Is Your Vocabulary Up To ACT Standards?

Becky Stigall

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About This Quiz

There are literally thousands of words on the ACT exam. Now, we don't expect you to know all of them; just 35. If we give you the definition, can you guess which of the answers is the correct word?

Short story or account.

An anecdote is a short story or account. Anecdotes are typically accounts about real people or events.

Very dry

Arid means very dry. Deserts are often described as arid.

Refrain from.

Abstain means refrain from. The act of abstaining is voluntary.

Careful and cautious

Prudent means careful and cautious. Wise might be a good synonym for prudent.

Displaying wealth

Ostentatious means displaying wealth. Such a display is often pretentious and conspicuous.

Withdrawn to the point of being hermit-like.

Someone who is withdrawn to the point of being hermit-like is reclusive. A person who is reclusive might be called a recluse.


Intrepid means fearless. Brave, courageous and bold are good synonyms for the word intrepid.

Confirm or verify

To substantiate something is to confirm or verify it. Another way to look at it is to give substance to something.

Public speaker

An orator is a public speaker. Orator stems from a Latin word meaning to speak.

To delay unnecessarily

To procrastinate is to delay something unnecessarily. Procrastinate is a verb.

To absolve of blame

To vindicate someone is to absolve them of blame. The past tense of vindicate is vindicated.

Commanding respect due to age

Someone who is venerable is respectable because of his/her age. The word venerable is sometimes confused with the word vulnerable.

Profound respect

Reverence is profound respect. To revere is the act of reverence.

Pompous or self-important

Pretentious means pompous or self-important. The word pompous is an adjective.

Ordinary or common

Mundane means ordinary or common. This word might be used to refer to something boring.

To attribute

Impute means to attribute to someone. The past tense of impute is imputed.

Momentary or fleeting

Ephemeral means momentary or fleeting. Ephemeral is pronounced ih-fem-er-uh l.

Helping to diminish guilt

Extenuating means to diminish guilt. Extenuating circumstances in a murder might reduce the charges.

Short-lived or fleeting

Evanescent means short-lived. Evanescent is an adjective.


Deleterious means harmful. This word may be used in reference to health.

Sanctuary or secure retreat.

Asylum means sanctuary. Sanctuary is a noun.

To express strong disapproval

Censure means to express strong disapproval or criticism. Condemn would be a suitable synonym.


An antagonist is an opponent. The opposite of antagonist is protagonist.

Stray from the main point.

To digress is to stray from the point one was making. To digress is to ramble.

A pleasure seeker

A hedonist is someone who seeks pleasure. The act of seeking pleasure is hedonism.


Fortuitous means lucky. The word is often misspelled "fortuitious."


Diligent means hard-working. Diligent is an adjective.

Able to see the future.

Clairvoyant means able to see the future. The word may be used as a noun or an adjective.

Having to do with beauty

Aesthetic means having to do with beauty. The word can also be spelled esthetic.


Abridge means to abbreviate. Shorten would be an appropriate synonym for abridge.

High praise

Adulation is high praise. It may also be defined as extreme flattery.

Arrogant or condescending

Haughty means arrogant or condescending. Someone who is haughty might be viewed as overly proud and snobbish.

Rash or impulsive

Impetuous means rash or impulsive. Young people are often viewed as being impetuous.

Disloyal or deceitful.

Perfidious means disloyal or deceitful. Perfidious is an adjective.

Certain or unavoidable

Inevitable means certain or unavoidable. The end of this quiz is inevitable.

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