Android APP

English Tests All In One Android App

To study regularly, improve and track your English, you can download our Android app from Play Store. It is %100 free!

Verbal Advantage – Level 06 Word 31 – Word 40 MCQ Test

Verbal Advantage - Level 06 Word 31 - Word 40 MCQ Test

Congratulations - you have completed Verbal Advantage - Level 06 Word 31 - Word 40 MCQ Test. You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Shaded items are complete.

Word List

  • Word 31: Peccadillo [PEK-uh-DIL-oh]

A small sin, slight offense, minor fault or flaw.


Peccadillo means literally “a small sin.” It comes through Spanish and Italian ultimately from the Latin peccare, to make a mistake, blunder, sin. From the same source English has also inherited three other useful words: peccant (PEK-int), which means guilty, sinful, culpable; peccable (PEK-uh-buul), which means liable to sin or do wrong; and its antonym impeccable (word 40 of Level 4), which means incapable of sin, unable to do wrong, and therefore free from all faults or imperfections.

Synonyms of peccadillo include failing, frailty, and foible (word 23 of Level 3). All these words suggest a weakness, imperfection, or defect of character or habit. Failing implies a relatively minor but noticeable shortcoming: Parents are never perfect; all have their failings. Frailty implies a weakness that can be exploited or that leads one to yield to temptation: Frailties are an inescapable part of human nature. Foible suggests a harmless or trivial weakness or flaw that can be easily overlooked: You may regret your failings and try to keep your frailties in check, but you can laugh about your foibles. Our keyword, peccadillo, is a small sin or slight offense that is easily forgiven: A good manager knows how to distinguish between an employee who commits peccadilloes and an employee who causes problems.

The plural of peccadillo is peccadilloes, which is preferred by most American authorities and listed first in American dictionaries, or peccadillos, the British preference.

  • Word 32: Supine [soo-PYN, like sue pine]

Lying down on the back, with the face turned upward: “He preferred to sleep in a supine position.”


Supine, prone, prostrate (PRAHS-trayt), and recumbent (ri-KUHMbent) all mean lying down in various ways.

Supine takes its meaning directly from the Latin supinus, lying on the back with the face up.

From the Latin pronus, leaning forward, we inherit the word prone, which may mean inclined or tending toward something, as in the phrase “prone to error,” or it may mean lying on the belly, stretched out face downward: “The dog lay prone on the rug, its chin resting on its paws.”

Prostrate means lying flat, stretched out, either prone or supine. Because the word comes from the Latin prosternere, to throw down in front, cast down, in modern usage prostrate denotes lying down flat either as the result of physical or emotional exhaustion, or as an expression of submission, humble adoration, humiliation, or helplessness.

Be careful not to confuse prostrate with prostate (PRAHS-tayt), the gland in men that contributes to the production of semen and helps control urination. After age forty, men should have regular checkups for prostate cancer, not prostrate cancer.

Recumbent comes from the Latin recumbere, to lie back, recline. When you are recumbent you are lying down in a comfortable position, usually supine or on your side: The ancient Greeks and Romans assumed a recumbent posture when taking their meals. Visit any art museum and you are likely to see a portrait of a recumbent nude.

  • Word 33: Banal [BAY-nul or buh-NAL]

Common, ordinary, unoriginal; flat, dull, and predictable; lacking freshness or zest.


Synonyms of banal include trite, commonplace, conventional, humdrum, hackneyed, shopworn, stereotyped, insipid (in-SIP-id), vapid (rhymes with rapid), and bromidic (bro-MID-ik), which means like a bromide (BROH-myd), a statement or idea that is stale and dull.

Antonyms of banal include creative, imaginative, unconventional, unorthodox, ingenious, innovative, novel, and pithy (PITH-ee).

Banal, which came into English from French in the mideighteenth century, originally referred to the facilities shared in common by the serfs and tenants of a feudal manor—such as the mill, the ovens, and the wine-press. In this now obsolete sense, banal meant “shared by all; used by the whole community.” From this notion of commonality, banal soon came to be used as a synonym of common in its sense of ordinary and unoriginal. Today banal is used of anything that is flat, dull, and predictable, that lacks freshness or zest: a television show, a song, a book, a movie, a remark, a conversation, a desire, a relationship, and even a person can be described as banal. When you consider how many things in this world are dull, ordinary, and unoriginal, banal suddenly becomes a useful word to add to your vocabulary.

Most educated American speakers pronounce banal either BAY-nal (rhymes with anal) or buh-NAL (rhymes with canal). The variant buh-NAHL, the British preference, is less frequently heard in American speech. The variant BAN-ul (rhymes with channel), preferred by several older authorities, is nearly obsolete.

The corresponding noun is banality (buh-NAL-i-tee), which means the quality or state of being common, ordinary, and unoriginal, as the banality of prime-time TV, or the banality of workaday life.

  • Word 34: Heterodox [HET-ur-uh-dahks]

Having or expressing an opinion different from the accepted opinion; not in agreement with established doctrine or belief.


As you may recall from the discussion of heterogeneous, keyword 6 of Level 3, the prefix hetero- means other, different, unlike: heterosexual means attracted to the other sex; heterogeneous means consisting of different elements or kinds, diverse; and heterodox means having another opinion or different beliefs.

The -dox in heterodox comes from the Greek doxa, an opinion, which in turn comes from the verb dokein, to think. From the same source come the rare English words doxy (DAHK-see), an opinion or doctrine, especially a religious opinion, and doxastic (dahk-SAStik), which means pertaining to opinion or to the formation of an opinion. I wouldn’t expect you to know those unusual words, but you may be familiar with doxology (dahk-SAHL-uh-jee), which combines the Greek doxa, opinion, with the verb legein, to speak. Doxology is used in Christian worship to mean an expression of praise to God, usually in the form of a brief hymn or chant.

The antonym of heterodox is orthodox, agreeing with established opinion, adhering to accepted beliefs. A heterodox custom or a heterodox view goes against the prevailing norm; an orthodox custom or view is considered proper or correct.

The prefix ortho- means right, upright, proper, or correct. Ortho- appears in a number of useful English words. Orthodontics (ORthuh-DAHN-tiks) is the dental specialty of correcting irregularities of the teeth. Orthoscopic (OR-thuh-SKAHP-ik) means having normal or correct vision. Orthography (or-THAHG-ruh-fee), which comes from ortho-, right, correct, and the Greek verb graphein, to write, means correct spelling; an orthographic (OR-thuh-GRAF-ik) error is a misspelled word or typographical mistake. Finally, the word orthoepy (OR-thoh-uh-pee or or-THOH-uh-pee or OR-thoh-EPee), which comes from ortho- and the Greek epos, meaning “word,” refers to the study of the proper pronunciation of words. By the way, did you notice that there are no fewer than three acceptable pronunciations of orthoepy? It just goes to show you that when it comes to pronunciation, even the experts don’t always agree. But that still doesn’t mean you should embrace heterodox pronunciations, ones different from those acceptable to most educated speakers.

The adjectives heterodox and heretical (huh-RET-i-kul) both mean having or expressing a controversial opinion or belief, but the words differ in their intensity. Heterodox applies to that which differs in a way that does not necessarily challenge or threaten the norm. Heretical applies to that which differs from the norm in a way perceived as dangerously false, subversive, or evil.

The corresponding noun is heterodoxy (HET-ur-uh-DAHK-see), an opinion or belief contrary to what is accepted and established.

  • Word 35: Grandiloquent [gran-DIL-uh-kwint]

Characterized by lofty, high-flown language; full of grand or highsounding words.


Synonyms of grandiloquent include bombastic (bahm-BAS-tik, word 8 of Level 7), grandiose (GRAN-dee-ohs), florid (FLOR-id), and turgid (TUR-jid). All these words suggest speech or writing that is inflated, affected, or extravagant.

Antonyms of grandiloquent include plain-spoken, forthright, unaffected, and candid.

Grandiloquent combines the word grand with the suffix -iloquent, which comes from the Latin loqui, meaning “to speak.” By derivation, grandiloquent means “speaking in a grand manner.” The Latin loqui is also the source of loquacious, talkative, and colloquial (word 43 of Level 3), which means pertaining to informal speech or conversation.

Believe it or not, the English language has more than twenty words that incorporate the suffix -iloquent and designate different ways of speaking. Of course, most of them reside quietly in the depths of unabridged dictionaries and are rarely used, but here are a few you may find useful: Magniloquent (mag-NIL-uh-kwint) comes from the Latin magnus, meaning “great, large,” and means speaking pompously, using grand or high-flown language. Magniloquent and grandiloquent are virtually interchangeable. From the Latin multus, meaning “many” or “much,” comes multiloquent (muhl-TIL-uh-kwint), using many words, talking up a storm; and from the Latin brevis, meaning “short,” comes the word breviloquent (bre-VIL-uh-kwint), speaking briefly.

When you speak in an urbane, sophisticated manner, you are suaviloquent (swah-VIL-uh-kwint). When you speak like a scholar or an expert on some subject, you are doctiloquent. When you speak solemnly or of sacred matters, you are sanctiloquent (sangTIL-uh-kwint). And if you talk in your sleep, you are somniloquent (sahm-NIL-uh-kwint).

  • Word 36: Lugubrious [luh-GOO-bree-us]

Mournful and gloomy; expressing sadness or sorrow, often in an exaggerated, affected, or ridiculous way.


Synonyms of lugubrious include dismal, melancholy, dreary, funereal (fyoo-NEER-ee-ul), doleful, dolorous (DOH-luh-rus), disconsolate (dis-KAHN-suh-lit), plaintive (PLAYN-tiv), woefullachrymose (LAK-ri-mohs), and saturnine (SAT-ur-nyn).

Antonyms of lugubrious include cheerful, jubilant, joyous, gleeful, mirthful, jovial (word 19 of Level 5), and sanguine (SANG-gwin, word 21 of Level 10).

Lugubrious comes ultimately from the Latin lugere, to mourn or lament. The word was coined about 1600 and was at first merely a grandiloquent synonym for mournful and sorrowful. By the 1800s, however, it had come to suggest mournful, dismal, or gloomy in an exaggerated, affected, or ridiculous way.

According to the second edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary (1934), the words lugubrious and doleful “have weakened from their original meaning, and are often used with a half-humorous connotation.” For example, lugubrious music is mournful or gloomy to an extreme; the expression “Woe is me” is now a lugubrious cliché; the mournful howling of a dog may be lugubrious; and if the expression on a person’s face is lugubrious, it is sad or sorrowful in an affected, almost ludicrous way. The corresponding noun is lugubriousness; the adverb is lugubriously, as “He spoke lugubriously about the company’s financial condition.”

  • Word 37: Infinitesimal [IN-fin-i-TES-i-mul]

Too small to be measured or calculated.


Synonyms of infinitesimal include tiny, minute, microscopic, and minuscule. And speaking of minuscule—and strictly speaking—this word is traditionally and properly pronounced with the stress on the second syllable: mi-NUHS-kyool. The pronunciation MIN-uh-SKYOOL, now common among educated speakers, probably came about as a result of the persistent misspelling of the word as miniscule, as though it began with the prefix mini-. This misspelling is now so widespread that most current dictionaries list it as a variant without comment, and many also give priority to the pronunciation with first-syllable stress. I would argue, however, that the alternative spelling and pronunciation not only are at variance with the word’s history but are also, quite frankly, idiotic.

Minuscule comes from the Latin minusculus (stress on -nus-), somewhat small. Look in any dictionary and you will see that the noun minuscule refers to a small, cursive script used in medieval manuscripts. From that sense it came to denote either a small or lowercase letter or something printed in lowercase letters. The adjective minuscule originally meant pertaining to that small medieval script or consisting of small letters; its antonym in this sense is majuscule (muh-JUHS-kyool), which means written in capital letters. By natural extension minuscule also came to mean tiny, very small.

Our misspellings often mimic our mispronunciations, and in this case the evidence suggests that minuscule—probably from association with the words minimumminimal, and miniature— came to be mispronounced MIN-uh- SKYOOL and then later misspelled with the prefix mini-, which means small.

Today the variant MIN-uh-SKYOOL is so popular that I can’t in good conscience tell you that it’s wrong, but I can at least admonish and implore you to spell the word properly. There is no mini- in minuscule, and even if you choose to say MIN-uh-SKYOOL, for goodness’ sake remember that when you write the word it should be spelled like minus plus -cule.

Well, now that we’ve straightened out that minuscule but not insignificant point of usage, I’m afraid that we’ve lost track of our keyword, infinitesimal. Of course, that’s not surprising because this rather large, thirteen-letter word means infinitely small and applies to that which is smaller than you can imagine. Unlike the words tiny, minute, and minuscule, which simply mean very small, and unlike microscopic, which means too small to be seen without a microscrope, infinitesimal is smaller still, and means specifically too small to be measured or calculated.

Occasionally you will come across a writer or speaker who is unaware of the specific meaning of infinitesimal and who uses it loosely. For example, in your local newspaper you might see a sentence like this: “Scientists detected an infinitesimal amount of mercury and lead in the city’s tap water.” Because infinitesimal properly applies to that which is too small to be measured or even detected, that sentence should read like this: “In a test of the city’s tap water, scientists determined that if mercury and lead were present, the amounts were infinitesimal.”

  • Word 38: Goad [GOHD, rhymes with road]

To prod or urge to action, stimulate, arouse, stir up.


Synonyms of the verb to goad include to egg on, spur, incite, impel, and instigate (IN-sti-GAYT). Antonyms of goad include soothe, pacify, appease, assuage (uh-SWAYJ, word 37 of Level 2), and mollify (MAHL-uh-FY).

The noun a goad is a pointed stick used to prod animals and get them to move. From that sense goad also came to mean a stimulus, spur, incitement, anything that urges or drives something on. The verb to goad literally means to prick or drive with a goad; hence, to prod or urge to action. Someone can goad you to work harder, goad you to admit a fault or mistake, or goad you to the point of irritation or anger. In Measure for Measure, Shakespeare writes, “Most dangerous is that temptation that doth goad us on….”

  • Word 39: Malinger [muh-LING-gur]

To pretend to be sick or incapacitated so as to avoid work or duty; to shirk or dodge responsibility by feigning illness or inability.


Don’t be misled by the presence of the word linger in malinger. Despite what some people mistakenly believe, to malinger does not mean to linger, loiter, or hang around in a shiftless or threatening way. Although you might hear or read about “drug pushers malingering near schoolyards” or “homeless people malingering downtown,” don’t believe it. Those people may be loitering, but they are definitely not malingering, for malinger means to pretend to be sick or incapacitated so as to avoid work or duty.

The verb to malinger comes from a French word meaning sickly, ailing, infirm, and is apparently related to the word malady (MALuh-dee), which means an illness or affliction. The corresponding noun is malingerer (muh-LING-gur-ur), a person who malingers.

When malinger and malingerer entered English in the early 1800s, they were used of soldiers and sailors who shirked their duty by pretending to be sick. Of course, malingering is popular among the entire workforce, not just members of the military, so it wasn’t long before malinger and malingerer came to be used of anyone who dodges work or responsibility by feigning illness or inability.

  • Word 40: Aver [uh-VUR]

To state positively, declare with confidence.


Synonyms of the verb to aver include assert, affirm, avow, profess, contend, and asseverate.

To state means to express something in an explicit and usually formal manner. You state your answer or state your opinion. To declare means to state publicly or out loud, sometimes in the face of opposition. You declare your intentions, declare your position, or declare your independence. To assert means to declare forcefully or boldly, either with or without proof. You assert a belief or assert your rights. To asseverate means to declare in a solemn, earnest manner. Lawyers asseverate their claims in court, professors asseverate their theories from a lectern, and preachers asseverate their spiritual advice from the pulpit. To affirm means to state with conviction, declare as a fact based on one’s knowledge or experience. You can affirm the truth, affirm your presence, or affirm the existence of something. Our keyword, to aver, means to state positively and decisively, with complete confidence that what one says is true. You can aver that you have never disobeyed the law; you can aver that you have always paid all your taxes on time; you can aver that you have never used alcohol or drugs; and you can aver that there is life on the planet Mars. Of course, if you aver all that, then other people probably will aver that you are either lying or off your nut, so it’s always wise to watch what you aver, state positively, declare with confidence.

Previous Posts

Next Posts

We welcome your comments, questions, corrections, reporting typos and additional information relating to this content.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments