Advanced Vocabulary Practice



Word Meanings From Context

Use the context to decide the meaning of each highlighted word, then write the letter of the best answer to each question in the numbered blank at the bottom of the exercise.

1. The aesthetic value of the new bridge is striking. The design firm responsible has won many awards for its well-proportioned and innovative designs.

A synonym for “aesthetic” would be __________________.

a. structural
b. artistic
c. simplistic
d. post-modern

2. The family of the accused was overwhelmed by the allegations of their son's misdeeds. It seemed as though the whole town was involved in the gossip.

What does “allegations” mean?

a. legal issues in a case
b. confessions of a person accused
c. misdemeanors
d. statements made which have not been shown to be true

3. The aged man always cleared his throat when he was introduced to new people. No one knew if this was an unconscious action or an affectation.

A synonym for “affectation” would be __________________.

a. natural action
b. pose
c. medical condition
d. callousness

4. The immigrant family encountered much adversity their first year on the farm: their house burned down, their horse died, and their cow stopped giving milk.

Which would be the opposite of “adversity”?

a. special treatment
b. strict rules
c. hardship
d. good fortune

5. The Temperance Unions of the early 1900s urged abstinence on their followers. Their members also supported Prohibition measures.

The word “abstinence” means __________________?

a. breaking of bad habits
b. self-indulgence
c. refraining from drinking alcohol
d. moderate use of alcohol

6. The desert areas of the world are scarcely able to support population, since there is little arable farmland in these areas.

When land is “arable” It can be __________________.

a. easily watered
b. cleared of trees
c. cultivated
d. swampy

7. The team was working on speech-production analysis in ethnic groups, searching for anomalies which could be traced to regional dialectal variation.

The team will recognize an “anomaly” because it will be __________________.

a. different from at least 50% of the other data
b. similar to most of the other data
c. irregular compared to the other data
d. a good fit in the pattern of the other data

8. The youth gangs were bitterly against meeting to discuss peaceful solutions to the warfare. Antagonism reached a climax just before Christmas.

The opposite of “antagonism” would be __________________.

a. oppositional behavior
b. escalation of hostility
c. reconciliation of some but not all differences
d. peace

9. Clinically speaking, apathy, lethargy, and general malaise may be signs of depression in a patient.

What does “apathy” mean?

a. dehydration
b. lack of appetite
c. anorexia
d. lack of interest in matters of importance

10. The mainstream fundamentalist church leaders condemned the doctrines of the tiny religious sect as heresy, while others thought the doctrines were arcane.

A synonym for “arcane” would be __________________?

a. mysterious
b. minor in scope
c. misguided
d. unimportant

Write the letters of your answers here:

1___________2___________3___________4___________ 5___________6___________7___________8___________ 9___________10___________

Advanced Vocabulary Practice Copyright 2005-2015 Sally Jennings, Speak-Read-Write.com

If you are using this exercise on your own, without a teacher, you can check your answers in an online dictionary (for links to online dictionaries, click to go to Speak Read Write Links).

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