Verbal Advantage - Level 01 Word 41 - Word 50 MCQ Test
- Word 41: Cantankerous [kan-TANGK-uh-rus]
Difficult to deal with, disagreeable, argumentative, quick to quarrel or to exhibit ill will.
A cantankerous old man is ill-tempered and disagreeable. Cantankerous relatives are argumentative and hard to get along with.
Cantankerous comes from a Middle English word meaning strife, contention. Synonyms of cantankerous include contentious (kunTEN-shus), which means quarrelsome, prone to argue or dispute; malicious, which means mean-spirited, nasty, spiteful; and irascible (i-RAS-uh-bul), which means quick-tempered, easily angered, extremely irritable.
- Word 42: Flippant [FLIP-’nt]
Disrespectful in a frivolous way, treating something serious in a trivial manner.
Flippant refers to speech or writing that trivializes or makes fun of something that deserves respect. Flippant language is inappropriately lighthearted or disrespectful: “Everyone at the meeting gasped when Harry made a flippant remark about the board of directors.”
Although flippant expression generally causes dismay or offense, occasionally it may be humorous, depending on your point of view. For example, many talk show hosts today are adept at making flippant comments to dismiss guests or callers with opposing points of view.
Synonyms of flippant include cheeky, fresh, thoughtless, and impertinent. Antonyms include solemn, sober, sedate, and grave.
- Word 43: Subjugate [SUHB-juh-gayt]
To conquer, defeat, vanquish, overwhelm completely, bring under rigid control, make submissive, dominate, enslave.
Subjugate comes from the Latin sub-, under, and jugum, a yoke, and means literally to place under a yoke. It is related to the noun a subject, which in one of its senses means a person under the control of a ruler, as a subject of the king. A subject is someone who has been subjugated, made submissive, brought under control, enslaved.
The words defeat, conquer, and subjugate are generally synonymous but are used in slightly different ways. Defeat suggests winning or beating an opponent in a single engagement; you can defeat a person in an argument, a contest, a game, or a fight. Conquer suggests achieving a final victory or gaining complete control over an opponent after a series of contests: “After a long and arduous campaign, Caesar conquered the Gauls.” Subjugate adds to defeat and conquer the suggestion of domination, bringing the vanquished opponent under complete and rigid control: “During World War II, Hitler conquered most of Europe and then brutally subjugated its people.”
Subjugation need not apply only to war; it may also refer to psychological domination. For example, you may subjugate an addiction, subjugate an impulse, or subjugate an emotion—yoke it, make it submit to your will, bring it under complete control.
- Word 44: Wry [like rye]
Twisted, crooked, lopsided, askew, distorted in an odd, amusing way.
By derivation wry means twisted, but in modern usage it has come to imply twisted in a peculiar and often humorous manner.
A wry smile or grin is crooked, lopsided, and therefore comical. A wry remark has a funny or sarcastic twist to it. A person with a wry sense of humor is capable of twisting or distorting things in a laughable way.
- Word 45: Urbane [ur-BAYN]
Polished, sophisticated, suave, cosmopolitan.
Urbane is related to the adjective urban, pertaining to or living in a city. Urbane suggests the polite, polished style of a sophisticated city dweller. The word may be used either of suave, socially refined behavior or of expression that is polished and elegant: “Mary’s stunning designer dresses and witty, urbane conversation made her a popular guest at all the high-society parties.”
- Word 46: Jargon [JAHR-gun]
Specialized and often pretentious language; speech or writing that is highly technical and difficult to understand.
Jargon refers especially to the specialized language or private vocabulary used and understood only by members of a particular group or profession. Medical jargon is the specialized vocabulary used by doctors; computerese is the jargon or highly technical language of computer science; legal jargon comprises the particular stock of Latin terms and complex phraseology used by lawyers.
Jargon develops initially as a means for the members of a particular group to communicate precisely and efficiently; its inevitable consequence, however, is to confuse and exclude those who are not members of the group and who are unfamiliar with the jargon. In current usage, therefore, jargon has come to mean any pretentious speech or writing that seems unnecessarily difficult to understand: “Savvy businesspeople know that using a lot of professional jargon will only alienate clients.”
- Word 47: Prudent [PROO-dint]
Cautious, careful, planning wisely, exercising sound judgment in practical matters.
Synonyms include discreet (di-SKREET), judicious (joo-DISH-us), and circumspect (SUR-kum-spekt).
Prudent may also mean spending carefully, using one’s resources wisely. Synonyms of prudent in this sense include thrifty, economical, and frugal.
Prudent and circumspect both refer to people who proceed cautiously. Circumspect comes from the Latin circum-, around, and specere, to look, observe. The circumspect person looks around carefully to make sure that no unforseen circumstance will frustrate a plan of action. Prudent comes from the same Latin source as the verb to provide. Prudent people are concerned with protecting their personal interest and providing for a rainy day. They are characterized by their sound, careful judgment in handling practical matters, especially money.
- Word 48: Inviolable [in-VY-ul-uh-bul]
Secure, safe from assault, infringement, or destruction, sacred, untouchable, unassailable, incorruptible.
Inviolable combines the prefix in-, not, the suffix -able, and the verb to violate, and means literally “not able to be violated.” An inviolable peace between nations cannot be broken or disrupted. An inviolable contract cannot be breached, altered, or revoked. An inviolable oath or promise is sacred, secure, incorruptible. Inviolable rights cannot be abused or taken away; they are safe from infringement or assault. An inviolable place cannot be violated or trespassed upon; it is safe, secure, unassailable.
- Word 49: Commodious [kuh-MOH-dee-us]
Spacious, having plenty of room, comfortably convenient.
Synonyms of commodious include ample and capacious (kuh-PAYshus).
Commodious comes through French from the Latin commodus, convenience, suitability, the source also of commode, a euphemism for toilet that means literally “something convenient or suitable.” From the same Latin commodus, convenience, come the verb accommodate and the noun accommodations, sleeping quarters, lodging. If you find your accommodations accommodating— convenient, suitable to your needs—then chances are they are also commodious, spacious, roomy, comfortable, and convenient.
- Word 50: Proximity [prahk-SIM-i-tee]
Nearness, closeness, the state of being in the vicinity of something.
Proximity may be used either of persons or things to mean nearness in place, time, or relation: the proximity of their houses; the proximity of historic events; the proximity of two ideas. In modern society, marriage between first cousins is forbidden because of their proximity of blood relation. However, if you marry the girl or boy next door, it might be said that proximity was the deciding factor.
You will often hear proximity used in the phrase “close proximity.” That is a redundancy. Proximity means closeness, nearness; therefore “close proximity” means “close closeness” or “near nearness.” According to the second college edition of The American Heritage Dictionary, “the expression close proximity says nothing that is not said by proximity itself.”
Usage tip: Drop close and let proximity do its work alone.