Can You Pass This Tricky Vocabulary Test?


By: Monica Lee

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

The more words you know, the smarter you are. Well, maybe not scientifically, but it is certainly the impression you make on people when your language is precise and meaningful.  However, scientifically, you can state that a larger vocabulary can help you input and process information faster. This is because the comprehension process of certain words can be skipped, lightening the load on your working memory, so you can understand the concept or the totality of information faster.

And, as you might suspect, a larger vocabulary can impact your success at work.  Experiments and tests performed over 20 years of research have shown no matter the job description, a good vocabulary is an accurate predictor for career success. And to underscore the significance of this study, the results found that a rich vocabulary usually comes before achievement, not as a consequence of it.

So it's time to hone your vocabulary skills, and maybe learn a few new words to broaden and add diversity to your superior command of the language. Since new words are constantly being added to our lexicon, you'll need to be versant on the latest and greatest words. Take this quiz now. You're sure to score in the top 2 percent!

Let's start with an easy one. When something is "ubiquitous," it is what?

Ubiquitous means existing or being everywhere, especially at the same time. For example, "Cellphones used to be a luxury item for security or status. Today they are ubiquitous, everyone has one."


How about the verb, "yield". What does that mean?

There are two definitions of the verb yield. One is to produce or provide in a natural, agricultural or industrial way. It also means to give way to arguments, demands or pressure.


This vocabulary term can have several meaning. But as a noun, what does "temper" mean?

Whether you use temper in metallurgy or when describing a particular state of mind as in someone's temper, you're using the word as a noun.


When someone has a "proclivity" to something, what do they have?

Proclivity is a strong natural liking for something that is usually bad. Some people may have a proclivity for alcohol or fatty foods.


When someone says to you the story was "trite". What do they mean?

Trite means the subject is not interesting or effective because of being used too often. It is not fresh or original.


Now we're getting a little harder. How would you define "arrogate"?

Here is an example of how to use arrogated in a sentence. "She arrogated the leadership role to herself before anyone else had a chance to speak up or claim it."


When you hear "blandishment," what do you think of?

Blandishment is an action or speech that tends to flatter, coax or entice someone. For example, "Our blandishments left him unmoved."


What is a "zephyr"?

"A summer zephyr gently stirred the leaves around the park, swirling here and there."


What is the dictionary's definition of the verb, "render"?

Render has a few meanings, but the first definition is cause or make. An illness might render you unable to walk. The noun, render, means a first coat of plaster applied to a brick or stone surface. Now you know!


What does "surreptitious" mean to you?

If someone found out how you got the information, you would be in trouble. In other words, something or someone obtained by stealth, secretly or through unauthorized procedures.


What does "novel" mean as an adjective?

If novel is used as a noun it means a book, but if it's used as an adjective, it means something so new and original that it's never been seen, used or even thought of before.


How would you define "subjugate"?

When you want to bring someone or something under complete control you want to subjugate it, or conquer it.


"Munificent" is an interesting word. What does it mean?

Maybe because the meaning is similar to magnanimous, you might have hesitated to define this word correctly. The meaning of munificent is very generous.


If you're the "maverick" in the crowd, what are you?

A person who is a maverick is an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party.


When you hear the word "laconic," what comes to mind?

Laconic means using few words to express a detailed and long explanation. Another word to use for laconic is concise.


When something is "inane", what is it?

Inane is easy to use when talking about things that don't make sense, are silly or lacking significance. For instance, it would be inane to say the film, "Hot Tub Time Machine" is as good as "Gone With The Wind."


"Venture" used as a noun. What does it mean?

The noun, venture, is a risky undertaking whether the risk be financial or physical. When used as an adjective, it can mean to speculate.


"Grandiloquence" can be used to explain what?

Grandiloquence is lofty, extravagant and with a pompous style or manner, which can also be applied to the quality of speaking.


How do you define "flagrant"?

Flagrant means to be conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible. For instance,"Her flagrant disregard for the woman's feelings when criticizing the room made everyone cringe."


You may have heard this word used often, what does "exhort" mean?

Exhort means to try to influence (someone) by words or advice or other means. It is to strongly urge (someone) to do something.


When people say their childhood was "ephemeral," what do they mean?

Ephemeral has a transitory quality to it, one that is short lived or lasts a short time.


"Cupidity" brings out what type of feeling in a person?

Although you may equate cupidity with cupid and love, that's not correct. Cupidity means a strong desire, but it's for possessions or money, which is a greedy quality.


Which of these meanings are correct for "butcher"?

All of these are correct. It is also correct to use this word to describe a vendor who hawks newspapers, candy, beverages, etc.,on a train, at a stadium, or other public place.


If you know math, this is an easy one. What does "congruity" mean?

Congruity is similar to congruent, which is the quality of being the same shape and size. The meaning of congruity in the English language is to agree, or it is something suitable and appropriate.


What does "bilk" mean?

When you bilk people, you defraud them or cheat them of what is rightfully theirs. For instance, "He bilked the government of almost a million dollars."


When it comes to "vociferous," how would you describe this word to someone?

Someone who is vociferous expresses his or her feeling or opinions in a very loud or forceful way. Debaters, politicians and some leaders have an outspoken or vociferous personality.


Here's one for those scientifically minded. What does "autogamy" mean?

Autogamy means the self fertilization in plants, or more specifically, fertilization by the union of male and female gametes from the same individual.


Which of these definitions for "reckoning" is correct?

All three of theses are correct. If it was "the day of reckoning," it would mean the time when one is called to account for one's actions, to pay one's debts, or to fulfill one's promises or obligations.


When "capitulate" is used as a verb without an object, what does it mean?

There are two definitions. One is to surrender unconditionally or on stipulated terms, and the second is to give up resistance.


What does "harry" mean?

Harry means to harass, annoy or be a nuisance by repeated attacks. It also means to ravage, as in war. We hope you didn't confuse it with "hairy".


Which one of these is the definition of "assess"?

Assess is to value something, whether it be an item or a situation. You may have hesitated when choosing the correct answers since the other definitions were for similar sounding words (access and asset).


What does "implement" mean when used as a verb?

An article of equipment would be the noun usage of implement. When used as a verb, it means to perform or put into effect.


You're so smart, you got this. Which answer defines "manifest" as a verb?

The verb manifest means to reveal its presence or make an appearance. For example, “The ghost manifests each year on the same day."


Almost at the end! What does "notion" mean?

A notion is an idea, often vague and sometimes fanciful. It rhymes with potion but has nothing to do with the word's meaning.


Final question! How would you define "scale" when used as a noun?

Not just all these answers, but scale also describes a thin flake of dead epidermis shed from the surface of the skin, and a flattened rigid plate forming part of the body covering of many animals, to name a few.


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