Do You Know the Meaning of These One-Syllable Words?

By: Isadora Teich

Do You Know the Meaning of These One-Syllable Words?
Image: Badins / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

The English language is one of the most spoken languages on earth. It has picked up numerous words from places like India, Japan and more, and has roots in several European languages. It takes from Germanic, Latin, and Greek roots, which is why it can be so confusing. Knowing how to pronounce certain words and what they mean can be an unpredictable adventure, which is a big part of what makes the English language so interesting. After all, just because a word is short, doesn't necessarily mean that it's simple. In English, words don't have to be dozens of letters long to have a big impact.    

Since English has so many diverse roots deep in its past and has been influenced by languages and cultures from around the world, it can be tricky even for lifelong native English speakers. Whether words are big or small, they can be tricky little devils to get right!  

Are you a lover of language who is interested in all of English's tricky quirks? Do you have a handle on all of its strange and interesting words? See if you know the meaning of some especially tricky one-syllable words with this very wordy quiz! 

Which of these words refers to a period of 24 hours?
Es
Ace
Day
Day is a noun. It can refer to a period of 24 hours, or a period that corresponds to the length of time it takes the Earth to rotate on its axis. This word can also be used to refer to an era or a ​particular period of the past.
No

Advertisement

You can wear a ring but what else can the word ring mean?
A mistake
A sound
The word ring comes from the Germanic root, "hring." It can be used as a verb and noun in several different ways. For example, you can wear a wedding ring, but you can also fight in the ring and ring a doorbell.
A pet
A graph

Advertisement

Quaint is often used to describe houses and small towns. What does it mean?
Charmingly antique
Quaint is an adjective with Latin roots. It is often used to describe things that are picturesque, pleasantly old-fashioned or charming. For example, someone might say, "That country cottage is quaint."
Futuristic
Ugly
Luxurious

Advertisement

Which of these one-syllable words is a tall plant that features in many world mythologies?
Bee
Tree
In modern English, the word tree largely refers to woody plants with trunks and branches. However, in the past, it could refer to wooden structures, in general, or even the gallows. It also refers to a kind of branched diagram that resembles trees.
Dream
Jus

Advertisement

If rules are lax, what does that mean?
They are confusing
They are unrealistic
They aren't strict
Lax is an adjective. When rules are lax, it means they are not strict or harsh enough. This word comes from the Latin word laxus, which means loose. In the U.S., it is also an informal way of referring to the sport of lacrosse.
They are harsh

Advertisement

If someone calls you an ace, what are they saying?
You are boring
You are very book smart
You are skilled
You might have heard someone described as an "ace detective" or "ace basketball player.". This means that a person is highly skilled in a particular field or activity. This word can also be used in terms of card games and sports, like golf.
You are rich

Advertisement

What does it mean to chide someone?
Scold
Chide is a verb which means to scold, chastise, or reprimand someone. This word has Old English roots. For example, a teacher might chide a student for repeatedly not turning in his homework.
Slap
Marry
Envy

Advertisement

Which of these common one-syllable words has Chinese roots?
Tea
Tea comes from the Min Chinese word "te" and refers to a drink made by putting dried crushed plants in hot water. It is also related to the Mandarin Chinese word for tea, "cha." So, when you ask for chai tea, you are ​asking for "tea tea."
Clam
Light
Car

Advertisement

Of all of these words, which is one of the four elements?
Li
Air
Air is a word that can function as both a verb and a noun in a number of different ways. You can breathe air, you can compose an air (or short song) on piano, or you can put on airs, which means to be condescending. You can also air programs on TV or air your grievances.
Mace
Id

Advertisement

People have mouths, but which of these non-living things is also said to have mouths?
Caves
Both humans and animals have mouths. However, the mouth of a cave refers to its entrance. The place where a river meets the sea is also commonly referred to as its mouth.
The sky
Storms
Diseases

Advertisement

You can drive this one syllable word:
Jeer
Zip
Em
Car
The word car has Celtic origins. It can refer to either a smallish road vehicle, a single railroad vehicle that transports either freight or passengers, the place where passengers are held in an elevator, or a compartment in an airship (dirigible).

Advertisement

To what emotion does the word wrath relate?
Confusion
Boredom
Anger
Wrath is a common literary noun that means extreme anger. However, it is important to note that this word is usually used somewhat ironically or for dramatic effect in more modern contexts.
Joy

Advertisement

Which of these words refers to the immortal and divine part of living things, but is also a type of music?
Elm
Soul
The word soul has several meanings in English. While there is the Soul genre of music, some people believe that living things have souls, or spiritual selves attached to their physical bodies. Art can also be described as having soul, which means it strikes an authentic and ​emotional connection.
Ka
Sleep

Advertisement

Which of these is a synonym of the word "bilk"?
Pile
Star
Love
Cheat
Bilk is a verb which means to cheat, swindle, or steal money from another person. Archaically, it was also used to mean to evade or elude someone. It is thought to perhaps have its roots amongst 17th-century cribbage players.

Advertisement

Which word means to conclude something, or the conclusion of something?
End
The word end has Germanic roots, which is why similar words can be found in English, Dutch and German. It can be both a verb and a noun. As a noun, it can refer to the final part of something, the termination of a situation, a person's death​ and more.
Leer
Man
Qualm

Advertisement

If Greg and Daniel cleave together, what are they doing?
Healing each other
Tricking each other
Fighting
Sticking together
Cleave is a verb with two distinct (and seemingly opposite) meanings. You can cleave something in two, which means to divide it into two. Two people can also cleave to each other, which means they are sticking together firmly.

Advertisement

When someone tries to raze a building, what are they trying to do to it?
Build it
Demolish it
Raze is a verb with Latin roots that means "to completely destroy." It comes from the Latin "ras-," meaning to scrape. This word was used more often in the 19th century and has lost popularity over time.
Sell it
Buy it

Advertisement

When there is a dearth of butter, what does that mean?
The butter is rancid
The butter is expensive
There is a butter shortage
Dearth is a noun with Middle English roots. If there is a dearth of something, it means there is a shortage, scarcity, or lack of it. Antonyms of dearth include surplus and abundance.
Butter is illegal

Advertisement

If you are permitted to or able to do something, then​ you _______ do it.
If
Can
Can is a word that can be used as either a noun or a verb and has a number of different meetings. After all, you can read, you can have a can of soup, and then you can put the empty can in the can. You can also ​can food to preserve it, or get canned (fired) at work.
From
Night

Advertisement

When a situation is fraught with danger, what is that situation like?
Safe
Slightly risky
Fun
Dangerous
Fraught is a word that comes from the Middle Dutch word vracht, which meant ship's cargo. If a situation is fraught with danger, it is either brimming with danger or likely to end unfavorably.

Advertisement

We live on Earth. To what else can the word Earth refer?
Disease
Soil
In western astrology, Earth is one of the four elements tied into the mystical system. The others are water, air and fire. Our planet is also called Earth and the soil and dirt on it can also be referred to as earth.
Dreams
Goals

Advertisement

A landscape might look stark in winter. What does that mean?
It looks lush
It looks bare
Stark may be the surname of a Marvel character but it has Germanic roots which mean strong. In modern English, it is used to refer to things that appear to be barren, bare, severe, incredibly clear or impossible to avoid.
It looks beautiful
It looks dangerous

Advertisement

Cakes can be sweet or savory, but what other types of cakes are there?
Money
Inspiration
Crime
Soap
You can eat a chocolate cake or a fish cake, or wash with a cake of soap. After you walk in the rain, your shoes can also be caked with mud. If someone has on too much poorly applied makeup, people might also say the person has a "cake face."

Advertisement

If you broach a subject, what are you doing?
Dismissing it
Bringing it up
The word broach has several meanings and uses but is most commonly used as a verb. It means to introduce or bring up a sensitive subject or topic. It also has nautical meanings and can refer to a ship that is veering dangerously in the water.
Criticizing it
Studying it

Advertisement

Which of these words refers to the part of the mind that relates to our baser urges and instincts?
Am
Queue
Id
The famous psychologist, Sigmund Freud, had a theory that the human personality is split into the id, ego, and superego. The id is concerned with base animal urges, the ego is concerned with our reality as we experience it and the superego is concerned with what we consider to be right and wrong.
Slam

Advertisement

English has many negative and positive words. Which of these words indicates negation or a negative response?
No
No is an interesting word in the English language. Grammatically, it can function as a determiner, exclamation, adverb and noun. It can be used to indicate opposition, disagreement, or that there is hardly any of something.
Em
Queue
Rue

Advertisement

A dirge is a type of song meant for a specific occasion. Can you name the occasion?
Funerals
A dirge is a funerary song or lament for the dead. While dirges often refer to songs used as funeral rites, any mournful song can be referred to as a dirge. This word has Latin roots.
Weddings
Bar Mitzvahs
College Graduations

Advertisement

What do bards do?
Act
Lend money
Write poems
Bard is an archaic and literary term. It is a noun that refers to someone who writes and recites poems. This is why William Shakespeare, the most famous poet in the English language, is often referred to as the Bard (formally, the Bard of Avon).
Perform surgery

Advertisement

Which of these words is a synonym for ilk?
Plan
Type
Ilk is a noun of Germanic origin. Most commonly, it is used in phrases such as "of their ilk" or "of that ilk." It is used to mean that something is in the same category or similar to something that was already mentioned.
Dark
Comrade

Advertisement

What is loam?
Depression
Soil
Loam is a noun. It is fertile soil made up of sand and clay that contains humus. Humus is the organic part of the soil that is made up of decomposing plant matter. Loam is also a paste used to make bricks and plaster walls.
Money
Joy

Advertisement

If someone is blithe, they are displaying which emotion at an inappropriate time?
Sadness
Cheerfulness
In literary contexts, blithe is often used to mean joyous or happy. However, more commonly, someone who is being blithe is being cheerfully negligent or careless about something at an inappropriate time.
Rage
Lust

Advertisement

You don't have to be at school to get schooled. If someone schools you, what are they doing?
Training you
A school is a place where people gather to study various subjects or skills. Someone who schools another person in a subject or skill set is training them in it. A school of creatives is also a group of people who share similar ideas or stylistic elements.
Berating you
Loving you
Listening to you

Advertisement

As a noun, you can live in a house. What other part of speech does the word "house" occupy?
Adverb
Proper Noun
Verb
As a noun, house can refer to the people living in a house or the dwelling where people live. When you house someone or something, you provide them with a place to live. The word house can be used as a verb, noun, and adjective.
Preposition

Advertisement

If someone balks at your request, are they going to accommodate you?
Grudgingly
Maybe
Yes
No
Balk is a verb. It means to stop or block something abruptly. For example "The mom balked at her kids' requests to stay up later on a school night." This word has Old Norse roots.

Advertisement

Chloe has a mote of cheese. How much cheese does she have?
100 pounds
None
A little bit
If you have a mote of something, you have the tiniest little piece of it. Synonyms of this word include speck, particle​ and grain. It is sometimes confused with the word moat, which refers to a ditch dug around a castle or other structure.
A lot

Advertisement

You Got:
/35

Featured