Do You Know All of These Difficult Vocabulary Words?

Becky

Which of the following words means a person who makes maps?

A cartographer is a person who makes maps. Cartographers used to work on paper, but now most maps are designed electronically.

What word means wildly, without self-control?

The word "amok" means without self control. The children ran amok when their parents were not looking.

Which word means to assign to a lower position?

"Relegate" means to assign to a lower position. She decided to relegate the employee to the mail room.

Which word means openly distrustful and wary?

The word "leery" means openly distrustful and wary. She was leery of the man standing on the corner.

Which word means lasting longer than expected?

The word "protracted" means lasting longer than expected or lasting for a long time. The fiasco gave her a protracted lesson on humility.

Which word means a formal agreement or contract?

An "indenture" is a formal agreement, detailing the terms of a debt or other contract. Indentured servants were required to work for a certain period of time.

Which word refers to the world of higher learning?

The word "academia" refers to the world of higher learning. The professor works in the world of academia.

Which word means to eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth?

The word "disgorge" means eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth. The opposite of disgorge is engorge.

Which word means to avoid and stay away from deliberately?

The word "eschew" means to avoid and stay away from something deliberately. She eschewed any kind of wealth.

Which word refers to a person who expects the worst?

The word "pessimist" refers to a person who expects the worst. Most people saw her as a pessimist.

Which word means to push against gently?

The word "prod" means to push against gently. You may need to prod your professor for your grade.

Which word means to squeeze or press together?

The word "compress" means to squeeze or press together. She tried to compress the course into two sessions.

Which word means of inferior workmanship or materials?

The word "shoddy" means of inferior workmanship or materials. The workmanship on the new building was shoddy.

Which word means to become smaller or lose substance?

The word "dwindle" means to become smaller or lose substance. The crowd dwindled to only a few over the course of the concert.

Which word means to regard with feelings of respect?

The word "revere" means to regard with feelings of respect. He was a revered member of the faculty.

Which word means to express or state clearly?

The word "articulate" means to express or state clearly. He was able to articulate his every need.

Which word means to stab or urge on, as if with a pointed stick?

The word "goad" means to stab or urge on, as if with a pointed stick. He was goaded into leaving the restaurant.

Which word means filled with or attended with?

The word "fraught" means filled with. The adventure was fraught with danger.

Which word refers to inequality or difference in some respect?

The word "disparity" refers to inequality or difference in some respect. There was a disparity between what she felt and what she said.

Which word means having important issues or results?

The word "consequential" means having important issues or results. The opposite of consequential is inconsequential.

Which word means to consume fully?

The word "expend" means to consume fully. She expended all of her energy preparing for the party.

Which word means fearless daring?

The word "temerity" means fearless daring. She had the temerity to challenge the king.

Which word means to make changes to?

The word "revise" means to make changes to. Her job was to revise the entire textbook for the class.

Which word refers to a package of several things tied together?

The word "sheaf" refers to a package of several things tied together. Her assistant left a sheaf of important papers on the train.

Which word refers to heavy artillery fire to saturate an area?

The word "barrage" refers to heavy artillery fire to saturate an area. There was a barrage of bullets around the compound.

Which word means in a sporadic manner?

The word "periodically" means in a sporadic manner. She attended class periodically.

Which word means creating an appearance of importance or distinction?

The word "pretentious" means creating an appearance of importance or distinction. She didn't like his girlfriend because she was pretentious.

Which word means meaning the same or nearly the same?

The word "synonymous" means meaning the same or nearly the same. Her name is synonymous with kindness.

Which word means the act of searching for something?

The word "quest" means the act of searching for something. She went on her annual quest for the best birthday present for her husband.

Which word means to enlarge beyond the truth?

The word "exaggerate" means to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth. She exaggerated her income so she could buy the car.

Which word means stopping and starting at intervals?

The word "intermittent" means stopping and starting at intervals. She attended class intermittently.

Which word means brusque, surly and forbidding?

The word "gruff" means brusque, surly and forbidding. His manner was gruff with all students.

Which word refers to an unproved statement advanced as a premise in an argument?

The word "thesis" refers to an unproved statement advanced as a premise in an argument. Her thesis was that he got the flu from his mother.

Which word means to reflect deeply on a subject?

The word "ponder" means to reflect deeply on a subject. He frequently pondered about the meaning of existence.

Which word means to have an ambitious plan or a lofty goal?

The word "aspire" means to have an ambitious plan or a lofty goal. She aspired to be the best dancer in the world.

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About This Quiz

Do you consider the dictionary to be the best form of bedtime reading? Are you a vocabulary whiz? Take this How Stuff Works quiz to find out exactly how many of these 35 vocabulary words you can identify.

Not everyone looked forward to the weekly vocabulary quizzes and tests we all endured in school. But for those of us who did look forward to them, they offered a chance to expand our knowledge of what words mean.

Words are awesome. They enable us to communicate with one another; a wide array of words encourages us to add specificity and nuance to our communications. We understand that many people wish  the English language wasn't so chock-full of multiple words that are similar, with shades of meaning, but we here at How Stuff Works love the flexibility that comes with a large vocabulary. Of course, the key to being able to use all of these wonderful words is understanding what they mean. But don't worry - if you failed to get your fill of vocabulary words in school, it's never too late to boost your vocab  knowledge. You could start right now, with this quiz.

How many of these 35 vocabulary words can you identify?

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