If You Know All of These Words, You're Probably Really Smart

By: Monica Lee
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
If You Know All of These Words, You're Probably Really Smart
Image: PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Some people get a sophisticated vocabulary by reading textbooks and articles on complex issues and topics. Others get it from observation, that is, listening to people use certain words in context. Others simply study vocabulary to enrich their knowledge and to describe daily life in more precise and vivid detail. Still, others need to master a higher-level lexicon for their job, be it an editor, reporter, diplomat or other position where precise communication is crucial. No matter how you came to have such a worldly command of the language, it sets you apart from others. And this quiz will provide a benchmark from which to measure yourself.

You'll be asked to choose a word from a definition, a synonym, antonym or used in a sentence. Words like subterfuge, autonomy, or euphemism, for example. Each question you answer correctly will be tallied, and you can compare it with others who have taken this quiz previously. We can tell you that only 2% have received a perfect score, while 20% have chosen the correct answer 8 out of 10 times. See how you measure up, take the quiz now. There is no subterfuge involved, just you and your abundant proficiency.





What word is described in this definition? The substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant.
Floridness
Timid
Polite
Euphemism
Using a euphemism is described in the above definition. Floridness is a synonym but has floral attributes or more of a "flowery language" meaning.

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What is a synonym for "functional"?
Practical
Utilitarian
Useful
All of the above
Functional has many synonyms. It means designed to be practical and useful, rather than attractive.

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What is an antonym for "incessantly"?
Endlessly
Completed
There are several antonyms for "incessantly" including someting being completed, finished or ceased. Something that is incessant is an ongoing process.
Harass
Facade

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What word is defined by a lack of energy and enthusiasm?
Lethargy
Although stupor is a synonym of lethargy, stupor means a state of near-unconsciousness or insensibility, and is more intense than lethargy.
Onset
Stupor
Pleasant

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What word is defined by a state, quality, or emotion that is very great or intense?
Sagacious
Reputation
Heritage
Profound
Although sagacious is close, the correct answer is profound. Sagacious means having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment.

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What is a synonym for "shrewd"?
A. Canny
B. Wiley
C. Boastful
A & B
If you're shrewd, you got this one. You need to be clever to evaluate the best answer out of all the options. In this case, there was more than one option, making it a bit harder.

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"Haboob" can be described as what?
A mistake
Intense dust storm
People with an enhanced vocabulary usually know more precise language when it comes to weather. Knowing the word, "squalls" or "Habbob", helps to describe weather scenarios more accurately.
A single-story house
A futuristic car

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What is an antonym for "onset"?
Between
End
"The onset of winter started with a few non-threatening snowflakes." Onset means to begin, so the antonym is "end".
Beginning
Duration

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What is a "sham"?
The act of moving forward, as toward a goal.
Something that is shiny and attractive to the eye.
Something that is a counterfeit and not what it seems to be.
Someone who is a sham is a faker, fraud, impostor, pretender, or role player. It is someone who leads you to believe something that is not true.
Something that has enduring strength and energy.

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What is a synonym for "supplemental"?
Jovial
Auxiliary
Supplemental means functioning in a supporting capacity; it is added when there's a lack or deficiency. An antonym is indispensable.
Facade
Betrayal

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Eradicate has several meanings, which of these is correct?
A. Destroy completely, as if down to the roots
B. Kill in large numbers
C. Frenzied as if possessed by a demon
D) A & B
Synonyms for eradicate include eliminate, get rid of, remove, and obliterate. "Ratic or "ratin" is the Latin root word meaning "root" so eradicate means to "torn up by the roots".

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“I was _______ by the magnitude of the others’ generosity so I donated twenty thousand more.” Which answer is most accurate?
Suspicious
Surprised
Abashed
Although some of these answers would make sense in the sentence, according to the context only abashed fits.
Insulted

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What is a synonym for "aberration"?
Oddity
Aberration means a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically one that is unwelcome. Besides oddity, peculiarity and quirk are also synonyms.
Conformity
Abstain
Similarity

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What does "boondoggle" mean?
To sacrifice on behalf of others
Work of little or no value done merely to look busy
Any endeavor that's a total waste of time or has no value could be called a boondoggle, especially if you're doing it just to look busy and important.
A state of being confused
A type of occupation that takes place outdoors

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What is an antonym for "capacious?"
Cramped
When something is really big and has a lot of space inside, it is roomy or capacious. Here's an example: "The woman rummaged in her capacious purse."
Cerebral
Interactive
Empirical

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What is the definition of "chafe"?
To rub until sore or worn
Seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves separated from the seeds
To be silly or tease one another
All of the above
All of these are correct ways to use "chaff" in a sentence. He chaffed at the authoritarian way the prince wielded power. The Internet is full of misinformation so you might have a hard time separating the wheat from the chaff. She chaffed him for working late.

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Which of the following would most likely be considered a "cognitive" task?
Quenching your thirst with a beverage
Running a marathon
Recuperating from surgery
Completing a puzzle
The adjective "cognitive" comes from the Latin cognoscere, "to get to know" and refers to the ability of the brain to think and reason as opposed to feel.

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What does "coherence" mean?
Connection
When something has coherence, all of its parts fit together well. Scientists are always looking for coherent data to fit their hypotheses.
Comfort
Bias
Avert

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If you step in a puddle and get your shoes wet, you _______ your bad luck. Which answer is most accurate?
Curse
Bemoan
To bemoan is to express complaint, discontent or unhappiness. To curse is to utter offensive words in anger or annoyance. If the context included that the shoes were brand new, extremely expensive or ruined forever, "curse" would be more appropriate.
Ridicule
Applaud

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What is an antonym of "caveat"?
Carelessness
A caveat means a warning against certain acts, or in legal proceedings, it means a formal notice filed with a court to suspend a proceeding until the filer is given a hearing.
Hopefulness
Exuberance
Judgement

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Which of these definitions are correct for "circumvent"?
Surround so as to force to give up
To avoid
Beat through cleverness and wit
All of the above
Circum in Latin means "around" or "round about," and vent- comes from venire, "to come." Another way to express this is finding a smart way around rules or barriers, to avoid doing something unpleasant.

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What is an synonym of "condescending"?
Meek
Confusing
Patronizing
"Condescending" is a characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance. "Patronizing" is the only synonym in the answers.
Shallow

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"My weight gain is a ________ of the recent arrival of a bakery directly across from my house. Which answer is most accurate?
Result
Source
Corollary
Although "result" fits the sentence, "corollary" is more accurate as it describes a natural consequence of something else. In other words, it describes that there is a relationship between the two events of weight gain and a new, convenient bakery.
Dominant

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What word is defined by "no longer in force or use"?
Efficient
Defunct
Although defunct comes from the Latin word "defunctus" meaning "dead," the usage of the word refers to things such as a magazines, laws or trends, not a person.
Embellish
Immerse

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What is a synonym of "engender"?
Hopeful
Bring about
As a manager, you have to engender the spirit of teamwork and cooperation by encouraging others and doing your share of the work, not just supervise.
Passionate
Simple

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To be _______is to be harmful, antagonistic, or opposed to something. What is the most accurate answer?
Inimical
Inimical comes from the Latin word "inimicus," meaning "enemy." It suggests the action of an enemy such as being adverse, damaging or downright hostile.
Inimitable
Lackadaisical
Irreverent

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Which of these words describe the "stubborn refusal to compromise or change"?
Decisive
Intransigence
If you know your Latin roots, the answer presents itself. The Latin "transigere" means to come to an understanding. Intransigence is the exact opposite of "transigere."
Stupidity
Dalliance

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“You ugly nincompoop!” is a _____________.
Retort
Malediction
If the sentence included, "she answered back" then "retort" would have been the right answer. But using the context of the sentence, the most accurate answer is malediction. "Mal" comes from the Latin for evil and "diction," has to do with speech.
Fact
Rule

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What is an antonym for "notorious"?
Big
Unknown
Notorious is used to describe people, places, or things that are famous for a bad reason. So the antonym is "unknown" .
Omnipotent
Evil

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What is a synonym for "pandemic"?
Panacea
Outwit
Paranoid
Widespread
It's easy if you know your Greek roots. Pan (meaning "all") and demos (meaning "people"), or simply put, all the people. So something that is pandemic is widespread, affecting everyone.

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What is an antonym for "promulgate"?
Inseminate
Suppress
The word promulgate comes from the Latin word promulgatus, meaning "make publicly known." Hence "suppress" is the antonym.
Declare
Discontent

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He ________ the silence by screaming his head off in the middle of the doctor's office.
Punctuated
Ruptured
The act of making a sudden noisy break, or to rupture the silence is the correct answer.
Seasoned
Segmented

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Which of these words mean "incapable of being defended or justified"?
Unresponsive
Untenable
If something is untenable it is not reasonable, and it does not show good judgment. Indefensible is a synonym of untenable.
Wrought
Vulnerable

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How would you define "plight"?
A proportion in relation to a whole.
The process of becoming aware through the senses.
Hold or carry in equilibrium.
A situation from which extrication is difficult.
Plight means predicament. It is usually used when describing groups of people or animals struggling to survive,

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What is the definition of "xenophobia"?
A fear of foreigners or strangers.
Phobia comes from the Greek word meaning "fear." And xeno comes from the Greek word for "stranger, foreigner." It is an irrational fear.
To desire strongly or persistently.
The act of changing in form or shape or appearance.
A fear of spiders.

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