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 head teacher, who had heard of the misbehavior, acted with alacrity and removed the offender from the classroom, rather than waiting for another incident.

If a person acts with “alacrity,” they are acting with __________.

a. good sense
b. a feeling of duty
c. misgivings
d. speed

2. The new ticket agent had a manner that her co-workers found abrasive. She even offended her new boss.

Which would be the opposite of “abrasive”?

a. pleasant
b. harsh
c. brisk
d. rude

3. There was a disagreement between the two brothers that became acrimonious as the years passed. They were not fond of each other.

A synonym for “acrimonious” would be __________.

a. gentler
b. more expensive
c. anxious
d. caustic

4. They published an abridged edition of the popular three-volume set, although the author did not want to take any of the text out.

What does “abridged” mean?

a. longer than all previous editions
b. shortened
c. illustrated
d. unusual

5. Using a number of holistic health remedies, they were able to alleviate the toddler's allergy symptoms, and her asthmatic attacks stopped.

Which would be the opposite of “alleviate”?

a. make worse
b. make more anxious
c. remove partially
d. stop completely

6. The young man was a child prodigy in music, however, his parents were ambivalent about allowing him to study abroad at such an early age.

If a person is “ambivalent” about something, they are __________.

a. determined to make a correct decision
b. undecided between two choices
c. excited about the possibilities
d. unaware of danger

7. The government of the tiny country fell, and insurgents began fighting in the streets. The citizens became afraid that no ruler could end the anarchy.

What does “anarchy” mean?

a. lack of food and water
b. control by rebel forces
c. fear of the general populace
d. lawlessness

8. The two sales representatives met over lunch to discuss the geographical areas they each should serve. They had been bitter enemies during the training phase of orientation, but they arrived at an amicable division of the sales territory.

A synonym for “amicable” would be __________.

a. uncomplicated
b. friendly
c. predictable
d. lucrative

9. The class assignment was to describe what life was like before the first television was invented. At least two of the students made anachronistic errors and mentioned cell phones in their descriptions.

When an event is “anachronistic,” it occurs in a time which __________.

a. is before the time in which it belongs
b. is after the time in which it belongs
c. is not in the proper time in which it belongs
d. is exactly at the correct time in which it belongs

10. The interpretation paper discussed a passage in the writer's work which many researchers found ambiguous. That entire chapter had been the subject of much debate in learned circles for years.

Which would be the opposite of “ambiguous”?

a. having only one possible meaning
b. brief
c. wordy
d. unclear

Write the letters of your answers here:

1___________2___________3___________4___________ 5___________6___________7___________8___________ 9___________10___________

Advanced Vocabulary Practice Copyright 2005-2021 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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