Are You Brainy Enough to Pass This Vocabulary Quiz?

By: Tasha Moore
Estimated Completion Time
2 min
What word means "a departure from the norm?"
Approach
Aberration
"Aberration" first appeared in the 1590s to mean "a wandering" or "a straying." The word comes from Latin "aberrationem," which means "a wandering."
Ingress
Arrival

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Which word is a synonym for "immature?"
Callow
"Callow" is derived from the Old English word "calu," which means "bare" or "bald." The word was first used in the year 1580.
Ripened
Matured
Mellow

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Which word is synonymous with "narrow-minded?"
Voluminous
Insular
"Insular" was first used in 1611 to mean "relating to an island." The word comes from Latin "insula," which means "island."
Broad
Impartial

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Which of these choices means "an open, contemptuous disregard?"
Approbate
Sanction
Ratify
Flout
"Flout" appeared as a verb in the 1550s to mean "to scorn." Its origin is likely from the Middle English word "flouten," which means "to play the flute."

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Which word is similar in meaning to the word "generosity?"
Douceur
Largess
"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."
Treasure
Cultivate

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Can you identify the word that means "weakly sentimental?"
Maudlin
"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.
Cynical
Misanthropic
Pessimistic

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What word is the opposite of "forbid?"
Rebuff
Banish
Acquiesce
"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."
Ostracize

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Which word describes "the quality of appearing to be true?"
Artifcial
Verisimilitude
"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."
Delusory
Specious

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Can you choose the word that is synonymous with "declaim"?
Countenance
Inveigh
"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."
Demean
Repose

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Can you spot the derogatory term that means "self-righteous?"
Sanctimonious
"Sanctimonious" describes "deliberately making a show of being morally superior to others." The word first appeared around the year 1600.
Artless
Brusque
Veracious

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Which word means "melodramatic in style?"
Standpat
Blimpish
Histrionic
"Histrionic" was first used in 1648 to mean "willfully affected." The word is derived from the Latin "histrionicus," which means "concerning an actor."
Modern

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Can you identify the word that means "inappropriately bold in manner?"
Demure
Impertinent
"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."
Coquettish
Governessy

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"Cautious" and "discreet" are synonyms for which word?
Foolhardy
Audacious
Circumspect
"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."
Impetuous

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Can you choose the noun meaning "a rule from an authoritative source?"
Sufferance
Sanction
Tolerance
Dictum
"Dictum" was first used in 1586 to mean "a formal pronouncement" or "notable statement." The word's Latin meaning is "prophecy, proverb" or "an order."

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Which word means "to secretly allow something illegal to occur?"
Replumb
Connive
"Connive" is from the Latin "connivere," meaning "to wink." The word first appeared in 1601 to mean "to pretend ignorance" or "fail to address that which one should oppose."
Fathom
Authenticate

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What is a synonym for the word "astonished?"
Incurious
Flabbergasted
"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.
Impervious
Listless

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When a task is a "failed accomplishment," what is the best word to use to describe the task?
Banausic
Abortive
"Abortive" is an adjective that means "failing to accomplish an intended result." "Abortive" is a 15th-century word that was first used to mean "prematurely born."
Frivolous
Fitting

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Which of these choices means "void of flavor?"
Mawkish
Poignant
Mordant
Insipid
"Dull" or "uninteresting" are synonyms for "insipid," which was first used in the 1610s to mean "without taste." "Insipid" is derived from the Late Latin "inspidus," which means "tasteless."

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Which word means "to appear or sound sad or mournful?"
Buoyant
Winsome
Insouciant
Lugubrious
"Lugubrious" implies an exaggerated mournful state. The word was first used in 1585 to mean "mournful." "Dismal" and "melancholy" are related terms.

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"Secret" and "hidden" are synonyms for which term?
Putative
Demonstrable
Arcane
"Arcane" means "understood by select few," "mysterious" and "esoteric." "Arcane" first appeared in the 1540s and is derived from the Latin "arcanus," which means "concealed" or "private."
Empirical

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What is the meaning of the word "contiguous" in the following sentence? "Overnight train transport is only available within 13 of the 48 contiguous states."
Adjoining or touching
The adjective "contiguous" comes from the Latin "contiguus," which means "touching," "near" or "bordering upon." "Contiguous" was first used in the early 1600s to mean "in actual contact with."
Intimate
Clandestine
Impenetrable

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Can you identify the word that means "depraved act or practice?"
Merit
Turpitude
"Turpitude" is a noun that is synonymous with "depravity." "Turpitude" first appeared in the 15th century to mean "innate evil."
Probity
Scrupulosity

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"Benevolent" and "charitable" are synonyms for which word?
Agog
Munificent
"Munificent" first appeared in the year 1565 to mean "lavish giving." The word is derived from the Latin "munificus," which means "liberal" and "bountiful."
Apathetic
Malicious

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"Polite" and "meek" are antonyms for which term?
Chivalrous
Peremptory
"Peremptory" means "authoritative" and "abrupt"; "arrogant" is a related term. "Peremptory" was first used as a legal term in the mid-15th century to mean "precluding a right of action."
Dutiful
Demure

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Which of the following words means "cheerful?"
Placative
Sanguine
"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."
Dulling
Piercing

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"Deceitfulness" and "treachery" are similar in meaning to which word?
Piousness
Devotion
Dubiousness
Perfidy
"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."

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If something is "difficult to understand," which of the choices is the best word to describe it?
Perspicuous
Luculent
Abstruse
"Abstruse" first appeared in 1549 to mean "difficult to understand." The word is derived from the Latin "abstrusus," which means "concealed."
Elephantine

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Which word of the choices means "to beg?"
Conciliate
Estrange
Cadge
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."
Envenom

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What does the word "tenuous" mean?
Vigorous
Flimsy
"Tenuous" first appeared in the year 1597 to mean "not compact." The word is derived from the Latin "tenuis," which means "thin." "Delicate" and "insubstantial" are related terms.
Thickish
Glutinous

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What word means "to spoil the quality or productivity of?"
Vitiate
The Latin word "vitiatus" precedes "vitiate," which was first used in the year 1534 as a transitive verb to mean "to make faulty or defective." "Vitiate" also means "to debase morally."
Meliorate
Ennoble
Ensky

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"Out of control" and "noisy" are definitions for which word?
Obstreperous
"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."
Repressed
Unpretentious
Pulchritude

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"False earnestness," "oily" and "plastic" are all definitions for which word?
Artless
Echt
Unctuous
A more conventional definition of "unctuous" is "ingratiatingly flattering," which also implies unpleasantness. "Unctuous" is a 15th-century word that was first used to mean "oily."
Malodorous

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Which word is an adjective that means "headstrong?"
Slavish
Factitious
Mimetic
Contumacious
"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."

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"Enduring" and "ceaseless" are synonyms for which word?
Choppy
Rudimentary
Newfangled
Unremitting
"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."

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"To bewilder someone" is the definition for which word?
Decipher
Intuit
Obfuscate
"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."
Conjecture

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