Can You Pick the Word That's NOT a Synonym?

Zoe Samuel

Image: Getty Images via

About This Quiz

The English language has about 200,000 words, of which a paltry 3,000 will cover about 95% of your linguistic needs. That means that most of us are not using the splendid gift that is the language of Shakespeare to anything like its fullest potential. Indeed, it's even possible to limit yourself to the most-used 1,000 words and generally speaking; you will still get by. However, your speech will lack a certain something that makes it beautiful, interesting, or compelling.

What's one way you can simply talk better? Adverbs, adjectives, idioms, and figures of speech can all come to the rescue here, and alongside them come synonyms. These are words that mean the same thing as other words, such that they appear together in thesaurus entries. Examples might include anger, wrath, ire, and rage. 

However, synonyms are not identical, even if they are very similar. They offer shades of nuance. For example, happy, merry, and jolly don't mean exactly the same thing, but they are synonyms. They're different in the same way that teal, periwinkle, and navy are all blue, but they're shades of blue. The purpose of synonyms is to be able to offer a truly precise understanding that illuminates what you are trying to say.

How well do you know your synonyms? Let's find out!

Which one is not like the others here?

All of these are synonyms of "arrive" except for "depart." It's an antonym, which is the opposite of a synonym - it means the literal inverse.

Which one is sneakily hiding in the crowd?

Disbanding means you're not using something any more. It's not quite an antonym, but it's not a synonym either.

Where is the odd one out here?

These are all synonyms of "put." Tip, however, is a verb, the end of something, and a thing you give a waiter - but it's not a way of saying "put."

Where's the black sheep in this group?

These are all synonyms of "break." Mend, however, is an antonym, as it is how you put something broken back together.

Which doesn't fit in here?

These are all synonyms of "take". "Offer", however, means a proposed gift, idea, or deal.

Which one is not a synonym of "mark"?

All the others mean a way of putting a sign or note on something. This is a way of drawing attention, or just a non-distinguishing dent.

Which is not a synonym of a word meaning "blueprint"?

These are all synonyms of "drawings", in the architectural sense. A doodle is a drawing, but it is not a formal one.

Which of these is a synonym of "fly"?

Jumping is not flying, as it is not powered; you are under gravity's full control at all times. In order to stay up after jumping, you have to start flying.

Which one cannot claim to be a synonym for "show"?

If tell meant show, then "show and tell" would be a tautology! Indeed, telling and showing are considered very different; from a rhetorical position, telling is always the much weaker choice.

Which one of these certainly doesn't mean "decide"?

We would've also allowed "select" - but "hesitate" is what you do when you can't decide! Being decisive and hesitating are not quite antonyms, but they're not far off.

Which one does not belong here?

These are all synonyms of "terminate". "Include" was put here just to be tricky, as of course it is similar to "conclude", another synonym.

Which of these does not mean "help"?

This is a straight-up antonym. Helping and obstructing are entirely opposed - unless somehow, you really do know what's best for someone better than they do, but that's a special case.

Which word surely does not mean "fall"?

Falling specifically means that it is not under control or in connection with the ground. Sliding means you're touching a surface. They're similar, but not the same.

Which one definitely is not a way to say "cut?"

You can open something by cutting it but you can't assume that's what someone meant by "opening". The implication of "open" is usually more controlled.

Which of these is no way to say "keep"?

Escrow is where you might put something you're keeping, but it's not a way of saying "keep" in and of itself. It's just a type of account where money is put for safekeeping.

Which one is not all about "having"?

If you are very fortunate, you want what you have - but very few of us ever have what we want! Wanting does not always mean having unless the stars align.

Which of these is a misfit?

These are all synonyms of "do". As the wise man said once, doing and trying are not the same thing - indeed, some schools of thought maintain that "there is no try".

Which one is all about NOT "moving"?

To sit and to move are antonyms, generally. Very few people can do both at the same time without special equipment!

What word certainly doesn't mean "hide"?

Giving a hiding does actually mean to beat someone, but smacking them once would not count. A skin and a hide are the same thing when it comes to leather, and of course, the other meaning of "hide" is all about concealing.

Which word isn't a way to say "run"?

You may wobble when you run, but you don't necessarily. You are most likely to wobble when you slow down from running!

What word here is not a way to say "begin"?

If you cease, you may have already begun earlier, but you're not doing it right now! Ending is the opposite of beginning, and ceasing isn't dissimilar.

Which word is not a synonym of "false"?

Something ambiguous may not be true, but it isn't certainly false. It's halfway between the two, or perhaps neither one or the other.

Which word here does not belong?

These are all ways to say "small", except for "vast". It means very very big indeed!

Which word here is not a synonym of "fast"?

Just because you're fast does not mean you are loose! Of course, "secure" and "fast" area synonyms in a different way than "quick" or "speedy".

Which word should not be on this list?

These are all synonyms of "very cold". Cool doesn't really mean cold, though - it means "a little bit cold".

Which word here is not a synonym?

These are all ways to say "quiet", except for clamorous. It means the exact opposite, and is thus an antonym.

Which word here does not mean "all"?

If you have all of something, you could say you have most, but that would be an incomplete description. "Most" is simply a majority, and is nonspecific about how large of one.

Which word does not mean "glitter"?

Glittering is what happens when light reflects in a specific way. It requires light, but it is not a synonym for light.

Which word here is not a synonym?

Neanderthals actually are not human beings. They are a close evolutionary cousin who were wiped out by humans thanks to our more adaptable minds and killer instincts.

Which word here is not the same as the others?

House, apartment, and condo are all types of home. "Home" is a category into which the others thus fit, and not a synonym.

Which of these is the odd one out?

Delivery, purchase, and order are all ways to say "the complete list of things you bought". A list does not imply that the things have been bought.

Which one of these should not be here?

"Yield" and "produce" are both ways to say "crop", as in a plant that grows in a field. "Crop" can also mean "cut" as in "crop top". However, "grow" is only a thing that crops do.

Which of these is NOT a synonym for "enchant"?

"Amuse" and "delight" are the easy ones here but it is also true that "tickle" is a synonym for "enchant", as in, "That performance tickled me, it really did". "Bewilder", however, is not.

Which of these doesn't mean "money"?

Profit is an amount of money, but it's not actually money. It just means you have money (and if so, good for you!).

Which of these is no way to say "boss"?

The boss is the one who has a lieutenant. She is not herself a lieutenant. There may be people under the lieutenant who call that person the boss, but they know their boss has a boss.

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