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 09 Word 31 – Word 40 MCQ Test

Verbal Advantage - Level 09 Word 31 - Word 40 MCQ Test

Congratulations - you have completed Verbal Advantage - Level 09 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: Dilatory [DIL-uh-TOR-ee]

Delaying, causing or intended to cause delay; also, slow, tardy, characterized by delay or procrastination.


Dilatory comes through the Latin dilator, a delayer, procrastinator, loiterer, from dilatus, the past participle of the verb differe, to delay, put off.

In current usage, dilatory has two senses. First, it may mean causing or intended to cause delay: The purpose of a dilatory tactic is to delay action; the aim of a dilatory policy is to gain time; and unforeseen circumstances may have a dilatory effect on a project, causing postponement or delay.

Second, dilatory may mean characterized by delay or procrastination. When you put off doing something until the last minute, you are being dilatory; when someone responds to your urgent telephone message two days later, that’s a dilatory response; and if you pay a bill a month after it’s due, that’s a dilatory payment.

  • Word 32: Vilify [VIL-i-fy]

To defame, slander, attack with vicious, abusive language.


Synonyms of vilify include to disparage, denigrate, stigmatize, malign, revile, vituperate (vy-T(Y)OO-pur-AYT), calumniate (kuh-LUHM-nee-AYT), and traduce (truh-D(Y)OOS).

Antonyms include to praise, commend, laud, extol, glorify, eulogize, and venerate.

Vilify comes ultimately from the Latin vilis, cheap, worthless. The word vile, in one of its senses, means of little value, and vilify was once used to mean to make vile, render worthless, cheapen, degrade, but this sense is now obsolete. In current usage, vilify means to take cheap shots, make degrading or defamatory statements, render vile or worthless by attacking with vicious, abusive language.

Vilify is most often used of persons but it may also apply to things. A racist may vilify a certain ethnic group. A xenophobe may vilify foreigners or a particular foreign nation. And in America, the inalienable right of free speech allows a citizen to vilify the president, and most citizens seem to take advantage of that right at one time or another.

The corresponding noun is vilification (VIL-i-fi-KAY-shin), which means either the act of vilifying or a deliberate, vicious, and defamatory verbal assault: “Politicians and celebrities often find themselves subjected to vilification in the media.”

  • Word 33: Phlegmatic [fleg-MAT-ik]

Calm and unemotional; having a sluggish, apathetic temperament; difficult to move to emotion or action.


Phlegmatic comes from the Greek phlegmatikos, pertaining to the humor phlegm (FLEM, silent g). This phlegm is different from that slimy stuff you cough up when you have a cold.

In ancient and medieval physiology, there were four humors, or bodily fluids, thought to determine a person’s health or disposition: blood, also known as the sanguine humor, which made you upbeat, cheerful, and confident; choler (like collar), also known as yellow bile, which made you passionate or irascible; melancholy, also known as black bile, which made you gloomy or dejected; and phlegm, which made you either cool and indifferent or dull and sluggish.

From this humor phlegm we inherit the adjective phlegmatic, which by derivation means full of phlegm; hence, having a sluggish, apathetic temperament, calm and unemotional, difficult to move to emotion or action.

  • Word 34: Adventitious [AD-ven-TISH-us]

Accidentally or casually acquired, not belonging naturally to something, associated by chance, not inherent or integral.


Synonyms of adventitious include foreign, extrinsic, incidental, extraneous, fortuitous, and supervenient (SOO-pur-VEE-nee-int).

Adventitious comes from the Latin adventicius, which means “coming from without or from abroad,” and by derivation is related to the word advent, which means an arrival, specifically the arrival or birth of Jesus Christ or the season preceding the celebration of His birth.

Adventitious suggests something added or imposed from without, something external or extrinsic that is accidentally or casually acquired. Adventitious information is additional and often unrelated information that you acquire casually or by chance in the course of investigating something. Adventitious blindness is caused by an accident, as opposed to blindness occurring at birth. Adventitious income or wealth is fortuitously acquired, and comes to you from some source other than wages or an inheritance.

  • Word 35: Desiccated [DES-i-KAY-tid]

Dried or dried up, dehydrated, deprived of moisture.


The adjective desiccated is also the past participle of the verb to desiccate, to dry thoroughly. Both words come from the Latin desiccare, to dry completely.

Desiccated may apply to food that has been preserved by drying or dehydration, such as fish, cereal, soup, or fruit. It may apply literally to anything that has been thoroughly dried or deprived of moisture, as a desiccated plant, a desiccated mummy, or a steak desiccated on the barbecue. It may also be used figuratively of something that is dried up or deprived of vital juices, as a desiccated affection, a desiccated culture, or a desiccated mind. The corresponding noun is desiccation, the act of drying or dehydrating.

  • Word 36: Comity [KAHM-i-tee]

Courtesy, civility, politeness, respectful and considerate behavior.


Comity comes through the Latin comitas, courtesy, friendliness, from comis, courteous, kind, polite.

Comity may be used of courteous relations between spouses, roommates, neighbors, coworkers, and so on, but it is perhaps most often used in the expression comity of nations, which means courteous and friendly relations between nations involving recognition and respect for each other’s laws and institutions.

  • Word 37: Specious [SPEE-shus]

Appearing to be true, genuine, or correct but actually false or deceptive; superficially just or reasonable but not so in reality.


Specious comes through Middle English from the Latin speciosus, beautiful, splendid, handsome. Speciosus comes in turn from species, outward appearance, and the verb specere, to look at. By derivation, something specious has an outward appearance that is beautiful, splendid, or handsome to look upon but that underneath is false, deceptive, or flawed.

In current usage, we speak of a specious argument, specious reasoning, a specious excuse, or a specious answer, meaning that these things seem reasonable, genuine, or true on the surface but in reality they are intended to mislead or deceive.

Specious and plausible are close in meaning but not quite synonymous. Webster’s New International Dictionary, second edition (1934), explains that “specious implies a fair appearance assumed with intent to deceive; that is plausible which is superficially reasonable or pleasing, with or without deceit.”

The third edition of the American Heritage Dictionary (1992) says “a specious argument is not simply a false one but one that has the ring of truth. [There is] a certain contradiction in hearing an argument described as obviously specious or specious on the face of things; if the fallaciousness is apparent, the argument was probably not plausible-sounding to begin with.”

  • Word 38: Noisome [NOY-sum]

Harmful to health or well-being, unwholesome, dangerous, destructive; also, foul-smelling, offensive, disgusting.


Synonyms of noisome in the sense of “harmful to health or wellbeing” include injurious, ruinous, deleterious (DEL-i-TEER-ee-us), noxiousbanefulmalign, and pernicious.

Synonyms of noisome in the sense of “foul-smelling, offensive, disgusting” include rank, rancid, putrid (PYOO-trid), fetid (FET-id), malodorous (mal-OH-dur-us), and mephitic (muh-FIT-ik).

Antonyms of noisome in both senses include salutary (SAL-yuh-TER-ee) and salubrious (suh-LOO-bree-us).

Noisome comes from Middle English and by derivation means harmful, injurious, unwholesome, as a noisome pestilence, a noisome habit, or noisome beliefs. That has been the meaning of the word since it came into the language in the fourteenth century. Perhaps because it is related to the verb to annoy, by the sixteenth century noisome also came to mean foul-smelling, offensive, disgusting, as a noisome stench or noisome breath.

  • Word 39: Calumny [KAL-um-nee]

Defamation of character, slander, a false and malicious statement or accusation meant to injure a person’s reputation.


Synonyms of calumny include backbiting, denigration, obloquy (AHB-luh-kwee), and vilification (VIL-i-fi-KAY-shin).

The noun calumny, the adjective calumnious (kuh-LUHM-nee-us), and the verb to calumniate (kuh-LUHM-nee-AYT) all come through the Latin calumniare, to accuse falsely, from calumnia, a trick. By derivation, and in current usage, calumny means a tricky, nasty, false, and malicious accusation designed to hurt someone’s reputation.

In 1751, Samuel Johnson wrote that “to spread suspicion, to invent calumnies, to propagate scandal, requires neither labour nor courage.” And 150 years earlier, in Hamlet, William Shakespeare wrote, “Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.”

  • Word 40: Excoriate [ek-SKOR-ee-AYT]

To strip, scrape, or tear off the skin; hence, to rebuke or denounce harshly and severely.


Synonyms of excoriate in the sense of “stripping off the skin” include abrade, chafe, scalp, gall, and flay. Synonyms of excoriate in the sense of “rebuking or denouncing harshly” include censure, castigate, and vituperate (vy-T(Y)OO-pur-AYT).

To excoriate, which comes from Latin, and to flay, which comes from Anglo-Saxon, are close in meaning. Both mean by derivation to strip off the skin, and in modern usage both have also come to mean to rebuke or denounce harshly, to attack or criticize in a severe and scathing manner.

Flay also means to whip or lash the skin. If you flay an animal, you either strip off its skin or whip the hide off it. If you flay a person, you whip that person either literally, with a whip, or figuratively, with harsh and scathing words. If you excoriate an animal, you strip off its skin. If you excoriate your knee, you have skinned your knee; you have an abrasion. And if you excoriate a person, you figuratively strip that person’s skin off by delivering a harsh or severe rebuke or denunciation.

The corresponding noun is excoriation.

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