for animal rights; she conveys her ideas with great ease and fluidity.

Synonyms: articulate, fluent Antonym: inarticulate

 loquacious (adj) very talkative (loqu- talk + -ious full of)

That guy never stops talking; now I understand why they call him “Loquacious Larry”!

Synonyms: garrulous, voluble Antonyms: laconic, taciturn, reticent

 circumlocution (n) evasive speech; talking around the subject (circum- around + loqu talk)

The politician had perfected the art of circumlocution; he knew exactly how to avoid answering direct questions.

Synonym: evasion

 colloquial (adj) conversational; using everyday language (co- together + loqu talk)

I like Professor Thompson because she is so colloquial; yesterday she said my thesis idea was “really cool.”

 grandiloquent (adj) speaking in a pompous manner (grand- great + loqu talk + -ent adjective)

His speech was pompous and grandiloquent; it seemed he was just trying to use as many big words as possible.

Synonyms: pontifical, portentous

 elocution (n) expressive delivery of public speech (e- out + loqu talk + -tion noun)

James is adept at elocution; his expressions and mannerisms add a new level of meaning to his words.

 garrulous (adj) talkative

Karl is always ready to talk about any subject, no matter how trivial, but at parties he is even more garrulous.

Synonyms: loquacious, voluble

 pontificate (v) to speak pompously (pontifex high priest)

Synonyms: declaim, sermonize, dogmatize

 verbose (adj) wordy (verb- word + -ose full of)

Synonyms: prolix, discursive, digressive

 verbatim (adv) word for word (verb- word)

I followed the recipe verbatim.

 ineffable (adj) unable to be expressed in words (in- not + effari utter)

Try as he might to express his love in a poem, his feelings seemed ineffable.

 tangential (adj) only superficially relevant; off-topic

Synonyms: irrelevant, incidental, immaterial

 tout (v) to promote or praise energetically

Synonyms: acclaim, herald, laud

 anecdote (n) a short and often humorous story

Don’t confuse with antidote (n), a remedy.

 discursive (adj) straying from the topic (dis- away + curs course)

Synonyms: digressive, desultory

Vocabulary Lesson 4: “Good, Thanks”

 benefactor (n) one who supports or helps another (bene- good + fact to make)

Mr. King is the benefactor who generously donated the money for the new children’s wing in the hospital.

Synonyms: philanthropist, patron Antonyms: malefactor, nemesis, antagonist, adversary

 benign (adj) harmless (bene good)

She was relieved to find out that her tumor was benign.

Synonym: innocuous Antonyms: malignant, virulent

 benevolent (adj) kind; considerate (bene- good + vole wish)

The benevolent Cub Scout did his good deed for the day when he helped a motorist change a tire.

Synonyms: gracious, altruistic, magnanimous Antonyms: malevolent, malicious, inimical, pernicious

 benediction (n) an expression of good wishes (bene- good + dictus declaration)

At the reception, the father of the bride offered a benediction, wishing the couple never-ending love and happiness.

Synonyms: blessing, sanction Antonyms: curse, malediction, execration

 euphemism (n) the substitution of an inoffensive term for an offensive one (eu- good + pheme speech)

A good journalist avoids the euphemisms of war, like “ordnance” for bombs and “collateral damage” for casualties.

 eulogy (n) a praising tribute (eu- good + logia discourse) (Although associated with funerals, “eulogy” has a positive tone.)

His touching eulogy for his fallen friend left all the mourners weeping.

Synonyms: encomium, laudation, extolment, paean Antonyms: denunciation, execration, censure

 ingratiate (v) to put oneself in good favor with another (in- in + grat to please)

When starting at a new school, Mary sought to ingratiate herself with her classmates by being excessively nice.

Synonyms: flatter, wheedle, toady, cajole

 beneficiary (n) one who receives benefits (bene- good + fic to make)

Synonyms: heir, recipient, legatee

 gratuity (n) a small payment in gratitude (grat- thank)

Don’t confuse with gratuitous (adj) unnecessary

 gratis (adj) free of charge (grat- thank)

He let me borrow his car gratis.

 gratify (v) to please (grat- please)

Synonyms: appease, mollify, indulge

 euphoria (n) a feeling of extreme happiness (eu- good)

Synonyms: elation, rapture, jubilation, ecstasy

 euphonious (n) sweet sounding (eu- good + phon sound)

Synonyms: mellifluous, dulcet, lyrical

Vocabulary Lesson 5: Changes

 immutable (adj) unchangeable (im- not + mut change)

Emily is an immutable vegetarian. No matter how hard we try, we cannot get her to eat meat.

Synonyms: permanent, inveterate Antonyms: mutable, protean, vacillating, mercurial

 metamorphosis (n) a transformation (meta- change + morph form)

The old house underwent a metamorphosis from a rundown shack into a beautiful cottage.

Synonyms: transformation, mutation, transmogrification

 rupture (v) to break open (rupt- break)

When the vat of smelly liquid ruptured, we picked up our feet to avoid getting the stuff on our shoes.

Synonyms: burst, fissure, cleave

 transmute (v) to transform (trans- across + mut change)

Harry Potter was able to transmute a feather into a frog using a spell he learned in incantations class.

Synonyms: metamorphose, alter, transmogrify

 amorphous (adj) lacking shape; changeable in form (a- without + morph shape)

Rather than marching in precise formation, the battalion broke down into an amorphous mass of charging soldiers.

Synonyms: shapeless, nebulous, vague, nondescript Antonym: crystalline

 mercurial (adj) erratic; subject to wild changes in character (from the speedy god Mercury)

Molly is the most mercurial person in the office; we can never tell if she’ll be the evil Molly or the sympathetic Molly.

Synonyms: fickle, capricious, vacillating Antonyms: immutable, stable

 protean (adj) capable of assuming different forms (from the form-changing sea god Proteus)

He has changed his position on issues so many times that he is considered the most protean member of Congress.

Synonyms: polymorphous, labile Antonyms: immutable, stable

 mutate (v) to change form (mut- change)

Synonyms: transform, transmogrify

 fickle (adj) likely to change opinion unpredictably

Synonyms: capricious, vacillating, mercurial

 fluctuate (v) to vary irregularly (flux flow)

Synonyms: vacillate, waver

 vacillate (v) to change one’s mind repeatedly

Synonyms: fluctuate, waver

 revamp (v) to revise; to renovate (re- again)

Synonyms: refurbish, renovate

 amend (v) to improve; to remove the faults of

Synonyms: rectify, redress, ameliorate, mitigate

Vocabulary Lesson 6: One Boring World

 hackneyed (adj) overused; trite

This film was a hackneyed remake with a storyline that has been done a hundred times.

Synonyms: trite, prosaic, banal Antonyms: original, novel

 mundane (adj) ordinary; typical (mund- world)

Having worked for years behind a desk, she wanted to leave the mundane world behind for exotic adventures abroad.

Synonyms: routine, workaday, banal Antonyms: singular, extraordinary, sublime

 vacuous (adj) lacking substance (vac- empty)

His latest book is widely criticized as vacuous and unintelligent.

Synonyms: inane, asinine, fatuous Antonyms: profound, thoughtful, deep

 prosaic (adj) unimaginative; ordinary

I don’t understand why his oration was selected as the best; it was so prosaic that I nearly fell asleep.

Synonyms: mundane, pedestrian Antonyms: innovative, quixotic, whimsical

 insipid (adj) uninteresting; dull; without flavor (in- not + sapere taste)

Christine is the life of the party, but Tom is as insipid as they come; hardly anyone wants to talk with him.

Synonyms: bland, nondescript, vapid Antonyms: engaging, enchanting, piquant

 banal (adj) ordinary; trivial

That show used to be my favorite, but its story lines became so banal that I could no longer stand it.

Synonyms: hackneyed, trite Antonyms: extraordinary, singular, sublime

 pedestrian (adj) commonplace; ordinary

Synonyms: prosaic, banal, vapid

 dormant (adj) inactive; sleeping (dormire sleep)

Synonyms: inert, fallow

 unanimous (adj) in full agreement (un- one + anima mind)

Synonyms: concordant, concerted

 uniform (adj) unvarying; always the same (un- one + forma form)

Synonym: homogeneous

 equanimity (n) the quality of being even-tempered (equa- same + anima mind)

Synonyms: composure, imperturbability, aplomb

 magnanimous (adj) noble of heart; generous; forgiving (magna- great + anima mind)

Synonyms: philanthropic, altruistic, merciful

Vocabulary Lesson 7: The Humours

In medieval Europe, it was widely believed that one’s health and disposition were largely determined by the balance of four bodily liquids called “humours”: blood (sang), phlegm, black bile (melancholer), and yellow bile (choler).

 sanguine (adj) cheerfully optimistic (sanguis blood)

After acing his final, David was sanguine about his prospects for a good overall course grade.

Synonyms: blithe, buoyant Antonyms: morose, forlorn, melancholy, sullen

 phlegmatic (adj) sluggish

His prolonged illness turned Julio from a spry, happy bon vivant into a morose and phlegmatic bore.

Synonyms: languorous, lethargic, somnolent, torpid Antonyms: vigorous, vibrant, hale, spry

 melancholy (adj) sad, depressed (melan- black + choler bile)

She has been so melancholy ever since she broke up with her boyfriend; sometimes she is even too depressed to talk with her friends.

Synonyms: morose, despondent, disconsolate, sullen Antonyms: blithe, buoyant, sanguine

 choleric (adj) easily angered (choler- bile + -ic characterized by)

Gena’s mom is really nice but her dad is choleric; he freaks out about the smallest things.

Synonyms: irascible, fractious, bilious, splenetic

 recalcitrant (adj) stubbornly resistant to authority (re- back + calcitrare kick)

Christine is a talented volleyball player, but she’s so recalcitrant that our coach often keeps her on the bench.

Synonyms: refractory, intractable Antonyms: compliant, docile, tractable, obsequious, obeisant

 lethargic (adj) sluggish; dully apathetic

After three weeks of factoring polynomials, my entire class became lethargic; we were bored to death!

Synonyms: languorous, phlegmatic, torpid Antonyms: vigorous, vibrant, hale, spry

 splenetic (adj) irritable; easily angered (splen- spleen)

Synonyms: bilious, choleric

 querulous (adj) disposed to complaining

Synonyms: peevish, captious, carping, caviling

 dolorous (adj) marked by or expressive of sorrow or pain (dolor- pain)

Synonyms: lugubrious, doleful

 animosity (n) hostility; ill-will (animosus bold)

Synonyms: malevolence, antagonism, invidiousness

 pusillanimous (adj) cowardly (pusillus- weak + anima spirit)

Synonyms: timorous, craven, dastardly

 lassitude (n) feeling of weakness or listlessness

Synonyms: lethargy, languor, torpor, stupor

Vocabulary Unit 1 Exercise Set I


Time—8 minutes

For each question, select the best answer among the choices given. Note any vocabulary words to review on the Hit List below.


1. Julia is amazingly ------ for a 5-year-old: She adeptly persuaded her reluctant parents to let her stay up to watch another thirty minutes of television.

(A) concise

(B) astute

(C) verbose

(D) recalcitrant

(E) capricious

2. He recited the President’s speech back to me ------; it was almost as if he had written it himself.

(A) loquaciously

(B) insipidly

(C) verbatim

(D) curtly

(E) diffidently

3. Those not used to Larry’s ------ speaking style found him to be ------ and did not like him at first.

(A) monosyllabic . . incisive

(B) surly . . congenial

(C) laconic . . brusque

(D) circumlocutory . . direct

(E) garrulous . . phlegmatic

4. During his first year at boarding school, Ricardo underwent ------ from a shy and reserved young boy to a garrulous and extroverted teenager.

(A) a schism

(B) an adjudication

(C) a benediction

(D) a soliloquy

(E) a metamorphosis

5. Janice is so ------ that she ------ over even the simplest decision.

(A) shrewd . . perjures

(B) magnanimous . . denigrates

(C) pusillanimous . . admonishes

(D) surreptitious . . purges

(E) fickle . . vacillates

6. Despite having always been ------ at heart, Paula found herself ------ about the near future at work.

(A) pessimistic . . sanguine

(B) lethargic . . placid

(C) morose . . querulous

(D) prudent . . verbose

(E) succinct . . terse

7. Kemal was the ------ of his father’s generosity while at the supermarket because he got to eat an ice cream treat on the way home.

(A) beneficiary

(B) benefactor

(C) benediction

(D) patron

(E) sanction

8. Because we are short on time, ------ would be appreciated; we need to leave in five minutes to catch the last bus of the night.

(A) circumlocution

(B) allegation

(C) pontification

(D) brevity

(E) lassitude

9. The audience found the presentation to be ------ and vacuous; it was unimaginative and lacking substance.

(A) dormant

(B) unanimous

(C) amorphous

(D) dolorous

(E) prosaic

10. The play was a blend of the mirthful and the ------; many scenes were ------, while others made me cry like a baby.

(A) melancholy . . hilarious

(B) reprehensible . . wistful

(C) somber . . bitter

(D) humorous . . jocular

(E) despicable . . whimsical

Vocabulary Unit 1 Exercise Set II


Write the meaning next to each root, and then write as many words as you can that contain the root.


Vocabulary Unit 1 Exercise Set III

Write the word with the given meaning.

Write the correct form of the italicized word.

26. the state of feeling lethargic

____________________________________________

27. the quality of being pusillanimous

____________________________________________

28. having the quality of a euphemism

____________________________________________

29. the act of adjudicating

____________________________________________

30. the act of perjuring

____________________________________________

Write the word with the given root.

31. beyond comprehension (scrut)

____________________________________________

32. existing at birth (con)

____________________________________________

33. kind-hearted (anim)

____________________________________________

34. to command solemnly (jur)

____________________________________________

35. speaking in a pompous manner (loqu)

____________________________________________

36. a praising tribute (eu)

____________________________________________

37. harmless (ben)

____________________________________________

38. inoffensive term substituted for an offensive one (eu)

____________________________________________

39. to please (grat)

____________________________________________

40. expressive delivery of public speech (loqu)

____________________________________________

41. sphere of legal authority (jur)

____________________________________________

Unit 1 Exercise Set I Answer Key

1. B The colon (:) introduces an explanation. Adeptly means with great skill. A 5-year-old would have to be pretty sharp to persuade reluctant parents.

concise = brief and to the point

astute = shrewd, keen

verbose = wordy

recalcitrant = stubborn

capricious = whimsical

2. C The information after the semicolon (;) describes the word in the blank. If he reads it as if he had written it himself, it implies that he knows it very well, and perhaps can read it word for word.

loquaciously = in a talkative manner

insipidly = in a painfully dull way

verbatim = word for word

curtly = in an abrupt manner, rudely

diffidently = timidly, lacking confidence

3. C They did not like him at first, so the second blank is a negative word. The first blank should describe a speaking style that would cause someone to think that he is described by the second word.

monosyllabic = one syllable; incisive = cogent

surly = rude; congenial = friendly

laconic = terse; brusque = rude, unfriendly

circumlocutory = talkative

garrulous = talkative; phlegmatic = sluggish

4. E Ricardo clearly changed from a shy person to a talkative extrovert. The word that fits the blank should mean change.

schism = rift, large gap

adjudication = judgment

benediction = blessing

soliloquy = speech to one’s self

metamorphosis = major change in form

5. E The second word is a verb that should complement the first word. Only E presents a pair that makes sense. Fickle people do tend to vacillate.

shrewd = clever; perjure = to lie under oath

magnanimous = generous; denigrate = to slander

pusillanimous = cowardly; admonish = to scold

surreptitious = sneaky; purge = to clear away

fickle = erratic; vacillate = to go back and forth

6. A Despite indicates a contrast. So look for two words that are nearly opposite.

pessimistic = negative; sanguine = optimistic

lethargic = sluggish; placid = calm

morose = sullen, gloomy; querulous = complaining

prudent = wise, provident; verbose = wordy

succinct = concise, to the point; terse = concise

7. A The recipient of generosity is a beneficiary.

beneficiary = one who receives benefits

benefactor = one who supports or helps another

benediction = a blessing

patron = a customer, someone who protects

sanction = approval, permission

8. D A person short on time would likely appreciate something that is quick, which makes brevity a good choice.

circumlocution = speaking in circles

allegation = accusation

pontification = speaking in a pompous manner

brevity = briefness

lassitude = fatigue, torpor

9. E The presentation was vacuous, which means lacking substance. This implies that the two clauses in the sentence are parallel, so the missing word must be similar to unimaginative.

dormant = inactive

unanimous = everyone agrees

amorphous = lacking shape

dolorous = causing pain or sorrow

prosaic = dull, unimaginative

10. A Use the parallelism in the sentence. The two adjectives in the first clause are parallel to the two ideas in the second clause. The first word describes something that makes one cry, and the second word describes mirthful scenes. Two simple words to complete the sentence would bedepressing and funny.

melancholy = sadness; hilarious = funny

reprehensible = blameworthy; wistful = sad

somber = gloomy; bitter = unhappy

humorous = funny; jocular = joking

despicable = mean; whimsical = impulsive

Unit 1 Exercise Sets II and III Answer Key

Exercise Set II

1. ANIMA: spirit, life, mind unanimous, magnanimous, animosity, animation, animal, inanimate

2. VAC: empty vacate, evacuate, vacuum, vacuous, vacation, vacant

3. BENE: good benevolent, beneficiary, bonus, bona fide, benediction

4. EU: good euphemism, eulogy, euphony, euphoria, eugenics

5. LOQU: talk loquacious, eloquent, ventriloquist, elocution, circumlocution

6. CIRCUM: around circumference, circumnavigate, circumlocute, circuit, circuitous

7. EX-, E-: out emit, extract, exclaim, exit, egregious, enormous

8. LEG: law allege, legal, legitimate, legislate

9. JUR: oath, law jurisdiction, abjure, adjure, jury, jurisprudence

10. VERB: word verbatim, verbose, verbal, verbalize, proverb

11. JUD: judge adjudicate, judicious, adjudge, judiciary

12. CIS: cut incisive, scissors, concise, schism, decide, suicide

13. CO-: together, with cooperate, connect, correlate, committee, collect, conspire

14. VOLE: wish voluntary, benevolent, malevolent, volition

15. GRAT: please, thank gratify, ingratiate, ingrate, congratulate, gratuity

Exercise Set III

1. N

2. Y

3. Y

4. N

5. N

6. mutate

7. vacuous

8. equanimity

9. pedestrian

10. hackneyed

11. phlegmatic

12. recalcitrant

13. querulous

14. brusque

15. garrulous

16. schism

17. perspicacious

18. judicious

19. scrutinize

20. acumen

21. circumlocution

22. anecdote

23. vacillate

24. protean

25. lassitude

26. lethargy

27. pusillanimity

28. euphemistic

29. adjudication

30. perjury

31. inscrutable

32. congenital

33. magnanimous

34. adjure

35. grandiloquent

36. eulogy

37. benign

38. euphemism

39. gratify

40. elocution

41. jurisdiction

Vocabulary Unit 2

Vocabulary Lesson 8: Sneaky Sneaky

 spurious (adj) fake; counterfeit

The head of the FBI cursed the spurious tip that incorrectly led them to an abandoned warehouse.

Synonyms: fictitious, dubious, fabricated Antonyms: authentic, substantiated

 guile (n) trickery; deceit

The Big Bad Wolf deceived Little Red Riding Hood with guile and cunning.

Synonyms: cleverness, cunning, duplicity Antonyms: candor, straightforwardness

 beguile (v) to deceive with charm

The con artist beguiled me out of my money, convincing me to play his game over and over.

Synonyms: charm, entrance, captivate Antonym: disenchant

 strategem (n) a deceitful scheme (strategos army general)

The teenager devised an elaborate strategem to escape his parents’ curfew.

Synonyms: ploy, gimmick, ruse, subterfuge

 surreptitious (adj) deceptive; sneaky (sub- secretly + rapere seize)

The surreptitious movements of the lion lured the gazelle into a trap.

Synonyms: covert, furtive, stealthy Antonyms: honest, trustworthy, overt

 clandestine (adj) secret; hidden

The clandestine military facility in the capital city was unknown even to the President of the United States.

Synonyms: stealthy, surreptitious, covert Antonyms: forthright, straightforward, candid

 stealth (n) sneakiness; ability to avoid detection

The “stealth bomber” is so effective because it is undetectable by most radars.

Synonyms: furtiveness, covertness Antonyms: perceptible, observable

 duplicity (n) deceit; hypocritical deception (duplit twofold)

Synonyms: chicanery, improbity

 specious (adj) false, but plausible (specere to look at)

Synonyms: ostensible, sophistic

 furtive (adj) secretive; sneaky <a furtive plan to steal the diamond>

Synonyms: stealthy, cloaked, guileful

 pseudonym (n) pen name (pseudo- fake + onoma name)

Synonyms: alias, anonym

 fallacious (adj) deceptive; false (fallacia deceit + -ious full of)

Synonyms: delusory, erroneous

 rapacious (adj) greedy; ravenous (rapere seize + -ious full of)

Synonyms: ravenous, covetous

Vocabulary Lesson 9: Time Is of the Essence

 transient (adj) fleeting; short-lived (transire to go across)

We never understand the transient nature of childhood until we wake up one day and realize we’re all grown up.

Synonyms: ephemeral, evanescent, deciduous, transitory Antonyms: permanent, interminable

 ephemeral (adj) short-lived (hemera day)

Critics wrote off the band as a fad, their success as an ephemeral phenomenon.

Synonyms: transient, evanescent, fleeting Antonyms: permanent, everlasting, interminable

 sporadic (adj) irregular or unpredictable; infrequent (sporas scattered)

He has experienced sporadic success as an actor, with occasional big roles amid many unmemorable parts.

Synonyms: intermittent, episodic, mercurial Antonyms: frequent, regular, permanent

 capricious (adj) whimsical; impulsive

My English teacher runs her class capriciously, flitting from idea to idea with no reason or direction.

Synonyms: fickle, volatile, mercurial, erratic

 evanescent (adj) likely to vanish (vanescere to disappear)

The aurora borealis is beautiful but evanescent, a curtain of cascading light that can disappear in a heartbeat.

Synonyms: transient, ephemeral, transitory Antonyms: perpetual, enduring

 extemporaneous (adj) done with little or no practice (ex tempore of time)

The speech was all the more remarkable because Dr. Sherman gave it extemporaneously, filling in for the scheduled speaker at the last moment.

Synonym: impromptu

 anachronism (n) something out of place in time (ana- backward + chronos time)

Her old-fashioned perspective on motherhood makes her an anachronism among her friends.

Synonyms: archaism, incongruity, asynchronism

 transitory (adj) lasting for a short time (transitus gone across)

Synonyms: transient, fleeting

 expedite (v) to speed up (ex- out + pedis foot)

Synonyms: hasten, quicken, facilitate

 influx (n) a flowing in (in- in + fluere to flow)

The country of Chad has seen a massive influx of refugees from the fighting in neighboring Sudan.

 superfluous (adj) beyond what is necessary or sufficient (super- over + fluere to flow)

 contemporaneous (adj) existing or occurring at about the same time (con- together + tempore time)

 interminable (adj) never ending (in- not + term end)

Synonyms: incessant, unremitting

 protracted (adj) prolonged; extended in time (pro- forward + tract pull)

Synonym: drawn out

Vocabulary Lesson 10: If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

 censure (n) official condemnation; harsh criticism (censor Roman supervisor for morals) Congress voted to declare censure on the representative who took money and gifts from a lobbyist.

Synonyms: castigation, derision, rebuke Antonyms: laudation, endorsement

 calumny (n) slander; false accusation

Too many tabloids know that calumny about celebrities is more profitable than the truth.

Synonyms: libel, denigration, defamation Antonyms: acclaim, extolment, approbation

 diatribe (n) malicious criticism or abuse (dia- through + tribein to rub)

A good debate must avoid vicious personal diatribe, and focus on a respectful discussion of issues.

Synonyms: castigation, derision, harangue Antonyms: laudation, extolment, honor

 caustic (adj) corrosive; sarcastic

James immediately regretted making such a caustic remark; he could tell his words truly hurt Vanessa.

Synonyms: abrasive, acrimonious Antonyms: mitigating, conciliatory, mollifying

 repudiate (v) to cast off publicly (repudium divorce)

The consumers repudiated the shoe company for using sweatshops, and began buying from its competitor.

Synonyms: disavow, abjure, forswear Antonym: condone

 derogatory (adj) disparaging; belittling (de- down, away)

Derogatory remarks are not allowed in class; discussions should criticize ideas, not people.

Synonyms: pejorative, derisive, disparaging

 admonish (v) to reprimand mildly (ad- to + monere to warn)

The boy was admonished by his mom for spilling his soda on the brand-new rug.

Synonyms: rebuke, reprove Antonyms: laud, revere, endorse

 disparage (v) to belittle; to demean (dis- apart + parage rank, peer)

Synonyms: deprecate, discredit

 impugn (v) to attack as untrue; to refute by argument (in- against + pugn to fight)

 malediction (n) a curse (mal- bad + dictus declared)

Synonyms: anathema, execration

 denigrate (v) to attack the character of; to disparage

Synonyms: slander, decry

 harangue (n) a long, critical, and pompous speech

Synonyms: diatribe, discourse

 pejorative (adj) tending to make worse (pejor worse)

The senator suggested that discussing the issue dispassionately would be more productive than slinging pejorative personal comments.

Synonym: disparaging

 slander (n) false comments that injure another’s reputation (scandalum scandal)

Vocabulary Lesson 11: Holy Cow

 sanctimonious (adj) falsely pious or self-righteous (sanctus holy)

I prefer ministers who are real people, not sanctimonious know-it-all preachers.

Synonyms: holier-than-thou, self-righteous, unctuous Antonyms: sincere, unaffected, guileless

 sacrosanct (adj) profoundly sacred (sacer sacred + sanctus holy)

To Hindus, the cow is a sacrosanct creature to be treated with the utmost respect.

Synonyms: inviolable, consecrated, divine, revered Antonym: unholy

 sanctuary (n) a place of refuge; a sacred place (sanctus holy)

The Notre Dame cathedral is a sanctuary to all; anyone in need of a safe place to rest is welcome.

Synonyms: shrine, asylum

 sacrilegious (adj) grossly irreverent; disrespectful of something sacred (sacer sacred) To Hindus, to whom cows are sacred, the mass slaughter of cattle is considered sacrilegious.

Synonyms: blasphemous, desecrating, impious Antonyms: reverent, pious

 revere (v) to regard with honor and devotion (re- intensive + vereri respect)

Every genre of music has its stars, whom fans revere like gods.

Synonyms: venerate, idolize, esteem Antonyms: condemn, loathe

 pious (adj) showing religious reverence

Cotton Mather, being a devoted Puritan, considered it his pious duty to hang anyone in Salem accused of witchcraft.

Synonyms: devout, reverential Antonyms: irreverent, blasphemous

 deference (n) respect for the wishes of others (de- away + ferre carry)

It is important to show deference to your elders and treat them with respect.

Synonyms: courtesy, reverence Antonyms: irreverence, impertinence

 sacrament (n) a formal religious act or oath (sacer sacred)

Synonyms: rite, liturgy

 venerable (adj) worthy of respect (venus respect)

Synonyms: revered, honorable

 venerate (v) to regard with reverence or respect (venus respect)

Synonyms: revere, extol

 consecrate (v) to declare to be holy (sacer sacred)

The marriage was consecrated by both a priest and an imam.

Synonyms: venerate, bless

 talisman (n) an object with magical powers (telos result)

Synonyms: charm, amulet

 lionize (v) to treat as a celebrity

Synonyms: glorify, exalt, panegyrize, apotheosize, deify

Vocabulary Lesson 12: Power It Up!

 formidable (adj) awesome; hard to overcome; dreadful (formido fear)

The Yankees are a formidable team; we’ll be lucky to win a single game against them this year.

Synonyms: indomitable, redoubtable Antonyms: anemic, ineffectual

 potent (adj) strong and effective (potens strong)

Although the drug is clearly the most potent treatment for depression, it also has the strongest side effects.

Synonyms: efficacious, forceful Antonyms: impotent, enervated, feckless

 bulwark (n) a strong defense

The newly constructed dam is in place as a bulwark against future flooding.

Synonyms: bastion, redoubt, rampart

 indomitable (adj) unable to be conquered (in- not + domit lord)

The indomitable castle has been under the control of the Spaniards for 6,000 years, despite repeated attacks.

Synonyms: impregnable, invincible

 redoubtable (adj) arousing fear; formidable; awesome (re- intensive + douter to doubt)

The mob boss is a redoubtable figure who makes his enemies cower in fear.

Synonyms: formidable, intimidating

 robust (adj) full of vigor

The robust young men were able to run miles at a time through the rugged terrain without breaking a sweat.

Synonyms: brawny, athletic, potent Antonyms: weak, delicate

 impervious (adj) incapable of being penetrated or affected (im- not + per- through + via road)

Bulletproof vests are almost always impervious to bullets.

Synonyms: impenetrable, impregnable Antonyms: permeable, penetrable

 efficacious (adj) capable of producing a desired effect (efficere to effect)

Synonym: proficient

 stalwart (n) physically or morally strong person; strong supporter

Synonyms: mainstay, partisan

 impotent (adj) lacking strength or power (im- not + potens strong)

Synonyms: enervated, effete

 predominant (adj) most important (pre- before + domit lord)

Synonyms: paramount, preeminent

 impregnable (adj) unable to be entered by force (im- not + prehendere grasp)

The castle was an impregnable fortress.

Synonyms: impenetrable, invincible, indomitable

 brawn (n) muscular strength

Our best wrestler was all brawn and no brains.

Synonyms: robustness, vigor

 bastion (n) stronghold, fortress

The college is a bastion of liberalism.

Synonym: bulwark

Vocabulary Lesson 13: Come Together

 coalesce (v) to blend or fuse together (co- together)

Raindrops are usually formed when water vapor coalesces on microscopic particles in the atmosphere.

Synonyms: amalgamate, consolidate, fuse Antonyms: disperse, diverge, dissipate

 anthology (n) a collection of works

The Beatles’ Anthology is one of the best-selling greatest hits albums of all time.

Synonyms: compilation, compendium, treasury

 convoke (v) to call together (con- together + vocare call)

The village elders convoked the citizens to discuss the sale of the ceremonial land.

Synonyms: assemble, summon Antonyms: dismiss, disperse

 synchronize (v) to arrange events to occur simultaneously (syn- same + chron time)

Nothing is harder for a dance teacher than trying to synchronize ten eight-year-old ballerinas.

Synonym: coordinate

 synthesis (n) a fusion; a bringing together (syn- together + tithenai to put)

The synthesis of DNA occurs when many ribonucleic acids are joined together into one long double helix.

Synonyms: amalgam, composite, fusion Antonyms: division, disjuncture

 eclectic (adj) made up of parts from many different sources (ec- out + legere to choose)

Rob Mathes’ eclectic compositions reveal a subtle yet effective blend of blues, gospel, classical, and jazz styles.

Synonyms: multifaceted, multifarious, manifold, diverse, synthesized

 yoke (v) to join different things

Politicians often yoke unpopular legislation to popular bills so that they can sneak them through Congress.

Synonym: couple

 amalgam (n) a combination of different substances into one mass

Synonyms: composite, hybrid

 amass (v) to gather; to pile up

We amassed a huge collection of CDs.

Synonyms: stockpile, accrue

 invoke (v) to call on for help or inspiration (in- in + vocare call)

The judge invoked an obscure, seldom-used statute in order to keep the defendant in jail.

 compatible (adj) capable of living together harmoniously

The two were very compatible roommates.

Synonym: agreeable

 contemporary (adj) living or occurring during the same time period (con- together + tempore time)

 predilection (n) disposition in favor of something (pre- before + legere to choose)

Scott has a strong predilection for chocolate.

Synonyms: inclination, bent, proclivity, propensity, penchant

Vocabulary Lesson 14: Cruel and Unusual

 ruthless (adj) cruel; merciless (rue regret + -less without)

Torquemada is widely regarded as the most ruthless interrogator of the Spanish Inquisition.

Synonyms: brutal, callous Antonyms: civilized, humane, merciful

 contempt (n) scorn; disrespect

Many eminent and successful scientists often show contempt for novel theories that question their own.

Synonyms: disdain, scorn Antonyms: respect, honor, reverence

 callous (adj) hardened; insensitive

Because they see so much suffering daily, emergency room doctors often struggle to avoid becoming callous.

Synonyms: insensitive, dispassionate Antonyms: compassionate, empathetic, sympathetic

 sadistic (adj) taking pleasure in the pain of others (from the Marquis de Sade)

The sadistic youngster smiled as he watched his classmate get hit in the head with a dodgeball.

Synonyms: barbarous, savage, ruthless Antonyms: civilized, humane

 supercilious (adj) full of haughty arrogance (super- above + cilium eyebrow)

Although he seems supercilious when you first meet him, Joe is actually a modest and down-to-earth guy.

Synonyms: haughty, cavalier Antonyms: diffident, unassuming, humble

 idiosyncrasy (n) a peculiar trait or habit (idio peculiar)

My history teacher has the idiosyncrasy of always squinting just before she asks a question of the class.

Synonyms: quirk, affectation, eccentricity, singularity

 anomaly (n) unusual event (an- not + homos same)

The ninety-degree day in Siberia was an anomaly; the temperature had gone that high only once before.

Synonyms: aberration, irregularity Antonym: regularity

 incongruous (adj) inappropriate; not in keeping with a pattern (in- not + congru agree)

 fetter (v) to tie up; to chain

Synonyms: shackle, hamper

 notorious (adj) famous for bad things (notus known)

Synonyms: infamous, disreputable

 decry (v) to speak out against (de- down + crier cry)

Synonyms: vilify, condemn

 vilify (v) to slander; to defame (vilis worthless)

Synonyms: denigrate, malign, libel, calumniate

 heinous (adj) cruel and unusual (haine hatred)

Synonyms: atrocious, monstrous

 revile (v) to denounce abusively (vilis worthless)

Benedict Arnold has long been reviled as a traitor

Vocabulary Unit 2 Exercise Set I


Time—8 minutes

For each question, select the best answer among the choices given. Note any vocabulary words to review on the Hit List below.


1. The emotional outburst was quite unusual for Peter; he is typically one of the most ------ individuals you could ever meet.

(A) stoic

(B) demonstrative

(C) extroverted

(D) irascible

(E) inimical

2. Ayn Rand, whose writing is considered by some awkward and contrived, is nevertheless ------ by many as ------ of individualism and objectivism, the cornerstones of her philosophy.

(A) lionized . . a stalwart

(B) repudiated . . a protagonist

(C) censured . . an advocate

(D) praised . . an antagonist

(E) extolled . . a skeptic

3. Fearing ------ from officials in their home country, the dissidents sought ------ in the American embassy.

(A) veneration . . solitude

(B) oppression . . sanctuary

(C) impotence . . asylum

(D) calumny . . disparagement

(E) judiciousness . . salvation

4. Because female authors were not treated as equals in the 19th century, many women used ------ in an effort to disguise themselves as males.

(A) influxes

(B) anachronisms

(C) pseudonyms

(D) diatribes

(E) amalgams

5. The newly implemented tax cut was not as ------ as its supporters had hoped in ------ the economy by spurring investment and growth.

(A) formidable . . enervating

(B) efficacious . . invigorating

(C) delicate . . stimulating

(D) ruthless . . lauding

(E) incongruous . . encouraging

6. After many said that her last novel was too -----, she included a bizarre and shocking ending to her newest book in an effort to ------ her critics.

(A) banal . . support

(B) elegant . . pacify

(C) spurious . . silence

(D) mundane . . appease

(E) contrived . . endorse

7. When unhappy, Richard quickly becomes ------, picking fights with anyone around him.

(A) sadistic

(B) pious

(C) capricious

(D) belligerent

(E) fallacious

8. Although sparrows appear to be weak and harmless, they can actually be quite ------ when their nest is threatened.

(A) redoubtable

(B) furtive

(C) evanescent

(D) fickle

(E) laconic

9. Many societies detest ------, and as a result the ------ among them are often treated as outcasts.

(A) compatibility . . antagonistic

(B) idiosyncrasy . . callous

(C) duplicity . . perfidious

(D) superficiality . . profound

(E) potency . . sacrosanct

10. The ------ remarks made by the press hurt Kendra’s feelings, but she vowed to ignore the ------ and continue toward her goal.

(A) derogatory . . consecrations

(B) inimical . . conciliations

(C) sanctimonious . . predilections

(D) venerable . . harangues

(E) caustic . . denigrations

Vocabulary Unit 2 Exercise Set II


Write the meaning next to each root, and then write as many words as you can that contain the root.


Vocabulary Unit 2 Exercise Set III

Write the word with the given meaning.

Write the correct form of the italicized word.

26. like an anomaly

_____________________________________________

27. showing contempt

_____________________________________________

28. having the quality of an anachronism

_____________________________________________

29. to give censure

_____________________________________________

30. having the tendency to evanesce

_____________________________________________

Write the word with the given meaning and root.

31. deceit (duplit)

_____________________________________________

32. fake name (nym)

_____________________________________________

33. disparaging (de-)

_____________________________________________

34. to attack as untrue (pugn)

_____________________________________________

35. falsely pious (sanct)

_____________________________________________

36. regard with respect (venus)

_____________________________________________

37. most important (domit)

_____________________________________________

38. weak (potens)

_____________________________________________

39. blend or fuse together (co-)

_____________________________________________

40. full of haughty arrogance (super-)

_____________________________________________

41. to denounce abusively (vilis)

_____________________________________________

Unit 2 Exercise Set I Answer Key

1. A The sentence indicates that showing emotion is unusual for Peter. Look for a word that means unemotional to fill the blank.

stoic = unaffected by pleasure or pain

demonstrative = effusive, emotional

extroverted = outgoing, gregarious

irascible = easily angered

inimical = unfriendly, harmful

2. A Nevertheless indicates that the blank should contrast awkward and contrived. A contrasting response would be praise. And if individualism and objectivism are the cornerstones of her philosophy, she must agree with them.

lionized = worshipped; stalwart = unwavering person

repudiated = cast off; protagonist = main character

censured = condemned; advocate = supporter

praised = commended; antagonist = opposed

extolled = praised highly; skeptic = doubter

3. B The sentence indicates that they fear the first word and if they fear something, they should seek comfort of some sort.

veneration = reverence; solitude = loneliness

oppression = holding back; sanctuary = place of refuge

impotence = lack of power; asylum = a safe place

calumny = slander; disparagement = belittlement

judiciousness = wisdom; salvation = being saved

4. C The word in the blank is something that they would use to disguise themselves as men. The only word that fits this description is pseudonyms.

influxes = inward flows

anachronisms = things out of place in time

pseudonyms = false names

diatribes = prolonged speeches

amalgams = mixtures

5. B Supporters of the tax cut would obviously hope that it would do well and cause good things. So you want a positive word in the first blank. The supporters hoped it would “spur investment and growth” which shows they thought it would strengthen the economy.

formidable = imposing; enervating = weakening

efficacious = effective; invigorating = strengthening

delicate = fragile; stimulating = causing activity

ruthless = cruel; lauding = praising

incongruous = not matching; encouraging = inspiring

6. D The second part of the sentence implies that the critics deemed her first novel to be lacking a bizarre and shocking ending. She would include a shocking ending to silence these critics. Two simple words to complete the sentence would be predictable and quiet.

banal = trivial; support = to hold up

elegant = refined; pacify = to soothe

spurious = fake; silence = to quiet

mundane = ordinary; appease = to quiet

contrived = obvious; endorse = support

7. D As is often the case, the information after the semicolon tells us everything we need to know. When Richard is unhappy, he picks fights.

sadistic = enjoying the pain of others

pious = holy

capricious = acting on impulse

belligerent = warlike, prone to fighting

fallacious = false

8. A Although shows a classic contrast. Sparrows appear to be weak and harmless, but when something important to them is threatened, they become the opposite of weak and harmless.

redoubtable = formidable, intimidating

furtive = sneaky

evanescent = ephemeral, short-lived

fickle = prone to change one’s mind

laconic = not inclined to speaking much

9. C If society detests it, the first word must indicate something negative. The as a result shows a cause and effect, so you’d expect the second word to describe a person who has the characteristic in the first blank.

compatibility = ability to go together; antagonistic = hostile idiosyncrasy = odd behavior; callous = hardened

duplicity = deceptiveness; perfidious = untrustworthy

superficial = lacking substance; profound = deep

potency = strength, power; sacrosanct = sacred

10. E The first word indicates something that would hurt one’s feelings. The second word must be a noun to describe such remarks.

derogatory = insulting; consecrations = blessings

inimical = unfriendly; conciliations = actions or remarks that regain trust or friendship

sanctimonious = smug; predilections = inclinations

venerable = worthy of respect; harangues = tirades

caustic = harmful; denigrations = slander

Unit 2 Exercise Sets II and III Answer Key

Exercise Set II

1. NYM: name pseudonym, anonymous, synonym, antonym

2. FLUERE: flow fluent, superfluous, confluence, effluvium

3. CHRONOS: time synchronize, chronology, anachronism, chronicle

4. SYN-: same synonym, sympathy, synchronize, synthesis

5. IN-, IM-: not intolerant, immoral, immodest, inconceivable

6. TRANS: across transparent, transmit, translate, transition

7. SACER: sacred sacrilegious, sacrament, sacrosanct, consecrate

8. VERERI: respect revere, reverent, irreverent, reverend

9. VOCARE: to call invoke, provoke, vocation, voice, revoke

10. VILIS: worthless vilify, revile, villain, evil

11. TEMPUS: time extemporaneous, temporary, contemporary

12. SANCTUS: holy sanctify, sanctuary, sacrosanct, sanctimonious

13. POTENS: strong potent, impotent, potential, despot

14. DOMIT: lord dominion, indomitable, domesticate, dominate

15. DE-: down descend, demoralize, demote, deride, decline

Exercise Set III

1. Y

2. N

3. N

4. Y

5. N

6. calumny

7. admonish

8. sporadic

9. protracted

10. guile

11. surreptitious

12. rapacious

13. revere

14. talisman

15. sanctimonious

16. bulwark

17. indomitable

18. vilify

19. contempt

20. stratagem

21. anachronistic

22. sanctuary

23. robust

24. anthology

25. invoke

26. anomalous

27. contemptuous

28. anachronistic

29. censure

30. evanescent

31. duplicity

32. pseudonym

33. derogatory

34. impugn

35. sanctimonious

36. venerate

37. predominant

38. impotent

39. coalesce

40. supercilious

41. revile

Vocabulary Unit 3

Vocabulary Lesson 15: Weak and Weaker

 atrophy (v) to weaken from disuse (a- without + troph nourishment)

After surgery, extended bed rest often causes muscles to atrophy unless it is accompanied by physical therapy.

Synonyms: degenerate, deteriorate Antonyms: thrive, flourish

 abate (v) to subside; to decrease in intensity (ad- to + batre to beat)

The crews had to wait until the storm abated before they could begin to assess the damage to the coastal town.

Synonyms: wane, diminish Antonyms: expand, amplify

 porous (adj) filled with many holes (porus opening)

The teenager’s story was a porous one that her parents could easily see through.

Synonyms: penetrable, pervious Antonyms: impervious, impenetrable, impregnable

 wane (v) to grow smaller or less intense

As the brightness of the moon wanes over the next few nights, it will become easier to see the surrounding stars.

Synonyms: abate, ebb Antonyms: wax, intensify

 lassitude (n) a feeling of weakness (lassus weary)

Although she tried valiantly to play through her illness, Danielle’s lassitude overtook her in the second half.

Synonyms: listlessness, weariness Antonyms: vitality, vigor

 undermine (v) to weaken or diminish something

The continual setbacks to the project over many weeks undermined the morale of the workers.

Synonyms: undercut, attenuate Antonyms: fortify, strengthen

 obsequious (adj) overly submissive (ob- to + sequi follow)

Synonyms: fawning, compliant

 attrition (n) a wearing away of strength or morale

Synonyms: debilitation, weakening

 enervate (v) to weaken someone’s vitality

Synonym: debilitate

 vulnerable (adj) prone to attack or harm

Synonyms: assailable, susceptible

 ebb (v) to decrease or decline slowly

Synonyms: wane, abate

 compliant (adj) submissive (pli fold)

Synonyms: yielding, conciliatory

 debilitate (v) to sap the strength of (de- away + bilis strength)

Synonyms: cripple, enervate

Vocabulary Lesson 16: Chillin’

 placid (adj) calm (plac to please)

A relaxing day at the spa always makes me feel more placid.

Synonyms: serene, tranquil Antonyms: frenzied, frenetic

 inert (adj) sluggish; inactive (in- not + ertem active)

After his final exams, Ricky sat inert on his couch for two days watching soap operas and game shows.

Synonyms: quiescent, torpid, phlegmatic Antonyms: alert, lively

 listless (adj) sluggish; without energy (-less without)

I always feel listless on rainy days; sometimes I don’t even want to get out of bed.

Synonyms: enervated, inert, phlegmatic, lethargic Antonyms: lively, robust

 quiescent (adj) resting; quiet (quies rest)

During the quiescent phase of cell division, the cell does not split or grow.

Synonym: inactive Antonyms: dynamic, active

 serene (adj) tranquil; calm; placid (serenus peaceful, calm)

There was not a single wave on the surface of the serene lake.

Synonyms: quiescent, sedate Antonyms: frenzied, turbulent

 static (adj) stationary (status standing)

The patient’s vitals have been static for an hour. We hope this means he can be moved from intensive care.

Synonyms: stagnant, inert Antonyms: itinerant, peripatetic

 lethargic (adj) lazy; sluggish

The flu left me feeling lethargic even two days after my fever had broken.

Synonyms: phlegmatic, dormant, enervated, listless

 moratorium (n) postponement

Synonyms: deferral, delay

 stagnate (v) to become inactive; to become stale (status standing)

Synonym: idle

 torpor (n) lethargy; apathy

Synonyms: inertness, lassitude

 respite (n) rest; time of relief; pause (respit delay)

Synonyms: hiatus, moratorium

 hiatus (n) a break in the continuity of something

Synonyms: respite, discontinuity

 torpid (adj) hibernating; dormant (torpere be numb)

Synonyms: inert, idle

Vocabulary Lesson 17: Wanna Fight?

 belligerent (adj) warlike; quarrelsome (bellum war)

My brother is a belligerent guy; he picks his fair share of bar fights.

Synonyms: antagonistic, cantankerous, contentious Antonyms: passive, peaceful

 irascible (adj) easily angered (ire anger)

Adam’s irascible nature landed him in anger management therapy; he overreacts to the smallest things.

Synonyms: choleric, splenetic, petulant Antonym: even-tempered

 volatile (adj) explosive; tending to evaporate quickly (vola to fly)

The situation in the Middle East is a volatile one that must be handled with care.

Synonyms: unsettled, temperamental Antonym: stable

 rebuttal (n) refutation; opposing response to an argument (re- back)

After the opponent made his remarks, the debate team captain approached the podium to deliver her rebuttal.

Synonyms: repartee, rejoinder Antonym: agreement

 refute (v) to disprove; to rebut forcefully (refutare to drive back)

The judge found no evidence to refute your claim that the car is yours, so you get to keep it for now.

Synonyms: contradict, rebut Antonyms: support, endorse

 incite (v) to urge into action (citare to cause to move)

The rebels incited a revolt in the small city by convincing the citizens that their mayor was a crook.

Synonyms: coax, cajole, instigate Antonym: dissuade

 pugnacious (adj) quarrelsome; warlike (pugnare fight)

The pugnacious punk was happiest when his fists were pounding someone else’s chin.

Synonyms: truculent, belligerent Antonyms: pacific, passive

 bellicose (adj) warlike in manner (bellum war)

Synonyms: pugnacious, belligerent

 harass (v) to bother; to annoy

Synonyms: irritate, torment

 assail (v) to attack or assault (ad- at + salire leap)

Synonym: berate

 tumultuous (adj) violently agitated

Synonyms: hectic, unruly

 instigate (v) to goad; to urge on

Synonyms: incite, foment, coax, cajole

 provocative (adj) tending to aggravate or stimulate (pro- forth + vocare to call)

Synonyms: goading, alluring

 propensity (n) a natural inclination; a tendency (pro- forth)

Vocabulary Lesson 18: Bad and Ugly

 acrimony (n) bitterness of feeling; harsh words (acri bitter + monia action or condition)

Her toast was inappropriately acrimonious, and we could all tell that she had not forgiven her friend.

Synonyms: belligerence, rancor Antonym: civility

 appalling (adj) shocking; causing dismay (palir to grow pale)

The way he yells at his wife is appalling; he treats her as if she were his servant.

Synonyms: astounding, offensive Antonyms: benevolent, virtuous

 cacophony (n) discord; harsh sounds (cacos ugly + phon sound)

How can this cacophony coming out of my son’s room be today’s popular music?

Synonyms: disharmony, dissonance Antonym: harmony

 abysmal (adj) extremely bad; wretched

The food at this hospital is abysmal! Is this bread or cardboard?

Synonyms: deplorable, pathetic Antonyms: commendable, laudable

 acrid (adj) harsh smelling or tasting (acri bitter)

Don’t inhale too much of this chemical; it is known to be quite acrid and can make you pass out.

Synonyms: astringent, pungent Antonyms: savory, sweet

 blatant (adj) very conspicuous; annoyingly loud

The blaring of loud music despite my repeated requests for silence shows your blatant disregard for my needs.

Synonyms: flagrant, impudent Antonym: unobtrusive

 deplorable (adj) worthy of reproach or censure (plorare to cry out in sorrow)

Although they claimed to love animals, the conditions at their run-down shelter were deplorable.

Synonyms: disgraceful, egregious Antonyms: commendable, laudable

 egregious (adj) conspicuously bad; flagrant (e- out + greg herd)

Synonyms: atrocious, deplorable

 lurid (adj) shocking; sensational

Synonyms: graphic, vivid

 noisome (adj) offensive to the senses or the health (noi harm)

Synonyms: loathsome, detestable

 flagrant (adj) offensively bad; reprehensible

Synonyms: egregious, blatant

 heinous (adj) cruel; shockingly evil (haine hatred + -ous full of)

Synonyms: atrocious, monstrous

 astringent (adj) caustic; pungent

Synonyms: acrid, harsh

Vocabulary Lesson 19: Moving Right Along

 ambulatory (adj) capable of moving around (ambulare walk)

He must stay in bed for a week, and once he is ambulatory he will need crutches.

Synonyms: mobile, peripatetic Antonyms: static, immobile

 deviate (v) to swerve or deflect (de- away + via path)

The tire sitting in the left lane of the highway caused the driver to deviate from her path.

Synonyms: digress, veer Antonym: conform

 influx (n) a flowing in (in- in+ flux flow)

The school saw quite an influx of new applicants once it increased the number of scholarships.

Synonyms: inundation, inpouring, immigration Antonyms: efflux, emigration

 meander (v) to wander aimlessly (from Maiandros, a Greek river known for its winding path)

The confused lost child meandered through the streets with no apparent destination.

Synonyms: roam, drift

 peripatetic (adj) traveling from place to place (peri- around + patein to walk)

The nomads were a peripatetic clan; they never stayed in the same place very long.

Synonyms: itinerant, ambulant Antonyms: stationary, static

 impel (v) to put into motion; to urge (pel force)

The zoo visitors were impelled into action by the announcement that a lion was loose.

Synonyms: goad, spur Antonyms: impede, dissuade

 expedite (v) to speed up the progress of (ex- out + pes foot: to free from entanglement) The project was expedited once the CEO decided that its outcome reflected on him personally.

Synonyms: facilitate, hasten, precipitate, advance Antonyms: impede, hinder

 itinerant (adj) traveling from place to place

Synonyms: peripatetic, ambulant

 nomadic (adj) wandering without a permanent home

Synonyms: migratory, drifting

 peripheral (adj) located on the outer boundary (peri- around)

Synonym: bordering

 compel (v) to urge into action by force (com- together + pel force)

Synonyms: impel, coerce

 vagrant (adj) wandering from place to place (vagus wandering)

Synonyms: nomadic, peripatetic

 perambulate (v) to move about (per- through + ambulare walk)

Synonyms: wander, drift

Vocabulary Lesson 20: Going, Going, Gone!

 raze (v) to destroy completely

The massive level-five hurricane razed the entire port city, crushing everything in its path.

Synonyms: obliterate, decimate Antonym: preserve

 jettison (v) to throw overboard

The killer jettisoned the murder weapon into the lake as he sailed to his hideout in the cove.

Synonyms: heave, dump Antonym: retain

 abort (v) to terminate prematurely

The soldiers aborted their mission when they learned their cover was blown and it was no longer safe.

Synonyms: scratch, cancel Antonyms: execute, continue

 purge (v) to cleanse of something unwanted (purgare to cleanse) It is satisfying to purge your email inbox of unwanted junk messages.

Synonyms: remove, expunge Antonyms: amass, collect

 forgo (v) to give something up (for- away + go go)

The woman decided to leave the hospital early and forgo further treatment on her injured hip.

Synonyms: abandon, forsake Antonyms: maintain, participate

 deplete (v) to decrease the supply of (deplare to empty)

The run on gasoline depleted the gas station of its fuel reserves, and it was forced to shut down.

Synonyms: exhaust, diminish Antonyms: replenish, restock

 dearth (n) lack; scarcity (dear greatly valued)

There has been a dearth of good will between the teams ever since the bench-clearing brawl.

Synonyms: paucity, scarcity, want, deficiency Antonyms: abundance, plenitude, bounty

 rescind (v) to take back; to cancel (re- back + scindere cut)

Synonyms: annul, void

 efface (v) to erase by rubbing (e- out + face appearance)

Synonyms: omit, cancel

 abdicate (v) to give up power (ab- away + dicare proclaim)

Synonyms: relinquish, renounce

 renounce (v) to give up in a formal announcement

Synonyms: abdicate, resign

 nullify (v) to make invalid (nullus none)

Synonyms: cancel, void

 relinquish (v) to abandon or give up (re- back + linquere to leave)

Synonyms: abdicate, vacate

 cathartic (adj) having a purging effect; inducing the release of emotional tension

Forgiving his father turned out to be a very cathartic experience for Kenneth.

Vocabulary Lesson 21: Mr. Nice Guy

 altruism (n) selflessness (alter other)

Tom’s altruism pushes him to spend thirty hours per week working with the needy.

Synonyms: humaneness, benevolence Antonyms: egoism, malevolence

 amiable (adj) friendly; agreeable (amicus friend)

Mr. Richards is such an amiable guy, always smiling and laughing as he interacts with his customers.

Synonyms: affable, amicable Antonyms: surly, disdainful

 philanthropist (n) one who does good; lover of humankind (phila- love + anthro humankind)

It is amazing that a penny-pincher like Paul is a philanthropist who has donated millions to charity.

Synonyms: altruist, humanitarian Antonyms: misanthrope, antagonist

 congenial (adj) friendly; pleasant (con- with + genialis pleasant)

After months of imagining her in-laws as monsters, Julia was surprised at how congenial they actually were.

Synonyms: amicable, affable Antonyms: hostile, surly

 munificent (adj) generous (munus sharing)

Donating that outfit to charity is quite a munificent gesture, considering that it is your favorite.

Synonyms: beneficent, magnanimous Antonyms: greedy, egoistic

 decorum (n) propriety; good manners (decorus proper)

While eating at the country club, you must behave with the utmost decorum and mind your manners.

Synonym: etiquette Antonym: impropriety

 amity (n) friendship (amicus friend)

Synonyms: benevolence, amicableness

 decorous (adj) exhibiting good taste in behavior or appearance (decorus proper)

Synonyms: civilized, dignified

 affable (adj) friendly; kind (affabilis easy to converse with)

Synonyms: amiable, amicable

 gregarious (adj) sociable (greg flock)

Synonym: friendly

 amicable (adj) polite and friendly (amicus friend)

Synonyms: amiable, affable

 magnanimous (adj) generous; big-hearted (magna- great + animus spirit)

Synonyms: altruistic, munificent

 geniality (n) cheerfulness (genialis pleasant)

Synonyms: affability, amiability

Vocabulary Unit 3 Exercise Set I


Time—8 minutes

For each question, select the best answer among the choices given. Note any vocabulary words to review on the Hit List below.


1. Stephen’s job as censor for the magazine was to ------ any material that might be objectionable to its readers.

(A) abridge

(B) amass

(C) refute

(D) expurgate

(E) enervate

2. As more travelers have decided to ------ their garbage as they sail, the lake has become quite polluted.

(A) pilfer

(B) jettison

(C) yoke

(D) assail

(E) impel

3. The movie critic refused to take back his ------ remarks because he thoroughly intended to ------ the director’s abilities.

(A) caustic . . compliment

(B) derogatory . . revere

(C) sanctimonious . . reveal

(D) laconic . . lionize

(E) scathing . . disparage

4. The ------ young salesman made his living wandering from town to town.

(A) bellicose

(B) inert

(C) lethargic

(D) acrid

(E) peripatetic

5. Normally a ------ person, when stuck in horrible traffic on the highway Peter becomes even more ------, often provoking fisticuffs with other drivers.

(A) congenial . . rapacious

(B) contentious . . belligerent

(C) listless . . dolorous

(D) choleric . . serene

(E) sanguine . . pugnacious

6. The normally ------ daytime television show had one surprisingly ------ episode and got yanked off the air.

(A) decorous . . provocative

(B) compliant . . obsequious

(C) vulnerable . . porous

(D) volatile . . tumultuous

(E) deplorable . . altruistic

7. Coming off of the worst recession in the country’s 250-year history, the sudden ------ of money was a welcome sight to the rulers of the destitute nation.

(A) depletion

(B) influx

(C) transgression

(D) fluctuation

(E) bulwark

8. The ------ from the construction work on the busy street below made it very difficult for me to concentrate with the window open.

(A) torpor

(B) cacophony

(C) euphoria

(D) anomaly

(E) sacrament

9. As if he knew I was exhausted and in need of ------ from his interminable mischief, the puppy went to his bed and took a nap.

(A) an elocution

(B) a euphemism

(C) a respite

(D) a rebuttal

(E) a testimony

10. Although it was nice to be ------ again after being bedridden for four weeks, the muscular ------ that resulted from my immobilization was going to take a lot of work to fix.

(A) itinerant . . deterioration

(B) amiable . . bastion

(C) ambulatory . . atrophy

(D) amorphous . . attrition

(E) pedestrian . . acrimony

Vocabulary Unit 3 Exercise Set II


Write the meaning next to each root, then write as many words as you can that contain the root.


Vocabulary Unit 3 Exercise Set III

Write the word with the given meaning.

Write the correct form of the italicized word.

26. characterized by torpor

_____________________________________________

27. the act of abdicating

_____________________________________________

28. the quality of being volatile

_____________________________________________

29. how someone who displays altruism behaves

_____________________________________________

30. the quality of being pugnacious

_____________________________________________

Write the word with the given root.

31. lazy, sluggish (argos)

_____________________________________________

32. to erase (fac)

_____________________________________________

33. to weaken from disuse (a-)

_____________________________________________

34. postponement (mora)

_____________________________________________

35. generous (muni)

_____________________________________________

36. quarrelsome (belli)

_____________________________________________

37. overly submissive (sequi)

_____________________________________________

38. to swerve (via)

_____________________________________________

39. easily angered (irasci)

_____________________________________________

40. sociable (greg)

_____________________________________________

41. harsh words (acri)

_____________________________________________

Unit 3 Exercise Set I Answer Key

1. D A censor is one who removes objectionable material.

abridge = to shorten

amass = to accumulate or collect

refute = to disprove

expurgate = to remove inappropriate material

enervate = to weaken

2. B The waters are becoming more polluted, which indicates that people are probably putting their garbage into the lake.

pilfer = to steal

jettison = to throw overboard

yoke = to tie together

assail = to attack

impel = to provoke

3. E The critic thoroughly intended to say what he said. But if they were things he was expected to take back, they must have been pretty negative. The second word should be negative as well.

caustic = harmful; compliment = to praise

derogatory = offensive; revere = to respect

sanctimonious = smug

laconic = terse; lionize = to worship

scathing = harsh; disparage = to put down

4. E This person makes his living wandering from town to town.

bellicose = warlike

inert = inactive

lethargic = sluggish

acrid = harsh

peripatetic = traveling from place to place

5. B Peter sometimes picks fights (fisticuffs). The second word should be slightly stronger than the first.

congenial = friendly; rapacious = ravenous

contentious = inclined to argue; belligerent = warlike

listless = lethargic; dolorous = painful

choleric = easily angered; serene = peaceful

sanguine = optimistic; pugnacious = combative

6. A It got yanked off the air, so the show must have done something bad. The word surprisingly indicates a contrast, so the first word is positive.

decorous = proper; provocative = risqué

compliant = obedient; obsequious = submissive

vulnerable = susceptible; porous = full of holes

volatile = explosive; tumultuous = turbulent

deplorable = very bad; altruistic = selfless

7. B The nation is destitute, and therefore needs money to pour in.

depletion = draining

influx = inward flow

transgression = violation

fluctuation = shift back and forth

bulwark = a defensive wall

8. B It is difficult to concentrate and the street is busy with construction; there must be lot of noise down there.

torpor = sluggishness

cacophony = harsh noise

euphoria = elation, ecstasy

anomaly = an abnormality

sacrament = a formal religious act

9. C The owner of the puppy is exhausted and therefore in need of rest. Interminable means never-ending. The puppy’s nap would provide the owner with a nice break from the mischief.

an elocution = an expressive delivery of a speech

a euphemism = an inoffensive expression substituted for an offensive one

a respite = a rest

a rebuttal = a retort

a testimony = an account, evidence

10. C The first word describes one who is no longer bedridden. The second word describes a problem from being bedridden. Atrophy works because it is the result of disuse.

itinerant = wandering; deterioration = degeneration

amiable = friendly; bastion = a fortified area

ambulatory = able to move; atrophy = withering

amorphous = lacking shape; attrition = erosion

pedestrian = common; acrimony = harsh words

(pedestrian can also mean “on the move”)

Unit 3 Exercise Sets II and III Answer Key

Exercise Set II

1. A-: without atheist, atrophy, apathy, asexual, amorphous, abyss

2. AN-: without anarchy, anecdote, anaerobic, analgesic, anemia, anesthesia, anonymous

3. PERI-: around peripatetic, perambulate, pericardium, period, perimeter, peripheral, peristalsis, periscope

4. AB-: away abdicate, abscond, abduct, aberration, absolve, abject, abscess, abomination

5. ACRI: bitter acrimony, acrid, acrimonious

6. BELLUM-: war belligerent, bellicose, rebel, rebellion

7. AM-, AMICUS: friend amiable, amicable, enemy, inimical, amity

8. ANTHRO-: mankind anthropology, anthropocentric, philanthropist, misanthrope

9. MUNUS: gift munificent, immunity, remuneration

10. TROPH: nourishment atrophy, phototroph, heterotroph, autotroph, dystrophy

11. PRO-: forward, forth procrastinate, prolific, prophesy, propagate, propensity, profound, provoke, provocative

12. PHON: sound cacophony, phonetic, symphony, euphonious

13. PURG-: to clean expurgate, purge, purgatory, spurge

14. PEL: to push compel, impel, expel, propulsion

15. SEQUI: to follow obsequious, prosecute, pursue, segue, subsequent

Exercise Set III

1. Y

2. Y

3. N

4. N

5. Y

6. itinerant

7. torpid

8. decorum

9. raze

10. deplete

11. porous

12. ambulatory

13. altruism

14. incite

15. undermine

16. noisome

17. vulnerable

18. static

19. abort

20. impel

21. amicable

22. pugnacious

23. jettison

24. deplorable

25. hiatus

26. torpid

27. abdication

28. volatility

29. altruistically

30. pugnacity

31. lethargic

32. efface

33. atrophy

34. moratorium

35. munificent

36. belligerent

37. obsequious

38. deviate

39. irascible

40. gregarious

41. acrimony

Vocabulary Unit 4

Vocabulary Lesson 22: Show Off!

 pedantic (adj) showy about knowledge (paedere to instruct)

Kim’s pedantic teaching style bothers her students; she uses bizarre vocabulary words nobody understands.

Synonyms: didactic, egotistic

 grandiose (adj) pretentious; ridiculously exaggerated (grandis great)

The castle’s foyer was the most grandiose of its kind, adorned with crystal chandeliers and gilded banisters.

Synonyms: ostentatious, flamboyant, lofty Antonym: humble

 bombastic (adj) pompous; using inflated language

The bombastic language in the mayor’s campaign speech made her seem arrogant and disconnected from the public.

Synonyms: grandiose, overblown Antonyms: understated, reserved

 braggart (n) one who boasts; a showoff (braguer to show off)

No one likes a braggart; it’s better to be modest and humble about your successes.

Synonym: egotist

 ostentatious (adj) showy; pretentious (ostentare to display + -ious full of)

That solid gold statue is the most ostentatious display of wealth I have ever seen.

Synonyms: gaudy, grandiose, garish Antonyms: understated, reserved

 pompous (adj) possessing excessive self-esteem; pretentious (pomp splendor + -ous full of)

His pompous, holier-than-thou attitude annoyed all of his classmates.

Synonyms: conceited, self-centered, pontifical Antonyms: modest, self-effacing, humble

 swagger (v) to walk or strut in an arrogant manner

Having beat their crosstown rivals handily, the players swaggered back to the locker room.

Synonyms: brag, strut

 lofty (adj) haughty; overly proud

Synonyms: cavalier, pretentious

 garish (adj) flashy; loud

Synonyms: ornate, ostentatious, gaudy

 ornate (adj) overly decorated (ornatus to adorn)

Synonyms: ostentatious, opulent, gaudy

 opulence (adj) luxuriousness (opulentus wealthy)

Synonyms: grandeur, affluence

 pretentious (adj) ostentatious

Synonyms: gaudy, grandiose, garish

 baroque (adj) extravagantly ornate and convoluted in style

Synonyms: flamboyant, florid

Vocabulary Lesson 23: Like a Pit Bull

 dogged (adj) determined; unwilling to give up

Outmanned and overmatched, the dogged fighters nevertheless refused to surrender the Alamo.

Synonyms: tenacious, inexorable Antonyms: yielding, irresolute

 inexorable (adj) relentless (in- not + exorabilis able to be swayed)

Inexorable in his wooing, Jason vowed to send Kathy roses every day until she accepted his prom invitation.

Synonyms: obstinate, dogged Antonyms: yielding, irresolute

 obstinate (adj) stubborn (obstinatus to stand stubbornly)

No matter what she tried, she could not make her obstinate husband change his mind.

Synonyms: adamant, relentless, obdurate Antonyms: acquiescent, obsequious

 intransigent (adj) uncompromising (in- not + transigente compromising)

Pat’s intransigent nature showed itself when he adamantly refused to shift his appointment from 5:00 to 5:05.

Synonyms: obstinate, intractable Antonyms: concordant, accommodating, complaisant

 contentious (adj) quarrelsome (contendere to strive after + -ious full of)

Julia sighed as her excessively contentious husband started another unnecessary argument with their waiter.

Synonyms: pugnacious, belligerent Antonyms: passive, conciliatory

 pertinacity (n) stubbornness (per- very + tenax holding fast)

Kyle showed incredible pertinacity after breaking his leg, making it back in time for the championship game.

Synonyms: doggedness, steadfastness

 steadfast (adj) unchanging; unswerving (stede stand + foest firmly fixed)

Despite many hardships, the team was steadfast in its pursuit of the summit.

Synonyms: obdurate, inexorable Antonyms: fickle, vacillatory

 recalcitrant (adj) stubbornly rebellious

Synonyms: defiant, stubborn, wayward

 tenacious (adj) holding firmly; persistent (tenax holding fast)

Synonyms: persistent, steadfast, resolute

 disputatious (adj) inclined to arguing (disputare to argue)

Synonyms: contentious, litigious, polemical

 obdurate (adj) intractable; not easily persuaded (obdurare to harden)

Synonyms: inexorable, dogged

 intractable (adj) hard to manage; stubborn (in- not + tract pull)

Synonyms: obstinate, headstrong

 adamant (adj) refusing to yield (adamas unbreakable)

Synonyms: inexorable, obdurate

 litigious (adj) prone to bringing lawsuits (lis- lawsuit + agere to drive)

Synonym: contentious

Vocabulary Lesson 24: You’re Good at That!

 adroit (adj) dexterous; skillful

An adroit con man, Clarence knew how to fool even the most skeptical eye.

Synonyms: deft, proficient Antonyms: clumsy, inept

 unerring (adj) committing no mistakes; perfect (un- not + err to make a mistake)

Her unerring sense of direction always puts her in the right place even if she has never been there before.

Synonym: infallible Antonym: inferior

 adept (adj) highly skilled

Roberto, an adept mathematician, completed the outrageously difficult calculus final in just 25 minutes.

Synonyms: dexterous, adroit Antonyms: incompetent, clumsy

 aptitude (n) a natural ability; intelligence (apt fit)

Kenneth showed a great aptitude for computers as a child, designing complex programs at the age of ten.

Synonyms: competence, expertise Antonyms: ineptitude, incompetence

 paragon (n) a model of excellence; perfection (para- beyond)

The head of several charities, Susan is the paragon of philanthropy.

Synonyms: prototype; epitome

 deft (adj) adroit, skillful

The graceful ballerina kept from tripping on stage by deftly avoiding the poorly placed electrical wires.

Synonyms: proficient, adroit Antonyms: clumsy, inept, awkward

 preeminent (adj) outstanding

preeminent psychologist, Dr. Carter is often asked to lend his expertise on difficult cases.

Synonyms: unsurpassed, paramount Antonym: inferior

 expertise (n) knowledge or skill in a particular area

Synonyms: prowess, savvy, bailiwick

 discerning (adj) showing good judgment or keen insight (dis- off + cernere distinguish)

Synonyms: astute, judicious, sage

 agility (n) nimbleness (agilis to move)

Synonyms: spryness, litheness

 consummate (adj) perfect in every respect (con- with + summus highest)

Synonym: impeccable

 dexterous (adj) skillful with the hands (dexter skillful + -ous full of)

Synonyms: adroit, adept

 impeccable (adj) flawless (im- not + peccare to sin)

Synonyms: immaculate, infallible, transcendent

 precocious (adj) unusually advanced or mature in development (especially in mental attitude)

Vocabulary Lesson 25: Bad and Worse

 nefarious (adj) wicked; sinful (ne- not + fas lawful)

Cinderella’s nefarious stepsisters took joy in making her do their daily chores.

Synonyms: infamous, odious

 repugnant (adj) offensive; repulsive (re- back + pugnare to fight)

Christopher’s mother found his superstition of not bathing after games repugnant.

Synonyms: abhorrent, vile, abominable Antonyms: alluring, admirable

 infamous (adj) famous for bad deeds; notorious (in- not + famosus celebrated)

The infamous “El Héctor” was remembered for the way he tortured the poor villagers of Santa Potula.

Synonyms: contemptible, ignominious Antonym: noble

 odious (adj) worthy of dislike; arousing feelings of dislike (odiosus hateful)

Jimmy was no longer afraid to go to school once the odious bully was suspended.

Synonyms: abhorrent, loathsome, repugnant Antonyms: delightful, laudable

 malevolent (adj) wishing harm to others; evil (mal- evil + vol wish)

The malevolent dictator smiled as he ordered his soldiers to burn down the church.

Synonym: sinister Antonym: benevolent

 malefactor (n) an evildoer (mal- evil + facere to perform)

Superman has found and stopped many a malefactor before the crime could actually be committed.

Synonyms: scamp, delinquent Antonym: benefactor

 abominable (adj) loathsome; unpleasant

His abominable behavior at the game included excessive drinking, loud swearing, and the removal of his clothes.

Synonyms: contemptible, vile Antonyms: delightful, laudable

 avarice (n) extreme greed

Synonyms: miserliness, penuriousness

 bigotry (n) intolerance toward those who are different

 hypocrite (n) one who says one thing but does another (hypokrites Gr pretender)

 miserly (adj) lacking generosity (mis- wretched)

Synonyms: avaricious, penurious

 inimical (adj) unfriendly (in- not + amicus friend)

Synonyms: antagonistic, hostile

 curmudgeon (n) a cranky person

 misanthrope (n) one who hates humankind (mis- hatred + anthro humankind)

 perfidy (n) deliberate breach of trust; treachery

Vocabulary Lesson 26: Ripped Off

 charlatan (n) a fraud; a quack (chiarlatino a quack)

June’s family warned her that Chaz was a charlatan only pretending to be a successful lawyer.

Synonyms: imposter, con man, swindler

 ruse (n) a crafty scheme

The clever criminal came up with a flawless ruse to steal the money from the bank.

Synonyms: strategem, machination

 subterfuge (n) a scheme; an attempt to deceive (subter secretly + fugere to flee)

It takes real subterfuge to sneak anything past Principal Guber; it’s like he is able to see your every move.

Synonyms: surreptitiousness, strategem, ploy Antonyms: forthrightness, candor

 dupe (n) one who is easily deceived

The con artist has a knack for picking the perfect dupe, someone who will easily fall for his scam.

Synonyms: chump, pushover

 pilfer (v) to steal

The looters pilfered countless items from the electronics store during the riot.

Synonyms: embezzle, filch

 swindle (v) to cheat

The street hustler swindled the unsuspecting man, tricking him into buying a fake designer watch.

Synonyms: bamboozle, hoodwink

 gullible (adj) easily deceived

The gullible teenager was easily tricked by her friends into believing that one of them was a secret agent.

Synonym: naive Antonym: astute

 embezzle (v) to steal money from one’s employer

Synonyms: loot, pilfer

 machination (n) a crafty scheme (machina device)

Synonyms: strategem, ruse

 bilk (v) to cheat, to swindle

Synonyms: hoodwink, defraud, cheat, fleece

 larceny (n) theft (larecin Fr theft)

Synonym: thievery

 filch (v) to steal

Synonyms: pilfer, embezzle

 fleece (v) to defraud of money, to swindle

Synonyms: swindle, bilk, hoodwink, defraud

Vocabulary Lesson 27: Good Guys and Bad Guys

 hedonist (n) a pleasure seeker (hedone pleasure)

The ’60s are often considered the age of the hedonist, a time when everyone felt they had the right to have fun.

Synonyms: epicurean, epicure, sybarite, bon vivant

 ascetic (n) one who lives a holy life of self-denial (asketes monk)

Tim has spent years at a time as an ascetic, each time giving away all he owns and living on rice and prayer.

Synonym: monk

 anarchist (n) one who opposes all political authority (an- without + archos leader)

Before the coup d’état, the dictator claimed to be an anarchist; that all changed once he was given power.

Synonyms: insurgent, rebel

 pacifist (n) an individual who is opposed to violence (pacis peace + facere to make)

Forever a pacifist, Julie organized a rally protesting the war in the Middle East.

Synonym: peace-seeker Antonyms: warmonger, combatant

 atheist (n) one who does not believe that God exists (a- without + theos god)

Although she is an atheist and does not worship the Buddha, Cathy meditates with her Buddhist friends.

 nihilist (n) one who rejects moral distinctions and knowable “truths”

Because she is a nihilist, Carrie likes to contend that the world may be a figment of her imagination.

 despot (n) a tyrant; one who rules oppressively (despotes Gk absolute ruler)

The despot rules with reckless abandon, doing only what he wants, with no concern for the citizens.

Synonyms: tyrant, oppressor

 narcissist (n) one in love with his/her own image (from Narcissus, who fell in love with himself)

 zealot (n) one who engages passionately in a cause

Synonyms: enthusiast, fanatic, devotee

 sybarite (n) an individual who seeks luxury

Synonym: hedonist

 pessimist (n) an individual who focuses on the negative side of a situation (pessimus worst)

Synonyms: alarmist, Cassandra, defeatist

 optimist (n) one who focuses on the positive side of a situation (optimus best)

Synonyms: idealist, Pollyanna, Pangloss, Candide

 fanatic (n) one who shows extreme enthusiasm for a cause (fanaticus enthusiastic)

Synonyms: extremist, radical, zealot, enthusiast

Vocabulary Lesson 28: That’s Better

 vindicate (v) to clear from blame

The adroit defense lawyer was able to vindicate her client of all charges, and he was set free.

Synonyms: exonerate, absolve Antonym: convict

 assuage (v) to soothe anger or pain; to satisfy a hunger (suavis agreeable, sweet)

If your dog gets stung by a bee, place a wet washcloth on the area to assuage the pain.

Synonyms: pacify, appease, quench, allay Antonyms: provoke, vex, exacerbate

 mollify (v) to soothe the anger of (mollis soft)

The waiter attempted to mollify the angry customer by offering him a free dessert with his dinner.

Synonyms: assuage, appease, placate, conciliate Antonyms: rile, provoke

 exonerate (v) to clear from accusation (ex- out + onus burden)

When the principal found the spray paint in Rex’s locker, Timmy was exonerated of all graffiti charges.

Synonyms: acquit, exculpate, absolve Antonym: incriminate

 placate (v) to soothe; to mollify (placare to please)

The mother attempted to placate her crying baby by handing him his favorite teddy bear.

Synonyms: pacify, assuage, conciliate, appease Antonyms: enrage, provoke

 exculpate (v) to free from blame (ex- out + culpa blame)

Although the DNA evidence did not identify the killer, it did exculpate the police’s primary suspect.

Synonyms: acquit, disculpate, exonerate Antonyms: impeach, convict

 anesthetic (n) something that reduces sensation (an- without + aisthesis Gk feeling)

Before closing the cut, the doctor administered an anesthetic to numb the area around the wound.

Synonym: palliative

 pacify (v) to soothe the agitation or anger of (pacis peace)

Synonyms: appease, conciliate

 invigorate (v) to energize (in- in + vigor liveliness -ate to do)

Synonyms: stimulate, rejuvenate

 alleviate (v) to relieve (think of “Aleve” to relieve body aches)

Synonyms: assuage, allay

 emollient (n) a substance that softens (mollis soft)

 absolve (v) to pardon (ab- from + solvere to loosen)

Synonyms: exculpate, acquit

 placid (adj) peaceful; calm (placare to please)

Synonyms: serene, tranquil

 mitigate (v) to make less severe; to lessen the force of

Vocabulary Unit 4 Exercise Set I


Time—8 minutes

For each question, select the best answer among the choices given. Note any vocabulary words to review on the Hit List below.


1. The ------ soldiers were commended for their refusal to surrender even when survival seemed to be an impossibility.

(A) bombastic

(B) dogged

(C) disputatious

(D) infamous

(E) dexterous

2. Five months after the surgical procedure, the patient requested a stronger pain medication to help ------ the daily discomfort she felt in her shoulder.

(A) exonerate

(B) alleviate

(C) invigorate

(D) perambulate

(E) scrutinize

3. The ------ golden statues added to the front of the house were excessively ------ even for the pretentious family that lived there.

(A) ornate . . ostentatious

(B) opulent . . nefarious

(C) insipid . . pompous

(D) splenetic . . grandiose

(E) gaudy . . mercurial

4. In an effort to ------ his bitter opponents, the President passed a law they had been pushing unsuccessfully for years.

(A) consummate

(B) mollify

(C) vindicate

(D) purge

(E) invoke

5. Sally’s ------ made her a ------ for many a con artist.

(A) loftiness . . chump

(B) infallibility . . curmudgeon

(C) pacifism . . charlatan

(D) placidity . . ruse

(E) gullibility . . dupe

6. Despite having ruled the nation for thirty years as ------ and ------ dictator, the prime minister was remembered for his munificence during the food shortage of 1987.

(A) an abominable . . beneficent

(B) a repugnant . . magnanimous

(C) an obstinate . . lithe

(D) a steadfast . . benevolent

(E) an odious . . malevolent

7. The deft way in which the lawyer was able to deflect the negative testimony to his favor showed why he is the ------ of prosecution.

(A) paragon

(B) conviction

(C) braggart

(D) machination

(E) misanthrope

8. The resort island is a fantasy vacation spot for a ------; one has rarely seen so much luxury and splendor in one place.

(A) sybarite

(B) zealot

(C) nihilist

(D) narcissist

(E) ascetic

9. When a basketball player commits ------ foul in a flagrant attempt to hurt a player, the referee calls a “technical foul” and the team that is fouled receives two foul shots and retains possession of the ball.

(A) a preeminent

(B) a peripheral

(C) a masochistic

(D) an inexorable

(E) an egregious

10. The young scamp has always shown ------ for larceny, having successfully ------ his first purse at the young age of six.

(A) an equanimity . . filched

(B) a bigotry . . bilked

(C) an aptitude . . pilfered

(D) a predilection . . exculpated

(E) an agility . . razed

Vocabulary Unit 4 Exercise Set II


Write the meaning next to each root, and then write as many words as you can that contain the root.


Vocabulary Unit 4 Exercise Set III

Write the word with the given meaning.

Write the correct form of the italicized word.

26. the quality of being recalcitrant

_____________________________________________

27. characterized by agility

_____________________________________________

28. characteristic of hypocrites

_____________________________________________

29. That which an anarchist seeks

_____________________________________________

30. To achieve vindication

_____________________________________________

Write the word with the given root.

31. wishing harm to others (vol)

_____________________________________________

32. stubbornness (per)

_____________________________________________

33. natural ability (apt)

_____________________________________________

34. a scheme (subter)

_____________________________________________

35. to soothe (suavis)

_____________________________________________

36. difficult to manipulate (tract)

_____________________________________________

37. to soothe (mollis)

_____________________________________________

38. wicked (fas)

_____________________________________________

39. to free from blame (culp)

_____________________________________________

40. model of excellence (para)

_____________________________________________

41. lacking generosity (mis)

_____________________________________________

Unit 4 Exercise Set I Answer Key

1. B If the soldiers are being commended, they must have done something good, which means that the missing word is positive. The phrase refusal to surrender tells us that dogged is the best choice.

bombastic = pompous

dogged = refusing to surrender

disputatious = argumentative

infamous = famous for evil acts

dexterous = skillful with the hands

2. B The patient is having a lot of pain and discomfort and wants to get rid of it. Alleviate is a perfect fit.

exonerate = to clear of blame

alleviate = to lessen

invigorate = to give strength to

perambulate = to move around

scrutinize = to examine closely

3. A The phrase even for the pretentious family leads us to believe that these statues must be quite pretentious. You want to pick words that relate to pretentiousness and luxury for both blanks.

ornate = overly decorated; ostentatious = showy

opulent = luxurious; nefarious = wicked

insipid = dull; pompous = arrogant

splenetic = irritable; grandiose = pretentious

gaudy = showy; mercurial = changing

4. B The opponents are bitter, which means that they are quite unhappy about something. They have been trying to get a particular law passed, and finally this President helps them pass the law. You want a word that means to soothe or please.

consummate = to make perfect

mollify = to soothe the anger of

vindicate = to clear from blame

purge = to get rid of

invoke = to call into being

5. E Con artists like to take advantage of people. Both words should describe a person who is easily taken advantage of. Gullible and dupe fit the best.

loftiness = excessive pride; chump = a pushover

infallibility = perfection; curmudgeon = resentful person

pacifism = love of peace; charlatan = a fraud

placidity = calm; ruse = a crafty scheme

gullibility = easily fooled; dupe = a pushover

6. E Despite implies that the second half of the sentence should provide a contrast to the first. The leader is remembered for his munificence, or generosity, which is a positive quality. Therefore the two words should be negative.

abominable = terrible; beneficent = doing good, kind

repugnant = offensive; magnanimous = generous

obstinate = stubborn; lithe = agile

steadfast = determined; benevolent = kind

odious = worthy of hate; malevolent = evil

7. A The lawyer deftly (skillfully) turns something that is negative into his advantage. This must mean that he is quite good at what he does. The word choice that best fits this is

paragon. paragon = the model of perfection

conviction = strongly held belief

braggart = one who boasts

machination = a crafty scheme

misanthrope = a hater of humankind

8. A The sentence tells us that the resort island is filled with luxury and splendor. Who would love that? A

sybarite. sybarite = an individual who seeks luxury

zealot = one who engages passionately in a cause

nihilist = one who does not believe anything can truly exist

narcissist = a person in love with his or her own image

ascetic = a person who lives a life of self-denial

9. E The technical foul is called when a player creates a foul that is obvious and flagrant. Egregious is a perfect choice.

preeminent = outstanding

peripheral = on the side

masochistic = enjoying one’s own pain

inexorable = relentless

egregious = flagrant, blatant

10. C A scamp is a mischievous person with a tendency toward crime. The word having indicates that the second word should support the first.

equanimity = calmness; filched = stole

bigotry = intolerance towards others; bilked = stole

aptitude = talent; pilfered = stole

predilection = preference; exculpated = freed from blame

agility = swiftness; razed = completely destroyed

Unit 4 Exercise Sets II and III Answer Key

Exercise Set II

1. GRANDIS: great, big grandeur, grandparent, grandiose, grandiloquent

2. SUB: under, secretly subtle, subcutaneous, subliminal, subterfuge, subservient, subconscious

3. SUAVIS: agreeable, sweet assuage, suave, sweet

4. PACIS: peace pacifist, peace, pacify, pacific

5. SUMMUS: highest summit, consummate, sum

6. APT: fit inept, aptitude, apt, adapt

7. PUGNARE: to fight pugnacity, impugn, pugnacious, repugnant

8. MIS: bad, wretched, hatred miserly, miserable, misanthrope, miser, misery, misogyny

9. DEXTER: skillful dexterity, dexterous, ambidextrous

10. TRACT: to pull subtract, abstract, attract, distract, contract, traction, intractable, tractor

11. CULPA: blame exculpate, inculpate, disculpate, culprit, culpable

12. MOLLIS: soft emollient, mollify

13. THEOS: god atheist, theology, enthusiasm, pantheist, theocracy, monotheism

14. PLACARE: to please placate, placid, placebo, complacent, complaisant, plea, please, displease

15. PED: instruct pedagogue, pedantic, pedant

Exercise Set III

1. N

2. Y

3. N

4. Y

5. N

6. charlatan

7. pedantic

8. hedonist

9. agility

10. infamous

11. pilfer

12. opulence

13. vindicate

14. odious

15. exonerate or exculpate

16. steadfast

17. emollient

18. machination

19. bombastic

20. curmudgeon

21. despot

22. adroit or adept

23. dogged

24. inexorable

25. sybarite

26. recalcitrance

27. agile

28. hypocritical

29. anarchy

30. vindicate

31. malevolent

32. pertinacity

33. aptitude

34. subterfuge

35. assuage

36. intractable

37. mollify

38. nefarious

39. exculpate

40. paragon

41. miserly

Vocabulary Unit 5

Vocabulary Lesson 29: Make Me!

 cajole (v) to persuade by using flattery

The clever eight-year-old girl successfully cajoled her parents into taking her to Disney World.

Synonyms: coax, wheedle, deceive

 exhort (v) to urge strongly (ex- thoroughly + hortari to urge)

The doctor exhorted his patient to stop smoking by explaining how dangerous a habit it really was.

Synonyms: provoke, instigate, rouse Antonyms: inhibit, discourage

 coerce (v) to persuade through the use of force

The bully coerced the smaller boy into handing over his lunch money with threats of wedgies and deadarms.

Synonyms: compel, intimidate

 induce (v) to cause (in- in + ducere to lead)

After thirty-six hours of labor, the doctors decided to induce the baby’s birth with medication.

Synonyms: sway, incite, impel Antonyms: curb, stall

 coax (v) to persuade by using flattery

The charming man used well-placed compliments to coax the pretty waitress into meeting him for a drink.

Synonyms: cajole, wheedle

 provoke (v) to stir up; to excite (pro- forth + vocare to call)

Eric provoked his older brother into fighting by whacking him on the head with his action figure.

Synonyms: irritate, rile, incite Antonyms: placate, assuage

 obligatory (adj) required (ob- to + ligare to bind)

The obligatory jumps in the skating competition must be performed or the competitor loses points.

Synonyms: mandatory, compulsory Antonyms: optional, elective

 wheedle (v) to influence by flattery

Synonyms: coax, cajole

 goad (v) to urge into action

Synonyms: spur, incite, catalyze

 begrudge (v) to give in to something reluctantly

Synonyms: concede, acquiesce

 spur (v) to goad into action

Synonyms: provoke, goad, incite

 prerequisite (n) a requirement (don’t confuse with perquisite: a perk)

Synonym: obligation

 resigned (adj) accepting of one’s fate

Synonyms: begrudging, acquiescent

Vocabulary Lesson 30: Come to Your Senses!

 tactile (adj) able to be sensed by touch (tactilis to touch)

The petting zoo provides a fun tactile experience for children, allowing them to touch dozens of animals.

Synonym: palpable

 olfactory (adj) relating to the sense of smell (olere a to smell of + facere to make)

For those with a strong olfactory sense, the spray of a skunk is extremely pungent.

 gustatory (adj) relating to the sense of taste (gustare to taste)

The meal was a gustatory extravaganza; her taste buds were exploding from all the savory spices.

 auditory (adj) relating to the sense of hearing (audire to hear)

Kris’s auditory deterioration prevented him from appreciating the subtle tonality of the music.

Synonym: aural

 discern (v) to perceive as separate; to sense keenly (dis- away + cernere distinguish, separate)

The fog made it difficult for me to discern how many people stood at the far end of the parking lot.

Synonyms: perceive, distinguish, ascertain

 pungent (adj) having a sharp or irritating odor (pungere to sting)

Many find garlic breath to be so pungent that they avoid cooking with the herb entirely.

Synonyms: piquant, zesty

 palpable (adj) detectable by touch (palpare to touch)

As the tightrope walker attempted to regain his balance, the tension in the audience was nearly palpable.

Synonyms: tangible, tactile

 ascertain (v) to learn for certain

Synonym: discern

 savory (adj) pleasant tasting; appetizing

Synonym: palatable

 putrid (adj) rotten; having a foul odor (putris rotten)

Synonyms: rancid, decayed

 myopic (adj) short-sightedness

Synonyms: narrow-minded, injudicious, undiscerning

 perceive (v) to become aware

Synonyms: discern, ascertain

 aural (adj) relating to the sense of hearing (auris ear)

Synonym: auditory

 tangible (adj) detectable by touch; substantial (tangere to touch)

Synonyms: palpable, concrete

Vocabulary Lesson 31: Stop It!

 thwart (v) to stop something before it is able to succeed

Thanks to inside information, the police department was able to thwart the bank robbery before it even began.

Synonyms: circumvent, stymie, foil Antonym: abet

 abstain (v) to refrain from action (abs- from + tenere to hold)

An alcoholic for twenty years, Robert was unable to abstain from drinking when offered a beer.

Synonyms: forgo, eschew Antonym: indulge

 deterrent (n) something that acts to discourage (de- away + terrere to frighten)

The picture of the vicious lion baring his teeth was an effective deterrent against kids’ reaching into the cage.

Synonyms: hindrance, impediment Antonym: incentive

 impede (v) to slow the progress of, to block

The orange cones did not do much to impede the progress of the cars; they just drove right over them.

Synonyms: hinder, obstruct Antonyms: assist, expedite

 hinder (v) to slow the progress of

The weed-killer sprayed on the garden successfully hindered the growth of the unwanted plants.

Synonyms: impede, obstruct, thwart Antonyms: promote, facilitate

 curtail (v) to make less (curtus short)

In an effort to lose weight, Mark tried to curtail his ice cream consumption.

Synonym: diminish Antonyms: extend, boost

 impediment (n) something that works to impede progress; a hindrance

Louise had a speech impediment that caused her to stutter, but that did not keep her from being a DJ.

Synonyms: impedance, encumbrance, hindrance Antonym: aid

 stymie (v) to present an obstacle to

Synonyms: hinder, impede

 dissuade (v) to persuade not to do something (dis- against + suadere to urge)

Synonyms: deter, divert

 refrain (v) to hold back from doing (re- back + frenare to restrain)

Synonyms: halt, inhibit

 abstinence (n) the voluntary avoidance of something (abs- from + tenere to hold)

 tentative (adj) uncertain

The tentative schedule was not set in stone.

Synonyms: cautious, diffident

 hamper (v) to restrict the progress of

Synonyms: impede, hinder

 abstemious (adj) sparing or moderate in consumption

Vocabulary Lesson 32: Must Be the Money

 destitute (adj) completely penniless (destitutus abandoned)

The stock market collapse of 2000–2002 left many an adept investor destitute.

Synonyms: impoverished, penniless Antonyms: affluent, wealthy

 frugal (adj) economical; good with money (frux fruit, profit)

frugal shopper does not make a purchase before checking many other places for a lower price.

Synonyms: thrifty, parsimonious Antonyms: squandering, prodigal

 remuneration (n) payment for services (re- back + munerari to give)

The job is tedious, but the remuneration is worthwhile—over fifty dollars per hour!

Synonyms: income, earnings

 impecunious (adj) without money (im- not + pecunia money)

You would never guess that Marisa was so impecunious if you watched her spend money at the mall.

Synonyms: destitute, penurious Antonyms: affluent, wealthy

 improvident (adj) failing to provide for the future (im- not + pro- ahead + videre to see)

Despite once being a millionaire, Claudio was now broke due to his improvident spending decisions.

Synonyms: prodigal, negligent, spendthrifty Antonyms: thrifty, frugal

 parsimony (n) excessive thriftiness (parsi- to spare, save + monium an action, a condition)

Al’s parsimoniousness reached an extreme when he hand-delivered a bill rather than spending money on a stamp.

Synonyms: miserliness, stinginess Antonyms: magnanimity, munificence

 venal (adj) able to be bribed (venalis that is for sale)

The local outlaws knew that the venal sheriff could be paid to let them escape.

Synonym: corruptible

 thrifty (adj) economical; good with money

Synonyms: frugal, provident, parsimonious

 pauper (n) an extremely poor individual (pau little + parere to get)

Synonym: mendicant

 mercenary (n) one who gives his services to the highest bidder (merces pay, reward)

 perquisite (n) payment or privilege received in addition to wages (perk for short)

Debra enjoyed the perquisites of being the newspaper’s culture editor, such as free tickets to the opera and ballet.

 insolvent (adj) bankrupt (in- not + solvent able to pay what one owes)

Synonym: broke

 indigent (adj) impoverished, poor (indu- within + egere to need, want)

Synonym: destitute

 pecuniary (adj) pertaining to money (pecunia money)

Vocabulary Lesson 33: Saw That Coming

 prophecy (n) a prediction of the future (pro- before + phanai to speak)

The prophecy told of a boy who would soon be born to save the human race from extinction.

Synonyms: divination, prognostication

 harbinger (n) a precursor

Many consider the robin to be a harbinger of spring.

Synonyms: omen, forerunner

 augur (v) to predict the future (an augur in ancient Rome was an official who foretold events)

The “psychic network” claims to augur what is to come for its callers, but most believe it to be a hoax.

Synonyms: prophesy, divine

 premonition (n) a forewarning (pre- before + monere to warn)

The traveler had a premonition of the upcoming disaster and refused to board the plane.

Synonyms: presentiment, hunch

 portend (v) to give advance warning (por- forward + tendere to extend)

The weather service looks for atmospheric signs that portend violent storms.

Synonyms: foretell, foreshadow

 prescient (adj) having knowledge of future events (pre- before + scientia knowledge)

The seemingly prescient gambler made a fortune at the racetrack, always knowing which horse would win.

Synonym: clairvoyant

 omen (n) a sign of something to come

The nervous bride took the death of the minister who was to marry them as an omen that her marriage was doomed.

Synonyms: portent, prognostication

 foresight (n) the ability to see things coming (fore- before)

Synonyms: anticipation, forethought

 clairvoyant (n) one with great foresight (clair- clear + voyant seeing)

Synonyms: visionary, psychic

 portent (n) an omen of a future event (por- forward + tendere to extend)

Synonym: omen

 preempt (v) to block by acting first (pre- before)

Synonym: anticipate

 premeditate (v) to plan ahead of time (pre- before + meditari to consider)

Synonym: plot

 prophetic (adj) able to tell the future (pro- before + phanai to speak)

Synonym: prescient

 bode (v) to be an omen for something

A red sky at dawn bodes ill for sailors.

Synonym: portend

Vocabulary Lesson 34: Old and Worn Out

 archaic (adj) ancient (arch ancient)

The boat’s archaic navigation system confused the young sailor, who knew how to read only the newer consoles.

Synonyms: primitive, antiquated Antonyms: modern, novel

 relic (n) an object from an ancient time (re- back + linquere to leave)

The relic found at the ancient burial site once served as a water pitcher for an Aztec family.

Synonyms: artifact, remnant

 decrepit (adj) worn out from old age or use (de- down + crepare to break, to crack)

The decrepit swing set in the schoolyard had been used by four generations of children.

Synonyms: feeble, battered, threadbare

 antiquated (adj) obsolete; outdated (antiquus ancient)

The computer technology in rural Italy is quite antiquated; even Internet access is rare.

Synonyms: archaic, primitive Antonyms: modern, novel

 antediluvian (adj) very old (ante- before + diluvim a flood, in reference to the Biblical flood)

The piece of pottery they found was an antediluvian bowl that was made over 4,000 years ago.

Synonyms: primeval, archaic Antonyms: modern, novel

 defunct (adj) no longer in existence (defunctus dead, off-duty)

Telegrams as a means of communication are defunct; the existence of email and telephones made them obsolete.

Synonyms: dead, extinct Antonym: extant

 perpetuate (v) to keep from dying out (per- through + petere to seek, go to)

The myth that cigarettes don’t harm you has been perpetuated by the cigarette companies.

Synonyms: immortalize, commemorate

 outmoded (v) out of fashion; obsolete

Synonyms: anachronistic, obsolete

 artifact (n) an object of historical interest (arte- skill + factum thing made)

Synonyms: relic, remnant

 obsolete (adj) outmoded (ob- away + solere to be used)

Synonyms: anachronistic, antiquated

 dilapidated (adj) worn out

Synonyms: decrepit, feeble

 threadbare (adj) shabby; worn down such that the threads show

Synonyms: dilapidated, decrepit

 archive (n) a collection of historically interesting material (arch ancient)

Vocabulary Lesson 35: Feelings

 apathy (n) lack of feeling; lack of interest (a- without + pathos emotion)

Mark was apathetic about Stephanie’s desire to keep her laptop clean; he put his fingerprints all over the screen.

Synonyms: indifference, torpor Antonym: intensity

 apprehensive (adj) anxious about what is to come

It is normal to feel apprehensive on the morning of your driver’s test; it is a nerve-wracking experience.

Synonyms: uneasy, concerned Antonyms: fearless, intrepid, dauntless

 contrite (adj) repentant (con- with + terere to wear down)

The contrite murder suspect scored points with the judge, who appreciated her remorseful attitude.

Synonym: remorseful Antonyms: unrepentant, inveterate

 lament (v) to mourn, to show sorrow (lamentum a wailing)

The fans lamented the passing of John Lennon; they cried as if they had lost a brother.

Synonyms: bemoan, grieve Antonym: celebrate

 console (v) to comfort (con- with + solari to comfort)

There were many family members on hand to console the grieving widow at her husband’s funeral.

Synonyms: soothe, calm Antonyms: enrage, provoke

 impassive (adj) lacking emotion (im- not + passivus capable of feeling)

Joy’s impassiveness about her grades upset her parents; they wanted her to care more about her work.

Synonyms: indifferent, apathetic Antonyms: intense, demonstrative

 ignominy (n) humiliation; shame

Football is so important in our town that dropping a pass in the end zone is more ignominious than going to prison.

Synonyms: disgrace, dishonor Antonyms: gratification, dignity

 pathos (n) pity; feeling of sorrow (pathos emotion)

Synonyms: anguish, woe

 empathy (n) the ability to identify with another’s feelings (em- in + pathos feeling)

 penitent (adj) feeling remorse for one’s actions

Synonyms: repentant, contrite

 ambivalent (adj) having mixed feelings toward something (ambi- both)

Synonyms: conflicted, irresolute

 poignant (adj) causing a sharp emotional response (poindre to prick)

Synonyms: stirring, moving

 remorse (n) regret for past deeds (re- again + mordere to bite)

Synonyms: anguish, contrition

 antipathy (n) strong feelings against something (anti- against + pathos feeling)

Vocabulary Unit 5 Exercise Set I


Time—8 minutes

For each question, select the best answer among the choices given. Note any vocabulary words to review on the Hit List below.


1. Elizabeth’s assistant was ------ with his words and spoke only when it was absolutely necessary.

(A) improvident

(B) parsimonious

(C) antiquated

(D) clairvoyant

(E) sympathetic

2. The salary Julia received for her job was unsatisfactory, but the ------ were phenomenal: a dental plan, five weeks of vacation, and a company car.

(A) perquisites

(B) harbingers

(C) mercenaries

(D) impediments

(E) resolutions

3. In spite of his aggressive attempts to ------ us into doing something against the law, we were able to ------ from partaking in the illicit act.

(A) goad . . refrain

(B) cajole . . stagnate

(C) coax . . rebound

(D) impede . . abstain

(E) dissuade . . recuperate

4. Because the team had been eliminated from the playoffs, they played with ------ in their final five games, losing by an average of forty points per game.

(A) fortitude

(B) apathy

(C) dread

(D) vigor

(E) resolution

5. The wise old man who lived at the top of the mountain is visited often by villagers looking for him to use his ------ powers to ------ their future.

(A) olfactory . . augur

(B) tactile . . portend

(C) prescient . . divine

(D) prophetic . . console

(E) clairvoyant . . perjure

6. A departure from the bland food and mundane atmosphere that characterized our recent dining experiences, Chez Henri provided ------ cuisine and ------ ambience.

(A) pungent . . a hedonistic

(B) savory . . a transcendent

(C) piquant . . an artificial

(D) obsolete . . a supreme

(E) palatable . . an imperious

7. Management’s decision to raise the salaries of the workers was more pragmatic than ------; the executives didn’t want so much to be generous as to keep the assembly lines moving.

(A) magnanimous

(B) mellifluous

(C) rigid

(D) masochistic

(E) frugal

8. After giving birth to her first child, the woman was finally able to ------ with her mother about the pain and discomfort that come with childbirth.

(A) empathize

(B) collaborate

(C) perpetuate

(D) premeditate

(E) associate

9. The defendant’s contrite behavior was not an act; he truly felt great ------ for the crime of which he was accused.

(A) apprehension

(B) indigence

(C) foresight

(D) bliss

(E) remorse

10. Even though she was unable to walk without a limp, she did not allow this ------ to ------ her ability to run short sprints for the track team.

(A) deterrent . . spur

(B) barrier . . impel

(C) abstinence . . thwart

(D) impediment . . hamper

(E) pathos . . hinder

Vocabulary Unit 5 Exercise Set II


Write the meaning next to each root, and then write as many words as you can that contain the root.


Vocabulary Unit 5 Exercise Set III

Write the word with the given meaning.

Write the correct form of the italicized word.

26. showing apathy

_____________________________________________

27. to act as a deterrent

_____________________________________________

28. the act of abstaining

_____________________________________________

29. the act of touching something that is palpable

_____________________________________________

30. the act of cajoling

_____________________________________________

Write the word with the given root.

31. to urge into motion (citare)

_____________________________________________

32. a prediction of the future (pro-)

_____________________________________________

33. lacking feeling (a-)

_____________________________________________

34. relating to smell (olere)

_____________________________________________

35. extremely poor individual (pau)

_____________________________________________

36. to comfort (solari)

_____________________________________________

37. economical (frux)

_____________________________________________

38. to stir up (vocare)

_____________________________________________

39. worn out (crepare)

_____________________________________________

40. to make less (curtus)

_____________________________________________

41. regret (mordere)

_____________________________________________

Unit 5 Exercise Set I Answer Key

1. B If the assistant only spoke when it was absolutely necessary, then he was frugal or sparing with his words.

improvident = not economical

parsimonious = excessively thrifty

antiquated = very old

clairvoyant = having great foresight

sympathetic = feeling pity

2. A The but indicates a contrast. Extra benefits like a dental plan, a vacation, and a car are called perks or

perquisites. perquisite = a perk, a dividend

harbinger = a sign of something to come

mercenary = one who works for the highest bidder

impediment = an obstruction

resolution = firm determination

3. A The phrase in spite indicates a contrast in the second half of the sentence. If he was aggressive in getting us to do something illicit (illegal), the contrast suggests that we didn’t give in. Words like persuade and stay away would work.

goad = to urge; refrain = to hold back from doing

cajole = to persuade; stagnate = to remain still

coax = to persuade; rebound = to bounce back

impede = to block; abstain = to avoid something

dissuade = to deter; recuperate = to recover

4. B The sentence implies that the team has nothing left to play for. The fact that they also consistently lose by forty points indicates that they are playing with a lack of heart.

fortitude = strength of mind; strength to endure

apathy = lack of concern or effort

dread = profound fear; anxious anticipation

vigor = physical energy or strength

resolution = firm determination

5. C The word future is the key context clue. What can one do to the future? A wise man in particular might be able to predict it.

olfactory = related to smell; augur = to predict the future

tactile = touchable; portend = to predict the future

prescient = clairvoyant; divine = to predict the future

prophetic = prescient; console = to comfort

clairvoyant = able to predict future; perjure = to lie under oath

6. B The word departure indicates a contrast, and the parallelism between the clauses sets up the contrast. The two words must be the opposite of bland and mundane, respectively.

pungent = strong; hedonistic = pleasure-seeking

savory = delicious; transcendent = inspiring

piquant = spicy; artificial = not genuine

obsolete = outmoded; supreme = great

palatable = edible; imperious = overbearing

7. A The second clause logically extends the idea of the first. The decision was done for pragmatic (practical) reasons rather than out of generosity to the employees. Look for a word that means generous.

magnanimous = generous

mellifluous = smooth-flowing

rigid = inflexible

masochistic = enjoying one’s own pain

frugal = thrifty; disinclined to waste money

8. A The woman now knows first hand about the pain and discomfort associated with childbirth. Because she has now experienced what her mother went through, she can now

empathize with her about the sensations.

empathize = to identify with another’s feelings

collaborate = work together

perpetuate = cause to continue

premeditate = plan in advance

9. E If the contrite behavior was not an act, then the defendant must truly feel regret for what was done.

apprehension = nervousness

indigence = neediness

foresight = ability to see things coming

bliss = extreme happiness

remorse = regret

10. D Even though indicates an unexpected twist. The inability to walk without a limp is certainly a nuisance. It would make sense that the first word should mean hindrance and the second word should mean prevent.

deterrent = something that discourages; spur = to goad into action

barrier = a block; impel = to urge

abstinence = avoidance; thwart = to stop

impediment = barrier; hamper = to hinder

pathos = sorrow; hinder = to obstruct

Unit 5 Exercise Sets II and III Answer Key

Exercise Set II

1. PATHOS: emotion apathy, sympathy, empathy, osteopathy, pathogen, pathetic, psychopath

2. DUCERE: to lead induce, conduction, conducive, produce, deduce

3. TERRERE: to frighten deter, deterrent, terrible, terrify, terror, terrific

4. ANTI-: against antipathy, antibiotic, antonym, antiseptic, antagonist, antisocial

5. AUDIRE: to hear audition, auditorium, auditory, inaudible, audible

6. FORE-: before foremost, foretell, forethought, forehand, forecast, forebear, foresight

7. SCIENTIA: knowledge scientist, omniscient, prescient, conscientious

8. VOCARE: to call vocabulary, convocation, provoke, revoke, convoke, vocation, invoke, advocate, equivocate

9. POR-: forward portent, portend, portray

10. SUADERE: to urge sway, persuasion, persuade, dissuade

11. MONERE: to warn premonition, summon, admonish, monitor

12. TENERE: to hold sustain, abstain, contain, detain, entertain, tenable, tenacity, pertinacity, retain, obtain, pertain

13. PALPARE: to touch palpate, palpable, palpatation

14. INDU: in, within indigenous, industrial, indigent, industry

15. CERNERE: to separate discern, certain, concern, excrement, secretary

Exercise Set III

1. Y

2. N

3. Y

4. N

5. N

6. impassive

7. contrite

8. portend

9. insolvent, impecunious

10. obsolete

11. palpable

12. curtail

13. impel, induce

14. archaic

15. premonition

16. gustatory

17. abstain

18. cajole

19. poignant

20. thrifty

21. exhort

22. ignominy

23. remuneration

24. venal

25. thwart

26. apathetic

27. deter

28. abstinence

29. palpation

30. cajolery

31. incite

32. prophecy

33. apathetic

34. olfactory

35. pauper

36. console

37. frugal

38. provoke

39. decrepit

40. curtail

41. remorse

Vocabulary Unit 6

Vocabulary Lesson 36: What the Heck?

 ambiguous (adj) unclear in meaning (ambigere to wander)

The teacher’s ambiguous instructions left us with no idea of what we were supposed to do.

Synonyms: vague, obscure Antonyms: apparent, lucid

 obscure (adj) not easily understood; indistinct (obscurus darkness)

The comedian’s jokes contained obscure references that left the audience confused and silent.

Synonyms: vague, enigmatic, cryptic Antonyms: evident, lucid

 equivocal (adj) deliberately ambiguous or misleading (equi- same + vocare to call)

The defendant’s equivocal answers made it hard for the prosecutor to prove his case.

Synonyms: evasive, indirect Antonyms: straightforward, forthright, candid

 convoluted (adj) intricate and hard to follow (con- together + volvere to roll)

The instructions in this manual are so convoluted that I don’t even know where to begin.

Synonyms: cryptic, inscrutable, incomprehensible Antonyms: coherent, intelligible

 cryptic (adj) enigmatic; mysterious (crypto concealed, secret)

The soldier’s cryptic reply over the radio to his captain suggested that something was amiss.

Synonyms: cryptic, obscure, incomprehensible Antonyms: coherent, intelligible

 unfathomable (adj) impossible to comprehend (un- not + fathom to grasp)

The idea that time slows as our speed increases is unfathomable to most of us.

Synonyms: baffling, impenetrable, inscrutable Antonyms: coherent, intelligible

 nebulous (adj) vague; indefinite (nebula mist)

Bill’s memory of the car accident was nebulous; he remembered only bits and pieces of the ordeal.

Synonyms: hazy, unclear Antonym: lucid

 enigma (n) a mystery or riddle (oenigma riddle)

Synonyms: conundrum, riddle

 esoteric (adj) difficult to understand (Gr esoterikos belonging to an inner circle)

 ramble (v) to wander aimlessly, either verbally or physically

Synonyms: stray, babble

 desultory (adj) aimless; prone to random digressions (desultorious skipping about)

 digress (v) to go off topic (dis- away + gradi to step, to go)

Synonyms: diverge, deviate, ramble

 profound (adj) deep; insightful (pro- forth + fundus bottom)

Synonyms: philosophical, sagacious

Vocabulary Lesson 37: True or False?

 candor (n) honesty; straightforwardness (candere to shine)

I appreciated my doctor’s candor; I prefer a straightforward approach when discussing my health.

Synonyms: forthrightness, frankness Antonyms: disingenuousness, fraudulence, equivocation

 affect (v) to put on airs; to behave unnaturally

Hoping to fit in while in London, Jules affected a British accent.

Synonyms: feign, impersonate

 veracity (n) truthfulness (verax true)

Since we can’t test the veracity of his statements, we will never know for sure if he was telling the truth.

Synonyms: sincerity, candor Antonyms: fallacy, falsehood

 debunk (v) to expose something as fraudulent (bunkum nonsense)

The DA knew that the cop was crooked and made it his mission to debunk the officer’s claims.

Synonyms: uncover, reveal Antonyms: conceal, camouflage

 apocryphal (adj) of doubtful authenticity (apo- away + kryptein hide)

Before they found out it was a fake, the apocryphal Van Gogh painting sold for over a million dollars.

Synonyms: counterfeit, forged Antonym: authentic

 forthright (adj) honest; straightforward

The student’s forthright admission of guilt was appreciated by the principal, who reduced his suspension.

Synonyms: candid, frank Antonyms: deceitful, treacherous

 disingenuous (adj) insincere; crafty (dis- away from + genuinus natural)

Daphne’s expression of remorse was clearly disingenuous, because she did not feel any regret for her actions.

Synonyms: deceitful, treacherous Antonyms: forthright, candid

 candid (adj) straightforward; honest (candere to shine)

Synonyms: frank, forthright

 dubious (adj) doubtful (dubium doubt)

Synonyms: suspect, questionable

 prevaricate (v) to lie (pre- before + varicare to straddle)

Synonyms: equivocate, fabricate

 verisimilitude (n) the quality of appearing to be true (verax- true + similis like)

 outspoken (adj) candid and unsparing in speech

Synonyms: forthright, frank

 fraudulent (adj) deceitful (fraus deceit)

Synonyms: duplicitous; crooked

 facade (n) outward appearance; a false front (faccia face)

Synonyms: superficiality, frontispiece

Vocabulary Lesson 38: Arts and Entertainment

 mirth (n) merriment; laughter

The little boy could not contain his mirth when playing with the bubbles.

Synonyms: jollity, levity, gaiety Antonyms: melancholy, dejection, despondency

 aesthetic (adj) relating to beauty or a theory of beauty (aisthetikos Gr perception)

The beautiful colors that emerged from the crystal when struck by the sunlight were aesthetically pleasing.

 satire (n) a mocking literary or dramatic work (satira a poetic medley)

Animal Farm by George Orwell is a satire that mocks socialism.

Synonyms: burlesque, parody, lampoon, travesty, spoof

 curator (n) the individual in charge of a museum (curare to take care of)

The curator in charge of the Louvre in Paris controls the Mona Lisa, perhaps the world’s most famous painting.

 witticism (n) a clever or funny remark

Will Rogers was famous for his witticisms about American life.

Synonyms: epigram, bon mot, quip, badinage

 jocular (adj) done in a joking way (jocus joke)

Jeff’s jocular tone relaxed the visitors trapped in the elevator; he even made a few people laugh.

Synonyms: facetious, waggish, salty Antonyms: despondent, somber, morose, plaintive, lugubrious

 malapropism (n) the outrageous misuse of a word

Saying “for all intensive purposes” instead of “for all intents and purposes” is a classic example of a malapropism.

Synonyms: misusage, solecism, catachresis

 levity (n) a lack of seriousness (levis light in weight)

Synonyms: frivolity, flippancy

 bard (n) a skilled poet

Synonyms: sonneteer, versifier

 parody (n) a spoof (para- beside + ode song)

Synonyms: burlesque, lampoon, travesty, satire

 epic (n) a lengthy poem that celebrates the life of a hero (Gr epos word, story)

 aesthete (n) a person interested in the pursuit of beauty (Gr aisthetikos sensitive)

 dilettante (n) one who dabbles in an art (dilettare to delight)

Synonym: amateur

 lampoon (v) to make fun of

Synonyms: satirize, mock, parody

Vocabulary Lesson 39: You’re in Trouble

 chastise (v) to punish or criticize (castus pure)

The congressman was chastised in the media for his ties to big business.

Synonyms: condemn, rebuke Antonyms: applaud, hail

 reprove (v) to scold (re- not + probus worthy)

The teacher reproved her students strongly for talking during her lecture.

Synonyms: rebuke, berate, reprimand Antonyms: hail, compliment, acclaim

 reprehensible (adj) worthy of blame or censure

The woman could not believe that her son would do something so reprehensible as torturing small animals.

Synonyms: culpable, disgraceful, censurable Antonym: laudable

 culpable (adj) deserving blame (culpa blame)

Although the DNA evidence clearly proved he was culpable, the defendant continued to claim innocence.

Synonyms: guilty, blameworthy Antonyms: innocent, blameless, sinless

 indict (v) to accuse of an offense (dictare to declare)

The mob boss was indicted on ten counts of money laundering.

Synonyms: accuse, impeach Antonyms: acquit, exonerate

 reproach (v) to blame; to express disapproval

After hitting the softball through the window, Ella was reproached by her mother for being so careless.

Synonyms: censure, condemn, rebuke Antonyms: compliment, commend

 rebuke (v) to scold (re- back + buke to strike)

Because Belinda was rebuked the last time she left her toys out, she cleaned up thoroughly to avoid another scolding.

Synonyms: reprove, reproach, reprehend, reprimand, chide

 castigate (v) to punish severely

Synonyms: reprimand, berate, chastise

 impeach (v) to accuse of wrongdoing (im- in + pedica shackle)

Synonyms: indict, charge

 irreproachable (adj) beyond blame

Synonyms: innocent, impeccable

 berate (v) to punish severely (be- thoroughly + rate to scold)

Synonyms: reprimand, castigate, chastise

 culprit (n) one guilty of a crime (culpa blame)

Synonyms: offender, criminal

 acquit (v) to clear of a charge (a- to + quite free)

Synonyms: vindicate, exonerate

 reprimand (v) to scold (reprimare to reprove)

Synonyms: reprove, castigate, censure

Vocabulary Lesson 40: Working Hard

 diligence (n) hard work and dedication (diligentia attentiveness)

Ty’s diligence paid off when his boss gave him a promotion and a raise.

Synonyms: assiduousness, industry, perseverance Antonyms: laziness, indolence

 scrupulous (adj) careful, ethical (scruples ethical standards)

Always a scrupulous student, Simone made sure she got her assignments in on time.

Synonyms: conscientious, honorable, meticulous Antonyms: immoral, wanton

 meticulous (adj) attentive to detail (metus fear)

The accountant was incredibly meticulous; no detail ever slipped by her.

Synonyms: thorough, painstaking Antonyms: lackadaisical, cavalier

 indefatigable (adj) untiring (in- not + fatigare to tire)

Despite working 100 hours per week, the lawyer was indefatigable, remaining energetic about his job.

Synonyms: tireless, unremitting, dogged Antonyms: listless, lethargic

 spartan (adj) full of self-discipline (from Sparta whose army was known for its discipline and valor)

Alissa’s spartan regimen included learning fifty new vocabulary words each week.

Synonyms: ascetic, rigorous Antonyms: cavalier, lackadaisical

 painstaking (adj) meticulous; paying great attention to detail

After eleven painstaking hours in the operating room, the surgeon declared the brain surgery a complete success.

Synonyms: thorough, meticulous Antonyms: lackadaisical, cavalier

 assiduous (adj) hard working (sedere to sit)

My parents are always telling me that my grades would improve if I were more assiduous in my studies.

Synonyms: diligent, industrious Antonyms: indolent, slothful

 prolific (adj) extremely productive (pro- forth + facere to make)

Synonyms: productive, abundant

 integrity (n) honesty and virtue (integer whole)

Synonym: purity

 enterprising (adj) full of initiative and imagination (entreprendre to undertake)

 entrepreneur (n) a self-made businessman (entreprendre to undertake)

Synonyms: magnate, industrialist

 industrious (adj) hard-working; diligent

Synonym: assiduous

 resolute (adj) determined; willing to push on

Synonyms: dogged, steadfast, tenacious

Vocabulary Lesson 41: The Faithful and the Unfaithful

 conform (v) to do what one is expected to do (com- together + formare to form)

His desire to avoid punishment at all costs causes him to conform to his parents’ many rules.

Synonyms: comply, obey Antonyms: defy, rebel

 orthodoxy (n) strict adherence to tradition (orthos- straight, strict + doxa opinion) The Amish are well known for their orthodoxy; tradition is very important to their culture.

Synonyms: conventionality, traditionalism Antonyms: heresy, apostasy

 iconoclast (n) one who challenges tradition (eikon Gr image G + klan to break)

Always an iconoclast, Michael did everything in his power to do the opposite of what was expected.

Synonyms: heretic, apostate, rebel, nonconformist, infidel Antonyms: conformist, traditionalist

 heresy (n) opinion or action that violates traditional belief

In many villages in colonial New England, to question religious doctrine was considered heresy.

Synonyms: iconoclasm, apostasy Antonyms: sycophancy, toadyism, compliance, submission, obsequy

 insurgent (adj) rebellious (in- against + surgere to rise)

The villagers became more insurgent each day that the army remained in their midst.

Synonyms: insubordinate, mutinous Antonym: conformist, yes-man, toady, sycophant

 convention (n) a practice that comports with the norms of a society

Ms. Frazier’s teaching style went against convention and thus angered the conservative school board.

Synonyms: protocol, practice Antonym: irregularity

 insubordination (n) refusal to submit to authority (in- against sub- under + ordinare arrange)

By punishing all insubordination, the commander showed his troops that no disobedience would be tolerated.

Synonyms: agitation, subversion, rebellion Antonym: pacification

 renegade (n) an outlaw (negare to deny)

Synonyms: defector, traitor

 insurrection (n) an uprising (in- against + surgere to rise)

Synonyms: coup, mutiny, rebellion

 dissident (n) one who strongly opposes accepted opinion (dis- apart + sedere to sit)

Synonym: rebel

 mutiny (n) a rebellion

Synonyms: revolt, riot, uprising

 servile (adj) overly submissive (servus slave)

Synonym: obsequious

 heretic (n) one who dissents

Synonyms: rebel, iconoclast

 apostasy (n) abandonment of a belief (apo- away from + stanai to stand)

Synonym: heresy

Vocabulary Lesson 42: How Rude!

 insolent (adj) rudely disrespectful (in- not + solere accustomed)

The despot punished the rebel’s insolence with a lengthy prison sentence.

Synonyms: impudent, impertinent Antonyms: courteous, deferential, decorous

 affront (n) an insult (afronter Fr to confront)

When he found out that his dad had let him win, Frank took it as an affront to his tennis skills.

Synonyms: slur, barb, aspersion, obloquy Antonyms: tribute, exaltation, veneration

 haughty (adj) overly proud (haut high)

The haughty young goalie felt that he had no equal in the league.

Synonyms: conceited, supercilious, cavalier, arrogant Antonyms: modest, diffident

 crass (adj) unrefined

Luke’s crass behavior at the dinner table horrified the princess, who had never seen such poor manners.

Synonyms: boorish, oafish, philistine Antonyms: decorous, civilized, refined

 impudent (adj) rudely bold (im- not + pudere to cause shame)

The young soldier’s impudence would be punished; it is not wise to undermine the authority of a superior officer.

Synonyms: insolent, impertinent, audacious Antonyms: courteous, civilized

 boorish (adj) crude, barbaric (unrelated to boar, a wild pig, but piggish is a close synonym) The boorish barbarians ripped at the meat with their bare hands and spit bones out onto the table.

Synonyms: crass, oafish, barbaric, philistine Antonyms: decorous, polite

 irreverence (n) disrespect (ir- not + vereri to respect)

The irreverence with which he mocked his teachers showed he had no respect for their authority.

Synonyms: impertinence, flippancy Antonym: deference

 flippant (adj) disrespectfully jocular; using humor inappropriately

Synonyms: irreverent, impertinent

 brazen (adj) bold and insolent

The thieves pulled off a brazen midday heist

Synonym: impudent

 truculent (adj) cruel and aggressive (trux fierce)

Synonyms: obstreperous, bellicose

 effrontery (n) boldness, brashness

Synonyms: insolence, impudence

 impertinent (adj) inappropriately bold (im- not + pertinere to concern)

Synonyms: impudent, brazen

 glacial (adj) having a cold personality (like a glacier)

Synonym: frigid

 rebuff (v) to refuse in an abrupt or rude manner

Synonyms: reject, snub

Vocabulary Unit 6 Exercise Set I


Time—8 minutes

For each question, select the best answer among the choices given. Note any vocabulary words to review on the Hit List below.


1. Those used to his frequent equivocation in describing his business dealings were shocked by his ------ description of his latest acquisition.

(A) forthright

(B) apocryphal

(C) esoteric

(D) boorish

(E) indefatigable

2. Heidi’s sudden indolence was ------ to her colleagues; until recently she had been an assiduous and exemplary employee.

(A) an insurrection

(B) a satire

(C) an enigma

(D) an indiscretion

(E) an indictment

3. Decades after being appointed ------ of the renowned museum, Charles confessed to be only ------ who scarcely appreciated the significance of the great works he oversaw.

(A) curator . . a dilettante

(B) lampoon . . a dabbler

(C) entrepreneur . . an amateur

(D) fanatic . . a nihilist

(E) philanthropist . . an ascetic

4. The film is a collection of lowbrow ------ that lampoon some of the more popular movies of recent years.

(A) parodies

(B) epics

(C) anthologies

(D) strategems

(E) bards

5. The villager’s ------ behavior was ------ to the queen, who was not used to being treated with such effrontery.

(A) tenacious . . a malapropism

(B) crass . . a witticism

(C) jocular . . a moratorium

(D) downtrodden . . an insult

(E) insolent . . an affront

6. The press lambasted the congresswoman for her part in the scandal, but she knew that since she was not ------, the ------ was unfair.

(A) seditious . . digression

(B) guilty . . candor

(C) veracious . . prevarication

(D) jocular . . castigation

(E) culpable . . censure

7. Helga was so ------ that she didn’t even make eye contact with us as we greeted her at her door.

(A) garrulous

(B) glacial

(C) loquacious

(D) rapacious

(E) industrious

8. The other medical residents were tired of Dr. Bob’s ------; every other word out of his mouth was an obsequious compliment to a high-ranking doctor or hospital official.

(A) belligerence

(B) eloquence

(C) munificence

(D) xenophobia

(E) sycophancy

9. Tom’s ------ ideas contrasted sharply with the conventional views held by the strongly orthodox community.

(A) truculent

(B) diligent

(C) iconoclastic

(D) scrupulous

(E) candid

10. They expected the funeral to be a sedate and somber affair, but were shocked by the grieving husband’s ------.

(A) orthodoxy

(B) mirth

(C) irrelevance

(D) simplicity

(E) decorum

Vocabulary Unit 6 Exercise Set II


Write the meaning next to each root, then write as many words as you can that contain the root.


Vocabulary Unit 6 Exercise Set III

Write the word with the given meaning.

Write the correct form of the italicized word.

26. a person who is culpable

_____________________________________________

27. having the quality of heresy

_____________________________________________

28. the quality of being diligent

_____________________________________________

29. having the qualities of an iconoclast

_____________________________________________

30. the act of castigating

_____________________________________________

Write the word with the given root.

31. deserving blame (culpa)

_____________________________________________

32. deliberately ambiguous (vocare)

_____________________________________________

33. to punish (rate)

_____________________________________________

34. deep, insightful (pro-)

_____________________________________________

35. done in a joking way (jocus)

_____________________________________________

36. attentive to detail (metus)

_____________________________________________

37. truthfulness (verax)

_____________________________________________

38. untiring (fatiga)

_____________________________________________

39. honesty (candere)

_____________________________________________

40. overly proud (haut)

_____________________________________________

41. of doubtful authenticity (apo-)

_____________________________________________

Unit 6 Exercise Set I Answer Key

1. A Those used to his equivocation (failure to be straightforward) would be shocked by straightforwardness.

forthright = honest, straightforward

apocryphal = of doubtful authenticity

esoteric = difficult to understand

boorish = rude

indefatigable = untiring

2. C Heidi had been assiduous (hard-working) and exemplary (worthy of imitation). Sudden indolence (laziness) would be surprising and puzzling, to say the least.

insurrection = rebellion

satire = mocking work of literature or drama

enigma = puzzle

indictment = accusation

3. A One who lacks a sophisticated appreciation of art is a dilettante. One who oversees a museum is a curator.

curator = person in charge of a museum; dilettante = dabbler in the arts

lampoon = satirical work; dabbler = amateur

entrepreneur = businessman; amateur = novice

fanatic = passionate supporter; nihilist = one who denies moral absolutes

philanthropist = benefactor; ascetic = monk

4. A Something that lampoons (makes fun of) something is a satire, spoof, or

parody. parody = a spoof that makes fun of something

epic = a heroic poem

anthology = a collection of works

strategem = a deceitful scheme

bard = a poet

5. E The queen is not used to being treated with effrontery (rude boldness). This implies that the villager’s behavior is probably rude and that such behavior would bother the queen.

tenacious = intense; malapropism = incorrect use of a word

crass = rude; witticism = funny remark

jocular = joking; moratorium = rest, a break

downtrodden = made submissive by constant harsh treatment; insult = rude remark

insolent = rude; affront = insult

6. E The congresswoman is getting lambasted (harshly criticized) in the press. She feels that this criticism is unfair, so she must feel that she is not guilty.

seditious = insubordinate; digression = aside

guilty = blameworthy; candor = honesty

veracious = truthful; prevarication = lies

jocular = joking; castigation = punishment

culpable = guilty; censure = criticism

7. B Helga did not make eye contact with her guests, a decidedly unfriendly thing to do.

garrulous = friendly, talkative

glacial = cold, unfriendly

loquacious = talkative

rapacious = ravenous

industrious = hard-working

8. E The semicolon joins two clauses that support each other. Obsequious compliments are those that try to curry favor with others. He must be a flatterer.

belligerence = inclination to picking fights

eloquence = skill in speech

munificence = generosity

xenophobia = fear of foreigners

sycophancy = excessive flattery

9. C Tom’s ideas contrasted sharply with the conventional (typical) views held by the strongly orthodox (traditional) community. He must be a nonconformist who eschews tradition.

truculent = cruel

diligent = hard-working

iconoclastic = resistant to tradition

scrupulous = ethical, meticulous

candid = honest

10. B The fact that they are shocked implies that the funeral was not so sedate and somber. It must have been happier than they expected.

orthodoxy = strict adherence to dogma

mirth = merriment

irrelevance = lack of importance

decorum = appropriateness of behavior

Unit 6 Exercise Sets II and III Answer Key

Exercise Set II

1. CANDERE: to shine candid, candor, incandescent, candle

2. LEVIS: light in weight levity, relieve, elevate, elevator, levitate, alleviate, oblivion

3. JOCUS: joke jocular, jocund, joker, jocose, juggler, joke

4. VERAX: true verisimilitude, veracity, verify, very

5. APO-: away apocalypse, aphorism, apostate, apoplexy, apostle, apothecary, apocryphal, apology

6. EQUI: equal equinox, equivalent, equanimity, equipotential, equality, inequality, equitable, equator, equalize

7. BUNKUM: nonsense bunk, debunk

8. DICTARE: to declare dictate, indict, diction, dictum, dictionary

9. FATIGARE: tire indefatigable, fatigued

10. PARA-: beyond, beside paraphrase, parasite, paramedic, paranoia, parallel, paramount, paradigm

11. CRYPTO: secret cryptic, crypt, cryptogram, cryptography

12. ORTHOS: straight, strict orthography, orthodox, unorthodox, orthopedic, orthodontics, orthodoxy

13. CURARE: to take care of procure, curator, curate, pedicure, manicure

14. SURGERE: to rise resurrection, resurgent, insurgent, insurrection, surge

15. DOXA: opinion orthodox, paradox, heterodox

Exercise Set III

1. N

2. Y

3. Y

4. N

5. N

6. mirth

7. nebulous

8. forthright

9. diligence

10. censure

11. ambiguous

12. conform

13. rebuke or reprove

14. outspoken

15. insurgent

16. unfathomable

17. bard

18. sedition

19. witticism

20. dubious

21. boorish

22. servile

23. prevaricate

24. insolent

25. affront

26. culprit

27. heretical

28. diligence

29. iconoclastic

30. castigation

31. culpable

32. equivocal

33. berate

34. profound

35. jocular

36. meticulous

37. veracity

38. indefatigable

39. candor

40. haughty

41. apocryphal

Vocabulary Unit 7

Vocabulary Lesson 43: Earth, Moon, and Sky

 arid (adj) extremely dry (arere to be dry)

Some regions of Africa have become so arid that entire lakes have evaporated.

Synonyms: barren, parched Antonyms: fecund, fertile

 astral (adj) relating to the stars (astrum star)

The supernova is perhaps the most dramatic of astral events.

Synonyms: celestial, cosmic

 nautical (adj) pertaining to sailing (naus ship)

The southern tip of Africa poses many nautical challenges to even the most adept and experienced sailor.

Synonyms: marine, maritime

 lunar (adj) relating to the moon (luna moon)

The lunar vehicle can traverse some of the rockiest and most forbidding terrain on the moon.

 fecund (adj) fertile; fruitful (fecundus fruitful)

Over the summer, our fecund vegetable garden provided us with an endless supply of wonderful salads.

Synonyms: prolific, abundant Antonyms: barren, infertile, sterile

 fallow (adj) unused; plowed but not cultivated

The fallow land would be replanted in two years, once all the nutrients had been restored.

Synonyms: dormant, inactive, uncultivated

 cosmic (adj) relating to the universe (kosmos Gr universe, order)

The enormous and unprecedented meteor shower was being hailed as the cosmic event of the century.

Synonyms: astral, celestial, astronomical

 celestial (adj) relating to the sky (celum sky, heaven)

Synonyms: heavenly, astral

 arable (adj) able to be cultivated (arare to plow)

Synonyms: fertile, fruitful

 desiccated (adj) completely dried out

Synonyms: arid, parched

 quagmire (n) swampy land; difficult situation (quag bog)

Synonyms: marsh, swamp, bog

 bucolic (adj) characteristic of the countryside

Synonyms: rustic, sylvan, rural, pastoral

 cultivate (v) to nurture; to grow crops (cultivus tilled)

Synonyms: farm, till, sow

Vocabulary Lesson 44: More or Less

 paucity (adj) lack; scarcity (paucus few, little)

I love good food, so I’m frustrated by the paucity of good restaurants in town.

Synonyms: dearth, scantiness Antonyms: abundance, plenitude, copiousness

 surfeit (n) an excessive amount (sur- over + facere to do)

The surfeit of food on the table for Thanksgiving dinner left us all with bulging stomachs.

Synonyms: glut, plethora, overabundance Antonyms: deficiency, dearth, paucity

 copious (adj) abundant (copia abundance)

The copious mistakes in Robert’s final paper showed his lack of effort.

Synonyms: ample, bountiful Antonyms: scanty, sparse, deficient

 barren (adj) infertile

The barren land was so devoid of life that it was difficult to find even a weed.

Synonyms: sterile, desolate Antonyms: fecund, fertile

 capacious (adj) having lots of room (capax able to hold a lot)

The capacious auditorium had enough seats for all 5,000 students with room to spare.

Synonyms: spacious, voluminous Antonyms: exiguous, scanty

 scanty (adj) meager; barely enough

The scanty portions the soldiers received left them hungry and weak.

Synonyms: inadequate, meager, deficient Antonyms: sufficient, adequate

 replete (adj) completely filled (re- again + plere to fill)

The old storage facility was replete with decrepit furniture that had far outlived its usefulness.

Synonyms: crammed, stuffed Antonyms: vacant, barren

 sparse (adj) thinly dispersed or scattered (sparsus scattered)

Synonyms: scant, scanty, paltry

 voluminous (adj) having great size (volumen roll of writing)

Synonyms: cavernous, capacious, plentiful

 desolate (adj) deserted (de- completely + solus alone)

Synonyms: uninhabited, barren

 diminutive (adj) tiny (de- completely + minuere to make small)

Synonyms: undersized, miniature

 meager (adj) inadequate (macer thin)

Synonyms: measly, paltry

 rarefy (v) to make less dense or less plentiful (rarus rare + facere to make)

 rife (adj) plentiful

Synonyms: abundant, rampant, widespread

Vocabulary Lesson 45: Tough Times

 tribulation (n) a cause of great trouble or suffering (tribulare oppress)

Being a pop star is not as glamorous as it seems; it often involves many unforeseen tribulations.

Synonyms: adversity, travail, woe, anguish

 despondent (adj) lacking hope (de- without + sperare hope)

With their team trailing by ten runs in the ninth inning, the fans became despondent.

Synonyms: dejected, depressed, disheartened, desperate Antonyms: ecstatic, elated, euphoric

 doleful (adj) filled with grief (dolus grief + -ful full of)

The funeral for the child was a doleful affair; it is always so sad to see someone die at such a young age.

Synonyms: crestfallen, depressed, woeful Antonyms: ecstatic, elated, euphoric

 anemic (adj) feeble; characterized by oxygen deficiency in the blood (a- without + emia blood)

Our offense was so anemic that we didn’t hit the ball out of the infield the whole game.

Synonyms: pallid, weak, feeble Antonyms: robust, vigorous, hale

 malady (n) a disease (mal bad)

The flu is a common malady that strikes millions of people each year.

Synonyms: affliction, ailment, disorder

 anguish (n) extreme suffering

The anguish Walter felt when his dog died was unbearable; he could hardly stop crying for a week.

Synonyms: agony, grief, misery Antonyms: ecstasy, elation, euphoria

 dirge (n) a funeral song

You may think all dirges are depressing until you’ve been to a New Orleans jazz funeral.

Synonyms: requiem, elegy

 blight (n) a diseased condition

Synonyms: curse, affliction

 affliction (n) a disorder causing suffering (ad- to fligere to strike)

Synonyms: adversity, hardship

 elegy (n) a poem or song relating to death (legos Gr poem of lament)

Synonyms: dirge, requiem

 epitaph (n) an inscription found on a gravestone (epi- Gr over + taphos tomb)

 doldrums (n) the blues; persistent unhappiness (dolus grief)

Synonyms: depression, melancholy

 adversity (n) hardship

He fought back from adversity to win the title.

Synonym: affliction

Vocabulary Lesson 46: Good Learnin’

 etymology (n) the study of the origin of words (etymon- Gr true sense + logos word)

A good understanding of etymology can help you succeed on the SAT I.

 archaeology (n) the study of past cultures (arkhaios Gr ancient + logia study)

There are many fascinating archaeological sites right in the center of Athens.

 anthropology (n) the study of human cultures (anthros- humankind + logia study)

Anthropologists are fascinated by the similarities between tribal rituals and modern social conventions.

 ethics (n) the study of and philosophy of moral choice (ethos- character)

The more deeply one studies ethics, the less one is able to think in terms of moral absolutes.

 semantics (n) the study of the meanings of words and symbols (sema- sign)

It’s amazing that the noun pedestrian and the adjective pedestrian can be so different semantically.

 theology (n) the study of religion (theos- god + logia study)

While in Catholic school, we had many theological discussions about the role of God in daily life.

 pathology (n) the study of disease (pathos suffering + logia study)

The tissue sample was sent to the pathology lab to determine if there was any disease in the liver.

 sociology (n) the study of human social behavior and social institutions (socius- fellow + logia study)

I was amazed to learn in sociology class that mandatory schooling until age sixteen is a fairly recent practice.

 entomology (n) the study of insects (entomon- insect + logia study)

Anna spends so much time burrowing in the yard that she may know more about bugs than most entomologists.

 genealogy (n) the study of ancestry (genea descent + logia study)

Sarah was so fascinated by genealogy that she compiled a three-volume guide to her family ancestry.

 demographics (n) the study of statistics relating to human populations (demos- people + graphein to write)

The demographics reveal that Democratic candidates typically perform better in urban areas than in rural areas.

 oncology (n) the study of tumors (onco- tumor + logia study)

When my doctor discovered a tumor near my kidney, he referred me to the best oncologist on the staff.

 paleontology (n) the study of fossils and ancient life (palai long ago + logia study)

I like to dig in my backyard and pretend I’m a paleontologist making an important fossil discovery.

 neurology (n) the study of the human brain and nervous system (neuron Gr nerve)

I love studying the brain, but I don’t want to cut it up; I think I prefer neurology to neurosurgery.

Vocabulary Lesson 47: All Alone

 hermit (n) one who prefers to live alone (ermita Gr a person of solitude)

The hermit lived alone in a shack in the middle of the woods, more than ten miles from the nearest road.

Synonyms: recluse, loner, eremite Antonyms: socialite, extrovert

 ostracize (v) to exclude from a group

Her comments to the others were so self-centered and cruel that she was ostracized for months.

Synonyms: exile, banish Antonyms: welcome, accept

 exile (n) a banishment (ex- away)

After the dictator was overthrown, he lived a life of exile far away from his native country.

Synonyms: banishment, ostracism, deportation, expulsion Antonyms: inclusion, welcome

 expel (v) to force to leave (ex- away + pellere to push)

The student who slashed the bus tires was expelled and won’t be seen back here again.

Synonyms: discharge, evict Antonyms: invite, admit

 recluse (n) one who likes to live alone (re- away + claudere to close)

In To Kill a Mockingbird, the recluse Boo Radley is endlessly fascinating to Scout.

Synonyms: hermit, loner

 isolate (v) to place something apart from everything else (insula island)

The patient with tuberculosis was isolated from the other patients so he could not infect them.

Synonyms: detach, segregate Antonyms: include, embrace

 solitude (n) isolation; the quality of being alone (solus alone)

Before the two cosmonauts joined him, the lone astronaut on the space station had spent five months in solitude.

Synonyms: seclusion, solitariness, detachment Antonyms: camaraderie, companionship

 banish (v) to force to leave an area

Synonyms: exile, ostracize, evict

 outcast (n) an individual who has been excluded from a group

Synonyms: castaway, pariah

 seclusion (n) privacy (se- apart claudere to close)

Synonyms: isolation, solitude

 pariah (n) an individual who has been excluded from a group

Synonyms: outcast, exile

 relegate (v) to banish, to demote in rank (re- back legare to send)

Synonyms: ostracize, exile

 quarantine (n) a period of isolation for someone infected with a contagion (quaranta forty [days])

Vocabulary Lesson 48: Go Forth

 disseminate (v) to spread information (dis- away seminare to sow)

The members of the band disseminated flyers that advertised their debut concert this coming weekend.

Synonyms: circulate, publicize, distribute Antonym: suppress

 diverge (v) to go apart (dis- away vergere to turn)

After traveling together for nearly 100 miles, the two cars finally diverged.

Synonyms: divide, branch Antonyms: converge, merge

 proliferate (v) to grow rapidly; to produce offspring at a rapid pace (proles offspring)

The bacteria proliferated at an alarming rate, multiplying tenfold in just 30 minutes.

Synonyms: expand, multiply Antonyms: wither, shrink

 amass (v) to accumulate; to gather together

Over the years, Rick has amassed quite a collection of CDs, accumulating over 1,000 of them.

Synonyms: collect, gather, hoard Antonyms: distribute, disperse

 distend (v) to swell; to increase in size (dis- apart tendere to stretch)

Malnutrition can cause the abdominal cavity to distend and produce a bloated look.

Synonyms: expand, dilate Antonym: constrict

 propagate (v) to cause to multiply; to publicize; to travel through a medium (pro- forth)

Plants of all sizes and shapes propagate by forming seeds, which develop into new seedlings.

Synonyms: procreate, breed

 inundate (v) to flood (in- into undare to flow)

After days without work, the lawyer was astonished to suddenly find himself inundated with paperwork.

Synonyms: engulf, overwhelm, swamp, deluge

 diffuse (v) to spread out, as a gas (dis- apart fundere to pour)

Synonyms: circulate, disseminate

 germinate (v) to sprout; to grow (germen sprout)

Synonyms: bud, burgeon, develop

 disperse (v) to spread apart (dis- apart spargere to scatter)

Synonyms: diffuse, disseminate

 rampant (adj) growing out of control (ramper to climb)

Synonyms: rife, predominant, prevalent

 dissipate (v) to scatter (dis- apart supare to scatter)

Synonyms: dispel, disperse

 saturate (v) to fill completely, as with a liquid or solute (satur full)

Synonyms: soak, imbue

Vocabulary Lesson 49: Even More

 annex (v) to attach; to acquire land to expand an existing country (ad- to nectare to attach)

When Hitler annexed Poland, the dictator’s imperialist designs should have been clear.

Synonyms: acquire, appropriate, append Antonyms: disengage, dissociate

 addendum (n) something added; a supplement to a book (ad- onto)

After he completed the story, the author wrote an addendum explaining why he finished it the way he did.

Synonyms: appendix, supplement

 postscript (n) a message added after the completion of a letter (P.S.) (post- after scriber to write)

After my wife signed the postcard, she remembered something else she wanted to say and wrote a postscript.

 epilogue (n) an extra chapter added onto the end of a novel (epi- Gr in addition logia words)

In the epilogue, the author described what the characters of the novel did 15 years after the main narrative.

Synonyms: afterword, postlude Antonyms: prelude, forward, preface, prologue

 append (v) to affix something; to add on (ad- to pendere to hang)

The publishers appended an index to the end of the text to help the reader find things more easily.

Synonym: annex

 adjunct (adj) added in a subordinate capacity (ad- to jungere to attach)

Although principally a biologist, Dr. Carter was also an adjunct professor in the zoology department.

Synonyms: subordinate, subsidiary

 augment (v) to add onto; to make greater (augere to increase)

One important way to augment your SAT score is to study vocabulary.

Synonyms: enlarge, enhance, amplify, boost, strengthen Antonym: diminish

 cession (n) the act of surrendering or yielding (cessare to yield)

Synonyms: capitulation, relinquishment

 affix (v) to attach (ad- to figere to fasten)

Synonyms: annex, append

 appropriate (v) to take another’s work or possessions as one’s own (ad- to proprius one’s own)

 encore (n) an extra performance at the end of a show (encore Fr again)

Synonym: curtain call

 appendix (n) supplementary material at the end of a text (ad- to pendere to hang)

Synonym: addendum

 supplement (v) to add something to complete or strengthen a whole (supplere to complete)

 circumscribed (adj) having distinct boundaries or limits (circum- around + scribere to write)

Vocabulary Unit 7 Exercise Set I


Time—8 minutes

For each question, select the best answer among the choices given. Note any vocabulary words to review on the Hit List below.


1. While most people would probably be ------ in her position, Stacey somehow managed to remain upbeat and was convinced that things would get better.

(A) elated

(B) diminutive

(C) defamed

(D) anemic

(E) despondent

2. Seemingly without scruples, the professor ------ the work of his graduate students and published papers on topics he himself had not even researched.

(A) isolated

(B) relegated

(C) appropriated

(D) annexed

(E) eulogized

3. It is shocking that someone who was once so ------ by the public can so quickly become ------ after just one social blunder.

(A) belittled . . a malady

(B) disparaged . . a pariah

(C) saturated . . an exile

(D) lionized . . an outcast

(E) ostracized . . a recluse

4. The dearth of ------ land in this region of the country makes it very difficult to maintain plentiful harvests.

(A) desiccated

(B) arable

(C) fallow

(D) celestial

(E) arid

5. The entrance of the cavern was so ------ that the indigenous tribes took advantage of its ------ shelter to keep entire clans dry during the heavy rain season.

(A) voluminous . . capacious

(B) enormous . . scanty

(C) cavernous . . meager

(D) fecund . . spacious

(E) astral . . copious

6. Although many consider “Deadman’s Run” to be the most ------ ski trail on the mountain, Tommy was able to maneuver through the course without ------ after having just learned to ski.

(A) simple . . trouble

(B) difficult . . speed

(C) arduous . . exertion

(D) pedestrian . . concern

(E) pragmatic . . practical

7. Zach’s knowledge of ------ helped him to identify and avoid the rare and poisonous African spitting beetle.

(A) entomology

(B) etymology

(C) ethics

(D) pathology

(E) sociology

8. The spy was immediately ------ back to his country after he was caught attempting to pilfer information from the CIA database.

(A) quarantined

(B) secluded

(C) disseminated

(D) distended

(E) deported

9. It is hard to imagine that this barren desert with little to no plant life was once ------ with farms and wildlife.

(A) doleful

(B) replete

(C) germinated

(D) rarefied

(E) afflicted

10. After finishing a good novel, I’m always eager to see if an ------ follows to tell me what happened to the main characters after the conclusion of the narrative.

(A) elegy

(B) epitaph

(C) epilogue

(D) encore

(E) eulogy

Vocabulary Unit 7 Exercise Set II


Write the meaning next to each root, and then write as many words as you can that contain the root.


Vocabulary Unit 7 Exercise Set III

Write the word with the given meaning.

Write the correct form of the italicized word.

26. having anemia

_____________________________________________

27. one who studies sociology

_____________________________________________

28. the act of ceding

_____________________________________________

29. in solitude

_____________________________________________

30. the act of proliferating

_____________________________________________

Write the word with the given root.

31. relating to the sky (celum)

_____________________________________________

32. to swell (dis-)

_____________________________________________

33. a poem (legos)

_____________________________________________

34. an inscription (taphos)

_____________________________________________

35. study of insects (entomon)

_____________________________________________

36. a scarcity (paucus)

_____________________________________________

37. tiny (minuere)

_____________________________________________

38. banishment (ex-)

_____________________________________________

39. high praise (eu)

_____________________________________________

40. to multiply (pro-)

_____________________________________________

41. to make greater (aug)

_____________________________________________

Unit 7 Exercise Set I Answer Key

1. E While indicates a contrast. If she is upbeat and optimistic, it must be that most people would be the opposite: depressed.

elated = extremely happy

diminutive = tiny

defamed = slandered

anemic = weak

despondent = lacking hope

2. C The professor lacks scruples (moral standards), so he must have done something bad to the work of his students. If he is publishing papers on topics that he has not researched, he is probably stealing the work.

isolated = secluded

relegated = banished

appropriated = taken as his own

annexed = added on to

eulogized = praised

3. D The fact that it is shocking implies that the two words should contrast with each other.

belittle = to put down; malady = illness

disparage = to put down; pariah = outcast

saturate = to fill completely; exile = outcast

lionize = to worship; outcast = someone excluded

ostracize = to exclude; recluse = loner

4. B If it is difficult to maintain plentiful harvests, it must be because there is too little usable land.

desiccated = dry

arable = fertile

fallow = unused

celestial = relating to the sky

arid = dry

5. A An entrance that can accommodate entire clans must be pretty large.

voluminous = large; capacious = having lots of room

enormous = huge; scanty = inadequate

cavernous = large; meager = inadequate

fecund = fertile; spacious = full of room

astral = pertaining to stars; copious = abundant

6. C Although indicates contrast. Although many think it’s hard, Tommy must not have had difficulty with it.

arduous = difficult, strenuous; exertion = effort, strain

pedestrian = ordinary, mundane

pragmatic = practical, concerned with results

7. A Zach had knowledge of insects that allowed him to identify the creature. Entomology is the study of insects.

entomology = study of insects

etymology = study of the origin of words

ethics = study of moral choices

pathology = study of disease

sociology = study of social institutions

8. E If a country catches a spy pilfering (stealing) information, they will send the spy back to his country of origin.

quarantined = isolated

secluded = left alone

disseminated = spread out

distended = swollen

deported = banished

9. B If the desert is now barren (infertile), it would be hard to imagine it filled with farms and wildlife.

doleful = filled with grief

replete = filled

germinated = sprouted

rarefied = thinned out

afflicted = suffering

10. C The section of a novel that follows the main story is called an epilogue.

elegy = song or poem about death

epitaph = inscription found on a tombstone

epilogue = extra chapter added at end of novel

encore = an extra performance at the end of a show

eulogy = high praise, speech given at funeral

Unit 7 Exercise Sets II and III Answer Key

Exercise Set II

1. EPI-: over ephemeral, epitaph, epicenter, epidemic, epidermis, epilepsy, epitome

2. AD-: to, towards add, annex, adduct, adjure, adhere

3. SCRIBERE: to write inscribe, circumscribe, conscription, description, inscription, subscription

4. COPIA: abundance cornucopia, copious, copy

5. LUNA: moon lunacy, lunar, lunatic, lunate

6. ASTRUM: star astral, astronomy, astrology, disaster, astronaut

7. PLERE: to fill accomplish, complement, deplete, manipulate, replete, supplement

8. SOLUS: alone sole, soliloquy, solitaire, solitary, solitude, solo

9. GENEA: descent generation, genealogy, congenital

10. POST-: after posterior, posterity, posthumous, postpone, postscript

11. ARKHAIOS: ancient archaic, archaeology, archives

12. DEMOS: people demographics, democracy, epidemic, pandemic

13. VERT: to turn diverge, divert, revert, pervert, convert

14. LOGOS: study of psychology, anthropology, oncology, geology

15. CLAUDERE: to close claustrophobia, conclude, exclude, recluse, seclude

Exercise Set III

1. N

2. N

3. Y

4. N

5. N

6. malady

7. anthropology

8. ostracize

9. astral

10. genealogy

11. cosmic

12. copious

13. recluse

14. despondent

15. amass

16. arable

17. epilogue

18. meager

19. inundate

20. fallow

21. saturate

22. demographics

23. encore

24. surfeit

25. anguish

26. anemic

27. sociologist

28. cession

29. solitary

30. proliferation

31. celestial

32. distend

33. elegy

34. epitaph

35. entomology

36. paucity

37. diminutive

38. exile

39. eulogy

40. propagate

41. augment