Prove You Have a Great Vocabulary by Acing This Quiz


By: Teresa McGlothlin

6 Min Quiz

Image: NoSystem images/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

You might think you have the kind of vocabulary that could put Merriam or Webster to shame, but can you prove it? Without using a dictionary or a thesaurus, are you still the biggest word nerd you know after this quiz? We want to you put your money where your mouth is during this quiz and show us your word nerd stuff. 

As we spell and define our way through this vocabulary quiz, we have created some intense and challenging questions. We know you are smart, but can you beat one of the toughest vocabulary tests put out on the internet? With a little effort and a lot of thought, we think you can do it. We haven't made it so tough that you'll get frustrated, but we've made hard enough that you will have total bragging rights if you pass it.

Make sure you are properly hydrated before you begin. Your brain needs to be functioning at top performance as you try to prove to us that you deserve to be in the vocabulary hall of fame. Will you impress yourself, or will you need to try again? Now's the chance to get proof of your brilliance. Can you do it?

What does the word apex mean?

If you are standing at the apex of your career, you are at the very top. If you are just starting out, you are at the bottom or the base of career mountain.


If your friend is wearing tawdry jewelry, what kind of jewelry is she wearing?

If your friend is wearing tawdry jewelry, you might have a hard time keeping your mouth shut. Tawdry means cheap and gaudy looking.


Finish this sentence: At the opening, Susanne was congenial and _______.

When Susanne was at the opening, she was both congenial and friendly. If she were aloof or contagious, she may not have been able to make the sale.


The campground's accommodations were not lavish. What is the opposite of lavish?

Expecting to find lavish accommodations at a campground will surely meet with disappointment. Unless you are going glamping, most campgrounds have austere provisions to enhance your oneness with nature.


Fill in the blank: Despite her age, Angie was being quite childish and ______.

Although Angie should have been on her best behavior, she was behaving in a childish and puerile manner. If someone forgot your dessert, you might behave the same way, too.


If you are so angry you are speaking your mind, what else are you?

When something gets under your skin, it is quite easy to become impassioned by it. Being impassioned means that something has struck a nerve and you are consumed by it.


Which word is the antonym of dire?

Finding yourself in a dire situation means that things do not look encouraging. In fact, dire means that the situation is ominous, grim, and possibly catastrophic.


Zori was filled with trepidation. She was full of ______.

Zori's trepidation came from an apprehensive feeling she had inside. She did not feel calm, certain or faithful that the storm would pass safely.


Jose was feeling exasperated by his twin daughters' bad behavior. How was Jose feeling?

Despite Jose's best efforts to keep his twin daughters on their best behavior, he was annoyed and exasperated by their mischief. If he were feeling impassioned by it, he would be participating.


Which word means secret and sly?

In most offices, there's a furtive and secretive affair taking place between coworkers. They are always trying to keep it secret, but everyone knows because they are so transparent.


Which word also means important?

It's important and imperative to take good care of yourself. You are not secondary, inessential or trivial. You are the only you that you will ever have.


Carla kept meandering around the parking lot. What was Carla doing?

Instead of making a beeline for her car, Carla chose to meander through the parking lot's aisles. Carla decides to wander around instead of taking the direct path.


Which word means a very steep cliff?

When you are standing on the precipice, you are standing on the edge of a steep cliff. Often used in a metaphorical sense, a precipice indicates the edge of something.


Andrew was upset about the scarcity of donuts left in the break room. What kind of donuts were left?

Andrew arrived to work late; consequently, the scarcity of morning donuts was not enough. Andrew missed out on getting his favorite because there were few donuts left.


Charlie was so excited that he kept jabbering. What was Charlie doing?

Charlie was so excited about his promotion that he was talking so fast his coworkers became annoyed by his jabbering. If you are jabbering, you are talking incessantly with enthusiasm.


Fill in the blank: Marie approaches her work with enthusiasm and ______.

Marie loves her job so much that she approaches every day with enthusiasm and gusto. She is passionate about her job, and she would never dream of approaching it with apathy.


Finish this sentence: The students wanted clear direction, but the professor's instructions were ______.

Although the students wanted to understand the instructions, the professor gave them obscure guidelines. The students felt that the instructions were poorly expressed and unclear.


Which word is the antonym of plenteous?

When you have a plenteous supply of pencils on your desk, you have an abundance of them. When your coworkers steal them, you are left with a scant supply.


Fill in the blank: After her trip, Rosita had to let her jet lag _____ before she could go back to work.

After Rosita's trip, she could only wait and let the jet lag subside on its own. When something subsides, it decreases or goes away after a while.


Which word means brief, sharp and to the point?

Everyone has that one terse friend that we have to warn others about. Our terse friends lack the ability to put things any less than bluntly and with sharpened honesty.


Marco loved the chowder, but he did think it was a little brackish. What does brackish mean?

Marco liked the clam chowder, but he also found it a little salty and brackish. When something is brackish, it has a slightly salty flavor.


Finish this sentence: Zack felt like his paper was finally moving forward and making ______.

Despite all his efforts, Zack felt that he would never finish his paper. Through his hard work, he finally felt as though he was making headway and moving forward nicely.


Accountants are known for being meticulous. What does meticulous mean?

We cannot think of anyone who would want an accountant who is anything less than meticulous. It's important that they are careful with every detail of an account.


No one likes the weekly meeting because the boss is so verbose. What is the boss?

There's no better way to start off the work week than listening to the boss's verbose and wordy speeches. It would be nice if coffee were allowed in the meeting room.


If you are experiencing a glitch, you are also experiencing what?

If you are experiencing a glitch in your plans, you are also experiencing a snafu. If things are running perfectly, you have not hit a snag in your plans.


Which word means to gather or pull together?

When you are mustering the strength to get ready for work in the morning, you are pulling yourself together. You are not separating yourself from the task at hand.


Despite her struggles, Julia kept her school record clean. Which word also means clean?

Julia worked really hard to keep her grades up and her school record pristine. She wanted nothing more than a perfect report given to her chosen schools.


What would you call someone who lives in solitude?

A person who lives in solitude and who does not go out much is considered a recluse. Many folks simply prefer quieter, more reclusive lives.


The durian fruit has a pungent odor. What does pungent mean?

The durian fruit is certainly not known for its pleasant or enticing smell. In fact, its pungent and acrid odor is enough to make some people turn down the chance to try it.


Joy had quite a swagger in her new coat. What did joy have?

Joy was feeling good in her new coat. She walked through the mall so proudly, her friends accused her of having a celebrity swagger.


Doing dishes is a monotonous task. What kind of task is it?

Although many of our daily tasks could be considered dull, repetitive, and monotonous, dishes is our least favorite around here. We would rather watch paint dry.


Finish this sentence: German shepherds are great guard dogs because they are ______.

German shepherds are completely furry, big and friendly. They are known for being good watchdogs because they are vigilant, and they like to observe the world around them.


After an accident, what do insurance companies pay injured folks?

Insurance companies pay restitution to those who have been injured in an accident. They do make make copayments or deductibles.


Loretta has an uncanny way of remembering everyone's birthdays. What does uncanny mean?

Loretta's ability to remember everyone's birthdays is quite unusual or uncanny. It seems impossible that anyone could remember that many dates.


Ruby tried to quell the rumors about her boyfriend. What did Ruby do?

The rumors about Ruby's boyfriend were hurtful. Ruby tried her best to quell and to quiet them by making sure her friends new the truth.


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