Test Your Vocabulary Expertise With This Quiz!

By: Isadora Teich
Estimated Completion Time
2 min
Test Your Vocabulary Expertise With This Quiz!
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you think you have a gargantuan vocabulary? The English language has one of the largest vocabularies of any language due to its diverse roots. English is made up of  a hodgepodge of languages: Germanic languages, Latin and Greek all influence it. When you combine them, you end up with a monstrous number of words. 

English has over a million words, and many experts think it has the largest vocabulary on Earth, even though this is hard to prove. This is because in spoken languages, some words become obsolete over the centuries and are forgotten (or change,) while new ones are invented all the time. Many words have stayed the same, but their meanings have changed over the centuries. English is unusually suited to this. In fact, over 1,700 of our common daily words were invented by William Shakespeare. These include words like "assassination" and "eyeball." 

If you are an English language expert with an impressively Brobdingnagian vocabulary, put your language savvy to the ultimate test with this arduous quiz! 

Someone who is "negligent" is what?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Negligent is an adjective. It describes someone careless and neglectful. Example: Bobbie's negligence in failing to clean the spilled cooking oil from the hardwood floor led to Katrina slipping and breaking her leg.

What does "nomadic" mean?
A chemical
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Nomadic is an adjective. Nomads wander from place to place. Example: The nomadic herder took his flock from place to place depending on the season and amount of rainfall.

"Emote" means what?
To die
To dig a mote
A storm
To express emotion
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Emote is a verb. It means to express emotion. Example: If an actor can't emote on stage, then they definitely need to find a new line of work.


Something that is "incessant" is:
A tall hill
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Incessant is an adjective. It means unending. Example: The cicadas' incessant buzzing sounds like the world's largest electric generator.

Something that is "wily" is:
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Wily is an adjective. It describes people who are crafty or sly. Example: Wile E. Coyote tries to be wily, but the Road Runner always outsmarts him.

What is a "calamity?"
A wedding
A disaster
A disease
A type of seafood
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Calamity is a noun. It is an event with catastrophic consequences. Example: When an enormous meteor struck Earth in what is now the Gulf of Mexico, it was a calamity for the last of the dinosaurs.


"Genial" means what?
A priest
To dance
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Genial is an adjective. It means friendly or affable. Example: The TV host was always genial with her guests.

"Balk" means what?
A hole
To resist
A dark color
To dance
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Balk is a verb. It means to hesitate or resist something. Example: Jules balked at the idea of having to eat a snail at the fancy French restaurant.

The definition of "debase" is:
To lower the moral value of something
To save someone
To fight
A secret base
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Debase is a verb. It means to lower the quality or esteem of something. Example: Extreme stress and poverty can debase one's self-esteem.


What does "abate" mean?
To kill
To lessen
To sing
To love
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Abate is a verb. It means to reduce or lessen. Example: The city participates in mosquito abatement programs to keep people from getting West Nile virus.

To be "stingy" is to be:
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Stingy is an adjective. It means not generous, and not likely to spend money or give to people. Example: The sushi chef was stingy with the size of the sashimi pieces.

If it's "palatable," it's:
A folding chair
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Palatable is an adjective. It describes something which either tastes good or is agreeable to other sensibilities. Example: The decor of the new, super-modern hotel was as palatable as their 'welcome' caviar.


What does "camaraderie" describe?
A foreigner
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Camaraderie is a noun. It describes fellowship and mutual trust among those who spend a lot of time together. Example: There's a sense of camaraderie in most workplaces where people have known each other for awhile.

An "edict" is:
An arrest
A diet
An order
A bag
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Edict is a noun. An edict is an order or decree. Example: By royal edict, the King requires each citizen to show up for the ball next Saturday dressed in their finest clothing.

What is a "utopia?"
A perfect place
A short war
A flower
A type of lake
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Utopia is a noun. A utopia is an imaginary and remote place of perfection. Example: People who are fed-up with society often dream about building a utopia where everything works and everyone is always happy.


"Grievous" means what?
A three course meal
In love
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Grievous is an adjective. It describes something hurtful, serious or grave in nature. Example: The doctor's grievous error ended up permanently paralyzing the patient.

Someone who is "quixotic" is what?
Impractically idealistic
Deathly ill
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Quixotic is an adjective. It describes someone who is fancifully idealistic and impractical. It actually comes from the character, Don Quixote, who was the satirically romantic and unrealistic hero of Cervante's novel, "Don Quixote de la Mancha." Example: His plans to travel the world by boat while saving puppies on every continent was rather quixotic, but endearing nonetheless.

What's the definition of "haughty?"
A boat
Too proud
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Haughty is an adjective. It describes a person who is arrogantly proud. Example: My rich mother-in-law is so haughty that it makes everyone uncomfortable.


What does "behemoth" mean?
Something huge
A judge
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Behemoth is a noun. A behemoth is something of great size or power. Example: The engine on the sports car was a behemoth, especially given the relatively small size of the rest of the vehicle.

If something is described as "fetid," it's what?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Fetid is an adjective. It describes something that has a very unpleasant smell. Example: The full dumpster in the mall parking lot was particularly fetid on hot summer days.

To be "elated" is to be:
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Elated is an adjective. It means thrilled and overjoyed. Example: Sarah was elated that she got into the Ph.D. program she had dreamed about since she was a kid.


What does "disclose" mean?
A race
A fork
To reveal
To leave
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Disclose is a verb. It means to reveal or make public. Example: The only person that the magician ever disclosed his secrets to was his protege.

When you reach the "nadir," you reach what?
The mountain
The low point
The desert
The mall
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Nadir is a noun. It is the lowest point of anything, but often referring to a person or company's existence. Example: Between the divorce, getting fired and having her house burn down, Shirley was pretty sure she'd reached the nadir of her life.

What does "torrid" mean?
A large gun
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Torrid is an adjective. It describes something which gives off intense heat. Example: The torrid summer in Pheonix is enough to drive even the birds to find air conditioning.


If someone is "cerebral," what are they?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Cerebral is an adjective. In this context, it is related to the intellect (rather than describing a region of the brain.) Example: Joanie was much more cerebral than emotional when making difficult decisions about her future.

If something is "notorious," it's:
A manager
A rocket
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Notorious is an adjective. It describes someone or something who is widely and unfavorably known. Example: Be careful on that notorious stretch of highway with the blind curves.

What is the definition of "bilk?"
A healthy drink
A male child
To cheat
To squeeze
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Bilk is a verb. It means to cheat or defraud. Example: The telemarketing scam aimed to bilk senior citizens out of their life savings.


Something "vapid" is what?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Vapid is an adjective. It describes something that isn't stimulating or challenging (mentally.) Example: The wrestler's vapid hour-long discussion of his favorite Gatorade flavor was snooze-inducing.

A "demagogue" is what?
A teacher
A place of worship
A leader
A kind of hat
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Demagogue is a noun. Demagogues are leaders who gain power by appealing to people's prejudices and fears. Example: A leader who uses racist allegations to gain votes in a presidential election is a demagogue.

Something that's "ethereal" is what?
A kind of lace
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Ethereal is an adjective. It means so delicate and light that it's almost too perfect to exist. Example: The fabric of her gown appeared to be the most ethereal silk I'd ever seen.


"Abet" means what?
To stop
A long necklace
To help someone to something wrong
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Abet is a verb. It means to aid, help or encourage someone to do something bad, like commit a crime. Example: Butch Cassidy abetted the Sundance Kid in their infamous robberies.

What does "arcane" mean?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Arcane is an adjective. It describes things that are obscure, mysterious, secret or only known by very few. Example: Only the scholar understood the arcane references in the 13th-century book she was reading.

Something "latent" is:
A late bloomer
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Latent is an adjective. It describes things which are currently hidden but could be exposed. Example: It wasn't until she was in college that she discovered her latent talent for astrophysics.


"Verdant" means what?
A side table
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Verdant is an adjective. It means green like lush grass (or covered with such vegetation.) Example: The hills were particularly verdant after a spring filled with regular rainstorms.

What does "bard" mean?
A king
A poet
A tonic
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Bard is a noun. A bard is a poet who is often also a singer. Shakespeare is often referred to as The Bard. Example: Tommy hired the bard to help him propose to Johnny.

You Got: