Are You Brainy Enough to Pass This Vocabulary Quiz?
By: Tasha Moore
Image: RyanJLane / E+ / Getty Images
About This Quiz
Vocabulary quizzes are always fun! We invite you to define your amusement level with this quiz. Confirm your knowledge of terminology that folks rarely get to wrap their mouths around. Here's your chance to brush up on high school vocab that most brainiacs adore. Are you a proud "cerebral" type? If so, this quiz should be a "zephyr."
Perpetual students of the vocab life are also welcome to give this test their best shot. We mainly tackle adjectives, synonyms and nouns to at least keep the word forms simple. But beyond that, it's all uphill from there! So here are a few pointers to see you through, even if you boast an expansive vocabulary. Even a vague memory of these words will get you very far. Deconstruct unrecognizable words into simpler root words and affixes, like prefixes, as best as you can. The smaller words are the trickiest since they sound and look a lot like more conventional terms used daily; do a double-take on these to elude the pitfalls, and you're good to go!
Now, go scroll on and see which words stand to trip you up and which ones will take up residence in your noggin from now on!
What word means "a departure from the norm?"
"Aberration" first appeared in the 1590s to mean "a wandering" or "a straying." The word comes from Latin "aberrationem," which means "a wandering."
Which word is similar in meaning to the word "generosity?"
"Largess" is a 13th-century word that meant "generosity" at the time. That definition still stands, and its meaning also includes "a liberal giving of money or gifts to someone is or who is perceived as inferior."
Can you identify the word that means "weakly sentimental?"
"Maudlin" implies insincere emotion that's due to blatant insincerity or emotional impairment, as if drunken. "Maudlin" is a variation of "Mary Magdalene," who is widely perceived as an emotional, repentant sinner.
"Acquiesce" is a word from the 1610s and is derived from the Latin "acquiescere," which means "to become quiet" or "to remain at rest," which implies "satisfaction." The word's first and existing meaning is "implicit submission and compliance."
Which word describes "the quality of appearing to be true?"
"Verisimilitude" is "the state of seeming true or real." The prefix "veri-" is from Latin "verus," which means "true or genuine." "Verisimilitude" first appeared in the 1570s to mean "the quality or state of being true."
Can you choose the word that is synonymous with "declaim"?
"Inveigh" is a 1520s word that means "to speak or write about something in a tremendously hostile manner." "Declaim" is similar in meaning, but the synonym further implies "making impassioned rhetoric as if to an audience."
Can you identify the word that means "inappropriately bold in manner?"
"Impertinent" also means "rude" and "arrogant." The term first appeared in the late 14th century to mean "irrelevant." "Impertinent" is derived from the Old French "impertinent," which means "not belonging" or "not to the point."
"Cautious" and "discreet" are synonyms for which word?
"Circumspect" is an adjective that means "carefully considering potential consequences, and to avoid risk." "Circumspect" first appeared in the early 15th century and is derived from the Latin "circumspectus," which means "guarded," "intentional" and "well-considered."
"Flabbergasted" is the past participle form of the verb "flabbergast." "Flabbergasted" first appeared as a trendy word in a 1772 magazine article. "Amazed," "astounded" and "dumbfounded" are related words.
"Sanguine" implies "confident optimism." The word first appeared in the 14th century as an adjective to mean "blood-red." In the 15th century, it was used as a noun to define a "moderate to saturated tone of red."
"Deceitfulness" and "treachery" are similar in meaning to which word?
"Perfidy" is a noun that also implies "untrustworthiness." "Perfidy" was first used in 1592 to mean "a state of being disloyal or faithless." The Latin term "perfidia," meaning "falsehood" or "faithlessness," precedes "perfidy."
The verb "cadge" implies that one is not entitled to receive what is requested or obtained. The noun "cadge" is used in falconry and is "a padded wooden frame used to transport hooded hawks to a field."
"Out of control" and "noisy" are definitions for which word?
"Obstreperous" is an adjective used around the start of the 17th century to mean "marked by particularly unruly noisiness." "Obstreperous" is derived from the Latin "obstreperus," which means "clamorous."
Which word is an adjective that means "headstrong?"
"Contumacious" is "stubbornness" to the point of rebelliousness. "Contumacious" was first used in this fashion in the year 1583. Other new words from the same year include "generous" and "pertinacious."
"Enduring" and "ceaseless" are synonyms for which word?
"Unremitting" is an adjective that was first used in 1670 to mean "constant." The prefix "un-" means "not"; "remitting" is the present particle form of "remit," which means to "send back," "restore," "subside" or "refrain."
"To bewilder someone" is the definition for which word?
"Complicate," "baffle" and "befuddle" are synonyms for "obfuscate," which first appeared in the year 1536 as a transitive verb to mean "to throw into shadow." In the intransitive sense, "obfuscate" means "to be unclear or evasive."