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Verbal Advantage – Level 07 Word 11 – Word 20 MCQ Test

Verbal Advantage - Level 07 Word 11 - Word 20 MCQ Test

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Word List

  • Word 11: Catholic [KATH-uh-lik or KATH-lik]

Universal, all-inclusive, all-embracing, comprehensive; specifically, broad-minded, tolerant, or all-embracing in one’s sympathies, interests, or tastes.


Catholic, with a capital C, refers to the Roman Catholic Church, to the religion of Catholicism, or to a member of the Catholic Church. The word catholic, with a small or lowercase c, has nothing to do with religion. It comes directly from Latin and Greek words meaning universal, general, and suggests a broadminded, tolerant, all-embracing outlook on life.

Synonyms of catholic include open-minded, liberal, ecumenical (EK-yoo-MEN-i-kul), and latitudinarian (LAT-i-T(Y)OO-di-NAIR-eein). Antonyms include narrow-minded, bigoted, biased, intolerant, dogmatic (dawg-MAT-ik), and parochial (puh-ROH-kee-ul).

Ecumenical and catholic both mean universal, general, whole. Ecumenical often refers specifically to religious universality, and especially to that which furthers or is intended to further the unity of Christian churches or unity among religions. Catholic (with a small c) is the general word for universal in one’s personal outlook, broad-minded in one’s sympathies or tastes. The catholic person is “not narrow-minded, partial, or bigoted,” says the Century Dictionary (1914), but possesses “a mind that appreciates all truth, or a spirit that appreciates all that is good.”

  • Word 12: Objurgation [AHB-jur-GAY-shin]

A harsh rebuke, vehement scolding or denunciation.


Synonyms of the noun objurgation include reproof, reproach, upbraiding, vilification, and vituperation.

The corresponding verb is objurgate (AHB-jur-GAYT or uhb-JURgayt). To objurgate is to rebuke sharply, chide harshly, denounce vehemently. Objurgate and objurgation come from the Latin ob-, against, and jurgare, to scold or quarrel. In colloquial terms—that is, in the vernacular—when you are called on the carpet or you are read the riot act, you are on the receiving end of an objurgation, a harsh rebuke, vehement scolding or denunciation.

  • Word 13: Effusive [i-FYOO-siv]

Gushing, overflowing, overly demonstrative, expressing emotion in an excessive or unrestrained manner.


Synonyms of effusive include exuberant, profuse, ebullient (iBUHL-yint or i-BUUL-yint), impassioned, ecstatic, and rhapsodic (rap-SAHD-ik). Antonyms of effusive include undemonstrative, reserved, aloof (word 20 of Level 1), indifferent, reticent, diffident, taciturn (word 2 of Level 3), and laconic (word 18 of Level 3).

The adjective effusive and the corresponding noun effusion come through the Latin effusio, a pouring forth, from the verb effundere, to pour out or pour forth.

True to its origin, in modern usage effusion denotes a pouring or gushing forth. The word may be used of a literal gushing, as an effusion of gas or fluid, or it may be used figuratively of an unrestrained emotional outburst in speech or writing.

Effusive is nearly always used figuratively to mean gushing or overflowing with emotion, overly demonstrative, as effusive praise, effusive greetings, an effusive style of writing: “At the dinner party Dan’s effusive host couldn’t stop telling everyone at the table what a great guy he was.”

  • Word 14: Umbrage [UHM-brij]

Offense, resentment.


Synonyms of umbrage include displeasure, irritation, indignation, and pique (PEEK).

Umbrage is most commonly used today in the phrase “to take umbrage,” meaning to take offense. One takes umbrage at being slighted, either by a real or an imagined insult to one’s dignity or pride: “He took umbrage at the criticisms leveled against him in the meeting”; “She took umbrage at his rude manner.” You may also feel umbrage, resentment, at something, or give umbrage, offense, to someone else, but these constructions are less common.

  • Word 15: Vicissitude [vi-SIS-i-t(y)ood]

A change, variation.


Synonyms of vicissitude include alternation, fluctuation, and mutation.

By derivation, vicissitude means “change,” and in modern usage a vicissitude is a change, variation, or an alternating condition occurring in the course of something. The word is perhaps most often used in the plural, vicissitudes, to refer to the changes that occur during the course of something, the ups and downs. We speak of the vicissitudes of daily life, the vicissitudes of the stock market, or of a business surviving the viccissitudes of twenty turbulent years.

  • Word 16: Contentious [kun-TEN-shus]

Argumentative, quarrelsome, ready and eager to argue, bicker, or debate.


Contentious, litigious, pugnacious, disputatious, belligerent, and bellicose all refer to quarrelsome or hostile parties who are inclined to engage in argument or conflict.

Bellicose (BEL-i-kohs) means having a warlike or hostile nature. The ancient Spartans were a bellicose people.

Belligerent (buh-LIJ-ur-int) may mean either participating in fighting or provoking a fight or a war. A belligerent nation either engages in conflict or provokes a conflict. A belligerent look or a belligerent remark can lead to a fight.

Pugnacious (puhg-NAY-shus, word 8 of Level 5) by derivation means ready to fight with the fists; it suggests a temperamental inclination to fight or quarrel: “As a child Melvin was unruly, as a teenager he was deviant, and as an adult he became a pugnacious barroom brawler.”

Disputatious (DIS-pyoo-TAY-shus) means inclined to dispute, and usually applies to people who engage in formal arguments or to anything involving formal debate. Scholars are often disputatious, and it goes without saying that politics is disputatious.

Litigious (li-TIJ-us) means tending to engage in lawsuits or litigation. Although it is entirely appropriate to say that the legal profession is litigious, meaning that its business is to engage in lawsuits, in current usage litigious often implies an overeagerness to settle every minor dispute in court.

Contentious (kun-TEN-shus) comes from the Latin contentio, striving, effort, and ultimately from contendere, to strain or strive against another. From the same source we inherit the verb to contend, to struggle, fight, strive in opposition, and the noun contention, which may mean either a struggle, opposition—“They were in contention for the job”—or an assertion made in an argument: “It was his contention that if the company wanted to remain solvent, it should truncate its workforce.”

The adjective contentious means always ready and willing to quarrel, and suggests a persistent inclination to pick fights or arguments. You can be in a contentious mood, meaning you are in an argumentative mood; you can have a contentious coworker, one who is quarrelsome; or you can make a contentious comment, one intended to provoke an argument.

Antonyms of contentious include peaceable, obliging, civil, tolerant, amiable, amicable (AM-i-kuh-buul), benevolent (buh-NEVuh-lent), equable (EK-wuh-buul), and forbearing (for-BAIR-ing).

  • Word 17: Obeisance [oh-BAY-sints—recommended —or oh-BEE-sints]

A gesture of respect or submission, or an attitude of respect and submission.


Synonyms of obeisance include deference, homage (HAHM-ij; pronounce the h), adoration, reverence, and veneration (VEN-uh-RAY-shin).

Obeisance comes from French and means literally obedience. It was once used to mean obedience, or the power or right to demand obedience, but these senses are obsolete. Obeisance now means a respectful, submissive attitude or a deferential gesture, one that shows respect for the superiority of another.

Obeisance is used chiefly of formal situations in which respect or homage is paid to a god, a ruler, a religious leader, or a person of great influence or power. A bow, a curtsy, and a genuflection (JEN-yuu-FLEK-shin), a deferential bending of the knee, are all examples of obeisance, a gesture or attitude of respect and submission.

  • Word 18: Assiduous [uh-SIJ-oo-us]

Hardworking, industrious; done with persistent, careful, and untiring attention.


Synonyms of assiduous include diligent, painstaking, persevering, unremitting, indefatigable (IN-di-FAT-i-guh-buul), and sedulous (SEJ-uh-lus).

Antonyms include lazy, shiftless, indolent (IN-duh-lent), languid (LANG-gwid), phlegmatic (fleg-MAT-ik, word 33 of Level 9), and otiose (OH-shee-OHS, last syllable rhyming with dose).

Assiduous comes from the Latin adsiduus, which means sitting continuously in one place, engaged in an occupation, and ultimately from the verb sedere, to sit down, the source also of the English words sedate (suh-DAYT) and sedentary (SED-’n-TER-ee). By derivation, assiduous means sitting down and working diligently until a job is done.

In modern usage assiduous means done with persistent, careful, and untiring attention, constant in application or effort. We speak of assiduous efforts, an assiduous reader, an assiduous student, or an assiduous worker.

The corresponding noun is assiduousness: “Pamela was delighted that her assiduousness earned her a promotion.”

  • Word 19: Duplicity [d(y)oo-PLIS-i-tee]

Deceit, cunning, double-dealing, hypocritical deception.


Synonyms of duplicity include trickery, dishonesty, fraud, guile (GYL, rhymes with mile), chicanery (shi-KAY-nur-ee), casuistry (KAZH-oo-is-tree), and mendacity (men-DAS-i-tee).

The noun duplicity comes through the Latin duplicitas, doubleness, and duplicare, to double, ultimately from duplex, twofold, double. Literally, duplicity means doubleness of heart or speech; in modern usage it refers to double-dealing, an act of deception in which one uses hypocritical or misleading words or actions to hide one’s true intentions: “Steve was astounded at the duplicity of some of the salespeople, who seemed willing to say anything to close a deal.”

The corresponding adjective is duplicitous (d(y)oo-PLIS-i-tus), which means two-faced, deceitful. The duplicitous person pretends to entertain one set of feelings while acting under the influence of another.

  • Word 20: Insouciant [in-SOO-see-int]

Carefree, nonchalant, lightheartedly unconcerned or indifferent, free from worry or anxiety, calm and unbothered.


The French phrase sans souci (SA(N)soo-SEE) means without care or worry. The English word insouciant combines the privative prefix in-, meaning “not,” with the French souci, care, worry, to mean literally not caring, free from worry, lightheartedly unconcerned: “Nanette dismissed Albert’s contentious interruption with an insouciant wave of her hand and went on with what she was saying.” Insouciant sometimes implies a carefree indifference or lack of concern for consequences: “Jim drove with an insouciant disregard for the speed limit and the hazards of the road that Paula found frightening.”

The corresponding noun insouciance means lighthearted indifference, nonchalance, a carefree lack of concern: “Basking in Angelina’s ethereal presence, Peter experienced an insouciance he had never allowed himself to feel before.”

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