Can You Pass This Tricky Vocabulary Test?

By: Monica Lee
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Can You Pass This Tricky Vocabulary Test?
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?
Sad
Evil
Rarely seen
Everywhere
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."

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How about the verb, "yield". What does that mean?
Reckon
Reward
Reach
Produce or give way
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.

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This vocabulary term can have several meaning. But as a noun, what does "temper" mean?
A sudden outburst of anger
The elasticity and hardness of a metal object
Make something more acceptable
A and B
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.

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When someone has a "proclivity" to something, what do they have?
Inclination toward
Proclivity is a strong natural liking for something that is usually bad. Some people may have a proclivity for alcohol or fatty foods.
Fear of
Dislike of
Jealous of

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When someone says to you the story was "trite". What do they mean?
Exciting
Horrifying
Not original
Trite means the subject is not interesting or effective because of being used too often. It is not fresh or original.
Misspelled

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Now we're getting a little harder. How would you define "arrogate"?
To water crops
Seize without justification
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."
A standoffish attitude
Weaponry

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When you hear "blandishment," what do you think of?
An action used with swords.
Flatter someone.
Blandishment is an action or speech that tends to flatter, coax or entice someone. For example, "Our blandishments left him unmoved."
Making a meal tasteless.
Punishment

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What is a "zephyr"?
A type of blimp
A type of train
A light breeze
"A summer zephyr gently stirred the leaves around the park, swirling here and there."
A type of mammal

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What is the dictionary's definition of the verb, "render"?
Squeeze
Cause or make
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!
Revolt
Rejoice

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What does "surreptitious" mean to you?
Hilarity
Surprise
Secretly
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.
Stressful

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What does "novel" mean as an adjective?
A book-length work of fiction
Something new and different
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.
Impossible
Exhilaration

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How would you define "subjugate"?
Complete control
When you want to bring someone or something under complete control you want to subjugate it, or conquer it.
One of royalty
Reaching your goal
A part of a sentence

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"Munificent" is an interesting word. What does it mean?
Mummified
Magnificent
Generous
Maybe because the meaning is similar to magnanimous, you might have hesitated to define this word correctly. The meaning of munificent is very generous.
Evil thinking

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If you're the "maverick" in the crowd, what are you?
The rebel
A person who is a maverick is an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party.
The leader
The follower
The sweetheart

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When you hear the word "laconic," what comes to mind?
Enlightened
Mean-spirited
Brevity
Laconic means using few words to express a detailed and long explanation. Another word to use for laconic is concise.
Lazy

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When something is "inane", what is it?
Liberal
Even-handed
Condescending
Nonsense
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."

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"Venture" used as a noun. What does it mean?
Any venturesome undertaking especially one with an uncertain outcome.
An investment that is very risky but could yield great profits
Put forward as a guess, in spite of possible refutation
A & B only
The noun, venture, is a risky undertaking whether the risk be financial or physical. When used as an adjective, it can mean to speculate.

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"Grandiloquence" can be used to explain what?
Flowery language
Grandiloquence is lofty, extravagant and with a pompous style or manner, which can also be applied to the quality of speaking.
Peaceful mediation
Paranoia
Self sacrifice

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How do you define "flagrant"?
A type of aroma.
A type of punishment with a whip.
The name of the pollen in a flower.
A reprehensible action.
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."

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You may have heard this word used often, what does "exhort" mean?
Leave or exit
Influence
Exhort means to try to influence (someone) by words or advice or other means. It is to strongly urge (someone) to do something.
Approach with caution.
Indulge

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When people say their childhood was "ephemeral," what do they mean?
Unsettling
Violent
Happy
Short-lived
Ephemeral has a transitory quality to it, one that is short lived or lasts a short time.

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"Cupidity" brings out what type of feeling in a person?
Love
Greed
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.
Boastfulness
Skepticism

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Which of these meanings are correct for "butcher"?
A person who brutally or indiscriminately slaughters or murders.
A person who slaughters certain animals for food or sale.
To bungle or botch.
All of the above.
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.

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If you know math, this is an easy one. What does "congruity" mean?
More rather than less.
The same as or equal to.
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.
Less rather than more.
Reduction or subtraction

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What does "bilk" mean?
Tickle
Surprise
Cheat
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."
Sweeten

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When it comes to "vociferous," how would you describe this word to someone?
A very loud, opinionated person.
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.
A very curvy and sexy woman.
An intense need for warmth.
A shower of compliments.

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Here's one for those scientifically minded. What does "autogamy" mean?
An automatic response
Man-made fiber
Self-fertilization in plant
Autogamy means the self fertilization in plants, or more specifically, fertilization by the union of male and female gametes from the same individual.
Mindless routines

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Which of these definitions for "reckoning" is correct?
A person's view, opinion, or judgment.
The action or process of calculating or estimating something.
A bill or account, or its settlement.
All of them
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.

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When "capitulate" is used as a verb without an object, what does it mean?
Backpedal
To give up resistance.
There are two definitions. One is to surrender unconditionally or on stipulated terms, and the second is to give up resistance.
To boast.
To be jealous.

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What does "harry" mean?
Too much hair
A hairstyle
Annoy continually.
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".
Overly critical

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Which one of these is the definition of "assess"?
A useful and desirable thing or quality.
To officially estimate the value of something as a basis for taxation.
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).
The ability or right to approach speak with or gain admittance.
A farmer's implement

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What does "implement" mean when used as a verb?
An article of equipment
To fulfill or carry out
An article of equipment would be the noun usage of implement. When used as a verb, it means to perform or put into effect.
To cry for no reason
To accuse someone

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You're so smart, you got this. Which answer defines "manifest" as a verb?
An item is shown for everyone to notice.
The verb manifest means to reveal its presence or make an appearance. For example, “The ghost manifests each year on the same day."
A customs document listing the contents put on a ship or plane.
Something that is gorgeous and wonderful.
Something that is tried and true, or proven.

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Almost at the end! What does "notion" mean?
An elixir created from witchcraft
An idea, often vague and sometimes fanciful
A notion is an idea, often vague and sometimes fanciful. It rhymes with potion but has nothing to do with the word's meaning.
A good work ethic
A sharp wit

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Final question! How would you define "scale" when used as a noun?
An ordered reference standard to measure something.
The ratio between the size of something and a representation of it.
A series of musical notes differing in pitch.
All of the above
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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