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Verbal Advantage – Level 04 Word 41 – Word 50 MCQ Test

Verbal Advantage - Level 04 Word 41 - Word 50 MCQ Test

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Word List

  • Word 41: Attest [uh-TEST]

To affirm to be true, genuine, or correct; certify or authenticate officially; stand as proof or evidence of.


Attest comes from the Latin ad, to, and testari, to bear witness, and ultimately from testis, a witness. From the same Latin testis, witness, English has inherited a number of other words, including testify, testimony, testimonial, and the legal terms testator (TES-taytur), a person who has made a valid will, and intestate (in-TEStayt), which means not having made a legal will.

By derivation, attest means to bear witness to, give testimony, and today the word may be used in this literal sense, as to attest to someone’s whereabouts, to furnish references who will attest to your skills and qualifications. (Note that in this sense attest is followed by to.) Attest is also used to mean to affirm to be true, genuine, or correct, or to stand as proof or evidence of: “Many studies attest the deleterious effects of saturated fat and cholesterol”; “Michelangelo’s David is but one of many masterpieces that attest the greatness of this Renaissance artist.”

  • Word 42: Copious [KOH-pee-us]

Abundant, plentiful, large in amount or number.


Synonyms of copious include ample, bountiful, and profuse (pruhFYOOS). Antonyms include scanty, meager, sparse, and paltry (PAWL-tree).

Copious comes from the Latin copia, abundance, plenty, and means literally abundant, plentiful. From the same Latin copia, plenty, and cornu, a horn, comes the English word cornucopia (KORN-(y)uh-KOH-pee-uh), a horn of plenty. Historically, a cornucopia is a symbol of abundance and prosperity in the form of a goat’s horn overflowing with fruit, flowers, and grain. In modern usage, cornucopia is often applied to any overflowing stock or supply, as a cornucopia of menu selections, or a cornucopia of products and services.

The adjective copious may be used of anything that exists or is provided in abundance. Copious praise is abundant praise; a copious harvest is a plentiful harvest; copious information is a great supply of information; copious speech overflows with words.

  • Word 43: Fallacious [fuh-LAY-shus]

False, misleading, deceptive, invalid, based on a fallacy.


Synonyms of fallacious include erroneous (i-ROH-nee-us), spurious (SPYOOR-ee-us), untenable (uhn-TEN-uh-buul), illusory (iLOO-suh-ree), and sophistical (suh-FIS-ti-kul).

The noun fallacy (FAL-uh-see) means a false or misleading idea, statement, or argument. Fallacy and sophistry (SAHF-i-stree, word 20 of this level) are close in meaning. A fallacy is a misleading or deceptive argument that violates the laws of reasoning. Sophistry refers to reasoning that deliberately uses fallacies, misleading arguments, to confuse or deceive.

Both fallacy and the adjective fallacious come from the Latin fallere, to deceive, lead astray. That which is fallacious is based on a fallacy, and is therefore misleading, deceptive, false. To the skeptical person, all statements, assumptions, and notions are fallacious until clearly proved otherwise.

  • Word 44: Stoic [STOH-ik]

Showing no feelings, unemotional, unaffected by pleasure or pain, bearing pain or suffering without complaint.


Synonyms of stoic include impassive, dispassionate, indifferent, apathetic (AP-uh-THET-ik), placid (PLAS-id), languid (LANG-gwid), phlegmatic (fleg-MAT-ik, word 33 of Level 9), and imperturbable.

Antonyms of stoic include ardent, vehement (VEE-uh-mint), zealous (ZEL-us), fervid, and fervent (word 24 of Level 3).

Stoic and stoicism (STOH-i-SIZ-’m) come from the Greek stoa, a porch or covered walkway—specifically, the famous Painted Porch in ancient Athens where the doctrine of Stoicism was born. In his English Vocabulary Builder, Johnson O’Connor explains that “STOICISM… was a school of philosophy founded by Zeno about 308 B.C….STOICISM is so named because Zeno expounded his philosophy from the Painted Porch, one of the covered walks about the Agora (AG-uh-ruh), the public square of ancient Athens. A STOIC… was a follower of Zeno, one who believed that men should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submit without complaint to the unavoidable necessity by which all things are governed.”

In modern usage, stoicism means indifference to pleasure or pain; the noun stoic refers to anyone who exhibits rigorous selfcontrol; and the adjective stoic means showing no feelings, unemotional, bearing pain or suffering without complaint.

  • Word 45: Recrimination [ri-KRIM-uh-NAY-shin]

A countercharge or counteraccusation.


Recrimination combines the prefix re-, which means “back” or “again,” with the Latin verb criminari, to accuse, bring a charge against, and means literally to accuse in return, accuse again. The great Webster’s New International Dictionary, second edition (1934), defines recrimination as “an accusation brought by the accused against the accuser.”

Recriminations, or countercharges, are perhaps most often heard today in political campaigns, international relations, and legal proceedings. In modern usage, when we speak of mutual recriminations the word usually suggests a series of bitter denunciations exchanged in the course of fervid debate.

Recrimination is the noun. The corresponding verb is recriminate, to bring a countercharge against, denounce in return. The corresponding adjective has two forms: recriminative (ri-KRIM-uhNAY-tiv) and recriminatory (ri-KRIM-i-nuh-tor-ee).

  • Word 46: Affinity [uh-FIN-i-tee]

Close resemblance or relationship, a strong likeness, similarity, or connection, as the affinity of the Italian, French, and Spanish languages, an affinity among the painters of the Impressionist school, an affinity between the blues and early rock and roll.


Affinity may also mean a natural attraction to, or liking for, a person or thing, as an affinity for classical music, an affinity for the freewheeling literature of the Beat Generation, an affinity among neighbors in a close-knit community.

Synonyms of affinity in the sense of “close resemblance or relationship” include kinship, correspondence, compatibility, and consanguinity (KAHN-sang-GWIN-i-tee). Synonyms of affinity in the sense of “liking or attraction” include penchant (word 9 of Level 3), propensity, and proclivity.

Affinity comes from a Latin word meaning “relationship by marriage,” and dictionaries still recognize this literal sense although the word is not often used in that way. In current usage affinity usually means either a close relationship or likeness, or a natural attraction to or liking for a person or thing.

  • Word 47: volatile [VAHL-uh-tul; British say VAHLuh-tyl]

Changeable, unstable, inconstant, likely to change or shift rapidly and unpredictably: The stock market is often volatile; a person may have volatile moods; the weather in New England is notoriously volatile.


Synonyms of volatile include fickle, flighty, capricious (kuh-PRISHus, word 11 of Level 1), erratic, protean (PROH-tee-in), and mercurial (mur-KYUR-ee-ul).

Antonyms include stable, fixed, steadfast, invariable, immutable, and quiescent (kwy-ES-int, word 22 of Level 3).

Volatile, which entered English in the early 1600s, has a volatile history, full of many shifts and changes in meaning. The word comes from the Latin volare, to fly, and its original meaning was “flying” or “having the power to fly.” Today volatile is rarely used in this sense, and instead we have the word volant (VOH-lant), which came into the language shortly before volatile from the same Latin volare, to fly. Volant means flying, able to fly, or quick, nimble, agile.

The fickle, unpredictable volatile then came to mean evaporating quickly, easily vaporized, as a volatile oil or liquid. In the science of chemistry it is still used in this way, and today it would be unusual but not outlandish for an essayist to write about the volatile morning dew, or for a weathercaster to speak of volatile fog or clouds, or for a TV chef to discuss the volatile nature of wine used in cooking.

By the mid-seventeenth century the inconstant volatile had acquired its most durable meaning: changeable, unstable, inconstant, likely to change or shift rapidly and unpredictably. In this sense it is a close synonym of capricious and mercurial. Out of this notion of changeability and inconstancy, volatile gained two more meanings: fleeting, vanishing swiftly, transient, ephemeral; and also lighthearted, lively and carefree, whimsical, prone to flights of fancy.

In the second half of the twentieth century volatile took on yet another meaning: explosive, likely to erupt into violence. You will often hear volatile used this way in news reports about domestic or international affairs characterized by tension and sporadic conflict. This sense is an outgrowth of the meaning “unstable, unpredictable,” for when a situation is unstable or unpredictable it is often likely to explode or erupt in violence.

Finally, in the 1990s volatile acquired one more sense. According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, third college edition, in the jargon of computer science volatile is used to mean pertaining to “memory that does not retain stored data when the power supply is disconnected.”

Despite its capricious, changeable history, volatile has remained close to its roots. For as I’m sure you can see, all the various senses of volatile incorporate the notions of flight, flightiness, and swift, unpredictable change suggested by the word’s Latin root, volare, to fly. When you see or hear volatile used, and when you use it yourself, remember that in all of its senses the word describes that which can swiftly fly away from one condition or mood into another.

Volatile is the adjective; the corresponding noun is volatility.

  • Word 48: Squalid [SKWAHL-id]

Dirty and run-down as a result of poverty or neglect, foul or filthy from lack of care, wretched, miserable, degraded.


Synonyms of squalid include seedy, unkempt, slovenly (SLUHVun-lee), and dilapidated (di-LAP-i-DAY-tid—take care to pronounce the last two syllables -dated, not -tated).

Antonyms include unsullied, immaculate, and pristine (PRIS-teen or pri-STEEN).

Squalid is the adjective; the corresponding noun is squalor (SKWAHL-ur). Squalor means filthiness, foulness, degradation, a wretched, miserable condition resulting from poverty or neglect.

Squalid comes from the Latin verb squalere, which has various meanings, including to be rough or scaly; to be covered with filth; to be overgrown or dirty from neglect; and to wear mourning clothes. In modern usage squalid has retained a taste of all these senses. Squalid attire is rough and unkempt—or, to use an informal term, grungy. Squalid language is filthy or foul. A squalid neighborhood is slummy, dilapidated, dirty and run-down from neglect. And just as a person in mourning is sad and forlorn, squalid people or squalid conditions are wretched and miserable because they are poor, degraded, and pitiable.

The adjectives squalid and sordid (SOR-did) are close in meaning. Both words mean dirty, filthy, and run-down, but squalid applies to that which is dirty and miserable because of poverty or neglect, while sordid suggests a filthy wretchedness resulting from a degraded or debased character.

  • Word 49: Expedite [EK-spi-dyt]

To speed up, hasten, facilitate, accelerate the progress of, handle or perform quickly and efficiently: “The company decided to expand its workforce to expedite production of its new product.”


Antonyms of expedite include delay, postpone, hinder, retard, slacken, and protract (word 25 of Level 3).

Expedite comes from the Latin verb expedire, to set free, disentangle, get ready for action. When you expedite something, you free it from all hindrances or obstructions; you disentangle it from whatever is delaying its progress so that action can proceed. In current usage, when you expedite a plan or a project it means you speed up its progress, hasten its completion. And when the boss says to you, “Please expedite the matter,” that means the boss wants you to take care of the matter as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  • Word 50: Abject [AB-jekt or ab-JEKT]

Degraded, brought low in condition or status; hence, lacking selfrespect, contemptible, wretched.


The corresponding noun is abjection (ab-JEK-shin), a degraded, wretched, contemptible state.

Synonyms of abject include debased (di-BAYST), despicable (DESpik-uh-buul; the stress properly is on the first syllable), ignoblegroveling (GRAH-vul- or GRUH-vul-), servile (SUR-vil), and squalid (word 48 of this level). Antonyms of abject include noble, dignified, lofty, majestic, eminent, and illustrious (i-LUHS-tree-us).

In Middle English abject meant “outcast.” The word comes ultimately from the Latin ab, meaning “away” or “off,” and the verb jacere, to throw, and means literally “thrown away, cast off.” The abject members of society are the outcasts, the undesirables, and the indigent—the people who have been thrown away or cast off because they seem to have no social place or worth.

This literal sense of thrown away or cast off led to the modern meaning of abject: brought low in condition or status— hence, degraded, wretched, or contemptible.

Abject poverty is utterly wretched poverty. Abject conditions are hopeless and degrading conditions. An abject coward is thoroughly contemptible. An abject person has fallen so low that he has lost all self-respect.

If you behave toward someone in an abject manner, you are behaving in a groveling, servile manner, like a defeated dog that bares its neck and belly to the vanquishing dog.

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