How Much of a Human Thesaurus Are You?

By: Annette

How Much of a Human Thesaurus Are You?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The ability to express ourselves in words is one of the most important things that separates human from beast. As Henry Higgins, professor of phonetics in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" (and its musical adaptation, "My Fair Lady") puts it, "The majesty and grandeur of the English language; it's the greatest possession we have." He goes on to urge his protege, Eliza Doolittle, to conquer it, not just so that she can get a better job and more respect, but so that she can maximize her potential. That is the magic of a vocabulary - it permits a person to truly convey nuance, to speak the precise truth and not an approximation, to tell it like it is instead of telling it somewhat like it might be (and then being misunderstood). 

The ability to deploy the right word at the right time can move armies, inspire the downtrodden, and change hearts and minds. In a world where the pen is mightier than the sword, facility with your own language is basically a superpower.

If you have sesquipedalian tendencies, or you're a lexicographer or a wordsmith, you already know this, of course. Words are like weapons and friends for you. They help you to be simple without being simplistic, elegant without being pretentious, and sophisticated without being opaque. That's why you devour dictionaries, you eat encyclopedias and you lunch on lexicons. Take this quiz and let's prove that you are the human thesaurus you claim to be!

Awful
Terrible
Awful means the same thing as terrible. When something makes you feel disgust, it’s awful.
Victorious
Mindless

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Commence
End
Begin
When something commences, it begins. Funny enough, when you graduate from high school it’s called commencement.
Stall

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Beneficial
Favorable
When something is beneficial, it’s favorable. When something benefits you, it gives back to you in some way.
Sad
Lost

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Calm
Low
Tranquil
When something is calm, it’s tranquil. Being near the beach can be described as calm or tranquil.
Stalled

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Contemporary
Old
Modern
A contemporary thing is modern. Contemporary art and modern art are popular forms of expression that have a certain style.
Innovative

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Perilous
Dangerous
When something is perilous, it’s dangerous. Climbing a steep mountain can be perilous.
Happy
Fortunate

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Scrumptious
Bitter
Delicious
A scrumptious meal can also be described as delicious. For instance, homemade chicken pot pie is scrumptious.
Mushy

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Deceptive
Clear
Affluent
Misleading
A deceptive comment is misleading. Deception will try to get you to believe something that isn’t true.

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Risky
Dicey
A risky situation is also dicey. When you’re betting at the casino, the results can be risky or dicey.
Clear
Bright

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Dubious
Fake
Doubtful
Something that is dubious is also doubtful. If someone says something that creates red flags in your mind, then their statement was dubious.
Broken

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Everlasting
Eternal
Love everlasting is also love eternal. Something that is everlasting is going to go on forever without stopping.
Finished
Timely

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Fortunate
Crass
Lucky
When you’re fortunate, you’re also lucky. If you win the lottery, you can definitely say that you’re fortunate.
Happy

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Acquire
Get
When you get something, you also acquire it. When you acquire an inheritance, then you also get money.
Move
Give

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Hearsay
Truth
Rumor
Something that is just hearsay must also be rumor. If someone acquires an ill reputation through hearsay, then they’ve been brought down by lies.
Fact

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Hypothesis
Speculation
Guessing
Either
Hypothesis is just speculation, or a guess. In science, a hypothesis is made before the truth is tested.

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Idea
Visual
Notion
When you have an idea, you also have a notion. An idea is not fact, but rather just a thought.
Map

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Impassive
Emotionless
An impassive person is also emotionless. Someone who is cold and grave can be called impassive.
Emotive
Passionate

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Vital
Plain
Sad
Important
Something that is vital is also important. It’s vital, as a human, that you eat food and drink water.

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Envious
Jealous
An envious person is also jealous. You can be envious of many things and many people. It’s not worth it.
Slow
Confused

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Knowingly
Senselessly
Deliberately
Something that is done knowingly is also done deliberately. That means that there is thought and intention behind it.
Poorly

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Lazy
Sluggish
A lazy person is also a sluggish person. If you can’t get off the couch, you’re a lazy couch potato.
Fast
Feverish

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Lethal
Endless
Natural
Deadly
A lethal weapon is also deadly. Anything lethal or deadly should be left to US soldiers. Just opinion.

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Lucid
Clear
When you’re lucid, you’re also clear. Someone who is on drugs can never be truly lucid.
Murky
Fast

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Madness
Clarity
Insanity
Madness is the same as insanity. When you’ve gone mad, then you’re no longer a sane person.
Confusion

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Mendacity
Lying
Mendacity is the same as lying. To lie in front of a court of law is an act of terrible mendacity.
Truthfulness
Candor

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Mischievous
Prankster
Someone who is mischievous is also a prankster. On April Fool’s Day, everyone becomes a little mischievous.
Clueless
Docile

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Notify
Inform
When you notify someone of something, you also inform them. To receive notification is also to receive information.
Impinge
Isolate

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Worthless
Expensive
Nugatory
Did you know that something that is worthless is also nugatory? An old piece of technology becomes nugatory.
Priceless

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Obdurate
Stubborn
Someone who is obdurate is also stubborn. When you’re dragging your heels on something, then you’re being obdurate.
Smart
Holy

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Obsolete
Modern
Timeless
Out of date
An obsolete thing is also out of date. Your old car with the poor transmission is rendered obsolete.

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Passable
Satisfactory
Something that is passable is satisfactory. An average meal is considered merely passable, but nothing more.
Excellent
Binary

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Preceding
Future
Previous
The preceding thing is the previous thing. An event that preceded another event is the event that came before it.
Current

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Predicament
Dilemma
Pickle
Both
When you find yourself in a predicament, you find yourself in a dilemma. Some might also say that you find yourself in a pickle.

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Priority
Rumor
Precedence
When something takes priority, it also takes precedence. That means that it’s the most important thing in a string of other things.
Gossip

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Quiet
Rapid
Loud
Soundless
When something is quiet, it’s lacking in sound, or soundless. When you’re out on a tranquil lake, you could say that it is soundless.

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